New Book: The Musical Box of Wonders by Paul StJohn Mackintosh — today!

Daytime job commitments as well as sickness in the family etc. (yes, yes, “the mundane” demanding attention) have taken up all my time the last couple of weeks. That’s the reason for my absence. I apologize, but at least the worst is now over. Phew.

At least I have some good news! Take a look at this:

Yeps, that’s the complete cover for the excellent, lyrical collection of poetry from the very talented Paul StJohn Mackintosh — The Musical Box of Wonders. It is now OUT, folks!:-)

In a few weeks it will be available through Amazon.com, Barnes & Nobles’ site, and other places, but you can already grab it here: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/the-musical-box-of-wonders/15255859

Here’s the blurb:

This collection showcases imagination and lyricism, and confessional landscapes from the boundaries between culture and nature, mundane and divine, the everyday and the extraordinary. The volume brings together themes ancient and modern, Scottish and English, Asian and European, and contains the fruits of ten years spent living in Asia, including intensely personal poems about the writer’s family, all handled with great tactile strength, resourcefulness and a unique, poetic power. The result is a genuinely new voice, with a style and spirit seldom heard in British poetry for decades.

There’s no denying that Paul is an extremely talented poet — as this praise from the notable British poet Alan Brownjohn illustrates:

“Crammed with attractive detail handled with sensuousness . . . Poems that are in turns elegaicand entertaining, technically adept and resourceful, and treating a variety of themes Western and Easternwith grace and dignity. What more could one hope for in a collection?”

Paul’s first collection, The Golden Age (1997) also received high praise — “This book alone strikes me as among the most distinguished by younger Britishpoets known to me,” said Michael Hamburger. To quote but one of many positive critics.

So there’s hardly any reason to doubt that this new collection is worth buying. Also — to those horror afficionados among you readers out there, don’t forget that Paul’s story “The People of the Island” was one of the tales in the first volume of my hplmythos.com Series, Eldritch Horrors: Dark Tales (http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/eldritch-horrors-dark-tales-%28hplmythoscom-vol-1%29/4708669 , or over at Amazon), to be highlighted with an Honorary Mention in Ellen Datlow’s volume 2 of Best Horror of the Year (2009, published by Night Shade Books: http://www.nightshadebooks.com/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=155 ).

Oh, and did I mention that you can buy this brand-new collection of poetry here: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/the-musical-box-of-wonders/15255859 ? 😉

Plantage & Gys… Eller “Ude og Hjemme Igen”;-)

(In Danish. Sorry guys. Will post a new post in English very soon. Promise.)

Horror-genren har jo, som bekendt, ganske trange kår her i lille Danmark. Så når der sker noget, så synes jeg, det er på sin plads at gøre opmærksom på det. Også selvom det ikke er i forbindelse med éns eget forlag.

I dag udkommer 3. og sidste bind af Steen Langstrups trilogi, Plantagen, Porten til Helvede. Jeg har ikke læst bogen endnu (den ligger pænt øverst i bunken på mit skrivebord og venter), så tøver jeg ikke med at råde enhver med interesse for gyser-genren: Køb den! Jeg har kun læst 1. bind, men jeg glæder mig til at give mig i kast med de to andre i serien.

Første bind lægger op til, at der foregår en masse “behind the scenes” og jeg er nysgerrig efter at finde ud af, hvad det er. At det ikke er spor rart, er jeg dog ikke i tvivl om. Mums! Og enhver læser, der måske er lidt bekymret for at give sig i kast med den type historier, jeg ofte selv med stor entusiasme foretrækker — dem med langsommelig (nøjsom, måske) opbygning af stemning — kan jeg berolige ved at sige, at læsning af bogen var som at se en moderne horror-film. Hvert kapitel er som et scene i en film — hurtige klip — og Langstrup forstår at bygge en spændingskurve, der holder læseren fanget hele tiden. En rigtig page turner. Samtidig med at han undlader de tomme kalorier, som man ellers ofte får med i købet, når en sådan fortælleform benyttes. Det er en ganske imponerende balance, må jeg sige.

Det er få, som med succes kan kombinere horror og action/spænding. Og give læseren en fornemmelse af, at der virkelig foregår noget helt specielt “under overfladen”, så man er nødt til at læse de næste bøger i serien, hvor der med uimodståelig fascinationskraft (uden tvivl) vil blive afsløret flere lags råddenskab. Langstrup kan.

Det er godt at se, at Langstrup nu efter flere år i krimi-genren er vendt hjem. Det skriver han selv noget om i sit seneste indlæg på sin egen blog:

http://steenlangstrup.wordpress.com/hjem-til-gyset/

Og nu du er på besøg hos ham: Husk at købe bøgerne;-)

Musical Box of Wonders

Mackintosh: The Musical Box of Wonders (poetry collection). Cover designer: Kira Santa. Artist: Lilla Anna Bán.

Just a brief note to tell you that we’re getting close to publishing the next book. It is the first poetry collection from H. Harksen Productions, and I must say that Paul StJohn Mackintosh has compiled a beautiful collection of poetry.

I’ll tell you more later this week, but I gotta go prepare for class now. (“Real Life work.”) As an appetizer: Enjoy the cover, it is designed by Kira Santa, and the artist is Lilla Anna Bán, the poet’s wife. Amazing work!