On Saturday the 17th July there was a small Terror Scribes Gathering in Leicester. We became aware of the Terror Scribes group through friends in the British Fantasy Society and attended the Leicester meet last year too. Being the most local attendees we were of course the last to arrive! After a little chatting, and climbing over sofas to get to seats, the talks/readings commenced.
First up was John (?) who gave us an impromptu talk on the relationship between physics and horror writing. He made some interesting points about how new theories (such as quantum mechanics) unsettled many educated Victorians, and made them fear their universe was being undermined. So, this may have influenced writers like H.P.Lovecraft. I’m afraid the loudness of the air conditioning, and the introduction of geometry into the talk, made me lose the plot a little after that.
Next up Mark West read his short story Risen Wife, originally done for a zombie anthology and now available in his chapbook Life Once Lived. An enjoyable little short with vivid characterisation. (Edit: Mark read the first third of his story, apparently it gets much more gruesome!)
Sue Phillips read some excerpts from her longer work Diamond Geezer, about a disreputable man getting his comeuppance in an interesting manner. I was pleased to win Sue’s chapbook in the raffle so that I can enjoy reading the whole of this story.
Then Simon Marshall-Jones talked on the theme of Appearances can be Deceptive. Simon chose this theme due to the fact that people often make assumptions about him based on his appearance, mainly due to the fact that he has several tattoos, including one on his head. He told us about some of the reactions he often gets, such as people thinking he must be thick or a criminal and their surprise at finding out he is a writer and artist.
A thought provoking talk, reminding me of times I have made assumptions about people based on their dress etc. It is easy to fall prey to our own prejudices if we don’t question our own assumptions and reactions.
I bowed out after the talks/readings to nip home and walk the dog, but got back in time to wander down to one of our favourite curry houses, Agra. Much curry was consumed and fine conversation talked.
Simon has also written about the event on his blog.
Edit: Mark has also blogged the event.