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The Afterblight Chronicles: Arrowhead
First published by Abaddon in the UK, September 2008. Mass Market Paperback, with artwork by Mark Harrison, £6.99.
‘One of the most enjoyable Robin Hood stories you are likely to read.’
‘Arrowhead is huge fun. The characters we know from the tales of Robin Hood are all there, and Kane allows them to understand they are playing a part in the re-establishment of a myth. If you’ve ever wanted to see Robin Hood go up against tanks, this is for you; if not, well, buy it anyway.’
(Four star review by Anthony Leigh, DeathRay magazine)
‘ Of all the novels so far in the Chronicles, this is the most visual, with Kane's prose bringing to life the world both within Nottingham Castle and in Sherwood Forest. His action sequences have a film editor’s eye, giving the reader exactly the amount of information needed to become caught up in events. Kane’s mixture of legend and modern-day works well, with Rob Stokes making a very effective reluctant hero, becoming the latest incarnation of the Hooded Man almost despite himself.’
(Paul Simpson, Dreamwatch Presents Total Sci-Fi)
‘I didn’t want to read this book. Not because I was concerned about the quality of the work, but because the myth of Robin Hood is a precious thing to me. I come from Nottingham and spent my childhood being told the tales of the “wolf’s head”… I grew up watching the Richard Carpenter TV show that moulded the story to include magic; I had read the comics and the original tales. I knew Robin Hood and I didn’t want him sullied. Fortunately Kane has done no such thing. He knows his history and has carefully moulded a story around the myth…The tale plays on the imagery and mythic undertones of the Hood stories, pieces of the legend falling into place, the collective memory of Hood being brought to the forefront of people’s minds… As well as playing with the fables of the “Outlaw” Arrowhead also falls into the tradition of English sci-fi disaster stories, in some places the work echoes Wyndham in the depiction of the survivors attempting to regain some normality in their lives. An excellent read that adds rather than detracts from the folklore of Robin Hood.’
(Adam J. Shardlow, Prism Magazine.)
‘I know you see where this one’s going. That’s right! It’s a modern re-working of the old Robin Hood tales! There’s even a “Maid Marian” and a “Friar Tuck” to keep you company. Paul Kane effortlessly weaves the tale of our favorite green clad do-gooder with post-apocalyptic brilliance. I can’t say enough good about this book. It’s awesome and I loved every page of it!’
(Jim Dodge Jr, Mass Movement Magazine)
‘Arrowhead is another great instalment in the Afterblight Chronicles, well written and a great visual. If you are lacking a good book to read and want an action-packed, this is a good one to pick up.’
( Sacramento Book Review)
‘Yes, Abaddon’s world of the “Afterblight Chronicles” has a hero who steals from the rich and gives it all to the poor, which makes for a pretty decent tale from where I’m sitting...There’s plenty going on, in terms of spectacle and intrigue, that kept me going, and if you’re already a fan then I think you’ll be hooked, too. Kane also really gets inside the heads of his “good” characters (Robert in particular) which made me feel that little bit more empathy for what they were going through…And the villains are appropriately villainous.’
‘I have to say I loved it. I thought it was really cool, and really clever because it actually mirrors the story of Robin Hood but at the same time is its own story, which is quite a difficult thing to do. Kane has got quite a cool way of writing because I could see it as a movie. So he used just enough description, the action was really well done. There were some pretty grim torture scenes which even made me wince. The villain was proper old school, you don’t need to explain why he’s nasty: he just is. You don’t sympathise with him and go I kind of see where he’s coming from. You just boo him and wait for him to get his comeuppance. It’s a real boo the villain, cheer the hero book, but done in a really clever way, so I’d recommend it.’
(Geek Syndicate Podcast)
‘Absolutely blinding – everybody should go buy a copy.’
(Scott Andrews, author of School’s Out and Operation Motherland.)To buy Arrowhead, click here
The Afterblight Chronicles: Broken Arrow
First published by Abaddon in the UK, September 2009. Mass Market Paperback, with artwork by Mark Harrison, £6.99.
‘I love the concept of the books, mixing a bit of myth and science fiction into a heady and thrilling piece of tough story-telling.’
(Richard Carpenter, creator of Robin of Sherwood)
‘In this sequel to Arrowhead, Paul Kane picks up the tale of Robert Stokes, a post-apocalyptic Robin Hood, and his band of (merry men) survivors. We pick up the thread of the tale at a time when Robert, Mary, Jack, Mark and the others have built a larger following and taken to policing more than just their own territory... I strongly recommend you pick up the book and enjoy the ride! Paul Kane is a superb writer and his characters come to life with often tragic clarity. Good guys die, bad guys live and sometimes good guys live and bad guys die, usually in equal amounts. Even after only two books I’ve come to really love Robert Stokes and all of his new friends. They’re good people trying to live well in a bad world. When they bleed, I bleed. I only wish that more authors would write books this wonderful.’
(Mass Movement Magazine)
‘When I originally heard of a second novel in this series by Paul Kane, I knew that I just had to get my hands on it pretty quickly as his original offering really was a title that I loved. After all, the beautifully creative way in which he’d managed to weave folklore and British History together in an apocalyptic setting really created something that enchanted readers. The real problem however was how would he better it or could he even live up to the original creation with the second offering, or would it just collapse around the authors ears as he’d pretty much done everything he could with the original? I shouldn’t have worried to be honest as this tale didn’t only build upon the original but exceeded my expectations as the author brought more twists to the tale alongside emotional conflict that really did keep the characters fresh. Add to the mix some new villains alongside some old fiends and it’s a tale that will keep you glued to the last page and crying in anguish for a third instalment.’
‘I love reading Abaddon’s “Afterblight Chronicles” and
To buy Broken Arrow, click here
The Afterblight Chronicles: Arrowland
First published by Abaddon in the UK, September 2010. Mass Market Paperback, with artwork by Mark Harrison, £7.99.
(A Waterstones.com and Amazon.co.uk Top 100 bestseller!)
(Four Star review, Falcata Times)
‘Arrowland marks the third entry in Paul Kane’s post-apocalyptic Robin Hood saga. Though the books feature a hooded hero, arrow fights and Sherwood Forest, the narrative actually feels closer in spirit to Neil Marshall’s Doomsday than Robin Hood: like Marshall’s exploitation opus, this is a fun ultra-violent adventure set against a backdrop of a battle-scarred, semi-feudal Britain... The battle sequences are bloody and visceral, the pace moves with the speed of a ravenous whippet, and the dialogue is hard-bitten... Itwould make a good basis for a nifty little B-movie... A good deal more fun than Ridley Scott’s recent soporific reworking of Robin Hood, and the narrative is surprisingly complex.’
(James Skipp, Total Sci-Fi Online)
‘Whilst the universe may be shared, Paul Kane’s story is unmistakably his own, and the Robin Hood mythos in Arrowhead blends itself wonderfully into this dark future... Paul Kane drops you straight in at the deep end, and his efficient writing style leads the story along at break-neck speed without losing any of the texture or emotion that permeates the book. Paul’s concise narrative allows ease of reading whilst losing none of the emotional depth. Although the novel comes in at 270 pages, and carries a lot of plot, the story never feels rushed. Arrowland may have global scale, but the story remains focused upon the characters. As with any great novel, it is the characters that matter, and here they are given scope to breathe. It is to Paul Kane’s credit that he juggles three separate storylines (which later merge into one), and that we never lose track of the characters as each has their own unique voice. Despite the overtly fictional elements, Paul consistently portrays a plethora of realistic and diverse characters, and contrasts how they currently survive against their lives before the cull, giving added depth and credibility for their actions. I especially enjoyed the character of Dale as the maverick undercover agent, for he combines a fascinating blend of human vulnerability with skilled capability... Whilst Arrowland was Paul Kane’s final book in the Arrowhead trilogy, I did not find myself needing to read the previous books, as any elements previously established were explained without feeling forced or contrived... One aspect I appreciated is how Paul Kane portrayed the supernatural elements within Arrowland, for they were never overtly present and could always by rationalised as improbable, but not impossible, coincidences... Hood’s link to Sherwood has a distinctly shamanistic flavour that was both well represented and researched and fitted well with the character... There were undeniable parallels with the Mad Max films, especially Thunderdome, given Arrowland’s conclusion (I will not explain further as I do not wish to spoil the story for you). I also found the overall feel of Arrowland mirrored the Mad Max style, given the prevalence of dementia amongst the warlords...Overall, Paul Kane’s Arrowland was a gripping read filled with action and suspense and a “ripping yarn” in the truest sense of the word, which many books aspire to but rarely achieve.’
‘Coming into a trilogy for the final instalment can be a tricky, intimidating and
confusing experience. Not so with this third book in the post-apocalyptic tales of Robin Hood. Or actually Robert the Hood. This action-packed book gives you enough of the back-story so you know these characters have a history, but not so much that it overwhelms the action; Kane plays this well, intricately embedding history into the thrill-ride plot. And what a thrill it is! In the not too distant post-apocalyptic future, Robert the Hood and his
Rangers have already defeated the last two attempts by crazy despots to take over England. But it never ends; in Scotland, The Widow can see the future and eats men alive to gain their powers, and she’s building an army to take out the Rangers. In Wales, The Dragon is intent on building his army, having made a home in the Millennium Stadium and destroyed the Rangers’ Welsh Head Quarters. Tanek, a huge beast of a man, who previously fought alongside the now defeated Tsar, is out to cause trouble, dealing with both the new Scottish and Welsh rulers. Meanwhile The Shadow is on the hunt for Robert, intent on fulfilling his master’s mysterious plans.
(Stanley Riiks, Morpheus Tales)
‘In the previous books I was pleased that Nottingham was used so effectively as the story's backdrop. In the first two novels my adopted hometown has been central to the story... This time out, however, the action moves further afield. Robert and his men are forced split up to deal with two new potential threats, a psychotic witch called The Widow, who is using Edinburgh Castle as her base, and a mysterious character calling himself The Dragon, based in the heart of Wales. Robert also has to deal with the resurgence of old enemies from his past. There is quite a strong mystical element throughout the novel. As The Hooded Man Robert is becoming almost a creature of legend himself. His opponents all speak about his feats in hushed tones. His connection with Sherwood and the land he protects is also explored. Robert is visited by visions while he sleeps and these help prepare him for the challenges he has to face. This reminded me in many ways of the excellent nineteen eighties television series Robin of Sherwood.
To buy Arrowland, click here
Hooded Man: An Omnibus
First published by Abaddon in the UK, June 2013. Mass Market Paperback, with artwork by Mark Harrison, £8.30.
‘Every year in my local town (Lancaster) there is a play put on in one of the public parks (Williamson’s Park) and by chance this year’s subject was Robin Hood. I've always loved this classic tale and we booked tickets to see it as soon as they became available last year. A week before I began reading Hooded Man my family and I watched the play… Why am I mentioning this? I really wish that whoever wrote the play had read Hooded Man first, he could have learned a lot about how it’s supposed to be done. The characters in Hooded Man are aware of the Robin Hood story, they know that their lives have parallels to the classic tale – the protagonist is an ex-policeman who has excellent woodsman skills and teaches himself to use a bow (due in part to a lack of modern weapons to hand) while our antagonist of the first book sets himself up as Sheriff of one of the UK’s best kept castles – Nottingham.
The author doesn’t pretend to recreate the Robin Hood story, instead he draws inspiration from it to create his own unique story that makes effective use of the post-apocalyptic backdrop… The Hooded Man himself cuts quite the enigmatic figure, a dark and brooding flawed hero who is driven to protect his charges and fights like a deamon. It’s impossible not to like the guy, along with the supporting cast while the antagonists make equally good bad guys. The stories are entertaining, the pace is swift and steady and the three books join together seamlessly, each strong enough individually and yet together greater than the sum of their parts. Hooded Man is a rich post-apocalyptic tale that adds much to the Afterblight Chronicles universe; a highly rewarding read.’
(SF Reviews 4 star review)To buy Hooded Man, click here or here.
Visit the ‘Arrowhead Trilogy’ website by clicking here
The Gemini Factor
First published by Screaming Dreams in the UK, March 2010. Trade Paperback, with cover artwork by Steve Upham, £9.99.
‘In some ways – and I mean this only as a compliment – The Gemini Factor is deceptively conventional: It moves along like a well-structured thriller – moves like a fucking rocket, in fact – but what’s fascinating to me (and will be, I trust, to you) is how it’s actually something else at the same time. In an extremely well executed example of form imitating content, the novel itself is “twinned”. The surface narrative has a secret brother walking constantly alongside, hiding its footprints in those of its sibling, keeping always to the shadows of subtext and carefully delineated implication. ReadingThe Gemini Factor, you will feel you are reading a first-rate example of the realistic Police Procedural, one with an adorable and admirable heroine and many other characters about whom you could actually give a shit. All the time, though, you will have a sense that another story is taking place, one that you can’t quite see, one that is being told only in whispers, one that is a supernatural echo of the main narrative, its shadow self, its dark brother. You might tell yourself you’re imagining things. But you’re not. You don’t have to. Paul Kane got there first and has imagined it for you. And – once the stories converge in the tension-filled and well-staged climax – you’ll be grateful that he did. Grateful and impressed. Grateful, impressed and, just a little bit, appalled.’
(From the Introduction by Peter Atkins – Author of Morningstar and Moontown, screenwriter of Hellraiser II-IV and Wishmaster)
‘The Gemini Factor is a supernatural thriller from the award winning author Paul Kane... The novel tells the story of a twisted and highly successful serial killer whose victims are always one of twins and always have a body part missing, taken by the killer as a souvenir. Inspector Roy Mason and his Sergeant Deborah Harrison are the detectives who must hunt this murderer before he kills again but their only lead is Jack Foley, a man who’s own twin brother was savagely struck down by the killer and now believes he relives each and every death....The Gemini Factor draws on the twins mythology to create a modern day thriller of supernatural proportions. The plot is both involving and rewarding while the actual storytelling is quite excellent. Paul Kane manages to create a realistic portrayal of victim / killer / hunter without going over the top as many other writers do. His descriptive narrative grabs attention while the plot’s pace manages to keep you reading. The protagonist and lead characters are well fleshed out and it’s very easy to relate to them, it isn’t long before begin rooting for their survival and wellbeing – a testament to the quality of writing. More contemporary than most books you will find on this site and that I personally read, The Gemini Factor is nevertheless a very well crafted and rewarding novel which I have no hesitation in recommending.’
(Four Star Review from Science Fiction & Fantasy)
‘ The Gemini Factor, by Paul Kane, is an unusual take on the traditional serial killer saga. As can be anticipated from the man that gleefully retells myths & folklore, Kane skilfully reinterprets genre conventions in his latest thriller. By pairing science & the supernatural (one of many, many twins – literal and metaphorical – in The Gemini Factor), he’s created something quite new and nasty. In the fictional city of Norchester, a serial killer is stalking twins. And, as serial killers are wont to do, killing them and chopping off bits. The killer is amusingly named “Twinkle” by the city’s local media, but despite the condescending name, he (or she) is a nasty piece of work. [Editor’s note: In a manoeuvre clearly meant to win over my carnivorous heart, the killer uses a giant BBQ fork to spear victims.] While Twinkle skewers and slices the city’s population, an unlikely pair of heroes try to solve the case. Detective Sergeant Deborah Harrison (nickname: “Blondie”) is a talented sleuth, but fears that the Twinkle case is beyond her. She finds an unlikely ally in Jack Foley, a scruffy historian (and also a twin). Ever since Twinkle killed his brother, Jack is inextricably and inexplicably linked to the killer. Every time Twinkle takes a life, Jack can somehow see it. Given the particularly messy nature of the murders, this has taken its toll on Jack’s sanity. The author puts in a lot of time making the little details of Jack and Debbie’s lives come to life... But while Jack and Debbie are both empathetic, the book’s real star is the fictional city of Norchester.... It has seedy back alleys, an antiquated police station, an isolated posh neighbourhood and hotels with fading Victorian grandeur. In short, it has everything a city needs to be properly thrilling. Paul Kane has created a brilliantly detailed and utterly believable setting – hopefully one that is revisited in later books. The Gemini Factor is a tightly-plotted, well-planned thriller. A disturbing villain stalks a compelling, British noir setting, while heroes combine modern forensics and ageless intuition to stop him. Not just something for everyone, but something very good...’
‘As a fan of Paul’s futuristic Afterblight series from Abaddon, when I heard about this new offering from new publisher Screaming Dreams, I was more than happy to give it a go. What you get within this offering are characters who jump off the page, some great dialogue, and a plot that’s as twisted as this author’s mind can conceive which only adds to this reading experience. Dressed up as a traditional crime novel, it’s the way in which the author has managed to blend Urban Fantasy, a touch of Sci-Fi and mixed it all up with a wicked sense of humour. It’s a cracking title and one that I really had a blast reading. Definitely a title for people to give a go and if the other releases from this publisher are as tempting as this then they’ve got a secure future ahead. Top quality for a great price.’
(Mass Movement Magazine)
‘Paul Kane’s The Gemini Factor breathes some fresh air into the serial killer subgenre, chronicling the efforts of Sergeant Harrison and Inspector Mason as they work tirelessly to solve a series of murders in the city of Norchester. What makes their case unique is that the killer is only targeting twins, using a two-pronged fork to kill one twin while letting the other one live. The suspect also takes a trophy from each victim by removing one item from a paired body part (i.e. one hand, one leg, etc). As more and more bodies are found, the city of Norchester lives in fear of the “Twin Killer,” or “Twinkle” for short... Kane’s tale of suspense is a fun read. Not only is the nature of the killings so unique, but the story also goes through numerous twists and turns along the way. There’s no doubt in my mind that readers will think they know where Kane is leading them, only to have the rug yanked out from beneath them time and again. Kane’s style is such that you can’t help but turn the page to see what he’s going to do next, and it’s that unpredictability that has earned my readership in the last couple years. Simply put, the man can tell one hell of an entertaining yarn. If you’re looking for a fun summer read, go grab a copy of The Gemini Factor…and while you’re at it, pick up a couple more of Kane’s books. He hasn’t disappointed me yet, and I’m guessing you’ll enjoy his writing too.’
