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All the latest Shadow Writer news and announcements.

 

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2005 news can be viewed here

2004 news can be viewed here

2003 news can be viewed here

 

September

Before, by Paul Kane

 

Paul’s new novel, Before, is out now and several glowing reviews have already cropped up. The first comes from newsstand magazine, HorrorVille (below) – who ran a piece on Paul in their last issue (see previous news sections for details).

 

Horrorville magazine

 

Horrorville review of Before, by Paul Kane

 

The 4 star review (above) by Stephen Jewell had this to say: ‘Describing it as his answer to Cloud Atlas, American Gods and The Great and Secret Show, Before shows that Paul Kane most definitely doesn’t lack ambition as a writer… There’s plenty here to intrigue fans of Neil Gaiman’s literary road trip…but it’s Clive Barker to whom Kane owes the largest debt. Spanning several centuries and time periods, the far-reaching plot encompasses the Cambodian War and 1970s Germany. The plot mostly centres around Alex Webber, though, a university lecturer who not only has to deal with growing further and further apart from his wife Beverly, but also with the unwelcome return of errant brother Steve. After suffering from a series of increasingly intense hallucinations, where he is transported to all sorts of strange settings, Alex is hospitalised and comes under the care of psychiatrist Ellen Hayward. Somehow tied up in all this is malevolent supernatural being The Infinity and his sadistic sidekick Lucas Peck, not to mention organised crime lord Nick Metcalf and his hulk-like henchmen Terry and Frank. At first underplaying any fantastical elements, Kane gradually builds up the tension, taking his time before revealing the truth behind the novel’s central mystery… A slow burn that’s ultimately rewarding, it’ll be interesting to see where Kane ends up after Before.’    

 

Before, by Paul Kane

 

The second, another 4 star review, appeared at Dread Central and was written by Steve Dillon. This was his take: ‘I’m not sure where to begin with my review of this latest novel from Paul Kane as it twists between timelines, locations, characters, plot, and even sub-genres. So, I feel I ought to begin by stating that Before has all the hallmarks of Kane, complete with a ton of what to me seem like Clive Barker influences without becoming imitative or derivative. The opening hooks you into a commonplace horror movie scene, minus the lightning. A young psychiatrist is offered the chance to work with his idol in 1970s Germany, who hears first-hand the deranged utterings of a man whose mind has been lost to some cosmic horror or other, we know not what that may be, or whether it is real. In Chapter Two we’re transported to jungle warfare in South-East Asia and you now believe you’re into an archetypal military horror genre book, or movie – it’s all very cinematic to read. Then the twists come and you realise it might just be real after all.

So, that’s the first two chapters, and we’re still in Part One of the book! Part Two begins in Kirkwell and introduces us to Alex, a teacher of Media and Film and his wife Beverly, as we’re immersed in their life of domestic un-bliss, a relationship clearly gone sour, but there is hope for the couple who still live together and keep up the pretence of a marriage to outsiders. We also get to meet the rogue brother-in-law (and thrice-divorced) Steve as well as Alex’s friend James, and there is additional tension here… Chapter Five takes us from Kirkwell to Amsterdam and we’re clearly now in serial killer country in a big way, but again the supernatural elements introduced in an earlier chapter come flooding back. Here it gets quite bloody and full of tension, with a very cinematic sequence of events and introduction to more characters you think you may never get to meet again. Or will you? That’s part of Kane’s method, I now realise: to make you to believe in a character who may or may not be disposed of several pages later. And so it continues, more characters, more killings, more supernatural elements and surprises until eventually they all come together, and in a way that makes you think, “of course” and “I never saw that coming” all at once.

I won’t continue with a chapter by chapter summary, but let’s say that if you enjoy Barker, you will love Kane. I feel he has matured a lot and is now conjuring these fantastical workings as memorably as the master imagineer Barker, whom Kane has spent so long studying. Not to diminish Kane’s work in any way, as this is truly compelling reading and I am going to have to buy the book and read it again in its printed form. And most likely again after that, before… ah, but that’s the surprise at the bottom of the Christmas stocking and I refuse to spoil that moment for you.’

You can read the full thing here.

 

Before, by Paul Kane

 

Next up, Kendall Reviews and Ginger Nuts of Horror who gave the book another 4 stars – had this to say: ‘One of the first things I read about Before was Paul Kane himself calling his latest novel his The Great And Secret Show. Now that’s some claim! Clive Barker is one of my favourite authors, with The Great and Secret Show being a true epic within his bibliography. This not only shows Kane’s confidence in his new 491 page tome but it also sets a level of expectation for any prospective reader. Before is a thoroughly enjoyable adventure story with horror/supernatural elements. Although not as eloquent as Barker, Kane’s prose is incredibly effective. I particularly enjoyed the Cambodian Village chapters, full of believable characters and well written action set pieces. It was also here that I noticed my first real nod to Barker, a sequence of events made me think of the attic at 55 Ludovico Street. (I won’t be more specific as I hate to post spoilers, but once you read it I’m sure you’ll agree.)

Alex Webber is a believable lead and plays off well against Ellen, his psychiatrist. I did find the love triangle a tad melodramatic with too much attention paid to Beverly, Alex’s ex-wife. My main issue with Before is the criminal underuse of The Infinity, a fantastic creation. I loved it anytime he was on the page, which wasn’t anywhere near enough sadly. I thoroughly enjoyed his dialogue and the way he interacted with his minions. To counter that though, Kane really shone with Lucas Peck, a nasty piece of work who has a unique talent. Peck is The Infinity’s sadistic sidekick, and with his skills, I’m not sure if there isn’t a touch of the Cenobite about him. And don’t get me started on what he does with some flowers! Paul Kane can certainly tell a story! To be able to keep the reader engaged across multiple settings, eras and genre can only be classed as a triumph. Before mixes action adventure, horror and the supernatural skilfully. I burned through nigh on 500 pages in only a few days. Before may not have been as epic a story as I was expecting, but it was a fast-paced enjoyable read that kept me hooked till its thrilling conclusion.’

You can read the full thing here and here.

 

Before, by Paul Kane - wraparound cover

 

Finally, the Grim Reader – also with a 4/5 – commented: ‘I am a big fan of Paul Kane’s work. I absolutely loved his Sherlock Holmes/Cenobite mash-up novel, Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell. So much so it featured in my top 10 reads for 2016. Going into Before, my expectations were pretty big and when I heard Kane had teamed up with Grey Matter Press for this epic dark fantasy/horror novel my interest was immediately piqued. I knew prior to starting this that it is a big book and there is always a niggling doubt that a novel so long might be a little bit of a slog to get through. To be honest, it’s one of the reasons I don’t read as much fantasy fiction anymore. I still enjoy the genre a great deal, but the length of these novels is often an issue for this reader. Does it really need to be 500+ pages long AND part of a trilogy?

Anyway, I digress. I’m here to tell you, dear reader, of my thoughts about Paul Kane’s new novel, Before. For starters, the cover art by Dean Samed is wonderful. Looking at it makes me think this will be a story taking place over a substantial amount of time, with two sides locked in a battle of good vs evil, perhaps a hero will arise and face-off against a dark enemy? Before gets off to a great start and I was pulled into the story immediately as we delve into the past, 1970s Germany to be exact. It gives us a glimpse into how long the cycle of events forthcoming has been going on and it sets the foundations for a novel of epic proportions! The book’s antagonist is called The Infinity. Very early on I’m thinking back to King’s The Stand and one man in particular: Randall Flagg! The Infinity has been around for years, pulling the strings of his puppets to assist him in reaching his end goal. In the earlier parts of the book, The Infinity exists on the periphery, an ominous presence lurking in the background, though one capable of unspeakable acts of evil. He is a really, really great character though one I felt was a little underused, especially early in the book. The Infinity doesn’t work alone. He has an ally, someone he controls called Lucas Peck. Peck is a violent murderer. A murderer that likes to create his “art” by torturing and pulling apart his victims, decorating the walls with their insides! I know Kane is a massive fan of Clive Barker and I definitely got a Cenobite vibe from this character and I loved it!

On the other side, we have the protagonist, Alex Webber, a lecturer and a bit of a sad sack if I’m being honest. The flame of love between himself and wife Beverly has long since extinguished and she now only seems to exist as a bit of an annoyance. Add to this the fact that Webber is plagued by visions of the past: visions of death and destruction that are horrific and realistic, resulting in further stress on his already taut relationships. It’s safe to say that things aren’t going too well for Alex Webber. But what do these visions of the past mean to Webber? And who is the mysterious man with the bright blue eyes? All these questions are answered as the pieces of Kane’s puzzle slowly fall into place. There are other characters too like psychiatrist Ellen Hayward, another key figure in the story. All are pretty well-drawn by Kane, though it’s The Infinity that shines brightest.

