Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Haunted Grave by Ezeiyoke Chukwunonso now published

Haunted Grave and Other Stories: Eight Tales of Horror, Fantasy and Science Fiction from the African Continent has now been published by Parallel Universe Publications.

Ezeiyoke Chukwunonso is an MA graduate of Creative Writing, Swansea University Wales. His short stories, poems and non-fiction have appeared in a couple of journals, anthologies and magazines such as Emanation: Foray into Forever, Africa Roar Anthology, Open Road Review, Criterion Journal, ANA Review, Ground's Ear Anthology, Future Lovecraft, African Eyeball, Miracle e-zine, Episteme Journal, Texts on SAVVY Journal. He has been shortlisted in IdeasTap Inspires: Writers' Centre Norwich Writing competition, Ghana Poetry Prize, and Quickfox Poetry Competition.

amazon.co.uk £8.99
amazon.com $11.99
Ezeiyoke Chukwunonso

Inside front cover advert for Parallel Universe Publications in Fear magazine

There's a great full page ad for Parallel Universe Publications on the inside front cover of the new Fear magazine.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Just published by PUP: Fishhead: The Darker Tales of Irvin S. Cobb

During his lifetime Irvin S. Cobb was one of the most celebrated writers in American literature, though nowadays he is almost forgotten, apart perhaps from his Lovecraft connection. Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb was born in Paducah, Kentucky on the 23rd June, 1876. His father, unable to cope with the death of his own father, succumbed to alcoholism when Cobb was only sixteen. As a result, Cobb’s education came to an end and he started work, first on the Paducah Daily News, then the Louisville Evening Post. By 1904 Cobb’s career in journalism was doing so well that he moved to New York, where he would go on to spend the rest of his life, starting work at the Evening Sun, though it wasn’t long before an assignment to cover the Russian-Japanese peace conference in Portsmouth, New Hampshire so impressed Joseph Pulitzer that he offered Cobb a job at the New York World, where he became the highest-paid staff reporter in the United States. In 1911 Cobb moved to the Saturday Evening Post. Three years later he was asked to cover the Great War. Amongst the many stories he wrote while there were the exploits of the Harlem Hellfighters, a unit of black American soldiers who had gone on to earn distinction for their courage and discipline, which Cobb celebrated in his book The Glory of the Coming. Besides his prolific work as a journalist, Cobb’s fame largely came from his humorous stories, which were published in the leading magazines of his day, and collected in numerous books during his lifetime. But, though he was best known as a humourist, he did have a darker side, exemplified by the tales collected in this volume. Two of the most famous succeeded in catching the attention of H. P. Lovecraft. It is claimed that Fishhead influenced Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth. And there is certainly no doubt that Lovecraft was favourably impressed with this tale. In his groundbreaking essay, Supernatural Horror in Literature, Lovecraft wrote: “Fishhead, an early achievement, is banefully effective in its portrayal of unnatural affinities between a hybrid idiot and the strange fish of an isolated lake…” The Unbroken Chain gave Lovecraft the key idea behind The Rats in the Walls, though in all other respects the two tales are totally different. Besides writing and journalism, Cobb’s career extended to Hollywood, where legendary director, John Ford, made two films based on his books: Judge Priest (1934) and The Sun Shines Bright (1953). Other films included Peck’s Bad Boy (1921), starring Jackie Coogan, and The Woman Accused (1933), with a young Cary Grant. Cobb also did a stint at acting himself, appearing in ten movies altogether, including Pepper, Everybody’s Old Man (1936), Steamboat Round the Bend (1935) and Hawaii Calls (1938). It’s a sign of the prominence he had achieved that in 1935 he was invited to host the 7th Academy Awards. Other than the tales that inspired Lovecraft, Cobb also wrote some brilliantly dark stories that culminate in a kind of sadistic irony. They are some of the finest conte cruel ever written. Amongst the best of these is the final story in this collection: Faith, Hope, and Charity, whose protagonists, as is often the case in Cobb’s stories, struggle against fates that are not only pre-ordained but are horrendously appropriate! It must be added his hapless victims are far from blameless. What fates await them under Cobb’s pen have most definitely been brought upon them by themselves! Through most of the tales there is a wry sense of humour, so wry, in fact, that it never detracts from the impact at the end; indeed, it often adds to and embellishes it! I hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as I did and share with me the conviction that it is high time they were revived.

