Secret Satan, 2021 part 1

A lovely mention of ‘Dancing With Salome’ in a perfect hothouse bouquet of Strange Flowers.

Strange Flowers

It’s that time again …

For the neophytes: Secret Satan is an annual round-up of books from throughout the year with a Strange Flowers feel, with familiar themes and hopefully some titillating new input combining to creat something that once dangerous, alluring and comforting, like a bondage dungeon with a breakfast nook. And it is almost guaranteed to have the least overlap with any other end-of-year book lists you will encounter.

In Germany we are in the dire fourth wave of what now appears to be a largely elective pandemic driven by the vaccine obstinacy of the usual mix of woo-woo merchants, morons, tinfoil milliners, Nazis, narcissists and your basic cousin who keeps WhatsApping you memes from a Kremlin bot. So THAT’S fun! Books, though; books won’t let us down.

For all its epochal crappiness and uncertainty, 2020 actually offered a healthy haul for our Satanic selection last year (see

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Dancing With Salomé – Courting the Uncanny with Oscar Wilde & Friends by Nina Antonia

Nina Antonia’s new book – ‘Dancing With Salomé – Courting the Uncanny with Oscar Wilde & Friends’

Available now at Amazon in Hardcover, Paperback, and Kindle

A decadent treat comprising a portmanteau of essays exploring the uncanny in the life of Oscar Wilde and his circle. Growing up in the glory days of Amicus & Hammer Films left me with a yearning to utilise the word ‘portmanteau’ in at least one project. Make no mistake there is an aspect of horror inherent in ‘Dancing with Salome’ though it is of the strange and glittering kind which artist Eli John has captured so elegantly in his cover artwork, featuring Wilde’s love interest, Lord Alfred Douglas, morphing into Dorian Gray. 

Each of the essays were initially housed by independently produced publications including ‘Wormwood’ ‘Fiddler’s Green’ ‘Egaeus Press’ and ‘Fenris Wolf’. There is more creative freedom outside of mainstream media and none more so than in the field of supernatural literature. When commercial publishers recall the phantasmagorical (another favourite word) they go no further than reprinting the tried and tested, Dickens, M.R James and if you are exceedingly lucky, Arthur Machen. The supernatural is regarded as a tricky field, the unseen at odds with an era pledged to ‘reality’. As Oscar Wilde once opined ‘Leave us with some unreality!’ The 1890’s was the decade of Peacocks and Sphinx’s, the forerunner to the ‘Swinging Sixties’ only infinitely more enticing and well mannered. It seems no accident that just at the point of Wilde’s imminent success with ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ that the Golden Dawn, the most significant esoteric lodge in England’s history, should also bloom. The initiated included Wilde’s wife, Constance, W.B Yeats, Aleister Crowley and Arthur Machen, all of whom would play a part, either directly or indirectly in the drama of Oscar Wilde’s enchanted and accursed life.  

Some Candy Talking: Josef Oscar Weinstein Interviews Nina Antonia

LISTEN NOW – Some Candy Talking Podcast. Josef Oscar Weinstein for MoJo Edinburgh interviews Nina Antonia.

Josef Oscar Weinstein knows a thing or two about Pop Culture so it was a pleasure chatting to him for the ‘Some Candy Talking’ Podcast. An hour flew by in reminiscences and anecdotes about the usual suspects, Johnny Thunders, the New York Dolls, Peter Perrett and The Only Ones. And the generation gap which proliferated between children and their parents in the 1970’s. Whilst its all very cosy for dad to buy his son or daughter’s first guitar or for Ma and Pa to take the kids to Glasto, it can blunt the fangs of self discovery. A stormy rite of passage can be exhilarating, it teaches you to stand on your own two feet, not walk in the footsteps of those that have gone before you. It was thought provoking talking to Josef about how much my father detested the New York Dolls because his reaction deepened my passion for the band, who really flew the flag for disenfranchised delinquents. Although it’s almost half a century ago, they still remain one of the most influential bands of the last 50 years. And my father never changed his mind.  Does it matter? For the kids who became punks, it surely did. 

Nina Antonia interviewed by BBC about White Deer

“Beautiful rare white deer shot dead by police in case it upset motorists. Traditionally, a messenger from the other-world, it was a white deer who recalled Thomas the Rhymer to the Elfin Queen. May those who perpetrated this brutality never know a moment’s peace.” – Nina on Twitter.

Read the article Nina Antonia was interviewed for: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-merseyside-58731168

Nina Antonia Interviews Robert King

One from the vaults: An interview with Robert King, formerly of the Scars, about life and love with the Moon Goddess otherwise known as Nico. Despite my best efforts at the time, I was unable to get a book deal for a Nico project. I’m happy to see a major new biography has been published. However, it’s unfortunate that publishers now consider academics to be writers and writers to be under-qualified unless they are academics, a situation that is increasingly prevalent in the U.K.  

In the interview, Robert provides us with an intimate snapshot of latter day Nico, strung out in Notting Hill, yet still formidable. It was only until recently, the market being run down in preparation for a new shopping mall that one could still catch a glimpse of the Ghosts of Portobello, an international throng of tatterdemalion bohemians in the fading colours of a long dead summer who appear momentarily as the day turns to dusk. Nico dressed in black, emerges as a shadow in preparation for the night.

Read it Here

Rolling Stone Italia Interviews Nina Antonia

Andrea Valentini from Rolling Stone Italia interviews Nina Antonia on the 30th Anniversary of Johnny Thunders’ passing.

To read the interview (yes, it’s only in Italian), go HERE.

Uncertainties Volume V

Uncertainties is an anthology series — featuring authors from Canada, America, the United Kingdom, and the island of Ireland — each exploring the concept of increasingly fragmented senses of reality. These types of short stories were termed “strange tales” by Robert Aickman, called “tales of the unexpected” by Roald Dahl, and known to Shakespeare’s ill-fated Prince Mamillius as “winter’s tales”. But these are no mere ghost stories. These tales of the uncanny grapple with existential epiphanies of the modern day, when otherwise familiar landscapes become sinister and something decidedly less than certain . . .

Published by Swan River Press, Ireland’s sole independent publisher of the fantastical, supernatural, and phantasmagorical. Featuring Nina Antonia’s short story, Away. For more info and to order, go to Uncertainties Volume V.

TVO Original | Picture My Face: The Story of Teenage Head, Canada’s Notorious Punk Band

“A beautiful film…Ultimately a wonderful celebration of friendship. Thanks for the laughs, the thrills, the tears and some of the best fucking rock n roll music ever made.”– Steve Kane, President Warner Music Canada

TVO and Feltfilm are pleased to announce the world broadcast and online premiere of TVO Original Picture My Face: The Story of Teenage Head, Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 9 pm ET on TVO and tvo.org. This relevant and poignant documentary tells the story of Canada’s glamour punk band, Teenage Head, determined to re-enter the limelight some 40 years after causing legendary punk rock riots at Toronto’s Ontario Place. But first they need to save their founder and lead guitarist Gord Lewis from crippling depression. Features appearances by Marky Ramone, Rob Baker (The Tragically Hip), and renowned punk writers Jon Savage and Nina Antonia.

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