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All the latest Shadow Writer news and announcements.

 

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2007 news can be viewed here

2006 news can be viewed here

2005 news can be viewed here

2004 news can be viewed here

2003 news can be viewed here

 

 

December

Listen While You Lunch, with Paul Kane and Marie O'Regan

The ‘Listen While You Lunch’ event in Derby last month (above) went very well, with Paul reading out his story ‘Strobe’ and Paul and Marie answering questions from the audience about all things writing-related. The next event you can catch up with them at is the British Fantasy Society Open Night this Friday, 7th December, at the Mug House pub in London.

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Female cenobite, Hellraiser: Hellbound

Following on from being tagged over at Barbie Wilde’s site in November, Paul asked her to be his Guest Writer for this month and she very kindly agreed. Horror film fans will know Barbie for her portrayal of the Female Cenobite in Hellbound: Hellraiser II (above), but she is also a very talented writer, having contributed stories to the likes of Hellbound Hearts, Phobophobia and The Mammoth Book of Body Horror. We’re now proud to present an exclusive extract from Barbie’s first novel, The Venus Complex (below) – published by Comet Press, with an introduction from Paul. To read it, just click here.

The Venus Complex, by Barbie Wilde

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Horror Santa

Finally, it just remains for us to wish you a very happy ‘horror-filled’ holiday season. Have fun whatever you’re up to and we’ll see you back here for more Shadow Writer news in January, including the announcement of books due out in 2013.

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November

Lunar, by Paul Kane

Last week Barbie Wilde tagged Paul on her blog http://www.barbiewilde.com/barbies-blog.html  as part of an ongoing chain of book and author recommendations called ‘The Next Big Thing’. Paul’s answers to the questions are below, along with the writers he has tagged.

1. What is the title of your book?

Lunar

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

I was driving home after doing a writing talk along country lanes quite late at night, and I suddenly saw the biggest, fullest moon I’ve ever seen hanging really low in the sky. I knew I had to do something with that, and – me being me – I began to imagine human beings changed by that moon into creatures with white eyes, claws and sharp teeth, all looking to attack the next normal person they come across. I was very glad to get home without breaking down that night, I can tell you!

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Horror, though there are some SF elements to the story as well.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

This is a tricky one, as the book’s just been optioned and I’m in the middle of turning it into a feature script for Red Splat (formerly Revolt Pictures) with Brad ‘7th Dimension’ Watson attached to direct – as reported by various sites like Film News and This is Horror . So, I think I’ll pass on that as it’s a bit too close to reality and I don’t want to jinx anything.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Blue collar delivery guy Nick Skinner wakes up one night to find the world has become stuck in time and populated by the feral, cannibalistic Loons.

6. Is your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

The book was published by Bad Moon in hardback and trade paperback, with an introduction by horror legend Ramsey Campbell. You can buy the books here and here. Or, if you have a Kindle, you can buy it at Amazon here.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

It’s only a short novel, so roughly about a month or two, on and off. I actually wrote the last bit of it in a kind of fugue state after my Mum first became sick and had to go into hospital, to take my mind off things. She was sadly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and died a year later, so never got to see the book come out.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I was definitely inspired by I Am Legend, Richard Matheson’s groundbreaking novel. In fact, the book’s actually dedicated to him – he’s also going to be one of the Guests of Honour at an event I’m involved in organizing next year, The World Fantasy Convention in Brighton (http://www.wfc2013.org/ ) so I’m hoping to give him a copy in person. The story’s also very close in tone to the Romero zombie movies, which I grew up watching as a kid. If you like that kind of thing, you’ll love Lunar.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Richard Matheson inspired me to start it; my late Mum inspired me to get it finished and out there.

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

There’s bags of action, twists and romance, so there’s something for everyone in the book. I think Nick’s someone we can all relate to really, and makes us think: how would I react in this weird set of circumstances?
But rather than me talking about it, I’ll quote from a recent review over at Famous Monsters of Filmland: ‘A very original, riveting tale that will force me to search out more work by this very talented writer. This story grabbed hold of me from the very first page and refused to let go. It is atmospheric, violent, and action packed. I found the characters to be fully realized and three dimensional, especially the main character, Nick. I came to care about him and the situation he found himself in, which enabled me to really lose myself in the story.
Though the premise of the tale has been done countless times, Mr. Kane manages to put a fresh spin on the whole end of the world mythos. It was especially satisfying when the truth behind what had happened is finally revealed. Throughout the story, I was trying to guess what was behind the events, and I didn’t even come close. I just love it when that happens.
If you are in the market for something original, well conceived, and well written, you need not look any further than Lunar by Paul Kane. I highly recommend it.’


Now below are the five authors Paul has tagged.

Tony Lee is a #1 New York Times Best Selling Author of comics, novels and audio dramas - including both Tenth and Eleventh Doctor ongoing Doctor Who series for IDW, The Gloom and Agent Mom for MTV, the Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Irregulars series of children's graphic novels for Hachette / Franklin Watts and both Doctor Who and Bernice Summerfield audio dramas for Big Finish. His graphic novel From The Pages Of Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’: Harker was optioned as a film in 2010 and in 2011 his graphic novel Hope Falls was also optioned, both with Tony writing the screenplay. Also in 2011 his graphic novel Danger Academy was announced as being developed into a cartoon series for American television. He is currently writing a MacGyver series for Image Comics with show creator Lee David Zlotoff, has co-written a Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who series for IDW and is the writer of 'The Mild Bunch' an upcoming film featuring a wealth of classic TV talent. Visit his site at http://www.tonylee.co.uk

 

Niki Valentine is an award-winning writer who, under a pseudonym, has been published internationally to huge acclaim. When she isn’t working on her next psychological horror novel, Niki teaches Creative and Professional Writing at Nottingham University. Visit Niki’s blog at http://nikivalentine.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Curtis Jobling is an author and illustrator of children’s books and writer and designer for animation. He’s probably most (in)famously known as the designer of BBCs Bob The Builder, Raa Raa the Noisy Lion and Frankenstein's Cat. His first Wereworld novels, Rise of the Wolf and Rage of Lions, were published by Puffin in 2011, with Shadow of the Hawk following in January 2012. Visit his blog at http://badablingthing.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Alison Littlewood’s short stories have appeared in numerous magazines, including Black Static, Crimewave and Not One Of Us, as well as the charity anthology Never Again. Her life writing has appeared in The Guardian. Her first novel, A Cold Season, was published in January 2012 by Jo Fletcher Books, an imprint of Quercus.
Visit her at www.alisonlittlewood.co.uk

 

Lou Morgan was born in Wales and now lives in the south of England with her husband, son and (of course) cat. Her short stories have been published by Solaris Books, PS Publishing, Jurassic and others. Blood and Feathers, her first novel, was published by Solaris in August this year, with the follow-up, Blood and Feathers: Rebellion to follow in summer 2013. Visit her blog at http://loummorgan.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/the-next-big-thing/

You can read Tony, Niki and Curtis’ answers to the questions next week while Alison’s and Lou’s are up there already.

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Blood and Feathers, by Lou Morgan

Which leads us nicely into November’s Guest Writer slot, which actually is Lou. Her debut novel from Solaris, Blood and Feathers (above), is out now and you can read an exclusive extract from it here.

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Paul and Marie will be at Derby Central Library this coming Monday as part of their ‘Listen While You Lunch’ series of events. Paul will be doing a reading and then he and Marie will both be taking part in a Q&A with the audience. For more information, visit the library website here.

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Dead Roots

One final piece of news this month, Paul is delighted to announce that the zombie comic, in which he appears alongside writers such as James Moran (Cockneys vs. Zombies) and Jason Arnopp (Friday The 13th) was launched at Halloween. To find out more about it, visit the website here and to buy your copy, just click here.

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October

FantasyCon 2012 Souvenir Book

FantasyCon took place at the end of last month and was another raging success. In fact it seems to have been the most popular one yet – even topping last year. Above is the hardback Souvenir Booklet that Paul edited with Marie, boasting original gorgeous cover art by Edward Miller. And below you can see just a few of Paul’s photos from the four day event (gallery to follow soon), including: Paul with Guest of Honour Muriel Gray; Paul with the director of The Wicker Man and The Wicker Tree, another GoH Robin Hardy; Paul with daughter Jen and James Herbert, there for a special appearance to sign his new novel Ash; Paul signing with Female Cenobite Barbie Wilde at the Body Horror event; Paul with another Guest, Joe R. Lansdale, who was very complimentary about Paul’s writing; Paul introducing the short film he wrote, Wind Chimes (see previous news section for stills); yet another GoH, The League of Gentlemen, Sherlock and Dr Who’s Mark Gatiss; finally, Paul with Ramsey Campbell and director Brad Watson at the launch of Lunar...

Paul Kane, Muriel Gray

 

Robin Hardy, Paul Kane

 

Paul Kane, Jen O'Regan, James Herbert

 

Paul Kane, Barbie Wilde, Ramsey Campbell

 

Paul Kane, Joe R. Lansdale

 

Paul Kane

 

Mark Gatiss

 

Paul Kane, Ramsey Campbell, Brad Watson

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The 7th Dimension

Brad was at the Lunar event because not only was it the official launch of the book itself, but the pair also announced that contracts have now been signed to turn Lunar into a feature film – scripted by Paul and directed by Brad. Brad’s previous movies are Asylum Night and 7th Dimension (above), and the production company behind the venture is Red Splat Pictures. Expect more news soon about this exciting project, but in the meantime the novel itself is available from Bad Moon Books here and here.

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John Connolly

As well as FCon, Paul found time to catch up with John Connolly and Mark Billingham at a Waterstones event in Nottingham last month (photos above and below). The reading and talk was followed by a signing session, and a good night was had by all.

John Connolly, Mark Billingham

 

Mark Billingham, John Connolly

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The Haaunting of James Hastings

Our Guest Writer for the Halloween month of October is American author Christopher Ransom, who is currently being hailed as the next Koontz and King. His previous bestsellers are The Birthing House, The Haunting of James Hastings (above) and The People Next Door, but we here at the SW site have an exclusive extract from his brand new novel The Fading (below), which you can read by clicking here. With thanks to Hannah Green at Little Brown.

Fading, by Christopher Ransom

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Off The Shelf Literary Festival

Finally this month, Paul and Marie are Guests at Sheffield’s ‘Off the Shelf’ Literary Festival. You can catch them at 2pm on Saturday 20th October, but for the full line-up of events visit the website here.

