Return – if you dare – to the heyday of horror...
To the era of British cinema when the bywords for terror and the celluloid supernatural were Hammer Films, Amicus Productions, and Blythewood – the “Studio of Screams” (as the News of the World dubbed it in 1965).
Here, as never permitted before, are the authorised novelizations of four Blythewood classic horror films.
Forgotten by some. Unforgettable to many.
To chill your spine from the printed page as they once did from the silver screen...
SWORD OF THE DEMON
Death and disaster stalk the members of a British expedition after they plunder the tomb of a legendary Chinese warlord, for among the artefacts they ship back to London is a sword rumoured to contain the spirit of a vengeful demon...
THE DEVIL’S CIRCUS
Le Circus Furneaux brings screams of joy wherever they travel, but there are other screams as well. Each searching for a missing brother, Yvette and Hugo will find those screams beneath the big top of The Devil’s Circus!...
CASTLE OF THE LOST
After surviving the war, Jack and his wife and child return to his family estate, Grayland Castle, the site of a scandal involving ritual sex and murder. That was all in the past, and now they're here to make the place their home. But in such places, the past does not wish to remain hidden. And in the castle's basements, shadows stir...
In the swinging sixties, Geraldine Copper works for the EBFC, better known as the censor, in London’s Soho. When she clashes with a firebrand director, Marcus Rand, over cuts to his violent and sexually-charged film The Mortal Sins of Dracula, it sets in train a series of ghastly events as the film itself seems to haunt her...
But whatever happened to Blythewood Studios?
Reclusive former movie producer Lawrence Blythewood agrees to surreptitiously meet with a college professor in rural Québec. Insisting upon the utmost security, he comes out of exile for just 24 hours. Long enough to discuss his cinematic legacy – and the four films above – but harbouring his own dark agenda...
A new anthology from PS Publishing of inter-conected stories from the fevered minds of masters of horror Stephen R. Bissette, Mark Morris, Christopher Golden, Tim Lebbon and Stephen Volk, with cover art by genre movie poster legend Graham Humphreys.
Unsigned Jacketed Hardcover. (A signed & numbered edition limited to 100 copies is also available.) Order your copy here.
Also check out this special feature at SciFi Bulletin: A Zoom interview with the authors about the Blythewood project and how it came about - with encyclopaedic references to our influences. And a chat between Christopher Golden and Stephen R. Bissette about the book:
I think it’s true to say that many of us horror writers of a certain generation have treasured memories of Hammer Films, Amicus Productions and their ilk. In fact, their output of genre classics is so important that some of us have secretly longed for a way to relive and recapture the excitement we had when we first experienced them.
That was my exact impulse when I first talked to Mark Morris about a book proposal entitled The Blythewood Horror Film Omnibus — an unashamed homage to John Burke’s Hammer Horror Film Omnibus, a fat paperback that came out in the sixties, comprising four novellas based on upcoming horror films. The difference being that our “Blythewood” would be a studio that never existed.
Our four films would be movies that we’d invent from scratch. Movies we wished we could have seen as feature films when we were growing up. And now we can – in book form – thanks to PS Publishing.
Amongst the eighteen entirely new stories brought together to celebrate the thirtieth year of Tartarus Press in the latest Strange Tales volume is my own contribution, "The Flickering Light", in which the preternatural flits in a hesitation between past and present tensions, real or imagined.
Tartarus says: Representing the best contemporary writing in the fields of the literary strange, supernatural, fantasy and horror, the contents of this anthology range from the wry comic fantasy of Jonathan Preece’s "Great Dead American Authors Alive and Living in Cwmbran", to the atmospheric horror of Andrew Michael Hurley’s "Hunger". In "Grassman" by Rebecca Lloyd, two sisters come of age during a village ceremony, while in "Meiko" by J.M. Walsh, a mysterious guest upsets the equilibrium of a country house party. Mark Valentine’s "Other Things" documents the romance and strangeness of private lore, while the search for a missing girl leads to a sinister discovery in D.P. Watt’s "The Wardian Case". Dark family secrets are gradually uncovered in Angela Slatter’s "The Three Burdens of Nest Wynne".
Founded in 1990 by Ray Russell and Rosalie Parker, Tartarus has become a well-egarded feaure of the genre publishing landscape, known for championing both classic and contemporary writers. The stories in this volume sit proudly within that tradition, and I'm very proud to be a part of it.
See here for full table of contents and list of authors
"This rich and masterful collection of horror highlights both up-and-coming and established authors in an interesting twist on the standard anthology [...] Highly recommended for longstanding horror fans and those readers who may not think horror is for them. There is something for everyone in this one" Booklist
This new anthology contains 20 original horror stories, one of which is my own contribion, entitled "The Naughty Step". Edited by master of horror in his own right Mark Morris, it is the first of what will hopefully become an annual, non-themed horror anthology from Flame Tree Press of entirely original stories, showcasing the very best short fiction that the genre has to offer.
Order a copy here