Call to Readers and Writers

The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.

— Vincent Van Gogh

I want to use these pages to celebrate dangerous writing in any genre: writing that challenges, that goes to dark or unexpected places, that doesn’t repeat the familiar platitudes. I’m interested in dark fiction but also popular science, politics, polemic…

I won’t be reviewing stories about wistful heroines with wide green eyes (oh give us a break!) or handsome heroes with finely chiselled features. I probably won’t be reviewing children’s books (though children’s interests are often darker than we think, so you could always try me…) and I almost certainly won’t be reviewing anything with an uncomplicated Happily Ever After.

But I also won’t be reviewing books which offer only horror for its own sake, or books about torture or sado-masochism, and if the most original thing you can offer is another female victim, then I won’t be reviewing your book either.

I hope you’ll startle me. I’d like to review writing that makes me think, that forces me to pick up my moral compass and give it a little tap just to check it’s still working. If such writing can also make me laugh or if it sends me out for my run with a quicker step than usual, I’ll be particularly delighted.

If you would like to risk a review on these pages of something you’ve written or found, please email me with a brief description or a passage to tease me, and I’ll get back to you.

If you would like to do an interview, please give me a couple of facts about yourself and a couple of questions that you’d like to answer – just the questions, not the answers – and if I think an interview with you would fit these pages, I’ll send you some questions of my own.

Contact me on degevallene@hardhatbook.site or via the Contact page here.


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