I thought I should explain what is and has been going on at The Black Abyss and more importantly what will be going on in the future. Reading is a lonely business, blogging is a lonely business and blogging about reading can often leave one feeling like Charlton Heston in The Omega Man. So why do I do it? Well it’s not for the money, it’s not even for the ego trip (although I suspect a few of my fellow bloggers might disagree), I do it because I want to spread the word about the books I am reading. I am not a professional reviewer or a literary critic (you may have noticed) in fact I love this quote from Rainer Maria Rilke, “works of art are of an infinite solitariness, and nothing is less likely to bring us near to them than criticism. Only love can apprehend and hold them, and can be just towards them.” That’s the thing you see, I love reading and for some obscure, probably deeply disturbing psychological reason, I love reading horror and dark fiction books. My only objective when I started blogging about books was to let people know what is out there and how damn good some of it is.
Trouble is, it’s often hard to know if anyone else is interested. Responses from publishers can often be rarer that unicorn hair, Facebook can feel like a civil war about to start (or more often one that is about to finish) and among all the politics and checking of page hits (woohoo 25 today!) its easy to lose sight of the reason for all this and with that comes self-doubt leading to apathy and the near death of the Black Abyss. Then, just when you think it’s all pointless and you are about to let the Black Abyss leave it’s clothes on a beach and walk off to some paradise, you hear something that makes it all worthwhile. Recently among all the Facebook fuckery, someone posted an image of the acknowledgement page in Gary McMahon’s new novel, Silent Voices and there was my name and suddenly it all seems worthwhile. Not because my name was going to be seen by the book’s readers but because Gary McMahon has acknowledged the support bloggers have given in getting the word out there. Suddenly it all seems worthwhile again, if through The Black Abyss I have turned one person on to Gary McMahon or Robert Dunbar or Conrad Williams…etc, etc then all the politics, doubts and apathy are blown clean out of the water and the excitement comes surging back.
That one simple act is why you are reading this (if indeed anyone is reading this). The big publishers might not care, the vast majority of the general public might not care but you, me, the occasional writer and small press publisher care and that’s what matters. So The Black Abyss is back, over the next few weeks I will be tidying up the site and looking for ways to move it forward but chiefly I will be getting back to reviews and keeping things simple. Finally, I want to publicly thank Michael at This Is Horror (the single best horror resource on the web) who threw out a life-raft when the Abyss was sinking. I hope to still be involved in This Is Horror but I have come to realise that my true home is back in The Black Abyss. Of course regular readers will know that I have had more comebacks than Rocky, what can I say, next time I say I am giving up drop me line and remind me that sometimes I do talk bollocks. In fact drop me a line anyway, after all it’s lonely being a horror blogger……..