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September

A Carnivale of Horror: Dark Tales from the Fairground. Edited by Marie O'Regan and Paul Kane.

The first piece of exciting news this month is a sneak preview of the cover of Paul and Marie’s new anthology from PS Publishing, A Carnivàle of Horror: Dark Tales from the Fairground (above). The gorgeous wraparound is courtesy of artist Ben Baldwin, and the anthology features contributions from Ray Bradbury, Muriel Gray, John Connolly, Rio Youers, Tom Reamy, Thomas F. Monteleone, Will Elliott, Lou Morgan, Peter Crowther and James Lovegrove, Charles G. Finney, Paul Finch, Andrew J. McKiernan, Robert Shearman and Alison Littlewood, plus it contains Tod Robbins’ controversial ‘Spurs’ – turned into the classic movie Freaks by Tod Browning (of Dracula fame)  for MGM – and Joe Hill’s ‘Twittering from the Circus of the Dead’, soon to be filmed as well.

The anthology will be launched at FantasyCon on Saturday 29th at 5pm (with a free glass of wine for every book purchased), alongside books by Ramsey Campbell, Guest of Honour Joe R. Lansdale and MC Tim Lebbon. Paul and Marie will be joined by several of the contributors to sign copies, more details of which can be found here.

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Best New Horror #23

In addition to launching A Carnivàle of Horror, Paul will also be launching his new novel Lunar from Bad Moon Books at 1pm on the Saturday – with free wine and Ramsey Campbell, who did the introduction, on hand to sign copies – then he’ll be reading his story from The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror at 2pm, before contributing to the launch and signing of this Stephen Jones’ anthology at 4pm (a photo of Paul’s contributor copies, UK and US is above). In-between, he’ll also be signing copies of The Mammoth Book of Body Horror at 3pm (at both these events there will be a free glass of wine for every book purchased), then the following morning – Sunday 30th – Paul will be taking part in the signing of NewCon press’ Hauntings anthology at 11:30am. So, all in all, a pretty packed schedule.

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Wind Chimes, written by Paul Kane, directed and Produced by Brad Watson

But that’s not all. Paul will also be introducing a screening of the short film he wrote, based on his story ‘Wind Chimes’ (from The Butterfly Man and Other Stories). Directed by Brad Watson (Asylum Night and 7th Dimension) this stars Robert Carretta and Joanna Ignaczewska and will premiere at around 11:15pm on the Saturday night. This from the PR for the film: ‘Jon is finding it hard to move on after the death of his child, visiting his son’s final resting-place in a children’s graveyard every day. But when he meets another lonely soul, Anya, who’s there for the same reason, it seems their loss might just have brought them together. A subtle, intriguing and poignant ghost story, based on the short tale of the same name by Paul Kane.’
And here are a few stills to whet your appetite!

Robert Carretta and Joanna Ignaczewska

 

Robert Carretta and Joanna Ignaczewska

 

Wind Chimes

Don’t forget to check out what else is screening over the weekend – including The Wicker Tree – by clicking here.

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Oh Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad - FCON ghost story competition

Speaking of ghosts, you can still vote for your favourite ever ghost story in FantasyCon 2012’s poll here. The winner will be announced and read out by Ramsey at midnight on the Saturday of the convention.

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The Last Werewolf, by Glen Duncan

Our Guest Writer for September is the very talented Glen Duncan, author of the hugely successful The Last Werewolf. We have an exclusive advance preview of his eagerly anticipated follow up, Talulla Rising, in the form of chapter one of the novel. To read this, just click here.

Talulla Rising, by Glen Duncan

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Bloodstorm, Creature

Lastly, you can read Paul’s reviews of the horror movies BloodStorm and Creature over on the Sci-Fi Bulletin website, here and here.

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August

The Rainbow Man, by P B Kane

We kick off this month’s news with a preview of the stunning cover for Paul’s first Y.A. book – written as P.B. Kane. The Rainbow Man (above) is a short novel introduced by the bestselling author of the Morganville Vampire series, Rachel Caine, and will be available in all good book stores in the UK, North America and Australia and online in paperback, e-book and audio-book formats. More news about this exciting new release soon, so keep checking back.  

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Lunar, by Paul Kane, introduction by Ramsey Campbell

In the meantime, Paul’s other new novel Lunar – which is being launched at FantasyCon next month – is now available to pre-order in its limited edition hardback format, signed by Paul and Ramsey Campbell. You can order this directly from the publishers, Bad Moon Books, here.

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Edge-Lit Festival

Some photos now from events Paul attended in July, beginning with the Edge-Lit festival (above) where he was one of the guests. Below you can see Paul on the ‘Are We Still Afraid of Monsters?’ panel, moderated by Simon Bestwick (left) and featuring Emma Newman and Ian Culbard.

 

Simon Bestwick, Paul Kane, Emma Newman and Ian Culbard

 

Paul Kane, Emma Newman and Ian Culbard

 

While below we have some photos from the successful Mammoth Book of Body Horror event held at Bolton Library, including the library building itself, the panel – which included Conrad Williams (left), Ramsey Campbell and Marie O’Regan (middle) with Paul MC-ing (right) – Conrad doing his reading, and the gang with staff of Bolton Library and Waterstone’s who co-organised the event.

 

Bolton Library

 

Conrad Williams, Ramsey Campbell, Marie O'Regan and Paul Kane

Photo credit Clare Maddison

 

Conrad Williams reading, Body Horror Event, Bolton Library

Photo credit Clare Maddison

 

Ramsey Campbell, Paul Kane, Marie O'Regan and Conrad Williams, with staff from Bolton Library and Waterstone's, Bolton

Photo credit Clare Maddison

 

And you can read a brand new glowing review of the anthology on Nameless magazine’s site here.

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George A. Romero, Paul Kane

 

We’re very proud to have a living legend as our Guest Writer this month, none other than George A. Romero (above, with Paul a couple of years ago at Collectormania)

 

Dawn of the Dead, by George A. Romero and Susanna Sparrow

 

Director of such classic horror movies as Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead, we have an exclusive extract from George’s novelization of Dawn... (above) which he penned with Susanna Sparrow – recently re-released by Sphere with a new introduction by Simon Pegg. To read this, click here, and to read a review of the book Paul did for Sci-Fi Bulletin, click here. With thanks to Hannah Green at Sphere. 

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The Amazing Spider-Man

 

Finally this month, you can read more reviews Paul has done for Sci-Fi Bulletin including the inventive horror movie Absentia, plus two of the summer’s biggest blockbusters The Amazing Spider-Man (above) and The Dark Knight Rises (below) here, here and here.

 

The Dark Knight Rises

 

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July

Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, #23. Edited by Stephen Jones

The first exciting piece of Shadow Writer news for this rainy month of July is that Paul’s story ‘Rag and Bone’ – originally published in The Butterfly Man and Other Stories from PS – has been picked up for Stephen Jones’ yearly anthology, The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror  23 (above, with a stunning Vincent Chong cover). Paul will feature in the book alongside writers such as Ramsey Campbell, Michael Marshall Smith, Joe R. Lansdale, Robert Silverberg and many others. To read the full contributor list, visit Stephen’s site here.

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Lunar, by Paul Kane ( intro by Ramsey Campbell)

And as if that wasn’t enough, above is a sneak preview of the cover for Paul’s forthcoming novel from Bad Moon Books, Lunar – by the very talented Gabriel Lopez. The novel is introduced by Ramsey Campbell, and this is the official advance blurb: ‘Waking one night in a terrifying world populated by the feral, white-eyed “loons”, blue-collar worker Nick Skinner must fight just to stay alive. But he also has questions. What’s happened to his girlfriend, Dawn? Why do some things work in this world while others don’t? And what connection do the loons have to that big moon above? The answers will be more shocking than even he can imagine.’

Both Best New Horror and Lunar will be launching at FantasyCon, along with a new anthology Paul has co-edited called A Carnivàle of Horror: Dark Tales from the Fairground. More about the last two titles soon, but for now you can take a look at the launch and parties page on the FantasyCon site to find out more. Just click here.

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Mark Gatiss

Sticking with FantasyCon for a moment, two new major media Guests have just been announced. The first is one quarter of the group who created the BAFTA-award winning League of Gentlemen (below), Mark Gatiss (above). Mark is also responsible for the Lucifer Box trilogy of novels, as well as being a Dr Who scriptwriter and co-creator – with Stephen Moffat – of the BBC’s Sherlock series.

The League of Gentlemen

As an actor, he has appeared in shows such as Psychoville, Being Human and Jekyll. To find out more click here.

Robin Hardy

The second media Guest is former SW Guest Writer Robin Hardy (above), writer/director of both the original classic The Wicker Man (below), and its sequel The Wicker Tree – which will be screening at FCon. Robin is also the author of the novelisation of The Wicker Man (with Anthony Shaffer) and Cowboys for Christ, which The Wicker Tree is based on. To find out more click here and to book your place at what promises to be an incredibly memorable event, click here.

The Wicker Man

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The Haunted, by Niki Valentine

Time for this month’s Guest Writer now, and its award-winning writer Niki Valentine, author of The Haunted (above). We’re delighted to have an exclusive extract from Niki’s next novel Possessed (below), the Kindle version of which can be ordered here. To whet your appetite, just click here.

Possessed, by Niki Valentine

Paul will also be doing a reading in a slot alongside Niki at Edge-Lit in Derby a week on Saturday at 10am. For more details about this event, see the previous news section or visit the blog here.

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David Gemmell Legend Awards

Photos now from events Paul attended last month. First up we have pictures from the prestigious David Gemmell Legend Awards, which took place on June 15th at the Magic Circle Headquarters in London. Below you can see shots of the party room with its sky painting ceiling, Paul and Marie with World Fantasy Convention chair Amanda Foubister, and Amanda and Stephen Jones announcing that next year’s Gemmells will be hosted by WFC.

Gemmell Awards, Magic Circle Headquarters London

 

David Devant

 

Marie O'Regan, Paul Kane, Amanda Foubister

© Mandy Slater

 

Amanda Foubister and Stephen Jones at the David Gemmell Legend Awards

 

For more pictures, visit the Legend Award site itself here, the Tor Books site here, and the SFX Facebook page here.