Kane’s Before could make a great movie, or an even better Netflix series! It’s an absorbing and engaging read, ambitious in both lengths and in its ideas… The book’s end of days style concept means I am always going to compare it to The Stand and Swan Song, perhaps unfairly, as these are two of my favourite stories. Both are similarly long, complex, and feature a scenario where the world’s future hangs in the balance. Kane’s tale is similar and very well executed though Webber didn’t quite resonate as strongly as certain characters from those books. However, Before does feature a cast of solid characters and a fascinating plot that spans decades, The Infinity is a great villain and I’d be very happy to read about him again. The action scenes are exciting, the dialogue is smooth and the ending to Before is worth the wait. Kane’s latest novel is epic and King/McCammon fans will find a lot to like here. I can highly recommended this book and it is yet another tick in the box for Paul Kane and for Grey Matter Press.’

You can read the full thing here.

 

You can visit the dedicated Before website by clicking here and also get 40% off the Kindle version at the moment in the run up to release by clicking here.

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Death, by Paul Kane

 

Before wasn’t the only one of Paul’s recent books to be reviewed favourably last month, though. Giving it 9/10, here’s what Alister Davison from Starburst had to say about his latest collection: ‘Death is author Paul Kane’s collection of ten short stories and one play, all with a central theme of mortality. From its title and subject matter, you’d be forgiven in thinking this is going to be a set of grim tales, seeing characters encountering a cloaked figure with a scythe, or walking into a bright light. In every single one of the stories, Kane toys with the usual clichés or avoids them altogether; there are also laughs to be had, with a wicked sense of humour on display from start to finish. Be warned if you’re in a public place – nobody expects a giggle from someone reading a book with the grim reaper on the cover.

The standard of writing remains high from start to finish, although two highlights stand out. “The Return of Mortis-Man” is a pulp superhero tale packed with thrills and spills, as well as some truly poignant moments, a story that will have anyone familiar with comics raising a wry smile all the way through it. It has numerous obvious inspirations, yet remains utterly unique. “The Lazarus Condition” appears to be almost superficial at first, as police attempt to solve the return of a man who has risen from the dead and taken it upon himself to visit his elderly mother. This causes understandable problems, but what could have easily been a standard procedural with a twist is made into so much more; packed with depth and emotional resonance, it’s incredibly moving.

Kane possesses the ability of making readers care about his characters, even in the shortest of these stories, and can get us on their side in just a few words. He’s adept at pulling the rug out from under anyone who thinks they’ve got the twist ending figured out, whether it’s by adding a second turn of the screw or going in a completely different, yet fitting, direction. Death is a first-class collection from a first-class writer, one who can create moments of great terror and amusement, one after the other. An absolute delight from start to finish, it’s a superb introduction to anyone who hasn’t read Paul Kane’s work before and will surely appease his long-term fans as well.’

 

You can read the whole thing here.

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Haunted Nights, by Ellen Datlow

 

More review love now, this time for the mass market HWA anthology Paul is in published by Blumhouse/Anchor and edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton: Haunted Nights. The book received a prestigious boxed and starred review in Publishers Weekly, which said: ‘Halloween brings out the best in horror writers as this fright-packed anthology of 15 new stories with Halloween themes demonstrates… Editors Datlow and Morton have filled this book with an assortment of Halloween treats whose horrors transcend their holiday setting.’

As if that wasn’t enough, newsstand magazine Rue Morgue said: ‘Haunted Nights offers a collection of disparate stories set during Halloween from a number of great writers… Picking the highlights is difficult when there are so many corkers within these pages with such superb settings…Plenty of writers and artists have offered spins on the annual tradition, but the stories of Haunted Nights add some fine new twists to our fluid understanding and appreciation of Halloween.’ 

 

Horror Novel Reviews gave the book 5/5 and commented: ‘Blumhouse and Anchor have crafted a collection of Halloween themed stories that shock, inspire a few guffaws and twist up familiar tropes in inventive and engaging ways. The book offers a wealth of talent, including plenty of award-winning and firmly established authors…There wasn’t a single story in this collection that felt underwhelming. Blumhouse and Anchor have aligned a magnificent assortment of talent to creep us out during our favourite time of year. Make no mistake: Haunted Nights is a must-read this Halloween!’

Last but not least, Damaged Skull Writer singled out Paul’s story in particular in his review: ‘I don’t know about you, but I find life a bit more bearable when I have something to look forward to. Especially when that thing is going to be terrifying!... Haunted Nights is coming to bend your mind and terrify you with stories about scheming jack-o’-lanterns, murderous urban legends, vengeful ghosts, and parties gone very, very wrong. Here are brand-new, fresh-from-the-grave stories that are going to rock your world… Who better to edit and collect these tales than award-winning editor Ellen Datlow and one of the world’s leading Halloween experts, Lisa Morton? Combined with a stellar cast of HWA writers, this witches’ brew practically guarantees bad dreams... Paul Kane’s chilling tale “The Turn” takes us on a baffling journey of twists and turns. There is something following people on Halloween night and making them turn and look. Once they look, the rules say that it’s okay for the evil thing to kill them. The thing rationalises this by saying that he is helping people over to the other side. On this same night, there is another man also following the rules. These rules are required to protect oneself from evil spirits and things that may do him in. Unlike the roaming killer, this man is confined to his home by the rules. To step outdoors could be lethal! But they meet when the man is forced to run to the hospital because his Gran is dying… What happens next is not going to be good!’

You can read the full review here.

 

And you can pre-order the book, which is out on October 3rd by clicking here.

 

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BFS Horizons #5 cover

 

Another one of Paul’s stories ‘Disexistence’ – taken from the collection of the same name – appeared as a promotion in the new edition of the BFS’ Horizons magazine last month. You can see the results above and below.

 

Disexistence, by Paul Kane

 

Disexistence, by Paul Kane

 

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Fiona A. Cummins

 

Next, we’re very excited to welcome our Guest Writer for this month – Fiona Cummins (above) – to celebrate the paperback release of her incredible debut novel, Rattle (below) published by Macmillan. To read a thrilling extract, just click here.

 

Rattle, by Fiona Cummins

 

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Oceanside Film Festival

 

Above and below you’ll find photos from the screening of Life-O-Matic last month at the Oceanside International Film Festival, taking place at the Sunshine Brooks Theatre in California. The evening also included a Q&A with the director Jim Phillips and cast, who you can see below on the red carpet (with Jim in the centre).

 

Life-O-Matic cast and director

 

Sunshine Brooks Theatre, Oceanside Film Festival

 

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HHighlighting Horror event - L to R: Stepahen Gallagher, Jason Arnopp, Eric Steele, Joe Ahearne

 

L to R: Stephen Gallagher, Jason Arnopp, Eric Steele

 

Sticking with film for a moment, photos now from the hugely successful HWA Highlighting Horror: Scriptwriting event at the Quad in Derby last month (see previous news sections for details). Above you can see (L-R) Stephen Gallagher, Jason Arnopp, moderator Eric Steele and Joe Ahearne on the ‘What Makes a Good Horror Script?’ panel, while below you’ll find Stephen Volk giving his talk on Writing Paranormal TV…

 

Alex Davis of the Quad introducing Stephen Volk

 

Stephen Volk

 

….below you’ll find the Short Film panel line-up, a shot of some of the audience members, plus the line-up for the TV panel….

 

Highlighting Horror: Scriptwriting - Short Film Panel with Jason Arnopp, Cat Davies, Jennifer Handorf, James Moran and Owen Tooth

 

A packed room for the Highlighting Horror Scriptwriting day

 

Highlighting Horror: Scriptwriting - How To Break Into Writing for TV panel, with Joe Ahearne, Alex Davis, Stephen Gallagher, James Moran and Stephen Volk

 

…then you have highlights from the Short Film and Clips showcase, featuring trailers from Simeon Halligan’s White Settlers & Habit, Owen Tooth’s short Hunted, Cat Davies & James Moran’s trailer for Bloodshed and Cat’s short Connie, complete with special guest…

 

Highlighting Horror: Scriptwriting -  Short filmshowcase - Simeon Halligan, Owen Tooth, Cat Davies and James Moran

 

White Settlers titles

 

Owen Tooth

 

Hunted titles

 

James Moran

 

Cat Davies and Connie

 

Connie titles

 

A scene from Connie

 

Finally, producer Jennifer Handorf introducing Prevenge, written and directed by Alice Lowe.

