BIG NEWS – 09/05/2014

British Fantasy Awards nomineeIt’s a warm sunny day here at Chateau Spectrale and, to make it even sunnier, it gives us immense pleasure to be able to announce some really BIG news:

Whitstable cover image

Stephen Volk’s highly-acclaimed novella Whitstable, released to coincide with the centenary of Peter Cushing’s birthday last year on 26th May, has been nominated for a British Fantasy Award in the Best Novella category. We here at Spectral are exceptionally thrilled at this – it’s an exceptional piece of work, one which has won praise from all quarters for its emotional depth and sensitivity, and also acclaimed for its brilliant portrayal of the great man himself. We still have copies available in the Spectral Shop (see menu bar at the top of the home page), so why not buy a copy today and see for yourself why this has become one of Spectral’s bestselling titles.

Spectral Press logoWe are ALSO thrilled and excited to announce that, for the third year running, Spectral Press itself has received a nomination in the Best Small Press category of the same Awards. We couldn’t be more pleased with this nomination – once again, it shows that all the hard work we put in here has been more than worthwhile. We are slowly conquering the universe one step at a time.

Another Spectral connection, which I was reminded about, is that the cover artist of Whitstable, Ben Baldwin, has also been nominated in the Best Artist category. Would be great to have a triple whammy! =)


Talking of Stephen Volk, it was announced last week that there was to be a ‘follow-up’ novella from him, Leytonstone, the second volume in the Dark Masters trilogy, all of which will be published by Spectral. We are greatly pleased that Ben Baldwin, creator of the cover artwork for Whitstable, will be bringing his skills to the cover image for the new work. He will also be doing the same for Mark Morris’ Albion Fay novella.

Both novellas will be available next year.

Award-winning offer: The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine

The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine cover image

To celebrate John Llewellyn Probert winning the British Fantasy Award for Best Novella at the World Fantasy Convention last weekend, we are making the paperback of The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine available at bargain prices for those who haven’t yet had the immense pleasure of reading John’s gory and blackly comedic paean to the films of Vincent Price. Here’s the press release blurb:

“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 . . .?”

The police in Bristol have been confronted by a series of the most perplexingly elaborate deaths they’ve ever encountered in all their years of murder enquiries. The only thing which connects them is their seemingly random nature and their sheer outrageousness. As Detective Inspector Longdon and his assistant Sergeant Jenny Newham (with the help of pathologist Dr. Richard Patterson) race against time to find the murderer, they eventually realise that the link which connects the killings is even more bizarre than any of them dared to think…

As a further incentive the book is postage free in the UK – sadly we can’t offer the same elsewhere,  but the prices quoted do include postage.

UK £5

EU £8

US & RoW $18

Look forward to hearing from you!

And the winner is…

We haven’t been doing much on this here blog, due mostly to the pre-World Fantasy Con frenzy of getting everything ready for it, plus a heavy editing workload and the fact that Spectral Towers is being relocated. However, this is one piece of news that just won’t sit still and cooperate until we tell it to the world. So, drum roll please…

The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine cover image

John Llewellyn Probert’s The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine, published by Spectral, won a British Fantasy Award for Best Novella. Absolutely stonking achievement, and we’re so proud that John’s wonderful paean to Vincent Price and his films has been recognised for the great book it is. Congratulations!!

Look out for a special offer on the book later this week (once we’ve recovered, that is…)!

And, of course, we hope that this is the first of many awards coming Spectral’s way. You can probably all see our grins right now…

Major news – 18:06:2013

British Fantasy Awards nomineeWe’ve been dying to tell you this news for about six weeks or more now, but at last we can reveal that Spectral Press has, for the second year running, been nominated for a British Fantasy Award, for Best Small Press (PS Publishing Independent Press). This is an absolute validation for all the hard work we’ve been pouring into Spectral over the last 30 months, and it certainly puts the imprint into the top flight of genre publishers (at least we like to think so… ). There’s some stiff opposition in the category, but that’s all for the best in our belief.

