Sunday, 23 September 2018

Octoberland

I have always dreamt of having a story collection by PS Publishing - and now I do! The cover art is by the amazingly talented Daniele Serra.



To quote Pete Crowther, from the PS newsletter:

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Let’s talk about Thana Niveau . . .

And, at the very same time, let’s you and me spare a word or two for the late great Ray Bradbury.

Yes, for as I sit typing this out on Thursday evening, with a drenching autumn storm battering both my office window and the gargoyle-festooned roof of the church opposite as it pools in the greensward, my mind has indeed turned albeit briefly to Bradbury. inspired to do so by Thana Niveau’s remarkable collection, OCTOBERLAND and yet I make it sound as though Bradbury is but a single entity when, in fact, he is several.

Yes, for sure, there are many Ray Bradburys. Multitudes even.

F’rinstance, there’s the Ray Bradbury who conceived the knife-wielding toddler in ‘The Small Assassin,’ for example; the one who wrote about the jangling-nerved murderer frantically trying to remove any evidence that he was ever in the death room (including polishing away the possibility of his fingerprints on ‘The fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl’); the one who penned the fable about two time-travelling Knights fresh from the Crusades facing up to a steam train; and, of course, the one who recounts the escapades of the ghosts of Laurel and Hardy trying to move a piano down some steps during one strange and foggy Los Angeles night.

All are wonderful, each is totally different.

And that single line right there says pretty much everything there is to say about Thana Niveau and the stories in OCTOBERLAND. 

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Thana Niveau's stories feature people on the edge - the edge of death, the edge of sanity, the edge of reality. In this diverse collection, two sisters leave a trail of bodies behind them as they go on the run, desperate to outrun the dark secrets of their past. A film fan is haunted by the actress whose brutal horror films he can't stop watching. A child hears a ghostly voice through the radio reciting only numbers. And a young woman revisits the place she and her brother loved above all else - Octoberland - the strange amusement park that tore their world apart. Horror wears many faces here, from creeping dread to apocalyptic devastation, and no one escapes its dark touch.


Table of Contents:

INTRODUCTION by ALISON LITTLEWOOD
Going to the Sun Mountain
The Face
Xibalba
The Things That Aren’t There
Worm Casts
The Language of the City
The Call of the Dreaming Moon
Guinea Pig Girl
The Queen
Caerdroia
Tentacular Spectacular
First and Last and Always
No History of Violence
Little Devils
Bad Faith
Made in Hong Kong
Wasps
Behind the Wall
Vile Earth, to Earth Resign
And May All Your Christmases...
Two Five Seven
Sweeter Than to Wake
Death Walks en Pointe
The Calling of Night’s Ocean


Friday, 7 September 2018

The House of Frozen Screams

It was many and many a year ago, 
     In a gothic dark chateau,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
     by the name of Thana Niveau.
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
     than to write by the moonbeam's glow.

Oh yes, it WAS "many and many a year ago". Publication is a long and arduous process. But at long last, my debut novel is making its way into the world. And look at this exquisite cover, by the hugely talented Ben Baldwin:



The book began life as The Needing, a title which later transformed into The House of Frozen Screams. Writers agonise over the silliest, most seemingly inconsequential things, and I couldn't decide between "The House" or just "House". I threw the question out to everyone on Facebook, but the vote was split. So in the end I left it up to Graeme Reynolds at Horrific Tales Publishing.

Here's the book trailer I made:



And here's the full cover, with blurb:




When Liz and Nick Holland buy Wintergate, an isolated, long-empty Victorian seaside house, they believe they have found the perfect home. However, it isn't long before it begins to have an unsettling effect on Liz. She hears the sound of crying babies in the dead of night, and a sinister presence seems to be stalking her, making her doubt her sanity. Wintergate has a dark secret. Something evil lives there, and Liz must unravel the house's twisted history before she becomes its next victim.

There will be a formal launch at Fantasycon, in Chester, 19-21 October 2018. But in the meantime, you can pre-order the Kindle edition from amazon UK. or amazon US.

And if anyone out there would like a digital copy for review, please let me know!

Monday, 3 September 2018

And Fade Out Again

The only thing stronger than mankind’s compulsion to destroy itself was the determination that it would endure. Like a virus, it adapted. It survived.
Stefani watched the colours, luminescent in the glow from the sun lamps. The light was artificial, but the surrounding coral didn’t seem to mind. It was the only thing truly thriving in the poisoned ocean. If you didn’t count the city.
By the time the human race had finally decided to stop killing each other, the planet was nearly uninhabitable. It was too late to reverse the effects of global warming. The polar ice caps were long gone and the seas had risen, drowning cities, countries and finally entire continents. Most of the land was gone, as were were any hopes of escaping to the stars to find and colonise other worlds. The space program had drowned along with most of the planet.
Stefani couldn’t imagine what it must have been like living above the surface. VR tech could approximate the experience of wandering through forests or deserts, but it all seemed so unnatural, and the animals that had once lived up there were terrifying and strange. She had never known life outside the maternal embrace of the superocean and the comforting womb of New Eden.
Once the world above had reached the point of no return, scientists and architects had focused their efforts on the world below. Or rather – the world that would soon be below. And the Eden Project in Cornwall was a perfect starting point.

from "And Fade Out Again"

Great British Horror 3: For Those in Peril is available for pre-order from Black Shuck Books!