 

Jennifer Handorf

 

Prevenge poster

 

Alice Lowe in a scene from Prevenge

 

The next event Paul and Marie will be at is FantasyCon in Peterborough at the end of September. Photos from this coming in next month’s news update.

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Leviathan - The Story of Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II, by Christian Sellers and Gary Smart

 

Paul’s copy of the Leviathan book – a companion to the documentary – arrived recently (above and below). He contributed the Afterword to this one, and if you want to read more about the DVD you can visit its section on the SW site here.

 

Internal pages, Leviathan

 

Internal pages, Leviathan

 

Afterword to Leviathan, by Paul Kane

 

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Dreamscape poster

 

Paul has reviewed the new Blu-ray editions of those 80s classics Dreamscape (above) and Electric Dreams (below) for Mass Movement. You can read his thoughts here and here.

 

Electric Dreams poster

 

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Signing sheets for Beneath the Surface, by Paul Kane and Simon Clark

 

Lastly, Paul met up with collaborator and bestselling author Simon Clark to sign the sheets and bookmarks for Beneath the Surface last month (see the previous news for more on this one). The book is due to be released soon, but you can pre-order it at the publisher SST’s site here.

 

Simon Clark

 

Simon Clark

 

Paul Kane

 

signature - Paul Kane

 

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August

Beneath the Surface, Simon Clark and Paul Kane

The first piece of news for August is yet another book announcement, what will be Paul’s fifth this year. This time it’s a very special collaboration with bestselling and award-winning author Simon Clark: Beneath the Surface (above). The stunning cover is by the legendary Steve Crisp, who provided covers for Simon’s first few books like Nailed by the Heart, Blood Crazy, Darker and King Blood, as well as many others, including Richard Laymon’s Fiends (both below)

 

King Blood, Simon Clark - Steve Crisp artwork

 

Richard Laymon, Fiends - Steve Crisp artwork

 

This from the official PR: ‘The Second World War, and in the aftermath of a bloody desert skirmish survivors from both sides find themselves facing yet another battle: a battle just to stay alive. Not simply because they are in the middle of nowhere, with hardly any supplies, but because they are being hunted by something that has made the desert its home. A monstrous thing with a taste for human flesh, that will not stop until either they are dead or it is. As the soldiers begin to discover that they are not so dissimilar beneath their uniforms, they are also starting to realise that there is something else beneath the surface of the sand. Something no-one has ever seen before. Something deadly, dangerous and extremely hard to kill… From the imaginations of award-winning and bestselling authors Simon Clark (Vampyrrhic, The Night of the Triffids) and Paul Kane (Blood RED, Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell) writing together for the first time, comes a tale of terror and heroism, of survival and horror. A tale that will stay with you, get under your skin and remain beneath the surface for a long time to come. Complete with cover art by Steve Crisp (who provided the covers for Simon’s first books, such as Nailed by the Heart and Blood Crazy) this is one collectors’ item you won’t want to miss!’

Signed by Simon, Paul and Steve (signing sheets below), you can pre-order your copy by visiting the publisher SST’s site here.

 

Signing sheets for Beneath the Surface: Simon Clark, Paul Kane, Steve Crisp

 

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Before, by Paul Kane

 

News now about another forthcoming book of Paul’s, his novel Before, which has just been given a publication date of September 5th. The book, published by Grey Matter, has also been given its very own promotional website here. This features a pre-order page, but you can visit that directly by clicking here.

 

Before, by Paul Kane

 

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Chopping Block Party, edited by Brendan Deneen and David G. Barnett

 

Another cover reveal, this time for a forthcoming anthology published by Necro, Chopping Block Party – which features the likes of Ray Garton, Richard Chizmar and Tim Waggoner, not to mention an introduction from Friday the 13th screenwriter Victor Miller. The book contains Paul’s story ‘The Jigsaw Family’.

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Official selection, Oceanside International Film Festival

 

The film version of Paul’s story ‘Life-O-Matic’ has just been granted Official Selection status at the Oceanside International Film Festival (above) and will screen on Thursday August 11th,18:00, at the event, which takes place at the Sunshine Brooks Theatre in California. Life-O-Matic also now has its own little corner in the Film Section part of the Shadow Writer site, so to visit this just click here.

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Rio Youers

 

We’re very happy to welcome back our Guest Writer for this month in the form of Rio Youers, who has a new thriller out called The Forgotten Girl from St Martin’s Press. To read an exclusive extract, just click here.

 

The Forgotten Girl, by Rio Youers

 

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The Hellbound Heart, by Clive Barker (Dominic Harman cover)

 

Last month Paul was asked to choose his Top Ten books for SST’s blog. You can read what he came up with by clicking here.

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Edge-Lit 6. L to R: Adele Wearing, Heide Goody, Andrew Hook, Ash Hartwell, Paul Kane

 

L to R: Ash Hartwell, Paul Kane

 

Photos now from Edge-Lit in July where Paul was on two panels, including this one above about the benefits of working with independent presses.

 

Paul Kane

 

Paul also launched his new collection Death (see previous news sections for details) at Edge, and did a reading from one of the stories (above). It was the first appearance of the collection in hardback, courtesy of publishers The Sinister Horror Company (below).

 

Death, by Paul Kane

 

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Liverpool Horror Con poster

 

Staying with events for the time being, and both Paul and Marie have been announced as Guests at the Mega Liverpool Horrorcon (above) alongside people like Adam Nevill and David Moody. The event takes place on 7th & 8th October; more details closer to the time.

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Highlighting Horror: Scriptwriting flyer

 

And the HWA’s ‘Highlighting Horror: Scriptwriting’ event at the Quad has a new flyer (above), plus it has added two great new names to the line-up: Stephen Gallagher – creator of Eleventh Hour, which starred Patrick Stewart – and Joe Ahearne, who recently wrote and directed the BBC thriller The Replacement (both below).

 

Eleventh Hour, created by Stephen Gallagher

 

The Replacement, written by Joe Ahearne

 

The day will take place on Saturday 19th August and you can book your ticket here.

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Nailbiters, by Paul B. Kane

 

Finally, an incredibly detailed review of Paul’s crime/psychological collection Nailbiters has appeared on the Rising Shadow website. Here are some of the highlights of what was said: ‘Paul B. Kane’s Nailbiters is one of the most thrilling short story collections of the year, because it contains many tales of crime and psychological terror. The author delivers such delicious chills and thrills with his stories that readers will be instantly captivated by their disturbing atmosphere. I’m glad I had an opportunity to read Nailbiters, because it’s an excellent collection. I have to confess that I’m not very familiar with the author’s stories, so Nailbiters served as an introduction into his fiction. I can mention that this collection was a memorable reading experience that left me wanting more, because I found all of the stories good and kept turning pages in order to find out what happens at the end of each. It’s been a while since I’ve read this kind of fiction in such a thrilling format.

The contents can be classified as crime fiction, thriller fiction and psychological horror fiction, but on the whole they can be classified as dark fiction. These genres seamlessly interlink with each other in some of the stories, because the author blends them on purpose to awaken feelings of terror and unease in his readers…These stories have several elements in common, but all of them are original, thrilling and inventive. Many of them are intriguingly disturbing, because the author writes boldly and unflinchingly about serial killers, disturbed people and death. Here’s more information about some of the stories and my thoughts about them… Grief Stricken: I found this revenge story fascinatingly unsettling, because the author offers readers a glimpse into the darkness that may be found inside all of us. Check-out: The author writes perfectly about Janet and her life. He paints a stark and bleak picture… It was chilling (and touching) to read about how Janet felt about her life and her work, because all the years of neglect and mental abuse seemed to have scarred her. This story is an excellent example of a psychologically effective story that is difficult to forget once you’ve read it.

The Opportunity: A well written short story about a stalker who’s waiting for the right opportunity to do something nasty. Cold Call: A story about Martin who works at CompliCalls and sells things over the phone and becomes the target of a person who begins to make calls to him. This story has an excellent and chilling ending. The Torturer: Here’s a word of warning to squeamish readers: If you’re easily shocked or have a weak stomach, you should perhaps think twice before reading this story, because you may find it shocking and disturbing… Gemini Rising: This is one of the best and most memorable serial killer stories I’ve ever read, because it has a deeply disturbing feel to it. The Anniversary: This brilliant story gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “for better or worse, in sickness and in health”. I enjoyed the ending very much, because the author has a wonderfully pitch-black sense of humour. 1, 2, 3...1, 2, 3: This is an interesting and a different kind of a story about OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder).The Greatest Mystery: This story is an excellent and inventive take on Sherlock Holmes stories and demonstrates the author’s writing skills. I’m happy to say that this is one of the best Sherlock Holmes stories I’ve read to date. Baggage: A well written story with a satisfyingly twisted ending.

