Thursday, 26 November 2020

Kitchen Sink Gothic 2 - our "homeless" charity anthology

Just a reminder that our charity anthology Kitchen Sink Gothic 2 is still available in paperback and kindle.  All profits wiull donated to charities for the homeless. But don't think that just because this is a charity anthology that any of the stories in the book are any the lesser in quality. Every writer who submitted to us gave us as good as they can and you will be surprised at the variety and quality of the tales listed below. As one reviewer on The Vault of Evil website said: "Think we can safely chance that fans of Kitchen Sink Gothic Mk I will not be disappointed. A similar mix of relatively conventional ghost, fantasy and horror stories interspersed with occasional cosmic what-was-that-about strangeness."

Kitchen Sink Gothic 2 - paperback and kindle.

£11.99 in paperback/£2.99 in kindle

Stories and authors in this book are:

THE RING ON THE ROOF - James Harper

THE CHRISTMAS TREE - Eric Nash 

VLOG'S LEGS - Shaun Avery

THE CAPSULE - David A. Sutton

WAKE UP SCREAMING - Adrian Cole

THE BOY ON THE TRAIN - Paul Lewis

DOUBLE EXPOSURE - Jonathan Mitchell

NIGHT FLIGHT - Eric Ian Steele

THE LONELY PASSION OF JIMMY TATE - Trevor Kennedy

THE DOOMED EMPIRE - Andrew Darlington

REAL LIFE - Franklin Marsh

STONES ARE BREATHING TONIGHT - Russell Hemmell

WINTER DISCONTENT - Stephanie Ellis

THE ADELPHI - Alyson Faye

PAIN - Mark Reece

THIS LITTLE PIGGY - Teika Marija Smits

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Parallel Universe Publications

 

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Craig Herbertson's Christmas in the Workhouse & Other Gruesome Tales now available in paperback and kindle


We are pleased to announce that Craig Herbertson's latest short story collection, with illustrations by Chrissie Demant, Christmas in the Workhouse & Other Gruesome Tales is now available as a paperback and ebook (kindle). 

Amazon UK

Amazon US

 

This is the second collection of stories written by Craig Herbertson to be published by Parallel Universe Publications. A musician and songwriter, Craig lives in Edinburgh with his partner and children. Craig is one of the original authors included in the infamous Pan Book of Horror Stories series. Two of his stories received honourable mentions in Ellen Datlow's renowned lists - The Best Horror of the Year. When not writing Craig is playing folk music, mostly Scottish, or watching football. Some of the stories in this collection show the influence of some of his favourite writers, including Philip K. Dick and J. G. Ballard.

An ideal present for Christmas for anyone who loves well-written, dark, sardonically macabre stories, complete with several spot illustrations by Chrissie Demant and one illustration by Craig himself. Also available in hardcover with an illustrated dustjacket, this is one of the best collections we have ever published. 
 
To order direct from PUP rather than through outlets like Amazon, just click on this link: Order Hardcover Books Direct
 
We also have copies of Craig's first collection The Heaven Maker & Other Gruesome Tales, which can be ordered for the same price.


Friday, 20 November 2020

After Nightfall & Other Weird Tales by David A. Riley, Illustrated by Jim Pitts



After a bit of a hiccup when the printer made a hash of the first copies ordered (inserting an extra, unwanted page before the Contents page), After Nightfall & Other Weird Tales will now be published on the 30th November. Up until then copies are still available for pre-order, all of which will be posted on publication. PRE-ORDER

Below are some photos of the interior of the book: 






 

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Craig Herbertson reviews Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy


Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy presented by David A. Riley. Illustrated by Jim Pitts

A good buffet has something for everyone. Similarly, a good anthology treads the delicate balance of achieving a consistent feel while rewarding the reader with a mix of tales. “Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy” achieves this balance as one would expect from a veteran editor. David Riley has previously expressed his fondness for Lin Carter who almost single-handedly resurrected the fantasy anthology and it’s no surprise that this collection of stories seems a worthy successor.

After a fascinating introduction dedicated to the late Charles Black, we have eight very different fantasy tales enhanced by the distinctive art of Jim Pitts.

In The Mirror of Torjan Sul by Steve Lines a powerful necromancer sends his dubious apprentice to collect the mirror. It has a plot reminiscent of Jack Vance and convolutes in an interesting manner.

