Reviews 19:03:2015

We have a couple of reviews for you this morning:

"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

First up is a new write-up of Tim Dry’s Ricochet, this one from Nic Parker and posted to her Devoted to Thrills website – you can find the review HERE and ordering buttons below:

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Tim Dry ans Simon Marshall-Jones talk "Ricochet"

Tim Dry ans Simon Marshall-Jones talk “Ricochet”

Also, don’t forget that Tim Dry and publisher Simon Marshall-Jones will be talking to Nicholas Vince on Sunday evening 22nd March at 7pm UK time on Google+. They’ll be talking about Tim’s book and about Spectral Press/Theatrum Mundi amongst many other things.

BLACK MOUNTAIN by Simon Bestwick

The Dancers in the Pines ©2014 Simon Bestwick/Spectral Press. Artwork ©2014 Neil Williams

The Dancers in the Pines ©2014 Simon Bestwick/Spectral Press. Artwork ©2014 Neil Williams

And here’s a review of the first Spectral serial, Black Mountain, published last year – this one appears on the British Fantasy Society’s website and has been written by Dave Brzeski. You can read it HERE.

The serial is still available to purchase from Amazon.

Reviews – 11:03:2015

Today we have even more reviews of Spectral/Theatrum Mundi titles plus an interview, so let’s get straight on with it.

"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

From the illustrious Ginger Nuts of Horror we have out first review of Ricochet by Tim Dry, written by Paul M. Feeney which you can find HERE. As soon as you’ve finished that you should go on and read the interview of ‘Renaissance Man’ Tim Dry, also conducted by Mr. Feeney – that one is right HERE.

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Dr. V's Hammer has landed!

Dr. V’s Hammer has landed!

And HERE’S another review from Chris Hall of DLS Reviews, talking about John Llewellyn Probert’s The Hammer of Dr. Valentine. Get your copy of the limited hardback or the unlimited paperback today!

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Reviews 09:03:2015

The start of yet another week, but at least we’re now heading into spring with warmer and sunnier days ahead, and to celebrate, here are some reviews we’ve received over the last couple of days:

WITHIN THE WIND, BENEATH THE SNOW by Ray Cluley

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

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

First up here’s Chris Hall of DLS Review with his take on this very chilly tale from Ray Cluley – you can read that one HERE. And HERE’S another one for the same book, this time courtesy of Erik Hofstatter and which was posted to his The Cimmerian Writer blog.

WITHIN THE WIND, BENEATH THE SNOW by Ray Cluley 

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UK £15

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THE NINE DEATHS OF DR. VALENTINE by John Llewellyn Probert

The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine cover image

Another review from DLS Reviews, this time of the novella detailing the debut exploits of the Medical Master of Mayhem, Dr. Valentine. You can read that one HERE.

The sequel, The Hammer of Dr. Valentine, is currently available, the hardback of which you can order via the Paypal links below. If you would like a copy of The Nine Deaths, please enquire about availability at spectralpress[AT]gmail[DOT]com.

The Hammer of Dr. Valentine: limited signed hardback (100 only). 

UK £21

EU £24

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It’s all about Dr. Valentine…

"The Hammer of Dr. Valentine" ©2014 John Llewellyn Probert/Spectral Press. Artwork ©2014 Nick Gucker. Layout ©2014 Neil Williams.

“The Hammer of Dr. Valentine” ©2014 John Llewellyn Probert/Spectral Press. Artwork ©2014 Nick Gucker. Layout ©2014 Neil Williams.

We have received a rather charming letter of complaint (complete with various dismembered body parts) from Dr, Valentine, to say that he thinks we are not talking about him enough on this blog. He quaintly suggests that certain re-enactments from some of his favourite horror films might be visited upon us if we don’t rectify the situation immediately, so in an effort to appease him we are duly here to remind you that the new book detailing his latest exploits, The Hammer of Dr. Valentine, will be available this month and that you can buy a copy for your library. It really is a superb book, and I am honestly not just saying that because a sharp-looking scalpel is being pressed against my Adam’s apple. If you don’t believe us then read what Paul Simpson of SciFi Bulletin thinks of both the Dr. Valentine books so far: The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine HERE and The Hammer of Dr. Valentine HERE.