Graffitiland: An excellent and interesting story with a touch of noir. There’s something about this story that reminds me a bit of the Sin City graphic novels and films. The Protégé: The ending of this short story is fascinatingly brutal... Nine Tenths: Ren is a thief who breaks into an apartment and finds out that he’s made a big mistake. I liked the ending of this story very much… Blackout: A gripping story about Kelly and her fear of the dark. This story has some of the best descriptions of what it feels like to be alone in the dark I’ve seen in ages, because the author writes about how Kelly reacts to being alone in the middle of a blackout and starts to imagine things. The Cyclops: One of the best stories in this collection… A Nightmare on 34th Street: I think that readers will find this Christmas story intriguing and memorable, because it’s something different. It’s not your normal kind of a Christmas story… Sin: The references to the film Seven add a nice touch of style to the storyline. This excellent and surprising story is one of the highlights in this collection and will impress many readers…
What’s great about these stories is that the author uses mundane environments as locations for the chilling and unsettling happenings. He manages to turn everyday places into places of evil and terror. He demonstrates that crime and terror can be found everywhere. No matter how safe we assume certain places to be, something bad or unexpected may happen to us. This adds a special kind of a chill factor to this collection. I also have to mention that what makes these stories especially effective and unforgettable is that normal people can become killers when the conditions are right. Such ordinary people as housewives, sons and check-out personnel may find terrifying darkness inside themselves… I like Paul Kane’s writing style, because he knows how to write thrilling and entertaining stories that have surprise endings. It’s great that many of his stories begin in a normal way and then take a deep plunge into a weirder and more disturbing direction…I highly recommend Paul B. Kane’s Nailbiters to readers who love crime fiction, thriller fiction and psychological horror fiction, because it contains stories that will linger on the readers’ minds. If you enjoy unsettling dark fiction and like to read suspenseful stories, you should read this collection, because it’s one of the best and most intriguing collections of its kind. Highly recommended!’

To read the full review, click here and to buy the book from the publisher Black Shuck Books, click here.

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Resident Evil Vendetta

 

Finally, last month Paul reviewed Resident Evil: Vendetta (above) for Sci-Fi Bulletin, and you can read his thoughts on that here.

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July

Before, by Paul Kane

 

The wraparound cover for Paul’s new novel, Before, was revealed last month and we’re sure you’ll agree it looks amazing. Proofs of the book also arrived at Paul’s house (photos below).

 

Before, by Paul Kane

 

Before, by Paul Kane

 

Before by Paul Kane

 

Interior artwork, Before by Paul Kane

 

Before, by Paul Kane

 

Paul will be bringing along a copy of the book to show people at Edge-Lit in Derby a week on Saturday (15 July)…

 

Death by Paul Kane

 

…where he will also be launching his new collection Death, the wraparound for which has also just been unveiled. The launch will be at 1pm where Paul and A.K. Benedict, who kindly did the introduction, will be in attendance along with publishers Sinister, and you can pre-order the paperback here. Double-sided postcards featuring both book covers have also been produced for the day (below).

 

Postcards: Death and Before by Paul Kane

 

Paul’s panels for Edge have now been announced, as well: at 10am he’s on a panel called ‘Think Small’ about the benefits of working with small and independent publishers and at 12pm he’s on ‘From the Dead – Is Horror Fiction Climbing Back Towards Its Peak of Popularity Once Again?’. You can book your ticket for the event and see the full schedule by clicking here.

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The Black Room Manuscripts Vol. 3.

 

Sticking with Sinister for a moment, and the cover of the third in the Black Room Manuscripts anthology series has been revealed (above). This one features writers such as Adam Nevill, Paul Tremblay, David Moody and Guy N. Smith, plus a brand new story from Paul called ‘Followers’.

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Highlighting Horror. Left to Right: Stephen Volk, Jason Arnopp, James Moran, Jennifer Handorf, Simeon Halligan

 

And sticking with the Quad, Paul & Marie’s new event in conjunction with Alex Davis (who runs Edge) is ‘Highlighting Horror: Scriptwriting’. This will feature such practitioners as (from L-R above) Stephen Volk (Afterlife, The Awakening), Jason Arnopp (The Last Days of Jack Sparks, Stormhouse), James Moran (Severance, Cockneys vs Zombies), Jennifer Handorf (Prevenge, The Devil’s Business) and Simeon Halligan (The Blood Lands, Habit) – with more to come. The day will take place on 19th August and you can find out more on the Facebook page here.

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Winner, London Independent Film Awards 2017

 

Speaking of scriptwriting and films, the short movie based on Paul’s story Life-O-Matic has gained two more accolades. It won Best Horror/Thriller/Sci-Fi Short at the London Independent Film Awards (above) and also ‘Official Selection’ at the Bucharest ShortCut Cinefest event (below)

 

Bucharest ShortCut CineFest 2017

 

And the director of the feature version of Paul’s novel Lunar, Brad Watson, has a new movie out that’s available to rent on Sky Store, Hallows Eve (below).

 

Hallows Eve, Sky Store

 

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The Darkest Day, by Tom Wood

 

Our Guest Writer for the month of July is none other than Tom Wood, responsible for the excellent ‘Victor’ hitman series published by Sphere, which includes Better off Dead and The Darkest Day (above). You can read an exclusive extract from his latest novel, The Final Hour (below), by clicking here.

 

The Final Hour, by Tom Wood

 

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Monsters, by Paul Kane

 

A new review of Paul’s British Fantasy Award-nominated collection Monsters has appeared on the BFS website. This is what Dave Jeffrey had to say: ‘Unless genre readers have been living in a fall-out shelter for the past thirty years, Paul Kane’s affiliation with (and great affection for) Hellraiser is no secret. He is quoted by Barker himself as “the resident Hellraiser expert”. But if it still remains unclear then fear not, there are unmistakable nods to this affiliation early on in Kane’s collection, Monsters. A terrific Barker painting stalks the cover, for example, while an introduction from Cenobite Nicholas Vince tells us that monsters come in all forms, with humans often pushing in ahead of the amoral queue. There is always a danger that such franchises cast mighty shadows over the original works of those associated with them. So it was of interest to this reviewer to see if this was the case when reading Kane’s latest offering.

With the exception of the tale “Lifetime”, Monsters is a collection of reprinted stories spanning a 17 year period in Kane’s extensive career. Despite the convoluted publishing timeline there is a surprising consistency in the writing, proving that these tales may well be a mixed bag but they remain as relevant today as the respective decades in which they were written. The narrative is strong and assured, as you would expect from someone of Kane’s calibre, mesmerising the reader with the ease of a sales assistant who has mastered the art of hypnosis. Reviews are inherently subjective, especially when applied to collections. But this reviewer argues that this is part of their appeal, much like the songs on an album, some resonate more than others.

Kane’s whimsical approach to storytelling apparent in “Dracula in Love”, “A Chaos Demon is for Life”, and “Guilty Pleasures” is delightful, at once blending humour and poignant satire. In “Dracula in Love”, the titular count seeks out therapy to address his infatuation with a young woman duped into visiting his castle. Love-struck and off his game, Dracula is advised to talk things through with his beau, with a deliciously dark and humorous outcome. In “A Chaos Demon is for Life …” the parents of a young boy summon a demon for his Christmas present, only for it to run amok in a quirky story laced with outlandish action and Dhalesque imagery. “Guilty Pleasures” is a poignant, delicate tale that tells of a guilt demon and its cynical influence on the lives and decisions of ordinary people. It ends on an ironic, philosophical note, and the story themes do linger in the psyche, easily making it my personal favourite from the collection. “Keeper of the Light” is a sombre, atmospheric tale of a world slowly succumbing to a perpetual darkness that hides terrible things, kept tenuously at bay by a failing system of lighthouses. This is a brooding, powerful story with an ending that leaves the reader with an ambiguous feeling of dark hope.

Overall, Monsters is a solid collection, reaffirming Kane as a writer of quality, a celebration of his longstanding ability to create unique worlds of fear and whimsy. It leaves no doubt that, far from being lost in the shadows of the Hellraiser mantle, here is a writer basking only in a light of his own making.’

You can read the full thing here.

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Resident Evil, The Final Chapter

 

Finally, last month Paul reviewed both Resident Evil: The Final Chapter and the original Amityville Horror (above and below) for Sci-Fi Bulletin. You can read these here and here.

