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Archive for September, 2007

Jeremy Scott – The Mandrake Root

Posted by demonik on September 26, 2007

Jeremy Scott (Kay Dick) – The Mandrake Root: an Anthology of Fantastic Tales (Jarrolds & Sons, 1946)

help cover wanted

Introduction – Jeremy Scott

The Extravagant

James Joyce – Everlasting Fire
Algernon Blackwood – The Man Who Was Milligan
Richard Hughes – The Stranger
Dorothy K. Haynes – The Changeling
D. H. Lawrence – The Last Laugh

The Grotesque

Thomas Ingoldby (R. H. Barham) – The Leech Of Folkestone
E. Bulwer-Lytton – The Haunted and The Haunters
Fred Marnau – The Wrinkled Women Of St. Nepomuk
Alex Comfort – The Lemmings
Arthur Calder-Marshall – Pickle My Bones

The Bizarre

Thomas De Quincey – Confessions Of An English Opium Eater
Guy de Maupassant – The Horla
Virginia Wolfe – The Lady In The Looking Glass: A Reflection
William Sansom – The Peach House Potting Shed
Wrey Gardiner – The White House
Olive Shreiner – Who Knocks At The Door

The Fanciful

Stella Benson – An Air-Raid Seen From Above
Saki – The Open Window
Richard Garnett – The Bell Of St. Euschemon
E. M. Forster – The Story Of A Panic

The Quaint

M. R. James – “Oh, Whistle And I’ll Come To You, My Lad”
T. F. Powys – No Room
Pamela Hansford-Johnson – Altarwise By Owl-Light
Walter de la Mare – Winter

The Eerie

J. S. le Fanu – The Familiar
James Laver – Mr. Hopkins And Galatea
John Atkins – The Diary Of William Carpenter
Sir Osbert Sitwell – The Greeting

A Selective Bibliography (Chiefly Of Shorter Pieces) For The Enthusiast.

Posted in *Jarrolds*, Jeremy Scott, Kay Dick | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Giles Gordon – Scottish Ghost Stories

Posted by demonik on September 21, 2007

Giles Gordon (ed) – Scottish Ghost Stories (Senate, 1996: Lomond, 2000: originally published as Prevailing Spirits: A Book of Scottish Ghost Stories (Hamish Hamilton,  1976: Panther, 1977: Grafton, 1986.)

Scottish Ghost Stories

Forbes Bramble – Holiday
George MacKay Brown – Beliah
Elspeth Davie – The Foothold
James Allan Ford – A Kind of Possession
Antonia Fraser – Who’s Been Sitting in My Car
Clifford Hanley – The Haunted Chimley
Dorothy K. Haynes – The Curator
Angus Wolfe Murray – The Curse of Mathair Nan Uisgeachan
Robert Nye –  Randal
Iain Crichton Smith – The Brothers
Fred Urquhart – Proud Lady in a Cage
Gordon Williams – The Horseshoe Inn

Cover shown is the Lomond edition. Thanks to Steve Goodwin for providing info on the early publishing history.

Posted in Giles Gordon | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Alex Hamilton – Best Horror Stories 3

Posted by demonik on September 21, 2007

Alex Hamilton (ed) – Best Horror Stories 3 (Faber, 1972)

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Introduction – Alex Hamilton

J.G. Ballard – Track 12
Patricia Highsmith – The Snail Watcher
Roald Dahl – Dip in the Pool
Richard Matheson – Deadline
Saki – The Hounds of Fate 
William Sansom – A Woman Seldom Found
Peter Fleming – The Kill 
Penelope Mortimer – The Skylight
Shirley Jackson – The Lottery 
Martin Armstrong – The Pipe Smoker
T.F. Powys – The Hunted Beast
Ray Bradbury – The Whole Town’s Sleeping
R. Chetwynd-Hayes – Housebound
Robert Aickman – Ringing the Changes
Alex Hamilton – The Attic Express
Fredric Brown – Don’t Look Behind You

Thanks to PeterC of Vault for the details.

