Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Alchemy Press has moved

I began this blog back in 2009 and it's served me well. However, in order to better present Alchemy Press publications I have now moved to a new site. This current blog will remain static from now on. For news and information about our titles, visit:

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Alchemy Press website

The Alchemy Press is slowly moving to a new website which, we hope, will be cleaner and easier to use. Click here to take a peak.


In the pipeline and coming soon: Invent-10n by Rod Rees -- the mastermind behind the Demi-Monde sequence of novels.

Full details will appear on the new Alchemy Press website.

Doors to Elsewhere

The Alchemy Press is pleased to report that Mike Barrett's collection of essays, Doors to Elsewhere, is now available via Amazon. Pop over to the new Alchemy Press website for full details.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Chico Kidd interviewed

Chico Kidd has a story in the upcoming The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes 2. She has answered a few questions put to her by editor Mike Chinn. Read her replies here.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Komarovs now available

The Komarovs, the new novella by Chico Kidd, is now available for the Kindle. Visit the new website for further details and the link to Amazon.

Charley Zriny wished he hadn’t hired the Siamese twins. Sure, they were a great draw, but they acted as if they were queen of the damn carnival. And that’s just the start. Besides the zombie there is a werewolf, a necromancer and ghosts. A maze of mirrors. And more zombies. Captain da Silva is at the centre of this – and all he wanted was a day out with his family.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Jonathan Oliver interview

Our second interview is with Jonathan Oliver, whose story appears in the upcoming Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic. Read the interview here.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Komarovs

A new e-novella coming soon from The Alchemy Press: “The Komarovs” by Chico Kidd. Another weird and wondrous story featuring Captain da Silva.

Doors to Elsewhere update

The Alchemy Press is delighted to announce that Ramsey Campbell has written the Introduction to Doors to Elsewhere, Mike Barrett's collection of  essays on writers from the Weird Tales era.

Willie Meikle interviewed

In the run up to the publication of forthcoming Alchemy Press books we will be posting short interviews with the contributors.

Up first: William Meikle whose contribution, “The Penge Terror”, will feature in The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes 2 (the questions set by the editor Mike Chinn). To read the interview, please pop over to our new website.

Monday, July 22, 2013

New website

I have created a new website for The Alchemy Press. Please take a look.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Mike Chinn interviewed

Alchemy Press author and editor Mike Chinn (The Paladin Mandates, Swords against the Millennium, The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes) is interviewed on WikiWorm (click here). He also writes a brief history of his love of all things pulp (here).

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Kneeling in the Silver Light: cover artwork

I am delighted to present the cover for next year's anthology, Kneeling in the Silver Light: Stories from the Great War, edited by Dean M Drinkel.

The artwork and cover design are (c) Chris Rawlins (click here for his DeviantART page).

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Kneeling in the Silver Light: new anthology announced

Editor Dean M Drinkel (Phobophobia  - Dark Continents Press; The Demonologia Biblica - Western Legends Press; Cities of Death - Static Movement) and Alchemy Press present Kneeling In The Silver Light: Stories From The Great War - a horror / dark fantasy anthology commemorating the 100 year centenary of the outbreak of the Great War (World War One) - to be published: 28th July 2014.

We are looking for the very best stories set in / during / around the Great War. Originality is key and we are not particularly looking for run-of-the-mill war stories, though tales can be set on European battlefields, trenches, war-rooms, etc, etc. As a “heads up”: whilst we will accept Zombie / Vampire / Ghost stories, these need to be original in style and must have the “wow” factor. Make them stand out!

We are also very keen in reading stories from non-English writers (so looking for French, German, Italian writers) but stories must be written in English. Fully realised characters are a must and solid plots extremely desirable.

We are seeking original fiction: reprints only accepted by agreement with the editor. No simultaneous or multiple submissions. Contributions between 3,000 and 6,000 words (firm). Submission period runs from 1 August to 1 December 2013. Do not submit outside of those dates.

Give your story a head start by reading both these guidelines and the Alchemy Press style-guide. Electronic submissions only, sent as email attachments in standard manuscript format (rtf, doc or docx). Email subject line should take the form Title/ Author’s Name/ Word count (i.e. My Great Story/John Doe/5,000 words). Submissions included in the body of the email, or without the correct subject header, may be rejected unread. Full contact details must be included on the mss front/ first page.

Please avoid fiction aimed at the YA reader.

No acceptances or rejections will be made until after the deadline, and we will endeavour to report back to you six to eight weeks after that. If you have heard nothing after nine weeks you may query at the email address. All style and submission guidelines are absolute. Accepted submissions may be edited (with the author’s approval).

Kneeling in the Silver Light: Stories From The Great War will be a paperback edition published in 2014, to be followed by an ebook edition. Successful contributors will receive a nominal fee of £10 minimum, royalties. plus a copy of the book on publication.

Send all submissions and correspondence to Dean M Drinkel at

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Ancient Wonders reviewed

Pop over to the Ginger Nuts of Horror website and read a rather splendid review of The Alchemy Press Book of Ancient Wonders edited by Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber. Jim McLeod says:

"The Alchemy Book of Ancient Wonders, is one of those anthologies that really does live up to the title. This is fourteen stories of pure magic, that will whisk to lands full myth, magic, and adventure."

Monday, June 10, 2013

Q&A: Pauline E Dungate

PAULINE DUNGATE answers the questions this time around about her story in The Alchemy Press Book of Ancient Wonders:

Tell us a little about yourself, and what you like to write?

I spent all of my working life as a teacher but ended up as the resident teacher at Birmingham Nature Centre with a classroom full of exotic animals. I spend a lot of time reading, writing and reviewing when I am not in the garden. I take my camera on exotic holidays looking for wildlife. Last year it was Ecuador.

What inspired you to write “One Man's Folly”?

Every year there is a Middle Earth Weekend at Sarehole Mill in Hall Green, Birmingham. Because of the Tolkien connection, the local paper often runs articles about his influences around this time. On the photo of Perrot’s Tower, an octagonal building, I noticed that the corner stones of the topmost floor looked very different from the rest of the brick built building. That led to the question of what they were made of. What if it was a stone circle in the sky. The story grew from there.

If the TARDIS could drop you off to any one site in its heyday, where would you go?

It would probably have to be Hadrian’s Wall – either that or British Camp, the hill fort on the Malvern Hills.

What appeals to you most about ancient sites/landscapes?