 

The Amityville Horror

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June

Night Shift by Stephen King, artwork by Dave McKean

 

The first piece of news this month is that copies of the new version of Stephen King’s Night Shift published by PS has shipped. As reported in previous news sections, this edition contains gorgeous cover and internal art by Dave McKean and an afterword by Paul and Marie (photos above and below).

 

Night Shift by Stephen King, signed PS edition

 

Night Shift by Stephen King, signing sheet, signed by Dave McKean, Marie O'Regan and Paul Kane

 

Internal pages (The Boogeyman front page and illustration) from Night Shift by Stephen King, limited edition from PS Publishing

 

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Life-O-Matic - Breakfast from Blackeyed Cat on Vimeo.

 

Short trailer/clips have started to be released for the film version of Paul’s story Life-O-Matic, which you can watch above and below.

 

LifeOMatic - Neighbor from Blackeyed Cat on Vimeo.

 

Life-O-Matic - Hear's Candy from Blackeyed Cat on Vimeo.

And news has also reached us that the film has won Best Horror Short in the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards (below). Needless to say, Paul is delighted!

 

Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards Winner 2017 - Life-O-Matic

 

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Swansea Horror Con cancelled

 

Disappointing news now that Swansea HorrorCon (above), which Paul was due to attend as a guest, has been cancelled by the organisers. However, it has just been announced that Paul is a guest again this year at Edge-Lit 6 on 15 July, where he will be on a couple of panels and will also be launching his new themed collection Death (below, and see last month’s news for details). You can book your ticket for that event and see the schedule by clicking here.

 

Death is Coming: Death, by Paul Kane, from Sinister Horror Company

 

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Jack Reacher, No Going Back

 

On to our Guest Writer slot next, and do we have an excellent one for you this month! Bestselling author of the Jack Reacher books (which have been turned into major films starring Tom Cruise as the titular hero – the latest being Never Go Back, above) has edited another anthology which teams up famous crime characters created by the likes of Val McDermid, Peter James, Charlaine Harris and David Morrell: Match Up (below).

 

Match Up, edited by Lee Child

 

We’re fortunate enough to have an extract by Lee, from a story by Lee and Kathy Reichs (author of the ‘Bones’ series, which was turned into a TV show, below). To read this – which features Jack Reacher himself – simply click here

 

David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel - Bones

 

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Olympia, London

 

Photos now from the IMATS Event Paul was a guest at, for the Hellraiser reunion, including arriving at Olympia to see the sheer scale of the convention (above and below) 

 

Exhibitors at IMATS, London

 

Exhibitors hall at IMATS, Olympia

 

SFX make-up demonstration at IMATS, London

 

And below you’ll find pictures from the panel itself, including the standing room only audience, the whole panel (with Paul on the far left), Chatterer Cenobite Nicholas Vince, and make-up effects man Cliff Wallace both telling stories from their time working on the original Hellraiser. A fantastic day was had by all!

 

Hellraiser Panel at IMATS, London, with Bob Keen, Geoff Portass, John Cormican, Nicholas Vince, Paul Kane, Cliff Wallace, Paul Davis

 

Audience for Hellraiser Panel, IMATS, London

 

IMATS Hellraiser panel. L to R: Paul Kane, Stuart Conran, Nicholas Vince, Cliff Wallace, John Cormican, Geoff Portass, Bob Keen, Paul Davis

 

L to R: Stuart Conran, Nicholas Vince

 

L to R: Cliff Wallace, John Cormican

 

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Back: A.K. Benedict. Front: Kate Walshe

 

Paul and Marie were also at author AK Benedict’s 40th Birthday Party Masked Ball, overseen by the Goblin King who was DJ-ing. Photos above and below.

 

Masked partygoer

 

DJ for the evening was The Goblin King himself

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May

Before, by Paul Kane

 

A late news update this month, for reasons we’ll come to at the end. But for now, the big news is the reveal of not one, not two, but three covers for forthcoming Kane books. The first, as reported by the Ginger Nuts of Horror site here is Paul’s sizable novel Before from Grey Matter Press (above) which is due out at the end of June – with a tentative launch expected at Swansea HorrorCon where Paul is a guest. To find out more about this one, click on the publisher site here or the Facebook page here. Paul is also in the latest issue of newsstand magazine HorrorVille (from the makers of SFX and Total Film) talking about this new book (below).

 

Horrorville magazine

 

Paul Kane interview, Horrorville magazine

 

Second cover reveal of the month was for Paul’s eagerly anticipated new collection from Cycatrix Press, Disexistence (below) due out anytime.

 

Disexistence, by Paul Kane

 

This from the official PR: ‘A stranger wanders through a town with no memory of how he got there, while another man’s terror of the written word has serious ramifications. A very special multi-coloured coat has the power to beguile young children, but a secret box that seems to contain the answer to every question is all one particular grown up desires. And while one woman survives in a world where dreams are outlawed, others dream of living paintings, of being free from persecution – and of Death’s long shadow… The much-anticipated new collection of horror and dark fantasy tales from award-winning and bestselling author and editor Paul Kane (The Butterfly Man, Blood RED, Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell), this book contains a trilogy of stories from his popular Hooded Man mythos, six brand new tales and an introduction from New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Nancy Holder (Crimson Peak, The Rose Bride, Wicked series). In here you will find stories that try to unravel the mysteries of our existence, and indeed our very Disexistence.’ And you can order the book from the publisher site here.

 

Death, by Paul Kane

 

Last, but not least, we have the cover reveal of Paul’s themed Death collection – again, as reported by Ginger Nuts here – published by Sinister and due to launch at Edge-Lit in July. And the official PR for this one: ‘One man seeks desperately to understand what lies beyond, by searching for a particular face – while another returns to fight crime in his old city. Someone at the end of their tether contemplates the many ways in which to end it all, even as someone else defies all the laws of nature to come back from the grave. And as a deadly disease threatens to wipe out the population, four legendary figures meet for a final drink in a pub at the end of the world… It’s a subject not many of us want to talk about, but will all have to face at some point, and the characters in this very special collection do so in various ways: whether it be as a person, a choice, or even as revenge. So join award-winning and bestselling author Paul Kane (Monsters, Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell) as he takes a look at Death from every angle. Complete with the script for the play version of ‘One for the Road’, an introduction from the author of The Beauty of Murder and Jonathan Dark or The Evidence of Ghosts, A.K. Benedict, and a stunning cover by Les Edwards, this is one book you’ve all been dying for.’

You can pre-order the Kindle version of the book by clicking here, with more ordering details coming soon.

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Haunted Nights, edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton

 

The covers for two anthologies Paul is in have also been revealed this month. The first is a co-HWA/Blumhouse/Anchor Books release, Haunted Nights edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton (above and below). Out this Halloween, it features stories by the likes of Garth Nix, Jonathan Maberry and Kelley Armstrong, as well as Paul’s tale ‘The Turn’. You can pre-order here.

 

Haunted Nights, edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton

 

The second anthology is Between the Tracks (below), edited by Steve Dillon and featuring the likes of Clive Barker, Christopher Golden and Ramsey Campbell. You can order that one here, which features Paul’s tale ‘When Push Comes to Shove’.

 

Between the Tracks, Tales from the Ghost Train - edited by steve Dillon

 

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Steph Broadribb

 

We’re thrilled – in more ways than one – to welcome our Guest Writer this month, the wonderful Steph Broadribb (above) with an extract from her debut novel Deep Down Dead. The book, which introduces us to kick-ass Florida bounty hunter Lori Anderson, is out now through Orenda and you can get a taste of the action by clicking here.  

 

Deep Down Dead, by Steph Broadribb

 

Orenda Books

 

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The Rot, by Paul Kane. Audiobook, narrated by Chris Barnes

 

Paul and Chris Barnes have received yet another glowing review for the audio-book of The Rot, this time by the AudioBook Reviewer. Here’s what they had to say: ‘Adam is a fighter pilot chosen to test a self-sustaining skin suit. It re-circulates all his water and waste so the wearer doesn’t need to eat or drink. It was meant only to be worn for one week, but when the world falls apart, it is the only thing keeping Adam from the rot that is infecting the world. Some contagion has entered the world, turning men and women into mindless and ultra-violent madmen. But it isn’t just the people, it’s all things. Buildings and machines are decaying, even the very ground is disintegrating. Adam may be the only man left untouched, protected by his suit. The cause is unknown and he may be the only one left to find a stop to the destruction, if he can survive.

