Leigh Blackmore

Leigh (David) Blackmore (born 1959) is an Australian horror writer, critic, editor, occultist, musician and proponent of post-left anarchy. He was the Australian representative for the Horror Writers of America (1994–95) and served as the second President of the Australian Horror Writers Association (2010–2011).[1] His work has been nominated four times for the Ditmar Award, once for fiction and three times for the William Atheling Jr. Award for criticism.[2] [3]. He has contributed entries to such encyclopedias as S.T. Joshi and Stefan J. Dziemianowicz (eds) Supernatural Literature of the World (Greenwood Press, 2005, 3 vols) and June Pulliam and Tony Fonseca (eds), Ghosts in Popular Culture and Legend (ABC-Clio, 2016).

According to The Melbourne University Press Encyclopedia of Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy, "His name is now synonymous with Australian horror,"[3] and a Hodder & Stoughton press release stated that, "Leigh Blackmore is to horror what Glenn A. Baker is to rock and roll." [4].He has also been recognised as "one of the leading weird poets of our era,"[4] and has been nominated for the Science Fiction Poetry Association's Rhysling Award.

Leigh Blackmore
Leigh Blackmore
Leigh Blackmore in 2007
Leigh David Blackmore

ResidenceWollongong, New South Wales, Australia
Alma materUniversity of Wollongong
Occupationeditor/proofreader, writer, manuscript assessor, critic, occultist, musician
Known for"Uncharted," "Exalted Are the Forces of Darkness", Spores from Sharnoth and Other Madnesses
Parent(s)Rod Blackmore; Elizabeth Anne James

Youth: 1959-1976

Leigh Blackmore was born in Sydney, New South Wales, the son of Rod and Beth Blackmore. His early hobbies included philately and phillumeny. He read extensively from an early age, particularly Look and Learn with its Trigan Empire science fiction comicstrip, and later the works of Geoffrey Willans, J.P. Martin, Norman Hunter and W.E. Johns.[5] Blackmore's family moved to Armidale where Leigh attended kindergarten and part of First Class at the Armidale Demonstration School (now Armidale City Public School). He was raised by his parents in Methodism but refused automatic confirmation into the church at age 13, preferring to discuss ontology with his minister, who lent him works by Paul Tillich. On the family's return to Sydney, Blackmore completed Primary School at Lane Cove West Primary School. Around age nine, he was deeply affected by a reading of Rudyard Kipling's horror story "The Strange Ride of Morowbie Jukes", by Lucy Boston's fantasy novel The Castle of Yew and terrified by the TV broadcast of Richard Matheson's "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" episode of The Twilight Zone. He also encountered horror fiction via Stephen P. Sutton's anthologies Tales to Tremble By and More Tales to Tremble By.

Early Education

He was later educated at North Sydney Boys High School (1971–72) and Newcastle Boys' High School (1972–76). In high school, after reading the science fiction anthology series "Out of This World" (edited by Mably Owen and Amabel Williams-Ellis), he graduated to devouring the works of Ray Bradbury, Peter Saxon, H. Rider Haggard, Isaac Asimov, Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, and Leslie Charteris, and became a keen enthusiast of sword and sorcery fiction as represented by Lin Carter's Flashing Swords anthologies and Thongor series novels [5], Edgar Rice Burroughs's Martian tales, Michael Moorcock's Elric sequence and others, and horror fiction (especially the Weird Tales school, including Clark Ashton Smith, Robert Bloch, Frank Belknap Long, Donald Wandrei and H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos), discovering their work via anthologies edited by August Derleth, Peter Haining, Karl Edward Wagner (the Year's Best Horror Stories series), and via publications of Arkham House which he special-ordered via Space Age Books (Melbourne), then Australia's only specialist supplier of science fiction and fantasy books.[6][7]

He was also greatly influenced by the Skywald 'horror mood' comics (Nightmare, Psycho and Scream) and Warren Publishing's stable of horror comics such as Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella, and the film magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland.

The Arcane Sciences Society; The Horror-Fantasy Society; Azathoth Productions

While at high school, Blackmore co-founded the Arcane Sciences Society[8] and the Horror-Fantasy Society; the journal of the societies, Cathuria[9] (named after a place in Lovecraft's story The White Ship), was banned after three issues by Blackmore's high school principal for quoting in a review four-letter words used by the unleashed monster in Flesh Gordon.[10] With high school friends Lindsay Walker and Michael Blaxland, Blackmore formed a small independent movie house called Azathoth Productions. The only film made was an uncompleted version of Clark Ashton Smith's story The Double Shadow, though Blackmore also penned a screenplay for Lovecraft's story The Music of Erich Zann (never shot).

Early Writings, Fandom and Occultism

Having corresponded with enthusiasts in the field such as Brian Lumley, Ramsey Campbell, Glenn Lord, W.H. Pugmire and Gregory Nicoll, he began (aged 13) to write fiction and speculative poetry in the vein of Lovecraft and C.A. Smith.[11] Fictional juvenilia included "The Last Town" (a Lord Dunsany pastiche), "The Sacrifice" (based on an image of death from Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal, and an uncompleted sword-and-sorcery novel, Starbreaker (with Ashley Morris). A few of these juvenile tales were first printed in Charles Danny Lovecraft's fanzine Avatar in the 1990s.

His earliest in-print appearances included Lovecraftian sonnets in R. Alain Everts' magazines The Arkham Sampler (new series) and Etchings and Odysseys. Blackmore was also a devotee of horror movies principally from the Hammer horror and Amicus Productions era. Samuel Beckett and William S. Burroughs became lasting literary influences at this time.,[8] the latter after his high-school English teacher lent him a copy of The Wild Boys (novel).

Early interest in the world of science fiction fandom was evidenced by Blackmore's attendance of Aussiecon 1 (the 33rd World Science Fiction Convention and the first such held in Australia) in 1975 at the age of 15. He there met such figures as Forrest J. Ackerman (who showed him the ring which had been worn by Bela Lugosi when playing Dracula) and Jack L. Chalker (publisher of Mirage Press); he was enthralled by Ursula K. le Guin's guest of honour speech in which she spoke of science fiction breaking out of the 'literary ghetto' and declaring that 'Philip K. Dick deserves to be placed on the shelf alongside Dickens'. [6][12]

He also played judo, Kendo and jiu-jitsu during high school in Sydney (at North Sydney Boys' High) and judo at Newcastle (at Newcastle Police Citizens Boys' Club, Broadmeadow); however he was only formally graded in judo.

Blackmore also became interested in Aleister Crowley through reading Moonchild (novel), Crowley's Confessions: An Autohagiography and the John Symonds biography The Great Beast. His other occult studies began with books in the Dennis Wheatley 'Library of the Occult' series and with volumes by such authors as Paul Huson (on Tarot and witchcraft) and Idries Shah's The Secret Lore of Magic (on Goetia) as well as June John's biography King of the Witches, on Alex Sanders. Blackmore began to read Tarot at this time, using primarily the Thoth tarot deck.

Early Career and Writings 1977-1990

Following stints at Macquarie University (where he belonged to the university's science fiction club and contributed to their zine Telmar [7]) and Sydney University (where he majored in Semitic Studies), Blackmore came in contact with Don Boyd [8], then editor of (Australian) Futuristic Tales. [9]. He showed early interest in unconventional art practice and anti-art after reading volumes on op art, pop art, and Sol LeWitt, whose work he homaged via a Mail Art network restricted to Australia. Beginning a 25-year career as a bookseller in 1978, he then worked in his spare time as an editorial assistant on The Australian Horror and Fantasy Magazine[11] in the early 1980s; Blackmore went on to publish and co-edit its successor, Terror Australis magazine from 1987-1992.[11][13] In 1983 Blackmore met writer and poet (Danny) Charles Lovecraft [10] through the letter column of Crypt of Cthulhu; Lovecraft would later found P'rea Press which published Blackmore's first poetry collection. Blackmore learned the art of first edition book collecting through his association with fan, DUFF-winner and collector Keith Curtis [11]

In the 1980s, Blackmore published bibliographies on Brian Lumley and H.P. Lovecraft[3] (the latter in collaboration with S.T. Joshi). While living in a caravan in the backyard of his parents' home, he came to be a well-regarded Lovecraft scholar,[11] and carried on correspondence with other Lovecraft fans in many countries including USA, the UK, New Zealand, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Russia. He was briefly a member of the early Esoteric Order of Dagon under Mollie Werba and the Necronomicon Lovecraftian amateur press (under R. Alain (Randy) Everts) associations, with his zines Red Viscous Madness[12], and Forbidden Dimensions, Nameless Dreams. [13] (He would rejoin the EOD around 2000 and has contributed continuous quarterly zines for it up until the present.

He attended Syncon '83, a science fiction convention at which the Guests of Honour were Harlan Ellison and Van Ikin. [14]

His first published story was "The Infestation", adapted for graphic form by Gavin O'Keefe and published in the fourth issue of Phantastique (1986), [15] a comic which attracted notoriety (questions were asked in Australian Federal Parliament) for being government-funded via an Arts Council grant while containing visceral images and story content.[14]

He worked as a bookseller in Sydney for 25 years (1979–2004), primarily managing specialist science fiction & fantasy departments within larger bookstores such as Dymocks.[3] Authors hosted by Blackmore for events and signings at Dymocks George St [16] include Storm Constantine, Harlan Ellison, Richard Harland, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Bill Congreve, Simon Brown, Kyla Ward, Robert Hood, Cat Sparks, and Bryce J. Stevens.