‘I enjoyed reading this book! Kane’s take on the serial killer procedural novel keeps you entertained and enthralled till the very end. Barker is right when he says Kane is a “first rate storyteller.” The book reminds me a little of Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas novels... The city of Norchester is the venue for our serial killer, dubbed Twinkle by the newspapers. The killer is searching out twins, killing one of them and taking trophies. Detective Sergeant Deborah Harrison is on the case, and when a man turns up at the first two crime scenes she thinks she may have found her killer... Kane’s no nonsense writing style makes this book read like a modern crime novel, but anyone aware of Kane’s previous work may suspect that there is something more going on than a standard crime thriller, and so there is, although I’ll leave what that is for you to discover. The fatal final twists will leave your head spinning... This is such a fun book to read, so easy, it feels like the story just wraps you up. It’s like reading those other classic genre storytellers King and Koontz. Kane certainly has the pedigree and this crime/genre novel is marvellously well crafted.’
‘There’s no doubt that twins share an unexplainable link. It’s something beyond the understanding of mere science... In Paul Kane’s The Gemini Factor, a serial killer terrorises the fictional city of Norchester, hunting twins and collecting body parts. Perhaps the most interesting thing about The Gemini Factor is that the novel itself actually changes as you navigate your way through it. From hard-boiled detective story to love story, from mystery to suspense to horror, the novel seamlessly morphs from one genre to another. Paul Kane tells the story in clean, crisp, easy-to-read prose, and because of this, the novel’s tight plot never comes close to unwinding, and it never gets boring. No word, no detail is wasted. The reader stays interested from page to page, from beginning to end, as they explore Kane’s well-crafted Norchester, and get to know his heroes as they strive to end the spate of brutal killings. Overall, Paul Kane’s The Gemini Factor offers a very interesting twist on the usual serial killer fiction, with some very, very creepy bits mixed in to keep you thinking about the story for awhile afterwards. So, go ahead and pick up this book; get to know a new kind of evil. If you are a twin – sorry; this novel may be particularly disturbing.’
(Chuck Gould, HorrorBound)
‘I was struck first by the dark poetry of Kane’s writing. Then I was grabbed by the story and the characters. When Sergeant Deborah Harrison visits the family of a murder victim she is shocked to find herself staring at the dead man’s face. It quickly becomes evident that all the killer’s victims are one of twins. Then there is Jack Foley, whose link to the killer is bizarre and unbelievable. The Gemini Factor is dark, a crime novel with a horrific supernatural twist.
(Adele Harrison, Un:Bound)
To buy The Gemini Factor, click here
To read a sample chapter in PDF, click here
Of Darkness and Light
First published by Thunderstorm Books, March 2010. White Lightening Hardcover Edition ($49) and Monsterbacks Softcover Edition ($16.95), with cover artwork by Vincent Chong.
‘Fear of the dark has a very impressive pedigree. It doesn’t surface in the first few years of life – kids have to learn to be scared of it, as they learn most of their fears – but it’s so persistent across cultures, communities and eras of human development that scientists at one time thought it was controlled and brought on by a brain chemical called scotophobin. There was talk of synthesising this chemical and using it as a battlefield weapon: probably a mercy, all things considered, that it turned out not to exist. But the fear is real enough... It’s customary in horror novels to draw on the fear of the dark, but usually there’s at least one metaphorical remove between what you’re reading and what you experienced as a child the first time your mum wouldn’t leave the landing light on and the door open when you settled down for the night. No metaphors here, and no removes. This is the beginning and the end of things all rolled into one ball and clattering through the everyday world leaving terror and ruin in their wake. Nightfall. Enjoy.’
(From the Introduction by Mike Carey – Bestselling Author of The Devil You Know, Vicious Circle, Dead Men’s Boots, Thicker Than Water and The Naming of Beasts)
‘Earlier this year, I stumbled across Paul Kane via his Peripheral Visions collection. To say I was blown away is an understatement. It’s been a long time since I’ve read stories so original, creative, and entertaining. So it was with high expectations that I jumped into Kane’s forthcoming short novel, entitled Of Darkness and Light... As showcased in his short story “Yin and Yang”, and now in Of Darkness and Light, Kane excels at making readers question their belief systems and contemplate the opposing forces of our world. Good versus Evil is rarely this thought-provoking and enjoyable. Kane also effectively uses a moody atmosphere to bring his world to life, and allows readers to get to know his characters inside and out – the fears they face, the poverty they live in, the friendships they share, and the hope they cling to.’
(Andrew Monge, Horror Drive-In)
‘What a pleasant surprise this book ended up being... First off, Paul put together one of the best prologues I have read in quite a while. It was gripping, powerful and had me damn near quaking with anticipation... Something must be said for Paul’s effortless pacing and prose that generally flows like a nice, cool vanilla smoothie... He managed to take all of my expectations and punch me in the face with them... Incredibly entertaining and I enjoyed every minute of reading it.’
(Anton Cancre, HorrorNews.net)
‘Set against a bleak Midlands backdrop, this is a tight, claustrophobic novel about an average teenager who is devastated when his childhood sweetheart leaves him for another guy. Just when Lee Masterton thinks his life cannot get any worse, he is coerced into taking a job as a night watchman, and then he meets the beings that inhabit the light... and the dark. It is rare to find a horror story containing such a healthy dose of modern realism in the form of urban decay, unemployment and dissatisfied youth, and this story certainly makes these elements work to its benefit... The prose is crisp and the plot tightly woven, the characters believable and the style accessible. The author does a great job of building tension in anticipation of a thrilling climax that cannot fail to move you.’
(Christian Saunders, Morpheus Tales)
‘Kane’s atmospheric style is reminiscent of Ramsey Campbell, dark and truly terrifying, contemporary in content yet classic in terms of mood. Darkness is a universal fear, one that we can either relate to or empathize with. Kane plays on this fear quite well. More than that, however, he gives us a protagonist we can care about... Paul Kane has demonstrated an ability to bind tone and terror with this novel. Kane’s adroitness with the language of fear, his ability to convey suspense and cerebral terror, gives the story a much more classic feel than most contemporary horror novels. The end result is a truly frightening novel that brings you in, haunts you for the duration, and lingers long after the story has been told. Kane is a craftsman, and Of Darkness and Light is an extremely well-crafted piece.’
(Jason Rolfe, HorrorBound)
‘Award-winning writer Paul Kane firmly establishes characters and the dramatic conflict between them early on in this compelling novel, setting the stage for the confrontation to follow. Like many children, Lee Masterson feared the dark, his fear intensified by his belief that creatures exist in the shadows, evil beings that watch and follow wherever he goes. His terror increases with age as he begins to catch glimpses of the creatures of darkness... Action is non-stop and breathtaking in this suspenseful tale that challenges the reader to re-examine their beliefs about good and evil. A consistently strong voice in the horror genre, his unique, unorthodox and totally original Of Darkness and Light keeps adrenaline pumping right up until the startling conclusion.’
(Horror World, read the full review here
‘Great story, great characters, wonderfully written (as always) – couldn't put it down. Totally original idea. Needs to be made into a movie, like pronto!’
(Barbie Wilde – Actress who portrayed the Female Cenobite in Hellbound: Hellraiser II, author of The Venus Complex)
(Mass Movement Magazine)
‘Paul Kane has written an interesting short novel with a twist on the light versus dark, good versus evil battle. He crafts some fine characters, which is essential if the book is not to degenerate into some sort of light fantasy. The characters carry the tale rather than the events. Lee Masterton has always been afraid, no, terrified, of the dark. There is something there, watching him. It’s a common enough phobia among the young, but Lee is now in his late teens and he hasn’t grown out of it. He simply KNOWS there is something or someone there watching him. He is right. There is... The battle is focused on Lee since he is the only one who can see the dwellers in the dark and the light. Is he up to it? There will be many surprises for him as his world is reversed. So many people are not what they seem. Kane’s skilful writing carries the estate’s mood of depression well and sets the stage for the action that follows. It’s a great story and Lee’s mood is the thread that carries it through. He is a reluctant hero pushed into prominence because of the one ‘talent’ he would rather do without - his fear of the dark.’
First published by Bad Moon Books, September 2012. Limited Hardcover Edition ($30) and Trade Paperback Edition ($18.95), with cover artwork by Gabriel Lopez and introduction by Ramsey Campbell.
‘A very original, riveting tale that will force me to search out more work by this very talented writer. This story grabbed hold of me from the very first page and refused to let go. It is atmospheric, violent, and action packed. I found the characters to be fully realized and three dimensional, especially the main character, Nick. I came to care about him and the situation he found himself in, which enabled me to really lose myself in the story. Though the premise of the tale has been done countless times, Mr. Kane manages to put a fresh spin on the whole end of the world mythos. It was especially satisfying when the truth behind what had happened is finally revealed. Throughout the story, I was trying to guess what was behind the events, and I didn’t even come close. I just love it when that happens. If you are in the market for something original, well conceived, and well written, you need not look any further than Lunar by Paul Kane. I highly recommend it.’
(Famous Monsters of Filmland)
‘Nick Skinner is awoken in the night when his girlfriend attacks him. She is feral and her eyes are somewhat different. She is not the person he was out celebrating with the previous evening. As he escapes he finds she is not the only feral – the town seems to be full of them. And also the clock stopped at one second past midnight, as did all clocks. Most cars will not work but some will. Most guns will not work, but some will. Nick flees the town in search of fellow survivors and, hopefully, answers. The answers, when they do come, are very clever indeed, but the clues are drip-fed in such a way that I don't think many people will get there before the big reveal. So, interesting ideas, plenty of tension and loads of action – another winner from Paul Kane. Surely it is only a matter of time before this man hits the big time.’
(Andy Angel, Goodreads)
First published by Crystal Lake Publishing, June 2013. Trade Paperback Edition (£6.49 / $9.49), with cover artwork by Ben Baldwin and introduction by David Moody.
‘Sleeper(s) struck a chord with me. It resonates like the Nigel Kneale and John Wyndham stories of old.’
(From the introduction by David Moody – Bestselling author of Autumn and Hater.)
‘Sleeper(s), by Paul Kane, is a rapidly moving tale of nature and science gone awry. Add in booze, sex, cultural diversity, and political subterfuge, and I believe Mr. Kane has something here for everyone. Some parts of this story are amazingly in line with my own thoughts regarding the possibilities of the evils that governments sometimes engineer, or might, given the chance. I am not a believer in having Prologues in books, tending to feel they give too much of the story away. However, the one here was skilfully used and added to the book. Even better than that was the Epilogue. This was a superb piece of prose having me say, “Look at the possibilities!” That being said, I am hoping that Mr. Kane sees fit to share a second book with us. This could be a series. Paul Kane is a superb author. I most highly recommend you read Sleeper(s).’
(Blaze McRob, Tales of Horror)
‘If you take Quatermass Experiment (and Xperiment), Quatermass and The Pit, Day of the Triffids, Night of the Triffids, Outbreak, The Andromeda Strain, Lifeforce, Inception – throw them all into a blender, grind into tasty chucks, you’ll come out with something like Paul Kane’s novel Sleeper(s). This page-turner will make you scream, laugh and think – sometimes all in the same sentence. Highly recommended.’
‘With his take on the zombie/military genre, Kane shows off his action pedigree in the infectious Sleeper(s), keeping the pages turning at a blistering pace. You’ll be kept awake by this tale of a English town that refuses to sleep soundly!’
‘Suzie is a little girl on a picnic with her family. She wanders off to explore and finds the most beautiful flowers she’s ever seen. They’re so pretty she decides to pick one to show her parents. When one of the thorns pricks her finger, she gets sleepy, oh so sleepy, and falls asleep on the ground before she can return to their loving embrace.
So begins the possible end of mankind. Sleeper(s) is a tale of potential disaster, near-apocalypse and the folly of mankind. Suzie isn’t the only one affected, she’s just the first, and as others fall prey to this dread malady, good guys and not-so-good guys race to contain and control the spread of this coma-like sleep. Not only are those afflicted unable to be roused, they exude a cocoon-like substance from their pores. Then, when all is seemingly lost, they rise. Oh no, I know what you’re thinking. These are decidedly not zombies. They’re “Sleepers”, not dead but not under their own control either. Bullets can’t stop them, fire consumes but does not destroy…but maybe there’s still a chance for a cure. Whatever controls the Sleepers, well, it doesn’t want a cure and it drives those under its influence to assimilate its enemies into its embrace. Proving he’s not stranger to plot twists, Paul Kane takes us on a tense ride and squeezes us until we’re so anxious we nearly pop. It’s deadly certain that Sleeper(s) is no sleeper. You’ll be up all night trying to get to the last page.’
(Jim Dodge, Mass Movement magazine)
‘Paul Kane’s Sleeper(s) is a rip roaring adventure horror, that will, ironically, give the reader many a sleepless night. Fans of Quatermass will love this book!’
(Jim McCleod, Ginger Nuts of Horror)
‘‘Dr. Strauss is about to visit a quarantined city in the hope that he can develop a treatment for the highly contagious, mysterious aliment that has struck every man, woman, and child who lives there…The vivid descriptions of what is happening to the residents of Middletown paint such a horrifying picture of the changes they’re undergoing that I nearly jumped out of my skin when a piece of my hair brushed against my neck as I read that scene. Every assumption I’d made about what was actually happening in Middletown was thrown out the window as Dr. Strauss begins collecting samples and attempting to find a cure…
By the climax Kane weaves all of the subplots together in ways I never would have predicted they would fit. The final glimpse of this world was the perfect capstone to this eerie, rule-bending tale. Sleeper(s) kept me up late last night. I’d recommend this book in particular to readers who love techno-thrillers and science fiction that is heavily influenced by current scientific knowledge.’
(Long and Short Reviews)
‘I’ll be the first to say I’m not a big fan of zombie novels (not the most popular opinion, I know). Looking at the cover I figured that’s what this was. Luckily I couldn’t have been more wrong. There’s more than a trace of that subgenre here, but Paul Kane’s Sleeper(s) is unlike anything I’ve read. Part medical thriller, part zombie story, part fairy tale and part sci-fi shlockfest, Sleeper(s) is a unique beast that genre fans of all sorts will enjoy… I was drawn in immediately by the general conceit, and drawn further by the great characterisation. Strauss, his assistant, and the group of people they’re with are all three-dimensional personalities, flawed (sometimes deeply) but with understandable motivations…
The atmosphere is brilliant as well. It’s utterly creepy. Kane does a great job mixing tension with a sort of hazy, dreamlike quality that appropriately matches the story’s events. It’s got the feel of a modern dark fairy tale, partly inspired as it seems to be by Sleeping Beauty. The first act is all mystery, and really keeps you turning the pages… I won’t spoil plot details or get into the origin of the virus. All I will say is there’s a lot to like here, and I very much recommend it. It’s a cerebral take on the genres it culls from, but it’s fast-paced and always entertaining. Think of it as the written equivalent of a B-movie with brains. Good stuff indeed.’
(Horror Novel Reviews 4/5)
‘Imagine if Freddy Krueger bottled up his particular brand of terror and shipped it off to England, just for the hell of it. Well, what do you think would happen? Sleeper(s) by Paul Kane is not exactly like that, but if I close my eyes and imagine Freddy Krueger with a better – eviller – marketer, I can see him coming up with something similar to what’s in Paul Kane’s novella. In other words: Nine, ten, never sleep again… Sleeper(s), set in Middletown (somewhere in the UK), is a haunting tale of a whole town suddenly falling asleep…for no apparent reason. The UK and US military (reluctantly working together to get to the bottom of this illness) bring in the help of renowned doctor, Dr. Andrew Strauss – who’s been waiting for this case his whole life. The thing is, there are more dangers in the quarantined town than they thought possible, which includes some violent sleepwalking scenes, sleep-falling scenes, the sleeping undead scenes, and some sleep-killing scenes. Sounds intriguing, yes? Well, it is. Sleeper(s) is fast-paced, contrary to the sleeping sickness plot, and the characters are realistic (even the psychotic ones)… I still enjoyed Sleeper(s) by Paul Kane a lot. It’s got some sci-fi elements, a great deal of horror, some interesting characters, and best of all, it’s a novella, so it’s a fun little book to read before bedtime rolls in…’
First published by Rocket Ride Books, November 2013. Trade Paperback Edition (£6.96 / $9.99)
‘I loved this story, pure and simple. You’ll never look at that pretty, pretty rainbow the same way again.’
(From the introduction by NYT, USA Today and #1 Internationally bestselling author of more than 30 novels including the popular Morganville Vampires series, Rachel Caine)
‘Something fiendish this way comes. The Rainbow Man is a creeper that it winds its black tendrils around you…and squeezes. Expect to be turning pages behind the couch…by flashlight. I couldn’t put it down until the sun came up!’
(Nancy Holder – NYT Bestselling author of The Wolf Springs Chronicles: Unleashed, Hot Blooded and Savage, plus Buffy the Vampire Slayer novels including Immortal and The Book of Fours)
A wonderfully spooky tale, full of sinister twists and turns. Creepy enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. I loved it!”
(Alex Bell – Bestselling author of the Lex Trent books, Jasmyn and The Ninth Circle)
‘Paul Kane writes with confidence and skill, crafting a gripping YA novel that once started cannot easily be put down. The great thing about this story is that it can be enjoyed on different levels: the emotional context of Daniel’s family life, the awful gap left by the death of his father, the horror of the Rainbow Man and the social commentary of how, sometimes, we often fail to see what is right under our noses. And like all good YA books it doesn't really matter what age you are, the story is strong enough to carry the reader through to the final page. P.B. Kane is an award-winning writer and editor with a host of books and comic books to his name. What he doesn't know about horror isn’t worth writing down. Well worth a read.’
(Starburst Magazine, 8/10 review)
‘Kane’s prose drips with menace, his lead characters – Daniel…his younger brother Mikey, and friends Jill and Greg – are well-written, and the final reveal and climax is very exciting. Well worth checking out, and I hope that Kane writes more for this age range.’
(YA?, Yeah, Yeah)
‘Full of mystery and intrigue, this story will suck you straight in to how a tight community can fall to pieces in the blink of an eye!... Daniel is a character who is consistent and driven to solve any problems, no matter what people think of him. He also tries his best to protect his family and friends no matter what, even if it means driving them away. His involvement in the story was key and his theories prompted you to try and solve the mystery alongside him…The mystery and conflict behind his story is incredibly engaging. The way that some of Daniel's thoughts concerning his father always ended in: “Especially before he...”, ah, I just really wanted to know what had happened. The manipulation of the community was interesting to read about, how they turned against each other and acted the opposite of their usual characters gave a thrilling and creepy edge to this story that kept you wanting to read further and allowed you to look deeper into their hidden feelings and personalities. This is an engaging and thrilling story, testing the friendships and family bonds between all when they are pushed to their limits.’
