Tag Archive: NewCon Press


I have a lot planned for this coming year – 2019 is poised to be as busy as 2018 was.

First up – new books I’m working on.

I’m currently writing a Wraeththu novel called ‘Breathe, my Shadow’, which is based on ‘The Emptiness Next Door’ a short story I wrote for the ‘Paraspectral’ anthology last year. As can happen with a short, this piece wanted desperately to be longer. I had hoped to finish it in time for Yule 2018, but because I was so busy with other projects, I wasn’t able to meet that deadline. I’m not going to specify exactly when this year I hope to publish ‘Breathe’ but will get to work on it in earnest once I have a few important short stories out of the way. I’ve been researching a lot for this novel, some of which explores the lore of bees, honey and bee-keeping. This isn’t the main focus of the story but is still important as it’s an interest of one of the characters that has bearing on the plot.

Two of the stories I’m working on are for the next ‘Para’ anthology, which is ‘Para Mort’, a study of love and death in the world of Wraeththu. The idea for this theme grew from suggestions given to me by Mythos writers Martina Bellovičová and Maria Leel. I want to go for an outright Gothic feel for this one – doomed love, tragic desire and so on. I did specify in the brief I sent to the Mythos writers that the stories don’t have to be total downers – they can have upbeat endings. I’ve just finished the first draft of a tale called ‘The Shade of Q’orlenn’ but need to go back through it, adding in scene details and fleshing out some of the interactions between the characters. But that one’s almost there. I’ve a choice of two others to write for my second story for the anthology and haven’t yet made a decision about which to go with. The third piece I need to work on before turning to longer projects is my story for ‘Shadows on the Hillside’, the weird fiction anthology I’m editing for NewCon Press. I’ve an idea for that and have written a few pages. Research for this involves studying old maps and a particular kind of folklore, which I won’t reveal, as it would be a terrible spoiler for the story. I’ve also been looking into Middle English and the ancient meanings of some modern words.

One of the most interesting things I discovered yesterday is that English in the Middle Ages had a gender-neutral pronoun ‘hit’, but also that ‘he’ could be used instead. So I wasn’t so wrong about using ‘he’ for Wraeththu as some might claim! I’m not interested in the fuss around the politics of gender and pronouns, and in fact am uncomfortable with the way extremes of certain politics are infesting – and at worst stifling – creative media nowadays, but I am interested in presenting my androgynous characters as they are – beings who are both male and female, greater than the sum of their parts and endowed with faculties and abilities beyond human experience. I was writing about hara when I was a teenager, (and had met them in my imagination years prior to that), long before modern ideas about identity politics arose. I wrote from the heart, not trying to invest my fantasy world with any one agenda. Wraeththu are what they are – in the way they evolved in my imagination very early in my life. They owe more to mythology and folklore than anything else. And that’s the nearest I’ll get to talking about my personal opinions in a public place!

Anyway, back to book news after that little diversion. I aim to get ‘Para Mort’ out this year, probably with a Yule release and accompanying launch party, which is becoming traditional now. It’s down to whether the writers can get their work to me in time. I’ve already had one in from E. S. Wynn so maybe that will spur the others into action! ‘Shadows on the Hillside’ should also be released this year. I’m still waiting on a few stories to come in for that one.

I’ll also be working on a new non-fiction book this year. Around 15 years ago, I wrote a correspondence course on Egyptian Magic, back when people were more inclined to get involved in correspondence courses. Once this trend tailed off in favour of other forms of learning, the course gathered dust in isolated chambers on my computer. It was only when someone mailed me a couple of years ago to enquire whether that course was still available that it was brought once more to my attention. I didn’t feel I wanted to run the course again, as it requires quite a lot of input from me, discussing the work with students, and reading and responding in depth to their coursework, for which I no longer have time. I offered to let the person have the course as one PDF at a very cut price, for them to work through how they wanted, but I couldn’t act as mentor for it anymore. The person concerned was happy with this, so I transformed all the separate modules into one document to send to them. As I was doing this, I realised the modules could actually be a book. A lot of the material would have to go, because it wouldn’t be suitable for a non-interactive project, but I could add new chapters to replace what I’d take out.

