The Ghost House

Late last year Jan, Misha and I went to Keele Hall where two distinguished writers read out their stories — hi there A Leslie and R Shearman. A very enjoyable time. Spooky, too, as it should be. After, as we were getting back in the car, I noticed that the eerily lit Hall would make a perfect eerie picture. Here it is — edited a bit to double the atmosphere.

 

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Back again…

Golly gosh, my previous post was from before moving house. Nearly five months ago. The move was stressful at times but in the end all went well. Most importantly, all (well, almost all) the books are now in the house and not in the garage, where they were initially stored until shelves had been erected. Now we’re waiting on a new kitchen and bathroom. Once they are done, it’ll be time to decorate.

In the meantime Jan and I have been receiving submissions for The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors, due later this year. In fact, we’ve received over 250 stories — a lot of reading and shortlisting to get on with now the sub window has (almost) closed.

In addition, I am receiving stories from Bryn Fortey for his second collection, which will come from The Alchemy Press, also later in 2018.

I’ve also edited and prepared the layouts for a new novel from Misha Herwin, Shadows in the Grass. This isn’t my usual type of reading material but nevertheless it proved to be a most engaging read, about three generations of a family as they escape from early 20th century Poland to the relative safety of Bristol. The novel is only available as a Kindle book at the moment — the print version should be available shortly. The brilliant cover is from a painting by Misha’s sister Anuk Naumann.

I’ve also been photozapping images again. Here’s one I did previously:

I wish you all a (belated) happy 2018. May it be successful and peaceful.

 

 

Tell Tales

The way I read collections and anthologies is to pick and mix. I may read just one story from a book before looking elsewhere – and I have many, many books on the go at any one time. In order to share my reading pleasure I will, from time to time, highlight a particularly strong story in a thread I’ve termed Tell Tales.

“Tower of Babylon” by Ted Chiang can be found in his collection Stories of Your Life and Others (Picador £8.99). This is the lead story in the book and was originally published in Omni in 1990. Like almost all stories from Omni (the ones I’ve read, anyway), it is an outstanding and powerfully written tale. As one would expect, coming from such a publication. Read more here.

 

B and W Portraits

I have uploaded nearly 50 images of writers, editors, artists and publishers, taken at various conventions over the years, to my Flickr gallery — click here to take a peak. I will be adding further photos when time allows.

I have always preferred black and white photography for portraiture — it reduces distracting colours, especially those in the background, and, I believe, allows the personality to show through.

The above photo is of the late and very great Tanith Lee. I took this at an Eastercon a few years back.

Hekla’s Children reviewed

Over on the Piper at the Gates of Fantasy website I’ve reviewed the new novel by James Brogden, Hekla’sChildren:

Quite simply, I fell in love with this novel almost instantly. I admit some may think I’m somewhat biased: I’ve known James Brogden for many years and have included some of his short stories in the magazines I edited for the British Fantasy Society, as well as publishing a collection of his finely crafted short stories (Evocations, The Alchemy Press). However, and trust me in this, if I hadn’t enjoyed Hekla’s Children I wouldn’t have read it so quickly and thus you wouldn’t be reading this review.

Pop over to Piper to read the full review and then buy, read and savour this fabulous novel.