The Greatest Creations of Fantastical Fiction Part 1

(In which we talk of Gentlemen, Mandalorian combat fashion, Otherworldly maternal figures, far-future deities, and the young lady you get to meet at the end…)

The tinterwebs are full of Top 10’s, 20’s, and more of spaceships, weapons, monsters, and guys good and bad – this isn’t one of those – and it’s not ‘as voted for’ either. Neither is this best film, book, TV series.

This is about those individual things that make you stand up and go: ‘What the…’, ‘No way,’ and ‘Hell yes!’ all at the same time; that leap out from page or screen, that could have made another book or film all the greater were it to have debuted in there instead.

It’s like refined imagination and, for the aspiring creator, bottled inspiration where the inherent genius blasts aside the erstwhile jealousy that you didn’t come up with the idea yourself. Instead you can stare at it in wonder with everyone else (and perhaps try and work out what makes it tick and whether there’s any way of back-engineering the damn thing).

So here it is, in posts of five and in no particular order: the obvious and the famous with the overlooked and tucked away, conveyances spatial and dimensional, offences exotic and inevitable, heroes, villains, and in abundance (perhaps tellingly) antiheroes, and beasties, McGuffins, and all the rest.

Agree or disagree – and as much as I’ve tried to maintain an objective mindset opinion plays a part (totally correct opinion of course!) – but feel free to send thoughts on these and the omissions you perceive as we run through.

Here’s to the sublime: to the mind-blowing, the gob-smacking and the jaw-dropping (and sometimes the pants-wetting) – to The Greatest Creations in Fantastical Fiction.


The Gentlemen

Type: Antagonist * From: Buffy The Vampire Slayer * Creator: Joss Whedon

After Buffy had hit the big time, with particular acclaim quite rightly been paid to the dialogue, Joss Whedon did what the greats do: write an episode empty of speech. What emerged was one of the greatest episodes of any series – Hush – and one of the greatest supernatural antagonists of all time.

The Gentlemen There’s no one thing that makes these ghoulish fae creatures so gorgeously freakish: it’s an ensemble grotesquery. The hairless, bone-taut, paste-white skin is just the beginning. Their teeth, though with metallic glints, are essentially human – it’s that rictus grin that does it. That combined with eyes that are almost obscene are terrifying enough, forming a permanent expression of sickening glee at their intent which is nothing less than butchery; they’re going to cut out your heart.

Read the rest of this entry »

An Introduction to Carabas: Not Geek – Just Awesome

The late 80’s (Basically 1988):

The legend that was and that became, Alan Moore, creates Watchmen. The legend that became Neil Gaiman launches The Sandman. With Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol and Animal Man, and Shade, Swamp Thing and Hellblazer alongside, DC shake the comic-reading world with their ground-breaking mature readers line which became the Vertigo imprint in the early 90’s.

Vertigo - Montage Peter David was redefining what could be achieved in mainstream comics while British post-punk counterculture magazine Deadline launched bringing – amongst others – Hewlett and Martin’s anarchic drug-fueled stream-of-consciousness Tank Girl strip to the game. Tank Girl

Much beloved and sadly missed writer Iain (M) Banks had Consider Phlebas – the first of his mind-blowing Culture series – under his belt along with Read the rest of this entry »

Website Profile: Home Defence

Home Defence

Satirical website by Al Likilla (Alan Devey)

Home Defence
Also Writer Profile on Carabas:
“Watch the news these days, you know, it’s unbelievable. You think you just walk out your door you’re immediately going to be raped by some crack-addicted, AIDS-infected….. pit bull.” – Bill Hicks


Website Profile: Atomic Bark

Atomic Bark Website:
Facebook (Group):

ATOMIC BARK! is a multimedia artform-project, created, produced and presented by broadcaster, journalist and artist James DC. It consists of a weekly radio show, monthly film club, social meet-up and film/arts reviews. Atomic Bark! explores science fiction, horror, fantasy, speculative fiction, the uncanny and surrealism, as well as various types of alternative/subversive culture, in all mediums and formats, including literature, cinema, comic-books, art, music, science, philosophy and more, within the Atomic Bark! remit. See the tabs at the top of the ATOMIC BARK website to find more info on these subjects and events.

Group Profile: The London Sword & Dagger Club

LS&D An historical European martial arts group based in central London; training is focused on learning the skills needed to survive on a medieval battlefield, in a formal duel or on the streets of an era far more dangerous and violent than our own.


