Saturday 30 November 2013

Special Offer on Signed Editions Bundle at Shadow Publishing

 Shadow Publishing is offering a discount on a signed bundle of their books:

Eddy C. Bertin's THE WHISPERING HORROR (Signed bookplate issued at World Fantasy Convention, author, cover artist Harry Morris and editor David A. Sutton signatures), very limited supply!
(Signed by the author). Limited number of copies available.
Samantha Lee's WORSE THINGS THAN SPIDERS AND OTHER STORIES (Signed bookplate). Limited number of copies available.
The UK price for all three, including postage is £20.00.
The European price, again including postage, is £30.00.
The US and ROW price, including airmail postage, is £40.00.

Friday 29 November 2013

Jim Pitts Artwork

These are a few examples of the fantasy artist, Jim Pitts. The four black and white ones are originals, which illustrated some of my stories and were published in World of Horror magazine and the hard cover anthology Northern Chills. The colour work is an LP cover he did for Nick Caffrey's folk group, The Wassailers, in 1978.

Northern Chills - illustrating Writer's Cramp

World of Horror, illustrating The Shade of Apollyon

World of Horror, illustrating Terror on the Moors

Nick Carrfey's folk group The Wassailers, 1978

Thursday 28 November 2013

The Wyrd Sisters - Oswaldtwistle Players

I'm looking forward to watching the Oswaldtwistle Players' next production, Stephen Briggs' adaptation of Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters.

This will be performed at the Civic Theatre, Union Road, Oswaldtwistle on April 30-3 May, 2014 at 7.30 p.m.

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Blood Bound Books Fourth Anniversary Sale

Blood Bound Books are having a Fourth Anniversary Sale on their ebooks, including copies of my novel The Return.

Check these out on where it's available for £1.27 and where it's priced at $2.05.

Monday 25 November 2013

Tales of the Grotesque by L. A. Lewis

David Sutton has unveiled the cover art created by Dave Fletcher for Tales of the Grotesque by L. A. Lewis, due to be published by Shadow Publishing next year.

This was the cover for the first publication of this collection. A decent copy fetches high prices on the second hand book market.

Saturday 23 November 2013

Schalken the Painter

As a dual format edition from the BFI this came in both blu ray and DVD. Only having a DVD player, this was obviously the version I watched.

What you get is Schalken the Painter, based on the Le Fanu story, broadcast by the BBC in 1979, two short films: The Pit (Edward Abraham, 1962, 27 mins) and The Pledge (Digby Rumsey, 1981, 21 mins), interviews with the director of Schalken, Leslie Megahey, and director of photography John Hooper on the making of the film (Look Into the Dark), some original production sketches for The Pit (which is based on the Poe story), and a fully illustrated and very informative booklet with essays by Ben Hervey, James Bell and Vic Pratt.

Obviously the main feature is Schalken the Painter, a gorgeously filmed adaptation of the Le Fanu story, narrated by Charles Grey, and starring Jeremy Clyde as Schalken, Maurice Denham as his mentor Dou, Cheryl Kennedy as Rose, Dou's ward, and John Justin as the sinister Vanderhausen. Leisurely paced, yet filled with details, this would have easily fit in the well respected Ghost Stories for Christmas based on the tales of M. R. James, if perhaps more akin to Jonathan Miller's Whistle and I'll Come to You, which like this was an Omnibus production.

If because of its source (the arts program Omnibus) there could be suspicions that the full horror of this story might have been diluted or made obscure, the final scenes dispel this completely and I think this was probably the most shocking ghost story I had ever seen on television when I first saw this in 1979. It has lost none of its impact now. Nor have the high production values in making it been exceeded either. This is a meticulously researched film with an impressive air of authenticity. Everything not only looks right, every beautifully designed scene could have come straight from a Dutch painting of the era in which it is based, from the sets, costumes and lighting.

No fan of Le Fanu will be disappointed by this rare adaptation of one of his stories.

