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Posts Tagged ‘Daniel McGachey’

Daniel McGachey – They That Dwell In Dark Places

Posted by demonik on November 13, 2009

Out now from Dark Regions press!

Daniel McGachey – They That Dwell In Dark Places and other Ghost Stories (Dark Regions Press, 2009)

Cover painting, “Dr. Lawrence – An Informal Portrait”, by Julia Jeffrey. Cover design by Dav

Charles Black – Introduction: The Lurker In The Shadows

The Shadow In The Stacks
The Mound
The Beacon
“Shalt Thou Know My Name?”
The Wager
The Crimson Picture
Rags
The Travelling Companion
A Ravelled Tress
“And Still Those Screams Resound”
An Unwise Purchase by Dr. H. S. Grace
The Unmasking – ‘An Evening Of Revels And Revelations’
They That Dwell In Dark Places

Author’s Notes: Shedding Light On Dark Places
Author’s Bio

Blurb:
“This is a ghost story about ghost stories. It tells a tale about the telling of tales, and of the need, the absolute necessity, for stories that strike fear into men’s hearts; stories that delve into the unknown and the uncanny…”

… and in most of the thirteen stories in this collection, the telling of ghostly tales plays a vital part.

Here are stories told by firelight in isolated cottages, by lantern-light on
storm-lashed beaches, by gaslight in scholars’ studies and clubrooms, or by
twilight in libraries and in lonely asylum cells.

Here are stories of things that crawl stealthily across moonlit lawns; of legends it is better to remember, and of relics that are best left forgotten in the dark; of the malice of objects that are not as inanimate as they might seem, and of ancient tragedies re-enacted before helpless and horrified eyes…..

Here are stories of…
Strange books unearthed from the college library foundations, and the dreadful shadowy form that seeks their return…
The man with no sense of humour who plays a joke that has deadly results…
The legendary gambling club where something far more precious than money is at
stake… ….
The book of ghost stories whose contents prove more than usually absorbing for the unfortunate reader…
The solitary lighthouse in the middle of a treacherous sea, and the nightmare that awaits its keepers one stormy night, when someone comes knocking at the door…
The painter whose commission for an unseen sponsor produces horrifying portraits that capture more than a mere likeness of the subjects…
The old house with an alarming history, and the professor who is drawn to it in hope of fulfilling his overwhelming ambition to finally see a ghost…
And the gentlemen’s club where the patrons gather on Hallowe’en night to exchange ghoulish tales, and where a very special tale of horror must yet be told.

Here are stories of phantoms and demons; of those who are haunted by them, and those, like Dr. Lawrence, the antiquarian scholar, who seek them and face them. Here are stories of They that Dwell in Dark Places!

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Charles Black – The Fourth Black Book of Horror

Posted by demonik on April 5, 2009

Charles Black (ed.) – The Fourth Black Book of Horror (Mortbury Press, April, 2009)

Microsoft Word - Black Book 4.doc

 

Cover: Paul Mudie

Craig Herbertson – Soup
Paul Finch – Words
Joel Lane – A Cry For Help
Johnny Mains – With Deepest Sympathy
Carl T. Ford – Many Happy Returns
Franklin Marsh – All Hallow’s Even
David A. Sutton – Dead Water
Daniel McGachey – And Still Those Screams Resound…’
Gary McMahon – Love is in the Air
Reggie Oliver – The Head
Ian C. Strachan – The Devil Looks After His Own?
Gary Fry – Bad Hair Day
Hazel Quinn – Flies
Rog Pile – Nails
David Conyers – The Lord of the Law

15 TALES OF TERROR SELECTED BY CHARLES BLACK

THE GRIM REAPER

‘Death towered over the three cowering infants. His hand stayed. The innocence, the tiny stature, the pleading eyes… They started to cry.’ – All Hallow’ Even

DIRE THREATS

‘Pull your trousers down, pull your trousers down or I’ll snick your little nipper off with a bloody chopper.’ – The Head

THE HORRIFYING

”…he had selected a sharp skewer from the kitchen and driven it through her ear and into her sleeping brain with one blow from a wooden mallet.’ – The Devil Looks After His Own?

