Review and news 06:08:2015

"The Bureau of Them" by Cate Gardner  ©2015 Cate Gardner/Spectral Press. Artwork  ©2015 David Chatton-Barker

“The Bureau of Them” by Cate Gardner ©2015 Cate Gardner/Spectral Press. Artwork ©2015 David Chatton-Barker

First up is the first review of the wonderful The Bureau of Them, by the equally wonderful Cate Gardner – this one’s from The Ginger Nuts of Horror and can be found HERE.

LIMITED HARDBACKS

£21UK

£24EU

$50US & RoW

PAPERBACKS

£12.50UK

£15EU

$40US & RoW

BOOK and ACQUISITION NEWS

We are very happy to announce that we have acquired a collection of stories by John Travis, a writer who has been quietly producing quality work for many years but for some mysterious reason appears to still be relatively unknown. We intend to rectify that with this publication – it will reprint his various published pieces from assorted magazines and anthologies plus there will be two previously unpublished stories into the bargain. On top of that, it’ll feature an introduction by none other than Tim Lebbon.

On the rEvolution SF front we have two bits of news: firstly, please welcome John Costello (no relation to Elvis), who is taking on the role of series and commissioning editor for the new imprint. Simon Marshall-Jones will still be Editor-in-Chief and Galactic Overlord, but the shape and direction of the imprint will largely be in the hands of John, who has an abiding interest in science fiction and cinema.

Secondly, we have acquired a couple of books for the line, by author Thana Niveau (better known for her horror output) and a whole series of connected world experimental science fiction novels who will remain nameless for the moment. All we will tell you is that he has a somewhat rabid following for his material… expect more announcements soon.

2nd Spectral Book of Horror Stories: Table of Contents

Spectral Book of Horror Stories 2, edited by Mark Morris - ©2015 respective individual authors/Spectral Press. Artwork ©2015 Vincent Chong

Spectral Book of Horror Stories 2, edited by Mark Morris – ©2015 respective individual authors/Spectral Press. Artwork ©2015 Vincent Chong

It is with great pleasure and immense excitement that we can announce the table of contents for the 2nd Spectral Book of Horror Stories, which is due to be launched at this year’s FantasyCon in October. Without further ado, here’s the list:

HOUSE OF THE HAG – Paul Finch
FLOTSAM – Tim Lebbon
TOYS FROM THE GINGERBREAD COUNTRY – Richard Jay Goldstein
SUGARED HEAT – Lisa L. Hannett
A GIRL AND HER DOLLS – Adrian Cole
THE LARDER – Nicholas Royle
THE VEILS – Ian Rogers
JOE IS A BARBER – Paul Meloy
LITTLE TRAVELLER – Simon Kurt Unsworth
BEHIND THE WALL – Thana Niveau
MARY, MARY – Ray Cluley
THE MEANTIME – Alison Moore
MARROWVALE – Kurt Fawver
SCRAPING BY – Gary Fry
WHERE THE FOREST ENDS – Sean Logan
WRONG – Stephen Volk
LUMP IN YOUR THROAT – Robert Shearman
HORN OF THE HUNTER – Simon Bestwick
WHO WILL STOP ME NOW? – Cliff McNish

THE SPECTRAL BOOK OF HORROR STORIES vol 2 – PRICES INCLUDE POSTAGE!

£12.50 UK

£15 EU

$30 US & RoW

FANTASYCON 2015 PREORDERS

If you’re going to be attending FantasyCon 2015 this year in Nottingham, UK, where this book will be launched, then why not take advantage of this offer by preordering your copy and then picking it up at the event? Overseas visitors can save postage and spend what they’ve saved on books and beer! 

£10UK & EU

$15US & RoW

News and reviews 07:11:2014

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

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

First, there will be a review of Tim Lebbon’s superb novella Still Life in Black Static #43, out very soon. Among other things, Peter Tennant, the reviewer says of it:

“Lebbon has produced a strange and compelling story, beautifully written and with a prevailing mood of hope underlying the surface despair, a tale in which what is not said is almost as important as what is, with so much more suggested than is laid out on the page

The novella is still available in both limited hardback and limited paperback, so secure your copy today!

Jenni’s husband was part of the Road of Souls––his flesh swarmed by ants and pecked by rooks, bones crushed to powder by wheels of dread––and yet she still saw him in the pool.

            The incursion has been and gone, the war is over, and the enemy is in the land, remote and ambiguous.  The village outskirts are guarded by vicious beasts, making escape impossible.  The village itself is controlled by the Finks, human servants to the enemy––brutal, callous, almost untouchable. 

