A Bookhound’s review of King Death

Spectral received a new review of its latest chapbook by Paul Finch this morning, and this time it’s by Neal Hock over at his Bookhound’s Den blog. As he mentions in the review, Neal has something of a penchant for medieval-based tales, so he was particularly looking forward to this one – which begs the question: did it pass muster? Did it hit the spot for Neal? Well, you’ll just have to click here to read the review for yourself and find out…

New Nowhere Hall review

And so, before I dive headlong into the final third of the editing job I’m working on right now, I just have enough time to upload a link to the latest review of Cate Gardner’s Nowhere Hall, this one courtesy of Neal Hock over at the Bookhound’s Den – you can read what the man said here. =)

I really do recommend that people take out a subscription – these books tend to sell out quite quickly so, if you like the sound of what Spectral is doing and publishing, then I suggest you do just that. Subscribing is the best way to ensure that you receive every issue hot off the presses (as journalists are wont to say enthusiastically), as well as getting the occasional email newsletter and subscriber benefits (such as, when the hardback edition of the 2012 Christmas Ghost Story anthology is published, you’ll be able to claim money off the cover price). And, on top of that, you will always be guaranteed top-notch production values as well brilliant story-telling, from some of the best writers in the scene! To make it even easier, there are Paypal buttons down the right-hand side of this website for convenience of ordering…

(If you wish to pay by any other means, email me, Simon Marshall-Jones, at spectralpress[AT]gmail[DOT]com and we can arrange something – thank you!)

Another Brace of reviews and an Interview

A few more reviews of Spectral Press chapbooks have landed in my virtual in-tray this week, and I just can’t help sharing them with you…

First up is a short, but very perceptive, review of Abolisher of Roses from Neal Hock of Bookhound’s Den, which you can read here. His comment that Spectral Press ‘has started something special and, in my opinion, needed: a line of stories that showcases quality writing and causes the reader to think’ hits the nail squarely on the head as far as the philosophy behind the imprint is concerned.

Next is another short review, this time from Russian journalist Ray Garraty, which can be found in his Endless Falls Up blog – you can access the write-up here.

Just like Starburst Online did, Shock Totem staffer John Boden combined reviews of the two Spectral volumes into one – his very honest assessment can be found here. He concludes with the words ‘I can say with all honesty, I cannot wait to see what Spectral Press puts out next. I’m certainly a fan‘, words which really make the whole enterprise more than worthwhile.

Finally, for now at least, here’s a little interview I did with Michael Wilson for Read Horror‘s new Meet the Publisher section, wherein I talk about Spectral, its philosophy & ethos, what the future holds for the imprint and my influences.

There will be more reviews forthcoming, I’m sure – just watch this space!

Another Spectral Press review

Another good review of What They Hear in the Dark, this time from Neal Hock at the Bookhound’s Den:


I’d never read anything written by Gary McMahon; in fact, I hadn’t heard of him before I saw this chapbook. However, the cover blurb by Tim Lebbon immediately grabbed my attention since I’m familiar with his work. I can’t really say that I had much in the way of expectations going into this one, but I did hope for a decent read.

Rob and Becky are renovating an old house. Not a home, but a house. Though they live under the same roof, Rob and Becky are worlds apart. Since the loss of their son they seem to have gone their separate ways. During the renovations, they discover a hidden room—the Quiet Room. The room is aptly named, as there is no sound in the room—none at all. But there are other things in there. Things that may bring Rob and Becky back together…or to the brink of madness.

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of writing this diminutive book. Weighing in at only 22 pages, it makes for a quick read. It was a good read—not necessarily a fun one—because the author does a tremendous job at capturing the overwhelming sense of loss and despair of Rob and Becky. I recommend What They Hear in the Dark if you want to be introduced to McMahon’s polished, atmospheric writing. Just be careful if you’re reading it on a dreary day, because that’s exactly the mood in this one.

This is the debut chapbook from Spectral Press, whose mission is to “be devoted to presenting single-story chapbooks, in the ghostly/supernatural vein, in a high-quality but very classic format. Each will be in strictly limited quantities of 100 only, signed and numbered by the author.” Based on this initial release, it looks like there are good things to come from them.

4 out of 5 stars.