There is a feeling of I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. The bleak separateness of the landscape and everyone out to kill him. Has the world simply evolved and now Adam is the outsider, trying to hold onto the past. The listener doesn’t know. One might be tempted to call this a zombie novel, but the infected people are not dead, just maddened by the disease, though they do act like them. The dark hopelessness of the novel is quite compelling and fits a certain genre. It is a quick listen, but feels full, the world well described and Adam well developed as the reluctant last man on Earth. The novel is performed by Chris Barnes. He does an excellent job, catching Adam’s moods and intense loneliness. He does more than simply read the book, he acts, and it is well done. There are few other character voices, but they are done well and easily differentiated. Excellent. The Rot fits into several categories at once: Zombie, Sci-Fi, Horror and Dystopia. It is a dark novel with literary overtones and will appeal to this audience well. An excellent book that leaves the listener thinking about it long after its completion. Recommended!’

You can read the full thing here.

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Wheat-Ex - LifeOMatic product

 

Above and below are some of the product designs for the movie version of Life-O-Matic, which is now finished and heading off to film festivals on both sides of the Atlantic. You can keep up to date on all the announcements for this one by joining the Facebook page here.

 

Pain-Away Extra - LifeOMatic product

 

Grime-A-Gon - LifeOMatic product

 

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PCA-ACA convention - event brochure

 

Below you’ll find a photo of Carl Sell reading his paper on the Hooded Man novels at the Popular Culture Association – American Culture Association Conference in San Diego last month. The paper was well received and has even led to the books being taught on one tutor’s curriculum.

 

Carl Sell reading a paper on The Hooded Man novels by Paul Kane at PCA-ACA

 

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The Kettering Incident

 

Last month Paul reviewed the series that is being called ‘Australia’s answer to Twin Peaks’, The Kettering Incident, for Sci-Fi Bulletin. You can read his thoughts on this by clicking here.

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Hellraiser Anthology, Vol. 1

 

Hellraiser Anthology

 

Paul also did a review for Sci-Fi Bulletin of the brand new Hellraiser Anthology Vol. 1 published by Seraphim (above) which you can read here.

 

Leviathan - The Story of Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II, by Christian Sellers and Gary Smart

 

But that’s not the only Hellraiser news for this month. As announced by the team who brought you the Leviathan documentary, there will be an accompanying book to go with it (above) and Paul has written the afterword for it.

 

IMATS - International Makeup Artist Trade Show

 

Paul will also be at the massive three-day IMATS convention this coming weekend (above), which will feature panels on Pirates of the Caribbean and Alien Covenant (below).

 

IMATS London 2017 - Alien: Covenant

 

He’ll be a part of the Hellraiser 30th Anniversary Panel on the Sunday at 4pm, alongside Bob Keen, Geoff Portass, John Cormican, Cliff Wallace and Nicholas Vince. You can find more details about this here and here.

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Habit poster

 

Speaking of events, in April Paul & Marie were at the cast and crew screening of Habit – directed by friend of the SW site Simeon Halligan. Based on the critically-acclaimed novel by Stephen McGeagh it stars Jessica Barden (Penny Dreadful), Elliot James Langridge (Hollyoaks) and Roxanne Pallett (Emmerdale).

 

Habit - director Simeon Halligan

 

Habit screening, Printworks Manchester

 

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The Queen Mary, StokerCon 2017

 

 

Registration sign, StokerCon 2017

 

Corridor, The Queen Mary, StokerCon 2017

 

But of course that wasn’t the only event Paul & Marie attended recently, which brings us to the reason this news update is late. They’ve just got back from attending StokerCon in Long Beach, California, where they were on board the beautiful Queen Mary (above). Here are just a few of the photos, including having a look around the neighbourhood, Paul enjoying the sun on deck, and Paul and Marie with Guest of Honour Peter Crowther of PS Publishing (all below).

 

Long Beach, California

 

Paul Kane relaxing on the Observation Deck bar aboard the Queen Mary, Long Beach

 

L to R: Pete Crowther, Paul Kane, Marie O'Regan

 

Below you can see the couple celebrating at one of their tenth anniversary dinners, this one with the Crowthers and the Smiths – photo by Paula Grainger.

 

L to R: Michael Marshall Smith, Pete Crowther, Nicky Crowther, Paul Kane, Marie O'Regan and Nate Smith

 

Anniversary cake

 

And here are just a few of the interviews and panels they attended, the Mike Flanagan (director of Oculus and forthcoming Gerald’s Game) interview, creator of Game of Thrones George R.R. Martin’s interview, and the horror panel with (L-R) Peter Atkins, Peter Crowther, Stephen Jones and Michael Marshall Smith.         

 

L to R: Rebekah McHendry, Mike Flanagan

 

L to R: Leslie Klinger, George R.R. Martin

 

L to R: Pete Atkins, Peter Crowther, Stephen Jones and Michael Marshall Smith

 

Finally, here are photos of Paul and Marie at the Stoker Awards Banquet on the Saturday evening. Expect a full gallery of photos very soon…

 

StokerCon 2017 banquet

 

Paul Kane and Marie O'Regan

 

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April

Paul Kane - Nailbiters launch event at Derby Quad. With Paul Finch.

 

We begin this month with photos from the dark crime event in Derby at the Quad a few weeks ago, incorporating the launch of Paul’s new book Nailbiters (above and below). This includes both Pauls doing readings, an interview, a Q&A session and then signing books for people afterwards. There was a great attendance and everyone had a wonderful time!

 

L to R: Paul Finch, Paul Kane

 

Paul Finch

 

Paul Kane

 

L to R: Paul Kane and Paul Finch

 

Paul Kane

 

L to R: Paul Kane, Paul Finch

 

Copies of Nailbiters, by Paul Kane

 

Paul Kane signing copies of Nailbiters

 

Nailbiters, by Paul B. Kane

 

The Opportunity by Paul Kane

 

Photos have also been cropping up of the book arriving at people’s houses, including Helen Brannigan, Gavin Kendall and the director of The Opportunity, Lewis Copson (all below).

 

Nailbiters by Paul B. Kane, The Opportunity DVD

 

Nailbiters by Paul B. Kane

 

Nailbiters by Paul B. Kane, with The Opportunity DVD and director Lewis Copson

 

If you couldn’t make the Quad event, you can still buy the limited hardback and trade paperback book here or as a Kindle here.

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The Coroner

 

But that wasn’t the only time Paul was out and about last month. He also attended an evening with Sally Abbott (creator of the highly successful show The Coroner, above) at MediaCity, organised by the Writers’ Room – and you can see photos from that one below.

 

BBC, Media city, Manchester

 

BBC Writersroom, in conversation with Sally Abbott

 

Sally Abbott

 

BBC building, Media City, Salford Quays, Manchester

 

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Paul Kane, Guest at Swansea HorrorCon

 

Paul is delighted to announce that he will be a guest at Swansea HorrorCon at Swansea Leisure Complex, Oystermouth on 1-2 of July. It is likely to be the first appearance/launch of his new novel Before.

To book your tickets and see a list of the other Guests – which includes Kane ‘Friday the 13th’ Hodder and Bond Girl Caroline Monro – click here.

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Tattletale, by Sarah J. Naughton

 

We have an absolutely amazing Guest Writer for you this month of April, in the shape of Costa shortlisted author Sarah J. Naughton. We’re very lucky enough to have a lengthy extract from her first adult novel, the excellent thriller Tattletale (above and below) published by Trapeze, which you can read here. With special thanks to Sam Eades for all her help.

 

Tattletale, by Sarah J. Naughton

 

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Shadow Casting by Paul Kane

 

Paul received his copies of the limited signed hardback – with remarqued audio – and trade hardback of Shadow Casting last month, and gorgeous they are too! You can see pictures above and below.

 

Shadow Casting by Paul Kane, introduction by Muriel Gray

 

Shadow Casting, the best of Paul Kane

 

Shadow Casting, the best of Paul Kane

 

Remarqued audio CD

 

Signed limited edition of Shadow Casting by Paul Kane.

 

You can also order the book directly from the publishers here, and from Amazon here and here.

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Signing sheets for Night Shift, by Stephen King

 

Photos now of the signing sheets from the new PS edition of Stephen King’s Night Shift – designed by Dave McKean – that Paul and Marie signed last month. They provided an afterword to this, one of King’s most famous collections (see January’s news for more details) which you can order here.

