Friday, November 10, 2023

The Living Stone, Stories of Uncanny Sculpture 1858-1943 - ed Henry Bartholomew

This post is partly a recommendation for this book, which is excellent - we've been reading stories aloud from it to each other for a good part of the evening which is both as nerdy and enjoyable as I could have imagined. People do not read me weird and uncanny stories half as much as I'd like as a rule. It's also a recommendation to support independent publishers.

I really like Handheld Press - it's a consistently interesting list, they wrap books beautifully when they send direct, and they're lovely people to deal with. I'm also a big fan of finding a press I like and then taking a wider chance on their books either browsing in an actual bookshop or on their websites. Going direct means more money for your publisher of choice to carry on paying their bills and doing interesting things 

Christmas/winter was traditionally the time for ghost stories - spooky season begins at Halloween, not ends. My favourite collections currently come from Handheld and the British Library weird series. Both are better at unsettling me as a reader rather than frightening me stupid, which is very much how I like it. My architect husband is very taken with the concept of The Living Stone' which is why he consented to reading aloud and being read too. 

This is the next thing I really like about a good weird collection - there's now enough of them based on an inspiringly broad range of topics that there's bound to be something appropriate for the readers in your life that's tailored to their particular interests. The glorious thing about a well chosen paperback is that it's a thoughtful and budget option.

The glorious thing about The Living Stone is all it's literary gothic flourishes. Almost miraculously it doesn't have Man Size in Marble in it (I adore E Nesbit, but that one gets in A Lot of anthologies), even better there are two different stories titled the Marble Hands, one of which is a mini masterpiece - which one that is, is up to the individual reader! 

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