            Everything is less than it was before… time seems to move slower, the population is much denuded, and life itself seems to hold little purpose.  This is not living, it’s existing.

            But in a subjugated population, there is always resistance. 

            For Jenni, the happiest part of this new life is visiting the pool in the woods, seeing her dead husband within, and sharing memories of happier times.  It calms her and makes her feel alive.

            But the resistance comes to her for help. 

            And when her dead husband tells her it is time to fight, Jenni’s life is destined for a shattering change.  

“Tim Lebbon conjures up the horror of a world distorted by fear, distrust, and something unspeakable. With respectful nods to H.P Lovecraft Still Life rubs reality up against nightmares in this compact, engrossing treat.” Muriel Gray

SALE PRICE – UK £15

SALE PRICE – EU £17

SALE PRICE – US & RoW $30

NEWS

Albio Fay ©2014 Mark Morris/Spectral Press. Artwork ©2014 Ben Baldwin

Albio Fay ©2014 Mark Morris/Spectral Press. Artwork ©2014 Ben Baldwin

Mark Morris’ novella Albion Fay will feature an introduction by none other than the UK’s best horror writer, Adam Nevill. The book itself will be out in April-May next year, and pre-orders will be available soon. In the meantime, you can you drool over that gorgeous Ben Baldwin cover (above).

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

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

Similarly, Stephen Volk’s Leytonstone novella, which also features a cover by Ben Baldwin and will be out in March 2015, will have an Afterword by novelist, screenwriter and director Stephen Gallagher. If you loved Stephen’s Whitstable then you will absolutely blown away this one, a fictional rendering (based on a true event told by the man himself) of the point which shaped the very young Alfred Hitchcock into the future director we remember and revere. The limited hardback of this one IS on preorder right now- see Paypal buttons below:

PRE-ORDERS:

£21 UK

£24 EU

$50 US & RoW

Looking forward to hearing from you!

AUTUMN SALE!! GET YOURSELF A BARGAIN!

We all like bargains – especially people who love books! So, to celebrate Spectral’s favourite time of year, Autumn (and the approach of Hallowe’en), we are holding our first ever sale, with some high quality books at excellent prices on offer. We will be running this sale until Christmas, after which prices will return to normal – so get ordering today!

ALL PRICES INCLUDE POSTAGE AND PACKING!

Robert Hardy in "The Stalls of Barchester", directed by Lawrence Gordon Clark

Robert Hardy in “The Stalls of Barchester”, directed by Lawrence Gordon Clark

THE CHRISTMAS GHOST STORIES OF LAWRENCE GORDON CLARK – UNSIGNED HARDBACK:

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)

SALE PRICE – UK £25

SALE PRICE – EU £27

SALE PRICE – US & RoW $45

STILL LIFE by Tim Lebbon

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

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

Jenni’s husband was part of the Road of Souls––his flesh swarmed by ants and pecked by rooks, bones crushed to powder by wheels of dread––and yet she still saw him in the pool.

            The incursion has been and gone, the war is over, and the enemy is in the land, remote and ambiguous.  The village outskirts are guarded by vicious beasts, making escape impossible.  The village itself is controlled by the Finks, human servants to the enemy––brutal, callous, almost untouchable. 

            Everything is less than it was before… time seems to move slower, the population is much denuded, and life itself seems to hold little purpose.  This is not living, it’s existing.

            But in a subjugated population, there is always resistance. 

            For Jenni, the happiest part of this new life is visiting the pool in the woods, seeing her dead husband within, and sharing memories of happier times.  It calms her and makes her feel alive.

            But the resistance comes to her for help. 

            And when her dead husband tells her it is time to fight, Jenni’s life is destined for a shattering change.  

“Tim Lebbon conjures up the horror of a world distorted by fear, distrust, and something unspeakable. With respectful nods to H.P Lovecraft Still Life rubs reality up against nightmares in this compact, engrossing treat.” Muriel Gray

SALE PRICE – UK £15

SALE PRICE – EU £17

SALE PRICE – US & RoW $30

GHOSTS by Paul Kane

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

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

They are all around us all the time. But only a few make contact, and only certain people are destined to see the Ghosts. Here, you’ll read a lonely shade’s tale… a deceased old man’s house being invaded… how one person discovers the true meaning of the Christmas spirit, while a parent struggles to come to terms with the sad loss of a child… and what happens when the ghosts of war go on the rampage, or when a monstrous wraith stalks the streets looking for revenge. Gathering together all of award-winning and bestselling author Paul Kane’s supernatural fiction, including three brand new stories–one a sequel to Charles Dickens’ ‘The Signal-Man’–and featuring an introduction from bestselling horror author Nancy Kilpatrick (Power of the Blood World series), the script of Wind Chimes introduced by its director Brad Watson (7th Dimension), plus suitably atmospheric cover art from Edward Miller, this is one collection that will haunt you forever.