Posted in *Faber*, Alex Hamilton | 1 Comment »

Richard Davis – Spectre 3

Posted by demonik on September 20, 2007

 Richard Davis (ed) – Spectre 3 (Abelard, 1976)

spectre 3

In The Gruesome Book, Ramsey Campbell castigates horror collections aimed at children which find it necessary to talk down to them. Having read three stories from Spectre 3, I shouldn’t think Davis’s was one of the books he had in mind. Even Chetwynd-Hayes dispenses with the badly dated, often tiresome humour that became something of an albatross in favour of a straight horror story. The Blackwood, RCH and Joyce Marsh offerings have appeared in adult collections and Tim Stout’s hefty slab of Grand Guignol would have been ideal for the Fontana Horror series.

Tim Stout – Heritage: Greenville, Alabama. Calvin E. Danby has the recently excavated dungeon of the family castle brought over from England and reconstructed brick by brick with pride of place going to the carving of an enormous, evil-looking wolf. When ‘big blonde’ Sadie Zellaby is seemingly clawed by the carving, Danby researches his family history and learns of an unfaithful wife hacked to pieces with an axe, a torture spree, various mutilations and the grim fate of the worst of his ancestors, mad Sir Hubert, who fought with a double-headed axe and was eventually crushed to death.

R. Chetwynd-Hayes – Lord Dunwilliam And The Cwy Annwn: RCH has been damned with faint praise on here (mea culpa), but this is up there with the best of his work. The arrogant Lord Dunwilliam, adrift in a snowstorm, chances upon a solitary cottage where live Evan ap Evans and his beautiful daughter, Silah. Dunwilliam is used to getting what he wants when he wants it and he’s decided Silah is going to be his by any means necessary. Evans spins him some cock and bull story about the girl having a fearsome lover, Annwn the Wild Huntsman whose pack are Hell-hounds, but as if an educated man would believe that …

David Campton – I’m Sorry, Mrs. Baxter: Bored teenagers from the estate hang around the Co-op in the High Street. They spend much of their time mithering passers by, one of whom happens to be Mrs. Baxter, a virtual mummy so wrapped up as to be indiscernible beneath her clothes. As Stew, Wally, Pete and the narrator jostle her, the old girl’s shopping spills onto the pavement and she suffers a heart attack. One by one the thugs are punished … by her clothes. There’s a brilliant cameo by a blue and white football scarf which wraps itself around one lad’s head just as he’s crossing a busy road.

Thanks, Victoria

Posted in *Abelard*, Richard Davis, Young Adult | 1 Comment »

Richard Davis – Spectre 2

Posted by demonik on September 20, 2007

Richard Davis (ed.) – Spectre 2 (Abelard 1975)

help! cover wanted

Introduction – Richard Davis

Tim Stout – The Hand From Haunted Hollow
Chris Parr – TA/9/73
Frances Stephens – The Chemical Man
Tim Stout – Jelly Baby
Joyce Marsh – The Shepherd’s Dog
Elizabeth Fancett – Ghosts Look Like People
Bram Stoker – The Judge’s House
Rosemary Timperley – The Tall Woman
Gladys Greenaway – A Matter Of Timing

Tim Stout – The Hand From Haunted Hollow: Disillusioned schoolmaster breaks down (carwise) in the midst of Savernake forest- his rescuer, a woman “ninety at least” makes him a gift of a hand painted jigsaw version of the idyll in which he’s lost.

Later, at home, bad weather leaves him without electricity, so for amusement he turns to gaslight and the forgotten puzzle. However, the picture which forms beneath his increasingly unwilling fingers doesn’t resemble that on the box:

“The cemetery’s image buckled and crumbled, wrenched apart by something that was tearing it’s way up from within”….

Chris Parr – TA/9/73: A grumpy old man and joke shop employee (oxymoron of the century, or dramatic device- you decide!) gets more than he bargained for when he decides to plant TA/9/73 (a toy tarantula) on the arm of a womanising banker type in the midst of a busy London pub during the Xmas Eve frivolities. Said BT promptly runs screaming from the pub into the oncoming traffic- next time Grumpy sees him in the shop he wonders:

“Why there was no elastic holding the mask round the back of his head?”

(BTW guys, have to share one of Mr. G’s wonderfully PC thoughts:

“I don’t like women. Never have. Bother and demands is what they’re about and I can do without that.”

Pankhurst eat your heart out.)

Tim Stout – Jelly Baby: Dr. Ian Reynolds engages a conjourer to entertain his daugter and her friends at her 10th birthday party, but while travelling home accidentally bumps into the magician’s van. Due to his resulting injury the magician recommends a rival company, with the grudging warning; “I don’t want to be within a hundred miles of your place tonight.”

