Thursday, 19 January 2017

Their Cramped Dark World and Other Tales now available with its Luke Spooner cover



Artwork by Luke Spooner
I can now confirm that the new (or, more correctly, reinstated Hazardous Press cover) by Luke Spooner is now available as a trade paperback and an ebook. After leaving Hazardous Press and republishing Their Cramped Dark World under the Parallel Universe imprint, a new cover (based on a Goya painting) was substituted for the one by Luke Spooner. I was never wholly happy with this, if only because, on reconsideration, the Goya painting was a bit too overly familiar. Now, though, the original cover, specially designed for this collection by Luke Spooner, is back again.
The stories in Their Cramped Dark World range from 1972 to 2012 and have all been published before by publishers such as Sphere Books, Corgi Books, Peeping Tom and Mortbury Press. 

Table of Contents: 
Hoody (first published in When Graveyards Yawn, Crowswing Books, 2006)
A Bottle of Spirits (first published in New Writings in Horror & the Supernatural 2, 1972)
No Sense in Being Hungry, She Thought (first published in Peeping Tom #20, 1996)
Now and Forever More (first published in The Second Black Book of Horror, 2008)
Romero's Children (first published in The Seventh Black Book of Horror, 2010)
Swan Song (first published in the Ninth Black Book of Horror, 2012)
The Farmhouse (first published in New Writings in Horror & the Supernatural 1, 1971)
The Last Coach Trip (first published in The Eighth Black Book of Horror, 2011)
The Satyr's Head (first published in The Satyr's Head & Other Tales of Terror, 1975)
Their Cramped Dark World (first published in The Sixth Black Book of Horror, 2010)

trade paperback: 
Amazon.co.uk  (£9.99)
Amazon.com  ($12.99)

ebook:
Amazon.co.uk  (£2.99)
Amazon.com  ($3.99)

The discarded cover

Saturday, 14 January 2017

New cover for Their Cramped Dark World by Luke Spooner

In 2015 my third collection of short stories, Their Cramped Dark World and Other Tales, was published by Hazardous Press, with a brilliant cover by British artist Luke Spooner. Unfortunately, Hazardous Press and I fell out shortly after and both this and its predecessor collection, His Own Mad Demons, were withdrawn from publication. Having not long before revived my own small press imprint, Parallel Universe Publications, I decided to reprint both collections myself with brand new covers, though I was never wholly satisfied with the replacement for Luke Spooner's. I recently got in touch with Luke and I am pleased to reveal that he immediately sent me an updated version of the original cover which I can substitute for the one I used. The new paperback will be available to order within the next couple of weeks. Below is what the new cover looks like.


Cover Art: Luke Spooner
The old cover

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Shades: Dark Tales of Supernatural Horror by Joseph Rubas now available on kindle

Joseph Rubas began writing in 2002 after reading Stephen King’s The Stand. His earliest efforts reflected his deep love of that novel; he tried again and again to write a rip-off, but finally gave up around 2006 and resigned himself to writing original fiction. His first short story was published in May 2010 on the now defunct Horror Bound Online website. His second story was published in September 2010 in a Pushcart Prize nominated literary magazine for new and beginning writers called The Storyteller. Since then, his work has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies. His first collection, the now out of print Pocketful of Fear, was released by a small publisher in 2012. His second collection, After Midnight, appeared in 2014. His short fiction has appeared in: Nameless Digest; The Horror Zine; Eschatology Journal; Thuglit; Manor House; All Due Respect, and others. He has self-published three longer works: The Rocking Dead: Seasons 1-3 (a parody of the AMC series The Walking Dead); The Rocking Dead: Season 4; The Shapeshifter; and Dracula 1912, the latter a novel.
In addition to writing, he has also edited two anthologies: A Thorn of Death (2012) and The 3rd Spectral Book of Horror Stories (2016).
He currently resides in Albany, New York.

This Collection includes:
Passing the Buck
Midnight
Aokigahara
Snowbound
Deja Vu
The Ghostly Hitchhiker
Just a Mask
Meeting Ray Bradbury
5051 Bartley Square
The Witching Hour
Potter's Field
The Warlock
Confessional
The Thing in the Woods
The Lake House
Chomo
The Traveling Show of 2016
Evildoer
A Perfect Life
Fury
Paint
Night of the Dog

trade paperback:
amazon.co.uk £9.99
amazon.com $12.99

ebook:
amazon.co.uk £2.99
amazon.com $3.67

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Three great reviews for Parallel Universe books just posted on the British Fantasy Society website

Three PUP books were reviewed on the BFS website yesterday: Adrian Cole's Tough Guys, Richard (Mark Samuels) Staines' England 'B': Ninety Minutes of Hell, and Johnny Mains' A Little Light Screaming.


