Posts Tagged ‘Spectral Press’

Paul Kane Double Bill

January 27, 2014 - 1:35 am 1 Comment

Ghosts
Author: Paul Kane
Publisher: Spectral Press
Release Date: 31st October 2013
Reviewer: Andy Angel
This collection from Spectral Press brings together 17 short stories on the subject of ghosts and hauntings from one of my favourite modern horror writers, Paul Kane.
Also included here is the film script for Wind Chime as well as the story itself (which I’ll come to later.)
With the title and subject matter you may be expecting Terror and Frights all the way but the second piece ‘Kindred Spirits’ is actually quite a feel good tale which left me with a smile. The majority of the tales here though will leave you placed well and truly on the edge of the seat.
In amongst these 17 stories there are 2 Christmas tales (including a re-working of Dicken’s A Christmas Carol), some proper haunting stories (Grandpa’s Chair, The Procession) and the truly scary (The Suicide Room), but the stand out offering for me was Wind Chimes.
Sometimes, long after you finish a story, you find yourself recalling the events and Wind Chimes is a case in point. This is a truly disturbing tale that never lets go, but the highlight for me.
This is a corker of a collection, just what the long, cold Winter nights need – just don’t be hoping for a good nights sleep after 😉

The Rainbow Man
Author: Paul Kane
Publisher: Rocket Ride Books
Release Date: 15 Nov 2013
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

This YA novel by Paul Kane features an introduction by Morganville Vampires author Rachel Caine and according to the blurb, “you will never look at a rainbow in the same way again.” After hearing what reviewer Andy had to say about Ghosts, Kane’s Spectral Press collection released for WFC 13 (see above) I was more than a little excited to read this book, especially as Caine likens it to Hitchcock in tone, more of a creeping build up than a Michael Bay bang.

Daniel Routh would never forget the day they found the body. This book is refreshing in that its teenage characters aren’t all angsty with more excess baggage that Paris Hilton going through airport control. Daniel’s little brother Mikey is always tagging along with Daniel and his best friends, which isn’t surprising given that they live on an island with little to do. So the teenagers with Mikey in toe set off on an adventure following the storm of the previous night. On the beach the next day as the kids explore, the enthusiastic collie Vincent appears to be chasing the left over rainbow that leads to the body of a man, barely alive. But there is something about the man, whose only name he can remember is John, that makes Daniel distinctly uncomfortable. Strange things are happening in the village, which Daniel believes could be linked to the mysterious newcomer John Dee, the Rainbow Man.

As usual with Kane’s writing there is a great deal of atmosphere from the outset. The ghost of the boys losing their father hovers around the text. There is an almost Stephen King vibe to the novel, with the small town environment, intimate locals and a sense of the supernatural. Kane keeps the tension building as Daniel, then his friends investigate exactly who, or what The Rainbow Man is. This is a compelling story of Daniel’s growth into adulthood and the nature of humanity and the grip do something inherently evil on a small community. And when the mythology is finally revealed, well, what a cracker. Brilliant YA Fantasy in action.

Andromeda One Programme

August 12, 2013 - 9:56 pm No Comments

Hi

At last I can present a draft programme for our one day SFF/Horror con on Sat 21st September.

As well as lots of exciting panels/klatches & workshops, we are taking bookings for an Urban Fantasy Walk of Digbeth, Birmingham on Friday 20th September 17:30pm and Sat 21st September 19:30pm. Tickets are £8.00 for an hour walk but including a free guide book to Digbeth including a collection of short stories by local writers telling local urban legends to spook you out. Proceeds go to our sister company Beorma Care CIC, a company set up to support writers and artists with care responsibility & disability issues. Our website will be live soon.

Book your place on the walk now via email at theresa.derwin@yahoo.co.uk.

Payment can be made via paypal at fringewrks@gmail.com or by cash on the day.

Our programme is subject to change, but here it is! We have lots of guests who have yet to select panels they wish to take part in.