 

Signing sheet for Night Shift by Stephen King; artwork by Dave McKean

 

Paul Kane signature

 

Signing sheet for Stephen King's Night Shift, artwork by Dave McKean

 

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Life-O-Matic Poster, starring Joe Paulson

 

Two more variant posters have cropped up for the forthcoming film adaptation of Paul’s story ‘Life-O’Matic’ written and directed by Jim Phillips – this time featuring the two main stars, Joe Paulson and Christina Natividad (above and below).

 

Life-O-Matic poster, starring Christina Natividad

 

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Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell artwork by Paul Bonner Jr

 

Finally, Paul was sent these tremendous original pieces of art based on Servants of Hell by Paul Bonner Jr last month (above and below). Needless to say, he was delighted!

 

Servants of Hell artwork by Paul Bonner Jr

 

And Servants itself has been reviewed by Night Owl Reviews, who gave it 5/5 ‘Top Pick’ status. This is what they had to say: ‘Imagine my delight and excitement over reading the novel Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell by Paul Kane. I am a fan of both Sherlock Holmes and the Hellraiser movies, and I do enjoy Clive Barker’s other works. I anticipated reading a story unlike any other known to either world…Strap yourselves in, Sherlockians, for our dear Holmes crosses paths with one of horror’s most infernal creatures: The Cenobites from Hellraiser fame. If you have ever wished for a book to bring together two famous characters – such as, say, a crossover of the Sherlock and Hellraiser fandoms – then this is definitely a book worth reading. It brings to life both worlds so skilfully and the two of them seem to mesh together so well. Sherlock and John are hired for a case of people mysteriously disappearing, and while Sherlock knows intuitively that the missing people will not be found alive, he doesn’t know exactly what happened to them.

So begins our favourite detective wearing disguises as he goes undercover, and underground, to find the missing people and/or discover what happened to them. It certainly has the makings of a good case for Holmes and Watson, and I found this book hard to put down as I kept reading and wanting to know what happened next. The characters are so interesting and I loved the way Mycroft and Mrs. Hudson added to the story so well. And I saw what the author did there when Watson observed that a scarred character (Lemarchand – and yes, that name!) who looked like a human “book of blood.” Ditto with “tortured souls.” …I was anguishing over what happened to Holmes and Watson – and then I was cheering on the both of them, as well as Mary (yes! Mary is in it!). So it was the focus being on my beloved characters that made me love this story all over again. This is most certainly a Sherlock book – despite the Prologue and the Epilogue…And it is most certainly a story that I enjoyed reading.’

You can order the book itself online here, here and at the publishers' site here.

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March

Nailbiters event - with Paul Kane and Paul Finch

 

The big news for March is that the Nailbiters launch has been announced. A ticketed event at the Quad in Derby on the 18th, this will be an evening of readings, interviews a Q&A and book signing.

 

Nailbiters, by Paul B. Kane

 

This from the official PR: ‘Black Shuck Books PresentsWhen Paul Met Paul”. A night of crime and horror with Paul Kane and Paul Finch including the launch of Paul Kane’s new collection Nailbiters. Saturday 18th March, 7:00pm – 9:00pm. Join Black Shuck Books for an event looking at the crossover of two of the most popular literary genres, with two of the UK’s leading authors of crime and horror.’

 

Ashes to Ashes, by Paul Finch

 

The Opportunity DVD

Sunday Times bestseller Paul F will be doing an exclusive reading from his new Sergeant ‘Heck’ Heckenburg novel, Ashes to Ashes, while Paul K will be doing a reading of ‘The Opportunity’, the film adaptation of which will be included in the limited hardback of Nailbiters.   

To make sure of your place you can book your ticket directly through the Quad here.

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Hooded Man, by Paul Kane

 

News now about the paper being delivered by Carl Sell on Arrowhead and the Hooded Man mythos. The paper will be presented at the Popular Culture Association’s National Conference next month in San Diego and will focus on the adaptation of the medieval world in these books. We’re hoping to have photos afterwards to be able to show you, so keep checking back.

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Kong Skull Island, novelisation by Tim Lebbon

 

Returning as Guest Writer for the month of March is the very hard-working Tim Lebbon, who has not one but two books out at the moment from Titan – one being the novelisation of the new King Kong movie, Skull Island (above). The second is brand new standalone novel Relics (below) and you can read an exclusive extract from that one by clicking here.

 

Relics, by Tim Lebbon

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Shadow Casting, by Paul Kane

 

Finally, news now that the limited and trade hardcovers of Shadow Casting have started shipping – and you can also order the book from Amazon here and here.

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February

Life-o-Matic poster

 

The big news this month is about a brand new movie that’s been made based on Paul’s story ‘Life-O-Matic’ (above) which originally appeared in Estronomicon magazine back in 2009.

The film was adapted and directed by Jim Phillips, and stars Joe Paulson (Superstition, The Talk), Christina Natividad (Saturday Night Live), Chris Pearson and Portia Gregory. A couple of the variant posters are below.

 

Life-o-Matic Poster 2

 

Life-o-Matic Poster 3

 

The film has its own Facebook page which you can find here, and will be getting its own website soon. Keep checking back for more news.

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Shadow Casting by Paul Kane, introduction by Muriel Gray

 

A glowing 9/10 review for Paul’s ‘Best of…’ collection Shadow Casting has appeared on the Hungarian website Cinegore here. But for those of you who don’t speak Hungarian, here is the translation courtesy of reviewer Zoo_Lee: ‘A few months ago I introduced you to The Rot, a post-apocalyptic novella from writer Paul Kane, which mixed the classic subgenre with some unique elements and twists. In the past we’ve received the majority of our foreign literature from Horrific Tales Publishing, however, after The Rot review, Mr. Kane sent us a press release of his latest book, titled ShadowCasting, which amongst many of his most successful stories also contains the story “Dead Time”, adapted for the Fear Itself series (as New Year’s Day). If I have to name a book with a similar structure to Shadow Casting, my closest guess from recent memory would be Clive Barker’s Books of Blood, mostly because of the different subgenres represented by the tales, spanning from horror to fantasy through dark humour…

It contains 12 stories altogether, and picking any of them as better or worse than the others would be a near impossible challenge. Still, just to list some of my favourites: “Shadow Writer” is immediately a good start, where the protagonist gets invited to interview his favourite horror author. However, his journey to the secluded master proves more and more menacing, and the meeting is about something much more than a simple interview. Another story, “Biorhythms”, is a prime example of body horror with its main character trying to get complete control over every single process and movement in his body, to handle them like everyday activities, and although he succeeds, controlling his body becomes much more challenging than he ever dared to imagine. Lastly “Men of Cloth” is a nice tribute to classic gothic cinema, featuring a family returning to the father’s old birthplace, an isolated, small village in England, of which his mother refused to speak; following his father’s death, they left for America during his early childhood. This wasn’t a coincidence as the family has a lot to learn about the strange, twisted local folklore, and the things it made the villagers do…

Of course, all the other stories are similarly unique, unusual, either paying tribute to a well-known subgenre, or twisting it beyond surreal (the only reason I didn’t place “A Chaos Demon is for Life” among the others above is because spoiling a single word of it would be a crime). Despite the different styles and structures, Kane’s writing remains on a consistent level through the stories, creating chilling, unnatural beings, sympathetic protagonists and surreal, comical situations with the same success… In summary, Shadow Casting only enforced my opinion based on The Rot, that Kane is one of the most promising modern authors, and I can only hope that sooner or later we can see some of his works on Hungarian shelves. For fans of the Fear Itself series, the book is more than worth it if only for the “Dead Time” story, but even for those who are not part of that fanbase, Shadow Casting is a very unique, high quality compilation, worthy of any horror reader’s attention.’

 

Remarques on CDs for limited edition Shadow Casting

 

And there was an important announcement from SST recently, about the fact that due to circumstances beyond their control the DVD of Confidence will not now be included in the limited edition of Shadow Casting. Instead, there will be an hour-long audio CD featuring two stories narrated by actor Phil Lunt, and with a unique signed remarque from Paul on the front of the disc (like the ones pictured above), to make it even more collectable. You can read more in the official press announcement here.

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Behind Her Eyes, Sarah Pinborough

 

Paul was out and about last month, at the friends and family only launch of Sarah Pinborough’s new thriller from HarperCollins Behind Her Eyes (pictures above and below).

 

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough, book launch

 

The book, as modelled by Sarah below, went on to become a No. 1 Sunday Times bestseller – and you can get your copy by clicking here.

 

Sarah Pinborough, author of Behind Her Eyes

 

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Hekla's Children, by James Brogden

 

Our Guest Writer this February is James Brogden, with an exclusive extract from his new mass market novel Hekla’s Children (above). Paul was so impressed with the book when he was sent an advance copy from Titan that he said, ‘This novel marks Brodgen out as a new rising star’, a quote which appears on the back of the publication. To see what all the fuss is about, click here.

