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2003 news can be viewed here

 

July

Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell

 

July is, of course, the launch month for Paul’s latest mass market novel, Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell from Solaris (above). The book comes with an introduction from none other than the Female Cenobite herself, Barbie Wilde, and has already been generating quite a lot of buzz – with Kirkus naming it ‘one of the books you’ll want to read in July’ here.

The first review in June came from Dread Central, who gave the title five stars and said: ‘The prologue takes us right into the thick of the box-opening action. We’re sitting in that circle, surrounded by filth, obsessing over the box and how it could be opened, when… ahhhh, but that would be a spoiler, wouldn’t it? This 90,000-worder (approximately) opens with the words of Dr Watson, who is chronicling (apparently for his own purposes) how he met Holmes and touching on some of their adventures together… I suspect Paul Kane will have spent considerable time ensuring his references are as accurate as possible. As a Holmes fan himself, he is doubtless hoping to please the armchair sleuths who are likely to pick this up and accept it for what it is, a believable Sherlock Holmes tale…

A perfectly plausible storyline follows, as Watson goes on to discuss how, after his feigned death, Holmes went travelling, and how, since Moriarty’s demise, Holmes was lacking a challenge. It’s not a great leap of intuition to put the two things together and wonder how Holmes might have sought some excitement (and danger) to keep him away from his self-destructive habits of choice. I really enjoyed the tie-ins to the Cotton family and the address on Lodovico street, which Hellraiser fans will recognise… While the first names of the major characters echo closely the characters in Hellraiser, they are clearly some predecessors from a previous era, lending a kind of alternate universefeel to a fairly familiar tale. This is a skill that Kane has mastered through various retellings of faerie tales such as his treatment in modernising Red Riding Hood in RED and Blood RED

The parallels with the established Hellraiser mythos continue, and of course are augmented by the addition of Holmes and familiar characters from other well-known sources… But I won’t spoil it here. Suffice to say, whether you’re a fan of the first two movies, or Clive Barker’s The Hellbound Heart novella, or Paul Kane’s Hellbound Hearts anthology of short stories, or the Sherlock Holmes adventures, you’re in for a treat and I doubt if any but the most die-hard purist fan will have any qualms over Kane’s treatment of these subjects that he knows and loves so well…’

You can read the full review here.

 

Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell by Paul Kane

 

Next up came the Books of Blood site, who said: ‘Paul Kane is no stranger to the Hellraiser universe. He’s the author of the truly outstanding The Hellraiser Films and Their Legacy as well as the editor of the short story anthology, Hellbound Hearts, which expanded Clive Barker’s mythos still further. This is a man who clearly respects Clive Barker’s most brilliant creation. So there could be no safer hands for a tale that brings together two legends, Sherlock Holmes and the Cenobites. As a huge Hellraiser fan myself, I have to admit I’ve been giddy about the prospect of reading this since I first heard about it…When we meet Sherlock he’s a lost soul. His nemesis, Moriarty, is dead and there are no challenges left for him. So instead he has been experimenting with drugs and is close to destroying himself. Then a very special case comes along. Francis Cotton has been reported missing, having disappeared from inside a locked room, and that piques Holmes’ interest. Then the game’s afoot!

If the last name Cotton sounds familiar, it should. We have Francis, who disappeared (Frank), his brother Laurence (Larry), Kirsten, his daughter (Kirsty), and second wife and stepmother to Kirsten, Juliet (Julia). Further parallels with names from the film series continue as further disappearances cross Holmes’ path… The in-references to the initial Hellraiser trilogy of films come thick and fast. As the names kept cropping up it was nice to place them. There was one surprise appearance outside of the film characters that really put a smile on my face…

The dynamic between Holmes and Watson, our narrator for the majority of the book, is wonderful. Holmes’ curiosity and excitable nature is evocatively brought to life. As ever, Watson is accused of being his nanny by an irritable and insufferable Holmes for worrying about his reckless behaviour. Paul Kane, through Watson’s narration, slots the story nicely into the established Sherlock Holmes canon with many references to other established cases that took place before and in between the disappearances in the story.

The setting and time period are perfect, a dark and dingy London, industrialization, thick fog, and men seeking understanding and enlightenment in both science and magic. While it feels primarily like a Sherlock Holmes story, a mystery in the typical vein, full of twists, paths do eventually cross. The arrival of the Order of the Gash introduces us to a plethora of new, inventive, and vile Cenobites. This includes a rather Victorian steampunk selection. This was one of my favourite parts of the book… It’s worth a mention that the prologue to the story is absolutely incredible. After reading that you’ll cheer and be hooked. To call this a mashup doesn’t do it justice as that suggests a parody, which this is not. It’s the greatest puzzle solver against the puzzle box. I was completely riveted throughout and couldn’t put it down.’

You can read that one here.

 

Puzzle box

 

Then the Clive Barker Podcast gave the book 9/10, saying: ‘Crossover stories have always been tricky to pull off. Most of them tend to pick a side and never really find a solid middle ground to do justice to both universes. I also find that some fans come away feeling alienated because they feel the characters they’ve come to love over the years aren’t given the respect they deserve. I know I have… I’m happy to report though that both the Hellraiser and Sherlock Holmes universes are given the same amount of respect in Paul Kane’s new novel Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell.