The book includes a frontispiece drawn by Jim Pitts and an Introduction by Linden Riley.

Contents are:

Fishhead
The Escape of Mr. Trimm
The Gallowsmith
Mr. Lobel's Apoplexy
The Unbroken Chain
The Second Coming of the First Husband
Masterpiece
January Thaw
Cabbages and Kings
We Can't All Be Thoroughbreds
Queer Creek
Ace, Deuce, Ten Spot, Joker
Balm of Gilead
Faith, Hope, and Charity


trade paperback:
Amazon.co.uk  £8.99
Amazon.com  $11.99

Monday, 25 July 2016

Parallel Universe places ad in Black Static, Fear magazine and the FantasyCon Programme

Advert in the horrorzine
Parallel Universe Publications has embarked on an advertising campaign to raise its profile. The first of these was in the horrorzine for Adrian Cole's Tough Guys.

We have now arranged for an ad to go in the inaugural issue of the revived magazine Fear, edited by John Gilbert. This will be followed by a half-page ad in Black Static (issue #54). 
Advert in Fear magazine
Advert in Black Static

As well as a book launch at FantasyCon we are also placing a full-page, full-colour ad in the convention programme.


Friday, 8 July 2016

Into the Dark - free kindle download Sunday the 10th July

For one day only the kindle version of Andrew Jennings' horror novel Into the Dark will be free.

All we would ask is that if you do download it to write a honest review afterwards, however brief.

In the meantime, enjoy!


Our copies of Tough Guys have arrived

Our copies of Tough Guys by Adrian Cole arrived by courier yesterday, including extra copies ordered for the launch at Fantasycon in Scarborough later this year. Really pleased with the brilliant Jim Pitts wraparound cover. The book includes an in-depth introduction by David A. Sutton.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Haunted Grave and Other Stories by Ezeiyoke Chukwunonso

Coming soon from Parallel Universe Publications is a collection of horror, fantasy and science fiction stories set in Africa by Ezeiyoke Chukwunonso, Haunted Grave and Other Stories.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Reviewers welcome



If you are a book reviewer, either on your own blog or on a website or in a magazine, and would like to take a look at any of our books, please contact us on paralleluniversepublications@gmx.co.uk

Just quote which book(s) you are interested in and say whether you would prefer an e-version, pdf or print copy.


Sunday, 26 June 2016

Andrew Jennings' Into the Dark is PUP's 19th book

Andrew Jennings' horror crime noir novel Into the Dark is Parallel Universe's nineteenth book. It is now available in papereback - and an ebook version will be available shortly.
"There's a serial killer at loose in London. Janice, who has a chronic fear of the dark, stumbles into a relationship with the man who may secretly be the murderer. Neither know that in the North of England, in a place previously owned by his dead mother, activities are taking place that may unleash a horror that could spell the end of civilisation in Britain - an ancient evil that would make the activities of any serial killer look like child's play by comparison. Could a psychotic killer be the only man capable of ending this?"

Amazon.co.uk  £8.99
Amazon.com  $11.99



Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Draft advert for Tough Guys - Cirsova Magazine

Cirsova Magazine in the States is publishing a story by Adrian Cole and have offered him some free advertising space, which he has decided he would like to use for Tough Guys.
Below is our first draft:

Monday, 20 June 2016

Mobi Copies of Tough Guys available for reviewers

If any reviewers would like a free mobi copy of Adrian Cole's Tough Guys, which is now available as a paperback and ebook, simply send an email to paralleluniversepublications@gmx.co.uk.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Tough Guys by Adrian Cole now available as both paperback and ebook

Adrian Cole's Tough Guys is now available as both a trade paperback and an ebook on amazon.