Bands: Worm Technology to White Stains (1977–1985); The Third Road (2009 - present)

Blackmore had classical piano training, but his formative musical influences were The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, David Bowie, Roxy Music, The Stooges, Genesis, Queen, Rick Wakeman, King Crimson, Television, XTC and such experimental bands as Henry Cow, Can and The Residents, as well as Australian bands such as The Church, The Reels, The Models, Midnight Oil, MEO 245, Allniters, Outline and Voight 465. He had jammed with garage bands in his high school years in Newcastle, New South Wales including some sessions at the underground studio of Newcastle Cathedral with Lindsay Walker (guitar) and Paul Beal (drums).

On moving back to Sydney in 1977, Blackmore played synthesisers and drums (and occasionally sang) with Sydney New Wave band Worm Technology and other bands. From a mixture of influences including prog and experimental rock, pop and punk, Worm Technology evolved their unique sound while living together in an old schoolhouse in Rozelle in Sydney. Blackmore had known Ian Walker (vox, gtr) in primary school; meanwhile Walker had befriended guitarist and synth player Greg Smith in high school. Smith was an early user of synthesisers, including the Steiner-Parker Synthacon.

Tiploid Grundy & the Rabid Slime Moulds

This precursor band to Worm Technology lasted around a year (1977). One of their earliest recordings includes a reggae version of "Kookaburra", played strictly for laughs. A cassette-only album of punkish acoustic and vocal originals, "If You Don't Care for Your Scalp You Get Rabies" (1977) (its title taken from a line uttered by Terry Jones in the Monty Python episode "Mr Neutron"), performed by Blackmore, Walker and Smith, was released under the band name Tiploid Grundy and the Rabid Slime Moulds; while with Smith, Blackmore initially concentrated on composing electronic music using sequencers, including the Robert Fripp and Brian Eno-influenced "Music for Bookshops" (1979), and a concept-cycle, recorded on to reel-to-reel tape, called "The Guardian", based on a collaborative fantasy story written by the two. When John Gardner (bass) joined, the band also released some cassette-only recordings including The Loungeroom Tapes and The Christmas Tapes.

Worm Technology

The band stabilised as a four-piece rock band with live drums as Worm Technology, though synth-based instrumentals such as "Africa" often featured in their sets. Blackmore initially played electric organ, string machine (a non-proprietary version of the Mellotron) and synthesiser, with Smith as drummer and synth programmer, but Blackmore often drummed when Smith was playing guitar or bass. His drumming style was largely influenced by the Buzzcocks' John Mayer and The Jam`s Rick Buckler. Smith's girlfriend Myfanwy (Miffy) Ryan played violin with the band, but dropped out after a year. (Ryan has gone on to play with such renowned Australian folk bands as Madd Marianne [17], Wongawilli Band [18][19], Quartet d'Gong [20], Denizen and ClearStrings).

Worm Technology initially played covers by 1960s and 1970s acts including Kevin Ayers, Lou Reed, The Troggs, Them, The Human Beinz, Modern Lovers, Ramones, Elvis Costello, The Jam and The Buzzcocks, and punkified medleys of old TV cartoon theme tunes such as Astroboy, Marine Boy and Gigantor (WT were playing their version of the latter before Californian punk band The Dickies recorded it in 1980.). Their deconstructed version of "Satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones, featuring Walker's famed one-note guitar solo on an amplified tin toy guitar bought from an op shop, preceded Devo's take on the same number.

Worm Technology went on to perform mainly quirky originals, from "Here Come the Lonely Vegetables" to "Three Years on the Road", a country and western parody penned by Blackmore. Both Blackmore and Walker had both been particularly influenced by The Residents, The Velvet Underground, The B-52s and by Lenny Kaye's Nuggets series of sixties garage-rock reissues - influences which skewed their pop sensibility. John Gardner was consistently the bass player throughout Worm Technology's existence; he never contributed lyrics or music. Rhythm guitarist Malcolm Elliott and second vocalist Peter Rodgers entered, left and re-entered the band lineup at different periods. The band played one early gig where Blackmore had briefly left, under the moniker "Leigh Blackmore's Rainbow". Elliott and Rodgers also contributed song lyrics, as did mixer Garry Ryan, all of which were put to music by Greg Smith. Elliott's "Slept-On Hair" and "Simulus Stimulus", Ryan's "Cry Laughing Clown",[15] "Technical Suicide" and "Pilot", and Rodger's "Who Do We Think We Are?" were all popular elements of Worm Technology's set. Many of Worm Technology's early gigs were at church halls, as several of the band members were Christians. (Blackmore experienced a conversion to Christianity which lasted until the early 1980s and a renewed rejection of it. Ian Walker became a Christian youth worker. Rodgers went on to become an Anglican minister and missionary in Indonesia from 1991 to 2002; later Rector of St Stephen's, Newtown and Federal Secretary of the (Australian) Church Missionary Society).

Blackmore wrote many of the band's song lyrics, some in collaboration with vocalist Ian Walker (though Walker often wrote alone), and guitarist Greg Smith wrote much of the music,[8] though Blackmore wrote both lyrics and music for some songs including the Buzzcocks-inspired "Apathy." Blackmore's other song lyrics included audience favourites such as "Outerspaceville", "Futile Minds", "Living for Today" (partly inspired by Black Sabbath's "Looking for Today") and the Ramones-influenced "Infidelity". The band put unique twists on some of their covers, such as playing Glen Campbell's "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" in a Joy Division style, and doing a rock version of the Brian Eno/Cluster (band) piece "Broken Head".

Worm Technology played gigs at various inner-city venues such as the Vulcan Hotel, Taverners Hill Hotel, The Rehearsal Room and the Sussex Hotel. They participated in a number of annual Strawberry Hills Hotel band competitions, along with such contemporary bands as The Hard-Ons. Worm Technology also undertook tours including the 'We Are Not the New Dylan Tour' (1980) in which they played obscure NSW country towns such as Fish River (Oberon) and The Lagoon; and the "Moo Cow Tour", in which they played in several Sydney milk-bars. The band also issued several issues of their official fanzine, Prince the Wonder Dog which were given away at gigs.

The band often parodied musical trends, as in "Dull Rapsville" (lyrics Blackmore/Walker; music Smith), a parody of early rap a la Grandmaster Flash. Continuing their disdain of most rock posturing, the band played one tour with all members dressed as crooner Val Doonican, wearing cardigans and thick black spectacles. Lead vocalist Ian Walker's renowned stage act included using a toy rabbit owned in Blackmore's childhood as a prop for the song "Furry Animals", and standing on a chair throughout the song "The Tree (That was Not a Tree)". In the original song (Revenge of the) Phantom Agents (based on the 1960s Japanese TV series), the band threw cardboard shuriken into the audience. In 1980, Greg Smith wrote a rock opera, The Lift, in the vein of works such as Genesis' The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway and rehearsed Worm Technology intensively in its performance; a more serious work, it bemused many Worm Technology fans and received one live performance only; it was issued as both a studio and live cassette-only album. One song from the work, "Stereotypists", was re-vamped as "The Aliens" and became a set staple.

Worm Technology released several cassette-only albums including In Your Loungeroom (1985)(engineered by the band's mixer/sound technician, Garry Ryan). This contained two tracks imported from Ian Walker's side-project duo The Togs (with Worm Technology band manager Rik Ford), and other songs including "Crimefighter" (sung as if by a world-weary Batman) and the popular rock number "Wombats" (lyrics Blackmore) in which Blackmore put together his synth solo by segueing keyboard lines from songs by Iggy Pop, Fischer Z, and The Angels (Australian band), and Smith took his guitar line from "Magazine Madonna" by Sherbet. The band's later original repertoire tended to include a mix of catchy synth-driven pop songs such as "So Alone" and "Can't Stand the Pace", straightahead rock numbers such as "Can't You See,", "The Light" "Love Grows Cold," "Out of Sync" and "The Height of Love," reflective songs such as "The King is Dead," "No Fear," and "Set your Mind Right," and danceable numbers like the ska number "(Put it in a) Nutshell", mostly penned entirely by Smith.

Koga Ninja

Worm Technology had several offshoot bands including Koga Ninja (named after characters from the 1960s TV show The Samurai), in which the band members (Blackmore, Smith and Elliott) dressed up as ninjas in costumes made by Smith. The band used synths and drum machines extensively. Koga Ninja released several cassette only live albums.[16]

Astropop, Post-Mortem and White Stains

Blackmore largely gave up music when Worm Technology broke up, to concentrate on his writing, although Astropop, a short-lived synthpop duo featuring Blackmore and Smith (which extended Worm Technology's late emphasis on extended synthesiser-based numbers such as "Samurai") had some success playing electronica including Kraftwerk covers but never recorded. Blackmore played drums in Post-Mortem (1987), a band which featured Ian Walker from Worm Technology, bassist Brian Pember from Sydney Christian new wave band Crossroad/Surprise, and a guitarist only remembered as Colin. There are no extant recordings of Astropop or Post-Mortem. In the mid-1990s Blackmore recorded with the short-lived experimental group White Stains (1990) (named after Aleister Crowley's poetry volume of the same title, White Stains), with illustrator and viola-player Gavin L. O'Keefe. White Stains released a cassette single "Acid Bath" (Blackmore/O'Keefe") backed with "The Finger", a musical interpretation of William Burrough's story about a man who cuts off his own finger.

