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Crumbs, these are troubling times and no denying.

And for sure, some of us have not been dealt the best of hands to play. If you're suffering, or have those close to you suffering, our thoughts and prayers go with you. I'm sure we'll all pull through in time and there’s always a sliver of light on even the darkest day. Take this, for instance . . . which just goes to prove you meet some fine folks in this nutty business, I kid you not.

Why, just a half-hour ago I was locked into a telephone conversation with regular customer Fred Spera with Fred enthusiastically praising our latest deluxe Stephen King volume, THE TOMMYKNOCKERS chattering away like I’d known him all my life even though he hangs his hat in Pennsylvania someplace and here I am a shoe’s throw from the North Sea

We regularly get calls and letters and emails and postcards and Get Well cards and bunches of flowers when Nicky was shingling (which she still is, alas). Heck, I think we even received a few orders! —whoo0 hoo! I love it. And Fred isn’t the only one, nossir.

Take this one!

A few days ago we received a twenty-first birthday card noted inside thus:

“Happy 21st Birthday, 31 March 1999—31 March 2020”) with the additional inscription “To Pete, Nicky, Mike, Sheryl, Tamsin and all the authors and artists, copy editors and proofreaders at PS . . . love from ** *****’"

There’s the rub. Who sent it? Hey, don’t get me wrong—I’m all for anonymity and even more for surprises but I’m intrigued. So please please PLEASE drop me a line and let me know. The only proof I’ll need is what you wrote in the ‘Love from' sign-off . . . just two words. And then we’ll swap things around and instead of you giving US a present, we’ll give one to you. So don’t forget to include your address . . . and warn your mail person that something’s coming.

Heh, I’d forgotten all about the 21 years we’ve been doing this—thanks a bunch. And I guess I need to send many happy returns to my old chum Simon Conway, the original ‘S’ in PS Publishing, before Simon flew the coop to the USA where he is now a talk-show host for Iowa station WHO-AM.

So. a happy birthday to you, too, Simes. Have a great weekend.

Just one new book to tease you with today and it’s a total doozy.

THE RETROSPECTIVE, the second volume of Ramsey Campbell’s & OTHER PHANTASMAGORICAL STORIES with interior illustrations by PS fave, Glenn Chadbourne.

The funny thing about Ramsey—actually ONE of the funny things about Ramsey (he’s a great friend and Nicky and I spend a lot of time with him and Jenny) is that you think you know all of his stuff, both stories and novels, but then whoa, Nellie. And that is nowhere more apposite than right now and right here. I would have sworn that I’ve read all of his stories, any of them more than once or twice but nope.

Like this opening from "The Alternative"

Highton was driving past the disused hospital when the car gave up. On the last fifty miles of motorway he had taken it slow, earning himself glances of pity mingled with hostility from the drivers of the Jaguars and Porsches. As he came abreast of the fallen gates the engine began to grate as though a rusty chunk of it were working itself loose, and the smell of fumes grew urgently acrid. The engine died as soon as he touched the brake.

A wind which felt like shards of the icy sun chafed the grass in the overgrown grounds of the hospital as he climbed out of the Vauxhall, rubbing his limbs. He was tempted to leave the car where it was, but the children who smashed windows were likely to set fire to it if he abandoned it overnight. Grasping the wheel with one hand and the crumbling edge of the door with the other, he walked the car home through the housing estate.

All the windows closest to the hospital were boarded up. Soon he encountered signs of life, random windows displaying curtains or, where the glass was broken, cardboard. A pack of bedraggled dogs roamed the estate, fighting over scraps of rotten meat, fleeing yelping out of the communal entrances of the two-storey concrete blocks.

Or this, from "Going Under"

Blythe had shuffled almost to the ticket booth when he knew he should have sent Lydia her money. Beyond the line of booths another phalanx of walkers, some of them wearing slogans and some not a great deal else, advanced towards the tunnel under the river. While he’d failed to pocket the envelope, he never left his phone at home, and given the pace at which walkers were being admitted to the tunnel, which was closed to traffic for its anniversary, he should have plenty of time to complete a call before he reached the wide semicircular concrete mouth, rendered whiter by the July sun. As he unfolded the phone and tapped his home number on the keyboard the men on either side of him began jogging on the spot, an action which the left-hand man accompanied with a series of low hollow panting hoots. The phone rang five times and addressed Blythe in his own voice.
    “Valerie Mason and Steve Blythe. Whatever we’re doing, it’s keeping us away from the phone, so please leave your name and number and the date and time and we’ll tell you what we were up to when we call you back...” Though the message was less than six months old, it and Valerie’s giggle at the end of it sounded worn by too much playback. Once the beep had stuttered four times on the way to uttering its longer tone, he spoke.
     “Val? Valerie? It’s me. I’m just about to start the tunnel walk. Sorry we had a bit of a tiff, but I’m glad you didn’t come after all. You were right, I should send her the maintenance and then object. Let them have to explain to the court instead of me. Are you in the darkroom? Come  and find out who this is, will you? Don’t just listen if you’re hearing me. Be fair.”
     Quite a pack jogged between the booths at that moment, the man to his immediate left taking time to emit a triumphal hoot before announcing to the ticket seller “Aids for AIDS.” Blythe turned his head and the phone to motion the woman behind him to pass, because if he stopped talking for more than a couple of seconds the machine would take him to have rung off, but the official in the booth ahead of him poked out his head, which looked squashed flat by his peaked cap. “Quick as you can. Thousands more behind you.”

