A trio of reviews

The Eyes of Water cover image

So it’s Monday again, and the weather can’t decide whether it wants to be sunny or rainy so it’s flinging both at us. Never mind, at least there are a couple of new reviews of Spectral chapbooks for you to look at:

First up is regular reader Riju Ganguly’s assessment of Alison Littlewood’s The Eyes of Water, posted to his Goodreads account – you can find that one here.

Secondly, here comes a combined review from the good folks of Shock Totem Magazine of The Eyes of Water and Simon Kurt Unworth’s Rough Music, written by John Boden. You can read his thoughts here.

Don’t forget to order your subscription to this series of critically-acclaimed chapbooks – they often sell out well before publication and a subscription is the only way to make sure you get your copy (Paypal buttons down the right-hand side of this blog for your convenience). At the same time, why not also order a copy of the second Spectral Visions novella, John L. Probert’s The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine – to order, there’s a separate page (listed next to ‘HOME’ in the menu bar above), which gives you all the pertinent details. There aren’t that many left, so if you don’t want to be disappointed, order today!

Look forward to hearing from you!

The Crow’s Caw sounds out The Eyes of Water

The Eyes of Water cover image

Just a short post this morning, to let you all know about the latest review of Alison Littlewood’s Spectral chapbook. This one has been posted to Jassen Bailey’s The Crow’s Caw and was written by KE Bergdoll – you can see what they thought of it by going here.

Don’t forget, too, that you can also subscribe to this critically-acclaimed series of single short story chapbooks, thus ensuring that you don’t miss a single one and find out why it was nominated for a British Fantasy Award. For your convenience, there are Paypal buttons down the right-hand side (you can also pay by cheque or bank transfer – contact spectralpress[AT]gmail[DOT]com for details). You also have the option of buying 3-year or 5-year subscriptions, as well as the standard 1-year.

At the same time, why not order a copy of John Llewellyn Probert’s Spectral Visions novella The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine, an outrageously gruesome tribute to the films of Vincent Price. There’s a separate page for ordering it, listed next to ‘Home’ above.

Look forward to hearing from you – onward and upward!

The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine: pre-order today!

The Nine Deaths of Dr Valentine cover image

“Someone is killing doctors in the style of the murders in Vincent Price movies, leaving the Bristol police baffled. The only man who could possibly be responsible died years ago . . . or did he . . .?”

Today’s the day – John Llewellyn Probert’s Spectral Visions novella (and homage to the late actor Vincent Price), The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine, is available for y’all to pre-order. The book will be officially launched at this year’s FantasyCon, in Brighton, where the good man himself will be more than happy to sign and personalise copies. Those attending will also get a FREE poster of the front cover image, which you can also persuade him to sign as well. The limited hardback edition (100 only) includes that wonderful wraparound cover by JD Busch, coloured endpapers, a silk ribbon bookmarker and, as a bonus, an appendix featuring mini-reviews and reminiscences of the films referenced in the story. It’s going to be a very special item!

You will notice that there are two price points listed for the UK and Europe – as the book is being launched at FCon, those attending can pick their copies up at the event and thus save on postage and packing. Ordering now is the best way to ensure that you secure your very own copy of this magnificent and gruesomely affectionate paean to the horror films of the 60s and 70s!

FantasyCon attendee price £17.50 (UK)

Non-attendee price £21 (UK – includes P+P)

FCon attendee price £17.50 (EU)

Non-FCon attendee price £23.50 (EU – includes P+P)

US & RoW $45 (includes P+P)

Looking forward to hearing from you!

(A note about postage prices – blame the Royal Mail for that …. )

A Spectral Miscellany

The Respectable Face of Tyranny cover image

For the first post of the week, we bring you a selection of this, that and the other, including the latest quote, some reviews and a bit of news. Let’s start with that quote, concerning the very first Spectral Visions novella:

“Like a jam session between Billy Bragg and H P Lovecraft or a mash-up of Rage Against the Machine and Algernon Blackwood, Gary Fry’s The Respectable Face of Tyranny is a radical — and remarkably successful — marriage of socio-economic outrage and Cosmic Horror.” — Peter Atkins (Screenwriter, Hellraiser II, III, & IV, Wishmaster and author of MorningstarBig Thunder Moontown)

We couldn’t have asked for a better quote from such an eminent fellow!

Staying with The Respectable Face of Tyranny, there’s a review of the novella in the new issue (#29) of Black Static magazine. Peter Tennant, the reviewer says of it:

“This is the finest work I’ve seen from Gary Fry, a story in which he blends numerous concerns about the plight of our world and dresses them all up in reinvented horror tropes, with the world’s financial systems personified as Cthulhuesque entities, a splendidly effective and apt metaphor.”

There are still paperback copies of this book available from us here at Spectral Towers, but in limited quantities – contact us at spectralpress@gmail.com for more details and how to order.

Peter Tennant also reviewed Simon Kurt Unsworth’s Rough Music and Alison Littlewood’s The Eyes of Water in the same issue. Of Rough Music he opined:

“With echoes of The Wicker Man in the masked revellers who appear nightly on The Green, this is a subtle and effective story about the workings of guilt, one that perhaps has more in common with Poe’s ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ as [the] poor [protagonist] is tormented past any point of return.”

And this is part of what he said about Alison’s tale:

“[The Eyes of Water] is a beautifully realised story, with Littlewood bringing the Mexican setting to vivid life, a world of jungles and underwater caves, and also a place where the old rituals are deeply rooted, only hidden by a veneer of Christianity and civilisation.”

