Another 2-in-1 review…

… and this time it’s from Lisa Morton, and posted at The Black Glove online review pages. I have to say that the write-up is extremely insightful, and really gets to the heart of both chapbooks…. so, without further ado, you can find the review here.

Thanks to Lisa for the great review!!

Another Brace of reviews and an Interview

A few more reviews of Spectral Press chapbooks have landed in my virtual in-tray this week, and I just can’t help sharing them with you…

First up is a short, but very perceptive, review of Abolisher of Roses from Neal Hock of Bookhound’s Den, which you can read here. His comment that Spectral Press ‘has started something special and, in my opinion, needed: a line of stories that showcases quality writing and causes the reader to think’ hits the nail squarely on the head as far as the philosophy behind the imprint is concerned.

Next is another short review, this time from Russian journalist Ray Garraty, which can be found in his Endless Falls Up blog – you can access the write-up here.

Just like Starburst Online did, Shock Totem staffer John Boden combined reviews of the two Spectral volumes into one – his very honest assessment can be found here. He concludes with the words ‘I can say with all honesty, I cannot wait to see what Spectral Press puts out next. I’m certainly a fan‘, words which really make the whole enterprise more than worthwhile.

Finally, for now at least, here’s a little interview I did with Michael Wilson for Read Horror‘s new Meet the Publisher section, wherein I talk about Spectral, its philosophy & ethos, what the future holds for the imprint and my influences.

There will be more reviews forthcoming, I’m sure – just watch this space!

Spectral Signature Editions: Update

A little later than I’d originally planned, due to the absence of electrics in my office, but here’s the latest news regarding Simon Kurt Unsworth’s Signature Edition story collection (inaugurating a new line of books from Spectral) that’s currently projected to be published in early 2013.

It is envisaged that there’ll be two versions:

1) A ‘Deluxe’  edition, limited to 100 illustrated, signed and numbered copies, which will have the signatures of both the author and artist (and possibly mine, too); and

2) An ultra-limited ‘Flash-Fiction’ version of just 10, which will feature a hand-written flash fiction piece by Simon in each copy (and each of those stories will be unique to boot), illustrated around the margins by the illustrator.

Six of the 100 ‘Deluxe’ edition have already been spoken for and, although there’s something like 22 months before publication, it wouldn’t do you any harm to put your name down for a copy now. Send me an email to spectralpress[at]gmail[dot]com to let me know you’re interested. The same goes if you want one of the ‘Flash Fiction’ editions – those will be allocated on a first come-first served basis.

Pricing has not yet been fixed, but the envisaged payment scheme will be something like this:

Between now and the end of December 2011, email me on the address above with an expression of interest in acquiring a copy, and your name will go down on a spreadsheet (I would use a piece of paper, but I know I’d only lose it somewhere along the line). If there are more than 100 people interested, there will be a reserve list for the ‘overspill’, so to speak, in case anyone drops out. Then, starting in January 2012, I will be asking for deposits of 50% of the purchase price – this will definitely secure you a copy. Then, when it gets printed and it’s a couple of months prior to publication, I shall be emailing people for the balance. That way, as the book(s) are likely to be expensive, it means you won’t have to look for a lump sum of money to pay out in one go. Postage will be extra.

If anyone drops out at any stage, they will have any monies refunded if they’ve paid any, and that copy will be offered to the first person on the reserve list.

If anyone needs more information, then please don’t hesitate to email me at spectralpress[at]gmail[dot]com for more details….

A Brace of New Reviews

This week as has seen a few more reviews coming to roost at Spectral Towers, so I thought it only politic to introduce these newcomers to the world at large. They are:

Stephen Theaker, in Theaker’s Quarterly and Paperbacks, had this to say about Abolisher of Roses, mentioning that it “lives up to the standard set by the first, What They Hear in the Dark by Gary McMahon”.

Secondly, Des Lewis (of Null Immortalis fame) also wrote a review of Gary Fry’s chapbook in My Last Balcony, which you can find here.

Finally, we have a combined review of Volumes I & II in the new online incarnation of that British institution, Starburst Magazine. The reviewer notes that “Spectral produces really superb signed, limited editions..” which is all you need to know, really. Anyway, you can find the review here, but you’ll have to login or register to see the review in full – however, I guarantee that it’s worth doing!

Spectral is going places – so I suggest you subscribe today so you don’t get left behind!! =)


In any business’ life, in order for it to maintain some species of momentum, it has to grow and evolve in some way over the course of its duration. So, last night, in a pub (of course!) near Euston Station in London, Simon Kurt Unsworth and I (with a little help from Greg James) took the first steps towards helping Spectral Press do just that. Therefore I am pleased to announce a new line of Spectral books, beginning with:


Signature Editions are single-author story collections, and World Fantasy Award-nominated author Simon Kurt Unsworth will be the one to launch the new line. The edition will contain tales culled from across the writer’s career, the selection representing the full spectrum of his published output so far.  An original story or two, specifically written for this collection, will also be included, plus the stories will be illustrated with exquisite line drawings, by an artist yet to be decided.

The books themselves will be limited edition A5 hardbacks, signed and illustrated, bound in faux-leather and blocked in red foil. There will be no dustjacket, however the front of the book will be adorned with a very simple graphic, featuring the author’s initials, the words ‘SIGNATURE EDITION’ and below that the volume number. The title page will be illustrated and feature the full title of the collection, whatever the author decides that is going to be. Retail price yet to be decided, but will be forthcoming in the not-too-distanmt future.

The projected date of publication will be MARCH 2013. Keep checking back for more details of this project as we get nearer to the launch date!!

A review and an update

Another fine write-up of Gary Fry’s Abolisher of Roses was posted recently on The Eloquent Page website, which you can read here. I’m especially chuffed that Spectral has, in its own small way, helped rejuvenate the reviewer’s interest in the short story form – that’s one of the raisons d’etre of the imprint’s existence, to inspire people to read more shorter fiction pieces.

Also, there are now only SIX copies of Spectral Volume I, Gary McMahon’s What They Hear in the Dark, left – so I suggest you get your skates on people!! As fine an example of grim as you can get anywhere, and at a reasonable price too… =)

Subscriptions update and other news

Subscriptions are still available BUT there are only 28 places left, and will now start from Spectral Volume III, Cate Gardner’s surreal Nowhere Hall, due out in September of this year. However, I am considering plans to either extend the print runs should all places be filled OR, as is more likely, find some other way to make the stories available without compromising the exclusivity of the chapbooks themselves. This won’t happen until next year at the earliest, so there will be plenty of time to work something out. Of course, I will be consulting with the individual authors as well on this and there will be an announcement here in due course when it’s been decided.

Anyway, yearly subscriptions (4 issues) are available for £13.50UK/£16EU/$30US/$40RoW – there are convenient Paypal buttons for ordering subs on the home page of this site. There are some exciting authors and brilliant stories coming up over the next twelve months, so subscribing is the best way NOT to miss out on any of them!!

In other news, next on the agenda is a possibility of specially-made binders to keep all your chapbooks pristine and undamaged. Still mulling this one over and doing some research – more news when I have a better idea of costs and all that.

On the publishing front, there will be some major developments that I will be announcing in about two weeks’ time – but it could be the next step for Spectral Press. Again, watch out for news in a fortnight or so.

That’s all for now, except to say that numbers of copies of Gary McMahon’s fantastic What They Hear in the Dark are dwindling quickly – if you haven’t got one yet, I suggest you ACT FAST!