2015 – A Look Forward

Spectral Press logoOn this day, the very last one of the year, it is customary to look back over the preceding 364 and recapitulate the significant events they contained. However, we here at Spectral thought that rather than turn around to see what lay behind us, we should instead keep on facing to the front and peer into the future, to see what’s just over the horizon – it’s a far more positive thing to do, in our opinion. So, let’s do so.

1st January 2015 is Spectral’s FOURTH anniversary – which means that we will start planning for our 5 year birthday in 2016. We already have some items lined up, and we will be putting together a whole portfolio of titles which will help celebrate the milestone in some style, all of which will be up to the high quality of material you have come to expect from the imprint. Over the coming year we will be slowly revealing what we have lined up – we can guarantee that there are going to be a lot of must-have books coming your way in 2016!

TMLogo01However, it’s 2015 we’re concerned with here, and so we’ll tell you about some of the books due to be unleashed upon the world. First, we will be publishing the first two titles in the Theatrum Mundi off-shoot imprint, which will specialise in works which, while still espousing the highest literary quality, fall outside the usual remit of the Spectral publishing style. The titles will be Within the Wind, Beneath the Snow by Ray Cluley and Ricochet by Tim Dry. Ray, a British Fantasy Award winner, is already well known to readers of Black Static magazine, having built up a solid number of appearances within its pages, and whose future as a writer heralds a great deal of promise. Tim Dry is a writer, actor, musician, raconteur, and all-round good egg, who was one half of the pioneering robotic dance duo Tik & Tok, played the creature in Xtro as well as various characters in Star Wars, and has appeared in numerous television ads in the UK and Europe. Definitely two titles to look out for!

"Leytonstone" ©Stephen Volk/Spectral Press 2014. Artwork ©Ben Baldwin 2014

“Leytonstone” ©Stephen Volk/Spectral Press 2014. Artwork ©Ben Baldwin 2014

Following on from the unqualified success of Whistable, Stephen Volk’s critically-acclaimed love-song to much-loved British actor Peter Cushing, Spectral will be publishing Leytonstone, the second in the writer’s ‘Dark Masters’ trilogy (of which Whitstable was the first). Although we may be somewhat biased, it’s a stunning novella, which showcases a writer at the very top of his game. This one puts a very young Alfred Hitchcock in the spotlight, adding and embellishing upon an anecdote the great director himself often told, an event which possibly provided the thematic inspiration for many of his films. The novella features an introduction by Stephen Gallagher and cover art by Ben Baldwin. An essential purchase.

Albio Fay ©2014 Mark Morris/Spectral Press. Artwork ©2014 Ben Baldwin

Albio Fay ©2014 Mark Morris/Spectral Press. Artwork ©2014 Ben Baldwin

Mark Morris will also be a familiar name to those who follow Spectral: he edited the best-selling anthology The Spectral Book of Horror Stories in 2014. In April he will have his own Spectral novella, Albion Fay, a story revolving around the hidden strangenesses inherent in the English countryside and how it affects one broken family on a summer break. Also featuring cover art by Ben Baldwin and an introduction by Adam Nevill, one of our finest writers working today.

A third novella will be forthcoming from writer of all things weird and wonderful Cate Gardner, titled The Bureau of Them. Cate has been published by Spectral before, with a chapbook called Nowhere Hall in 2011. Once more, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in Cate’s unique vision, in a world where things are never what they seem – more details soon.

Remember David Tallerman, winner back in 2012 of the Spectral Press/This Is Horror short story competition with The Way of the Leaves, which was subsequently published as a chapbook in December of that year? Well, we will be publishing a collection of his short stories in 2015, to be called The War of the Rats and Other Stories. These tales hark back to the Golden Age of the Pulps, being very much in the mould of the classic adventure/mystery/horror story which was popular in the early to mid twentieth century. It’ll be an illustrated edition, the artwork being provided by newcomer Duncan Kay.

'Into the Fire' by Les Edwards ©2014

‘Into the Fire’ by Les Edwards ©2014

Also, Spectral will be putting out two anthologies of classic stories – Back From the Dead edited by Johnny Mains (a collection of stories taken from the original Pan Books of Horror Stories), and Darkest Terrors, edited by Stephen Jones and David A. Sutton,which brings together some of the best tales from the Dark Terrors series of books. Cover artwork for both publications will be by Les Edwards. Plus, of course, there will be the second volume of The Spectral Book of Horror Stories to look forward to as well as the 2015 edition of The 13 Ghosts of Christmas.

"We are the Martians: the Legacy of Nigel Kneale" edited by Neil Snowdon. Artwork ©2014 David Chatton Barker

“We are the Martians: the Legacy of Nigel Kneale” edited by Neil Snowdon. Artwork ©2014 David Chatton Barker

On the film front, we have the Nigel Kneale book, We are the Martians: The Legacy of Nigel Kneale edited by Neil Snowdon coming out in December, plus the Michael Armstrong film-script collection and also a volume of screenplays by British screenwriters edited by Paul Kane.

