SHORT REVIEWS OF PS PUBLISHING'S NEW HORROR COLLECTIONS
The small independent publisher, PS Publishing, will publish three interesting horror collections this year. These collections are:
- Basil Copper: Darkness, Mist & Shadow – The Collected Macabre Tales of Basil Copper, Volume One & Two
- S. T. Joshi (editor): Black Wings
- David Case: Pelican Cay & Other Disquieting Tales
As you can see, this is a good year for horror readers. If you're as big a fan of horror stories as I am, I'm sure that you'll enjoy reading these collections, because they're great collections and they contain lots of stories. In my opinion PS Publishing has done their best with these three collections.
These collections contain several older and newer stories, which will be of interest to horror fans. These stories are fantastic, weird, horrifying and disturbing. If you're looking for something new and fresh to read, you've just found what you've been looking for. These collections offer something for everybody, so don't hesitate to read them.
Basil Copper: Darkness, Mist & Shadow - The Collected Macabre Tales of Basil Copper
Basil Copper is probably an unknown writer to many readers, which is a shame, because he's one of the best horror writers. Here's some information about him:
Basil Copper is a British writer and former journalist and newspaper editor. He has written over 50 books and scripts. In addition to fantasy and horror, he has written several Solar Pons stories (Solar Pons was created by August Derleth). He has also written hard-boiled detective stories about Mike Faraday.
Stephen Jones has done an amazing job with this two-volume collection. He's gathered all the weird and macabre stories of Basil Copper into these two volumes.
I liked the cover art in these two volumes very much – Stephen E. Fabian's paintings look nice.
Volume One contains the following stories:
- The Spider
- Camera Obscura
- The Janissaries of Emillion
- The Cave
- The Grey House
- Old Mrs. Cartwright
- The Great Vore
- The Academy of Pain
- Doctor Porthos
- Archives of the Dead
- Amber Print
- Out of the Fog
- The House by the Tarn
- The Knocker at the Portico
- The Second Passenger
- The Recompensing of Albano Pizar
- The Gossips
- A Very Pleasant Fellow
- A Message from the Stars
- Cry Wolf
- The Trodes
- Dust to Dust
- The Flabby Men
- The Way the World Died
- The Treasure of Our Lady
- Justice at the Crossroads
- Mrs. Van Donk
- The Stranger
- The Madonna of the Four-Ale Bar
- Shaft Number 247
Volume Two contains the following stories:
- The Candle in the Skull
- Wish You Were Here
- Better Dead
- Beyond the Reef
- Death of a Demi-God
- Reader, I Buried Him!
- Bright Blades Gleaming
- When Greek Meets Greek
- Line Engaged
- One for the Pot
- In a Darkling Wood
- The Grass
- Riding the Chariot
- Final Destination
- The Obelisk
- Out There
- The Summerhouse
- As the Crow Flies
- Poetic Justice
- Ill Met by Daylight
- Charing Cross—Dover—Charing Cross
- There Lies the Danger
- Queen Bee
- Death of a Nobody
- The White Train
- Hunted by Wolves
- Storm over Stromjolly
- The Silver Salamander
- Voices in the Water
"Shaft Number 247" is a fantastic Cthulhu Mythos story. It's a perfect story for fans of H. P. Lovecraft. Another excellent Lovecraftian novella is "Beyond the Reef". These two stories are Lovecraftian masterpieces and they're among the best Lovecraftian stories I've ever read. Both stories are weird and fascinating and that's why I can recommend them to all Lovecraft fans.
"Beyond the Reef" is actually an amazing story, because the writing style reminds me of Lovecraft's writing style – it's a story which Lovecraft could've written himself. If you haven't read it, you must read it as soon as possible, because it's a homage to Lovecraft – the events take place in familiar surroundings.