Desert peoples, suspicious meteorites, and the hero, Bohun, a young adventurer from the south, entertain in The Horror from the Stars by Steve Dilks. Bohun is on the hunt for his wife, bought by the evil sultan of Ibn-Shahik. The sultan may have bought a lot more than he bargained for as Bohun is not a happy fellow and will stop at nothing.

Trolls are Different by Susan Murrie Macdonald, is a little gem involving a head village lady in some subtle diplomacy to sort out the bad guys. The tale departs some way from a conventional fantasy tale but loses nothing by this.


I never got into the Grey Mouser or spoofs but Chain of Command by Geoff Hart is really a marvellous take on Leiber, brilliantly crafted, funny and slick. Suspiciously familiar heroines join with incompetent mages on a quest for the Chain of Office of a long dead king. Doesn’t work out well for most involved. Ten out of ten.

Disruption of Destiny by Gerri Leen had me yawning in the first page and applauding by the last. It starts in an innocuous manner and then takes on a maze of interesting twists. It’s a standout in a very good anthology. Don’t be fooled by the tarot cards and the witch. It is a far deeper and more interesting tale.

In The City of Silence by Eric Ian Steele the king Ariston and his loyal vizier, Obadiah seem to have come to the end of their adventures. When the king loses his sword, and some other bits, it looks like the end is nigh. But it ain’t.

Another standout is Red by Chadwick Ginther with its neat female protagonist on the search for her recalcitrant brother in the underground city. Funny at times, exciting at others this was one of the most enjoyable tales.

The final tale, The Reconstructed God by Adrian Cole, is an excellent and well plotted piece about the Key of Keys. Elfloq comes to an arrangement with the merchant Aggrabal but who will end up with the master Key? Keeps you guessing.

One of the most cheering aspects of this anthology is ‘Volume 1’ on the front of a striking cover. Thankfully, there is no boring literature here and no mundane facts. There is action, intrigue, impossible places and unlikely scenarios. In short if you like fantasy you are in the right place. There is also a refreshing hint of the good old days in “Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy” spiced up with the approach of a new generation of fantasy writers – Let’s hope Volume 2 is not too long in coming.

amazon.co.uk

amazon.com

Parallel Universe Publications

Monday, 16 November 2020

A great 5-star review of Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy on amazon.com


 

A great 5-star review, with a concise but in-depth look at the stories on amazon.com by Jason Ray Carney.

"All in all, an entertaining and fresh new anthology of sword and sorcery! Jim Pitts's cover is really distinctive; moreover, his interior illustrations are delightfully eerie, otherworldly, and evoke that "old school" charm."

 


Sunday, 15 November 2020

First review for Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy on amazon.com

The first review for Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy has appeared on amazon.com. 
 
"A varied collection of stories. Not to be overlooked. And be sure to keep an eye out for Volume Two out next year with more art by Jim Pitts."

amazon.co.uk

amazon.com

Parallel Universe Publications

Sunday, 1 November 2020

RIP Martin McKenna

Very saddened to read today on a post by Steve Jones on facebook that the artist Martin McKenna died early September this year, aged only 51. 

Athough we lost touch in later years I got to know Martin well when he lived nearby in Rishton, Lancashire in the early 90s. We used to travel together, along with Jim Pitts, to the monthly SF meetings in Preston, organised by Stephen Gallagher and Paul Talbot. The only photo I have of Martin and me was at one of these meetings with Jim Pitts, when we were privileged to hear the great Ray Harryhausen talk about his work in film animation.

Martin painted the very first cover for our short-lived magazine Beyond, as well as providing a number of interior illustrations for it.  Even the magazine's title was his idea. 

Ray Harryhausen, Martin McKenna, Jim Pitts, David Riley

 

 

Saturday, 31 October 2020

Big projects for 2021 from Parallel Universe Publications


We have at least two big projects lined up for next year, besides paperback and ebook versions of Christmas in the Workhouse & Other Gruesome Tales by Craig Herbertson and of After Nightfall & Other Weird Tales by David A. Riley, both of which are ready to be released at the right time by a touch of a button.

One of the two projects must unfortunately remain secret for the time being, but it does involve a novel by a well-known writer. The other is a second volume of Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy. It's too early to invite submissions for this anthology yet, but it will be announced at a later date. We already have cover art for it by Jim Pitts (see above). Keep checking on this site for further information in the early months of 2021.