The two short films accompanying it are not of the same class, but are interesting in their own right. My favourite of the two has to be The Pledge, a tale of three eighteenth century thieves who argumentatively decide to take down the rotting body of their friend, a highwayman captured, tried and executed and left hanging by the authorities in a gibbet on a lonely, windswept hill. The images of the body as it is glimpsed during the months it spends there, losing its feet to decay, are nightmarish and ugly. But there is a grotesque comic relief to all this when the three friends set out at the dead of night with a ladder to bury him in consecrated ground, even if it means dumping someone else's body elsewhere...

Friday 22 November 2013

An Adventure in Space and Time - the Start of the Doctor Who Story

I can't claim to be a Whovian these days, though I probably was when the series first started in 1963, but I certainly enjoyed Mark Gatiss's dramatisation of the beginning of the series last night on the BBC. The recreation of the period looked spot on, and the performances of all those concerned really couldn't be faulted. I know that the end, when William Hartnell is compelled to bow out of the role, brought a tear to my wife's eyes. David Bradley gave a remarkable performance as the irascible Hartnell. I wish all TV dramas were as good as this.

Flowers of the Sea by Reggie Oliver

I picked up Reggie Oliver's latest collection of stories from the Post Office this morning. I think I am probably one of the last people to get the book before it went out of print. I'm looking forward to dipping into this over the next few days. What with getting the DVD of Schalken the Painter in the post yesterday, and not this, things are getting off to a good start for the weekend.

Wednesday 20 November 2013

R'ha - an incredible 6-minute film created by a film design student posted an amazing short film called R'ha created by a 22 year old digital film design student called Kaleb Lechowski who, apart from the voices (by David Masterson) did everything himself. This is an incredible piece of work and I'm sure we'll all hear a lot more about him in the future.

Whispers from the Abyss - Book Review

A collection of H. P. Lovecraft inspired short fiction
Edited by Kat Rocha
Cover by Josh Finney

Lovecraft has never been more popular, and there seem to be more books inspired by his tales out today than ever before. This anthology, edited by Kat Rocha, contains 33 stories by many writers unknown to me, but a few I am familiar with, like Nick Mamatas, Charles Black, and Aaron J. French.

My first fear was that with so many stories there would be a repetition of theme and style, but that was quickly dispelled. Though most are quite short, they are refreshingly wide ranging. If there is a frequent theme it may be the use of Lovecraft’s Deep Ones, but even here the approach to this trope is broad. Jason Andrew’s “Fear And Loathing In Innsmouth: Richard Nixon’s Revenge” is perhaps the most original. Written as if by Hunter S. Thompson, it follows the Gonzo journalist during the presidential election towards Innsmouth and the source of Nixon’s campaign money. Visiting the Arkham Asylum the narrator has this to say about one of the residents. “He had thick jowls, bulbous eyes, and a suspiciously Nixon-like jump nose. I made certain that he was always two steps ahead of me and always in my line of sight.” A great story, totally in keeping with the character of its narrator.

Charles Black contributes two stories, one of which must be a contender for the shortest horror story ever written. Called “The Last Tweet” it is exactly what it says, a tweet. Incredibly Black manages to encapsulate an entire short story into 19 words, and even manages to use an old cliché of many bad Lovecraftian pastiches – which for once makes sense and works. About this I am saying no more. Read it for yourself. It won’t take you long.

Nick Mamatas’s “Hideous Interview With Brief Man” is a bizarre interrogation, whose true horror only materialises in the final few sentences.

“My Stalk” by Aaron J. French turns for inspiration towards Lovecraft’s fantasy writings, though written in its own style, which is both fluid and almost hypnotic.

There are too many stories to highlight more than a few, but I failed to find any that was not well written and distinctively individual. If I had one complaint it could be the preponderance of first person narratives, but that may be because I have a preference for the third person singular. Not a serious defect, and one which most readers may not even notice, especially if they tend to dip in and out of anthologies.

The book has a gorgeous cover by Josh Finney, whose beauty I would love to see in print one day rather than almost lost on my Kindle in black and white.

