Friday, 26 November 2010

Weird Wales - Rhys Hughes, Arthur Machen and Welsh Forteana

In this FREE event discover the Weird Tales of authors Rhys Hughes and Arthur Machen, and hear True Tales of Weird Wales.

11 December · 12:00 - 15:30
Discovery Room, First floor,
Swansea Central Library, Civic Centre,
Oystermouth Road,
Swansea, Cymru, SA1 3SN

Rhys Hughes - The Postmodern Mariner
Master storyteller Rhys Hughes will reveal the Welsh roots of his amazing surreal imagination by discussing the strange sea stories of his book The Postmodern Mariner (Screaming Dreams). You can take a glance at the work of this hugely prolific Swansea based author at his website:

And the Postmodern Mariner blog:

Arthur Machen - Master of the Weird Tale
Gwilym Games, Swansea Local Studies Librarian and Editor of Machenalia, the newsletter of the Friends of Arthur Machen, will be discussing Arthur Machen, the famed Welsh fantasy and horror writer, admired by Oscar Wilde, HP Lovecraft, Stephen King, and Alan Moore amongst others. His weird tales horrified Victorian audiences and created the incredible fable of The Angels of Mons in the First World War. Machen has now been republished in the prestigious Library of Wales series in two beautiful volumes.

The Forbidden Forest
We will also be presenting the Welsh première of Keith Rondinelli's animated short film The Forbidden Forest which was inspired by Machen's "The White People".

True Tales of Weird Wales
And in the talk True Tales of Weird Wales discover the dark truths behind reports of Welsh sea monsters including the Gower Sea Wyrm, mystery airships, Spring Heeled Jack in Gower and other bizarre fortean events.

Mark Howard Jones, a Cardiff based writer of weird tales and author of the recent anthology Songs From Spider Street (Screaming Dreams) will also be reading one of his strange stories.

Facebook event here:

Weird Winter Tales - A day festival in honour of H. P. Lovecraft

I suppose one should start in the cold December of 1880, when the ground froze and the cemetery delvers found they could dig no more graves till spring.

In The Vault by H. P. Lovecraft

It was the Yuletide, that men call Christmas though they know in their hearts it is older than Bethlehem and Babylon, older than Memphis and mankind. It was the Yuletide, and I had come at last to the ancient sea town where my people had dwelt and kept festival in the elder time when festival was forbidden; where also they had commanded their sons to keep festival once every century, that the memory of primal secrets might not be forgotten.
The Festival by H.P. Lovecraft

That child, a boy, came in December; but was still-born. Nor was any child to be born alive in that house for a century and a half.
The Shunned House by H. P. Lovecraft

Weird Winter Tales - Saturday December 4th, 12-6pm

A seasonal celebration of the works of cult author H.P. Lovecraft at the end of the year which marks the 120th anniversary of his birth on August 20th, 1890. With readings, sound installations, and talks from authors and experts reflecting upon Lovecraft's inspirations, work and influence on popular culture. There will also be a special screening of The Call of Cthulhu (H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, 2005) the film adaptation of one of Lovecraft's most famous short stories.

Location : Reading Central Library, Abbey Square RG1 3BQ.

The library is in central Reading. It is built on the remains of Reading Abbey which is haunted by the tortured ghost of its last abbot Hugh Farringdon. It is 5 minutes away from Reading Gaol where Oscar Wilde spent more than a year imprisoned.

Tickets available from Reading Central Library or e-mail

£3, Library Members £2

Google Maps to Reading Central Library

Facebook event

Our mysterious cast of curious scholars and doom laden writers include:

Dr David Evans – author of The History of British Magic After Crowley, will be examining the sanity-blasting mysteries of magus Kenneth Grant, who, in his relentless pursuit of the secrets of Lovecraft’s Great Old Ones, could almost be one of Lovecraft’s characters come to life.

Cardinal Cox - Poet Laureate of Peterborough in 2003 and author of numerous poetry pamphlets, will be reading extracts from the recently discovered Codex Dagon, a special selection of poetry and prose, produced exclusively for those attending Weird Winter Tales.

John Llewellyn Probert, horror film connoisseur and author of the terrifying collections Wicked Delights and The Faculty of Terror, will be reading from his work and discussing Lovecraftian cinema.

Gwilym Games, Editor of Machenalia, the newsletter of the Friends of Arthur Machen, will be presenting a talk "The Shadow Haunted Library" - a discussion of the role of libraries and Librarians in Lovecraft's work, leading onto a panel on the mysterious Necronomicon.

He will also report on the Samuels-Games Devonian 2010 expedition. He is one of the few relatively sane survivors of this expedition which made terrifying discoveries when exploring the origins of Lovecraft’s paternal ancestry in Devon.

Chris Lambert, sound artist, has devised specially created soundscapes of some of the most terrifying of Lovecraft’s stories for Weird Winter Tales.

The horror podcast, Cast Macabre, has recorded a Lovecraftian episode especially for Weird Winter Tales.