Monday, 29 May 2017

Powers of Darkness: The Lost Version of Dracula

For both fans and scholars of Bram Stoker's Dracula, there is an alternate version of the story now available with a very interesting history.

In 1900, Icelandic publisher and writer Valdimar Ásmundsson began translating Bram Stoker's world-famous 1897 novel Dracula. This Icelandic edition, which was titled Makt Myrkranna (literally, "Powers of Darkness"), included an original preface written by Stoker himself. 

Makt Myrkranna was published in Iceland in 1901 but remained undiscovered outside the country until 1986 when Dracula scholarship was astonished by the discovery of Stoker's preface to the book. However, no one looked beyond the preface and deeper into Ásmundsson's story. 

In 2014, literary researcher Hans de Roos examined the full text of Makt Myrkranna, only to discover that Ásmundsson hadn't merely translated Dracula but had penned an entirely new version of the story, with all new characters and a totally re-worked plot. 

The resulting narrative is one that is "shorter, punchier, more erotic, and perhaps even more suspenseful than Stoker's Dracula." 

Powers of Darkness represents the first-ever translation into English of Stoker and Ásmundsson’s Makt Myrkranna. There are also marginal annotations by de Roos that provide readers with historical, cultural, and literary context. There is a foreword by Dacre Stoker, Bram Stoker’s great-grandnephew and bestselling author, as well as an afterword by Dracula scholar John Edgar Browning, (Source: Amazon: publisher's description)

This is the Amazon link:

The book is available in hardcover and audio formats.

Monday, 22 May 2017

The Trump Presidency: A Real-Life Horror Story

Stephen King has added his voice to those expressing concern over the presidency of Donald Trump.

What encourages me the most about this move is that King is a populist writer and may be able to reach people in ways that the media and the Hollywood elite could not.  And I also assume that King has had no problem withstanding the constant barrage of abuse that is being sent his way by Trump supporters.

In fact, I'm not worried at all about the ability of high-profile Trump critics to survive his presidency. But I am concerned about Trump's de-regulation of environmental protection; his insistence on turning a blind eye to human rights abuses; his overhaul of health care in the US that will leave so many vulnerable; his cuts to programs that benefit seniors and the poor; and his flagrant disregard for ethics while in the White House.

Ironically, many of Trump's policies will affect the various groups who supported him and thought he would make their lives better.

To read King's tweets, please click here.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Upcoming Release of Alien: Covenant

Fans of  Alien can look forward to the release of Alien: Covenant directed by Ridley Scott. This film is a sequel to the 2012 film Prometheus. (Scott directed the original Alien movie, as well as Prometheus.) In November 2015, Scott confirmed that Alien: Covenant would be the first of three additional films in the Alien prequel series, before linking up with the original movie.

In Alien: Covenant, the crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape.

Here's a link to the official movie trailer for a sneak preview.

Alien: Covenant is scheduled for release on May 18.