I’m not going to go into the details of the story for this review, but simply touch on the aspects that I really enjoyed the most about it. I will say that story reminded me of a couple Sherlock Holmes stories like The Valley of Fear, The Final Problem, The Sign of the Four, and of course Clive Barker’s The Hellbound Heart. Saying anything more would really spoil the surprise. First off, Paul has perfectly captured the essence of Sherlock Holmes and how these stories work. The atmosphere was dead on and at times it felt like I was reading another story written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. As for the Hellraiser elements I knew he would deliver on this end of the narrative. The man has lived and breathed this world for years so that part was going to be a given.

The best part of Servants of Hell is Holmes and Watson, especially Watson. For me this story was more about him coming to grips with his past and how his belief system is tested through the narrative. You even begin to question whether Watson will remain sane or not by the end. Holmes is a much darker character here too than I’ve ever seen him before. Paul uses ideas from previous stories about how Holmes has built up tolerances to drugs and poisons to help him withstand anything so he can control his body and mind in any given situation. Well, almost anything if you understand my meaning. In Servants of Hell Holmes faces his most dangerous opponents yet!

If you were disappointed by the lack of new Cenobite creations in The Scarlet Gospels (I wasn’t one of them) fear not because Paul has literally created a small army of new ones here. I think NECA toys could start up their Hellraiser toy line again if they wanted to with all the original creations that he‘s come up with. The last one-hundred pages is a pure adrenaline rush of action and gore that will surely keep the reader on the edge of their seat. The lavish action sequences that are described reminded me of paintings from the mind of Hieronymus Bosch. There’s so much visual imagery it can be overwhelming at times…

Well, he’s done it again! Author Paul Kane has delivered another exciting and horror filled tale with Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell. If you want mystery and suspense in the similar style of the classic Sherlock Holmes stories you’ve got it here! If you want skinned bodies, weird insane asylums, and bizarre Cenobite characters, Paul has you more than covered there, too. Clive Barker described The Scarlet Gospels as a kick to the gut then I would go a step further and describe Servants of Hell as a solid ass kicking!’

The full review is here.

 

Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell, by Paul Kane

 

‘A whopping 10/10 next from Sci-Fi Bulletin, who said: ‘The thing with crossover novels like this is that they can be a tricky beast to get right. You can often end up with one strand being a lot stronger than the other, to the detriment of the story. Thankfully that is not the case here. What is clear from the off here is that Mr Kane knows his stuff. To start with you have a Sherlock Holmes story that could have come from the pen of Conan Doyle himself. Kane captures the essence of place, story and character perfectly. This is not a reinvention of Holmes, this is Holmes. And then…

And then we have the Order of the Gash, the Cenobites. What was already a great story takes a step up. Paul Kane is acknowledged (by Clive Barker himself, no less) to be one of the most knowledgeable people when it comes down to the Hellraiser universe – and it shows here. When the Cenobites and their servants on Earth appear the story gets gruesome, horrific – and feels very ‘Hellraisery’. Holmes, Watson and the varying Cenobites (no two the same) all feel as they belong on the same page, in the same story and that, for me, is quite an achievement. Also, the Cenobites (and the pseudo Cenobites – sorry, no spoilers) are not generic creatures. Each one feels like an individual and this is, yet again, where Paul Kane shines. They have names and are described in such visceral detail but still feel believable. Does it help to have prior knowledge of the Hellraiser series? Possibly, but I would not say it is essential.

So, at this point I should point out what didn’t work for me with the story – but I can honestly say I would be hard pushed to do that. Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell is a gem of a book that fits well into both Holmes and Hellraiser canon.’

Again, for the full review click here.

 

Puzzlebox

 

A review from The Book Voucher followed, who said: ‘Newsflash: I am a complete sucker for all things Sherlock Holmes. I love the original Sherlock Holmes stories by A.C. Doyle and I can’t get enough of the myriad of mysteries inspired by them such as Whitechapel: The Final Stand of Sherlock by Bernard Schaffer, Sherlock Holmes and the Mummy’s Curse by Stephanie Osborn, June Thomson’s Secret Sherlock Holmes series, The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by William Seil. Love them! Another thing I am a goner for? Horror. Horror in all its forms and variations. So, “set in Clive Barker’s Hellraising World” and the mention of a “sinister asylum in France” (American Horror Story: Asylum was my favourite one… minus the aliens) definitely struck a cord. I am starry-eyed, and so on board!

Paul Kane manages to capture the voice of Arthur Conan Doyle, perfectly mimicking the language and mannerisms of Sherlock Holmes and the narrative style attributed to Watson, while keeping it original and innovative, merging the iconic detective with the Cenobites (references to the Hellraiser universe throughout), and giving it a supernatural twist that, to me, seems only appropriate since, more than a logic procedure of detection based on observation, the process of Sherlock Holmes mystery solvings has always had a feel of magic.’

Meanwhile Beauty in Ruins added: ‘There is so just much potential in the concept. Handle it right, and you’ve got yourself a horror/mystery that is destined to become a genre staple. Fumble it at any point, however, and you have two separate camps of fandom ready to critique, condemn, and drag you to…well, Hell. Fortunately, Paul Kane knows his stuff, and what we have here is no mere imaginative lark. Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell is a very carefully constructed story that considers the legacies of both Doyle and Barker, and which not only finds a point at which the two can meet, but one in which that intersection actually adds something to each respective story.

