“His eyes glowed with the light that shines in the darkest centers of the planet and he saw the way the mother cared for her young: the worms, the roots of plants, the rivers that cascaded for miles over great cliffs in enormous caverns, the bark of trees. He was taken once more to the bosom of that great Earth mother, and understood the joy of her life.”

Harlan Ellison, from ‘The Deathbird’

For my money, that’s a pretty obvious way to kick off this week’s Newsletter . . .

. . . with a slice of Harlan, served up mouthwateringly fine and sumptuous, and boasting a dizzying array of excerpts to come inside, all of them geared up as we to go to print in the looming shadow of

But there are many more samples to be had. And those few opening lines from Harlan merely lead the way, giving just a taster of Preston Grassmann’s THE UNQUIET DREAMER, a celebration of all things Ellison. It still seems a funny world bereft as it is of Harlan playing in it and this rather epic anthology paves the way for both that book and this week’s newsletter. And all the goodies therein. If it is as they say that a picture is worth a thousand words then you might well have a trilogy to consider below.

Yes, what a crazy day it’s been, and no denying.

The first big upheaval took place when a beleagured and somewhat drenched to the bone brace of delivery men turned up at the main doors of the Towers, peering myopically over the pair of rather battered piles of boxes which they were toting . . . a veritable treasure trove containing CD’s monumental edition of Owen and Stephen King’s SLEEPING BEAUTIES.

And when I say ‘monumental’ I am most assuredly not exaggerating. Nossir, what a piece of work it truly is. I tell you this, that’s a good way to start any day and brighten the recent day-long drizzle that’s lashed the old cobbled streets of Hornsea, running excitedly down the ancient walls of the church that abuts onto the still grand PS Towers.

No sooner had the boxes been emptied than Carole and her crew set to preparing the mail-out, checking order pages with a view to get things pretty well sorted out pronto and most of the orders consigned to the willing hands of the UK’s Royal Mail.

Yes, we’re aiming to pepper all of this year’s upcoming conventions with copies of as many new titles as we can muster

Here, for instance, we’ve mustered up a few lines from Stephen Volk’s COFFINMAKER’S BLUES, a compedium of articles, essays and recollections from one of the best.

“I’ve been thinking about it. Death is tough. Or, as the Comedy writer said on his deathbed, “No, death is easy, Comedy is hard.” And ghost stories are a bugger.
     I’m in the middle of writing a series of four one-hour dramas for ITV called Afterlife, so examining what makes ghost stories work (and not work) on film is something that’s been preoccupying me of late.
     From the outset, the first headache for a writer is screen time. Whilst there are hundreds of memorable short stories in the genre, like The Ash Tree and O Whistle and I’ll Come to You, My Lad, there are many fewer novels and full-length features. That’s because ghost stories are basically anecdotal in nature. Just as ghosts are a rare occurrence in real life, they’re best seen as a brief occurrence in the life of fictional characters, often a single incident. And as length expands, for a movie, believability stretches too.
     Then there are the core dramatic questions. Who sees the ghost and why? What does the ghost want? How do you kill or get rid of something dead? How (in Hollywood) to give the hero a Redemptive Character Arc, and still keep the ending scary? (Thank you, Sixth Sense.)

—From TALKING BLOOD (TTA #39; Autumn 2004)

And staying with Electric Dreamhouse, here’s a sliver of strangeness from author Kit Power’s Foreword to his wonderfully entertaining TOMMY

"For this book I have consulted the following sources: Ken Russell’s autobiography, Pete Townshends autobiography, The Story Of Tommy by Richard Barnes and Pete Townshend, Tommy—Pocket Movie Guide by Jeremy Mark Robinson, the commentary track and inter- view extras on the Tommy DVD, The Who Live in Hyde Park 2017 concert and interview movie, and various other interviews with Townshend and Daltrey on TV and YouTube. I am also grateful to many, many people for a series of conversations about the movie that helped clarify my thoughts, and feedback on various drafts of this book, including Matt and Cort Psyops of the Cinema Psyops podcast, Johnny Mains, David Baume, Neil Snowdon, Jack Graham, James Murphy, Samaya Lune, Daeron Wilson, Sharon Power, and especially Daniel Harper and Lee Russell of the They Must Be Destroyed On Sight! podcast, without whom you would likely not be reading this at all.

"And most of all, of course, the movie itself—a movie I have watched many, many times, and continue to watch, with a powerful mixture of fascination, awe and horror.
All that said, Russell’s approach to filmic biography was simple: tell the story, and let the facts fall where they may—or as another great British eccentric put it ‘all of the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order’. I intend to honor his approach throughout, by following his example.