Reynolds is “lucky” enough to engage the sevices of the “Director”, who ensures that havoc and panic reign during little Valerie’s party. His coup de grace literally belittles Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds, and made me realise why I’ve always had an aversion to blackcurrant flavoured jelly.

Joyce Marsh – The Shepherd’s Dog: If you can read this without shedding a tear then you must be made of stone. A “Grayfriers Bobby” type tale, written with Marsh’s usual accuarate sense of place and person- an absolute heat breaker.

Elizabeth Fawcett – Ghosts Look Like People: I wasn’t keen on this one- it’s a bit Scooby Do. Although that’s me reading it as an adult- it’s not really fair to comment as the books were meant for kids.

Rosemary Timperly – The Tall Woman: Elsewhere on this site Demonik writes about F. Paul Wilson’s “Buckets” as an abortion revenge story. This is an infanticide revenge story, and no less poweful for it’s lack of gore. The child of an woman she thought she’d left behind when:

“She had pressed snow over it’s eyes, then snow in it’s mouth.”

has come looking for her…

Can you believe these books were compiled for kids?!

Gladys Greenaway – A Matter Of Timing: …reminds me of “The Woman In The Green Dress” by Joyce Marsh.

Thanks to Victoria for posting the details and plot outlines.

Posted in *Abelard*, Richard Davis, Young Adult | Leave a Comment »

Richard Davis – Spectre 4

Posted by demonik on September 20, 2007

Richard Davis (ed.) – Spectre 4 (Abelard, 1977)



Julia Birley – The Understudies
Tim Stout – Free For Dinner
Robin Smyth – The Ghost Of Cottfield Village
Samantha Lee – Sea Change
Pamela Cleaver – The Skulls In The Belfrey
Paul Dorrell – Lamia
Robin Smyth – The Boy With The Short Haircut
Joyce Marsh – The Master Of Blas Gwynedd
Guy Weiner – Scriveners Inn
Basil Copper – The House By The Tarn
T. E. D. Klein – Magic Carpet

Posted in *Abelard*, Richard Davis, Young Adult | Leave a Comment »

Anon – Tales From Beyond The Grave

Posted by demonik on September 20, 2007

Tales From Beyond The Grave (Editor uncredited: Octopus, 1982; Treasure Press, 1989)

Tales From Beyond The Grave



Robert Graves – The Shout
Ambrose Bierce – The Man And The Snake
Hume Nisbet – The Haunted Station
E. F. Benson – Mrs Amworth
James Thurber – The Night The Ghost Got In
Guy De Maupassant – The Horla
Oliver Onions -Io
Edward Bulwer-Lytton – The House And The Brain
Ray Bradbury – Fever Dream
J. S. LeFanu – Green Tea
H. G. Wells – The Inexperienced Ghost
M. G. Lewis – The Monk [extract]
J. R. Tolkien – The Fellowship Of The Ring [extract]
George MacDonald – The Grey Wolf
M. R. James – Lost Hearts
Nikolai Gogol – The Overcoat
Seabury Quinn – And Give Us Yesterday
Mrs Gaskell – The Old Nurse’s Story
Mark Twain – A Ghost Story
Oscar Wilde – The Picture Of Dorian Gray [extract]
Robert Bloch – Yours Truly, Jack The Ripper
Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle – The Brown Hand
Charles Dickens – To Be Taken With A Grain Of Salt
E. M. Forster – The Story Of The Siren
Algernon Blackwood – The Doll
R. Chetwynd-Hayes – She Walks On Dry Land
Edgar Allan Poe – The Black Cat

Thanks to Rog Pile for the cover scan. 