The Third Road

Blackmore resumed playing music semi-professionally only in 2009 with the formation of the Illawarra-based 'popstalgia' trio The Third Road in which he plays five- and six-string bass and shares vocal duties with guitarist Margi Curtis and keyboards player Graham Wykes. The Third Road developed from the band Fedora, a trio featuring Curtis, Wykes and Bruce Greenfeld (later of Damned Fine Gentlemen). Blackmore joined on bass when Greenfeld left. The Third Road has played live in Wollongong at various events including the Thriving Illawarra Festival, Summer on the (Crown St) Mall, the annual National Disabilities Day gig organised by Essential Personnel (sometimes accompanied by singer/guitarist Al Morrison of Riogh), and at the annual Christmas party of the NSW Greens. They also performed several annual Xmas gigs at Sydney's Royal Automobile Club between 2013-15.

The 1990s: From Terror Australis to the O.T.O. and Marriage

H.P. Lovecraft Centennial Conference

In 1990 Blackmore travelled via New York (where he met Peter H. Cannon, and interviewed Frank Belknap Long) to Providence for the H.P. Lovecraft Centennial Conference.[17] As one of the Friends of Lovecraft group organised by S.T. Joshi, Jon Cooke and Will Murray, Blackmore contributed financially to erecting the memorial plaque in honour of Lovecraft which was erected outside the John Hay Library.[18] In Providence, Blackmore met such figures as author Les Daniels,cartoonist and author Gahan Wilson, Marc A. Michaud (publisher of Necronomicon Press), critic Will Murray, editor David E. Schultz, Philip J. Rahman (copublisher of Fedogan and Bremer), Italian scholar Giuseppe Lippi, critic Steven J. Mariconda, French scholar Jean-Luc Buard, illustrator Jason C. Eckhardt, editor Robert M. Price, critic Paul Buhle, German scholar Kalju Kirde and illustrator Robert H. Knox, and attended the world premier of Re-Animator. Blackmore also spent time with writers Dennis Etchison and William F. Nolan while in Los Angeles.

Terror Australis, the Gargoyle Club and the Sydney Futurian Society

With Christopher Sequeira and Bryce J. Stevens, Blackmore co-edited Terror Australis: The Australian Horror and Fantasy Magazine (1987–1992)[21] and co-founded the Gargoyle Club: The Sydney Horror Writers and Artists Society, which included Sydney horror writers and artists including Gavin O'Keefe, underground graphic novelists Steve 'Carnage' Carter and Antoinette Rydyr [22]; Rod Marsden [23], Don Boyd and others. The Gargoyle Club operated in Leichhardt, New South Wales and Petersham until 1992, after which it moved to venues in inner city Sydney and was subsequently joined by writers such as David Carroll and Kyla Ward. The club published two issues of their horror fiction magazine Cold Cuts co-edited by Antoinette Rydyr, Ron Clarke [24] and Don Boyd, Art Director was Steve Carter. [25]

Terror Australis the magazine was followed by the anthology Terror Australis: Best Australian Horror (1993)[26], the first mass-market Australian horror anthology[3] (edited by Blackmore alone).[19][27] Leanne Frahm's story "Catalyst" from the anthology won the Ditmar Award for best Australian Short Fiction.[20] Blackmore was an invited judge on the Aurealis Award in 1995[21] and on the George Turner (writer) Award in 1999 [28][29]

In 1994-95, Blackmore was the Australian representative for the Horror Writers of America under the Presidency of Dennis Etchison.

Blackmore often hosted gatherings of the Futurian Society of Sydney [30](run by sf bibliographer/researcher and secondhand bookdealer Graham Stone [31]) at his Leichardt home. Regular attendees included Kevin Dillon [32] and David Ritchie. Blackmore also acquired the majority of his holdings of Weird Tales magazine via Stone over a period of around a decade.

Anarchism, Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth, Thoughtcrimes, the O.T.O. and Sydney Zeroist Alliance

In the early 1990s, owing to instinctive rejection of methods of social control, Blackmore became involved with the anarchist scene around Jura Books and the squatters collective Jellyhedz in Sydney, though his primary political interests lay in the Situationist International (especially the works of Guy Debord); and the ontological anarchism of Hakim Bey.[8] The works of Colin Wilson became increasingly important to him (he interviewed Wilson in 1993)[8] as did self-actualization and Timothy Leary's Eight Circuit Model of Consciousness as promulgated in Prometheus Rising by Robert Anton Wilson.[8] Blackmore has an ongoing participatory involvement with psychogeography and the dérive. After discovering AK Press and Vague magazine [33], Blackmore co-founded Thoughtcrimes, an independent distributor of radical books and tapes which also operated culture-jamming and subvertising campaigns. Thoughtcrimes existed at roughly the same time as the American CrimethInc. began, with both drawing their names from the work of George Orwell. In this period Blackmore issued copyleft fanzines such as Antics: a Journal ov Anti-Control [34] and The Possibility of Finding Such a Dog. [35]. Thoughtcrimes was succeeded by Blackmore's Sydney Zeroist Alliance project of the early 2000s, which was inspired by both the Situationists (specifically by the notion of the Situationist prank), by original Neoism and by post-situ Stewart Home's projects such as the Art Strike, Praxis and the Neoist Alliance, as well as by the occult/mathematical significance of zero.

Also in the early 1990s, following a renewed interest in ceremonial magic along with influence from the performance art, music and Mail Art of Genesis P. Orridge, Blackmore joined Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth via their Australian station, TOPY Chaos. Reading deeply in Aleister Crowley and other esoteric material, he accepted The Book of the Law, took the magical name Fr. LVX/NOX and was initiated into several degrees in Crowley's Ordo Templi Orientis.[8] via their Sydney body, Oceania Oasis (later Oceania Lodge).[36] He was ordained as a Deacon in the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica and performed in several contemporary series of the Rites of Eleusis and in Crowley's mystery play The Ship. He has taken the role of Priest in Liber XV, The Gnostic Mass in the Illawarra and presented numerous workshops based on Crowley's magick.

Marriage, Honours Degree and Aftermath

Blackmore married fellow bookseller and Neopagan Glayne Louise Vowles, with whom he had been in a relationship since 1994, in 1999 in a Hermetic ceremony which included readings from the Emerald Tablet of Hermes, Liber AL and The Black Book of Carmarthen. Certain items at the wedding were inscribed with the motto 'In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni' ('We dance in the darkness and are consumed by fire'), from the title of the 1978 film by Guy Debord. However, the couple divorced in 2001. Blackmore then moved from Parramatta to Earlwood, with friends including Peter Wilson, vocalist/trumpeter for Sydney-based ska band Backy Skank. Vowles died in June 2009 aged 36.;[22] the Futurian Society of Sydney, to which she had belonged, observed a minute's silence at their meeting of July 17, 2009 for her, and for Locus editor Charles N. Brown, who also recently died.[23]

In 2001, Blackmore's comicbook story "The Gargoyle Club Gambit" (co-written with Christopher Sequeira) was published in Bold Action, a one-off special. [37]

In 2004, Blackmore left the book trade and relocated to Wollongong. He took a mature-age degree (Bachelor of Creative Writings (Hons)) at the University of Wollongong (2009-2016). A devotee of the Pre-Raphaelite painters, Blackmore wrote the creative component of his Honours thesis was a 35,000 word ficto-critical novella on the relationship between Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Elizabeth Siddall. The critical component of the thesis was on Terry Dowling.

In 2011 he started his own editorial and manuscript appraisal business, Proof Perfect Editorial Services. He is a member of the Society of Editors (NSW). He regularly workshops fiction with a writer's group including Margaret Curtis and Andrea Gawthorne [38].

Current career: 21st Century

Writing, Editing, Convention appearances

Blackmore has been a guest lecturer on science fiction, fantasy and horror for the University of Wollongong's Faculty of Creative Arts. He has guested as an expert on horror literature and film on TV programs in Australia including Ray Martin's Midday (television show), cable TV program The Graveyard Shift and Jennifer Byrne Presents[24][39] and has been interviewed on Sydney's 2SER radio[25] in the same capacity.

He became the second President of the Australian Horror Writers Association, serving from September 2010 until September 2011.[1]

Blackmore is Official Editor (with Scott A. Shaeffer) of the Sword and Sorcery and Weird Fiction Terminus (SSFWT) amateur press association (founded by Benjamin Szumskyj) which has members in Australia, the US, the UK, Sweden and Finland. [40] SSWFT reached its 50th mailing in August 2013. (Blackmore's own contributions can be found archived on www.scribd.com). Blackmore also contributes a regular zine to S.T. Joshi's "Esoteric Order of Dagon" Amateur Press Association.[41] (Some issues can be found housed in Cuyler W. 'Ned' Brooks' fanzine archive [42]) He is also a member of the Australian Sherlock Holmes society the Sydney Passengers, and of the C.G. Jung Society of Sydney.

