Mycelia – A New Magazine for New Weird Fiction

I have had this magazine in my possession for a number of weeks now, but have only managed to have the time to read about half of the contents of the first issue. I had hoped to review the whole thing, but at the rate I’m going it’ll be some time before I can do that.

I’m not exactly sure how I came across this, I think it was mentioned somewhere on Goodreads (which I very recently signed up to and am still getting used to). I decided to buy the two issues that have been released to see what it was all about and it’s already quite interesting.

Mycelia (published by Hedera Felix in Glasgow) describes itself as “a new biannual print magazine in Scotland for weird fiction, experimental literature and art.” From what I have read so far this is an accurate description. The first few stories (they are all quite short) cover a wide range of styles and subjects which can be classified as weird. Below is a photograph of both Issue 1 and Issue 2.

The first story features what I assume to be a genetically engineered sub-human/dog-like creature, another one concerns a boyfriend who has vegetative aspects which don’t seem to concern his partner, another is a hard Science Fiction story and another which is more old-school weird. It was this one which has been my favourite so far. It’s called ‘To Keep The Cold Away’ and is written by Daniel Pietersen. After inheriting a collection of netsuke (small Japanese carved ornaments to be worn with a kimono) the protagonist becomes strangely connected to them. It’s not quite clear, but either they wither and change physically causing the character to do the same, or she does first and they take on the change. Traditionally in this type of story there would be a curse or spiritual connection, maybe a pining for the original collector, but that is not evident here, which moves the story from the Gothic to the Weird.

There are a number of interesting photographs dotted throughout the magazine, some of which remind me of Surrealism. I particularly liked the two photographs by David Redford Palmer. I’m not sure if they have been manipulated or not; they are of natural subjects (a tree in one and cloud in another) but they possess a mood, a darkness, even a sense of dread. I would like to see more.

There is an odd almalgam of stories with a recurring seagull motif that seem to be trying too hard to be arty in a weird way. If there is a criticism of Mycelia, it would be that it tries too hard to be arty or experimental, to the point of complete abstraction and this can leaves one unable to make the slightest sense of it (but I guess that’s just weird in another way).

I’m assuming that the name Mycelia comes from the word Mycelium, which is quite appropriate. This is how it is described by Wikipedia:-

Mycelium is the vegetative part of a fungus or fungus-like bacterial colony, consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like hyphae. The mass of hyphae is sometimes called shiro, especially within the fairy ring fungi. Fungal colonies composed of mycelium are found in and on soil and many other substrates.

Citation

If the rest of Issue 1 and the second Issue continue in this vein then I look forward to reading more in the future – who knows, I may even submit a few photos or stories – it’s certainly something worth supporting!

You can obtain a copy of Mycelia by visiting their shop, here, and you can use a discount code at the checkout to reduce the cost (it’s why I decided to buy both Issues!), the code is – SUMMER2019. You can also buy a copy at one of their stockists:-

Category Is, Glasgow
Good Press Gallery, Glasgow
Aye-Aye Books, CCA, Glasgow
Fruitmarket Gallery Bookshop, Edinburgh
Golden Hare Books, Edinburgh
Whitechapel Gallery Bookshop, London
Serpentine Gallery Bookshop, London
Coming soon to Book Art Bookshop in Hoxton, London!

‘The Cenotaph of Dreams’ by Prince Cavallo

I have an announcement to make.

This is not really the sort of thing that I do at all. Generally I write about oddities and obscurities that interest me on this blog. I don’t really do self promotion, via any medium, let alone broadcasting to the world through the power of the internet – but here goes (let’s hope someone sees it!).

Announcement:- I have written a book of extremely short stories called ‘The Cenotaph of Dreams‘ (Amazon UK). Here’s a link to the Amazon.com page:- Cenotaph of Dreams. It is available as an e-book and also as a proper actual physical paperback book (I really can’t believe it!).

There we go. I’ve said it. It’s taken years of procrastination and writing and more procrastination, but finally I’ve done it, I’ve published something that people I don’t know can actually read. Scary stuff!

The book consists of twenty-eight experiments in brevity, with each story precisely one hundred and fifty words long; but where there is an economy of words, there is an excess of imagination.

In ‘The Cenotaph of Dreams‘ someone is buried and something is dug up, not all weather is meteorological, and you should be very wary of your pets. It is at turns phantasmagorical and unsettling, with close relations to the strange story, the weird tale, time travel, dreampunk (maybe, maybe not!), the uncanny and probably a host of other sub-genres of speculative fiction.

To acquire your twenty-eight doses of flash fiction the medication can be purchased for as little as £1.45 for the e-book and only £3.75 for the full strength paperback (which is, of course, the recommended prescription).

Here’s a link to the author’s page (Amazon UK), or here for Amazom.com – it contains the book in both formats and a short but revealing biography. By the way, I would be extremely grateful for any re-postings, mentions, shared links, tweets, reviews, or simply passing this on to someone who might be interested – every little helps!

Also, if you would like a signed edition of the paperback book please do get in touch.