Thursday, 27 October 2011

Zombies! Zombies! Zombies!

Picked up my copy of this mass market anthology, Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! this morning from the Post Office, which strangely decided the parcel was too big for our letterbox (it isn't!)

Lovely looking 810 page book, containing some great stories by the likes of H. P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, etc., etc - and me.

I was surprised to see that mine is the second story in, immediately after what editor, Otto Penzler, describes as the first ever zombie story, W. B. Seabrook's Dead Men Working in the Cane Fields. In his introduction to my story Penzler quotes Hugh Lamb in The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural: "...the nearest literature has yet come to creating George Romero's cinematic effects in words."

After Nightfall was first published in Weird Window edited by David A. Sutton (1970), then in The Year's Best Horror Stories edited by Richard Davis (Sphere Books, 1971). It will also be included in my collection from Noose & Gibbet next year, The Lurkers in the Abyss.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Revising Stories

I'm still working through the stories to go in Lurkers in the Abyss. While most have just needed the odd alteration here and there and a few typo corrections, the longest story in it looks like needing a major overhaul to me. Out of Corruption is also the most reprinted. It was originally published in Steve Jones' Mammoth Book of Zombies in 1993 (Robinsons and Carrol & Graf). Since then this anthology has been reissued as The Giant Book of Zombies (Magpie Books, 1996), The Monster Book of Zombies (Metro Books, 2009), ttranslated into Italian in Il Ritorno Degli Zombi (Mondadori, 1994), and into Russian in ЗОМБИ (АЗБУКА, 2010).

I could leave it mostly as it is, but it looks too wordy to me now and, though deliberately set in the 1920/30s, too anachronistic, sometimes in what I now see as not a good way. So it looks like I'm going to have to spend several days going through it far more throroughly, for my own peace of mind if no one else's.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

The Lurkers in the Abyss

I have been working my way through my stories for the collection that Noose & Gibbet Press will be publishing next year, slightly revising them and checking for typos. Some of these stories, which I have arranged in chronological order in which they were first published, I haven't reread for more years than I care to think. It's been a fascinating voyage of rediscovery. And interesting to see how my writing style has altered so much since then.
The stories are:
The Lurkers in the Abyss was first published in The Eleventh Pan Book of Horror (Pan Books, 1970)
After Nightfall was first published in The Year’s Best Horror 1 (Sphere Books, UK and DAW Books, USA, 1971)
The Farmhouse was first published in New Writings in Horror & the Supernatural (Sphere Books, 1971)
A Bottle of Spirits was first published in New Writings in Horror & the Supernatural 2 (Sphere Books, 1972)
The Urn was first published in Whispers (Whispers Press, 1972)
Terror on the Moors was first published in World of Horror (1974)
The Shade of Apollyon was first published in World of Horror (1974)
The Satyr’s Head was first published in The Satyr’s Head & Other Tales of Terror (Corgi Books, 1975)
Prickly was first published in Death (Playboy Paperbacks, 1982)
Writer’s Cramp was first published in Fantasy Tales (1988)
Winter on Aubarch 6 was first published in Fear (1989)
Retribution was first published in Peeping Tom (1991)
The Shadow by the Altar was first published in Peeping Tom (1992)
Out of Corruption was first published in The Mammoth Book of Zombies (Robinson Books, 1993)
A New Lease was first published in The Anthology of Fantasy & the Supernatural (Tiger Books, 1994)
Gwargens was first published in Beyond (Parallel Universe Publications, 1995)
No Sense in Being Hungry, She Thought was first published in Peeping Tom (1996)
Help-plants was first published in Aboriginal Science Fiction (1998)
Hoody was first published in When Graveyards Yawn (Crowswing Books, 2006)
Inside the Labyrinth was first published in Alone on the Darkside (ROC Books, 2006)

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Back from the Dead wins British Fantasy Award for Best Anthology

On returning home from holiday in Bulgaria last week, I was pleased to learn that Back from the Dead, edited by Johnny Mains, won the Best Fantasy Award for an anthology. This was well deserved and an excellent book. Doubly pleased because I have a novelette in the book, The True Spirit.

I have since learned that Noose & Gibbet will be reprinting the anthology as a trade paperback next year with a new cover.

Old Grudge Ender

Just finished the final rewrites of a new 7,000 word short story, Old Grudge Ender, this week - and already it's found a home, though I can't say anything about what this is for the time being.

I enjoyed writing this story, yet another set in Edgebottom and its notoriously accursed district of Grudge End. The more I write about this place the darker and grimmer it becomes.