All the other stories are also highly enjoyable and fascinating. They're excellent entertainment for horror readers and lovers of macabre happenings. I can highly recommend these two volumes to readers, who like good stories.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
S. T. Joshi (editor): Black Wings
S. T. Joshi is a well-known name to horror readers, who have read H. P. Lovecraft's stories. Because there are probably some readers who don't know anything about him, here's some information about him:
S. T. Joshi is a leading figure in the study of H. P. Lovecraft and other authors of weird and fantastic fiction. He has edited several books.
S. T. Joshi has done a good job with Black Wings anthology, because he's gathered several different kind of stories into this anthology. Black Wings contains new Lovecraftian tales with a modern twist.
Black Wings contains the following stories:
- Pickman’s Other Model (1929) by Caitlín R. Kiernan
- Desert Dreams by Donald R. Burleson
- Engravings by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.
- Copping Squid by Michael Shea
- Passing Spirits by Sam Gafford
- The Broadsword by Laird Barron
- Usurped by William Browning Spencer
- Denker’s Book by David J. Schow
- Inhabitants of Wraithwood by W. H. Pugmire
- The Dome by Mollie L. Burleson
- Rotterdam by Nicholas Royle
- Tempting Providence by Jonathan Thomas
- Howling in the Dark by Darrell Schweitzer
- The Truth about Pickman by Brian Stableford
- Tunnels by Philip Haldeman
- Violence, Child of Trust by Michael Cisco
- Lesser Demons by Norman Partridge
- The Correspondence of Cameron Thaddeus Nash by Ramsey Campbell
- An Eldritch Matter by Adam Niswander
- Susie by Jason Van Hollander
- Substitutions by Michael Marshall Smith
I've been a fan of H. P. Lovecraft for a long time, so it was very nice to read these modern stories. These stories represent some of the best Lovecraftian stories I've read during the last couple of years. I was very impressed with these stories, because they range from crime stories to psychological horror.
All of these stories are well written and interesting, so it's a bit difficult to choose my favourite stories. If I had to choose my favourite stories, I'd say that they were Caitlín R. Kiernan's "Pickman's Other Model", Michael Cisco's "Violence, Child of Trust", Laird Barron's "The Broadsword", Michael Shea's "Copping Squid" and Ramsey Campbell's "The Correspondence of Cameron Thaddeus Nas" (Laird Barron is definitely an author to watch for in the future – his story is surprisingly good).
Although Lovecraft died several decades ago, he still inspires new writers to write macabre stories and these stories are proof of his huge influence on modern literature. These stories show the reader how well Lovecraftian horror can de adapted into different types of literature and how well new stories can be written. In my opinion every Lovecraft fan should read this collection, because these stories are simply fantastic.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
David Case: Pelican Cay & Other Disquieting Tales
I think that David Case is an unknown writer for many readers, so here's information about him:
David Case is an American writer, who has written novels and short stories. He is the author of The Cell: Three Tales of Horror (1969) and other books. His zombie novella "Pelican Cay" was nominated for a World Fantasy Award in 2001.
David Case's Pelican Cay & Other Disquieting Tales is an interesting horror collection. It contains the World Fantasy Award nominated novella "Pelican Cay" and other fascinating and powerful stories.
Pelican Cay & Other Disquieting Tales contains the following stories:
- Pelican Cay
- Penny Wise
- The Cannibal Feast
- The War is Over
- The Cave
- Penny Wise (variant, only in the deluxe traycased edition)
- Twins (reworking of a chapter from Skulls, only in the deluxe traycased edition)
Most of these stories have been published before, but Penny Wise, Skulls and The Cave are original to this collection.
The title story, "Pelican Cay", is a good horror story about a reporter who travels to an island to investigate things and finds out that the government has a research compound the island. The government is doing research about chemical lobotomy, but something goes wrong and the results are horrible for the local people. I'm sure that many readers will love this zombie tale.
The other stories are also interesting, but in my opinion they're not as good as "Pelican Cay", although I have to admit that I did like Skulls very much. It's a story which sticks to your mind when you've read it and it makes you think about certain things, because the writer demonstrates that he's able to write a story with psychological depth.
David Case writes fluently and his writing style will please several readers, so I'm sure that horror readers will enjoy this collection.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.