(Once Upon a Moonlight)
‘Daniel Routh lives in a small fishing community on the island of Shorepoint with his mother and his little brother Mikey. After a storm he, his brother and two friends, Jill and Greg follow a rainbow and find a body on the beach. This strange, unknown man, when he recovers, becomes a part of community life, everyone seems to love him but Dan is not convinced. Alas he seems to be the only one though.
‘This YA novel by Paul Kane features an introduction by Morganville Vampires author Rachel Caine and according to the blurb, “you will never look at a rainbow in the same way again.”… I was more than a little excited to read this book, especially as Caine likens it to Hitchcock in tone, more of a creeping build up than a Michael Bay bang.
Daniel Routh would never forget the day they found the body. This book is refreshing in that its teenage characters aren’t all angsty with more excess baggage that Paris Hilton going through airport control. Daniel’s little brother Mikey is always tagging along with Daniel and his best friends, which isn’t surprising given that they live on an island with little to do. So the teenagers with Mikey in toe set off on an adventure following the storm of the previous night. On the beach the next day as the kids explore, the enthusiastic collie Vincent appears to be chasing the left over rainbow that leads to the body of a man, barely alive. But there is something about the man, whose only name he can remember is John, that makes Daniel distinctly uncomfortable. Strange things are happening in the village, which Daniel believes could be linked to the mysterious newcomer John Dee, the Rainbow Man.
As usual with Kane’s writing there is a great deal of atmosphere from the outset. The ghost of the boys losing their father hovers around the text. There is an almost Stephen King vibe to the novel, with the small town environment, intimate locals and a sense of the supernatural. Kane keeps the tension building as Daniel, then his friends investigate exactly who, or what, the Rainbow Man is. This is a compelling story of Daniel’s growth into adulthood and the nature of humanity and the grip of something inherently evil on a small community. And when the mythology is finally revealed, well, what a cracker. Brilliant YA Fantasy in action.’
‘The Rainbow Man by P.B. Kane is a quiet, sinister fantasy thriller with a mythological twist… Like the secrets of Shorepoint, the plot reveals itself in relentless, slithering waves that break upon the strand of reason and erode the reader’s sense of security. As the various denizens of Shorepoint are alternately lulled into complacency or perplexed by the blight that has befallen their normally idyllic community, shadows loom and threaten until the reader is breathless with anticipation. Conversational, engaging narrative makes The Rainbow Man a real page-turner, appropriate for young audiences but gripping enough to hold any adult’s attention.
(Readers’ Favourite 5/5)
‘This is a terrific, slowly escalating thriller that readers who love scary books will devour. I know I did. And it’s a perfect read to take in on one sitting…I would say that the author knows his craft, creating this “clean” literary thriller that will be just as great for teens as for adults. It has a great setting that the reader will love – an island somewhere off the UK. It’s a small coastal town that helps create a feeling of being stranded, which is a key element in the story for Daniel as he is the only person to believe that the rainbow man is not who he leads everyone to believe. Recommended for lovers of horror and books with paranormal or mythological twists. Also recommended to audio book listeners since it’s just as great of a book in its audio version, with its UK accented reader.’
(Layers of Thought, 4 Star review)
Signs of Life
First published in pocket book size, limited edition print run, by Crystal Serenades September 2005. Second edition published with internal illustrations from Ian Simmons by Rainfall Books, April 2006. Trade paperback, £6.99. Novella Nominated (shortlist) for the British Fantasy Award, 2006.
Featuring: ‘Well Told Tales’ An Introduction by Stephen Gallagher; ‘Signs of Life’; ‘The Bite’; and ‘Who’s Been…?’
‘This is one area where Kane shines, his sense of character: each and every one is real, and as such the reader immediately latches onto them, realising there’s no good or bad person, just shades of grey in between, with the occasional point of redemption… Signs of Life has a tremendous build-up, that is paced just right.’
‘The Bite is pure Books of Blood horror; a grand guignol tale…This is a superbly paced story, where Kane racks up the tension.’
‘ Who’s Been… starts off as a Ken Loach-updated version of Goldilocks, all kitchen sink and unemployed alcoholics. But as the story closes in, the horror aspect kicks into gear, where Kane walks that fine line between real and supernatural horror.’
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Dalton Quayle and the Curse of King Tuti Fruiti
In Amityville House of Pancakes Vol. 3
Published by Creative Guy Publishing. Trade Paperback, December 2006. £9.95
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The Lazarus Condition
Published by Tasmaniac Publications, July 2007. Hardback Edition (Signed by Paul Kane, Mick Garris and Dion Hamill) ISBN: 978-0-9803868-1-3. $150.00 AUD. Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9803868-0-6. $22.95 AUD.
Featuring: ‘Believe It Or Not’ Introduction by Mick Garris; ‘The Lazarus Condition’; and ‘Dead Time’.
‘Few of us fear werewolves, vampires, or even Norman Bates. But that end of the road we all travel and its mystery and inevitability give each of us pause. The health and well-being of my family and friends play a much bigger part in my own nightmares than Freddy Krueger ever did. Paul Kane understands that… There are moments of violence that jump out at you here, but it is the quiet interaction between Life and Death that concerns Kane in his novella: its raison d’etre… An absorbing tale of terror that takes you in a direction that I didn’t expect… Paul Kane has crafted a nifty little story with that greatest of gifts: the element of surprise.’
( Mick Garris, Creator of Masters of Horror)
‘Paul Kane’s The Lazarus Condition is a wonderfully unsettling tale of resurrection, self-recrimination, and our reluctance to confront issues of both mortality and immortality. Humanity leaves behind the remains of our loved ones and walls of our hearts as best we can from feeling their absence, sometimes as easily but always with as much necessity as a snake shedding its skin. Paul Kane holds up a mirror to show us just how frightened of the end we really are and how much of human nature is involved in moving on after loss. He’s here to remind us that none of us is ever really ready to leave this life...and certainly not ready to come back and answer for what we might have done while living it. An excellent novella, backed up with a quick jolt short story called Dead Time, which is, in some ways, the other side of the coin. Paul Kane has offered you a dark and contemplative gift. I recommend you take it.’
( Christopher Golden – Bestselling author of Buffy: The Lost Slayer , Hellboy: The Dragon Pool , The Myth Hunters , Prowlers and The Boys are Back in Town)
‘The American title for the early British horror film The Quatermass Experiment was The Creeping Unknown, and that would be a very apt alternative title for Paul Kane’s excellent novella. But the Quatermass analogy is more appropriate than simply that: like Nigel Kneale, Kane describes an extraordinary event in the lives of every day people, the sort you meet in the pub or the supermarket….By maintaining an almost prosaic style, Kane ratchets up the tension throughout the novella, deliberately leading the reader in false directions… The Lazarus Condition is a gem, and well worth seeking out.’
(Dreamwatch Presents Total Sci-Fi 8/10 review)
‘The Lazarus Condition is an excellent read. Unsettling, and at times moving, littered with religious undertones, the story focuses on themes of loss, grief, and the impact it would have on someone if the long dead arrived on their doorstep. It also avoids the clichés of many zombie stories. Kane draws you in with sharp, active prose. Sit, read and enjoy!’
‘Tasmaniac have really outdone themselves with The Lazarus Condition, and have pretty much jumped out of the trenches and gone over the top in a clear demonstration of going beyond the call of duty... Kane has taken the zombie sub genre, put it through a spin rinse with various dyes, and given us a completely new design on what can be done with the walking dead. I’m always up for a story centring around the big Z concept and Kane doesn’t disappoint. There’s some twist and turns coming at you during the course of the novella with the final revelation being completely different to expectations...The reader is thrust into a world where the dead are coming back to life, and Kane remains unapologetic about doing that. Initially I was wondering if zombie Matthew Daley was heading home for dinner, in a sort of Romero fashion, but Kane isn’t going to make it that easy on the reader...Without giving too much away there’s one hell of a shock ending coming that I didn’t pick up on. .. It’s a pretty decent strategy and Kane freaking nails it like a wild Friday night up the Cross. The Lazarus Condition is more than another pulp zombie book put out by a Yank publication in order to ride on the shirt tails of the current upsurge in support of all things zombie, Paul Kane’s novella is going after something far more grandiose in design.
‘If The Lazarus Condition is the main course in a five star restaurant then the short story Dead Time is the intoxicating dessert...We’re talking a yarn from the post-apocalyptic ashes that once again gives a different spin to the zombie genre. Paul Kane is certainly keeping the reader on his or her toes. Expect the unexpected would be my advice.’
9/10 Star Review.
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Dalton Quayle Rides Out
Published by Pendragon Press, August 2007. Trade Paperback, £5.99
Features: ‘Introduction by Tom Holt’; ‘ Dalton Quayle’s Wet One’; ‘ Dalton Quayle Rides Out’.
‘A tenth level master in the way of the joke.’
(Tom Holt - Bestselling author of Snow White and the Seven Samurai.)
‘The result is like being machine-gunned with silliness…Ultimately we reckon Quayle deserves to ride again!’
‘If you miss the turn into Baker Street you just might find yourself here. Ripping yarns with a spiffing sense of fun!’
(Double British Fantasy Award winning author of Night of the Triffids and The Dalek Factor, Simon Clark
‘Dalton Quayle is a particular treat, just one of which can somehow spoof Sherlock Holmes, the Cthulhu Mythos, the films Lair of the White Worm, Aliens and even Monica Lewinsky all in one go. Tremendous fun!’
(Jeffrey Thomas, author of the Punktown novels including Deadstock )
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Published by Skullvines Press, December 2008. Trade Paperback, ISBN: 978-0-9799673-5-1. Introduction by Tim Lebbon, cover artwork by Dave McKean.
‘In RED Kane reveals himself to be a sensitive writer, someone who has a solid grasp of relationships and who isn’t afraid to use that knowledge. His characters feel like real people, and that’s essential if you’re going to pit them against such a foe. He makes you care about them. Then he sends them out into the darkest parts of this urban jungle… So get ready to take this journey through a very modern fairytale. It has teeth, but not just at the end. These days, the path itself is full of dangers.’
(From the Introduction by Tim Lebbon - New York Times bestselling author of The Everlasting and Fallen)
‘Kane is well respected in the United Kingdom with his short story collections such as Alone (In the Dark), FunnyBones (one of my personal favourites) or his novellas Signs of Life, The Lazarus Condition and his novel The Afterblight Chronicles: Arrowhead – getting praise from such giants of the genre as Clive Barker, Simon Clark, Jeff Mariotte and Graham Masterton... RED is a tale about Rachael Daniels, a caseworker travelling through the modern jungle – a crime-ridden, gang-banging city – to help an elderly lady. RED not only tips its hat to “Little Red Riding Hood,” but “Peter And The Wolf,” and “Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf?” and every werewolf type motif in between... This time around Kane puts a twisted horror spin to it, with even a fair amount of social criticism thrown in for good measure; due to mature themes, you’ll want to keep the kids away from this one... Kane does an incredible job of combing horror and humour into one tasty morsel.’
(Cemetery Dance Magazine)
‘Kane expands on the “Little Red Riding Hood” mythos with a sharply-written novella that pits a descendent of the classic fairy tale character against the “real” creature of the same story. But make NO mistake: this isn’t for kids! You can tell Kane had a real ball twisting time updating “Riding Hood”, especially in how he has crafted this new, psycho-sexual “wolf.” For the sake of not ruining anything else, let’s just say RED is a real BLOODY good time.’
(Horror Fiction Review)
‘RED is a gleefully gruesome tale that moves at an excellent pace. Its length is a joy, reminiscent of a line from another fairy tale: “Not too big, not too small, just right.” Paul Kane does a rip roaring rendition of the Red Riding Hood story… He has the gift of summing up a situation in a sentence. RED is wonderfully written; it is easy to sink one’s teeth into it and devour it with relish.’
‘Paul Kane offers up a fantastic adult re-working of the classic children’s tale. A blood thirsty novella that you will devour in a single sitting and be left hungry for more. Beware though, this is not the Little Red Riding Hood you remember as kid, RED is something much...darker’
(Kevin King – ‘Dave McKean: Collector’ Site)
‘RED by Paul Kane is a modern-day retelling of a classic fairy tale. The character of Rachael Daniels is one that many can identify with. The monster is a terrifying hunter who has the ability to shape-shift. He is intelligent, patient, and always hungry. He is the sort of monster that does not need any supernatural powers to make him terrifying, however the added abilities make him even more dangerous. It is entirely believable that he has been doing this for centuries in cities all over Europe because he is so smart and clever, and one is reminded of tales of a dark Trickster character from legends around the world when reading this story. The suspense builds from the very fact that the reader has some idea of what is going to happen. When the woman is murdered in the restaurant bathroom, the reader knows that is not the end and is left to wonder what horrors are still to come. The whole story builds up to a rather fascinating climax…This is a good scary story for those stormy nights or bright days. It is strong enough to terrify either way and will stay in your mind for days afterwards. Stories like this don’t come along very often, as all readers know.’
(Kerri Silva, Horror Bound Magazine)
‘Paul Kane likes to skew known fairy tales and classic horror legends and give them an abrupt overhaul. Sometimes taking an old familiar character and planting them into our modern times or perhaps the future. Such is the intent with RED. It is a novella of a more modern Little Red Riding Hood and an intimate portrayal of the Big Bad Wolf. This time, Little Red also has gangs and dangerous urban environments to battle on her way to Grandma’s.
Unlike a werewolf, this wolf-being is a menace no matter what phase of the moon. He runs rampant from town to town, city to city, quietly stalking victims undetected. He’s a master of camouflage, perfectly mimicking his victims loved ones, to strike when they’d never expect. When their defences are a million miles away. The wolf normally chooses his next meal based on convenience and availability. That is until he catches a glimpse of her. The one. The first and last meal to ever get away from him. Will the twenty-four year old heroine of RED, Rachael Daniels, get away from him in this lifetime, too? We hope so. Or does evil win at the end of this fairy tale?
I enjoyed having both characters’ perspective in RED. Though I wouldn’t have minded a longer novel, I do admire Kane’s style of bare-bones storytelling. He strips out a lot of the extra things that can sometimes weigh down a good book without sacrificing the important points.’
(Alesha Brunell, G.A.S.P. etc.com)
‘Once upon a time, there was a British speculative writer named Paul Kane, who was well respected in the United Kingdom… Then one day, Kane wrote a devilish little novella named Red and decided to get it published across the pond, in a faraway land called America... He even dared to do a retelling of the popular Grimm Brothers fairytale “Little Red Riding Hood” but this time around puts a twisted horror spin to it… The novella is bloody brilliant -- clever, classy and bound to chill you to the bone.’
(Michael McCarty, Horror World)
‘Paul Kane’s an author I’ve kept my eye on ever since his short fiction began appearing regularly in the genre small press in the late 1990s. Over the last few years his output has been unnaturally prolific and of a very high standard… RED is a contemporary take on the classic fairy tale, Little Red Riding Hood…Kane cleverly uses the various characters and victims as visceral pathways and bridges for the beast. He plays with both the reader and Rachael, lulling us as it engineers its course towards her, circling her literally through the flesh and blood of those she encounters in her daily life. As it shapeshifts it takes on their personas as best it can, convincingly over short time spans (which is normally all the time it needs) it charms and confuses, until ultimately it is unable to hide its true nature as its century-spanning hunger and lust for revenge explodes from behind the thin facades it creates in scenes of bone-crunching ferocity. As with the beast, so with the book: over 70 impactful pages, and without wasting a word, Paul Kane has enriched the werewolf mythos with a seamless re-imagining of a hypnotically suggestive fairy tale, embellishing it with the harsh, alluring scent of an ages-old psychosexual predator who easily rivals that other undead villain from Eastern European folklore, the vampire. A relentless and grisly fairy tale for dark times, Red is filled with the blackest blood from the deepest parts of our bodies, and is thoroughly recommended.
(Mathew Riley, BookGeeks)
‘In RED, Paul Kane’s very modern take on a centuries’ old tale, Red Riding Hood is Rachel Daniels, a pretty young woman with a big heart and a terrible taste in men, who undertakes a mission of mercy to take some medicine to an old lady who lives on a council estate in a bad part of town. She meets a few disaffected youths on the way, which is threatening enough, but something else is stalking her – a creature that is snuffling out the familiar scent of an adversary from the distant past and who is eager to taste the blood that was denied to it all those years ago.
From RED’s shocking first chapter through wicked twists and turns to the end, the story surprises, intrigues and beguiles you. Paul Kane’s taut, muscular, yet descriptive prose conjures up disturbing images in your mind that you won’t be able to dislodge for months. Kane’s writing is frighteningly realistic. Not only are you are there with Rachel for every moment of her ordeal, but you also inhabit the shape-shifting monster’s mind – privy to his motivations and his side of the story. RED is a beautifully visceral, dark tale and if any novella was ripe for a film adaptation, it’s this one.’
(Barbie Wilde, Female Cenobite in Hellbound: Hellraiser II and author of The Venus Complex)
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‘Like some other authors I’ve reviewed recently, Paul Kane has proven impressively prolific during his career, with 16 titles produced in the last 10 years, to say nothing of a couple non-fiction titles and several anthologies he’s edited... Pain Cages focuses on longer works, gathering four novellas, two of which are original to this collection. In his Introduction, Stephen Volk says that after reading this book “…you’ll realise ultimately that though the rough path through Paul Kane’s world involves a lot of pain and anguish, the pain isn’t what the journeys are about. Not really.”
‘A collection of four excellent horror novellas and not a weak story among them! “Pain Cages” – This is the story that really marks Paul Kane out as the natural successor to Clive Barker. A cleverly written tale with a kicker at the end that I never guessed. Would not have looked out of place in the aforementioned Mr. Barker’s Books of Blood. “Halflife” – a tale of the hunter and the hunted; gripping! “Signs of Life” – strangers and star signs on a train. “The Lazarus Condition” – Matthew comes home to visit his Mum...seven years after he’s died. For me this was the strongest story in the collection, interesting characters and ideas, and a narrative that leads you along but keeps you guessing. Very moving at times.’
(Andy Angel, Good Reads)
Published by Spectral Press, March 2013. Chapbook. Introduction by Sarah Pinborough, Cover by Neil Williams.
‘Creakers is a story that does what a great spooky story should. It makes you shiver and then makes you think. It aches with all that comes from growing up and facing the things that haunt us, and yet also, there is a kernel of hope at its core. It blends the fears of adulthood with the terrors of childhood and takes you on the journey of growing up all over again.’
