Thursday, 5 January 2012


I own a Kindle, and use it fairly regularly. Not every day, but most days. I realise some people loathe electronic books but hating them won't make them go away (believe me, I've tried it with politicians and rap music). And for those who do like eBooks, there are a lot of interesting items out there in the realms of supernatural fiction.

Ash-Tree Press recently started making some of its older titles (and some newer ones) available for electronic download. If you check out the page I think you'll find it an interesting and reasonably-priced selection. Among them are such classics as Nine Ghosts by RH Malden, Intruders by AM Burrage, and Randalls Round by Eleanor Scott. There are also three collections by the legendary HR Wakefield.

Among modern writers, there's a treat for lovers of traditional ghostly tales in Steve Duffy's first collection, The Night Comes On. I enjoyed this tremendously when it came out back in 1998. Here's the blurboid:
'Standing between the niches, like sentinels over the treasure-trove of Death, were thirteen fully articulated skeletons, clothed in monks’ habits and armed with long scythes.' 
Mr Metfield is astounded to discover this tableau in the crypt of the church of St Joseph, in the small French town of Vazart-les-Bains. His arrival in the town coincides with the annual enactment of the Danse Macabre, or Dance of Death, wherein thirteen monks from the abbey don skeleton costumes and proceed through the streets. When Mr Metfield returns to the crypt, however, he is horrified to find that only twelve skeletons remain. Where is the thirteenth? And how many figures are taking part in the Dance of Death in the streets outside?
In ‘The Ossuary’ and fifteen other stories in this new collection, Steve Duffy evokes the Golden Age of the ghost story with practised ease. Set mainly in the period between the Wars, the stories in The Night Comes On are consciously ‘Jamesian’ in style and setting. They feature libraries and academics and great old country houses, colleges and branch railway-stations and cathedrals; and, of course, any number of things less easily defined, which lie in wait for the foolish, the unwary, or the unlucky. The protagonists come through their adventures alive—though not always. And while they may be more or less intact in physical terms, they usually have a new insight into things for which they once had little time and less respect.


All You Can Books said...

I also have a Kindle Fire, but I can't read as often as I'd like, unfortunately. I must admit that I love to read eBooks, because I can find them very easily and fast. However, it's not very important which way I read a book as long as I enjoy it! When I can find free eBooks why to buy printed ones? Of course, every people has an opinion and this is mine!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
James Everington said...

I read a lot of ebooks nowadays, despite being dead against them 18 months ago... Found some great new authors via self publishing & ebooks, including some featured in ST.

I still buy physical books, but mainly now nice editions (Tartarus Press etc.) or big anthologies, or graphic novels. It's the cheap paperbacks I buy less of.

valdemar said...

I think you've got a point, James. Publishers make their money from mass produced paperbacks, and I think this is where ebooks are hitting them hard.