Friday 25 November 2016

The Chameleon Man & Other Terrors by David Williamson

The next book to be published by Parallel Universe Publications will be by Pan Books of Horror veteran, David Williamson - The Chameleon Man & Other Terrors. This book will see the first publication since they appeared in the legendary Pan series of The Sandman, The Too Good Samaritan, The Not So Good Samaritan, and No Room at the Flat. Also included are stories that previously appeared in the Black Books of Horror, Demons and Devilry, Alt-Zombie, Horror Uncut, and Horrific History.
Stories include:
The Procedure 
The Scryer
No Room at the Flat
The Sandman
The Too Good Samaritan
The Not So Good Samaritan
The Chameleon Man
The Switch
Rest in Pieces
Ashes to Ashes
Blind Date
Herbert Manning's Psychic Circus
The Boy
Ten Weeks
Din-Dins for Binky
A Reflection of the Times
And the Dead Shall Speak
Boys Will Be Boys
A Night to Remember
A Problem Shared

The Chameleon Man & Other Terrors will be published as a trade paperback and an e-book.

Tuesday 22 November 2016

David Ludford's A Place of Skulls gets great review on Vault of Evil

Kevin Demant of The Vault of Evil has started an enthusiastic review of David Ludford's collection A Place of Skulls and Other Tales.

Matthias Grünewald

The loss of Gary Fry's consistently rewarding Gray Friar Press earlier this year was a terrible blow, but by God are PUP doing more than their bit to fill the void! Since this time last year the Riley's have launched collections from Kate Farrell, Ezeiyoke Chukwunonso, Adrian Cole, Andrew Darlington, Steve Lockley & Paul Lewis, Richard Stains, Johnny Mains. Most, if not all, have been raved over elsewhere on this supremely popular forum by our resident non-critic (no names, no pack-drill, it was me, etc.), but, happily, several have attracted favourable proper reviews in places like Fear magazine too. And now this, the debut from David Ludford, is off to a most promising start.

A Place Of Skulls: Can a nightmare be inherited across several generations? The people of a certain Eastern European country have long memories where the despised Prince Berezovsky is concerned. The mad monarch, whose role model was evidently Vlad Tepes, will neither be forgotten or forgiven for his excessive cruelty, which is very bad news for his descendant, Janis. The young man suffers the persecution of an ancient witch who may not believe that the sins of the father's father's father's father should be laid upon the children but she'll perform a duty by her people regardless. Welcome, Janis, to the place of skulls!

A sprightly opener, liked it well enough, but little did it prepare me for this next, the very wonderful story of Mr. Skinnybones

Ain't No Grave Can Hold My Body Down: Skinnybones, the last of an ancient race, is weary of his solitude and wonders if he dare risk abducting a woman-human to provide him with children. To do so would require his leaving Donnithorpe woods and entering the town which has not been safe for his kind since the Dark Ages. Decisions, decisions .... the ghoul murders, robs and gnaws on a stranger while he thinks it over.

On taking the plunge, Skinnybones' first port of call is The Fox Inn where he inadvertently chats up Sally Robertson, barmaid-cum-prostitute, and makes an enemy of George Jones, who has recently taken to stalking her. When the pub shuts, a humiliated Jones jumps Skinnybones in the dark, battering him with a baseball bat until certain the cowled freak with the weird teeth won't be getting in anyone's way from now on. Jones disposes of the corpse in his tip of a back garden. The makeshift grave attracts crows, scores of crows, making a racket fit to raise the dead ....

Meanwhile Sally and her formidable big sister Kate decide it's time to put George in his place once and for all ....

Almost Human: As the name suggests, a Humeleon is a half human, half chameleon, the result of covert biological experiments at Larksoken laboratories thirty years ago. When a whistle-blower leaked the story to the press, it brought down a government. But what happened to the children spawned in the lab?

Old timers Chester and Tyler are patrons of Marlon's Cafe. The highlight of their day is when the very lovely young Janine Garvey stops by for a coffee and chat before continuing on her morning jog. Today on removing her track-suit top she briefly exposed something Tyler wishes he'd not seen. A patch of tell-tale reptilian skin on her arm. Unfortunately, Marlon, nosey parker that he is, also caught a glimpse. He's read all about these humeleon scum in the Daily Sentinel who only print the truth and are never further than a phone-call away. Ace reporter Dan Challis agrees that this is too good an opportunity for his quality rag to miss.

Wednesday 16 November 2016

The 3rd Spectral Book of Horror, edited by Joseph Rubas

Cover: Holly Madew
Just received my limited edition hard cover copy of The Third Spectral Book of Horror in the post today. And what a gorgeous-looking book it is!

Edited by Joseph Rubas, it includes stories by:
Dan Weatherer
David Wellington
A. H. Day
William F. Nolan
Eugene Johnson
Lou Antonelli
Mark Allan Gunnells
Billie Sue Mosiman
Dan Longmate
Tim Major
S. L. Edwards
Robert Clarke
Adrian Cole
Samuel Marzioli
Richard Farren Barber
Dave-Brendon de Burgh
Alexander G. Tozzi
Lisa Morton
James V. Brock
Alex Marco

plus a Lovecraftian horror story of my own: Boat Trip.

Bibliotheca: H. P. Lovecraft - a Shadow special publication

As well as regularly publishing Shadow during the late 1960's and early 70's, Dave Sutton also produced a couple of other publications, including Weird Window (showcasing original short stories) and Bibliotheca: H. P. Lovecraft.

