Thursday 21 January 2016

Their Cramped Dark World assessed on The Horror Review

Their Cramped Dark World received a glowing assessment on The Horror Review.

Their Cramped Dark World & Other Tales
David A. Riley
Parallel Universe Publications
April 13, 2015
Reviewed by Chris Saunders
David A. Riley has been around a long time. The oldest stories in this, his third collection, were first published in the early seventies. Not that you would know it just by reading them. For the most part, stories over forty years old slot in seamlessly with comparatively new ones, each benefiting from the same quintessentially English feel and underlying creepiness.
“Hoody” kicks things off, the beguiling tale of a man being haunted by the ghost of a murder victim. Or is he?
This is followed by my favourite story in this collection, which first appeared in the near-legendary small press title Peeping Tom back in 1996. “No Sense in Being Hungry, she Thought,” is about some alarmingly rough justice being administered to a serial rapist; while yet another stand-out is “Now and Forever More,” about a couple who find themselves in a very strange little town buried deep in the English countryside. The tale is reminiscent of The Wicker Man (the original 1973 Edward Woodward version, not the sub-standard 2006 Nicholas Cage effort, though the plot is essentially the same) but somehow manages to be even creepier.
“Romero’s Children,” as the title suggests, is a homage to classic zombie movies, while “Swan Song” is an unsettling little yarn about a trio of aging bullies who get more than they bargained for when trying to avenge a perceived sleight.
As is the norm with most single-author collections, Their Cramped Dark World & Other Tales is a little uneven in places, and some stories have stood the test of time better than others but all in all, this is a rocking good read.
Hat’s off, Mr Riley.

The Horror Review on Moloch's Children

A great review that I missed when it first came out on The Horror Review (and soon to be reprinted in Dark Discoveries magazine):

Reviewed by Stuart Conover
What can I say aside from David A. Riley’s Moloch’s Children short of the fact that if you love the idea of a haunted house, a writer with an overactive imagination, Satanists, and so much more – you will love this book! Honestly even though it took place in more modern times it felt like a throwback to the slow build suspense work and the strong hints of Satanism that were both quite popular in the 60’s and 70’s. Riley knows not only how to strikingly set the mood but build upon that foundation to have an entire story weaved together which will keep you wondering what will happen next.
The main focus on the novel is the Elm Tree House which has a long and sordid history. Or should I say that the grounds it stands on do and it has acquired it by association. That hasn’t stopped Oliver Atcheson who is recovering from the loss of his wife to purchase the property. His dream for it is to create an artist’s colony there and with the steal he purchased the mansion at it seems like a dream that will easily be made a reality. That is of course until the repair bills start piling up as well as what the locals think about the place.
We also get to learn about others who are both interested in Oliver’s project or have become associated with him. Of course anyone who knows anything about the house seems to be holding some of the information back and we have plenty to discover as the pages turn.
They’ll be turning quickly too because for everything question that is answered, two more pop up. In a move where the suspense constantly builds as well there is no way to put the book down until you get to the bitter end.
In some ways I was reminded of Ti West’s film The House of the Devil though there really is no direct comparison between the stories. Still, much of the way I felt the mood and descriptions worked here really seemed to apply to both the film and novel.

Wednesday 20 January 2016

The Vault of Evil website reviews England 'B': Ninety Minutes of Hell by Richard Staines

Demonik on the Vault of Evil website has started an ongoing review of England 'B': Ninety Minutes of Hell by Richard Staines.

"Stainsy's 'Football is Horror!' masterpiece centres on the exploits of Vince Grinstead, the near-legendary Crystal Palace clogger, survivor of the Goboya horror of summer '70 and interim manager of the England 'B' squad from 1974-6.

No Such Thing As A Friendly: 14 June 1970: As Sir Alf Ramsey's England are busy blowing a 2-0 lead over West Germany in Mexico, the 'B' team are shunted off to play a meaningless friendly versus Goboya, a small island off the coast of South America. The England side, coached by glass-eyed xenophobe 'Mad' Mickey Clinch, are captained by Crystal Palace's Vince Grinstead, 34, who gives us a first hand account of the ensuing bloodbath.

Goboya are a disorganised rabble of a team who'd probably be no match for England schoolgirls, but they've a secret weapon in their swift and outrageously skilful number 10, Genio, a budding Pele who is soon tying Grinstead's blood in knots. Vince grudgingly concedes that the youngster has far more talent than anyone on the pitch and can't bring himself to follow Mad Cinch's orders to "break his f**k**g legs". So, with England 2-0 down at the break and staring humiliation in the face, psycho-coach takes matters into his own fists .....