Europe After the Rain II - Max Ernst 1940-42. © 2014  Wadsworth Atheneum

Europe After the Rain II – Max Ernst 1940-42. © 2014 Wadsworth Atheneum

And we will be relaunching the chapbook series, starting with Lisa L. Hannet’s Smoke Billows, Soot Falls in March, to be followed by offerings by Steve Lockley & Paul Lewis, Robert Shearman, and Simon Bestwick. And, debuting in January, will be James Everington’s The Quarantined City eBook serial which will feature a Max Ernst painting as the cover image.

All Exciting Stuff! Onwards and upwards to 2015!!


Theatrum Mundi: the first hint…

We here at Château Spectrale are already laying the foundations for the new Theatrum Mundi imprint (in amongst editing and preparing new Spectral Press titles), so we thought you would like to see a hint of something coming your way next year – below is the cover artwork for Tim Dry’s unclassifiable novella Ricochet, created by John Oakey. We would like to think that the new imprint will complement Spectral’s output perfectly while bringing in a whole new readership.

'Ricochet' © Tim Dry/Spectral Press/Theatrum Mundi 2014. Artwork © John Oakey 2014.

‘Ricochet’ © Tim Dry/Spectral Press/Theatrum Mundi 2014. Artwork © John Oakey 2014.

Hope you like!

Theatrum Mundi: the first titles


We don’t like to stand still here if we can help it, and so we’re going to begin the new working week with some news of the books which will be launching the new Theatrum Mundi imprint.

Ray Cluley’s Within the Wind, Beneath the Snow is a novelette set in the frozen wastes of the far north, and it will be graced with a cover by the legendary science fiction artist Jim Burns. It will be published in November 2014 in a limited signed hardback with dustjacket only. Here’s the blurb:

Gjerta Jørgensen patrols the frozen coastline of Greenland.  She is the first woman to do so as part of Slædepatruljen Sirius, an elite dogsled team pushed to the limits of physical survival, risking hunger, exhaustion, frostbite and attack.  But out here, where beautiful frozen desolation shows you little but snow, ice, and darkness, there is more to fear than this.  She can hear it within the wind.  It waits beneath the snow.

The darkteeth.

With only Søren Olsen and a dozen dogs for company, Gjerta must face these dangers and the darkness that hides in her past.  Or else succumb to the cold and all it brings to haunt her.

This will be followed by Tim Dry’s Ricochet, a novella-length blasphemical wedding of fevered edginess, violence, drug-fuelled nightmares, psychedelia, and madness, set in London and Paris, and written in the mould of a collision between Hunter S. Thompson and William Burroughs. This one, too, will only be available in limited signed hardback with dustjacket. Tim Dry was one half of the early-eighties robotic dancing phenomenon Tik & Tok as well as being a member, along with Barbie Wilde (Female Cenobite in Hellbound: Hellraiser II) of the mime/dance troupe Shock who toured the world and supported Gary Numan, and he has also appeared as the creature in the 1982 film Xtro and portrayed J’Quille and a Mon Calamari officer in Star Wars VI: The Return of the Jedi. Latterly however, he has turned his considerable talents to writing, having had short stories in three horror anthologies: The Bestiarum Vocabulum, Demonology, and Phobophobias, all edited by Dean M. Drinkel. Ricochet is the first volume in a projected series of novellas based in the same universe. This one will surprise, enlighten, anger and repulse in equal measure.

We will also be publishing the imprint’s first ever novel, Steven Savile’s epic urban fantasy/horror Glass Town. More specific details will be forthcoming on that one over the coming months, but suffice to say that not only will the story itself be epic, but also the production values – expect a very special volume with this one.

The above is just a small indication of the new imprint – a line of books which would not necessarily fit in with the normal run of Spectral material but which definitely deserve an equal opportunity of being disseminated and read. It’s going to be a heady mix of every possible ingredient and emotion imaginable, designed both to enrage and enrapture. It promises to be maddening and exciting – so why not join us on the adventure?

STOP PRESS: new Cate Gardner novella acquired

Nowhere Hall cover image

Those of you who have followed Spectral’s progress over the years will recognise the atmospheric Daniele Serra cover above, the one that graced Cate Gardner’s superb chapbook Nowhere Hall. So, it is with a huge sense of pride that we can announce that Spectral will be publishing a novella by the lovely Cate in early 2015 called The Bureau of Them. Once again we will be visiting Cate’s slightly twisted and not-quite-right view of things, where the worlds of the living and dead collide, and where hope dangles precariously from the slenderest of threads. Cate has the enviable ability of make the most ordinary absolutely extraordinary, and of investing beautiful colour into the most monochrome of everyday realities. The Bureau of Them is no exception – this is definitely a piece of writing to look forward to!

More details as and when!