Friday 30 September 2022

Submissions open for Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy Volume 5 at midnight tonight

Submissions open for Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy Volume 5 at midnight tonight until midnight on the 31st October. 

Payment is £25 per story regardless of length plus one contributor's copy of the paperback. The book will be published as a paperback and ebook. If a hardcover version is published we will pay an additional £25. Please send your submissions as attachments (doc or docx) headed  
"Submission - Swords & Sorceries 5" 

You can send in more than one submission, but we will not accept more than one story per writer. Please only send one story at a time.

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

You can send in simultaneous submissions, but let us know if your story is accepted elsewhere as soon as you can.

There is no limit on the size of submissions.  

There is no need to tell me anything about yourself because the only thing that matters is the story. 

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

And good luck!

In the past we have received a number of stories that may be fantasy but are not swords and sorcery. If you are unsure what the swords and sorcery genre is, why not get a better idea by checking out volumes 1 - 4:

Also check our dedicated facebook group: 


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.


The contents of Volume 3 are:
Sorcerous Vengeance by Lorenzo D. Lopez 
Seal Snatchers of Jorsaleem by Tais Teng
When the Gods Send You Rats by Chadwick Ginther 
Mother's Bones by Carson Ray
In the Lair of the Snake-Witch by Darin Hlavaz
The Rains of Barofonn by Mike Chinn
Wardark by Craig Herbertson
The Foliage by Rab Foster 
In the Lair of the Moonmen by Jon Hansen 
Sailing on the Thieves' Tide by Adrian Cole
Illustrations by Jim Pitts.



Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy Volume 4 contains eleven tales:

In the Iron Woods by Dev Agarwal

My People Were Fair and Wore Stars in Their Hair by Andrew Darlington

At Sea by Geoff Hart 

The Flesh of Man by Frank Sawielijew

City at the Mouth of Chaos by Adrian Cole

In the Belly of the Beast by Edward Ahern

The Tracks of the Pi Nereske by Wendy Nikel

Slaves of the Monolith by Paul D. Batteiger

The Green Wood by David Dubrow

Demonic by Phil Emery

The Whips of Malmac by H. R. Laurence


Tuesday 27 September 2022

Welgar the Cursed to be published in Swords & Heroes edited by Lyndon Perry


I can now reveal that my story Welgar the Cursed will appear in Swords & Heroes edited by Lyndon Perry, probably in January next year.

Sunday 25 September 2022

An Interview and a reprint of my story Hanuman are now available on Meghan's Haunted House of Books

I am very pleased that a brand new author interview and a reprint of my story Hanuman (first published in Phantasmagoria Magazine) are live now on Meghan's Haunted House of Books. Just click on the links posted below to access them:

Author Interview

Hanuman by David A. Riley

Monday 12 September 2022

New sword and sorcery story accepted for publication

The good news today is that I have had another sword and sorcery story accepted for publication in an anthology to be published early next year. 

The story is called Welgar the Cursed and I'll be releasing more information about the anthology in the near future.

Saturday 10 September 2022

Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy



With eleven great swords and sorcery tales, and interior and cover art by award-winning artist Jim Pitts, this series is going from strength to strength.

"The Sword & Sorcery renaissance continues with the release of volume four of David A. Riley's ongoing anthology series Swords and Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy. Eleven total stories. Out of the eleven authors, five are returning. Many with recurring characters. Most notably, Adrian Cole returns with another new Voidal story. As if that wasn't enough, the book boasts another striking cover by the esteemed Jim Pitts. Pitts artwork also graces many of the pages within too!" Richard Fisher, reviewing Volume 4 on amazon. 

Greyscale version
Full colour version

Sunday 4 September 2022

Review: Robert Aickman: An Attempted Biography by R. B. Russell

This review was published in Phantasmagoria magazine #21 August 2022 


By R. B. Russell

Tartarus Press 2022 Hardcover

Ray Russell’s highly readable biography of Robert Aickman gives an unparalleled glimpse into a life that contained more psychological complications than is usual even amongst authors of “strange stories”. It is a life full of contradictions, not least being the unreliability of his own version of events, to the extent of omitting any mention of his wife of fourteen years in his two autobiographies. And his dislike of technology, “experts” and our modern age was so strong that he never owned a radio, television or a car. Instead, living in London he frequently attended theatres, opera and the ballet, and for quite some time wrote opera reviews.