Posted in *Octopus*, Anonymous | Leave a Comment »

H. D. Thomson – Great Book Of Thrillers

Posted by demonik on September 18, 2007

H. Douglas Thomson (ed.) – The Great Book Of Thrillers (Odhams, n.d.)

greatbookthrillers

Introduction

Stories Of Mystery And Adventure

A. J. Alan – H2, Etc.
Michael Arlen – The Smell In The Library
W. E. Aytoun – The Man In The Bell
Honore De Balzac – The Mysterious Mansion
Marjorie Bowen – The Folding Doors
Wilkie Collins – The Lady Of Glenwith Grange
J. S. Fletcher – The New Sun
Val Gielgud – Hot Water
L. P. Hartley – The Island
Nathaniel Hawthorne – Edward Randolph’s Portrait
Washington Irving – The Spectre Bridegroom
Frederick Marryat – The Story Of The Greek Slave
Prosper Merimee – The Blue Room
E. Phillips Oppenheim – The Cafe Of Terror
Edgar Allan Poe – The Facts In The Case Of M. Valdemar
Hugh Walpole – The Tarn
Samuel Warren – The Resurrectionist

Stories Of Crime And Detection

Anthony Berkeley – The Avenging Chance
Agatha Christie – The Witness For The Prosecution
G. D. H. & M. Cole – A Lesson In Crime
Freeman Wills Croft – Mr. Pembleton’s Commission
Gilbert Frankau – Who Killed Castelvetri
R. Austin Freeman – The Aluminium Dagger
Herbert Jenkins – The Gylston Slander
Maurice LeBlanc – Arsene Lupin In Paris
Baroness Orczy – The Fenchurch Street Mystery
Eden Phillpotts – Peacock House
John Rhode – The Vanishing Dagger
Dorothy L. Sayes – Bitter Almonds

Stories Of The Supernatural

E. F. Benson – The Gardener
Anon – A Spanish Ghost Story
Ambrose Bierce – Staley Fleming’s Hallucination
Catherine Crowe – The Italian’s Story
Daniel Defoe – The Ghost Of Dorothy Dingley
Charles Dickens – To Be Taken With A Grain Of Salt
Amelia B. Edwards – The Phantom Coach
Sheridan Le Fanu – Madam Crowl’s Ghost
Jeffrey Farnol – Black Coffee
John Galt – The Black Ferry
Theophile Gautier – The Dreamland Bride
Gerald Griffin – The Dilemma Of Phadrig
James Hogg – Mary Burnet
W. W. Jacobs – The Three Sisters
Arthur Machen – The Bowmen
Norman MacLeod – The Doctor’s Ghost
Walter De La Mare – Mr. Kempe
Sir Walter Scott – The Tapestried Chamber
H. Russell Wakefield – The Frontier Guards
H. G. Wells – The Red Room
Oscar Wilde – The Spinx Without A Secret

Despite that inexcusable dip in the middle, an enterprising selection. Something I adore about these are the little plot outlines against each story on the contents pages.

To prove that Man has a soul – that was Mr. Kempe’s terrifying problem. And there was danger for the stranger on the cliffside where he lived.

The frightful ordeal of a man at the mercy of an iron-tongued monster in a belfry.

How a respectable young medical student became for one night a body-stealer, and what fears and horrors assailed him during his gruesome adventure in a moonlit graveyard

Saves me the job!

Posted in *Odhams*, H. Douglas Thomson | Leave a Comment »

Stephen Jones – Keep Out The Night

Posted by demonik on September 18, 2007

Stephen Jones (ed.) – Keep Out The Night (PS Publishing, Oct. 2002)

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Hugh B. Cave – Invasion From Inferno
Brian Lumley – The Viaduct
Sidney J. Bounds – Homecoming
Dennis Etchison – One Of Us
Caitlin R. Kiernan – Spindleshanks
Poppy Z. Brite – Nothing Of Him That Doth Fade
Neil Gaiman – Feeders And Eaters
Tim Lebbon – The Unfortunate
Kim Newman – Is There Anybody There?
Michael Marshall Smith – Dear Alison
Basil Copper – The Gossips
Ramsey Campbell – Needing Ghosts

Posted in *P.S.*, Stephen Jones | Leave a Comment »

Stephen Jones – By Moonlight Only

Posted by demonik on September 18, 2007

Stephen Jones (ed.) – By Moonlight Only (PS Publishing, Sept. 2003)

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Harlan Ellison – In the Fourth Year Of The War
Hugh B. Cave – The Crystal Doll Killings
Christopher Fowler – The Art Nouveau Fireplace
Tanith Lee – These Beast
Joe Landsdale – Tight Little Stitches In A Dead Man’s Back
Lisa Tuttle – Replacements
Marc Laidlaw – Cell Call
Terry Lamsley – The Walls
Peter Straub – The Buffalo Hunter
David Case – Jimmy

Posted in *P.S.*, Stephen Jones | Leave a Comment »