‘Kane’s story is tautly written, with an introduction by Sarah Pinborough. But I would not advise reading it alone, at night, in a creaking house…’
‘I might have thought a story with as many uses of the word “creak” would have irritated me, but it didn’t. I was too wrapped up in the horror of it all, especially one scene involving a sleeping bag that made my skin crawl off my bones as I read it…Ghost story fans are in for a treat.’
‘From its spine-chilling opening in the house, this muscular tale holds the interest throughout with crisp prose and chills, and I enjoyed Ray’s developing friendship with an attractive, lonely neighbour. As well as character development, this element also served to balance the haunting moments with some cold light of day. I found the overall concept familiar, but the piece still builds to an assured – if not breathtaking – finale…the author keeps us guessing as to whether events are concrete, psychological or supernatural, or even a combination of them all. And tip-toeing around a scary house at midnight by torchlight is always a blast in safe hands like Paul Kane’s.’
‘As an experienced house re-builder, Ray knows that those old places that make noises in the night are called Creakers, so he expects some noise during the night, but not this much. The noises and the things crawling over him at night are not normal. The reader can feel his growing tension and fear as the noises and creaks in the house grow and grow. The story falls into that nice tradition of anthropomorphic horror, in which objects take on human personification and become the objects of horror, bringing back painful memories of his home, his childhood and his Mom. Filled with squirmy uncomfortable imagery, this is cheap as chips chills! Give it a go.’
‘Paul Kane is quite a diverse and highly regarded writer, perhaps known primarily as an author of dark fantasy and science fiction and for his editorial work (The Mammoth Book of Body Horror). Here, Kane uses the old fashioned quiet horror/ghost story as his foundation, slowly crafting a totally modern, yet Victorian mansion of a tale. The character of Ray is well fleshed out, revealed in a calculated fashion, his blue collar voice nicely realised and actually key to the underpinnings of the story. Kane’s prose here is tight and non-fussy; again, this augments the believability of the narrative.’
‘This is well done, with some nice spectral effects to disturb the reader, such as the invasion of insects and the phantom lovemaking in Ray’s mother’s bedroom. The characters are competently drawn, with Ray’s troubled past put over effectively by suggestion, and his burgeoning romance with amiable neighbour Pam convincingly rendered.’
The story itself isn’t anything ground breaking or earth shattering in anyway; it’s a simple tale of one man who’s troubled childhood comes back to him. But it doesn’t have to be more than that. We learn enough about Ray to want him to beat his adversary. We know enough about the house that we want to know how the next chapter in its life will begin. There’s a lot going on in this finely crafted short story, and I would be hard pressed to find something this enjoyable in such a small package any time soon. Using great language and description to create a spooky atmosphere, Paul Kane’s Creakers is a must read for anybody, not just fans of horror. VERDICT: 92%’
Alone (In the Dark)
Published by BJM Press, January 2001. Chapbook.
Featuring the stories: ‘Alone’; ‘Biorhythms’; ‘In the House of Magritte’; ‘Net Curtains’; ‘The Last Temptation of Alice Crump’; ‘The Weeping Woman’; ‘Pay the Piper’; ‘The Cyclops’; ‘Sabbat’; ‘Master of the White Worms: A Dalton Quayle Adventure’; ‘Remembrance’; and ‘Eye of the Beholder’...Plus the Song Lyrics: ‘Dangerous World’.
‘ Its twelve stories cover a fair range, from visceral horror through edgy urban nightmares to offbeat notions like a man taking conscious control of his autonomic body functions, or a tour through the image-filled House of Memory of the artist Magritte. Kane is best when taking risks with these bizarre flights of imagination.’
(David Langford, SFX Magazine)
‘Paul Kane has an outstanding imagination, which puts him in a class above most of the small press writers on the scene today. This collection will, hopefully, be the first step towards getting him the recognition he so richly deserves. Check it out, this could well be the start of something big.’
(David Price, Terror Tales Online)
Touching the Flame
Published by Rainfall Books, July 2002. Trade Paperback, £8.99/$13.99
Featuring: ‘Burnt Fingers’ an introduction by bestselling author Simon Clark; ‘The Torturer’; ‘Astral’; ‘The Face of Death’; ‘Shadow Writer’; ‘Prey’; ‘Star-Pool’; ‘Visiting Hour’; ‘Facades’; ‘At the Heart of the Maze’; ‘The Bones Brothers’; ‘Nightlife’; ‘The Hypnotist’s Gaze’; ‘Grandpa’s Chair’; ‘The Disease’; ‘Blackout’; ‘St August’s Flame’; ‘The Persistence of Dali’; ‘Eye of the Beholder; and ‘Melted Wax’ story notes by Paul Kane.
‘Wonderfully dark and satisfying.’
(The Dark Side Magazine)
‘‘I’ve read several Paul Kane stories before and find his writing style to be consistently good, and his tales very entertaining. He stands out as one of the better writers I’ve read... This collection supports my continuing belief that Paul Kane is a talented writer, one I expect will only go from strength to strength in the years to come.’
‘On a par with what the big boys are cranking out these days.’
Published by Creative Guy Publishing, August 2003. Trade Paperback, $11.99/£6.99
Featuring: ‘Introduction’ by Pete Allen of CGP; ‘Oliver’s Twist’; ‘Master of the White Worms’; ‘A Suspicious Mind’; ‘The Bones Brothers’; ‘Yibble’; ‘Dracula in Love’; ‘The Sheepshank Revelation’; ‘The Ugly’; ‘The Last Temptation of Alice Crump’; ‘All the Rage’; ‘Temple of Deadly Danger’; ‘Spells Trouble’.
Reprinted January 2005 (CGP - 4003) Trade Paperback $12.95/£7.50/$17.95
‘Horror fans with a sense of fun will enjoy this collection of short stories from Paul Kane. In his third offering to the bookshelves, FunnyBones sees Paul depart from his usual world of dark fantasy - to inject a wicked sense of humour into his tales of horror. Bringing together stories like “Dracula in Love” and “The Bones Brothers” - along with a gruesome twist on the lyrics of Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds” - the author terrifies whilst tickling the funny bone. Supernatural crime-fighting hero Dalton Quayle, already a firm favourite with Kane fans, also puts in an appearance in this new collection.’
(The Derbyshire Times)
Master of the White Worms
The Q-Files Vol. 1 . Published by Creative Guy Publishing, August 2003. E-Book Extra. ISBN: 1-894953-17-7
Featuring: ‘Master of the White Worms’; ‘The Sheepshank Revelation’; ‘Paul Kane in Conversation with Amanda Edwards’; ‘Paul Kane Gallery’; ‘Don’t Mention the War’ (Non-Fiction Article).
‘What can I say? This book is bloody brilliant… I can only say I wish there had been more of Dalton Quayle.’
(Susie Hawes, The Sword Reviews)
‘ Author Paul Kane’s story, “Master of the White Worms” manages to inject into the classic “Penny Dreadful” a simultaneous dose of humor, mystery, punnery and schlock horror, conjuring up the best parts of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H. P. Lovecraft, and P. G. Wodehouse. From the cigar-smoking soon-to-be widow Mrs. Meadows to the buxom and befuddled assistant Mrs. Hudsucker, even the supporting characters in Kane’s tales have a certain magical quality...not unreminiscent of circus midgets, two-headed snakes or the famed bearded lady. A genuine joy to read, Kane’s Pemberton and Qualye stories bring back the grand tradition of armchair detectives while restoring a chuckle to oft-dry Victorian-style fiction.’
(Ted Magnuson, author of The Moses Probe - reviewing for KnowBetter.com)
‘“Master Of The White Worms” and “Dalton Quayle And The Sheepshank Revelation” are the memoirs of Doctor Humphrey Pemberton and the adventures of Dalton Quayle, the most famous of supernatural detectives. All three are smile raisers. Rating: 5 Stars.’
(Michael McCarty The Dark Krypt)
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Dalton Quayle and the Temple of Deadly Danger
The Q-Files Vol. 2 . Published by Creative Guy Publishing, November 2004. E-Book. ISBN: 1-894953-16-9 $4.25
‘If the title reminds you of “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” it should, and a familiar whip-cracking fellow named Harrison even makes an appearance, along with his pet worm Reggie, in this Dalton Quayle, Dr. Humphrey Pemberton, tale.
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Published by Eloy Edictions, January 2006. Trade Paperback, 14 Euros.
Featuring: ‘Verbrannte Finger’ by Simon Clark; ‘Der Folterer’; ‘Astral’; ‘Das Gesicht des Todes’; ‘Shattenschriber’; ‘Beute’; ‘Sternteich’; ‘Besuchszeit’’; ‘Fassaden’; ‘Im Herzen des Labyrinths’’; ‘Die Bones Brothers’; ‘Nachtleben’; ‘Der Blick des Hypnotiseurs’; ‘Opas Sessel’; ‘Die Krankheit’; ‘Verdunkelung’; ‘Der Flame des Sankt Augustus’; ‘Die Beharrlichkeit Dalis’; and ‘Im Auge des Betrachters’.
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The Shadows Trilogy
Published by Screaming Dreams, E-Book, December 2007. Cover artwork by David Magitis.
Features: Introduction by Paul Kane; ‘Shadow Writer’; ‘Blackout’; and ‘The Convert’.
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Published by Creative Guy Publishing. Trade Paperback, October 2008 $14.95 / £8.95. Cover art by Les Edwards. ISBN: 978-1-894953-53-5
Featuring: ‘Cause and Effect: An Introduction to Paul Kane’ by Christopher Fowler; ‘Strobe’; ‘Guilty Pleasures’; ‘Suit of Lies’; ‘The Opportunity’; ‘Homeland’; ‘Remote’; ‘Nightmare on 34th Street’; ‘Yin and Yang’; ‘Check-out’; ‘Biorhythms’; ‘Kindred Spirits’; ‘R.S.V.P.’; ‘Life Sentence’; ‘1, 2, 3…1, 2, 3’; ‘Dig (This)’; ‘The Anniversary’; ‘The Convert’; ‘Life-like’; ‘The Procession’; ‘Reunion’; ‘The Protégé’.
‘Paul Kane is a young writer with a lot to say and a burning need to say it. Reading these stories is a bit like watching a Twilight Zone marathon – one witty, surprising, ingenious story after another, each one delivering its shock of fear, pity, astonishment, or irony before giving way to the next little amazement. Also, I’m impressed by the range of Paul Kane’s imagination. It seems there is no risk, no high-stakes gamble, he fears to take. In this collection, a flipped-out Santa Claus encounters the police a breath before Yin and Yang get down and dirty. Kane’s foot never gets even close to the brake pedal .’
( Peter Straub – Bestselling author of Ghost Story, Mr X, Lost Boy Lost Girl, In the Night Room and Black House, with Stephen King)
‘How big is the rock I’ve been living under to have missed out on such a wonderful talent?!? What sets this collection apart from all the others is its undeniable creativity and originality. You won’t find tired retreads of common genre themes; hell, you won’t even be able to pigeonhole Kane into any one genre. Peripheral Visions runs the gamut from horror to suspense to dark fantasy, and the author nails each and every one of them. Take, for instance, “Yin and Yang”. Never before have I read a more eloquent story about the dichotomy of the forces of nature. It was not only my favorite story of the collection, but is one of the best short stories I’ve ever read. Kane also gives readers a liberal dose of thrills and chills….
And I can’t finish this review without praising Kane on his ability to write top-notch short-shorts. I don’t recall another author being able to pack so much story in so few words. Three pieces -- “The Opportunity”, “R.S.V.P”, and “The Protégé” – only cover six total pages of the book, yet they pack a wallop seldom seen by stories of this length. Paul Kane has a helluva toolbox at his disposal – characterization, visualization, creativity, success with multiple themes and genres, the ability to tell a good story at any length. Simply put, the man is wildly talented. I give Peripheral Visions a 9 out of 10 and highly recommend grabbing a copy.’
(Andrew Monge, Horror Drive-In)
“Strobe” and “Biorhythms” were memorable for their unexpected transcendental theories. “Biorhythms” had a grotesque and lethal ending but was incredibly happy and spiritually exhilarating. There were also some classic Edgar Allan Poe/Alfred Hitchcock-styled, bizarre tales such as “Suit of Lies”, “Homeland” and “the Anniversary” to mention just a few. “Remote” and “Guilty Pleasures” were both fantastic. “Guilty Pleasures” was about a guilt demon that haunts sinners, threatening to drive them mad. “Remote” was a vivid story about out-of-body experiences going one step further; the ability to affect things while in remote locations. I like that Kane is not afraid to take sharp turns or end with the villain as the victor. He can make you believe the story could end happily and then it turns lethal. Or put the victim in a dire predicament and then shove them to a blissful state for eternity. I also admire his ability to quickly introduce familiar traits in people to give them instant dimension.
I think several of his stories could have expanded to exciting and easily popular novels and/or screenplays. For this reason, I will always look forward to reading more from Kane.’
(Alesha Brunell, G.A.S.P.etc.com)
‘The stories all start out in real life, then end somewhere horrifyingly closer to home. Any reader will find it difficult to read this without looking over his shoulder to check on the shadows in the corner and what they’re hiding. Each of these stories are thought-provoking, disturbing, and stay with you after the book is over. You will find yourself looking at people differently, wondering what they could be capable of doing. You may even wonder what you are capable of doing. Paul Kane is a wonderful writer who is following in the footsteps of the man to whom this collection is dedicated – Clive Barker – and he will carve out his own niche someday soon amongst fans of horror.’
(Kerri Silva, Horror Bound Magazine)
‘‘It’s very hard to classify this book. Paul Kane’s short stories are a mixture of different genres with a strong leaning towards the inner space of the mind. These stories particularly are brilliantly conceived and written.
Paul Kane has a very economic style of writing but he can pack so much into a few pages. His words are well chosen, his plots clearly and concisely outlined. The seven-page “Strobe”, for instance, sets up an overpowering addiction to a flashing light in the first couple of pages then tracks the degeneration through stronger and stronger lights until the final…whatever… is reached… He is also good at turning the conventional ideas on their head and examining the outcome…
I found “Life Sentence” particularly poignant. It explores the possibility that, as life-prolonging technology improves, dying may become illegal, as may even wanting to die. Paul manages to convey the desperation of wanting to die and the utter futility of trying. He gives the whole euthanasia debate a new, subtle, vicious twist. And the most chilling story of all is the shortest – “Protégé”.
Because each story is so different in its plot and approach this is a very easy book to come back to later. Each story explores a new idea and if, like me, you like to read in short bursts between other demands on your time, this book is very easy to enjoy. Ghosts, zombies, environmentalists, obsessives, blackmailers – they are all here in their own little beautifully crafted stories. This is a book worth reading for its good stories and for Mr Kane’s incredible imagination.’
(Bob Estreich, Synergy Magazine)
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The Adventures of Dalton Quayle
To order The Adventures of Dalton Quayle click here.
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The Butterfly Man and Other Stories
‘Despite his friendly demeanour, Paul Kane is a vicious man; as exemplified in the gut-wrenching twists concluding his stories, where he cheerfully shreds apart our hopes and expectations for the protagonists’ survival with gleeful abandon. Nowhere is this more evident than in Paul Kane’s latest collection The Butterfly Man and Other Stories, which comprises eighteen of his short stories. As any writer will tell you, short stories are a vastly different narrative art-form to a conventional full-length novel; requiring concise prose, tight plotting, and often a focus purely on character. It is a testament to Paul Kane’s writing ability that all of the stories constantly remain fresh and his characters are always distinct from one another.
(One Metal Magazine)
‘My first exposure to Paul Kane’s work was the rather brilliant post apocalyptic remix of Robin Hood that he wrote for Abaddon Books as part of the Afterblight Chronicles series. The trilogy was set in my adopted hometown of Nottingham, and I loved every minute of it... The Butterfly Man & Other Stories contains eighteen horrific tales that should delight any horror fan. I have been sat here for the last half an hour trying to decide which of the stories were my favourites, a near impossible task when all of them are so damn good. After much umming and ahhing here, in no particular order, are my personal picks from this collection:
(The Eloquent Page)
‘When I think of butterflies it brings to mind gentle, attractive creatures that bring a splash of colour to warm, sunny days. Despair, urban decay and violent death? Not so much. Paul Kane’s collection of horror stories may have a bright and cheerful-sounding title, but its insides are more than macabre enough.
‘There are times when reading books for this blog, that I feel kind of embarrassed. This is one of those books, for an author who has been as widely published and prolific as Paul Kane, I’m embarrassed to say that prior to this collection...I had never read any of his work. Yes I had heard his name mentioned by those more in the know than I am. The Butterfly Man collects some of Paul’s finest works from recent years plus the addition of ”The Cave of Lost Souls”, Paul’s very first published short story. The 18 stories here range from the very light hearted to some very deep, harrowing and moving tales.
‘When I first received Butterfly Man for review, I planned to read just a few stories a day, as the collection has 18 stories and appears quite long. But once I started, I was transfixed. I ended up spending the entire day reading. And once I finished, I probably could have rattled off synopses of every story, without looking at the book again once – they’re that unforgettable... Five of the stories here are originals to the collection. “The Greatest Mystery” is the first. Narrated by Dr. Watson, this is a Sherlock Holmes tale with a particularly sinister twist....As it’s written true to Dr. Watson’s voice and is a fitting addition to the Holmes legend, I believe that if you like Sherlock Holmes, you’ll like “The Greatest Mystery.”...
‘I chose to review Paul Kane’s seventh collection for this edition of The Short Review because I felt it might present something different, a challenge, to me as a reader new to fantasy/horror; a thick, bubbling brew which includes comic horror, the surreal, vampire literature and straight horror. OK, it’s not the sort of stuff I read every day, but would it be enough to entice me into the circle of fans? Looking at the online image of the extraordinarily beautiful cover, I thought it might be possible...The elements I expected are all in there, fighting for supremacy – tormented souls, ghosts, angels, avenging spirits from beyond the grave, the Spirit of Death, monsters of the night, side by side with chocolate-box sexy women...
The Spaces Between
‘A collection filled with delights of the macabre and the mystical!’
(From the Introduction by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Bitten and Thirteen, Kelley Armstrong)
‘Kudos to Paul Kane! What a powerful volume added to his ongoing oeuvre, a diverse and wide-angle on the eternally fascinating dark side.’
‘This collection from Spectral Press brings together 16 short stories on the subject of ghosts and hauntings from one of my favourite modern horror writers, Paul Kane. Also included here is the film script for Wind Chimes as well as the story itself (which I’ll come to later).
