And now, for something a little different…

We hope that all you out there will join with us here at Spectral Towers (one of many such appurtenances adjoined to the extensive Marshall-Jones Mansions) in extending hearty congratulations to JOHN LLEWELLYN PROBERT (The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine) & THANA NIVEAU (future Spectral novella author) on their wedding today – may it be a wonderful day, and may their lives be long and happy together!!

With profuse apologies to shewalkssoftly.com

Reviews and News 30th Ocober 2012

The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine cover image

It’s an absolutely stunningly gorgeous autumn morning here: bright sunshine, blue skies with wispy clouds floating here and there, the leaves on the trees in the park surrounding Spectral Towers turning all manner of golds, yellows and reds, and the crazy local squirrel playing dare with the traffic whizzing past on the road just outside. To cap such a glorious start to the day, we have a link to a review of The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine from Anthony Watson’s Dark Musings blog, which has only sweetened an already marvellous day. To read what the good Mr. Watson had to say, please click here.

NEWS

Talking of John L. Probert’s opus, we are both sad and glad to say that the paperback has now sold out from us here at Spectral Towers – HOWEVER, it is still available from both Amazon UK and US. The reviews have been universal in their praise for the novella, so why not get yourself a copy today!

More soon!

Monday morning goodness: 29th October 2012

Various bits of news to get through this morning, so you won’t find us dallying on this beautifully sunny but cold autumn day:

What Gets Left Behind cover image

First up is a new review of Mark West’s What Gets Left Behind, the latest in Spectral’s renowned chapbook line. This one’s from Stanley Riiks, editor of the Morpheus Tales Review Supplement, which he has posted (due to space restrictions in the latest Supplement) on his own blog. We particularly like this quote:

“I can’t remember when I’ve read a short story this good. West has done a grand job and the usually excellent quality of the Spectral Press chapbooks is nudged up to stunning with this.”

The rest of the review can be read here.

NEWS

Whitstable cover image

Last Friday we revealed the cover (by stellar artist Ben Baldwin – above) to the forthcoming Spectral Visions novella from Stephen Volk (GhostwatchAfterlife), Whitstable. Although the book won’t be published until next May, in time to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the English actor and wonderful human being Peter Cushing, it has already generated quite a lot of interest and reservations are already being made. To make what promises to be a great book even better, Spectral has arranged a superb deal with Cosmic Hobo Productions: for a special price, not only will you get the limited signed and numbered hardback edition of the book, but you’ll also get a 2 x CD audiobook of Peter Cushing reading his memoirs of the Hammer years, Past Forgetting. You can reserve your copies of both book and CDs by contacting us on spectralpress[AT]gmail[DOT]com. This is sure to be a popular book, so get those reservations in today!

You might also like to know that Stephen will be appearing with revered genre writer Ramsey Campbell at the Newcastle Winter Book Festival on Saturday November 24th 2012 at 6:45pm at the Literary & Philosophical Society, 23 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1SE. He will be previewing Whitstable at the event, details of which can be obtained here.

Finally, to wrap things up, we are proud to announce that the thirteenth story in the first Spectral Ghost Story Annual (The Thirteen Ghosts of Christmas) will be John Forth’s The Green ClearingJohn joins the host of other fine writers (details here) whose stories have made it into what we here at Spectral Towers hope will become an annual tradition looked forward to by all lovers of spooky tales! Congratulations John!

Onwards and upwards!!

Stephen Volk’s Whitstable: cover revealed!

We here at Spectral Towers have been excited about this particular book for a  long time now, ever Stephen Volk sent us the manuscript earlier this year – it truly is one of the best books we’ve read in a very long time. Imagine, then, how much MORE excited we became when Ben Baldwin, whose artwork has graced many a story in the award-winning Black Static magazine (published by TTA Press), agreed to provide the cover image – and did he ever come through with the goods! So, without further ado, we are immensely proud to present to you the amazing front cover image that will grace Spectral Visions III:

Whitstable cover image

“Whitstable” by Stephen Volk © 2012 Stephen Volk/SpectralPress. Artwork © 2012 Ben Baldwin.

