Book of the Dead: signed copies

Celebrating the careers of more than 450 individuals who made significant contributions to the horror, science fiction and fantasy genres during their  lifetimes. Compiled by award-winning writer and editor Stephen Jones, this first volume in a new annual series includes tributes to a trio of Hollywood legends . . . possibly the last star of silent pictures . . . the screen’s best James Bond . . . a pair of British actresses who were both “Bond girls” and Avengers . . . two British actors who played — but did not voice — iconic Star Wars characters . . . an author who did for crustaceans what James Herbert did for rodents . . . and a forgotten pioneer of “sword and soul” fantasy . . . all illustrated with numerous photographs and associated images.

This is not only a welcome reference volume, but also an informative and entertaining tribute to those we lost in 2020 and who left their mark on books, movies and popular culture in unusual and often fascinating ways.

The Alchemy Press Book of the Dead 2020

Compiled by Stephen Jones

Signed copies are available while stocks last

To order your copy from The Alchemy Press click here for PayPal payments

Book of the Dead reviewed

“Stephen Jones is not just the U.K.’s leading horror anthologist. For some considerable time, Jones has been a chronicler of those within the fantasy, horror and SF genre who have shuffled off this mortal coil – as the new Alchemy Press Book of the Dead reminds us. The sadly departed talents within this latest volume include the man who helped create Godzilla, two British actresses who were both Bond girls and also Avengers (British variety), and – as the blurb says — the screen’s best James Bond. (You’ll have to purchase the book to see who fits that particular description, as if you didn’t know).

Copiously illustrated, the book is – counterintuitively – extremely enjoyable reading rather than a morbid examination of departed individuals. But be warned, you may pick this up thinking that you will be just dipping into it – and you will find yourself glued to the pages. And if you have personally made a significant contribution to the horror, SF or fantasy genres, perhaps you should read it to see if you are still in the land of the living.”

Barry Forshaw (from DVD Choices website)

Bryn Fortey – in memory

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We here at the Alchemy Press are sad to report the passing of Bryn Fortey, who died at the age of 83 on 21st July 2021 in his home country of Wales, from kidney failure and sepsis. He was surrounded by his family, and our heartfelt condolences are with them.

Bryn started writing short stories in the macabre/horror/SF field in the late 1960s and appeared in anthologies including The Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories, New Writings in SF and New Writings in Horror and the Supernatural. But, as his writing gathered pace, life intervened. In the 2000s his son Jim was tragically killed under harrowing circumstances, which was followed shortly by the death of his beloved wife Maddalena, and for a while his writing dried up.

It was a chance encounter with horror anthologist Johnny Mains, who was researching horror authors from the past, which prompted him to the write his first story in a long while. He submitted “Ithica or Bust” to The Alchemy Press Book of Ancient Wonders, which was launched at the 2012 British Fantasy Convention. This was followed by “The Flier” in The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes 2.  These stories, plus others from his past and a smattering of new tales, were collected in Merry-Go-Round and Other Words,  published by The Alchemy Press in 2014, with an introduction by Johnny Mains. A second collection, also from The Alchemy Press, Compromising the Truth, appeared in 2018, this time with an introduction by another of his friends, Adrian Cole. A new story, co-written with Johnny Mains, is scheduled to appear in The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors 3 later this year.

Besides a love of quirky weird tales, Bryn loved music and football. Adrian (and to a lesser extent Peter – only a passing football fan) took gentle digs at each of our hometown football teams: Newport (Bryn), Plymouth (Adrian) and Portsmouth (Peter) – and all coastal towns/cities. Is there a significance there? Although his passion for music was in jazz and blues, Bryn was keen to listen to new (to him) material. Much of his thoughts on music were funnelled through verse. His poetry was heavily influenced by the beat poets, which saw widespread publication. He won the Data Dump Award for SF poetry in 2009.

We had only known Bryn for a little over a decade. He came to our attention as a writer in 2011 but in the years since then we had become firm friends. He possessed a wonderfully mischievous sense of humour – which some would say it came from his Welsh roots – that never failed to make us smile. When we learned of his serious illness we feared and anticipated the end, yet when it came we were still shocked and deeply saddened.

Rest in peace, Bryn. We will miss you.

Peter Coleborn & Jan Edwards

Horrors 3 update

We’ve now selected the stories for The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors 3.

We have contacted everybody who sent us a submission, as far as we know. If you haven’t heard from us we grovel apologies; please drop us an email.

I’ll post the table of contents shortly.

 

Submissions closed

The submissions’ window for The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors 3 is now closed. We extended it long enough to capture all those living on Pacific islands who might wish to submit something. Actually, no one from such an island sent us a story but we did receive manuscripts from the USA before noon on 1st February, so they made it okay. Everyone who submitted a story should have received an acknowledgment – let us know if you’ve not heard from us. 

We have received over 350 submissions! That’s many more than we anticipated. The proposed anthology will have around a dozen stories, maybe a few more. That means there will be a lot of disappointed writers. Judging by the submissions, the quality of stories in Horrors 3 will be high. Which is of course a good thing.

We have already started reading submissions and are shortlisting those for a further re-read. We aim to start letting people know of our decisions in four-six weeks. Please be patient.