Tag Archives: strange attractor

Somnium: A Fantastic Romance

Lunar Rover: An Interview With Steve Moore And Extract From Somnium” by Aug Stone is an interview with Steve Moore about his first novel Somnium: A Fantastic Romance [also] that includes mentions of Alan Moore and a cameo by Austin Osman Spare. The interview concludes with an excerpt from the book.

“Alan Moore says it’s ‘a masterpiece’. Indeed. Steve Moore’s Somnium is a tour-de-force of playful majesty and magic, of style and of love. Spanning centuries, even aeons in its dreamworld, it ranges from Gothic novel through Elizabethan tragedy and mediaeval romance to piquant Decadence, all via the Greek myth of lunar goddess Selene and her mortal lover Endymion. It is nothing short of an epic love song to The Moon and of, as per her reflective nature, ‘the love the Moon has always had for Earthly things below’.

Those familiar with Alan Moore’s Unearthing, will know of his friend, mentor, and collaborator Steve Moore’s long obsession with the Moon-Goddess. In October 1976, having improvised a magic ritual with a Chinese coin sword, he awoke near dawn to hear an unexpected whisper which would provide a clue to his life’s work. Though, as Steve notes below, perhaps the lunar associations were always there. Unearthing takes us through Steve’s life — writing comics, studying and producing scholarly work on the I Ching, editing and contributing to Fortean Studies and Fortean Times — and also shows us the beginnings of Somnium, his debut novel.” [via]

“There was also something of the magical in how I came to read the book. Having learned of Strange Attractor Press and its biography of Austin Osman Spare, Somnium also caught my eye as I was perusing their website. But I thought nothing more of it until a few weeks later I had just finished Israel Regardie’s essay ‘The Art And Meaning Of Magic’ and the following day, quite out of the blue, I was asked to interview Steve Moore regarding his new book. Regardie’s essay, when describing the Sephiroth of The Tree of Life, primarily deals with Yesod, the sphere of the moon. So fresh in my mind were the traditional attributes of that heavenly body — its colours purple and silver, its jewels pearl and moonstone, its number being nine, and so much more; traits Moore makes wonderful use of throughout the book. Though one need not be familiar with these to appreciate its splendour.” [via]



Physical copies of the work are available via the Strange Attractor website:

“Written in the early years of the 21st century, when the author was engaged in dream-explorations and mystical practices centred on the Greek moon-goddess Selene, Somnium is an intensely personal and highly-embroidered fictional tapestry that weaves together numerous historical and stylistic variations on the enduring myth of Selene and Endymion. Ranging through the 16th to 21st centuries, it combines mediæval, Elizabethan, Gothic and Decadent elements in a fantastic romance of rare imagination.

With its delirious and heartbroken text spiralling out from the classical myth of Endymion and the Greek lunar goddess Selene, Somnium is an extraordinary odyssey through love and loss and lunacy, illuminated by the silvery moonlight of its exquisite language.

With an afterword by Alan Moore, whose biographical piece Unearthing details the life of his friend and mentor Steve Moore, and includes the circumstances surrounding the writing of Somnium.” [via]


Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London’s Lost Artist

I don’t remember if I’d mentioned this before or not, but I was reminded about this volume recently which you may also have interest in checking out. I think I posted about this to the Fb page when there was a bunch of news about Austin Osman Spare a while back, but anyhow, it’s worth mentioning.

Phil Baker’s Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London’s Lost Artist, with an introduction by Alan Moore, is available from Strange Attractor.

“London has harboured many curious characters, but few more curious than the artist and visionary Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956).

A controversial enfant terrible of the Edwardian art world, the young Spare was hailed as a genius and a new Aubrey Beardsley, while George Bernard Shaw reportedly said ‘Spare’s medicine is too strong for the average man.’

But Spare was never made for worldly success and he went underground, falling out of the gallery system to live in poverty and obscurity south of the river. Absorbed in occultism and sorcery, voyaging into inner dimensions and surrounding himself with cats and familiar spirits, he continued to produce extraordinary art while developing a magical philosophy of pleasure, obsession, and the subjective nature of reality.

Today Spare is both forgotten and famous, a cult figure whose modest life has been much mythologised since his death. This groundbreaking biographical study offers wide-ranging insights into Spare’s art, mind and world, reconnecting him with the art history that ignored him and exploring his parallel London; a bygone place of pub pianists, wealthy alchemists and monstrous owls.

This richly readable and illuminating biography takes us deep into the strange inner world that this most enigmatic of artists inhabited, shedding new light while allowing just a few shadowy corners to flourish unspoiled.”

You may also be interested in reading the review of the book by Phil Hine.

Of course, there’s also the Austin Osman Spare section at the library, which you may want to check out as well.

Dr Dee: An English Opera on July 1st-9th at Palace Theatre, Manchester UK

I’m pretty sure I posted about this opera to the Fb feed a while back, mainly due to the fact that Alan Moore had been involved (before dropping out) and there was some of Moore’s script available online; but, here I find that the show has actually opened.

So, Dr Dee: An English Opera [via] is at Palace Theatre, Manchester UK through July 9th.

You may also be interested in Alan Moore working with Mike Patton, and with the Gorillaz on opera about John Dee, Alan Moore is not writing an opera with Gorillaz. Boo!, Damon Albarn Is Going Ahead with the John Dee Opera Without Alan Moore, and and the full text of Alan Moore’s unfinished John Dee opera is available in Strange Attractor Journal Four.