A trio of reviews – 01:12:2014

Another dull, overcast Monday morning, but it’s been considerably brightened by three reviews of Spectral books, which we’d like to tell you about:

Spectral Book of Horror Stories, edited by Mark Morris - ©2014 respective individual authors/Spectral Press. Artwork ©2014 Vincent Chong

Spectral Book of Horror Stories, edited by Mark Morris – ©2014 respective individual authors/Spectral Press. Artwork ©2014 Vincent Chong

First, the British broadsheet newspaper The Guardian printed a review by Keith Brooke of The Spectral Book of Horror Stories over the weekend – you can read that one HERE.

THE SPECTRAL BOOK OF HORROR STORIES – PRICES INCLUDE POSTAGE!

£12.50 UK

£15 EU

$30 US & RoW

"The Hammer of Dr. Valentine" ©2014 John Llewellyn Probert/Spectral Press. Artwork ©2014 Nick Gucker. Layout ©2014 Neil Williams.

“The Hammer of Dr. Valentine” ©2014 John Llewellyn Probert/Spectral Press. Artwork ©2014 Nick Gucker. Layout ©2014 Neil Williams.

Next, we have two reviews of John Llewellyn Probert’s The Hammer of Dr. Valentine: the first one is from Sparks in Electrical Jelly, written by Jez Winship, which can be found HERE, and the other is from The Eloquent Page and is written by Paul Holmes, and that can be found HERE.

The Hammer of Dr. Valentine: limited signed hardback (100 only). 

UK £21

EU £24

USA & Everywhere Else $45

News 26:11:2014

Skin by Kathe Koja

Skin by Kathe Koja

See that picture above (apologies for the quality)? This was the very first Kathe Koja novel that Simon Marshall-Jones, ye merry olde proprietor of Spectral Press, ever read. It was one of the most startling and shocking work he’d read up to that point, completely original, and tying in with the body modification obsession he was going through in the mid-nineties. So, you may be wondering, what has this got to do with Spectral, you may well ask? Is Simon losing his mind? (Don’t answer that…) Or merely reminiscing?

NO! Neither! In fact, Spectral Press is very proud to announce that Kathe Koja will be coming to Spectral, or the Theatrum Mundi imprint rather, in 2016, with her tale The Prince of the Air. The cover will be by Detroit artist Rick Lieder, a piece of whose collage work inspired the tale itself. It’s a great little story, intertwining a dark folk tale with the modern quest for meaning in one’s life. More details as they become available!

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

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

Also, a heads-up:  Mark Morris’ Albion Fay novella will be up for pre-order from next week, with an introduction by Adam Nevill – look out for that!

Reviews! We have Reviews!!

Reviews are just like buses – you wait ages for one and then a whole load come at once. And so that’s what’s happened here: we have not one, not two, but FOUR reviews we’d like to tell you about -

 

Spectral Book of Horror Stories, edited by Mark Morris - ©2014 respective individual authors/Spectral Press. Artwork ©2014 Vincent Chong

Spectral Book of Horror Stories, edited by Mark Morris – ©2014 respective individual authors/Spectral Press. Artwork ©2014 Vincent Chong

First, we have a the second and third reviews of The Spectral Book of Horror Stories: the first, which you can see HERE, is Stewart Horn’s verdict which appears at the British Fantasy Society website, and second is Jon R Meyer’s thoughts on the book over at The Horror Fiction Review. That one can be seen HERE (third review down).

This is going to be THE anthology of the year, so we really do encourage you to pre-order your copy today of this first in an annual anthology series – ordering buttons below (if you want to pay by any other means, please contact us at spectralpress[AT]gmail[DOT]com and we’ll happily send you details). All prices INCLUDE postage and packing:

£12.50 UK

FOR THOSE ATTENDING FANTASYCON 2014 YOU CAN ORDER AT THE SPECIAL PRICE BELOW AND PICK IT UP AT THE CONVENTION VENUE.

FCon 2014 Special £10

£15 EU

$30 US & RoW

We also have two more reviews from the British Fantasy Society: first, HERE‘s Dave Brzeski’s appraisal of The Christmas Ghost Stories of Lawrence Gordon Clark edited by Tony Earnshaw, and then we have Chris Limb’s review of Paul Kane’s Ghosts. You can find that one right HERE.

New reviews 27:05:2014

Today, on this somewhat miserable Tuesday morning, we have two new reviews, for Tim Lebbon’s Still Life novella and Paul Kane’s Ghosts collection, both published in SST Publications’ Beware the Dark magazine, issue #2,  and both written by William J. Grabowski.