Additionally, Spectral publications received two other nominations, both in the Best Novella Category – namely, The Respectable Face of Tyranny by Gary Fry and The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine by John L. Probert. We think it’s absolutely brilliant that the first two Spectral Visions novellas each receive a nomination.  We’ve included the links to the Kindle books on Amazon below:


The Respectable Face of Tyranny by Gary Fry




The Nine Deaths of Dr Valentine cover image



And, just for good measure, here’s the link to Stephen Volk’s Whitstable as well:

Whitstable cover image



Finally, congratulations to ALL the nominees in this year’s awards, which will be presented at World Fantasy Con in Brighton, UK in November. You can find the complete list on the British Fantasy Society website here.

FantasyCon 2012: A spectacular success

It has to be said that, without a shadow of a doubt, this year’s FantasyCon was THE best one we’ve attended. Certainly, from Spectral’s perspective, this was undoubtedly an unqualified success – but more on that later.

The Spectral staffers (all two of us) journeyed to the seaside resort of Brighton on the south coast of the UK on the Thursday, mainly because we wanted to be feeling refreshed when the con proper started the next day. Nevertheless, on that same evening we stopped by the venue and met up with some old friends, and eventually we, along with Mark Morris, Sarah Pinborough, Rio Youers, Tim Lebbon, Gary & Emily McMahon, and Gardner Goldsmith, stomped off for an Italian meal in a nearby restaurant. Superb start to the weekend.

Friday started pretty blurrily until we had coffee, then everything swam into focus nicely. We spent the day meeting some more old friends, as well as making a lot of new ones. Spectral didn’t have much to do that day, except a book launch later on in the evening – most of the afternoon was spent worrying whether the hardbacks of John L. Probert’s The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine would turn up. Talk about cutting it fine! However, they did turn up , as did the paperback editions – sighs of relief all round.

The launch itself was an absolute blinder – John Probert’s bombastic introduction completely stole the show and, more to the point, the launch room was packed with eager punters – some to collect their hardback copies and others wanting to get their sweaty hands on the paperbacks. We were all kept busy, Simon taking the money (and then handing it on to his wife Lizzie for safekeeping) and John busily scribbling his signature on to the insides of books AND on the poster that came with it. By the time all was over, both Spectral staffers were somewhat shellshocked at how well the event had gone, and John was over the moon at the book’s reception.

Inevitably, then, Saturday was a late start for us, due to sheer exhaustion from the night before. However, a full English breakfast sorted that out. Saturday morning turned out to be a lot quieter than the previous two days, and that afternoon, Mike Powell (our generous host, who let us stay at his flat for the weekend), took us on a Belgian beer tour of Brighton, which left at least one of us feeling a tad worse for wear. The Belgians really do know how the craft their ales.

Luckily, however, when it came time for the Spectral at the Movies reading event later that evening, the effects of the beer had worn off and mellowness had taken its place. The reading was also a great success, with Stephen Volk reading a passage from his Spectral Visions novella Whitstable (due in May next year), which is certainly one of the most heartfelt tributes to its main protagonist, Peter Cushing, that I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Many of the attendees echoed that sentiment. Stephen’s quiet reading was followed by the larger than life John Llewellyn Probert, who read a part of chapter two of The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine. We all judged the reading a very great success.

The Spectral staffers decided to skip the now-traditional Saturday night FCon disco because, in all honesty, our bones couldn’t have managed it. Instead, we crawled home, tired but happy, and as soon as we fell into bed we were unconscious.

Sunday was an early start, as one of us was moderating the only panel of the day, at 10am,  ‘Marketing for Newcomers’.  The stage was shared with Peter Mark May, Charles Christian and Trevor Denyer (Chris Teague of Pendragon Press was also meant to be participating, but he was attending the British Fantasy Society AGM at the time). A great discussion ensued, marred only by the fact that there was no PA and a loud air-conditioning system, necessitating some shouting just to be heard. The hour went swiftly by, however, and all the panellists seemed to have made a good impression on the early-bird audience.

And so to the high-point of the weekend: the British Fantasy Society Awards. As you know, Spectral was nominated in two categories – King Death by Paul Finch in the Short Fiction category and the imprint itself in the PS Publishing Independent Press Award. Sadly, Spectral didn’t win in either, however just being nominated in the Awards was sufficient. One annoying little disappointment spoiled the event: King Death was inexplicably left out of the nomination announcements for the Short Fiction category. Other than that, everything went very smoothly.