‘GHOSTS is a collection of sixteen stories and one poem from Paul Kane, drawn from his back catalogue and based on the theme of, well, ghosts. The suitably atmospheric cover is by Les Edwards and it is, of course, another beautifully produced book.
It’s a strong collection of stories, written in clear, precise prose – there aren't too many stylish flourishes here, this is straightforward story-telling… It’s difficult in these post-modern times to make a ghost story scary and the tale that probably best achieves this is “Homeland”which uses the haunted house trope to good effect.
Dickens provides the starting point for two of the stories in the collection. “Humbuggered”is an updated version of A Christmas Carol which didn't quite work for me, whereas “Signals”was my favourite story in the book. The story it references is “The Signal-man”– which just happens to be my favourite Dickens ghost story (and which is definitely the best of the BBC’s adaptations). I was a little apprehensive starting Signals – a high risk of sacrilege and all that – but actually really enjoyed this clever sequel to the original. GHOSTS is the first in Spectral’s Collections series and provides a strong start to what will hopefully be a long line to come.’
‘I’m embarrassed to admit not knowing much about the work of Paul Kane, but let’s face it: you can’t read everything. So I came to his hefty collection of short fiction with no preconceptions, beyond a simple awareness of his high rating shared by readers and fellow writers. My ignorance had the serendipitous effect of providing a fresh perspective. As Nancy Kilpatrick writes in her Introduction, Kane explores a wide variety of ghostly manifestations, each written with inventive verve and eclectic personality so lacking in much recent “ghost fiction,” which seems reliant on bad TV and movies and “clever” gimmicks. I’m pleased to report this collection has none of those failings, and can’t remember when I’ve more enjoyed a single-author collection.
‘Too, such narrative diversity showcases Kane’s adaptability. “Homeland,” wherein a gruff clean-up crew tasked to handle the residence of a deceased hoarder, literally have their hands – and fears – full. (Having once worked in disaster-restoration, this really chilled me.) Kane is adept at fusing physical detail with emotional, bringing his settings to life, no matter how unpleasant. In “Funeral for a Friend,” we are reminded that the passed-on can be unwilling to pass over the sins of the living…a morality tale for the New Shallow who’re too busy to live. “Wind Chimes” is a lacerating tale of loss, redemption, and…never mind. Kane’s own script for what became a short film, directed by Brad Watson, ends the book, and even includes a Watson Intro. The book’s front-matter helpfully (for late-comers like me) lists books published – and edited – by the author.’
(William J. Grabowski, Beware the Dark magazine)
‘Has one or two stories that maybe should have been left out, but is more than made up for the fact that “Funeral For a Friend” blew me out of orbit and is a sublime piece of writing and shows why Paul is a much needed author in this genre of ours.’
(8/10, mini-review by Johnny Mains, editor of Best British Horror)
A compilation of supernatural tales that lift the curtain on the ever-present spectre of death and what may lie beyond. After the death of a hoarder the crew sent to clean up his house encounter more than they bargained for… A hotel room with a deadly secret… A selfless charity worker who is visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve who hope to persuade him to change his ways… An unexpected guest at a funeral… Social media updates from beyond the grave… GHOSTS is an enthralling collection of stories – some with a humorous touch, some thick with heartbreak and some which will chill to the bone – all of which will trouble the reader long after they have finished the final page. Although in theory short story collections are designed to be dipped into, this one is as compelling as a novel and no sooner has one story ended than the next drags you into its sphere of influence.
The protagonists of all these stories are immaculately drawn – convincing and very realistic with foibles and neuroses like the rest of us. This makes it all the more shocking when they come up against the unexplained and the downright terrifying. In some of the stories the supernatural element is an extrapolation of very real human tragedy – the death of a parent or child – and in others it has a terrifying life all its own. Two of the stories here are sequels to perhaps a couple of the most famous ghost stories of all time – Dickens’s A Christmas Carol and “The Signal-man”. Some might consider it audacious to tackle these but they both work superbly – Humbugged as a dark comedy in which the ghostly visitors are attempting to get Scrooge’s descendant to stop being so compassionate and Signals as a grim tale of inevitability and destiny with an atmosphere as oppressive as the original and a circular logic about it which is as satisfying as it is horrifying.
A haunting selection of tales that all feel like classics, GHOSTS will probably draw the reader back to it again and again…’
(Chris Limb, The British Fantasy Society)
Shadow Writers Vol. 1
Published by Rainfall Books, September 2002. Trade Paperback, £7.99/$12.99. ISBN: 0-9540877-5-5
Featuring: ‘In the Shadows’ Introduction by Paul Kane; ‘Behind the Painted Face’ by John B. Ford; ‘The Mask’ by Alison L.R. Davies; ‘To Make You King’ by Mark West; ‘The Power’ by Paul Melniczek; ‘Sibling Rivalry’ by Hertzan Chimera; ‘Living Doll’ by Peggy J. Shumate; ‘Make It Rock & Roll’ by Lisa Negus; ‘Soul Searcher’ by Derek M. Fox; ‘Beachcomber’ by Robert D. Rowntree; ‘Trophy’ by Shannon Riley; ‘Decay’ by Quentin S. Crisp; ‘The Journeyman’ by David Price.
‘There are some absolute gems of short fiction here. If this book is anything to go by then it’s fairly safe to say there should be good times ahead for anyone who reads horror.’
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Read a review here
Shadow Writers Vol. 2
Published by Rainfall Books, December 2003. Trade Paperback, £7.99/$12.99. ISBN: 0-9546178-2-7
Featuring: ‘ShadowTime’ Introduction by Paul Kane; ‘Dead Eye’ by Amy Grech; ‘Whizz’ by Paul Finch; ‘Chalice’ by Sue Phillips; ‘Scar Tissue’ by Neal Asher; ‘Pretty Enough’ by Suellen Luwish; ‘They Wait’ by Simon Bestwick; ‘The Afterthought’ by Sarah Crabtree; ‘The Hungry Ones’ by Joe Rattigan; ‘Exploration’ by Steven Deighan; ‘Cain’s Moon’ by Susanne S. Brydenbaugh; ‘The Heart of Darkness’ by Eddie M. Angerhuber; ‘Schism’ by Steve Gerlach.
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Terror Tales # 1
Published by Rainfall Books, August 2003. Trade Paperback, £12/$16.99. ISBN: 0-9540877-6-3
Featuring: Editorial Introductions, ‘Life After Death’ by John B. Ford and ‘Do Have Nightmares’ by Paul Kane; ‘In the Company of Demons’ by Teri A. Jacobs; ‘Under Mock Orange’ by Scott Thomas; ‘Where They Went Wrong’ by Christopher Fowler; ‘Quayle the Bibliophile’ by Mark Samuels; ‘Seen But Not Heard’ by Joe Rattigan; ‘Plastipak Ltd’ by Neal Asher; ‘In the Flesh’ by Sarah Crabtree; ‘The House of Solemn Children’ by Michael Cisco; ‘The Skull’ by Eddie M. Angerhuber; ‘Lonely Hearts’ by Steve Harris; ‘Forests of the Night’ by Michael Pendragon; ‘Kane’s Korner Special: Birmingham Report’ by Paul Kane; ‘Me, My Bike...And the Inevitable’ by Simon Clark; ‘The Insect Assembly’ by John Paul Catton; ‘Sound Bites...?’ by Derek M. Fox; ‘Dark Family Values’ by Stanley C. Sargent; ‘Images of Angels’ by Sue Phillips; ‘Dark Debate’ with Lisa Negus, Robert D. Rowntree, Stephen Gallagher, Simon Clark, Paul Finch and Tim Lebbon; ‘Book Reviews: Stranger and From a Buick 8’ by Paul Kane and Derek M. Fox; ‘Film Reviews: Darkness Falls and 28 Days Later’ by Christopher Teague.
‘An enjoyable book featuring many good stories by a bunch of fine writers.’
Terror Tales # 2
Published by Rainfall Books, May 2004. Trade Paperback, £12/$16.99. ISBN: 0-9546178-4-3
Featuring: Editorial Introductions ‘The Taste of Pure Evil’ by John B. Ford and ‘Horror R.I.P?’ by Paul Kane; ‘Bleed for Me’ by Marie O’Regan; ‘Victoria’s Secret’ by Michael Marshall Smith; ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’ by Sarah Crabtree; ‘The Other One’ by Paul Finch; ‘Blueskin’ by Lisa Negus; ‘Comparative Anatomy’ by Stephen Gallagher; ‘Know Thyself’ by Tim Meads; Kane’s Korner, ‘Zombies’; ‘Sent Down’ by Gemma Files; ‘The Spirit of Rock and Roll’ by David Price; ‘The Tripod’ by Jeffrey Thomas; ‘Sermon’ by F. Paul Wilson and John B. Ford; ‘Time to Scare Gramma’ by Peggy J. Shumate; ‘Book Reviews: Nobody True and About James Herbert’ by Paul Kane, ‘Conscience’ by Martin Roberts; ‘Exclusive extract from ‘Conscience’ by John Skipp; ‘Small Press Focus: Earthling Publications - Interview with Paul Miller and Reviews of Godhead Dying Downwards, Brotherhood of Mutilation, Exorcising Angels and Babylon Falling’ by Paul Kane; ‘Film Reviews: May’ by Tim Meads, ‘Alien: Director’s Cut and Scary Movie 3’ by Christopher Teague.
Terror Tales # 3
Published by Rainfall Books, February 2006. Co-edited by John B. Ford. £12. ISBN: 0-9549923-5-0
Featuring: Editorial Introductions by John B. Ford & Paul Kane; ‘The Causeway’ by Stephen Laws; ‘I’m Always Here’ by Richard Christian Matheson; ‘Blast from the Past’ by Simon Clark; ‘A Short Guide to the City’ by Peter Straub; ‘Whispers’ by Marie O’Regan; ‘The Tripod Pt 2’ by Jeffrey Thomas; ‘Kane’s Korner: Moonstruck’ by Paul Kane; ‘Where it Roots, How it Fruits’ by Chaz Brenchley; ‘Feels Like Stephen King’ by Steve Deighan; ‘0.5 MG’ by Conrad Williams; ‘The Happy Misanthropist’ by John Travis; ‘What Elroy Did On His School Holidays’ by Jonathan Oliver; ‘The Summer House’ by Vicki Yates; ‘A Slave of Melancholy’ by Mark Samuels; ‘Bus Driver’ by Kevin Anderson; ‘Dead to the World’ by Allen Ashley; ‘Book Reviews: The Water Room by Christopher Fowler, In This Skin by Simon Clark, Invasion of the Body Snatchers by Jack Finney and I Am Legend by Richard Matheson.
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Top International Horror
Published by Rainfall Books, February 2004. Trade Paperback, £8/$12. ISBN: 0-9546178-3-5
Featuring: ‘White Knuckle Ride’ Introduction by John B. Ford and Paul Kane; ‘Third Shift’ by Kevin Anderson; ‘Grandfather’s Faces’ by Michael T. Huyck Jr.; ‘Nightmind’ by Darren Franz; ‘The Invite’ by Mary Romano; ‘The Creeper’ by Alexis Child; ‘The Withering’ by Bruce Golden; ‘Three Silver Bullets’ by John Ludlow; ‘The Screaming At Hexenkoph’ by Sherid Adams Signs; ‘Rideby’ by Thomas Stone; ‘The Boy in the Corner’ by Phil Locascio; ‘Clutter’ by Karole M. Svitak; ‘Craven’ by Destiny West; ‘The Perfect Varnish’ by Thomas Wagner; ‘Thrust’ by Melissa Patterson; ‘Remembrance’ by Christopher Fulbright; ‘The Hidden Room’ by Eddie M. Angerhuber.
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BFS Calendar 2005
British Fantasy Society Publications, co-edited by Marie O’Regan. £7.99
Featuring: Cover artwork by Les Edwards; Introduction by Clive Barker; ‘January’ by James Barclay and Alfred Klosterman; ‘February’ by Kim Newman and Chris Leaper; ‘March’ by Graham Joyce and Lara Bandilla; ‘April’ by Steve Lockley and Michelle Blessemaille; ‘May’ by Neil Gaiman and Russell Dickerson; ‘June’ by Cherith Baldry and David Bezzina; ‘July’ by Chaz Brenchley and Steve Lines; ‘August’ by Katherine Roberts and Tina Roberts; ‘September’ by China Mieville and Bob Covington; ‘October’ by Juliet E. McKenna and Kathy Hardy; ‘November’ by Jon Courtenay Grimwood and Ian Simmons; ‘December’ by Mark Chadbourn and Sarah Zama.
British Fantasy Society Publications, co-edited by Marie O’Regan.
Featuring: ‘A Year in the Chair’ by Nicki Robson; ‘Suspension of Disbelief’ by Jeff Gardiner; ‘I, Robot’ by Paul Kane; ‘Robert Holdstock - A Lifetime of Creativity’ by Sandy Auden; ‘An Interview with Neal Asher’ by Paul Kane; ‘Muriel Gray’ by Marie O’Regan; ‘Lord Dunsany’ by Jeff Gardiner.
Dark Horizons #47
Edited by Marie O’Regan. Published by the BFS, Spring 2005.
Featuring: ‘The Stone Circle’ by Barry Woods; ‘The Black Lake’ by Tony Richards; ‘Abattoir Girl’ by Allen Ashley and Andrew Hook; ‘Manny and the Monkeys’ by Simon Woodward; ‘The White Witch’ by JPV Stewart; ‘Harrowfield’ by Neil Williamson.
BFS Horror Calendar 2006
British Fantasy Society Publications, co-edited by Marie O’Regan. £8.99
Featuring: Cover Artwork by Paul ( Lord of the Rings) Campion. January ‘Evil Clowns’ by John Connolly and James Ryman; February ‘Old Dark House’ by Stephen Laws and Lew Lehrman; March ‘Demons’ by Muriel Gray and David Magitis; April ‘Vampires’ by Christopher Fowler and Mike Bohatch; May ‘Zombies’ by Simon Clark and Bob Covington; June ‘Magic’ by Clive Barker and Paul Campion; July ‘Medical Horror’ by Stephen Gallagher and Russell Dickerson; August ‘Death’ by Neil Gaiman and Ian Simmons; September ‘Haunted Woods’ by Ramsey Campbell and Michelle Blessmaille; October ‘The Corpse’ by Poppy Z. Brite and Michael Ian Bateson; November ‘Supernatural Painting’ by Graham Masterton and Lara Bandilla; Demember ‘Werewolves’ by Kelley Armstrong and Lizzy Shumate.
Albions Alpträume: Zombies
Published by Eloy Edictions, January 2006. Co-edited byWalter Diociaiuti. 13 Euros. ISBN: 3-938411-04-X
Featuring: ‘Zombies’ An Introduction by Simon Clark; ‘The Beach’ by Tim Lebbon; ‘Night After Night of the Living Dead’ by Christopher Fowler; ‘Face at the Window’ by Stuart Young; ‘Starky’s Town’ by Simon Bestwick; ‘Risen Wife’ by Mark West; ‘A Force of Evil’ by John B. Ford; ‘The Burning Doorway’ by Simon Clark; ‘Beautiful Stranger’ by Tony Richards; ‘Life Sentence’ by Paul Kane; ‘Raw Materials’ by Derek M. Fox; ‘Somebody in the Garden’ by Paul Finch; ‘Salvation’ by Maynard and Sims.
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Dark Horizons #48
Edited by Marie O’Regan and Jenny Barber. Published by the BFS, Spring 2006.
Featuring: ‘The Ones We Leave Behind’ by Mark Chadbourn ; ‘Caw’ by Alessio Zanelli; ‘Masquerade’ by Debbie Bennett; ‘Salastor’ by John Howard; ‘Flowers in the Cellar’ by Lavie Tidhar; ‘Baby’ by Simon Messingham.
The British Fantasy Society: A Celebration
British Fantasy Society Publications, co-edited with Marie O’Regan, September 2006, £11.99
ISBN: 0953 868 16 8
Featuring: Introduction by Stephen Jones; ‘The Luxury of Harm’ by Christopher Fowler; ‘Lost Souls’ by Clive Barker; ‘Whisper Lane’ by Mark Chadbourn; ‘The Man Who Drew Cats’ by Michael Marshall Smith; ‘The Cycle’ by John Connolly; ‘Days of the Wheel’ by Peter Crowther; ‘Now You See Him, Now You Don’t’ by Juliet E. McKenna; ‘Progeny’ by Mark Morris; ‘The Sustenaince of Hoak’ by Ramsey Campbell; ‘Every Day A Little Death’ by Chaz Brenchley; ‘This is Illyria, Lady’ by Kim Newman; ‘Ashputtle’ by Peter Straub; ‘Webs’ by Neil Gaiman; ‘The Raffle’ by Simon Clark; ‘Scarrowfell’ by Robert Holdstock; ‘Building Sixteen’ by Brian Aldiss; ‘Dust’ by Richard Christian Matheson; ‘Sundance’ by Robert Silverberg; ‘My Repeater’ by Stephen Gallagher; ‘Partial Eclipse’ by Graham Joyce; Afterword by Paul Kane and Marie O’Regan; plus personal recollections and stories about the BFS and FantasyCon by the contributors.
‘If Interzone imposed the reviewing methodology used by governments to assess the efficacy of public services – evaluating the whole in terms of the average of scores given to each of its components – Kane and O’Regan’s celebration of the British Fantasy Society would top the league table of fantasy anthologies. There is certainly much to commend it. There isn’t a single duff story: none of them merits less than a B and several are worthy of an A+.’
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FantasyCon Souvenir Programme 2008
British Fantasy Society Publications, co-edited with Marie O’Regan, designed by Lee Thompson. Cover artwork by Dave McKean.
Featuring: ‘Welcome’ by Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane; ‘FantasyCon Anecdotes Part One’ by Peter Crowther, Sarah Pinborough, Steve Volk and Michael Marshall Smith; ‘To the Death’ by Christopher Fowler; ‘Dave McKean’ by Neil Gaiman; ‘Dave McKean Biography and Bibliography’ by Dave McKean and Paul Kane; ‘Dave McKean: A Gallery of Works’ by Dave McKean’; ‘Karl Edward Wagner Special Award: Ray Harryhausen’ by Stephen Jones; ‘The Long Fingers of Dr Who’ by Simon Gurrier; ‘Ghosts of India Extract’ by Mark Morris; ‘Not So Obvious: An Appreciation of Christopher Golden’ by Tim Lebbon; ‘Christopher Golden Bibliography’ by Christopher Golden and Paul Kane; ‘Baltimore Extract’ by Christopher Golden; ‘Fallen Extract’ by Tim Lebbon; ‘Christopher Fowler’ by Roger Gray; ‘Christopher Fowler Bibliography’ by Paul Kane; ‘The Victoria Vanishes Extract’ by Christopher Fowler; ‘James Barclay’ by Mark Yon; ‘James Barclay Bibliography’ by Paul Kane; ‘FantasyCon Anecdotes Part Two’ by Paul Cornell, Christopher Fowler and Simon Clark; ‘Ravensoul Extract’ by James Barclay.
