Thursday 26 August 2021

Baal the Necromancer accepted by Mythic magazine

Pleased to have just received an email from the editor of Mythic magazine accepting one of the few fantasy stories I have ever written, a sort of sword and sorcery tale called Baal the Necromancer.
This will be my second story to appear in Mythic magazine. The first was A Grim God's Revenge in the Fall issue of 2017.



Friday 20 August 2021

Latest issue of Phantasmagoria has an interview with me, plus a short story, five reviews and an illustration!

The latest issue of Phantasmagoria has an interview with me, plus a short story, five reviews and an illustration!

Phantasmagoria #19 is now available through amazon, other internet outlets, plus some branches of Forbidden Planet.

The short story is The Last Coach Trip, much of which was based on annual trips to Ripon races by Bold Street Working Men's Club in the early 80s. They were great days out - though none ended quite like this! According to Trevor Kennedy it is a very poignant tale.

The illustration was the cover for an issue of David A. Sutton's iconic fanzine Shadow.  

There is also a glowing and satisfyingly in depth review by Trevor Kennedy of Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy Volume 2

My artwork

Wednesday 18 August 2021

A video I created about The Return

 Here's a brief video I created about my Lovecraftian crime-noir horror novel The Return


Tuesday 10 August 2021

My review of Called By Cthulhu: The Eldritch Art of Dave Carson

My review of Called by Cthulhu: The Eldritch Art of Dave Carson was broadcast by Trevor Kennedy on his midday show on Big Hits Radio UK last Sunday and will be published in the next issue of Phantasmagoria magazine, due later this week.

Here it is in full:


Shoggoth Press, 2021

Dave Carson's magnum opus, Called by Cthulhu, contains nearly all of the artist’s illustrations for the past 50 years, much of it in the Lovecraftian Mythos vein for which he is famous.

I have loved Dave’s artwork ever since I first came across it back in the day. And indeed, when I took over editorship of the British Fantasy Society’s newsletter Prism in 2010, the first artist I contacted for a cover was Dave Carson, who immediately and generously provided me with a wonderful illustration called “De Vermis Mysteriis” (see page 261).

Measuring 10 x 6 3/4 inches and 384 pages long, Called by Cthulhu is a large soft cover book with hundreds of Dave Carson's amazingly distinctive black and white pictures, including, I was pleased to find, the illustration I commissioned for issue 1 of Beyond magazine which I edited and published in 1995, for Karl Edward Wagner's story Gremlin (see page 219). It was one of the last stories Karl ever wrote and sadly wasn't published until after he died the year before. I know Dave struggled over this illustration because, a close friend of Karl’s, he was still deeply upset at his death. Nevertheless, he forged ahead and created an unforgettable illustration I was proud to publish.  

The book opens with an Introduction by Neil Gaiman, who enlivens it with some fascinating anecdotes, including the time he saw Dave on a panel at the 1983 British Fantasy Convention. After heavyweight notables Karl Edward Wagner, George Hay and Ramsey Campbell had finished expounding their views on “Lovecraftian subtext”, Dave was asked for his comments, to which he typically responded: “Fuck that, I just like drawing monsters.” Despite this amusingly modest rejoinder, Gaiman goes on to conclude that “the magic of Dave Carson’s monsters is that he loves them, and each drawing and each sculpture becomes a love letter to the night side, something perfect and true, that manages, remarkably, to communicate that love to us.” I fully concur. And its truth can be seen from the amazing amount of meticulous detail with which he creates each illustration, painstakingly constructing a thing of intricate, outlandish beauty dot by well-placed dot. The artistic talent and immense patience he must possess in drawing these is nothing short of awesome.

Called by Cthulhu is a book to pore over page by page, to take in and appreciate the skill with which each illustration has been created, and the unenviable hours of arduous work that has gone into them. Dave is a magnificent artist, whose illustrations are an endless delight to behold. 


Both Called by Cthulhu and Phantasmagoria are available from Amazon.

Wednesday 4 August 2021

Submissions for Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy Volume 3 open till October 31st


Submissions for Swords & Sorceries Volume 3 will open on the 1st August and close on the 31st October 2021

Payment is £25 per story regardless of length, plus a contributor's copy. The book will be published as a paperback and ebook. If a hardcover version is published we will pay an additional £25. Contributors can also buy extra copies of the book through us at cost price. 

Please send your submissions as attachments (doc or docx) to:

You can send in more than one submission, but we will not accept more than one story per writer.

Although we prefer original stories we are prepared to consider reprints. Just inform us where and when it was previously published. 

You can send in simultaneous submissions, but please let us know at once if your story is accepted elsewhere.

There is no limit on the size of submissions.  

All rejections and acceptances will be sent out by email at the end of the first week in November. Please don't enquire about your submission before then.

Your story should be sent as an attachment, headed:

 "Submission - Swords & Sorceries 3"

And good luck!

To get a better idea of the kind of stories we are likely to publish in this anthology check out volumes 1 & 2:


The contents of Volume One are:



TROLLS ARE DIFFERENT - Susan Murrie Macdonald




RED - Chadwick Ginther


The cover and all the interior artwork is by Jim Pitts.

The contents of Volume 2 are:

The Essence of Dust by Mike Chinn

Highjacking the Lord of Light by Tais Teng

Out in the Wildlands by Martin Owton

Zale and Zedril by Susan Murrie Macdonald

The Amulet and the Shadow by Steve Dilks

Antediluvia: Seasons of the World by Andrew Darlington

A Thousand Words for Death by Pedro Iniguez

Stone Snake by Dev Agarwal

Seven Thrones by Phil Emery

The Eater of Gods by Adrian Cole 

Illustrations by Jim Pitts.

Other than for Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy Parallel Universe Publications is officially closed for submissions at the moment.