ParSec – and a Cottingley Cuckoo review

It’s lovely to see PS Publishing’s new ParSec magazine heading out into the world, with the ever-capable Ian Whates in the editor’s seat. There’s a terrific line-up of fiction between the covers, which I’m most looking forward to reading – and it’s especially lovely to see a review of The Cottingley Cuckoo in there too!

It’s great when a reviewer obviously really gets where you’re coming from in a book. The full review is in ParSec issue 1, but here are a few extracts to give you a flavour – all wrapped up in some lovely turns of phrase from reviewer Sara Lillwall:

“In itself, this plot is more than enough to seduce and disquiet the reader. Through The Cottingley Cuckoo, author A.J. Elwood decorates her gingerbread house with all the necessary trappings of a Grimm-esque fairytale – a wicked witch in Mrs Favell, a young maiden made to feel apart from her peers in Rose, and a journey which takes our heroine far from home and the safety of her woodsman.

“But Elwood isn’t content and strips these layers aside with delicious abandon until she gets to the rich black marrow inside her story’s bones. With bravery, Elwood addresses one of the great taboos of motherhood, that whispered by and about women and which lends itself so well to the accusation of ‘unnatural.’

“Shimmering with wilful insurrection, The Cottingley Cuckoo is a beautiful feminist gothic.”

Sara also has this to say about Mistletoe:

“In the author’s other guise as Alison Littlewood, her focus falls on other lone females at odds with a supernatural foe. Littlewood’s Mistletoe was a tour de force of brittle tension, its wintry crispness metamorphosing into the bleak isolation of Leah, a wife-and-mother in mourning. In both novels, it is not so much a case of the madwoman in the attic as the slow, subtle self-dissolution of women who don’t fit the societal mould.”

A huge thank you to Sara Lillwall, then, and a big welcoming round of applause for Parsec! Full details of the contents and subscription information can be found over at PS Publishing. There are also some submissions guidelines here, if you fancy getting involved.