Saturday, 24 May 2014

Small Update

Hi all! I am writing this on my new nexus tablet to see if I can get used to writing regular posts using this fancy bit of kit. Expect new posts to come soon including reviews and opinions. I have been distracted by many things since setting this up but now is the time to get back on track. Beware...

Monday, 12 May 2014

First Trailer for NBC's Constantine

So after much anticipation we finally get our first look at NBC’s Constantine and I must admit it looks rather interesting.

Strange choice of accent aside I rather think this interpretation of character will be pretty
close to his comic book counter-part. More so than the Keanu Reeves film ever did although it does have its fans.

Matt Ryan certainly does look the part.

I am looking forward to Autumn.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

REVIEW - Steampunk Salmagundi A Collection of writings from Steampunk Magazine by John Reppion must make a confession before we begin. 

I have not read much Steampunk fiction, at least not anything being currently published.

My only knowledge of the genre in any literary sense has come from reading Michael Moorcock’s arguably “proto-steampunk” Oswald Bastable series. I am aware of the subculture certainly, but I have always been on the fringes but a keen observer nonetheless.

So it is with this unfortunate ignorance that I came to Steampunk Salmagundi and if what I encountered here is but a taste of where Steampunk literature is going then I wish to read more.

Steampunk Salmagundi, as its name suggests is a collection of stories and articles by John Reppion previously published in the pages of the semi-annual Steampunk Magazine. Reppion is widely known as a comic book writer, working in collaboration with his wife Leah Moore on series such as The Complete Dracula and Damsels. Just looking at their recently published series Sherlock Holmes and The Liverpool Demon, Victoriana and the bizarre is never far from Mr Reppion’s mind and in this self published collection he lets his interest run riot with highly enjoyable results.

The first story “Uhrwerk – The Incredible Steam Band” unfolds like an NME article for the Victorian age as Mr Reppion introduces us to the mythic, at least among those who are in the know, musical group who overcame extreme circumstances to put on a performance that would live in infamy. This is a fun piece filled with vivid descriptions of the band’s music and intricate details of the workings of their instruments. In fact they are so detailed you begin to suspect that Reppion has the surviving parts stuffed in a shed at the bottom of his garden.
What could easily have been a Steampunk send up of Kraftwerk, (Uhrwerk being the german for clockwork) actually becomes a rather fascinating examination of technology and music and how this may have worked in the landscape of Reppion’s imagination.

The collection then continues with the three part pulp adventure”Doppler and the Madness Engine”. In a fun and intriguing romp  we follow consulting detective Doppler and her companion Grober through the murky Victorian world of spiritualism and infernal technology. Reppion has a great sense of wit and an even greater sense of horror as some of the scenes described in part three are genuinely unsettling. To talk about this story in too much detail would be detrimental to one’s enjoyment but I shall certainly welcome any further adventures of Doppler and Grober as the characters have wings.

When not writing comics, Reppion is a regular contributor to magazines like Fortean Times and rounding off the collection are two of his articles for Steampunk Magazine both informative and very well written. The first is “Baritsu, Bartitsu and Ju-Jutsuffragettes" in which he explores the lost art of gentlemanly self defence and its originator Edward Barton-Wright. Reppion includes excellent detail on the origin of the art, its decline and rebirth in the modern era as well as the inventible mention of its use by the Great Detective in dispatching a certain criminal mastermind.

To round off the collection is the fascinating story of Thomas Edison and his supposed quest to communicate with the other side. “Séance Through Science – Edison’s Ghost Machine” is an intriguing investigation as Reppion  separates the fact from the fiction and what he uncovers is a rather interesting observation on how bizarre legends can grow up around men of science, and how they can become quoted as fact.

Steampunk Salmagundi is a marvellous little collection showcasing the inner workings and interests of a very talented writer. Although I cannot comment on where Reppion’s work fits in with current Steampunk writing, it certainly makes this reader want to find out more.


Steampunk Salmagundi is available as a limited edition self published work. John Reppion will be appearing at The Steampunk Doncaster event on Saturday 15th June where he will be selling copies as well as some of his other work which include Journeys in theWinterlands, his Sherlock Holmes comics and The Complete Dracula written in collaboration with Leah Moore.

Many thanks to John Reppion for providing a review copy.


Welcome to Twisted Tomes.

Twisted Tomes will be a regularly updated blog which will focus on weird, bizarre and esoteric literature.
I have a great fascination with ghost stories, horror and the grotesque and I intend this blog to be an exploration of the classics as well as discovering new talent that may be worth your attention.

The structure of this blog will be mostly taking the form of written reviews, looking at everything from literature, film and music which fall under the many varied genres of horror,science fiction and the weird.

There will occasionally be articles by myself and hopefully some  guest contributors about a specialist subject. I am currently planning an examination of the occult book in horror literature and film for a future post, so there will be attempts to make this blog somewhat academic.
I have set up this blog for many reasons, one of which is to improve my skills as a review writer. I have written many reviews for the website Doctor Who Online for more than a year and I would like to branch out into different territory that does not include a Time Lord.

I hope to discover not only new stories but to look at the ones that have come to be regarded as definitive or classics of their kind over the years.

I am always looking for new literature to read so if you have a reccomendation or you’re a writer that has something that may be on interest to this blog,  please do not hesitate to get in touch.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog as I hope to enjoy writing it.

Kindest regards and wishing you untroublesome dreams

Matt Davis