AND THE GRISLY

‘…he stood back and watched as the fire-lit form writhed and gibbered; as slowly but surely, in a welter of blood and hanging tissue, its exposed musculature was shredded from the gleaming bones beneath…’ – Words

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Charles Black – Second Black Book Of Horror

Posted by demonik on June 19, 2008


Charles Black (ed.) – The 2nd Black Book Of Horror
(Mortbury Press, Feb. 2008)

2nd black book of horror

Cover: Paul Mudie

Gary McMahon – Black Glass
David A. Sutton – Amygdala
David A. Riley – Now and Forever More
Steve Goodwin – The Cold Harvest
Craig Herbertson – On the Couch
Mike Chinn – All Under Hatches Stow’d
Daniel McGachey – The Crimson Picture
D. F. Lewis – Squabble
Eddy C. Bertin – The Eye in the Mirror
Julia Lufford – The Meal
John L. Probert – In Sickness And …
L. H. Maynard & M. P. N. Sims – Onion
Rog Pile – The Pit

ISBN 978-0955606113

200 Pages

£7 + £1-50 P&P in the UK

order from Mortbury Press

AVAILABLE NOW!

Several Vault readers nominated Charles’ debut anthology as their most treasured book of 2007 and here’s a second volume. I don’t have a copy yet, but just look at that wonderful line-up! It is to be hoped that a third Book Of Horror will be published toward the end of this year.

It is to be hoped that a review will appear here soon, but don’t let that put you off your enjoyment.

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Charles Black – The Black Book Of Horror

Posted by demonik on June 19, 2008

Charles Black (ed) – The Black Book Of Horror (Mortbury Press, 2007)

Charles Black - Black Book of Horror

Cover: Paul Mudie

Frank Nicholas – Crows
Mark Samuels – Regina vs. Zoskia
Gary Fry – The Older Man
Steve Goodwin – Power
Roger B. Pile – Cords
Sean Parker – The Sound Of Muzak
D. F. Lewis – Shaped Like A Snake
David A. Sutton – Only In Your Dreams
Paul Finch – The Wolf At Jessie’s Door
John L. Probert – Size Matters
John Kenneth Dunham – Spare Rib: A Romance
Gary McMahon – Family Fishing
David Conyers – Subtle Invasion
D. F. Lewis – A Pie With Thick Gravy
David A. Riley – Lock-In
Franklin Marsh – Last Christmas (I Gave You My Life)
Daniel McGachey – “Shalt Thou Know My Name?”
Charles Black – To Summon A Flesh Eating Demon

Includes:

David Riley – Lock-In: The Potters Wheel, Edgebottom, on the outskirts of Manchester. Sam Sowerby the landlord has recently let a room to ‘Albert Durer’ who, unknown to Sam, is a Black Magician specialising in conjuring forth Cthulthoid monstrosities. His latest ritual sees the pub plunged into a void surrounded on all sides by an impenetrable blackness. Regular Tom Atkins takes a step outside to see what’s going on, has his face torn off for his trouble. The teacher, Harold Sillitoe, is next to try his luck – he bleeds to death after his arm is picked clean as if by acid. Now Sam and his four elderly friends affectionately known as ‘The Grudgers’ after the area they hail from, are left with a desperate choice: either stay here and die of starvation or find some way of getting through the black shroud ….

John L. Probert – Size Matters: “His penis looked like the huge maroon salami sausage that he had seen on Nigella Lawson’s cookery programme last week, right down to the runny brown gravy she had poured over the end ….”

Funded by the unexpected fortune left him by his late mother, Harry Walker decides to splash out on an extension in the hope it will improve his luck with women. As we can see from the passage quoted above, the operation conducted, by the dubious plastic surgeon Dr. Lockhampton, doesn’t go as well as it might and the resultant gangrene sees poor Harry bitterly regretful that he tampered with his healthy six inches. A chance meeting with a crone along the abandoned railway line restores what he’s lost – with way too much interest. Killer last line.

As far as I’m aware, there are no plans to adapt this one as a graphic novel any time soon.

Franklin Marsh – Last Christmas (I Gave You My Life): December 24th and Kate makes a break for it, clearing off with the kids, away from that wretched husband of hers, never – NEVER – to see him again. Tragically, she opts to spend the night at the Bide-A-Wee’ Guest House, pride and joy of creepy Mr. Pottinger and his mute slab of wife, but – how can that be? The place burnt down years ago! Still, let’s not fret over technicalities – the Pottinger’s sure know how to throw a party!

Sergeant Doobie explains to WPC Stacy Dawes how the place obtained it’s justified reputation as a popular suicide spot and the mystery surrounding the identities of those who perished in the original fire. She thinks he’s a “silly sod” but wisely keeps her opinions to herself.