In terms of narrative, this absolutely feels like a Sherlock Holmes story. Kane captures the voice of Dr Watson exceptionally well, and explains away any irregularities by presenting it as a tale that Watson never intends to publish. Furthermore, he sets it after the incident at Reichenbach Falls, using the Hellraiser mythology to cleverly explain the shift in Holmes’ character and personality in those latter tales. He also does some clever work with The Hound of the Baskervilles, taking one of the most horrific Sherlock Holmes tales and casting some doubt upon its casual dismissal of the supernatural.

As far as Hellraiser is concerned, reading this is like an epic Easter Egg hunt. Kane touches upon all aspects of the extended mythology, including details from the original Hellbound Heart tale; Barbie Wilde’s tales of Sister Cilice in Voices of the Damned; and even several tales from the Hellbound Hearts anthology. There are some very nice parallels to the original story of the Cotton family; some fantastic background on the Lemarchand family and the Lament Configuration puzzle box; a gloriously grotesque band of Cenobites; and a vivid exploration of Hell that fits in very well with last year’s Scarlet Gospels. In bringing the two worlds together, Kane remains true to the feel and the style of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, but drags the story into darker, more decadent corners of the Victorian world. There is torture aplenty in this tale, both of the human and the Cenobite variety, and a BDSM-themed brothel that really allows him to play with (and foreshadow) the dark eroticism of Baker's sadomasochistic fantasies. Ultimately, however, it's the relationship between Holmes and Watson that makes the story work, testing the deepest, darkest bounds of friendship, and exploring the absolute darkest chapter in their shared story. If you do choose to open the cover of Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell, be forewarned that once you’re well-and-truly hooked, the pages (like the puzzle box) do tend to turn themselves.’

 

Sherlock Holmes and the servants of Hell by Paul Kane - postcards

 

Into the Macabre gave the title 5/5, saying: ‘I have a confession. Before reading this book, I had no clue who Paul Kane was. Apparently, to the people in the know, he is the leading guru on Clive Barker’s Hellraiser films and mythos (outside of Barker, of course). So you’ll have to excuse me for being late to the party. What I do know is that I love Clive Barker’s Hellraiser films and I enjoy the Sherlock Holmes stories. So when I stumbled across the title of this book, I was instantly intrigued. What seems upon first glance as a farce, started sounding pretty damn full of possibilities the more I thought about it. After jumping headfirst into Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell, I am pleased to announce that the possibilities were right on the money and Kane delivered one hell of a fun read.

Sherlock Holmes is moping around since he defeated his archenemy, Moriarty. Cases don’t seem to be that intriguing or challenging and Holmes is apparently a ball of irritability if his mind isn’t challenged. Dr Watson is worried about his dear friend, especially since he’s had a tangle with opium demon from time to time. Then a missing person case comes in. Apparently, a Francis Cotton went inside his attic room, locked the door, and never came out. Disappeared. Holmes and Watson take the case and are stumped. Other missing person cases come trickling in with the same descriptions. Holmes is convinced that they are tied together. But how? When investigating one of the other disappearances, the duo discover a secret society that focuses on the forbidden pleasures of the flesh and a pillar that contained a small box. Sound familiar?

Kane’s tale weaves in and out of tie-ins with previous Sherlock Holmes stories and the Hellraiser films. And it works. Very well, I might add. The story is told Arthur Conan Doyle-style through a re-telling by Dr Watson. We also get a nice perspective from it rotating back and forth from Watson to Holmes’ POV and back again. Who would’ve thought that the marriage of Sherlock Holmes and Clive Barker would work so well? You know what? Don’t question a good thing and Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell is a good thing.’

 

Puzzlebox

 

Finally, this from the Mind of Tatlock site: ‘I consider myself a pretty big Hellraiser fan. I own all the movies and I own several books, comics, action figures and a few Lament Configuration replicas. I absolutely love Hellraiser, plain and simple. Hellraiser hasn’t been doing too bad lately. We have a comic series from BOOM! Studios, Gary J. Tunnicliffe is currently working on a new Hellraiser movie, Hellraiser: Judgment and Hellraiser creator Clive Barker finally finished his destruction of Pinhead in The Scarlet Gospels… On what would normally be a completely unrelated note, Sherlock Holmes has also never been more popular than it is today, with a couple TV shows and a movie series. It seems Holmes is a detective that won’t quit. You wouldn’t think to say it’s only inevitable that the two franchises would meet, but after reading Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell, I feel like it was always meant to be. Author Paul Kane has crafted a Hellraiser story that I’ve been longing for since I turned the last page on the short story collection Hellbound Hearts, which Paul Kane also happened to edit.

Paul Kane is the go-to guy for Hellraiser, after having released the aforementioned Hellbound Hearts and the fantastic The Hellraiser Films and Their Legacy, which details all the movies, not just the popular ones. Who better to place the Hellraiser mythologies in Sherlock Holmes’ world. And not only does he masterfully mix the two, he also brings together the Hellraiser films, the comics, the Hellbound Hearts short stories and, in what can only be described as a miracle, he is able to connect The Scarlet Gospels world to the Hellraiser world we love.

Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell begins with Dr Watson writing in his secret journal about a case which defied logic. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson came upon a case of mysterious disappearances, starting with the disappearance of Francis Cotton (the first of many nods to characters and events throughout the entire catalogue of Hellraiser). Holmes and Watson slowly start unravelling the mystery behind everything, which always points to a mysterious puzzle box known as the Lament Configuration. The adventure has the duo investigating plenty of interesting places, such as a seedy S&M club, the Malahide Institute in France and a certain place that will seem very familiar to Hellbound: Hellraiser IIfans. Everything that is happening is leading up to an epic showdown between Holmes and the Order of the Gash, also known as the Cenobites!