"This is not a history. This is my story."

Now take a sneak-peek at this delightful, even languid peep inside the promised distress and disturbance of We Are Cult.

And here’s a new name you should be hearing more from and about as time goes by: Allister Timms and his forthcoming novel from PS, THE KILLING MOON, resplendent with Daniele Sera’s artwork with Danny still recovering from the awesome job he did on the three-book edition of Stephen King’s THE TOMMYKNOCKERS.

Max was so afraid to crush the eggs he hardly slept. But it was warm and safe in the chicken coop, not like the house. Sometimes he tried to sleep with his favorite hen tucked beneath his arm, to keep him warm, but the fowl clucked and then pecked, drawing little spots of blood, so Max let her go. But Max had learnt a trick. He grabbed the hen to him, turned her over on her back, and gently stroked her breast feathers. He kept stroking until she struggled no more. Max snuggled her warm body in his arms, sensing her racing heart beneath her tiny wishbone.
     On those nights when Max couldn’t sleep, he would stare at the three roosting chickens, listen to their untroubled clucks, and try to fall asleep. But when the sight of his dark, squat house through the slat of the coop made him shiver, he would light the fat finger of tallow, its tiny flame like a whispering tongue in the dust and feathers of his new home. And then he would cover another side of the coop with images that haunted him.

This one is going to run, you warriors.

This one too, edited by our old friend Darrell Schweitzer—THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS REVEALED

. . . .featuring once again the stunning artwork of J.K.Potter and coming blustering and hot (or at least warm) on the heels of TALES FROM THE MISKATONIC UNIVERSITY LIBRARY, of which copies are still available, literary luminaries, so go get ‘em.

In his celebrated novella “At the Mountains of Madness,” H.P. Lovecraft told of the discovery of a vast, alien city buried under the ice in Antarctica: millions of years old, filled with shocking secrets about the history of life on Earth, and not entirely uninhabited. But after the Miskatonic University expedition of 1930 came to a disastrous end and further exploration was either discouraged or suppressed, the city of the Elder Things slept once more, and the world seemed safe from whatever the Mountains of Madness still harbored. Danforth, the last survivor to look back, saw something he never could describe, that made him lose his mind…
Now, decades later, ice caps are melting and glaciers are retreating. Global warming is an observable fact. That which was once hidden is hidden no longer. So what happens when that horror-filled city of Elder Things and shoggoths is in plain sight, its existence impossible to deny? How will mankind deal with the realization that we are not the only intelligent species on the planet, and that we are masters of the Earth only by sheer chance? Now that something is stirring, that mastery may be coming to an end.
What happens next? Denial? Exploitation? The rise of strange cults? Maybe even an ill-advised attempt at tourism? Or will the cosmic forces now awakened engulf the entire planet?
     Here are some of the answers: stories by Adrian Cole, Gordon Linzner, James Chambers, Melinda LaFevers, John R. Fultz, Harry Turtledove, James Van Pelt, Robert M. Price, Don Webb, John Shirley, Paul Di Filippo, Frederic S. Durbin, John Linwood Grant, Geoffrey Hart, Amdi Silvestri, Géza A.G. Reilly, and Darrell Schweitzer. Verse by Ann K. Schwader and Adam Bolivar.
The Mountains of Madness . . . revealed.

As you know, we have recently published MAGPIE’S LADDER by Richard A. Kirk.

Only last week, Richard sent us a lovely short video about this title and following on from this we couldn’t resist letting you see some of the interior artwork that he’s done for this incredible collection.

Great to encounter someone who is as skilled and adept with keyboard and quill as he is with paintbrush and pen. Take a`look-see right here.


Just a little space to give mention to the passing of Doctor John . . .

. . . whose album THE NIGHT TRIPPER I bought with my friend Paul (a regular visitor to the Newsletter) half a century ago at Vallances record shop in Leeds. I wrote a story some time later (‘Songs of Leaving’) in which I had Doctor John and other special folks ‘appear’ off camera, at an end of the world party thus:

"Somewhere over in the town, they can hear Dr John playing 'Such A Night'."

I can’t tell you more cos it’ll give away the story. If anyone wants to read the whole thing then drop me a line editor@pspublishing.co.uk and I’ll either send it as an email attachment or have Tamsin put it up on our blog site. (Gilded splinters indeed—Happy Trails, Doc.)

Enjoy the somewhat damp weather, look after each other and happy reading.

Seaside hugs from the greensward!


PS Publishing

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United Kingdom