Tuesday, 12 March 2013


I have recently had the pleasure of being re-acquainted with that splendid serial publication The Fortean Times. This happy circumstance was precipitated by the less-than radical strategy of exchanging a series of metal coins for a copy in an appropriate local emporium.   For those less Forteanate, I should explain that this monthly magazine embraces and reports on a range of unusual and esoteric phenomena, which vary from the undoubtedly explicable but nonetheless bizarre (its 'strange deaths' column, for example (now a series of major books)) through to the less verifiable realms, including - and especially - the spirit world, the undead and aliens. The modern incarnation of the magazine (I can't speak for its original approach) takes a knowing, healthily sceptical (but not dismissive) view of the paranormal and extra-terrestrial end of this scale, but combines this with a deeply informed and respectful attitude to ideas and practices such as the British tradition of magic and the existence or otherwise of alleged creatures such as the yeti.  This month's edition, in fact, focuses on animals across the spectrum of verification, from the aforementioned yeti / sasquatch / bigfoot to a typically absorbing debunking feature on 'cemetery dogs' who seemed to stay loyal to their owners after the latter had passed on.

I was moved to include this (unsolicited and unremunerated) endorsement in my blog because of a few lovely new words and phrases this edition has taught me, including:

Relict                                a surviving remnant of a natural phenomenon

Acheropite                       a supernormally produced portrait

Inattentional amnesia    a mental state produced by noting and instantly forgetting something

Imaginal                          'a realm between the intellectual and the sensible'

There are also lively and intelligent reviews of books and films which inhabit worlds that swim within the Fortean ken, and an erudite and energetic cartoon contribution from the estimable Hunt Emerson and Kevin Jackson.

A publication well worth your time - buy, borrow or astrally project yourself in front of a copy today.

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