Fantasy & Gothic Blog

Gothic Fantasy titles moved to September

Posted by Nick Wells

A word from our Publisher, Nick Wells:

Our otherwise delightful printer seems to have suffered a series of setbacks, culminating in the entire workforce going on holiday at the same time. Or so it seems. They've had the PDFs to make the books for 6 weeks and should have delivered two weeks ago, but various calamities seem to have befallen them and they are currently set to despatch from their factory outside Venice at the end of August.

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Topics: Gothic Fantasy, announcement

Chilling Ghost Biographies | Wilkie Collins

Posted by Gillian Whitaker

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William Wilkie Collins (1824–89), who was born in London, is the author of the widely acclaimed ‘sensation’ text ‘The Woman in White’ (1859–60). Recently, his detective novel ‘The Moonstone’ (1868) made it to Number 19 in Robert McCrum’s Guardian list of the 100 best novels written in English, where McCrum describes the book as a ‘marriage of the sensational and the realistic’. A close friend of Dickens, Collins is lauded as one of the great forerunners of detective fiction – T.S. Eliot considered Collins and 'The Moonstone' to have invented the genre. His contribution to the genres of sensational and supernatural fiction was considerable, and, famous for his unorthodox, even scandalous, lifestyle during the Victorian era, his own life was not short of inspiration for his work.

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Topics: Gothic Fantasy, Biography

Chilling Horror Biography | William Hope Hodgson

Posted by Gillian Whitaker

With a history in seamanship, photography and bodybuilding on top of his successful writing career, William Hope Hodgson (1877–1918) makes for an interesting subject for today’s blog. Perhaps best known for his novels ‘The House on the Borderland’ (1908) and ‘The Night Land’ (1912), Hodgson’s fiction has been a great influence on a number of horror writers, especially celebrated for his authentic narratives on the horrors of the sea and his creation of the enduring supernatural investigator Thomas Carnacki.

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Topics: Gothic Fantasy, Biography

Gothic Fantasy: Successful Submissions

Posted by Nick Wells

Our three collectable Gothic Fantasy anthologies, deluxe hardcover editions on Horror, Ghosts and Science fiction, each carry a potent mix of classic tales and new fiction, tracing the path of the thrilling tale from the early gothic to the modern fantastic. The range and high quality of entries forced us into a slight deviation from our original path, allowing us to include more of the new stories, at the expense of a few of classic writers. However, as you'll see below, we've selected a wide range of pioneer literary giants, from Henry James to E.M. Forster, Arthur Conan Doyle to Mark Twain, and, focussing on great reads, included some other fascinating contributions from the Golden Age of Pulps.

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Topics: Gothic Fantasy, creepy stories, short fiction

Gothic Fantasy Call for Submission: Gone to Press!

Posted by Nick Wells

Well, that was difficult. 721 submissions for our three anthologies on Ghosts, Horror and Science Fiction. Authors from around the globe, some published in magazines such as Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Plasma Frequency Magazine, Outposts of Beyond, Weird Tales, podcasts (Pseudopod, Escape Pod, Toasted Cake, Flight of the Fifty Fancies), award winners, and recent anthology collections, others never published before. I suppose we expected 150 stories, and a struggle to find the 60 we needed, but it was a complete shock to discover so many great reads, and distressing to have to make choices.

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Topics: Gothic Fantasy, creepy stories, short fiction

Origins of Gothic Fantasy: Science Fiction

Posted by Matt Knight

Rounding off our mini-series on Gothic Fantasy Origins, today we take a closer look at Science Fiction.

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Topics: frankenstein, Gothic Fantasy, sf and fantasy, H.G. Wells

Origins of Gothic Fantasy: Ghost Stories

Posted by Gillian Whitaker

Influenced by the gothic fiction tradition, ghost stories have long captivated audiences and readers, with ghostly beings so often fascinating precisely because of their ability to elude definition: obscurity and intrigue are necessary for the realm of ‘ghostliness’, and set ablaze the imagination as a result. Anything ‘supernatural’ seems at once displaced from yet close to reality, and it is this small shift, similar to Freud’s ‘uncanny’, which is so unsettling. The Victorian era – the supposed ‘golden age’ of the ghost story – lent itself well to the form. Roger Clarke (author of A Natural History of Ghosts: 500 Years of Hunting for Proof) has put this down to a number of reasons – such as it being the era of flickering gaslamps with possible hallucinogenic properties, an era also of large stately homes, with secret passageways for servants to flit through unseen by the guests of the house. This is also an age when representations of reality could be popularly captured through photography, giving rise to ‘spirit photography’ that distorted the reality captured in eerie and, at the time, convincing ways. We’re adding to our range of classic gothic novels with a series on short stories, and today’s blog will take an overview of ghost stories in particular, trying to snatch a glimpse of those many elusive ghosts that have graced pages in history. 

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Topics: flame tree 451, Gothic Fantasy, Oscar Wilde

Origins of Gothic Fantasy: Gothic Horror Stories

Posted by Matt Knight

In our first blog of a new mini series, we take a look at the first gothic horror stories. We'll cover the origins, influences, and most significant figures in the genre, casting light into one of the darkest fiction genres out there.

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Topics: frankenstein, Gothic Fantasy, gothic horror, Bram Stoker, Matthew Lewis

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