And this absolute classic taster from "The Long Way"

It must have been late autumn. Because everything was bare I saw inside the house.
    Dead leaves had been scuttling around me all the way from home. A chill wind kept trying to shrink my face. The sky looked thin with ice, almost as white as the matching houses that made up the estate. Some of the old people who’d been rehoused wouldn’t have known where they were on it except for the little wood, where my uncle Philip used to say the council left some trees so they could call it the Greenwood Estate. Nobody was supposed to be living in the three streets around the wood when I used to walk across the estate to help him shop.
    So many people in Copse View and Arbour Street and Shady Lane had complained about children climbing on trees and swinging from ropes and playing hide and seek that the council put a fence up, but then teenagers used the wood for sex and drink and drugs. Some dealers moved into Shady Lane, and my uncle said it got shadier, and the next road turned into Cops View. He said the other one should be called A Whore Street, though my parents told him not to let me hear. Then the council moved all the tenants out of the triangle, even the old people who’d complained about the children, and boarded up the houses. By the time I was helping my uncle, people had broken in.

All three of them are vintage Campbell and each is a fine example of a Ramsey tale that is new to me—or seems such. They CAN’T be new to me of course because I’ve read them all—I know I have but then how does one account for this lapse. But treat yourselves and read these three stories and the remaining thirty. And maybe even give a second read to volume one of PHANTASMAGORICAL STORIES (THE COMPANION) or, of course, the newly updated RAMSEY CAMPBELL, PROBABLY which, for my money, simply cannot be read too many times.

And now I’ll hand you over to Nicky for her weekly Newsround. Take it away, Nicky.

Nicky's Newsround

Well, it’s business as usual over here at PS Towers. As long as orders come in we will endeavour to wrap and post them out. We are all coordinating with each other so at any one time there is only one person working in the Unit. We are washing our hands and disinfecting everything that is touched. So far so good. Mike is keeping an eagle eye on the Royal Mail reports making sure that parcels will still be getting through to you. We certainly don’t want mailbags of parcels suddenly having to take an enforced holiday in an airport somewhere.

So on to some good news . . .

MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS REVEALED edited by Darrell Schweitzer signing sheet 2 (sheet number one is complete) is on it’s way to John R. Fultz and once John has signed them, they will be coming back to us at PS Towers. YEH!!! Or maybe that should be yeh! Never count your signing sheets until they arrive . . . or something like that.

The final person to sign sheet number one of THE UNQUIET DREAMER edited by Preston Grassman is Kaaron Warren who lives in Australia. She has emailed me to let me know they have arrived. Once she has signed they will be travelling back over here via the best post possible.

Unfortunately, we are still a little behind with the second sheet but I know where they are which is a big plus let me tell you! Steven Barnes has them and he’s posting them back to us here so that we can take a breath before we start on the final leg. There are not many signatures needed and if special post continues we will send them out again, but I won’t be doing it until I’m certain they are going to be safe.

Pallets of books have been arriving at the Unit.

THE BROOD by Steve R.  Bissette along with the unsigned edition of Paul Kane’s THE STORM came last week. And this week, we have taken delivery of DEAD TROUBLE AND OTHER GHOST STORIES by Aidan Chambers and THE HEART IS A MIRROR FOR SINNERS a collection from Angela Slatter. Both of these are the unsigned edition only.


A Supernatural / Horror COLLECTION — Unsigned Jacketed Hardcover £25. A signed and numbered edition in a slipcase and limited to 100 copies is also available for £45.


A COLLECTION of Horror, Fantasy and the Supernatural — Unsigned Jacketed Hardcover £25. A signed and numbered edition in a slipcase and limited to 100 copies is also available for £35.

Signed editions of all the above titles are with Biddles waiting to have their sheets tipped in. THE BEST OF DARRELL SCHWEITZER Vol 1 and 2 are in the middle of being bound at the printers. Also the two anthologies from S.T.Joshi HIS OWN MOST FANTASTIC COLLECTION and APOSTLES OF THE WEIRD are with the printers.

We are also working on the slipcases for THE BEST OF JEFFREY FORD and THE COMPLETE RYNOSSEROS by Terry Dowling.

And finally, we are aware that we have a couple of Deluxe Lettered editions that customers have pre-ordered to crack on with. We have not forgotten them.

Many thanks again to all you lovely people for purchasing our books ! And now I must go down to cook something for Pete or else I’ll be in trouble.

Anyway . . . thanks, Nicky.

Just room and time left to wish all of you well. We all stood on our doorsteps at 8pm last evening clapping and cheering for all the wonderful people who are still working on the frontline of our health services to see us through the crisis. Keep your strength, look after each other and happy reading.

Hugs and much love from the greensward!


PS Publishing

Grosvenor House, 1 New Road, Hornsea
United Kingdom

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