Leytonstone by Stephen Volk

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

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

AVAILABLE NEXT MONTH!!!

One evening in 1906 a chubby little boy of seven, son of a London greengrocer, is taken by his father to visit the local police station.

There he suddenly finds himself, inexplicably, locked up for a crime he hasn’t committed – or has he? Blinking into sunlight, traumatised by his overnight stay, he is told by his father the next morning: “Now you know what happens to naughty little boys!” But the incident is the catalyst for a series of events that will scar, and create, the world’s leading Master of Terror in the century to come…

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The boy is Alfred Hitchcock.

The story is the gripping and evocative new novella by Stephen Volk, writer of the highly-acclaimed novella Whitstable – which featured Peter Cushing as its central character and was published in 2013 (also by Spectral Press) to coincide with the centenary of the great actor’s death.

Leytonstone – like Whitstable – elevates fact (in this case an anecdote the famous director told repeatedly throughout his life) into resonant and poignant fiction, lifting the veil on not only the innocent and troubled young “Fred” but his emotionally needy mother and a father constantly struggling to do the right thing. But what none of them knows is that, after that fateful night and its consequences, their lives will be changed forever…

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STEPHEN VOLK is best known as the writer of BBC TV’s notorious Halloween “hoax” Ghostwatch, starring Michael Parkinson, which caused outraged viewers to jam the switchboards, and even raised questions in Parliament. He also created the award-winning drama series Afterlife and the recent supernatural mystery film The Awakening starring Rebecca Hall and Dominic West. His play, The Chapel of Unrest, was presented exclusively for one night only at London’s Bush Theatre starring Jim Broadbent and Reece Shearsmith. His short stories have earned selection in Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, Best British Mysteries, and Best British Horror, and he has been a Bram Stoker, British Fantasy and Shirley Jackson Award finalist. He is the author of two short story collections: Dark Corners and Monsters in the Heart – the latter of which won a British Fantasy Award for “Best Collection” in 2014. He has also won a BAFTA.

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Cover image by Ben Baldwin

Publication date: March 2015

Available in limited signed and numbered hardback (125 copies), unlimited paperback, and eBook.

Retail: £21UK/£24EU/$50US & RoW

ALL PRICES INCLUDE POSTAGE/

Available from the publishers: Spectral Press, 13 Montgomery Crescent, Bolbeck Park, Milton Keynes, MK15 8PP

PRE-ORDERS:

Signed and Numbered Hardbacks (125 only)

£21 UK

£24 EU

$50 US & RoW

Paperbacks

£12.50UK

£15.00EU

$30.00US & RoW

Tim Dry’s Ricochet and other news

"Ricochet" by Tim Dry ©2015 Tim Dry/Theatrum Mundi. Artwork ©2015 John Oakey

“Ricochet” by Tim Dry ©2015 Tim Dry/Theatrum Mundi. Artwork ©2015 John Oakey

Ricochet, Tim Dry’s debut novella, will be published towards the the end of February through Theatrum Mundi – it’s on preorder now (see Paypal buttons below). In the meantime, read what Barbie Wilde, Actress (Hellraiser II: Hellbound, Death Wish 3) and Author (The Venus Complex, “Zulu Zombies”, “Sister Cilice”) says about Tim’s book:

“Surrealistic, bizarre, ironic, funny, haunting, poetic. These are the words that popped into my mind while I was reading Ricochet, actor and artist Tim Dry’s debut novella. The way that Dry synthesises his thoughts from mind to page makes him a wildly inventive word artist. Read this book — not for its narrative arc, as this novella is a series of vignettes and short stories — but for the sheer exhilaration of a literary roller coaster ride through Dry’s vivid and audacious imagination. My personal favorites were: the mysterious fate of Trojan Darkly; Baudelaire and the Angel of Death; the blackly disturbing incident at the cliff; Michael Caine and the giant slugs; the clairvoyant’s extraordinary end; the nightmares of the Circle Line; and Ellen’s alien Nazi night visitors. Entertaining to the max and highly recommended.”

PRICES INCLUDE POST AND PACKING

UK £10

EU £15

US & RoW $30

LEARNING TO READ WITH THE NECRONOMICON by Lavie Tidhar

Spectral is pleased to announce that in December 2016 we will be publishing, through the Theatrum Mundi imprint, Lavie Tidhar’s Learning to Read with the Necronomicon, his take on Alice in Wonderland – that is, if HP Lovecraft had been asked to write it. Thoroughly bizarre in truly Carrollian fashion, it will be illustrated by Sarah Anne Langton and will be released in small hardback format, in the style of a Victorian children’s book with coloured boards. This is going to be quite a special little item. More details to follow.

Acquisitions news

"The Witch's Scale" by Angela Slatter. Cover artwork "Hexenwippeoel" © Michael Hutter

“The Witch’s Scale” by Angela Slatter. Cover artwork “Hexenwippeoel” © Michael Hutter

For those with long memories, sometime ago we told you about a novella, featuring cover artwork by Michael Hutter (see above), from Angela Slatter called The Witch’s Scale - it is scheduled for publication next year, along with more novellas from women writers including Kathe Koja and at least one other who shall remain nameless for the moment while negotiations are ongoing. We are also hoping that a few more will come on-board as well.

The Grieving Stones

Also coming next year, in January, will be Gary McMahon’s novella The Grieving Stones, which sees him at the top of his form. Deeply unsettling, spooky yet deliciously ambiguous, this is a story which will linger with you for a long time. We here at Spectral definitely think it’s one of his best. Additionally, its publication will mark Spectral Press’ 5th anniversary, so it’ll be good to have the author who launched the imprint with What They Hear in the Dark back once again.

