News From The Abyss – 20/8/10

New from Rosalie Parker (the editor of the consistently excellent Strange Tales collection from Tartarus) is The Old Knowledge

“This first collection of tales by Rosalie Parker contains eight stories that explore the uncanny in the modern world. As Glen Cavaliero observes in his introduction, “like all good stories of the preternatural, these in The Old Knowledge have a subversive effect.” In them, “the world of logical, predictable reality is seen to be at risk from rejected modes of knowledge which can thwart the materialist and victimise those innocents who stumble into another order of reality.”

In “The Rain”, Geraldine heads to the North for a holiday she hopes will provide a welcome break from her busy city life, only to suffer a complicated and enigmatic distortion of her usual world-view. The narrator of “In the Garden” strays into new pastures while explaining her theory of gardening. In “Chanctonbury Ring”, the well-meaning protagonist, helping a lady in distress, gets rather more than he bargained for. The temporary schoolteacher in “The Supply-Teacher” elicits altruism from her class, whilst, in “The Old Knowledge”, a group of archaeologists called in to excavate a prehistoric round barrow have to negotiate local interventions. In “The Cook’s Story” a Gothic country house provides the setting for a modern tale of mystery.

Do not expect blood-and-guts, wraiths or revenants: these stories hold a different kind of terror. “Their unostentatious magic is of an insidious kind; and like the protagonist of the title story, is liable to exert itself in disconcerting ways.””


Introduction by Glen Cavaliero

The Rain

Spirit Solutions

In the Garden

Chanctonbury Ring

The Supply Teacher

The Old Knowledge

The Cook’s Story

The Picture


For more info or to order head here.

Always great to see a new publisher on the scene so The Black Abyss wishes Chomu Press all the best as they launch with the excellent Quentin S. Crisp new novel, Remember You’re A One Ball.

““The lunatics have taken over the asylum”

Chomu Press explain their mission by saying: “When Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and others were forming United Artists in 1919, the head of Metro Pictures apparently said, ‘The inmates are taking over the asylum’. We see today’s literature in stagnation and hope to stage a similar coup for lunatics in the world of publishing. We aim to make the indie writing scene as visible and exciting to people as the indie music scene, maybe even to bring the indie into the mainstream. “

Remember You’re a One-Ball! is a macabre coming-of-age novel that rivals The Wasp Factory and The League of Gentlemen in the blackness of its humour. It is the first novel from the Shirley Jackson Award-nominated author, and typifies Chomu’s mission.

Set in the heart of rural England, Remember You’re a One-Ball! brings horror into the most intimate places of daily life. Ramsey Blake’s first job as a teacher takes him back to the secluded village where he grew up. There he begins to remember the strange world of childhood and comes to realise that the adult world is equally as strange. Soon entangled in a nightmarish game of power and manipulation, he is forced to choose sides. Whatever his decision, he is about to receive the ultimate object lesson in human cruelty.

Mark Samuels, author of Glyphotech and Other Macabre Processes, says, “Unpublished for far too long, Remember You’re A One Ball! is a work of profound insight into childhood and the long shadow it casts over adulthood. Its fearless, brutal honesty and the superlative quality of the prose are virtually without peer. This novel confirms me in my belief that Crisp is the most important writer of his generation.”

Quentin S. Crisp appeared on the writing scene in 2001, with the release of The Nightmare Factory, a collection of short stories published by BJM Press. Since then there have been three more collections of shorter fiction (Morbid Tales, from Tartarus Press, Rule Dementia!, from Rainfall Books, and All God’s Angels, Beware!, from Ex Occidente) as well as a novella (Shrike, from PS Publishing), all of which have earned him a reputation as a stylistic innovator and writer of unique vision. Remember You’re a One-Ball! is his first full-length novel.

Remember You’re a One-Ball! is available from Amazon, Waterstones and other online retailers.”

You can get more info here and a review shall be appearing on these very pages shortly.

Finally followers of Brian Keene’s excellent blog may already have seen this post but for anyone else it’s worth a read. In it Brian muses on possible problems with Leisure Fiction (worrying) and his move into self publishing (interesting). It’s an excellent, honest and open post which explores many of the issues with modern publishers.


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