Leytonstone: a new review

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

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

And so it continues: Ginger Nuts of Horror reviewer Kit Power reads Stephen Volk’s Leytonstone and gives us his thoughts – if you want to know what those thoughts might be, then click right HERE.

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New Leytonstone review

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

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

JUST IN: new Leytonstone review from David Bishop at What Are you Reading For? You can find it HERE.

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Spectral Book of Horror Stories: This Is Horror verdict

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

The latest review to come to our attention is This Is Horror‘s thoughts on The Spectral Book of Horror Stories, edited by Mark Morris. The review is by Ross Warren, and it can be found right HERE.

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Leytonstone: The First review

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

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

And so it begins – here’s the first review of Stephen Volk’s Leytonstone novella, the follow-up to his critically-acclaimed and Spectral’s bestselling Whitstable. This one has been posted to SciFi Bulletin and has been written by Paul Simpson – you can read it HERE.

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Spectral Book of Horror Stories: New Review

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

This morning we want to bring you a new review of The Spectral Book of Horror Stories: this one’s from the Morpheus Tales Review Supplement October 2014 issue (available for FREE HERE and also includes my ‘Ramblings of a Tattooed Head’ column), and was written by J. S. Watts – here it is in full:

Review: The Spectral Book of Horror Stories edited by Mark Morris

I am so impressed by this polished short story collection that I almost don’t know how to start this review. For this reason I’m going to begin with some basic facts. The Spectral Book of Horror Stories is published by Spectral Press, who are going from strength to strength in my estimation, contains over three hundred pages of eclectic horror fiction, nineteen short stories (written by nineteen of the best contemporary horror writers) and aims to be the first volume in an annual series of horror anthologies. It is unthemed (according to its editor, but I’ll come back to that later), contains supernatural and non-supernatural stories “of madness, of dread, of warped longing and twisted love”. Contributors include Stephen Volk, Lisa Tuttle, Stephen Laws and Angela Slatter, to name just four of the Grand Masters and Mistresses of Horror who have written for this anthology.

The collection is so good there was only one story out of the nineteen presented here that I didn’t connect with, no mean feat in an anthology of this size, and no, I’m not going to name it. That would be unfair on the story and its author. It wasn’t a bad story (all the stories are superbly crafted), it was just that, to me, it didn’t seem as outstanding as the other eighteen, but in a collection this good it really comes down to a question of taste and the stories are so varied there is surely something here that will please everyone.

So I return to my original dilemma, with eighteen (okay, nineteen) outstanding horror tales to choose from, how am I going to describe this collection in a way that will do it justice and whet readers’ appetites. My solution lies in challenging the “unthemed” claim made by Mark Morris. Yes, it contains both supernatural and non-supernatural horror, ghosts, demons, rock’n roll, ancient books, celebrity bus tours, spooky monsters and serial killers, pagan renewal and sacrifice, unspecified evil, eviscerated corpses, madness, isolation and supernatural life-inspectors and might therefore be considered unthemed, but, apart from the sheer quality of the stories themselves, there is, to my mind, a theme running through these eclectic tales: the unknown. Even in the most graphic of these stories, there is as much unsaid as said, as many questions left unanswered as those spelled out in dripping blood or salt tears. The authors leave the reader’s imagination to do some of the legwork and it pays off big-time: these are stories that will continue to echo round your head long after you have finished reading them, assuming you have a head left, of course – there are at least two characters within these stories who have a physical absence in the head department and many more who certainly have a lack within it.

I’m not sure what else I can tell you about The Spectral Book of Horror Stories other than go buy it, or borrow it from a friend, but definitely be good and read it, because, to quote from Stephen Laws’ strange and dark story, “You must be gud, or The Slista will come get you.”

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27:08:2014 – New SBoHS review

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

After yesterday’s rather dull and rain-laved day, this morning is bright and pleasingly chilly, a herald of the coming autumn (our favourite season of the year). And so it is with great pleasure that we can tell you about the latest review of The Spectral Book of Horror Stories – a very in-depth one too, from Jez Winship, which he posted to his rather wonderfully named Sparks in Electric Jelly blog. To read it, just click HERE.

This is going to be a very special anthology, so we really do encourage you to pre-order your copy today of this first volume in a projected annual 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 are INCLUSIVE of 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.

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25:08:2014 – Interview, review, and news

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

On this Monday morning, which is a Bank Holiday for us here in the UK, we present the final mini-interview of contributors to Spectral’s forthcoming The Spectral Book of Horror Stories, conducted by Angela Slatter. So, who’s the lucky person featured today? Well, it’s Simon Marshall-Jones, the erstwhile publisher/editor/El Presidente/Dictator for Life of Spectral itself. What does he have to say? Furthermore, will it make sense to anyone? To find out, go HERE.

We’ll follow that up with a new review of the volume, by Anthony Watson and posted to his Dark Musings blog – that one can be accessed HERE.

This is going to be a very special anthology, so we really do encourage you to pre-order your copy today of this first volume in a projected annual 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 are INCLUSIVE of 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

NEWS

Don’t forget that we have a new website, which is now live and ready to use. It features a shop, from which it is easier to order books and accessories, and even has a swish postage calculation system which will work out how much postage and packing you should pay. Aside from that, there will also be the usual news and reviews, plus plenty of other material for you to read and digest. Sign up today to be alerted to new posts and other stuff. The URL is https://www.spectralpress.co.uk/

From tomorrow, both here and on the new website, we will be celebrating the life of JOEL LANE: BLACK COUNTRY PROPHET, the writer who sadly died last year at the far-too-young age of 50. Allen Ashley asked various writers and figures in the genre to choose their favourite stories of his and to write a brief introduction explaining why they chose that particular story, to be followed by the story itself. The first entry will be introduced by legendary editor/anthologiser Stephen Jones. Look out for it.

SBoHS – New Review

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

The reviews for The Spectral Book of Horror Stories are steadily coming in, and we have one to tell you abut this morning – this one’s from Jim McLeod and has been posted to his well-respected The Ginger Nuts of Horror website, and you can read it HERE.

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 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

More as they come in!

30:07:2014 – Nicholas Royle mini-interview and Whitstable review

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

Angela Slatter continues her series of mini-interviews with contributors to The Spectral Book of Horror Stories with Nicholas Royle, writer, editor, teacher and anthologist, who contributed the story This Video Does Not Exist. Click the link HERE to read what he has to say.

This is going to be a major publication for this year, so please do 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 happy to send you details):

£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

Whitstable cover image

You can never hold back a good book, and to prove it we’ve just received a new review of Stephen Volk’s award-nominated novella from 2013, Whitstable – the appraisal has been written by Niall Alexander and appears at Tor.com – read the review HERE.

LGC News and views 02:07:2014

CGS_Qtr cover

First we’ll kick off with a review of The Christmas Ghost Stories of Lawrence Gordon Clark – this one is from Matt Mason and has been posted to his Sweat, Tears, and Digital Ink website. You can read his verdict here.

The Deluxe Edition (cover pictured above) has been getting particularly fulsome praise from the customers who ordered it, which gladdens the (lost) hearts of all of us here at Chateau Spectrale. We still have eleven copies left of this special signed and slipcased edition – this is sure to become a much sought after collector’s item in the future. Paypal buttons can be found below.

EDITION CONTENTS

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