First up, Still Life:

"Still Life" © Tim Lebbon/Spectral Press 2013. Artwork © Jim Burns 2013

“Still Life” © Tim Lebbon/Spectral Press 2013. Artwork © Jim Burns 2013

I can think of a handful of writers who first popped onto my radar during the late 1990s—Tim Lebbon among them. Lebbon is easily one of the most enduring, hard-working, and genuinely gifted (I don’t say this lightly), threading fresh lines through what can appear worn-out narrative weaves. Appearances, as we all ought to know, can be deceiving.

Still Life begins some 10 years after the Incursion, when humanity was overtaken by a fierce (and strange) enemy even H. P. Lovecraft might have feared. The story focuses on a small British village, where widow Jenni mourns Marc, and indulges in reveries with his shade by way of a quiet pool (a melancholy, fantastical “reversal” on Machen?). It is difficult to review this fast-paced novella without spoiling anything for the reader, but it can be done.

The village populace is contained by Finks (human; keeping an eye on them), and by fearsome entities guarding the borders. Human casualties have been used as literal construction material for the Road of Souls, Jenni’s Marc among them. After a while, she is approached by Damien, leader of a resistance group to conquer the Finks. Here is where Lebbon’s considerable strengths in characterization manifest, and the reader takes in an authentic sense of despair and desperation tempered by humankind’s basic survival instinct.

In this fairly short work of fertile imagination charged with psychological/emotional realism, I got a thrill
equal to that heretofore supplied by early Aldiss, Barker, and even visual shadings from the more visceral end of surrealism. But these comparisons are simply a way to talk about an effect, and Tim Lebbon’s confident voice
equals—and often surpasses—them all.

Signed limited HARDBACK EDITION

UK £21

EU £23.50

PAPERBACK EDITION

PLEASE NOTE! Due to contractual reasons, the paperback edition of Still Life is limited to 100 only!!

UK £12.50

EU £15

US & RoW $42

And her’s the one for Ghosts:

"Ghosts" © Paul Kane/Spectral Press 2013. Artwork © Edward Miller 2007 - 2013.

“Ghosts” © Paul Kane/Spectral Press 2013. Artwork © Edward Miller 2007 – 2013.

I’m embarrassed to admit not knowing much about the work of Paul Kane, but let’s face it: you can’t read everything. So I came to his hefty collection of short fiction with no preconceptions, beyond a simple awareness of his high rating shared by readers and fellow writers. My ignorance had the serendipitous effect of providing a fresh perspective.

As Nancy Kilpatrick writes in her Introduction, Kane explores a wide variety of ghostly manifestations, each written with inventive verve and eclectic personality so lacking in much recent “ghost fiction,” which seems reliant on bad TV and movies and “clever” gimmicks.

I’m pleased to report this collection has none of those failings, and can’t remember when I’ve more enjoyed a single-author collection. Too, such narrative diversity showcases Kane’s adaptability. “Homeland,” wherein a gruff clean-up crew tasked to handle the residence of a deceased hoarder, literally have their hands—and fears—full. (Having once worked in disaster-restoration, this really chilled me.) Kane is adept at fusing physical detail with emotional, bringing his settings to life, no matter how unpleasant. In “Funeral for a Friend,” we are reminded that the passed-on can be unwilling to pass over the sins of the living . . .  a morality tale for the New Shallow who’re too busy to live.

“Wind Chimes” is a lacerating tale of loss, redemption, and . . .  never mind. Kane’s own script for what
became a short film, directed by Brad Watson, ends the book, and even includes a Watson Intro. The book’s
front-matter helpfully (for late-comers like me) lists books published—and edited—by the author.

Signed limited HARDBACK EDITION:

UK £21

EU £23.50

US & RoW $42

PAPERBACK EDITION:

UK £12.50

EU £15

US & RoW $25

More reviews soon!

New reviews 24:04:2014

Home and Hearth © Angela Slater/Spectral Press. Artwork © Neil Williams 2014

Home and Hearth © Angela Slater/Spectral Press. Artwork © Neil Williams 2014

Yes, we are starting to receive reviews of the latest chapbook from award-winning Australian writer Angela Slatter, entitled Home and Hearth. These have  been uploaded to Goodreads, with one from Mark West (who used to create Spectral’s promotional videos and wrote the chapbook What Gets Left Behind) and one from Ross Warren. Read what they have to say here.

CGS_Qtr cover

Following on from that, we also have a new Goodreads review of the Unsigned Hardback Edition of The Christmas Ghost Stories of Lawrence Gordon Clark, written by Gef Fox (which will also appear on Amazon and the Wagging the Fox blog at a later date). Ypu can read that one right HERE. There are still copies left of this edition as well as of the other editions (please note: there are fewer than 15 left of the Deluxe edition – get yours while you still can!). See details below:

PURCHASING LINKS:

CONTENTS:

DELUXE EDITION (50 only- 14 left(available May):

Foreword by MARK GATISS

Introduction by TONY EARNSHAW

Seven short stories by M. R. JAMESThe Stalls of Barchester CathedralThe Treasure of Abbot ThomasA Warning to the CuriousThe Ash TreeLost HeartsCasting the RunesCount Magnus, The Signalman.