Trade Paperback:
Amazon.co.uk £8.99
Amazon.com $11.99

Ebook:
Amazon.co.uk £2.99
Amazon.com $4.30

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Tough Guys by Adrian Cole now available from Amazon

Cover artwork: Jim Pitts
Paperback copies of Adrian Cole's collection Tough Guys are now available from Amazon. An ebook version will be available shortly.

Adrian’s latest collection, Tough Guys, contains three previously unpublished novellas and a short. Based on the title theme, these four works are completely different in subject matter and tone. There is, of course, A Nick Nightmare story herein, ‘Wait for the Ricochet’, in which the gumshoe is entrusted to convey a message about “The Malleus Tenebrarum”, a book that names the properties and powers of dark and light, to the Mechanic, one Oil-Gun Eddy... His adversary is the sinister Lucien de Sangreville, plus assorted non-human denizens of the murky lower levels, and his sidekick the sword-wielding business-woman Ariadne Carnadine. In contrast, in ‘If You Don’t Eat Your Meat’ the reader enters a post-apocalyptic world where the very unsavoury Ryan relates his story of rival families and cannibalism. It is gruesome and unflinching horror. In ‘A Smell of Burning’ a hospital patient finds he is having out-of-the-body experiences. On his astral journeys he visits a man recalling his abused childhood and this leads to a shocking revelation... Finally, ‘Not If You Want to Live’ explores the fate of Razorjack, who is a Redeemer, a dead man used by a shady organisation to bring back others from death. An intriguing and engrossing story of love between Razorjack (aka Jack Krane) and mobster’s moll Rebecca Fellini, with science fictional and satanic elements.

We'll have stocks of our own at Parallel Universe shortly. We'll also be launching this book at Fantasycon in September, when Adrian Cole will be present.

Amazon.co.uk £8.99
Amazon.com $11.99

Proof Copy of Tough Guys by Adrian Cole

The proof copy for Adrian Cole's Tough Guys arrived today - and it looks great. Jim Pitts' wraparound cover artwork looks really good. The book also boasts an in-depth introduction by David A. Sutton.
The book is set to be launch at FantasyCon at Scarborough in September.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Into the Dark by Andrew Jennings

A new novel, Into the Dark by Andrew Jennings will be published shortly by Parallel Universe Publications.
Into the Dark is a crime noir horror story about a serial killer and an evil menace from Europe's darkest past.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Kitchen Sink Gothic - 10 months down the line

It's now ten months since the most ambitious project from Parallel Universe, Kitchen Sink Gothic, was published. The anthology contained the following stories:
1964 by Franklin Marsh
Derek Edge and the Sun-Spots by Andrew Darlington
Daddy Giggles by Stephen Bacon
Black Sheep by Gary Fry
Jamal Comes Home by Benedict J. Jones
Waiting by Kate Farrell
Lilly Finds a Place to Stay by Charles Black
The Mutant's Cry by David A. Sutton
The Sanitation Solution by Walter Gascoigne
Up and Out of Here by Mark Patrick Lynch
Late Shift by Adrian Cole
The Great Estate by Shaun Avery
Nine Tenths by Jay Eales
Envelopes by Craig Herbertson
Tunnel Vision by Tim Major
Life is Prescious M. J. Wesolowski
Canvey Island Baby by David Turnbull

Order Direct  from us

trade paperback: 
amazon.co.uk   £8.99
amazon.com  $11.99

ebook:
amazon.co.uk  £2.99
amazon.com  $3.05

We are still considering a second volume of stories. In the meantime...

Here are some of the reviews Kitchen Sink Gothic has received so far:

Stuart Conover gave Kitchen Sink Gothic a great review on the Hellnotes website.

