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Awen is 100 issues young!

20 May

Yes, it’s true – Awen has reached its hundredth issue! You can download a pdf copy for free from the issues page, along with several earlier issues.

This issue includes:

Fiction by SchiZ, DJ Tyrer, Jenn Weiss, and Lee Clark Zumpe,

Poetry by Nick Armbrister, H.G. Carter, Marc Carver, Aeronwy Dafies, DS Davidson, Emma Doughty,  Diane R. Duff, Walter Durk, Rik Hunik, Keith Murdoch, Paul Murphy, Gordon Scapens, SchiZ, Megan Sherman, and Neil Wilgus.

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It’s Hallowe’en…

31 Oct

Yes, it’s that time of the year again and that means another horror poetry booklet…

Cast A Curse

This year’s booklet is named for Christopher Catt James’ title poem and accompanying cover art, Helza (Cast a Curse). Other poems include Dark Encounter by Neal Wilgus, October Frost by Aeronwy Dafies, November Thirst by Angela Boswell, and Witch Cult by Lee Clark Zumpe. Other contributors include DS Davidson, Christopher Hivner, Arthur C. Ford, Sr., Gary W. Davis and Matthew Wilson.

Although it is too late for you to read it tonight if you don’t already have it, you can still order it and enjoy it on the long winter evenings, along with our previous years’ booklets.

And, yes, we will be seeking contributions to another volume in 2018…

A Competition That’s Doing Good

5 Oct

Want a chance to win a prize for your writing whilst also doing good? Then, you want to enter A Story For Daniel. The competition itself is free and you could win £100 for writing a joyful or uplifting piece of flash fiction. The twist is that the organisers ask that you assist a charity or do a good deed in memory of baby Daniel. The deadline is the end of October 2017 and the competition is open to everyone.

Corporate Cthulhu is coming!

5 Oct

Nothing is more terrifying and mind-shattering than the Cthulhu Mythos – expect, perhaps, the meaningless bureaucracy of a corporation. Well, now, these two hideous horrors are being combined in one anthology – Corporate Cthulhu!

The anthology is on Kickstarter now and needs your assistance if it is to meet its target and escape the cloying tendrils of Great Cthulhu and enter print. So, rush over to the anthology’s Kickstarter page and take a look at its contents and the various stretch goals, then pledge something towards making this blasphemous tome a reality!

Corporate Cthulhu

Download now!

22 Jun

You can now download issues of Awen and The Supplement (as well as DJ Tyrer’s fiction ebook, Black & Red) for free from this site. New issues will be added regularly. Enjoy!

Equal Opportunity Madness!

26 May

EOM: Equal Opportunity Madness – A Mythos Anthology by Otter Libris

In the depths of the cosmos there is madness to be found and there are stories to be told…

H.P. Lovecraft first unveiled his dark and twisted vision of human insignificance to a wide audience with the publication of his short stories beginning in the early 1920s. He became a significant influence on horror writers and readers around the world and left a profound imprint on the horror genre itself. But something was missing in his work, things like positive portrayals of people of color and strong women.

Lovecraft is one of those problematic authors who created astounding work, but carried personal attitudes that most modern audiences find repugnant, like racism and anti-Semitism. Whether or not he was also a misogynist is a topic of spirited debate, but there is no question that his work lacks female characters, and when they are present they portrayed as weak or evil.

And then a group of feisty writers and one plucky little independent press, Otter Libris, decided to fill in some of the gaps in the Mythos….

What began as a joking suggestion to write stories that would make Lovecraft roll in his grave grew into the little anthology that could – EOM: Equal Opportunity Madness. Why should straight, white men of Anglo-Saxon descent get to have all the maddening fun?

EOM includes stories from writers in America, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Greece, and the protagonists are male and female, straight and not, and come in a wide variety of skin tones. Come enjoy all the madness of the Mythos in a rainbow of colors with EOM: Equal Opportunity Madness from Otter Libris, soon to be available in trade paper edition and your favorite e-book flavor.

Visit our Kickstarter and make sure you’re the first on your street to go mad!

Locum Who?

8 Feb

Peter Capaldi is going and it’s time to find a locum to fill the famous Doctor’s shoes…

Along with a black James Bond, a female Doctor Who with a male companion is the most common ‘politically-correct’ change to an established character that crops up. I’ve advocated a black Doctor in the past – not for any reason other than because there have been some excellent black actors who would be perfect for the role. But, a female Doctor wouldn’t sit right with me.

Let’s tackle the male companion first. There’s no reason a male Doctor cannot have a male companion. In the first half of the original series, there usually was a mixture of male and female companions, and often of age. By the end of the original series, there was usually only one companion, who was female and this has been common since the revival. While it originally arose from the idea that a ‘bit of totty’ would attract the dads, I think the reason it was retained was because, especially with the example of the final original-series companion, Ace, a strong female companion made a good counterpoint to the male Doctor. But, there’s no reason why the companion must always be female, young, or in the singular. The companions offer plenty of opportunity to mix things up.

But, the Doctor is a constant.

Of course, we’ve had a female incarnation of the Master (‘Missy’), but that twist worked because the Master has a history of running out of regenerations, stealing bodies and meddling with his biodata. That he would transform into a woman is almost a logical outcome of his adventures in identity. Yes, the Doctor has run through his regenerations quickly and seems to have messed with his biodata, but not to the same extent – and making gender a choice raises all sorts of questions of why he always chose to be male before, but has changed his mind now.

But, more than my feeling that it doesn’t really fit in with the established continuity of the series, is my view that the demand for a female Doctor is horribly sexist. There’s no need for the Doctor as a female role model – if people wanted a female Timelord, why not produce a series featuring Romana? – while the Doctor represents a male character who doesn’t pander to typical male stereotypes. He’s rarely violent, he’s intelligent, academic and quirky, he’s tolerant and kind. In a world where too many male role models are the opposite, he’s a welcome alternative.

Introduce a Romana series, by all means (after all, The Sarah Jane Adventures were excellent), but don’t deprive boys of the wonderful role model who is the Doctor.