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Coming soon: The Bright Labyrinth / Epiphanies / Lord of Strange Deaths / The Undertaker at Work / Englands Hidden Reverse / Drum Machines / Tape Heads


News, happenings and passing fancies from Strange Attractor and other organisms


‘Phantasmagoria: The Secret Life of the Magic Lantern’
Wednesday 4 September, 7pm, Apiary Studios, 458 Hackney Road, E2 9EG (map)
Tickets £10


Sadly we’ve had to cancel Phantasmagoria due to illness.

Tonight, join us for an illustrated lecture by “Professor” Mervyn Heard, author of Phantasmagoria: The Secret Life of the Magic Lantern, on the largely untold story of phantasmagoria and seance-based entertainments in London in 1801. Following the leture, enjoy the  sights, frights and optical wonders of Heard’s “Grand Gothic Magic Lantern Show” with live music by The Real Tuesday Weld.

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Mike Jay talks to Butcher’s Apron

The Influencing Machine author Mike Jay spoke to the Butcher’s Apron radio show about the visionary madness of James Tilly Matthews and its relationship to the idea of ‘the Game’.

Butcher’s Apron also talks to ‘London’s coolest hula-hooper, Marawa the Amazing; take a tour around the UK’s first super casino; and have the privilege of an exclusive interview with the elusive Kit Williams, creator of The Masquerade, to hear about the game of a lifetime.’

You can listen in directly here:

Butcher’s Apron: The Game

or download the whole episode here:



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Cathy Ward: Liberty Realm

The first monograph of Cathy Ward’s incredible Liberty Realm artworks, as featured in Strange Attractor Journal One, is now available as a beautiful, signed and numbered edition of 23 copies.

Measuring 25cm x 21cm, this edition features 23 hand-tipped plates on heavy dark grey stock all encased in a cloth-bound, stamped cover.

Larger plates fold out to a generous size and are printed on archival heavy art stock, each plate is the same quality and otherwise identical to a framed print. The volume also features an essay by art historian Dr Robert Wallis that provides insight and context to the work.

You can explore the book further at the Liberty Realm site.


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Forthcoming from SAP

Some forthcoming titles from Strange Attractor Press.
More details to follow in due course.


The Natural Death Handbook / The Natural Death Centre
–  The Influencing Machine / Mike Jay
Andromeon postcard set / Alexander Tucker
Liberty Realm (edition) / Catharyne Ward





Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London’s Lost Artist (paperback) / Phil Baker








England’s Hidden Reverse (new edition) / David Keenan
Epiphanies: Life Changing Encounters with Music / ed. Tony Herrington
Invisible Ink: How 100 Great Authors Disappeared / Christopher Fowler
Trip or Squeek’s Big Amplifier / Savage Pencil
Vulcanic Tryst / Brian Catling, Iain Sinclair and Anonymous Bosch



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Obscura Day 28 April 2012

Strange Attractor are thrilled to have three London tours on the bill as part of the international Obscura Day 2012, organised by the brilliant Atlas Obscura. These are:

9am – Walk the ‘lost’ River Neckinger : lead by Tom Bolton

Join Tom Bolton, author of London’s Lost Rivers: A Walker’s Guide for a quest to find the long lost Neckinger somewhere between Waterloo, Elephant and Castle and Bermondsey Discover why no-one can find the lost river’s source and why its name is a mystery.  Hear about the radicals and visionaries who lived in its neighbourhood, visit what used to be the smelliest neighbourhood in London (now much more pleasant), and get caught up in the tail end of Oliver Twist.  All in 2 hours and 3.5 miles of SE1.

11am – Bloomsbury, London’s Lost Medical World : lead by Richard Barnett (above)

Where in the world could you find transplant surgery on cockerels, hop–head anaesthetists, a graveyard which holds the key to London’s first great public hospital, a medical trade union in the citadel of Theosophy, and the gory story of Samuel Pepys’ paperweight? On a walk through the back streets of Bloomsbury, that’s where. For two hundred and fifty years this quiet district has been the beating heart of London’s medical marketplace – the place where generations of doctors and surgeons have tackled the ills of the sick city. We’ll make the first incision at Holborn tube, and the last stitch will be tied two hours later at Gordon Square.

2.30pm – Secret Bloomsbury : lead by Ross McFarlane

Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone. This historical walking tour is your chance to uncover the Bloomsbury that nobody knows, where you’ll encounter spiritualists, spies, sorcerers and scientists in the heart of literary London. From nuclear bunkers to tales of teleportation, join your guide as he exposes the secrets of this extraordinary area.

Details and booking info can be found by following each of the above links.

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Alan Moore on Somnium

As the hardback edition of Steve Moore’s dark romance Somnium reaches the end of its run (a handful of copies are still available but hurry!), here’s a photograph of the author (second right) at the 18th century Severndroog castle on Shooter’s Hill, in South London, where the novel is set.

Meanwhile, SA pal Gyrus has posted this video of Alan Moore discussing his friend Steve – subject of the recent Unearthing text and album – and Somnium as part of the Ecology, Cosmos and Consciousness lecture series at London’s October Gallery – enjoy!


