One day last summer I found myself in front of a book shop, the window entirely devoted to The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson, considering. She may hate science fiction, but apparently she likes a good old Gothic novella, since she seems to have written one.
And she did write one it fact, complete with black crows, ghostly trees, the atmospheric countryside, cauldrons, alchemy, chemistry, old witches, young witches, sex with witches, torture, horrific details, more horrific details, air fire water and earth, a symbolic magenta dye, an assertive lead character, and Shakespeare himself as bonus material.
Now, I always appreciate formal adherence to a canon, but it’s been nearly three hundred years since the Castle of Otranto and in the meanwhile we’ve had Poe, Mary Wollstonecraft, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Paul Roland, Anne Rice, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Murnau’s Nosferatu in film clubs with live piano accompaniment, and lots of daring fanfiction. It’s going to take more than mere formal adherence to canon to shock me.
But anyway, it’s a nice piece of reading and I totally admire Jeanette Winterson’s superb style.