Whoa, Nellie . . .

We’re getting close now—so close I can smell it . . . a heady amalgam of mince pies, sausages wrapped in bacon, and Chrstmas pudding topped with white brandy sauce. And gee whiz, not before time. it’s seemed that the past few weeks slowed right down to near on walking pace and the team here at the Towers is ready and raring to go. How about you folks?

Kicking off this week, it’s nice to see we’re still getting reviews

And glowing ones to boot—on titles that may have been around a goodly while. And, of course, there’s no statute of limitations on top quality material and for those who maybe don’t know, David Hambling’s THE DULWICH HORROR And other stories is truly mighty fine. And then some. And so it’s particularly gratifying to come across this booster from therenaissancetroll.blogspot.

“I must admit, when I first came across THE DULWICH HORROR, I was wary. The title, being such an obvious play on H.P. Lovecraft’s famous ‘The Dunwich Horror’, put me in mind of the worst Lovecraft pastiches, and I’ve read enough of those in my life.
    “That said, the reviews were good, it had a forward by S.T. Joshi, who is no slouch when it comes to identifying good weird fiction, and the publisher PS Publishing tends to put out good stuff, so I decided to give it a go. I’m really glad I did.
    “As it turns out, ‘The Dulwich Horror’, which leads off the anthology is one of the best pieces of weird fiction I’ve read in a long time. It is Lovecraftian, but Hambling puts enough of his own spin on it to keep it from being pastiche. Partly this is achieved by the setting, 1927 London, and the characters, a bunch of newly-graduated Oxford intellectuals, and partly through his particular way of describing Cthulhu and other Great/Old/Ancient/Alien entities. He really managed to convince me that these creatures could be living just outside our reality, almost hiding in the cracks of our mathematics and science. Hambling is a skilful writer.
    “While it is true that none of the rest of the stories can quite live up to that first one, there is not a bad story in the lot. All of the stories are vaguely connected, but the book is at its best in the three stories that are connected by the central character of The Dulwich Horror. It is unusual to see reoccurring characters in true Mythos fiction (or obvious reasons), but again, Hambling pulls it off, and even provides a believable and unusual ending. In fact, I think the book could have just included those three tales, and I would have been just as happy.
    “It’s a good anthology and it would stand proudly on any weird fiction collector’s shelf.”

And we’re doing a last minute special offer for fans of the dark and gloomy Lovecraftian universe

Pick up a signed copy of THE DULWICH HORROR for the same price as the regular unsigned edition . . . just £20 and post-free. What’s that you say, Melin? Yeah, it cetainly does look like Christmas don’t it.

Last weekend, following my informal chat with Ramsey Campbell at the Liverpool branch of Waterstones . . .

Nicky and I had a whole evening’s worth of rooting through umpteen book- and DVD-filled shelves at Ramsey and Jenny’s manse in Wallasey. Kids, I tell you this: there’s only one problem staying Chez Campbell and that’s having to leave.

Nicky recorded the exchange—about an hour’s running time, with a whole host of questions and comments from fans and professionals alike, Including Stephen Jones, Stephen King and Stephen Volk . . . And we even managed to to get some input from a few folks who WEREN’T called Stephen. See, ya missed a goodie, Jack. Try harder next time. The whole shebang was passed on to Tamsin.

Here you go. And at the end, Tamsin included some reponses to questions that didn’t maker it onto the tapes.

  • 3.01 Standing with Ramsey, waiting for a train to the city centre, watching our wives feverishly chatting. Then one of us—not sure which one—said (quietly, so that the girls didn’t hear) which one of our pairs would go first (Ramsey or Jenny, Nicky or me). . . and which situation would be the worst—the person left or the person first to go (the leaver or the leavee, if you will). At which point I wondered if there was anything to come after. And Ramsey said that he and I should agree to do everything in our power to make contact from beyond the grave. And we shook hands as the train approached. Since then, in a variety of cities and even countries and over a veritable range of fine wine and stupendous food, we’ve continued the debate. And I now ask this of the great man. Ramsey, do you simply hope that something comes after or do you believe it will? Which, in turn, brings me to ask do you believe in all the ghosties and goulies we both of us write about? And if you do then surely you must also believe in all the trappings of religion, yes? And similarly, all fervent churchgoers must equally passionately believe in, say, THE EXORCIST. Ramsey?

—Pete Crowther

  • 07.39 Why aren't your books more popular in the United States? I've always felt that you were superior to Stephen King (not knocking his books; they are fun to read, but yours really rock).  It can't be because you are from Liverpool; the U.S. went crazy for the Beatles. Just a curious American. Thanks.    