I’m writing this book under the very unimaginative ‘Egyptian Magic’ working title, but intend to come up with something more colourful for the finished work. It won’t be a quick project by any means, as I’m having to change the entire structure and come up with a lot of new pathworkings for it. A proportion of what was in the correspondence course was based on material in ‘Bast and Sekhmet: Eyes of Ra’ which I co-wrote with Louise Coquio in the late 90s. I don’t want to rehash that, or just focus upon feline deities, so there’s a lot to be written for it. At the moment, I’m looking into the creation myths of Ancient Egypt, and creating workings based upon them. That will be the starting point of the work, after an introductory section discussing the beliefs and practices of the Egyptians and how we can reinterpret them for a modern practice of magic. Again, I intend to get the book out this year, but as with the novel it depends on how much time I get to finish it.

Moving on from my own work, there are plans for several books by other writers. Since Taylor Ellwood parted company with the Megalithica Books imprint, releases have inevitably slowed down somewhat for this list. Even last year, when Taylor was still with us, Megalithica Books published only three titles that weren’t co-written by me. I do have books in the pipeline for the list, but in three cases am waiting for news from the respective writers with whom I’ve been talking over the past couple of months. I can say for definite that we’ll have a new book from Cornelia Benavidez, expanding her work on the legacy of Victor H Anderson, and there’s an exciting re-issue of a legendary work that’s currently in production. Only the fact that a contract with an individual connected with the original work has to be sorted out prevents me from talking more about this book. Sometimes, after a lengthy period of time, it’s difficult for people to get back in touch with those they might have worked with in the past. This is in the case in this situation but as soon as it’s OK to talk about this project the author and I will do so wholeheartedly!

On the fiction side, I’ll be publishing a book I’m delighted to have edited. This is ‘Lord of the Looking Glass’, the short stories of Fiona McGavin. Louise Coquio and I met Fiona way back when we were producing the magazine Visionary Tongue. Fiona provided two stories for us and another one for Jamie Spracklen when he took over custodianship of the magazine. Lou and I both loved Fiona’s stories – they were among the best we received. Later, once I started Immanion Press, I brought out the trilogy ‘A Dream and a Lie’ by Fiona, her first full-length works. In hindsight, I wish I’d published this book some years later, after I’d gained more experience as an editor and publisher. Fiona’s were among the first novels Immanion Press published. I’d do things a bit differently now, as I know more about what I’m doing!  It was only when I had to contact Fiona again concerning two of her stories, which I wanted to reprint in the Visionary Tongue anthology I edited for NewCon Press, that I asked whether she had enough stories for a book of her own. She did, and ‘Lord of the Looking Glass’ is the result. These are astounding stories. Fiona, like Tanith Lee, has the gift for taking genre tropes and turning them on their heads. She has a wonderful imagination. I never thought a zombie story could bring tears to my eyes – but ‘The Contraption’ did. Fiona tackles vampires, fairy abduction, ghosts, fairy tales, alternate realities, science fiction and post-apocalyptic worlds, but all in a way you won’t have read before and in a fluid, lyrical style.  I’m happy to report that her story ‘A Tale from the End of the World’ is included in an updated form, (it was always my favourite) as well as a sequel to it, ‘He May Grow Roots’. Fiona has intimated she might write a full-length novel set in the world of these two stories, which I really hope she does. I can’t wait to release ‘Lord of the Looking Glass’ – which should be in late spring – and ask any of you with genre blogs or review sites to help me get Fiona’s work out there. She is a marvellous writer and her work should be better known.  I hope to plan a kind of blog tour for her and am happy to send advance copies of the book’s PDF for review. Please mail me at editorial(at)Immanion-press(dot)com if you’re interested.

