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Archive for November, 2008

Back and up for trouble!

Posted by demonik on November 12, 2008

READING IS FUN!

Note almost supernaturally gratuitous use of Bettie Page-style photo. Another devious demonik ploy to grab your attention!

Note almost supernaturally gratuitous use of Bettie Page-style photo. Another devious demonik ploy to grab your "attention"!

illustration: Chrissie Demant

*yawn* is it time to do some more work on WordPress already? It only seems like six months since I sat down and made myself comfy  …

Actually, i’ve not been putting my feet up much at all really! i’ve been kept busy on the Vault forum which leaves me with no time to keep things ticking over on here!

Well, that’s about to change! I need a break from those fiends for a while, so i’ve made an attempt to update all these lapsed wordpress blogs. Don’t tell anyone i’m here!

You’ve maybe noticed that the majority of new books covered on here belong to the Robinson’s Mammoth series. Well, among those recently published under that imprint is one of my very favourite books of 2008. I speak, of course, of Peter Haining’s posthumous Mammoth Book Of True Hauntings which I recommend to fans of ‘real’ ghost stories and ‘News of the Screws’ press clippings as an ideal Christmas present for yourself (because if you read books, you probably haven’t any friends to buy it for you)! Also – Wordsworth Editions. This small team has been responsible for reissuing many rare gems in their superlative Mystery & The Supernatural series at ridiculously low prices. You really should get into them in a big way!

Anyhow; i’ve added news of the BFS Christmas shindig and the revamp of Thinking Man’s Crumpet along with details of three of the aforementioned Mammoths so that should keep you going for now!

Also, i’ve deleted the Vault Newsdesk sub-blog because there’s never any news, ever! “All” the posts should have transferred across except the really useless ones.

News of Paperback Fanatic relaunch when I hear it!

And now i’ve said such rotten things about our forum, stap me if someone good hasn’t joined! Wasn’t it ever so ….

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BFS Christmas Open Night, 5th. Dec 2008

Posted by demonik on November 12, 2008

Caroline C. also informs us of this forthcoming attraction (relax: i’ve got my anti-social head on and won’t be going anywhere near the dive)

THE BFS CHRISTMAS OPEN NIGHT
5th December, Ye Olde Cock Tavern, London

The British Fantasy Society invites members and non-members alike to join us for pre-Christmas cheer at Ye Olde Cock Tavern, 22 Fleet Street, London, EC4Y 1AA from 6pm onwards…

Come along and help raise buckets of cash in the most agreeable company north of the River Thames!

The British Fantasy Society’s Charity Raffle Spectacular for the St. Mungos’s Homeless Charity. http://www.mungos.org/

Dave McKean very graciously signed copies of this years FantasyCon Souvenir Magazine along with a very nice poster for Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book – two sets will be handed out to the lucky ticket holder on the night. Extra special gifts for your tree also include books donated by PS Publishing, Gollancz, Tasmaniac, and Nightshade Books to name but a few.

For that X-tra Special Christmas thrill Tim Lebbon offers and is indeed more than happy to kill one raffle winner in his next dark fantasy novel for Bantam Spectra, ECHO CITY FALLS.

In his very own words ‘…Thing is, in Echo City, dead isn’t necessarily forever… they might end up modified, brought back as chopped humans to serve as purpose-bred fighters, or scopes, or sex slaves. Who knows? Only me. And I’m not telling ’til I know who the winner is…’

So Remember, Remember the 5th of December… it certainly beats an evening at home with the In-Laws!

THE BFS CHRISTMAS OPEN NIGHT
Ye Olde Cock Tavern, 22 Fleet Street, London, EC4Y 1AA

Time: 6pm onwards

Nearest Tube: Temple (0.3 miles), Chancery Lane (0.4 miles), Blackfriars (0.4 miles)

British Rail: City Thameslink (0.3 miles), Blackfriars (0.4 miles), Farringdon (0.6 miles)

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Thinking Mans Crumpet ……

Posted by demonik on November 12, 2008

…. Is back! Co-editor Catherine C. recently informed us:

The idea is that there will be a January 2009 relaunch of the printed genre magazine aimed at female contributors – New Year, new editor, new start … that kind of thing. The ethos of the magazine is to encourage and inspire women writers and illustrators/artists – but we’ll let the men look at it too!

Phew!

Caroline continues:

And here’s the blurb with submission details:


TTMC is a magazine project edited by Caroline Callaghan and Coral King. Our main aim is to promote new and interesting female writers. We also feature a guest male writer in each issue. Artwork will be welcome, as will verse, articles, interviews and short stories.

