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!!


Bits and pieces: News – 02:06:2014

Spectral Press logoNEW BOOKS FOR 2015

It is with immense please that we can announce the acquisition of two novellas from a duo of top class writers.

First, we have Albion Fay from MARK MORRIS, a name which should be familiar to many. It tells the story of twins Angie and Frank, about a weekspent in an isolated holiday home surrounded by a landscape which is as dangerous as it is beautiful. Set against the deteriorating marriage of their parents, that holiday will be about to change everyone’s lives. Date of publication TBC.

The second novella will be Leytonstone, by none other than STEPHEN VOLK, the author of last year’s bestselling Whitstable. This will be the second in his Dark Masters trilogy, of which Whitstable was the first, and for this one the subject is a very young Alfred Hitchcock. In the story, we get to learn of the many influences which went into the making of the adult, and how those influences collaborated in creating one of the foremost directors of his time. If you liked Whitstable, then we can guarantee that you will love LeytonstoneAlso due in 2015.

The Christmas Ghost Stories of Lawrence Gordon Clark: Deluxe edition.

The books will be arriving either tomorrow or Wednesday – and we will be despatching them this week too.

Black Mountain serial

Episode six of Simon Bestwick’s monthly serial, Black Mountain: The House by the Cemetery, will be published very soon: it’s lateness is due to unavoidable personal circumstances which the author had to attend to. This means that there will be TWO episodes this month, so that the serial will be back on schedule by the end of June.

Chapbook packaging

From the next issue of the chapbook series, Volume XII (Robert Shearman’s Christmas in the Time of Ennui) and which will be published in July, they will be packaged in sturdier and more protective envelopes. This will mainly be to guard against spine damage and the wanton mishandling by postmen. Subscription prices will be held at current prices.

New titles added

Some of the sharper-eyed readers of this website may have noticed, in the top right-hand corner of the front page here, that I have added two more titles to the chapbook line.They will be published (tentatively) in the first half of 2013 (but these things are always subject to change). The titles are:

Spectral Volume IX – Cold Havens by Simon Bestwick

Spectral Volume X – Soul Masque by Terry Grimwood

Terry’s will follow the normal single short story format, but Simon’s will offer a first for Spectral – it’ll contain TWO shorter stories, Comfort Your Dead and The Climb, but they’re no less chilling for all that. Further information will become available as time goes on, so please keep checking back.

Yes, I know that their release dates are 18 months away, but it won’t be all that long before Spectral is celebrating its first birthday. Cate Gardner’s Nowhere Hall is in the process of being prepared for publication (due to be printed early next month), and then a month after that I’ll be starting work on Paul Finch’s chapbook, which will round off the first year of Spectral’s career. And that’s just the start of even greater things for the imprint.

Indeed, Spectral’s first year is speeding by very quickly, and it has brought with it not just the imprint, but other things that have arrived in the wake of its unexpected (but very gratefully received) success. I would like to mark that first anniversary in some way, perhaps a competition of some kind, so I’ll put my thinking head on and see what I can come up with. However, please feel free to suggest something yourselves – either leave a comment here or send an email to me at spectralpress[AT]gmail[DOT]com. Whatever transpires, I think it’s always worth celebrating a minor success!! =)

More soon!