Percy the Pianist: Canto 1, stanzas 70-75

Dan Wild

Previous… 70One final vision before the “Begin-Ning.” A vast chambre-rouge was where he hight-Ed in the lower-deep — there was no sinHere, no sound, no voice of past and spite-Full present (the future still untold). LightDid not penetrate into this abyssOf darkness, brownness and peace. Is it rightTo call the dark the light? Is it …

Percy the Pianist: Canto 1, stanzas 31-41

Dan Wild

Previous.. 31Half a day before the gathering stormRose Percy, not Percival of Wagner’sDour overture, based on the French wormOf Tours – these were really snaky nagas,Like an open pack of Lady gagasBought from a small Chinese tobacconistThat sells everything except hate. No ragasWould be played today, nor would F. LizstBe taken out of the stool …

A strange vortex sucks in my landlord, Constable Sedgewick, myself, and a pigeon

John Polidori

The second instalment of a speculative account of the death of John William Polidori.Link to first instalment. The first thing that crossed my mind was that I might be dead. But I was patently still here. Although I might not have to pay the next month’s rent. Nor the previous three month’s that I owed. …

Polidori’s Date with Destiny: An Elaborate Fiction

John Polidori

Beneath its weight man pauses in his willAnd crouches at the dark-robed phantom’s feet : The Fall of the Angels, To The Deity, John Polidori, 1821 My eyes struggled towards the lazy light from my half-open window. I rolled on the bed delirious, my eyes stared at the wooden floor. I just managed to incline …

The Temptation of Merlin: A Pre-Raphaelite composition

Dan Wild

Legend has it that one of Merlin’s protégés was Nimue, or Viviane, Lady of Lake. Merlin and Viviane were instrumental in King Arthur’s ascent to the throne and the formation of Camelot, gathering place of the Knights of the Roundtable. It was the Lady of Lake who bestowed the sword Excalibur on King Arthur. Without …

Ashes of Love review (2018) Season One

Dan Wild

Childlike innocence and first-love blended with dark magic and high fantasy is a staple in Chinese drama. Like Ice Fantasy (2016), Ashes of Love is also based on a novel, in this case, Heavy Sweetness, Ash Like Frost, by Dian Xian. The Chinese title of the TV series, 香蜜沉沉烬如霜 (Xiāngmì chénchén jìn rú shuāng) could be similarly translated. Google opts for “Fragrant Honey …

Ice Fantasy review (2016) Season One

Dan Wild

Let’s start by saying that Ice Fantasy, or 幻城 (Huànchéng), is a guilty pleasure. The sets are creative, backgrounds and special effects are impressive, and later there are some unexpected plot twists. Let there also be a warning: it’s very cheesy. Dedicated fans of Chinese fantasy may appreciate its escapism, while those who prefer their epics to be …

Tientsin Mystic review 河神 (Season 1) Make way for the River God

Dan Wild

Fog swirls over a bridge in 1920s Tianjin. A well-dressed young man is fleeing a group of ruffians. He runs onto the bridge. He’s trapped. He jumps into the river. He struggles underwater, trapped by some seaweed. A long-faced man appears in front of him, upside down. The next day Ding Mao, son of the …

Review of The Untamed – 2019 Chinese fantasy series

Dan Wild

陈情令 Chinese fantasy epic drama At first it seems that not much is happening. The show strolls along for a few episodes as we get to know the characters and background. But something is different about this Chinese fantasy. The strength of the cast, the quality of the dialogue and the orchestral soundtrack make The …

Wu Assassins review – Netflix fantasy original

Dan Wild

Miniseries started flourishing in the 1950s. Now Netflix is breathing new life into the genre. I’m not a fan of spoilers. But I’ll reveal that this series is 10 episodes. The length of a miniseries generally varies from five to fifteen episodes, 25 to 45 minutes in length. Producers have the flexibility to develop plot and …