“Reads like a condensed version of the Amicus Tales From The Crypt” is the biggest compliment I can pay this one.

D. F. Lewis – A Pie With Thick Gravy:

George settles down to eat his dinner.

The pastry erupts.

George’s dinner settles down to eat him.

I wonder why the lurker in the gravy put me in mind so of the fanged ghoulie on the cover of Pan Horror #3 ?

Mark Samuels – Regina vs. Zoskia: Henry Dunn is to take over the interminable but lucrative case which has proved so extremely profitable to his firm since 1964. As Jackson drives him over to the Zoskia Institution, he fills the younger lawyer in on some background detail:

” … the inmates decided they no longer wished to be classified insane. They’ve been challenging the legal basis on which the definition rests for the past forty-odd years. Dr. Zoskia contends that the hospital is for the sane and that it is the outside world which is occupied by the mentally disturbed.”

Jackson also lets on that the inmates have trained themselves to go without sleep. Some have have managed to remain awake for years which, as you’d expect, has wreaked havoc on their already fragile minds and physically they’re a trip – pale, emaciated zombies. Check out those bulbous eyes!

Dr. Zoskia decides that Jackson has served their cause as best he was capable so now he can ‘voluntarily’ commit himself to the Institute while Dunn takes sole control of their case. The last Dunn sees of his colleague, he’s being manhandled into a box.

The late night sequence wherein Dunn, appalled yet fascinated, watches from his window as a group of these maniacs gleefully bury Jackson in St. Olaf’s churchyard is an early Black Book highlight for me.

Daniel McGachey – “Shalt Thou Know My Name?”: “In the courtroom they told of a great wind that gathered up in the courtyard and which stirred the leaves and branches that littered the ground. And these appeared to gather up in the air and take on a form, like that of a scarecrow but growing thicker and more solid and more like a living thing …. “

Delightful M. R. James tribute pitched somewhere between (I think!) The Ash-Tree and a nastier Casting The Runes. Seachester Museum. Dower is consulting the Hesketh papers when who should stroll in but Edgar Bright, still as loud as ever and eager to examine the self same documents. Marvellous, curses Dower who detests him. Back in their college days, Bright got Dower royally drunk and copied down his thesis, presenting it as his own. Bright’s was accepted while Dower was accused of plagiarism!

A scene is narrowly averted as Bright agrees to leave his rival to his studies. The fact that this fraud is following in the same line of research as he gives Dower an idea. When he fortuitously (or so he then thinks) chances on a file relating to a rather eventful witch trial, he has a means of finally avenging himself by way of a little ‘joke’ ….

David A. Sutton – Only In Your Dreams: Donald is overburdened with his work for the North Atlantic Whaling Research Group ( they’re lobbying for the hunting ban to be lifted) and he’s been snappy and intolerant toward his family: wife Margaret, ten year old William and little Sophie, six. When Sophie asks if she can stay up because she’s terrified of “the jellyman” he completely loses it and it’s left to Margaret – as usual – to calm her fears. Apparently, the jellyman is to visit each of them in turn tonight which is why she’s so upset.

Margaret, unable to sleep, wakes up in the early hours and is horrified to discover that Donald hasn’t even bothered to lock up. What if the Animal Rights nutters have tracked them to their new home? She couldn’t go through all that again. But it’s not a bunch of “Woolly headed, criminal terrorists” she should be concerning herself with just now ….

Gary McMahon – Family Fishing: “I’m locking you in here with her. By the time I come back for you, you’ll be a man. Don’t disappoint me, boy”

Fell, North Yorks. Narrator confides an incident from his pre-teen years when he was sent off to spend a weekend at his grandfather’s gloomy, cluttered old house a mile or so from the nearest village. Grand-pop has laid on some ‘entertainment’ – tomorrow morning they’re going fishing.

After a hearty breakfast – the boy will need all his strength – they set off in the truck. Presently they approach a filthy shanty town in the woods, populated by barely human creatures and the boy gets his first inkling that “fishing” is something of a euphemism for what he’s about to get up to. The Moreau family have always had a keen interest in genetics and the old timer is proud to have followed in his infamous ancestor’s footsteps.