 


Monday, 26 October 2020

THE FANTASTICAL ART OF JIM PITTS - ideal gifts for anyone who loves top quality fantasy art

 
Celebrating over 40 years of work in the fantasy/horror genres, The Fantastical Art of Jim Pitts is a large-size 212-page hardcover book containing hundreds of black and white and colour illustrations created by one of the finest fantasy artists in the UK. Included are articles by people who have worked with and known Jim for many years: Brian Lumley, David A. Sutton, Ramsey Campbell, Stephen Jones, Jon M. Harvey, Peter Coleborn, Nick Caffrey, and David A. Riley. 
The Fantastical Art of Jim Pitts is a numbered, limited edition of 250 copies, each of which is signed by Jim Pitts. As such it is only available direct from us. It cannot be ordered from Amazon or anywhere else.

To order the hardcover version of The Fantastical Art of Jim Pitts click onto this link.
To order the softcover versions direct from us click onto this link.

Also available in soft cover in two volumes:



Volume 1 Amazon UK £15.99
Volume 2 Amazon UK £15.99

Volume 1 Amazon USA $21.73
Volume 2 Amazon USA $21.73

Saturday, 24 October 2020

Four new titles from Parallel Universe Publications for 2020

After being quiet during the early part of this year - on the surface at least - Parallel Universe Publications has just released three books - two in paperback and kindle and one in hardcover. We have a fourth which will be published in hardcover next month.

Like all our books they can be ordered through the usual online retailors like amazon or direct from us.

 Recent publications include:

Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy - paperback and kindle

£11.99 in paperback/£2.99 in kindle

The contents of Volume One are:

INTRODUCTION - David A. Riley

THE MIRROR OF TORJAN SUL - Steve Lines

THE HORROR FROM THE STARS - Steve Dilks

TROLLS ARE DIFFERENT - Susan Murrie Macdonald

CHAIN OF COMMAND - Geoff Hart

DISRUPTION OF DESTINY - Gerri Leen

THE CITY OF SILENCE - Eric Ian Steele

RED - Chadwick Ginther

THE RECONSTRUCTED GOD - Adrian Cole

The cover and all the interior artwork is by Jim Pitts. 
 
amazon.co.uk

amazon.com

Parallel Universe Publications

 

Kitchen Sink Gothic 2 - paperback and kindle.

£11.99 in paperback/£2.99 in kindle

Stories and authors in this book are:

THE RING ON THE ROOF - James Harper

THE CHRISTMAS TREE - Eric Nash 

VLOG'S LEGS - Shaun Avery

THE CAPSULE - David A. Sutton

WAKE UP SCREAMING - Adrian Cole

THE BOY ON THE TRAIN - Paul Lewis

DOUBLE EXPOSURE - Jonathan Mitchell

NIGHT FLIGHT - Eric Ian Steele

THE LONELY PASSION OF JIMMY TATE - Trevor Kennedy

THE DOOMED EMPIRE - Andrew Darlington

REAL LIFE - Franklin Marsh

STONES ARE BREATHING TONIGHT - Russell Hemmell

WINTER DISCONTENT - Stephanie Ellis

THE ADELPHI - Alyson Faye

PAIN - Mark Reece

THIS LITTLE PIGGY - Teika Marija Smits

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Parallel Universe Publications


Christmas in the Workhouse & Other Gruesome Tales - hardcover - price £20.00 (including p&p worldwide when order from PUP)
 
This is the second collection of stories written by Craig Herbertson to be published by Parallel Universe Publications. A musician and songwriter, Craig lives in Edinburgh with his partner and children. Craig is one of the original authors included in the infamous Pan Book of Horror Stories series. Two of his stories received honourable mentions in Ellen Datlow's renowned lists - The Best Horror of the Year. When not writing Craig is playing folk music, mostly Scottish, or watching football.Some of the stories in this collection show the influence of some of his favourite writers, including Philip K. Dick and J. G. Ballard.
 
An ideal present for Christmas for anyone who loves well-written, dark, sardonically macabre stories, complete with several spot illustrations by Chrissie Demant and one illustration by Craig himself.  Published in hardcover with an illustrated dustjacket, this is one of the best collections we have ever published.

Parallel Universe Publications


After Nightfall & Other Weird Tales by David A. Riley, illustrated by Jim Pitts, is available for pre-order up until mid November 2020, when it will be published. 

As well as over 20 illustrations by award-winning artist Jim Pitts, this hardcover book contains the following stories:
Three Eyed Jack
The Fragile Mask on his Face
Terror on the Moors
The Shade of Apollyon
Writer's Cramp
Fish Eye
Boat Trip
Prickly
After Nightfall

Here are just a couple of the illustrations, most of which are full page.


