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Essay: Frankenstein, Dracula and the Uncanny

FRANKENSTEIN, DRACULA AND THE UNCANNY  by Mark Mayes The novels Frankenstein (Mary Shelley, 1818) and Dracula (Bram Stoker, 1897) have been much adapted since they were written, as countless films, plays, literary reworkings, and even as cartoons. Their central protagonists – the Creature and the Count – have been used in advertising to sell anything from Heineken to Apple computers. The result of all this can be a distancing from and distortion of their original characters, so much so that, for example, the name of Frankenstein, the hubristic doctor and creator of the ‘Creature’, is used to denote the Creature himself. The creator and created have become synonymous, further blurring the Creature’s individual essence – effacing him. I wanted to take a look at the original texts from which these many spin-offs emanate and show how they demonstrate a crisis of faith and an anxiety about the loss of absolute truths, with particular regard to manifestations of the uncanny. In his essay, ‘…

The Shadow Booth: Vol. 2 - COMING THIS JUNE!

We're thrilled to announce that The Shadow Booth: Vol. 2 will be launched this June. Once again, we'll be publishing as an ebook and a mass-market paperback (which should match your copy of Vol. 1 perfectly on the shelf...)

This time we're using Indiegogo to crowdfund the project, soplease order your copy here. There are also a number of perks/bundles for those of you who want more Booth for your money.

But we haven't told you the most exciting part. The lineup is now finalised for Vol. 2, and the Table of Contents reads as follows:
Buddy by Mark MorrisWe are the Disease by Gareth ReesWaves by Dan GraceMy Father’s Face by Giovanna RepettoEar to Ear by Aliya WhiteleyFeasting, Fasting by Anna VaughtKeel by George SandisonWhat to do When Your Child Brings Home a Mami Wata by Chikodili EmelumaduGood Good Good, Nice Nice Nice by Kirsty LoganMonkeys on the Beach by Ralph Robert MooreCave Venus et Stellas by Anna VaughtThe Joanne by Johnny Mains Sound good? We think so. In fa…

Books: The Dark is Rising

A DARK AND TIMELESS BEAUTY The Dark is Rising: Book Two of The Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper (1973)by Andrew Wallace I had this novel as a boy, but didn’t read it because the cover was too frightening. It was the Puffin UK second edition, with art by Michael Heslop, and featured Herne the Hunter as an owl-eyed, antlered figure with an uncomfortably human face. Herne is riding the white horse, which through a curious use of negative effect and collage appears to be black. The picture is dynamic, even threatening; due to the colouration, it looks as though we are seeing Herne through a rifle sight. It is not clear whether this menacing figure is friend or foe; he looks like trouble, but there is something about his eyes that is not so much evil as uniquely focused.
I’ve dwelt on this cover for two reasons: one is that the combination of familiar and uncanny elements makes it one of the most enduring images of the weird I know; the other is that it so perfectly captures the …

The Shadow Booth is now open for Submissions!


We will be opening for FICTION SUBMISSIONS for the entirety of March 2018. Note: we are open all the time for non-fiction for the website, but the fiction submissions period will open on 1st March and end at midnight on 31st March 2018.

Here are some basic guidelines:
We are a bi-annual journal of weird and eerie fiction. Do not send us your Western romance (in space). Do not send us your drug addiction memoir. Do not send us your shopping list (unless you're buying some really weird things). Weird. Eerie. Fiction. Please.If you want an idea of what we mean by weird and eerie, then read The Shadow Booth: Vol. 1. This is the best way to find out what we like! The ebook is only £5, and like all independent publications, we need your support to keep going. (Paperbacks, ebooks and subscriptions are available here. Okay, rant over...) If you want further pointers,…

Memoir: The Drive Home

by Tim Cooke

Memoir: The Shadow Babies

by Anna Vaught
In this cold house on a graceful, desolate street there were three rocking chairs,

Where three tiny forms sat formally, just so and waiting.

The chairs had black frames, rush seats; they were immaculate, still and unweighted down. No one, she said, was to rush at or hassle these chairs and they sat silent with their lovely occupants: three still infants. At least that was what I thought when I first looked in the formal front room. It was a shock, as I walked in with a clutch of young hot-blooded and real children of my own, lowering our voices as I'd trained them to do, in these parts, on Sundays, especially.

Here was me. Getting used to motherhood. Travelling alone. No mother of my own and a childhood that was rearing its head and causing commotion as I came to terms with wrongs I could not right but only release to the elements as I loved my own darlings. A graceful, desolate street: I needed straightforward, not a chilling oxymoron…

Top 5 Weird Horror Books for Halloween

It's Halloween time again, and every website seems to be doing their 'Halloween books' list. If you're a frequent reader of horror, however, then these lists are frequently uninspiring. Yes, we know The Shining is great. No, we're not going to read IT for the fifth time. Frankly, life's too short.

Instead, we thought it might be interesting to celebrate the weird and the unusual for our list. We've asked some of the contributors to The Shadow Booth: Volume 1 - and journal editor Dan Coxon - to recommend something strange, unsettling, and not widely read for Halloween. This is what crawled out of the mist...
Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson
Recommended by Dan Carpenter Her most discomforting novel by far, much more eerie and strange than The Haunting of Hill House, and far less direct than The Lottery. A campus novel about loneliness, and the disquiet of being alone for the first time. Francine Prose, in her introduction to the new Penguin edition wrote, 'The…