Friday, September 30, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Apex Book Company is one of the small publishing houses that are on the front line of quality speculative fiction. Their Apex Magazine is always a source of very good short fiction and for finding new and talented writers, while Maurice Broaddus and Jerry Gordon’s anthology “Dark Faith”, Mari Adkins’ anthology “Harlan County Horrors”, Lavie Tidhar’s collection of world SF “The Apex Book of World SF”, Nate Kenyon’s “Prime” and Gary A. Braunbeck’s “To Each Their Darkness” are the main reasons for me to consider Apex Publications among my favorites. These days Apex Book Company came with a new, very pleasant, surprise for its readers, the birth of a new Apex imprint, Black Room Books. And by the presentation of Black Room Books I do hope that the new born will have a very long and successful life in the publishing world, because it certainly holds plenty of promise:
Black Room is an imprint of parent company Apex Publications. A spin-off, if you will, created to cater to the types of awesome books that don't fit the mold of "commercial", but that still deserve proper attention and publication. Our titles will be the type that leave a mark in your mind long after the last page is finished. We want these books to step up to the boundaries of genre fiction, evoke the names of the great ones, and jump as far as they can.
Already Black Room Books has a few titles prepared for future release, Tim Waggoner’s “Like Death”, Jennifer Pelland’s “Machine”, J.M. McDermott’s “Disintegrations Visions” and the new volume in Lavie Tidhar’s collection of world SF, “The Apex Book of World SF 2”. However, the honor for opening the ceremony goes to Tim Waggoner’s “Like Death”, novel scheduled for release on 25th October and which already has an excellent cover, although it is a very chilling one. Tim Waggoner’s “Like Death” is at its second publication with Black Room Books, after the initial release in 2005 from Leisure Books, but since it was under my radar then and the cover creeps me out I am happy that it sees the light of publishing again.
For more information about all that is prepared on the table of Black Room Books we can visit their website, blackroompub.com. And let’s wish Black Room Books a warm welcome and a long stay in the world of publishing.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Legends and fairy tales are the most important structures in the foundation of my reading experience. Among the stories that made their way onto my reading table at the beginning of my adventure in the fiction world one in particular springs immediately from my memories, a heavy volume of collected world legends and fairy tales. I believe that I still have that volume and although it is battered by time and numerous readings I think I’ll dig it out for a pleasant journey down the memory lane. In time my taste for legends suffered changes, but my love for these particular stories only grew. This is one the reasons for Paul Finch’s anthology, “Terror Tales of the Lake District”, due to be released by Gray Friar Press this month (I believe) made the bells of my interest rang loud. And it is not the only one. The demented clown of Muncaster, the winged horror of Langdale, the drowned bride of Windermere or the nightmares on Burnmoor are offering plenty of reasons for my mind to go wild because of the curiosity inflicted by them. I will add to this a few names that are on the line up of “Terror Tales of the Lake District”, as well as on my favorites list, such as Gary McMahon, Ramsey Campbell, Simon Bestwick, Reggie Oliver and Carole Johnstone (whose stories I recently re-discovered and were more impressive than the first time) and there is no wonder that I already ordered Paul Finch’s anthology.
The Lake District — land of mountains and megaliths, night-black lakes and fathomless woods filled with spectral mist ...
The eerie entity on Striding Edge
The living corpse of Croglin
The demented clown of Muncaster
The winged horror of Langdale
The drowned bride of Windermere
The hairy brute of Beetham
The nightmares on Burnmoor
Chilling tales by Ramsey Campbell, Adam Nevill, Simon Clark, Peter Crowther, Reggie Oliver, Gary McMahon and other award-winning masters and mistresses of the macabre.
This wild, mountainous region in northwest England is famous for its towering crags, deep woods and majestic lakes. It is still one of the most popular holiday destinations in the whole of the UK, particularly for climbers, hikers, campers and yachtsmen. But some corners of it are extremely remote and even now in the 21st century remain wreathed in rural mystery and spooky superstition.
This brand new anthology, edited by master of chills, Paul Finch, contains ten works of original horror fiction all set in England's haunting Lake District, and three classic reprints. It also features numerous anecdotal tales concerning true incidents of Lakeland terror which will ensure you'll never regard that scenic part of the world in the same innocent light again.