Submissions are currently open for issue two, which is due in the new year. We would like to see examples of horror, science fiction and erotica, but all genres will be considered, and to encourage new writers we are not insisting on full technical formatting – as long as it’s legible that’s fine. Please submit your work by email to coralkingATlive.co.uk  (Replace the ‘AT’ with @)

Sorry, there’s no payment, but all contributors will receive a free copy, and all reviews will be published in the blog for you to use for promotional purposes on your own site. TTMC will also be for sale – details nearer the release date.

Issue one was very popular, so come on ladies, give it a go!

The best way to get involved is to contact them via womenwriters.

Good luck to all concerned! Can I be an honorary girl or something?


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David Kendall – Mammoth Book of Zombie Comics

Posted by demonik on November 12, 2008

David Kendall (ed.) – The Mammoth Book of Zombie Comics (Robinson, 2008)


[image]

Cover image: Carlos Kastro
Cover design: Pete Rozycki

Blurb:

The Undead are heading your way – 18 of the greatest zombie comics ever.

You can’t keep a good (or bad) corpse down, and they rise up in spectacular form in this new collection. These days zombies are the rock and roll of horror monsters.

Presenting a mix of voodoo victims, creepy somnambulists, and flesh eating deadheads, This collection brings you the best the graveyard can yield up, including:

Vince Locke’s first ever Deadworld comic, Black Sabbath, in which a little window-shopping turns out to be a big mistake.

Scott Hampton’s awesome adaptation of R. E. Howard’s slice of Southern Gothic, Pigeons From Hell.

Darko Macan’s short E.C.-style shocker The Immortals.

Askold Akishin’s The Haunted Ship, in which shipwreck survivors discover an apparently abandoned vessel.

Steve Niles’ modern twist on the traditional back-for-revenge story, Making Amends.

If it’s dead, moving and hungry, you’ll find it here!

“The mindless, shambling zombies of yesteryear are rapidly being replaced by sprinters and runners with an insatiable appetite for human flesh …. “

Unlike the other Mammoths mentioned in this section, … Zombies doesn’t delve back into pre-code days – presumably any pre-nineteen eighties zombies are now far too mouldy to resurrect! I’ve not had time to study everything at length, but as there’s been much response to the recent Robert E. Howard threads, Pigeons From Hell seemed as good a place as any to dip in, a very dark, claustrophobic strip with no dialogue whatsoever. Artist Scott Hampton remains faithful to REH’s original throughout, but perhaps it helps if you know the story or you might struggle to make sense of what’s going on. It’s early days yet, but so far I’ve been most taken with Buddy Scalara’s epic, Necrotic: Dead Flesh On A Living Body from 2001 which answers that big question i’m sure we’ve all put to ourselves at one time or another: can the walking dead still enjoy a love life and if so, what happens when they get …. carried away?

Posted in "Constable-Robinson*, Comics & Graphic Novels | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Michel Parry (ed.) – The Waves of Terror

Posted by demonik on November 12, 2008

Michel Parry  (ed.) – The Waves of Fear (Gollancz, 1976)

Michel Parry – Introduction

William Hope Hodgson – From the Tideless Sea
Eugene Burdick – Log the Man Dead
William Clark Russell – The Phantom Death
Guy de Maupassant – At Sea
Joseph Conrad – The Brute
Ambrose Bierce – A Psychological Shipwreck
David A. Drake – From the Dark Waters
Robert E. Howard – Sea Curse
Irvin S. Cobb – Fishhead
H. P. Lovecraft – Dagon
Captain William Outerson – Fire in the Galley Stove
John Russell – The Slayer
Robert Louis Stevenson – The Sinking Ship
William Hope Hodgson – More News from the Homebird
John Masfield – The Devil and the Old Man

Thanks to Lord Froggy of The British Fantasy Society for providing the contents!

Posted in *Gollancz*, Michel Parry | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Peter Haining – The Mammoth Book of True Hauntings

Posted by demonik on November 10, 2008

Peter Haining – The Mammoth Book of True Hauntings (Robinson, 2008)

mammothtruehauntings

photo Tony O’Reilly/ Fortean Picture Library: Cover design: JoeRoberts.co.uk

Foreword: I Am A Researcher Of The Supernatural

A Century Of Hauntings: A Chronology from 1900-2000
The Ghost Hunters: Fifty Authentic Supernatural Experiences
Phantoms In The Sky: Ghostly Pilots, Aircraft And Haunted Airfields
Encounters With The Unknown: Eyewitness Stories By Journalists
Haunted Stars: Show Business And The Supernatural
Supernatural Tales: True Ghost Stories By Famous Authors
Phantom Lovers: Sexual Encounters With Ghosts
What Are Ghosts? The Theories Of The Experts
The A-Z Of Ghosts: Phantoms Of The World

Bibliography
Research Organisations
Acknowledgements

Back cover blurb:

Surprisingly, the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries have turned out to be the most extraordinary periods in the history of supernatural encounters – with more mysterious accounts of ghosts being reported from all over the world than during any previous era.

