Wednesday 28 May 2014

STOP THE TRAIN - The sensational new musical

This is a link to hear samples of the songs in Stop the Train, which my daughter, Cassandra, will be appearing in at The Grand, Clitheroe on the 8th, 9th and 12th August. 

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Nice review for Out of Corruption

Original cover
It's not often I've had a review for a single story, especially one as nice as this. Out of Corruption is one of my longer short stories and was originally published in Steve Jones' Mammoth Book of Zombies, an anthology that has seen a number of reprints, with some title variations,  both in the UK and overseas, including Russia. It is also included in my short story collection from Shadow Publishing, The Lurkers in the Abyss and Other Tales of Terror.

A link to the review:

"1993 - Spoiler alerts.

An action packed haunted house horror yarn set in the kind of house you would never want to enter let alone live in.

The narrator visits an old friend who is going mad for living in the crumbling Gothic pile, due to strange noises in the night, something
shuffling round in the cellar, and mysterious figures roaming the grounds at night.

The narrator sees some of this for himself, and learns that the zombies outside cannot enter the property due to its crooked windows and door-frames (designed to ward off evil). Though the things outside after dark can't get in, leaving the house after dark would be fatal.

Russian cover
The narrator gains information from a local librarian and occult specialist, as the man who owns the house is attacked and possessed by the figure trapped in the cellar to try to get the creatures outside to enter.

The zombies start breaking windows trying to frighten the mortal inhabitants into leaving the house too, so the humans are trapped by a malevolent entity within and a horde of the living dead outside - even if they make it to dawn and escape to new homes, their troubles may not be over.

Relentlessly paced Evil Dead style story, which a saturation of evil atmosphere throughout.

Arthur Chappel"

Monday 26 May 2014

Paul Finch's 50th Birthday Party

Had a great night out on Saturday at Paul Finch's 50th Birthday Party at Wigan Little Theatre, Wigan. It nicely coincided with the publication of Paul's third DS Heckenburg thriller The Killing Club. After an overcast day, the sky brightened in the early evening and I had an enjoyable forty-minute drive to Wigan. Fortunately my satnav guided me straight to the venue and I was able to park up on the street only three blocks away. The first people I met when I went inside were Anna Taborska, Charles Black, Reggie Oliver, Simon Bestwick and Cate Gardner, so I felt at home straight away. The venue was packed and there was a great, celebratory atmosphere. Had some interesting conversations while I drank my non-alcoholic orange juice. It felt almost like being at a convention! Things were still going lively when I left at 11.15.

Reggie Oliver published the following two photos on facebook:

Me, Paul Finch in the background, and Cate Gardner
Photo by Reggie Oliver

Anna Taborska, Charlie Black, me, Cate Gardner and Simon Bestwick
Photo by Reggie Oliver

Wigan Little Theatre

Thursday 22 May 2014

ReAct Academy's next production: High School Musical

I am really looking forward to my daughter, Cassandra's next production from ReAct Academy: High School Musical, at Oswaldtwistle's Civic Theatre on the 26th to the 28th June.

Monday 19 May 2014

In the Flesh wins BAFTA for best mini-series

I was pleased to see that the BBC's zombie series, In the Flesh, filmed and set in the North West, won a BAFTA yesterday for a mini-series. Now into its second series, this is one of the very best zombie stories ever shown on either the big or little screen. It's intelligent, well acted, innovative and original. It is also very well written.

Thursday 15 May 2014

H.P. Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness" to Be Adapted into Animated Feature Film

Word is that instead of the epic originally planned by del Toro, we'll soon instead have an animated feature film based on H. P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness.