The mystery. We know so little about them so there is much that can be imagined and no-one can tell us we are wrong.

What do you have coming out next?

I am working on a near future thriller set in Birmingham plus a number of stories. I write reviews and poetry as Pauline Morgan and there are plenty of my reviews around. The writers’ group I belong to has recently put out a pamphlet called Grapeshot which has three of my poems in it.

[Pauline E Dungate’s stories have appeared in anthologies such as Skin of the Soul, Narrow Houses, Swords Against the Millennium, Beneath the Ground, Merlin, Victorious Villains and Under the Rose. She has won prizes for poetry and has been a judge for the Arthur C Clarke Award. She reviews for SFCrowsnest and runs workshops covering all areas of creative writing. She lives in Birmingham with husband and fellow writer Chris Morgan.]

Photo (c) Peter Coleborn

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Astrologica: the final line up

Editor Allen Ashley has now fixed the final line up for the forthcoming Alchemy Press anthology Astrologica: Stories of the Zodiac. Allen says: “That’s it! I have made my final three acceptances and the book is now full. The last trio to announce are ‘Broken Horn’ by Doug Blakeslee for Capricorn; ‘The Third Face of Virgo’ by Adam Craig for Virgo; and ‘Deep Draw’ by Neil Williamson for Aquarius.

Doug Blakeslee lives in Portland, Oregon. His interest in books started early thanks to his mom and hasn't stopped since. A heavy fan of SF and fantasy, it came as a pleasant surprise that his first sale was the suspense short story ‘Madame’ to the anthology Uncommon Assassins. He recently started a blog, The Simms Project, where he talks about writing and other related topics. He can be reached via the blog or Facebook.

Adam Craig lives in the hinterlands of Staffordshire. Although he’s been writing for an embarrassingly long period of time, on and off, Adam has never had any fiction published until this year. Adam says that he’s quite staggered to find one of his stories in such distinguished company.

Neil Williamson will be familiar to many in the BFS. His fiction has been published in a variety of magazines and anthologies, including Allen Ashley's The Elastic Book Of Numbers. Neil's short story collection, The Ephemera, is still available from Infinity Plus Books, and his first novel, The Moon King, will be published in 2014. Neil is a veteran of the literary fight club known as the Glasgow Science Fiction Writers Circle. For more information visit his website."

So, without further ado, here is the full running order for Astrologica
  • Aries – Aspects of Aries by David Turnbull
  • Taurus – The White Bull Ranch by Christine Morgan
  • Gemini – The Sun and the Moon by Bob Lock
  • Gemini – Star-crossed by Stuart Young
  • Cancer – Ragged Claws by Joel Lane
  • Leo – The Yellow Fruit by Ralph Robert Moore
  • Virgo – The Third Face of Virgo by Adam Craig
  • Libra – The Order of the Scales by Storm Constantine
  • Scorpio – Cookie by Jet McDonald
  • Capricorn – Broken Horn by Doug Blakeslee
  • Sagittarius – Dark Matters by Megan Kerr
  • Aquarius – Deep Draw by Neil Williamson
  • Pisces – The Prize by David McGroarty
  • Pisces – The Fishman by Mark David Campbell

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Sex, Lies... reviewed

Sex Lies and Family Ties by Sarah J Graham has received a four-star review on Goodreads. The reviewer, Jan Ruth, says: "the author handles all of these issues with sensitivity and great insight ... well written and full of poignancy."

Available in print and ebook formats from Amazon and other online dealers.

Urban Mythic

Here is the provisional cover design for The Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic, edited by Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber. The fabulous artwork is by Ben Baldwin.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Astrologica update

Update from editor Allen Ashley: “I am delighted to announce that three more Zodiac signs are sewn up for Astrologica: Stories of the Zodiac. I have accepted the following:

“Aspects of Aries” by David Turnbull (Aries)
“Star-crossed” by Stuart Young (Gemini)
“The Sun and the Moon” by Bob Lock (Gemini)
“The Prize” by David McGroarty (Pisces)
“The Fishman” by Mark David Campbell (Pisces)

The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that I have taken two for Gemini (naturally!) and also two for Pisces, which will deliver a big, fishy finish to the anthology. You might also have spotted that it seems to be a good time to be called ‘David’!

David Turnbull was born in Edinburgh and now lives and works in London. He has been widely published in numerous magazines and anthologies, both in print and online. His first novel, a children’s fantasy adventure entitled The Tale of Euan Redcap, was released in 2012 by Pixiefoot Press, an imprint of Essex based Wyvern Publications.

Stuart Young is the author of “Spare Parts”, “Shards of Dreams” and was the BFS award winner in 2006 for his novella The Mask behind The Face. He also featured in Allen Ashley’s anthology Catastrophia (PS Publishing, 2010).

Bob Lock was born on the Gower Peninsular, Wales. He has published horror, fantasy and science fiction tales and articles in a number of publications including SF Crowsnest, Samsdot Publishing, SFF World and SciFi UK Review. He also has a number of novels published in print and ebook format: Flames of Herakleitos, The Empathy Effect, They Feed on Flesh, to name just a few.

David McGroarty was born in Glasgow. His fiction features in the anthology Rustblind and Silverbright from Eibonvale Press (due July 2013); and he has been shortlisted for the James White Award. He lives in London with his partner and their two sons.

Mark David Campbell was born in Canada but now lives mostly in Italy. He is a writer, painter and teacher.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

In the Broken Birdcage of Kathleen Fair

Now out from The Alchemy Press

In the Broken Birdcage of Kathleen Fair

By Cate Gardner

When the mirror released Kathleen into the unknown, for the briefest of moments she giggled and realised that she’d never laughed before. She had been a blank canvas, sitting and waiting in a room and occasionally bouncing from wall to wall desperate for freedom - and now she was out. White walls no longer surrounded her. In this new place, a thousand mirrors spun reflecting worlds.

The first in The Alchemy Novella Series

For the ePub version contact The Alchemy Press

alchemypress [at]

Monday, May 20, 2013

Astrologica update

Allen Ashley, editor of our forthcoming anthology Astrologica: Stories of the Zodiac, reports:

“I can now confirm more acceptances for the anthology:

‘The Order of the Scales’ by Storm Constantine for the star sign of Libra
‘The White Bull Ranch’ by Christine Morgan for the star sign Taurus
‘Cookie’ by Jet McDonald for the star sign Scorpio
‘Ragged Claws’ by Joel Lane for the star sign Cancer

A note on the authors:

Storm Constantine is a well-known and well-respected figure on the SF/ fantasy scene. She has written more than 20 novels plus several non-fiction books. She is best known for her successful Wraeththu series. In 2003 she launched Immanion Press.

Christine Morgan works the overnight shift in a psychiatric facility and divides her writing time among many genres. A cat-lady in training, her interests include history, mythology, superheroes, crafts, and cheesy disaster movies.

Jet McDonald is a writer, musician and storyteller with big hair. His first novel ‘Automatic Safe Dog’ was published by Eibonvale Press. He likes stories about things on wheels.

Joel Lane lives in Birmingham, England. His publications in the weird fiction genre include four short story collections, The Earth Wire, The Lost District, The Terrible Changes and Where Furnaces Burn – the latter a book of supernatural crime stories set in the West Midlands – as well as a novella, ‘The Witnesses Are Gone’.

I am also very close to selecting the stories to represent the star signs Aries and Gemini. I’m really excited about how the book is taking shape. If you’ve submitted a story and haven’t heard from me, please stay patient as I am getting in touch with everybody systematically. Often with good news!”

Thursday, May 16, 2013

New novella due soon

"In the Broken Birdcage of Kathleen Fair" is the quirky story of a young woman imprison in a cage, who manages to escape ... but does she end up in a worse place?

The novella will be released in a week or two as an eBook, initially for the Kindle.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Astrologica update

Update from Allen Ashley, editor of our forthcoming anthology Astrologica: Stories of the Zodiac –

“Two down, ten to go! I'm pleased to report that I have made my second formal acceptance for the anthology. The story is ‘Dark Matters’ by Megan Kerr and is for Sagittarius. Megan will be familiar to you as the winner of last year’s BFS Short Story Competition and is currently working on ‘The Artist and the Mathematician’, a literary slipstream novel for which she has received a Society of Authors Grant. This is a brilliant, bravura story and I'm really glad to have Megan on board. I will be announcing further acceptances very soon.”

Monday, May 6, 2013

Pulp Heroes 2: contributors announced

Editor Mike Chinn has now announced the contents for The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes 2:
  • Cover art – Les Edwards
  • Pandora’s Box – Chico Kidd
  • The Flier – Bryn Fortey
  • Griffon’s Gamble – Arch Whitehouse
  • Night Hunter – Pauline E Dungate
  • Meeting at the Silver Dollar – Marion Pitman
  • The Monster of Gorgon – Ian Hunter
  • Dragon’s Breath – Anne Nicholls
  • The Law of Mars – Robert William Iveniuk
  • The Penge Terror – William Meikle
  • Ula and the Black Book of Leng – Andrew Coulthard
  • The Sons of Crystal City – Martin Gately
  • Kiss the Day Goodbye – Adrian Cole
  • Do Not Go Gently – Stuart Young
  • The Incarceration of Captain Nebula – Mike Resnik
Publication date and launch at the World Fantasy Convention in Brighton.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Urban Mythic: contributors announced

Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber, illustrious editors of The Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic, are delighted to announce the final line-up: and here they are, in alphabetical order. The final arrangement is yet to be determined. As publisher, I have to say: Wow!
James Brogden – The Smith of Hockley
Joyce Chng – Dragonform Witch
Zen Cho – Fish Bowl
Graham Edwards – A Night to Forget
Jaine Fenn – Not the Territory
Christopher Golden – Under Cover of Night
Kate Griffin – An Inspector Calls
Alison Littlewood – The Song of the City
Anne Nicholls – The Seeds of a Pomegranate
Jonathan Oliver – White Horse
Mike Resnick – The Wizard of West 34th street
Gaie Sebold – Underground
Adrian Tchaikovsky – Family Business
Ian Whates – Default Reactions

Friday, April 26, 2013

Selecting the stories

The submission period for our three anthologies is now over and the editors are busy selecting the stories they wish to include. Table of contents will be posted as soon as agreed. Watch this space.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Q&A: Kari Sperring

Today, KARI SPERRING answers questions set by the editors of The Alchemy Press Book of Ancient Wonders.

Tell us a little about yourself, and what you like to write?

 I'm a mediaeval historian (specialising in Celts) by training and a writer by instinct – I started writing aged seven and I haven't stopped since. I love swashbucklers, ancient mysteries, things and people who are not what they seem, complex worlds and intrigue, which get into everything I write. As does water; I can't account for that, but most of what I write ends up with water as a key element.

If the TARDIS could drop you off to any one site in its heyday, where would you go?

Oh, goodness, that's hard ... I don't know. Maybe the court of Louis XIII or Louis XIV: I'd love to meet the real d'Artagnan, Athos, Porthos and Aramis.

What appeals to you most about ancient sites/landscapes?

That sense that the past is still there, immanent in every stone and that we are all part of the flow of history.

What do you have coming out next?

I have a sequel to The Grass King's Concubine due from DAW, probably next year. It has no final title as yet, but the working title is Death and the Madwoman

[Kari Sperring grew up dreaming of joining the musketeers and saving France, only to find they’d been disbanded in 1776. Disappointed, she became a historian and as Kari Maund published six books and many articles on Celtic and Viking history, plus one on the background to favourite novel, The Three Musketeers (with Phil Nanson). She started writing fantasy in her teens, inspired by Tolkien, Dumas and Mallory. She is the author of two novels, Living with Ghosts (DAW 2009), which won the 2010 Sydney J Bounds Award, was shortlisted for the William L Crawford Award and made the Tiptree Award Honours’ List; and The Grass King’s Concubine (DAW 2012).] 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Astrologica update

Allen Ashley, editor of forthcoming Alchemy Press anthology Astrologica: Stories of the Zodiac, writes:

“That’s it, folks, the submission window has firmly closed. Firstly, I want to say a big thank you to all the authors who made the effort to get to grips with this challenging theme and who submitted stories. As an editor: without you guys, I’m nothing! In my usual blithe manner, I simply threw the idea out there and I didn’t fully appreciate that my astrological theme was actually quite a bit trickier than your average anthology. So, thank you for all your submissions. I have read all but the most recent at least once and am onto second readings for several of the pieces. I have difficult choices to make for all the signs apart from Leo, which was snaffled up by Ralph Robert Moore way back in January. Often it’s going to come down to fine margins between one story and another for any given star sign. That’s one of the tricky parts of editing, of course. Expect to hear from me during May or June; possibly even later this month if I really get my finger out!”