If you wish to read the reviews in their entirety, then please pick up a copy of the latest issue, available from TTA Press.

Finally, a snippet of news:  John Llewllyn Probert’s magnificent and gruesomely outrageous homage to the cinematic legacy of the late Vincent Price, The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine, will be up for pre-order tomorrow. There will be two price points: one for those attending FantasyCon 2012 (where it’s being officially launched so people can pick their copies up in person) and the other for those who aren’t (book price + p&p). This is the best way of securing a copy plus for those attending this event and no doubt John can be persuaded to personalise your copy while there. There will also be a free poster of the front cover image for those attending the launch, as well as free wine. Plus, there will almost certainly be an impromptu performance of select passages from the book in addition…. that’s definitely something to look forward to!

Anyway, that’s all for now, so onwards and upwards!

The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine: news

The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine cover image by JD Busch

Just a heads up to all those who expressed an interest in purchasing a copy of John Llewellyn Probert’s bloodily affectionate and outrageous homage to the films of the late, great Vincent Price, The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine – the limited signed hardback edition, with the fantastic JD Busch cover illustrated above, will be available for preorder from next week. It’ll be officially launched at FantasyCon 2012 in September, so please let us know if you’ll be attending this event.

John read the first two chapters from the book at the This Is Horror evening at Birmingham’s Shock & Gore event at the Electric Cinema last Sunday, where it went down extremely well. If you want to reserve a copy of the novella, which is almost certain to sell very fast, then please contact Simon Marshall-Jones at spectralpress[AT]gmail[DOT]com and let him know.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Novella Preference Service

Spectral LogoSo what’s this, we hear you ask?

Good question! Well, we’ve had more than a few people asking us about whether we intend to have a subscription service for our Spectral Visions novellas, like we do for the chapbooks. After thinking about it, we decided that this wouldn’t really work, as the novellas are unlikely to be any set price across the range, so instead we came up with this idea, the Novella Preference Service.

Essentially, what this will entail is drawing up a list of people who are interested in regularly purchasing novellas from the Spectral Visions line and then offering titles to them before anyone else, at a discount price (£1/$2 off cover price, for instance). That way, you can be sure of getting the volumes you want plus you aren’t committed to buying all of them. You will be sent press-releases ahead of official announcements and then you just reply, telling us whether you’re interested in buying or not.

So, if this idea appeals and you’re keen on purchasing volumes from the Spectral Visions  line then please send your name to spectralpress[AT]gmail[DOT]com and tell us that you would like to be added to the Novella Preference Service.

Hope to hear from you guys soon!

The Eyes of Water reviewed at the Hellforge

The Eyes of Water cover image

Midweek has come around fast yet again, and here we bring you notice of yet another review of Alison Littlewood’s Spectral chapbook, The Eyes of Water. This one’s written by Matthew Fryer and can be seen at his Welcome to the Hellforge blog – you can read it here.

More reviews soon!

A Brace of Reviews

Spectral LogoAfter the excitement of yesterday’s cover reveal for John Llewellyn Probert’s The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine, normal service is now resumed with news of a whole clutch of reviews we’ve received recently, no less than four in fact. So, without further ado, let’s get stuck into telling you about them.

First up is Alan Kelly’s review of The Respectable Face of Tyranny by Gary Fry,  published in his monthly column in the venerable Rue Morgue magazine. You can read it here, along with reviews of Joe & Me by David Moody (published by This Is Horror, for which I am the line’s Senior Editor) and Lee Thomas’ Torn (Cemetery Dance).

There ‘s another review of Gary’s Spectral Visions novella on page 25 of this quarter’s Morpheus Tales Review Supplement (#17), along with the latest instalment of my column, ‘Ramblings of a Tattooed Head’. It’s FREE to download, and you can do so from here.

Following on from that, here’s a review of Simon Kurt Unsworth’s Rough Music, Volume V in the chapbook series which came out in March this year. This one’s from Clare Allington, posted in the Clare’s Crypt section of the Snakebite Horror review blog – did she think it was a hormonious or discordant production? Find out here.

Finally, we have a reader review, posted to Goodreads, of Alison Littlewood’s The Eyes of Water. This was kindly written and uploaded by Tim James who,we should declare, is a good friend of ours from our Plymouth days. Nevertheless, we can say that he’s a very well read gentleman, and that he knows a thing or two about good books. Here’s the review he posted.

More soon!

The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine: cover reveal

The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine cover image by JD Busch

And so, just to brighten up your Monday morning, we present to you the front cover image of the next Spectral Visions novella, The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine by John L. Probert. The image, executed by artist JD Busch, perfectly encapsulates the spirit of John’s story, as it’s an affectionately gruesome, blackly humorous and outrageous homage to the films of Vincent Price, in particular Theatre of Blood and The Abominable Dr. Phibes. The book is due out in September and will be launched at this year’s FantasyCon in Brighton. If you’re going to the convention and decide to come to the launch, there will be free wine and also a ‘performance’ reading from the book by John himself (believe me, his readings are definitely NOT to be missed) as well as a signing.

About half of the limited hardback edition have been spoken for already, but if you’re interested in acquiring a copy then please contact us at spectralpress[AT]gmail[DOT]com to reserve one. Pre-orders will begin sometime this month.

Onwards and upwards!