“Machen wrote works where the supernatural was as much spiritual as scary, in doing so producing a wholly distinctive body of work.”
The Cosy Room and Other Stories is a collection of Arthur Machen’s short stories curated by John Gawsworth (aka Fytton Armstrong) in 1936. As well as exhuming some very early tales published in the first half of the 1890s, Gawsworth included Machen’s decadent prose poems from Ornaments in Jade, and later work commissioned by Lady Cynthia Asquith for collections such as The Ghost Book (1926) and Shudders (1929).
Among other curious items, The Cosy Room collected ‘The Islington Mystery’, an account of the likely murder of a taxidermist’s wife by her husband that, as James Machin writes in his Introduction, ‘wouldn’t be out of place in Borges’s A Universal History of Infamy.’ But the highlight of the collection is ‘N’, the only original contribution to The Cosy Room, and perhaps the most interesting and thought-provoking story of Arthur Machen’s later career.
Contains: ‘Introduction’ by James Machin, ‘The Double Return’, ‘A Wonderful Woman’, ‘The Lost Club’, ‘The Holy Things’, ‘Psychology’, ‘Torture’, ‘Witchcraft’, ‘The Turanians’, ‘The Rose Garden’, ‘The Ceremony’, ‘Midsummer’, ‘Nature’, ‘The Hidden Mystery’, ‘Munitions of War’, ‘Drake’s Drum’, ‘A New Christmas Carol’, ‘The Islington Mystery’, ‘The Gift of Tongues’, ‘The Cosy Room’, ‘Awaking’, ‘Opening the Door’, ‘The Compliments of the Season’, ‘N’
Why We’re Excited About This Book: Tartarus Press continue to reissue the work of the writer Arthur Machen with this latest volume, The Cosy Room and Other Stories. Machen wrote works where the supernatural was as much spiritual as scary, in doing so producing a wholly distinctive body of work. Whilst none of the contents of The Cosy Room are perhaps as well-known as his classic ‘The White People’, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t include several masterful tales of the supernatural, such as ‘N’, ‘The Islington Mystery’ and the title story itself. The volume also contains the prose poems Ornaments In Jade, one of which (‘The Ceremony’) seems to prefigure ‘The White People’ itself.
Naturally, this being a Tartarus Press volume, the book itself is a beautiful thing, with the publisher’s distinctive cream colouring and elegant design. Wonderful to look at on your bookshelves, but even better to take down and read, The Cosy Room and Other Stories is a welcome reissue.
“The Ghost Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore features tales written by some of our best contemporary writers of horror fiction.”
Five people are invited to a fancy dress party on a vintage steam train. The guests are told to come in costume as their favourite monster… and every monster has a story to tell.
The Ghost Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore is a new portmanteau horror play, bringing to the theatre the flavour of vintage Amicus anthologies like Tales from the Crypt and Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors. Featuring segments written by acclaimed authors Christopher Fowler, Stephen Gallagher, Kim Newman, Robert Shearman, Lynda E. Rucker and Lisa Tuttle, alongside a wraparound story by director Sean Hogan.
Why We’re Excited About This Play:
And now for something completely different.
The Ghost Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore is a play being shown at the Tristan Bates theatre, London, from 7th to 19th March. The play is a tribute to the multiple narrative portmanteau style of old Amicus films and the like. For this play, the six different tales have been written by some of our best contemporary writers of horror fiction, including Robert Shearman, Lisa Tuttle and Lynda E. Rucker.
So all the signs are that this will be a unique theatrical performance. If you’re in London at the time, don’t go and see some endlessly running musical; go and see The Ghost Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore and support something unique. And here’s hoping it’s successful enough that the play is shown around the country as well.