There was an avalanche of stories submitted to The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors – especially in the final month of the submission’s window. To be honest, we didn’t expect to receive around 310 manuscripts seeking a home in this anthology. We were worried that we’d have too few submissions.
We read the stories as soon as possible after receiving them (but as indicated, January was a particularly busy month), maintaining a database of comments in order to narrow down to a shortlist.
Yet we managed it quickly – and then the shortlist itself needed to be pruned, and even so we couldn’t cut back to the original idea: an anthology containing a dozen stories. So we succumbed and settled on 25 stories. Without further ado, in alphabetical order (alphabetically by first name that is!), here’s what you’ll be reading in the latter part of 2018.
Adrian Cole: Broken Billy
Cate Gardner: The Fullness of Her Belly
Debbie Bennett: The Fairest of them all
Gail-Nina Anderson: An Eye for a Plastic Eye
Gary McMahon: Guising
James Brogden: The Trade-Up
Jenny Barber: Down Along the Backroads
John Grant: Too Late
Keris McDonald: Remember, Remember
Madhvi Ramani: Teufelsberg
Marie O’Regan: Pretty Things
Marion Pitman: The Apple Tree
Mike Chinn: Her Favourite Place
Peter Sutton: Masks
Phil Sloman: The Girl with Three Eyes
Ralph Robert Moore: Peelers
Ramsey Campbell: Some Kind of a Laugh
Ray Cluley: Bluey
Samantha Lee: The Worm
Stan Nicholls: Deadline
Stephen Laws: Get Worse Soon
Storm Constantine: La Tenebreuse
Suzanne Barbieri: In the Rough
Tina Rath: Little People
Tony Richards: The Garbage Men
In addition, the book will be garnished with a range of Jim Pitt illustrations. We aim to make this book one you’ll treasure.
Here is a round up of Alchemy Press collections. As you can tell from the range of anthologies and collections we’ve published, we are a great fan of short fiction. Click on the image for further information on each title.
The first thing I noticed was when the radio cleared its throat. I don’t sleep well and tend to leave the radio on all night, so when I wake up at five in the morning it’s there. I was just wishing I could sleep for another couple of hours, when in one of those pauses between discs, I heard this throat-clearing. First I thought, That’s odd; then I thought, The presenter must have left the mic on, or not realised the piece has finished. Then a voice said, “Are you awake?”
It has been a busy autumn at Alton Towers. I mean Alchemy Towers (the other Towers is about three miles further into the Peak District). At FantasyCon, held in a posh hotel at Nottingham University, we learned that Nick Nightmare Investigates by Adrian Cole (co-published with Airgedlámh Publications) won the coveted Best Collection Award presented by the British Fantasy Society. Copies are still available.
Congratulations to all concerned, to Adrian, his editor Mike Chinn (who also co-wrote one of the stories – where Nick Nightmare and Damian Paladin join forces to combat the forces of evil!), artists Jim Pits and Bob Eggleton, and Michael Marshall Smith, Stephen Jones and David Sutton.
The Alchemy Press was also short listed in the Best Anthology, Best Non-Fiction and Best Independent Press categories. So not a bad indicator of what we’re up to.
Music in the Bone by Marion Pitman has received a favourable review over on the Iconomicon website:
Overall, Music in the Bone and Other Stories is a little hard to quantify, given the mix of styles, subjects and tones. It’s definitely worth a look for lovers of British folklore and folk music, although hardcore horror aficionados should look elsewhere.
We are pleased that the book’s stories are hard to quantify and that the horror element isn’t hardcore. But don’t get us wrong: we are very happy with this review and that the reviewer enjoyed the book.
Pitman has created an array of characters that you will love and detest in equal measures. Music in the Bone is a fabulous collection, easy to pick up on your lunch break and read a few stories, or as I did all in one sitting. It appeals to most audiences as the stories cross genres from horror into fantasy. They are simple stories that somehow cover every theme, you will finish this book with a head that is overflowing and a heart too big for your chest.
Music in the Bone is now available as an e-book for the Kindle (DRM-free).
Marion Pitman’s new collection Music in the Bone receives a five-star review from The Book Lover’s Boudoir:
Music in the Bone and Other Stories is a great collection of stories. I thoroughly enjoyed […] every story in this collection. There’s a good mix of stories here. Some are downright chilly and unnerving (i.e. “Music in the Bone”, “Looking Glass” and “Overnight Bus”). Other tales were quite amusing but no less enjoyable (i.e. “Indecent Behaviour” and “The Cupboard of Winds”) … The collection concludes with the author giving a little summary about where the inspiration for each story came from. I’m the kind of reader who loves this insight so this was a little treat after reading so many good stories.
Music in the Bone is available from Amazon and other good book shops.