There is way more to the story than that little summary above, but there is no way in hell (sorry for the pun) that I will ruin this fantastic tale for anyone. As I’ve already mentioned, I know Hellraiser, so colour me surprised when Paul Kane managed to expand the universe even more than I thought was possible. While I was reading the book, I kept thinking about the old Epic Comics run of Hellraiser stories that showed us a Hell that was more than just a twisted path of hallways and pillars. I’m thinking Paul Kane was a big fan of that comic series, as he expands the home of the Cenobites in a similar way.

Okay, I’ve been gushing over the ties to Hellraiser, but what about Sherlock fans. Are they going to be able to jump into this story? The answer to that is a resounding yes! You don’t need to be a Hellraiser fanatic to enjoy a good adventure. Paul Kane throws in numerous nods and references to Holmes’ past cases, managing to tie in the infamous Reichenbach Falls and many of the other cases that came after Holmes’ apparent “death”. Did you ever feel like Holmes was a completely different man after he came back to life? Well, fret not, as that is all explained…

Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell is going to please both Hellraiser and Sherlock fans alike. I’m sure there will be a few people out there that are not going to be impressed with the fantastical and horrific horror story that is told here. However, as long as you know what you are getting into, you’re going to love it. Paul Kane, please give us more Hellraiser. You’re really damn good at it!’

You can read the full versions of those here, here, here and here.

 

Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell, by Paul Kane, with Puzzlebox

 

The novel launches on 12th and there will be copies at Edge-Lit in Derby on 16th where Paul is a guest (see last month for details). Keep checking back for more on signings and events throughout the summer, and for up-to-date information you can follow Paul on Twitter @PaulKaneShadow

You can also pre-order the book online here, here and at the publishers' site here.

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London Falling, Paul Cornell

 

And, sticking with the Holmes theme for a moment, our Guest Writer on the site this month is Paul Cornell (also known for comics such as Wolverine and Soldier Zero, and TV such as Dr Who and Elementary) with the latest in his ‘Shadow Police’ series of novels – which began with the excellent London Falling (above). The new novel is called, appropriately, Who Killed Sherlock Holmes? (below) and you can read an extract from it here.

 

Who Killed Sherlock Holmes? Paul Cornell

 

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Monsters, by Paul Kane

 

News now about Paul’s collection from last year, Monsters (above), which has been shortlisted for a British Fantasy Award. You can read an article about the nominations and find the full list of them at the bottom of the piece on The Guardian site, here.

And the winners will be announced at FantasyCon in Scarborough in September.

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Dublin Ghost Story Festival

 

Paul is delighted to be added to the line-up as a guest at The Dublin Ghost Story Festival, Friday 19th – Sunday 21st August, run by Swan River Press with sponsorship from the HWA UK. The Guest of Honour is Adam Nevill (No One Gets Out Alive, Lost Girl), with John Connolly (Nocturnes, Night Music) as MC and other guests including David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas, The Bone Clocks), Sarah Pinborough (The Death House, 13 Minutes), Alexandra Benedict (The Beauty of Murder, Jonathan Dark and the Evidence of Ghosts) and Angela Slatter (Of Sorrow and Such, Vigil) in attendance.

To read more about the event, just click here.

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The Fireman, Joe Hill

 

Photos now from an event last month, the Joe Hill Fireman reading, Q&A and signing, with added Kazoochestra. A great time was had by all, as you can probably tell!

 

L to R: Paul Kane, Joe Hill and Marie O'Regan

 

Joe H ill reading from The Fireman

 

The kazoochestra at Joe Hill event, Derby Book Festival

 

Joe Hill signing copies of The Fireman

 

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The Disease, Paul Kane and Pawel Kardis

 

Paul also met up with Mark Adams of Hellbound Media last month to sign and draw in copies of The Disease (above), hot off the press – which was captured below.

 

Paul Kane signing copies of The Disease

 

A remarque inside one of the copies of The Disease, by Paul Kane

 

A remarque inside a copy of The Disease, by Paul Kane

 

And below are some of the internals by the superbly talented Pawel Kardis.

 

Panels from The Disease - artwork by Pawel Kardis

 

Panels from The Disease - artwork by Pawel Kardis

 

The comic is due to be launched at HorrorCon, 2016. For more details about that, click here.

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Copies of End of the End, by Paul Kane, Cavan Scott and Simon Guerrier

 

Copies of The End of the End, which gathers together Afterblight novellas from Cavan Scott, Simon Guerrier and Paul – including the Hooded Man adventure Flaming Arrow – have arrived at the Rebellion offices (above). The mass market book is due out on 9th August and you can pre-order here.

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Robin of Sherwood, Knights of the Apocalypse

 

And staying with Hood a moment, Paul’s review of the audio drama The Knights of the Apocalypse – the long-awaited return of Robin of Sherwood – is on the Sci-Fi Bulletin site here.

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The Refuge Collection

 

Finally, Paul’s The P.I.’s Tale has now been reprinted in the charity anthology The Refuge Collection (above and below). You can find out more at the site here and you can still buy the story, illustrated by Edward Miller, separately here.

 

The P.I's Tale, by Paul Kane - part of The Refuge Collection

 

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June

 

Clive Barker's Next Testament, by Mark Miller and Haemi Jang

 

The first piece of news this month is that Mark A. Miller – best known for his comics work on Next Testament (above), Hellraiser and Steam Man (below) – is introducing The Disease (see previous news section for details), to be published by Hellbound Media with artwork by Pawel Kardis. 