"In Kitchen Sink Gothic, David and Linden Riley have put together a dark and gritty horror- and humor-filled anthology which was an absolute blast to read. In its pages there are 17 stories with a Gothic tint to them which focus primarily on the working class. It is a twisted mix of tales that if you were to read the descriptions one by one wouldn’t seem to fit together and yet the Riley’s have proven they know exactly which story works with the next.
While not every story is a gem, there isn’t a single failure in this book that makes me feel any of my time was wasted. As long as you’re in the mood for the strange and insane, that is.
An interesting line up with some names you’ll probably recognize if you read a lot of horror and speculative fiction as well as some that you won’t. The table of contents includes:
“Daddy Giggles” by Stephen Bacon, “1964” by Franklin Marsh, “Derek and the Sun-Spots” by Andrew Darlington, “Black Sheep” by Gary Fry, “Jamal Comes Home” by Benedict J. Jones, “Waiting” by Kate Farrell, “Lilly Finds a Place to Stay” by Charles Black, “The Mutant’s Cry” by David A. Sutton, “The Sanitation Solution” by Walter Gascoigne, “Up and Out of Here” by Mark Patrick Lynch, “Late Shift” by Adrian Cole, “The Great Estate” by Shaun Avery, “Nine Tenths” by Jay Eales, “Envelopes” by Craig Herbertson, “Tunnel Vision” by Tim Major, “Life is Precious” by M. J. Wesolowski, and closes out with “Canvey Island Baby” by David Turnbull.
The more interesting reads for me included “Lilly Finds a New Place to Stay” which revolves around Lilly….finding a new place to stay. Only, things aren’t ever quite that simple now are they? Next up is “The Sanitation Solution” where one man’s bitter war with his ex makes for quite the disgusting read. Finally, in “Envelopes” we’re given a different look into the world of the occult."

Top Customer Reviews on Amazon.co.uk

Format: Kindle Edition
A worthwhile collection, if a little patchy in parts. But some gems; particularly "Derek Edge and the Sunspots" and Kate Farrell's "Waiting" - understated with a bitter twist in the tale.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Really enjoyed this collection - the writing is of a high standard and some very unsettling stories. Definitely worth a read!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thank you
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Top Customer Reviews on Amazon.com

Format: Paperback
There are 17 amazingly written stories that sometimes left me on the edge as I was reading. Some were weirder than others and some had those what-did-I-just- read moments. Each of them were unique in their own way and I loved every one of them. For me, the top 3 that I read over were, Lilly Finds a Place to Stay by Charles Black, Canvey Island Baby by David Turnbull and The Sanitation Solution by Walter Gascoigne.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As always, I liked some of these stories a lot more than others, but there were none I didn't like at all. Some were rather mystifying to me, such as "Derek Edge and the Sunspots" "Up and Out of Here" and "Nine Tenths". "The Sanitation Solution" was ok but frankly didn't so it for me. My favorite of the lot was "Jamal Comes Home" with it's echoes of the Monkey's Paw at the conclusion. Also excellent were, in no particular order, "Black Sheep" "Lilly Finds A Place to Stay" (permanently) "Waiting" and "Envelopes" If you like horror and/or speculative short fiction, you can't go wrong here.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I just read the anthology "Kitchen Sink Gothic" and yes, I was blown away. As a title interpretation, I can respectfully call this Working Class Gothic, as it is a strange and Gothic journey into the lives of the ordinary folk of our world, and not the social elite that populate much of literature's history. And it is here that Kitchen Sink Gothic's charms lie. As a grab-bag of different tales, some surprise with their deviousness, and others shock with their arrogance, but all of them, each and every story in this clever and tasty collection, is sure to entertain. Heck, I think I'll pick it up and read it a second time now. Yes, it is that good.
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Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Tough Guys by Adrian Cole

Cover artwork: Jim Pitts

We can now reveal the wraparound cover artwork for Adrian Cole's collection of three novellas and one short story, Tough Guys, which will be  launched at Fantasycon in September this year.
The artwork is by award-winning artist Jim Pitts and the collection has an introduction by David A. Sutton.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Awaiting proof copy of Fishhead

Fishhead: The Darker Tales of Irvin S. Cobb is nearing publication. I am now waiting for the proof copy before printing begins.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Half-Remembered Nightmares - selected by Johnny Mains