A great, engrossing and varied anthology of Lovecraftian fiction, I would recommend it to anyone who likes this type of story.

Introduction by Alasdair Stuart
“Iden-Inshi” by Greg Stolze
“Pushing Back” by J.C. Hemphill
“Nation of Disease: The Rise & Fall of a Canadian Legend” by Jonathan Sharp
“When We Change” by Mason Ian Bundschuh
“Nutmeat” by Martin Hill Ortiz
“The Last Tweet” by Charles Black
“Secrets In Storage” by Tim Pratt & Greg Van Eekhout
“The Well” by Tim Jeffreys
“The Neon Morgue” by Nathan Wunner
“The Deep” by Corissa Baker
“Fear And Loathing In Innsmouth: Richard Nixon’s Revenge” by Jason Andrew
“My Friend Fishfinger By Daisy, Age 7″ by David Tallerman
“Chasing Sunset” by A.C. Wise
“The Thing With Onyx Eyes” by Stephen Brown
“I Do The Work Of The Bone Queen” by John R. Fultz
“Suck It Up, Get It Done” by Brandon Barrows
“The Substance In The Sound” by W.B. Stickel
“Stone City, Old As Immeasurable Time” by Kelda Crich
“Hideous Interview With Brief Man” by Nick Mamatas
“The Sea, Like Glass Unbroken” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
“The Decorative Water Feature Of Nameless Dread” by James Brogden
“Henry” by Lance Axt
“My Stalk” by Aaron J. French
“Give Me That Old Time Religion” by Lee Finney
“Afraid Of Dobermans” by Chad Fifer
“Leviathan” by Nicholas Almand
“Horrorscope” by Charles Black
“The Jar Of Aten-Hor” by Kat Rocha
“The Floor” by Jeff Provine
“Waiting” by Dennis Detwiller
“Other People’s Houses” by Sarena Ulibarri
“You Will Never Be The Same” by Erica Satifka
“Death Wore Greasepaint” by Josh Finney

Tuesday 19 November 2013

The Satyr's Head: Tales of Terror - Kindle Promotion

Shadow Publishing (David A. Sutton) is having a special Kindle promotion for one week commencing 21st November. The e-book edition will be discounted from $3.00 to $1.99

Check out the US/UK pages here:


Monday 18 November 2013

Frankenstein's Army

Sometimes you come across a film that is incredibly realistic but as whacky as hell - and they don't come much more realistic or as whacky as Frankenstein's Army. Filmed on the dreaded hand held camera, this technique works for the most part here because it's in the hands of a cameraman in the Red Army during the closing months of the Second World War. Ostensibly there to make a propaganda movie for Comrade Stalin, there is more to this than meets the eye. The small group, fighting their way forwards against the retreating German Army stumble across a factory whose huge underground cellars house a frightful secret: the redoubt of mad scientist Dr Victor Frankenstein, recruited by the Nazis to create a monstrous army of the dead to fight the Russians. Not only does he reanimate patched up corpses, though. He goes one stage further - and creates an even more nightmarish concept of bodies welded to a bizarre range of bladed weapons, including chainsaws.

The Russian soldiers are brilliantly depicted, with some outstanding performances by the actors, so that they come over as real people, however insane everything else becomes. And the insanity of the place they are trapped in is remarkable, with flickering lights, grotesque machines within grotto-like concrete passages through cellars that lead to rooms filled with body-parts, gruesome surgeries and homicidal mash-ups between men and machines.

I must admit I have never seen anything like this before. Yet, for all its craziness, it works. As does the plot, where there are plots within plots, culminating in a final twist at the end. Even the hand held camera works, lending an even more nightmarish touch at times. Recommended - though not for the faint at heart.

