Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Best New Ghosts and Zombies

The tireless and talented Paula Guran -- who seems to be cranking out anthologies for Sean Wallace's Prime Books on an almost daily basis -- has seen fit to include my 2005 short story, "Between the Cold Moon and the Earth", in her upcoming GHOSTS: RECENT HAUNTINGS, a gathering of modern ghost stories all written within the last decade. As you can see from the names on the cover --

 -- she's put together a very impressive line-up of authors, and I'm honoured to be included among them. I've also read at least half of the stories in there, and can offer a genuine and enthusiastic thumbs up. Comes out sometime in September, I believe, but the Prime Books website (primebooks.com) will provide all necessary details.

In an earlier post, I already mentioned Steve Jones latest volume in his BEST NEW HORROR series. Here's the updated cover. You'll notice not only that Joan Aiken's name is now spelled correctly but that I've been added to the masthead, nestled snugly between Ms. Aiken and the great Ramsey Campbell, a perch I assure you I would not deserve had merit, rather than alphabetisation, been the deciding factor. The full line-up can be glimpsed at Steve's website (stephenjoneseditor.com), and is extremely impressive.

Along with BNH, the fall will also see the release of Steve's follow-up to his hugely succesful "mosaic novel" of 2010, ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE. I was lucky enough to be among the contributors to the first one and am thrilled to report that I've been asked back to the party. The sequel (in fact, book two of a projected trilogy) is called ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE: FIGHTBACK and here's a look at the sophisticates and charmers that modelled for its cover:

Again, full details (including the stellar list of contributors) can be found at Steve's website.

All three of the books will be in bookstores by Halloween, so you should obviously buy multiple copies in order to hand them out to trick-or-treaters in lieu of candy. Think of it as your contribution to the War on Childhood Obesity. Mrs. Obama will think well of you, I promise.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Rumours about Rumours... #3

To my delight and astonishment, Rumours of the Marvellous continues to get off lightly in its run-ins with the critics. A particularly generous review appeared a week or so ago, courtesy of the lovely Simon Marshall-Jones. More about Simon in a moment, but first here's this month's pull-quote:

              "A treasure-trove of unearthly delights ... consistently inventive ... the writing is contemporary and hip, yet beautifully lyrical"

The whole review can be found over at This is Horror (thisishorror.co.uk), a great website and one well worth visiting for many reasons over and above their kindness to your Uncle Pete.

As well as being one of the eminences grises at This is Horror, the tattooed magnificence known to his intimates as Simon Marshall-Jones is also the publisher and editor of Spectral Press (spectralpress.wordpress.com), where he is doing sterling work keeping the ghost story tradition alive in a series of beautifully produced chapbooks and novellas featuring the work of some excellent contemporary writers. Well worth your attention (and your money).

In other Rumours news, I'm thrilled to report that Steve Jones has selected the collection's closing story, "Dancing like we're Dumb", to appear in the latest edition of his award-winning series Best New Horror. This is volume 23 of BNH -- which means the series has now become the longest-running 'best horror' anthology in history, so congratulations to Steve and to all of us lucky enough to have appeared in it over the years.

And yes -- before you write in -- Steve Jones knows perfectly well how to spell Joan Aiken's name. The image above is a publisher's prelim, and the great lady's name will be fixed before publication.

Talking of Jonesy, here's another blast-from-the-past picture that he recently sent me, featuring me and him and a bunch of other reprobates at the 1992 launch of The Hellraiser Chronicles. Twenty years ago. My God.

From left to right, not counting the life-size Pinhead dummy, you've got Bob Keen, Mr. Jones (in the cool aviators), Ken Cranham, Doug Bradley (kneeling), moi, and Nick Vince. All still alive and well, I'm delighted to say, albeit not all quite as svelte as we once were...