Lined up for publication in the near future is a collection of stories chosen by award-winning anthologist Johnny Mains under the title Half-Remembered Nightmares. The stories chosen include:
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman 
The Vampire Maid by Hume Nisbet 
The Wicked Voice by Vernon Lee 
The Striding Place by Gertrude Atherton 
The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe 
The Screaming Skull by F. Marion Crawford 
The Outgoing of the Tide by John Buchan 
The Dualitists by Bram Stoker 
Man-size in Marble by Edith Nesbit 
The Vampire by Jan Neruda 
The Were-wolf by Clemence Housman 
A Warning to the Curious by M.R. James 
Afterward by Edith Wharton 
The Uncanny Bairn by Louisa Baldwin 
The Bath-chair by E.F. Benson 
The Middle Toe of the Right Foot by Ambrose Bierce 
On the Brighton Road by Richard Middleton 
The Shadows on the Wall by Mary E Wilkins-Freeman 
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Classic Weird 2 published

Classic Weird 2 is now available as a trade paperback and an ebook.

This 298-page volume contains weird tales by some of the classic authors of the genre, including J. Sheridan Le Fanu (An Account of Some Strange Disturbances in Aungier Street), E. F. Benson (The Judgement Books), Vernon Lee (Oke of Okehurst), Vincent O'Sullivan (When I was Dead), Edith Wharton (The Eyes), W. C. Morrow (A Story Told by the Sea), Irvin S. Cobb (The Unbroken Chain), Edith Nesbit (From the Dead), Robert Murray Gilchrist (Witch In-Grain), Amyas Northcote (The Downs), and J. H. Riddell (The Uninhabited House).

Paperback:
Amazon.co.uk  £8.99
Amazon.com  $11.99


Ebook:
Amazon.co.uk  £2.99
Amazon.com  $4.30

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Great Review for His Own Mad Demons on The Slaughtered Bird website

Dave Dubrow gave His Own Mad Demons: Dark Tales from David A. Riley a great review on The Slaughtered Bird website.

REVIEW: His Own Mad Demons

Review by- Dave Dubrow.
‘His Own Mad Demons’ is an anthology of short stories written by David A Riley, who’s been an active horror writer since he published a story in the eleventh volume of the legendary Pan Book of Horror Stories in 1970. The tales in Riley’s His Own Mad Demons are all set in the English moorland town of Edgebottom, where the supernatural lurks in every shadow. Riley’s gritty, descriptive prose and fundamental themes are timeless, making this collection a must-read for true fans of horror.
The first tale, His Own Mad Demons, follows the travails of petty criminal Nobby, who’s been given a relatively simple job to do. After things go pear-shaped, Nobby’s attempt to go on the lam is beset with obstacles both natural and supernatural.
In Lock-In, a group of old men calling themselves the Grudgers find that leaving their favorite pub isn’t anywhere near as easy as getting in. A gory piece of psychological horror mixed with Lovecraftian elements.
The Fragile Mask on His Face has a dream-like feeling to it in that the reader knows that something terrible is in store for the protagonist, but is powerless to stop it. A story with twists and turns and a most unusual antagonist.
For a slow burn building to a horrific climax, The True Spirit is a tale that shows you the face of evil, making you hope against hope that the poor characters catch on before it’s too late.
The anthology ends with The Worst of All Possible Places, as apt a title as you’d want. Though the prologue is a bit unnecessary, the remainder of the story is the most frightening in the entire collection, even with as unlikable a protagonist as Bill the drunk.
If you’re looking for message fiction, you won’t find it here. This is good old-fashioned horror, a collection of scary stories told well. It’s these kinds of tales that brought so many of us to horror literature in the first place, and it’s refreshing to see that they’re still relevant, still frightening.

Review by- Dave Dubrow

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

A Saucerful of Secrets gets a 5-star review in The Zone

Andrew Darlington's A Saucerful of Secrets gets a five-star review in The Zone.