After publication this hardcover book will be for sale at £20.00 per copy.

Up until publication it can be pre-ordered for £18.00 including postage and packing within the UK, and all copies will be signed by the writer and artist. We have added extra charges for overseas orders.

To order a copy now click on this link: Pre-order








Friday, 23 October 2020

Kitchen Sink Gothic 2 reviewed on the Vault of Evil website

There's a detailed review of all the stories in Kitchen Sink Gothic 2 on the Vault of Evil website.

"Think we can safely chance that fans of Kitchen Sink Gothic Mk I will not be disappointed. A similar mix of relatively conventional ghost, fantasy and horror stories interspersed with occasional cosmic what-was-that-about strangeness?...

"Can't say I understood every story, but that's nothing unusual. My favourites, in no particular order, were Vlog's Legs (video ghastly fun), Wake up Screaming, Pain (Dino Buzzati/ Seven Floors flashbacks), Real life ( ... has a habit of screwing you over), Boy on the Train (weird tales), Winter Discontent (creepy premise like that, how could it fail?) and the trad vampire-ghost outing, Double Exposure."

You can order both versions through amazon:

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

You can also order the paperback for £11.99, postage free anywhere in the world, direct from Parallel Universe Publications

Click on any of the links in blue posted above.

 

 


Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Order Craig Herbertson's Christmas in the Workhouse & Other Gruesome Tales direct from Parallel Universe Publications



Craig Herbertson's Christmas in the Workhouse is selling well via direct sales through Parallel Universe Publications, with copies so far going as far afield as Switzerland, Germany, Hong Kong and Australia, all for £20 per copy, inclusive of postage and packing worldwide.
 
This is the second collection of stories written by Craig Herbertson to be published by Parallel Universe Publications. A musician and songwriter, Craig lives in Edinburgh with his partner and children. Craig is one of the original authors included in the infamous Pan Book of Horror Stories series. Two of his stories received honourable mentions in Ellen Datlow's renowned lists - The Best Horror of the Year. When not writing Craig is playing folk music, mostly Scottish, or watching football. Some of the stories in this collection show the influence of some of his favourite writers, including Philip K. Dick and J. G. Ballard.
 
An ideal present for Christmas for anyone who loves well-written, dark, sardonically macabre stories, complete with several spot illustrations by Chrissie Demant and one illustration by Craig himself. Published in hardcover with an illustrated dustjacket, this is one of the best collections we have ever published. 
 
To order direct from PUP rather than through outlets like Amazon, just click on this link: Order Hardcover Books Direct
 
We also have copies of Craig's first collection The Heaven Maker & Other Gruesome Tales, which can be ordered for the same price.



 

Friday, 16 October 2020

Call Out to Reviewers

If there are any reviewers who would be interested in copies of our recent books please email us on paralleluniversepublications@gmx.co.uk

If you are a blog reviewer or write reviews for genre-related periodicals just let us know and we will send you print copies of our paperbacks or pdfs if you prefer. Because of the cost only pdfs are normally available for our hardcover books. 

 Recent publications include:

Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy - paperback 










Kitchen Sink Gothic 2 - paperback










Christmas in the Workhouse & Other Gruesome Tales - hardcover









A Distasteful Horror Story - paperback










After Nightfall & Other Weird Tales - hardcover - This will not by published till mid-November but pdfs are available now. 








 

If there are any other PUP books you would be interested in reviewing which were published earlier please let us know and we will send these to you also.

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy now out on Kindle


Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy
is now available as an ebook for kindle as well as a paperback. Price for the ebook in the UK is £2.99.

amazon.co.uk

amazon.com

The contents are:

INTRODUCTION - David A. Riley

THE MIRROR OF TORJAN SUL - Steve Lines

THE HORROR FROM THE STARS - Steve Dilks

TROLLS ARE DIFFERENT - Susan Murrie Macdonald

CHAIN OF COMMAND - Geoff Hart

DISRUPTION OF DESTINY - Gerri Leen

THE CITY OF SILENCE - Eric Ian Steele

RED - Chadwick Ginther

THE RECONSTRUCTED GOD - Adrian Cole

The cover and all the interior artwork is by Jim Pitts.

First copies of Craig Herbertson's Christmas in the Workhouse arrive



Very pleased with the copy of Craig Herbertson's Christmas in the Workhouse that arrived from the printers today. Here's a glimpse of it.

