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). 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. . 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," and a Hodder & Stoughton press release stated that, "Leigh Blackmore is to horror what Glenn A. Baker is to rock and roll." .He has also been recognised as "one of the leading weird poets of our era," and has been nominated for the Science Fiction Poetry Association's Rhysling Award.
Leigh Blackmore in 2007
Leigh David Blackmore
|Residence||Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia|
|Alma mater||University of Wollongong|
|Occupation||editor/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|
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. 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.
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 , 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.
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.
While at high school, Blackmore co-founded the Arcane Sciences Society and the Horror-Fantasy Society; the journal of the societies, Cathuria (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. 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).
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. 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., 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'. 
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.
Following stints at Macquarie University (where he belonged to the university's science fiction club and contributed to their zine Telmar ) and Sydney University (where he majored in Semitic Studies), Blackmore came in contact with Don Boyd , then editor of (Australian) Futuristic Tales. . 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 in the early 1980s; Blackmore went on to publish and co-edit its successor, Terror Australis magazine from 1987-1992. In 1983 Blackmore met writer and poet (Danny) Charles Lovecraft  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 
In the 1980s, Blackmore published bibliographies on Brian Lumley and H.P. Lovecraft (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, 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, and Forbidden Dimensions, Nameless Dreams.  (He would rejoin the EOD around 2000 and has contributed continuous quarterly zines for it up until the present.
His first published story was "The Infestation", adapted for graphic form by Gavin O'Keefe and published in the fourth issue of Phantastique (1986),  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.
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. Authors hosted by Blackmore for events and signings at Dymocks George St  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.
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.
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.
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 , Wongawilli Band , Quartet d'Gong , 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", "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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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. 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.
With Christopher Sequeira and Bryce J. Stevens, Blackmore co-edited Terror Australis: The Australian Horror and Fantasy Magazine (1987–1992) 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 ; Rod Marsden , 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  and Don Boyd, Art Director was Steve Carter. 
Terror Australis the magazine was followed by the anthology Terror Australis: Best Australian Horror (1993), the first mass-market Australian horror anthology (edited by Blackmore alone). Leanne Frahm's story "Catalyst" from the anthology won the Ditmar Award for best Australian Short Fiction. Blackmore was an invited judge on the Aurealis Award in 1995 and on the George Turner (writer) Award in 1999 
Blackmore often hosted gatherings of the Futurian Society of Sydney (run by sf bibliographer/researcher and secondhand bookdealer Graham Stone ) at his Leichardt home. Regular attendees included Kevin Dillon  and David Ritchie. Blackmore also acquired the majority of his holdings of Weird Tales magazine via Stone over a period of around a decade.
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. The works of Colin Wilson became increasingly important to him (he interviewed Wilson in 1993) as did self-actualization and Timothy Leary's Eight Circuit Model of Consciousness as promulgated in Prometheus Rising by Robert Anton Wilson. Blackmore has an ongoing participatory involvement with psychogeography and the dérive. After discovering AK Press and Vague magazine , 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  and The Possibility of Finding Such a Dog. . 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. via their Sydney body, Oceania Oasis (later Oceania Lodge). 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.
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.; 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.
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 .
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 and has been interviewed on Sydney's 2SER radio in the same capacity.
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.  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. (Some issues can be found housed in Cuyler W. 'Ned' Brooks' fanzine archive ) 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) , the annual Conflux convention in Canberra (where with Margi Curtis he often runs workshops on magick), and has been a panellist at Constantinople Australian National Science Fiction Convention(Melbourne, 1994), Freecon (Sydney, 2003) and Aussiecon 4(Melbourne, 2010).
Blackmore is both a practitioner and a scholar of ritual magic.
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 and in Enochian skrying.
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.
He was briefly a member of The Temple of Set (2004) under Michael and Lilith Aquino but resigned in 2005.
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. and also served a year on EarthSong's Conflict Resolution Committee.
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.
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)  - "Arts of the Craft" (2005) for Spellcraft magazine and "Black Cauldron" (2008–2009) for Black: Australia's Dark Culture magazine (Brimstone Press). 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) ). He has worked part-time as an I Ching reader.
|2004||Ditmar Award||"Uncharted"||Best Novella||Nomination|
|2010||Ditmar Award||"Marvels and Horrors: Terry Dowling's Clowns at Midnight||William Atheling Jr. Award for Criticism||Nomination|
|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 |
Blackmore's weird verse (primarily formalist in style) has appeared variously in And Then I Woke Up!,Arkham Sampler, Avallaunius: The Journal of the Arthur Machen Society, Beastly, www.chaosmagic.com, Cyaegha, EOD, The Eldritch Dark, EOD  Etchings & Odysseys, Melaleuca, Midnight Echo New Lovecraft Collector, Shoggoth, The Small Tapestry, Spectral Realms , Strange Sorcery  Telmar, and Weird Fiction Review.
Much of Blackmore's weird poetry is now collected in Spores from Sharnoth & Other Madnesses, 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." (A recording of Blackmore reading the poem "Dark Dedication" from the collection can be downloaded at ) 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.
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" .
Recent poetry has appeared in anthologies and magazines including:
Blackmore has collaborated on poems with US poets Richard L. Tierney , 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) was a nominee for Best Long Poem in the annual Rhysling Award. Read online at: 
Blackmore regularly reviews horror fiction for US critical journal Dead Reckonings. His past review work of horror and fantasy fiction includes contributions to AsIF.com, 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  Spectral Realms,and the Sydney Morning Herald.
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. 
His audio-walk sound piece Carbon Footprints was exhibited as an installation at the University of Wollongong (Faculty of Creative Arts), Oct 2007.
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:.
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").
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.
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.
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 groupBloodsongs
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  (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 (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  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. 
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. . 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. 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.