HP Lovecraft Film Festival Panel this weekend!

I’ll be on a panel this weekend with some fabulous folks

We Once Were Monster Kids: Experiencing and Writing About Weird Childhoods
DESCRIPTION: Some of the best Weird and horror fiction features child protagonists. Do children have not just a sense of wonder but also a greater comfort with The Weird? How did the panelists’ own childhood experiences and pop culture favorites lay a foundation for their own horror and Weird fiction? Panelists will also share their favorite Weird tales featuring kids, both classic and contemporary, including the recent Cooties Shot Required: There Are Things You Must Know from Broken Eye Books. 
PANELISTS: Anya Martin (moderator), Craig Laurance Gidney, Gwendolyn Kiste, Ian McDowell, Eden Royce

TIME: 1:30 pm EST (10:30 am PST) October 10.


Gothic Revolution: Madame Two Swords by Tanith Lee

Nestled somewhere between magical realism and alternate history, this slim novella shows Tanith Lee working with the vast store of information she amassed about the French Revolution. She used most of the material for her lone historical novel THE GODS ARE THIRSTY. In many ways, MADAME TWO SWORDS is like a darker sister to that novel.

Set in an imaginary French city under English rule, the nameless narrator finds a slim book of poetry and essays in a used bookstore. Stuffed inside of the book is the miniature portrait of the book’s author, with whom she falls in love with. Lucien de Ceppays is a stand-in for the very real Camille Desmoulins (and the subject of TGAT), the doomed pamphleteer of the French Revolution. De Ceppays is a poet and author of the treatise on human rights in this alternate city, which also had a monarchy-ousting revolution that in turn inspired a rampage of political terror. Lee uses a series of Gothic tropes—ranging from spectral occurrences to the coincidences that happen in such fiction—to introduce a theme that one does not find in much of Lee’s fiction.  Bryonic heroes, destitute heroines, mysterious crones are all in the service of a tale about the narrator’s awakening sense of Social Justice.

It’s all told in Lee’s trademark decadent, ominous prose, which creates an intriguing subgenre—woke goth? She manages to capture both the horrid employment conditions of women in the turn-of-century and the fickle nature of mob-led movements as acutely as she did in that epic historical novel.

I am in possession of a signed and illustrated (by Thomas Canty) copy of this novella, which has been reprinted by Immanion Press.


I’ll be on a panel put on by the Baltimore County Public Library with authors David R. Slayton (White Trash Warlock), Alex Jay Lore (Empire of Light), and Barbara Ann Wright (The Noble and the Nightingale) on May 26. You can sign up for the free event here.

%d bloggers like this: