News From The Abyss – 29/10/10

Sorry about the lack of news recently, there has actually been plenty of news, just not much time to blog about it. So here we go with a bumper halloween news section :-

Want free stories from the likes of Conrad Williams, Sarah Pinborough, Joseph D’Lacey and some bloke called Gary McMahon, bet you do. What’s that? Your too tired to read..well what you need are audio short stories. In fact what you need is Dark Fiction Magazine, this from the publishers :-

Dark Fiction Magazine ( is pleased to announce the launch of a new service for fans of genre fiction. Beginning Oct 31st (Halloween), Dark Fiction Magazine will be launching a monthly magazine of audio short stories. This is a free service designed to promote genre short fiction to an audience of podcast and radio listeners. A cross between an audio book, an anthology and a podcast, Dark Fiction Magazine is designed to take the enjoyment of short genre fiction in a new and exciting direction.

Dark Fiction Magazine publishes at least four short stories a month: a mix of award-winning shorts and brand new stories from both established genre authors and emerging writers. Each episode will have a monthly theme and feature complementary tales from the three main genres – science fiction, fantasy and horror.

Co-founder Del Lakin-Smith said: “I love reading short stories, and with the increased uptake of mobile and portable devices this really is a growth area. But like many I find I don’t have as much time as I would like to read, so I tend to listen to many podcasts on the go. The idea of replacing my podcasts with high quality, well performed audio short stories is something I find highly appealing, so Sharon and I set about making that a reality.”

Sharon Ring, co-founder of Dark Fiction Magazine, said: “From technophobe to technophile in less than two years; I spend a great deal of time working online. To while away those hours, I like to listen to podcasts and drink copious amounts of strong coffee. Now, while I don’t recommend you drink as much coffee as I, I do recommend you check out what Del and I have created. We love podcasts; we love genre fiction; we built a site to bring the two together.”

The theme of Dark Fiction Magazine’s first episode is The Darkness Descends and will feature four fantastical stories:

‘Maybe Then I’ll Fade Away’ by Joseph D’Lacey (exclusive to Dark Fiction Magazine)

‘Pumpkin Night’ by Gary McMahon

‘Do You See?’ by Sarah Pinborough (awarded the 2009 British Fantasy Society Short Story Award)

‘Perhaps The Last’ by Conrad Williams

Lined up for future episodes are Pat Cadigan, Cory Doctorow, Jon Courtenay, Grimwood, Ramsey Campbell, Rob Shearman, Kim Lakin-Smith, Ian Whates, Lauren Beukes, Mark Morris, Adam Nevill, Gareth L Powell, Jeremy C Shipp, Adam Christopher, and Jennifer Williams, among others.

With a team of dedicated and passionate narrators, a central recording facility and a love of genre, Dark Fiction Magazine delivers a truly outstanding aural experience.

Dark Fiction Magazine will also be producing special editions with seasonal stories and topical issues, competitions, flash fiction episodes and novel excerpts. Each episode aims to shock and delight, to horrify and confound as Dark Fiction Magazine takes its listeners on an aural tour through the world of genre fiction.”

Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it. The website launches at midnight on 31st Oct 2010 and you can join the fun here.


Scott Nicholson continues to forge a unique path at Haunted Computer Books with the release of Disintegration on Nov 1st 2010. This from the author :-

“When a mysterious fire destroys his home and kills his young daughter, Jacob Wells is pulled into a downward spiral that draws him ever closer to the past he thought was dead and buried.

Now his twin brother Joshua is back in town, seeking to settle old scores and claim his half of the Wells birthright. Jacob’s wife Renee is struggling with her own guilt, because the couple had lost an infant daughter several years before.

As Jacob and Joshua return to the twisted roles they adopted at the hands of cruel, demanding parents, they wage a war of pride, wealth, and passion. They share the poisonous love of a woman who would gladly ruin them both: Carlita, a provocative and manipulative Hispanic whose immigrant family helped build the Wells fortune.

Joshua wants other things, too, but Jacob’s desires are divided between the forbidden love he can’t possess, the respectability he can never have, and the revenge he is dying to taste. And Renee has dark motives of her own.

If only Jacob can figure out which one to blame. But the lines of identity are blurred, because Joshua and Jacob share much more than blood.

And the childhood games have become deadly serious.”

You can get more info here.


Hideyuki Kikuchi is a Japanese horror writer compared to none other than Stephen King. I haven’t read any of his work yet but hope to rectify that soon as his latest release – Wicked City : The Scarlet Clan. This from publishers Tor/Forge :-

“Many anime enthusiasts are fans of the cult classic film Wicked City, based on the novels by Japanese horror writer Hideyuki Kikuchi. Tor/Seven Seas is proud to present another of Kikuchi’s Wicked City novels to an American audience with the publication of WICKED CITY: The Scarlet Clan (Tor/Seven Seas trade paperback original, $10.99, November 9, 2010).

The Black Guard, whose job it is to protect the boundary between our mortal world and the demonic Dark World, has succeeded in preserving the tenuous peace treaty between the two worlds. But there is always danger, and it is up to the mortal Taki and the demoness Makie, two of the best Black Guard agents, to stop it.

In The Scarlet Clan, Taki and Makie’s child is about to be born. Though no one knows what form the child will take, it is already powerful, even in the womb. And it is a sign of hope that the human and demon worlds can coexist…which is something not everyone wants.

Silent for thousands of years, the demon family Shu is finally emerging from the Dark World, intent on killing the child before it can be born. A group that thrives on death and destruction, they will throw everything they can at Taki and Makie, hoping to destroy the child and prevent a centuries old prediction from coming true. Can the Black Guards defend against a demon family that has never been defeated, only locked away?

Like Kikuchi’s well-known and critically-acclaimed Vampire Hunter D novels (Dark Horse), Wicked City is an urban fantasy tale of supernatural horror and high-octane action.”

You can get more info here.


Finally in anticipation of halloween and your desire to, no doubt, read some classic horror, this site might be worth a try. Arthur’s Classic Novels contains numerous works including many of the classics by James, Lovecraft, Blackwood etc, etc and best of all, everything is free.


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