Hey, gang—great to see you all.

It was good to be away last weekend but it’s always good to be back. We stayed with a couple of chums over in Leeds, David and Harriet Thomas. Leeds is my hometown (if you listen real hard you can hear me and Paul Winton shouting for ‘Magic Bus’ on LIVE AT LEEDS, The Who’s live gig on Valentine’s Day 1970) and Nicky and I will take any opportunity to go back and  see what’s been happening. Dave is a mad-passionate soccer fan, and he’s produced a whole slew of books on Burnley Football Club. burnleyfcbooks.co.uk

Me, I’m not really a football fan but over the 20/30 years we’ve been friends, he’s got me at least slightly interested. Now all I need to do is get him to take on board the kind of fantastical and often downright dark tomes we produce here at PS. I’m working on it, I’m working on it!

First off this week is a catch-up to see what’s been happening in the world of reviews thanks to Tamsin.

And here’s a great way to start a Newsletter proper . . . umpteen glowing reviews—five pages of them, in fact—of recent and classic volumes penned by the always readable hugely entertaining and constantly disconcerting Ramsey Campbell, including THE SEARCHING DEAD, VISIONS FROM BRICHESTER and RAMSEY CAMPBELL, PROBABLY.

Here’s a particularly savvy observation on THE SEARCHING DEAD:

“In THE SEARCHING DEAD, death is not the end, but the beginning of a far greater terror, when memory—one of the defining features of selfhood in this novel (and, so the prologue implies, in the trilogy as a whole)—becomes increasingly difficult to hold onto.”

Now go here: murrayewing.co.uk/mewsings/tag/ramsey-campbell/

And now on to other things . . .

Starting with Anthony Cowin’s piece over at This Is Horror which echoes what everyone seems to be saying about Stephen Volk’s new novella, THE LITTLE GIFT.

"In THE LITTLE GIFT, Stephen Volk makes the reader question every twist and turn, every genre shift and each precise choice of language. It’s a roadmap to places the reader thinks they know well, only to discover Volk is leading them into unchartered territory. A place where true life horror resides."

If you want to check out the whole review, go here:
www.thisishorror.co.uk/book-review-the-little-gift

And while you’re fingers are twitching, take a look at Gef Fox’s review on Cemetery Dance online www.cemeterydance.com/extras
Here’s an extract:

“In the menagerie of quiet horror that has been written, THE LITTLE GIFT is a church mouse. This kind of horror isn’t a jump scare or even mounting dread. It is a cold, hard look in the mirror for an ordinary man met with extraordinary circumstances. While I’d be inclined to recommend Volk’s WHITSTABLE for newcomers to his work, THE LITTLE GIFT is certainly worthwhile in seeing an author deftly weave an engaging story about what is at first glance merely a bored family man.”

And Mark West on Strange Tales:

THE LITTLE GIFT is a dark novella, both in the way it describes a shared life beginning to unravel as well as the incident that happens ‘off-stage’, that never reads as less than realistic, but which also pushes at the limits of what the reader might expect, introducing doubt and tension into apparently throwaway sentences. Filled with tension, love for the family and the promise of what might have been, as well as the cold tug of grief and shock, this is an excellent novella that I highly recommend.”

Go here to read Mark’s full review plus a nifty Q&A to follow it: markwestwriter.blogspot.co.uk

Following on from the embarrassment of riches that was the recent 11-strong showing of PS Australia in the prestigious Aurealis Awards . . .

. . . comes the announcement that we did pretty much okay too in the shortlist for this year's Shadows Awards, celebrating the finest in horror and dark fiction published by an Australian or New Zealander for the calendar year of 2016. Here are the shortlists:

  • Best Short Fiction (Up to 7,500 words):
 ‘Fade to Grey’, by Janeen Webb (DREAMING IN THE DARK) ‘Midnight in the Graffiti Tunnel’, by Terry Dowling (DREAMING IN THE DARK)

  • Best Collected Works (3 or more short stories by a single author): 
CONCENTRATION by Jack Dann
  • Best Edited work (3 or more short stories by two (2) or more authors: DREAMING IN THE DARK, edited by Jack Dann
  • The Paul Haines Award For Long Fiction (7,501 to 39,999 words):
 ‘Burnt Sugar’, by Kirstyn McDermott (DREAMING IN THE DARK) 
‘Served Cold’, by Alan Baxter (DREAMING IN THE DARK)


And just to remind you about the Aurealis Awards shortlists:

  • BEST YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY
    ‘A Right Pretty Mate’, Lisa L Hannett (DREAMING IN THE DARK)
    ‘The Red Forest’, Angela Slatter (WINTER CHILDREN)
  • BEST HORROR NOVELLA
    ‘Served Cold’, Alan Baxter (DREAMING IN THE DARK)
    ‘Waking in Winter’, Deborah Biancotti
    ‘Burnt Sugar”, Kirstyn McDermott (DREAMING IN THE DARK)
  • BEST FANTASY NOVELLA
    ‘Burnt Sugar’, Kirstyn McDermott (DREAMING IN THE DARK)
  • BEST SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY
    ‘Trainspotting in Winesburg’, Jack Dann (CONCENTRATION)
  • BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVELLA
    ‘Waking in Winter’, Deborah Biancotti
  • BEST COLLECTION
    CONCENTRATION, Jack Dann
    WINTER CHILDREN, Angela Slatter
  • BEST ANTHOLOGY
    DREAMING IN THE DARK, Jack Dann (ed.)

Seventeen entries all told—not bad, gang!

We’d like to give a well-deserved round of applause and lots of good wishes and  thumbs-up karma to PS Australia MD Jack Dann and all the shortlisters (and for that matter, all the nominees themselves). Take a bow, folks!

And here’s a pretty totally far-out item.

We’ve been fortunate enough to come into possession of some mint—and, yes, I do mean “mint”!—copies of the American First Edition of Stephen King’s THINNER from 1984.

These 25 books—(there were 26 but one of ‘em didn’t get past the King section in PS Towers’ labyrinthine shelving complex)—were unearthed in Bangor ME. That location where they had lived in a box safe from harm and protected from sunlight,  provides  rather a rather appropriate provenance, and we’re offering them up for sale in a custom-made PS slipcase to house the book along with a note on PS letterheaded and signed  paper confirming the individual letter.


That location where they had lived in a box safe from harm and protected from sunlight,  provides  rather an appropriate provenance, and we’re offering them up for sale in a custom-made PS slipcase to house the book along with a note on PS letterheaded and signed  paper confirming the individual letter.


These books are considerably hard to find in anything even approaching fine condition. Nevertheless, I can offer them at £325.

Go ahead and place your order and then drop me an email to editor@pspublishing.co.uk to secure a letter.

Good to see Peter Straub with a new novella on the cards.

Peter and I served our time together on the Board of Trustees for the Horror Writers Association and I recall several conversations revolving around jazz, a mutual interest.

In THE PROCESS (IS A PROCESS ALL ITS OWN), the author brings back Tillman Hayward, a latter day Jack the Ripper familiar to readers of THE SKYLARK and A SPECIAL PLACE. Tilly, known for good reasons as The Ladykiller, stands at the dark heart of this astonishing novella.

Tilly is a classic serial killer, and we watch him go about his ‘work’ in the American Midwest of the 1950s. His story is one of madness and bloodlust artfully concealed beneath a thin, civilized veneer. In keeping with his nickname, he leaves a trail of mutilated female corpses behind him wherever he goes.

Straub tells Tilly’s story in a clear, unflinching voice that is at once enthralling and disturbing. At the same time, he sets that story against the larger story of a world filled with enigmatic occurrences and impossible encounters. It is a world in which the dead reappear, in which language carries its own peculiar properties, and “a hateful and discordant music” surrounds everything. It is a world which only Peter Straub could have evoked with such clarity and power.

Moving from the American Heartland to the stately homes of England, and from the arid worldview of Tilly to the fevered sensibility of Henry James, this nexus of connected stories is one of the strangest, most unsettling creations of a long, distinguished career. THE PROCESS (IS A PROCESS ALL ITS OWN) is the clear product of a modern master. Expect it to haunt you for a very long time to come.

The novella is limited to just 750 signed numbered hardcover copies and, thanks to those guys at Sub Press, we’ve got 10 copies available at £35. Go get one, pilgrim!

Just in from CD is SMALL WORLD by Tabitha King.

Roger Tinker is an evil genius with a machine that can work a terrible miracle . . .

When Leyna Shaw awoke, she was aware that something was different—terribly different. First she looked down at her tall, lovely body and saw no change. Then she looked around the room. It took her a moment to recognize it.

It was the White House bedroom.

Then she saw the Eye. And the Hand. The hand came to touch her as Leyna screamed and screamed . . .

This title—with original cover artwork by Caniglia—is  already sold out from CD and we have just nine copies available . . . So don’t delay ordering. The price is £45 plus postage.

And now I’ll hand over to Nicky for an up-to-the-minute note on where we’re at with other projects.

NIGHT SHIFT: I’ve had quite a few emails about this title. The books are being delivered to Nigel at Shore Books and Design to have the signing sheets tipped in, and MacCarthy’s will be working flat out to produce the slipcases. As I mentioned before, the cases will be delivered in batches so that we can start posting out copies as soon as possible. Unfortunately, I don’t think this will happen for another three weeks.

The signed and slipcased copies of . . .

BEST NEW HORROR #27 have now had their signing sheets tipped in and will be delivered to us on Friday (ie. today as you read this).

Meanwhile, MacCarthy’s are busy working on the slipcase.

The signing sheets for . . .

TALES FROM THE MISKATONIC UNIVERSITY LIBRARY are still out there being signed by the fourteen contributors.

Stephen Baxter’s long awaited XEELEE: ENDURANCE is very close, having being sent to the printers, as have THE BOOK CLUB by Alan Baxter and RED SNOW by Ian R. MacLeod.

And finally . . .

Copies of the sold-out two volume slipcased edition of SOLAR PONS have now had their signing sheets tipped in and will be delivered to the warehouse on Friday (again, today as you read this) and MacCarthy’s is in the middle of the slipcase manufacture, putting the blocking on the front.

So as you can see, it might be a good idea if Gill, James and Michael MacCarthy forget about getting any sleep for the next five or six weeks although I’m not sure they would agree with me.

Back to Pete.

Sleep? It’s over-rated.

Okay that’s it for this week. There are still a few things I’m holding off announcing and I’ll keep on holding until we get a few sticking titles delivered out to all you lovely folks who have been waiting so patiently. Not long now.

In the meantime, have a great weekend, look after each other and don’t forget to put the clocks forward an hour to mark the arrival of British Summertime. Yay! Get those shorts out!

Have fun . . . and happy reading.

Pete

PS. Almost forgot.

If anyone is planning on attending the STOKER CONVENTION in late April there’ll be an absolute shipload of PS titles up for grabs at MYSTERIOUS GALAXY’s stands in the dealers area. Carole and Mike just organized thirty-three boxes to go out this afternoon. (Well, we were worried you might not have anything to read!)
See ya!

PS Publishing

Grosvenor House, 1 New Road

Hornsea, HU18 1HG

Contact Phone 01964 537575

Website www.pspublishing.co.uk

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