Monday, 31 August 2015

The Satyr's Head

Their Cramped Dark World and Other Tales by David A. Riley

trade paperback: 
Amazon.co.uk  (£6.00)
Amazon.com  ($8.99)

ebook:

Amazon.co.uk  (£2.05)
Amazon.com  ($3.00)

Possibly my most well known story, The Satyr's Head is included in my third collection, Their Cramped Dark World and Other Tales.


The full list of contents is:
Hoody (first published in When Graveyards Yawn, Crowswing Books, 2006)
A Bottle of Spirits (first published in New Writings in Horror & the Supernatural 2, 1972)
No Sense in Being Hungry, She Thought (first published in Peeping Tom #20, 1996)
Now and Forever More (first published in The Second Black Book of Horror, 2008)
Romero's Children (first published in The Seventh Black Book of Horror, 2010)
Swan Song (first published in the Ninth Black Book of Horror, 2012)
The Farmhouse (first published in New Writings in Horror & the Supernatural 1, 1971)
The Last Coach Trip (first published in The Eighth Black Book of Horror, 2011)
The Satyr's Head (first published in The Satyr's Head & Other Tales of Terror, 1975)
Their Cramped Dark World (first published in The Sixth Black Book of Horror, 2010)

Original cover for The Satyr's Head

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Covers of books published by Parallel Universe Publications...so far!


Kitchen Sink Gothic on the Vault of Evil

Demonik, the host of the Vault of Evil, has now started a second review of Kitchen Sink Gothic after Franklin Marsh's.


Aug 27, 2015 at 6:20pm

Post by demonik on Aug 27, 2015 at 6:20pm




The front cover has been posted several times, so here's the back.


"My formative reading in weird fiction ... came from middle-class Americans or from upper middle-class British writers. I always felt there was a place for working class horror fiction where characters were more than merely comic constructs." - David A. Riley.

So far, so good.

Stephen Bacon - Mr. Giggles: How better to get the book under-way than with the story of Dean Duffy, whose life has been fucked ever since his father took to molesting him as a child, utilizing a button-eyed glove puppet with a bell on its hat as unlikely sex-aid? The boss gives Dean compassionate leave to visit his mother in hospital, but as he's never forgiven her for turning a blind eye to his torment, the death-bed reunion is a mutual torture. Back to the old place - "It hasn't been my room for twenty years. Just another shrine to my wrecked life" - to dispose of the dead woman's accumulated clutter on a bonfire. Why on earth did she keep "Mr. Giggles"? Will burning the thing set him free?

If you like your escapism unbearable, you've come to the right place.

Next up, a case of kitchen sink demonic possession.

Franklin Marsh - 1964: Parka-clad scooter boys and greasy rockers clash on the railway platform at Brighton. Gerry, who isn't cut out for this stuff and only running with the Mods to fit in, throws a bottle to save Derek the face from a knifing. A direct hit! His victim falls beneath the wheels of an oncoming train.

Back in London, the gang head their separate ways. Gerry gets Mona pregnant. He's frog-marched down the aisle by both sets of parents but Mona's an OK girl and he's prepared to make a go of it. Gez just wishes he could shake the vision of the dead greaser's face from his mind. But his worst nightmares concern impending baby ...

If it carries on like this, KSG and me are going to get along famously.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Craig Herbertson's The Heaven Maker and Other Gruesome Tales available in paperback

At long last copies of Craig Herbertson's brilliant collection of short stories, The Heaven Maker and Other Gruesome Tales, is available in paperback.

amazon.co.uk  £7.99
amazon.com  $9.99

Includes:
Timeless Love (originally published in Big Vault Advent Calendar 2011)
Synchronicity (originally published in Filthy Creations #2)
The Glowing Goblins (originally published in Auguries #16)
New Teacher (originally published in The Seventh Black Book of Horror)
The Janus Door
The Heaven Maker (originally published in The 29th Pan Book of Horror Stories)
The Waiting Game (originally published in Back from the Dead: The Legacy of the Pan Book of Horror Stories)
The Art of Confiscation
Gertrude
Not Waving
Spanish Suite (originally published in The Sixth Black Book of Horror)
The Anninglay Sundial
Soup (originally published in The Fourth Black Book of Horror)
A Game of Billiards (originally published in Tales from the Smoking Room)
The Navigator (originally published in Big Vault Advent Calendar 2011)
The Tasting
Steel Works
Liebniz's Last Puzzle (originally published in The Fifth Black Book of Horror)
Big Cup, Wee Cup
Gifts (originally published in Big Vault Advent Calendar 2011)

