NEWCON PRESS 2018
Stories by Colette de Curzon, Ray Cluley, Georgina Bruce, James Everington, Cate Gardner, Charlotte Bond, Daniel Mcgachey, Paul Finch, A.K. Benedict, Mark West, Laura Mauro, Nicholas Royle, V.H. Leslie, Claire Dean, Reggie Oliver, Mark Morris.
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My reviews of the first publications of these stories are linked below. The two stories I have not reviewed will be added below when I have read them.
“Paymon’s Trio” copyright © 2017 by Colette de Curzon, originally appeared as a chapbook (Nightjar Press) https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2017/07/01/de-curzon-wheldon/#comment-10122
“Love And Death” copyright © 2017 by Reggie Oliver, originally appeared in The Scarlet Soul, Stories for Dorian Gray (Swan River Press) https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2017/12/19/the-scarlet-soul-stories-for-dorian-gray/#comment-11310
“In The Light Of St. Ives” copyright © 2017 by Ray Cluley, originally appeared in Terror Tales of Cornwall (Telos) https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2017/05/08/terror-tales-of-cornwall/#comment-9738
“The Book Of Dreems” copyright © 2017 by Georgina Bruce, originally appeared in Black Static https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2017/11/17/black-static-61/#comment-11067
“The Affair” copyright © 2017 by James Everington, originally appeared in Nightscript III https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2017/09/28/nightscript-vol-iii/#comment-10910
“Fragments Of A Broken Doll” copyright © 2017 by Cate Gardner, originally appeared in Great British Horror 2: Dark Satanic Mills https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/great-british-horror-2/#comment-11741
“The Lies We Tell” copyright © 2017 Charlotte Bond, originally appeared in Great British Horror 2: Dark Satanic Mills https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/great-british-horror-2/#comment-11757
“Ting-A-Ling-A-Ling” copyright © 2017 by Daniel Mcgachey, originally appeared as a stand-alone chapbook included with the The Ghosts and Scholars M.R. James Newsletter
“Tools Of The Trade” copyright © 2017 by Paul Finch, originally appeared in Great British Horror 2: Dark Satanic Mills https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/great-british-horror-2/#comment-11736
“Departures” copyright © 2017 by A.K. Benedict, originally appeared in New Fears (Titan) https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2017/09/22/new-fears/#comment-10780
“The Taste Of Her” copyright © 2017 by Mark West, originally appeared in Things We Leave Behind
“Sun Dogs” copyright © 2017 by Laura Mauro, originally appeared in Shadows and Small Trees #7 https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2017/04/28/shadows-and-tall-trees-vol-7/#comment-9687
“Dispossession” copyright © 2017 by Nicholas Royle, originally appeared in Shadows and Small Trees #7 https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2017/04/28/shadows-and-tall-trees-vol-7/#comment-9691
“Shell Baby” copyright © 2017 by V.H. Leslie, originally appeared in Shadows and Small Trees #7 https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2017/04/28/shadows-and-tall-trees-vol-7/#comment-9657
“The Unwish” copyright © 2017 by Claire Dean, originally appeared a chapbook (Nightjar Press) https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2017/11/22/the-unwish-bremen-claire-dean/#comment-11096
“A Day With The Delusionists” copyright © 2017 by Reggie Oliver, originally appeared in Holidays From Hell (Tartarus) https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/holidays-from-hell-reggie-oliver/#comment-9091
“We Who Sing Beneath The Ground” copyright © 2017 by Mark Morris, originally appeared in Terror Tales of Cornwall (Telos) https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2017/05/08/terror-tales-of-cornwall/#comment-9733
TING-A-LING-A-LING by Daniel McGachey
“A clock without a key has as little use as a key without a clock.”
Thank goodness I bought this book, despite having read most of the stories already. This novelette is an unmissable horror story, or a ghost story made into clockwork flesh? It is like a clock itself, with layers of workings within it, told stories within told stories in out-permutated Jamesian fashion, a clock with a cursed lock, a clock that is its own community of church, pub, graveyard and houses paradoxically both in miniature and in magnitude, the magnitude of 20th century European wars, and the ambiguity of monsters and of lost soldiers as revenants. The quandary of keeping such an accursed clock despite its monsters. It has even more tantalising power TODAY as I read it, because, tonight, in the UK, we will be adjusting our own version of the “as-yet-unawakened Awakening Clock” by the span of one hour! You will perhaps know what I mean, when you read it. It may save you!
The Taste of Her by Mark West
“He looked at Gaffney, spread out below him like a child’s playset and felt bile rise in his throat.”
…”ant-sized people”. That miniature and magnitude again. We are ant-sized but our felt emotions swollen. Two men in a Cessna, friends for ten years, one having flown the other’s wife, tasted and relished the fear and danger and sexual temptation of her body. But the Plan of Retribution does not end with the stalled dive… simply told and blood-quenching.
My previous reviews of this author: https://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/2010/08/24/where-the-heart-is-gray-friar-press/ (‘The City in the Rain’, one of my favourite modern horror stories) and here: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2016/04/24/hyde-hotel/#comment-6977
My previous reviews of NewCon Press:
And of Johnny Mains:
I truly hope this is the beginning of a long anthology series entitled Best British Horror as edited by Johnny Mains.