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The Fatal Move

The Fatal Move

and Other Stories

Conall Cearnach

Availability: In Print – Hardback

“I cannot endure these frequent fits of terror much longer.”

Written in Belfast and Bangor during the partition of Ireland, the six strange stories comprising Conall Cearnach’s The Fatal Move are unusual documents of the time. “Cearnach” was the pseudonym of F. W. O’Connell, a peculiar Protestant divine, linguist and Irish language scholar, oddball essayist, and early national broadcaster. His sole fiction collection showcases a wide scope: the conte cruel, the ghost story, the locked-room mystery, and the science-fictional satire. What unifies the stories is O’Connell’s playful, outward-looking perspective, inspired by his love of the diverse cultures and languages of the world and his home country in equal measure. A unique figure in Irish life, Cearnach’s character is perhaps more present in these stories than the anxieties of the time in which they were written. For this volume, Reggie Chamberlain-King provides an extensive introduction examining O’Connell’s life and works.

  • Read about the design of Swan River Press’s edition of The Fatal Move
  • Listen to “The Weird World of F. W. O’Connell” on BBC Radio
  • More on Conall Cearnach can be found in issues of The Green Book

Hardback edition limited to 350 copies.

Cover art by Thomas Grogan
Selected and introduced by Reggie Chamberlain-King

ISBN: 978-1-78380-037-7 (hbk)