Anthologies

At Sledge Lit (a one-day SF, fantasy and horror shindig in Derby, held last Saturday [23rd November]) I managed to tear myself away from the dealers’ room (Jan and I were selling Alchemy Press books) to attend just one panel discussion, this one on short stories. If you know me, heard me comment on this in the past, you will know that I love short stories, and I bemoan the lack of anthologies that we used to see on the shelves in bookshops up and down the country. Booksellers and publishers say that short story anthologies and collections do not sell (unless it’s a collection by someone such as Stephen King or Neil Gaiman). To be honest, I don’t think they give them a decent chance.

Anyway, it got me thinking … and ended up with my listing all the anthologies I’ve bought in the past 12 months or so. The list is quite long — 20 titles that I remember buying — and reflects that in 2017, because of house moving and other issues, I bought a mere handful of anthologies. There may be more scattered around the house. The following list excludes the books that Jan bought for herself. Here it is in alphabetical order by editor.

       

  • Mike Ashley: From the Depths
  • Mike Ashley: Lost Mars
  • Mike Ashley: Moonrise
  • Mike Ashley: Sisters in Crime
  • Robin Brockman: Classic Tales of Horror
  • Ellen Datlow: The Devil and the Deep
  • Ellen Datlow: Best Horror 10
  • Martin Edwards & Adrian Muller: Ten Year Stretch
  • Paul Finch: Terror Tales of Cornwall
  • James Grady & Keir Graft: Montana Noir
  • Paula Guran: Mammoth Book of Cthulhu
  • Paula Guran: Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2017
  • Stephen Jones: Best New Horror 28
  • Stephen Jones: Mammoth Book of Halloween Stories
  • Stephen Jones: Vampire Stories by Women
  • Michael Kelly & guest editors: Year’s Best Weird Fiction (three volumes)
  • Johnny Mains: Best British Horror 2017
  • Mark Morris: New Fears 2
  • Marie O’Regan: Phantoms
  • Nicholas Royle: Best British Short Stories 2017
  • Steve Shaw: For Those in Peril
  • Simon Strantzas: Aickman’s Heirs
  • Storm Constantine: The Darkest Midnight in December

         

I’ve still to read some (many) of these but buying anthologies is, to me, like a drug. Only less harmful to my health. I have excluded the several single-author collections also purchased this year.

And in case you are unaware, I have just published The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors (edited by me and Jan Edwards) and Compromising the Truth by Bryn Fortey. Both these books reflect our passion for short stories. Horrors is a 25 story anthology including work by the likes of Ramsey Campbell, Storm Constantine, John Grant, Stan Nicholls, Samantha Lee and many others. Compromising the Truth is Bryn’s second short story collection, a follow-up to Merry-Go-Round and Other Words.

Most of these books will be available via Amazon and other good book sellers. Anthologies are the ideal gift for friends and/or yourself.

 

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Interviewed!

The editors of The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors, Peter Coleborn (ie, me) and Jan Edwards, have been interviewed by Jenny Barber:

Besides the very general theme ‘horror’ the book has no theme. I feel that stories in themed anthologies, especially tightly themed ones, can become too similar. I enjoy variety. I enjoy coming across something unexpected. In this I mirror the views expressed by Mark Morris, editor of the wonderful New Fears series.

I use the word ‘horror’ as a wide catch-all net. What you will find between the covers is 25 well-written yarns that will hopefully chill you, or at the least make you go: wow, I didn’t expect that. Weird stories. Creature features. There are stories that may have been at home in The Pan Book of Horror Stories, perhaps in New Terrors (edited by Ramsey Campbell), or in one of Stephen Jones & David Sutton’s anthologies. Other anthologies are available.

Read the full interview on Jenny’s website.

 

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.

 

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.