The Kickstarter campaign for this was a massive success, and you can read more about it by clicking here.

 

The Steam Man

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The Fireman, by Joe Hill

 

Paul will be at the Joe Hill event in Derby at the Quad on 11th June. Joe will be there to celebrate the launch of his new novel The Fireman (above), as part of the Derby Literary Festival.

You can find out more about the evening event and book your ticket by clicking here.

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The Bone Collector

 

Here at the Shadow Writer site we’re over the moon to welcome international best-selling, award-winning writer Jeffrey Deaver. Author of books such as A Maiden’s Grave, Edge and The October List, he is probably best known for his thrillers featuring Lincoln Rhyme – played by Denzel Washington in the film version of The Bone Collector, alongside Angela Jolie (above). We’re lucky enough to have an extract from the latest Rhyme novel, The Steel Kiss (below, and out now in hardback), which you can dive into by clicking here.    

 

The Steel Kiss, by Jeffery Deaver

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May

HWA Pubmeet Derby

 

To kick off May, above and below are photos from the first ever HWA UK Horror Meet held in Derby at the Ye Olde Dolphin Inne – including Marie introducing the event and guest A.K. Benedict doing a reading from her latest novel Jonathan Dark or The Evidence of Ghosts.

You can read reports about it here and here.

 

Alexandra Benedict, reading from Jonathan Dark or the Evidence of Ghosts

 

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Edge-Lit

And the HWA are also sponsoring this year’s Edge-Lit in Derby, at the Quad on 16th July, which will feature Paul as one of the Guest Speakers alongside Paul Cornell (Who Killed Sherlock Holmes? Elementary), Sarah Pinborough (The Death House, 13 Minutes) and Jason Arnopp (The Last Days of Jack Sparks, Stormhouse).

To read the full list of guests and to book your tickets click here.

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Sci Fi London Event, Stratford Picture House

 

Sticking with events for a moment, Paul had a great time at Sci-Fi London last month – and you can find photos from this above and below, including Paul with festival director Louis Savy, Louis introducing one of the short film sections and postcards for Blood RED on display.

 

Dci-Fi-London Film Festival Poster

 

Louis Savvy, Paul Kane

 

Sci-Fi-London

 

Louis Savvy

 

Sci-Fi-London postcards: Blood Red, Paul Kane

 

And you can find out more about the Flash Fiction judges for the festival – including Paul – by clicking here.

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Wire in the Blood, Robson Green

 

We’re honoured here at the Shadow Writer site to welcome award-winning and number one bestselling author Val McDermid as Guest Writer for the month of May. Author of such novels as The Vanishing Point and The Skeleton Road, she is probably most famous for her series of books featuring psychological profiler Tony Hill (played by Robson Green in the TV adaptation Wire in the Blood, above). To read an extract from the latest novel to feature him, Splinter the Silence (below) – out now in paperback – just click here

 

Splinter in the Silence, Val McDermid

 

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Bride of Re-Animator

 

Last month, Paul reviewed two new releases for Sci-Fi Bulletin. You can read what he had to say about Arrow’s Bride of Re-Animator (above) and The Ninth Configuration (below) here and here.

 

The Ninth Configuration

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April

A.K. Benedict

 

We begin this month with an event, the first HWA Horror Meet in fact on 9th April in Derby at the reputedly haunted Ye Olde Dolphin Inne from 2pm to 7pm. Our guest is none other than A.K. Benedict (above), author of The Beauty of Murder and Jonathan Dark or The Evidence of Ghosts and February’s Guest Writer on the site (read an extract from the latter novel here).

All members of HWA UK are welcome, plus this event will also be open to non-members who are interested in meeting fellow horror fans and writers and learning more about what the Horror Writers Association can do for its members.

The link for the pub is here. It’s about a twenty-minute walk from the train station or five minutes in a cab. For anyone wanting to stay over, there are quite a few hotels not too far away.

For more details and to register your interest, visit the Facebook page for this event here.

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Sci-Fi-London Film Festival

 

Speaking of events, Paul is one of the judges for Sci-Fi London’s Flash Fiction competition this month, alongside Robert Grant, Gareth L Powell and Charles Christian. Now in it’s 16th year, this huge festival is on for 10 days between 27th April and 6th May and its guests include Benedict Cumberbatch (star of Sherlock, Dr Strange), John Landis (director of American Werewolf in London) and William Hurt (Oscar-winning star of Humans and Captain American: Civil War), all below.    

 

Top row, L to R: Benedict Cumberbatch, John Landis. Bottom row: William Hurt

To find out more about the festival, visit the website here.

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Tales to Terrify

 

You can listen to audio versions of Paul’s stories ‘Life-o-Matic’ and ‘Words to the Wise’ – which will feature in his forthcoming collection Disexistence – in recent editions of Tales to Terrify (above).

To go to the issues in question, click here and here.

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In the Dark, Mark Billingham

 

The Shadow Writer site is over the moon to welcome our Guest Writer for the month of April, the superb Mark Billingham. Award-winning author of bestselling books such as Sleepyhead, Good as Dead, In the Dark (above) and Rush of Blood, Mark’s most famous creation – London detective Tom Thorne – was brought to life by David Morrissey in two miniseries back in 2010. We’re fortunate enough to have an exclusive extract from his latest Thorne mystery, the number one Sunday Times bestseller Time of Death – which is coming to BBC TV later this year – so to read this simply click here.