N. B. This version of No Such Thing ... is essentially the same as that which appeared in The Fifth Black Book Of Horror save that Vince has now dropped his pseudonym.

A Game Of Two Halves: The horrific events in Goboya proved too traumatic for Grinstead, who swiftly hung up his boots to concentrate on assisting Big Mal in getting Palace relegated and running up an astronomical slate at his local, The Smuggler's Arms. Come April 1974, with the FA having agreed to play a goodwill fixture versus the Soviets on enemy soil, the search was on for a new patsy to succeed the late unlamented 'Mad' Mickey Clinch. Luckily for our National pride, chief Blazer, Sir James Bassingdon-Smythe, knew just the mug for the job. Which is how Vince came to assemble a squad of chain-smoking, skirt-chasing alcoholics to take on the might of Professor Ivan Hairnitz USSR Representative XI in the Molotov Stadium, Murmansk ....

To be continued ...

Wednesday 13 January 2016

Cover artwork for The Winter Hunt by Steve Lockley and Paul Lewis

Artwork: Joe Young
Joe Young has now revealed the cover artwork he has done for Steve Lockley and Paul Lewis's collection, The Winter Hunt and Other Stories, which is soon to be published by Parallel Universe Publications, wonderfully illustrating the title story.

With an introduction by Paul Finch, this 250-page collection will include:

The Winter Hunt
Gabriel Restrained
Family Ties
The Woman on the Stairs
Never Go Back
Last Day
The Worst Part
City of Woes
Death Knock
De Profundis
Puca Muc
Shadows in Paint

Tuesday 5 January 2016

Sunday 3 January 2016

England 'B': Ninety Minutes of Hell now available to order online

England 'B': Ninety Minutes of Hell by the controversial Richard Staines is now available in paperback. An electronic version will be out within the next twenty-four hours. 

trade paperback: £8.00   $12.00

What they are saying about Richard Staines: 

“Please get in all the Richard Staines horror books and chuck out all that other rubbish you have on the shelves.” The T.L.S. (Tooting Library Service), message left on their public noticeboard, 1975.

“Richard Staines is one of the most valued contributors to our magazine and we are glad to have him, despite the avalanche of protests. No animals were actually harmed in the photo-spread referred to.” Readers Wives editorial, 1977.

“Unfortunately, the jury have not been able to reach a verdict due to food poisoning, hit and run incidents, and the disappearance of close family members, but the great British public outside this courtroom will doubtless make up its own mind about your filthy, depraved, sickening and contemptible books. Case dismissed. You may leave the dock.” Lord Justice Haigh (deceased), summing up in the case of Regina vs Richard Staines, 1978.

“Many horror authors insult the intelligence of the people. Staines not only does this but is a bloody good read, too. He is the future of horror in the 1980s.” Anonymous letter to Colour Climax, 1979.

“We do not feel under any obligation to have to respond on a point by point basis to your repeated claims that the Nobel Prize committee for Literature have deliberately overlooked your horror fiction and cannot undertake to reply to any further letters on this matter.” Official letter from Lars Svenson (deceased), Nobel Prize Award Committee, Secretary, 1979.

“That snob and has-been Dennis Wheatley has never lived in a council flat on a Peckham estate with only cheap cans of lager, a black and white telly, and Yes and Genesis records to keep his muse lubricated. Dennis Wheatley's simply not as socially relevant in today's world as a “man-of-the-people” like Richard Staines. The truth is that Wheatley recognises all this and was just being a dick when he refused to write the introduction to Staines' book Psycho Flasher.” Anonymous letter to The International British Black Magic and Horror Club Newsletter # 8, 1975.

Saturday 2 January 2016

Our Schedule so far for 2016

2015 was an exciting year for Parallel Universe Publications, with twelve books published in as many months, including our first anthology, Kitchen Sink Goth, and collections from Charles Black, Craig Herbertson, Johnny Mains, and Kate Farrell. 2016, though, already has an impressive line-up, with:

England 'B': Ninety Minutes of Hell from Richard Staines
A Saucerful of Secrets: Fourteen Stories of Fantasy, Warped Sci-Fi and Perverse Horror from Andrew Darlington
The Winter Hunt and Other Stories from Steve Lockley and Paul Lewis
Fishhead: The Darker Tales of Irvin S. Cobb
Classic Weird 2, selected by David A. Riley

We are also looking at a collection of short stories from a new author to Parallel Universe and are considering the possibility of two anthologies: Kitchen Sink Gothic 2 and Psychotica.

For the first time Parallel Universe Publications will also have a presence at this year's Fantasycon in Scarborough with a table in the Dealers Room and a full selection of our publications.