“Little Mag’s Barrow” by Adam L.G. Nevill
The Mad Clown of Muncaster
“The Coniston Star Mystery” by Simon Clark
The Croglin Vampire
“Devils of Lakeland” by Paul Finch
The Mumps Hall Murders
“The Moraine” by Simon Bestwick
The Tawny Boy
“The Claife Crier” by Carole Johnstone
The Monster of Renwick
“Jewels in the Dust” by Peter Crowther
The Devil’s Hole
“Above the World” by Ramsey Campbell
Nightmares of Burnmoor
“The Jilted Bride of Windermere” by Gary Fry
The Horror at Carlisle Castle
“Walk the Last Mile” by Steven Savile
The Poltergeist of Walla Crag
“Framed” by Peter Bell
“Night of the Crone” by Anna Taborska
The Tortured Souls of Lord’s Rake
“Along Life’s Trail” by Gary McMahon
The Black Hound of Shap
“Striding Edge” by Reggie Oliver
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Before going on the summer holiday I reviewed the first issue of “Arcane Magazine” saying at the time that it would be a shame for this new and interesting magazine to die after its first appearance. Well, unfortunately it did, but fortunately only to be resurrected immediately in a new form. Nathan Shumate, the editor of “Arcane Magazine”, announced the transformation of Arcane, Penny Dreadfuls for the 21st Century from the magazine to an annual anthology series. I would have liked to see more issues of the magazine, but I know that keeping such a publication can be a struggle. Therefore, I am happy that it is not a disappearance into oblivion, but a transformation. And since the first issue, that is now a prelude to the “Arcane” anthology series, was interesting I am looking forward to the first collection of new “Arcane” stories scheduled for release on January 2012.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
Friday, September 9, 2011
One of the books I’ve read on holiday, and I am still reading since I am only half through, is Amanda Pillar and Pete Kempshall’s anthology, “Scenes from the Second Storey”. The first interesting thing that caught my attention when I first heard about this anthology is that “Scenes from the Second Storey” is a tribute brought by Mark S. Deniz, the founder of Morrigan Books, the publishing house which released the anthology, to The God Machine’s homonym music album. Each story is dedicated to one of the songs on The God Machine’s “Scenes from the Second Storey” track, but since Mark S. Deniz wished for many talented writers to envision those songs in fiction he ended up with more than thirteen authors for his anthology. Therefore the homage brought to the album came in two forms, a first one edited by Amanda Pillar and Pete Kempshall and featuring an all Australian line-up of writers (which I am currently reading) and a second, international edition, edited by Mark S. Deniz and Sharon Ring. This week, the line-up for the international edition of “Scenes from the Second Storey” was posted on Morrigan Books’ website. It gives me plenty of reasons to look forward to the release of “Scenes from the Second Storey” on 11th November in electronic format and later on in a printed version, but it also makes me wonder, as the anthology’s presentation says, how will the two interpretations in fiction of the same song fare with each other. I am waiting with great anticipation to see how the inevitable comparison will turn out, especially since the bar is set very high due to the impressive and exceptional quality of the stories I’ve read so far in Amanda Pillar and Pete Kempshall’s Australian edition of “Scenes from the Second Storey”.
Thirteen tales of murder, revenge, betrayal, obsession and desire - your usual fare? Well not when adding the fact that all these stories were inspired by The God Machine’s album of the same name, a concept queried by some before reading the first of these two themed anthologies.
Now comes the second instalment, following on from the Australian authors penning their wonderful versions of The God Machine’s classic tracks to a mix of international authors, commissioned by Morrigan Books to give their take on the songs. How similar are the two written versions to the album’s tracks? Do they capture the essence? You, the reader, can decide for yourselves this November when the international version of Scenes from the Second Storey is released.
“Dream Machine” by Miles Deacon
“She Said” by KV Taylor
“The Blind Man” by Carole Johnstone
“I’ve Seen the Man” by Gary McMahon
“The Desert Song” by Adrienne Jones
“Home” by Shannon Page
“It’s All Over” by Paul Kane
“Temptation” by Pete Kempshall
“Out” by Mike Stone
“Ego” by Gerard Brennan
“Seven” by Joseph D’Lacey
“Purity” by T. A. Moore
“The Piano Song” by Ian Whates