 

Time of Death, Mark Billingham

 

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Confidence, a Mike Clarke film. Written by Paul Kane

 

New posters from the short film Paul scripted, Confidence, which finished shooting last month, have been released – and you’ll find some of these above and below.

 

Confidence poster 2

 

Confidence poster 3

 

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The Disease, by Paul Kane

 

A comic book adaptation of Paul’s classic story ‘The Disease’, included most recently in the collection Monsters, is in the works (above). Scripted by Paul, with artwork from Pawel Kardis, this is to be published by Hellbound Media as part of their Shock Value line (below).

 

Shock Value

 

You can read news reports about this project here, here and here, and visit the Kickstarter page for it here.

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Re-Animator, Basket Case the trilogy

 

Last month Paul reviewed the new Blu-Ray releases of horror classics Re-Animator and the Basket Case Trilogy (above) for Sci-Fi Bulletin. You can read what he thought of these by clicking here and here.

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March

Snow artwork

 

We start March’s news with a couple more great reviews for Paul’s novelette Snow, out now in print and e-book from Stormblade Productions. The first was written by Jim Mcleod of Ginger Nuts of Horror, who said: ‘No matter what our age, we all love fairy tales. There is something primal about their nature, they hint at a world beyond the pale, a world that despite the logical way of our adult brain works still has the power to haunt and chill us on a cold winter’s night…Snow from Paul Kane is a modern reworking of the classic fairy tale Snow White, a clever, well written adult version of the much loved classic story.  

Angela’s life has been a lonely one, kept secluded from others by her cruel mother and wicked uncle, her family life has never been a happy one, and when she starts to have suspicions about the death of her father, she is taken into the forest with the sole purpose of being disposed of. But when she manages to escape the clutches of her evil uncle and falls into an old discarded mine she finds allies to her plight in the most of unlikely of guises. With Snow, Paul Kane has delivered a unique take on a classic fairy tale… A fast-paced narrative that barely stops for breath will keep the reader enthralled throughout as the story unfolds, aided by some strong characterisations and a brilliant spin on the Dwarfs of the original story.  

While the overall story will be familiar, Kane has injected enough original ideas of his own to ensure that Snow reads like a fresh new story. There is a nice layer of dread that resides in this story, one that connects to the primal part of your brain, that is still susceptible to things that go bump in the night, making this a fast-paced and chilling story. You won’t be whistling while you work after reading this, you'll be whistling to keep the darkness away!’    

You can read the full review here.

 

The Clive Barker podcast

 

The second was from Rob Ridenour over at the Clive Barker Podcast (above), who gave the book 10/10 and said: ‘As a small boy I can vividly remember my loving grandmother putting me and my two older brothers to bed to such gruesome Brothers Grimm stories as Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, and Snow White. Looking back, I believe if she’d known how disturbing they truly were I doubt she’d have read them to us. But I’m glad she did because this was another part of my youth where I first fell in love with the fantastic.

Which brings me to the latest incarnation of the Snow White tale by writer Paul Kane simply titled Snow…What I loved most about this retelling were the characters. Angela is a sympathetic heroine who you find yourself rooting for right from the start. Without giving anything away I’d say don’t expect a prince charming to come in and save her at the last minute because Angela doesn’t need one. She’s a strong character by herself, but she does have some new “friends” that do lend her a helping hand.

I also enjoyed the wicked stepmother Ruth. I felt bad for Ruth and Uncle Robert. Paul gives them both a background that the reader can relate to as well. I found myself understanding why they would turn into such monsters. You should always love the villains as much as you love the heroes and that’s one of the reasons why I found Ruth so interesting. Paul also creates wonderful visual imagery through the use of such colours as red and white. They play an important part in the story just as much as the characters. He uses them to provide some very interesting symbolism throughout the story.

Another aspect that I enjoyed were the little nods to the original story Paul would throw in from time to time. Like when Robert brought Angela’s bloody coat as proof that she was dead. And how Ruth would constantly keep Angela out of the public “eye”… Fun stuff! Paul Kane has another winner on his hands with Snow. This is the third book of his I’ve read and every one of them has been a complete joy. He’s a writer that has the wonderful ability to put his own spin on previous stories and make them fresh and new. He’s definitely on my top ten favourite author’s list. I’m so stoked for Sherlock Holmes and Servants of Hell!’
 

You can read the whole review here plus a mini-interview with Paul here.

And you can buy the book here.

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Cuckoo Song, by Frances Hardinge

 

Our very special Guest Writer for this month is bestselling and British Fantasy Award-winning writer Frances Hardinge. Author of such books as Cuckoo Song (above) Fly by Night, Twilight Robbery and Gullstruck Island, we have an extract from her latest novel, Costa’s Book of the Year 2015 The Lie Tree (below). To read this, simply click here.    

 

The Lie Tree, by Frances Hardinge

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Simon Bamford on the set of short film, Confidence

 

Exclusive on set photos now from the short film Paul scripted, Confidence, starring Hellraiser and Nightbreed actor Simon Bamford (above and below). Filming took place over the end of February/beginning of March, so expect more news on this soon.

 

Simon Bamford, Confidence

 

Simon Bamford, Confidence

 

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BFS Journal, Spring 2016

 

Paul’s non-fiction appeared in a couple of publications last month. Firstly, his review of the movie Pay the Ghost – based on the story by author Tim Lebbon, and starring Nicolas Cage – is in the latest British Fantasy Society Journal (above).

