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All the latest Shadow Writer news and announcements.

 

2017 news can be viewed here

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2015 news can be viewed here

2014 news can be viewed here

2013 news can be viewed here

2012 news can be viewed here

2011 news can be viewed here

2010 news can be viewed here

2009 news can be viewed here

2008 news can be viewed here

2007 news can be viewed here

2006 news can be viewed here

2005 news can be viewed here

2004 news can be viewed here

2003 news can be viewed here

 

January

Luna Press 'Harvester' series announcement - featuring Paul Kane, Marie O'Regan, Stephen Bacon, Wole Talabi and Tim Major

 

Happy New Year! We kick off 2018 with more book news. As announced on New Year’s Day (above and here), Luna Press are to publish a new ‘Harvester’ series of collections. One of these will bring together all of Paul’s ‘Controllers’ stories – along with new material and exclusive extras, such as Steve Lines’ terrific illustration for ‘Astral’ (below). You can read more about it all, including Paul’s thoughts, on the publisher’s website here.

 

Astral artwork, by Steve Lines

 

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Copies of 'Disexistence', by Paul Kane

 

Speaking of collections, Paul received his contributor copies of Disexistence last month, which you can see above and below (on the shelf alongside 2017’s other releases). You can order yours by clicking here.

 

Paul Kane, 'shelfie' - featuring Disexistence, Death, Before, Nailbiters and Beneath the Surface (by Simon Clark and Paul Kane)

 

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Banner for Beneath the Surface, by Simon Clark and Paul Kane

 

Beneath the Surface – Paul’s first collaboration with bestselling author Simon Clark for SST Publications – officially launched last month (above). You can find out more and order your own copy by clicking here or here.

 

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Before, by Paul Kane

 

Paul’s novel Before received yet another brilliant review last month, this time from This Is Horror. Here’s what Thomas Joyce had to say: ‘A fan of horror, science fiction and fantasy from a young age, it should come as no surprise that Paul Kane has a strong love for speculative fiction. He has carried this passion into his own work, from his first mass market novel, Arrowhead (Abaddon/Rebellion, 2008), a post-apocalyptic retelling of the Robin Hood legend which spawned two further novels, to the bestselling Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell (Solaris, 2016), pitting Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective against Clive Barker’s Cenobites (Barker himself is quoted as naming Kane “the resident Hellraiser expert”, which is quite the accolade). He is also the author of numerous other novels, novellas and collections, as well as contributing to many anthologies. His latest novel, Before, has been described as an epic fantasy, but it certainly has its fair share of horror, with Barker’s influence evident in a few scenes.

Before we get into the main story of the here-and-now, Kane adds a little backstory to the mystery beginning with a couple of chapters set in the 1970s. The first takes place in a psychiatric hospital in Germany where English doctor Patrick Vaughn is treating an enigmatic patient in a state of catatonia. Then Vaughn is summoned urgently to the hospital. The patient, Johann, is showing signs of life. Then, in the next chapter, a platoon of American soldiers in the Vietnam jungle are seemingly on a mission to rescue some POWs… Readers may feel that these two chapters have little or nothing in common, but they lay the groundwork for the epic story that is to unfold. A story that, for the reader, begins in the 1970s in Germany and Vietnam, doesn’t find resolve until present-day England. These opening chapters also show us something about the style of the book; it is a story intended to draw the reader in, to be immersive. While the story is told in a contemporary setting, Kane must build up his dark fantasy framework, hinting at the history of the Infinity and those who oppose it.

Bringing the story into the present day, we meet university lecturer, Alex Webber, a deeply unhappy man who seems to be in the midst of a dark depression. It is his birthday, and he is miserable. Not least because he feels that he is growing distant from his wife, Beverly. They appear to have very little, if anything, in common and the spark seems to have vanished from their relationship. At first, it is difficult to feel any kind of sympathy for this human doormat. But the reader’s interest is piqued by the terrible visions he experiences with increasing frequency. The world around him begins to blur and transform until he sees people dressed in clothes from hundreds of years ago. And the scenes are usually from a battlefield or some other bloody altercation. Eventually, the visions become so vivid that Alex hurts himself, and finds himself referred to a psychiatrist, Dr. Ellen Hayward. At first, Alex’s case seems to be one of depression and self-harm. But as Hayward digs deeper and witnesses his reaction to the visions, they are forced together in a quest for the truth.

Unfortunately, it is not only Dr. Hayward that shows an interest in Alex’s visions. The Infinity can sense Alex by the visions, suggesting that there is an underlying power of which Alex is unaware. Accompanied by his psychotic sidekick, Lucas Peck, the Infinity tracks Alex like a homing signal every time he has one of his episodes, gradually narrowing the search area until the inevitable climax. While it may seem like we are simplifying the plot of this near 500-page book, this is only to steer clear of spoilers. As well as taking time to introduce the elements of dark fantasy to what is best described as a good old-fashioned adventure story, Kane also does a wonderful job of developing his characters, to the point where Alex, seemingly undeserving of our compassion at the beginning of the story, quickly grows into a sympathetic character before developing into a formidable leading man. Similarly, Dr. Hayward never comes across as a stereotypical psychiatrist; with a complex backstory and unorthodox medical style, she soon proves to be an integral component of Alex’s story. And the villains are no less interesting. The Infinity is truly iconic, reminiscent of King’s Randall Flagg (a comparison that has been noted elsewhere) or even Sauron, given his ability to influence men in power to feed his own. Peck presents as a stereotypical psychopath sidekick, yet Kane conveys the true extent of his vicious and heinous character, especially the scene in Alex and Beverly’s living room. The description of that particular scene is especially chilling, and vivid.

