What do all the above writers have in common? (Apart, that is, from a birthmark in the shape of a certain arcane Babylonian sigil?) Of course! They are respected by discerning folk for their mastery of the supernatural tale, and their writings have accordingly been discussed in the bi-monthly mailings of The Everlasting Club.
Now it can be told. There is, as many have suspected, a not-particularly-secret society dedicated to the discussion of all aspects of supernatural fiction. This clique of opinionated individuals has no meeting place, for its members are understandably averse to being rounded up by mobs of peasants with blazing torches. Members of The Everlasting Club pursue superficially normal lives as academics, editors, bureaucrats, vampires, etcetera. But beneath their everyday exteriors are hearts that beat loudly (with a predictable, movie-soundtrack throbbing sort of noise) whenever ghostly fiction is mentioned. Not to mention ghouly, werewolfy, and even zombie-y fiction.
A member of The Everlasting Club typically unlocks a certain shunned room in the north tower of their ancestral residence, shuffles across the granite flags to a 'worm-challenged' table, sits (very carefully) on a similarly decayed stool, and takes up a rusty-nibbed pen - only to realise it makes more sense to type out their opinions of writers, stories, critics, journalists, reviewers, movies, TV shows, radio readings, and any other field of human endeavour that impinges upon the ghostly tale. Then they photocopy them neatly, put them in a big sensible envelope, and send them via steam postage to the APA's hard-working administrator for collation and distribution. And so it goes.
List of Current TEC Members.
A zine from the November 1998 mailing (Darroll Pardoe on the M.R. James Plaque Unveiling).
Not unrelated to the subject matter of The Everlasting Club is the Esoteric Order of Dagon APA, which deals with generally Lovecraftian matters. Click here for Ben Indick's fascinating history of that organisation.
The Everlasting Club is named after a story by Arthur Gray ("Ingulphus") from his Tedious Brief Tales of Granta and Gramarye (1919). Click here to read the Gaslight text.
What do you folks mean by Ghost Stories?
Life being a mite cussed at times, we certainly don't just mean stories about ghosts. As with The Ghost Story Society, the term embraces all supernatural fiction. Supernatural fiction is - erm, well - let's call it a fairly well-defined sub-category of fantasy. Thus vampires, zombies, demons, werewolves and wrestling Aztec mummies can all be lumped together under the 'ghostly fiction' heading. Having said all that, we do like ghosts as well.
Are you evil?
Please bear in mind that we are people who have a common interest in reading a certain type of fiction. Thus we are not inclined to put on black velvet robes, meet at midnight in chilly ruins and try to summon the kind of Thing you wouldn't want to be stuck in an elevator with. Anyone looking for spells, curses, incantations and kinkiness will be disappointed.
Do I have to be an expert on spooky stuff to join in?
No! Enthusiasm for ghost stories and a willingness to take part in debate - those are the qualifications for APA membership. Just get stuck in and don't worry about the scholarly credentials. But be prepared for irreverent, knockabout debate - there's nothing stuffy about us.
Gosh! This could be what I've been searching for all my life. How do I find out more?
First, read the rules! Then, if you'd like a
sample mailing, write to the administrator at the above address.
1. The Everlasting Club is for the discussion of ghost stories and related matters. Members are discouraged (but will not be hung, drawn and quartered) from including their own fiction.
2. Annual dues are currently £7.50 (overseas surface £14/airmail £28 - please send your currency in cash or an International Money Order for the Sterling amount). Please make cheques payable to the Administrator by name. (Members at the same address may share membership and can both contribute for a single subscription; they will share one copy of each mailing.)
3. Mailings are bi-monthly. Deadlines for contributions are the 1st of January, March, May, July, September and November.
4. Members must contribute at least ten A4 (or equivalent) sides per year, and must contribute to at least one mailing in every three. There is no maximum number of pages which can be contributed per year. New members must contribute by their second mailing.
5. The minimum activity mentioned in Rule 4 must be original and not previously published, but members may include additional non-original material if they wish.
6. Members must provide the Administrator with sufficient copies of their contributions to be sent out to the rest of the membership, plus two extras to send to new and potential members. The current requirement is given in the Administration Pages for each mailing. (These can be in any form apart from multiple carbon copies.)
7. To make the Administrator's life easier when compiling the list of each mailing's contents for the Administration Pages, all contributions should be given a title and include the writer's name.
8. Multi-page contributions should be collated and stapled by the contributor.
9. The maximum number of APA members is twenty-five.
10. The Administrator will be elected annually by the membership in May of each year.
11. If, for whatever reason, the Administrator is unable or unwilling to complete their term, the previous Administrator will assume responsibility for at least the subsequent mailing, unless or until other arrangements can be satisfactorily made.
12. Deceased members may continue to participate and will not be charged any further dues after death, though they must provide an address to which mailings can be sent.
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copyright (c) 1998 David Longhorn. Picture caption copyright (c) 2002 F.E.
Copyright (c) 2007 Rosemary Pardoe. Last altered March 9, 2011.
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