Other new fiction publications for 2019 include three more anthologies of Tanith Lee’s stories, which focus upon her uncollected works – stories that appeared briefly in magazines or on web sites and have not yet been included in a printed book. The first of these, ‘Strindberg’s Ghost Sonata and Other Tales’, is scheduled to appear in April, so that Tanith’s husband John Kaiine can promote it at this year’s Eastercon. John will also be creating the cover art for the book. For the majority of readers, most of these stories might as well be newly-written as they won’t have been seen before. Much thanks must go, as has become usual for Tanith collections, to Allison Rich, Tanith’s bibliographer, and also to Jeremy Brett and his staff at the Cushing Library and Archives in Texas, who will provide scans of these often difficult to source stories.

That’s about it for news now. The DVD of the film of one my favourite novels, The Little Stranger, is due to arrive today and tonight I intend to watch it with Lou and our respective males. I saw this at the cinema initially and was impressed with what the director did with it. It’s not very often adaptations are so satisfying!

 

 

 

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Happy New Year to everyone – hope you had a good seasonal holiday. I have lots of plans for writing projects this year so it’s time to share news of these forthcoming ventures!

First off, I’ve put the next Wraeththu novel on back burner (although safely with a great many notes on the story) for a while, as I’ve launched a new fiction venture – ‘Through the Night Gardens’ –a novel told in part as a serial, which will appear for free on the blog Through the Night Gardens This is a transmedia project, in that it encompasses landscapes created in the MMORPG Rift, and I have plans also to produce an audio book of the story, as well as videos of the landscapes I’ve designed for it. Eventually, this will become a novel produced in the traditional, printed form – and will then include sub-plots and other additional material. For the interactive part, I need to keep it relatively simple, but I hope also this will whet readers’ appetites for the larger work to follow. The first chapter is now online and I intend to release at least one more chapter this month.

However, even though ‘Night Gardens’ is taking a larger part of the stage this year than I thought it would, it doesn’t mean my Wraeththu stories will be totally neglected. Wendy Darling and I are in the latter stages of producing the next shared-world anthology ‘Para Animalia: Creatures of Wraeththu’, which I envisage will be available round about March at the latest. The book includes two new stories from me, and from Wendy, and also tales by E. S. Wynn, Fiona Lane and Nerine Dorman, as well as other Mythos writers. Here is a preview of the cover art by Ruby:

Para Animalia front smaller

I’m also working on a Wraeththu short story collection of my own that will include previously unpublished early works, as well as completely new stories, plus all the Wraeththu Mythos stories I’ve written to date, so as to collect them all in one volume. I don’t yet have a title for this book, but will be writing the stories alongside the chapters for ‘Through the Night Gardens’ throughout the early part of this year. It will contain around half a dozen completely new tales. I’m loosely planning for the Wraeththu collection to be available in the summer.

Additional to these projects, I’m working on ‘Grimoire Dehara: Ulani’ with my colleague Taylor Ellwood, again with the aim of publishing it this year. This is the pop culture magical system based on the Wraeththu mythos, the first volume of which was ‘Grimoire Dehara: Kaimana’. We’ve been asked repeatedly to release the other two volumes in the series, and now have the time to commit to this project.

My short story collection ‘Splinters of Truth’ will be published by NewCon Press to coincide with the Mancunicon convention, this year’s Eastercon, which is held in Manchester.  I will be on hand to help promote the book, as well as appear on a panel with my fellow Night’s Nieces, the writers who donated stories to the Tanith Lee tribute of the same name, which Immanion Press published in December last year.

Immanion Press will be releasing a paperback edition of ‘Animate Objects’, the short story collection by Tanith Lee, which was a special limited edition hardback published to commemorate her ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ at the World Fantasycon in 2013. Tanith fans are often completionists concerning her work, and as only 35 copies of this book were printed, we’ve had a lot of enquiries about it from readers who are desperate to acquire it. Tanith’s husband, John Kaiine, has given the go-ahead for new paperback edition, which will include an additional story and different interior artwork to the original.

That’s the news round-up for now. More to come later.