Saturday, 16 March 2019

Charles Black

It is with a heavy heart that I have to report that horror writer, editor and publisher, Charles Black died yesterday on the 15th March in St Michael's Hospice in Hereford of cancer. Only the day before he was well enough to sit up and use his computer, but declined the following day and passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family.

We were hoping to travel to the hospice on Monday to visit him, but the end came quicker than either of us expected.

Charles, second from the right, enjoying a drink with friends



Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Charles Black

It is with a great feeling of sadness that we are posting that one of our first authors and very good friend, Charles Black, has terminal cancer.

Charles is the author of two collection of short stories: Black Ceremonies, which we published in 2015. He is also the author of A Taste for the Macabre, which was brought out under his own imprint Mortbury Press in 2018. He is the editor of the fabulous Black Books of Horror, eleven volumes of which appeared between  2007 and 2015, featuring a vast range of some of the best writers in the genre in the UK, including Paul Finch, Reggie Oliver, Thana Niveau, John Probert, Anna Taborska, Kate Farrell, Marion Pitman, Stephen Bacon, Stuart Young, Craig Herbertson, David Williamson and many, many more.

Linden and I have met Charles on a number of occasions, mainly at Fantasycon, where we loved his company. It is difficult to express our feelings over what has happened. We are totally devastated.

Today Charles will be moving to St Michael's hospice in Hereford. The latest news is that doctors have stopped treating his cancer and are now just giving him pain-killers and liquids intraveniously.

Charles, to the right, shaking hands with fellow editor Johnny Mains at Fantasycon
Charles, to the right, on a panel at The World Horror Convention in Brighton in 2010




Saturday, 23 February 2019

The Fantastical Art of Jim Pitts reviewed by Trevor Kennedy of Phantasmagoria Magazine

THE FANTASTICAL ART OF JIM PITTS.
Review by Trevor Kennedy for Phantasmagoria Magazine.
The Fantastical Art of Jim Pitts is a bumper hardback dedicated to the life works so far of the man of the title, one of the great fantasy artists of our time. On top of that, it also serves as a history of sorts of the much esteemed British Fantasy Society (and related publications) and the early days of these guys at the forefront of the movement, highlighting their good times, and quite often difficulties, over the last almost half a century. Jim Pitts and his exquisitely detailed artworks are our guides through this fascinating and hugely important period for the UK fantasy/horror scene. And I loved every single page of it!
Jim’s life, from his working class Northern English beginnings and folk band days with ‘The Jim Pitts Folk Quartet’ to the present day, is chronicled over 212 pages alongside a bonanza of his macabre works and written contributions from BFS stalwarts such as David A. Riley, David A. Sutton, Ramsey Campbell, Stephen Jones, Brian Lumley, Adrian Cole, Peter Coleborn and more, fascinating real life stories concerning what really must have been a golden era for these pioneers, especially in the 1970s and ‘80s. Reading about the difficulties they faced back then just made me realise how lucky wannabe publishers/writers like myself get it these days. My first job when I left school was with a printing firm, so I know only too well how expensive lithographic printing was, and probably still is.
On the subject of Jim’s artwork itself, firstly I must state that I am no art expert, especially from a technical viewpoint. But for me, as a layman, I found his numerous pieces included on the pages to be brilliantly atmospheric, haunting and Lovecraftian. I particularly enjoyed his representations of certain M.R. James’ stories, some of his Cthulhu mythos-based creations, his cracking portrait of Vincent Price in Witchfinder General, along with a classic Universal monster or two. On a personal level, Jim’s artwork also brought with it warm feelings of nostalgia for my own childhood when I would have read some of the various publications referenced, including Fantasy Tales and the B.F.S. Bulletins, mailed to me in the 1980s by my then pen-pal cousin Dave Carson, another fantasy artist also mentioned in the book and associate of Jim and the aforementioned contributors. For me to now be just a small part of this scene is the greatest of personal honours.
This is a very special book for many reasons, so if you have even a passing interest in fantasy artwork (especially that of Jim Pitts obviously) or the recent history of the UK weird fiction scene, then you really need to grab a copy for yourself as soon as humanly possible!
A limited number of 250 signed copies of The Fantastical Art of Jim Pitts have been published by Parallel Universe Publications. If you are interested in acquiring a copy you can contact them through the following:
Parallel Universe Publications
David A. Riley; Linden Riley
Head Office: 130 Union Road, Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, BB5 3DR, UK.
Email: paralleluniversepublications@gmx.co.uk or davidariley@gmx.co.uk
A future issue of Phantasmagoria Magazine (number 10, late May 2019) will feature interviews with Jim Pitts, David A. Riley and David A. Sutton.