Pocket Books(Simon & Schuster), co-edited with Marie O’Regan. Cover artwork by Clive Barker (‘Vestimenti’ Cenobite). September 2009, $16.00/£10.76
ISBN-10: 1439140901 ISBN-13:978-1439140901
Featuring: ‘Foreword’ by Clive Barker; ‘Introduction: Raising Hell, Again’ by Stephen Jones; ‘ Prisoners of the Inferno’ by Peter Atkins; ‘ The Cold’ by Conrad Williams; ‘ The Confessor’s Tale’ by Sarah Pinborough; ‘ Hellbound Hollywood’ by Mick Garris; ‘ Mechanisms’ by Christopher Golden and Mike Mignola (illustrated by Mike Mignola); ‘ Every Wrong Turn’ by Tim Lebbon; ‘ The Collector’ by Kelley Armstrong; ‘ Bulimia’ by Richard Christian Matheson; ‘ Orfeo the Damned’ by Nancy Holder; ‘ Our Lord of Quarters’ by Simon Clark; ‘ Wordsworth’ graphic insert by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean; ‘ A Little Piece of Hell’ by Steve Niles; ‘ The Dark Materials Project’ by Sarah Langan; ‘ Demon’s Design’ by Nicholas Vince; ‘ Only The Blind Survive’ by Yvonne Navarro; ‘ Mother’s Ruin’ by Mark Morris; ‘ Sister Cilice’ by Barbie Wilde; ‘ Santos del Infierno’ by Jeffrey J. Mariotte; ‘ The Promise’ by Nancy Kilpatrick; ‘ However…’ by Gary A. Braunbeck and Lucy A. Snyder; ‘ Tis Pity He’s Ashore’ by Chaz Brenchley; ‘Afterword’ by Doug Bradley; ‘Special Bonus Material: Wordsworth Graphic Short Story Original Script’ by Neil Gaiman.
‘With an introduction from Clive Barker himself, this anthology of short stories inspired by Pinhead and his merry band of Cenobites has obviously won respect where it matters most. Even more impressive, however, are the number of heavy-hitters involved in this project, each of whom gives their own well-informed spin on all things Hellraiser. From The Stand director Mick Garris (whose “Hellbound Hollywood” brings fear to a film set, and even references Candyman) to 30 Days Of Night’s Steve Niles (who documents some graphic fleshfilleting in “A Little Piece Of Hell”), this is far from a quickly bashed-out horror hack-job. Another highlight is Barbie Wilde’s “Sister Cilice”, which offers a uniquely female spin on the mythology. Other members of the fair sex (including Buffy novelist Yvonne Navarro and Otherworld author Kelly Armstrong) also take a bash but Wilde, who played the Female Cenobite in the movies, tells the most insightful tale. Then there’s “The Cold” by Conrad Williams, best known in cult circles. Williams manages the impressive task of bringing Barker’s supernatural sadomasochism into a more grounded, “real world” scenario and it proves to be one of the most compelling and well-realised shorts on offer here... For any Barker buff Hellbound Hearts should provide more pleasure than pain.’
(Four Star Review in SFX magazine)
‘Kudos MUST go to Paul Kane and Marie O’Regan who have pulled out of the bag a magnificent clutch of tales and have managed to coax from the authors many rich, dark and some truly frightening stories that have added a new and complex light to an already vastly complex universe. It’s a great read and I hope that Pocket Books, the publishers, commission a second volume soon. 9.5/10.’
(Johnny Mains, All Things Horror)
‘ It is truly amazing how Clive Barker’s work could go on to inspire so many different terrifying tales. Each and every one is worth reading and it was painful to try and pick out just a few to talk about when all of the stories are so stellar. Each of the authors captures the aesthetic and themes of the Hellraiser mythos, all the while tweaking it just enough to make it their own. What truly makes this anthology so exciting is how many different directions authors can go with Barker’s legacy. From Native American lore to the future of science behind “Shadow DNA”, there is really no limit to how writers can reinterpret and retell the Hellraiser mythos... Horror fans that relish shocking literature as well as Clive Barker and Hellraiser fans are sure to enjoy Hellbound Hearts. Don’t torture yourself, get your copy today!’
‘The stories collected in Hellbound Hearts remain true to the nightmarish mythology that inspired them. They are subtle and suggestive, violently unrestrained, and penned by writers perfectly suited to the task. Kane and O’Regan have done a wonderful job. Hellbound Hearts will delight and disturb the fans of Hellraiser, and those who first discovered The Hellbound Heart in George R. R. Martin’s Night Visions 3. Hellbound Hearts is highly recommended.’
(Jason Rolfe, HorrorBound)
‘Hellbound Hearts is collection of Hellraiser influenced stories that’s dear to my heart. Being a fan of Barker and all things Hellraiser, I must say it’s great to see that the legacy or mythos is being carried forth... I come out of this book feeling as if the writers dug deep to pull out these stories of damnation and suffering. There is a black abyss that lies deep in the hearts and minds. Hellbound Hearts is a doorway into that notion. Hellbound Hearts will sit proudly next to all things Cenobitovian and Barker, whether directly inspired or indirectly awakened it stands on its own as a collection to have.’
‘I love collections, I love Clive Barker and I love Hellraiser! I love this collection! This book of stories inspired by Clive Barker’s Hellraiser mythos has some great stories from the likes of Tim Lebbon, Christopher Golden, Conrad Williams, Simon Clark and many more. The number of British authors providing stories is amazing, and just goes to show the power of the horror genre in the UK. My personal favourite is Simon Clark’s story, but I have to say that I really enjoyed the mini comic provided by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, just a shame it’s printed in grainy black and white. The original script is also included, providing a great insight into comic writing. An original collection which goes to show the depth of Barker’s Hellraiser universe.’
(Adrian Brady, Morpheus Tales)
Terror Tales # 4
Published by Rainfall Books, December 2009. Co-edited by John B. Ford. ISBN: 978-0-9563991-0-6
Featuring: Editorial Introductions by John B. Ford & Paul Kane; ‘12 Bolinbroke Avenue’ by Peter James; ‘A Reel Devil’ by Roger Gray; ‘Harlequin Valentine’ by Neil Gaiman; ‘Charlie’ by Eric Steele; ‘The Man Who Collected Barker’ by Kim Newman; ‘The Hand of Glory’ by Simon Clark; ‘Kane’s Korner: Buffed Up’ by Paul Kane; ‘Haven’ by S.D. Hintz; ‘Falling Into the Arms of Death He Found A Beautiful Place’ by Jeff VanderMeer; ‘Ritual’ by Ann Wood; ‘Drifting Apart’ by Peter Crowther; ‘Circus A Go-Go’ by Carl Carter; ‘Discards’ by Tony Richards; ‘Voices Through the Walls’ by Lee Clark Zumpe; ‘Shirts’ by Allen Ashley; ‘Blizzard in Blue’ by John Saxton; ‘A Quiet Weekend Away’ by Mark West; Book Reviews: Stone Cold Calling by Simon Clark, Moontown by Peter Atkins, The Adventures of Mr. Maximillian Bacchus and His Traveling Circus by Clive Barker; Film Reviews: Splinter, 100 Feet and Midnight Meat Train.
Alt.Fiction 2010 convention booklet, co-edited with Marie O’Regan, designed and typeset by Marie O’Regan.
FantasyCon 2011 Souvenir Programme, co-edited with Marie O’Regan. Cover design by Paul Kane, internal design and typesetting by Marie O’Regan.
FantasyCon 2011 Pocket Programme, co-edited with Marie O’Regan. Cover design by Paul Kane, artwork by Les Edwards.
The Mammoth Book of Body Horror
Constable & Robinson, co-edited with Marie O’Regan. March 2012, £7.99
ISBN-10: 1780330391. ISBN-13: 978-1780330396
Featuring: ‘Introduction’ by Stuart Gordon (Director of Re-Animator and From Beyond); ‘Transformation’ by Mary Shelley; ‘The Telltale Heart’ by Edgar Allan Poe; ‘Herbert West: Re-Animator’ by H.P. Lovecraft; ‘Who Goes There?’ John W. Campbell; ‘The Fly’ by George Langelaan; ‘Tis the Season to be Jelly’ by Richard Matheson; ‘Survivor Type’ by Stephen King; ‘The Body Politic’ by Clive Barker; ‘The Chaney Legacy’ by Robert Bloch; ‘The Other Side’ by Ramsey Campbell; ‘Fruiting Bodies’ by Brian Lumley; ‘Freaktent’ by Nancy A. Collins; ‘Region of the Flesh’ by Richard Christian Matheson; ‘Walking Wounded’ by Michael Marshall Smith; ‘Changes’ by Neil Gaiman; ‘Others’ by James Herbert; ‘The Look’ by Christopher Fowler; ‘Residue’ by Alice Henderson; ‘Dog Days’ by Graham Masterton; ‘Black Box’ by Gemma Files; ‘The Soaring Dead’ by Simon Clark; ‘Polyp’ by Barbie Wilde; ‘Almost Forever’ by David Moody; ‘Butterfly’ by Axelle Carolyn; ‘Sticky Eye’ by Conrad Williams.
‘Here we have an anthology that squeezes the best out of body horror the way that puss can be squeezed from a necrotic wound, and all for our perverse enjoyment of this disturbing and oh so dark craft. Each story has been exquisitely crafted by the undisputed masters of the genre. And, to be frank, it’s impossible not to like. From the poetic prose of Mary Shelley, the drug induced hysteria of Poe, the wild, paranoid ramblings of Lovecraft, to the brutal honesty of David Moody. This book will drag up feelings of dread, shock and revulsion upon its reader. Even to hardened horror fans such as ourselves, the Mammoth Book of Body Horror still manages a nasty surprise or two.
So who’s in it? Short answer: everyone. It opens with Mary Shelley’s“Transformation”, a tale of body swapping with a twisted dwarf-like creature destined to go wrong. Starting off with the likes of Shelley – better known as the creator of Frankenstein, as if you needed telling – reminds us where the concept of body horror has its roots. Although earlier myths and legends of bodily dismemberment abound, Shelley is one of the first to get it down in short story form. From here we’re introduced to Edger Allen Poe’s“The Tell-Tale Heart” and from there we jump to Lovecraft’s“Re-animator”. The next stopping point is “Who Goes There?” by John W. Campbell and its worth pointing out that this is the tale that inspired three films, most notably John Carpenter’s The Thing and finding it here is like running into an old friend from out of town. A real treat.
There are far too many stories to go into in much depth for the purpose of this review. Highlights include, Stephen King’s “Survivor Type”: how much a man is prepared to sacrifice when washed up on a desert island. “The Body Politic” by Clive Barker: guaranteed to ensure you will never look at your hands the same way again. Ramsey Campbell’s “The Other Side” dips into a surrealist horror that has the trademarks of an acid trip gone horribly wrong – or, cough, so we’re told. Brian Lumley’s “Fruiting Bodies” will stay with you long after the lights have gone out. Neil Gaiman injects a dark sense of humour with his short story “Changes”. And so the stories go, each exploring the fear of what can go wrong with our bodies: the unseen menace of a brain tumour, the creeping doom of cancer, the fear of being different, and the secret pleasure of standing out from a crowd.
(Starburst, 10/10 review)
‘Oozing sores, wandering hands, sticky eyes and legs that fall off are just some of the gory corporeal glories you can expect from Mammoth’s latest collection. This 25-story compendium gathers tales of “transformation, mutation and contagion” from genre royalty including Clive Barker, HP Lovecraft, Stephen King, Mary Shelley and Edgar Allen Poe, along with writers who though less familiar are often just as compelling. The stories offer icky pleasure for those fascinated with a subgenre concerned with the body turning against itself. Some are funny and disgusting (Richard Matheson’s nuclear fallout nightmare ‘”Tis The Season To Be Jelly!”, Barbie Wilde’s bowel-with-a-brain-of-its-own yuk-fest “Polyp”); some smartly satirical (Neil Gaiman’s excellent cure-for-cancer vision “Changes”, Christopher Fowler’s fashion industry cautionary tale “The Look”); some depressing and disturbing (Nancy A Collins’ horrific, lingering “Freaktent” and Stephen King’s stand-out gross-out “The Survivor Type”).
For horror movie buffs it’s a must-have, pulling together the original stories which inspired The Fly, The Thing and Re-Animator. “The Fly”, a far closer blueprint for Kurt Neumann’s 1958 version than it was for Cronenberg’s version, is poignant rather than repellent, while John W Campbell’s ice station paranoia piece “Who Goes There?” (the longest piece in the collection), is a masterpiece of tension building. Only Lovecraft’s “Herbert West – Re-Animator” – a morbidly humorous necromancy myth – jars in its originally serialised format, with each short chapter beginning with a full recap of the previous ones – though Re-Animator director Stuart Gordon sheds further light on this in a warm and fascinating intro.’
(Four Star Review in SFX Magazine)
One of the things that many long-time readers wonder about as they grow older is whether the stories that thrilled them as youths will remain available to be discovered by today’s young horror readership. Volumes go out of print, stories are forgotten or neglected, and an entire generation can miss out on, say, W W Jacob’s “The Monkey’s Paw”. It is therefore with some delight that Kane and O’Regan have reprinted some classics here that have been away from our shelves for too long. After stories by Mary Shelley, Poe and of course H P Lovecraft’s “ReAnimator”, all of which can be found in collections in any high street bookshop, The Mammoth Book of Body Horror begins to show its real worth with reprints of John W Campbell’s “Who Goes There?” and George Langelaan’s “The Fly”... A tiny funny by Richard Matheson “Tis the Season to be Jelly” is next, followed by Stephen King’s “Survivor Type”, the tale of a surgeon stranded on a desert island and having to resort to increasing acts of self-mutilation in order to stay alive. Stories by Robert Bloch, Ramsey Campbell and Brian Lumley follow. Lumley’s “Fruiting Bodies” is a deservedly award-winning tale of rot and decay in a crumbling seaside village, while Bloch’s story concerns a man who finds he has bought the secret residence of silent actor Lon Chaney (which comes complete with makeup case and haunted mirror) and Campbell’s is the tale of an unhappy teacher who keeps seeing the figure of a dancing clown on the other side of the river to his flat. Needless to say, when he decides to investigate further the consequences are (bodily!) horrific, and it could have led to the inspiration for a famous J K Potter illustration, but you’ll have to read the end of the story for yourselves to find out which one.
The book concludes with a number of stories that have been specifically written for the volume. These are by a mixture of authors both familiar and unfamiliar. Of the eight stories it came as no surprise that one of the stories was by old hand Graham Masterton, “Dog Days”, who delivers a deliciously outrageous tale of one man and his dog (not to mention the girlfriend). However, no more will be said about it so as not to spoil the surprise. David Moody was another surprise with his very well written and entertaining EC comics-style story “Almost Forever”. The following tale, Alice Henderson’s “Residue”, starts off a bit unsurely, but as it goes on it evolves into a whole bundle of alien-style fun and it comes highly recommend. Overall, then, Kane and O’Regan’s Mammoth Book of Body Horror is a very fine read indeed. There were only a couple of stories that didn’t work, and the only real criticism is that the book ends on a rather grim downer of a story that really isn’t in keeping with the tone of the rest of the book at all. Otherwise, it’s a book that works beautifully as an introduction to the genre for those who aren’t that familiar with it, offering a fine selection from many of the very best writers the genre has ever had, as well as a decent mix of new tales... if one were to recommend a good horror anthology to a friend who wanted to see what good horror stories were like, this would instantly come to mind. It does our beloved genre proud and there’s no greater praise than that.’
(This Is Horror)
‘A gripping collection which offers for the first time a chronological overview of the popular contemporary sub-genre of body horror, from Edgar Allan Poe to Christopher Fowler, with contributions from leading horror writers, including Stephen King, George Langelaan and Neil Gaiman. The collection includes the stories behind seminal body horror movies, John Carpenter's The Thing, David Cronenberg's The Fly and Stuart Gordon's Re-Animator. When you consider just how many of these Mammoth Books are published each year, it really is amazing that the quality of the stories presented in this edition are of such a high standard. It is a testament to both the writers and the editors... The table of contents reads like a dream team of authors. How the editors decided on which six authors names were featured on the front cover I don't know... I normally have two ways in which I attack an anthology, the first is to go to my favourite author, and the second is to start at the beginning, I usually do this when there are no authors that I am familiar with. TMBODH threw a spanner into the working of this process, I just didn't know where to start...
Barbie Wilde's story “Polyp”... is a wonderfully disgusting story, that manages to both shock the reader and make them giggle. Barbie has created a brilliant twist on the creature feature genre. I really enjoyed how the tale went from being a very personal story into an apocalyptic cliff hanger. After reading this story which in all reality was chosen at random, I knew this book was going to be great read. I'm going to skim over most of the first half of the book, the stories here are all classic of the genre...One thing I will say, is having these stories altogether in one volume is brilliant Of the other stories my personal highlights were Christopher Fowler's “The Look”, this really was a chilling, and uncomfortable read into the darker side of fashion, and just how far a fashion designer will go to get the look. Simon Clark's, “The Soaring Dead” reaffirmed my love for his writing, the twist ending of this story about greed, property, and an ancient mysterious plague was brilliant piece of story telling. Honourable mentions must go to David Moody's “Almost Forever”, and “Black Box”, by Gemma File.... The Mammoth Book of Body Horror is a must buy for any horror fan. You would be hard pushed to find a more comprehensive, and satisfying anthology of horror stories this year.’
(Ginger Nuts of Horror)
‘It's surprising that a history of body horror in literature hasn't been done before now – so thanks to Marie O' Regan and Paul Kane for this treasure trove of stories, ranging from some classics in the genre, “The Tell-Tale Heart”, “Survivor Type” and “The Body Politic” to some stories that will almost certainly become classics of their time – the absurdist, very entertaining shocker “Polyp” to the brilliantly executed “Sticky Eye” - one of my favourite new stories in this anthology... A corker of an anthology - always a pleasure to read “Survivor Type” again and an honour to finally read “Who Goes There?” by John W. Campbell – the basis for The Thing and, if I'm not mistaken, this is one of the very first appearances of this short story in an anthology. 9.5/10.’
