Thursday 24 November 2016

The Chameleon Man & Other Terrors by David Williamson

The next book to be published by Parallel Universe Publications will be by Pan Books of Horror veteran, David Williamson - The Chameleon Man & Other Terrors. This book will see the first publication since they appeared in the legendary Pan series of The Sandman, The Too Good Samaritan, The Not So Good Samaritan, and No Room at the Flat. Also included are stories that previously appeared in the Black Books of Horror, Demons and Devilry, Alt-Zombie, Horror Uncut, and Horrific History.
Stories include:
The Procedure 
The Scryer
No Room at the Flat
The Sandman
The Too Good Samaritan
The Not So Good Samaritan
The Chameleon Man
The Switch
Rest in Pieces
Ashes to Ashes
Blind Date
Herbert Manning's Psychic Circus
The Boy
Ten Weeks
Din-Dins for Binky
A Reflection of the Times
And the Dead Shall Speak
Boys Will Be Boys
A Night to Remember
A Problem Shared

The Chameleon Man & Other Terrors will be published as a trade paperback and an e-book.

Tuesday 22 November 2016

David Ludford's A Place of Skulls and Other Tales enthusiastically reviewed on The Vault of Evil

Kevin Demant of The Vault of Evil has started an enthusiastic review of David Ludford's collection A Place of Skulls and Other Tales.

Matthias Grünewald

The loss of Gary Fry's consistently rewarding Gray Friar Press earlier this year was a terrible blow, but by God are PUP doing more than their bit to fill the void! Since this time last year the Riley's have launched collections from Kate Farrell, Ezeiyoke Chukwunonso, Adrian Cole, Andrew Darlington, Steve Lockley & Paul Lewis, Richard Stains, Johnny Mains. Most, if not all, have been raved over elsewhere on this supremely popular forum by our resident non-critic (no names, no pack-drill, it was me, etc.), but, happily, several have attracted favourable proper reviews in places like Fear magazine too. And now this, the debut from David Ludford, is off to a most promising start.

A Place Of Skulls: Can a nightmare be inherited across several generations? The people of a certain Eastern European country have long memories where the despised Prince Berezovsky is concerned. The mad monarch, whose role model was evidently Vlad Tepes, will neither be forgotten or forgiven for his excessive cruelty, which is very bad news for his descendant, Janis. The young man suffers the persecution of an ancient witch who may not believe that the sins of the father's father's father's father should be laid upon the children but she'll perform a duty by her people regardless. Welcome, Janis, to the place of skulls!

A sprightly opener, liked it well enough, but little did it prepare me for this next, the very wonderful story of Mr. Skinnybones

Ain't No Grave Can Hold My Body Down: Skinnybones, the last of an ancient race, is weary of his solitude and wonders if he dare risk abducting a woman-human to provide him with children. To do so would require his leaving Donnithorpe woods and entering the town which has not been safe for his kind since the Dark Ages. Decisions, decisions .... the ghoul murders, robs and gnaws on a stranger while he thinks it over.

On taking the plunge, Skinnybones' first port of call is The Fox Inn where he inadvertently chats up Sally Robertson, barmaid-cum-prostitute, and makes an enemy of George Jones, who has recently taken to stalking her. When the pub shuts, a humiliated Jones jumps Skinnybones in the dark, battering him with a baseball bat until certain the cowled freak with the weird teeth won't be getting in anyone's way from now on. Jones disposes of the corpse in his tip of a back garden. The makeshift grave attracts crows, scores of crows, making a racket fit to raise the dead ....

Meanwhile Sally and her formidable big sister Kate decide it's time to put George in his place once and for all ....

Almost Human: As the name suggests, a Humeleon is a half human, half chameleon, the result of covert biological experiments at Larksoken laboratories thirty years ago. When a whistle-blower leaked the story to the press, it brought down a government. But what happened to the children spawned in the lab?

Old timers Chester and Tyler are patrons of Marlon's Cafe. The highlight of their day is when the very lovely young Janine Garvey stops by for a coffee and chat before continuing on her morning jog. Today on removing her track-suit top she briefly exposed something Tyler wishes he'd not seen. A patch of tell-tale reptilian skin on her arm. Unfortunately, Marlon, nosey parker that he is, also caught a glimpse. He's read all about these humeleon scum in the Daily Sentinel who only print the truth and are never further than a phone-call away. Ace reporter Dan Challis agrees that this is too good an opportunity for his quality rag to miss.

Thursday 17 November 2016

Ezeiyoke Chukwunonso interviewed on 100 African Writers of SFF

Author of Haunted Grave and Other Stories, Ezeiyoke Chukwunonso was interviewed on 100 African Writers of SFF

The following is a brief extract from the interview:

How does he view African SFF?
“In African life, where I come from, there is not a strict line that divides fantasy from realistic, these two words are meshed.
“What African writers might bring to SFF? For me, I don’t want any African writer to feel to be under any pressure that he needed to bring anything new to SFF apart from the story that matters to him, which he alone can tell.
“It is precisely this feeling of wanting to bring something unique and special that trapped African literature, stopping it from growing for a long time. African writers, in order to fulfil this need, ended up in writing stories that must have a social function to perform, say to fight colonialism, imperialism, and corruption or to educate. Most African literature ended up in becoming an anthropological-valued literature. For me, each individual should create without thinking of any constraint placed on him to invent in a particular theme or expectation from any community. It is after the birth of each story can we then be justif[ied] to begin to construct a canon to explain what is new the story has offered.”

Wednesday 16 November 2016

Another Half-Page Ad for PUP In Black Static

The latest issue of Black Static arrived in the post today (issue 55), with another half-page ad for Parallel Universe Publications.