Meanwhile, Mike Chinn (editor of Pulp Heroes 2) and Jan Edwards & Jenny Barber (Urban Mythic) are finalising their selections -- expect to hear details soon.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Q&A: Lynn Cochrane

It’s LYNN M COCHRANE’s turn to answer questions posed by the editors of Ancient Wonders.

Tell us a little about yourself, and what you like to write?

Challenged to describe myself in three words, I answered, "Orange headed barrel".  Now you'll recognise me anywhere (oh, and it has worked!). To quote my Scottish grandmother, I'm as old as my tongue and a little older than my teeth, though I will admit to having both children and grandchildren.

I prefer to write words. They often turn up as poems but they also appear as stories, usually hovering in the intersection of science fiction, fantasy and horror. Sometimes, the poems have tunes attached. Maybe they should be called songs.

I'm a member of Yardley Baptist Church in Birmingham where I serve as Newsletter Editor and as a member of both the Worship Team and the Preaching Team – so perhaps you should add sermons to the list of things I write!

What inspired you to write “Ringfenced”?

A photo of a standing stone, somewhere in the north-east of England, which had a ray of blue light firing straight up from its tip. Things like that burn themselves into my memory.

If the TARDIS could drop you off to any one site in its heyday, where would you go?

Ness of Brodgar. From there I could get to the Ring of Brodgar and the Stones of Stenness, possibly also Maes Howe and Skara Brae, all on Orkney. So many questions: Are they linked, other than by location? How are they linked? Were they all in use at the same time? How were they used? Would I be able to gain and give some answers?

What appeals to you most about ancient sites/landscapes?

Pass the trowel ... if only! I'm fascinated by the remnants in the ground (and anything still standing above ground) and by the puzzle of what such things and buildings were used for. I'd love to take part in archaeological explorations. Perhaps the big question is how someone from the 21st century would cope if they were dropped into the relevant point in time and space.

What do you have coming out next?

I'm always writing poems. It's almost as if they catch hold of my hands and won't let go until they've been attached to paper or the current electronic equivalent. I'm working on some short stories, a couple of which may well end up being rather longer – novellas or even novels; who knows? I also edit the showcase anthology for Cannon Hill Writers' Group, Salvo, and its new little sibling, Grapeshot.

[Lynn M Cochrane lives in the outskirts of Birmingham. She has been writing most of her life and has produced three collections of poems. She has had short stories published in convention publications and in Raw Edge, the West Midlands Arts publication. She is a member of Cannon Hill Writers’ Group, leading writing workshops from time to time.]

Friday, April 12, 2013

Q&A: Anne Nicholls

Today, under the Ancient Wonders spotlight is ANNE NICHOLLS.

Tell us a little about yourself, and what you like to write?

I love a good story: thrills, adventures, heroism, the writing of wrongs.

What inspired you to write “Dragonsbridge”?

I wrote “Dragonsbridge” after I got back from a great little fantasy convention called Les Féeries du Bocage, held in a friendly village in rolling French countryside an hour south of Paris. We were sat next to Pierre Dubois, a famous TV presenter of all things to do with Arthurian romance, which was what I did my thesis on. And of course we were quite close to the forest of Brocéliande, which I looked up on Google Earth. Hmm, hidden valley, Celtic deities, portals to Otherworlds, and just desserts (and I don't just mean those fantastic lemon tarts you get in France!).

If the TARDIS could drop you off to any one site in its heyday, where would you go?

If I could TARDIS into any specific place and time in history it would have to be the Library at Alexandria in time to get the scrolls out before the ravening religious nutters set fire to it. I so want to see the maps of Atlantis, talk to the scholars and curators (after all, the TARDIS has a translation and interpreting program) – and enjoy the weather after all this late, blasted snow! I could free a couple of slaves who'd be grateful as well as good cooks and go off and have wonderful lives of their own. And I'd just generally enjoy ancient academia – before coming back to now with a small but tasteful treasure trove.

What appeals to you most about ancient sites/landscapes?

Hmm, ancient landscapes and sites. Well, all landscapes (except urban ones) are ancient. It's the colour, the exoticism, the thought that so many different peoples have lived their individual lives shaped by the great cultural sweeps of history, climate and location, that's what appeals to me. What about Florence in the time of Lorenzo? Wouldn't you just love to see the procession he organised for his betrothal, him in his gold-bedecked armour, the courtiers in their jewelled robes, the musicians and the artists before Savanarola burned their pictures? The valleys of the Pueblo Indians when they were still alive? Tahiti before cargo cults? The great greenwood that carpeted the length and breadth of England as the last ice-age retreated? Charnwood Forest when it fringed a tropic sea?

What do you have coming out next?

I'm in the throes of finishing three short stories for Alchemy Press, and a couple of novels – one historical and one a fantasy, so I'm keeping busy. In fact, at times my life feels like a Heath Robinson contraption edited by Escher. Luckily I'm enjoying the ride.

[Anne Nicholls, has had ten books published in SF and the self-help fields. Her highly acclaimed novels Mindsail and The Brooch of Azure Midnight appeared under the name of Anne Gay. For four years she was the editor of LineOne's Science Fiction Zone, which had around 140,000 readers every month. She is currently working on a YA fantasy trilogy. Anne also features in The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes.]

Photo (c) Peter Coleborn

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Q&A: Adrian Cole

Today, the spotlight falls on Ancient Wonders contributor ADRIAN COLE.

Tell us a little about yourself, and what you like to write?

I'm a Devonian with Irish blood (County Cork) I live in Solomon Kane country and I'm a retired Business Manager now writing full time. I have a lovely wife, Judy, and two grown children, Sam and Katia; and the other woman in my life is Bella, my feisty calico cat.

I write what I suppose could generally be termed imaginative fiction, if such a term could adequately cover SF, fantasy, horror, pulp, with a few crossbred bits. I have had over 20 novels published, and many short stories, since the mid-seventies. I enjoy writing old fashioned pulp stories but equally enjoy writing modern SF.

What inspired you to write “The Sound of Distant Gunfire”?

One of the ways I try to keep fit is by cycling and in North Devon we are blessed with some marvellous trackways, including an old railway line converted to a cycle path for nearly 20 miles. I've been up and down it numerous times and the countryside and unique atmosphere gave me the idea for the story, although I don't actually find the cycle path spooky – it appeals to the elemental in me. (Or perhaps that should be, the mental in me).