Exclusive new introductions to each story by LAWRENCE GORDON CLARK

Count Magnus teleplay by BASIL COPPER

Lost Hearts short stage play by LAWRENCE GORDON CLARK

Q&A with LAWRENCE GORDON CLARK by TONY EARNSHAW

Filmography, awards, of LAWRENCE GORDON CLARK by TONY EARNSHAW

Illustrated with unseen behind the scenes photographs, chapter heading vignettes by Nick Gucker,  as well as examples of storyboards by Lawrence Gordon Clark.

SIGNED, SLIPCASED DELUXE EDITION:

£85 UK

£87 EU

$145 US

UNSIGNED HARDBACK (100 only) (available now):

Foreword by MARK GATISS

Introduction by TONY EARNSHAW

Seven short stories by M. R. JAMESThe Stalls of Barchester CathedralThe Treasure of Abbot ThomasA Warning to the CuriousThe Ash TreeLost HeartsCasting the RunesCount Magnus

Exclusive new introductions to each story by LAWRENCE GORDON CLARK

Q&A with LAWRENCE GORDON CLARK by TONY EARNSHAW

Illustrated with photographs as well as chapter heading vignettes (by Nick Gucker)

UNSIGNED HARDBACK EDITION

£45 UK

£47 EU

$80 US

PAPERBACK (Unlimited) (available now):

Foreword by MARK GATISS

Introduction by TONY EARNSHAW

Seven short stories by M. R. JAMESThe Stalls of Barchester CathedralThe Treasure of Abbot ThomasA Warning to the CuriousThe Ash TreeLost HeartsCasting the RunesCount Magnus

Exclusive new introductions to each story by LAWRENCE GORDON CLARK

Filmography, awards, of LAWRENCE GORDON CLARK by TONY EARNSHAW

Basic edition – text only plus chapter heading vignettes by Nick Gucker.

PAPERBACK EDITION (unlimited – available now):

£17.50 UK

£19.50 EU

$30 US

New reviews 27:01:2014

Did you know that we talk about new reviews here on Mondays more than any other day of the week? And today, being a Monday, is no exception. We have two reviews for you this morning:

Soul Masque by Terry Grimwood. © 2013 Terry Grimwood. Cover concept ©  2013 Neil Williams/Spectral Press. All rights reserved.

Soul Masque by Terry Grimwood. © 2013 Terry Grimwood. Cover concept © 2013 Neil Williams/Spectral Press. All rights reserved.

First, writer James Everington reviews Soul Masque by Terry Grimwood (alongside Chalk by Pat Cadigan) on his blog Scattershot Writing - the review is HERE.

"Ghosts" © Paul Kane/Spectral Press 2013. Artwork © Edward Miller 2007 - 2013.

“Ghosts” © Paul Kane/Spectral Press 2013. Artwork © Edward Miller 2007 – 2013.

Secondly, here’s a review of Paul Kane’s Ghosts collection at Terror-Tree.

More reviews soon!

New reviews 22:01:2014

"The Christmas Ghost Stories of Lawrence Gordon Clark", Cover image ©  1971 - 2013 Graham Morris. Design by John Oakey.

“The Christmas Ghost Stories of Lawrence Gordon Clark”, Cover image © 1971 – 2013 Graham Morris. Design by John Oakey.

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s first review of The Christmas Ghost Stories of Lawrence Gordon Clark comes another one, this time from William Burns over at Horror News Network - you can read what he thought right HERE. If you would like to order copies, then please see below – copies of all editions are still available:

CONTENTS:

DELUXE EDITION (50 only- 20 left(available late February):

Foreword by MARK GATISS

Introduction by TONY EARNSHAW

Seven short stories by M. R. JAMESThe Stalls of Barchester CathedralThe Treasure of Abbot ThomasA Warning to the CuriousThe Ash TreeLost HeartsCasting the RunesCount Magnus

Exclusive new introductions to each story by LAWRENCE GORDON CLARK

Count Magnus teleplay by BASIL COPPER

Lost Hearts short stage play by LAWRENCE GORDON CLARK

Q&A with LAWRENCE GORDON CLARK by TONY EARNSHAW

Filmography, awards, of LAWRENCE GORDON CLARK by TONY EARNSHAW

Illustrated with unseen behind the scenes photographs, chapter heading vignettes by Nick Gucker,  as well as examples of storyboards by Lawrence Gordon Clark.