"Like entering a twilight zone for the loading of genre-literate humour, and unloading of predictability for tragedy and vivid lyricism, A Saucerful Of Secrets takes us across multiple thresholds between compelling realism and sophisticated imagination, with sublimely witty references and hefty riffs aplenty, adding a weight and philosophical depth few can match. This is a veteran writer's first collection of short fiction, and it's frequently steeped in traditional SF tropes but with post-modern twists and beguiling absurdism. Through the looking-glass, or down rabbit holes, these are stories penned with unusually poetical intent. The info-density and wordplay seems, at a first glance, like old lead, but, scratch the surface contours and it's revealed to be gold of a Brit-Lit wealth."  Read the full review here.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Jessica Palmer's Other Visions of Heaven and Hell now available


Jessica Palmer has had 28 books published, both fiction and nonfiction. Her novels – horror, fantasy and science fiction – were released by Pocket Books in the United States and Scholastic in the United Kingdom. She has written two textbooks about Native American history, which were published by McFarland, and an encyclopedia of natural history released by Harper Collins’ label Element Books and later by Thorson in the UK.
Palmer has also written ten science-and-technology manuals on the topics of explosives and radiation. These were distributed globally. It was this work that brought her to Great Britain in 1988.
The daughter of a professional clown, Palmer refers to her switch to writing fiction as an exercise in damage limitation. She taught classes and conducted workshops on creative writing and publishing at North Shropshire College in Whitchurch, Stanmore College and the Islington Arts Factory in London.
As a journalist, Palmer won awards in New Mexico and Texas for writing features, public service and breaking news – the most recent in 2013. Palmer has also written satirical columns for newspapers, including “A Slice of Life” and “How to Make Love to your Personal Computer.”
Her two loves are writing and animals. She started a nonprofit in Kansas for wildlife rescue and has held a wildlife rehabilitation permit since 2002.
Other Visions of Heaven and Hell are a series of sometimes inter-related stories about our ideas of Heaven and Hell, sometimes hilarious - sometimes horrific - but always entertaining.


Contents are:
Devil's Due
The Faithful
And now, a Word from our Sponsor
Heavenly Bodies
On the Wings of a Prayer
Fallen Angel
A Stitch in Time
Infinity
No Good Turn
Leap of Faith
Divine Comedy
Force of Habit
The Gates of Hell
Hell on Wheels
Cinderella Revisited
Last Laugh
Sisters
A Cold Day in Hell
Cheap Shots
What the Dickens
When Hell Freezes Over
Bad Medicine
Wrong Number
A Snowball's Chance
Devil Woman
To Be or Not
The King's Plate
An Afterthought
About the Author

Last Laugh was first published in Weirdbook #28, Autumn 1993, edited by W. Paul Ganley
Cinderella Revisited was first published in Weirdbook #29, Autumn 1995, edited by W. Paul Ganley
What the Dickens was first published in Substance Sept 1995

trade paperback:
Amazon.co.uk £8.99
Amazon.com   $11.99

ebook:
amazon.co.uk £2.99
amazon.com     $4.30

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Andrew Darlington's A Saucerful of Secrets reviewed on the Vault of Evil

Cover Art: Vincent Chong
Andrew Darlington's brilliant collection of stories, A Saucerful of Secrets, has been reviewed on the Vault of Evil by Kevin Demant.


The Strange Laudanum Dream of Branwell Brontë
London Bridge is Falling Down, Falling Down
Thuesday to Fryday
The Door to Anywhere
Beast of the Baskervilles
Derek Edge and the Saucerful of Secrets
Refuge
The Non-Expanding Universe
Gender-Shock
Big Bad John
Terminator Zero and the Dream Demons
A Grotesque Romance
This World Holds Space Enough
And the Earth Has No End

Blurb:
Andrew Darlington has had masses of material published in all manner of strange and obscure places, magazines, websites, anthologies and books. He's also worked as a Stand-Up Poet on the ‘Alternative Cabaret Circuit’, and has interviewed very many people from the worlds of Literature, SF-Fantasy, Art and Rock-Music for a variety of publications (a selection of favourite interviews collected into the ‘Headpress’ book ‘I WAS ELVIS PRESLEY’S BASTARD LOVE-CHILD’). His latest music biography is ‘DON'T CALL ME nigger, WHITEY: SLY STONE & BLACK POWER’ (Leaky Boot Press).