If the TARDIS could drop you off to any one site in its heyday, where would you go?

Machu Picchu, up in the Andes. I'd want to be disguised as a native, though, otherwise I daresay I'd be pegged out and sacrificed to the sun, or worse. I've never been there, but one day...

What appeals to you most about ancient sites/landscapes?

Like many people, I suppose, I relate to them in some kind of atavistic way. I am an outdoor person (but also, by contrast, bookish and movie-ish) and love the elements – I lived on the edge of Dartmoor as a kid and as a youngster I grew up around the Cornish landscape (mines and beaches); and I now spend a big chunk of the year in the sea (I go home for tea, of course). Much as I appreciate modern technology, I still feel moved by the ancient past. I think it is because people were closer to the earth and the elements in those days.

What do you have coming out next?

My next novel is due out in 2014 and is a science fiction book, The Shadow Academy. It is set in an alternative Britain, the action moving between Dumnonia (Devon) and Londonborough. It's about a corrupt Authority and how it abuses power, a common theme in all my stuff!

There are some short stories due as well, “Nightmare on Mad Gull Island”, a booklet from Spectre Press, and “You Don't Want to Know”, which will be in Stephen Jones' third Innsmouth collection from Fedogan and Bremer, Weirder Shadows Over Innsmouth – both of these are Nick Nightmare stories and there are more of his stories in the works. He's got a strong grip on my PC at the moment. And there are other various projects in hand, large and small. Watch this space!

[Adrian Cole is the author of 25 novels, beginning with The Dream Lords in the 1970s, through The Omaran Saga and the Star Requiem to the Voidal Saga in 2011. He is also the author of numerous fantasy and horror short stories, having been published in Year’s Best Fantasy and Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. Forthcoming from Edge Books is the novel The Shadow Academy; he has a short story in The Worlds of Cthulhu anthology due soon from Fedogan and Bremer; and he also has a story in The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes (sister volume to The Alchemy Press Book of Ancient Wonders).]

Friday, April 5, 2013

Alchemy Novellas: update

We will not be accepting any new submissions to Alchemy Novellas until further notice. The last thing we want is to hold on to a large number of novellas in the "to be published" folder when they could be finding suitable homes elsewhere. We'll let you know when we are seeking further submissions.

Q&A: Shannon Connor Winward

Under the spotlight today: SHANNON CONNOR WINWARD

Tell us a little about yourself, and what you like to write?

I’m an American author and poet. Most of what I create is speculative – some sci-fi, fantasy, and what’s been called “mythpunk” – though I write a little bit of everything. On my blog I talk about real life: the writing process, the emotional ups and downs. I chronicle my experiences raising a child with special needs, because I feel there’s a lack of information and empathy for families who have to go through this, and it’s my way of contributing to a larger conversation. I like to write about what touches me, what fascinates me. A lot of my stories deal with death and madness, but not in a macabre sense. I like to explore liminalities.

What inspired you to write Passage?

I minored in anthropology as an undergrad, with a special interest in the Celts of Britain and Ireland. I was writing a thesis on Celtic death rituals, which is largely speculative due to a scarcity of archaeological evidence. I came across a discussion of how the Celts may have used the monoliths as a means of connecting themselves psychologically to the landscape, since they had emigrated there, and places like Newgrange and Stonehenge predated their culture considerably. I became so distracted with the idea that I wrote “Passage” instead of what I was meant to be working on. I scribbled it in the middle of my research notes.

If the TARDIS could drop you off to any one site in its heyday, where would you go?

I’d love to visit Great Britain in the Iron Age – though, to be honest, if the Doctor came to get me, I wouldn’t be picky.

What appeals to you most about ancient sites/landscapes?

I feel a closer kinship to ancient religions than to modern ones, at least in a spiritual sense. Our ancestors were more intimately tied to nature and her cycles, and that is reflected in their sacred sites.

What do you have coming out next?

I have poems due out in various magazines, all TBA, and I’ve been invited to participate in some local fiction anthologies. Right now I’m working on a sci-fi story inspired by Egyptian mythology and Edgar Rice Burroughs, and a modern-day fairy tale about a wicked librarian. I’m also working on my second novel, an urban fantasy, and my first poetry collection. I publish updates and links to my work on my blog.

[Shannon Connor Winward's writing has appeared in many venues including: Pedestal Magazine, Flash Fiction Online, Strange Horizons, Illumen, This Modern Writer [Pank Magazine], Hip Mama Zine and the anthologies Twisted Fairy Tales: Volume Two, Jack-o'-Spec: Tales of Halloween and Fantasy and Spectacular: Fantasy Favorites. Her poem "All Souls' Day" is nominated for a 2012 Rhysling Award.]

Astrologica update

Allen Ashley, editor of forthcoming anthology Astrologica, reports:

"Far away from prying eyes, the picking and choosing for this anthology is going ahead at quite a pace. My expectation is that I will get a late flurry to add to the high quality submissions that I’ve already received and this will make the final decisions very difficult indeed.

Several people have emailed me to ask which signs I’m still looking for. I don’t require any more Leo and I have two really strong contenders for Pisces, so don’t require any more for that sign. Aries, Libra, Virgo and Aquarius are probably gone as well. Gemini is on a second reading. I still have stories to read relating to the other signs not named above, so who knows what fabulous delights are waiting in my Inbox? But, as things stand, I have yet to pick for Sagittarius, Cancer, Capricorn, Taurus, Scorpio. I know some of you have sent me stories for those signs: I am in the process of reading them.

I hope that the above is helpful and will post an update when I am ready to make a few more firm acceptances."

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Pulp Heroes reviewed

The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes edited by Mike Chinn

Reviewed by Ian Hunter

Back in the day, I don’t know if the pulps came with that intoxicating newly printed smell that accompanies the latest issue of Interzone or Black Static, but I suspect reading them might have left you with ink-stained fingers. No such worries with The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes edited by Mike Chinn, but some of the stories might leave a lasting stain or impression on your mind. For a book with a blurb that mentions that it is following in the tradition of The Bat, Doc Savage, The Shadow, etc, etc, you know what you are in for behind an impressive cover from Bob Covington. The pulps, of course, covered many genres, and Chinn has gathered a collection of stories that are spread across crime, amazing adventures, noir, science fiction, superheroes, occult adventures, and even wacky westerns.

