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Old 06-06-2013   #11
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Re: Horror Without Victims - new anthology

Tony Lovell's great cover;


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Old 06-06-2013   #12
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Re: Horror Without Victims - new anthology

Great cover indeed!
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Old 06-22-2013   #13
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Re: Horror Without Victims - new anthology

All contributor copies of this anthology posted yesterday.

If anyone can use a review copy, please contact me.

Anyone who submitted a story to HoWiVi but was unsuccessful may purchase an editor/publisher signed copy from me post-free.

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Old 06-22-2013   #14
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Re: Horror Without Victims - new anthology

The cover looks really impressive. It actually fills me with fear when I look at it. When it comes to the the contents some of the names are familiar, but many are yet to be discovered, which I'll be glad to do.

"In my imagination, I have a small apartment in a small town where I live alone and gaze through a window at a wintry landscape." -- TL
Confusio Linguarum - visionary literature, translingualism & bibliophily
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Old 07-10-2013   #15
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Re: Horror Without Victims - new anthology

I am pleased to report that HWV is now on Amazon co.uk and .com:








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Old 07-15-2013   #16
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Re: Horror Without Victims - new anthology

I’m proud that my story In the Earth has been included in this anthology. To repeat something I wrote earlier: There is in a way something inevitable about the titular theme as victims seem to be a prerequisite of most horror fiction; and as the Editor has constantly pushed to the limits both his own fiction and that of the contributors to his anthologies, it seems fitting and logical that writers should now be told: “No, no more of that, let’s see what you can do without your ill-used and misbegotten toys. Can you still scare us without them?”

Well, can we? Did we?

Read this book and find out.

I wrote the above a while back at another site. More recently I've been reading the book and discovering how fellow-contributors rose to D F Lewis's challenge. I wasn't sure at first about the correctness of posting impressions of peers' stories; but I've never been that correct anyway, and frankly I'm finding it all pretty damn impressive.

Embrace the Fall of Night by John Howard is less a story than a meditation on the nature of horror and asks whether one can become a victim without the conscious intention of an aggressor. The argument draws on Robert Frost’s Desert Places (in which the poet expresses more fear of the uncharted regions of his own mind than similar ‘desert places’ on Earth or in space); on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness. And finally there is the continent of Antarctica itself and the still largely-unrecognized horror of global warming. ‘At the bottom of the world, that alien, frozen continent still adheres like a scab or a sticky leaf that once drifted in, touched, and is now firmly stuck fast. It waits…'

It’s a thoughtful piece and a very good introduction to this anthology.

The Horror by Gary McMahon: The opening of this story reminded me of Bradbury’s The One Who Waits. But unlike Bradbury’s horror which lies in wait to trap the unwary, McMahon’s is actively sought out by those who sense it in their dreams. Just what they sense isn’t clear; perhaps the calling of like to like. Or perhaps it deceives them into believing that. McMahon’s horror does have something else in common with Bradbury’s. Its eternal hunger.

Hilary is one of those who seeks out this horror and – possibly not being a reader of The One Thousand and One Nights – decides to bottle it…

From a memory of Bradbury to one of Matheson; but I’m not going to mention the Matheson story, or why I thought of it, as I don’t want to create a spoiler for…

Clouds by Eric Ian Steele: Evan is not content with his life; he feels there should be more. His girlfriend Emma doesn’t understand him; probably she wishes he would keep his head out of the clouds. In fact, he does notice what’s happening beneath them. He notices when a gap appears in the nearby row of terraced houses and the workmen start filling a hole with cement. He also notices the banks of clouds that hang over the houses.

The clouds were lower than last night. Their orange-hued bulk obscured the top of an old church steeple. They wafted down over the town like a giant lung that was exhaling, all but smothering the sports field. The houses on Grey Street, squat and ever watchful with their tiny, unblinking eyes, disappeared from view…


This one generates quite a respectable degree of tension before being brought to a satisfying conclusion.
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Old 07-15-2013   #17
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Re: Horror Without Victims - new anthology

The Carpet Seller’s Recommendation by Alistair Rennie: As a newly appointed representative for Quartermain & Quartermain: Superior Turkish Carpets & Oriental Miscellany (official suppliers to Queen Victoria herself), Mr Devlin asks his contact how he should spend his spare time, and is instructed to take “A pleasure cruise on the Bosphorus… but be sure to find the boat of my good friend, Captain Mehmet Khan, who will offer you a most enlightening and stimulating voyage.”

The voyage transpires to be less pleasant than Devlin would have wished when he’s set upon by two thuggish stewards and imprisoned below, where he soon overhears a blood-chilling conversation and realizes that he’s to be tortured to death.

Told with a beguiling artlessness, this one's enjoyable.