Sunday 13 November 2016

Another great review for Ezeiyoke Chukwunonso's Haunted Grave and Other Stories

Congratulations to Ezeiyoke Chukwunonso on yet another great review for his short story collection, Haunted Grave and Other Stories..
Terror Tree

Haunted Grave and Other Stories by Ezeiyoke Chukwunonso
Published 1st August 2016 by Parallel Universe Publications
101 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

8 short stories each completely different, the only common theme was the African setting. I have not read anything by this author nor have I read a story set in Africa, I didn’t know what to expect but I pleasantly surprised. Each story left you wanting to read more, making it a quick read.
Eaters of Flesh is about a young man’s missing mom. Written in his POV, you find him trying to find the truth about why his mom was getting ill and then just disappeared. With a note left from his mom and his dad’s weird behaviour, was is due to her religious belief or was it something else. It is not till the end of this story do you find out what actually happened.
The Last Man Standing: Nigeria is battling ADAIDS, an advanced form of AIDS. To speed up the research, the government start moving their money from non-essential items like TV, Radio and what they deemed non-essential foodstuff. This does not hit home to the protagonist until he can’t buy a can a Sprite. Opening up his place he tries to set up a safe haven for survivors and it works pretty well until one of his trips he finds a lonely young girl. This story shows the true horror of death and the fear of dying.
Exorcism: The narrator of this story is the other half of Ifeanyi. Reading this you can’t tell who is good or evil as Ifeanyi likes to get on the wrong side of people and the narrator tries his best to put it right. A good twist at the end when a priest pays a visit.
Haunted Grave: A story about an urban legend. Sitting in an old cemetery Chidi tells them the story of Ekene. Like all urban legends was it true or not but the story never goes away. Beware of people with nails as teeth.
To Love is Strange: A moving story of a clan that the females are cursed. They can have sex but not with the man they love. Juliet enjoys sleeping around to satisfy her itch but what feelings does she hide. Her twin sister Ginika is in love with Ebuka. Written in Ginika POV, the story is about the battle of her conscious and what risks she is willing to take to get what she wants.
A Cursed City: When children go missing they are reported to the Elders. The one witness is Nkeshi, the local drunk, she saw a bird like monster with the body of a man take a child. Due to her status, they did not take her serious, but then more children go missing, each eye witness the same thing. This is a story about revenge and the loss of a civilisation.
The Game of Aids: Another story about the Aids virus, Maria is the latest victim of the Aids virus. Caught from her husband this is story about how he caught the virus.
The Green Race: The one sci-fi story, Professor Oliver Brown is giving a lecture about his time on Mars and his views on the alien life form he met.
What I enjoyed about this book is that not all horror are monsters, what happens in the modern world is just as horrific. The stories leave you thinking about the vulnerability of the human race, Aids, revenge and racism all play a part. These stories are well written with a mixture of African culture and horror makes them a good quick read. Looking on his Amazon page, this author has other stories published which I will definitely read.

Thursday 10 November 2016

Fishhead: The Darker Tales of Irvin S. Cobb gets glowing review on Hellnotes

Veteran reviewer Mario Guslandi gave Fishhead: The Darker Tales of Irvin S. Cobb a glowing review on the Hellnotes website, which is owned by JournalStone, publishers of Dark Discoveries magazine.
Describing our publication as "an elegant trade paperback", Mario Guslandi ends his review with: "For those readers who love tasty, dark fiction, Fishhead is not only an unexpected surprise, but a veritable feast to savor page after page. Warmly recommended."

trade paperback:  £8.99  $11.99

Thursday 3 November 2016

Interview on The Gal in the Blue Mask

I have an in-depth interview on The Gal in the Blue Mask Blog.

About Parallel Universe Publications I said:
"In 1995, having been made redundant by British Aerospace, I invested my redundancy pay in setting up a professional science fiction/fantasy magazine called Beyond.  I had always been interested in publishing and this seemed a golden opportunity.  I managed to arrange newsstand space for it through a major distributor and had stories and articles in the magazine by the likes of Karl Edward WagnerJohn BrunnerStephen GallagherKim NewmanStephen LawsRamsey Campbell, etc., but, unfortunately, I was persuaded, unwisely, to publish far too many copies of the magazine by the distributor and, after returns came in, the magazine folded after three issues, leaving me with a sizeable debt.  This probably had more to do with me losing interesting in writing too for the next ten years or so, till John Pelan helped to revive my interest once more.  Curiously, my interest in publishing has also returned and for the last two years, with my wife, Linden, I have revived Parallel Universe Publications, which published Beyond magazine, and have been able to publish more than twenty books."


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from you in the future?

David A. Riley:
I have spent most of the past twenty months working on publishing books under my Parallel Universe Publications imprint.  PUP has brought out twenty-one so far, with a twenty-second in the pipeline.  It's been a great pleasure to be able to get collections published for writers like Charles BlackCraig HerbertsonJohnny MaimsKate FarrellMark SamuelsSteve LockleyPaul LewisAndrew DarlingtonJessica PalmerAdrian ColeAndrew Jennings, and Ezeiyoke Chukwunonso, not to mention a collection of tales by the late Irvin S. Cobb.  We have also published an anthology of new stories, Kitchen Sink Gothic, and are looking to doing another anthology next year as soon as funds have been set aside to pay all the writers.  I intend to ease off a little over the next twelve months, though.  We have another three books to publish this year, which will make twenty-four in as many months.  2017 I want to get back to doing some writing of my own so we'll probably only publish a small handful of books.  At least that's the plan.  I have a couple of novels I want to complete and I would like to put together a fourth collection of my own stories.