This giant survey from the acclaimed investigator, the late Peter Haining, years in the making and now posthumously published for the first time, documents the full spectrum of credible hauntings during the last hundred years or so. It encompasses over 100 first-hand accounts of poltergeists and phantoms, ghostly pilots and haunted airfields, seduction spirits and sexual encounters with ghostly entities – and much more. Also included are the notes of famous ghost hunters such as Hans Holzer, Harry Price, and Susy Smith; and some fascinating analysis by notable experts on what ghosts really are.

How appropriate that, as we approach November 19th and the first anniversary of his untimely death, the legendary Peter Haining should return from the grave with a collection of True Hauntings.

Experts will doubtless be mortified that Peter has exhumed several of these ‘true’ accounts from such reliable resources as The News Of The World and The Sunday People, but he’s also ransacked his library to good effect for accounts from (perhaps!) more credible authorities, several old Vault friends among them: Dennis Wheatley (on the true life incident at boarding school which inspired his big seller, The Haunting Of Toby Jugg), Arthur Machen (versus a Poltergeist infestation), Barbara Cartland, James Herbert, Robert Thurston Hopkins, Fred Archer, Elliott O’Donnell, Peter Underwood and medium to the stars Doris Stokes.

Predictably, the NOTW is the source for much of the Phantom Lovers: Sexual Encounters With Ghosts section which reads for the most part like a series of plot-outlines for Benny Hill sketches as the country’s struggling pubs are besieged by randy Royalists, Peeping Toms, Phantom Bottom-pinchers – the whole gamut of sex pests from beyond the grave. Typical of these “Grinning Ghouls”, the spectre in the changing room of The Disco Bar, Newcastle who so put the willies up go-go dancer Maggie in 1974, and an incorrigible old rascal who conducted his reign of terror in The Knights Lodge Inn near Corby during the ‘eighties. “I’ve seen him and he’s a big robust chap – a cavalier who carries an ostrich feather. He uses the feather to lift the ladies’ skirts and tickle them – he must have been a real Casanova when he was alive” deadpans a handy ‘Psychic Investigator’, Jean Cooksley. The vast majority of these encounters feature male spooks mithering Miss GB contestants and dolly birds, although The Sun (who else?) can provide a “scantily clad” (what else?) female phantom who steals the discarded clothing of courting couples should they frolic in her Hertfordshire field.

lynseydepaul

Spectre smitten, pop chanteuse Lynsey De Paul: Her Eurovision Song Contest hopes hit “Rock Bottom” in spooky circumstances!

As those of us who’ve been terrified out of our wits by The Weekend Book of Ghosts & Horror will know to our cost, saccharine-coated songstress Linsey de Paul is arguably the most haunted women in the history of pop and here we learn of another chilling episode in her troubled career – the case of the haunted headphones that so disrupted the fabled Rock Bottom sessions. Another haunted celebrity is William Shatner – and not just by his inspired incursion into the music world, The Transformed Man. Here he recalls his brush with death on a motorcycling tour where it could well have been all up for him had it not been for the intervention of a phantom biker.

I’ve only had the book a day and, doubtless, will have some more woeful comment to make as I progress, but it’s proving a most diverting read. One to file alongside his outrageous but scandalously entertaining ‘non-fiction’ accounts of The Legend & Bizarre Crimes of Spring-Heeled Jack and The Mystery & Horrible Murders of Sweeney Todd!

Posted in *Constable/Robinson*, Peter Haining | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Jon E. Lewis – The Mammoth Book of Boys Own Stuff

Posted by demonik on November 10, 2008

Jon E. Lewis – The Mammoth Book of Boys Own Stuff (Robinson, 2008)


[image]

Cover Design: Ken Leeder

From the back cover blurb:

A staggeringly large guide to all that a modern boy needs to know and to do
Step 1: Turn off the TV, the PC, the PS3, the Wii…
Step 2: Open up The Mammoth Book of Boy’s Own Stuff and get into boyhood like it’s meant to be …

A guide to life, the universe and pretty much everything The Mammoth Book of Boy’s Own Stuff is full of fun as well as important facts on how to be top and an all round great person – from essential Latin to making your own volcano, from SAS survival skills to basic movie making.

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