The Kitchen Sink Gothic anthology is not without its bizarre moments, and perhaps the most unconventional story of all is Derek And The Sunspots. Derek is back in this latest genre bending début (?) collection from Andrew Darlington, and this time he's brought along all his friends.

There will be strangeness.

The Strange Laudanum Dream of Branwell Brontë: (DS Davidson [ed.], Tigershark #3, 2014). "I witnessed my own death. I am but thirty years old. And I know the very day when approaching death will quench life's feeble ember."

Our hero heads through the snow for The Black Bull and another night on the booze. But what's this? Loitering on the path, a metal spacecraft and a a human-size, talking bee from another dimension. The bee is perfectly civil. It explains that his are an inquisitive race who delve beyond record history to seek out "uncomfortable truths." Unfortunately, this has not met with the approval of the Slithy Toves, lizard-like creatures who act as an intergalactic secret police. After the briefest guided tour of the craft, the bee-man ushers Branwell into a parallel world where he, and not his talented sisters wrote Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. It is even inscribed on his headstone.

It has all been an enlightening experience for Branwell, but the adventure takes a turn for the terrifying when the pair are set upon by an armed lizard.

London Bridge is Falling Down, Falling Down: Last days of Queen Victoria's reign. The Capital's most deprived districts come under attack from a plague of genetically enhanced six-legged rats, venomous frogs, ferocious foxes and cockroaches "the size of your fist." Who is responsible for this outrage? In their desperation, Her Majesty's Government reanimate Professor James Moriarty as a last resort. The criminal mastermind has been fitted with an electro-magnetic heart to be switched off by Sir Frederick Trouton immediately he proves uncooperative (shades of Robert Lory's classic Dracula Returns). Moriarty duly traces the culprit to Bedlam, where Dr. Conrad Van Herder, MAD FOREIGN VIVISECTIONIST, social-Darwinist, misguided ecologist, etc., is manufacturing abominations in a bid to cleanse an over-populated world of it's "weaklings." Begins with a grisly attack on a tosher working the mudflats beneath Blackfriars Bridge and includes enough horrific vignettes to qualify as a superior When Animals Attack! entry.


Tuesday, 12 April 2016

The Winter Hunt reviewed on The Vault of Evil

Kevin Demant, who runs the splendid Vault of Evil website, is currently writing a detailed review of Steve Lockley and Paul Lewis's The Winter Hunt:

Steve Lockley & Paul Lewis - The Winter Hunt & Other Stories (Parallel Universe, 2016)




Joe Young


Paul Finch - Introduction: Calm Waters Run Very, Very Deep

The Winter Hunt
Gabriel Restrained
Family Ties
Lullaby
The Woman On The Stairs
Never Go Back
Damp
Last Day
The Worst Part
City Of Woes
Death Knock
Playmates
De Profundis
Puca Muc
Shadows Of Paint


Blurb:
Steve Lockley and Paul Lewis, a two-man, Swansea-based writing-team (though they have written individually as well, and excellently too) are contemporary authors in the best sense of the phrase. They are also hugely respectful of and clearly motivated by some of the great work done in the past. So often their stories, at first glance, may be ‘kitchen sink’ in tone. By that, I mean they could be set on a drear council estate, or in a bus station café, or a second-hand shoe shop, or a seaside boarding house on a dull day in the off-season. But never be fooled by any of that, because these calm waters run very, very deep indeed. - From Paul Finch's introduction.

The Winter Hunt: (L. H Maynard, M. P. N. Sims & David Howe [eds.], F20, BFS, 2000). A freak snow blizzard hits Swansea. Meanwhile Angharad, a thirty year old shoe-shop assistant, is bemoaning her sorry lot. Ten years ago she sacrificed any hope of a decent future away from this hell-hole sink estate out of duty to an alcoholic Dad and hopelessly dependent kid brother, Gareth. Then there's her irresponsible boyfriend, Mark, who spends too much time hanging around with local ne'er do well, 'Monkey' Jackson, whose hobbies include stealing cars to torch in Penllergaer Woods. Jackson's antics have even made the local news. To crown it all, Gareth and Mark now come crying to her claiming their ne'er do well mate has been brutally murdered by an implacable huntsman and attendant spectral pack of hounds. With luck like Angharad's dare she not believe them?

