Jim McLeod's site Ginger Nuts Of Horror is an awe-inspiring labour of love, a review blog that's expanded and gone from strength to strength to become one of the premier sites for anyone who wants to know what's new and hot in the field. Jim's also a big-hearted bloke (despite his irrational hatred of Irn Bru) who's rightly much-loved by folks on the UK horror scene. So much so that when he suffered a heart attack last year, Phil Sloman got in touch with a bunch of writers to ask them to write a story featuring Jim in which he died or worse. Only one physical copy of the resulting anthology, Jim McLeod must die, exists: it was presented to him at Fantasycon last month, and he cried like a big softie, bless him.
Today Jim published the first part of Ginger Nuts Of Horror's Best Of The Year picks, and among them is my beloved Cate's The Bureau Of Them, from Spectral Press:
' I like stories with emotional depth, I prefer my horror to come from the emotions of the protagonists rather than from some poorly written scene of carnage and death. The Bureau of Them, Cate Gardner's beautiful tale of loss, separation and
isolation is a perfect example of this, a deeply emotional story of a
woman coming to terms with the death of her partner, and her frantic
quest to be reunited with him, this is a powerful story that draws its
horror from the her sense of loss and loss of control.'
As with all Cate's stuff, a description of the plot doesn't even begin to do justice to the strangeness of the tale. You really ought to read it.
Also on the list is this:
'Special quick mention as I haven't finished the review yet must go to
Simon Bestwick's Hell's Ditch, a brutal action packed dystopian novel
that mixes military action eugenics horror and the mysticism of Celtic
cults into a thrilling page turner with hidden depths.'
Not a bad end to the week, all told.
Cheers, Jim. Next time we meet the Irn Bru's on me.