We here at Chateau Spectrale are extremely proud to announce that we will be publishing crime fiction under a new imprint to be called SPECTRAL STILETTO, the debut title being issued in around 18 – 24 months’ time. Why Spectral Stiletto? Because it harks back to the Golden Age of crime fiction, with its femmes fatale wearing stiletto heels and thugs despatching their victims with stiletto knives. In our estimation it’s the perfect combination.

We are still in the preliminary stages of working out concrete details. but what we can tell is the editorship of the new line will be headed up by JOHN GILBERT, with SIMON MARSHALL-JONES as the Kingpin editor. Some of you will already be familiar with John’s name – he is the editor of the legendary horror magazine FEAR which gained popularity in the eighties, the heyday of horror cinema and fiction. But let’s hear what he has to say in his own words:

“British Fantasy winning editor and author John Gilbert is best known as the founder and Managing Editor of FEAR Magazine. He started his career as a writer and Deputy Editor of home computer magazine Sinclair User, before moving on to write ‘making of film’ books – including a collaboration with Clive Barker on The Making of Nightbreed. Most recently he has published two short story collections and has had his work included in several international horror anthologies. A lifelong crime and thriller aficionado, he says: “I am fascinated by the crime, mystery, noir and thriller genres and, as an editor, keen to bring together some exciting established and new talents from around the world to establish a truly ground breaking crime imprint.”

He has already started putting together a blueprint for the imprint, and what we’ve discussed so far points to very exciting prospects for Spectral Stiletto. Just as hinted at above, there will be some established names aboard as well as those whose work is as yet unknown in the broader world but who nevertheless deserve a wider audience. Specific formats have yet to be decided upon, but rest assured we will be maintaining the high standards which Spectral Press has become known for.

Keep checking back for more details about this thrilling new venture!

The Eyes of Water: getting the FEAR

Eyes of Water cover image

Many years ago now, there used to be a popular newsstand horror magazine called FEAR which, in the course of time, faded away with the onslaught of the electronic revolution in mass communications and information technology. It disappeared off the shelves, which was a great shame as it was one of the better periodicals out there. But, just like that other genre stalwart Starburst, it’s now made a welcome return to print, but this time backed up with an online presence as well.

Anyway, the very first issue featured a review of Alison Littlewood’s The Eyes of Water and we have been promised that more reviews of Spectral publications will appear in the next issue plus, at some point, an interview with Simon Marshall-Jones. In the meantime, we reproduce here in full, courtesy of managing editor John Gilbert, the review of Alison’s chapbook.

“Small or specialist publishers are the lifeblood of genre fiction and at the moment Spectral Press is one of its rising stars. So much have they to offer that we decided to feature [one] of their new […] titles. The first is The Eyes of Water by Alison Littlewood,  a claustrophobic tale [of] underwater caves on the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico.

Alex is told that his friend, Rick, has been found dead after diving into a cenote that fed into a whirlpool just off the coast. Alex finds Rick’s death hard to accept particularly as he was such an expert navigator of the underwater caverns. His suspicions are further aroused when he sees the body of his friend [in] the morgue and cannot understand as Rick’s face is the only part of his body to be destroyed in the accident. Drawn to investigate he soon finds himself [in] a world of danger he could hardly have imagined.

Author Alison Littlewood skillfully describes the beauty of the underwater cave system while combining it with a claustrophobic horror that insinuates itself upon the reader as they descend into the story. Brilliantly and skillfully envisaged, The Eyes of Water is an unusual tale where every turn can reveal the unexpected.”

Many thanks to John and the FEAR team for the review – looking forward to the other reviews when they appear! Onwards and upwards!