Andromeda One Draft Programme

Creakers

April 21, 2013 - 12:55 pm 4 Comments

creakers-front-cover-layout

Creakers
Author: Paul Kane
Publisher: Spectral Press
Page count/size: 29pp
Release Date: April 2013
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

In the latest Spectral Chapbook by prolific author Paul Kane, following the death of his Mother, Ray moves back to her house to renovate it and sell it on, so he moves into the building to start work on it. He brings along his sleeping bag and equipment to stay there during the restoration period. As an experienced house re-builder, Ray knows that those old places that make noises in the night are called Creakers, so he expects some noise during the night, but not this much. The noises and the things crawling over him at night are not normal. The reader can feel his growing tension and fear as the noises and creaks in the house grow and grow.
The story falls into that nice tradition of anthropomorphic horror, in which objects take on human personification and become the objects of horror, bringing back painful memories of his home, his childhood and his Mom.
Filled with squirmy uncomfortable imagery, this is cheap as chips chills! Give it a go.
http://spectralpress.wordpress.com/

Whitstable

April 8, 2013 - 3:43 pm 2 Comments

Whitstable
Author: Stephen Volk
Publisher: Spectral Press
Page count/size: Novella length
Release Date: April 2013
Reviewer: Andy Angel

It is 1971. A man, sad, broken and devastated by the loss of his wife walks along the beach at Whitstable in Kent. He is approached by a 10 year old boy who wants his help.

The man is Peter Cushing but the boy recognises him as Van Helsing, the vampire hunter he has played on the silver screen. He needs ‘Van Helsing’ to save him from his mother’s boyfriend who he believes is a vampire that comes to him in the night.

This novella has several things in its favour; the first, and strongest (for me) is the sense of loss in the character of Peter Cushing. It is only a month or so after the death of his wife and it is really hitting him hard. He doesn’t want to have to face people, he doesn’t want to interact with the world. The depth of feeling with this character is so strong that you may just want to reach into the pages of the book to console him.

The second is the horror of the boys’ story and his skin crawling nastiness of the mothers’ boyfriend. Cushing may have vanquished all kinds of monsters at the movies but will he be able to stand against the monster in the real world?

The final meeting between the two takes place in a cinema where one of Cushing’s movies is playing while they face off and this is very cleverly done. It gives a very real sense of reality to the event, flicking from Cushing the Big Screen Hero, to Cushing The Man, back and forth and on and on. Trust me, tense doesn’t even come close.

This is a wonderfully written and absorbing novella that, in my opinion, deserves to be a massive success.

This novella is a work of fiction written to mark the centenary of the birth of Peter Cushing and as such is a worthy tribute to a great actor.

What Gets Left Behind

January 18, 2013 - 1:55 pm 1 Comment

What Gets Left Behind
Author: Mark West
Publisher: Spectral Press
Page count/size: 26pp
Release Date: Sept 2012
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

One of the chabook specials, open for subscription from Spectral Press, What Get’s Left Behind is a short, dark take of what happens to family man Mike Bergen, when he attempts to bury the ghosts of his past on a return trip to his home town Gaffney.
The story starts with Mike in the local cemetery, worried that Mrs Oram will spot him, because she blames him for the death of her son, aged 12, in 1981. Interweaved through the present, Mike remembers the past, as he visits the warehouse where young Geoff died, reliving the memories of the teenage girls who went missing that year at the hand of the Rainy Day Abductor. It is young Mike & Geoff who discovered the hiding place of the victims, deep in the warehouse, where Geoff died.
Despite being thoroughly dark, poignant and tinged with a sense of loneliness, the story is also nostalgic, reminding the reader of the more adventurous days of childhood.
Tragic and moving, yet at the same time creepy and atmospheric, this chapbook is a true joy for horror readers and readers of intriguing fiction, particularly as the ending has a great little twist.
Mark West has a future in genre fiction that cannot be ignored. Watch out for more from West, and Spectral Press’ superb quality chapbook series.