I’m Ian Vincent, but most folk call me Cat.
I was born in Gravesend, Kent, UK on 2 February (Imbolc) 1964 of the Common Era to very lower-working-class – and rather confused – parents.
From the age of about 7, I was fascinated by what I usually just call ‘weird shit’ – Forteana and the occult – a sentiment which, through one of those coincidences, ended up being directly quoted in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. My interests eventually focussed on ‘combat magic’ – psychic self-defence, counterspells, curse-breaking etc – which led to my founding the paranormal security firm Athanor Consulting in 2001ce. I retired from field work in January 2009ce.
I’ve also been writing and blogging about magic, mysticism, the occult and edge philosophies for some time. Some of my work appeared on the groupblogs Weaponizer and Modern Mythology, and in that most venerable of strange phenomena journals, Fortean Times. I’m currently a regular columnist at Spiral Nature (a series called ‘The Hype’) a contributing editor to The Daily Grail, and have been published in two volumes of their Fortean journal Darklore.
I have also given a variety of talks and lectures on subjects such as pop-culture-based magic, the influence of Science Fiction on modern paganism, hyperreal religion and the Slenderman phenomenon. Please contact me if you are interested in having me present a talk.
My hobbies include a variety of music and movies, much SF, some comic books and far too many awful puns.
The top quote, “Distrust all systems – even this one” comes from the superb Nulapeiron Sequence of SF novels by John Meaney… and it’s the clearest single sentence I’ve ever seen that describes my point of view.
For Weaponizer.com: circa. 2009ce (closed 2014, archived here)
The Mason Lang Film Club:
As-yet-unfinished, this is a look at the remarkable wave of Gnostically tinged cinema of 1998/99, through the lens of Grant Morrison’s character from The Invisibles, Mason Lang:
-‘The Thirteenth Floor’
For Rending The Veil.com: 2009ce (closed 2014, archived here)
Review: ‘The Apophenion’
Review: ‘Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot, Over?’ Most scathing review I ever gave.
Review: ‘Raising Hell’
‘Veiled Issues: The ‘-ism Schism’ – Comments on atheism vs faith”
For Modern Mythology: 2009/10ce (archived here)
The ‘Into The Hyper-Real’ articles appear in the printed collection Apocalyptic Imaginary
(Mythos Media, 2012; ISBN-13: 978-0615590011)
-One of my favourite and most personal articles, this is about the influence of Star Trek and its philosophy on me.
For Daily Grail:2010ce to present
‘The Place Of Maybe’ (introductory post)
Review – ‘The Cabin in the Woods’
Review – ‘The River’, Season 1
Review – ‘The Forbidden Book’ Second-most scathing review I ever gave. Close thing!
Review – ‘Apocalyptic Witchcraft’ by Peter Grey
‘Pulling The Cosmic Trigger – The Kazimier, Liverpool, UK, 23 February 2014′
Review – ‘A Very English Apocalypse: Current 93 at Halifax Minster’
‘Your Face, Their Algorithm: NSA facial recognition’ (and the great TV show Person Of Interest)
‘Slenderman: Five Years’
Review – ‘Discovering Scarfolk’ by Richard Littler
Review – ‘Constantine’ TV pilot
In the Darklore journal:
Volume 6: ‘The Slenderman: Tracing the birth and evolution of a modern monster’
(Daily Grail Publishing, 2011; ISBN-13: 978-0980711189)
Volume 7: ‘Killing Slenderman: Editing a modern myth before it bites’
(Daily Grail Publishing, 2012; ISBN-13: 978-0987422408)
Volume 8: ‘Believing In Fiction: The Rise Of Hyperreal Religion’
(Daily Grail Publishing 2014; ISBN-13: 978-0987422460)
At Spiral Nature: 2012ce to present
Review: ‘Grant Morrison: Talking with Gods’
The Hype: my monthly column since April 2014:
– Pop occulture and hyper-real religion
– ‘True Detective: A flat circle in Chapel Perilous’
– ‘London’s calling: the city as character in urban fantasy’ – ‘Doing It Wrong – Cultural Theft and Supernatural‘
-‘Twin Peaks: The fire still burns’
-Xmas edition: Everything is awesome! Magick, metaphor and Lego
For Grinding.be: 2013ce
Guest post “Rate Of Return: Woolwich, 4GW and Kayfabe.” (One of my very few purely political posts)
For Fortean Times: 2014 ce
None with web versions as yet.
Feature article: “The Slender Man: From Viral To Postal”, issue 317, August 2014ce
Forum article: “…that tingling feeling…” on Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, issue 322, November 2014ce
Forum article: “Pulling The Cosmic Trigger” issue 323, December 2014ce
On Eris and Discordianism, Leeds University Occult Society, Circa. 1995
Tantra 101 and 102, UK Bicon, circa 1994/5ce
Slenderman: Fight Fiction With Fiction (25 November 2013ce) (Video – bad sound sorry – here.)
Cthulhu, Fiction and Real Magic (3 December 2014ce) (Audio and footnotes here)
Science Fiction’s Gifts To Paganism (12 February 2015ce) (Video and footnotes here)
Why do I write and what do I believe? Well… this is the explanation I put up on my first LiveJournal blog, which still fits.
But, some might ask, what’s my stance on all this?
What do I believe In?
I believe that there is no single religious, political or philosophical system that explains everything and is always right – including my own.
I believe fanaticism is a major cause of harm in the world, regardless of what the fanatic believes.
I believe most if not all of those who seek and gain power are not to be trusted.
I *know* very little, other than that assholes come from all races, colours and creeds, and that in a crowded world it’s a good idea to find ways to accommodate our differences rather than war over them.
So that’s what you can expect here. A large dollop of cynicism, a touch of optimism and a lot of wonder at a world that never fails to surprise me. And a warning that some of those surprises can bite.
I live in the Yorkshire town of Hebden Bridge with my beloved wife, the artist Kirsty Hall.