Robert Aickman: An Attempted Biography is a warts and all biography, which is not, I must confess, what I expected from Tartarus Press, which has published Aickman’s entire opus over recent years. All credit to them and to Ray Russell for being unflinchingly objective in the biography of a writer whose writings he and Tartarus Press obviously value immensely.

It is a fact that throughout his life Aickman’s uncompromising views on so many things caused him to have some bitter enemies, such as L.T. C Rolt, with whom he co-founded the Inland Waterways Association in 1946, and who Aickman successfully worked with for many years until an intractable divergence of views on what the objectives of the IWA should be caused a lasting rift. Indeed, it was so bad that at a dinner party in 1974, shortly before his death, Rolt claimed Aickman was “the most evil man I have ever known.” Which is a sad reflection on how their long-time collaboration had descended into such acrimony.

Alas for Aickman, Rolt was not the only enemy he made, and it’s suggested this was why, despite all the work he put into the IWA, Aickman never received any official recognition in the form of some kind of honour, whether an OBE or a knighthood.

Of course, for most of us, Aickman is mainly known for his stories. Significantly, although he wrote extensively for the IWA, it was only when he developed a relationship with the writer Elizabeth Jane Howard the first of the stories he became famous for saw publication, when they co-authored the collection We Are for the Dark. Even then books of short stories by little or unknown writers were rare and it saw publication by Jonathan Cape only because of Elizabeth Jane Howard’s earlier success with her novel The Beautiful Visit, which Cape had published. The collection was made up of six stories, three by both contributors, though who wrote which was not revealed at the time.

Since then, of course, numerous collections of stories by Aickman have been published over the years, and for quite some time he was the highly respected editor of the Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories. He also went on to receive recognition within the genre and was awarded the prize for Best Short Story for Pages from a Young Girl’s Journal in 1975 at the First World Fantasy Awards in Providence, Rhode Island, though unfortunately he was unable to attend. For some reason his visa was declined by the United States. The following year he was Guest of Honour at the British Fantasy Society’s annual convention, FantasyCon.

Unfortunately, Aickman’s distrust of experts and modern technology led him to refuse chemotherapy when he was diagnosed with cancer in 1980, preferring instead to take homeopathic remedies. He died the following year aged 66.

Phantasmagoria magazine

Review: Pariah by Sam Dawson

This review was published in Phantasmagoria magazine #21 August 2022


Published by Supernatural Tales, 188 pages

Not only does Pariah contain sixteen excellent stories by Sam Dawson, it also includes some really well drawn line illustrations by the author too. Plus he created its distinctive cover.

Pariah and Other Stories is an entertainingly varied collection. While some of the tales are darkly disturbing, others are satisfyingly horrific. All share an air of authenticity.

Sixteen stories are too many to itemise here, especially as some are only a few pages long, so I will mention two that impressed me the most.

Field Trip is also one of the longest. In it we encounter two close friends who have had a long, ongoing passion for camping in unusual places, especially those with a ghostly reputation, as a sort of daring do. Perhaps inevitably, they finally chance on somewhere that not only lives up to its reputation but does so in ways the two of them least expect – somewhere that proves far more dangerous than either of them is prepared. For them it was just supposed to be a long lost, deserted village, isolated since the sixteenth century due to plague. No longer even shown on any maps, they are surprised to discover it is far from deserted and going there will change their lives forever. A well-conceived and gripping story with some unexpected twists.

The other that especially caught my attention is the title story itself: Pariah. Set during the second world war at a time when the allied armies are still fighting their way across Europe, Pariah is the nickname bestowed on a specially converted Churchill tank. It has had its main gun removed to be replaced with a massive flame thrower. Needing a new command after having lost the crew of his previous tank when it was hit by a shell while he was temporarily away from it, Sergeant Freddie Brown is offered the Pariah. Few tankmen want anything to do with flame throwers as they are regarded by most as a barbaric weapon. In fact, they are hated so much by the Germans they are known to shoot any of their crews who fall into their hands – which is why Brown’s new command comes with a brand-new crew. Its previous one were executed when the tank was briefly captured. As events unfold, it isn’t long before it becomes obvious to Brown that the tank’s reputation goes further than the detestation felt by everyone towards its function, a reputation that continues long past the end of the war up until the present day in a well-researched tale full of authentic-sounding anecdotes and facts. 

One of the things that impressed me most about all of these stories, besides their variety, is the author’s research into what he is writing, without ever becoming pedantic about it.

All in all, an excellent collection which I thoroughly enjoyed. 

Pariah & Other Stories is published by Supernatural Tales and is available to
purchase from Lulu and other outlets.

Phantasmagoria magazine