On 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!
However, 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
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
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
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
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
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!!