 

Jo Fletcher, Les Edwards, Stephen Jones and Nicola Budd - Curious Warnings launch.

© Martin Roberts and Helen Hopley

The following day, Paul and Marie attended the launch of Curious Warnings: The Great Ghost Stories of M.R. James, edited by Stephen Jones – at the BFS Open Day, The Mug House pub, London. Above you’ll find a photo of Stephen (second from right), artist Les Edwards (next to Stephen) with publisher Jo Fletcher (far left) and editor Nicola Budd (far right) during the signing.

Paul Kane, Small Press Expo

Two weeks later, on 30th June, Paul was at the Hauntings signing at Forbidden Planet’s Megastore on Shaftsbury Avenue in London – as part of the Small Press Expo. Above is his name badge, and below you can see photos from the day including the store and posters, the NewCon Press table, Paul and Marie signing, the crowds gathered and the cupcakes made for the event, author of The Prestige Christopher Priest amongst those attending, plus Paul and Marie with David Thomas Moore of Abaddon Books.

Forbidden Planet

 

Small Press Expo, Forbidden Planet

 

Hauntings, edited by Ian Whates

 

Paul Kane and Marie O'Regan, signing copies of Hauntings

 

Small Press Expo, Forbidden Planet

 

Refreshments at Small Press Expo

 

Christopher Priest

 

L to R: Marie O'Regan, Paul Kane and Marie O'Regan

© Jonathan Green

Paul had a great time, not only signing copies of Hauntings, but also copies of his Arrowhead books and Hellbound Hearts (both below) already in stock.

Arrowland, Paul Kane

 

Hellbound Hearts, edited by Paul Kane and Marie O'Regan

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Mammoth Book of Body Horror event, Bolton

Finally this month, don’t forget you can still book for the Mammoth Book of Body Horror event in Bolton, run by Bolton Library and Waterstones. Reading their stories from this critically acclaimed anthology are bestselling and multiple award-winning authors Ramsey Campbell and Conrad Williams, while Paul and Marie will be around to introduce the event and take part in the Q&A and signing afterwards.
The fun kicks off at 1.30pm, Bolton Central Library, Le Mans Crescent, Bolton Lancashire BL1 1SE, Saturday 7th July. To book your place, mail orders@bolton.waterstones.com or call 01204 332209.

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June

Pinhead, Hellraiser

Paul’s forthcoming Hellraisers  has now gone up for pre-sale on Amazon here and on the publisher’s own site  here. As a reminder, this from the official PR:

‘September 2012 sees the 25th anniversary of the iconic Hellraiser film and the subsequent franchise. Based on the novel The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker, Hellraiser cemented itself in the minds of filmgoers everywhere through the image of Pinhead (actor Doug Bradley), and grew into one of the most influential horror films of the 1980s. Avalard Publishing is delighted to announce the signing of award-winning writer Paul Kane’s book Hellraisers for their 2012 slate.

Hellraisers is a brand new collection of interviews with the cast and crew of the Hellraiserfilms, many of whom have never spoken about the series before in print. The book includes all new and exclusive interviews with Clive Barker (writer and director of the first movie, plus creator of the mythology); an extensive interview with Doug Bradley (Pinhead) covering his involvement with the series; Ashley Laurence (Kirsty from Hellraiser, Hellbound and Hellseeker); Clare Higgins (Julia fromHellraiser and Hellbound); Nicholas Vince (Chatterer Cenobite); Simon Bamford (Butterball Cenobite); Bob Keen (FX man on Hellraisers I-III / Nightbreed / Candyman); Peter Atkins (Scriptwriter of Hellraisers II-IV); Christopher Young (composer for Hellraisers I-II); Tony Randel (director of Hellbound: Hellraiser II); Barbie Wilde (Female Cenobite from Hellbound); Kenneth Cranham (Dr. Channard from Hellbound); Anthony Hickox (director of Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth); Ken Carpenter (Camerahead Cenobite from Hell on Earth); Kevin Yagher (director of Hellraiser: Bloodline, as well as the FX man behind Chucky and the Crypt keeper); Gary J. Tunnicliffe (FX man onHellraisers III-VIII, screenwriter on the new movie).

Hellraisers also includes many exclusive behind-the-scenes pictures, which will make this an essential purchase for fans of the films and Clive Barker alike.’

The book was mentioned last month on the Clive Barker podcast here as well as on various news sites.

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The David Gemmell Legend Awards

Some dates for your calendar now. Paul will be putting in appearances at both the spectacular David Gemmell Legend Awards champagne and nibbles evening at the Magic Circle Headquarters, and the British Fantasy Society Open Afternoon/Night at the Mug House on June 15th and 16th respectively. You can find out more about the Gemmells by visiting the site here.

Curious Warnings-  The Great Ghost Stories of M.R. James

 Jo Fletcher Books will officially be launching the stunning hardback edition of Curious Warnings: The Great Ghost Stories of M.R. James (above) at the BFS event. Editor Stephen Jones and artist Les Edwards will be there to sign copies of the book and the fun kicks off from 1pm till late.

Forbidden Planet

Two weeks later on 30th June, Paul will be taking part in a signing at Forbidden Planet’s London Megastore on Shaftsbury Avenue. He’ll be there for the launch of the Hauntings anthology from NewCon Press, but signing other books as well.

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The Mammoth Book of Body Horror

Looking further ahead now, there will be a Waterstones Mammoth Book of Body Horror event in Bolton in July, featuring readings from Ramsey Campbell and Conrad Williams. This from the official announcement:

‘A mammoth body horror event! Join bestselling and multi-award-winning authors Ramsey Campbell and Conrad Williams in celebrating the sub-genre of Body Horror, including readings from the new critically acclaimed anthology The Mammoth Book of Body Horror (Constable & Robinson). Editors Paul Kane and Marie O'Regan will also be there to introduce the event, plus there will be a Q&A and book signing session afterwards. A must for all horror fans! Signed copies of the book will be available to purchase courtesy of Waterstones. Light refreshments provided. To book contact orders@bolton.waterstones.com or call Helen Romaniszyn on 01204 332209.

1.30pm - 4pm Bolton Central Library, Le Mans Crescent, Bolton Lancashire BL1 1SE. Saturday 7 Jul 2012’

And there was a recent new review of the anthology by Mass Movement magazine last month; here’s what Ian Pickens had this to say: ‘“25 stories of Transformation, Mutation and Contagion” runs the tagline for this collection, and it does exactly what it says on the uh… tin. Comprising of a selection of classic tales by established authors (Lovecraft’s ‘Herbert West – Reanimator’, George Langelaan’s ‘The Fly’ & Stephen King’s ‘Survivor Type’) and newer scribes (Neil Gaiman’s ‘Changes’, Barbie Wilde’s ‘Polyp’ & Christopher Fowler’s ‘The Look’), editors Kane and O’Regan have done an excellent job of selecting a variety of intelligent and well written stories which cut to the quick of our deepest fear; that our own bodies can revolt against us, by disease or design.

The anthology covers a variety of styles from the eloquence of Poe’s ‘The Telltale Heart’ to Wilde’s grotesque ‘Polyp’, which borders on black humour, with its notion of a cancerous polyp which gains sentient intelligence and escapes from its host’s body. Other authors pursue a less gory and more indirect approach to mental and physical corruption, such as the aforementioned Fowler’s acerbic take on the world of Fashionista body modification, Axelle Carolyn’s rather beautiful tale of burn induced metamorphosis, ‘Butterfly’, and both Conrad William’s ‘Sticky Eye’ and Nancy A. Collin’s ‘Freaktent’ which for spoiler reasons I won’t say any more on, other than I found these two tales the most disturbing of all.
So if you’re a fan of ancient or alien life forms in hibernation, schizophrenic clown killers or deranged scientists that want to live forever, this collection has something for you...’

To read the full review yourself just click here.

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Edge-Lit festival

And keeping with the events theme, Paul’s happy to announce that’s he’s one of the guests at Edge-Lit (above) in Derby on 14th July, alongside the likes of Christopher Fowler, Sarah Pinborough, Juliet McKenna, Niki Valentine, M.D. Lachlan, Justina Robson, Adrian Tchaikovsky and Rod Rees. He’ll be doing a reading and sitting on a panel about Monsters. To find out more and to book your place, visit http://edgelitderby.blogspot.co.uk/

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World War Z, by Max Brooks

The Shadow Writer site is delighted now to welcome its Guest Writer for June, Max Brooks! Max is, of course, responsible not only for The Zombie Survival Guide and the collection, Closure, Limited, but also the massive bestseller World War Z (above) which has been turned into a major motion picture starring Brad Pitt (pictures below). To read an extract from World War Z, just click here.

Brad Pitt, World War Z

 

Zombie, World War Z

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Muriel Gray

FantasyCon has just announced another Guest of Honour, none other than Muriel Gray. Media personality, presenter (most famously for The Tube) and hugely talented writer with books like The Trickster, Furnace (below) and The Ancient to her name, Muriel joins Joe R. Lansdale, Mary Danby, Brent Weeks and MC Tim Lebbon in Brighton this September. For more details and the book your place click here.

Furnace, by Muriel Gray

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The Darkest Hour

The latest reviews Paul has done for Sci-Fi Bulletin are for the DVD The Darkest Hour, the aforementioned Tim Lebbon’s novelization of The Cabin in the Woods and the Cabin... Visual Companion. To read these click here, here and here.

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May

Darkside Magazine, Issue 147

More love for The Mammoth Book of Body Horror first thing this month, as the book has been reviewed now by The Dark Side Magazine. Here’s what James Whittington had to say: ‘Body horror is the sub-genre of the horror entertainment world that deals with the more gooey and sticky side of things. You know what I mean? Stuff such as John Carpenter’s The Thing, most of David Cronenberg’s output and that classic from Brian Yuzna, Society, are fine examples. Films in which something is happening (usually in full coloured, brightly lit rooms) to you or your friend’s body. Films that take pride in showing every gory, juicy, bloody and gruesome detail of brutal and often very painful metamorphoses. This delicious compendium of 25 of the very best Body Horror stories covers the entire history of the sub-genre in written form by re-introducing us to such respected stories as John W. Campbell’s “Who Goes There?” (which has been filmed as The Thing From Another World (1951), inspired The Thing in 1982 and the prequel effort from last year) as well as truly classic pieces such as Mary Shelley’s “Transformation”.

