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Archive for the ‘Richard Davis’ Category

Richard Davis – The Female of the Species & Other Terror Tales

Posted by demonik on May 5, 2012

Richard Davis – The Female of the Species & Other Terror Tales: Writers from the Shadows #1  (Shadow Publishing, April 2012)

Caroline O'Neal

Caroline O’Neal

Introduction by David A. Sutton

The Female of the Species
Elsie and Agnes
A Day Out
The Lady by the Stream
The Inmate
A Nice Cut off the Joint
Guy Fawkes Night
The Time of Waiting
The Sick Room
The Clump
The Nondescript

What We Were Looking for in Horror
An Interview with Richard Davis
Horror in Fiction



Jim’s beautiful wife Viola is dead, but she had hidden a terrible secret… and now the cat he had brought home for her is behaving very strangely…

Mary and Johnny were hoping for a lovely weekend in the bed-and-breakfast by the sea, but there was something not quite right about their room… definitely not right at all!

Agnes was so annoying that her sister Elsie just had to kill her. But that was not the end of it, for Agnes has returned… or has she?

Richard Davis was the story editor for the BBC’s LATE NIGHT HORROR series and the editor of the landmark THE YEAR’S BEST HORROR STORIES, as well as many other horror anthologies, including the TANDEM HORROR, SPACE, SPECTRE
and ARMADA SCI-FI series.

His short stories were widely published, but THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES is the first time his fiction has been collected in one volume.

The book also contains two rare essays by the author.

Order direct from Shadow Publishing

Posted in David Sutton, Richard Davis, Shadow Publishing, small press | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Richard Davis – Jon Pertee Book Of Monsters

Posted by demonik on November 29, 2007

Richard Davis (ed.) – The Jon Pertee Book Of Monsters (Methuen, 1978: Magnet, 1979)

Petwee Book Of Monsters

Cover art by George Underwood, with illustrations by Nicholas Hockley

Introduction and Epilogue by Jon Pertwee

George Evans – The Samala Plant
Tim Stout – Night of the Sand Wolf
Philip Welby – The Nondescript
David Campton – Spawn
Guy Weiner – The Glendale Monster
Catherine Gleason – Ming
Glenn Chandler – The Intruders
Roger Malisson – The Lambton Worm
John Halkin – The Eyes Have It

Thanks to Steve Goodwin of Vault for providing the contents and cover scan.

Posted in *Magnet*, *Metheun*, Richard Davis, Young Adult | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Richard Davis – Orbit Book Horror Stories

Posted by demonik on November 28, 2007

Richard Davis (ed.) – The First Orbit Book Of Horror Stories Ed. (Orbit, 1976) *


Richard Davis – Introduction

Harlan Ellison – The Whimper Of Whipped Dogs
J. Ramsey Campbell – The Man in The Underpass
T. E. D. Klein – S.F.
Clive Sinclair – Uncle Vlad
Brian M. Stableford – Judas Story
Brian Lumley – The House Of Cthulhu
Allan Weiss – Satanesque
Steve Chapman – Burger Creature
Tim Stout – Wake Up Dead
Bernard Taylor – Forget-Me-Not
Gregory Fitz Gerald – Halloween Story
Charles E. Fritch – Big, Wide, Wonderful World
Eddy C. Bertin – The Taste Of Your Love

* Published in the USA as The Years Best Horror Stories Series III

I’d imagine this one was considered cutting edge when first published and 30 years haven’t diminished the power of these stories. More-so than David Sutton, Davis introduces SF into the mix, not my thing but there are enough out-and-out horrors to keep the likes of me happy.

Taylor’s history of Dr. Crippen’s wallpaper and the prog rock nightmare, “Judas Story”, have been commented upon elsewhere. Ellison’s opener is horror with a social conscience, the authors angry response to the big city, broad daylight murder of Kitty Genovese while people stood around and watched. Campbell locates a demon in a subway, and has a child narrate the nasty things that ensue. Ellison aside (nothing is scarier than reality), Weiss’s black magic outing, “Satanesque”, is maybe the most frightening and gory of the bunch – a statue comes to violent life and it’s none too choosy about who it kills …

Bernard Taylor – Forget-Me-Not: New Yorker Sandra, 26, arrives in London on a one year teacher exchange programme. On the tube she meets a helpful young man who, by way of chit-chat indicates the former 10 Rillington Place, once home to mass-murderer Reginald Christie. Before long Sandra is obsessing over the killer, reading all she can find about him and even hanging his photo on the wall of her new flat. When she learns that his house is due for demolition, Sandra pays it a final visit and peels a small strip of wallpaper from above the fireplace as a souvenir which she later pastes next to his image. Gradually it spreads across the flat, draining her of all vitality as it does so. Maybe as innovative a variation on the hoary vampire theme as I’ve read.

Tim Stout – Wake Up Dead: Camber Fell Prison for the Criminally Insane. Dr. Kellin invites select colleagues along to witness the unveiling of his new invention, a machine that transmits dreams as though they were regular TV shows. His volunteer is mass-murderer John Vanner who has always maintained that he committed his crimes while asleep. Vanner endured the most traumatic childhood – his father killed his mother and then came looking for him – and has been a martyr to his nightmares ever since. Should be fun getting to see what so terrorises him then …

Eddy C. Bertin – The Taste Of Your Love: Riccione, near Rimini. A serial-killer with a long history of torture-murders behind him picks up his latest intended victim at a disco and takes her back to his lodgings for a night of passion. But the girl with ‘the finely drawn features and dark lonely eyes’ is every bit his match. Soon she has him pinned to the bed in a grip of steel. And then she flicks her hair aside to show him the left side of her face, deformed by what looks like something one of Marilyn Manson’s cheerleaders would paint on her cheek ….

Steve Chapman – Burger Creature: Trudy and Maureen find him lurking around the burger joint where they work as waitresses. He’s an animated mass of hamburger, fries, onion and ketchup with pickles for eyes. Otherwise he looks like a regular guy. Trudy, the looker of the pair, falls for him – she’s suddenly very keen for Maureen to knock off early – and keeps him hidden away in the freezer. Everything’s going nicely until their appalling manager discovers the Happy meal on legs and tries to kill him …

Clive Sinclair – Uncle Vlad: Wait a minute. The Clive Sinclair? Anyhow … A descendant of the infamous impaler – with all the family niceties off pat – initiates the far-from-unwilling Madelaine into the clan.

Charles E. Fritch – Big, Wide Wonderful World: Following the nuclear holocaust, everybody is on state prescribed hallucinogenic drugs to keep them from seeing just how ugly their world really is. Thrill-seekers Chuck, Bill and Len get their kicks from sharing a “nightmare” – deliberately not taking their fix at the appointed time and resisting from doing so for as long as they can endure it. Within a few minutes they’ve all gone to pieces and there’s even a fatality. The publication details given for this story are Magazine of Fantasy & SF, 1968, but it was written at least ten years earlier and appears in the Charles Beaumont edited The Fiend In You (Ballantine, 1962).

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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 »