Friday, 28 August 2015

Kitchen Sink Gothic - Introduction

For anyone who may be interested this is my introduction to Kitchen Sink Gothic:



M. John Harrison used the term kitchen sink gothic in association with Robert Aickman. After quoting John Coulthart’s description of Aickman as having the “quotidian Britishness of Alan Bennett darkening into the inexplicable nightmares of David Lynch”, he added: “I often return to BBC4′s The Golden Age of Canals, which features Aickman as a broody, nerdy TE Lawrence of the waterways, for its footage of decaying tunnel entrances, drained locks & Kitchen Sink Gothic clutter embedded in wet mud."
Coined in the 1950s, Kitchen Sink described British films, plays and novels frequently set in the North of England, which showed working class life in a gritty, no-nonsense, “warts and all” style,  sometimes referred to as social realism.
It became popular after the playwright John Osborne wrote Look Back In Anger, simultaneously helping to create the Angry Young Men movement. Films included Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, The Entertainer, A Taste of Honey, The L-Shaped Room and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner.  TV dramas included Coronation Street and East Enders. In recent years TV dramas that could rightly be described as kitchen sink gothic include Being Human, with its cast of working class vampires, werewolves and ghosts, and the zombie drama In the Flesh, with its northern working class, down to earth setting.
It’s an area of writing that fascinates me, especially coming from a working class background and having been brought up in a terraced street in a solidly Lancastrian mill town which any viewer of Coronation Street would recognise as typical of its type. My formative reading in weird fiction, though, came from middle-class Americans (Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury and H. P. Lovecraft) or from upper middle-class British writers like M. R. James, Algernon Blackwood, the Bensons. etc. I always felt there was a place for working class horror fiction whose characters were more than merely just comic constructs.
For me, within the horror genre, kitchen sink gothic is the antithesis of Jamesian or Lovecraftian horror. There are no distinguished scholars. The settings are unglamorous, perhaps unatmospheric in the accepted sense of the word in supernatural literature. And gritty.
I was reminded of my own occasional leanings in that direction after someone reviewed one of my stories (Dark Visions 1, Grey Matter Press, 2013): "Scrap by David A. Riley could easily have been a kitchen sink drama, depicting the lives of two brothers growing up in a poverty-stricken council estate in England."
Shortly afterwards I came across John Braine’s novel The Vodi, listed by M. John Harrision as amongst his top ten novels: “Constructed round the fantasies of a recovering tuberculosis patient, this novel was the defining moment of an as-yet-unreported genre, kitchen sink gothic. One of my favourite books of all time, it doesn’t seem to be in print with the rest of Braine’s backlist.” Fortunately, Valancourt Books rectified this situation, republishing it in paperback in 2013.
In the anthology you are now holding you will find stories that cover a wide range of Kitchen Sink Gothic, from the darkly humorous to the weirdly strange and occasionally horrific.  I hope you find the genre as fascinating as I do.

David A. Riley, 27th July 2015


 trade paperback: 
amazon.co.uk   £8.99
amazon.com  $11.99


ebook:
amazon.co.uk
amazon.com

Kitchen Sink Gothic includes:

1964 by Franklin Marsh
Derek Edge and the Sun-Spots by Andrew Darlington
Daddy Giggles by Stephen Bacon
Black Sheep by Gary Fry
Jamal Comes Home by Benedict J. Jones
Waiting by Kate Farrell
Lilly Finds a Place to Stay by Charles Black
The Mutant's Cry by David A. Sutton
The Sanitation Solution by Walter Gascoigne
Up and Out of Here by Mark Patrick Lynch
Late Shift by Adrian Cole
The Great Estate by Shaun Avery
Nine Tenths by Jay Eales
Envelopes by Craig Herbertson
Tunnel Vision by Tim Major
Life is Prescious M. J. Wesolowski
Canvey Island Baby by David Turnbull

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Franklin Marsh reviews Charles Black's Black Ceremonies


Franklin Marsh has started  a detailed review of Charles Black's Black Ceremonies on the Vault of Evil
"With a Mudie cover. And endorsements from no less than Anna Taborska and Johnny Mains. This really is high class swanky time.