We are selling copies for £20 inclusive of postage and packing worldwide. We have already sold copies to Switzerland, Germany, Hong Kong and even Wales.
This is the second collection of stories written by Craig Herbertson to be published by Parallel Universe Publications. A musician and songwriter, Craig lives in Edinburgh with his partner and children. Craig is one of the original authors included in the infamous Pan Book of Horror Stories series. Two of his stories received honourable mentions in Ellen Datlow's renowned lists - The Best Horror of the Year. When not writing Craig is playing folk music, mostly Scottish, or watching football. Some of the stories in this collection show the influence of some of his favourite writers, including Philip K. Dick and J. G. Ballard.
An ideal present for Christmas for anyone who loves well-written, dark, sardonically macabre stories, complete with several spot illustrations by Chrissie Demant and one illustration by Craig himself. Published in hardcover with an illustrated dustjacket, this is one of the best collections we have ever published.

Monday, 12 October 2020

A Kindle version of Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy to be launched by the end of the week

For those who prefer their books in an e-format, the good news is that a kindle version of Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy will be launched at the end of this week, including all the marvelous illustrations provided by award-winning artist Jim Pitts. 

The contents are:

THE MIRROR OF TORJAN SUL - Steve Lines

THE HORROR FROM THE STARS - Steve Dilks

TROLLS ARE DIFFERENT - Susan Murrie Macdonald

CHAIN OF COMMAND - Geoff Hart

DISRUPTION OF DESTINY - Gerri Leen

THE CITY OF SILENCE - Eric Ian Steele

RED - Chadwick Ginther

THE RECONSTRUCTED GOD - Adrian Cole

Sunday, 11 October 2020

Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy - some interior pages


Here are some of the illustrated interior pages of Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy. All of the artwork is by award-winning artist Jim Pitts. 





Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy is now available as an ebook for kindle as well as a paperback. Price for the ebook in the UK is £2.99.

amazon.co.uk

amazon.com

The contents are:

INTRODUCTION - David A. Riley

THE MIRROR OF TORJAN SUL - Steve Lines

THE HORROR FROM THE STARS - Steve Dilks

TROLLS ARE DIFFERENT - Susan Murrie Macdonald

CHAIN OF COMMAND - Geoff Hart

DISRUPTION OF DESTINY - Gerri Leen

THE CITY OF SILENCE - Eric Ian Steele

RED - Chadwick Ginther

THE RECONSTRUCTED GOD - Adrian Cole

The cover and all the interior artwork is by Jim Pitts.

Friday, 9 October 2020

Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy Volume 1 now available in paperback


It is with great pleasure we can announce that Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy Volume One is now available in paperback from internet retailors like amazon or directly from Parallel Universe Publications.

amazon.co.uk

amazon.com

Parallel Universe Publications

The contents are:

INTRODUCTION - David A. Riley

THE MIRROR OF TORJAN SUL - Steve Lines

THE HORROR FROM THE STARS - Steve Dilks

TROLLS ARE DIFFERENT - Susan Murrie Macdonald

CHAIN OF COMMAND - Geoff Hart

DISRUPTION OF DESTINY - Gerri Leen

THE CITY OF SILENCE - Eric Ian Steele

RED - Chadwick Ginther

THE RECONSTRUCTED GOD - Adrian Cole

The cover and all the interior artwork is by Jim Pitts.

Craig Herbertson's Christmas in the Workhouse & Other Gruesome Tales is now available

Cover artwork: Chrissie Demant

This is the second collection of stories written by Craig Herbertson to be published by Parallel Universe Publications. A musician and songwriter, Craig lives in Edinburgh with his partner and children. Craig is one of the original authors included in the infamous Pan Book of Horror Stories series. Two of his stories received honourable mentions in Ellen Datlow's renowned lists - The Best Horror of the Year. When not writing Craig is playing folk music, mostly Scottish, or watching football. Some of the stories in this collection show the influence of some of his favourite writers, including Philip K. Dick and J. G. Ballard.

An ideal present for Christmas for anyone who loves well-written, dark, sardonically macabre stories, complete with several spot illustrations by Chrissie Demant and one illustration by Craig himself.  Published in hardcover with an illustrated dustjacket, this is one of the best collections we have ever published.

To order this book direct from us click on this link. Free postage anywhere in the world when you order direct from PUP.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Four New Books From Parallel Universe Publications



We are proud to be publishing four new books during the closing months of 2020.