Glyphotech by Mark Samuels. Cover artwork  © PS Publishing

Glyphotech by Mark Samuels. Cover artwork © PS Publishing

We are also very pleased to announce that Mark Samuels’ collection Glyphotech and Other Macabre Processes, long out of print, will be be reissued in paperback with a new cover and bonus stories. It was originally published by PS Publishing, and Mark is one of our finest, but egregiously underrated, writers of weird fiction in the UK. We hope this new edition will go some small way of spreading his work to a wider audience.

More details of all books in due course.

Ricochet by Tim Dry: press and pre-orders

THEATRUM MUNDI PRESENTS:

RICOCHET

by Tim Dry

 

"Ricochet" by Tim Dry ©2015 Tim Dry/Theatrum Mundi. Artwork ©2015 John Oakey

“Ricochet” by Tim Dry ©2015 Tim Dry/Theatrum Mundi. Artwork ©2015 John Oakey

Tim Dry’s Ricochet is 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. Partly a stream of consciousness narrative and partly a morality tale for the end times, it’s a signpost to the apocalypse of the nuclear imagination, the logical implosive endpoint of the Beatnik generation’s experiment. Here lies the carcass of reality in all its rotting, putrid, and fully decomposed glory: it’s what remains of the dreams of the Love Generation, laid bare for all to see.

Ricochet is the first volume in a projected series of novellas based in the same chaotic universe. This one will surprise, enlighten, infuriate, anger and repulse in equal measure.

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Tim Dry is a writer, mime, musician and photographic artist, best known for being featured as J’Quille and a Mon Calamari Officer in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi , playing The Alien in the cult Sci Fi/horror movie Xtro and for being half of the Tik and Tok duo that popularized robotic  mime in the UK in the 1980s.

Tim Dry - photograph © Nicole Klein

Tim Dry – photograph © Nicole Klein

Tim is the author of two published books of memoirs: Falling Upwards—Scenes From A Life and Continuum—The Star Wars Phenomenon As Experienced From The Inside.  He also has short stories in three horror anthologies edited by Dean M Drinkel and published by Western Legends Press: namely The Bestiarum Vocabulum, Phobophobias and The Grimorium Verum. Tim has also contributed articles for Forbes magazine and the Film Review Annual.

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Cover image by John Oakey

Publication date: February 2015

Available in unlimited paperback and eBook.

Paperback £10UK/£15EU/$30US & RoW

ALL PRICES INCLUDE POSTAGE.

 

UK £10

 

EU £15

 

US & RoW $30

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!!

 

Within the Wind, Beneath the Snow

"Within the Wind, Beneath he Snow" ©2014 Ray Cluley/Spectral Press. Artwork ©2014 Jim Burns

“Within the Wind, Beneath he Snow” ©2014 Ray Cluley/Spectral Press. Artwork ©2014 Jim Burns

Above is the rather stunning image created by renowned artist Jim Burns for Ray Cluley’s novelette Within the Wind, Beneath the Snow, which will be out in paperback only next month, and will be the first in the ‘Theatrum Mundi’ imprint. It’s set in the snowy wastes of Northeast Greenland, a vast icy desert where people like Gjerta Jørgensen and Søren Olsen are accompanied by their memories and the sled dogs, but very little else. Look out for more details very soon – in the meantime, just bathe is the frozen beauty of this superb image.

29:08:2014 – Nigel Kneale book teaser

"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

In the latter half of next year, Spectral Press will be publishing a book which will look at the influence of the great British genre innovators, responsible for writing some of the most groundbreaking science fiction and horror television of the fifties, sixties, and seventies: We are the Martians – The Legacy of Nigel Kneale, edited by Neil Snowdon. A book of this nature has long been overdue. Well-known names are contributing to this volume, including Kim Newman, Ramsey Campbell, Tim Lucas, Stephen Volk, and many more, who will take an in-depth look at how Kneale’s work shaped their own writings as well as looking at the broader genre mediascape. There will be articles, essays, and interviews, and in the limited hardback edition we will be publishing for the first time one of Kneale’s unproduced screenplays. The concept artwork for the tome has been created by David Chatton Barker, and is reproduced above.

There will be two editions of We are the Martians: the Legacy of Nigel Kneale: a limited hardback, which should retail for between £30 – £50 (hopefully around £35 or thereabouts) and a paperback for around £10 – £12, the same as the HB but without the screenplay… if you’re interested in either edition email us at spectralpress[AT]gmail[DOT]com. A small deposit is likely to be asked for initially, the balance payable upon publication.

This is shaping up to be another superb volume.

News 08:07:2014

Mark_of_the_Devil-1970

It is with great pleasure that we can report that we have a major new publishing project, in collaboration with the London Repertory Company,  in the pipeline. Yesterday, Spectral Press met up with the director of the legendary film Mark of the Devil, Michael Armstrong, and Kevin James of the LRC, to discuss issuing paperbacks and eBooks of a collection of Michael’s genre and non-genre screenplays. The LRC is already issuing them in limited numbered hardback, so Spectral is exclusively handling all other formats.

The collection will include screenplays of works which were produced as well as those which remained unfilmed. Each volume will contain anecdotes by Michael on the production history of the screenplay, plus a selection of behind the scenes and production photographs, concept drawings and sketches, and various associated ephemera, many of which have never been seen before. The volumes will, of course, be produced to Spectral renowned high standards, the collection eventually forming an impressive body of work dedicated to one man’s cinematic vision. It is envisaged that there will be around 40 books in all, issued at regular intervals.

Later in the year there will be an official joint/LRC announcement as to which screenplays will be included in the collection. This is an exciting collaboration, of which Spectral Press are very proud to be a part! Keep checking in for further news!

Theatrum Mundi: the first titles

TMLogo01

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?