Ginger Nuts of Horror
I'm going to have to get second job. Anyone who says British horror fiction is in a bad way needs their head checking. This must be the tenth book I have seen in the last few days that I must own.
The old gods are dead …
The older gods have returned!
Before the American master of the macabre H. P. Lovecraft there was the Welsh wizard of the weird Arthur Machen, who filled his pages with tales of ancient evil.
Now, completing the circle, comes a collection of original tales from the land of Machen following in the footsteps of Lovecraft and his uncanny creations.
In What Others Hear by John Llewellyn Probert, a musician comes to rural Wales to convalesce in peace. But what terrible secrets hide behind the notes of the music he so loves?
Adrian Chamberlin shows us that seemingly innocent old traditions can conceal sinister intentions when dark forces use them to deadly ends inStranger Crossings.
In Charles Black's tale, a brilliant Welsh scholar finds the price of knowledge can cost you everything when he discovers the true purpose of that dreaded tome The Necronomicon.
And six more Lovecraftian tales of the otherworldly.
About the Editor
Mark Howard Jones was born on the 26th anniversary of Lovecraft's death. His 2006 novella The Garden Of Doubt On The Island Of Shadows (ISMs Press) drew praise from Ray Bradbury, among others. He is the author of the collections Songs From Spider Street (SD Publishing, 2010) and Brightest Black (SD Publishing, 2013). His newest Lovecraftian fiction appears in the forthcoming anthologies Black Wings III (PS Publishing) and The Madness of Cthulhu II (Titan Books).
About the Cover Artist
Kate Evans is a Cardiff-based illustrator.
Artist's Homepage: http://redmaiden.wix.com/art
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Get ready for Halloween!
Date: WEDNESDAY 30th OCTOBER
Time: 6.30pm (Doors at 6.00pm)
Venue: The Banshee Labyrinth, Niddry Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1LG
What unspeakable horror glimpsed in the basement of a private library in West Yorkshire drove a man to madness and an early grave?
What led to an underground echo chamber in a Manchester recording studio being sealed up for good?
What creature walks the endless sands of Lancashire's Fleetwood Bay, and what connects it to an unmanned craft washed ashore in Port Elizabeth, nearly six thousand miles away?
In 2009 Jeremy Dyson was contacted by a journalist wanting help bringing together accounts of true life ghost stories from across the British Isles. The Haunted Book chronicles the journey Dyson (formerly a hardened sceptic) went on to uncover the truth behind these tales.
Jeremy Dyson is best known as the co-creator of the BAFTA award-winning comedy series The League of Gentlemen. He is the author of three works of fiction and his book The Cranes that Build the Cranes won the Edge Hill Award for short fiction. He is also the co-writer of the hit West-End show Ghost Stories.
Tickets : £3 and are available in person from Blackwell's Bookshop, 53-62 South Bridge or over the phone on 0131 622 8218
For further information please contact Ellie Wixon at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is the third event I have done with Ellie and Blackwell's and judging by the last two events this will be a roaring success. I shall be conducting a thirty minute interview with the man himself. So come along and have a great evening. It's worth turning up just to visit the fabulous Banshee Labyrinth
This is a must buy for me. I have only encountered Anna's work in The Black Book of Horror, where they were a highlight of the issue. Just to get the chance to have 18 of her stories in one book is fantastic news.
What are you afraid of? What are you haunted by?
What waits for you in the dark?
Face your fears and embark on a journey to the dark side of the human condition. Defy the demons that prey on you and the cruel twists of fate that destroy what you hold most dear.
A sadistic baker, a psychopathic physics professor, wolves, werewolves, cannibals, Nazis, devils, serial killers, ghosts and other monsters will haunt you long after you finish reading
18 tales from the abyss.
With chilling illustrations by Reginald Oliver.
“… Anna is nothing if not a cruel blade when it comes to scary and horrible fiction.”
Paul Finch, author of Stalkers and Sacrifice
Originally released digitally as a four issue comic series and created by one the greatest writers of all time, Channel Evil is Alan Grant's imagination unleashed without compromise. With a foreword by Pinhead himself, Doug Bradley, this looks like it is going to be a blast. Published by Renegade Arts Entertainment Ltd.
Did I mention it was by Alan Grant!!!! He is one of my all time favourite comic book writers. I'll say it again it's by ALAN GRANT.
A slick and sleazy chat show host gets more than he bargained for when he channels an ancient source of evil, unleashing terror and carnage upon the world.
The story follows Jez Manson, a local TV chat show host ready to exploit everyone in a bid to make the big time. After watching a successful medium channel a benign spirit, Jez invites her on his show, ready to ridicule her for cheep laughs an a few headlines. But Jez is persuaded to try channelling himself. Full of scorn Jez agrees, planning to fake it, but it turns out that Jez is a natural and finds himself channelling Baal, an ancient source of evil.