He is a frequent panellist at science fiction conventions such as the Magic Casements Festival (Sydney, 2003) [43], the annual Conflux convention in Canberra (where with Margi Curtis he often runs workshops on magick)[44][45], and has been a panellist at Constantinople Australian National Science Fiction Convention(Melbourne, 1994), Freecon (Sydney, 2003) and Aussiecon 4(Melbourne, 2010)[46].

Esoteric Practice and Teaching

Blackmore is both a practitioner and a scholar of ritual magic.

Aurora Australis Thelemic Temple

Blackmore founded his own Thelemic ritual magic group, Aurora Australis Thelemic Temple (A∴A∴T.T.), in Sydney in 2001. The group has performed significant magical workings in the Illawarra based on Goetia, Thelemic magick[47] and in Enochian skrying.

Enochian Ritual Working Group of A∴A∴T.T.

Since 2012, he has co-facilitated a group working the Enochian magic system of Dr John Dee and Edward Kelley, under the aegis of Aurora Australis Thelemic Temple with participants from Wollongong and Sydney.

Temple of Set

He was briefly a member of The Temple of Set (2004) under Michael and Lilith Aquino but resigned in 2005.

MoonsKin and Black Swans Covens

He co-facilitated, with Margi Curtis and Graham Wykes, the eclectic Reclaiming (Neopaganism)-oriented witchcraft covens MoonsKin (2006-2011) and Black Swans (2014-2016). He has been an early active member of the organising collective for Witchcamps held by Australian Reclaiming.[26] and also served a year on EarthSong's Conflict Resolution Committee.

The A∴A∴

In 2014, after twenty years continuous use of the magical name 'Fr. LVX/NOX', Blackmore adopted the new magical name 'Frater HekAL'. In July 2016, he formally became a Student of the A∴A∴ under an Australian superior.

Other Esoteric Work

Blackmore's other principal occult interests include the Zos Kia Cultus, English Qabala, the art and magic of Austin Osman Spare and of Rosaleen Norton, Western Hermeticism, and astroarchaeology. Some of Blackmore's magical essays are available as chapbooks under his own imprint, Hawk's Head Press.

An experienced ritualist, Blackmore has written columns on Magick and the occult (with poet, Reclaiming (Neopaganism) witch and activist Margaret (Margi) Curtis) [48] - "Arts of the Craft" (2005) for Spellcraft magazine and "Black Cauldron" (2008–2009) for Black: Australia's Dark Culture magazine (Brimstone Press)[49]. He regularly lectures in the Illawarra NSW on Western esotericism, including (often with Curtis) running workshops and "Mystery Circle" discussion groups, and also at Campbelltown's Meditation Space.

He has workshopped with esoteric community leaders and scholars including Lon Milo DuQuette, T. Thorn Coyle, Mambo (Vodou) Paula Wedo, Oberon Zell, Raven Edgewalker, Gerri Ravyn Stanfield, Tobias Churton and others.

He has taken an active role in pagan and ceremonial magick opening rituals at such events as EarthSong WitchCamp (Healesville, Vic, 2011) and the Thriving Illawarra Festival (Wollongong, 2012). Blackmore has co-facilitated and presented on Qabalah and ritual magick at such pagan gatherings such as the Leaderless Leaders/Bare Bones Reclaiming Gathering (Minto NSW) (Jan 2013) and the Mabon Equinox Gathering, Canberra (Mar 2014)(the latter was supported in part by the Pagan Initiative of P.A.N. Inc) [50]). He has worked part-time as an I Ching reader.

Award nominations

Year Award Work Category Result
2004 Ditmar Award "Uncharted" Best Novella Nomination[27][28]
2010 Ditmar Award "Marvels and Horrors: Terry Dowling's Clowns at Midnight William Atheling Jr. Award for Criticism Nomination[29]
2013 Ditmar Award "Things Invisible: Human and Ab-Human in Two of Hodgson's Carnacki Tales". William Atheling Jr. Award for Criticism Nomination Ditmar Award results Entry 46
2013 Ditmar Award "A Puppet's Parody of Joy": Puppets, Dolls and Mannikins as Diabolical Other in the Work of Ramsey Campbell William Atheling Jr. Award for Criticism Nomination Ditmar Award results Entry 46
2014 Rhysling Award ""The Last Dream" (for Ambrose Bierce) Best Long Poem Nomination [51]



  • Spores from Sharnoth and Other Madnesses (P'rea Press, 2008) (verse). ISBN 978-0-9804625-2-4. Cover art by Gavin O'Keefe
  • Sharnoth's Spores and Other Seeds (Rainfall Books, 2010) (verse; variant edition of Spores from Sharnoth - omits some poems and adds others). Illustrated by Steve Lines.
  • Horrors of Sherlock Holmes (R'lyeh Texts, 2017) (fiction). Introduction by Peter H. Cannon. ISBN 978-0-646-96897-1. Illustrated by Phillip Cornell and Steve Lines.

Selected Non-Fiction Works

  • Brian Lumley: A New Bibliography. Penrith NSW: Dark Press, 1984. San Bernardino, CA: Borgo Press, 1985.
  • Terry Dowling: Virtuoso of the Fantastic. (R'lyeh Texts, Apr 2005). Limited to 100 numbered copies.

