In less than two weeks, Dark Continents Publishing will be officially launching the company at the World Horror Convention in Austin, Texas. We’re taking 13 titles to Texas, one of which is my first collection of speculative fiction short stories and poetry, “Ghosts Can Bleed”.
This isn’t about “Ghosts Can Bleed” – I’ve been self-promoting my butt off lately, and it’s about time I showed some love for the other 12. I’ve been busy reading all 12 books, and at the rate I’m going (right now I’m over halfway number 11), I should have finished them all by the time I step off the plane in Austin.
It’s been an interesting experience for me familiarizing myself with our catalogue; I have to simultaneously wear several hats whilst reading them – reader, fellow writer, proof reader, publisher and marketer. My aim over the next few posts is to distil all of these perspectives into a useful guide for potential readers. We’d be thrilled if you bought all 13. But realistically, not all our titles are going to suit everybody, and not everybody has that kind of book-buying budget. Just think of me as a friendly sales assistant in a clothing store – I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t sell you something, but I’m going to make sure that it fits properly and looks good on you.
Now step this way, sir and madam, and try these on for size –
The Spectrum Collection
First released in late 2010, The Spectrum Collection was compiled to represent the various talents of the members of the Dark Continents collective and to give readers a taste of what to expect from our 2011 publications. Each short story or poem is an excellent indication of the author’s typical style and inclinations. Enjoyed a particular story in Spectrum? Then chances are you’ll love that author’s book.
The collection has received some great reviews. Curiously, there are no stand-out favourites, with each reviewer singling out different pieces for praise. And the extra good news about this collection is that you don’t have to wait until the launch to purchase it. It is available in paperback now from the Dark Continents website and in e-book format from Smashwords.
Blood Curry and Anomalous Appetites by John Irvine
These two titles come to us from New Zealand writer John Irvine. They will stand out from our other titles on the dealers’ table in Austin, by virtue of their larger (11” x 8 ½”) format. The reason for this format is to better showcase the artwork in both titles. For the same reason, neither title will be available in e-book format.
Anomalous Appetites is a collection of poetry by prominent speculative fiction poets from around the world and edited by John Irvine. I have a copy of AA in its first incarnation, and it is a truly handsome looking book. Each poem is accompanied by an illustration. John’s tastes in poetry run to the accessible rather than the incomprehensible. And creepy. Very, very creepy. If you like horror, and you think you don’t like or don’t understand poetry, take a look at this book and prepare to be pleasantly surprised.
Blood Curry is for people who like their horror fiction bite-sized. Literally bite-sized, as interspersed amongst the stories and poems are real recipes, all of which include blood as a main ingredient. It’s an imaginative, audacious concept. Like AA, it is beautifully designed and illustrated. In keeping with the theme, the poems and stories are short and bloody.
The setting, the characters, the dialogue –everything about this novel is distinctly British. This one is for Anglophiles and readers who like a bit of Celtic mythology with their horror. Adrian writes with a cinematic style. He excels in crafting characters that you care about, which makes it even more gut wrenching when he kills them off, often in an inventive, gruesome fashion. And maybe it’s just my peculiar tastes, but I thought that Andy Hughes, the protagonist in The Caretakers, was dead sexy. I’ll be first in line for tickets if this novel gets made into a movie.