I've enjoyed some Chas's stories on line, plus his classic from the original Black Book (included here so really looking forward to revisiting) plus his contribution to KSG.

The opener The Obsession of Percival Cairstairs is a riot. Lovecraftian, Black Sorcery, a dash of the Oscar Cooks...our narrator is hassled by a tramp, who is none other than former gentleman Percy. After being taken home, cleaned up and given a snifter of a decent brandy, the wretched Cairstairs begins to relate his descent into the Black Arts, caused by lust for a scarlet woman and a competitive streak engendered by her former paramour, a Rasputin-a-like lupine cove. Mix in a village full of inbreds, a desecrated church and a fully functioning gibbet (in this day and age??!!?) - and if that's not enough, there's a twisty epilogue featuring a character called 'Black.'

We're off!"

A review of Kitchen Sink Gothic


In the final instalment of Franklin Marsh's review of Kitchen Sink Gothic on the Vault of Evil, we reach Canvey Island Baby by David Turnbull:
"And so, with a heavy heart we come to the end of this odyssey through the more working class environs of horror, with many characters trapped - in their own minds and bodies, within houses/dysfunctional families, on estates, in cities, yearning for escape via their imagination, chance encounters or just trying to screw up the courage to step beyond their boundaries themselves.
David Turnbull's story is an uneasy reminder of both Lovecraft and Lynch's Eraserhead, set in Dr Feelgood country. There's an estate, a protagonist who doesn't want to do what is expected of him and a bleak landscape. Two terrific scenes - Patsy's confrontation with his grandfather, and his realisation that he's being watched when he discovers what he's been looking for on the beach, in a very fitting end story to this maverick collection."
Very pleased at the description "maverick collection"!

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Franklin Marsh reviews Kitchen Sink Gothic


Franklin Marsh has started a series of realtime reviews of the stories in Kitchen Sink Gothic on the ever interesting Vault of Evil.

A Gun For George Matthew Holness


I was recently passed a link to this short, very strange film, A Gun for George Matthew Holness. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Canvey Island Baby by David Turnbull - Kitchen Sink Gothic

Does life get much gloomier or more grotesque than in David Turnbull's Canvey Island Baby?

Patsy will do almost anything for his wife, Chloe, but even he, born and brought up on Canvey Island, is almost pushed to the limit when they win the draw at the annual Boxing day party at their local club to decide who will "become surrogates in the coming year."  For childless couples this is a must and they are the envy of all their friends, but Patsy isn't so sure.
For a start off it means him hanging around the floodwall every night, whatever the weather, looking for their prize.
Canvey Island baby.
Even his grandfather, a hard man who "always seemed to be involved in pub brawls", berates him when he tries to get out of what they have won and calls them monsters. "We live on the land and they live in the estuary - but they're our kin, Patsy. Blood of our blood."

It's an unholy alliance that has existed for centuries, one which, for all his disgust, Patsy can't convince anyone, even his wife, they would be better without.
"“The flood of ’53 wasn’t the first,” he said. “They knew it wouldn’t be the last. That’s why they built the floodwall. But there’s been a community living out here since long before Roman times. The land was flatter then, no buildings and stuff. Floods would come, ruin all the crops and wash away the huts. People got drowned. Women and children got drowned. So here’s what I reckon. They evolved, Patsy. They became… What’s the word?”
" “Amphibian?”"
Don't expect anything Lovecraftian. This is no twist on Innsmouth, but something just as dark, equally grotesque. A uniquely strange alliance wrought deep in the past but still practised today - amongst the refineries and council estates of David Turnbull's Canvey Island.
"When he entered the living room with a mug of tea in each hand Chloe had it pressed against her chest, hand resting gently around its hairless skull. The sound of its greedy, wet slurping turned his stomach. When he placed one of the mugs down on the coffee table he saw that its teeth were clamped firmly to the pale flesh of her right breast. A trickle of blood was running down, staining her open nightdress.
"“Does it hurt?” he asked.
"“Nips a bit,” she replied. “But I reckon I’ll get used to it. I’ll need to start drinking Guinness to keep up the iron in my blood.”"
 