Congratulations are due to ALL the winners this year, meaning that the genre is definitely in safe hands. ONE award winner we MUST mention in particular: our good friend Adam Nevill winning the award for best horror novel, with The Ritual. Certainly it was well deserved!

To conclude, a mightily successful event. There’s no FantasyCon next year – however, there IS World Fantasy Con instead, for which we’ve already bought our tickets. THAT is guaranteed to be TRULY spectacular!

Onwards and upwards!

FantasyCon: the 2012 edition

FantasyCon 2012 logo

It’s that time of the year once more, when the widely dispersed clans of Writers, Publishers and Editors all gather in some hotel somewhere (in the Royal Albion Hotel in Brighton again this year) and chat about all things genre and books. This year, unlike our previous attendances, things are slightly different for us: we have a book launch going on, a reading to host, a panel to moderate and an awards ceremony to be nervous about. In between we shall be meeting up with various people to talk ‘business’ over drinks, and we are hoping to be able to report some good things when we get back in terms of new novellas and chapbooks. Spectral is definitely going through some exciting times, and we have a feeling that even better things will be coming your way in 2013 and beyond!

Anyway, for those interested, here’s our FantasyCon schedule for this year:

Friday 28th September, Bar Rogue, 9pm – 10pm: launch of The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine by John Llewellyn Probert. There will be free wine, and John will be signing both the hardbacks and the paperbacks. Posters will also be given away as well as Spectral badges.

Saturday 29th September, Readings Room 134, 9:30pm – 10pm: Spectral at the Movies reading, with Stephen Volk and John L. Probert.

Sunday 30th September, Fitzherbert Room, 10 am – 11am: Panel, Market Information for Newcomers, with Christopher Teague (Pendragon Press) and Peter Mark May (Hersham Horror).

Sunday 30th September, Regency Lounge, 1pm onwards: nervously pacing up and down and biting fingernails at the Awards Ceremony….

If any of you out there are planning on attending, then please do make yourself known to us. This promises to be a great event, the highlight of the year, and what a great setting into the bargain. There will be a further post nearer the time with more details of the event itself, such as Guests of Honour and the programme of events due to be held.

More news soon!

News: British Fantasy Awards

Spectral Press logoIt’s that time of year when the British Fantasy Society announces its shortlist for the awards to be given out by the Society at FantasyCon, being held in Brighton once more, at the Royal Albert Hotel, in September. All nominees on the shortlist have been voted for by the membership and will now go on to be judged by jury.

British Fantasy Awards nominee And yes, that badge immediately above means exactly what it’s meant to tell you: we are very pleased to announce that Spectral Press have picked up two nominations in this year’s awards. They are:

King Death cover image

Paul Finch’s tale of misplaced medieval hubris is up for the Short Fiction award, alongside works by Simon Bestwick (whose own Spectral chapbook will be out in June next year), Michael Marshall Smith, Adam Nevill and Angela Slatter. Don’t forget, too, that Paul’s story is being reprinted in the Paula Guran-edited Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: 2012, due out this July.

The second nomination is for Spectral Press itself in the PS Publishing Independent Press Award, where it’ll be up against Chomu Press (Quentin S. Crisp), Gray Friar Press (run by Gary Fry, author of The Respectable Face of Tyranny, published by Spectral last month) and Newcon Press (Ian Whates).

A full list of the nominees for this year’s awards can be found here. FantasyCon 2012 is due to take place over the weekend of 28th – 30th September.

We’ve put in a lot of hard work over the last seventeen months to bring our readers the best in top quality ghostly/supernatural fiction and, although in all honesty our main motivation is to give back to the genre we love what we’ve got out of it as a mark of gratitude, we’d be lying if we said that these nominations haven’t put big grins on our faces and validated all the reasons why we set Spectral up in the first place. It’s nice to see that hard work being recognised and, even if we don’t win, we can take a lot of heart and encouragement from just being on the shortlist. So, thanks to everyone who nominated us!

As a quick aside, let it also be known that FantasyCon 2012 will see the launch of John Llewellyn Probert’s The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine, with a reading, a signing and free wine. A specially-signed edition of the hardback plus a pair of white gloves as worn by John in his author photo for the book will be featured in the FantasyCon Raffle. It’s an event NO T to be missed!

See you in September!