BUY A COPY TODAY AND MAKE A MEDICAL MADMAN HAPPY! 

The Hammer of Dr. Valentine: limited signed hardback (100 only). 

UK £21

EU £24

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We pray that the printers hurry up and send the books soon…

A trio of reviews – 01:12:2014

Another dull, overcast Monday morning, but it’s been considerably brightened by three reviews of Spectral books, which we’d like to tell you about:

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

First, the British broadsheet newspaper The Guardian printed a review by Keith Brooke of The Spectral Book of Horror Stories over the weekend – you can read that one HERE.

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"The Hammer of Dr. Valentine" ©2014 John Llewellyn Probert/Spectral Press. Artwork ©2014 Nick Gucker. Layout ©2014 Neil Williams.

“The Hammer of Dr. Valentine” ©2014 John Llewellyn Probert/Spectral Press. Artwork ©2014 Nick Gucker. Layout ©2014 Neil Williams.

Next, we have two reviews of John Llewellyn Probert’s The Hammer of Dr. Valentine: the first one is from Sparks in Electrical Jelly, written by Jez Winship, which can be found HERE, and the other is from The Eloquent Page and is written by Paul Holmes, and that can be found HERE.

The Hammer of Dr. Valentine: limited signed hardback (100 only). 

UK £21

EU £24

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A Duo of Reviews

Home and Hearth © Angela Slater/Spectral Press. Artwork © Neil Williams 2014

Home and Hearth © Angela Slater/Spectral Press. Artwork © Neil Williams 2014

For the first time in a while, we have two reviews to link you to this morning of chapbooks. The first of them is of Angela Slatter’s Home and Hearth from Mario Guslandi and posted to  the British Fantasy Society – you can find that one HERE.

Rough Music cover image

And here’s one of Simon Kurt Unsworth’s Rough Music, which we don’t think we’d come across at the time – it’s from Dreadful Tales, is written by Colum McKnight, and you can read that one HERE.

18:08:2014 – Two interviews, a review, and some 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

It’s Monday yet again, and that means another mini-interview of writers appearing in the inaugural volume of The Spectral Book of Horror Stories – this time the subject is Brian Hodge, whose tale Cures for a Sickened World brings together music journalism and cosmic horror in terrifying way, appears in the book. The interview can be found on Angela Slatter’s blog HERE.

The second interview is of the book’s editor Mark Morris – this one’s been put together by Paul Simpson, and appears in Sci-Fi Bulletin. Readers can find that one HERE.

And finally, here’s a short but very nice review of The Spectral Book of Horror Stories from the Book Geek – it’s right HERE if you’d like to read it.

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

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For those who prefer eBooks, this edition of The Spectral Book of Horror Stories will appear from pre-order on Amazon this week.

11:08:2014 – Reggie Oliver speaks plus two reviews

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 bright Monday morning after yesterday’s gloom (caused, we are told, by the tail-end of Hurricane Bertha), we can present to you a whole raft of Spectral Book of Horror Stories-related goodness. First off, contributor Reggie Oliver, writer, actor, and raconteur, talks to Angela Slatter as part of her series of mini-interviews with those whose stories appear in the book. Click HERE to read what Reggie has to say about his tale The Book and the Ring.

Following this, we have two reviews of the tome: the first one is from Paul Simpson over at Sci-Fi Bulletin - that one can be found HERE. The second write-up is from another Paul, Paul St. John Mackintosh, and has been posted to the TeleRead website – to read that one, click 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 news and reviews as we get them!

Reviews! We have Reviews!!

Reviews are just like buses – you wait ages for one and then a whole load come at once. And so that’s what’s happened here: we have not one, not two, but FOUR reviews we’d like to tell you about -

 

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

First, we have a the second and third reviews of The Spectral Book of Horror Stories: the first, which you can see HERE, is Stewart Horn’s verdict which appears at the British Fantasy Society website, and second is Jon R Meyer’s thoughts on the book over at The Horror Fiction Review. That one can be seen HERE (third review down).

