Tuesday, July 10, 2012


First Book of Classical Horror Stories

Since I returned from Spain four years ago I have sold exactly 100 stories to anthologies. I don't expect all these books to be published, that's not how the publishing world works. Some (or many) of the projects will be cancelled; but the first few of those anthologies are starting to appear now. Yesterday I received in the mail a copy of The First Book of Classical Horror Stories, edited by the magnificent fellow known as D.F. Lewis. I haven't had a chance to read much of it yet. My own contribution is a piece of flash fiction that I wrote back in 1995 but which hasn't appeared until now. I opened the book at random and read a story called 'The Holes' by Tony Lovell. I'm familiar with Tony's superb work as an artist, so it came as a pleasant surprise to discover what a talented writer he is. And a writer with a style quite different from the norm! He has a very rhythmic and slightly modernist ability with language. I love these so-called 'shrinking violets' who don't indulge in aggressive networking or self-promotion but who just quietly get on with the job of being talented. Refreshing.

D.F. Lewis is one of the finest editors working in the independent publishing world at the moment and he picked a great theme for this anthology. He has vision, ideas and the gumption to carry his projects through to the end. He pays well and always punctually. But at the end of the day he will be primarily remembered as a writer. At this particular moment in time his work isn't fashionable. The same is true for any writer who likes language for its own sake, who prefers richness to sparsity, who isn't a devotee of the 'synthetic emo' (the style that is currently fashionable). One of the greatest contemporary fantasy writers, A.A. Attanasio, whom to my great delight I have recently made the acquaintance of, is similarly unappreciated at the moment. But fashions go in cycles and their kind of writing will come back sooner or later. Wheels.

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