To order a copy click on this link Order The Fantastical Art of Jim Pitts

Friday, 8 February 2019

Women in Horror Month

Parallel Universe Publications has three outstanding collection from women writers:

And Nobody Lived Happily Ever After by Kate Farrell
Other Visions of Heaven and Hell by Jessica Palmer
Fractious Fairy Tales by Jessica Palmer

Artwork by Vincent Chong

"What distinguishes Kate Farrell’s work is the extraordinary accuracy and vividness with which she sets up her situations. She has an eye for detail and an outstanding ear for the way people think and speak. It is far from fanciful to see this at least partly as the product of her experience as an actress. In the theatre, a natural faculty for observing one’s fellow human beings is trained and honed. Listen to the narrator of “Waiting”. If you don’t know someone like that personally, you will have certainly heard her talking just behind you on a bus at some time. The intonation, the accent, the understanding, and the lack of it, are all so true to life. But the people Farrell evokes are not all from one social stratum, or one nation. Here is an ancient and corrupt Irish Priest (“The Way the Truth and the Life”), here is the wife of a notorious Argentinean dictator (“Las Cosas Que Hacemos por el Amor”), or the two Spanish schoolchildren in “The Efficient Use of Reason”, and they are all done with the same conviction, the same ruthless accuracy. Farrell’s eye is not heartless, but it is unclouded by any kind of sentimental affectation; her horrors emerge from what we sometimes call the commonplace. Very occasionally she touches on the supernatural, but when she does she does it superbly as in one of my favourites among her stories “A Murder of Crows” which shows that she can do an uncanny rural atmosphere with grim poetry as well as anyone. It is the gift of every worthwhile writer in this genre to make us realise that just beneath the surface of the banal and ordinary, there yawn great abysses of wonder and terror. I don’t know quite why this realisation, in the hands of a writer like Farrell, should be so thrilling, enjoyable even, but it is. There is not a dull page, not a dull sentence in And Nobody Lived Happily Ever After." From Reggie Oliver 's introduction to And Nobody Lived Happily Ever After

Contents are:
Introduction by Reggie Oliver
Mea Culpa
Helping Mummy
A Murder of Crows
No Junk Mail
All in a Row
Dad Dancing
The Way and the Truth and the Life
My Name is Mary Sutherland
The Efficient Use of Reason
How I Got Here
His Family
The Sands are Magic
Once Upon a Time
A. Reeves Tale
Las Cosas Que Hacemos por El Amor
Peacock Blue Dress
Alma Mater
Waiting

Mea Culpa was first published in The Eighth Black Book of Horror, 2011
His Family was first published in The Ninth Black Book of Horror, 2012
Dad Dancing was first published in The Tenth Black Book of Horror, 2013
Helping Mummy was first published in The Screaming Book of Horror, 2012
The Sands are magic was first published in Terror Tales of the Seaside, 2013
Waiting was first published in Kitchen Sink Gothic, 2015
Alma Mater was first published in The Eleventh Black Book of Horror, 2015

Order Direct from us

trade paperback:
Amazon.co.uk £9.99
Amazon.com   $12.99          Barnes & Noble $12.99

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




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

Order Direct from us

trade paperback:
Amazon.co.uk £9.99
Amazon.com   $12.99          Barnes & Noble $12.99

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




Paperback:

