Friday, 19 January 2018

The Fantastical Art of Jim Pitts - special offer

Order a copy of The Fantastical Art of Jim Pitts by the end of January and receive a copy of any of these paperback books free:
Things That Go Bump In The Night
Classic Weird
Classic Weird 2
Fishhead: The Darker Tales of Irvin S. Cobb
Kitchen Sink Gothic

The Fantastical Art of Jim Pitts

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Kitchen Sink Gothic 2 - in Aid of the Homeless

Although we are still closed to submissions for novels and collections, we are now open for a charity anthology we will be publishing later this year.

The book will be Kitchen Sink Gothic 2, and all proceeds will be donated to a charity for the homeless (details to be announced soon). As such, there will be no payment for any of the stories appearing in this book other than a contributor's copy, but we are open both to original stories and reprints.

The book will be edited by David and Linden Riley, and will have an introduction by John Gilbert, editor of Fear magazine.

To give an idea of the kind of stories we are looking for, here is the Introduction from 2015's Kitchen Sink Gothic:

M. John Harrison used the term kitchen sink gothic in association with Robert Aickman. After quoting John Coulthart’s description of Aickman as having the “quotidian Britishness of Alan Bennett darkening into the inexplicable nightmares of David Lynch”, he added: “I often return to BBC4′s The Golden Age of Canals, which features Aickman as a broody, nerdy TE Lawrence of the waterways, for its footage of decaying tunnel entrances, drained locks & Kitchen Sink Gothic clutter embedded in wet mud."

Coined in the 1950s, Kitchen Sink described British films, plays and novels frequently set in the North of England, which showed working class life in a gritty, no-nonsense, “warts and all” style, sometimes referred to as social realism.

It became popular after the playwright John Osborne wrote Look Back In Anger, simultaneously helping to create the Angry Young Men movement. Films included Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, The Entertainer, A Taste of Honey, The L-Shaped Room and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner.  TV dramas included Coronation Street and East Enders. In recent years TV dramas that could rightly be described as kitchen sink gothic include Being Human, with its cast of working class vampires, werewolves and ghosts, and the zombie drama In the Flesh, with its northern working class, down to earth setting.

It’s an area of writing that fascinates me, especially coming from a working class background and having been brought up in a terraced street in a solidly Lancastrian mill town which any viewer of Coronation Street would recognise as typical of its type. My formative reading in weird fiction, though, came from middle-class Americans (Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury and H. P. Lovecraft) or from upper middle-class British writers like M. R. James, Algernon Blackwood, the Bensons. etc. I always felt there was a place for working class horror fiction whose characters were more than merely just comic constructs.

For me, within the horror genre, kitchen sink gothic is the antithesis of Jamesian or Lovecraftian horror. There are no distinguished scholars. The settings are unglamorous, perhaps unatmospheric in the accepted sense of the word in supernatural literature. And gritty.

I was reminded of my own occasional leanings in that direction after someone reviewed one of my stories (Dark Visions 1, Grey Matter Press, 2013): "Scrap by David A. Riley could easily have been a kitchen sink drama, depicting the lives of two brothers growing up in a poverty-stricken council estate in England."

Shortly afterwards I came across John Braine’s novel The Vodi, listed by M. John Harrision as amongst his top ten novels: “Constructed round the fantasies of a recovering tuberculosis patient, this novel was the defining moment of an as-yet-unreported genre, kitchen sink gothic. One of my favourite books of all time, it doesn’t seem to be in print with the rest of Braine’s backlist.” Fortunately, Valancourt Books rectified this situation, republishing it in paperback in 2013.

In the anthology you are now holding you will find stories that cover a wide range of Kitchen Sink Gothic, from the darkly humorous to the weirdly strange and occasionally horrific.  I hope you find the genre as fascinating as I do.
If any potential contributor would like to take a look at volume 1 to get a better idea of the type of stories we will be interested in, please email us at for either a free mobi copy or a pdf, which we'll gladly email to you.

Deadline: August 1st 2018.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Fractious Fairy Tales by Jessica Palmer due early 2018

The first book to be published by Parallel Universe Publications in 2018 will be Jessica Palmer's follow-up to Other Visions of Heaven and Hell, Fractious Fairy Tales. 

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

The Crabian Heart by Erik Hofstatter - updates

As well as having yet two more excellent reviews, Erik Hofstatter's The Crabian Heart is now also available in paperback, price £9.99/$12.99.  £9.99 $12.99

"The Crabian Heart protects from inevitable heartaches.  It's a story of young love and perhaps, more importantly, an immigrant's tale.

It is a story well-told with beautiful prose...

In addition to the main novella, there's a bonus short story from Erik, called Fountain of Drowned Memories.

Erik Hofstatter is not afraid to tackle the difficult subjects.  Between the stories in this brief collection, he takes on both immigration and dementia with aplomb.

Recommended." Frank Michaels Errington

"It’s as easy getting settled into this story as your favorite chair, but don’t count on it being nearly as comfortable. Erik Hofstatter quickly sets a tone of unease, uncertainty and struggle for young boy in a new country... This was a great read with great characters and it was so well told." The Scary Reviews

Monday, 4 December 2017

Erik Hofstatter and one of his copies of The Crabian Heart

"When I started writing seven years ago and rejections piled up, people told me that I was wasting my time, that I should give up. Today I'm proving them wrong with my first hardback. Don't listen to anyone but yourself." Erik Hofstatter

Friday, 1 December 2017

Haunted Grave & Other Stories by Ezeiyoke Chukwunonso reviewed by the British Fantasy Society

"If you would like something fresh to read with a different perspective to the usual stories that sit on a fantasy shelf then this collection might just be for you." To read the full review by Alex S. Bradshaw, click on this link: BFS review

Edge-Lit 7 - 14th July 2018

Parallel Universe has already booked a dealers table for Edge-Lit 7, which will be held at the Quad, Derby on Saturday the 14th July next year.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Parallel Universe Publications' Author Johnny Mains is Guest of Honour at the Edinburgh Horror Convention

It is with great pleasure that we can announce that Johnny Mains, one of Parallel Universe Publications' writers - author of two collections of short stories - will be one of the Guests of Honour at the Edinburgh Horror Convention in May next year.

Just over a month to go to buy The Fantastical Art of Jim Pitts at its Introductory Price of only £35

There's just over a month to go to buy The Fantastical Art of Jim Pitts at its introductory price of £35 plus postage and packing. From January 1st next year this will rise to £40 plus postage and packing.

The Fantastical Art of Jim Pitts

Sledge-Lit November 25th - & Parallel Universe Publications

David A. Riley and Jim Pitts went to Sledge-Lit yesterday, with a 5.30 am start off and a journey beset with roadworks and sleet! Still we got there on time and set up our stand for Parallel Universe Publications. Like every other dealer there it was, unfortunately, a very poor day for sales, but, on the plus side, it was a great opportunity to meet up with old friends and new, including Mike Chinn, Eric Ian Steele, CC Adams, Alex Davis, and Ash Hartwell, whose new novel, Tip of the Iceberg, I'm reading at the moment.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

One week today we'll be at Sledge-Lit in Derby

One week today David Riley and Jim Pitts will be manning the stand for Parallel Universe Publications at Sledge-Lit in Derby.

All of PUP's books will be available, plus signed prints of Jim Pitts artwork.

Below is a copy of the ad we have booked in the event programme.