As editor

Selected critical writings and bibliographies

  • Blackmore, Leigh (1983). "Middle-Earth, Narnia and Lovecraft's Dream-World". Crypt of Cthulhu (2:5 (No. 13)). [63]
  • Blackmore, Leigh (August 1984). "Leon Stone: Amateur Journalist and Pioneer Lovecraft Collector". Red Viscous Madness (1, No 1)). Reprint in The Fossil 105:3 No, 340, (April 2009).
  • Blackmore, Leigh (1984). Brian Lumley: A New Bibliography. Sydney: Dark Press. Brian Lumley: A New Bibliography. San Bernardino, CA: Borgo Press. 1986. ISBN 978-0-89370-541-1.
  • Joshi, S. T.; Blackmore, Leigh (1985). H. P. Lovecraft and Lovecraft Criticism: An Annotated Bibliography: Supplement 1980-1984. West Warwick, RI: Necronomicon Press. ISBN 978-0-940884-03-8.
  • Blackmore, Leigh (1985). "Hermetic Horrors: Weird Fiction Writers and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn". Shadowplay (9).. Readable online at [64] and PDF downloadable from [65]
  • Blackmore, Leigh (1990). "Introduction". In Stevens, Bryce. The Australian H.P. Lovecraft Centenary Calendar 1990-1991. Sydney: Terror Australis.
  • Blackmore, Leigh (1991). "Under the Pyramids: On Lovecraft and Houdini". EOD (4–5).[30][31][66]
  • Blackmore, Leigh (Mar 1995). "Writer's Bloch: A Brief Tribute to the Author of Psycho (novel)". Tabula Rasa (7).. Readable online at [67]
  • Blackmore, Leigh (1996). Harlan Ellison, Terry Dowling, Jack Dann: A Bibliographic Checklist. Sydney: R'lyeh Texts.[68]
  • Blackmore, Leigh (1999). "Don Boyd (1945-1999): An Appreciation". Masque Noir (December).[69]
  • Blackmore, Leigh (Oct 2001). "Sherlock Holmes Meets Cthulhu: With Particular Reference to the Influence of The Hound of the Baskervilles on Lovecraft's The Hound With a Brief Excursus upon Solar Pons: A Paper for the Sydney Passengers Sherlock Holmes Society’s Centenary Celebration of The Hound of the Baskervilles, presented at Bishopthorpe Manor, NSW". Mantichore (1, No 3). Revised reprint in The Passenger's Log: Journal of the Sydney Passengers (Sherlock Holmes Society), Vol 19, Nos 3 &4 (2016).
  • Blackmore, Leigh (2005). "Terry Dowling, Robert Hood, and Rick Kennett". In Joshi, S. T. Supernatural Literature of the World: An Encyclopedia. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-32774-2. |
  • Blackmore, Leigh (Jan 2006). Ellis, Phillip A., ed. "'Ranked With the Immortals': George Sterling and Clark Ashton Smith". Calenture (1, No 2).
  • Blackmore, Leigh (Mar 2006). "The Message of Thuba-Mleen : Lord Dunsany's Influence on Aleister Crowley". Mantichore (1, No 2).
  • Blackmore, Leigh (Dec 2007). "Paganism in Poetry: Kenneth Slessor's "Pan at Lane Cove"". Mantichore (2:4 (8)).
  • Blackmore, Leigh (2008). "A Semiotic Reading of Edgar Allan Poe's The Purloined Letter". Mantichore (3:2 (10)).
  • Blackmore, Leigh (2008). "A Chronological Index to the Australian Horror Anthologies". Mantichore (3:3 (11)).
  • Blackmore, Leigh (Winter 2008 – Spring 2009). Joshi, S. T., ed. "'Undoing the Mechanisms': Genre Expectation, Subversion and Anti-Consolation in the Kefahuchi Tract Novels of M. John Harrison". Studies in the Fantastic (2). ISSN 1942-7190. Retrieved 2013-09-17. [70]
  • Blackmore, Leigh (2009). "Some Notes on Lovecraft's 'The Transition of Juan Romero'". Lovecraft Annual (3).
  • Blackmore, Leigh (2009). "The Twisted World Inside Our Skulls: The 1950s Crime and Suspense Novels of Robert Bloch". In Szumskyj, Benjamin. The Man Who Collected Psychos: Critical Essays on Robert Bloch. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-4208-9.
  • Blackmore, Leigh (2009). Deep in the Reality Crisis: Individuation, 'Mytho-Realism' and Surrealistic Traces in Terry Dowling's Tom Rynosseros Cycle. Faculty of Creative Arts, University of Wollongong (BCA Honours thesis - Critical). Retrieved 2013-09-17.[32][33]
  • Blackmore, Leigh (2011). "Marvels and Horrors: Terry Dowling's Clowns at Midnight". In Olson, Danel. 21st Century Gothic. Scarecrow Press. Reprinted in Australian Studies in Weird Fiction, No. 4 (Winter 2011).
  • Blackmore, Leigh (2013). ""A Puppet's Parody of Joy": Puppets, Dolls and Mannikins as Diabolical Other in the Work of Ramsey Campbell". In Crawford, Gary W. Ramsey Campbell: Critical Essays on the Modern Master of Horror. Scarecrow Press. Nominated for the William Atheling Jr. Award for Criticism.
  • Blackmore, Leigh (Aug 2013). Sam Gafford, ed. "Things Invisible: Human and Ab-Human in Two of Hodgson's Carnacki Tales". Sargasso: The Journal of William Hope Hodgson Studies (1).| Reprint in Gafford, Sam and S.T. Joshi (eds) William Hope Hodgson: Voices from the Borderland: Seven Decades of Criticism on the Master of Cosmic Horror NY: Hippocampus Press, 2014. Nominated for the William Atheling Jr. Award for Criticism.
  • Blackmore, Leigh (2014). S. T. Joshi, ed. "Driven to Madness with Fright: The Influence of Poe's "Ulalume" on Lovecraft's "Nemesis"". Lovecraft Annual (8). ISSN 1935-6102.
  • Blackmore, Leigh (Spring 2015). "Figures in a Nightmare: The Poetry of Leah Bodine Drake Part 1". Spectral Realms. Hippocampus Press (2).
  • Blackmore, Leigh (Summer 2015). "Figures in a Nightmare: The Poetry of Leah Bodine Drake Part 2". Spectral Realms. Hippocampus Press (3).
  • Blackmore, Leigh (Feb 2016). "A Look at Weird Tales Magazine-Based Anthologies". Mantichore (11:1 (37)).
  • Blackmore, Leigh (May 2016). "A Look at Books and Sources About Weird Tales Magazine". Mantichore (11:2 (38)).
  • Blackmore, Leigh (September 2016). "Fritz Leiber; Ramsey Campbell; "Stories by Women"". In Pulliam, June and Tony Fonseca. Ghosts in Popular Culture and Legend. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio. ISBN 978-1-4408-3490-5.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
  • Blackmore, Leigh (2016). "Ecstasies and Odysseys: The Weird Poetry of Donald Wandrei". In Phillip A. Ellis. Poets of the Lovecraft Circle. Hippocampus Press.
  • Blackmore, Leigh (Fall 2016). Sam Gafford, ed. "Ye Hogge: Liminality and the Motif of the Monstrous Pig in Hodgson’s "The Hog" and The House on the Borderland". Sargasso: The Journal of William Hope Hodgson Studies (3).
  • Blackmore, Leigh (Winter 2017). S. T. Joshi, ed. "In Pursuit of the Transcendent: The Weird Verse of Walter de la Mare". Spectral Realms (6).
  • Blackmore, Leigh (October 2018). Blu Gilland, ed. "A Chip Off the Old Bloch: An Interview with Robert Bloch's Daughter Sally Francy". Cemetery Dance.


  • Blackmore, Leigh (1986). "The Infestation". Phantastique. (Script by Blackmore based on his short story; art by Gavin O'Keefe)
  • Blackmore, Leigh; Chris G.C. Sequeira (1990). "The Gargoyle Club Gambit". Pulse of Darkness (4).. Reprint in Bold Action number'1 (2002). Cthulhu Mythos story.
  • Blackmore, Leigh (1993). "The Hourglass". In Blackmore, Leigh (ed.). Terror Australis: The Best of Australian Horror. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-58455-2.CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list (link)
  • Blackmore, Leigh; Greg Smith (June 1995). "The Guardian". Avatar (3).
  • Blackmore, Leigh (June 1995). "The Last Town". Avatar (3).
  • Blackmore, Leigh (June 1995). "The Sacrifice". Avatar (3).
  • Blackmore, Leigh; Bryce J. Stevens (1998). "This Story Has No Tuttle". Choking Dog Gazette (3).
  • Blackmore, Leigh (2002). "Dr. Nadurnian's Golem". In Cat Sparks (ed.). Agog! Fantastic Fiction. Wollongong: Agog! Press. ISBN 0-9580567-0-6.CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list (link)[71][72]
  • Blackmore, Leigh (2003). "Uncharted". In Cat Sparks (ed.). Agog! Terrific Tales. Wollongong: Agog! Press. ISBN 0-9580567-2-2.CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list (link)[73][74]. This story received an 'Honourable Mention' in Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling (eds), The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror No 17 (2004).
  • Blackmore, Leigh (March 2006). "Soul Food". Mantichore. 1 (2).. A Deadlocke and Doc Marten story.
  • Blackmore, Leigh (May 2006). "Wave". Micro (1).
  • Blackmore, Leigh (September 2006). "A Myriad of Stars". Mantichore. 1 (4).. Science fiction story.
  • Blackmore, Leigh (October 2006). "Imago". Tertangala.
  • Blackmore, Leigh (December 2006). "Water Runs Uphill". Mantichore. 2 (1). Reprint in Aurealis number 38/39 (September 2007)[75]
  • Blackmore, Leigh (2007). "The Return of Zoth-Ommog". In Rob Hood; Robin Pen (eds.). Daikaiju 3! Giant Monsters vs the World. Wollongong: Agog! Press. ISBN 978-0-8095-7233-5.CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list (link) Cthulhu Mythos story set on Pohnpei. [76][77]
  • Blackmore, Leigh (October 2007). "Dream Street". And Then I Woke Up!. Includes collage illustrations by Blackmore.
  • Blackmore, Leigh (October 2008). "Leaving Town". Tide (5).[78][34]
  • Blackmore, Leigh (2009). "The Return of Zoth-Ommog". In Henrik Harksen (ed.). Eldritch Horrors: Dark Tales. Denmark: Henrik Harksen productions/lulu.com.CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list (link)Cthulhu Mythos story set on Pohnpei. [79]
  • Blackmore, Leigh (2009). "The Roomer". The Stack.
  • Blackmore, Leigh (2009). "Exalted Are the Forces of Darkness". In J. R. Campbell; Charles Prepolec (eds.). Gaslight Grotesque: Nightmare Tales of Sherlock Holmes. Edge Publishing. ISBN 978-1-894063-31-9.CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list (link) Sherlock Holmes story. See Gaslight series.[80]
  • Blackmore, Leigh (April 2013). "Crumbs from the Master's Table". Lovecraft ezine.. Cthulhu Mythos story.
  • Blackmore, Leigh (2014). "The Arcana of Death". Strange Detective Stories (4). Sherlock Holmes story.[81]
  • Blackmore, Leigh (April 2015). "The Adventure of the Metaphysics of Mania". Mantichore. 10 (1). Sherlock Holmes story.
  • Blackmore, Leigh (May 2015). "The Last Town". Aurora Borealis (37).. Fantasy story inspired by Lord Dunsany.
  • Blackmore, Leigh (2018). "Cemetery Rose". In Rebecca Lang. Dark Spirits. Sydney: Strange Nation.. First print appearance of a story podcast on www.writingshow.com in 2006.


Blackmore's weird verse (primarily formalist in style) has appeared variously in And Then I Woke Up!,Arkham Sampler[82], Avallaunius: The Journal of the Arthur Machen Society, Beastly, www.chaosmagic.com, Cyaegha, EOD[83], The Eldritch Dark,[35][36][37] EOD [84] Etchings & Odysseys[85], Melaleuca, Midnight Echo[38] New Lovecraft Collector, Shoggoth,[39] The Small Tapestry, Spectral Realms [86], Strange Sorcery [87] Telmar, and Weird Fiction Review.[40][41]

Much of Blackmore's weird poetry is now collected in Spores from Sharnoth & Other Madnesses,[42] with a foreword by S.T. Joshi. The US journal Dead Reckonings declared that the collection "at once establishes Blackmore as one of the leading weird poets of our time."[43] (A recording of Blackmore reading the poem "Dark Dedication" from the collection can be downloaded at [44]) A variant edition of this title, omitting the introduction and P'rea Press editors' foreword, and with some poems excluded and others added, under the title Sharnoth's Spores & Other Seeds, was published by Rainfall Books in 2010.[45][88]

General poetry has appeared in Melaleuca, Tertangala, and at Australian Reader and Pool online. Blackmore has read his poetry live at various venues in NSW including Live Poets at Don Bank (North Sydney), Yours and Owls Café (Wollongong), Jane's (Wollongong) and Philanthropy Tribe Book Cafe (Wollongong). Blackmore has also recorded readings of many of the poems of Clark Ashton Smith, e.g. "Chant to Sirius" [89].

