This website / blog is taking a long break and new material won’t be posted for the foreseeable future.
In the meantime please visit the Peter Coleborn and The Alchemy Press websites.
The Mammoth Book of Halloween Stories edited by Stephen Jones. Skyhorse $14.99
Reviewed by Peter Coleborn
As with all anthologies, the contents reflect the ideals and tastes of the editor. It is inevitable that you, the reader, will discover a range of stories some of which may not be to your own preferences. I am glad to report that this reader discovered a book that met my appetite for fine fiction all round. And I’m sure it will meet yours, too. This is an anthology that will grace any bookshelf.
Click here to read the review.
Editors of The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors, Peter Coleborn and Jan Edwards, have been interviewed by Jenny Barber:
Besides the very general theme ‘horror’ the book has no theme. I feel that stories in themed anthologies, especially tightly themed ones, can become too similar. I enjoy variety. I enjoy coming across something unexpected. In this I mirror the views expressed by Mark Morris, editor of the wonderful New Fears series.
I use the word ‘horror’ as a wide catch-all net. What you will find between the covers is 25 well-written yarns that will hopefully chill you, or at the least make you go: wow, I didn’t expect that. Weird stories. Creature features. There are stories that may have been at home in The Pan Book of Horror Stories, perhaps in New Terrors (edited by Ramsey Campbell), or in one of Stephen Jones & David Sutton’s anthologies. Other anthologies are available.
Read the full interview on Jenny’s website.
The writer/editor Paul Finch covers a number of new and recent horror anthologies and short stories:
For whatever reason, these dull, dark and soundless days in the autumn of the year start to make us think ghosts and goblins. I’ve addressed the possible explanations for this many times before on this blog, so I won’t try to get all scholarly on you now. Who knows why we do it? Deep fears of the unknown embedded into us from time immemorial and rekindled by the withering of the land and dwindling of the light? The undying pagan myths wrapped about the season’s most ancient and beloved festivals, Halloween, Christmas etc? The mere tradition of it – the fact that our ancestors had nothing to do once the crops were all in except sit around fires and tell each other tall tales?
Visit Paul’s blog to read the full article.
I publish books as The Alchemy Press. This month sees the launch of The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors, edited by Jan Edwards and me. This is the first volume in a projected annual series.
Twenty-five tales of horror and the weird, stories that encapsulate the dark, the desolate and the downright creepy. Stories that will send that quiver of anticipation and dread down your spine and stay with you long after the lights have gone out.
Who is Len Binn, a comedian or…? What secrets are locked away in Le Trénébreuse? The deadline for what? Who are the little people, the garbage men, the peelers? What lies behind the masks? And what horrors are found down along the backroads?
With my another hat on I publish Alchemy Press books. 2017 was a very quiet year due to moving house and illness and so in 2018 I crept back into the bullpen — slowly. I have two books due out this year. The first, already available, is Compromising the Truth by Bryn Fortey: eighteen stories plus two dozen poems of the weird and wonderful: a touch of science fiction, a tidbit of horror, a sprinkling of the strange.
From Adrian Cole’s introduction: “His stories reflect a clear understanding of the human condition and he imbues his characters with knowing insights. The tales vary from stark, unnerving urban horror, to blackly humorous, almost preposterous fantasy, although even these hugely entertaining yarns are seated in reality. “
Resonance and Revolt by Rosanne Rabinowitz. Eibonvale Press.
Reviewed by Peter Coleborn
In 2013 I read Rabinowitz’s novella Helen’s Story, from PS Publishing. It was a wonderful and evocative tale. When I reviewed it I said: “Helen’s Story is a tour de force of one woman’s fight to understand her nature – and is quite simply a masterpiece. I’d place it in the same class, the way it mixes the real and the myth, as Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock, Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce and Among Others by Jo Walton.” And so I was very pleased to get my hands on Resonance and Revolt.
Blind Voices by Tom Reamy
“In that long-ago summer afternoon in southern Kansas, when the warm air lay like a weight, unmoving and stifling, six horse-drawn circus wagons moved ponderously on the dusty road.”
1930s Small Town America. It’s summer – it’s hot, dry and so hot. Into this town the freak show arrives, enticing residents to become voyeurs for an evening, to view the Snake Queen, the Medusa, the Minotaur, Tiny Tim, and Angel, the Magic Boy. With this kind of set up you’d expect things to go wrong – and they do. A teenage girl is raped and murdered, and further deaths soon follow.
The nominees for the 2017 British Fantasy Society Fantasy Awards has been published. As usual, it’s list of many categories, of which The Alchemy Press features in three of them: Best Independent Press; Best Anthology (Something Remains, a tribute to the late Joel Lane, edited by Peter Coleborn and Pauline E Dungate); and Best Short Story (“Charmed Life” by Simon Avery from Something Remains). Fingers crossed.
The winners will be announced at FantasyCon at the end of September. The full list is available here.
The way I read collections and anthologies is to pick and mix. I may read just one story from a book before looking elsewhere – and I have many, many books on the go at any one time. In order to share my reading pleasure I will, from time to time, highlight a particularly strong story in a thread I’ve termed Tell Tales.
Stephen Volk is one of the finest writers of short horror stories (or weird fiction, whatever) writing today. His latest collection, The Parts We Play, was published by PS last year. The first story is “Celebrity Frankenstein”, and a very good story it is.