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Filmmaker Sean Hogan once remarked to Barry Forshaw . . .

(when Barry—outside of Crime Time—was writing British Gothic Cinema): ‘I don’t deny that the Gothic tradition is part of my work, but it’s possible that it was so formative for me that I don’t even think about it now. Certainly, if you’d have asked me what I wanted to emulate when I was first setting out to make films, I would have said the 70s new wave of US horror. Those films made a massive impact on me when I was younger.’

It’s perhaps counterintuitive, then, that the writer’s provocatively entertaining ENGLAND'S SCREAMING (with a typically vivid jacket illustration by Graham Humphreys) is a complex celebration of an older generation of British horror films. The notion of the book is a piquant one: Hogan has forged fictional connections between the Duke de Richleau in the Terence Fisher film of The Devil Rides Out, the villainous Julian Carswell in Jacques Tourneur’s Night of the Demon and the razor-wielding Carol Ledoux in Polanski’s Repulsion, as well as many other similarly iconic British horror film protagonists, wielding these congruences into an overarching narrative of Albion-set macabre. The episodes here demonstrate cogently how these figures reflected the society from which they sprang.

Hogan’s versatility is further demonstrated with this book’s semi-sequel, THREE MOTHERS, ONE FATHER part of a series of micro-collections of macabre stories that are shot through with the approach to the genre that distinguishes Hogan’s work in a variety of idioms. It’s a shamelessly enjoyable collection. Thanks Barry, you'da man, find this review here:

And, here’s a link to an interview with Sean and Andrew Graves at Diabolique Magazine.

Meanwhile, according to reviewers, it seems like we can’t do anything wrong (leastways at the moment)

Here’s Patrick Mahon over at SF Crowsnest spreading praise on Eric Brown’s and Keith Brooke’s INSIGHTS, the third slice of the hugely popular KON TIKI QUARTET.

In INSIGHTS, PS Publishing have done the same excellent job on the book’s production and presentation, as with the previous two novellas, and the wraparound cover art by Ben Baldwin is sufficiently intriguing to almost force you to start reading.

The action takes place some two years after the dramatic conclusion of the previous story. We are still on the exoplanet Newhaven, orbiting a red dwarf star some fifty light years from Earth. Our protagonists, psychologist Kat Manning and exo-biologist Travis Denholme, have been working together since then, exploring the scientific and social implications of the extraordinary discovery Travis made while studying the largest creature yet found on the planet, the hill-sized geosaurs. The work has potentially huge implications for the entire colony and this has created tensions between the two of them. Travis has, in response, increasingly taken to drowning his worries in drink. Kat decides that it’s time to bring things to a head and demands a meeting with Travis at his research camp in the jungle, a few kilometres away from the main city.

While Kat is waiting for Travis to arrive, she is approached by not one but two strangers. Although the first of these, a guy called David Meyers, is friendly but over-inquisitive, the same can’t be said for the second man, who pulls a gun as soon as he’s identified her! It’s only quick thinking by Meyers that saves Kat’s life. As he runs off in pursuit of the escaping villain, Meyers tells Kat to contact Travis and warn him that he’s also in danger.

As Kat and Travis are forced to lay low, they wonder why, in the midst of humanity’s first attempt to colonise an alien planet, someone would want them both dead. Is it something to do with the discovery they’ve been working on? Who stands to gain or lose from that and who can they trust to help them stay alive?”

Who indeed.

As with any story that Eric Brown has a hand in, the primary focus of this novella is character. And the alien setting once again features as a major character in its own right.

INSIGHTS is an intriguing, thought-provoking continuation of the previous two volumes of the ‘Kon-Tiki Quartet’. I look forward to seeing how Keith Brooke and Eric Brown will conclude the series. Here’s a link to the full review of INSIGHTS at:

Thanks. And now as a special surprise and especially for Patrick Mahon

Here’s a teaser for Kon-Tiki Volume 4, ITERATIONS, now available for pre-order and handed to the proof readers this very day . . . and maybe as a special offer price on all four Kon-Tiki volumes as an extra enticement. I mean, how could you resist,

In the concluding novella of the Kon-Tiki Quartet the action moves from the colony world of Newhaven back to Earth. Two hundred and fifty years have passed since Kon-Tiki I set off for the stars, and Earth is a very different place. The ravages of climate change have taken their toll, and humankind's depleted population struggles to survive at primitive, subsistence levels, with the majority ruled over by a desperate elite who cling to power by utilising old and failing technology.

But all this is about to change when returnees bring with them the means of restoring equality to the human race—though there are some who will stop at nothing, including murder, to maintain the status quo.

Sound good to you folks? It's stupendous. Now all we have to do is come up with a follow-up! Yay! Does we loves ya? Whaddy-you think, Henry?!

Click on the above image to reserve your copy. Or, if you fancy all four in one fell swoop, we are doing a bundle that will save you some pennies with a one-off postage charge.

Nicky's Newsround

I’ve been in touch with the printers today and they have told me that copies of the unsigned edition of RETROSPECTIVE AND OTHER PHANTASMAGORICAL STORIES by Ramsey Campbell is going to land at the warehouse tomorrow.

So another relaxing Sunday for me . . . not!

As you know the unsigned edition of WARTS AND ALL is in stock and Mark is very pleased with it which is always a relief. We managed to get most of the orders posted last weekend but the remainder have been wrapped and will be posted either tonight or tomorrow.

Also coming soon is the unsigned edition of A FIERCE AND FERTILE TOMORROW by Darren Speegle.

That’s promised for the 6th June. For your interest, we are also publishing an anthology called PRISMS which is edited by Darren and Michael Bailey. It’s just been copy edited and I’ll be sending it over to them both to check. More about the contents later.

The files for WE ALL HEAR STORIES IN THE DARK by Rob Shearman are with the printers and we’ve been having discussions about which printing method to use, and which paper quality. We want to make sure Reggie Oliver’s artwork is presented in the best possible way. Mike has also designed a great signing library card for the signed hardcover edition and I’m just about to put in an order for that.

I’ve no new updates from our slipcase-makers yet but will let you know as soon as I hear something.

We haven’t forgotten that some of you are still waiting for the deluxe editions of certain titles. Mike is working on them at the same time as a whole long list of other things. I think the delay is caused by myself and Pete who email or phone him with the opening phrase “Mike, could you just . . .”

I heard from Scott Edelman that he had received the remaining signing sheet for UNQUIET DREAMER A tribute to Harlan Ellison edited by Preston Grassmann. At that point the parcel was in quarantine but hopefully it won’t be too long before he posts them on. I’m also waiting to hear from Biddles who have the job of tipping the signed sheets into our books. Hopefully, some signed editions will be coming our way very soon.

Okay, that’s it for this week

We’ve got a few special items heading your way but let’s leave those today. I hope you’re all of you making sense of the strangeness and getting plenty of healthy walks and fruit etc. Oh, and books, of course. Let’s not forget those.

Happy reading to you and yours everybody. Be safe. I keep looking for some familiar faces when I wander the seafront between six a.m. and half-past. Must’ve missed ya! Maybe tomorrow.

Hugs from the Seaside.


PS Publishing

Grosvenor House, 1 New Road, Hornsea
United Kingdom

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