Cover Art: Jim Pitts
TOUGH GUYS by Adrian Cole. Parallel Universe Publications, Lancashire, UK. £8.99 (UK), 194 page paperback. ISBN: 978-0-9935742-2-1
Reviewed by Pauline Morgan

Often, when an author produces a collection of stories, the majority of them have been published elsewhere either in magazines or anthologies alongside those of other authors. Tough Guys is unusual in two respects. First, the four pieces here – three novellas and one short story – are all previously unpublished; second, they are as different from each other as one might expect in an accumulation of unseen stories. The second is unusual as Cole’s previous collection was Nick Nightmare Investigates (Alchemy Press), where all the stories revolved around the same character and the world he inhabited. As a collection it worked extremely well as Cole won the BFS Award for the book.
Although called Tough Guys, there are some tough women here, too. The first story ‘Wait For The Ricochet’ is another about Nick Nightmare. Here we get an insight into some of his background. He gets a message to visit his old mentor, urgently. Zeff is a lifer in Sing Sing, a place where Nick did three years. Zeff is dying but he needs Nick to carry the information about the hiding place of a powerful artefact to the new keeper of the knowledge. Nick cannot refuse. The task might seem simple but there are others who want the information. One of them, Lucien de Sangreville, is aware that it will be easier the extract what he wants from Nick rather than the person it is intended for. The complication is that the person de Sangreville kidnaps to put pressure on Nick, is the one the information is intended for. Thus, Nick has to rescue him before he can complete his mission. He is aided by Ariadne Caradine, a wealthy woman who readers will recognise form previous Nick Nightmare stories. She elegant, charming and deadly, an ideal partner in this caper. The other important and familiar character is Oil-Gun Eddie. It is him, they need to rescue.
‘If You Don’t Eat Your Meat’ is science fiction blended with horror. At some time in the past the Virus decimated the population. In the countryside, winters are harsh and farmers and their families try to survive anyway they can. The rules the city people live by are often set aside. The narrator, Ryan Blackstone is a teenager in one such family on the edge of the moors. The Blackstones have had a feud with the Tregathick for many years, so when one of the cows goes missing, they are the first to be suspected. Ryan and Wayne, the youngest of his brothers are sent to check. Ryan sees the Tregathicks butchering the cow but is spotted. Chased through the snow drifts and desperate, Ryan kills Jed Tregathick. Since the Tregathicks are eating their cow, the Blackstones eat Jed. The feud escalates from there until Ryan flees to the city. This is not a pleasant story and even though there is some sympathy for Ryan, he does his best to alienate the reader.
Another character you can end up not liking is the narrator of ‘A Smell Of Burning’. The narrator wakes up immobilised in hospital. He cannot remember what happened, or why he is there. He discovers that he can leave his body and his astral projection is able to wander the hospital. Then he realises that he can tune into the thoughts of the other patients. For a while, this is enjoyable. Then he realises that there is a scary dark cloud also inhabiting the plane. He plucks up the courage to find the patient it is emanating from and tunes into the history of a very unpleasant pyromaniac.
The final story goes back to a Nick Nightmare kind of territory. ‘Not If You Want To Live’ also has the narrator waking up in an unexpected place when he thought he was dead. He is, but has been recruited as a Redeemer. As Razorjack his job is to return the soul to the body of a person who has just died so they can continue a productive life. He doesn’t know why these people are chosen – that’s another department. After initial training and a number of field missions, Razorjack is given a more complex task. A member of a group called the Adversaries are upsetting the balance. Razorjack has to trap one of them. He is sent back to live in the real world and await a call. A wealthy man, Silvio Fellini, will ask him to Redeem his wife who died from an overdose. Although Razorjack’s memories of his life up until his original death have been deeply buried, circumstances cause them begin to surface.
Adrian Cole is a skilled writer and all four of these pieces are excellently written.  I would have liked the first to be longer, but the length is well judged for the other three. This is a book I can highly recommend.