Before is epic in scale, building steadily towards a thrilling finale. The characters all evolve organically, and the descriptive language employed by Kane, especially in the action scenes, is quite cinematic. If you like your horror fiction short and to the point, this may not be the book for you. If you enjoy losing yourself in a well-written supernatural thriller with strong elements of horror, curling up in your favourite reading spot with this book may well be the perfect way to spend a long winter evening or two.’

To read the full review, just click here.

 

Before also gained an honourable mention on The Passionate Foodie’s Blogspot for his Top Ten novels of the year, and was included as one of Kendall Reviews’ Top Books of 2017. To read the full listings, just click here and here.

You can find out more about the novel at its official website here and you can buy the book directly here or here.

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Haunted Nights, edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton

 

More review love now, this time for the short story Paul contributed to the anthology Haunted Nights: ‘The Turn’. Here’s what Locus had to say about it: ‘Paul Kane’s “The Turn” beguiles with its account of an imaginary boogeyman on the prowl on Halloween before deftly overturning reader expectations.’ To read the whole review just click here.

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Willow Walk and The Damsel Fly, by SJI Holliday

 

We kick off 2018’s Guest Writers with the wonderful SJI Holliday, author of thrillers like Willow Walk and The Damselfly (above). You can read an extract from her novel Black Wood (below) – the first in the trilogy featuring Sergeant Davie Gray – simply by clicking here.

 

Black Wood by SJI Holliday

 

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L to R: Roger Gray, Graham Humphreys, Phil Sloman, Dolly Garland, CC Adams, Marie O'Regan - BFS Christmas Open Night 2017

 

Paul was in London not once, but twice last month. The first time was for the British Fantasy Society Christmas Open Night, and you can see photos from this above (from L-R, Roger Gray, Graham Humphreys, Dolly Garland, CC Adams and Marie) and below (Phil Sloman and Alex Davis). 

 

Phil Sloman, BFS Christmas Open Night, 2017

 

Alex Davis, BFS Christmas Open Night, 2017

 

But Paul was also down for the recording of his full cast audio drama adaptation of Clive Barker’s The Hellbound Heart for Bafflegab (below).

 

Hellraiser Puzzlebox

 

Recording of The Hellbound Heart audio adaptation

 

And below you’ll find photos of Paul with some of the cast, including Neve McIntosh (The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Replacement, Lucky Man), Tom Meeten (The IT Crowd, Luxury Comedy, The Ghoul), Alice Lowe (Sightseers, Adult Life Skills, Prevenge) and Bafflegab boss Simon Barnard, plus a photo of Nicholas Vince – the original Chatterer from Hellraiser – also in the play, signing copies of the script. 

 

Neve McIntosh and Paul Kane

 

Tom Meeten

 

L to R: Paul Kane, Alice Lowe, Simon Barnard

 

Nicholas Vince

 

 

While below is a publicity still Bafflegab have put out of (L-R) Alice (who plays Kirsty), Tom (playing Rory and Frank) and Neve (who plays Julia). To read the press release that accompanies it, just click here.

 

L to R: Alice Lowe, Tom Meeten, Neve McIntosh, starring in Bafflegab's audio adaptation of The Hellbound Heart

 

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Robin of Sherwood, The Blood that Binds, read by Nickolas Grace

 

Paul reviewed a couple of the new Robin of Sherwood audio stories last month, brought out by Spiteful Puppet – who also produced the audio drama The Knights of the Apocalypse in 2016. You can read what Paul thought of ‘The Blood That Binds’, read by the Sheriff of Nottingham himself Nickolas Grace, on the Sci-Fi Bulletin site here. And you can read what he thought of ‘Sanctuary’, which brings back the original Robin, Michael Praed, here.

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Behind the Mask, Tales from the Id, edited by Steve Dillon

 

Paul’s story ‘Masques’ – a sequel to Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Masque of the Red Death’ – has been now reprinted alongside the original in Behind the Mask: Tales from the Id (above), which also features tales from the likes of Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell and Algernon Blackwood. Edited by Steve Dillon (Between the Tracks, Beneath the Stairs) you can find out more about this one at the publisher’s site here.

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Life-O-Matic Poster

 

Finally, film news – and the movie of Paul’s story ‘Life-O-Matic’ has been selected for the Lost Sanity film festival and also won Silver in the Spotlight Horror Film Awards (both below).

 

Official Selection The Lost Sanity Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival 2017

 

Silver Award Winner, Spotlight Horror Film Awards 2017

 

 

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2017 news can be viewed here

2016 news can be viewed here

2015 news can be viewed here

2014 news can be viewed here

2013 news can be viewed here

2012 news can be viewed here

2011 news can be viewed here

2010 news can be viewed here

2009 news can be viewed here

2008 news can be viewed here

2007 news can be viewed here

2006 news can be viewed here

2005 news can be viewed here

2004 news can be viewed here

2003 news can be viewed here

 

© Paul Kane 2003-2018. All rights reserved. Materials (including images) may not be reproduced without express permission from the author.