I’ve not read a lot of Clive Barker’s work but his entry “The Body Politic” has inspired me to right this wrong. His story concerns a man whose hands have a life of their own and though it reminded me of some classic B-movie fodder it’s his charismatic style that gives it a polished, witty and dark edge. “Region Of The Flesh” by Richard Christian Matheson is a very short but inventive descent into madness and melancholy. “Tis The Season To Be Jelly”, from his dad Richard Matheson, is just bizarre with some precious moments of dark comedy. Would love to see this one as a 5-minute short.

More comedy arrives in the-form of Graham Masterson’s “Dog Days”, which is a bit predictable but huge fun and again one that reminded me of those fabulous monochrome B-movies from the 1950s. Stephen King’s “Survivor Type” is a more straightforward piece of horror and is as detailed as any work that this prolific author has written. Packed with character background, King tells the story from the point of view of Richard Pine who is alone on an island. His descent into madness plus the terror of self mutilation and drug consumption is told with a wicked sense of macabre humour. Stand out is George Langelaan’s “The Fly”. I’m a fan of the cinematic interpretations of this story, but had never read the original piece. This is subtle horror with a neat body horror injection that is subtle yet effective beautifully written and worthy of several readings. The introduction by Stuart Gordon, the man who gave the world Re-Animator (the story that inspired it, “Herbert West – Re-animator” by H.P. Lovecraft is also in this book) tells of his first introduction to the world of Lovecraft, his thoughts on The Thing and the chat he once had with Wes Craven in a toilet. By putting these stories together in one handy volume, Paul Kane and Marie O’Regan have given we horror fans a very welcome present, a collection of memorable and disturbing tales that, thanks to their boldness, will give us many sleepless nights. More please!’
You can find the full thing in issue 147 (above) in the shops now.

The Mammoth Book of Body Horror, edited by Paul Kane and Marie O'Regan

Over at Shiny Shorts, Jenny Barber also sang the anthology’s praises, saying: ‘With a name like Mammoth Book of Body Horror, you can reasonably expect a high proportion of gruesome to be contained within – and yes, there is. But where this anthology really excels is the variety of horror tales presented – from classics by Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft to more modern fare from the likes of David Moody, Michael Marshall Smith and Nancy A. Collins... “The Body Politic” by Clive Barker delivers a concept that is both creepy and just a bit clever. It tells the tale of what happens when hands develop independent thinking and stage a revolution against their body oppressors. The thought of all those hands scuttling around is likely to stick with you long after you’ve finished reading and Barker’s delivery manages to make you side with the hands against the unpleasant protagonist.

In “Fruiting Bodies” by Brian Lumley we’ve got an enjoyably creepy story where an exotic kind of dry rot has overtaken the remains of a village abandoned due to cliff erosion. While the tentacles of fungus that work their way into everything, including the remains of the graveyard, would be more than enough to feed nightmares, it’s their interaction with the last living inhabitants – one man and his dog – that really hammer home the horror of it all. Where this story really scores is in its easy readable style that is reminiscent of classic King stories and it keeps your interest with relateable characters in a setting rife with possibilities.

Hitting the classics is “The Fly” by George Langelaan which is quite an intriguing yarn that was also the basis for the films of the same name (which I didn’t know beforehand). The basis of the tale, therefore, should need little introduction – take one mad scientist fiddling about with teleportation, add in the unfortunate results of extra test subjects sneaking into the teleport process and merging on rematerialisation with the aforementioned scientist, and you’ve got a recipe for a classic mutation story...“Butterfly” by Axelle Carolyn is a bit of a mood piece – a short reflective story about a coma victim’s transformation which has a definite aww factor to it, while “Tis the Season to be Jelly” by Richard Matheson took me a moment or two to get into the hang of the slang, but it’s got a fun ending with a killer last line.

One of the stories I’ve definitely read before is “The Look” by Christopher Fowler, which first saw the light in the Urban Gothic anthology from Telos Publishing. It hasn’t lost any of its appeal since then. In it you get a quite fascinating and very disturbing commentary on the modelling industry as you follow a couple of wannabes sneaking in to see a fashion designer in the hopes of the protagonist being picked to be the star model for the coming year. Except it’s her friend who gets picked instead and the current star model decides to enlighten the protag as to just what nastiness her friend is going to be in for.  Whether you’re new to the horror genre or not as well read as you’d like to be, this is definitely a good anthology to dip into as it has a good balance of classic reprints and shiny new stories that showcase a wide range of horror styles and authors. Cracking stuff.’

You can read the full review by clicking here.

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This is Horror

Following their own glowing review of Body Horror, This is Horror have just interviewed Paul for their regular ‘Meet the Writer’ section. To read what he had to say, click here.

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Alt.Fiction 2012 programme booklet

Photos now from last month’s Alt.Fiction convention that Paul was a Guest at. Below you can see the new venue, The Phoenix in Leicester, Paul doing ‘Dragon’s Pen’ with Conrad Williams – comedy pitching to the likes of agent John Jarrold and Orbit editor Jenni Hill, then The Mammoth Book of Body Horror signing event with Marie, David Moody, Simon Clark and Conrad. A good time was had by all!

Phoenix arts centre, Leicester

 

L to R: Alasdair Stuart, Conrad Williams, Paul Kane

 

Paul Kane

 

John Jarrold, Jenni Hill

 

Mammoth Book of Body Horror, edited by Paul Kane and Marie O'Regan

 

L to R: David Moody, Simon Clark, Conrad Williams, Paul Kane, Marie O'Regan

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Hauntings artwork, by Ben Baldwin

Above is the first glimpse of the gorgeous Hauntings wraparound cover by Ben Baldwin. The book contains stories by the likes of Robert Shearman, Tanith Lee, Alison Littlewood, Liz Williams and Adrian Tchaikovsky, as well as Paul’s ‘Presence’. And you can watch the Un:Bound Video Edition of the Hauntings event – which was playing on the big screen throughout the Alt.Fiction weekend – below:

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Brent Weeks

News now of conventions Paul is on the committee of, beginning with the aforementioned FantasyCon. The latest Guest of Honour has just been announced as New York Times bestselling fantasy author Brent Weeks – best known for ‘The Night Angel Trilogy’, the first volume of which was The Way of Shadows (below). Brent joins already announced Guests Joe R. Lansdale and Mary Danby, with Tim Lebbon as MC.

Way of Shadows, Brent Weeks

Adding to previously announced World Fantasy Convention 2013 guests, such as Richard Matheson and Richard Christian Matheson, comes Artist Guest of Honour Alan Lee – responsible for many a Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories and Pan Book of Horror (below) cover, as well as working on the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies...

The 17th Pan Book of Horror Stories, selected by Herbert Van Thal

... plus great-granddaughter of famous author Arthur Machen, Tessa Farmer (below) will be helping to celebrate ‘Machen at 150’ as a Special Guest.

Tessa Farmer

To book your place at these conventions click here for FantasyCon and here for World Fantasy Convention 2013.

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The Wicker Tree, by Robin Hardy

An esteemed Guest Writer for the month of May, we’re very happy to welcome Robin Hardy, director of The Wicker Man. You can read an extract from his follow-up novel The Wicker Tree (above – originally entitled Cowboys for Christ), which he has now turned into a movie (below), by clicking here.

The Wicker Tree

You can also find a review Paul has done of the film for Sci-Fi Bulletin by clicking here.

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The Cabin in the Woods

Other reviews Paul has done include Cabin in the Woods (above), with an article coming in the British Fantasy Society’s next Journal, Sarah Pinborough’s The Chosen Seed, and Avengers Assemble (below). You can read these here, here and here.

Avengers Assemble

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Chocolat, Joanne Harris

As mentioned last month, Paul is one of the Guest Writers at the Derbyshire Literary Festival this year, which runs from 11th – 20th May. He’ll be starting with a workshop on Genre Writing at New Mills library on Saturday 12th May, at 9:45, but you can find out about all the events scheduled to take place – including a talk by the bestselling author of Chocolat (above), Joanne Harris – by visiting the Derbyshire County Council website for the festival here.

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Terror Scribes, edited by Adam Lowe and Chris Kelso

Lastly, a touch of nostalgia – as Paul’s story ‘Life-like’ has been reprinted in the Terror Scribes anthology (above) from Dog Horn Press, edited by Adam Lowe and Chris Kelso.

To read a short extract click here.

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April

SFX Magazine

More reviews have been flooding in for The Mammoth Book of Body Horror, which saw its release last month. First up, the mighty SFX (above) in their latest issue had this to say in their four star review: ‘Oozing sores, wandering hands, sticky eyes and legs that fall off are just some of the gory corporeal glories you can expect from Mammoth’s latest collection. This 25-story compendium gathers tales of “transformation, mutation and contagion” from genre royalty including Clive Barker, HP Lovecraft, Stephen King, Mary Shelley and Edgar Allen Poe, along with writers who though less familiar are often just as compelling. The stories offer icky pleasure for those fascinated with a subgenre concerned with the body turning against itself. Some are funny and disgusting (Richard Matheson’s nuclear fallout nightmare ‘”Tis The Season To Be Jelly!”, Barbie Wilde’s bowel-with-a-brain-of-its-own yuk-fest “Polyp”); some smartly satirical (Neil Gaiman’s excellent cure-for-cancer vision “Changes”, Christopher Fowler’s fashion industry cautionary tale “The Look”); some depressing and disturbing (Nancy A Collins’ horrific, lingering “Freaktent” and Stephen King’s stand-out gross-out “The Survivor Type”).

For horror movie buffs it’s a must-have, pulling together the original stories which inspired The Fly, The Thing and Re-Animator. “The Fly”, a far closer blueprint for Kurt Neumann’s 1958 version than it was for Cronenberg’s version, is poignant rather than repellent, while John W Campbell’s ice station paranoia piece “Who Goes There?” (the longest piece in the collection), is a masterpiece of tension building. Only Lovecraft’s “Herbert West – Re-Animator” – a morbidly humorous necromancy myth – jars in its originally serialised format, with each short chapter beginning with a full recap of the previous ones – though Re-Animator director Stuart Gordon sheds further light on this in a warm and fascinating intro.’

To read the full review click here.