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Soon to be Out of Print

We have decided, with the agreement of their authors, to stop publishing two of our books due to lack of sales.
Both books will cease to be available from the end of February, when they will officially be Out of Print. If you wish to buy them before they become scarce items, you have five weeks in order to do so.
The books are:

Written by "Richard Staines" (in reality Mark Samuels) this is a series of hilariously non-PC comic horror stories featuring the "notorious" manager Vince Grinstead and the most violent, psychopathic footballers in the history of English soccer!

trade paperback:
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com             Barnes & Noble

ebook:
amazon.co.uk
amazon.com    





Written by Johnny Mains, these stories were originally published by Obverse Books as With Deepest Sympathy.
Johnny's other collection from us, A Little Light Screaming will remain in print.

This collection contains
Reconvened
The Judge’s House
With Deepest Sympathy
Gun Money
Jesus Wept
The Bag Lady
Falling in Love with a Dead Boy
Losing the Plot
Bloody Conventions
The Spoon
The Trapper
Life through a Lens
The Family Business
Small Town Life
Stour Bridge
Final Draft
The Duel.

trade paperback:

Amazon.co.uk 
Amazon.com           Barnes & Noble

ebook:

Amazon.co.uk 
Amazon.com 

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Titles to cease publication

We will shortly be pulling publication of a couple of our older books that have low sales. We'll give everyone a month's notice if they want to buy copies before they are out of print.

Monday, 31 December 2018

Kitchen Sink Gothic reviewed on British Fantasy Society website

Dave Brzeski wrote a very detailed, excellent review of Kitchen Sink Gothic on the British Fantasy Society website, with the closing summary:
 
"...on the whole this is a solid collection of stories with no absolute duds."


"...this is Kitchen Sink Gothic—like Kitchen Sink Drama, only scarier. What’s not to like? No haunted mansions here; no bloodsucking counts. No, the horror here is targeted just where it tends to be in real life, at ordinary people who don’t have enough money to protect themselves—indeed some of the horrors in these stories are quite mundane in origin, but certainly no less terrifying for that."

For Mr Brzeski's full review click here

Monday, 26 November 2018

Goblin Mire by David A. Riley - free on kindle till the 30th November

David A. Riley's fantasy novel, Goblin Mire, will be available free on kindle from the 26th till the 30th November.
All we ask is that if you download this novel you give consideration to giving it a honest review on amazon afterwards, however brief.
Hope you enjoy it, though.

Kindle:

Amazon.co.uk free

Amazon.com free

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Half price (plus free postage) on any of the Jim Pitts Prints for anyone who buys a copy of The Fantastical Art of Jim Pitts

Between now and the 31st December anyone who buys (or has already bought) a copy of The Fantastical Art of Jim Pitts can buy any of Jim's prints for half price with free postage.




Tuesday, 9 October 2018

David A. Riley's Moloch's Children receives glowing review on the British Fantasy Society website

There was a great review for David A. Riley's horror novel, Moloch's Children, on the BFS website by Ian Hunter.

"This is my kind of book, only 213 pages long with a prologue and epilogue and 36 chapters in between, evidence of how fast-paced a novel “Moloch’s Children” is; in a tale that reminded me of the works of Dennis Wheatley, Ramsay Campbell and Richard Matheson; although it’s not as “quiet” as these last two writers. In his short fiction, Riley has never been one to shirk away from bloody horror and he doesn’t here..."

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

99p Promotion for kindle version of Erik Hofstatter's The Crabian Heart

There will be a 7 day promotion for Erik Hofstatter's The Crabian Heart on kindle, starting on the 30th August, with a price reduction to only 99p. So why not give this highly acclaimed book a try?
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B077DKHKVG/ref=sr_1_1…

Irena and her thirteen-year-old son AleŇ° are refugees living in a lonely seaside town of Dover, England. AleŇ° has never seen an ocean, let alone one that glows purple when he’s nearby. On a local beach, he befriends the ostensible Mother of Crabs, an amputee with rigid demeanour and unequivocal warnings. Soon, purple crustaceans crawl behind his every step and women with pincers threaten to recondition his sensitive heart.

