Writing this column is occasionally daunting. I often grapple with the unfortunate reality that not only is it impossible for me to completely cover every important horror/spec fic writer, it’s also hard to read everything written by the writers I highlight. In some cases — writers with modest outputs, or contemporary writers I’ve been reading right along — that’s not such a difficulty.
However, with other writers, such as the focus of today’s column — Algernon Blackwood — I simply have to be content with believing I’ve read enough of their work to offer an informed opinion and recommendation. Even so, there’s still that little irrational insecurity (anyone who knows me knows I’m nothing more than a bundle of irrational insecurities) someone will pipe up in the comments, “Oh, but have you read THIS story by INSERT AUTHOR NAME HERE? You haven’t? Oh.”Continue Reading
Algernon Blackwood’s name doesn’t permeate today’s pop culture landscape like his contemporary (and admirer) H.P. Lovecraft, but Britain’s great supernaturalist holds a significant place in the pantheon of weird literature. As one of horror fiction’s preeminent contributors, his chilling works have influenced many of the world’s best fantasy writers, and astounded readers with a sublime melding of paralyzing suspense, mysticism, and otherworldly terror. Despite their plentiful virtues, Blackwood’s tales have been somewhat overlooked as an avenue for adaptation, with infrequent dips into Blackwood’s formidable catalog, mostly as television and radio plays, some dating back far enough to be narrated by Blackwood himself (he died in 1951). Continue Reading