The latest article on Uncanny UK has a disturbing selection of three apparently true encounters with strange animal-like entities which were not only bizarre to look upon but also generated a distinctly evil atmosphere. You can read these hair-raising stories over at
The article is written by an old friend of Uncanny UK, Richard Freeman. Richard is the zoological director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology and has searched for a number of potentially real flesh and blood creatures such as the Mongolian Death Worm and the Orang Pendek. He is also very interested in supernatural, rather than merely natural, critters. This is not only borne out by his latest article on Uncanny UK but also by his new book – a collection of short horror stories inspired by these interests and by his fondness for weird fiction.
‘Green, Unpleasant, Land’ is highly recommended. Richard kindly sent me a manuscript copy, and I’ve been savouring one story at a time, on those rare occasions when I actually allow myself to relax. Not surprisingly, monsters feature strongly in Richard’s tales, including ancient dragons reborn to wreak fiery vengeance on destroyers of the land, hideous subterranean worms and a baleful basilisk accidentally bred in a laboratory. I also enjoyed his story of malevolent fairies with its knowing nod to Arthur Machen. Richard clearly loves folklore-based weird fiction as much as I do.
‘Green, Unpleasant, Land’ is a hell of an achievement and I don’t mind admitting to feeling considerable envy. I’ve been trying to write fiction again myself recently but it’s been like pulling teeth – I guess I’m too distracted with the need to get myself sorted with various projects under development post Paranormal Magazine. You really need to be able to relax and get into your characters and your stories. To have a collection of self-penned weird tales in print is a long-held ambition of mine and I offer Richard my sincere congratulations. He is now part of a long heritage of British horror writers – a genre we excel in. How lovely to have your own book alongside those of Machen, James, Blackwood and Benson!
I should also mention that the book is illustrated by the phenomenal Shaun Histed-Todd. Shaun did some highly impressive work for Paranormal Magazine and his striking illustrations complement Richard’s stories brilliantly.