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