David Conyers – Subtle Invasion: The world awakens to discover that it’s been invaded overnight by grey, spiky demon plants from outer space which multiply at an alarming rate and obliterate anything in their path (“It hadn’t eaten her, it had replaced the space that she had once occupied”). Truly, the Triffids were just uppity stinging nettles compared to these unrelenting bastards.

In Melbourne, Sutherland, wife Kitty, little Nikki and Norbert the teddy bear are among the first to find one of these monstrosities lurking in their back yard. If they report it to the authorities it’s a sure thing they’ll be evacuated, so maybe it’s best they leave it until tomorrow ….

SF-horror crossovers don’t always do it for me but I love this. It reads like a glorious ‘fifties b-movie played completely straight. Norbert is adorable (I confess, I was really worried for him) and a brief cameo from a nasty biker gang is an unexpected bonus.

Roger Pile – Cords: Jenny and the narrator chance upon the Contemporary Warfare: It’s Glories And Terrors exhibition at the defunct Cathedral. Whoever designed the sets is on top of their game – it even feels like a jungle – and that waxwork of the crucified girl is in very poor taste. Slowly they realise that they’re caught up in the fantasy world of a mad genius where audience participation is taken as given and pushed to horrific extremes …

Gary Fry – The Older Man: Meet Jack Preen, house painter, front-man of ropey covers band Fatal Inversion, self-styled stud, approaching forty and hating it. Recently his thoughts have turned to the ravages time will play on his body and this job at the posh couple’s place isn’t helping any.

He’s an author, scruffy git, writes books debunking the supernatural: she’s a lawyer, gorgeous, and should be well out of hubby’s league. And there’s a decrepit old girl living with them too, the wife’s mother, though he’s sure his mate said something about her having died a few weeks back …..

Any story that features hot corpse-on-corpse action is OK in my book. I found it vaguely reminiscent of Ramsey Campbell’s super-creepy Again but with additional enormous belly-laugh.

Charles Black – How To Summon A Flesh Eating Demon: “Do you really think I’m going to plunge my knife into this young girl’s heaving bosom?” Greydin snorted. Now who’s being all Hammer House Of Horror? “

Prof. Julius Greydin has located a copy of the semi-mythical Book Of Setopholes and argues that it’s an authentic grimoire. His sceptical friend, Dr. Ernest Mellman is adamant that it’s at best a compendium of the usual mumbo jumbo, at worst an elaborate hoax. Their pupil, Tony Zaniger, wonders how they stand each other’s company – they’re always trying to out-do each other. There’s only one way to settle the dispute – perform one of the rituals.

The trial run is a failure but Greydin isn’t ready yet to concede. For the second attempt some nights later, he pulls out all the stops. Skulls, human and animal, are borrowed from the laboratory. He even provides a drugged naked virgin, Michelle Chalmers – Tony’s had the hots on her for ages! This time, they’ll do everything by the letter. But Greydin has made one fatal miscalculation and his world turns all Taste The Blood Of Dracula

The book goes out kicking and screaming on a note of Grand Guignol.

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Filthy Creations 3

Posted by demonik on June 18, 2008

Steve Goodwin & Rog Pile (eds.) – Filthy Creations #3 (Autumn-Winter, 2007)

Filthy Creations 3

Rog Pile

Franklin Marsh – Better To Travel Hopefully
Coral King – Heads Or Tails
Daniel McGachey – The Mound
Noah Brown – Daemonia Of Swan-man
Peter Coady – The Standing Man
Craig Herbertson – Strange Fruit
Franklin Marsh – The Horror Of Dreadstone Moor [Part III]

Feeding time with the alligators: a cheerful, protective shrunken head with a strong sense of right and wrong: Jamesian shudders with a mobile burial mound: unflinching “let’s go kill some swans!” action: a permanent holiday in limbo, and the Southern trees once again bear a strange fruit now the sun-shield’s have failed ….

Business as usual at Filthy Creations!

Franklin Marsh – Better To Travel Hopefully …: Tasty tropical chiller. Experienced hit-man Dalrymple is hired by powerful businessman Stevenson to kill his wife, Ivana, who’s taken up refuge with her Indian servant in the Amazon jungle. Dalrymple hasn’t a prayer. Ivana is clairvoyant and saw him coming as, indeed, she has his several predecessors. She has a tried and trusted method for getting rid of these “little nuisances” ….

