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As I started to put fingers to the keyboard a few minutes ago—called to my office by the church spire outside my window for the opening of this week’s newsletter—I reflected on how the UK is once again in that situation of great uncertainty. And we look for our comfort zones and reach for things that are familiar.

So it was this morning, just a half-hour earlier, sitting on the seafront and drinking coffee while taking stock of the various newspaper headlines, a familiar face smiled at me from the front page of The Times newspaper—none other than Bill Bryson standing in some woods clutching a map, having decided—it transpired—to step down and retire. In fact, he’s been doing this for a while now because of the virus restrictions and it seems as though he’s started to enjoy himself too much.

Hurrah, I said much to the surprise of a passing elderly couple (even more elderly than myself) before hi-tailing it back to the Towers to begin this week’s scribble which, I’m frequently told by many of you are worth your time.

And so it begins.

With the now immortal words “I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to”, the whirlwind travel writer cum raconteur Bill Bryson launched a career and entertained readers with a plethora of tales and recollections. More followed, including these: “More than 300 million people in the world speak English and the rest, it sometimes seems, try to.” Or “We used to build civilizations. Now we build shopping malls.”

A personal fave from yours truly came when Bryson performed at a branch of Waterstones Bookshop (in those dim and distant days when we HAD bookshops) in the Yorkshire town of Leeds where I lived at the time. “You travel extensively,” some wag in the audience chirruped. “Are there any places you would never go back to?” Without so much as a second’s hesitation, Bryson smiled. “That’s an easy one,” he said. ”The Comet shop in Skipton.”

And so the story ends and all that’s left for us to do is retrieve the books from the shelves and read 'em all again . . . seeing as how anyone who professes to have already devoured them will surely have spent much of the time laughing loudly. “And so it is in terms of adaptability, humans are pretty amazingly useless,” he wrote in A SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING. Well, maybe so, at least for a few of us. But not you, Bill, never you.

And now for something else entirely.

Talking about familiar things, where would we all be without the next volume in Stephen Jones’s remarkable and long-running BEST NEW HORROR volume . . . Number 30!! So without further ado, let's see what he's got in store for us this time around.


"Strange Tales of Fear and Superstition" tops the cover of the 30th incarnation of an annual 'must have' read for all fans of Horror fiction. 

And if the content of this year's BEST NEW HORROR is anything to go by, it is clear that thirty years of painstaking compilation and analysis of all things horror has not blunted editor Stephen Jones's (pictured right courtesy of Mandy Slater) appetite for terrifically terrifying tales.

"The enduring popularity of the Jones 'Best of' empire across three decades shows that readers of quality horror are an intellectually sophisticated audience."

—Clare Rhoden
AUREALIS #134, 2020

Deluxe Signed Slipcased edition £60

The signature sheets are already doing the rounds for our bumper deluxe hardcover edition so we're well ahead of the usual production curve on this one.

Housed in an illustrated slipcase and signed by all contributors, this edition is limited to just 100 copies and—as with all previous editions—is likely to sell through very quickly, especially as we are offering the trade paperback edition alongside at no extra charge.

Trade Paperback edition £14.99

So, there you have it, you can enjoy this superb collection and keep your collectible signed hardcover edition blemish- and crease-free.

And the good news . . . is that we are well on track for having the trade paperback edition available for a Halloween launch.

Of course, we're going to urge you to grab a copy now—and why wouldn't we?—but first take a moment to look over the contributors and make up your own minds.

"From the Introduction to the diversity of the stories to the Necrology at the end, the whole content is outstanding."

—Helen Scott
Issue #12, Halloween Special 2019

Here's the full line up, which opens with a fulsome  Introduction of just about everything to do with horror in 2018, across all genre formats, and culminates with a comprehensive Necrology of the departed in those fields, by Stephen Jones and Kim Newman.