"Stephen Sloan of Upon Animation Studios announced today that H.P. Lovecraft’s most revered novella, At the Mountains of Madness, is going to be made as an animated feature film, Mountains of Madness, produced entirely in Canada. The movie will be co-produced and directed by Sloan from a screenplay by award-winning playwright and screenwriter Peter Colley ("

Amongst the actors being considered for voices in the movie are Christopher Plummer, Victor Garber, Elias Koteas, Nathan Fillion, Dan Aykroyd, Martin Donovan, Jay Baruchel, Justin Chatwin, Joshua Jackson and Hayden Christianson

For uptodate information there is a dedicated facebook page about the film: Mountains of Madness Movie

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Stop the Train - Musical

I am looking forward to watching my daughter Cassandra in Ribcaged Production's Stop the Train musical at the Grand, Clitheroe in August.

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Out of the Unknown to be released on DVD

The BFI will be releasing a 6-DVD Box Set of the BBC's brilliant science fiction series Out of the Unknown, first broadcast between 1965 and 1971. Stories in the anthology series were based on tales by writers like John Wyndham, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, John Brunner, Frederik Pohl, Henry Kuttner, Clifford D. Simak, Nigel Kneale, J. G. Ballard and others.

It's many years obviously since I saw this series, but I recall loving it at the time, and I'm definitely looking forward to getting this set when it's available to watch them all again. 

It's due to be released in September.

Patrick Woodroffe - 1940-2014

I was saddened to learn of the death of the great fantasy artist Patrick Woodroffe on the 10th May. I'll always remember the cover he did for the Corgi edition of The Satyr's Head and Other Tales of Terror in 1975, illustrating my title story more vividly than I could have ever imagined. His iconic artwork graced the covers of numerous fantasy novels, as well as record sleeves. There was never any mistaking his work, it was so outstandingly characteristic.

One of my prized possessions is his book Mythopoeikon, which contains some of his best artwork from the 60s and 70s

Sunday 11 May 2014

Some other lobby cards

Here are a few more lobby cards I collected in the dim, distant past.

The Evil of Frankenstein Lobby Cards

It's fun sometimes to rummage through old stuff you collected years ago. Back in the day I used to collect film memorabilia. Here are some lobby cards from The Evil of Frankenstein, which was still fairly new at the time.

Thursday 8 May 2014

Dark Discoveries Review

I was very pleased to receive a small payment via PayPal from Journalstone for a Hellnotes review I did earlier this year that's reprinted in Dark Discoveries #27.

The review was for Herbert Manning's Psychic Circus and Other Dark Tales by British writer David Williamson. The book is published by Hazardous Press.

Wednesday 7 May 2014

Goblin Mire cover

Joe Young has now completed the front and back covers and the spine of Goblin Mire, which will be published later this year. Other than some blurbs, etc., which I'll be adding later, this is the final version.

Goblin Mire has had a checkered history. It was first published by Renaissance eBooks, who gave it one of the worst covers I have ever seen. This was only ever published as an ebook, so its publication by Parallel Universe Publications will see it in hardback and paperback for the first time. I have also thoroughly revised it, shedding about 10,000 words. I intend to bring out an ebook version soon afterwards.

For a comparison, this was the original cover provided by Renaissance eBooks:

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Ray Harryhausen

While sorting through some paperwork I came across this old, slightly damaged photograph - the only copy I have of it, unfortunately - of when Ray Harryhausen visited the Preston SF Group in the early 90s.I'm not sure why I decided to wear a bizarre Christopher Lee Dracula T-shirt that night!

Ray Harryhausen, Martin McKenna, Jim Pitts, David A. Riley

Saturday 3 May 2014

Revised cover for Goblin Mire from Joe Young

Joe Young has done some more work on the cover for my fantasy novel Goblin Mire, which was originally published several years ago by Renaissance eBooks. The cover commissioned then was possibly one of the worst ever put on a published book. Because of this and the utter failure of my publisher to help promote the book or even respond to my attempts to promote it myself, I finally withdrew it from them. After revising the text, I am now preparing to republish the book under the Parallel Universe Publications imprint.

Joe voluntarily took on the task of doing a brand new cover for the book. Below is the latest revision.