It is with great pleasure that we can announce that Alison Littlewood’s Spectral chapbook story, The Eyes of Water, will be reprinted in the Stephen Jones-edited Mammoth Book of best New Horror Volume 24.  This is another milestone in Spectral Press’ quest to conquer the universe. We’re sure that you will all join us in congratulating Alison on her success!

(As an aside, Alison actually has TWO stories in the Best New Horror anthology, the other one being ‘The Discord of Being’ published by Eibonvale Press in the Allen Ashley-edited anthology Where Are We Going? – fantastic news all round!)

The Eyes of Water: getting the FEAR

Eyes of Water cover image

Many years ago now, there used to be a popular newsstand horror magazine called FEAR which, in the course of time, faded away with the onslaught of the electronic revolution in mass communications and information technology. It disappeared off the shelves, which was a great shame as it was one of the better periodicals out there. But, just like that other genre stalwart Starburst, it’s now made a welcome return to print, but this time backed up with an online presence as well.

Anyway, the very first issue featured a review of Alison Littlewood’s The Eyes of Water and we have been promised that more reviews of Spectral publications will appear in the next issue plus, at some point, an interview with Simon Marshall-Jones. In the meantime, we reproduce here in full, courtesy of managing editor John Gilbert, the review of Alison’s chapbook.

“Small or specialist publishers are the lifeblood of genre fiction and at the moment Spectral Press is one of its rising stars. So much have they to offer that we decided to feature [one] of their new […] titles. The first is The Eyes of Water by Alison Littlewood,  a claustrophobic tale [of] underwater caves on the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico.

Alex is told that his friend, Rick, has been found dead after diving into a cenote that fed into a whirlpool just off the coast. Alex finds Rick’s death hard to accept particularly as he was such an expert navigator of the underwater caverns. His suspicions are further aroused when he sees the body of his friend [in] the morgue and cannot understand as Rick’s face is the only part of his body to be destroyed in the accident. Drawn to investigate he soon finds himself [in] a world of danger he could hardly have imagined.

Author Alison Littlewood skillfully describes the beauty of the underwater cave system while combining it with a claustrophobic horror that insinuates itself upon the reader as they descend into the story. Brilliantly and skillfully envisaged, The Eyes of Water is an unusual tale where every turn can reveal the unexpected.”

Many thanks to John and the FEAR team for the review – looking forward to the other reviews when they appear! Onwards and upwards!

Reviews and news 19th October 2012

The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine cover image

First off, we received notice this morning of a new review of John L. Probert’s Spectral Visions novella, The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine, posted to the Dread Central website and written by Pestilence. It contains this rather fine quote:

“…Probert’s tale remains a total delight from start to finish – aiming somewhere between the thrilling, the camp and the humourous, The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine lands smack bang in the middle of brilliance.”

You can read the rest of the review here.

For those interested, paperback copies are still available, although there are very limited stocks available – please send remittance (£8UK/£9EU/$16US & RoW) via Paypal to spectralpress[AT]gmail[DOT]com. It is also available via Amazon UK and Amazon US.

The Eyes of Water cover image

Also, there’s a new review of Alison Littlewood’s chapbook story, The Eyes of Water, on David Hebblethwaite’s Follow the Thread blog – it’s the third one down and can be found here.


We’ll be announcing the winner of the recent The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine competition on Tuesday next week – so please do look out for that! However, on Monday, we will FINALLY be revealing the Table of Contents of the very first Spectral Christmas Ghost Story Annual – we’re very excited by the line-up we’ve chosen. It was an extremely tough decision to make – there were more submissions than we’d anticipated and the standard was very high. Unfortunately, we couldn’t take everyone’s story, but there will be plenty more chances to submit to future editions of the Annual.

The Annual even has a proper title now:  The Thirteen Ghosts of Christmas – come back Monday and all will be revealed!

Onwards and upwards!

Another review of The Eyes of Water surfaces

The Eyes of Water cover image

Another Monday morning, but at least we can start the week off with a review of Alison Littlewood’s Spectral chapbook story, The Eyes of Water. This one is featured in the very latest Morpheus Tales Review Supplement (#18), which is available now.  The review has been written by Stanley Riiks, and can be found on page 6 of said supplement – you can download the issue from here, and best of all it’s FREE! Even better than that, it also contains the latest Ramblings of a Tattooed Head column from Spectral Press captain, Simon Marshall-Jones.