Franklin is also represented by part three of his black sorcery epic, The Horror Of Dreadstone Moor. In this episode, Ripton and his uncle Gregory recruit everybody’s favourite Rocking Reverend, Vic “The Riff” Riffle to their campaign versus the cannibalistic Grubblings. Ripton also gets to follow top Goth Elizabeth’s “amazing black satin-clad rear down the stairs” as they set off for the Amazing Henna Kaleidoscope gig in the village, so things are finally looking up for him in that department, too.

Coral King – Heads Or Tails: Pregnant Rebecca, verbally, physically and sexually abused by the domineering man in her life, is befriended by JoJo, a chatty shrunken head she inadvertently picked up at the village greengrocer’s. JoJo successfully oversees the birth of her son, then fixes it that neither Bec nor the boy will endure Mr. Hobson any longer.

Something of an emotional roller-coaster. The amiable head gets all the best dialogue and is as amusing as the bully’s antics are deeply unpleasant to read. It’s unfair to spoil the ending so let’s just say I didn’t see it coming.

Daniel McGachey – The Mound: “Mr. Elmsmore instantly had the impression that what he was looking at was, in fact, a grave; an unmarked burial mound that, night after night, approached that degree closer to the house or, and Elmsmore, would never normally be described as a superstitious man, encroached upon one of the houses inhabitants”.

Everything is rosy for Mr. Elmsmore since his head gardener, Mr. Galton, drained and sealed the old well in the garden. It wasn’t a pleasant job, what with all the gnawed bones Galton and his assistants found down there, some of them worryingly human looking. Elmsmore becomes increasingly obsessed with the shifting hump until one night he can take it no longer and, armed with a torch and shovel, he gets stuck into a moonlight dig …

Dan’s work revives the spirit of the much-missed M.R. James freak’s bible, Ghosts & Scholars. It’s unlikely that our next contributor would ever have troubled it’s hallowed pages because it’s ….

Noah Brown – Daemonia Of Swan-Man: Whenever I’ve read him, Bushwick’s work always puts me in mind of Jim Thirlwell in his You’ve Got Foetus On Your Breath incarnation. There’s no messing about: it is straight on through to the heart of darkness, ugly stories that want to be loathed. This time out we have a four year old boy accompanying his dad on a search and mission in the van. They are off to kill some swans because, when he was his son’s age, dad was raped by a swan-human hybrid and he hates the “evil cunts”. If I say that the least disturbing thing about this story is Dad’s choice of motivational music – a bloody Saxon cassette! – you’ll know that this gets very nasty indeed. And how evil is that kiss off? Truly f**k**g remarkable.

Peter Coady – The Standing Man: Not a story that lends itself to the demonik smash and grab “then this happened, then that happened ….” school of boring review as it’s all mood. The standing man is truly suspended in dusk, not yet dead but you’d hardly call it living.

Craig Herbertson – Strange Fruit: After the Silo Wars, the surviving humans put their synthetic slaves to work on farms much as the zombies were reputed to toil in the cane fields of Haiti. Occasionally, one of these Straw Men will go wild and then there’s trouble. The narrator, locally unpopular for his stance on Straw Men’s rights, accompanies his friend, Solon, to Colonel Chevalis’s estate after his children have been ritually mutilated by one such renegade. Chevalis is unusually acquiescent when Solon requests permission to hunt for the killer on his property.

There’s a horrible significance in the choice of title.

Had a most enjoyable three quarters of an hour reacquainting myself with #3. Without wishing to do an injustice to either project by lumping them together, the FC‘s are the ideal companion to Charles’ Black Books Of Horror.

See also the Filthy 3 thread on Vault of Evil

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Christopher Wood – 2nd BHF Book Of Horror

Posted by demonik on June 1, 2008

Christopher Wood (ed.) – 2nd BHF Book Of Horror (BHF Books, 2007)

Cover Painting: Paul Mudie

[image]

