Alchemy Press editors interviewed

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.


Horror stories

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?

Discover who has written super all-new stories between the covers here.


Moriarty Adventures

Hearty congratulations to Alchemy Press editors Mike Chinn and Jan Edwards. Both have stories accepted for The Mammoth Book of Moriarty Adventures edited by Maxim Jakubowski, due this October. The anthology’s contributors include:

  • Jill Braden
  • Steve Cavanagh
  • Mike Chinn
  • David Stuart Davies
  • Vanessa de Sade
  • Jan Edwards
  • Martin Edwards
  • Jürgen Ehlers
  • Kate Ellis
  • G.H. Finn & Rose Biggin
  • Michael Gregorio
  • Peter Guttridge
  • Howard Halstead
  • Rhys Hughes
  • Alison Joseph
  • Claude Lalumière
  • Andrew Lane
  • Ashley R Lister
  • Catherine Lundoff
  • Russel McLean
  • Nikki Magennis
  • Priscilla Masters
  • Keith Moray
  • Amy Myers
  • Barbara Nadel
  • Julie Novakova
  • Christine Poulson
  • Josh Reynolds
  • Thomas Roche
  • David N. Smith & Violet Addison
  • John Soanes
  • Lavie Tidhar
  • Alexandra Townsend
  • L.C. Tyler
  • Conrad Williams
  • Alvaro Zinos-Amaro



Misha Herwin blogs…

Misha Herwin is the guest blogger on Jan Edward’s website.

I write books for adults, kids and young adults. My Dragonfire Trilogy is aimed at the 8-12 market and for anyone who enjoyed Harry Potter. I love fantasy and magic and my latest book House of Shadows just out from Penkhull Press, has a strong supernatural element.

Pop over there and have a read.


Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch reviewed

Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch. Gollancz, £14.99

Reviewed by Jan Edwards

For the uninitiated, Foxglove Summer is the fifth Peter Grant volume.  We catch up with our perennially reluctant hero PC Grant, England’s youngest wizard, moping over the sudden and devastating (not to mention physically painful) betrayal by PC Lesley May. May was Grant’s Met. Police partner and fellow student of magic at the Folly (Broken Homes; Peter Grant book 4). Yes, there is a lot a back story, as you would expect from the fifth book in any series, but not so much that the unacquainted could not catch up very quickly. We are expertly drip-fed all the facts we need to know about Grant’s boss, the enigmatic Chief Inspector Nightingale, head of the ‘Falcon (spooky stuff) Department’ based at the Folly, and we finally gain some hints to the origins of the Folly’s doubly mysterious and patently scary housekeeper, Molly.

That is the Folly crew all assembled – and off we go on another day in the life of a wizardly cop; except that The Nightingale is sending PC Grant, the archetypical London boy, to the depths of rural Herefordshire to cover routine enquiries into the disappearance of two young girls. Routine enough, according to Nightingale, too give Grant the space to recover his shattered wits. It soon becomes apparent that this is far from routine. Grant takes a hesitant lead into investigations of the magical kind, aided by the local plod, DS Dominic Croft, in a frantic search for the missing girls that is increasingly looking both less and more lethal than he ever expected – and all trails lead to Pokehouse Wood’s long association with the weird and dangerous. Meanwhile Beverley Brook, Grant’s genus loci girlfriend, arrives apparently to lend her support, whilst simultaneously following her own agenda, and the errant PC May is sending Grant texts from places unknown, warning of dire thing yet to come!

Grant, a student wizard, is inexpert in his craft so that his well-being can never taken for granted. He does not/cannot ‘zap’ his way out of things as heroes in these things so often do. Instead he must rely on his wits, hard work, judicious slices of luck and all the help he can get from the otherworldly community to get by.

Foxglove Summer is urban fantasy the way it should be. The kind of book that keeps you up way past 3.00 am because you really need to ‘read to the end of this chapter’ and then the next … and the next… Aaronovitch’s laconic humour is skilfully left inside the head and lips of his viewpoint character and adds yet another level of entertainment – though this is not ‘comic’ fantasy. Foxglove Summer is well paced and engrossing. You do not have to have read the previous four volumes as it stands on its own well enough, though having the history at hand is always going to help. A fun read and thoroughly recommended.


The Alchemy Press Books Of…

The latest two Alchemy Press Books Of are now available from Amazon and other online stores.

The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes 3 edited by Mike Chinn. Cover art by Bob Covington. ISBN 978-0-9929809-0-0

An alien visitor arrives on Earth to solve our problems – whether we want it or not. The world’s greatest superhero is lost, and only his deadliest enemy can save him. Why did the best cop in the city end his days as a forgotten drunk? And once, in fin-de-siècleParis, there were three very different girls who grew up to be three very different women with three things in common: they were brilliant, they were beautiful, and they worked for Erik of the Paris Opéra. Twelve stories of supermen, cops, Mysterymen, samurai and private eyes from the likes of Kim Newman, Rod Rees, Tony Richards and more … thrilling tales of pure Pulp Adventure.

The Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic 2 edited by Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber. Cover art by Edward Miller. ISBN 978-0-9573489-9-8

In the footsteps of volume one, here are a further twelve tales of myth and magic, of legendary creatures, set in the modern age, with stories from:  Sarah Ash, James Brogden, Carl Barker, Andrew Coulthard, KT Davies, Pauline E Dungate, Chico Kidd, Tanith Lee, Christine Morgan, Lou Morgan, Marion Pitman and Adrian Tchaikovsky.