(Johnny Mains, Occasionally Horrific)
‘Body horror is the sub-genre of the horror entertainment world that deals with the more gooey and sticky side of things. You know what I mean? Stuff such as John Carpenter’s The Thing, most of David Cronenberg’s output and that classic from Brian Yuzna, Society, are fine examples. Films in which something is happening (usually in full coloured, brightly lit rooms) to you or your friend’s body. Films that take pride in showing every gory, juicy, bloody and gruesome detail of brutal and often very painful metamorphoses. This delicious compendium of 25 of the very best Body Horror stories covers the entire history of the sub-genre in written form by re-introducing us to such respected stories as John W. Campbell’s “Who Goes There?” (which has been filmed as The Thing From Another World (1951), inspired The Thing in 1982 and the prequel effort from last year) as well as truly classic pieces such as Mary Shelley’s “Transformation”.
I’ve not read a lot of Clive Barker’s work but his entry “The Body Politic” has inspired me to right this wrong. His story concerns a man whose hands have a life of their own and though it reminded me of some classic B-movie fodder it’s his charismatic style that gives it a polished, witty and dark edge. “Region Of The Flesh” by Richard Christian Matheson is a very short but inventive descent into madness and melancholy. “Tis The Season To Be Jelly”, from his dad Richard Matheson, is just bizarre with some precious moments of dark comedy. Would love to see this one as a 5-minute short.
More comedy arrives in the-form of Graham Masterson’s “Dog Days”, which is a bit predictable but huge fun and again one that reminded me of those fabulous monochrome B-movies from the 1950s. Stephen King’s “Survivor Type” is a more straightforward piece of horror and is as detailed as any work that this prolific author has written. Packed with character background, King tells the story from the point of view of Richard Pine who is alone on an island. His descent into madness plus the terror of self mutilation and drug consumption is told with a wicked sense of macabre humour. Stand out is George Langelaan’s “The Fly”. I’m a fan of the cinematic interpretations of this story, but had never read the original piece. This is subtle horror with a neat body horror injection that is subtle yet effective beautifully written and worthy of several readings. The introduction by Stuart Gordon, the man who gave the world Re-Animator (the story that inspired it, “Herbert West – Re-animator” by H.P. Lovecraft is also in this book) tells of his first introduction to the world of Lovecraft, his thoughts on The Thing and the chat he once had with Wes Craven in a toilet. By putting these stories together in one handy volume, Paul Kane and Marie O’Regan have given we horror fans a very welcome present, a collection of memorable and disturbing tales that, thanks to their boldness, will give us many sleepless nights. More please!’
(The Dark Side Magazine)
‘With a name like Mammoth Book of Body Horror, you can reasonably expect a high proportion of gruesome to be contained within – and yes, there is. But where this anthology really excels is the variety of horror tales presented – from classics by Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft to more modern fare from the likes of David Moody, Michael Marshall Smith and Nancy A. Collins... “The Body Politic” by Clive Barker delivers a concept that is both creepy and just a bit clever. It tells the tale of what happens when hands develop independent thinking and stage a revolution against their body oppressors. The thought of all those hands scuttling around is likely to stick with you long after you’ve finished reading and Barker’s delivery manages to make you side with the hands against the unpleasant protagonist.
(Jenny Barber, Shiny Shorts)
‘“25 stories of Transformation, Mutation and Contagion” runs the tagline for this collection, and it does exactly what it says on the uh… tin. Comprising of a selection of classic tales by established authors (Lovecraft’s ‘Herbert West – Reanimator’, George Langelaan’s ‘The Fly’ & Stephen King’s ‘Survivor Type’) and newer scribes (Neil Gaiman’s ‘Changes’, Barbie Wilde’s ‘Polyp’ & Christopher Fowler’s ‘The Look’), editors Kane and O’Regan have done an excellent job of selecting a variety of intelligent and well written stories which cut to the quick of our deepest fear; that our own bodies can revolt against us, by disease or design.
The anthology covers a variety of styles from the eloquence of Poe’s ‘The Telltale Heart’ to Wilde’s grotesque ‘Polyp’, which borders on black humour, with its notion of a cancerous polyp which gains sentient intelligence and escapes from its host’s body. Other authors pursue a less gory and more indirect approach to mental and physical corruption, such as the aforementioned Fowler’s acerbic take on the world of Fashionista body modification, Axelle Carolyn’s rather beautiful tale of burn induced metamorphosis, ‘Butterfly’, and both Conrad William’s ‘Sticky Eye’ and Nancy A. Collin’s ‘Freaktent’ which for spoiler reasons I won’t say any more on, other than I found these two tales the most disturbing of all.
(Mass Movement Magazine)
FantasyCon 2012 Souvenir Book
Co-edited with Marie O’Regan. PS Publishing, Hardback, September 2012. Cover art by Edward Miller.
Featuring: ‘Joe R. Lansdale’ by Stephen Gallagher; ‘The Folding Man’ by Joe R. Lansdale; ‘Muriel Gray’ by Christopher Fowler; ‘Shite-Hawks’ by Muriel Gray; ‘Dancing with Euripides: Brent Weeks’ by Alasdair Stuart; ‘The Black Prism’ by Brent Weeks; ‘Mary Danby - Frightener’ by Mike Ashley; ‘The Engelmayer Puppets’ by Mary Danby; ‘Special Stuff: The Perfect Career of Mark Gatiss’ by Mark Morris; ‘The Vesuvius Club’ by Mark Gatiss; ‘Robin Hardy: A Fantasist in a Wicker Wonderland’ by John L. Probert; ‘The Wicker Tree: The Devil Makes a Call’ by Robin Hardy; ‘Your Master of Ceremonies… Tim Lebbon’ by Christopher Golden; ‘The Deification of Dal Bamore: An Echo City Story’ by Tim Lebbon.
FantasyCon 2012 Pocket Programme
Co-edited with Marie O’Regan. Paperback, September 2012. Cover art from The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women (Constable & Robinson/Running Press).
Featuring: ‘Welcome to FantasyCon’ by Paul Kane and Marie O’Regan; ‘Welcome Back, Jim! (James Herbert)’ by Stephen Jones; Thursday-Sunday Grids/TimeTables; FantasyCon 2012 Panellists; Film Programme; Masterclasses; Royal Albion Maps; Entertainment; Book Launches/Signings/Parties; British Fantasy Awards 2012 Nominees; Readings.
A Carnivàle of Horror: Dark Tales from the Fairground
PS Publishing, co-edited with Marie O’Regan. Hardback, September 2012, £19.99. Cover art by Ben Baldwin.
Featuring: ‘Introduction’ by Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane; ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ by Ray Bradbury; ‘A Flat Patch of Grass’ by Muriel Gray; ‘Some Children Wander By Mistake’ by John Connolly; ‘Spurs AKA Freaks’ by Tod Robbins; ‘Tiger, Tiger’ by Rio Youers; ‘Blind Voices’ by Tom Reamy; ‘Mister Magister’ by Thomas F. Monteleone; ‘Twittering from the Circus of the Dead’ by Joe Hill; ‘The Pilo Family Circus’ by Will Elliott; ‘Face of the Circus’ by Lou Morgan; ‘Escardy Gap’ by Peter Crowther and James Lovegrove; ‘The Circus of Dr Lao’ by Charles Finney; ‘In the Forest of the Night’ by Paul Finch; ‘All the Clowns in Clowntown’ by Andrew J. McKiernan; ‘Nine Letters About Spit’ by Robert Shearman; ‘To Run Away and Join the Circus’ by Alison Littlewood.
Buy this title from PS Publishing here
Beyond Rue Morgue
First published by Titan in the UK, July 2013. Co-edited with Charles Prepolec. Mass Market Paperback, £7.99 / $17.99
Featuring: ‘Introduction’ by Paul Kane and Charles Prepolec; ‘The Murders in the Rue Morgue’ by Edgar Allan Poe; ‘The Sons of Tammany’ by Mike Carey; ‘The Unfathomed Darkness’ by Simon Clark; ‘The Weight of a Dead Man’ by Weston Ochse & Yvonne Navarro; ‘The Vanishing Assassin’ by Jonathan Maberry; ‘The Gruesome Affair of the Electric Blue Lightning’ by Joe R. Lansdale; ‘From Darkness, Emerged, Returned’ by Elizabeth Massie; ‘After the End’ by Lisa Tuttle; ‘The Purloined Face’ by Stephen Volk; ‘New Murders in the Rue Morgue’ by Clive Barker.
‘Where would we be without the works of Edgar Allan Poe? He basically created a genre, and his works have gone on to influence and inspire millions and even still to this day, his work is as relevant as it was when it first hit. So, when I got the opportunity to check out Titan Books’ Beyond Rue Morgue: Further Tales of Edgar Allan Poe’s 1st Detective, I pretty much jumped at the chance. So, as I’m sure many of you are aware, Poe originally released his short tale “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” in Graham’s Magazine in 1841, and the tale is included in the anthology… The tale itself pretty much created the term detective, and without this, we would not have such icons as Sherlock Holmes or even the adventures of one Hercule Poirot. So, the anthology itself continues the legacy of C. Auguste Dupin, as further tales are brought forward by some of the best authors of today, including, Clive Barker, Mike Carey, Simon Clark, Joe R. Lansdale, Jonathan Maberry, Elizabeth Massie, Weston Ochse & Yvonne Navarro, Lisa Tuttle and Stephen Volk. The stories in the anthology vary as the adventures Dupin continue, as he faces some new enemies, some human and some are more supernatural, but either way, the stories included are intriguing, and if you love the character or are simply new to Dupin, I think you will love this and find them totally engrossing.
It’s not only a great book filled with great stories, it’s an awesome tribute to Edgar Allan Poe, the man who basically created the first literary detective for the world to see, and Paul Kane and Charles Prepolec, who put the book together have done a fantastic job at incorporating the stories from such great authors… It’s a fascinating read with some great short stories which just flow so well. I will tell you now, you will have a hard time putting this sucker down once you’ve picked it up.’
(Horror-Movies.ca 5/5 star review)
‘The stories continue the adventures of “ratiocination” of Dupin. We also follow his grandson, who becomes a Pinkerton detective and even his great-granddaughter. Yes, there’s a Sherlock Holmes connection too. This may upset some readers but Beyond Rue Morgue brings in the supernatural. In fact, we go a bit Cthulhu. I don’t mind at all. I feel it’s in keeping with the spirit of the character and of Poe. Besides, I enjoyed the story. Beyond Rue Morgue: Further Tales of Edgar Allan Poe’s 1st Detective was put together by the editors Paul Kane and Charles Prepolec. Kane is a sci-fi, fantasy and horror author who co-edited the horror anthology Hellbound Hearts. Prepolec is a freelance writer (and reviewer!) who’s worked on the Sherlock Holmes anthologies Gaslight Grimoire and Gaslight Arcanum. If you combine all those genres then it’s little surprise you come up with an anthology like Beyond Rue Morgue. Beyond Rue Morgue manages to be tightly focused on Dupin and his line and yet broad in scope. I’ve got to recommend this book.’
‘Great stories from this anthology – and there are quite a few – include “The Sons of Tammany” by Mike Carey, which features Boss Tweed and good ole fashioned American political corruption. Or “The Purloined Face,” which takes the interesting step of stating that Edgar Allen Poe did not die in Baltimore, but lived on in Paris and worked detective cases as Auguste Dupin – as well as mentoring a burgeoning detective by the name of Sherlock Holmes. But the real gem of the anthology is “New Murders in the Rue Morgue,” by Clive Barker. Barker’s story takes the often-repeated trope in the anthology of having one of Dupin’s relatives be the star, but, unlike the others, has that as less a feature, and more a bonus… Aficionados of Poe and mystery will probably want to pick this one up.’
‘Before there was a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, there was Edgar Allan Poe’s C. Auguste Dupin the sleuth from Paris, France… Editors Paul Kane & Charles Prepolec have brought together an amazing group of award-winning authors to the table featuring new adventures of Auguste Dupin by Mike Carey, Simon Clark, Joe R. Lansdale, Jonathan Maberry, Elizabeth Massie, Weston Ochse & Yvonne Navarro, Lisa Tuttle and Stephen Volk… It’s plain fun to read new stories and see how modern writer’s take of Poe’s iconic character. If you don’t have time to read a 500 page novel, might I suggest reading a collection of short stories: Beyond Rue Morgue – Further Tales of Edgar Allan Poe’s First Detective.’
‘The book is detailed in beautiful Halloween colours of orange, black and white… The intricate stories manage to continue the epic story of Dupin alongside his grandson and even great-grandmother. However, Beyond Rue Morgue manages to bring in something that readers have never had the luxury of experiencing until now, the supernatural! The new addition is blended seamlessly into the tightly focused stories and delivers an overall satisfying experience for readers. The anthology not only includes modern touches but contains the original short tale by Poe, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”, that was released in 1841. The original story followed C. Auguste Dupin who tries to connect the clues between two murders in Paris. The original story made way for the detective novels of today such as Sherlock Holmes. The intriguing and well-written stories continue the adventures of Dupin from a group of talented writers who manage to blend what we loved from the original story with modern day touches. If you love a good detective novel, then pick up Beyond Rue Morgue: Further Tales of Edgar Allan Poe’s 1st Detective and check out these fascinating stories for yourself. ‘
(BGG After Dark)
‘Beyond Rue Morgue is an inspired celebration of one of fiction’s most enduring characters. Eight contemporary writers deliver new short stories and the collection is book-ended with two reprints. The first reprinted story is, of course, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”, Poe’s classic locked-room mystery in which Madame L’Espanaye is found in her fourth floor Parisian apartment with her throat cut and her daughter throttled and partially stuffed up a chimney. The unnamed narrator, present in all of Poe’s Dupin stories, describes Dupin’s process of ratiocination leading to the solving of the mystery. It proves to be as weird as it is inventive… Beyond Rue Morgue is clearly more a playful pastiche than a critical appraisal of Poe’s writing, but its stories are never less than entertaining and are of a standard that most similar Sherlock Holmes collections struggle to match. And if they lead new readers back to Edgar Allen Poe and his “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”, so much the better.’
(Crime Fiction Lover)
‘Contrary to how it may seem, Sherlock Holmes was not the first literary detective. That honour belongs to Edgar Allan Poe’s Le Chevalier C. Auguste Dupin, who was a detective before the word “detective” was even invented… Now, over 170 years after his debut, the character’s legacy continues, as he returns in an anthology of new stories by top tier writers titled Beyond Rue Morgue: Further Tales of Edgar Allan Poe’s First Detective… The anthology features the original Poe story as well as 9 other stories, each in a very different style, but all connecting to Dupin and the macabre mystery he debuted in. Who are the authors? The list includes names like modern horror classic Clive Barker, Joe R. Lansdale, Stephen Volk, Lisa Tuttle, Elizabeth Massie, Weston Ochse & Yvonne Navarro, Jonathan Maberry, Simon Clark and renowned comic book author Mike Carey. It’s a very exciting pantheon of writers (gathered by editors Paul Kane & Charles Prepolec) and almost everybody brings something really unique to the table.
‘Dupin is exceptionally intelligent, eccentric thinker who takes in all the evidence of a case that others might overlook, and manages to logically dismiss all the alternatives before coming to the correct conclusion. He was solving gruesome and complex crimes long before the likes of Sherlock Holmes came on the scene, and yet is a character of much less fame when compared to well known fictional detectives such as Holmes or Poirot. This book is a collection of short stories that pays tribute to Dupin…. I think my favourites of the stories in this collection were the ones that explored the legacy of Dupin’s long lost relatives and their inheritance of his crime-solving skills, more than the ones that featured Dupin himself… For me this wasn't just the discovery of a literary detective I had yet to read, but also of many authors I hadn't read before. A very interesting book to dip in and out of, especially for fans of old fashioned crime and unconventional detectives.’
‘A collection of adult fan-fiction (without, of course, the negative connotations), Beyond Rue Morgue: Further Tales of Edgar Allan Poe’s 1st Detective is exactly what it sounds like: a group of talented writers dreaming up stories of Dupin, the other mysteries he could have solved and more… Beyond Rue Morgue is a great collection of short stories of new, re-imagined adventures for Dupin – ranging from old-school mysteries told in first person to stories with subtle commentary on race and media, to introducing the audience to both Dupin’s grandson, to “meeting” Edgar Allan Poe – and introduces an unusual and creative connection with Sherlock Holmes, creating some ~super meta~ situations (“The Purloined Face” by Stephen Volk is highly recommended). It is a good read for both new fans and old Dupin readers, containing fascinating stories that are just as interesting as the original three. For fans of detective stories, the authors within these pages don’t disappoint. Many of the stories leave you thumbing the pages in anticipation, wanting to know what’s going to happen next, who the killer or the thief was. Beyond Rue Morgue offers an interesting and unique homage to the world’s first literary detective, doing so while respecting the original work and the man behind it. It proves that Le Chevalier has not been forgotten, that his legacy still exists, and that fans are as intense and dedicated as ever. I recommend this anthology to Poe fans and new adventurers in the mystery department, as well as those who just like to dip their toes in the detective pool but don’t want to commit to an entire book.’
‘Let’s start with the good ones, because when I speak of the good in this book, it’s remarkable. My personal favourite came in a story titled “The Gruesome Affair of the Electric-Blue Lightning” by Joe Lansdale. Being a fan of the Victorian styled horror (meaning Frankenstein, Dr Jekyll, and the like), I had absolutely no qualms with this story. The author’s voice, the sheer reality of his characters contrasted against his fantastical story, gave me the chills up and down. A tad gory, but as long as you’ve got a strong stomach or a weak imagination, you’ll see it through.
But this was not the only tale to receive high marks. As far as sticking to the pacing and set of a Dupin story went, the award goes to “The Unfathomable Darkness”. Though “The Sons of Tammy” claimed to set itself in the 1890s, it read to me as the classic 1930s gumshoe story, which kept me in arms because of his intriguing perspective of Dupin – the first pages read him as a dumpy detective, but trek on! Once the boiler gets hot, the author writes a character reminiscent of the original.