In a small piece of news, we’ve been informed that Alison’s story has also been recommended for a Stoker Award – which we believe is fully deserved. Good luck Alison!


The next Spectral Visions novella will be Stephen Volk’s Whitstable, which will be published around the time of the centenary of the late great actor Peter Cushing’s birth next year (May). It will feature a specially-written Afterword by Mark Morris, and we are also very excited to announce that it will feature a cover by Ben Baldwin.

More details soon!

Dr. Slatter reviews The Eyes of Water

The Eyes of Water cover image

Last Friday, we told you about a review of Paul Finch’s King Death written by Australian author Angela Slatter. Well, yesterday she sent us her mini-review of the latest in the series of Spectral chapbooks, Alison Littlewood’s The Eyes of Water. You can read her blog entry on the book here.

NEWS: The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine

It is with great pleasure that we can announce that John L. Probert’s Spectral Visions novella is now all but sold out at Spectral Towers. There are just TWO copies left for sale, and this is before the official launch at FantasyCon at the end of next month. However, the launch is still going ahead, as Spectral will also have the paperback version for sale at the event as well. If anyone wants to clinch one of the two remaining limited signed hardback copies then we suggest you get onto it right away! Details can be found on a separate page on here, which can be accessed by clicking on the tab next to ‘HOME’ on the menu bar above.

The numbers include those who have reserved copies – so don’t worry on that score, they’re still being held for you!

Anyway, onwards and upwards!

The Eyes of Water at Dread Central

Another brilliant weekend done and dusted, and so now it’s reluctantly back to the grindstone – but at least it’s been leavened somewhat by us receiving another review of the latest chapbook, Alison Littlewood’s The Eyes of Water. The write-up was posted to the Dread Central horror blog, and was written by Pestilence – just pop over here to find out what they thought of Alison’s Mexico-set tale.


The limited signed hardback edition of John Llewellyn Probert’s The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine, the second entry in the Spectral Visions line, is provisionally on the point of selling out – there are just SIX copies left as I’m writing this. You can guarantee getting hold of one by clicking on the pre-order page, listed right next to ‘Home’ on the menu bar above, or contacting Spectral directly on spectralpress[AT]gmail[DOT]com as soon as possible. Yes, it’s as easy as that.

The fact that the book has practically sold out, more than a month before its official launch at this year’s FantasyCon, has prompted something of a rethink in terms of print run numbers. Just like the chapbooks, I am considering upping the numbers of Spectral Visions III (to be published in May next year) to 125, so that at the very least there’ll be the possibility of having some in stock here at Spectral Towers. This is a great position to be in, however: it means that Spectral Press’ reputation for publishing quality genre literature is still gaining ground and that people are actively seeking the books out.

Anyway, we will keep everyone informed on what isdecided. In the meantime, let’s see how fast those last remaining books will go – look forward to hearing from you.

A trio of reviews

The Eyes of Water cover image

So it’s Monday again, and the weather can’t decide whether it wants to be sunny or rainy so it’s flinging both at us. Never mind, at least there are a couple of new reviews of Spectral chapbooks for you to look at:

First up is regular reader Riju Ganguly’s assessment of Alison Littlewood’s The Eyes of Water, posted to his Goodreads account – you can find that one here.

Secondly, here comes a combined review from the good folks of Shock Totem Magazine of The Eyes of Water and Simon Kurt Unworth’s Rough Music, written by John Boden. You can read his thoughts here.

Don’t forget to order your subscription to this series of critically-acclaimed chapbooks – they often sell out well before publication and a subscription is the only way to make sure you get your copy (Paypal buttons down the right-hand side of this blog for your convenience). At the same time, why not also order a copy of the second Spectral Visions novella, John L. Probert’s The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine – to order, there’s a separate page (listed next to ‘HOME’ in the menu bar above), which gives you all the pertinent details. There aren’t that many left, so if you don’t want to be disappointed, order today!

