Tuesday 26 February 2019


Got to watch the final episode of the second season of Fauda today, which started with our hero Doron in perhaps the stickiest postion an Israel counter-terrorist agent could find himself! I love this series. The main characters actually for once look the part. In other words they're not your usual Hollywood pretty-faced heroes and action men (and women). The photography and shots of the Israeli and Palestinian areas are fascinating glimpses into what it looks like there, and I particularly liked the interplay between the many, sometimes overlapping factions at work in the area. Very much recommended - and thanks again to David Dubrow for putting me onto this.
I hope there'll be a third series eventually - though I might take some time to recover from the stress and trauma of watching the first two seasons one after the other!

Voice from the Stone - film review

Just watched Emilia Clarke in Voice from the Stone.
At first sight this looked an intriguing supernatural movie set in Tuscany. But what a boring one and a half hours it was! The direction was so wooden and so slow-paced it made its 94 minutes feel twice the length. This might have worked as a TV feature of around 50 minutes or less, though the director gave little scope for any of the characters to spring to life, so perhaps it wouldn't even then.
Definitely not a movie I would ever watch twice!

Sunday 24 February 2019


Just watched Hereditary on amazon prime. Excellent production values, well scripted, very well acted and definitely well cast (it was great to see youngsters in a family without the usual overly pretty Hollywood faces), but that ending really let the whole thing down. The last few minutes and the climax broke the tension entirely and were not far short of laughable. What a damn shame.

Saturday 23 February 2019

The Fantastical Art of Jim Pitts reviewed by Trevor Kennedy of Phantasmagoria Magazine

Review by Trevor Kennedy for Phantasmagoria Magazine.
The Fantastical Art of Jim Pitts is a bumper hardback dedicated to the life works so far of the man of the title, one of the great fantasy artists of our time. On top of that, it also serves as a history of sorts of the much esteemed British Fantasy Society (and related publications) and the early days of these guys at the forefront of the movement, highlighting their good times, and quite often difficulties, over the last almost half a century. Jim Pitts and his exquisitely detailed artworks are our guides through this fascinating and hugely important period for the UK fantasy/horror scene. And I loved every single page of it!
Jim’s life, from his working class Northern English beginnings and folk band days with ‘The Jim Pitts Folk Quartet’ to the present day, is chronicled over 212 pages alongside a bonanza of his macabre works and written contributions from BFS stalwarts such as David A. Riley, David A. Sutton, Ramsey Campbell, Stephen Jones, Brian Lumley, Adrian Cole, Peter Coleborn and more, fascinating real life stories concerning what really must have been a golden era for these pioneers, especially in the 1970s and ‘80s. Reading about the difficulties they faced back then just made me realise how lucky wannabe publishers/writers like myself get it these days. My first job when I left school was with a printing firm, so I know only too well how expensive lithographic printing was, and probably still is.
On the subject of Jim’s artwork itself, firstly I must state that I am no art expert, especially from a technical viewpoint. But for me, as a layman, I found his numerous pieces included on the pages to be brilliantly atmospheric, haunting and Lovecraftian. I particularly enjoyed his representations of certain M.R. James’ stories, some of his Cthulhu mythos-based creations, his cracking portrait of Vincent Price in Witchfinder General, along with a classic Universal monster or two. On a personal level, Jim’s artwork also brought with it warm feelings of nostalgia for my own childhood when I would have read some of the various publications referenced, including Fantasy Tales and the B.F.S. Bulletins, mailed to me in the 1980s by my then pen-pal cousin Dave Carson, another fantasy artist also mentioned in the book and associate of Jim and the aforementioned contributors. For me to now be just a small part of this scene is the greatest of personal honours.
This is a very special book for many reasons, so if you have even a passing interest in fantasy artwork (especially that of Jim Pitts obviously) or the recent history of the UK weird fiction scene, then you really need to grab a copy for yourself as soon as humanly possible!
A limited number of 250 signed copies of The Fantastical Art of Jim Pitts have been published by Parallel Universe Publications. If you are interested in acquiring a copy you can contact them through the following:
Parallel Universe Publications
David A. Riley; Linden Riley
Head Office: 130 Union Road, Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, BB5 3DR, UK.
Email: paralleluniversepublications@gmx.co.uk or davidariley@gmx.co.uk
A future issue of Phantasmagoria Magazine (number 10, late May 2019) will feature interviews with Jim Pitts, David A. Riley and David A. Sutton.

Wednesday 20 February 2019

Gruesome Grotesques #4 - Winter on Aubarch 6

Issue 4 of Trevor Kennedy's amazing anthology series Gruesome Grotesques is now out and includes a reprint of my science fiction horror story Winter on Aubarch 6, originally published in Fear magazine in 1989.

John Gilbert, who was the editor of Fear magazine, wrote the Foreword to Gruesome Groesques and had this to say about my story: "There are also shifts in tone such as David A. Riley's 'Winter on Aubarch 6' which is hard-ish Science Fiction/Horror when originally published in FEAR Magazine but could now be considered as a fable for our age of climate change."

Winter on Aubarch 6 is also included in my collection The Lurkers in the Abyss and Other Tales of Terror (Shadow Publishing).

Fear magazine 1989

Saturday 2 February 2019

A Distasteful Horror Story by Johnny Mains

Lovely surprise to find this splendid book in the post today from Johnny Mains, his first novel A Distasteful Horror Story - and for the acknowledgement he included: "Dave Riley for helping with the typesetting and championing this book from the very start." Thanks, Johnny. It was a pleasure!

The cover is by the very talented David Whitlam.