Read David Turnbull's story Canvey Island Baby in Kitchen Sink Gothic. Try it - and the other 16 stories, some darkly humorous, while others are more than weirdly strange and occasionally horrific. None are less than memorable.

trade paperback: 
amazon.co.uk   £8.99
amazon.com  $11.99
ebook:
amazon.co.uk
amazon.com

Kitchen Sink Gothic includes:

1964 by Franklin Marsh
Derek Edge and the Sun-Spots by Andrew Darlington
Daddy Giggles by Stephen Bacon
Black Sheep by Gary Fry
Jamal Comes Home by Benedict J. Jones
Waiting by Kate Farrell
Lilly Finds a Place to Stay by Charles Black
The Mutant's Cry by David A. Sutton
The Sanitation Solution by Walter Gascoigne
Up and Out of Here by Mark Patrick Lynch
Late Shift by Adrian Cole
The Great Estate by Shaun Avery
Nine Tenths by Jay Eales
Envelopes by Craig Herbertson
Tunnel Vision by Tim Major
Life is Prescious M. J. Wesolowski
Canvey Island Baby by David Turnbull

Friday, 14 August 2015

Jamal Comes Home by Benedict J. Jones - Kitchen Sink Gothic

In Jamal Comes Home by Benedict J. Jones, Carole's worried about her son.
 ""He's been gone three weeks now. Never been gone this long. Day or two maybe. But he always comes home when he's hungry or needs a bath."
"Joan nodded, not mentioning that Jamal, Carol's son, also came back when he needed something to sell for his next pipe."
But Carole loves her frequently wayward son and is determined to find out where he is, even though others seem to care little about him. Which is why she finds herself going to see Mrs Shandy, a psychic booked at their local club. Carole knows something bad must have happened to Jamal and is desperate to find out where he is and get him home. But she never expected to hear what the psychic had to say.
"Mrs Shandy gave the audience a small tight smile.
""One more reading before we break."
"Her hand moved in the bag and Carole's breath caught in her throat when she saw her withdraw a photo. Mrs Shandy stared at the photo and then looked out into the audience.
""It's dark where he is. He's scared and he wants his mum."
"Carole felt the tears begin to well up once more and bit them back with a deep slug of her drink.
""Jamal wants to come home.""
It's a tale of a mother's love - a love that is unable to see the darkness her son has found himself in. With its down to earth grittiness and true kitchen sink setting, Benedict J. Jones has created memorable characters and a modern day horror that lingers long after the tale finishes. At least it did for me!
""He can hear us! I can feel him coming out of the dark."
"Carole felt her heart jump in her chest and she could not help but shout.
""Come home, Jamal. Please come home."
""Be quiet!"
"Fire blazed in Mrs Shandy's eyes.
"Jamal, if you can hear us then come towards us, come back.""
Read Benedict J. Jones's story Jamal Comes Home in Kitchen Sink Gothic. Try it - and the other 16 stories, some darkly humorous, while others are more than weirdly strange and occasionally horrific. None are less than memorable.


trade paperback: 
amazon.co.uk   £8.99
amazon.com  $11.99
ebook:
amazon.co.uk
amazon.com

Kitchen Sink Gothic includes:

1964 by Franklin Marsh
Derek Edge and the Sun-Spots by Andrew Darlington
Daddy Giggles by Stephen Bacon
Black Sheep by Gary Fry
Jamal Comes Home by Benedict J. Jones
Waiting by Kate Farrell
Lilly Finds a Place to Stay by Charles Black
The Mutant's Cry by David A. Sutton
The Sanitation Solution by Walter Gascoigne
Up and Out of Here by Mark Patrick Lynch
Late Shift by Adrian Cole
The Great Estate by Shaun Avery
Nine Tenths by Jay Eales
Envelopes by Craig Herbertson
Tunnel Vision by Tim Major
Life is Prescious M. J. Wesolowski
Canvey Island Baby by David Turnbull