Researchers digging up the history of horror from Down Under

Posted by Dale Townshend on November 16, 2008 in News tagged with

MACABRE: A Journey Through Australia’s Darkest Fears: Forthcoming 2009

This anthology shows that although the Australian history of horror is relatively short, -the first short story was published in 1836- over the course of the years a considerable number of texts can be found thanks to the restless work of some researchers who have explored  Australia´s dark past.

One of the editors of this anthology is Dr Marty Young, writer, publisher and scientist. He is also the president of the Australian Horror Writers Association (AHWA), which is a non-profit organisation founded in 2003 in order to encourage the development and evolution of this genre within Australia. In the following link, you can listen to his opinions about horror movies and books, the differences among English, Australian and American Horror, and how horror writing has changed over the decades and why people still enjoy being scared.

According to the review that appears in the Brimstone Press page, this forthcoming book, Macabre: A Journey through Australia’s Darkest Fears goes into, “Australia’s dark literature past, present, and future all in one landmark anthology! From the very earliest colonial ghost stories through to grim tales of modern life, Macabre will take you on a journey through the dark heart of Australian horror. With classic stories from Australia’s masters of horror alongside the best of the new era, Macabre is set to be the finest dark fiction anthology ever produced in Australia.

For more information, go to:

Another important researcher we must mention is James Doig, who is a historian dedicated to early Australian horror. Among his recent works we can find:  Australian Gohic: An Anthology of Australian Supernatural Fiction 1867-1939 (Equilibrium Books, 2007) and Australian Nightmares: More Australian Tales of Terror and the Supernatural (Equilibrium Books, 2008). About his research work on Gothic, he says in an interview:

“Hopefully it will be seen as opening up a neglected area of Australia’s literary heritage. There have been a few attempts to do this in the past, most recently Ken Gelder and Rachael Weaver’s Anthology of Australian Gothic Fiction; however I’ve mainly gone for the really obscure stuff by authors who are largely forgotten — not many people have heard of the likes of Lionel Sparrow, James Edmund, Frances Faucett and Dulcie Deamer, to name a few. But more than any extrinsic value, this sort of literary research and detective work is something I really like doing — it combines a lot of things I’m interested in: literary research, supernatural fiction, collecting books and magazines.”

To read the complete interview with James Doig, go to:

*The images used here have been taken from:  (Martin Young) and…/2008/04/say-horror-and.html (James Doig)



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