Ideal entry point to the downbeat, Welsh Tales of Terror-meetsKitchen Sink Gothic world of Messrs. L & L. The winter huntsman is as relentless as the cowled, scythe-swinging horror in Stephen Laws' The Crawl

Gabriel Restrained: (L. H Maynard & M. P. N. Sims, [eds.], Darkness Rising Two: Night's Soft Pains, Cosmos, 2001). The Monkey's Paw gone to Hell. Duncan and Annie Matthias, God-fearing chapel goers of sixty years standing, face the most agonizing crisis of conscience. God in His infinite mercy has cured Annie of her cancer, but did he have to send an Angel to earth to do so? What to do with beautiful 'Gabriel' now he has performed this miracle? Annie insists they keep him imprisoned in the spare bedroom as insurance against the return of the disease. Duncan reluctantly agrees. But what about little Peter Daniels, the nine year old tumour boy, and his poor family? Shouldn't they, too, share in God's bounty? Gabriel duly heals the sick child, but someone close to Peter's family can't help but go running to the local press ....

Family Ties: (Charles Black [ed.] The Third Black Book of Horror, Mortbury Press, 2008). The zombie apocalypse reaches the tiny hamlet of Mumbles off Swansea Bay. While Peter is out foraging for food and medical supplies, Helen, heavily pregnant, frets inside the cottage. He really should be back by now! Her thoughts turn to the rifle. They've discussed it often enough, but would she be capable of shooting Peter's brains out if anything went wrong?

Helen drags herself down to the beach. Peter's boat has washed up ashore, the provisions abandoned in the water, but no sign of her husband. A shambling figure approaches across the sand....

The Woman On The Stairs: Janet, a stressed-out single mum, sees recently dead people - not for very long, and invariably in the company of a silent old lady, leading them up the stairwell and on to the roof of the Baron Court estate. They seem bewildered. Predictably, teenage daughter Catherine is unsympathetic to her mounting concern. Is Janet seeing ghosts or has her alcoholism reached the point where she's suffering from the DTs? Perhaps the tedium of working the supermarket checkout has finally driven her insane. And what are the paramedics doing in her front room?

To be continued

Monday, 4 April 2016

Frontispiece for Fishhead - Artist: Jim Pitts

This is the artwork produced by award-winning artist Jim Pitts for the frontispiece to Irvin S. Cobb's forthcoming collection, Fishhead: The Darker Tales of Irving S. Cobb.




Sunday, 20 March 2016

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Jessica Palmer's Other Visions of Heaven and Hell

We can now reveal the cover for Parallel Universe's next book, Jessica Palmer's Other Visions of Heaven and Hell, which should be published in April.



Parallel Universe books are all available through Wordery

Please note that as well amazon Parallel Universe books are also available elsewhere, most notably through Wordy.



Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Lineup of books so far published by Parallel Universe Publications


The Winter Hunt and A Saucerful of Secrets now available as ebooks

The Winter Hunt and Other Stories by Steve Lockley and Paul Lewis, and A Saucerful of Secrets by Andrew Darlington are now also available as ebooks.

The Winter Hunt -
ebook:
amazon.co.uk £2.99
amazon.com     $4.27

A Saucerful of Secrets -
ebook:
amazon.co.uk £2.99
amazon.com     $4.30



Artwork: Joe Young
Artwork: Vincent Chong

Monday, 14 March 2016

The Winter Hunt and A Saucerful of Secrets published

Parallel Universe is proud to announce the publication of two new outstanding collections of stories: The Winter Hunt and Other Stories by Steve Lockley and Paul Lewis, and A Saucerful of Secrets by Andrew Darlington. Both are available in paperback, priced £8.99, and will be available as ebooks shortly. These mark the fourteenth and fifteenth books published by Parallel Universe.

The Winter Hunt - Amazon.co.uk    Amazon.com

A Saucerful of Secrets - Amazon.co.uk   Amazon.com