Paul Newman – In the Pipeline
Paul Adams – Show Home
Gareth Hopkins – Romero And Juliette
Derek Johnston – The Blood Field
Franklin Marsh – The Morris Men
Matt Finucane – It Is Written
Christopher L Jones – Home Truth
Martin J Parsons – Roast Beef
Rog Pile – Almost Love
Clare Hill – Clean Living
Paul Newman – Still Life
Charles Black – Separation
Christopher Wood – You Can’t Sing, You Can’t Dance, You Look Awful …You’ll Go A Long Way
Wayne Mook – A Little Dead Man On Clockchanges Road
Neil Christopher – When Hell Freezes Over
Mark Ferguson – The Passage
Gareth A Williams – Appeal
Maya McLaughlin – Obeahman
Franklin Marsh – A (Something) in Wardour Street
James Stanger – Jacob Raffles
S F Stewart – The Inn
Richard Cosgrove – Cattle
Franklin Marsh – The Darklands Hall Legacy
Neil Christopher – Cerberus Rising
James Brough – Crowd Scene
Carole Hall – Portrait Of A Young Woman
Thirteen Ravens – The Oxford Vampire
Mike Ward – The Sea Witch
Sam Dawson – Children Of The Summer’s End
Daniel McGachey – The Shadow In The Stacks
Jason P Burden – Understanding

Verse:

Nadia Mook – Tschaichowsky’s Lonely Sympathy
Matthew Entwistle – Out Beyond The Clearing
Matthew Entwistle – Tey
Matthew Entwistle – The Necromancer
Matthew Entwistle – A (Helpful) Warning To The Curious

Extract from forthcoming novel:

E H Bourne – Dead Weight

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Christopher Wood – 1st First BHF Book Of Horror Stories

Posted by demonik on May 25, 2008

Christopher Wood (ed.) – The First BHF Book Of Horror Stories (BHF, 2006)

[image]

Paul Mudie

Christopher Wood – Introduction

John Reppion – Anthony Clarke Is Sick
Wendall McKay – Brierley Day
Albie Swain – Beneath You
Christopher Wood – Edward
Wayne Mook – Family Man
Billy Turner – Fresh Souls
Neil Christopher – Surface Tension
James Brough – The Man
Billy Turner – The Hermit
Matt Bowdler – The Case Of The Fragrant Phantom
Paul Newman – Storm Dog
Billy Turner – Sidney
Neil Christopher – Secret Recipe
Christopher Wood – Spaghetti Head
James Stanger – Beggar’s Banquet
Daniel McGachey – They That Dwell In Dark Places
Billy Turner – The Calling Of The Sea
James Brough – Quiet Desperation
Wendall McKay – Hotel Nalade

Artwork: Paul Mudie, Lawrence Bailey, Paula Fay

Blurb

Secret Recipe ….
Anthony Clarke Is Sick ….
Fresh Souls ….
They That Dwell In Dark Places ….
Storm Dog ….

The very titles suggest the sinister …. perhaps the horrible?

Correct. But there are other stories in this startling collection of tales by users of the British Horror Films web forum which may make your blood run even colder, may make your hair stand up even straighter …

19 stories of the fiendish and the fearful in the first volume of a terrifying series!

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Charles Black – The 2nd Black Book Of Horror

Posted by demonik on February 22, 2008

more good news!

Charles Black (ed.) – The 2nd Black Book Of Horror
(Mortbury Press, Feb. 2008)

2nd black book of horror

Cover: Paul Mudie

Gary McMahon – Black Glass
David A. Sutton – Amygdala
David A. Riley – Now and Forever More
Steve Goodwin – The Cold Harvest
Craig Herbertson – On the Couch
Mike Chinn – All Under Hatches Stow’d
Daniel McGachey – The Crimson Picture
D. F. Lewis – Squabble
Eddy C. Bertin – The Eye in the Mirror
Julia Lufford – The Meal
John L. Probert – In Sickness And …
L. H. Maynard & M. P. N. Sims – Onion
Rog Pile – The Pit

ISBN 978-0955606113

200 Pages

£7 + £1-50 P&P in the UK

order from Mortbury Press

AVAILABLE NOW!

Several Vault readers nominated Charles’ debut anthology as their most treasured book of 2007 and here’s a second volume. I don’t have a copy yet, but just look at that wonderful line-up! It is to be hoped that a third Book Of Horror will be published toward the end of this year.

It is to be hoped that a review will appear here soon, but don’t let that put you off your enjoyment. For now, I know how much work Mr. Black and his contributors have put into this, and my sincere respect and congratulations to them all.