Friday 15 November 2013

The Casebook of Eddie Brewer

Eddie Brewer (Ian Brooker) is a one man psychic investigator who has a regular spot on the local radio station, spending his days travelling from place to place to check everything from inexplicable bumps from an adjoining empty house to the malevolent activities of what could be a poltergeist.
When the story starts Eddie is  accompanied by a film unit doing a documentary about him.
The unit follows Eddie as he visits a mother whose young daughter, a strange, sometimes sinister little girl, may be responsible for poltergeist activities in their home, aided by an invisible "friend" she calls Mr Grimaldi, an eighteenth century clown. Next Eddie visits a rundown mansion which the local council is renovating, some of whose offices are already there, though there doesn't appear to be more than a handful of people working in the building yet. Old coins seem to appear from nowhere in the building's cellars and Eddie, while inspecting them by himself, glimpses what he only realises later must have been the ghost of a woman. From now on odd things begin to occur more frequently, culminating in a sort of Most Haunted visit by a film crew,  a psychic medium (obviously mimicking the dafter aspects of Derek Acorah), a hostile academic skeptic, and Eddie. With a mixture of normal and handheld cameras reminiscent of The Blair Witch, the film retains a semi-documentary realism, using minimal special effects. As the night progresses members of the cast and crew panic at inexplicable events inside the cellars, with the psychic medium falling into a fit induced by some sort of diabolic possession.
Excellent naturalistic acting and a story that never reveals too much - or offers any comforting explanations - help to build an atmosphere of supernatural dread. Eddie, our nominal hero, is disturbingly and all too obviously vulnerable, with no easy solutions to offer anyone for what is happening, And, indeed, in the aftermath, it is clear he too can become a victim of supernatural enmity as easily as anyone else. The final words in the film, when you think everything is finally over, will chill you, when it becomes obvious that what has happened so far is only the beginning for Eddie.
An excellent film, that is both engrossing and disturbing. What more can you ask than that?

Thursday 14 November 2013

Dark Visions 1 - Grey Matter Press

My contributor's copies of Dark Visions 1 published by Grey Matter Press arrived from the States in the post today - and handsome looking books they are!

My 12,000 word story Scrap is included in it.

Wednesday 13 November 2013

Urban Ghost Story (1998)

Not a new film by any means, but its blend of supernatural horror and gritty working class conditions are just up my street, and often these days just the kind of thing I ham-fistedly try to create in some of my own fiction.

After a terrible car crash which leaves her boyfriend dead, consumed in flames, Lizzie Fisher (Heather Ann Foster) starts to attract supernatural incurrences, with furniture moving of its own accord, inexplicable disgusting smells and noises. She lives with her mother (Stephanie Buttle) in a grim block of flats in Scotland. With her mother threatened by a vicious loan shark and surrounded by people hooked on drugs, she finds little sympathy with her plight until her mother contacts a journalist (Jason Connery) who recently wrote articles in the local paper about poltergeists - which is what, at this point, seems the likeliest thing to have been drawn to Lizzie.

To me this has one of those all but perfect supernatural horror story plots, complete with believable characters and grimly realistic backgrounds. The acting is great, the dialogue convincing, and the area in which it is set a nightmare in itself without the incursion of a hostile supernatural force. The twists in what happens are riveting, as is the final revelation, which pulls no punches.

I saw this film for the first time at the Halifax Ghost Story Festival and was so impressed with it that I immediately ordered it on DVD. Highly recommended.

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Lurkers in the Abyss & The Vault of Evil
Kevin Demont (known to all and sundry as Demonik) who runs the Vault of Evil has started a special thread on that site with an ongoing summary and critique of my collection, The Lurkers in the Abyss.

"With a novel and umpteen collections on the go, swore I'd resist even the tiniest peek at this for time being, but, you know, Mr. Sutton's typically informative introduction only runs to four pages, what harm can it do, etc. It was the fatal reference to the theme of Writer's Cramp cracked my resolve ....