SIGNED, SLIPCASED DELUXE EDITION:

£85 UK

£87 EU

$145 US

UNSIGNED HARDBACK (100 only) (available late January/early February):

Foreword by MARK GATISS

Introduction by TONY EARNSHAW

Seven short stories by M. R. JAMESThe Stalls of Barchester CathedralThe Treasure of Abbot ThomasA Warning to the CuriousThe Ash TreeLost HeartsCasting the RunesCount Magnus

Exclusive new introductions to each story by LAWRENCE GORDON CLARK

Q&A with LAWRENCE GORDON CLARK by TONY EARNSHAW

Illustrated with photographs as well as chapter heading vignettes (by Nick Gucker)

UNSIGNED HARDBACK EDITION

£45 UK

£47 EU

$80 US

PAPERBACK (Unlimited) (available now):

Foreword by MARK GATISS

Introduction by TONY EARNSHAW

Seven short stories by M. R. JAMESThe Stalls of Barchester CathedralThe Treasure of Abbot ThomasA Warning to the CuriousThe Ash TreeLost HeartsCasting the RunesCount Magnus

Exclusive new introductions to each story by LAWRENCE GORDON CLARK

Filmography, awards, of LAWRENCE GORDON CLARK by TONY EARNSHAW

Basic edition – text only plus chapter heading vignettes by Nick Gucker.

PAPERBACK EDITION:

£17.50 UK

£19.50 EU

$30 US

The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine cover image

Secondly, we also have a review of the award-winning novella The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine by John Llewellyn Probert from Rex Sumner and posted to the British Fantasy Society website – that one’s HERE. Copies can be purchased through both Amazon UK and US.

News and reviews 14:01:2014

It’s a beautifully sunny but frosty morning here in the grounds of Château Spectrale, and we will celebrate by telling you of some recent reviews which have come our way:

"Ghosts" © Paul Kane/Spectral Press 2013. Artwork © Edward Miller 2007 - 2013.

“Ghosts” © Paul Kane/Spectral Press 2013. Artwork © Edward Miller 2007 – 2013.

First, we have a write-up of our two latest books, Tim Lebbon’s Still Life novella and Paul Kane’s Ghosts collection – this one appears on Anthony Watson’s Dark Musings blog, and clicking here will take you right to it.

Whitstable cover image

Whitstable by Stephen Volk continues to make waves, and to underline that here’s another review of this fantastic book – this one is from Peter Tennant, the reviewer over at extremely well-respected genre magazine Black Static, which was originally published in issue 34 and now appears on Peter’s personal blog. You can read that one by going here.

NEWS

It has been decided that Simon Bestwick’s chapbook, The Judgement Call, will be published this December. This is mainly due to the fact that it’s a Christmas tale, so this year, Christmas Ghost Story lovers are going to be spoiled: you’ll be getting Simon’s chapbook, Paul Finch’s Sparrowhawk special edition hardback, Ray Cluley’s Within the Wind, Beneath the Snow novellette and, of course, the 2014 edition of The 13 Ghosts of Christmas. Lots to look forward to.

Also, all those who have recently purchased books from us: apologies for the delay in sending them out! We’re still in the process of unpacking all the boxes after our recent relocation – we promise to dispatch them as soon as we are able to. Thanks for your patience!

Monday Morning Reviews

Beginning of another week, and so we bring you notice of some more reviews, three to be precise, of two favourites from the Spectral roster:

Whitstable cover image

First up, Whiststable by Stephen Volk – far and away our biggest selling title ever. James Everington was kind enough to make it a recommendation of his here, and following that, here’s David T. Wilbanks’ take on the novella.

The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine cover image

And now, here’s a review from Warpcore SF of the award-winning novella The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine by John Llewellyn Probert – read that one here.

More soon!

Some new reviews

A bleary, blustery Monday, so what better way to cheer ourselves up than to read about some new reviews?

"Still Life" © Tim Lebbon/Spectral Press 2013. Artwork © Jim Burns 2013

“Still Life” © Tim Lebbon/Spectral Press 2013. Artwork © Jim Burns 2013

The first one is for Tim Lebbon’s latest novella, Still Life, which appears at tor.com and has been written by Niall Alexander. You can find out what he says by going here.

Soul Masque by Terry Grimwood. © 2013 Terry Grimwood. Cover concept ©  2013 Neil Williams/Spectral Press. All rights reserved.

Soul Masque by Terry Grimwood. © 2013 Terry Grimwood. Cover concept © 2013 Neil Williams/Spectral Press. All rights reserved.

Next up is Simon Bestwick’s assessment of Terry Grimwood’s Soul Masque over at This Is Horror - read that one right here. (*Disclaimer: Spectral will be publishing a chapbook by Simon in December)

Both books are available from Spectral (note: Soul Masque is in limited supply) – contact us at spectralpress[AT]gmail[DOT]com for more details.

More reviews soon!