While his article on Monsters can be found in the British Science Fiction Association’s journal Focus (below). 

 

BSFA Magazine, Focus, Winter 2015/16

 

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HWA UK Flyer

 

Above is the brand new flyer designed by Marie to promote the UK chapter of the Horror Writers Association. As you may recall from previous news sections, Marie and Paul have taken over as the chairs of this arm of the organisation, so keep checking the site here and its Twitter page by here for all the news about upcoming events.

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February Extra

The Dead Trilogy, Paul Kane - artwork by Charlie Adlard

 

A special news extra for February. Launched on Paul’s birthday, The Dead Trilogy (above) is an e-book that brings together all of Paul’s ‘Dead’ stories, beginning with ‘Dead Time’ which was adapted for NBC/LionsGate’s Fear Itself starring From Dusk Till Dawn’s Briana Evigan (below – see the page for this here.

 

Briana Evigan, Fear Itself

 

The book also features exclusive cover and internal artwork from The Walking Dead’s Charlie Adlard, and a percentage of the profits will be split between Macmillan Cancer Support and The Alzheimer’s Society.

Published by NewCon Press, you can buy this publication by clicking here.

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The Rainbow Man, by P.B. Kane

 

Paul’s 2013 YA novel – as P.B. Kane, published by Rocket Ride Books – The Rainbow Man has now been turned into an unabridged audio-book, which runs to almost 4 hours. You can buy this one here and here.

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Tales to Terrify

 

And sticking with audio adaptations for a moment, Tales to Terrify have turned Paul’s stories ‘Keeper of the Light’ (from Monsters) and ‘Remote’ (from the forthcoming Nailbiters) here and here.

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February

Snow, by Paul Kane

 

We begin February with news of not one, but two releases from last month. The first is the novelette Snow, which is out now in print and e-book from Stormblade Productions, with an audio version to follow in a few weeks. This from the official PR:

‘In the frozen wilderness, Angela is running: away from the man who’s trying to kill her; away from a lonely upbringing; and away from terrible family secrets… When she discovers something else hidden from prying eyes – horrors unthinkable, inconceivable. Monstrous things that might just save her life. Join bestselling and award-winning author Paul Kane (Sleeper(s), Blood RED) as he once again puts a dark modern spin on another well-known fairy tale in Snow.’

 

Lazarus Remarque, Paul Kane

 

The book had an online launch on the 28th January, where lots of prizes were given away including signed books, audio CDs and the special star prize (above), a one- off original remarque by Paul in the front of his quite rare Lazarus Condition. If you missed the event, you can still go and have a look at it here.

Snow has also received its first review, so here’s what The Fluffy Red Fox Horror Blog had to say: ‘Paul Kane is an excellent master of vivid description; he uses words beautifully to evoke the mental image of a scene. With his fast moving narrative, I was soon embedded in the story. Angela’s family background and history are swiftly and succinctly dealt with, giving you just enough information to get a brief snapshot of her life and understand the dynamics, grinning at all the comparisons and links to the original fairy-tale. The overall premise IS the story is Snow White. All the elements from the “original” are there but Paul Kane has brought them into the modern world with a bang!

‘I loved Angela’s inner dialogue as it really pulled the story along and gave odd flashes of tongue in cheek humour. Kane was very clever in adding all the elements that were so central to the fairy tale and slotting them in so I barely noticed them until they slapped me upside the head and made me grin like an idiot. There is just a splash of gruesome and horror as in all good fairy tales. Overall, I really loved the way Kane writes and will definitely be seeking out other titles by him to enjoy.’

You can read the whole review here and buy the book here.

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The P.I.'s Tale, by Paul Kane

 

Meanwhile, as reported last month, Paul’s story for charity The P.I.’s Tale – complete with Edward Miller cover (above) – also came out, as a standalone and as part of the second volume of Refuge stories edited by Steve Dillon (below).

 

The Refuge Collection, Volume Two

 

The P.I.’s Tale was also reviewed by Lee Murray on Goodreads, who commented: ‘The UK’s Paul Kane shows his award-winning style with the story of a P.I.’s search for a missing boy, a search which takes him on a detour to Refuge where the authorities are less than helpful. But P.I. Mickey owes it to the parents of the kid, so he perseveres with his investigations, only to uncover a twist from his own past…Volume 2 of The Refuge Collection doesn’t disappoint: it’s compelling and creepy, crammed with gritty unforgettable stories from some of horror’s best.’

You can read her full review here, buy The P.I.’s Tale here and The Refuge Collection Volume Two here.

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The Beauty of Murder, by A.K. Benedict

 

Here at the Shadow Writer site, we’re thrilled to welcome A.K. Benedict as this month’s Guest Writer. Author of that wonderful novel The Beauty of Murder, her latest is Jonathan Dark or the Evidence of Ghosts and we’re very lucky to have an exclusive extract for you, which you can read by clicking here.

 

Jonathan Dark or the Evidence of Ghosts, by A.K. Benedict

 

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Confidence, written by Paul Kane

 

Word about the short film based on Paul’s original script, Confidence, continues to spread, with The Clive Barker Podcast piece here, Shock Till You Drop’s here, The Horror Society’s here, Arrow in the Head’s here, Movie’s With Butter’s here, as part of Schlock’s Film News here, Project Dead’s here, and featured on the mighty IMDB’s news page here.

As reported last month, Luke Greensmith is producing, award-winning Mike Clarke (A Hand to Play, Paper & Plastic) is directing and Simon Bamford (Hellraiser I & II, Nightbreed) is starring in this, due to start filming in February.

