Saturday 21 February 2015

Penny Dreadful

I must admit I did not initially expect to like this TV series, but after hearing a number of positive comments about Penny Dreadful from people whose judgement I respect say how much they liked it I decided to give it a chance and ordered copies of the DVD from Lovefilm. I am so glad I did. It's a wonderful series, with some excellent acting, intelligently-written scripts, amazingly atmospheric sets and some of the best music I have heard for a TV series for ages. I am about two thirds of the way through the first series now and am impressed at how cleverly the various horror icons have been interwoven, from Frankenstein, Dracula, Dorian Grey, etc., so much better than in any recent movie.

Wednesday 18 February 2015

The Bates Motel

Watched the final episodes of the second series of The Bates Motel last night. An excellent finish to what has all along been a grippingly well written and well acted series. The leads are without exception well cast, especially Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates. I can't help feeling sad for the character, knowing what fate has lined up for her. Freddie Highmore as Norman is brilliant too, especially when his mental illness starts to take him over as the series progresses. Looking forward - with some trepidation - to the third series.

Tuesday 17 February 2015

Fifth and final day of free kindle downloads of Goblin Mire

Today is the fifth and final day of free kindle downloads of Goblin Mire.

trade paperback:  £6.99   $12.00

ebook: £0.00 from February 13th $0.00 from February 13th

Monday 16 February 2015

Shadows Over Main Street: An Anthology of Small-Town Lovecraftian Terror

Just received a copy of Shadows Over Main Street: An Anthology of Small-Town Lovecraftian Terror, published by Hazardous Press, and edited by Doug Morano and D. Alexander Ward. It has a great, atmospheric cover by Luke Spooner (who has also done the cover for my next collection of short stories from Hazardous Press, Their Cramped Dark World).

I've only read the introduction so far by Ramsey Campbell, but will be starting the rest of it in a few minutes!

Sunday 15 February 2015

Dead Water and Other Weird Tales by David A. Sutton

Dead Water and Other Weird Tales by David A. Sutton will be published next month by The Alchemy Press. It's splendid cover is the work of artist Jim Pitts and I had the pleasure to be invited to write the Introduction.

Saturday 14 February 2015

Day 2 of 5 Day Free Kindle Download of Goblin Mire

This is day two of a five-day free download period for my fantasy novel Goblin Mire.

trade paperback:  £6.99   $12.00

ebook: £0.00 from February 13th $0.00 from February 13th

Friday 13 February 2015

Day 1 of 5 Day Free Kindle Download of Goblin Mire

This is day one of a five-day free download period for my fantasy novel Goblin Mire.

trade paperback:  £6.99   $12.00

ebook: £0.00 from February 13th $0.00 from February 13th

Thursday 12 February 2015

My fantasy novel Goblin Mire will be available free on Kindle for 5 days from Friday 13th February

My fantasy novel Goblin Mire will be available free on Kindle for 5 days from Friday the 13th February. I would add, though, that the trade paperback is a handsome looking book with a lovely wraparound cover by Joe Young - and very reasonably priced. Nudge nudge.

trade paperback:  £6.99   $12.00

ebook: £0.00 from February 13th $0.00 from February 13th

Tuesday 10 February 2015

Saturday 7 February 2015

Elves, Goblins and... Zombies

Is this the first time zombies have been used in a High Fantasy novel, albeit one which is deliberately earthy?

This is a small section from when this particular menace makes an appearance in Goblin Mire:

"There'll be wealth aplenty fer whoever finds him 'n' brings back his head," Mickle finished, glancing at his audience, most of them already fingering the edges of blades in grim anticipation. "When yer finds him, kill him as quick as yer can cause he's dangerous! Don't play around with him or he'll be doin' the killin' instead.  Kill him quick. Then cut off the bastard's head."
     Torches lit, grinning goblins eagerly set out in groups of twos and threes, some heading through the despoiled streets of the city, while others struck out for the nearest gates, intent on searching the countryside beyond.
     A hundred and four goblins set out, eager to complete their quest.
     These were the first of the host to find what had started in the unquiet dark in the city.
     Weapons clattering, Thurbo Ognash and Ombar Glostwiddle hurried as fast as their short legs would carry them past the plastered, bloodstained walls of the tall houses on their way to the nearest gate. En route they hastened across an open square with a stone fountain in the middle, where elves had regularly held an open market on the broad expanse of cobbles. Now, though, the pleasant square was piled with the bodies of slaughtered elves, ready to be taken and burnt on fires before they decayed. Leaping with ungainly agility across the corpses sprawled about the edge of the square, Thurbo Ognash was startled when a hand gripped his ankle, tripping him before he jerked himself upright again.
     "What're yer up to, yer stupid bastard?" he snarled, angrily grabbing the hilt of his sword before more hands gripped his legs. Cold hands. Hands that were hard and stiff. Hands that gripped so tight they hurt.
     Gulping in terror, Thurbo looked down as the bodies he had been carelessly leaping over a moment before started to move - bodies so badly cut about and chopped at with swords and axes only hours ago that they should have lain where they were till they were burned.
     Thurbo screamed, choking on the vomit that rose in his throat like a mouthful of acid as the bloodless faces of the elves - elf-men, elf-women and even elf-children - moved their heads to stare at him with bulging egg-white eyes. Bodies twisted into ungainly postures, the creatures were starting to climb to their feet, some of them clumsily falling over, yet each of them struggling to stand once more as soon as they fell.
     "Kill ‘em!" Thurbo's companion, Ombar Glostwiddle, shrieked, laying about with a long war-axe. Limbs and heads and bits of bodies flew through the air. "Kill ‘em, Thurbo! Kill ‘em, yer cowardly, cringing swine! KILL ‘em!"
     Too many, though, the dead moved in, their flesh absorbing the blows rained on them.
     Thurbo's face was purple as he choked on the vomit that spilled from his lips. Cold hands closed about his mouth, sealing his lips with icy fingers as he tottered on legs that had lost their strength as he fell in a faint. A faint that would never come to an end.
     "Die! Die, yer bastards! Die!" the less fortunate Ombar cried till dead hands tugged the axe from his grip. Other hands pulled his legs from under him, dragging him to the ground as a tall, pale elf, intestines hanging like a grotesque kilt about its waist, raised the goblin's war-axe high above its head, then brought it down, crushing deep into the goblin's face, spilling brains on the cobbles in a sundered mash which nothing - not even Adragor's sorcery - could call back to a semblance of life.