Posted in *Mortbury Press*, Charles Black, Vault Product Placement | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Filthy Creations #3

Posted by demonik on December 22, 2007

Steve Goodwin & Rog Pile (eds.) – Filthy Creations #3 (Autumn-Winter, 2007)

Filthy Creations 3

Rog Pile

Franklin Marsh – Better To Travel Hopefully
Coral King – Heads Or Tails
Daniel McGachey – The Mound
Noah Brown – Daemonia Of Swan-man
Peter Coady – The Standing Man
Craig Herbertson – Strange Fruit
Franklin Marsh – The Horror Of Dreadstone Moor [Part III]

Arrived today! See the Filthy 3 thread on Vault of Evil

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Charles Black – The Black Book Of Horror

Posted by demonik on August 31, 2007

Charles Black (ed) – The Black Book Of Horror (Mortbury Press, 2007)

blackbookhorror

Cover: Paul Mudie

Frank Nicholas – Crows
Mark Samuels – Regina vs. Zoskia
Gary Fry – The Older Man
Steve Goodwin – Power
Roger B. Pile – Cords
Sean Parker – The Sound Of Muzak
D. F. Lewis – Shaped Like A Snake
David A. Sutton – Only In Your Dreams
Paul Finch – The Wolf At Jessie’s Door
John L. Probert – Size Matters
John Kenneth Dunham – Spare Rib: A Romance
Gary McMahon – Family Fishing
David Conyers – Subtle Invasion
D. F. Lewis – A Pie With Thick Gravy
David A. Riley – Lock-In
Franklin Marsh – Last Christmas (I Gave You My Life)
Daniel McGachey – “Shalt Thou Know My Name?”
Charles Black – To Summon A Flesh Eating Demon

Includes:

David Riley – Lock-In: The Potters Wheel, Edgebottom, on the outskirts of Manchester. Sam Sowerby the landlord has recently let a room to ‘Albert Durer’ who, unknown to Sam, is a Black Magician specialising in conjuring forth Cthulthoid monstrosities. His latest ritual sees the pub plunged into a void surrounded on all sides by an impenetrable blackness. Regular Tom Atkins takes a step outside to see what’s going on, has his face torn off for his trouble. The teacher, Harold Sillitoe, is next to try his luck – he bleeds to death after his arm is picked clean as if by acid. Now Sam and his four elderly friends affectionately known as ‘The Grudgers’ after the area they hail from, are left with a desperate choice: either stay here and die of starvation or find some way of getting through the black shroud ….

John L. Probert – Size Matters: “His penis looked like the huge maroon salami sausage that he had seen on Nigella Lawson’s cookery programme last week, right down to the runny brown gravy she had poured over the end ….”

Funded by the unexpected fortune left him by his late mother, Harry Walker decides to splash out on an extension in the hope it will improve his luck with women. As we can see from the passage quoted above, the operation conducted, by the dubious plastic surgeon Dr. Lockhampton, doesn’t go as well as it might and the resultant gangrene sees poor Harry bitterly regretful that he tampered with his healthy six inches. A chance meeting with a crone along the abandoned railway line restores what he’s lost – with way too much interest. Killer last line.

As far as I’m aware, there are no plans to adapt this one as a graphic novel any time soon.

Franklin Marsh – Last Christmas (I Gave You My Life): December 24th and Kate makes a break for it, clearing off with the kids, away from that wretched husband of hers, never – NEVER – to see him again. Tragically, she opts to spend the night at the Bide-A-Wee’ Guest House, pride and joy of creepy Mr. Pottinger and his mute slab of wife, but – how can that be? The place burnt down years ago! Still, let’s not fret over technicalities – the Pottinger’s sure know how to throw a party!

Sergeant Doobie explains to WPC Stacy Dawes how the place obtained it’s justified reputation as a popular suicide spot and the mystery surrounding the identities of those who perished in the original fire. She thinks he’s a “silly sod” but wisely keeps her opinions to herself.

“Reads like a condensed version of the Amicus Tales From The Crypt” is the biggest compliment I can pay this one.

D. F. Lewis – A Pie With Thick Gravy:

George settles down to eat his dinner.

The pastry erupts.

George’s dinner settles down to eat him.

I wonder why the lurker in the gravy put me in mind so of the fanged ghoulie on the cover of Pan Horror #3 ?

Mark Samuels – Regina vs. Zoskia: Henry Dunn is to take over the interminable but lucrative case which has proved so extremely profitable to his firm since 1964. As Jackson drives him over to the Zoskia Institution, he fills the younger lawyer in on some background detail:

” … the inmates decided they no longer wished to be classified insane. They’ve been challenging the legal basis on which the definition rests for the past forty-odd years. Dr. Zoskia contends that the hospital is for the sane and that it is the outside world which is occupied by the mentally disturbed.”