SALE PRICE – UK £15

SALE PRICE – EU £17

SALE PRICE – US & RoW $30

Looking forward to hearing from you!

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.

Signed limited HARDBACK EDITION

UK £21

EU £23.50

PAPERBACK EDITION

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

UK £12.50

EU £15

US & RoW $42

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.

Signed limited HARDBACK EDITION:

UK £21

EU £23.50

US & RoW $42

PAPERBACK EDITION:

UK £12.50

EU £15

US & RoW $25

More reviews soon!

A Spectral Miscellany 24:02:2014

Today, we would just like to remind people that Spectral is not just about The Christmas Ghost Stories of Lawrence Gordon Clark, and that we have other goodies on offer. See below for a wholesome raft of books available NOW!

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

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

STILL LIFE by Tim Lebbon (Spectral Visions IV)

Jenni’s husband was part of the Road of Souls––his flesh swarmed by ants and pecked by rooks, bones crushed to powder by wheels of dread––and yet she still saw him in the pool.

            The incursion has been and gone, the war is over, and the enemy is in the land, remote and ambiguous.  The village outskirts are guarded by vicious beasts, making escape impossible.  The village itself is controlled by the Finks, human servants to the enemy––brutal, callous, almost untouchable. 

            Everything is less than it was before… time seems to move slower, the population is much denuded, and life itself seems to hold little purpose.  This is not living, it’s existing.

            But in a subjugated population, there is always resistance. 

            For Jenni, the happiest part of this new life is visiting the pool in the woods, seeing her dead husband within, and sharing memories of happier times.  It calms her and makes her feel alive.

            But the resistance comes to her for help. 

            And when her dead husband tells her it is time to fight, Jenni’s life is destined for a shattering change.

Hardback edition (125 only)

UK £21

EU £23.50

US & RoW $42

Paperback edition (Due to contractual reasons, the paperback edition of Still Life is limited to 100 only!!)

UK £12.50

EU £15

US & RoW $25

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

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

GHOSTS by Paul Kane (Spectral Collection I)

They are all around us all the time. But only a few make contact, and only certain people are destined to see the Ghosts. Here, you’ll read a lonely shade’s tale… a deceased old man’s house being invaded… how one person discovers the true meaning of the Christmas spirit, while a parent struggles to come to terms with the sad loss of a child… and what happens when the ghosts of war go on the rampage, or when a monstrous wraith stalks the streets looking for revenge. Gathering together all of award-winning and bestselling author Paul Kane’s supernatural fiction, including three brand new stories–one a sequel to Charles Dickens’ ‘The Signal-Man’–and featuring an introduction from bestselling horror author Nancy Kilpatrick (Power of the Blood World series), the script of Wind Chimes introduced by its director Brad Watson (7th Dimension), plus suitably atmospheric cover art from Edward Miller, this is one collection that will haunt you forever.

Hardback edition

UK £21

EU £23.50

US & RoW $42

SPECIAL COMBINED OFFER (Still Life by Tim Lebbon [Spectral Visions IV] + Ghosts by Paul Kane [Spectral Collection I])

UK £35

EU £42

US & RoW $90

Paperback edition (unlimited)

UK £12.50

EU £15

US & RoW $25

STILL LIFE & GHOSTS paperback: combined offer

UK £22.50

EU £25

US & RoW

THE HAMMER OF VALENTINE by John Llewellyn Probert: preorder

You remember the highly successful The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine, the novella which won last year’s British Fantasy Award for Best Novella? Well, this April/May, it’ll be getting a sequel, called The Hammer of Dr. Valentine. It will feature more madness and mayhem – a plot teaser will forthcoming but let’s just say that there are a certain group of people with which the good doctor is not entirely happy and the newly reinstated and promoted DCI Longdon is equally unhappy at the man’s reappearance…

JD Busch, who provided the original cover artwork for The Nine Deaths returns with another wraparound cover, previews of which we will show you once we receive them. In the meantime, you can order a copy for a special price: it will be available only until mid-March, when the price will revert to normal, so ACT FAST! See below:

THE HAMMER OF DR. VALENTINE

£18 UK

£21 EU

$38 US & RoW

News and reviews 14:01:2014

It’s a beautifully sunny but frosty morning here in the grounds of Château Spectrale, and we will celebrate by telling you of some recent reviews which have come our way:

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

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

First, we have a write-up of our two latest books, Tim Lebbon’s Still Life novella and Paul Kane’s Ghosts collection – this one appears on Anthony Watson’s Dark Musings blog, and clicking here will take you right to it.