Trying to laugh the whole thing off, Jez is unaware that he has opened a door for Baal to exploit and return chaos and destruction to the world. Jez finds his dreams full of twisted nightmares that share too many details with the next days news reports.
But the channelling show has made the national news and Jez could be on to the big time. Persuaded to channel him again on live TV, Jez knows deep down he's on the edge of the abyss but the lure of fame and fortune is too strong. What will he unleash this time?
More Information can be found here
"I believe that people see, hear and experience these things, whatever they are, and one day we will be able to prove that they exist. I believe it is part of being human. The paranormal can be very disturbing but it can also be strangely comforting. Ninety nine percent of sightings are witnessed by a single person. It’s because ultimately we’re all alone in the universe, but at the same time the futility of our brief solitary existence is challenged by the appearance of a long dead person…..So, in a way, we are reassured in our loneliness……left to ponder the seemingly impossible…..” - Eddie Brewer
It appears that I am making a subtle shift towards the more supernatural side of the horror genre, and this book by Neil Spring looks like the perfect candidate for my next fix.
Release Date: 24 Oct 2013
Welcome to Borley Rectory, the most haunted house in England.
The year is 1926 and Sarah Grey has landed herself an unlikely new job - personal assistant to Harry Price, London's most infamous ghost hunter. Equal parts brilliant and charming, neurotic and manipulative, Harry has devoted his life to exposing the truth behind England's many 'false hauntings', and never has he left a case unsolved, nor a fraud unexposed.
So when Harry and Sarah are invited to Borley Rectory - a house so haunted that objects frequently fly through the air unbidden, and locals avoid the grounds for fear of facing the spectral nun that walks there - they're sure that this case will be just like any other. But when night falls and still no artifice can be found, the ghost hunters are forced to confront an uncomfortable possibility: the ghost of Borley Rectory may be real. And, if so, they're about to make its most intimate acquaintance.
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Allen Ashley, judge of this year’s BFS Short Story Competition, reports the following:
“Thank you to everyone who took part in and supported this year’s BFS Short Story Competition. The number of entries was up significantly from last year with 103 stories submitted for consideration. I read every story thoroughly and silently. I read a large percentage of the stories twice, three times or more. After much deliberation, I can now announce that the three winners are:
First place: “Pawnarchy” by Mark Huntley-James
Second place: “The Manhattan Room” by Zoe F. Gilbert
Third place: “Summertime in Paris” by S. Marcus Jones
As well as their authors winning prizes, all three of these stories will appear in a future issue of “The BFS Journal”.
For those of you who didn’t make the top three this year, it was a hard task judging them all and many of the stories should find a suitable home elsewhere. Thank you for your patience during the judging process. You are now free to submit your story to other markets. Good luck.”
"The ultimate Halloween adventure." - Professor Grimmgraves..
From a distance, the town of Autumnville never seemed quite right - the area being picturesque while at the same time haunting. It was a quiet, peaceful place to live, but there was a strange feeling that permeated the town and its people as Halloween approached. An eerie feeling that descended upon Autumnville, and no one knew why... until now.
Jason Myers, a 12-year-old boy who enjoyed all things monsters, discovers through a mysterious Halloween blog that monsters may be very real. On the blog is a video of a witch flying on a broom sighting. While showing it to his three best friends, they come to the horrible realization that it was filmed in the very town they live in.
The four friends will have to face a host of ghosts, witches, scarecrows, and other terrifying nightmares that have invaded Autumnville for a dark and sinister purpose. The boys will have many terrifying encounters and ultimately uncover the real secret behind Halloween. But Jason is not completely helpless, for he has the unwanted aid of a monstrous ally, and of course, Jason's own incredible secret!
A suspenseful story for 12 year olds to adults.
FROM HELL TO ETERNITY . . . Enter the strange and disturbing world of Thana Niveau, where fear reigns eternal, and nightmares last forever; where your only refuge is madness and there is always something waiting in the dark . . . Won't you join her? . . . Gray Friar Press is proud to present sixteen tales of horror from a new Mistress of the Macabre . . . Number 2 in the NEW BLOOD series of short story collections. With an introduction by Ramsey Campbell.
When Grey Friar Press first announced this anthology from Thana Niveua I knew I had read it. Based on the short stories of hers that I had read in a number of anthologies this year, she soon found her way onto my list of discoveries of the year. So when I got a copy from my mother as a birthday present I put every other book aside and gave this collection my full attention. From Hell to Eternitycollects 16 of her stories, prefaced by an intelligent and thoughtful introduction from the Grandmaster Himself Ramsey Campbell. This collection like a vintage single malt whisky deserves to be savoured slowly and lovingly one fabulous story at a time. This is not a light read, her stories are layered, dark, melancholic and in a number of cases exceptionally chilling and disturbing.