ENGLAND “B” NINETY MINUTES OF HELL by Richard Staines, Parallel Universe Publications, p/b
Reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Forget what you remember about football back in the 70s, Richard Staines puts the record straight about how the England B team scored their goals. It certainly wasn’t through the team’s rigorous training and fitness regime – it was through black magic.
Parallel Universe Publications are fond of putting out story anthologies they think readers will enjoy as they are original and, at times funny. This one, like many on their list have a well-rounded sense of humour right down to the cover art of England Coach Vince Grinstead, some footballs that act as chapter breaks and some quotes on the back cover that are hilarious for those who know who Dennis Wheatley, Genesis and Yes are. The stories form part of a collected works that seems to be of instances, moments that deal with what Staines sees as the real history behind the World Cup in 1970 and other major matches several years after.
What I liked about the stories was the fact they initially transported the reader back to the seventies with mentions of Double Diamond, Brut aftershave, fish & chips and, Satan help me, Pan Books of Horror – remember them? I do. Staines has been clever though, he has charted the journey Vince has gone on from glory to failure and back again by the only means necessary to get his B team to victory. In No Such Thing as a Friendly, Vince takes us through what really happened on the 14th June 1970 while the England “A” team were in Mexico during the World Cup. While the “A” team are living it up in civilized country, the “B” team are in Goboya, an island on the coast of South America with barely a cold pint in sight. A Game of Two Halves has Vince tell the true story of what happened on April 1974 in a match between the USSR Representative XI and their team. Just in case there was any problem winning, they decide to make sure the “B” team are up to the challenge. Here, Vince puts the black into magic. The Ref’s Decision is Final sees Vince down on his luck, his job lost and he is drowning his sorrows in The Smuggler’s Arms. Here, Sir James Bassingron-Smythe makes him an offer he can’t refuse – to take the “B” team back to glory against the Scots. Get Your Fritz Out For the Lads carries on from the previous story where the Scots had smashed the windows of their coach and roll up to a spooky old mansion, hoping to phone for help. It’s one of the best clich├ęs in horror, and one which Richard handles very well.
With a series of comedy horror stories laced with black magic dabbling and fun japes, he has also added the pop culture references of the times. It is a must read for those who remember the good old times of football.

A LITTLE LIGHT SCREAMING by Johnny Mains, Parallel Universe Publications, p/b
Reviewed by Sandra Scholes
There is strange fiction, but rarely do we get to find a writer who challenges what we think about horror as a genre. Johnny Mains stories read like a list of people you wouldn’t want to meet in real life. The third collection of short horror stories, Johnny Mains has his supporters right at the back cover of the book who all pretty much think of him as likely to be sectioned at any moment, yet for him to get to this third collection means he has talent. Johnny has written with other authors, ‘Paintings’ with Simon Bestwick and ‘The Curse of the Monster’ with Bryn Fortey, ‘The Girl on Suicide Bridge’ was nominated for the Best Short Story category of the British Fantasy Awards 2015, and in Johnny’s ‘Author’s Mumbles – Part 3’, he shares with us how he gets his ideas and the writing process he went through that led to its being published. Not since reading musings from Neil Gaiman’s works have I noticed the sheer endurance writers need when their writing is either rejected or changed, or according to the writer, over edited until it doesn’t resemble what the writer intended.
Blossom is one of these stories that is short and starts out with a man who thinks he has the perfect life with his wife and children until a mystery illness shatters the illusion. Johnny intended the story to be a Robert Aickman tribute, but it turned out very different in the last draft. I felt it was one of the stronger ones where the antagonist gets his just desserts, and rightly so. ‘The Case of the Revenant’ is Johnny’s way of paying homage to Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, preferring to write about Holmes as Watson can be a little boring sometimes. Set in Austria, Holmes investigates an unsolved case where a family has been murdered. I got the impression Johnny had always wanted to write a Holmes story as so many writers have tried to pen at least one in their lives, though this ends in a much more sinister way than expected.
There are ten short stories here, so I can imagine another anthology coming out at some point soon. Unlike other writers, Johnny makes sure you see the monsters, their evil intent and malice at the very end, rather than a vague image or suggestion of them. Not all the characters have their monsters in their heads and not everyone in the stories are as nice as they appear. Admittedly, there are one or two stories that are deep enough to cause an emotional response (‘Blossom’, ‘A Forest of Lonely Deaths’ and ‘The Girl on Suicide Bridge’).

Joseph Rubas's collection, Shades: Dark Tales of Supernatural Horror is now available to order

Joseph Rubas's collection, Shades: Dark Tales of Supernatural Horror is now available to order in paperback.