Recent poetry has appeared in anthologies and magazines including:

  • Charles Lovecraft (ed) Avatars of Wizardry (Sydney: P'rea Press, 2012)
  • S.T. Joshi and Stefan Dziemianowicz (eds) Dreams of Fear: Poetry of Terror and the Supernatural (NY: Hippocampus Press, 2013)
  • Elizabeth R. McClellan & Ashley Brown (eds) The 2014 Rhysling Poetry Anthology: The Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Poetry of 2013 (SFPA, 2014).
  • Graham Phillips (ed)Cyaegha No 13 (Spring 2015).
  • Beyond the Cosmic Veil (Horrified Press/Barbed Wire Butterfly Press, 2015).
  • Adam Joffrain (ed) Nightgaunt No 2 (July 2015) [France; collaboration-translation with Adam Joffrain].
  • Steve Lines (ed) Hallowe'en Howlings. Calne, Wiltshire: Rainfall Books (UK), Oct 2015.
  • Danny Gardner (ed) Can I Tell You a Secret?: Live Poets at Don Bank's 25th Anniversary Anthology. Ginninderra Press, Nov 2015.
  • John Allen (ed) Songs of the Shattered World: The Broken Hymns of Hastur. Ticketyboo Press/Green Sun Press, Feb 2016
  • Sam Gafford (ed) Sargasso: The Journal of William Hope Hodgson Studies 3 (2016)
  • Glynn Barrass and Frederick J. Mayer (eds). Anno Klarkash-ton. Calne, Wiltshire: Rainfall Books, 2017.
  • Calhoun, Pat (ed). Weird and Wondrous: An Anthology of Fantasy Poetry (2018)

Blackmore has collaborated on poems with US poets Richard L. Tierney [90], Fred Phillips, K.A. Opperman and Ashley Dioses; with French poet Adam Joffrain; and with Australian poet Charles Lovecraft. His poem "The Last Dream" (dedicated to Ambrose Bierce) (Weird Fiction Review No 4, 2013)[91] was a nominee for Best Long Poem in the annual Rhysling Award. Read online at: [92]

Reviews, Radio and other works

Blackmore regularly reviews horror fiction for US critical journal Dead Reckonings.[46] His past review work of horror and fantasy fiction includes contributions to AsIF.com,[47] Galaxy Newsletter, OzHorrorscope (online blog reviews), Prohibited Matter (column - 'The State of the Nightmare'), Science Fiction - A Review of Speculative Fiction (column - 'Darkside'), Shoggoth, Skinned Alive [93] Spectral Realms,and the Sydney Morning Herald.

Blackmore's story "The Infestation" was read live to air by Steven Paulsen on Rick Kennett's 3CR and 3MDR Community radio guest shows "Pilots of the Unknown". [94]

His story "Cemetery Rose" was read by the author and dramatized with sound effects for the Writing Show's Six Days of Hallowe'en podcast (cohosted by Australian Horror Writers Association) in 2006. An interview with Blackmore conducted by Writing Show host Paula Berenstein was broadcast concurrently. [95]

His audio-walk sound piece Carbon Footprints was exhibited as an installation at the University of Wollongong (Faculty of Creative Arts), Oct 2007.

His radio play Calling Water was broadcast in late 2008 on ABC Radio National Airplay.[48][49]

His collage artwork, which is influenced by the Situationist technique of detournement, has been exhibited at the First Australasian Thelemic Conference (Sydney, 1994) and published in various issues of Tertangala magazine - example at:[96].

Blackmore has adapted several works for short screenplay treatments and stage, including H.P. Lovecraft's The Music of Erich Zann (screenplay), Clark Ashton Smith's "The Double Shadow" (screenplay) and his own stories "Dr Nadurnian's Golem" (stage; workshopped but unproduced) and "Fire on the Ghost Train" (screenplay, as "Inferno").

See also


  1. ^ a b "Leigh Blackmore". Australian Horror Writers Association. 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
  2. ^ "The Locus Index to SF Awards: Index of Literary Nominees". Locus Online. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d Collins, Paul (1998). The MUP Encyclopedia of Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. pp. 11, 46–47.
  4. ^ Review of Spores from Sharnoth and Other Madnesses, Dead Reckonings 4: 83 (Fall 2008)
  5. ^ Leigh Blackmore Black to the Blind: My Life and Magick (autobiography, forthcoming).
  6. ^ Johnson, Robin (7 September 2010). "A. Bertram Chandler Award Winners: Merv Binns". Australian Science Fiction Foundation. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  7. ^ "Space Age Closes". Locus (Jan 1986).
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Benjamin J. Szumskyj The Terror from Australis: An Interview with Leigh Blackmore. Australian Studies in Weird Fiction 1 (Equilibrium Books, 2008)
  9. ^ Leigh Blackmore, J. Michael Blaxland (see Young Einstein and Lindsay Walker, Cathuria: The Newsletter of the Arcane Sciences Society and the Horror-Fantasy Society, Nos 1-3 (Newcastle, NSW: Blackmore/Blaxland/Walker, 1975)
  10. ^ Editors (2010) [2008]. "Introduction". In Blackmore, Leigh. Spores from Sharnoth and Other Madnesses. Sydney: P'rea Press. pp. xi–xiv. ISBN 978-0-9804625-2-4.
  11. ^ a b c d Masters, Chris J. (February 1994). "Leigh Blackmore: The Man Behind Terror Australis". Bloodsongs (1). pp. 48–52.
  12. ^ Ursula K. Le Guin, Guest of Honour Speech, Aussiecon 1, Vector 71 (Dec 1975); corrected reprint in SunCon Convention Journal 1 (Winter 1976)
  13. ^ Paulsen, Steve (January 1994). "The State of the Horror Fiction Magazine". Bloodsongs (1). Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  14. ^ "Australian Comic Gallery: Phantastique". Tabula Rasa. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
  15. ^ Blackmore, Leigh (10 August 2012). "Cry Laughing Clown performed by Worm Technology -1980". SoundCloud. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
  16. ^ Not the New Dylan: The Worm Technology Story R'lyeh Texts, 2010
  17. ^ The H. P. Lovecraft Centennial Conference: Proceedings (Necronomicon Press, 1991).
  18. ^ Friends of H.P. Lovecraft (1991). The H.P. Lovecraft Memorial Plaque. West Warwick, RI: Necronomicon Press. p. 23. ISBN 978-99926-42-50-4.
  19. ^ Ashley, Mike; Contento, William G. (1995). The Supernatural Index: A Listing of Fantasy, Supernatural, Occult, Weird and Horror Anthologies. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. p. 118. ISBN 978-0-313-24030-0.
  20. ^ Blackford, Russell; Ikin, Van; McMullen, Sean (1999). Strange Constellations: A History of Australian Science Fiction. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-313-25112-2.
  21. ^ "Skintomb Issue #8: Awards". Skintomb (8). October 1997. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ As recorded in Garry Dalrymple's fanzine T S & E, online at efanzines.com
  24. ^ "Video Podcasts - The Book Club". ABC TV. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
  25. ^ "Final Draft: Its Alive!". PodOmatic. 18 October 2010. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
  26. ^ "EarthSong WitchCamp". Retrieved 2013-09-17.
  27. ^ "The Locus Index to SF Awards: 2004 Ditmar Awards". Locus Online. Archived from the original on 17 September 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  28. ^ "The Locus Index to SF Awards: 2004 Ditmar Awards". Locus Online. Archived from the original on 18 January 2010. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  29. ^ "2011 Australian Ditmar Award Winners and Nominees, and other Awards". SFScope.com. Archived from the original on 15 May 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
  30. ^ Blackmore, Leigh (December 1991). "Under the Pyramids: On Lovecraft and Houdini: Part Two". EOD: The Esoteric Order of Dagon Magazine (5).
  31. ^ Blackmore, Leigh (September 1991). "Under the Pyramids: On Lovecraft and Houdini: Part One". EOD: The Esoteric Order of Dagon Magazine (4).
  32. ^ "Happenings". Terry Dowling. Retrieved 2013-09-17. Leigh Blackmore's Honours thesis on Terry's Tom Rynosseros Cycle
    Leigh Blackmore completed a 15,000 word Honours thesis for the Bachelor of Creative Writing at the University of Wollongong entitled: "'Individuation', 'Mytho-realism' and Surrealistic Traces in Terry Dowling's Tom Rynosseros Cycle". This is the first tertiary thesis devoted to Terry’s work and examines the Tom Tyson and his adventures in his future Australia in terms of Jung, Surrealist theory and Joseph Campbell's conception of the 'monomyth.' Leigh's thesis will appear in a forthcoming issue of Van Ikin's Science Fiction: A Review of Speculative Literature.
  33. ^ Blackmore, Leigh. "Deep in the Reality Crisis: Individuation, 'Mytho-Realism' and Surrealistic Traces in Terry Dowling's Tom Rynosseros Cycle". Scribd. Retrieved 2013-09-17. This 15,000 word mini-thesis on Australia's acclaimed sf writer Terry Dowling was written as a component of my 2009 Honours degree at the University of Wollongong, NSW Australia. This is slated to be published in Van Ikin's prestigious critical journal Science Fiction, acorss [sic] two issues, but as this print appearance may take some time, I am making it available here as well.
  34. ^ Nathan Simpson. "Tide of Student Work Hits the Streets Again". The Advertiser (12 Nov 2008) p. 24
  35. ^ "Ubbo-Sathla". Eldritch Dark. 30 January 2006. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
  36. ^ "Vale Of The Voluptuous". Eldritch Dark. 30 October 2005. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
  37. ^ "Memoria: A Fragment From The Book Of Wyvern". Eldritch Dark. 29 November 2005. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
  38. ^ "Twilight of the Mage" (with Richard L. Tierney, Midnight Echo 5 (2011))
  39. ^ Blackmore, Leigh (June 1992). Masters, Chris A., ed. "On the Quest of the Unknown: A Visit With Frank & Lyda Belknap Long". Shoggoth (1): 80.
  40. ^ "Weird Fiction Review #1". Centipede Press. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
  41. ^ "Stories, Listed by Author". Galactic Central. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  42. ^ Blackmore, Leigh (2008). Spores from Sharnoth and Other Madnesses (paperback). P'rea Press. p. 76. ISBN 9780980462524.
  43. ^ "Blackmore". Dead Reckonings (4): 93. Fall 2008.
  44. ^ "Dark Dedication by Leigh Blackmore". Internet Archive. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
  45. ^ Blackmore, Leigh (2010). Sharnoth's Spores & Other Seeds. UK: Rainfall Books. Archived from the original on 6 May 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
  46. ^ "Dead Reckonings No. 07" (Press release). Hippocampus Press. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
  47. ^ [2]
  48. ^ "Illawarra Water Project: Part 1". Airplay. ABC Radio National. 12 October 2008. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
  49. ^ Limelight (Oct 2008), p. 79