“Peter Cushing was my first hero, and in my opinion Stephen Volk has done something heroic by putting the man who fought onscreen monsters at the heart of a very human drama. Sad, tinged with a palpable sense of loss, beautifully written, and blessed with an unerring eye for crucial detail, Whitstable is a story to savour. If I may be so bold, I’m convinced that Peter Cushing would have approved.” – Gary McMahon

“This will engross and enthrall all Hammer fans and those who adore and revere Cushing. it brings his screen persona vividly to life in a modern context when the monsters are all too real – Tony Earnshaw, author of Beating The Devil: The Making of Night of the Demon and An Actor and a Rare One: Peter Cushing as Sherlock Holmes

Praise for Stephen Volk:
“One of the most provocative and unsettling of contemporary writers” – Andy Hedgecock (Interzone)
PUBLISHED TO MARK THE CENTENARY OF PETER CUSHING’S BIRTH, 2013.
More soon!

The Thirteen Ghosts of Christmas: news

Spectral Press logoWe here at Spectral Towers have been feverishly discussing the format of the first ever Spectral Christmas Ghost Story Annual, The Thirteen Ghosts of Christmas,  in an effort to bring you people something *really* special, and we think we’ve done it. So, here’s what to look forward to:

HARDBACK EDITION: Limited, numbered edition, with an introduction on the ghost story by Johnny Mains, followed by the thirteen stories, each of which will have a brief intro written by Simon Marshall-Jones. Cover image will feature artwork by Vincent Shaw-Morton, framed by a silver foiled design, making it somewhat reminiscent of the Victorian/Edwardian Annuals which provided the inspiration for the anthology (along with Scott Harrison’s Twitter remark which sparked things off!). There will also be coloured endpapers and a silk ribbon bookmarker to set things off nicely, plus some exclusive bonus material will also be included – more details soon on that! Edition size TBD.

PAPERBACK EDITION: As above, but without the silver-foiling and bonus material.

The HB will retail at £25, which includes postage and packing  UK – other prices will be forthcoming soon. If you would like to put your name down on the reservation list to ensure you get hold of a copy then please let us know on spectralpress[AT]gmail[DOT]com today – by all accounts this will be a popular book, so get your reservation in as soon as possible!

Look forward to hearing from you!

Review round-up 24th October 2012

What Gets Left Behind cover image

The reviews for Mark West’s What Gets Left Behind have been stacking up while we’ve been making exciting annoucements about other projects, so we decided to put them all together into one posting for your convenience. Anyway, enough waffling from us, here they are:

First review is a great write-up from Gef Fox of the Wag the Fox review blog, which you can read here. Then we have a review from She Never Slept, written by Marc Nocerino, accessible by clicking here (you’ll need to scroll down a bit for the review proper) – thanks to Marc for this. Moving on, Anthony Watson, a subscriber to the chapbooks, was kind enough to review Mark’s  story on his Dark Musings blog – just go here for the lowdown. Finally, writer Colin F. Barnes sets his thoughts down on the chapbook in his blog-post ‘A Fulltime Writer’s Diary – Week 1′ – once again, you will need to scroll down the page to find the review towards the end of the entry. The blog-post can be found here.

Anyway, there will be more reviews soon, as well as some more exciting announcements about some of the books we have lined up for you over the next year or two – we can honestly say that we have some fantastic authors onboard for years three and four of Spectral, so watch this space!

Onwards and upwards!

The Nine Deaths competition: the winners

The Nine Deaths of Dr Valentine cover image

Some time ago we announced a competition to celebrate the launch of John Llewellyn Probert’s Spectral Visions novella The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine. We have now picked a winner, much later than originally planned due to pressure of work and events but, before we announce who that winner is, here’s a reminder of what was up for grabs:

THE PRIZESTop prize is a personally signed copy of the hardback, along with a poster of the front cover image (also signed), a paperback copy of Gary Fry’s The Respectable Face of Tyranny (signed), a set of posters of the covers of all the chapbooks published to date, and a Spectral badge.

Second and third prizes for the next two correct entries will be signed paperback copies of The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine, accompanied by a poster of the cover image (unsigned) and a Spectral badge.

All entrants had to do was answer the following question, set by the fiendish Mr. Probert himself:

In the film THEATRE OF BLOOD, how many plays made up Edward Lionheart’s final season of Shakespeare?

The answer was: TEN – Julius CaesarTroilus & CressidaCymbelineMerchant of VeniceRomeo & JulietRichard IIIOthelloHenry VI Part 1Titus Andronicus and King Lear.

And the winner is: ALISON LITTLEWOOD!

Runners up: JOHN HOWARD  and LUCY JIANG

Congratulations to all – we will be emailing you within the next couple of days!

