Archive for Horror

World Horror Conference

Posted in Tales of Horror with tags , , on April 7, 2010 by craigherbertson

World Horror Conference 2010

I’ve just about recovered from this marvelous event, held in the UK for the first time in Brighton where the chips are normally good and there is a pier.

My adventures were mainly concerned with two publications

John Mains (ed.) – Back From The Dead: The Legacy Of The Pan Book Of Horror Stories (Noose & Gibbet, March 2010)
Les Edwards
Shaub Hutson – Foreword
David A. Sutton – The Influence Of The Pans
Christopher Fowler – Locked
Tony Richards – Mr. Smythe
John Burke – Acute Rehab
Basil Copper – Camera Obscura
David A. Riley – The True Spirit
Jack Wainer – Angel
Myc Harrison – A Good Offence
Roger Clarke – Gallybagger
John Ware – Spinalonga
Jonathan Cruise – The Forgotten Island
J. P. Dixon – Dreaming The Dark
Septimus Dale – The Little Girl Eater
Christina Kiplinger – Mr. Golden’s Haunt
John Burke – The Stare
Nicholas Royle – The Children
Ken Alden – The Moment Of Death
Jane Louie – A Carribean Incident
Craig Herbertson – The Waiting Game
Francis King – School Crossing
Harry E. Turner – Sounds Familiar
Conrad Hill – An Outing With H.
John Mains – ‘Lest You Should Suffer Nightmares’. Herbert Van Thal: A Biography


Charles Black (ed.) – The Sixth Black Book Of Horror (Mortbury Press, March 2010)
6th Black Book of Horror: artwork; Paul Mudie
Paul Mudie
John Llewellyn Probert – Six Of The Best
Simon Kurt Unsworth – Traffic Stream
Steve Lockley – Imaginary Friends
R. B. Russell – An Unconventional Exorcism
Paul Finch – The Doom
Gary Fry – Keeping It In The Family
Craig Herbertson – Spanish Suite
Reggie Oliver – Mr. Pigsny
Alex Langley – The Red Stone
Stephen Bacon – Room Above The Shop
David A. Riley – Their Cramped Dark World
Mick Lewis – Gnomes
Anna Taborska – Bagpuss
David Williamson – The Switch
Mark Samuels – Keeping Your Mouth Shut

It was a chance to meet two editors who have revitalized my ailing career as a horror writer: Charles Black who has now published me in five of his critically acclaimed horror series and John Mains, the man who knows more about Pan Horror than Pan Horror.

The nucleus, I suppose, of the interest began with the Pan horror series which was an immense dark influence on the youth of my day – running to 30 volumes of unadulterated nastiness; a nastiness which beckoned me in Pan 29 where my novella The Heaven Maker (which I state now, contrary to the received view, had nearly no blood and gore in it) was published. It was series that saw stories by the greatest writers and the quickest hacks of weird tales, from Lord Dunsany to John Lennon and many more.

I am very very grateful to both of these fine editors for recovering my body from the abyss.

You will gather from the wealth of talent in these two books, launched at the conference, that it was a somewhat humbling experience. One clear highlight was beating my brother at chess for a change, but the other was certainly sitting on a panel with names who chilled the blood of several generations: Christopher Fowler, Tanith Lee, Tony Richards, David A Riley, David A Sutton, Basil Copper, Nicholas Royle and Les Edwards to name but a few. We tried to explain what we had done to the current generation in the way of nightmare and fear. All hosted by the sinister, John Mains.

At one point John asked the audience who had been turned to horror by the Pan books. Nearly everyone held up their hands. I realized then that we had become an institution -anyone who knows me knows I hate institutions but if I have to belong to one I think I’ll go with that.

Third Black Book Shortlisted for British Fantasy Awards 2008

Posted in Bits and pieces with tags , , , , , , , on October 13, 2008 by craigherbertson

Third Black Book of Horror reviewed and shortlisted for the British Fantasy Awards 2008

Loads of people have been saying marvelous things about this anthology – which was short-listed  for the British Fantasy Awards 2008.