Whitstable cover image

Whitstable by Stephen Volk continues to make waves, and to underline that here’s another review of this fantastic book – this one is from Peter Tennant, the reviewer over at extremely well-respected genre magazine Black Static, which was originally published in issue 34 and now appears on Peter’s personal blog. You can read that one by going here.

NEWS

It has been decided that Simon Bestwick’s chapbook, The Judgement Call, will be published this December. This is mainly due to the fact that it’s a Christmas tale, so this year, Christmas Ghost Story lovers are going to be spoiled: you’ll be getting Simon’s chapbook, Paul Finch’s Sparrowhawk special edition hardback, Ray Cluley’s Within the Wind, Beneath the Snow novellette and, of course, the 2014 edition of The 13 Ghosts of Christmas. Lots to look forward to.

Also, all those who have recently purchased books from us: apologies for the delay in sending them out! We’re still in the process of unpacking all the boxes after our recent relocation – we promise to dispatch them as soon as we are able to. Thanks for your patience!

Still Life: reporting from the front line

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

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

And so, as we stand on the precipitous edge of 2013, ready to jump into 2014, we would like to tell you about a new review of Tim Lebbon’s latest novella, Still Life. It’s been posted on the British Fantasy Society website, has been written by Sandra Scholes, and her despatch can be found here.

The book is still available – to order, please use the Paypal buttons below (prices include P+P). You can also order Paul Kane’s collection Ghosts at the same time – and, to save you money, there’s a special combined offer with the two books together at a special price.

STILL LIFE by Tim Lebbon.

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

UK £12.50

EU £15

US & RoW $25

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

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

GHOSTS by Paul Kane

UK £12.50

EU £15

US & RoW $25

STILL LIFE & GHOSTS: combined offer

UK £22.50

EU £25

US & RoW

Tomorrow, we’ll be taking a look back at Spectral Press’ year in 2013!!

A Ghostly review and some event news

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

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

Seems like we haven’t had a review to tell you about in a while, so luckily one came into our inbox yesterday from Mass Movement Magazine – this one looks at Paul Kane’s Ghosts collection and is written by Jim Dodge. You can find that write-up right here.

You can order copies of the book (as well as Tim Lebbon’s Still Life novella) in both limited hardback and unlimited paperback below.

GHOSTS by Paul Kane (Spectral Collection I) – HARDBACK EDITION

UK £21

EU £23.50

US & RoW $42

PAPERBACK EDITION

UK £12.50

EU £15

US & RoW $25

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

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

STILL LIFE by Tim Lebbon (Spectral Visions IV) – HARDBACK EDITION

UK £21

EU £23.50

US & RoW $42

PAPERBACK EDITION

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

UK £12.50

EU £15

US & RoW $25

SPECIAL COMBINED OFFER (STILL LIFE by Tim Lebbon [Spectral Visions IV] + GHOSTS by Paul Kane [Spectral Collection I]) – hardback edition

UK £35

EU £42

US & RoW $90

STILL LIFE & GHOSTS: paperback combined offer

UK £22.50

EU £25

US & RoW $25

Look forward to hearing from you!

NEWS

xmas-ghost-story

There will be a signing/Q&A event with A Ghost Story for Christmas director Lawrence Gordon Clark at the Derby Quad on 19th December at 7:30pm for The Christmas Ghost Stories of Lawrence Gordon Clark, as well as a screening of his A Warning to the Curious – paperbacks of the book will be available for sale and signing.  For more details about this then please go here.

Some new reviews

A bleary, blustery Monday, so what better way to cheer ourselves up than to read about some new reviews?

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

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

The first one is for Tim Lebbon’s latest novella, Still Life, which appears at tor.com and has been written by Niall Alexander. You can find out what he says by going here.

Soul Masque by Terry Grimwood. © 2013 Terry Grimwood. Cover concept ©  2013 Neil Williams/Spectral Press. All rights reserved.

Soul Masque by Terry Grimwood. © 2013 Terry Grimwood. Cover concept © 2013 Neil Williams/Spectral Press. All rights reserved.

Next up is Simon Bestwick’s assessment of Terry Grimwood’s Soul Masque over at This Is Horror – read that one right here. (*Disclaimer: Spectral will be publishing a chapbook by Simon in December)

Both books are available from Spectral (note: Soul Masque is in limited supply) – contact us at spectralpress[AT]gmail[DOT]com for more details.

More reviews soon!