 Cover art: Kevin O'Neill (from The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath)
 Back Cover: Art by Brian J. Frost
Contents page

Shadow - the later issues

Rounding off my scans of covers from David A. Sutton's fanzine Shadow:

Issue 12 November/December 1970
Cover art: Brian J. Frost

Issue 12 May/June 1971
Cover art: David Fletcher

Issue 14 September 1971
Cover art: Brian J. Frost

 Issue 15 December 1971
Cover art: David Fletcher

Issue 16 March 1972
Cover art: Alan Hunter

Issue 17 June 1972
Cover art: Jim Pitts

Issue 19 April 1973
Cover art: Jim Pitts

Issue 20 October 1973
Cover art: Jim Pitts

Issue 21 August 1974
Cover artwork: David Fletcher
(Final issue)

Tuesday 15 November 2016

Shadow - David A. Sutton's groundbreaking fanzine from the 60's and 70's

I was recently going through my copies of Dave Sutton's great little literary fanzine, Shadow, looking for artwork by Jim Pitts for the forthcoming book to be published next year by Parallel Universe Publications. I wondered, perhaps, whether the early covers would be of interest to some of you, even if the first few issues had no artwork on them.
Issue 1, January 1968

Issue 2 August/September 1968

Issue 3 October/November 1968Cover art: David A. Sutton

Issue 4, December/January 1968/69

Issue 5 February/March 1969Cover art: Eddy C. Bertin

Issue 6 April/May 1969Cover art: Brian J. Frost

Issue 7 September 1969Cover art: Eddy C. Bertin

Issue 8 October/November 1969
Cover art: David A. Sutton

Issue 9 January/February 1970Cover art: David A. Riley

Issue 10 April/May 1970Cover art: Brian J. Frost

Issue 11 July/August 1970Cover art: Brian J. Frost

Sunday 13 November 2016

Another great review for Ezeiyoke Chukwunonso's Haunted Grave and Other Stories

 Congratulations to Ezeiyoke Chukwunonso on yet another great review for his short story collection, Haunted Grave and Other Stories..
Terror Tree

Haunted Grave and Other Stories by Ezeiyoke Chukwunonso
Published 1st August 2016 by Parallel Universe Publications
101 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

8 short stories each completely different, the only common theme was the African setting. I have not read anything by this author nor have I read a story set in Africa, I didn’t know what to expect but I pleasantly surprised. Each story left you wanting to read more, making it a quick read.
Eaters of Flesh is about a young man’s missing mom. Written in his POV, you find him trying to find the truth about why his mom was getting ill and then just disappeared. With a note left from his mom and his dad’s weird behaviour, was is due to her religious belief or was it something else. It is not till the end of this story do you find out what actually happened.
The Last Man Standing: Nigeria is battling ADAIDS, an advanced form of AIDS. To speed up the research, the government start moving their money from non-essential items like TV, Radio and what they deemed non-essential foodstuff. This does not hit home to the protagonist until he can’t buy a can a Sprite. Opening up his place he tries to set up a safe haven for survivors and it works pretty well until one of his trips he finds a lonely young girl. This story shows the true horror of death and the fear of dying.
Exorcism: The narrator of this story is the other half of Ifeanyi. Reading this you can’t tell who is good or evil as Ifeanyi likes to get on the wrong side of people and the narrator tries his best to put it right. A good twist at the end when a priest pays a visit.
Haunted Grave: A story about an urban legend. Sitting in an old cemetery Chidi tells them the story of Ekene. Like all urban legends was it true or not but the story never goes away. Beware of people with nails as teeth.
To Love is Strange: A moving story of a clan that the females are cursed. They can have sex but not with the man they love. Juliet enjoys sleeping around to satisfy her itch but what feelings does she hide. Her twin sister Ginika is in love with Ebuka. Written in Ginika POV, the story is about the battle of her conscious and what risks she is willing to take to get what she wants.
A Cursed City: When children go missing they are reported to the Elders. The one witness is Nkeshi, the local drunk, she saw a bird like monster with the body of a man take a child. Due to her status, they did not take her serious, but then more children go missing, each eye witness the same thing. This is a story about revenge and the loss of a civilisation.
The Game of Aids: Another story about the Aids virus, Maria is the latest victim of the Aids virus. Caught from her husband this is story about how he caught the virus.
The Green Race: The one sci-fi story, Professor Oliver Brown is giving a lecture about his time on Mars and his views on the alien life form he met.
What I enjoyed about this book is that not all horror are monsters, what happens in the modern world is just as horrific. The stories leave you thinking about the vulnerability of the human race, Aids, revenge and racism all play a part. These stories are well written with a mixture of African culture and horror makes them a good quick read. Looking on his Amazon page, this author has other stories published which I will definitely read.

Saturday 12 November 2016

Great review of Fishhead: The Darker Tales of Irvin S. Cobb on Hellnotes

Veteran reviewer Mario Guslandi gave Fishhead: The Darker Tales of Irvin S. Cobb a glowing review on the Hellnotes website, which is owned by JournalStone, publishers of Dark Discoveries magazine.
Describing our publication as "an elegant trade paperback", Mario Guslandi ends his review with: "For those readers who love tasty, dark fiction, Fishhead is not only an unexpected surprise, but a veritable feast to savor page after page. Warmly recommended."

trade paperback:  £8.99  $11.99