It’s Wednesday as I write our weekly ramble.

We had a late start this morning as we travelled up to Scarborough yesterday evening to watch Alan Ayckbourn’s Birthdays Present, Birthdays Past.

This is his 8oth year, still writing plays and taking every opportunity to celebrate. The theatre was packed and it was wonderful to be surrounded by the audience’s love for his work. They were so obviously appreciating every moment and laughing out loud as the skilled actors delivered. 

As mentioned last week tomorrow evening (Thursday) PS will be helping Alan to celebrate another milestone when we launch his debut novel THE DIVIDE at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. Yaroo!

Anyway, on to other matters.

We have some news for you. Those among you who chose the deluxe version of Pete Von Sholly’s FANTASTIC FICTIONEERS will be getting more ‘bang for their bucks’ by having their copy customized for your personal pleasure. Here’s Pete to explain.

    “I will sign your copy to you (if you like) and base a sketch on your preferred type of monster. So whether you'd fancy a zombie, a sea monster, something Lovecraftian, an alien or something original of my own devising I will do my best to accommodate.

“This book is more amazing than you can guess no matter how many previews you see, containing a wealth of unique original essays by some of the best people on the planet hand-chosen to write them, an overwhelming trove of visuals—and something especially for you if you choose the deluxe edition—this will be a book set to treasure, I promise.”


They do say—those pundits who allegedly know these things—that a picture is worth a thousand words

FANTASTIC FICTIONEERS extravaganza must surely be worth a few million of the blighters. But you know that pretty well already because you’ve been ordering copies (I’ve seen the box of orders on Nicky’s desk—hoo hah, you warriors).

But that’s only the first change right there. I’ve been talking for a while with the Von Sholly bird and we’ve between us come up with some improvements to the original offer . . . and these apply to everyone who has already pre-ordered a copy of the deluxe edition.

  • The limitation run of the top slate is now just 50 copies;
  • We’re also including an illustrated slipcase;
  • Illustrated endpapers and, as Pete explained above,
  • A one-off remarqued art piece based on an idea submitted by the deluxe edition customers to find out what they’d like art-wise.

So just to be clear: there’ll be no change to the standard edition but there are fewer than 20 copies left of the deluxe so don’t delay. We’ll be writing to everyone who places or who has placed a deluxe order so get your studying caps on.

And if you can't run to the super duper deluxe edition, you can buy each volume separately for £50 a piece, or better still, save some pennies by buying the two together for £90.

Volume 1 - £50
Volume 2 - £50
Vol 1 & 2 - £90
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It’s nice when hard work is rewarded . . .

So here’s a grand and uber deservedly sweeping doff-of-the-cap to Preston Grassmann’s THE UNQUIET DREAMER tribute to Harlan Ellison courtesy of Eugen Bacon in the latest issue of Aurealis Magazine.

“This beautifully edited collection is exquisite in its offering, a treasure that is a dream. An insightful introduction by Preston Grassmann, and two first-person forewords by Josh Olson and Ellen Datlow apiece, set the tone.
    Each story in
The Unquiet Dreamer—how poetic is this name?—is a tribute to one of the greatest storytellers in speculative fiction. In each intimate gaze, you love Ellison, you hate Ellison. You wish you met Ellison. You want to be Ellison.
    You’ll find a phenomenal cast of authors in the book—a degustation that is a masterful collection swollen with award-winners across time.
    There’s Samuel R Delany and his spacers. Paul di Filippo and his aliens playing at a Rigellian ghetto. Steve Rasnic Tem and his thin silver line. Adam Troy Castro and his conjuring of portals to a ticking limbo where nothing is hallowed—just worlds full of wanting, famished for forming, yenning to become purposed.
    There’s Peter Crowther and his flights of fantasy. Nikhil Singh and his re-evolution of Cloud 9 projecting through time, where a naked river spirit is also a green lady. Preston Grassmann and his fragments of a hologram city. David Gerrold and his Digger Split that makes you recoil and feel rage—you’re so moved. Kaaron Warren and her thick mist over ghosts, awakening gargoyles in a derelict rubble...
    A few words of a review are nowhere near to give the right credit to each author’s oddity as it digs up the mummified penman, unwraps the linen strip by strip to leave a naked Ellison on the page.”

And here’s a truly sumptuous overview . . .

. . . and magnificently knowing piece on Ramsey Campbell and the Brichester Mythos trilogy in the Los Angeles Review of Books: 

Entitled “Horror Fiction for People who don’t Like Horror Fiction,” the whole piece is well worth your time so go here. It’ll serve as an enticing taster for the first volume of our upcoming duology, PHANTASMAGORICAL STORIES, about which, more soon—but let’s just say this: the place to be is Fantasycon this year . . . for both this book and so many others.

The reviews keep on coming for the latest Electric Dreamhouse titles.

Throughout Kit Power’s excellent contribution to the Midnight Movie Monographs range on Ken Russell’s Tommy runs one persistent phrase, like letters through a stick of seaside rock or the harmony of some glorious devotional piece. That phrase is ‘holy shit’.

If the Devil truly is in the details, then we need to consider that. If a phrase is so all-pervading, then there’s usually a reason for its being so. It’s our task as readers, should we choose to accept, to try and discover what that reason is, to our own satisfaction if nobody else’s.

Here’s the full piece:

And also, more kind words for COFFINMAKER’S BLUES.

Stephen Volk is a familiar name among film lovers and horror fans. He’s written iconic scripts for film and television (GothicGhostwatchThe Awakening, to name a few), great novels (The Dark Masters Trilogy), and countless essays on the film industry and the horror genre. It’s the latter that has now been combined into one big collection of Volk’s writing. Published by PS Publishing’s imprint Electric Dreamhouse, Coffinmaker’s Blues is a compendium of knowledge and anecdotes on topics such as film and filmmakers, scriptwriting, religion, politics, actors, horror—of course—and many more. The 55 collected pieces were written by Volk and issued in the Black Static magazine between 2004 and 2016. Now bound-up in a sturdy, haunting hardback, this is a book you need.

Again, here’s the full piece.

Okay, that’s it for this week.

Nicky and I will be spending a few days walking in the Yorkshire Dales. We’ll keep a watchful eye just in case we bump into each other so we could share a pint or two and talk about books. (Hey, come on! What else is there?)

Enjoy the weekend, be kind to whomever sits in this seat next Friday, and look after each other.

Best wishes from the greensward . . .


PS Publishing

Grosvenor House, 1 New Road, Hornsea
United Kingdom