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SF Said’s City of Dreams

London’s Lost Rivers photographer SF Said is the subject of a full length feature in Abu Dhabi’s The National magazine

“I find it wonderful that London is a kind of palimpsest, that it contains all these layers of history and experience,” says Said. “The lost rivers project was a perfect way into that. I am fascinated by the idea that landscapes might have memories or dreams.”

Said loves expired film, particularly in a range thrillingly titled Time Zero. Far from ruining an image, its ageing, unstable chemicals contribute to the dreamlike quality of his pictures. Leaking colours; blurring; unexposed corners; flame-like flashes of light across the surface; smoky shades of mauve and turquoise: Said uses them all to artistic effect… “With Polaroid, the camera and the film play as big a part as you do, and sometimes they know better than you,” says Said.

Read the full article here

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Forthcoming from SAP

2012 is shaping up to be another bumper year for Strange Attractor Press, with a number of new books in the works, and our involvement in two new exhibitions planned for the first half of the year.

Full details will appear here on the site in time, but until then here’s a peek at some of what we can look forward to:

The Natural Death Handbook, Fifth Edition
A thoroughly updated and revised edition of the Natural Death Centre‘s celebrated handbook (left). Now presented alongside a new collection of essays on death, dying and funeral practices by doctors, historians, authors, poets, theologians and artists including Richard Barnett, David Jay Brown, Dr Sheila Cassidy, Charles Cowling, Bill Drummond, Stephen Grasso, Maggi Hambling, Graham Harvey, Gary Lachman, Nick Reynolds, and Dignity in Dying.  [September 2012]

The Influencing Machine by Mike Jay 
A revised and updated edition of Mike Jay’s The Air Loom Gang (2003), a true tale of 18th century mind control, revolution and madness.  [May/June 2012]

‘One of the greatest books you’ve never read’ – William Gibson
‘A wonderful book…exceptional scholarship and psychological insight’ – Oliver Sacks

– Savage Pencil presents Trip or Squeek’s Big Amplifier
The collected Trip or Squeek comics. Over 100 strips, as featured for the past ten years in The Wire magazine. Savage Pencil’s (aka Edwin Pouncey) acerbic, lysergic, razor-sharp observations on music, art and life.  [July/August 2012]

Strange Attractor is also involved with two forthcoming exhibitions at Maggs Gallery in Mayfair, London:

From the Westbourne to the Wandle:
Jon Savage’s Uninhabited London photos and SF Said’s London’s Lost Rivers Polaroids

for Maggs Counterculture, at Maggs Gallery, 50 Hays Mews. London W1J 5QJ
Thursday 22nd March –Thursday 19th April

Maggs Counterculture and Strange Attractor present ‘Unstable’.
New and old artwork from Battle of the Eyes (Savage Pencil and Eyeball), Joel Biroco, Julian House and Cathy Ward, at Maggs Gallery; 50 Hays Mews. London W1J 5QJ
Tuesday 8th May – Friday 8th June 2012,  Monday to Friday 1030-1700. 

More details soon all of the above, and some other very exciting books planned for later in the year.

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Moon magic: Steve Moore interviewed at The Quietus









I was born at the full moon atop a crescent-shaped hill, the main mineral found here (on Shooter’s Hill) being selenite, and I have a slightly rough-edged crescent birthmark on my left forearm … so I was obviously destined to be either a werewolf or a lunatic…

My first attempt at handling the subject was actually the blank verse play, written sometime in the early 1980s, which I ended up inserting into the final version of Somnium, and the hero of the book, Kit Morley, actually refers to it as a work he’d written in his youth… Come 2001, I decided to combine a certain amount of magical practice centred on Selene with writing the novel that became Somnium. The two things were pretty much inseparable, but that’s often the way Alan and I do Moon And Serpent things … the magic and the art combine in a creative process and the ‘working’ ends up as a ‘work’, in this case Somnium.

In a rare in depth interview, Somnium author Steve Moore reveals almost all to Aug Stone over at the excellent The Quietus, along with an extract from one of the book’s tales with tales.

You can buy the special edition of Somnium, signed and numbered by Steve and Alan Moore, with a litho print of John Coulthart’s cover artwork, here.


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English Heretic Wyrd Tales 2 anthology and CD

140 pages of new art and writing by Lisa Cradduck, Mark Fisher, English Heretic, Ken Hollings, Dean Kenning, Phil Legard, Mark Pilkington and Sarah Sparkes.

English Heretic is delighted to announce the delivery of Wyrd Tales 2: a salvaged miscegenation of occult pulp, speculative meta-fiction, neolithic fantasy and mythic sci-fi. Wyrd Tales 2 will transport you to the horrific record collections of R’lyeh and the submerged libraries of a comic book Crowley.

Within its lurid pages, futuristic crab men crawl and the Machiavellian spectre of Joe Kennedy plots. Reports come in from the east coast of radical cannibal cults, we scry the haunted inner cinema of Norfolk beaches and shamanic lights are seen in ancient Britain’s aeyr ways.

Featuring contributions by a renowned and talented roster of guest artists and writers, together with a CD of The Dunwich Mix Tapes’ by English Heretic, Wyrd Tales 2 promises to provide the magical vehicle for an archetypal voyage to England’s deep.

Available over at the English Heretic souvenir shop

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