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 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 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

We also have two more reviews from the British Fantasy Society: first, HERE‘s Dave Brzeski’s appraisal of The Christmas Ghost Stories of Lawrence Gordon Clark edited by Tony Earnshaw, and then we have Chris Limb’s review of Paul Kane’s Ghosts. You can find that one right HERE.

New reviews 27:05:2014

Today, on this somewhat miserable Tuesday morning, we have two new reviews, for Tim Lebbon’s Still Life novella and Paul Kane’s Ghosts collection, both published in SST Publications’ Beware the Dark magazine, issue #2,  and both written by William J. Grabowski.

First up, Still Life:

"Still Life" © Tim Lebbon/Spectral Press 2013. Artwork © Jim Burns 2013

“Still Life” © Tim Lebbon/Spectral Press 2013. Artwork © Jim Burns 2013

I can think of a handful of writers who first popped onto my radar during the late 1990s—Tim Lebbon among them. Lebbon is easily one of the most enduring, hard-working, and genuinely gifted (I don’t say this lightly), threading fresh lines through what can appear worn-out narrative weaves. Appearances, as we all ought to know, can be deceiving.

Still Life begins some 10 years after the Incursion, when humanity was overtaken by a fierce (and strange) enemy even H. P. Lovecraft might have feared. The story focuses on a small British village, where widow Jenni mourns Marc, and indulges in reveries with his shade by way of a quiet pool (a melancholy, fantastical “reversal” on Machen?). It is difficult to review this fast-paced novella without spoiling anything for the reader, but it can be done.

The village populace is contained by Finks (human; keeping an eye on them), and by fearsome entities guarding the borders. Human casualties have been used as literal construction material for the Road of Souls, Jenni’s Marc among them. After a while, she is approached by Damien, leader of a resistance group to conquer the Finks. Here is where Lebbon’s considerable strengths in characterization manifest, and the reader takes in an authentic sense of despair and desperation tempered by humankind’s basic survival instinct.

In this fairly short work of fertile imagination charged with psychological/emotional realism, I got a thrill
equal to that heretofore supplied by early Aldiss, Barker, and even visual shadings from the more visceral end of surrealism. But these comparisons are simply a way to talk about an effect, and Tim Lebbon’s confident voice
equals—and often surpasses—them all.

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PLEASE NOTE! Due to contractual reasons, the paperback edition of Still Life is limited to 100 only!!

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And her’s the one for Ghosts:

"Ghosts" © Paul Kane/Spectral Press 2013. Artwork © Edward Miller 2007 - 2013.

“Ghosts” © Paul Kane/Spectral Press 2013. Artwork © Edward Miller 2007 – 2013.

I’m embarrassed to admit not knowing much about the work of Paul Kane, but let’s face it: you can’t read everything. So I came to his hefty collection of short fiction with no preconceptions, beyond a simple awareness of his high rating shared by readers and fellow writers. My ignorance had the serendipitous effect of providing a fresh perspective.

As Nancy Kilpatrick writes in her Introduction, Kane explores a wide variety of ghostly manifestations, each written with inventive verve and eclectic personality so lacking in much recent “ghost fiction,” which seems reliant on bad TV and movies and “clever” gimmicks.

I’m pleased to report this collection has none of those failings, and can’t remember when I’ve more enjoyed a single-author collection. Too, such narrative diversity showcases Kane’s adaptability. “Homeland,” wherein a gruff clean-up crew tasked to handle the residence of a deceased hoarder, literally have their hands—and fears—full. (Having once worked in disaster-restoration, this really chilled me.) Kane is adept at fusing physical detail with emotional, bringing his settings to life, no matter how unpleasant. In “Funeral for a Friend,” we are reminded that the passed-on can be unwilling to pass over the sins of the living . . .  a morality tale for the New Shallow who’re too busy to live.

“Wind Chimes” is a lacerating tale of loss, redemption, and . . .  never mind. Kane’s own script for what
became a short film, directed by Brad Watson, ends the book, and even includes a Watson Intro. The book’s
front-matter helpfully (for late-comers like me) lists books published—and edited—by the author.

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PAPERBACK EDITION:

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More reviews soon!