‘The Black Book of Horror series stands tall as a masterful and most of all enjoyable, collection of some of the best that the field has to offer…’

said Lee Medcalf of Pantechnicon

And I got a bit of a kick from this on my humble offering

“The extraordinary carving of the characters, the smooth narrative style and a touch of black humour make the story a superb piece of fiction to be savoured word by word.”

Mario Guslandi
on Synchronicity in the Third Black Book of Horror

Second Black Book of Horror

Posted in Tales of Horror with tags , , , , , , , on April 11, 2008 by craigherbertson

Charles Black unleashes some more late night reading for those who prefer nightmares to dreams. This collection includes my first story in a paperback horror anthology since 1989.

I have a story in this collection but I’m happy to admit that in all honesty mine felt like the runt of the litter.

I haven’t read any horror book in a while that gripped me so much from the start. The stories seem to have an uncanny balance with each other while being very different.

Rog Pile’s ‘The Pit’ was a special favourite, evoking something sinister and deep, with an almost indescribable overtone of pathos. I was profoundly stuck by David Sutton’s ‘Amygdala’, which offers an image that will rest for a long and uneasy time in my head.

Having said this I have a strong feeling that I am going to immediately reread The Second Black Book of Horror and reveal that the preceding stories were not quite up to the ones I left out.

This little gem puts paid to the ‘their first album was great but the second one was duff’ theory.

‘The sheer quality of the writings within stand on their own merit, with nothing but the gloriously nasty Pan-style back cover blurbs to distract one from the true pleasure of the anthology – the stories.’


The Second Black Book of Horror – Charles Black (editor) Mortbury Press 2008

Black Glass – Gary McMahon
Amygdala – David A. Sutton
Now and Forever More – David A. Riley
The Cold Harvest – Steve Goodwin
On the Couch – Craig Herbertson
All Under Hatches Stow\’d – Mike Chinn
The Crimson Picture -Daniel McGachey
Squabble – D. F. Lewis
The Eye in the Mirror – Eddy C. Bertin
The Meal – Julia Lufford
In Sickness And… – John L. Probert
Onion – L. H. Maynard & M. P. N. Sims
The Pit – Rog Pile

The Second Black Book of Horror edited by Charles Black. Mortbury Press paperback, 200 pages. Retail price is £7-00. Available from various online outlets, including Amazon UK

The Black Book of Horror

Posted in Tales of Horror with tags , , , , , on April 4, 2008 by craigherbertson

Horrified there are not more collections like this.

If you remember the old Pan Books of Horror and you liked them you will like this more. The reason: there are echoes of the old masters, (in fact there are some old masters, notabley David A. Riley with his chilling LOCK-IN – told with all the macabre inuendo of P.K. Dick.) – But also horror has moved in time, become more surreal and fuller in metaphor and image. At times these stories move with a Daliesque brush stroke, chilling, overlit and very scary.

Difficult to pick a favourite from this bunch. I might go for “Regina vs. Zoskia” which seems Ballardian in its style but more menacing. Gary Fry’s creepy zombie-love tale “The Older Man” still gives me the shivers or perhaps “Cords” by Roger B. Pile…but it would be churlish to pick a best amongst so much good stuff.

If you like your nights dark, buy it.The Black Book of Horror – Charles Black (editor) Mortbury Press 2007

CROWS – Frank Nicholas
REGINA vs. ZOSKIA – Mark Samuels
POWER – Steve Goodwin
CORDS – Roger B. Pile
SIZE MATTERS – John L. Probert
SPARE RIB: A ROMANCE – John Kenneth Dunham
LOCK-IN – David A. Riley
“SHALT THOU KNOW MY NAME?” – Daniel McGachey

Cover by Paul Mudie

ISBN 978-0-9556061-0-6

Filthy Creations 3

Posted in Tales of Horror with tags , , , , , on March 3, 2008 by craigherbertson

Filthy Creations 3#

The third issue of Filthy Creations is on the market, stories by Franklin Marsh, Coral King…

The third issue of Filthy Creations is available for a giveaway

£2.50 (inc. p&p) from:

Rog Pile
46 Trenoweth Estate
North Country
TR16 4AH

Edited by Steve Goodwin and Rog Pile and illustrated by Rog, it includes stories by Franklin Marsh, Coral King, Daniel McGachey, Noah Brown, Peter Coady and Craig Herbertson