Joseph Rubas began writing in 2002 after reading Stephen King’s The Stand. His earliest efforts reflected his deep love of that novel; he tried again and again to write a rip-off, but finally gave up around 2006 and resigned himself to writing original fiction. His first short story was published in May 2010 on the now defunct Horror Bound Online website. His second story was published in September 2010 in a Pushcart Prize nominated literary magazine for new and beginning writers called The Storyteller. Since then, his work has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies. His first collection, the now out of print Pocketful of Fear, was released by a small publisher in 2012. His second collection, After Midnight, appeared in 2014. His short fiction has appeared in: Nameless Digest; The Horror Zine; Eschatology Journal; Thuglit; Manor House; All Due Respect, and others. He has self-published three longer works: The Rocking Dead: Seasons 1-3 (a parody of the AMC series The Walking Dead); The Rocking Dead: Season 4; The Shapeshifter; and Dracula 1912, the latter a novel.
In addition to writing, he has also edited two anthologies: A Thorn of Death (2012) and The 3rd Spectral Book of Horror Stories (2016).
He currently resides in Albany, New York.

This Collection includes:
Passing the Buck
Midnight
Aokigahara
Snowbound
Deja Vu
The Ghostly Hitchhiker
Just a Mask
Meeting Ray Bradbury
5051 Bartley Square
The Witching Hour
Potter's Field
The Warlock
Confessional
The Thing in the Woods
The Lake House
Chomo
The Traveling Show of 2016
Evildoer
A Perfect Life
Fury
Paint
Night of the Dog

trade paperback:
amazon.co.uk £9.99
amazon.com $12.99

Thursday, 5 January 2017

"His work is fresh and original, and rich with dark delights."

That's part of the praise heaped on Joseph Rubas's collection, Shades: Dark Tales of Supernatural Horror
by Jeani Rector, award-winning editor of The Horror Zine, who stated:



“Joseph Rubas really delivers the scares in this collection of unexpected twists and exciting plot-lines. His work is fresh and original, and rich with dark delights. Don’t miss this book of frights; and keep your lights on at night when you read it.”


Shades will be available from this Saturday as a trade paperback, to be followed later by an ebook.

The book contains twenty-two tales of supernatural terror:
Passing the Buck
Midnight
Aokigahara
Snowbound
Deja Vu
The Ghostly Hitchhiker
Just a Mask
Meeting Ray Bradbury
5051 Bartley Square
The Witching Hour
Potter's Field
The Warlock
Confessional
The Thing in the Woods
The Lake House
Chomo
The Traveling Show of 2016
Evildoer
A Perfect Life
Fury
Paint
Night of the Dog

Monday, 2 January 2017

David Williamson - The Chameleon Man and Other Terrors - original book covers



These are some of the books that David Williamson's stories in The Chameleon Man and Other Terrors were originally published.



The Too Good Samaritan, The Not So Good Samaritan, and No Room at the Flat





And the Dead Shall Speak


The Sandman

The Chameleon Man

Ashes to Ashes

Rest in Pieces

The Boy

The Scryer

Blind Date

Ten Weeks



Friday, 30 December 2016

Shades: Dark Tales of Supernatural Horror by Joseph Rubas to be published 7th January

Shades: Dark Tales of Supernatural Horror by Joseph Rubas is to be published by Parallel Universe Publications on the 7th January, 2017 - our first book of the New Year.

Joseph Rubas began writing in 2002 after reading Stephen King’s The Stand. His earliest efforts reflected his deep love of that novel; he tried again and again to write a rip-off, but finally gave up around 2006 and resigned himself to writing original fiction. His first short story was published in May 2010 on the now defunct Horror Bound Online website. His second story was published in September 2010 in a Pushcart Prize nominated literary magazine for new and beginning writers called The Storyteller. Since then, his work has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies. His first collection, the now out of print Pocketful of Fear, was released by a small publisher in 2012. His second collection, After Midnight, appeared in 2014. His short fiction has appeared in: Nameless Digest; The Horror Zine; Eschatology Journal; Thuglit; Manor House; All Due Respect, and others. He has self-published three longer works: The Rocking Dead: Seasons 1-3 (a parody of the AMC series The Walking Dead); The Rocking Dead: Season 4; The Shapeshifter; and Dracula 1912, the latter a novel.
In addition to writing, he has also edited two anthologies: A Thorn of Death (2012) and The 3rd Spectral Book of Horror Stories (2016).
He currently resides in Albany, New York.
The collection includes:
Passing the Buck
Midnight
Aokigahara
Snowbound
Deja Vu
The Ghostly Hitchhiker
Just a Mask
Meeting Ray Bradbury
5051 Bartley Square
The Witching Hour
Potter's Field
The Warlock
Confessional
The Thing in the Woods
The Lake House
Chomo
The Traveling Show of 2016
Evildoer
A Perfect Life
Fury
Paint
Night of the Dog