  • S.T. Joshi Emperors of Dreams: Some Notes on Weird Poetry (Sydney: P'rea Press, 2008), pp. 89–90.
  • S.T. Joshi and Stefan Dziemianowicz (eds). Supernatural Literature of the World: An Encyclopedia. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2005, pp. 1409–10.
  • Bryce J. Stevens The Fear Codex: Australian Encyclopedia of Dark Fantasy & Horror (Jacobyte Books, CD-ROM, 2001).

External links

Australian Horror Writers Association

The Australian Horror Writers Association (AHWA) is a non-profit organisation that commenced in 2003 with the goal of providing a unified voice and sense of community for Australian writers of dark fiction (horror and dark fantasy) and to further the development of dark fiction in Australia.

Blackmore (name)

Blackmore is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Amy Blackmore, Canadian impresario

Ben Blackmore (born 1993), English rugby league player

Bill Blackmore, English footballer, active 1912–1920

Clayton Blackmore (born 1964), Welsh international footballer

David Blackmore (1909–1988), Welsh cricketer

Denis Blackmore, American mathematician

Edwin Gordon Blackmore (1837–1909), South Australian parliamentary secretary and horseman

Elizabeth Blackmore (born 1987), Australian actress

Emilie Blackmore Stapp (1876–1962), American children's author and philanthropist

Ernest Blackmore (1895–1955), English cricketer

Frank Blackmore (1916–2008), British airman and traffic engineer

George Blackmore (1908–1984), English cricketer

George Blackmore Guild (1834–1917), American politician

Ginny Blackmore (born 1986), New Zealand singer-songwriter

Harold Blackmore (1904–1989), English footballer

Hedley Blackmore (1901–1992), Australian rules footballer

Hugh Enes Blackmore (1863–1945), British opera and concert singer

Jake Blackmore (died 1964), Welsh rugby union player

John Blackmore (fl. 1634–1657), English politician

James Blackmore (1821–1875), American politician

John Horne Blackmore (1890–1971), Canadian politician

Jürgen Blackmore, British guitarist, son of Ritchie Blackmore

Leigh Blackmore (born 1959), Australian horror writer and critic

Lewis Blackmore (1886–1916), Australian rules footballer

Mahia Blackmore (born 1949), New Zealand singer and band leader

Neil Blackmore, British novelist

Penelope Blackmore (born 1984), Australian Olympic gymnast

Peter Blackmore (footballer) (born 1879), English footballer

Peter Blackmore (politician) (born 1945), Australian politician and mayor of Maitland

R. D. Blackmore (1825–1900), English novelist

Richard Blackmore (1654–1729), English poet and physician

Richard Blackmore (American football) (born 1956), American football player

Richie Blackmore (rugby league) (born 1969), New Zealand footballer and coach

Ritchie Blackmore (born 1945), British rock guitarist

Rod Blackmore (born 1935), Australian magistrate

Roger Blackmore (born 1941), English politician

Selwyn Blackmore (born 1972), New Zealand cricketer

Sophia Blackmore (1857–1945), Australian missionary

Stephen Blackmore (born 1952), British botanist

Steve Blackmore (born 1962), Welsh rugby union player

Susan Blackmore (born 1951), British parapsychologist, writer, and lecturer

Thomas Blackmore (fl. 1659–1652), English politician

William Blackmore (minister) (died 1684), English ejected minister

William Henry Blackmore (1827–1878), English lawyer

Winston Blackmore, Canadian leader of a polygamous Mormon fundamentalist group


Bloodsongs magazine was created by Steve Proposch and Chris A. Masters in 1993 as a vehicle for original horror fiction. It was published by Bambada Press in Melbourne Australia from 1993 to 1997.

The Melbourne University Press Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction & Fantasy (1998), edited by Paul Collins considers Bloodsongs to be "Australia's first professional horror and dark fantasy magazine" (p. 143).

The first three issues of the magazine were co-edited by Steve Proposch and Chris A. Masters. Issues four to seven were edited-in-chief by Steve Proposch and co-edited by Chris A. Masters and Bryce J. Stevens. According to the MUP Encyclopaedia, issues 4-7 reflected a "swing away from graphic horror to a more balanced approach." (p 143). Writers who published stories in the magazine included Ramsey Campbell, Poppy Z. Brite, Robert Hood, Sean Williams, Richard Harland, Kyla Ward, Kaaron Warren and D.F. Lewis. Issue One contained an interview with Leigh Blackmore.Bill Congreve, Sean McMullen and Steve Paulsen's William Atheling Jr award-winning essay, "A History of Australian Horror", notes that "Issue 1 received some criticism for tending towards the splatter end of the genre... A Category One Restricted rating by the Attorney General's department saw it restricted to readers 18 years and older, and banned altogether in the state of Queensland." (Bonescribes: Year's Best Australian Horror 1995, p. 135)

During that time all published contributions to the magazine were paid for, and all submitters were offered detailed and prompt feedback on their fledgling work. Kyla Ward acted as NSW agent and advertising manager for the magazine.

In 1997 Bloodsongs was taken over by Implosion Publishing, based in the USA. The Implosion Publishing issues (Nos 8-11) were given UK distribution through BBR Distribution of Sheffield. In the US it was sold through heavy metal record shops and other outlets. Steve Proposch remained fiction editor until issue 10 (1998), after which publication of the title was discontinued. Due to an agreement between Bambada Press and Implosion Publishing, copyright for the title and masthead design has now reverted to the original owners, being Steve Proposch and Chris A. Masters.

Bambada Press also published one separate chapbook - Olympia by Francis Payne.

Brimstone Press

Brimstone Press was an Australian independent publisher of dark fiction (horror and dark fantasy). Brimstone Press was established in 2004 by Angela Challis and Shane Jiraiya Cummings and was based in Western Australia.

The first publication from Brimstone Press was Shadowed Realms, an online flash fiction horror magazine that was active from 2004 to 2007. Authors published in Shadowed Realms include Terry Dowling, Richard Harland, Robert Hood, Poppy Z Brite, Stephen Dedman, Kurt Newton, Martin Livings, Lee Battersby, Paul Haines, Steven Cavanagh and Kaaron Warren. Shadowed Realms gained professional status from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) in 2005 and was nominated for the Best Collected Work Ditmar Award in 2006.Brimstone Press also published HorrorScope: The Australian Dark Fiction Web Log, a news and review webzine. In December 2006, Brimstone Press moved into book publication. Among their published anthologies are Shadow Box and the Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror series.

Brimstone Press produced a newsstand-quality horror magazine, Black: Australia's Dark Culture magazine which ran for three issues in 2008. Many of Australia's best-known horror writers including Rob Hood, Leigh Blackmore and others appeared in its pages.

Several stories and projects published by Brimstone Press have won, or been nominated for, Australian and international literary awards.