Look forward to hearing from you!

The Crow’s Caw sounds out The Eyes of Water

The Eyes of Water cover image

Just a short post this morning, to let you all know about the latest review of Alison Littlewood’s Spectral chapbook. This one has been posted to Jassen Bailey’s The Crow’s Caw and was written by KE Bergdoll – you can see what they thought of it by going here.

Don’t forget, too, that you can also subscribe to this critically-acclaimed series of single short story chapbooks, thus ensuring that you don’t miss a single one and find out why it was nominated for a British Fantasy Award. For your convenience, there are Paypal buttons down the right-hand side (you can also pay by cheque or bank transfer – contact spectralpress[AT]gmail[DOT]com for details). You also have the option of buying 3-year or 5-year subscriptions, as well as the standard 1-year.

At the same time, why not order a copy of John Llewellyn Probert’s Spectral Visions novella The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine, an outrageously gruesome tribute to the films of Vincent Price. There’s a separate page for ordering it, listed next to ‘Home’ above.

Look forward to hearing from you – onward and upward!

A Spectral Miscellany

The Respectable Face of Tyranny cover image

For the first post of the week, we bring you a selection of this, that and the other, including the latest quote, some reviews and a bit of news. Let’s start with that quote, concerning the very first Spectral Visions novella:

“Like a jam session between Billy Bragg and H P Lovecraft or a mash-up of Rage Against the Machine and Algernon Blackwood, Gary Fry’s The Respectable Face of Tyranny is a radical — and remarkably successful — marriage of socio-economic outrage and Cosmic Horror.” — Peter Atkins (Screenwriter, Hellraiser II, III, & IV, Wishmaster and author of MorningstarBig Thunder Moontown)

We couldn’t have asked for a better quote from such an eminent fellow!

Staying with The Respectable Face of Tyranny, there’s a review of the novella in the new issue (#29) of Black Static magazine. Peter Tennant, the reviewer says of it:

“This is the finest work I’ve seen from Gary Fry, a story in which he blends numerous concerns about the plight of our world and dresses them all up in reinvented horror tropes, with the world’s financial systems personified as Cthulhuesque entities, a splendidly effective and apt metaphor.”

There are still paperback copies of this book available from us here at Spectral Towers, but in limited quantities – contact us at for more details and how to order.

Peter Tennant also reviewed Simon Kurt Unsworth’s Rough Music and Alison Littlewood’s The Eyes of Water in the same issue. Of Rough Music he opined:

“With echoes of The Wicker Man in the masked revellers who appear nightly on The Green, this is a subtle and effective story about the workings of guilt, one that perhaps has more in common with Poe’s ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ as [the] poor [protagonist] is tormented past any point of return.”

And this is part of what he said about Alison’s tale:

“[The Eyes of Water] is a beautifully realised story, with Littlewood bringing the Mexican setting to vivid life, a world of jungles and underwater caves, and also a place where the old rituals are deeply rooted, only hidden by a veneer of Christianity and civilisation.”

If you wish to read the reviews in their entirety, then please pick up a copy of the latest issue, available from TTA Press.

Finally, a snippet of news:  John Llewllyn Probert’s magnificent and gruesomely outrageous homage to the cinematic legacy of the late Vincent Price, The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine, will be up for pre-order tomorrow. There will be two price points: one for those attending FantasyCon 2012 (where it’s being officially launched so people can pick their copies up in person) and the other for those who aren’t (book price + p&p). This is the best way of securing a copy plus for those attending this event and no doubt John can be persuaded to personalise your copy while there. There will also be a free poster of the front cover image for those attending the launch, as well as free wine. Plus, there will almost certainly be an impromptu performance of select passages from the book in addition…. that’s definitely something to look forward to!

Anyway, that’s all for now, so onwards and upwards!

The Eyes of Water reviewed at the Hellforge

The Eyes of Water cover image

Midweek has come around fast yet again, and here we bring you notice of yet another review of Alison Littlewood’s Spectral chapbook, The Eyes of Water. This one’s written by Matthew Fryer and can be seen at his Welcome to the Hellforge blog – you can read it here.

More reviews soon!