This Is Horror

The anthology was also give a thorough review by the This is Horror site. John Llewellyn Probert commented: ‘A good themed anthology, especially one with the word Mammoth in the title, should be a mix of the old and the new, a collection of classic reprints as well as some new material for those of us who need a little bit more than just a re-read of old favourites. Illustrating very nicely indeed the way to do this kind of thing properly is The Mammoth Book of Body Horror, edited by Paul Kane and Marie O’Regan and published by Constable Robinson. The book kicks off with a short, chatty introduction by Stuart Gordon, director of the classic Re-Animator and a number of other fine horror pictures including Dagon and Poe’s The Black Cat for television. Understandably Gordon concentrates mainly on his hunt for, and eventual discovery of, the Lovecraft story that helped make his reputation, but he does take time out to mention some of the other stories in here, as well as a quick anecdote about meeting Wes Craven at a urinal, before we get into the stories proper.

One of the things that many long-time readers wonder about as they grow older is whether the stories that thrilled them as youths will remain available to be discovered by today’s young horror readership. Volumes go out of print, stories are forgotten or neglected, and an entire generation can miss out on, say, W W Jacob’s “The Monkey’s Paw”. It is therefore with some delight that Kane and O’Regan have reprinted some classics here that have been away from our shelves for too long. After stories by Mary Shelley, Poe and of course H P Lovecraft’s “ReAnimator”, all of which can be found in collections in any high street bookshop, The Mammoth Book of Body Horror begins to show its real worth with reprints of John W Campbell’s “Who Goes There?” and George Langelaan’s “The Fly”... A tiny funny by Richard Matheson “Tis the Season to be Jelly” is next, followed by Stephen King’s “Survivor Type”, the tale of a surgeon stranded on a desert island and having to resort to increasing acts of self-mutilation in order to stay alive. Stories by Robert Bloch, Ramsey Campbell and Brian Lumley follow. Lumley’s “Fruiting Bodies” is a deservedly award-winning tale of rot and decay in a crumbling seaside village, while Bloch’s story concerns a man who finds he has bought the secret residence of silent actor Lon Chaney (which comes complete with makeup case and haunted mirror) and Campbell’s is the tale of an unhappy teacher who keeps seeing the figure of a dancing clown on the other side of the river to his flat. Needless to say, when he decides to investigate further the consequences are (bodily!) horrific, and it could have led to the inspiration for a famous J K Potter illustration, but you’ll have to read the end of the story for yourselves to find out which one.

In his introduction Stuart Gordon recommends that you read the next story “Freaktent” by Nancy A Collins, at the end. It’s certainly very effective, although the theme (which won’t be revealed here as it would spoil the ending) has been touched on by authors as far back as Charles Birkin in the 1930s. Michael Marshall Smith’s contribution, “Walking Wounded”, was originally published in Gollancz’s Dark Terrors 3 – it’s a fine tale of suburban body horror. Richard moves into a new flat with his new girlfriend. Pretty soon small cuts are starting to appear all over his body and rather than healing up they’re getting bigger and bloodier. Good stuff and a nice ending to this one. Neil Gaiman’s “Changes” is more science fiction, but that doesn’t harm the story at all. In a future not so far away cancer has been cured, but the treatment has had some very unusual side-effects. James Herbert’s “Others” is an extract from his novel of the same name and is a brief catalogue of hideous malformations. “The Look” by Christopher Fowler, first published in Telos’ Urban Gothic anthology, is next. It’s body horror as fashion (or should that be the other way around) and again, while the subject has been dealt with by other authors (most notably in the far futuristic science fiction novels of Iain M Banks) Fowler’s story is very much a horrific satire set in an almost contemporary world.

The book concludes with a number of stories that have been specifically written for the volume. These are by a mixture of authors both familiar and unfamiliar. Of the eight stories it came as no surprise that one of the stories was by old hand Graham Masterton, “Dog Days”, who delivers a deliciously outrageous tale of one man and his dog (not to mention the girlfriend). However, no more will be said about it so as not to spoil the surprise. David Moody was another surprise with his very well written and entertaining EC comics-style story “Almost Forever”. The following tale, Alice Henderson’s “Residue”, starts off a bit unsurely, but as it goes on it evolves into a whole bundle of alien-style fun and it comes highly recommend. Overall, then, Kane and O’Regan’s Mammoth Book of Body Horror is a very fine read indeed. There were only a couple of stories that didn’t work, and the only real criticism is that the book ends on a rather grim downer of a story that really isn’t in keeping with the tone of the rest of the book at all. Otherwise, it’s a book that works beautifully as an introduction to the genre for those who aren’t that familiar with it, offering a fine selection from many of the very best writers the genre has ever had, as well as a decent mix of new tales... if one were to recommend a good horror anthology to a friend who wanted to see what good horror stories were like, this would instantly come to mind. It does our beloved genre proud and there’s no greater praise than that.’

You can read the review in full here.

The Ginger Nuts of Horror

The Ginger Nuts of Horror site also reviewed the book, calling it: ‘A gripping collection which offers for the first time a chronological overview of the popular contemporary sub-genre of body horror, from Edgar Allan Poe to Christopher Fowler, with contributions from leading horror writers, including Stephen King, George Langelaan and Neil Gaiman. The collection includes the stories behind seminal body horror movies, John Carpenter's The Thing, David Cronenberg's The Fly and Stuart Gordon's Re-Animator. When you consider just how many of these Mammoth Books are published each year, it really is amazing that the quality of the stories presented in this edition are of such a high standard. It is a testament to both the writers and the editors... The table of contents reads like a dream team of authors. How the editors decided on which six authors names were featured on the front cover I don't know... I normally have two ways in which I attack an anthology, the first is to go to my favourite author, and the second is to start at the beginning, I usually do this when there are no authors that I am familiar with. TMBODH threw a spanner into the working of this process, I just didn't know where to start...

Barbie Wilde's story “Polyp”... is a wonderfully disgusting story, that manages to both shock the reader and make them giggle. Barbie has created a brilliant twist on the creature feature genre. I really enjoyed how the tale went from being a very personal story into an apocalyptic cliff hanger. After reading this story which in all reality was chosen at random, I knew this book was going to be great read. I'm going to skim over most of the first half of the book, the stories here are all classic of the genre...One thing I will say, is having these stories altogether in one volume is brilliant Of the other stories my personal highlights were Christopher Fowler's “The Look”, this really was a chilling, and uncomfortable read into the darker side of fashion, and just how far a fashion designer will go to get the look. Simon Clark's, “The Soaring Dead”  reaffirmed my love for his writing, the twist ending of this story about greed, property, and an ancient mysterious plague was brilliant piece of story telling.  Honourable mentions must go to David Moody's “Almost Forever”, and “Black Box”,  by Gemma File.... The Mammoth Book of Body Horror is a must buy for any horror fan.  You would be hard pushed to find a more comprehensive, and satisfying anthology of horror stories this year.’

Read the full review here.

Johnny Mains

And, finally, classic horror expert and writer Johnny Mains (above) gave the anthology a 9.5/10 rating on his Occasionally Horrific blog, saying: ‘It's surprising that a history of body horror in literature hasn't been done before now – so thanks to Marie O' Regan and Paul Kane for this treasure trove of stories, ranging from some classics in the genre, “The Tell-Tale Heart”, “Survivor Type” and “The Body Politic” to some stories that will almost certainly become classics of their time – the absurdist, very entertaining shocker “Polyp” to the brilliantly executed “Sticky Eye” - one of my favourite new stories in this anthology... A corker of an anthology - always a pleasure to read “Survivor Type” again and an honour to finally read “Who Goes There?” by John W. Campbell – the basis for The Thing and, if I'm not mistaken, this is one of the very first appearances of this short story in an anthology.’

To read the full review click here.

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Chesterfield Library Body Horror event

Photos now from the local launch of the anthology, held at Chesterfield Library and featuring bestselling authors Simon Clark and David Moody. The event went very well, with many books sold and signed. Below you can see the books on sale, Paul giving his introduction, Simon reading, Paul and Simon answering questions for the Q&A, Paul, Marie, Dave and Simon signing, and finally everyone posing for a group shot.

Mammoth Book of Body Horror display, Chesterfield Library

 

Paul Kane, co-editor of Mammoth Book of Body Horror

 

Paul Kane reading from the introduction to Mammoth Book of Body Horror

 

Simon Clark reading from his story

 

Paul Kane, Simon Clark

 

Paul Kane signing copies of Mammoth Bookd of Body Horror

 

Marie O'Regan signing copies of Mammoth Book of Body Horror

 

David Moody signing copies of Mammoth Book of Body Horror

 

Simon Clark

 

L to R: David Moody, Marie O'Regan, Paul Kane and Simon Clark

Photo credit: Amanda Thompson BBR

The next Body Horror event will be a signing at Alt.Fiction on 15th April at 11 am; see last month’s news update for details on this and for Paul’s other appearances that weekend.

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Hauntings readings in Leicester.

But the Body Horror launch wasn’t the only event Paul was involved in last month, he also did a reading of his new ghost story ‘Presence’ for the Hauntings/Un:Bound event at the Staff of Life pub in Mowsley village, near Market Harborough in Leicestershire. Above, you can see Paul getting ready to be filmed reading – which took place in front of a live audience – and below he is in full flow. Photos courtesy of Selina Lock.

Paul Kane

Paul also gave a talk at the University of Nottingham, which also included a reading, Q&A and signing session. Photos below, including Paul signing for organiser Michael Krawec.

Paul Kane

 

Paul Kane signing for Michael Krawec

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The Exorcist, William Peter Blatty (40th Anniversary edition)

Another very special Guest Writer section this month, as William Peter Blatty has kindly allowed the site to reprint an extract from possibly the most famous horror novel of all time – The Exorcist. Celebrating its 40th Anniversary in a new edition from Corgi books, the novel was of course the basis for the 1973 movie of the same name, directed by William Friedkin (below). To read William’s new Introduction, the Prologue and Chapter One, simply click here. With thanks to William, and Simon Taylor and Alison Barrow at Transworld Publishers.

The Exorcist movie

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Daylight Fades

You can now find Paul’s reviews of the movies Daylight Fades (above), The Revenant, Familiar (below) and the anthology The Devil’s Coattails on the Sci-Fi Bulletin site here, here, here and here.

Familiar

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Derbyshire Literary Festival

Paul’s also very pleased to announce that – along with Marie – he’s one of the Guest Writers at the Derbyshire Literary Festival this year, running from 11th – 20th May. He’ll be doing workshops, giving author talks and doing signings. Below are his pages in the Festival booklet, but to find out more details online click here.