Already out is Kitchen Sink Gothic 2, selected by Linden and David A. Riley. This is now available as a paperback and an ebook. Like all our publications you can either order it on amazon and other online retailors or direct from us, post free.  

Coming out in paperback within the next few days will be Swords & Sorceries: Tales of Heroic Fantasy Volume 1, with covers and interior art by Jim Pitts. Writers include Steve Lines, Steve Dilks, Susan Murrie Macdonald, Geoff Hart, Gerri Leen, Eric Ian Steele, Chadwick Ginther, and Adrian Cole.

Shortly, we have a hardcover collection of stories by Craig Herbertson, Christmas in the Workhouse & Other Gruesome Tales which includes illustrations by Chrissie Demant.

And, finally, coming in mid-November is a second hardcover collection After Nightfall & Other Weird Tales by David A. Riley, lavishly illustrated by Jim Pitts. 

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Fishhead: The Darker Tales of Irvin S. Cobb

One of the finest books we have ever published (in hardcover and paperback, as well as an ebook) is 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.

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

Hardback, paperback and kindle:
Amazon.co.uk 
Amazon.com         
 
You can order both the hardcover and paperback versions of this book direct from us on this link, post free.

Craig Herbertson's Christmas in the Workhouse to be published soon

We are now just waiting for a printed proof copy of Craig Herbertson's Christmas in the Workhouse & Other Gruesome Tales. Once we have approved it, the book will be published, so there are now only a few days left in which to pre-order at the discounted price of £18 for a signed copy, after which the price will be £20 (including postage & packing) for unsigned copies. 

An ideal present for Christmas for anyone who loves well-written, dark, sardonically macabre stories, complete with several spot illustrations by Chrissie Demant and one illustration by Craig himself.  Published in hardcover with an illustrated dustjacket, this is one of the best collections we have ever published. 

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Kitchen Sink Gothic 2 now available in paperback and ebook


We are delighted to announce that our charity anthology for the homeless, Kitchen Sink Gothic 2, is now available both as a paperback and ebook.

You can order both versions through amazon:

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

You can also order the paperback for £11.99, postage free anywhere in the world, direct from Parallel Universe Publications

Click on any of the links in blue posted above. 

From the Introduction:

"It was never intended that we would do a second Kitchen Sink Gothic collection, but it was brought home to us when we were watching a production of Rent at the Oswaldtwistle Civic Theatre, directed by our daughter, Cassandra, just how bad the plight of the homeless is. The cast of this production went out with buckets to collect money during the intermission for a local homeless charity, Nightsafe, which concentrates on looking after some of the most vulnerable homeless, those under 21.

It was a little after this that I conceived the idea of doing a charity anthology of stories such as these. And Kitchen Sink Gothic seemed somehow a more than appropriate title for the book.

I must thank all of the writers who have submitted stories for it, both those who are in this book and those who, unfortunately, I had to reject, for being prepared to have their work published free of charge so that all of the royalties earned by it will go to charity.

I would also like to thank artist Allen Koszowski for providing our cover art, again, like the writers, free of charge.

Let me stress however, though none of the writers have or will be paid for these tales, don’t think for one moment they are any the less excellent. I am proud of this collection, which I believe you will enjoy in many different ways. There are some bizarre stories here, and some that will wrench you emotionally, with sadness and anger and, yes, sometimes with horror too, while others will stimulate your imagination with the strange, dark worlds they evoke within our all too often humdrum world. The one thing I hope they never do is bore you.

So, please, with no more ado read on!

David A. Riley
Oswaldtwistle, October 2020
"

Stories and authors in this book are:

THE RING ON THE ROOF - James Harper

THE CHRISTMAS TREE - Eric Nash 

VLOG'S LEGS - Shaun Avery

THE CAPSULE - David A. Sutton

WAKE UP SCREAMING - Adrian Cole

THE BOY ON THE TRAIN - Paul Lewis

DOUBLE EXPOSURE - Jonathan Mitchell

NIGHT FLIGHT - Eric Ian Steele

THE LONELY PASSION OF JIMMY TATE - Trevor Kennedy

THE DOOMED EMPIRE - Andrew Darlington

REAL LIFE - Franklin Marsh

STONES ARE BREATHING TONIGHT - Russell Hemmell

WINTER DISCONTENT - Stephanie Ellis

THE ADELPHI - Alyson Faye

PAIN - Mark Reece

THIS LITTLE PIGGY - Teika Marija Smits