Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Wind in the Rose Bush

Ever since having read the collection of ghost stories by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman published by Arkham House in 1974, entitled Collected Ghost Stories, with an introduction by none other than Edward Wagenknecht, I have cherished fond memories of her strange and wonderful tales.

So it is with a certain nostalgia that I share this review published on 18 March 1903 in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of her most famous collection The Wind in the Rose Bush here, and I heartily agree with the reviewer who wrote more than a century ago that "The Wind in the Rose Bush' is a collection of ghost stories of a peculiarly creepy sort... they are nerve chilling in their originality."

That title alone, the wind in the rose bush, it evokes a deep yearning to a different time and place, where one could sit outside ones house at night when all the world was at rest, and one could hear the soft rustling of the wind in a rose bush nearby... It reads almost like a Haiku. Now who has the luxury of such a simple, but oh so beautiful thing these days? I know I don't.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Erle Cox, Out of the Silence

The best known Australian lost race novel is Erle Cox's Out of the Silence, serialised in The Argus in 1919 before being published in book form by Edward A. Vidler in 1925. It's been reprinted many times since, and even appeared as a comic strip in 1934. The typescript of the novel was sent to the Patent Office in 1919 along with Cox's copyright application, and has been digitised by The National Archives of Australia - go to , click on RecordSearch, select Search Now as a guest user, and do a keyword search for Out of the Silence. A superior example of early SF/fantasy.