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Stephen Jones & Jo Fletcher – Gaslight And Ghosts

Posted by demonik on September 2, 2007

Stephen Jones & Jo Fletcher (eds.) – Gaslight And Ghosts  (World Fantasy Convention/ Robinsons, 1988)


Introduction: A Ripping Yarn – Stephen Jones & Jo Fletcher

James Herbert – Halloween’s Child
Neil Gamman – James Herbert: Growing Up In Public
Dianna Wynne Jones – The Green Stone
Clive Barker – The Rhapsodist
Hugh Lamb – Victorian Terror
Garry Kilworth – Beyond Byzantium
Brian Lumley – The Writer In The Garret
Ian Watson – The Case Of The Glass Slipper
R. Chetwynd-Hayes – Fog Ghost
Peter Tremayne – A Reflection Of Ghosts
Robert Holdstock – Time Of The Tree
Ramsey Campbell – Cat And Mouse
Brian W. Aldiss – Forgotten Life
Karl E. Wagner – Beyond Any Measure
Mike Ashley – Unlocking The Night
Terry Pratchett – Sphinx
Barbara Hambly – Immortal Blood
Lisa Tuttle – The Modern Prometheus
Adrian Cole – Grimander
Kim Newman – The Long Autumn Of 1888
Charles L. Grant – Snowman

Weird amalgam of horror and fantasy stories, artwork, articles, extracts from then-forthcoming novels, ads and co., loosely based around a Jack The Ripper/ Victorian theme, although many of the items don’t come within spitting distance. The overall effect is like an extended, hardcover issue of Fantasy Tales magazine.

For me, the articles are the selling point, specifically these four: Hugh Lamb contributes an excellent – if too brief – examination of the golden age of Victorian horror fiction; Mike Ashley commemorates Christine Campbell Thomson and the Not At Nights, and Tremayne does the same for Dorothy Macardle, latter day editor of Weird Tales and author of Uneasy Freehold. finally, Kim Newman contributes an annotated listing of Jack the Ripper movies and TV appearances.

As to the short stories, Beyond Any Measure has to be the stand out, a vampire/ doppelganger classic, and the Campbell is resurrected from an early Michel Parry anthology. Fog Ghost seems to have been written to order, but it’s mercifully free of the heavy-handed humour that blights some of RCH’s other work. Hallowe’en Child is reputedly based on a true incident on the night Herbert’s daughter was born.

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