Thursday, 22 December 2016

New advert for Parallel Universe Publications

To kickstart the New Year Parallel Universe Publications will be launching a series of new adverts featuring our latest titles, including Joseph Rubas's Shades: Dark Tales of Supernatural Horror; David Williamson's The Chameleon Man & Other Terrors; Dave Ludford's A Place of Skulls and other tales; Ezeiyoke Chukwunonso's Haunted Grave and Other Stories; Adrian Cole's Tough Guys; and Fishhead: The Darker Tales of Irvin S. Cobb.


Wednesday, 21 December 2016

The Winter Hunt and Other Stories reviewed on the SFBook Reviews website by Mario Guslandi

Hot on the heels of the glowing review of Adrian Cole's Tough Guys in this month's issue of Fear, comes a great review by Mario Guslandi on the SFBook Reviews website for Steve Lockley and Paul Lewis's collection The Winter Hunt and Other Stories.
"Steve Lockley and Paul Lewis form a British writing duo ( although they also publish individually) whose work has been appearing in various genre anthologies during the years.

Fifteen of their tales of horror and terror are now assembled in an enjoyable collection from Parallel Universe. The overall quality of the stories is uncommonly high and quite remarkable."
"Standing examples of how dark fiction can become literature."
To see the full review please visit: htt

The 3rd Spectral Book of Horror

It's always great when there is a positive review of an anthology or magazine in which you have a story - even more so when your story gets a special mention.  Which is why I was particularly chuffed to come about this review on amazon for The Third Spectral Book of Horror:
"Personal favourites include Boat Trip by David A. Riley, a Lovecraftian tale set in the English Channel - not something I would usually go for but great fun, The Door into Envy by Adrian Cole which got its tone and setting working well, and Trigger Fate by Lisa Morton which, despite seeing where the story was heading from early on, was skilfully put together with not a word too many or out of place. A special mention for the concluding Beyond the Grave by Alex Marco as it's his first published story."

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Adrian Cole's Tough Guys gets a great review in the brilliant new issue of Fear magazine

Issue 39 of Fear arrived in the post today, with a great review of Adrian Cole's collection Tough Guys, together with another full-page ad for Parallel Universe Publications. It also contains a fascinating interview of David A. Sutton and of the fantasy artist Morgan Fitzsimons, whose artwork decorates the front cover of this, the Yuletide issue.
The review of Tough Guys opens with: "There are some writers who deserve better: Better coverage, wider coverage, more PR, more reviews. Adrian Cole is one such, a diamond storyteller whose infectious style and humour just keep you reading. Indeed, his co-contributors to this collection, cover artist Jim Pitts and David A. Sutton, author of the Introduction, only work with the best."
It's great to see Fear magazine back in full steam, with this the third issue of the revived magazine that played such an important part in the horror scene of the 1980s.  Included in this packed issue are interviews and articles about Peter James, Susan Hill, The Twiligfht Zone, Nichelle Nichols, as well as the aforementioned interviews with David A. Sutton and Morgan Fitzsimons, who also has a generous number of full-page illustrations of her fantastic artwork.
Our full-page advertisement
Great review

Friday, 16 December 2016

Blog Hits Top 6000 for first time ever

Hits on this blog have for the first time ever topped 6,000 this month, reaching 6,252 as of this moment.
Probably small potatoes compared to many other blogs, but for me it's a great achievement.
Thanks to everyone who has come here - and I hope you found something of value from taking a look!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Kindle version of Fishhead: The Darker Tales of Irvin S. Cobb now available

Although originally we were not going to do an ebook version of Fishhead: The Darker Tales of Irvin S. Cobb, we have been asked so often, we have now made it available on kindle.

trade paperback:
Amazon.co.uk  £8.99
Amazon.com  $11.99

ebook:
Amazon.co.uk £2.99
Amazon.com $3.79