Bryce J. Stevens

Bryce John Stevens [1] (born 1957) is a horror writer/, illustrator and editor. He grew up in Christchurch, New Zealand and moved to Sydney in the mid-1980s. From childhood he was fascinated with the supernatural and terrifying consequences of events from stories such as "The Tinderbox", a predilection which continued through his high school years and beyond.

Christopher Sequeira

Christopher Sequeira [1](also published as Chris G.C. Sequeira, Christopher G.C. Sequeira, C.G.C. Sequeira) is a Sydney-based Australian editor, writer and artist who works predominantly in the speculative fiction (horror, fantasy, science fiction, super-hero) and mystery realms. His published work includes poetry, prose (especially short fiction), and comic-book scripts. Sequeira's creator-owned work includes "Sherlock Holmes: Dark Detective" (with co-creators Dave Elsey and Philip Cornell), Pulse of Darkness, Rattlebone: The Pulp-Faced Detective and The Borderlander.

He has also written for American publishers, notably contributing a Dazzler story, "I'm Gonna Stake You, Sucka" in X-Men: Curse of the Mutants – X-Men vs. Vampires No. 1. This story also features a character, Sheba Sugarfangs, invented by Sequeira for Marvel Comics.

In 2010, Sequeira released Pulse of Darkness: The Vampire Syndrome graphic novel, a 140-page graphic novel illustrated by Kurt Stone, and also featuring inkers and pin-up artists representing some of Australia's best, including Mark Morte, Bryce J. Stevens, David 'Hyperdave' Richardson, Ashley Riddell, Gary Chaloner, W. Chew 'Chewie' Chan, Paul Abstruse, and Jan Scherpenhuizen.

He has self-published and published the works of others under the imprints of Opal Press Australia and Sequence Productions Pty Ltd. Sequeira has been a regular guest at comics and pop culture expos in Australia including Supanova Pop Culture Expo [2] and Armageddon.

Sequeira's wedding ceremony in 1999 was covered on Australian national TV due to the celebrant and bridal party being dressed in costume, including Dracula, and Batman villains Penguin, Two-Face and Riddler. Sequeira lives with his wife and two children in Sydney.

Gaslight series

The Gaslight series is a set of four anthologies of short fiction combining the character of Sherlock Holmes with elements of fantasy, horror, adventure and supernatural fiction. It consists of Gaslight Grimoire: Fantastic Tales of Sherlock Holmes (2008), Gaslight Grotesque: Nightmare Tales of Sherlock Holmes (2009), Gaslight Arcanum: Uncanny Tales of Sherlock Holmes (2011) and Gaslight Gothic: Strange Tales of Sherlock Holmes (2018).

The first volume was published in October 2008 by EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The book was edited by J. R. Campbell and Charles Prepolec, with a foreword by David Stuart Davies. Cover art was by Timothy Lantz; the book features twelve full-page black and white illustrations by Phil Cornell.

The story "His Last Arrow" by Christopher Sequeira was nominated for a WSFA Small Press Award in 2009.

Leanne Frahm

Leanne Frahm is an Australian writer of speculative short fiction.

List of Australian poets

The poets listed below were either citizens or residents of Australia or published the bulk of their poetry whilst living there.

List of horror fiction writers

This is a list of some (not all) notable writers in the horror fiction genre.

Note that some writers listed below have also written in other genres, especially fantasy and science fiction.

List of speculative poets

This is a list of speculative poets. People on this list should have articles of their own, and should meet the Wikipedia notability guidelines for their poetry. Please place names on the list only if there is a real and existing article on the poet.

Newcastle Boys' High School

Newcastle Boys High School was a selective high school located in Waratah—a suburb of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.

Nova Swing

Nova Swing is a science fiction novel by M. John Harrison published in 2006. It takes place in the same universe as Light. The novel won the Arthur C. Clarke and Philip K. Dick Awards in 2007.

Steven Paulsen

Steven Paulsen (born 1955) is an Australian writer of science fiction, fantasy and horror fiction whose work has been published in books, magazines, journals and newspapers around the world. He is the author of the best selling children's book, The Stray Cat, which has seen publication in several foreign language editions, and his short stories have appeared in anthologies such as Dreaming Down-Under, Terror Australis: Best Australian Horror, Strange Fruit, Fantastic Worlds, and The Cthulhu Cycle: Thirteen Tentacles of Terror.

Paulsen has also written extensively about Australian speculative fiction in various publications including Bloodsongs, Eidolon (Australian magazine), Sirius, Interzone, The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, Fantasy Annual, The St James Guide to Horror, Ghost and Gothic Writers, and The Melbourne University Press Encyclopedia of Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy. In the 1990s he conceived and edited The Australian SF Writer's News, a writer's resource magazine for Australian Speculative Fiction writers, which was later incorporated into Aurealis magazine. He has conducted interviews with a variety of Australian Speculative Fiction writers, and was a judge for 2000 Aurealis Awards.

He returned to writing in 2010 after a ten-year hiatus.

Terror Australis

Terror Australis: the Australian Horror and Fantasy Magazine (1988-1992) was Australia's first mass market horror magazine. It succeeded the Australian Horror and Fantasy Magazine (1984–87) edited by Barry Radburn (who has gone on to publish novels as B. Michael Radburn) and Stephen Studach. AH&FM was the first semi-professional magazine of its kind in Australia to pay authors. After working on the production crew of AH&FM, when Radburn eventually suspended publication, Leigh Blackmore took over the subscription base and with co-editors Chris G.C. Sequeira and Bryce J. Stevens founded Terror Australis. Kevin Dillon, a longtime Australian sf fan who had belonged to the Australian Futurians had the role of 'Special Consultant' for financial support and proofreading work on the magazine.

"Australia has never produced a straight fantasy magazine, though in 1970 Sword and Sorcery, a putative companion to Ronald E Graham's Vision of Tomorrow, reached dummy stage before a poor financial deal killed it. Void (5 issues 1975-1977), an sf magazine, published occasional fantasy. Not until The Australian Horror and Fantasy Magazine (5 issues Summer 1984-Fall 1985) did a specialist publication emerge in the small-press field, though it concentrated mostly on horror, in imitation of Weird Tales. The same applied to Terror Australis (3 issues Fall 1988-Summer 1992), which emphasized graphic visceral horror.""Terror Australis was launched in autumn 1988 and was more ambitious than AH&FM. The first issue, printed in Sydney, was a mammoth 170 pages and its fiction content was almost entirely Australian. [1]

The second issue, printed privately on a printing press owned by artist Kurt Stone, followed about July 1990, almost two years after the first, and despite its less than satisfactory physical appearance, was well received. Issue 2 was the only issue distributed to newsagents, via Wrapaway Distribution.

The third issue, published in February 1992, Issue 3 was themed as a Jack the Ripper special and contained stories of 'Ripperiana' together with media guides and non-fiction bibliographies around Ripper-based material. [2]. Issue 3 overcame all the production problems evident with the earlier issues. It was professionally typeset by a Queensland printer, printed on quality paper and perfect bound with a glossy cover. It was also the final issue. While Terror Australis was primarily a horror magazine, it published a number of well-regarded dark fantasy stories, including work by Rick Kennett, Frances Burke, Graeme Parsons and Steven Paulsen."

The Australian Horror and Fantasy Magazine

The Australian Horror and Fantasy Magazine (1984–86) was edited by (Michael) Barry Radburn and Stephen Studach. The first Australian semi-professional publication devoted to the weird and the macabre, it was published by Radburn's imprint Dark Press. It ran six issues; Issues 1, 2 and 3 all appeared in 1984, issue 4 in 1985 and the last, issue being a double issue (5/6) which was co-edited by Carol Dobson and Nerida Radburn, 1986.

"Australia has never produced a straight fantasy magazine, though in 1970 Sword and Sorcery, a putative companion to Ronald E Graham's Vision of Tomorrow, reached dummy stage before a poor financial deal killed it. Void (5 issues 1975-1977), an sf magazine, published occasional fantasy. Not until The Australian Horror & Fantasy Magazine (5 issues Summer 1984-Fall 1985) did a specialist publication emerge in the small-press field, though it concentrated mostly on horror, in imitation of WT [i.e. Weird Tales]. The same applied to Terror Australis (3 issues Fall 1988-Summer 1992), which emphasized graphic visceral horror."Though it did not pay authors, AH&FM was Australia's first specialist semi-professional magazine in the genre, publishing many local writers such as Rick Kennett and Leigh Blackmore who would go on to achieve lasting reputations, as well stories by American writers. Others, such as Paul Collins and Kurt von Trojan, have been prominent in Australian science fiction.

In total the magazine published 31 original stories and 20 original poems, of which about half were contributed by Australian authors. From 1987, the magazine was continued under the editorship of Leigh Blackmore as Terror Australis magazine. [1]

The Transition of Juan Romero

"The Transition of Juan Romero" is a short story by American horror fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft, written on September 16, 1919, and first published in the 1944 Arkham House volume Marginalia.

William Atheling Jr. Award

The William Atheling Jr. Award for Criticism or Review are a Special Category under the Ditmar Awards. "The Athelings", as they are known for short, are awarded for excellence in science fiction and speculative criticism, and were named for the pseudonym used by James Blish for his critical writing.

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