Showing posts from January, 2011

Give a writer of objectionable stuff a break

Here's a message from my fellow Tynesider Stone Franks : For Sale: 19th century mask of sanity with veneer of respectability x2. I have two short/flash fiction stories: One is 1146 words; The other 2088. Both are Victorian slasher/crime horror, exploring late 19th century  do-as-I-say-not-do-as-I-get-high-on-drugs-and-kill-prostitutes attitudes to morality. The shorter one is a dark parody in a Sherlock Holmes-style, the longer one is more serious with a speculative/conspiracy theory twist. Both have highly objectionable content and have been vilified by prospective publishers and lauded by fellow writers.

Proof Positive

Need a professional proofreader? A nice chap volunteered to proof stories for ST in return for the massive publicity blitz I routinely offer my pals. So, let the media barrage begin! The stories in this edition of Supernatural  Tales were proofread by STEPHEN CASHMORE PROOFREADER and EDITOR for ·     Stories ·     Dissertations and theses ·     Books Details at or email scash@  That's what you will read in ST19, out in May, or maybe early June. If you have proofological needs, give Stephen a try. He's very quick and very thorough.

Never Mind the Ballads...

What do 1676 and 1976 have in common? Both years, yes. Similar digits, okay. But they are in fact the time-twins linked in a new poetry pamphlet by the redoubtable Bard of Peterborough, Cardinal Cox. 'Never Mind the Ballads, Here's a Blast of Broadsides' was produced for the Whittlesey Straw Bear Festival (16th to 18th Jan). If you want to know what England is about, it's about straw bears. And beer. And poetry. Anyway, the festival was revived in 1976 and more recently the Cardinal has graced it with his presence. In his festival he draws parallels between the turmoil and creativity of the late 17th century with that we all (well, some of us) remember from the Dawn of Punk. Of course, being rude about a Labour government that now looks almost Utopian in its outlook is slightly different from the ups and downs of the Restoration era. There poems here have an almost ammoniac tang of fanaticism, a distinct whiff of gunpowder and a few (metaphorical) bloodstains. Here&

What's the plan, Stan?

Well, my redundancy looms ever closer (31st March) and I wonder what the hell I'm going to be doing as of April 1st? Apart from avoid joy buzzers, whoopee cushions etc? One possibility is that I will get drunk for a month. Another is that I will try to set up a small (emphasis on the small) one-man publishing outfit. My thinking, such as it is, goes as follows. Supernatural Tales is reasonably well-known and has a fair reputation for the quality of its fiction. This means I'm a fair judge of a good story. I could parlay my editorial experience and general knowledge of the genre to start publishing new or neglected authors. Nothing fancy, nothing wildly ambitious - just an extension of ST to include collections and perhaps short novels by individual authors. I would run this putative publishing business as an online affair, availing myself of That is, I would not be having books printed and sent to me at my 'office' (aka my flat), and then take orders f

Horror Con Con Warning

Most genre fiction fans are decent types, but there always a few bad apples, and so on and so forth. Anyway, I followed links to a site I'd never heard of thanks to an FB posting (See? Facebook can be useful.) Anyway, the skinny is that some git in American has taken people's money for a supposed horror convention that has failed to come off on numerous occasions. This has dodgy written all over it in letters of fire: In 2008/2009 the show was announced, it was to be called Camp Blood:Friday the 30th- a Convention featuring nothing but celebrities who were involved in the making of the Friday the 13th films. It was to be the biggest and best Friday the 13th Con ever assembled, featuring over 70 guests. Soon after the announcement it was rumored that a lot of the guests posted on the website ( had not been contacted at the time of the site’s inception. The Friday the 30th Con was to replace Texas Fear Fest 3 and promised that the guests were confirmed

New Book from Sarob!

Chapter 42, in which I receive an electronic missive from rural France: Hi David Thought you might like to hear that I've just announced details of our Spring (April) 2011 title as follows. Mark Nicholls: Dark Shadows Fall Dr Nicholls is the President and Librarian at St John's College, Cambridge – surely a terrific place to soak in the atmosphere of centuries and quietly dream up tales of delicious and rather pleasing terror. Previously published in Ghosts & Scholars, All Hallows, Supernatural Tales, Enigmatic Tales and Black Rose, this is Mark's first collection of ghost stories. Here are 12 traditional tales, some Jamesian, some antiquarian, all ghostly and all dark and icily chilling. Afterword by Mark Nicholls. Illustrations by Paul Lowe. Limited Edition Hardcover. Printed Boards. Edition limited to 150 numbered copies. Limitation will be reviewed if pre-publication interest suggests a larger print run is appropriate. BOOK PRICE: UK: UK £20 / Europe: 25 eu

Get Some In, says Ellen Datlow

Call for Submissions I am editing the anthology series  Best Horror of the Year  (Night Shade Books) and am currently reading for the fourth volume, which will include all material published in 2011. I am looking for stories from all branches of horror: from the traditional-supernatural to the borderline, including high-tech sf horror, supernatural stories, psychological horror, dark thrillers, or anything else that might qualify. If in doubt, send it. This is a  reprint anthology so I am only reading material published in or about to be published in  2011 .  Submission deadline for  stories  is November 30th 2011.  Anything sent after this deadline will reach me too late. If a magazine, anthology, or collection you’re in or you publish is coming out in December, you can send me galleys or manuscripts so that I can judge the stories in time.  No email submissions . I strongly suggest that authors check with their publishers that they are sending review copies to me as I don’t have t

The Future of ST

This week I will formally receive a letter from my employer - a local authority in North East England - telling me I will be out of a job after March 31st. Obviously this is a difficult situation and I don't know where I'll be or what I'll be doing later this year. Probably in the same place, possibly doing nothing. But whatever happens, I intend to continue publishing Supernatural Tales and will try to make sure that the next issue, ST19, is at least as good as any that have gone before. I can't be sure what I'll be able to do in the longer term, but for the near future it's business as usual. And if anybody knows of a job, please let me know!