A recent review from a satisfied customer..

A good friend I know from my FracturedSpacesRecords days sent me this review of  Gary McMahon’s What They Hear in the Dark… glad to hear of another satisfied customer!

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Truly original and inspiring horror is a rarity to come across these days, far too often ‘modern’ authors depend on ‘schlock/blood/guts/gore’ to sell their books, almost dispensing on what makes for true horror. “What is that then?” you ask bemusedly? Atmosphere. dear reader…atmosphere! Simon Marshall-Jones at Spectral Press knows what horror is really about, and his authors are that rare breed who feed of getting under your skin … into your head … deep inside your fears and neuroses…leaving you feeling really ‘sullied and unusual’ for the longest time after.

What They Hear… is a slow-burning novella by Gary McMahon, beautifully constructed, with only the merest of subtle hints of possible savagery and violence – instead it’s a tale swathed in dark oppressive cloying atmospherics, I began to genuinely feel a sense of claustrophobic unease the further I read, Gary finds a way of not just making you ‘see’ his characters and environs, but to actually put you ‘in’ there alongside them, actually sharing in the fear, misery, and creeping dread.

As the story unfolds, I actually wanted to stop reading, I was genuinely so uncomfortable, yet as much as I wanted to stop… to put the book away completely… I just couldn’t… I had to keep reading, as the story reached its shuddering grisly finale. I finally finished and put the book down, but I couldn’t think what to do next, I kept going back over what I’d read in my head… Gods help me if I’d needed to sleep…that would have been a complete non-starter!

Congratulations to both Gary, and to Spectral Press… I’m hooked… well and truly…curse you for freaking me!

Satanic “Darkest Fears” Muttley

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One more review…

This review of What They Hear in the Dark is from Terry Grimwood’s Exaggerated Press website, which can be found here. And, once more, it’s a very positive one!

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This is the first publication by Spectral Press and the beginning of a very interesting looking venture, namely the publication of individual short stories in chapbook form.

This is a story about loss, about the ability, and inability of us humans to recover and move on after the death of a loved one, in this case, a child, to me, the most unimaginable loss. Rob and Becky are, at last, trying to make a new start, moving into a new house, well, an old house they intend to renovate. But the ghosts won’t be shrugged of that easily.

Convincing in its examination of lingering grief and the effect it has on the individual and a relationship, What They Hear in the Dark presents us with shadows and whispers and a silence that is almost deafening in its totality. It also threatens us with ghosts that are horribly familiar and malevolently ambiguous. Supernatural stories seem to provide a very sharp scalpel with which to examine the injuries caused by the death of a loved one.

The description is vivid, the smells, the feel of the house, the mustiness and dankness of that room ooze from the text and live in Neil Williams’ atmospheric cover work. Most of all, the emotional landscape is starkly and startlingly painted. The tension between the protagonists, the struggle to regain their emotional level is discomforting. What They Hear in the Dark is a short sharp emotional shock.

WHAT THEY HEAR IN THE DARK by Gary McMahon
Published by Spectral Press
Paperback £3.00

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There are still a few copies of this chapbook left – so, if you haven’t purchased your copy yet then you should do so now, before they all sell out!! For details, please go here.

Spectral Volume II video book trailer

Yes, you read that right – Spectral Volume II, otherwise known as Abolisher of Roses by Gary Fry, is being promoted through a video book trailer of its very own… and here it is:

I am very grateful to Mark West for taking the time to put this together for me – electronic media is absolutely essential to the success of any venture these days and anyone who ignores the potential these media possess to help reach out to people who might otherwise not be aware of what’s on offer is seriously behind the times – another weapon in the Spectral arsenal, indeed!

Gary’s chapbook will be published on May 2nd 2011.

Today’s the day!

Yes, today is the day when Spectral Volume II, Gary Fry’s Abolisher of Roses, becomes available for preorder – individual copy prices are £3.50UK/£4.50EU/$8US and $12RoW. Remittances via Paypal to spectralpress[AT]gmail[DOT]com please – should you wish to pay via cheque then please contact me via the same email address for further details. The chapbook, in a limited edition of only 100 signed and numbered copies, is due to be published in the first week of May.

Subscriptions beginning with Volume II are still available, but in very limited numbers – £13.50UK/£16EU/$30US/$40RoW for FOUR issues. Gary McMahon’s What They Hear in the Dark is also still available, at the same individual prices as above (apologies for the increase, but Royal Mail insist on putting up their postage prices).

Looking forward to hearing from you guys!

Conventions in 2011

Just a small note to let you all know that, provisionally, I will be attending the following conventions this year, to promote Spectral Press: alt.fiction, 25th-26th June, at the Quad, Derby,  and FantasyCon 2011, September 30th – October 2nd, at the Royal Albion Hotel, Brighton. I am looking to get a table in the Dealer’s Room at both events, and at the latter con, organise a launch of Spectral Volume III, Cate Gardner’s Nowhere Hall, and a reading or two from other Spectral authors as well. Spectral chapbooks will be on sale, and you will have the chance to meet, and have your copies of Spectral chapbooks personalised by, the authors.  It would be great to see you guys there – just look for the guy with the inky scribblings all over his head. =)

Spectral II: Abolisher of Roses by Gary Fry

Spectral Press is pleased to announce that Spectral Volume II, Gary Fry’s Abolisher of Roses, will be available for preorder from Monday 14th March 2011. Individual copies can be  purchased for £3.50UK/£4.50EU/$8US and $12RoW (please note new prices – this is to reflect new postal pricing structure courtesy of Royal Mail). Please note: there are quite limited non-subscriber copies of this title available – if you want to preorder an individual copy then please act fast!

Subscriptions from issue 2 can be purchased, £13.50UK/£16EU/$30US/$40RoW for FOUR issues. Gary McMahon’s What They Hear in the Dark is still available (see individual copy prices in paragraph above) but in extremely limited numbers. Paypal and cheques accepted – contact me  at spectralpress[AT]gmail[DOT]com for further details!

Prize-winners, all…

Well, better late than never, I suppose…. =)

As some of you may know, last year Spectral set up a prize-draw to entice people to take out a subscription to the chapbooks – well, in January I drew a name out of the hat (well, a box actually…) and John Howard, who fortuitously lived not far away in Birmingham, was the person whose name was drawn. As it would prove more expensive to send it than give the prize in person, sensibly (for once) I chose the latter. And so, on February 19th, my wife and I headed north to deliver it unto the hands of John, and, as the above photo shows, John was highly pleased with his framed edition of the very first Spectral chapbook (signed by both Gary and I) and an annotated and signed manuscript. And I got a couple of rum and diet cokes to keep me very happy… EPIC WIN ALL ROUND, I SAY!

CONGRATULATIONS TO JOHN ON WINNING THE PRIZE!!