Where: The Waterloo Action Center, 14 Baylis Road, Waterloo, Greater London SE1 7AA

<See the LS&D wesbite for map and other details.>

About The London Sword and Dagger Club

The London Sword and Dagger Club is an historical European martial arts group based in central London. Formed in the summer of 2010 we study martial arts based on historical documents. We are proud members of the British Federation of Historical Swordplay. Anyone over 18 is welcome to train with us regardless of gender, race or religion. Read the rest of this entry »

Group Profile: Schola Gladitoria

Schola Gladitoria


You Tube: (see below)


Schola Gladiatoria is an historical European martial arts and fencing group, established in 2001 and led by Matt Easton. We are one of the oldest and biggest HEMA clubs in the UK, with a popular YouTube channel and forum, we publish leading research and have various competition titles to our name. We were founding members of the Historical European Martial Arts Coalition in 2000 and joined the British Federation for Historical Swordplay in 2006.

  • We are martial artists, practicing traditional and documented European armed and unarmed fighting skills (HEMA)
  • We train in modern clothes and use modern safety equipment
  • We practice fighting skills for our personal development, not to put on displays or entertain the public
  • Some of us enter and do well in martial arts competitions
  • Our fighting systems are historical, but can have many modern world benefits, such as self defence, physical confidence and fitness
  • Our systems easily measure up against modern and non-European arts (and can compete against them)
  • We are social, welcoming and friendly
  • HEMA is a fast growing hobby, with clubs and events Worldwide

Equipment at our classes is provided for beginners and there is no annual membership or joining fee. Class fees vary between locations (generally about £9) – please email for specific details. All you need to bring to your first class are some comfortable clothes (a pair of leather gloves can be useful, but not at all essential).

We always welcome beginners at any time of year and always have a number of new people in the class, so you won’t be alone! All ages (over 18) and levels of fitness are welcome. We welcome all genders, nationalities and ethnicities and are signed up to the ‘Fighters Against Racism’ initiative. Couples and groups are also welcome.

We have 3 branches – London, Bradford and Manchester (see the Schola Gladitoria site for Bradford and Manchester)

SG1 London

SG1 in Ealing, West London, every Tuesday evening, under Matt Easton is the HQ of Schola Gladiatoria. Matt has been teaching HEMA for over fifteen years and has taught and competed at events across Europe. Matt also runs the popular YouTube channel, gives lectures and publishes research. SG1 focuses on two weapons – medieval longsword, according to Fiore dei Liberi (c.1380-1410) and Victorian military sabre, according to John Musgrave Waite (c.1865-1884) and others – alternating each week, with occasional sessions on different weapons.

Sessions are divided into a basic/beginner first part mainly consisting of drilling (7.45pm-9pm) and a second part for more experienced students (9pm-9.45pm) with sparring.

The class address is: All Saints Parish Church Hall, Elm Grove Road, Ealing Common, W5 3JH

To arrange a visit or ask any questions please email or phone 07730 785 794.

Group Profile: The London Longsword Academy

London Longsword Academy


You Tube Channel: (see example below)


A martial art of great and growing popularity, Western Swordsmanship is the study of martial techniques both armed and unarmed from the 13th century onwards.

London Longsword Academy specialises in medieval and renaissance swordsmanship, focussing on longsword, sword and buckler, rapier, dussack and dagger. All these techniques are extensively researched by swordmaster Dave Rawlings.

Group Lessons

The London Longsword Academy has six regular classes a week at the following venues:

Mondays 8:00 – 9:30 PM – City YMCA, London, 8 Errol Street, EC1Y 8SE

Tuesdays 8:00 – 9:00 PM – Beckenham Spa, 24 Beckenham Rd, Beckenham, BR3 4PF

Wednesdays 8:30 – 9:45 PM – The John Marshall Hall, 27 Blackfriars Road, London, SE1 8NY

Thursdays 8:00 – 9:30 PM – The Arbour, 100 Shandy Street, London, E1 4ST

Fridays 6:30 – 8:00 PM – Clapham Leisure Centre, Clapham, London, SW4 6DB

Sunday 6:00-7:30 PM – Fitness First Lewisham, 67-71a High Street, Lewisham, London, SE13 5JX

Class sizes are kept small to aid swifter learning and to give you room to work. All our classes are friendly and focused. Initially all the equipment you need for your lesson will be provided for you, but a list of recommended equipment and suppliers is available on request.

For class availability and times please check the running blog, this will also tell you which topic is being covered in each class.

Classes are £14 per session or £45 per month.