I’m not going to go through the collection story by story, but I thought strongest of the bunch were Joel Lane’s “Upon a Granite Wind”, dedicated to Robert E Howard, and Mike Resnick’s “Origin” which cleverly might just tell the story of how a pulp legend was born.

It’s all very well living in the heart of Metropolis – what do you do when you live in the suburbs a long way from where the “capes” do their stuff? Well, Bracken N MacLeod’s “Ivy’s Secret Origin” tells a story of a housewife rising to the occasion. Heroes also feature in two stories that end the anthology, namely Peter Crowther’s “Heroes and Villains” and Peter Atkins “The Return of Kid Justice”, and in both stories you are in the safe, steady hands of two consummate wordsmiths. Crowther knows his comics and his story is a touching tale of when the stuff of life and death interrupts the shenanigans; while Atkins story involves a pensioner who played the teenage sidekick of a hero a long, long time ago on television who must come to the rescue of a boy, and possibly himself.

But not all the pulps were about heroes, and Chris Iovenko’s “The Perfect Murder” is a great, noir-ish tale of an author who has written about the perfect murder who gets hired by the beautiful wife of a tycoon to carry it out for real. As a fan of Ross Macdonald’s Lew Archer novels, this rattling tale read like a
collection of the blurbs at the back of those books.

Iovenko’s story wore the garish cloak of pulpdom well, as did Anne Nicholls’ exotic adventure “Eyes of Day, Eyes of Night” and Adrian Cole’s occult romp “The Vogue Prince”, and as a Scot it was nice to see a fellow Scot, Willie Meikle, write about a fictional Scot, one Professor Challenger, who gets involved in a tale involving yet another real-life Scot (no spoilers here) which has released beasties from other dimension. Where’s Quatermass when you need him?  Well, he might be in volume two, which I hope will be just as enjoyable as this first one.

[This review originally appeared in the excellent Interzone (issue 245). Reprinted with permission of the reviewer]

Monday, April 1, 2013

Q&A: James Brogden

Today under the spotlight: JAMES BROGDEN

Tell us a little about yourself, and what you like to write?

I'm based in the Midlands; grew up in Australia and instantaneously fell in love with the UK as a teenager because of the dense layering of history, myth and legend that exists underfoot everywhere you go. I like to write urban fantasy – which is to say, horror without the clichés. Fantastical elements intruding upon everyday lives.

What inspired you to write “If Street”?

Robert Holdstock, mostly. I love the Mythago Wood books, which are very firmly rooted in the countryside, and have always been curious about what would happen in an urban setting, with all those ancient track ways buried under tarmac and concrete. I've also been researching Sutton Park for another novel, so the place was already stuck in my head. 

If the TARDIS could drop you off to any one site in its heyday, where would you go?

I'd go to Hadrian's Wall. Not only to see and appreciate the engineering, but also to get that sense that you are really on the edge of the world, that beyond this point there is no law or civilisation as you understand it. When my family moved to England we lived in the Borders, north of the wall, in the kind of place you got posted if you'd really annoyed someone back in Rome. I'd like to talk to them and ask them what that was like – but they'd probably tell me that they're just soldiers doing their jobs and to sod off.

What appeals to you most about ancient sites/landscapes?

That sense of common humanity which goes beyond time and place. We went on a family trip to Hadrian's Wall one Easter and saw that there was monument to the fallen soldiers of the legions who had been posted there, and it was exactly the same kind of monument you see today in small country villages, and it struck me how similar their feelings and experiences must have been to those of the men and women who are currently posted in, say, Afghanistan. I love old Iron Age hill forts for the same reason. It's mind-blowing to stand in a hut circle three thousand years old and know that here was the place where they cooked their meals, here was the door where a child probably looked out for his friends first thing in the morning. That kind of thing.

What do you have coming out next?

Couple of things: a story called “The Remover of Obstacles” in Anachron Press' anthology Urban Occult, and a second novel, Tourmaline published by Snowbooks, out in July.

[James Brogden was born in Manchester, grew up in Australia, and now lives with his wife and two daughters in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, where he teaches English. His short stories have appeared in the Big Issue, the British Fantasy Society’s Dark Horizons, Gears Levers Volume One, and his first novel, The Narrows, has just been published by Snowbooks. When he's not writing, or trying to teach children how to, he gets out into the mountains exploring the remains of Britain's prehistoric past and hunting for standing stones. Fortunately they don't run very fast. ]

ePub editions still available

We're pleased to announce that ePub editions of Pulp Heroes and Ancient Wonders are available via Weightless Books. Click on the title, below, to head to the Weightless website.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Q&A: Peter Crowther

Today under the spotlight: PETER CROWTHER, whose story "Gandalph Cohen and the Land at the End of the Working Day" appears in The Alchemy Press Book of Ancient Wonders.

Tell us a little about yourself, and what you like to write?

My real weakness in reading is horror and ghost stories and the kind of SF stories that are filled with awe and wonder ... such as Bradbury, for example. Stephen King is the main man for me simply because of his characterisation. Sure, the stories are good -- well, there's an occasional so-so one but, with the sheer quality of his writing, you can pretty much forgive him anything -- but it's the depth of detail in his backgrounds as well as his foregrounds that puts the guy above anyone else writing today. And just to set my stall fully out, I've read several thousand books ... with faves being the late Robert B Parker, early Updike, Richard Ford, all the classic SF and horror books (and I do mean all), stuff like Wodehouse, early pulps (Prather, Thompson, Goodis and so on), Fitzgerald and on and on and on. What do I like to write? Pretty much the same as what I like to read. I wrote a story called “Tomorrow Eyes” simply because I really wanted to write something Runyonesque, a story called “The Incredible Multiplicity of PhaedraLament” because I wanted to emulate Clarke's White Hart, and so on. So I guess it's the attraction of speaking in a specific voice that attracts me.

What inspired you to write “Gandalph Cohen and the Land at the End of the Working Day”?

I loved Spider Robinson's tales set in Callaghan's Crosstime Saloon and I've long fancied having my own barroom for the telling of tall tales. “Gandalph Cohen” was the first of them; there are three more, each of them following the same formula ... Jack Fedogan playing jazz on the bar's PA system, the regulars sitting around a table chewing the fat or telling jokes, and a stranger coming into the bar with a “story” to tell or re-enact. There's a nice story concerning these stories and Dave Brubeck ... but I don't want to bore you so I'll tell it another time. Catch me at a convention and ask me about it sometime.