Trade paperback  £6.99   $12.00

Kindle: £2.97 $4.50

Wednesday 4 February 2015

A Great New Review of Romero's Children

Just read a great review of my short story Romero's Children which was republished a couple of years ago in Paula Guran's Extreme Zombies.

Jaffalogue: review

"This gem of a short story is included in Extreme Zombies edited by Paula Guran. The author, with a background in Horror fiction, treats the readers to a unique take on zombies that veers toward the I am Legend or 28 Days Later part of the spectrum..."

Romero's Children is one of the stories included in my forthcoming collection from Hazardous Press, Their Cramped Dark World and Other Tales. And, I should add, Romero's Children was first published in The Seventh Black Book of Horror, edited by Charles Black in 2010.

More Things That Go Bump in the Night

Douglas Draa and I are already thinking about doing a follow up volume of classic ghost stories to Things That Go Bump in the Night -  More Things That Go Bump in the Night.

This is the proposed cover:

Monday 2 February 2015

Kitchen Sink Gothic

Cover artwork: Joe Young
Many thanks to artist, Joe Young, for providing us with the cover artwork for Kitchen Sink Gothic. We will be contacting those who have submitted stories so far within the next seven days. And a reminder that we are still looking for stories for this anthology, which will be published by Parallel Universe Publications later this year.

Parallel Universe Publications is now accepting submissions, either original or reprints, for an anthology of stories inspired by the classic British cinema/theatre phenomenon known as kitchen sink drama. 

What Culture described it as: "A determination to examine the lives of the working and dispossessed classes in a non sentimental way...The movement began in the late 1950s and has survived to this day with the oeuvre of Ken Loach and films such as Nil By Mouth. Tackling thorny themes is a trademark of the Kitchen Sink drama. Abortion, divorce, homelessness, single motherhood, inter racial sex, poverty and homosexuality were all ripe topics to be examined. There was also the advent of The Angry Young Man – usually working class men railing against everyone and everything."

That fount of all knowledge, Wikipedia, describes it as: "a term coined to describe a British cultural movement that developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s in theatre, art, novels, film and television plays, whose 'heroes' usually could be described as angry young men. It used a style of social realism, which often depicted the domestic situations of working-class Britons living in cramped rented accommodation and spending their off-hours drinking in grimy pubs, to explore social issues and political controversies.
The films, plays and novels employing this style are set frequently in poorer industrial areas in the North of England, and use the rough-hewn speaking accents and slang heard in those regions. The film It Always Rains on Sunday (1947) is a precursor of the genre, and the John Osborne play Look Back in Anger (1956) is thought of as the first of the idiom.
The gritty love-triangle of Look Back in Anger, for example, takes place in a cramped, one-room flat in the English Midlands. The conventions of the genre have continued into the 2000s, finding expression in such television shows as Coronation Street and EastEnders.[1]
In art, "Kitchen Sink School" was a term used by critic David Sylvester to describe painters who depicted social realist-type scenes of domestic life.[2]"

We look forward to tales of darkness and horror, of the supernatural and the weird within the overall framework of the social realism of the kitchen sink drama. 

Please send your submissions to headed "Kitchen Sink Gothic" as an attachment in either doc or docx.
We welcome either new stories or reprints. If a reprint please add details of previous publication. We have no firm maximum length though obviously the longer the story the better it will need to be to be accepted.

Payment will be £5 per thousand words and a contributor's copy of the book.

Kindle copies of Things That Go Bump in the Night Available

Kindle copies of Things That Go Bump in the Night are now available. £2.00