Genre: Steampunk Publisher: Tor Books When Leviticus Blue’s Boneshaker devastates 19th century Seattle, swamping it in zombifying blight gas, an enormous wall is built to contain it. Sixteen years later, Blue’s widow, Briar Wilkes, re-enters the toxic, zombie-ridden city in search of her son, Ezekiel, who seeks exoneration for his father. Air pirates, rogues and... Continue Reading →

The Book of Lost Things

Genre: Fantasy; Fairy Tales Publisher: Washington Square Press When David’s mother dies and his father remarries, his wish to escape his new life is granted when he slips through a crack in the garden wall into another world. A dark and often brutal adventure follows: one which reimagines a host of fairy tales and associated... Continue Reading →

Angela Carter’s Book of Fairy Tales

Genre: Traditional Tales/Fairy Tales Publisher: Virago Press Carter’s fairy-tale compilation spans the globe in a celebration of the world’s eclectic cultural and social heritage, kept alive for centuries through the power of the spoken word. The stories are inventively yet intuitively grouped and their allegorical spirit preserved through simple language and stark imagery. It’s humorous,... Continue Reading →

The Little Stranger

Genre: Gothic; Mystery; Horror; Supernatural Publisher: Virago When Dr Faraday attends the Ayres’ Hundreds Hall estate, he quickly becomes a family friend and privy to their troubles: Roderick’s lingering post-war trauma; Mrs Ayre’s grief for her late daughter; their collective struggles to maintain the increasingly dilapidated estate. Waters’ haunting narrative has shades of Shirley Jackson... Continue Reading →

The Cask of Amontillado

Genre: Gothic Horror Publisher: Various – Public Domain Fortunato’s latest insult will be his last when Montresor leads him in a vengeful plot to his live-entombment. The narrative is unashamedly macabre; the description vivid and sinister. The king of the 19th century American short story sucks all glimmer of hope from this brutal tale until... Continue Reading →

Best Served Cold

Genre: Grimdark Fantasy; High/Epic Fantasy Publisher: Gollancz When mercenary, Monza Murcatto, is betrayed and left for dead, she joins forces with a host of brilliantly-observed yet suspect characters and sets out on a rampage of vengeance. This is Abercrombie at his absolute best: riotous and inventive narrative; wicked dialogue; brutal violence; and biting humour, set... Continue Reading →

On Researching for an Alternative History Novel

When writing fantasy, especially alternative history such as the turn-of-the-century late-Victorian-styled world in which The Procurement of Souls is set, how does the writer ensure they hook the reader sufficiently enough that they are prepared to suspend their disbelief and immerse themselves within the story? Surely anything goes: it’s fantasy/science fiction, after all! Perhaps not... Continue Reading →

The Stress of Her Regard

Genre: Alternate History; Gothic Horror Publisher: Corvus Books When Michael Crawford inadvertently attracts a vampiric Nephilim for a life-mate, it gruesomely murders his bride in their wedding-bed. Crawford fleas, befriending Keats and other Romantics, Shelley and Byron, whose own viciously jealous Nephilim are at once the source of their creativity and of their isolation. Gory... Continue Reading →

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