Waiting Room by Aliya Whitely presents the occupants of a very strange room who are apparently tired of life and waiting for the moment – which only they will know – when they are ready to place their hand finally on the red door and pass through. In the meantime they pass the time in conversation and such prosaic activities as working out jig-saw puzzles.

The thing with conversation is that one gets to know one’s fellow-occupants, which is the case with Matt and Helen. Relationships of course are often uneven things; there is not always a perfect synchronization of feelings, a mutual opening up. And when one is distracted by a perfect square which is rising up in lumps on one’s hand, folding back to reveal… what?

Vaguely surreal and disturbing.

For Ages and Ever by Patricia Russo: I knew I’d read something by this author before, but I couldn’t remember if I’d liked it. I suppose that’s part of the deal you buy into when you decide to become a Nemonymous author. Eventually I tracked the author down to Zencore, but she hadn’t written the story I’d been thinking of – well, not in that volume, anyway.

Perhaps I’d better start again.

I was all prepared not to like this story; several pages into it, I was still looking for reasons not to like it. For one thing, second-person narrative can be horribly affected if not used well or for good reason. Aldiss wrote one of the rare good examples in Supercity. Patricia Russo’s written another.

For Ages and Ever is perhaps a tale of a future or parallel city where there are rules, too many of them. Most of the rules seem pretty unreasonable, but most rules can seem that way until you learn the reasons. There is also a red house. And it eats people.

The protagonist of the story – a young girl, I think – has lost her brothers to the red house, and is angry. Why is the house allowed to stand? Wanting revenge, she takes the advice of the storyteller and goes to see Aunt Far Away, who continues her tale. Like Aldiss’ Supercity, this is a tale told to a child, and of a child.

I began it flipping pages to see how long the story was, then getting drawn in by the unusual imagery and technique and thinking at one point: “God, that’s quite grotesque! Ew!”

After a while, the word “brilliant” came to mind. I think I can use it fairly safely. Anyway, you’ll gather I liked it.
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Old 07-28-2013   #18
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Re: Horror Without Victims - new anthology

Night in the Pink House by Charles Wilkinson: Ostensibly Topcliffe is employed by the disabled Slater as a male nurse, but in fact he knows that his employment was arranged on the strength of his family name and his descent from an earlier Topcliffe employed by Elizabeth I in the role of her chief interrogator.

Obsessed with pain and the art of inflicting and protracting it, Slater repeatedly quizzes Topcliffe about his ancestor.

Topcliffe comes up with a little scheme which he’s sure his employer will appreciate, and certainly Slater gets great enjoyment from the sound recordings his employee makes of certain sessions he has with a local wench. While Slater has no ear for music and dismisses it as nonsense, he does have a keen appreciation of the human voice; and Rose’s voice, her screams when Topcliffe attends to her, give Slater much pleasure.

The pink house is a Tudor cottage on top of a cliff. One day, investigating a cupboard, Topcliffe finds a curious area of wall. It seems to be bandaged.

The moral of this pleasingly ambiguous and disturbing tale is possibly that if one has a good trade, one will never suffer unemployment.

Point and Stick by Mark Patrick Lynch: When he takes the rented room, he’s disappointed to find that the expected mattress is not part of the deal. But there is a hole in the floorboards, so when he lies on his old sleeping bag, at least he can amuse himself by watching the very large woman in the apartment below.

One day when he comes up the stairs he notices that the woman’s letterbox is open, and peering through he sees the stains on the floor, which are dark. In a better light, he thinks they might be red.

This is one of those stories which have you going back over them because you’re sure you missed a page somewhere… although it seems to make sense without it.

The Blue Umbrella: A Reverie by Mark Valentine: The old Victorian sanatorium town is careworn now, but it suits him; in particular he likes the library with its vaulted ceilings and alabaster stairs. He also has a pleasant memory of the civic hall which, though less grand, once hosted a book fair. He reads three or four books a week, and loves these adventures of the imagination.

He wonders sometimes if it’s possible to be haunted by books; if the pages, like living things, wait for him to venture through them. Just as “the dust in the sunlight in the library became changed to translucent gems, suddenly more real to him than the pale shelves and the stone floor”, so these adventures waiting to be lived become more real to him than his surroundings. Perhaps the vaulted ceiling of the library and the dome of the civic centre are repeated in the shape of the blue umbrella he carries and again in the dome of his skull, microcosm within microcosm, wherein his imaginary life is more focused and vivid than anything outside it.
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Old 07-31-2013   #19
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Re: Horror Without Victims - new anthology

Thanks, Rog.
I have just completed my own personal commentary on the stories post-publication: http://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/...rs-commentary/

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Old 08-06-2013   #20
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Re: Horror Without Victims - new anthology

Des, I was just wondering, will HWV eventually be available through either Amazon.ca or The Book Depository?
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