Erik Hofstatter is a dark fiction writer and a member of the Horror Writers Association. Born in the wild lands of the Czech Republic, he roamed Europe before subsequently settling on English shores, studying creative writing at the London School of Journalism. He now dwells in Kent, where he can be encountered consuming copious amounts of mead and tyrannizing local peasantry. His work appeared in various magazines and podcasts around the world such as Morpheus Tales, Crystal Lake Publishing, The Literary Hatchet, Sanitarium Magazine, Wicked Library, Tales to Terrify and Manor House Show. Other works include The Pariahs, Amaranthine and Other Stories, Katerina, Moribund Tales and Rare Breeds.

Starburst magazine by Jon Towlson:
"...the emotional tug that The Crabian Heart exerts on the reader is palpable. The Crabian Heart is also a coming-of-age tale, one that resonates with the pangs of unrequited love. And as such, it concludes, like all great coming-of-age stories, with a very difficult and painful realisation for the love-struck main character. By the end of its 100 pages you will find yourself both haunted and moved by Hofstatter’s evocative writing."

hellnotes:

"I like this little collection a lot. Definitely a case of bigger not always being better. Hofstatter could have watered this down with more words, but that would have taken the impact out of the stories. I also like how he slips a lot of important messages into his work. For example “people are scared of what they don’t know…or understand,” says Enola, as she and Ales walk along the beach. Zsofia tells him that life is a gamble and his mother points out that the powers that be make the rules that govern us and we have to go where they tell us to. Ultimately, the decisions of what we do are ours, but I’d like to suggest that you try a copy of The Crabian Heart. That forward is going to be the icing on the cake!"

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Limited Edition - The Fantastical Art of Jim Pitts

This is just a friendly reminder to anyone interested in this large, hardcover book featuring the fantastical art of Jim Pitts, that this is a signed, numbered, limited edition. Only a diminishing number of copies remain before it will be out of print, when it will  become a collector's item, with the inevitable rise in its price.

If you want to make sure of getting a copy before this happens, there is only one place it can be bought, and that is direct from the publisher, Parallel Universe Publications. The link to buy copies is here. Priced only £25.00 plus p&p.

Besides hundreds of copies of black and white and full colour artwork, the book includes articles by Brian Lumley, Ramsey Campbell, Stephen Jones, David A. Sutton, Adrian Cole, Peter Coleborn, Jon Harvey, and Nick Caffrey.







Wednesday, 22 August 2018

The Return by David A. Riley

Not a book published by Parallel Universe Publications - actually by Blood Bound Books in the States - this was written by PUP owner David A. Riley.


The Return is a combination of Lovecraftian horror and crime noir, set in a terminally sick north of England town, torn by cults, crime and the darker denizens of the Cthulhu Mythos.

One reviewer wrote: "For me, this is David A Riley's best book to date. A tight, pulse-pounding thriller, mixing hard-boiled crime with horror - a new angle for the Mythos of Lovecraft - with pace, character and enough action to keep the pages turning. Well constructed, with a credible landscape and a bagful of grotesqueness."

Douglas Draa, editor of Weirdbook, wrote: "You don't even have to be a "Mythos" fan to receive maximum enjoyment! David A. Riley's "The Return" is an amazing read. Do you like gritty noir? Brit Horror? Masculine (but not macho) protagonists? Eldritch Horror in bleak industrial slums? "The Long Good Friday" meets "the Mythos"? The writing is dense and sleek. Never boring enthralling page turners. Do you like to read just a few more pages even though you need to sleep? Then this is THE BOOK!"

