Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Ghost Stories for Christmas

Ghost stories are often told around Christmas, and I'm getting into the seasonal mood by writing one myself, for a forthcoming anthology. It's provisionally entitled "Through the Mist". I've dabbled in the genre before, and in the spring, I had the, for me, unusual experience of recording one of my own stories, the ghost story "No Flowers", for an Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine podcast. Great fun.

I've also been getting into the right frame of mind by reading more of Robert Aickman's stories of the uncanny - four collections of his stories were republished earlier this year by Faber, and they are excellent and memorable. They are, really, stories of the uncanny, rather than just ghost stories, and all sorts of strange, often inexplicable things, happen in them. Strongly recommended.

I've also started reading Mary Elizabeth Braddon's The Face in the Glass, a paperback collection of stories published by the British Library, who get everywhere these days, and a very good thing too. I've written about Mrs Braddon before on this blog, but these stories were all new to me. One particularly good one is "The Island of Old Faces", which features a Balliol man in unexpected surroundings...

This is my last blog post until Boxing Day, but from then on, I'll be scheduling daily posts until early January, as I've noticed that readership of the blog usually rises quite sharply at around this time of year (an escape from seasonal merriment or just because there's more time to read? I'm not sure.) Before I go, I'd like to wish all readers of this blog a very merry Christmas, and to say thanks once again for your interest and support, your comments and your emails. Very much appreciated.

8 comments:

Unknown said...

Merry Christmas to you as well! Thank you for providing Golden Age mystery readers everywhere with so much excellent new material to seek out. It is thanks to you that I have discovered many new favorites. But I think that what I really appreciate about your blog is the generosity of spirit you always display when discussing the works of others. It is such a pleasure to know that when I come to browse here for a few minutes between tasks at work, I know I am going to find a thought-provoking discussion free of rancor and snide comments. It is a gift, and I can only hope for it to continue! Happy holidays.

Martin Edwards said...

That's a very nice thing to say, and I'm truly grateful. Yes, the blog will continue in the same spirit next year!

R.T. said...

Merry Christmas....thank you for giving so much to all of us who enjoy your blog, your books, and your gracious warmth....

Sarah said...

A very happy Christmas to you too Martin. I'll look forward to those blog posts.

Clothes In Books said...

Happy Christmas to you Martin.

I very much like the ghost stories of MR James, very creepy and atmospheric.

seana graham said...

So many tips, so little time! Yes, thanks for all the great recs you've made here on books that deserve a new day, and I look forward to your next ghost story.

Merry Christmas to you and your family.

paulbeech said...

Hi Martin,

Yes, there is something chillingly cosy about spooky tales at Christmas. I’ve just re-read ‘No Flowers’ and it gave me that deliciously prickly feeling…

Of course, I’m greatly looking forward to publication of ‘The Dungeon House’ (with its Gothic influence!) and ‘The Golden Age of Murder’ next year. Will you be launching either or both at Gladstone’s Library? If so, I’ll try to get along, maybe with a poet friend who would like to meet you… Well, I’ve told her enough about you!

My very best wishes for the Festive Season and 2015.

Paul

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Paul, and festive greetings. Not sure about when the new novel will be published, but I will be at the Northwich Lit Fest in June...All the best for 2015