Archive for July, 2009

Moods Dark and Dangerous: The Illustrations of Daniele Serra

Enter a twilight realm where deepening gloom stirs dark emotions, where
sinister forces lurk within every shadow, where the Grim Reaper awaits
around every corner. Encounter scenes where glimmers of light hold no hope
of salvation, serving instead as stark illumination of a diabolic fate.
Become hopelessly enthralled by the dark art of Daniele Serra.

A professional illustrator residing on the Mediterranean isle of Sardinia,
Daniele Serra's work has seen international success. His art has appeared
in various European, Australian, and American publications. He has
illustrated the works of authors such as Brian Stableford, Rain Graves,
and Steven Savile. He has also created images for DC comics, and his art
has been displayed in various Italian exhibits. A book of Daniele's darkly
sensuous artwork, entitled Illusions, is available through Black Coat

Daniele uses pencils and watercolours to create his scenes, then blends
these macabre visions digitally. He masterfully combines and contrasts
light and shade in provocative ways, instilling a disturbingly seductive
quality into his art. He deftly drags the viewer into a world of horror
and dread, a place ruled by darkness and death.
More examples of Daniele Serra's work, as well as purchase information for
Illusions, can be found on his web site:


Interview with Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

TrollsEyeView I bought a copy of Troll’s Eye View for myself, then once I’d finished devouring it I shared it with my eleven year-old daughter, Danica. I enjoyed the book so much that I intended to ask the editors, Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling for an interview here at Niteblade, however, when it turned out that Danica loved it too, I got a different idea. I asked Ellen and Terri if they would mind answering a few questions from Danica rather than me. They agreed, thus increasing their level of awesome in my mind.

Danica: Was editing Troll’s Eye View fun? Why?

Ellen: Yes, because working with Terri is always fun and also because pushing our authors to consider the villain’s point of view and so get them to stretch as writers is always fun.

Terri: Editing Troll’s Eye View was loads of fun. I loved fairy tales when I was a kid, and I didn’t stop loving them when I grew up. I went on to study folklore at college, where I discovered that fairy tales have a long and fascinating history. The earliest versions of stories like Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Snow White were much darker and stranger than the Disney versions that most people know today — and the heroines tended to be more active, more feisty, and much more clever. The tales aren’t static; they change from century to century as storytellers re-work them for each new generation. By encouraging writers to re-tell fairy tales in Troll’s Eye View and our other fairy tale anthologies, we become part of a tradition that stretches back to the dawn of storytelling itself. I find that very exciting.

Danica: Ellen, if you could work with Terri again would you? Why?

Ellen: Of course! We’ve worked on many many anthologies together and hope to work on many more in the future. And although I prefer horror to fantasy and Terri prefers fantasy to horror, I think we work well together. Unfortunately, we rarely actually see each other in person as she lives in England and Arizona while I live in New York City. But working together keeps our friendship alive and vital.

Danica: Terri, if you could work with Ellen again would you? Why?

Terri: I’ve been editing anthologies with Ellen for over twenty years, and I hope we’ll still be working together in another twenty — not only because we’ve become good friends after all this time, but also because I have enormous respect for her literary acumen and editorial skills. I think our partnership works because we’re so different: Ellen loves horror and dark fantasy, I love myth and high fantasy; she loves everything quirky and strange, I love everything Pre-Raphaelite and romantic; she lives in one of the largest cities in the world, I live in a tiny English village; etc. etc.. We couldn’t be more opposite — which means we bring a broad range of personal tastes into every project we work on together. What we share is a passionate love of short stories, and a belief in the literary possibilities inherent in fantastic fiction.

Danica: If you could be any of the characters from Troll’s Eye View who would you be?

Ellen: Ooooh. I think I’d like to be Jaundice, the witch’s marmalade cat in Garth Nix’s “An Unwelcome Guest.” I love cats and I think it might be fun to be one for a short while.

Terri: Nick in Delia Sherman’s “Wizard’s Apprentice,” because he knows how to turn into a fox! I’d love to be able to be able to do that. There are foxes in the woods behind my house in Devon, and they are such quick, clever, beautiful creatures.

Danica: Who is your favorite fairy tale villain?

Ellen: Rumpelstiltskin because he’s not really a villain at all. He was cheated by the lying princess who broke her promise. In fact, I think a LOT of the supposed “heroines” are the actual villains –The princess in the
Frog Prince who breaks her word–what is it with these twits?

Terri: The villain who has always frightened me the most is Snow White’s wicked step-mother. Beautiful and cold as ice, the Queen not only orders her huntsman to take Snow White into the woods and kill her, but demands he bring back the girl’s heart and liver as proof — and then eats them for dinner! There are lots of nasty step-mothers in fairy tales, but Snow White’s is the creepiest, hands down.

On the other hand, I’ve recently become a step-mother myself, and so I can’t help but wonder if fairy tale step-mothers have simply had a bad rap….

Danica: I don’t think step parents are all that bad 🙂 Do you write as well as edit? If so, what genre?

Ellen: Nope -at least not fiction. I write the occasional book review or essay.

Terri: Yes. I’ve written fantasy fiction for children, teenagers, and adults, and nonfiction on myth and contemporary mythic arts. I’m also a painter, specializing in imagery based on myth and folklore.

Danica: Thanks  for answering, I really liked the book so please keep editing.

And the Winner is…

There were 78 entries into the draw (comments + pdf purchases)  for an autographed copy of S.G. Browne’s novel, Breathers. The random number generator has spoken and the winner is Greg Schwartz. The winning comment was left on the poem ‘He Wanted’. Congratulations Greg!

I am calling this a rousing success and thus will be having another book giveaway with the next issue of Niteblade in September 🙂