(Geek News Network)
‘A fascinating collection of short stories from various authors paying homage to the first detective in literature. Before Sherlock Holmes deduced his way onto the page, Edgar Allen Poe created a cool, analytical mind that found solving murders to be the height of fun. Chevalier C. Auguste Dupin was detecting before the word “detective” was even coined. He has a similar mind to Holmes, to the point that you have to wonder if Doyle was a Poe fan… The ones that really stuck with me are probably “The Sons of Tammany,” which takes Dupin to New York; “The Weight of a Dead Man,” which follows the grandson of Dupin, a Pinkerton detective trying to track down a Caravaggio; and “The Purloined Face,” possibly my favourite, where Sherlock Holmes is the apprentice to Edgar Allan Poe posing as Dupin. Connecting Holmes to Dupin was brilliant and it illustrated the similarities between the two whilst suggesting that Holmes learned it all from the best. But what I loved most about it was having Poe become Dupin after faking his own death and the exploration of the demons that Poe carried from his past. Of course, each of the other stories is captivating in its own right. Each one has something that will keep you reading until the very end. There are a few that get a bit outlandish… but none of them are all-out bad or poorly written.
Edgar Allan Poe fans will no doubt enjoy seeing one of his most famous characters given new life and the respect he deserves for founding many of the tropes of the detective genre. Mystery fans will love following Dupin’s deductions and trying to guess ahead of him. If you like a bit of horror, there’s plenty of that too. Beyond Rue Morgue is an excellent collection for anyone who loves a bit of mystery in life. And occasional apes.’
(With An Accent)
H.P. Lovecraft in Britain: A Monograph by Stephen Jones
British Fantasy Society Publications, June 2008. Chapbook £12.99 / $25.99. Cover artwork by Les Edwards.
Featuring: ‘Introduction’; ‘Dark Debut’; ‘Terrors and Tribulations’; ‘License to Chill’; and ‘Postscript’.
A Dick and Jane Primer for Adults
British Fantasy Society Publications, June 2008. Edited by Lavie Tidhar. Chapbook (Members Only). Cover by John Keates.
Featuring: ‘Me Dick, You Jane - Introduction’ by Jeff Vandermeer; ‘Dick and Jane and the Irrational, Mysterious Nature of Reality’ by Liz Williams; ‘Dick Does Time’ by Adam Roberts; ‘Envy’ by Neil Ayres; ‘Flash Jack’ by Richard Kunzmann; ‘Like Leaves Falling’ by Chris Butler; ‘Mike’s Article’ by James Lovegrove; ‘Somewhere in the Street’ by Ed Clayton; ‘The Hushes’ by Conrad Williams; ‘We Go Down To The Woods Today’ by Marion Arnott; ‘See’ by Roger Levy.
Houses on the Borderland
British Fantasy Society Publications, September 2008. Trade Paperback, £11.99 / $ 24.99 . Cover by Les Edwards. ISBN: 095386818-4
Edited by David A. Sutton. Featuring: Introduction by David A. Sutton; ‘Today We Were Astronauts’ by Allen Ashley; ‘The Listeners’ by Samantha Lee; ‘The School House’ by Simon Bestwick; ‘The House on the Western Border’ by Gary Fry; ‘The Retreat’ by Paul Finch; ‘The Worst of All Places’ by David A. Riley’.
To Order Houses on the Borderland click here
Published in Planet Prozak Issue 3, October/November 1998 (ISSN: 1463-6563)
‘The Cave of Lost Souls’
Published in Terror Tales Issue 4, Christmas 1998.
Published in Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque Issue 4 January 1999 (ISSN: 1464-2972).
‘St August’s Flame’
Published in Strix Issue 14, February 1999. Subsequently reprinted on the Strix Website June 2001
Published in The Dream Zone Issue 2, April 1999 (ISSN: 1464-6609). Subsequently reprinted on The Dream Zone Online Website 2000-2001 after being voted by readers one of the most popular stories printed in The Dream Zone during 1999.
‘I can’t tell you what a buzz I got from reading this story. The imagery is awesome.’
(John B. Ford, BJM Press and Rainfall Books)
‘The Last Temptation of Alice Crump’
Published in Dead Things Issue 1, June/September 1999 (ISSN: 1465-9115). Subsequently reprinted on the Terror Tales Online Website for its launch on 18th September 2000, and in the collection Alone (In the Dark).
Second Place Winner in the Black Hill Books Horror Short Story Competition 1998-1999 (Judged by Guy N. Smith). Subsequently published in Graveyard Rendezvous Issue 20, Summer 1999.
‘The Bones Brothers’
Published in Dead Things Issue 2, October/December 1999 (ISSN: 1465-9115). Subsequently reprinted on the Dead Things Website.
‘A marvellous romp of a story, with every word well judged, and a fitting tribute to the original. Great fun.’
(Peter Tennant, of Zene)
Published in Enigmatic Tales Number 7, Winter 1999. Subsequently reprinted in Rear View Mirror Webzine Issue 2, Summer 2001.
‘As a rule I generally find stories about writers to be too banal and self regarding for my taste. This story though is a fine exception. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and its clever idea.’
(M.P.N. Sims – Author of Shelter and Demon Eyes with L.H. Maynard)
‘At the Heart of the Maze’
Published in The Dream Zone: Special Nightmare Edition January 2000 (ISSN: 1464-6609).
Published in Sci-Fright Issue 6 (1st Year Anniversary & Millennium Edition) February 2000.
‘The Weeping Woman’
Published in Terror Tales E-Mail Magazine Issue 2, Sent Out 29th April 2000. Subsequently reprinted in the collection Alone (In the Dark).
Published in the In Sheep’s Clothing anthology July 2000 (ISBN: 1-85929-017-5).
Published in Penny Dreadful: Tales & Poems of Fantastic Terror Issue 13, Midsummer 2000.
‘All the Rage’
Published on the Terror Tales Online Website, for its launch on 18th September 2000.
‘Dracula in Love’
Published in Dead Things Issue 5, October/December 2000 (ISSN: 1465-9115).
Published on the Terror Tales Online Website, for Hallowe’en 2000.
‘In the House of Magritte’
Published in The Dream Zone Issue 8, January 2001 (ISSN: 1464-6609). Previously printed in the Alone (In the Dark) collection.
Published in Hidden Corners Issue 1, March 2001. Previously printed in the Alone (In the Dark) collection.
Published in Hidden Corners Issue 1, March 2001.
‘The Face of Death’
Published in Beyond the Borderline Webzine Issue 1, May/June 2001
‘Oliver’s Twist’ ‘Chucking Out’
‘To Save Us All’ ‘Erosion’ ‘*he Hooplah’
‘The Password’ ‘Magic Moments’ ‘Yibble’
‘Why Does it Always Reign on Me?’
All Published in 100 Drabbles (Edited by Sue Phillips) Small Press Books, 2001.
Published in Hidden Corners Issue 2, June 2001.
Published in Hidden Corners Issue 3, September 2001
Published in the Riding the Night-mare anthology, September 2001 (Hb ISBN: 0-7543-2640-3, Pb ISBN: 0-7543-2643-8)
Published in the Spell Casting anthology, September 2001 (Hb ISBN: 0-7543-2654-3, Pb ISBN: 0-7543-2655-1)
Published in The Chronicle Issue 7, from Eternal Night. November 2001.
Published in Nemonymous Issue 1, November 2001.
‘...Much more my disco mirrorball is “Strobe”, in which an epileptic deliberately seeks out the strobe-effects which bring on his petit mal seizures. Although warned against the world of light, the protagonist believes that only the conscious experience of a grand mal seizure will grant him the transformation he seeks...’
(Mike O’Driscoll - The Alien Online)
‘An unusual tale of addiction. At a nightclub, a man called Lang suffers an epileptic fit. He recovers, but is haunted by the memory of a vision he experienced while in the grip of that seizure. By subjecting himself to flashing lights, he is able to recreate that fit. Introduced to a bright, hallucinatory world, he finally turns his back on the real one. Reminiscent of the destructive LSD craze of the 1960s, it is a powerful piece of writing.’
(The Fix #3 March 2002)
‘In contrast, “Strobe” is a highly original and disturbing tale of a most unusual addiction. A man with photo-sensitive epilepsy experiences extraordinary visions during his seizures. The hallucinations are so powerful he gets hooked and resorts to using strobe lighting repeatedly in order to trigger his potentially fatal condition.’
(Unhinged Online #4 May 2002)
‘“Strobe” is immediately vivacious with a strong voice.’
(Jai Clare - Terror Tales Online)
Published on the Art of Horror site. December 2001.
Published on the House of Pain site. February 2002.
Published on the Horrorfind site. February 2002.
‘Master of the White Worms’
Published in The Swamp. February 2002.
Published in The Chronicle Issue 11, from Eternal Night. March 2002.
‘The Hypnotist’s Gaze’
Published in Wicked Hollow Issue 2, April 2002.
Published in the Tourniquet Heart anthology, edited by Christopher C. Teague, April 2002. Prime Books (Pb ISBN: 1894815106). Anthology Nominated for British Fantasy Award 2003.
To order this book, click here
Published on the House of Pain site. May 2002 .
‘Pay the Piper’
Published on the House of Pain site. May 2002. Reprinted in Zombies edited by Robert N. Stephenson. Altair Australia Books ISBN: 978-0-9804566-0-8.
‘ Dalton Quayle and the Sheepshank Revelation: Pt 1’
Published in The Swamp, May 2002.
‘The Persistence of Dali’
Published in The Dream People, Vol 1, Issue 3, June/July 2002.
‘ Dalton Quayle and the Sheepshank Revelation: Pt 2’
Published in The Swamp, July 2002.
‘ Dalton Quayle and the Sheepshank Revelation: Pt 3’
Published in The Swamp, September 2002.
Published in Redsine Issue 10, October 2002. Prime Books (Pb. ISBN: 1-894815-03-3). Story received an Honourable Mention in Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror.
Written with John B. Ford. Published in The Evil Entwines anthology. Hardcastle Publications, March 2003. (Pb. ISBN: 0-7795-0037-7). Reprinted by Rainfall Books.
To buy The Evil Entwines click here
Published in Darkness Rising Volume Six: Evil Smiles. Prime Books, April 2003 (Pb. ISBN: 1894815394) Story received an Honourable Mention in Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror.
Published in The Derelict of Death and Other Stories. Rainfall Books, June 2003 (Pb. ISBN: 0-9540877-3-9)
Published in Darkness Rising Volume Seven: Screaming in Colours. Prime Books, July 2003 (Pb. ISBN: 1894815602) Story Recommended for British Fantasy Award 2004.
‘Suit of Lies’
Published in The Wildclown Chronicles - Year 2, Issue 1, 2003. Click here to read this story.
‘Nightmare on 34th Street’
Published in Scary Holiday Tales To Make You Scream. Double Dragon Books. August 2003. (E-Book and Pb ISBN: 1-55404-074-4)
Published in When Darkness Comes. Crystal Serenades Publications, May 2004. (Pb: ISBN: 0-9545237-2-5)
Published in Demonology: Grammaticus Demonium. Double Dragon Books, October 2004. (Pb: ISBN: 1-55404-164-3) Story Recommended for British Fantasy Award 2005.
Published in the Assembly of Rogues anthology, edited by Martin Roberts, April 2005. Rainfall Books (Pb ISBN: 1894815106). Story Nominated for British Fantasy Award (shortlisted 2006)
Published in Albions Alpträume: Zombies edited by Paul Kane and Walter Diociaiuti, January 2006. Eloy Edictions (ISBN: 3-938411-04-X)
Published in Estronomicon Issue 6, December 2006. Clikc here to download
Published in The Lazarus Condition, Tazmaniac Books, July 2007 (see Novella section).
Published in Dark Animus issue 10/11, November 2007.
‘I am always a sucker for a zombie story and “Dig This” places the zombie tale in a new and intelligent context where nothing is as it seems.’
Published in The Shadows Trilogy, Screaming Dreams Press December 2007 (see ‘Collections’ for details).
Published in Read By Dawn Volume 3, Bloody Books, May 2008 (ISBN: 978-1905636259)
‘ Read by Dawn comprises twenty eight short horror stories, all but one from writers unknown to me, thus demonstrating Ms. Hartley’s preparedness to showcase new and emerging talent like no other. Starting with Paul Kane, the one writer whose work I’ve previously read, his “ Windchimes”is at first a subtle and sad ghost story of parental loss but that smacks you in the face with betrayal in the penultimate paragraph, before warming you with its final poignant words. The absolute standout story in this volume.’
(Mathew F. Riley, BookGeeks.co.uk)
To buy Read By Dawn Vol 3 click here
‘The Suicide Room’
Published in Voices, Morrigan Books, September 2008 (ISBN: 978-91-977605-0-8)
To buy Voices click here
‘A Chaos Demon is For Life’
Published in Estronomicon Christmas Special, December 2008.
Winner of 2008 ‘Dead of Night’ Award (Editors Choice)
To read this click here
Published in Return of the Raven , Horror Bound Books, May 2009.
To buy Return of the Raven click here
Published in Estronomicon Spring/Summer Issue, June 2009.To read this click here
Published in DeathRay Issue 21, Oct/Nov 2009.
‘Perfect Presents: An Arrowhead Short Story’
‘One for the Road’
Published in the Darc Karnivale anthology, edited by David Byron and Corey R. Scales. Story illustrated by Nick Rose. Published by Evil Nerd Empire, January 2010.
To buy Darc Karnivale click here
To read, click here.
‘Signs and Portents’
Published on the Horror Drive-In website, August 2010 – plus interview with Paul.
Click here to read this.
Click here to read this.
Published in Festive Fears: Global Edition, Tasmaniac Publications (ISBN: 978-0-9806367-6-5), December 2010
(Illustration by Andrew J. McKiernan – above)
‘Dalton Quayle and the Teatime of the Evil Resident Living Dead
Published in Tales of Moreauvia Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 3, December 2010.
‘Speaking in Tongues’
‘Keeper of the Light’
To order Fear of the Dark, click here.
Published in Bite Sized Horror, edited by Johnny Mains – Obverse Press, May 2011
Click here to read.
‘The Greatest Mystery’
‘This is one of the more gripping stories in the book.’
(Nevermet Press’ Clockwork Reviews.)
‘Words to the Wise’
‘“Words to the Wise” is an odd tale. Samuel Kellerman is afraid of the written word, so afraid in fact he is convinced that books are out to kill him. This could easily have turned to be a silly mess of a story, however what you get here is a rather funny, yet twisted tale of fear. I really enjoyed this story – imagine if the Phantom Tollbooth, was written for adults. Yes, that's how good this story was!’
(Ginger Nuts of Horror)
Published in Hauntings, edited by Ian Whates, cover art by Ben Baldwin –NewCon Press, June 2012
‘Rag & Bone’
Published in The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror # 23, edited by Stephen Jones – published September 2012, by Constable & Robinson.
Published in The Other Side of the Mirror 1996 (ISBN: 1-57553-117-8).
Published in Pumpkin Poetry 1997 (Hb ISBN:1-85930-428-1, Pb ISBN: 1-85930-423-0).
Published in The Road of Life 1997 (Hb ISBN: 1-85786-658-4, Pb ISBN: 1-85786-663-0)
‘Epitaph’ ‘Last Rights’ ‘Pain’
‘Sounds of Slaughter’ ‘Stalking the Stalker’
‘Spells Trouble’ ‘Suspect Minds’ ‘The Raising’
‘The Stranger’ ‘The Ugly’ ‘They Watch’
‘Thoughts of a Decapitated Head’
‘Dangerous World’ ‘Grey Lady’
All published in Cemetery Poets: Grave Offerings. Double Dragon Books (Hb. ISBN: 1-55404-009-4)
‘Paul Kane is a first-rate storyteller, never failing to marry his insights into the world and its anguish with the pleasures of phrases eloquently turned.’
(Clive Barker – Bestselling author of The Hellbound Heart, Abarat and Mr B. Gone)
‘Paul Kane’s world is a world of horror and wonder. A world of monstrous things beautifully carved in words by one hell of a talented and visionary writer.’
(Simon Clark – Bestselling author of The Dalek Factor , Lucifer’s Ark and This Rage of Echoes)
‘Paul Kane is helping to pump hot new blood into the horror genre. He could well become the first of the next new wave. Read his stories now.’
(Christopher Fowler – Bestselling author of Psychoville , Full Dark House, The Water Room and Calabash )
‘A writer who adds touches of intelligence and grace, bridging the gap between archetypal narratives and recognisable life...people we can believe in, facing situations we can imagine, reacting in ways that are truthful...without ever betraying or losing faith in the underlying narrative form.’
( Stephen Gallagher - Bestselling author of Valley of Lights and Down River, and scriptwriter of mini-series such as Chimera, Oktober , Eleventh Hour starring Patrick Stewart and Lifeline starring Joanne Whalley)
‘Paul Kane has considerable writing talent which I hope he continues to develop.’
(Graham Masterton – Bestselling author of The Manitou , Flesh and Blood, Descendent, Edgewise and Manitou Blood).
‘Paul Kane probes everyday life with the skill of a surgeon to find the darkness, the humour and the raw weirdness buried beneath the surface.’
(Mark Chadbourn – Bestselling author of The Eternal, The Age of Misrule Series and Jack of Ravens)
‘Paul Kane is a rare talent, with a fiendish imagination.’
(Stephen Laws – Bestselling author of Ghost Train, Chasm and Ferocity)
‘Paul Kane is a name to watch. His work is disturbing and very creepy.’
(Tim Lebbon – Bestselling author of The Everlasting , bestselling author of and Dusk and Dawn)
‘In Paul Kane’s fiction, a common thread is often that other forces (flawed, imperfect) have control over our lives - and emotions. There’s a reality beyond reality: and that’s the core of real soul-withering horror. Also, he knows darkness doesn’t work without the light, and humanity and love are at stake. His stories not only, at his best, put him neck and neck with Ramsey Campbell and Clive Barker, but also in the company of greats like Machen and MR James. You don’t rest easily after reading a Paul Kane story, but strangely your eyes have been somewhat opened.’
(Stephen Volk – screenwriter of Gothic, Ghostwatch and Afterlife, author of Dark Corners)
(Brian Keene – Two time Stoker-winning author of The Rising and The Conqueror Worms)
‘Kane is a writer yet to let his fans down.’
( Zone Horror – formerly The Horror Channel)
‘It is obvious that his talent for writing and active imagination have paid off.’
‘Paul Kane writes with a grit and surety of one who gets to grips with the darkness inside man. The mark of Kane is one you won’t want to miss.’
(Derek M. Fox - Author of Recluse and Jackdoor)
‘Paul Kane always manages to entertain with his unusual twist on fiction.’
(Graham Jennings, Hidden Corners)
© Paul Kane 2003-2015. All rights reserved. Materials (including images) may not be reproduced without express permission from the author.