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Lunar, by Paul Kane

 

Pictures of the mass market reissue of Paul’s Lunar out on the wild have been surfacing, including the above courtesy of Esther Mullings who commented: ‘This book by Paul Kane had me on a tense ride throughout, great main character and you feel his desperation. Yet again Paul has delivered a wonderful energy-driven horror that I will revisit. 10/10 for this fan!’

 

Lunar, by Paul Kane

 

While you’re waiting for the movie version, you can get your hands on a copy by clicking here or here.

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The Rot, by Paul Kane

 

Another glowing recommendation now, this time by DLS Reviews for Paul’s novella The Rot (above). Here’s what they had to say: ‘Introducing Paul Kane’s novella we have fellow author, Tim Lebbon, who offers up an appetite-whetting four-page introduction in which he talks of his and our draw to apocalyptic fiction, how Kane’s offering takes us down a whole new path, and the careful balancing act at play within the novella. It’s a fabulously praise-filled foreword that sets the mood perfectly for the bleakness to come.

I use the word “bleak” but trust me, there’s a hell of a lot more to Kane’s novella than just a bleak apocalyptic vision where humanity is gradually reduced to nothing.  Yeah, it’s fucking depressing at times. Emotions are conveyed in the rawest, most delicate and damaged of states. Yet at times there’s also the beginnings of hope – clawing at the grit and grime – attempting to break through. There’s so much honest-to-god humanity within the pages – you feel crushed and cut down, only to be resuscitated and nursed to some iota of health…at which point the incessant cycle starts up again. The story itself is written via our protagonist – Adam Keller’s recorded version of events, recalled over the three months following the outbreak to where he is now. Undoubtedly one of the novella’s key strengths is the prose of this first person narrative. It helps deliver that much-needed human element. There’s an honesty to the dialogue. A believable voice. It pulls you in – putting you behind Keller’s eyes and inside the character’s head.

Essentially the story kicks off with a textbook post-apocalyptic setting. Our principal protagonist is flung into the thick of the end of the world, with violent chaos erupting everywhere and absolutely no idea what’s going on. The horror of it all comes hurtling in within these first few pages, with Kane unleashing scene after scene of barbaric violence to underline one of the principal symptoms of the disease. Indeed, aside from the “Rotting” element (which I’ll come to in a minute) the rest of the novella reads like a reasonably toned-down Crossed instalment merged with Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend (1954) along with a touch of Earth Abides (1949) and The Purple Cloud (1901). Yes there’s plenty of violence and adrenaline-pumping edge-of-the-seat action thrown in. But there are also layers of emotional turmoil, loss and longing in there. Our protagonist’s journey isn’t so much a character arc as it is a systematic deconstruction and then reconstruction of one man’s crumbling psyche.

Behind all of this, like an overshadowing and ever-present cloud of oppression, is the Rot. Its presence is a gradual decay. There are hints of things deteriorating, scattered through the early pages. And then suddenly the gravity of the Rot’s impact upon the world hits like a breezeblock to the face. Buildings are crumbling. Streets are caving in. Vehicles are breaking down. It’s like a malignant cancer, spreading throughout the world and destroying absolutely everything in its wake. Even if you feel that you’ve already read more than your fair share of post-apocalyptic fiction, I urge you not to dismiss Kane’s offering to this otherwise overly saturated subgenre. The backdrop may be reasonably well-trodden ground, but it’s with the depth of characterisation, the voice given to our protagonist, the purpose given to each and every one of the secondary characters that Kane introduces, and the magnitude of the emotional warfare at play, that the novella stands taller than the majority of tales it rubs shoulders with. A veritable masterclass in emotion-rich post-apocalyptic fiction.’

You can read the full review here.

And you can order the book in hardback on Amazon here, here, and on Barnes and Noble here, or the Kindle edition here and here

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The Disease, by Paul Kane

 

Comic news now, and Paul’s first ever one – The Disease – published by Hellbound Media, has been nominated for a Ghastly Award in the one-shot category, alongside the likes of Joe Hill’s Locke & Key. You can see a full list of the nominees here and cast your vote here.

You can also buy the comic direct from the publisher here.

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Between the Tracks, Tales from the Ghost Train

 

Short story news, and Paul’s ‘When Push Comes to Shove’ will be included in the forthcoming anthology Between the Tracks, edited by Steve Dillon and including such luminaries as Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell and Christopher Golden. More details as and when.

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Starburst Bookworm Podcast

 

You can now listen to the Starburst Bookworm podcast which was recorded live at Sledge-Lit last December and features Paul, Stephen Volk and Gavin Thorpe. Just click here to be thoroughly entertained.

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Last but not least, regular visitors to the site will know that February is Paul’s birthday month, so we’re sure you’ll join us in wishing him a very happy one this year!

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January

Nightshift by Stephen King, art by Dave McKean

 

A very Happy New Year, and what better way to move into 2017 than with news that Paul and Marie have been asked to to write an afterword for the gorgeous hardback edition of Stephen King’s famous collection Night Shift (above), due to be published by PS soon. 

 

Graveyard Shift, Stephen King

 

Night Shift, as well as being a milestone in the genre, was of course King’s first collection. It gathered together many short stories that would go on to be adapted for film and television, including Graveyard Shift (above), The Lawnmower Man, Sometimes They Come Back (below), The Mangler, Children of the Corn (also below)…

 

Sometimes They Come Back, Stephen King

 

Children of the Corn, Stephen King

 

…and one of Paul’s particular favourites – the Emmy-winning adaptation of Battleground by Richard Christian Matheson for the Nightmares and Dreamscapes TV series (starring William Hurt, below).

 

William Hurt, starring in Battleground, adapted from the story of the same name by Stephen King

 

This new edition of the book features superb cover art and internal illustrations (below) by none other than Dave McKean – who visitors to the site might remember provided the covers for Paul’s two RED books (the third of which is coming later this year, Deep RED).

 

Night Shift, Interior artwork by Dave McKean

 

Night Shift, interior artwork - Jerusalem's Lot - Dave McKean

 

Night Shift, interior artwork, Dave McKean

 

To pre-order your copy, visit the PS Publishing website by clicking here.

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Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell, Paul Kane

 

There have been more mentions for Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell in various ‘Best of 2016’ listings, including at The Tattooed Book Geek (above) here, The Grim Reader here, Dark Musings here, Pop Shifter here, a double mention in novels and horror on ebookwyrm here, and an international mention at Horreur Quebec here.

 

Books of the Year

 

In addition, the book was presented with an SFSF Social ‘Skadi Award’ for Best Novel in their year’s round-up.

 

 As always, you can keep up to date with all reviews, interviews and announcements on the Servants Facebook page here and you can order the book itself online here, here and at the publisher's site here.

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Defender, by G X Todd

 

The first Guest Writer of this year is GX Todd, whose stunning debut novel Defender (above and below) has been called ‘worthy to take its place alongside The Stand in the canon. An absolute gem of a book’ by John Connolly and ‘compelling, suspenseful, and altogether extraordinary’ by Lee Child. You can read an exclusive extract and see what all the fuss is about for yourself simply by clicking here.

 

Defender, G X Todd

 

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Disease, by Paul Kane and Pawel Kardis

 

Finally, a review of Paul’s comic The Disease (above and below) has appeared at Kult Creations. Here’s what they had to say: ‘This is a glossy, serious and professional product that wouldn’t look out of place coming out of some big American comics company… It belongs to the long horror tradition of “body horror”, where someone’s very body is invaded and subsumed (Cronenberg’s The Fly for example) – in short, where your body becomes… monstrous. It’s no secret that “body horror” is so disturbing because it’s a metaphor for disease. Here the metaphor is stripped away and Kane just goes for the visceral horror of the tale of a man overtaken by a terrible illness that warps his body. This probably wouldn’t be as effective (and infecting) as it is without Kardis’s shocking, photo-realistic painted art. No word of a lie – this is as good as anything produced by Alex Ross. He is as confident depicting the beauty of the semi-naked female form as he is the contents of a toilet bowel! His work is both hideous and gorgeous at the same time. Not for children or the faint hearted. If you care about comics as a medium for storytelling, do yourself a favour and pick this up.’

 

The Disease, by Paul Kane and Pawel Kardis

 

You can read the full thing here and buy the comic from Hellbound Media here.

 

 

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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 2003-2017. All rights reserved. Materials (including images) may not be reproduced without express permission from the author.