After Nightfall: Cheery anthropologist Elliot Wilderman arrives in the decrepit hamlet of Heron to room at the solitary inn. His generosity at the bar soon wins over the taciturn locals, and in no time he has accumulated much valuable data pertaining to local tradition and legend. But still one mystery remains. Why do the populace hide themselves away behind stout locks at nightfall, and, stranger still, what's with the plates of raw meat they leave outside their doors? His landlady, Mrs. Jowitt, cautions him to do as they do, stay indoors nights and avoid the mouldering huts on the edge of town, but Mr. Wilderman is of nosey disposition. A fog descends on Heron. What harm can it do to lean out of his window and watch for those who come to claim their meal?

The title story is perhaps better known, but for this reader, After Nightfall is Mr. Riley's 'seventies masterpiece. The author likely had the typical Lovecraft New England setting in mind for his location, but, for me, Heron anticipates Chetwynd-Hayes' Loughville.

Writer's Cramp: With a deadline impending and the new issue still eight pages shy of completion, Cartwright-Hughes, slimy literary editor of Digest of Horror magazine, plagiarises the plot of a submission from unknown author A. J. Dymchurch of Oswaldtwistle, Lancs. Rubbish writer he may be, but Dymchurch is an accomplished Black Magician, and, unless he receives a very public apology, Cartwright-Hughes is for the chop.

Out of Corruption: Set in 1934, very Lovecraftian in feel but - mercifully - minus any Cthulhu Mythos overkill. Our narrator, Raymond Gregory pays a visit to his friend John Poole who has recently moved to the grim and depressing Elm Tree House in Fenley Wood. Poole, an occult dabbler, gives Gregory the guided tour and the more his guest sees of the place, the less he likes it. The house gives off terrible vibes, most notably the pentagram of slime in the cellar. Neither is he over-keen on the tramp-like fellow who has taken to prowling nightly in the garden.

Gregory learns from local librarian Desmond Foster that Elm Tree House was built on the site of a 13th Century Abbey torn down when the locals discovered the Holy Fathers were worshippers of Satan. The Monks were the lucky ones - they were merely slaughtered on the spot. The Abbot was half-hung, disembowelled and quartered alive. His last sneered utterance - "The dead rise and come to me" - suggests he didn't mind such treatment in the slightest. His gibbeted remains mysteriously disappeared that same night.

With Poole reduced to a gibbering imbecile, it's obvious to Foster and Gregory that their friend's foolish meddling in the dark arts has revived the Abbot and his rotting accomplices. The worst news is, the Abbot firmly believes in taking his revenge in kind ...

Monday 11 November 2013

Another Ebay sale - Robert Laymon Books

13 Robert Laymon novels (3 hardcover and 10 paperbacks) have been put on ebay.

Ebay Sales

I decided to start downsiding my collection of books, memorabilia, etc., due to lack of space.

One of the first to be put on ebay is this little statuette of the Death Dealer which I bought several years ago.

I also put on a job lot of 20 Anne McCaffrey books:

Saturday 9 November 2013

First Review of The Return

Horror writer Craig Herbertson has provided the first review of my Lovecraftian horror novel The Return on his Heavemakers blog,, Goodreads and the Vault of Evil.

"Mr. Fosset, making a brief appearance in this work by David A. Riley says “Dark, bleak, nihilistic stuff. Not the kind of thing to take to bed for a good night’s sleep.” Admirably summarizing this new work by a veteran author who many horror aficionados will have encountered in the legendary Pan Horror series and subsequent ‘best of’ collections."

"Fans of Grudge End, a horrible place full of horrible places, will lap this up. “Even in bright daylight the five-storey building looked dark, forbidding, and sordidly utilitarian.” – a good description of Riley’s bleak uncompromising prose – sparse, economical and clinically scary."

Friday 8 November 2013

My Signature Added £10 to Value of Book

I was amused to have it pointed out to me by Charles Black that a copy of The Lurkers in the Abyss, sold at the World FantasyCon for £12 and signed by me has now gone for sale on Ebay for £22!

That's one of the most flattering things I've seen in ages! Though, of course, the book has yet to sell...