  • Introduction of Horror in 2018  STEPHEN JONES
  • The House  PETER BELL
  • Holiday Reading  ROSALIE PARKER
  • Resonant  Evil GRAHAM MASTERTON
  • The Deep Sea Swell  JOHN LANGAN
  • The Run of the Town  RAMSEY CAMPBELL
  • The Marvellous Talking Machine  ALISON LITTLEWOOD
  • Who’s Got the Button?  JAMES WADE
  • The Typewriter  RIO YOUERS
  • The Keepers of the Lighthouse  KEN MACKENZIE
  • The Hungry Grass  TRACY FAHEY
  • Ghostly Studies, Dr. Grace, and The Diodati Society  DANIEL McGACHEY
  • It Never Looks Like Drowning  DAMIEN ANGELICA WALTERS
  • The Window of Erich Zann  MICHAEL MARSHALL SMITH
  • Posterity  MARK SAMUELS
  • Octoberland  THANA NIVEAU
  • Porson’s Piece  REGGIE OLIVER
  • He Sings of Salt and Wormwood  BRIAN HODGE
  • Virginia Story  CAITLÍN R. KIERNAN
  • The Virgin Mary Well  PETER BELL

An incredible array of talent! If you've yet to join the BNH gang—surely not!—this year's selections are right up there.

And if your not entirely convinced, why not dip your toes and tentacles, and take advantage of some tantalizingly tempting deals on previous editions of BEST NEW HORROR.

Nicky's Newsround

So here’s a quick update of all titles on pre-order.

Nearly all the orders for the signed edition of STUDIO OF SCREAMS (four novellas involving Stephen R. Bissette, Mark Morris, Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon) have been sent out. More will be posted out early next week.

We’ve had a slight problem with the endpapers of the signed edition of ITERATIONS, the fourth and final book in the Kon-Tiki Quartet by Eric Brown and Keith Brooke. They are back at the printers having a make-over. I don’t think they will be too long.

We now have the traycases in stock for the deluxe edition of GASLIGHTS, GHOSTS, AND GHOULS: A Centenary Celebration of R. Chetwynd-Hayes edited by Stephen Jones. We are waiting for the signing sheets to arrive and then they will be going to Biddles to be tipped in along with the special piece of manuscript.

I was on the phone with Gillian at MacCarthy’s yesterday for an update about the various slipcases that have been ordered.

At the moment they are completing the foiling on the slipcase for RETROSPECTIVE AND OTHER PHANTASMAGORICAL STORIES by Ramsey Campbell, so she thinks we will have them early week beginning the 26th October. I also talked about the slipcase for the final edition of WE ALL HEAR STORIES IN THE DARK by Robert Shearman. Unfortunately, they are not going to be ready for a while yet. Gillian explained that they have almost caught up with the backlog of orders that built up during their closure but they were clearly still working at it.

As soon as I have more encouraging news about this edition I will let you know. I guess we can only be thankful that they are still open for business.

The two signing sheets for the anthology HIS MOST FANTASTIC CREATION edited by S.T.Joshi are now with Nigel at Biddles. So I’m hoping they will be with us in the next couple of weeks.

We’ve had loads of enquiries about THE DEAD ZONE by Stephen King. Nigel at Biddles has got the signing sheets and the book will be going over from TJ Books very soon to have the sheets tipped in. Once again, I’m waiting to hear from MacCarthy’s as to when they will be able to start delivering the cases for the books.

Finally, the second signing sheet for UNQUIET DREAMER: A Tribute to Harlan Ellison edited by Preston Grassmann is on its way to Anna Tambour in Australia. It was collected on the 9th and the tracking tells me that it hasn’t even left the country yet . . . Yikes! Even more sleepless nights.

Oh yes! Those of you who have been waiting for a reprint of the trade paperback of WE ALL HEAR STORIES IN THE DARK will be pleased to know that they arrived this morning.

I think that’s everything for now. A quick reminder that if you have ordered titles published by another publisher then please go to their website to find out production dates.

If I have any other news from them I will pass it on.

And now, back to Pete for his sign off.

And that really is the lot . . .

(seeing as how Nicky pretty much almost used all the space with her roundup). SHEESH!

Things continue to be pretty hectic and all of us here at PS are grateful big-time for your continuing support. It means a lot. Heck,  a lot’? We loves ya to bits. Look after each other and do as you’re told by the experts. Big hugs from the whole greensward team.



PS Publishing

Grosvenor House, 1 New Road, Hornsea
United Kingdom

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