A further reviewer had this to say: ""The genres of crime and horror have always skipped hand in hand like a deranged Jack and Jill (see "Falling Angel" and "The Damnation Game") and with "The Return" David A Riley continues this tradition. If you like your cosmic horror to be tinged with the darkness of the human condition that can be seen in noir-ish crime then this is the book for you.
Riley evokes a wonderful sense of place in the rundown Grudge End, a place that is dying but the creatures that dwell within will tear the world apart as they try to enact their own return just as our protagonist does returning to the place where he is from now that he has nothing left.
I would recommend this book to both fans of Lovecraftian fiction and those who like their horror tales to be fused with the gritty reality of the old ones - a kind of "Cthulhu tries to Get Carter""

You can buy copies of this book on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. Or direct from the publisher, Blood Bound Books.

Kindle versions of the novel are also available.

The cover is by the brilliant Croatian artist Andrej Bartulovic.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Promotional price of 99p for Kindle version of Fractious Fairy Tales by Jessica Palmer

As a promotion we have reduced the price of downloading the kindle version of Jessica Palmer's Fractious Fairty Tales to 99p ($1.26 in the States).
The paperback version is, of course, still available, and an absolute steal at:
amazon.co.uk £9.99
amazon.com $12.99

What one reviewer thought of Fractious Fairy Tales:

"Terry Pratchett was renowned for taking familiar tales and converting them into comforting metaphors in the Discworld. That is not the way of Jessica Palmer.
Rather, she takes the crumbling skeletons of childhood fairy stories and fleshes them with satirical icons from the modern world to create a universe that is not Grimm but GRIM.
An author with many genres to her credit, from teen fantasy, through textbooks and cultural analysis. But this collection has more in common with her early horror work, twisted with a warped sense of humour that befits the daughter of a clown.
As with her other recent collection, "Other Visions of Heaven and Hell", you should leave your preconceptions on the coffee table. You will not, and could not, have anticipated this. But you will enjoy it, mostly!"


Also take a look at Jessica Palmer's Other Visions of Heaven and Hell.

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.
 

Jessica 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, Jessica 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, Jessica won awards in New Mexico and Texas for writing features, public service and breaking news – the most recent in 2013. Jessica 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.

Order Direct from us

trade paperback:
Amazon.co.uk £9.99
Amazon.com   $12.99          Barnes & Noble $12.99

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

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Seven full-colour & four black & white prints by Jim Pitts now available

We now have 7 full-colour and 4 black and white prints by Jim Pitts available. Each is printed on high-quality paper and is signed by the artist. Please follow this link.

More prints will be added shortly.

Full-colour £7.00 each
Black and white £5.00 each
plus p&p
(Order 5 or more prints and postage and packing are free.)
















Saturday, 4 August 2018

Jim Pitts art prints

Parallel Universe Publications will soon be making available signed, high quality prints of the work of Jim Pitts, each signed by the artist, both black and white and in full colour, ideal for framing and displaying on your wall.
More information shortly.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

The Fantastical Art of Jim Pitts - price reduction to £25.00 plus p&p



We have reduced the price of The Fantastical Art of Jim Pitts from £30.00 to £25.00 per copy plus postage.

Our charges now, including shipping costs, are:
£28.90 for UK orders
£34.75 for European orders
£39.75 for airmail postage to the rest of the world
£34.80 for surface mail postage to the rest of the world (which can take up to 45 days)

This is a numbered, limited edition of 250 copies, each of which is signed by the artist.

Please go to Order Books Direct.

Monday, 23 July 2018

Two 4-star ratings for Into the Dark by Andrew Jennings on Goodreads

No reviews so far for Andrew Jennings' novel Into the Dark, but so far it has received two 4-star ratings on Goodreads.

We recently released free downloads of the kindle version, hopefully to get some honest reviews in exchange. So far there haven't been any. If you downloaded this novel, why not give it a review, good, bad or indifferent?



Monday, 16 July 2018

Edge-Lit, Derby July 14th - Parallel Universe Publications Stand

A great day out was had by David A. Riley and Jim Pitts manning the Parallel Universe Publications stand at Edge-Lit 7 in Derby on Saturday the 14trh July.

David A. Riley

Photograph: C.C. ADAMS - right to left: David A. Riley, Jim Pitts
Jim Pitts