Thursday 7 November 2013

Just Renewed My Membership of the BFS

For various reasons I was thinking of letting my membership of the British Fantasy Society lapse. It is after all £35 I could easily spend on something else. But, with a new invigorated committee, and some excellent-looking publications only just published, I've given in and renewed my membership for another year. Fantasycon 2014 is in York, too, which is not far away from where I live - and is also one of my favourite cities.

I Am Providence

I started reading S. T. Joshi's biography of H. P. Lovecraft on my kindle yesterday. At first I expected to be thoroughly bored with all the ancestral details that obligatorily preface biographies, followed by all the equally tedious details of the subject's early years, their schooling, etc. I was pleasantly surprised to find, though there were the expected ancestral details, that these were relatively brief (possibly because few details are available) and Lovecraft, being Lovecraft, was a prodigious child who soon did things of direct interest with his later life, particularly his fascination, in turn, with all things Arabic (stirred by reading tales from the Arabian Nights), then his lifelong fascination with ancient Rome. Soon, influenced by dime novels, Edgar Allan Poe, and everything else he could lay his hands on to read, particularly from his beloved seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, he was writing short stories which he bound into small hand-made books for sale to his relatives and friends, complete with title pages and copyright details.

So, not far in and already Lovecraft's life is becoming increasingly more interesting.

Wednesday 6 November 2013

First Review for The Lurkers in the Abyss

It was great to see a first review for my short story collection, The Lurkers in the Abyss, especially as it is by fellow writer, Shaun Jeffrey. I know that praise from him is praise indeed. Thanks Shaun!

The review can be found here on and

Tuesday 5 November 2013

S. T. Joshi's Biography of H. P. Lovecraft, I Am Providence, Available on Kindle.

S. T. Joshi's monumental, two-volume biography of the great H. P. Lovecraft, I Am Providence, is now available at a much more affordable price on kindle. I'm looking forward to reading this. for $10.14 for £6.37

The Return

My Lovecraftian horror novel, The Return, was withdrawn by Blood Bound Books because the first copies had been printed at the wrong size. It's now available again, priced at £8.06 on and $12.99 on Kindle copies are also available on both sites, £2.54 and $4.11 respectively.

Reviewers can still get mobi copies from me by emailing me on If you prefer hard copies that too can be arranged. 

Sunday 3 November 2013

British Fantasy Awards

The British Fantasy Awards were announced at the World Fantasy Convention:

Best Horror Novel (the August Derleth Award): Last Days by Adam Nevill (Macmillan)

Best Fantasy Novel (the Robert Holdstock Award): Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce (Gollancz)

Best Novella: The Nine Deaths of Dr Valentine by John Llewellyn Probert (Spectral Press)

Best Short Story: Shark! Shark! by Ray Cluley (Black Static #29) (TTA Press)

Best Collection: Remember Why You Fear Me by Robert Shearman (ChiZine)

Best Anthology: Magic: an Anthology of the Esoteric and Arcane edited by Jonathan Oliver (Solaris)

Best Comic/Graphic Novel: Saga, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Best Magazine/Periodical: Interzone, Andy Cox (ed.)

Best Small Press (the PS Publishing Independent Press Award): ChiZine Publications (Brett Alexander Savory and Sandra Kasturi)

Best Non-Fiction: Pornokitsch, Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin (eds)

Best Screenplay: The Cabin in the Woods, Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard

Best Artist: Sean Phillips

Best Newcomer (the Sydney J. Bounds Award): Helen Marshall, for Hair Side, Flesh Side (ChiZine Publications)

British Fantasy Society Special Award (the Karl Edward Wagner Award): Iain Banks / Iain M. Banks

Launch for The Lurkers in the Abyss at the World Fantasy Convention

My collection of short stories from Shadow Publishing, The Lurkers in the Abyss and Other Tales of Terror, was launched at the World Horror Convention on Friday the 1st November at 2.00 p.m.

Stephen Jones and David A. Riley
David A. Sutton, Carl Ford and David A. Riley
The launch gets under way
One more book signed!