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The House on Pine Street

 

Paul has just reviewed the low budget supernatural movie, The House on Pine Street (above) for Sci-Fi Bulletin. To read his thoughts, just click here.

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Blood Red, by Paul Kane

 

Last month Paul was interviewed for Simon Bestwick’s ‘Lowdown’ over on his site, where he talked about his latest releases – including Blood RED (above) – as well as future projects. And you can read this by clicking here.

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Hellraiser birthday wish

 

Finally, it’s Paul’s birthday month and we feel the above message says it all really. So I’m sure you’ll join us in wishing him Many Happy Returns!

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January

Horror Writers' Association

 

Happy New Year all our visitors. We kick off 2016 with some pretty exciting news – that Paul & Marie have taken over as co-chairs of the UK Chapter of the Horror Writers Association! Formed in 1985 by Joe Lansdale, Karen Lansdale, and Robert McCammon, to promote awareness of horror literature, the HWA’s first president was none other than Dean Koontz, and in 1987 it inaugurated the Bram Stoker Awards®, the highest recognition for writing in the horror genre. You can find out more about the organisation at its homepage here.

There’ll be more announcements in the months ahead about events and promotions over on these shores, but in the meantime you can check out the HWA UK site and join by clicking here and visit its Twitter page by clicking here.

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Confidence

 

The next piece of big news is film-related. Confidence will be a short movie based on an original script from Paul, with Luke Greensmith as producer, award-winning Mike Clarke (A Hand to Play, Paper & Plastic) as director and starring Simon Bamford (Hellraiser I & II, Nightbreed – below).

 

Simon Bamford

 

You can find out more information about this one on both the Kickstarter and Facebook pages for the film here and here.

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Black Static #50

 

In the latest issue of Black Static (above), #50, and as part of a massive eight page article about the publisher Alchemy Press, Peter Tennant has given Monsters a glowing review. Here’s just a little of what he had to say: ‘Paul Kane’s Monsters has the distinction of a cover by no lesser talent than Clive Barker. After an introduction by Nicholas Vince extolling the virtues and abiding appeal of monsters, we get “The Ugly”, a pithy little poem that further examines our attitude to such creatures, showing how over time they are transformed from something monstrous into sideshow freaks… Gus, the protagonist of “The Disease”, is afflicted by an illness that seems beyond the scope of science, but he is the first of many, the prelude to a quantum shift in mankind’s existence. Harrowing in its detailed description of the onset of the illness and its symptoms, the story subtly intrudes a subtext about the human condition and the true nature of the disease inflicting the world…
           
As the title might suggest, there’s a rich streak of black comedy running through festive tale “A Chaos Demon Is For Life…”, with Kane going engagingly over the top and having a grand old time referencing numerous monster movies in a romp of a story that is pure pleasure to read… Harry is one of the last survivors, a “Keeper of the Light” in a world of universal darkness, and with ravenous creatures lurking in the dark, the story offering us a novel vision of the apocalypse, one reminiscent of Hodgson’s epic The Night Land… “Guilty Pleasures” details some episodes in the professional life of the Guilt Demon, a being that preys on the feelings of others, and who possibly might have misgivings of its own, or perhaps not. It’s a fun story, surprisingly so given the subject matter, but Kane offers us the balm of seeing the guilty pay for their flaws… “Rag and Bone” is the story of a philanderer getting his well-deserved comeuppance, a piece with plenty of wet work thrown into the mix, but underlying that a conception of the rag and bone industry that gives it an almost mythic status and offers a unique and original monster for the reader’s entertainment. I’d like to see Kane do something more with this creation… A collection that is never less than entertaining and on occasion offers us that bit more.’

You can read the full thing in the magazine, which you can subscribe to at the TTA website here.

 

Tales to Terrify

 

And, speaking of ‘Guilty Pleasures’ you can now hear an audio version of that very story in the latest Tales to Terrify, which you can listen to by clicking here.

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The Dead, David Gatward

 

We’re delighted to welcome our first Guest Writer of the year now, author of The Dead (above), The Dark, The Damned and Doom Rider (below), David Gatward – as seen recently on the special features of the Scarlet Box Set from Arrow talking about the influence of Clive Barker’s fiction. We’re very lucky to have an exclusive early peek at David’s next book, School is Hell, which you can dive into immediately by clicking here.

 

Doom Rider, David Gatward

 

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The Refuge Collection

 

Paul is happy to report that he is now involved in The Refuge Collection, a charity project created by Steve Dillon to help refugees in this time of crisis. Paul has contributed a story called The P.I.’s Tale with cover artwork from the legendary Edward Miller (Les Edwards) which you can see below.

 

Mean Streets, Edward Miller

 

More on this as and when, but you can check out the rest of the tales in the collection by buying them here and supporting a good cause.

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The Walking Dead

 

Paul gave his first interview of the year to Book Punks, where he talked not only about his own post-apocalyptic work, but how he’d survive in a Walking Dead-style zombie world. You can read that by clicking here.

 

The Rot

 

Finally, you might also notice in the above interview mention of a brand new post-apocalyptic novella by Paul. That’s right, later on this year get ready for The Rot to set in! – as Horrific Tales bring this one out in time for FantasyCon. More details, including the blurb, to follow soon.

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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

 

© Paul Kane 2003-2016. All rights reserved. Materials (including images) may not be reproduced without express permission from the author.