Derbyshire Literary Festival

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William F. Nolan, Paul Kane - World Fantasy Convention 2011, San Diego, US.

Finally, the gallery of photos from the World Fantasy Convention in San Diego last year (like the one above of Paul with Logan’s Run creator William F. Nolan) has gone live on the site. To visit this, click here.

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March

Stephen King site

Publicity for The Mammoth Book of Body Horror – see last month’s news for details – has gone into overdrive in the last few weeks, including mentions on the Stephen King site (above) here, Clive Barker’s ‘Revelations’ site here, Fangoria here, Graham Masterton’s site here, Alice Henderson’s site here, Conrad Williams’ site here, Barbie Wilde’s site here and the Horror Channel’s site here to list but a few.

Outpost #31, The Thing

The book was also mentioned on The Thing fansite, Outpost #31 (above) here, but look out for more detailed coverage, including an interview with Paul and Marie in the near future. Plus, Paul talks exclusively about the putting together of the book on Sci-Fi Bulletin’s site here and also mentions the book in his interview for Paul D. Brazil’s site here.

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Starburst magazine

The anthology has also received its first review, a 10/10 recommendation from none other than Starburst magazine (above)! This is what they thought: ‘Here we have an anthology that squeezes the best out of body horror the way that puss can be squeezed from a necrotic wound, and all for our perverse enjoyment of this disturbing and oh so dark craft. Each story has been exquisitely crafted by the undisputed masters of the genre. And, to be frank, it’s impossible not to like. From the poetic prose of Mary Shelley, the drug induced hysteria of Poe, the wild, paranoid ramblings of Lovecraft, to the brutal honesty of David Moody. This book will drag up feelings of dread, shock and revulsion upon its reader. Even to hardened horror fans such as ourselves, the Mammoth Book of Body Horror still manages a nasty surprise or two.

So who’s in it? Short answer: everyone. It opens with Mary Shelley’s“Transformation”, a tale of body swapping with a twisted dwarf-like creature destined to go wrong. Starting off with the likes of Shelley – better known as the creator of Frankenstein, as if you needed telling – reminds us where the concept of body horror has its roots. Although earlier myths and legends of bodily dismemberment abound, Shelley is one of the first to get it down in short story form. From here we’re introduced to Edger Allen Poe’s“The Tell-Tale Heart” and from there we jump to Lovecraft’s“Re-animator”. The next stopping point is “Who Goes There?” by John W. Campbell and its worth pointing out that this is the tale that inspired three films, most notably John Carpenter’s The Thing and finding it here is like running into an old friend from out of town. A real treat.

There are far too many stories to go into in much depth for the purpose of this review. Highlights include, Stephen King’s “Survivor Type”: how much a man is prepared to sacrifice when washed up on a desert island. “The Body Politic” by Clive Barker: guaranteed to ensure you will never look at your hands the same way again. Ramsey Campbell’s “The Other Side” dips into a surrealist horror that has the trademarks of an acid trip gone horribly wrong – or, cough, so we’re told. Brian Lumley’s “Fruiting Bodies” will stay with you long after the lights have gone out. Neil Gaiman injects a dark sense of humour with his short story “Changes”. And so the stories go, each exploring the fear of what can go wrong with our bodies: the unseen menace of a brain tumour, the creeping doom of cancer, the fear of being different, and the secret pleasure of standing out from a crowd.

The Mammoth book of Body Horror deserves a place on your bookshelf, but make sure it’s well away from kids and those of a fragile disposition.’

To read the review online click here and it will also feature in issue # 375 of the print magazine.

The anthology has been garnering a great response on Goodreads, too, including a five star rating. To read the comments, click here.

But to order the anthology, which is out now, visit the publishers’ page here, or on Amazon.co.uk here.

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Chesterfield library

The book is getting a special local launch at Chesterfield Library (above) on March 10th at 2pm – 3:30 pm, where bestselling authors and contributors to The Mammoth Book of Body Horror, Simon Clark and David Moody (below) will join Paul and Marie for an afternoon of readings, Q&A’s and signings. The event is absolutely free, but to book your ticket contact the library by phone on Tel: 01629 533 400 or email chesterfield.library@derbyshire.gov.uk

David Moody

David Moody

 

Simon Clark

Simon Clark

This will mark the start of various events and signings all around the country...

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Alt.Fiction

Including a signing at Leicester’s Alt.Fiction next month (14-15 April), on the Sunday morning of the weekend event at 11am. Joining Simon, David, Paul and Marie, will be Conrad Williams and living horror legend Ramsey Campbell! Paul will also be on a panel later that day at 1pm called ‘Return of the Short Story’ where he’ll be discussing the project. In the meantime, he is the first of the Alt.Fiction ‘Writers of the Month’ on the Writing East Midlands site which you can visit by clicking here and you can reach the Alt.Fiction site itself here.

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Hauntings

But that’s not the end of the public appearances. Even closer than that, on Sunday March 11th Paul will be reading his new story from the anthology Hauntings (above) at 5.30pm at the Staff of Life pub in Mowsley village, near Market Harborough in Leicestershire. Also appearing are Ian Whates, Mark West, Marie and Amanda Hemmingway. The event is being filmed for Un:Bound’s next Video Editions and the anthology is due out later on this year as a hardback limited edition from NewCon Press. Tickets are £3 including snacks, available via Paypal to vincent.hkeen@btinternet.com. For more details on the event, visit the Un:Bound site here.

University of Nottingham, Science Fiction and Fantasy Society

The following week on Saturday 17th March from 3pm onwards, Paul will be giving a talk to the University of Nottingham’s ‘Science Fiction and Fantasy Society’ (above). Covering his career so far, this will include readings and a signing session at the end. For more details, visit the society’s website here.

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The Walking Dead

We’re very excited now to announce an extraordinary Guest Writer slot. Working with Jay Bonansinga, the creator and writer of The Walking Dead comics (recently adapted for TV and now into its second series, starring Andrew Lincoln – above), Robert Kirkman has come up with Rise of the Governor (below). This tells the story of one of TWD’s most popular villains, and to read an exclusive extract just click here. With thanks to Robert and Jay, and especially Chloe Healy and Bella Pagan of Macmillan publishers.   

The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor, Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga

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Tales from the Darkside

Paul has begun contributing reviews to Sci-Fi Bulletin, and you can check out what he has to say about the TV show Tales from the Darkside (above) and the movie Rage, both out on DVD, by clicking here and here.

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Richard Carpenter

Lastly, Paul was saddened to hear of the death of Richard Carpenter (above), creator of Catweazle, Dick Turpin and – in Paul’s opinion – the best Hood TV series of all time, Robin of Sherwood (below). A huge influence on Paul’s Arrowhead books, it was one of the proudest days of his life when Richard said of the trilogy: ‘I love the concept of the books, mixing a bit of myth and science fiction into a heady and thrilling piece of tough story-telling.’ Richard died aged only 78. He will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with his family at this time.

Robin of Sherwood

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February

The Mammoth Book of Body Horror, edited by Paul Kane and Marie O'Regan

The first piece of news in this birthday month for Paul is the exciting announcement of the full line-up for The Mammoth Book of Body Horror – co-edited with Marie O’Regan. The book’s release has also been brought forward to March 1st so expect some events and a major publicity drive in the weeks to come. For now, here’s the official press release:

The Mammoth Book of Body Horror:
Twenty-Five Stories of Transformation, Mutation and Contagion

Edited by Paul Kane & Marie O’Regan

Editors of the bestselling and British Fantasy Award-nominated

Hellbound Hearts

The Thing

A very special and unique anthology celebrating the sub-genre of ‘Body Horror’, tracing its origins right up to the most modern exponents of the form. Featuring a veritable ‘who’s who’ of horror literature, and including the stories those classic Body Horror movies – The Thing, The Fly and Re-Animator – were based on, this promises to be a groundbreaking and landmark release in the history of the genre.

The Fly

Full Table of Contents below:

TRANSFORMATION by Mary Shelley; THE TELL-TALE HEART by Edgar Allan Poe; HERBERT WEST: RE-ANIMATOR by H.P. Lovecraft; WHO GOES THERE?  John W. Campbell; THE FLY by George Langelaan; TIS THE SEASON TO BE JELLY by Richard Matheson; SURVIVOR TYPE by Stephen King; THE BODY POLITIC by Clive Barker; THE CHANEY LEGACY by Robert Bloch; THE OTHER SIDE by Ramsey Campbell; FRUITING BODIES by Brian Lumley; FREAKTENT by Nancy A. Collins; REGION OF THE FLESH by Richard Christian Matheson; WALKING WOUNDED by Michael Marshall Smith; CHANGES by Neil Gaiman; OTHERS by James Herbert; THE LOOK by Christopher Fowler; RESIDUE by Alice Henderson; DOG DAYS by Graham Masterton; BLACK BOX by Gemma Files; THE SOARING DEAD by Simon Clark; POLYP by Barbie Wilde; ALMOST FOREVER by David Moody; BUTTERFLY by Axelle Carolyn; STICKY EYE by Conrad Williams.

Introduction by Stuart Gordon (Director of Re-Animator and From Beyond)

Re-Animator

The 170,000 word anthology is being published by Constable & Robinson, and you can pre-order at the publishers’ page here, or on Amazon.co.uk here.

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Odd Thomas, by Dean Koontz

The Shadow Writer site is honoured now to welcome one of its biggest ever Guests. His books have been translated into 38 languages and sold over 400 million worldwide. Thirteen of his novels have risen to number one on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list, and sixteen of his books have achieved the number one position in paperback. His books have also been major bestsellers in countries as diverse as Japan and Sweden. He is the author of such classics as Demon Seed (turned into a movie starring Julie Christie), Twilight Eyes, Strangers, Watchers, Lightning, Hideaway (also a movie, starring Jeff Goldblum), Cold Fire, Mr Murder, and more recently Velocity, The Husband, Relentless, Breathless and the ‘Odd’ series, beginning with Odd Thomas (above, soon to be a major motion picture starring Star Trek’s Anton Yelchin and Willem Dafoe). The New York Times has called his writing ‘psychologically complex, masterly and satisfying’, while Rolling Stone magazine has quite simply hailed him as ‘America’s most popular suspense novelist.’ He is, of course, none other than Dean Koontz, and to read an exclusive extract from his new novel 77 Shadow Street (below), just click here. With kind thanks to Dean, HarperCollins and Marie O’Regan.

