Archive for December, 2012

Imaginings – Newcon Press

December 13, 2012 - 12:58 pm No Comments

I like a bargain book me! So, here I introduce a collection of bargain books you may be interested in from

NewCon Press is proud to announce an exciting new venture, Imaginings. A series of short story collections (approximately 50,000 words); each volume features the work of a single selected author, bringing together the very best of that author’s previously published but uncollected short fiction, as chosen by the author themselves, plus original stories.
Imaginings is published at three or four month intervals. The first volume appeared in January 2012.
The books are available as signed and numbered hardback editions, limited to between 100 and 150 copies, plus an e-book version. No paperback edition.
Each volume of Imaginings features generically similar cover design and layout (though with individual cover art), so that the books build into a credible series.
The signed hardback editions of Imaginings are available to buy via the NewCon Press website, priced at £19.99 (plus shipping, currently £2.50 per book within the UK).
Or… Imaginings can be purchased via subscription. The advantages?
Reduced price. four volumes: £74.00.
Shipping within the UK will be free (and discounted for overseas subscribers).
Subscribers will ‘buy’ a number within the limited edition run. Every volume you receive will feature that number, which remains yours exclusively until the subscription lapses, at which point it will become available to others.
In addition to the hardback volume, subscribers will receive a free copy of the e-book.
Subscribers are guaranteed a copy of a high quality, very limited book which is likely to sell out rapidly and become highly collectable.
The existing and anticipated schedule for Imaginings is shown below. The precise order of publication may vary.
#1 Jan 2012 Cold Grey Stones – Tanith Lee SOLD OUT
#2 April 2012 Last and First Contacts – Stephen Baxter SOLD OUT
#3 Sept. 2012 Stories from the Northern Road – Tony Ballantyne
#4 Dec 2012 Objects in Dreams – Lisa Tuttle
#5 April 2013 Microcosmos – Nina Allan
#6 July 2013 Pat Cadigan
#7 Oct 2013 Twember – Steve Rasnic Tem
#8 Dec 2013 Jon Courtenay Grimwood
#9 April 2014 Paul McAuley
#10 Aug 2014 Paul di Filippo
#11 Dec 2014 Adam Roberts
To subscribe and ensure you don’t miss out, contact Ian Whates at:

The 13 Ghosts of Christmas

December 8, 2012 - 8:45 pm 2 Comments

The 13 Ghosts of Christmas
Author: (Ed) Simon Marshall Jones
Publisher: Spectral Press
Page count: 204pp
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin
The 13 Ghosts of Christmas released this December is an anthology of creepy Christmas themed stories from independent publisher Spectral Press.
Spectral Press has a well deserved reputation as a small yet quality driven independent press publishing a whole host of genre fiction from a solid and formidable group of writers. And here, with this spooky collection of stories, Spectral further cements its reputation.
The anthology starts with ‘An Odd Number at Table’ by John Costello, a wonderfully romantic and atmospheric ghost story, which finds young student Josh spending Christmas with the family of his girlfriend Kirstie at their ancestral home in Richmond. Filled with lyrical language and and an inherent beauty, this story kicks off the collection very well, and from there it goes full steam ahead.
The stories are varied from funny to downright scary in Gary McMahon’s piece to a fun and dark piece by William Miekle featuring Carnacki. There are stories by Jan Edwards, Raven Dane, Thana Niveau and Martin Roberts; a nice mix of new and established authors bringing their talent and expertise on board.
The stand out stories of the piece are Raven Dane’s tale of a disgruntled husband in ‘A Taste of Almonds’, Paul Finch’s story of two sisters at Christmas in ‘December’ and Thana Niveau’s tale of sentient evil snow The bios in the book give interesting highlights of the stories included and the tales themselves are a good range of creepy, spooky, funny and poignant.
A truly inspirational collection, the first of many, which brings the reader the feeling of listening to a Dickensian story-telling session, the scent of plum pudding or a seat by a log fire. Wonderful.

Wolfsbane & Mistletoe

December 3, 2012 - 10:34 pm No Comments

Wolfsbane & Mistletoe
Author: (Ed) Charlaine Harris & Toni L P Kelner
Publisher: Gollancz
Page count: 416pp
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin
Following on from the success of Many Bloody Returns, (a birthday and vampire anthology), Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse series, returns to Editor duties with this cool collection of stories featuring werewolves and Christmas. Oh yea!
Joining forces with Toni L P Kelner, Harris delivers an anthology of fun, energetic stories, which runs wild with the themes (pardon the pun).
Whilst some of the stories are unlinked to the authors’ previous works, and remain fresh, some of the works are richer if the reader is familiar with the universe. For instance, the story ‘Gift Wrap’ by Harris features Sookie Stackhouse and adds to the True Blood mythology. This story finds Sookie alone on Christmas Eve wallowing in her loneliness until a surprise present arrives courtesy of a distant relative. The humorous ‘Haire of the Beast’ by Donna Andrews is short and sweet, whilst Simon R Green’s ‘Lucy at Christmastime’ is a poignant and delightfully funny look at the Nightside universe. ‘Il Est Ne’ is a piece featuring Kitty from Carrie Vaughn’s collection of novels and is a very nice seasonal piece, just as Keri Arthur’s story introduces new and old readers to her Para Investigation Squad.
For unrelated material we have ‘The Werewolf Before Christmas’, a rather amusing tale/tail in which a werewolf gets more than he bargained for after snacking on a certain red nosed reindeer. However, the top giggle award goes to ‘SA’ by J A Konrath. This laugh out loud story is an absolute hoot. I shall say no more other than I bet your bum you will enjoy this one!
So, how does this anthology rate overall? With only two tales falling a little flat, this is a great festive literary feast and well worth investing in at this time of the year. Great fun!