Strange Attractor News
• Standard edition
£30, inc. UK p&p (EU £35, ROW £40).
• Clothbound, numbered and debossed edition of 300 £40 inc. p&p (£45 EU/ £50 ROW). SOLD OUT
Payment via Paypal or £UK cheque made out to Strange Attractor Press and sent to BM SAP, London WC1N 3XX.
Please note that Lost Envoy will only be available direct from the publisher, and a very select number of bookshops.
In the Spring of 2013 a 78-card, hand-painted tarot deck created c.1906 by the mystic and artist Austin Osman Spare, was identified within the collections of The Magic Circle Museum in London.
Austin Spare’s life-long interest in cartomancy is well documented, yet very few of his own fortune-telling cards were thought to have survived. This compelling new example of the artist’s early work demonstrates his precocious involvement with the currents that shaped the British Occult Revival at the beginning of 20th century, and his interactions with some of the period’s lesser-known protagonists.
Magic Circle Museum curator and artist Jonathan Allen immediately recognised that Spare’s cards were not only art-historically significant, but also entirely unknown outside of The Magic Circle’s collections, and set about tracing the deck’s provenance, its place in the artist’s oeuvre and within the wider histories of cartomancy.
Lost Envoy reproduces Austin Spare’s tarot deck in its entirety for the first time, alongside new written and visual contributions from Jonathan Allen, Phil Baker, Helen Farley, Alan Moore, Kevin O’Neill, Sally O’Reilly and Gavin Semple.
Published by Strange Attractor Press in association with The Magic Circle, and supported by Arts Council England. Designed by Fraser Muggeridge Studios, London.
Expected publication date: Winter 2015.
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.
Just to let everyone who is waiting for their copies of the special edition of Austin Osman Spare know that we will be posting copies out on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, 18 April 2011. We appreciate your patience and feel confident that your wait will have been worthwhile.
We’ve also had our first review for the book, from author Phil Hine:
‘I cannot recommend Austin Osman Spare too highly. Phil Baker has done a wonderful job of bringing the complexities and contradictions of Spare’s life to the fore, and in making the London of Spare’s time come to life vividly and richly. Hopefully this book will encourage a reassessment of Spare which is long overdue’
You can read the full review on Phil’s site, here
Reports BBC News:
Singer Damon Albarn has written and will appear in a new opera about a 16th Century alchemist, astrologer and spy.
‘Doctor Dee’, about Elizabeth I’s scientific and medical adviser Dr John Dee, comes four years after Albarn staged the Chinese opera Monkey.
‘Doctor Dee’ will receive its premiere at the Manchester International Festival, which takes place in June and July.
Strange Attractor Journal Four contains a thirty-page text written by the opera’s initial author, Alan Moore, before he left the project last year.
Between the Angels and the Apes features a detailed description of Moore’s intended stage designs, reflected here in the illustration by Arik Roper, a narrative outline for the opera and several sections of his libretto. It’s a remarkably vivid and illuminating piece of work and it’ll be interesting to see how Damon Albarn’s version holds up to the immense potential of Alan’s original.
Thanks Julian House!
Strange Attractor Journal Four is finally with us and is already available for sale at a few independent London bookshops, with more locations to follow this week. Once the postcard set arrives from the printers (tomorrow – Tuesday, 15 March) we’ll start posting copies out to all of you who pre-ordered.
Please note that as of 14 March the free postcard offer is now over though the set will soon be available to purchase.
Meanwhile, here are some PDF sample spreads as a taster of what’s in store (please be aware that these are lo-resolution files):
* Dr Lauder Lindsay’s Lemmings by Richard Barnett & Michael Neve
* Haunted Soundsystems by Stephen Grasso
* The Cult of Ku by Phil Legard & Andy Sharp
* Spinning With Spider Silk by Eleanor Morgan (pictured above)
2011 marks a decade since John Lundberg and I started organising Strange Attractor events at London’s Horse Hospital, and through a serendipitous collision (or should that be collusion?) of accident and design, it sees Strange Attractor Press enter what we hope to be a new phase of our evolution.
New SAP site
First of all, you may have noticed the new web site – the first major overhaul since John created our first web page in 2001. Huge thanks to the brilliant nay, even godlike, Ralph Cowling, who has toiled above and beyond the call of duty to integrate the various elements of the Strange Attractor multiverse into one site. There will no doubt be a few teething problems as the site is properly used, so if you have any problems with it or suggestions for improving it, then please let us know at web[at]strangeattractor.co.uk. We are already planning a second stage of improvements and tweaks, so watch this space.