77 Shadow Street, by Dean Koontz

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A Cold Season, by Alison Littlewood

And Paul attended the launch of last month’s Guest Writer Alison Littlewood’s first novel, the excellent A Cold Season (which you can read an extract from by scrolling back to January). You can see the photos from this – including the publicity poster gracing Paul’s local train station, above – which took place at Waterstone’s in Leeds, below. A fine time was had by all!

Alison Littlewood at Waterstone's, Leeds

 

A Cold Season display

 

audience at Alison Littlewood's launch for A Cold Season, Waterstone's, Leeds

 

Alison Littlewood, reading at Waterstone's, Leeds

 

Alison Littlewood signing at Waterstone's, Leeds

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Twisted Tales PS Publishing event, Waterstone's, Liverpool

Photos now from the Twisted Tales PS Showcase Paul took part in with Peter Crowther and the living legend that is Ramsey Campbell at the end of January. These include the book display at Waterstone’s Liverpool One (above), Paul doing his reading and signing alongside Peter, then on to the beautiful market town of Lancaster for more readings and a Q&A fielded by host David McWilliam. The events played to a packed audience and, as with the Hellbound Hearts one last summer, were hugely successful.

Paul Kane

 

Paul Kane, Peter Crowther

 

Lancaster market

 

David McWilliam

 

Paul Kane, Peter Crowther

 

David McWilliam, Paul Kane, Peter Crowther

 

Paul Kane

 

Peter Crowther

 

Ramsey Campbell

 

L to R: David McWilliam, Paul Kane, Peter Crowther and Ramsey Campbell

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FantasyCon 2012

Sticking with events for a moment, Paul and Marie were delighted to learn that last year’s FantasyCon, which they co-chaired, came second in the ‘This is Horror’ awards – in the events category. They were just pipped to the post by Film 4’s FrightFest, a worthy winner by anyone’s standards. You can find out who won in the rest of the categories by visiting the site here and you can sign up for this year’s FCon – above – by clicking here.

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Pain Cages, by Paul Kane

Some praise now for one of Paul’s books out at the moment: Pain Cages. Over on Good Reads, Andy Angel has commented:

‘A collection of four excellent horror novellas and not a weak story among them! “Pain Cages” – This is the story that really marks Paul Kane out as the natural successor to Clive Barker. A cleverly written tale with a kicker at the end that I never guessed. Would not have looked out of place in the aforementioned Mr. Barker’s Books of Blood. “Halflife” – a tale of the hunter and the hunted; gripping! “Signs of Life” – strangers and star signs on a train. “The Lazarus Condition” – Matthew comes home to visit his Mum...seven years after he’s died. For me this was the strongest story in the collection, interesting characters and ideas, and a narrative that leads you along but keeps you guessing. Very moving at times.’

While Robert Morrish (of Cemetery Dance and In Laymon’s Terms fame) had this to say on his Twisted Ridge site: ‘Like some other authors I’ve reviewed recently, Paul Kane has proven impressively prolific during his career, with 16 titles produced in the last 10 years, to say nothing of a couple non-fiction titles and several anthologies he’s edited... Pain Cages focuses on longer works, gathering four novellas, two of which are original to this collection. In his Introduction, Stephen Volk says that after reading this book “…you’ll realise ultimately that though the rough path through Paul Kane’s world involves a lot of pain and anguish, the pain isn’t what the journeys are about. Not really.”


There’s a lot of truth in what Volk says, because although the path through Kane’s work is indeed sometimes rough (in terms of both the characters’ journeys and, occasionally, the writing), and certainly describes no small amount of pain, the stories are fundamentally far more than mere exercises in sadism or vicarious shivers. Take, for example, the eponymous title story, which appears here for the first time and leads off the collection. The protagonist, Chris, awakes in darkness, trapped in a cage with no memory of how he got there, nor the other unfortunate souls in adjacent cages, one of whom is being tortured and killed. As time slowly passes in his small prison, Chris finds out precious little about his captors or how he arrived in these circumstances, and his fellow captives are similarly clueless, but the reader gradually learns of Chris’s backstory via interspersed flashbacks. When Chris finally escapes his cage, the sights that await him as he seeks a way out of the facility initially seem a little over-the top metaphysically, but the denouement is unexpected yet perfectly appropriate.


The other original novella, “Halflife,” is not nearly as accomplished, chronicling the fates of a former pack of teen werewolves, who’re reuniting due to the realization that someone may now, all these years later, be stalking them one by one. Reprint “Signs of Life” is sort of the dark literary equivalent of the mosaic approach that has proven so popular in films of the last decade or so, including the likes of Magnolia, Crash, Thirteen Conversations About One Thing, and oh-so-many more. In Kane’s take on the approach, the perspective switches between several strangers on a train, each with a distinct and interesting backstory, and the focus is naturally on how their destinies ultimately intertwine and collide. It’s a well-done story...


The collection closes with a very strong reprint, “The Lazarus Condition,” which begins with something of a “Monkey’s Paw” feel to it, as Matthew Daley suddenly shows up on his mother’s doorstep, despite the fact he’s been dead for seven years. Mrs. Daley and the police refuse to believe the interloper is truly Matthew, and his “ex-widow” joins that camp as well, leaving Matthew friendless and alone until he finally convinces a nurse, who has first-hand knowledge of his case, to help him. Along the way Matthew’s story becomes even stranger, as he displays first a supernatural knowledge of others’ backgrounds (and, especially, sources of guilt) and later further extraordinary abilities, leading up to a confrontation with the man who killed him. It’s an engaging tale, and despite the presence of reanimated corpses, it’s about as far from a traditional zombie story as one can get... I can certainly concur that Kane’s insights into the human condition shine through the often cruel and harsh world that he depicts.’


This novella collection also entered the Top Ten Kindle bestsellers on Amazon in January.

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Gaslight Arcanum

Paul’s work was also singled out in a review of the Holmes anthology Gaslight Arcanum, over at Nevermet Press’ Clockwork Reviews. Here’s what they had to say: ‘In Paul Kane’s “The Greatest Mystery,” Holmes and Watson confront a much less traditional villain as they investigate a string of murders that appear to have been committed by individuals who swear that they did not murder their loved ones. The suspected murderers inevitably commit suicide afterwards, thus eliminating the only witnesses to the murders. Despite the highly unusual villain, Kane’s writing style was such that even a villain that seemed preposterous in theory could fit into the Holmes universe without difficulty. While Doyle’s fans may not agree that the tale is the greatest mystery that Holmes ever solved, it is a fine story that fit well into the theme of the anthology.’

To read the full review, which also highlights Simon Clark and Kim Newman’s contributions, click here.

Phobophobia

Meanwhile, the Ginger Nuts of Horror site had some kind things to say about Paul’s story in the Phobophobia anthology (above). ‘“Words to the Wise” is an odd tale. Samuel Kellerman is afraid of the written word, so afraid in fact he is convinced that books are out to kill him. This could easily have turned to be a silly mess of a story, however what you get here is a rather funny, yet twisted tale of fear. I really enjoyed this story – imagine if the Phantom Tollbooth, was written for adults. Yes, that's how good this story was!’

Again, to read the full review click here.

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Birthday cake

As mentioned at the beginning of this update, February is Paul’s birthday month and above is a recreation of what we think his cake will probably look like (with a lot more candles, obviously). But I’m sure you’ll join us all in wishing him many happy returns. See you next month.

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January

Twisted Tales PS Publishing Showcase

A very Happy New Year to visitors of the Shadow Writer site! And we hit the ground running in 2012 as Paul is taking part in two PS Showcase events at the end of January. Organised by the Twisted Tales team, who put together the hugely successful Hellbound Hearts event last summer, these will be at Waterstone’s stores in Liverpool and Lancaster. Below is the official press release:

“Twisted Tales presents...
A PS Publishing Showcase

Featuring readings by:

Ramsey Campbell: ‘Britain’s most respected living horror writer’ (Oxford Companion to English Literature), ‘He must be given serious consideration as the greatest horror writer of our time, and perhaps of all time’ (S. T. Joshi)

Pete Crowther: ‘Reports of the demise of the darker genres abound, but vigorous, genuinely fearsome work such as Crowther’s demonstrates that the genre is decidedly undead’ (Publishers Weekly)

Paul Kane: Award-winning author of the bestselling Arrowhead trilogy and PS’s The Butterfly Man, co-editor of Hellbound Hearts and The Mammoth Book of Body Horror

Plus a panel discussion, Q&A and signing session

6-8pm Friday 27th January 2012 at Waterstone’s Liverpool One, L1 3DL
and
6-8pm Saturday 28th January 2012 at Waterstone’s King Street, Lancaster, LA1 1JN

To book your FREE tickets, please email PS Liverpool and/or PS Lancaster at: twistedtalesevents@gmail.com
 

To coincide with the event, there will also be stories and extracts posted on the TT site. The first of these is Paul’s tale ‘Masques’ – a sequel to Poe’s ‘The Masque of the Red Death’ – which you can read here

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The Butterfly Man and other stories, by Paul Kane

And this just in, ahead of the above showcases, Peter Crowther and his team have offered a veritable treasure trove of prizes – including copies of Paul’s hardback collection The Butterfly Man and Other Stories (above) – for a competition and are willing to post to anywhere in the world. To enter, simply email your name and address to twistedtalesevents@gmail.com with the subject line PS COMPETITION by Monday 23rd January. Winners will be announced at the Twisted Tales blog on Wednesday 25th January and their names and addresses will be passed on to PS Publishing. Below is the full line-up of stunning prizes.


