Orc in the fires of hell

Blake_America_12-03

I have just updated our website – let us know what you think of the new look. The featured image is now Blake’s engraving of Orc in the fires of energy, from his book America a Prophecy.

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Issue 34, the Science Fiction issue, JUST PUBLISHED

Urthona MasterYes, the next issue of Urthona magazine is out. It will be launched on 16th Feb 7.30 PM Cambridge Buddhist Centre, CB5 8DT LAUNCH DETAILS :

ISSUE HIGHLIGHTS:

  •  An interview with doyen of British SF, Christopher Priest.
  • Our amazingly knowledgeable movie editor Ed Piercy on classic alien encounter movies.
  • A vision of Transcendental Science Fiction, with a focus on Olaf Stapledon, and the Chinese classic novel The Story of the Stone.
  • Dharmavadana on the seer, Phillip K. Dick.
  • A feature on Arthur C. Clarke, including memories of meeting him in Sri Lanka.
  • New poetry, news, reviews and photography.
  • Appreciation and interview with Ursula Le Guin

Science Fiction at its best can explore regions of human experience that no other kind of literature (apart from perhaps the heroic epic) is capable of doing justice to. The best writers open up these vistas with due regard for the subtleties of human psychology and human frailties. Such writers are moving into the same territory that Buddhists have been exploring for thousands of years. Find out how they did it in this fascinating issue.

 

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The only Megalith in Essex?

This standing stone was spotted just outside Hatfield Forest, north east Essex. Although it has clearly been set up by a farmer just outside his farmhouse as an interesting feature, the stone itself does look very old and extremely weathered. It is some kind of conglomerate with many small pebbles ingrained in the rock. Surely someone trying to manufacture a megalith would not use this kind of stone as it doesn’t look especially mythic or impressive. However its shape is certainly very like some of the smaller standing stones at Avebury. So if a forgery a clever one…

PS I hear rumours of a church somewhere in Essex that is supposed to have a ring of buried megaliths all around the edge of the grave yard. I hope to report on this properly at some point in the future. Any pointers gladly received…

 

 

The Old Straight Track

Stourbridge Common –

tracks to nowhere, the iron bridge, memories of the fair…

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Stourbridge Common is the nearest piece of semi-rural land to where I live in Cambridge. It is only a five minute cycle ride away but on dark winter afternoons it can take on an epic doom-laden appearance… The straight track across its centre becomes a walk into the infinite instead of a few hundred yards towards the railway bridge.

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A walk in the Malverns

It was a sultry summer day, not very hot, but humid. There was a decadent end of summer feel even though it was only towards the end of July. I decided that August would be a herald of autumn rather than a glorious finish to the season, and so it was necessary to make the best of it, dress light and step out with determination along the languid maze of lanes that thread the countryside to the west of the great spine of the Malverns. Beyond that tawny ridge to the east I knew there are motorways, cities and the hundred million distractions of modern life. But here, west of that sheltering spine, just silence apart from what Heaney so memorably called ‘the distant gargling of tractors’. On the verges the thresh of bleached grasses is soaked in dew, there is a sense of rot about to happen, but for now the air is damp but cool and the lanes are empty and inviting. The sky is a mix of clouds and clarity. Sometimes for half an hour it appears to be going to cloud up completely and looks ominous, but the next moment the vapours dissolve and the sky goddess is back in her glory…

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