Archive for anthology

More Spectral and anthology news

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on November 8, 2010 by simonmarshalljones

Spectral Press

To make the Press’s chapbooks even more attractive, here’s an idea that was suggested to me by my good friend Mathew Riley. Every ten chapbooks, I will be offering a slipcase in which to keep them – something along the lines of a textured faux-leather covered case, with the Spectral logo blocked in on the front, back and spine in silver and the volume number denoted in different colours, perhaps. If Spectral is particularly successful then I MIGHT include a bonus chapbook that’ll only be available to people who order the slipcase.

The Unspoken anthology

The latest recruit to the good cause that is this worthy anthology is Peter Crowther, of PS Books fame. This time, rather than being an original story, it’ll be a reprint of a tale he wrote some time ago, dealing with this pernicious disease. Also, it appears that the indefatigable Johnny Mains and Gary McMahon are already penning their contributions.

Other news

Talking of Gary McMahon, the man himself and I are in the early stages of planning a collaborative multimedia project together. I won’t say too much here at present, but this collaboration will play to both our individual strengths and promises startling results at the end of it. Certainly it’s has the makings of a very exciting venture – more news soon!!

Anthology news…

Posted in News with tags , , , , on November 4, 2010 by simonmarshalljones

Yesterday, I wrote that the cancer charity anthology I was providing the cover image for was changing its name, as there is already an American television programme called The Big C. Well, it’s been decided that the name of the anthology is now going to be….


This has many, many visual possibilities when it comes designing that all-important cover image – the combinations are endless…. =)

And, in other news….

Gary McMahon’s Pretty Little Dead Things, his first novel for Angry Robot Books (and starring the memorable character of Thomas Usher), is available from TODAY!

Just thought you’d like to know….. =D

Newsy stuff

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2010 by simonmarshalljones

First off,  I received a sci-fi book this morning (I don’t get many of those) for review, which I like the look and sound of, to wit:

Guardians of the Phoenix, by Eric Brown (Solaris)

Additionally, Gary Fry very kindly sent me a copy of the following simply for my reading pleasure:

The Impelled and Other Head Trips, by Gary Fry, with an introduction by Ramsey Campbell (Crowswing Books)

Thanks to Gary for doing so!

Next up is some news about the anthology I’m involved with: first off, it will no longer be called The Big C, as there’s a US television series with that name, so it would be politic to change it to avoid confusion. Several names have been suggested and, as of this writing, nothing has yet been finalised. Will let everyone know when the title’s been agreed on.

Secondly, the provisional line-up of writers is as follows (although this could change at any time):

Ramsey Campbell

Guy N Smith

John Shirley

Allyson Bird

Steve Savile

Steve Duffy

Simon Kurt Unsworth

Tim Lebbon

Gary McMahon

Steve Lockley

Scott Nicholson

Johnny Mains

Stephen Volk

Quite a stellar line-up, I think.

Thirdly, I have suggested that the original artwork that I’ll be producing for the cover to be auctioned off , so that the charity(ies) supported by this worthy anthology can benefit with a little extra money (always a good thing). Most likely this will happen at one of the conventions next year – not only will it make a great present but you also get to help with the search for a cure for this devastating disease. Start saving NOW, people!

The Big C anthology

Posted in Guest-blog, News with tags , , , , , , on October 31, 2010 by simonmarshalljones

Yesterday, I announced in a somewhat oblique manner that I had been asked to provide a cover painting for a forthcoming book – well, I can now reveal that it is The Big C anthology, to be edited by Willie Meikle and Stephen James Price (of Ghostwriter Publications), dedicated to raising awareness of cancer and money for cancer charities. Here, Mr Meikle explains why he decided to put this together.


My Dad has cancer. More than one kind in fact. He’s fighting hard, but cancer is a devious bugger. It hides, it lurks, and it pounces when you think it’s down and defeated.

Cancer is a monster.

I write about monsters, and have been doing so for a long span of years. Just recently I’ve started thinking more about why and taking a harder look at my motivations. A look back at several recent things I’ve done was revealing. The Invasion features an alien invasion that comes in the form of an organism from space that eats anything in its path, transforming it into something different and unnatural. My short story The Colour that Came to Chiswick features a colour out of space that gets into beer and, when consumed, eats the drinker away from the inside out. A story sale to another anthology features gross body changes and loss of identity, and even my current work in progress, ostensibly just a little creature feature disaster story, features genetic modification leading to crawling chaos. I may not have been consciously aware of it, but it’s obvious to me now that the Big C has been on my mind.

Cancer has been a presence in my life for as long as I can remember. I first came across it in the late Sixties. My Gran’s brother came back to town to die with his family. I was fascinated by this man, so thin as to be almost skeletal, wound in clothes that were many sizes too large for his frame, his skin so thin that I could see his blood moving… not pumping, for it had long since stopped moving enough to keep him alive long. He rarely spoke, just sat by the fire as if trying to soak up heat, his eyes frequently wet from tears, not of sadness, but of pain. He lasted for months in that condition until it finally took him and I knew then that cancer was a monster.

Since then it has taken others, both friends and family, a young mother with two pre-teen children, a cousin who was like a big brother to me, and a girl I never got to know for she was taken before her twentieth birthday. Other family members are still fighting. There’s my Dad, who meets it all with a good humour that is humbling, and my godmother who has battled bowel cancer into remission twice.

Cancer is a monster. I can’t fight it for them. But as a writer there is something I can do.

Just yesterday the idea came to me. I’m not the only one who writes about monsters. Maybe together, there was something we could all do. The idea grew and grew in my head and wouldn’t leave me alone. So I did something about it.

I’ve been discussing a possible cancer-themed anthology with Stephen James Price who has taken over Ghostwriter Publications. He’s agreed in principle to a POD paperback and ebook release, all proceeds to cancer charities. Steve and I will be joint editors (and possibly contribute a collaborated story.)

Provisional title is THE BIG C.

I’ve been inviting some writers I’ve always wanted to work with and whose work I admire. I’m proud of these virtual friends, as they’re coming through for the project with enthusiasm.

Recruitment is going well. Provisionally signed up so far I have: Gary McMahon, Scott Nicholson, Steven Savile, Steve Lockley, Steve Duffy, Simon Kurt Unsworth, Allyson Bird and John Shirley.

And we’ve got a cover artist signed up too… Simon Marshall Jones. He does great work that’ll be perfect for the book.

I’m still waiting to get decisions from others I have invited, but I already feel energised and ready to take the project on.

Cancer is a monster.

I plan to fight it the best way I know how. Watch this space.


I am really rather chuffed that I was asked to provide a cover for this endeavour – my wife Liz went through an ovarian cancer scare last year, and her mother and aunt died through the disease’s ravages. So, even if Wille was unaware of this before he asked me, this project is something that actually has some relevance to me and my nearest and dearest. Which makes it even more important that I produce my best work – I already have an image in mind for this, one that I feel will express the dread this disease holds for many.

The book will be published next year, in time for the convention season. Keep checking here for regular updates.