1st PRIZE: CAMPBELL EXTRAVAGANZA

THE INHABITANT OF THE LAKE
GHOSTS KNOW
SEVEN DAYS OF CAIN
GRIN OF THE DARK
THE LONG WAY
HOLDING THE LIGHT
JUST BEHIND YOU

2nd PRIZE: THE PS ROADSHOW

GHOSTS KNOW
THE INHABITANT OF THE LAKE
THE BUTTERFLY MAN by Paul Kane
DARKNESS FALLING by Peter Crowther
BY WIZARD OAK by Peter Crowther

3rd PRIZE: SIX PS NOVELLAS

THE PRINCE OF NOWHERE by Parke Godwin
ONE FOR THE ROAD by Stephen King
BLUE CANOE by T. M. Wright
CLOUD PERMUTATIONS by Lavie Tidhar
DEAD EARTH by Mark Justice and David T. Wilbanks
OLD MAN SCRATCH by Rio Youers

THREE RUNNER-UP PRIZES

Prize # 4 = GHOSTS KNOW
Prize # 5 = BUTTERFLY MAN
Prize # 6 = DARKNESS FALLING

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Horror Bound Magazine

Following on from the exciting news that The Butterfly Man was included in Tangent’s Year End Recommended Reading List, we’ve also just found out that one of the stories in the collection has made it into Horror Bound’s Top Ten Issue. Originally published on the HB site, ‘Cold Call’ came in at number one for this ‘Best of’ edition selected by readers and staff. To visit the site click here

The Short Review

The Butterfly Man collection itself also received another glowing review, this time from The Short Review, where Sue Haigh had this to say:

‘I chose to review Paul Kane’s seventh collection for this edition of The Short Review because I felt it might present something different, a challenge, to me as a reader new to fantasy/horror; a thick, bubbling brew which includes comic horror, the surreal, vampire literature and straight horror. OK, it’s not the sort of stuff I read every day, but would it be enough to entice me into the circle of fans? Looking at the online image of the extraordinarily beautiful cover, I thought it might be possible...The elements I expected are all in there, fighting for supremacy – tormented souls, ghosts, angels, avenging spirits from beyond the grave, the Spirit of Death, monsters of the night, side by side with chocolate-box sexy women...

Opting not to look at the introduction by Christopher Golden or Kane’s own end-notes on the stories until after I had completed my own review, I was surprised by the colourful diversity of style, which ranges from pastiche, through cinematic sequence to straight literary, and by the unity of bloodthirsty theme. Sometimes a happy ending seems to be within a hair’s breadth before devastation strikes – read “Windchimes” to get a taste of the particularly unpleasant bitter aloes in the final twist – and sometimes the reader is led to an inevitable and horrible conclusion. I have to show my hand right away and say that my favourite story in the whole collection is a delightful (would Kane approve of that description, I wonder?) page-turner of a pastiche. The style of “The Greatest Mystery” was just right on the button and did it for me. This could have been Conan Doyle himself speaking, immediately recognisable to both aficionados and casual readers. Here, Kane is word and plot perfect, that sense of place transporting us right into the world of Baker Street – post mortem. Actually it sent me right back to my own library and the original stories and novels.

”Windchimes” is a moving story of quiet, unseen madness, delicately balanced and expressed with ample grace. Kane writes with admirable understanding of the psychological disarray and guilt which might follow the death of a small child and of the suspicion which could fall upon the capabilities of a parent. The stresses which can, and often do, tear a marriage apart in such dire circumstances are examined in the character of Jon, the lonely, bereaved alcoholic. Kane examines, too, the emotions which might ultimately draw such a character to another partner who finds herself in similar straits (indeed, they meet in a children’s graveyard). I had to read this story (which has a very nasty, but just believable – given the background – ending) several times to decide whether it sits well in this book, a complex collage of stories and characters ranging from the surreal Fred and Rose West type individuals of “Rag and Bone” and “Baggage” to the pure comic horror of the television-ad world of “Life-o’-Matic” and the Dahl-like “A Chaos Demon is for Life”... In my view, “Windchimes” is a piece which reflects Kane’s true potential as a ‘straight’ writer and might probably belong in the pages of another collection. But that’s just my personal view.

In the short space available to me here, it would be impossible to comment on every one of Kane’s eighteen stories – the Benjamin Button in-reverse of the title story, “The Butterfly Man”; “Speaking in Tongues”, about a Tourette’s Syndrome sufferer, which reminded me initially of Jonathan Lethem’s story, “Tugboat Syndrome”, but with a surreal, supernatural-horror aspect; the basically cinematic “One for the Road”, a tale to remind us all of our mortality... The unknowable and unstoppable demons of the night in “Masques” and “Keeper of the Light” threaten to engulf whole worlds, not only that of the despairing souls in “The Suicide Room”; every story echoes in those dark and hidden corners of the house of the human spirit. This roiling patchwork of a collection reveals all of Kane’s enthusiasm and the flexibility which has led him down many creative pathways and which will clearly point the way to others...’

To read the full review, click here, and to read an interview with Paul on the same site, click here

The Butterfly Man and Other Stories, by Paul Kane

And, lastly, the collection was included in the ‘Top 15 Reads of the Year’ over at The Ginger Nuts of Horror website here

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A Cold Season, Alison Littlewood

For our first Guest Writer slot of the year, we’re delighted to be able to spotlight a great new voice in the genre who’s set to make a big impact. Alison Littlewood’s debut novel – A Cold Season (above) – from Jo Fletcher Books ) is already a Richard & Judy Book choice here and we have an exclusive extract for you to enjoy here

Paul and Marie will also be at the book’s official launch at Waterstone’s in Leeds this month, so check back in February for photos of that event.

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Joe R. Lansdale

Now for some Guest announcements for conventions Paul is on the committee of. To begin with, the first Guest of Honour, first Special Guest and MC for FantasyCon 2012 are bestselling author of Savage Season, Mucho Mojo and Bad Chili, Joe R. Lansdale (above), legendary editor of The Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories series and author in her own right, Mary Danby, and New York Times bestseller Tim Lebbon, author of books such as Echo City and The Secret Journeys of Jack London novels (with Christopher Golden)

You can find out more and book your place at the FantasyCon site here

I Am Legend

At the same time, the first two Guests of Honour of the World Fantasy Convention 2013 have also been announced. These are the one and only Richard Matheson and his son, Richard Christian Matheson. This from the official press release:

“Richard Matheson is a master of modern science fiction, fantasy and horror, and Stephen King credits him with single-handedly regenerating a stagnant genre. His best known novels include the influential I Am Legend, The Shrinking Man, A Stir of Echoes, Hell House, The World Fantasy Award-winning Bid Time Return and What Dreams May Come, all of which have been turned into movies. His latest novel, Other Kingdoms (2011), is about witchcraft and fairies in a rural English village. Not only did Richard Matheson script fourteen episodes of Rod Serling’s iconic The Twilight Zone TV series (including the classic ‘Nightmare at 20,000 Feet’), but his produced movie scripts include The Fall of the House of Usher, Pit and the Pendulum, Tales of Terror, The Raven, The Comedy of Terrors, The Devil Rides Out (aka The Devil’s Bride), Duel, The Legend of Hell House, Somewhere in Time, Jaws 3-D and the two ‘Kolchak’ TV movies, The Night Stalker and The Night Strangler, amongst many other credits Richard Matheson was awarded the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1984 and the World Horror Convention’s Living Legend Award in 2000. In 2006 he was presented with The Legend Award by Ray Bradbury in Los Angeles.

Richard Christian Matheson began his career in the late 1970s. At twenty, he became the youngest writer ever signed to an overall deal with Universal Studios and he wrote scripts for a number on network TV shows. He moved quickly into feature film writing, working with Steven Spielberg on Harry and the Hendersons and Three O’Clock High. To date, he has written, co-written and sold over twelve spec screenplays – considered a record.

He has scripted three mini-series, including Sole Survivor for the Fox network, based on Dean Koontz’s best-selling novel; The Chronicles of Amber, for the Syfy Channel based on Roger Zelazny’s best-selling fantasy series, and the original Dragons, a six-hour for Matheson’s producing partner Bryan Singer and the Syfy Channel.  Richard Christian Matheson is considered a master of the short-short story and has published more than seventy stories of psychological horror in magazines and major anthologies. Thirty of his critically acclaimed stories are collected in Scars and Other Distinguishing Marks with a Foreword by Stephen King and an Introduction by Dennis Etchison. His second collection, Dystopia, gathers sixty stories with an Introduction by Richard Matheson and an Afterword by Peter Straub. The volume also includes tributes about RC’s writing from Clive Barker, Ellen Datlow, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Ray Bradbury, Stephen Jones, Ramsey Campbell and many others. Matheson’s debut novel, Created By, was a Bram Stoker Award nominee and his magic-realism novella, The Ritual of Illusion, will soon be available from PS Publishing.”

Again, you can find out more at the WFC site here

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Slices of Flesh

News now of a brand new story from Paul called ‘Hoodies’ which will appear in an anthology published by Dark Moon Books, set to launch at the World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City in March this year. Slices of Flesh (above), edited by Stan Swanson, also contains stories by the likes of Elizabeth Hand, Graham Masterton, Simon Clark, Jack Ketchum and Nancy Holder. The fantastic cover art is by Hellboy creator Mike Mignola. For more details click here

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Gaslight Arcanum, edited by J.R. Campbell and Charles Prepolec

If you’re a Sherlock Holmes fan then you should check out the latest issue of Journey Planet, in which Paul and other contributors to the Gaslight Arcanum anthology (above) talk about their stories and Holmes in general. You can read the magazine in PDF format by clicking here

Paul also took part in a 24 hour live online event at Bitten By Books recently concerning the anthology. You can see the results of that here. In addition, Paul was interviewed for the new Edge ‘Gaslight Gallery’ blog, which you can find here.

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Write Here, Write Now

Produced in association with Writing East Midlands and Derbyshire County Council, Write Here, Write Now (above) features an abridged version of Paul and Marie’s workshop on Monsters, as well as fiction inspired by the talk they gave.

You can visit the WEM site here and the DCC literature site here for more information.

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BFS Christmas Open Night, 2011

Finally, here are some photos from the British Fantasy Society Christmas Open Night (above and below) which Paul and Marie attended at the Mug House in London – including a snap of them with ‘Female Cenobite’ and fellow Phobophobia contributor Barbie Wilde, there for the launch of the anthology (see last month for more details).

Paul Kane, Marie O'Regan and Barbie Wilde

While below we have a few pictures from the successful reading evening Paul and his students put on for charity in December. The night, which featured readings, a raffle and a buffet, was dedicated to Paul’s mother, who passed away from Alzheimer’s in 2010, and a considerable amount of money was raised for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Paul Kane

 

L to R: Gaynor Roberts, Bill Paradise, Rosie Gilligan and Phil Foster

 

Wingerworth Wordsmiths' evening in aid of Alzheimer's Society

 

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