The Thirteen Ghosts of Christmas 2012: Table of Contents

As promised last Friday, here is the list of stories to be featured in the inaugural edition of the Spectral Christmas Ghost Story Annual – The Thirteen Ghosts of Christmas 2012. They are, in no particular order:

Where the Stones Lie – Richard Farren Barber
A Taste of Almonds  – Raven Dane
All that is Living – Nicholas Martin
And May All your Christmases  – Thana Niveau
Carnacki: A Cold Christmas in Chelsea – William Meikle
Concerning Events in Leinster Gardens – Jan Edwards
December  – Paul Finch
An Odd Number at Table – John Costello
We are a Shadow  – Neil Williams
Lost Soldiers – Adrian Tchaikovsky
Ritualism – Gary McMahon
Now and Then – Martin Roberts

(Please note: there will be one more story featured – still awaiting confirmation)

And so, there we have it, a veritable mix of the well-known and the unknown, ranging in style from the grim to the light-hearted – however they all feature something in common: we think they’re all good stories and worth your time. Having said that, thanks MUST go to all those who submitted – this was one of the toughest projects we’ve had to deal with to date, having to choose from all the wonderful stories sent to us. Hopefully, readers will agree with the choices we’ve made and will enjoy the selection.

Now comes our favourite part: the editing!! Our red pens at the ready……

Reviews and news 19th October 2012

The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine cover image

First off, we received notice this morning of a new review of John L. Probert’s Spectral Visions novella, The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine, posted to the Dread Central website and written by Pestilence. It contains this rather fine quote:

“…Probert’s tale remains a total delight from start to finish – aiming somewhere between the thrilling, the camp and the humourous, The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine lands smack bang in the middle of brilliance.”

You can read the rest of the review here.

For those interested, paperback copies are still available, although there are very limited stocks available – please send remittance (£8UK/£9EU/$16US & RoW) via Paypal to spectralpress[AT]gmail[DOT]com. It is also available via Amazon UK and Amazon US.

The Eyes of Water cover image

Also, there’s a new review of Alison Littlewood’s chapbook story, The Eyes of Water, on David Hebblethwaite’s Follow the Thread blog – it’s the third one down and can be found here.

NEWS

We’ll be announcing the winner of the recent The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine competition on Tuesday next week – so please do look out for that! However, on Monday, we will FINALLY be revealing the Table of Contents of the very first Spectral Christmas Ghost Story Annual – we’re very excited by the line-up we’ve chosen. It was an extremely tough decision to make – there were more submissions than we’d anticipated and the standard was very high. Unfortunately, we couldn’t take everyone’s story, but there will be plenty more chances to submit to future editions of the Annual.

The Annual even has a proper title now:  The Thirteen Ghosts of Christmas – come back Monday and all will be revealed!

Onwards and upwards!

Another Spectral miscellany

Spectral Press logo

SPECIAL OFFER!

As a special treat to you all you lovely people out there, we’re offering the two Spectral Visions novellas we’ve recently published in paperback, The Respectable Face of Tyranny by Gary Fry and The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine, as a bundle at a bargain price of £9 (plus P+P). All you need do to secure them is to click on the requisite button below and we’ll do the rest (all prices include P+P):

UK £11.50

EU £13.00

USA & ROW $23

Supplies are extremely limited, so hurry and order your copies now! If you want to pay by any other means, then please contact us on spectralpress[AT]gmail[DOT]com and we’ll let you know the details.

NEWS

The Christmas Ghost Story Annual is coming along very nicely, and the final selection has almost been made. There’ll be some familiar names and some less well-known, but all the stories are excellent examples of modern interpretations (and reinterpretations) of the classic ghost story. The selection spans all styles, from grim to blackly comedic, and so there should be something for everyone in there.

We here at Spectral were impressed by the quality of submissions – in fact, there were enough to nearly fill next year’s annual in addition to this year’s. Authors will be contacted very soon as to whether they were successful or not – so keep looking in your inbox over the next few days!

There was one surprise: Simon Bestwick’s tale ‘The Judgement Call’ so impressed us that it’s going to replace the originally planned chapbook of his which was due to be published in June next year. Now, we are looking to publish ‘The Judgement Call’ in either September 2013 (as a taster for the Ghost Story Annual) or December 2013. Keep checking back here as more details become available.

Onwards and upwards!