If the TARDIS could drop you off to any one site in its heyday, where would you go?

I've always wanted to go back to the late 1950s and go knock on the door of our old house (I was born in 1949, 4 July). I love the idea of my mom or dad opening the door and asking if they could help me while, behind them, this wide-eyed nosy kid stands watching me from behind them, an open book or comic hanging from his hand. And I'd like to go to a US city of that period, with a wad of dollars in my pocket so that I could buy copies of great comic books for just a dime apiece. I wrote a story along these lines called “The Doorway in Stephenson's Store” -- if you read it then please do bear in mind that it was written and published some five years before Stephen King unveiled 11.22.63.

What appeals to you most about ancient sites/landscapes?

Just seeing the way things used to be. Rightly or wrongly, I am fascinated by (and attracted to) the past. Can't get enough of it.

What do you have coming out next?

Just a few stories here and there, and then my long-threatened mainstream novel Thanksgiving ... currently standing at 110,000 words and waiting for the final spurt…

[Peter Crowther is the recipient of numerous awards for writing, editing, and as publisher of the hugely successful PS Publishing (which includes Stanza Press, the Drugstore Indian mass market paperbacks, PS Visual Entertainment and PS Art Books). As well as being widely translated, his short stories have been adapted for TV on both sides of the Atlantic, and collected in The Longest Single Note, Lonesome Roads, Songs of Leaving, Cold Comforts, The Spaces Between the Lines, The Land at the End of the Working Day and the upcoming Jewels in the Dust. He is the co-author (with James Lovegrove) of Escardy Gap and The Hand That Feeds, and has also written the Forever Twilight SF/horror cycle. He lives and works with his wife and business partner Nicky Crowther on England’s Yorkshire coast.]

Photo (c) Peter Coleborn

Astrologica Update

Allen Ashley, editor of our forthcoming anthology Astrologica: Stories of the Zodiac reports:

“I have had a late upsurge in submissions but I have also corresponded with a few authors who have requested an extension. So, in the spirit of fair play, I am extending the closing date for submissions for everybody to midnight Sunday 14 April 2013.

In other news, you will have noticed that we have now settled on the anthology title as Astrologica: Stories of the Zodiac. And, to answer another query that regularly comes up, I am essentially looking for one story per star sign. Leo is already taken, for definite.”

Submission guidelines here.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Q&A: Bryn Fortey

Today under the spotlight is BRYN FORTEY, answering questions set by the editors of The Alchemy Press Book of Ancient Wonders.

Tell us a little about yourself, and what you like to write?

OAP. Widower. GSOH. Friendship, maybe more – oh no, sorry, that's the Two's Company
ad I'm trying to put together.

Writing-wise: it used to be short stories, then I wrote a lot of poetry, now I'm back to short stories. Sort of horror, SF, weird, oddball. I like crossovers and work that's difficult to categorize.

What inspired you to write “Ithica or Bust”?

David A Sutton told me about the Ancient Wonder anthology only weeks before the deadline. Being so long out of the loop I had no real idea of what was required but wanted to have a go, so updated a bit of Greek mythology into science fiction space opera, throwing in as many references as I could squeeze onto the page. It was very untypical of my more usual output but I had great fun putting it together.

If the TARDIS could drop you off to any one site in its heyday, where would you go?

I would get the TARDIS to drop me off at Cheltenham Race Course one day next week so I could jot down all the winners and come back to make a fortune from the bookies.

What appeals to you most about ancient sites/landscapes?

My problem here is that at my age I remember most ancient sites and landscapes when they were new.

What do you have coming out next?

Two stories in Shadow Publishing's reprint anthology Horror! Under the Tombstone, and two stories accepted by the American audio magazine Tales to Terrify, but I have not been told yet when they are due to be used.

[Bryn Fortey appeared in various anthologies during the 1970s, including: New Writings in Horror & the Supernatural and New Writings in SF. He was also published in various Fontana anthologies edited by Mary Danby. Bryn’s beat-styled poetry magazine Outlaw was Best UK Small Press Magazine of 2004 in the Purple Patch Awards. In the same year he won the Undercurrent Aber Valley Short Story Competition with “The Dying Game”. In 2009 his “A Taxi Driver on Mars” was first in the Data Dump Awards for SF poetry in the UK. Bryn hales from South Wales.]

Photograph (c) Peter Coleborn

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Astrologica Update

Allen Ashley, editor of our forthcoming anthology Astrologica: Tales of the Zodiac, reports:

“Thank you for all the wonderful submissions so far. Just a quick update on what I am still looking for. Which is: I would like to receive more submissions around the following star signs – Taurus, Scorpio, Sagittarius and Capricorn. Also, a couple more for Cancer and Virgo would be helpful. Length 3000 to 8000 words. As many submissions have been in the 3000 to 5000 range, I am quite keen to receive stories towards the upper limit. So, folks, just two weeks to go. Submissions to me at: editorastrologica @

Q&A: Aliette de Bodard

Today's victim is Alchemy Press Book of Ancient Wonders contributor, ALIETTE DE BODARD.

Tell us a little about yourself and what you like to write?

I'm a writer, engineer and over-enthusiastic cook who loves to write character-driven stories in strange and familiar worlds (and to put fish sauce in everything, including stories!). I've written SF, historical fantasy and creepy horror – bit of an eclectic person, really.

What inspired you to write “Ys”?

“Ys” is inspired by a very famous Briton legend I read when I was younger; the image of a sunken city beneath the waves has always remained with me, as well as the idea that on clear days, you can hear the bells of the submerged churches ringing through the streets. Dahut/Ahes, the princess who doomed Ys, was thrown from her father's horse after he discovered she had been the one to open the gates to the sea; and from there on it wasn't much of a stretch to imagine both city and princess would still be around in modern-day France.

If the TARDIS could drop you off to any one site in its heyday, where would you go?

Hmm, it's a tie, but I think I'd pick either Hue or My Son – they're wonderful Vietnamese sites that you can only visit a small part of, due to all the bombs that got dropped on them during the Vietnamese/American war. I've always wondered what it would be like to walk there before destruction struck.

What appeals to you most about ancient sites/landscapes?

The sense of history; and wondering how people might have lived, and how different they might have been. Also, they're usually very beautiful!