Second, I’d like to welcome two new core members to the Strange Attractor Press team, Nadia Harrisz and Frances Morgan. Nadia, our Production Director and Guru, was instrumental in making Medical London the stunning package that it is, while Frances, our Co-Publisher and Editor, previously edited and published the late, lamented Plan B music magazine. Working together, along with a stable of talented friends and freelancers, the three of us hope to dramatically increase SAP’s output, and that brings us to our new books…
‘I’ll split the atom! I am the fifth dimension! I am the eighth wonder of the world!’ Gef.
For several years beginning in the early 1930s, a family living in a remote smallholding on the Isle of Man were plagued by something that called itself Gef:
I’m a freak. I have hands and feet, and if you saw me you’d faint, you’d be petrified, mummified, turned into stone or a pillar of salt.
One of the strangest tales in the long history of high strangeness, the story of Gef, the so-called talking mongoose (pictured left… What do you mean you can’t see him?) has never been satisfactorily resolved, nor properly re-investigated. Until now. Researcher Christopher Josiffe has spent the past few years digging through the archives of famed ghost-hunter Harry Price in search of an answer to this truly puzzling and rather sinister series of events.
What makes the Gef affair so fascinating is that it doesn’t quite fit into any of the usual categories of anomalous phenomena. Was Gef a prank, a poltergeist, a demon, a real creature, or something else entirely? Find out at the Strange Attractor Salon, this Wednesday…
Christopher Josiffe will be talking about Gef, Harry Price and his own research at 7pm this Wednesday, 10 November at the Strange Attractor Salon at The Little Shoppe of Horrors, 11 Mare st, London E8.
Book tickets (£6/£4, includes a drink and free admission to the museum) here.
[Gef also features on the cover of this month’s Fortean Times]
UPDATE: Christopher Josiffe talks about Gef and Harry Price on Strange Attractor On Air, Tuesday, 2pm UT, on Resonance 104.4 FM.
Phil Baker, author of SAP’s forthcoming book Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London’s Lost Artist joins Alan Moore (who has written its foreword), Fulgur‘s Robert Ansell and others on BBC Two’s The Culture Show to talk about the boy genius who became the hermit of Walworth Rd.
You can watch the segment on Youtube here.
SAP’s Austin Osman Spare will be published in Mid-January 2011. We’ll be taking pre-orders for a special edition once the new SAP web site is up and running, hopefully by early December 2010.
Strange Attractor On Air: Sensible Sorcery
Sunday 31 October, 7pm UT on Resonance 104.4 FM
Mark Pilkington talks to Lionel Snell, one of the most influential and controversial figures to emerge from the occult revival of the 1970s and 1980s.
Under the pseudonym Ramsey Dukes – adopted partly because of his day job teaching at a prominent public school – Snell became a key writer, thinker and activist in the magical movement that dismantled the creaky, though elegantly attired, 19th century apparatus of hierarchical ceremonial magic and introduced contemporary ideas from psychology, philosophy and pop culture.
Snell is the author of several books including Sex Secrets of the Black Magicians Expose (1974), What I Did in My Holidays: Essays on Black Magic, Satanism, Devil Worship and Other Niceties (1999) and Uncle Ramsey’s Little Book of Demons (2005).
Lionel and Mark discuss sorcery, animism and what it means to be a magician in the 21st century. The discussion is illustrated with classic occult tunes from the likes of Graham Bond, Black Widow and er, Tom Tom Club.
The excellent Austin Spare exhibition at the Cuming Museum ends on 14 November, so make sure that you make it down there to see the fine selection of portraits, sketches and ephemera on display, much it of rarely-seen before, if at all.
Atlantis Books on Museum St also have some Spares on show until 13 November.
Phil Baker, author of our forthcoming title Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London’s Lost Artist will be speaking at the Cuming Museum on 11 November. His last sell-out talk at The Little Shoppe of Horrors was, like the book itself, quite brilliant, so do book via the museum if you can.
Phil will be doing more presentations when the book is published in January 2011 and yes, sorry, we keep pushing the date forwards on this one, but we assure you that it will be worth the wait!