—Dennis Henley

  • 10.21 Thank God for Ramsey Campbell, who came into my reading life just as I was starting to think that modern British horror began with Guy N. Smith and ended with James Herbert. I guess I’m curious about the genesis of THE OVERNIGHT, which in some ways seems rather unlike the usual Ramsey Campbell book. I’d like to know about the seed of the idea, and how he rates it now in the overall spectrum of his work. 

—Stephen King

  • 19.09 A rather somber question for Ramsey: It feels as though we have been losing a startling number of the older generation of dark fantasy writers these past few years. Whose voices do you miss the most?

—Rich Chizmar

  • 22.30 As a movie lover, if a film of your life was made who would you want to play you?
  • 23.30 What’s your favourite character you’ve ever written – and which was your least favourite to write?

—Paul Kane

  • 26.52 Have you had any 'supernatural' experiences and if yes, have you incorporated them into your fiction?

—Angela Slatter

  • 30.40 THE GRIN OF THE DARK is the only book I can recall reading in at least the past decade that actually got under my skin. It’s one of the most unsettling books I’ve ever read. What do you think is the most unsettling thing you’ve written and what’s the most unsettling thing you’ve read in the past decade?

—Christopher Golden

  • 33.24 These days your premiere publisher in the UK is Peter Crowther’s independent press, PS Publishing. They do lovely books, but how does that make you feel after more than fifty years as a published writer? Are you angry or disappointed that you are no longer published here by a mainstream press, or is that just the way of things now?

—Stephen Jones

  • 34.03 How do horror writers respond to, and best reflect, a world of Brexit and Trump? Does horror fiction have a responsibility to confront these issues or does the social and political landscape adversely affect the nature of the tale?  

—James Cooper

  • 36.00 As someone who has known Ramsey for 50 years, you're probabaly right to approach me! He's good on his childhood and his strained relationship with his mother; although you're in my native city and have to be careful, you might ask if he ever feels isolated from the London scene where so many of the key genre writers hang out; perhaps something about how he first got published and his relationship with August Derleth; he was always a keen opponent of censorship, so it might be worth asking how he feels our current era where everything has the latent possibility of giving offence to someone...

—Barry Forshaw

  • 37.44 What is your biggest love, the written word or film?
  • 43.54 If someone adapts a novel or short story (famous or otherwise) would you rather see them adapt it literally, or take into account the leap from the page into a different medium? You might want to give examples in your reply (e.g. The Shining. M R James?)  

—Stephen Volk

  • 48.37 In the novelette THE LAST REVELATION OF GLA'AKI Ramsey revisited his youthful creation and gave it both a bright new shiny apostrophe and a much improved and presumably axe-proof numinous presence.  He returned to Daoloth, mysterious entity of the early story RENDER OF THE VEILS, and granted that being a truly cosmic make-over in the fantastic horror trilogy THE THREE BIRTHS OF DAOLOTH. Are there any other plans in that direction? Should we expect a resurgence someday from sinister Y'golonac or cryptic Eihort, given new form and abilities by the added experience of their creator?   


  • 50.05 One complaint I've frequently read or heard from readers and critics is that horror novels have an engrossing beginning and middle, then a weak, ineffectual conclusion. You've discussed the problems you've had with some of the endings to past novels (e.g. The Doll Who Ate His Mother, The Parasite, and The Nameless). I'm curious if you've encountered difficulties in writing satisfying conclusions to any of your recent novels?

—Adam Adamson

1.00.00 Reading from THE WAY OF THE WORM


But it hasn’t all been Ramsey. Oh no.

Over in Australia, Janeen Webb's gorgeous novella, THE DRAGON’S CHILD provided a great start to the festive season when it had its Australian launch in Janeen’s local community. The event was hosted by YEP gallery, and proceedings began with an introduction to the PS Australia line by the inimitable Jack Dann.

Janeen gave a reading, followed by a lively Q&A session moderated by fellow author Andrew Enstice. Special guests included Gerry Huntman, of IFGW Publishing, YA author Liz (E.V.) Farrell, and ceramics artist Trevor Smith. Friends and neighbours rubbed shoulders with published, emerging and beginning writers: champagne flowed, books were signed, and a good time was had by all . . . And I went and missed it! Sheesh, I’m never at the right place these days!

Photos courtesy of Samantha Zeller

Orders update.

In closing, we’re gonna try our hardest to get all orders sent out so’s you have something to read over Christmas but I have to tell you it could be there’ll be a few stragglers that won’t make it up the path to your door until way after Santa and the elves high-tail it back to the North Pole. But let’s just see how it all pans out.

Okay, that’s about it.

We’ll be signing off next week with a PS Christmas card created by our chum Pete Von Sholly . . . Meanwhile, courtesy of Don Maitz, here’s a little tease of something heading your way. Stay loose, kids—things are about to get crazy.


PS Publishing

Grosvenor House, 1 New Road, Hornsea
United Kingdom