Jackson also lets on that the inmates have trained themselves to go without sleep. Some have have managed to remain awake for years which, as you’d expect, has wreaked havoc on their already fragile minds and physically they’re a trip – pale, emaciated zombies. Check out those bulbous eyes!

Dr. Zoskia decides that Jackson has served their cause as best he was capable so now he can ‘voluntarily’ commit himself to the Institute while Dunn takes sole control of their case. The last Dunn sees of his colleague, he’s being manhandled into a box.

The late night sequence wherein Dunn, appalled yet fascinated, watches from his window as a group of these maniacs gleefully bury Jackson in St. Olaf’s churchyard is an early Black Book highlight for me.

Daniel McGachey – “Shalt Thou Know My Name?”: “In the courtroom they told of a great wind that gathered up in the courtyard and which stirred the leaves and branches that littered the ground. And these appeared to gather up in the air and take on a form, like that of a scarecrow but growing thicker and more solid and more like a living thing …. “

Delightful M. R. James tribute pitched somewhere between (I think!) The Ash-Tree and a nastier Casting The Runes. Seachester Museum. Dower is consulting the Hesketh papers when who should stroll in but Edgar Bright, still as loud as ever and eager to examine the self same documents. Marvellous, curses Dower who detests him. Back in their college days, Bright got Dower royally drunk and copied down his thesis, presenting it as his own. Bright’s was accepted while Dower was accused of plagiarism!

A scene is narrowly averted as Bright agrees to leave his rival to his studies. The fact that this fraud is following in the same line of research as he gives Dower an idea. When he fortuitously (or so he then thinks) chances on a file relating to a rather eventful witch trial, he has a means of finally avenging himself by way of a little ‘joke’ ….

David A. Sutton – Only In Your Dreams: Donald is overburdened with his work for the North Atlantic Whaling Research Group ( they’re lobbying for the hunting ban to be lifted) and he’s been snappy and intolerant toward his family: wife Margaret, ten year old William and little Sophie, six. When Sophie asks if she can stay up because she’s terrified of “the jellyman” he completely loses it and it’s left to Margaret – as usual – to calm her fears. Apparently, the jellyman is to visit each of them in turn tonight which is why she’s so upset.

Margaret, unable to sleep, wakes up in the early hours and is horrified to discover that Donald hasn’t even bothered to lock up. What if the Animal Rights nutters have tracked them to their new home? She couldn’t go through all that again. But it’s not a bunch of “Woolly headed, criminal terrorists” she should be concerning herself with just now ….

Gary McMahon – Family Fishing: “I’m locking you in here with her. By the time I come back for you, you’ll be a man. Don’t disappoint me, boy”

Fell, North Yorks. Narrator confides an incident from his pre-teen years when he was sent off to spend a weekend at his grandfather’s gloomy, cluttered old house a mile or so from the nearest village. Grand-pop has laid on some ‘entertainment’ – tomorrow morning they’re going fishing.

After a hearty breakfast – the boy will need all his strength – they set off in the truck. Presently they approach a filthy shanty town in the woods, populated by barely human creatures and the boy gets his first inkling that “fishing” is something of a euphemism for what he’s about to get up to. The Moreau family have always had a keen interest in genetics and the old timer is proud to have followed in his infamous ancestor’s footsteps.

Charles Black – How To Summon A Flesh Eating Demon: “Do you really think I’m going to plunge my knife into this young girl’s heaving bosom?” Greydin snorted. Now who’s being all Hammer House Of Horror? “

Prof. Julius Greydin has located a copy of the semi-mythical Book Of Setopholes and argues that it’s an authentic grimoire. His sceptical friend, Dr. Ernest Mellman is adamant that it’s at best a compendium of the usual mumbo jumbo, at worst an elaborate hoax. Their pupil, Tony Zaniger, wonders how they stand each other’s company – they’re always trying to out-do each other. There’s only one way to settle the dispute – perform one of the rituals.

The trial run is a failure but Greydin isn’t ready yet to concede. For the second attempt some nights later, he pulls out all the stops. Skulls, human and animal, are borrowed from the laboratory. He even provides a drugged naked virgin, Michelle Chalmers – Tony’s had the hots on her for ages! This time, they’ll do everything by the letter. But Greydin has made one fatal miscalculation and his world turns all Taste The Blood Of Dracula

The book goes out kicking and screaming on a note of Grand Guignol.

More to follow soon!

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