The first story, The Curtain a diver investigates an unusual wreck, and discovers that a curtain between our world and another reality has been lifted, is one of the most atmospheric stories I have read in long time. Thana handles the diving scenes in such a way that the reader experiences the same sense of weightlessness, claustrophobia and isolation that diver in this pitch perfect modern take on an Elder God story.
The Coal Man takes the much used trope of a childhood bogeyman and gives it a much needed makeover. By using a spit time narrative, Thana subtly builds the sense of guilt and remorse brilliantly. It is a sign of a great writer, when the site of a lump of coal can send a shiver down the spine of the most jaded reader.
Antlers, shifts the tone to a much more direct and punchy style of story. When a woman is looking for a new place to live she encounters a man who may or may not spell the end for her. This is a shocking and gory short story, that shares a similar tone with a later story Pigs. These stories excel in being shocking, by the almost senselessness way in which the terrible things happen to the protagonists in both stories. Thana doesn't explain why these things happen to them, she just puts them through hell, there are no twist endings, no final act scenes of redemption here. These are two stories of pure primal visceral terror.
However, it's probably one of the more subtle stories that really deliver the biggest and most heartbreakingly chilling shock. The Death of Dreams is set in a world where a person's dreams are no longer private, thanks to a device that can download and transmit for all in sundry to see. Thanks to this device a mother loses her child into care, when the authorities decide she is no longer fit to be a mother. The idea of your most private and inner thoughts no longer being private may be chilling enough, but this is nothing compared to what happens in the finale of this amazing story.
Ultrasound Shadow, shares a common parenthood with The Death of Dreams, in as much as a mother fights for her child, in this case the child is still unborn. Thana handles the mother's sense of paranoia and fear of her pregnancy with great skill. But it's the fantastic schlocky ending to this story that really shines through, Thana drops subtle hints as to what will happen throughout the story, but even if you figure out what is going on you will love this excellent nod to 1980's horror.
The Scouring is perhaps my favourite story. Here a family is on holiday in rural England, never a good idea in these sorts of stories. Where they become intrigued by the local legend of The White horse and The Scouring, to a tragic ending. For me what makes this story so perfect is how it stirs up all those repressed memories of children's TV from a bygone age. Shows such as The Children of the Stones, and The Box of Delights. Combine this with my fascination for chalk drawings and you have a story that feels as though it was written specifically for me.
From Hell to eternity might sound like a terrifying proposition, however based on the quality of these stories, I would happily spend eternity reading the work of the fantastically gifted Thana Niveau.
Don't worry folks this isn't going to be one of those posts intended to incite the braying masses that hide in the dark recesses of the genre. The title came to mind yesterday when chatting to someone on Facebook, and it just refers to the fact that we all have them.
Some of you will know exactly what this post is in response to, those who don't tough luck, I won't link to it or mention any names, there is enough rumblings and ripples out therre without me adding to it.
However, I do wish to make a statement on my my reviews. Remember reviews are purely subjective, we all have different opinions and no one has any right to say that their opinions are more valid than anyone elses. Hell I love heavy metal metal music, and yet I cannot stand Black Sabbath. That statement alone is enough to have me flayed publicly. And yet I would never take someone to task over them liking the band. This is the same for book reviews, I don't like Stephen King, there I said it, that is just MY OPINION, it doesn't me it right, just as your opinion doesn't your right. Just remember fellow bloggers if you are going to throw out accusations about the validity of other peoples reviews, make sure you have a nice clean house free of agendas and personal vendettas . If you want to be taken as the shining light, you better be untouchable.
Which brings me to my reviews, it would break my heart if anyone thought that my reviews were influenced by friendships. If you look through my reviews there aren't very many that rubbish a book, there is a reason for this. Way back in the early days of GNOH I published two reviews for a big name author that rubbished the book and the price that they wanted for it. The shit storm that followed and the threats against me and my family were enough for me to make the decision not to post negative reviews on this site. It cannot stand drama, mainly because I used to have a tendency to fly off the handle and speak with my fists and my cyber fists.
Another thing you will notice about my reviews is I don't really talk about the actual mechanics of the writing, the reason for this is I am severely dyslexic, to the point that reading is a battle. I wasn't diagnosed as being dyslexic until University, which meant I failed higher English twice. My knowledge about the English language and grammar is rudimentary at best. Which in my opinion doesn't make me qualified to make any judgement on anyone elses writing. Hell I have to really think about where to put commas, full stops, and even think about its it's there and their.
So when I review a book it is always about the over all enjoyment factor and the feelings that the book stirred up in me, I'll leave any discussion about sentence structure, metaphors, and editing up to those more qualified than me. Yes I am big and dumb and you know I don't care
So if anyone thinks my reviews are biased please do me and yourselves a favour and stop following my little corner of the internet.