What do you have coming out next?

I have a limited-edition novella, On a Red Station, Drifting, which is out from Immersion Press (and nominated for a Nebula at the moment); and a couple stories forthcoming in various markets. I'm also attempting to wrestle an urban fantasy set in Paris into proper shape.

[Aliette de Bodard lives and writes in Paris, France, in a flat with more computers than warm bodies, and two Lovecraftian plants in the process of taking over the living room, one tentacle at a time. In her spare time, she writes speculative fiction: her Aztec-noir fantasy Obsidian and Blood is published by Angry Robot, and she has been a finalist for the Hugo and Nebula Awards, and has won the British Science Fiction Association Award.]

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Ancient Wonders reviewed

The Alchemy Press Book of Ancient Wonders edited by Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber.

Reviewed by Rod MacDonald

Being an old alchemist myself who took some time to get over the phlogiston theory, I was intrigued to see what was going on at The Alchemy Press. If you have not encountered them before, I would check out the website. This isn’t a weird and wonderful collection of 1960s hippies with crystals, wind chimes and astrology charts. Nothing like that here! Rather, it’s a site where you’ll find lots of interesting collections of stories and articles which have as a basis our past, our culture and the more mysterious aspects of our lives. I was actually quite impressed!

This particular collection contains 14 stories which have as their basis our history, sometimes with archaeological connections and stone circles with Celtic beginnings. You’ll be travelling back to ancient Rome, New York and even an Ithaca in space. However, the main link between all the stories is the quality of the writing which is very good. In selecting the works, the editors must have looked to readability as a major facet. They are all certainly very readable.

To give an example, “If Street” by James Brogden is all about a couple of childhood friends living near the site of a Roman settlement in Britain. As boys who investigated everything, they were intrigued by an old Roman road. One of the characters disappeared, to come back many years later. He had been living in the past as a Roman soldier fighting against invaders.

Bryn Forley’s “Ithaca Or Bust” is a parody of the legend of Troy, only the characters are vastly different. Taking place in a stellar empire, the beings have two heads, four arms and legs and are about five metres tall. Much of the conversation is between the two heads, one logical and thoughtful with the other forthright and adventurous. It makes for interesting reading.

It would be difficult to pick out a favourite story from out of the 14 available due to the fact that they are distinctly different despite having a common theme as their basis. Alchemy Press seem to have a large number of anthologies and according to their website, they are actively looking for new writers. This may represent a good opportunity for aspiring and established writers. I’m not sure what terms and conditions apply, so it would be best to make enquiries first. They do, however, have a comprehensive list of writing requirements.

This volume was produced in hardcopy a few months ago and now it’s available in Kindle and other formats. Being available from Amazon, it should probably sell reasonably well. It’s a sort of book you could carry about and dip into at any time and if you like this type of fiction, it represents a good purchase and one to recommend.

Originally published on SFCrowsnest website, February 2013. Reprinted by permission.

For more information on Ancient Wonders click here.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Q&A: Misha Herwin

Today, Ancient Wonders' contributor MISHA HERWIN answers searching questions.

Tell us a little about yourself, and what you like to write?

I am compulsive writer who’s been writing ever since I could hold a pen. Rather to my surprise I’ve ended up living in Stoke with an ever patient husband and a moaning cat, who is convinced we don’t feed her enough.  I write books and short stories for adults and kids and my work usually has a supernatural and fantasy element to it. 

What inspired you to write “The Satan Stones”?

“The Satan Stones” was inspired by the Devil’s Ring and Finger, a pair of Neolithic standing stones near where I used to live in Shropshire. They have very powerful hold on my imagination and also appear in my latest novel, House of Shadows.

If the TARDIS could drop you off to any one site in its heyday, where would you go?

If I could leap into the TARDIS I’d definitely find my way back to the Devil’s Ring and Finger because I would love to know what really went on there.

What appeals to you most about ancient sites/landscapes?

The appeal of ancient sites and landscapes is their atmosphere of mystery and magic.

What do you have coming out next?

At the moment House of Shadows is with my agent and I’m working on a YA novel about a dystopian future where wars will be fought over water rather than oil. Juggler of Shapes, my second book in the Dragonfire Trilogy, is now out as an e book. 

[Misha Herwin has been writing for many years. At twelve she wrote and staged her first play in a theatre made from a cardboard box. Since then her plays for teenagers have been performed in schools by the Stagefright Theatre Company and at the Canadian High Commission in Jamaica. She has published the Dragonfire Trilogy for kids and her stories can be found in a number of anthologies and magazines including Hens, Bitch Lit and Ghostly Reflections. “The Dragon Who Came to School” was broadcast by ABC Tales.]

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Submission period: one month remaining

Now is the time to start polishing your stories. The submission period for The Alchemy Press Books Of ... Astrologica, Pulp Heroes 2 and Urban Mythic ends on 31st March 2013. Get submitting. For guidelines visit the individual pages (click on the links).

Q&A: John Howard

The editors of The Alchemy Press Book of Ancient Wonders asked their contributors some searching questions. Now it’s the turn of JOHN HOWARD.

Tell us a little about yourself, and what you like to write?

I like to write about things which interest me – often to do with forgotten or alternate histories, obscure places, ambiguous people.

What inspired you to write “Time and the City”?

The title of the anthology! Something ancient, something wonderful. I love SF pulp magazine artwork from the 1920s and ’30s: those cities and buildings, wonderful machines and spaceships by the likes of Frank R Paul and Leo Morey. So a story about an incredibly ancient city full of wonders came into my mind…

If the TARDIS could drop you off to any one site in its heyday, where would you go?


What appeals to you most about ancient sites/landscapes?

The sense of standing on the edge of the abyss of time.

What do you have coming out next?

A couple of stories in anthologies, plus a collection from Swan River Press called Written by Daylight.

[John Howard was born in London. He is the author of the collection The Silver Voices and the novella The Defeat of Grief. His short fiction has appeared in several anthologies, including Beneath the Ground, Never Again, and The Touch of the Sea. John has collaborated with Mark Valentine on a number of short stories, six of which featured Valentine’s long-running occult detective The Connoisseur. These tales have been reprinted in The Collected Connoisseur. Most recent to appear is Secret Europe, (written with Mark Valentine) to which John contributed ten of the twenty-five stories, set in a variety of real and fictional European locations.]

Photo (c) Peter Coleborn