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Archive for September 7th, 2007

Stephen Jones & Clarence Padget – Dark Voices

Posted by demonik on September 7, 2007

Stephen Jones  &  Clarence Padget  (eds) –  Dark Voices: The Best From The Pan Book Of Horror Stories  (Pan, 1990)

Dark Voices

Cover: Dave McKean

Introductory Note – Herbert Van Thal
Foreword: Dark Voices – The Editors

Alan Ryan – Baby’s Blood (from #25) chosen by Stephen Gallagher
Stephen King – The Mangler(from #21) chosen by James Herbert
Stanley Ellin – The Speciality Of The House(from #2) Clive Barker
Basil Copper – Camera Obscura (from #6) chosen by Charles L. Grant
John Lennon – No Flies On Frank (from #6) chosen by F. Paul Wilson
Harry Harrison – The Streets Of Ashkelon (from #7) chosen by Brian W. Aldiss
Robert Bloch – Lucy Comes To Stay (from #4) chosen by Graham Masterton
George Langelaan – The Fly (from #2) chosen by David Cronenberg
Ray Bradbury – The Emissary (from #4) chosen by Dennis Etchison
Ian McEwen – Pornography (from #22) chosen by Shaun Hutson
Robert Aickman – Ringing The Changes (from #4) chosen by Peter Straub
Robert Holdstock – The Quiet Girl (from #19) chosen by Robert R. McCammon
David Case – The Hunter (from #12) chosen by Ramsey Campbell

Afterword: Bringing The Horror Back Home – Stephen Jones
The Pan Book Of Horror Stories: Index to Vol.1 – 30.

An incredibly safe collection, but other than F. Paul Wilson’s bizarre selection as his pick from the series, there’s nothing remotely bad in here. Bar Gallagher, Campbell, McCammon and Hutson, the rest have opted for stories that give you no idea what the series is like. Chances are, if you own three or four “Classic Horror” style collections, you’ll already have half of these. The book is dedicated to the late Rosemary Timperley, but not one woman gets a look in. Alex White, Elizabeth Walter, Dorothy K. Haynes and Timperley were regular contributors of fine stories and had far more to do with the series than, say, Stephen King, whose contributions had already been published extensively long before Pan picked them up.

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David Sutton & Stephen Jones – Dark Voices 2

Posted by demonik on September 7, 2007

David Sutton & Stephen Jones (eds.) – Dark Voices # 2: The Pan Book Of Horror (Pan, 1990)


Cover Illustration: Dave Carson

Brian Stableford – Behind The Wheel
Tony J. Forder – Gino’s Bar And Grille
Thomas F. Monteleone – The Pleasure Of Her Company
Ramsey Campbell – The Invocation
Norman P. Kaufman – Choose!
Roy Clifford – Duty
John Brunner – Moths
Guy N. Smith – The Baby
Michael Marshall Smith – The Man Who Drew Cats
Adrian Cole – Face To Face
Conrad Hill – Southbound Interruption
Marcus Gold – The Vulture
William F. Nolan – The Halloween Man
Cherry Wilder – Alive In Venice
Brian Lumley – The Sun, The Sea And The Silent Scream

Contributors’ notes

After the Best of …  collection, a brand new start for the series. A much stronger line-up than the Paget books and later Van Thal’s.

Brian Stableford – Behind The Wheel; When Andy finds out his wife is fooling around, he follows the other man as he leaves the house and causes him to crash his car. Dragging the corpse from the wreckage, he kicks it around for ten minutes and drives off … with the mangled car in pursuit.

Tony J. Forder – Gino’s Bar And Grille; Larry is through with wife Chloe’s constant stream of put downs and he hates that she keeps calling him “Lurch.” He drives her and their son out to “Gino’s”, just as his father had all those years ago when Larry’s mother became tiresome. Gino keeps a little something out back for the ladies …

Thomas F. Monteleone – The Pleasure Of Her Company; Stanley Devereaux builds a shrine to his heroine, a dead screen goddess. Harkey promises him something special and Devereaux learns from a newspaper that his idol’s grave has been desecrated.

John Brunner – Moths; The Arrieux half-sisters, Chantal and Mathilde. Chantal is beautiful, Mathilde fat, ugly and outcast as was her mother, a reputed witch. When Chantal decides she will wear Mathilde’s mother’s wedding dress at her own betrothal, her half-sister is given the job of repairing it. Oh dear …

Roy Clifford – Duty; “Hippies or drop-outs of no account” summon up a demon. Initially disappointed, they even mistake the fiend for a police officer until he assumes a more recognisable appearance.

William F. Nolan – The Halloween Man; … steals away children’s souls and this year he’s set his sights on little Katie’s. She decides to stay home with her father, but even then she’s not safe …

Conrad Hill – Southbound Interruption; Motorways of the future: an accident, and the human remains are quickly dumped in a pile and carted away in garbage trucks.

Ramsey Campbell – The Invocation: Ted releases the spider-like spirit in the decanter while cursing aloud the maddening antics of his neighbour, Mrs. Cecily Dame. He begins to suffer dreadful nightmares. She wastes away. When Ted returns home from a weekend with student friend Ken, he is attacked in his bed and paralysed by a “dim hump.” Looks like he’s going the same way as the suspiciously silent Mrs. Dame …

Cherry Wilder – Alive In Venice: Susie, holidaying with her recently wed brother and his bride, is fascinated by a tapestry depicting a masqued woman luring a young girl toward a palace while her acolytes gloat from a bridge. The older woman is evidently a fifteenth century Contessa “who remained young and beautiful for so long it became embarrassing.” Amid accusations of witchcraft, the Contessa draws the young girl into her world …

Guy N. Smith – The Baby: Dumped by its appalling mother Sharon Quick, it avenges itself by tracking her down and crawling back into her womb. Bloody charming!

Michael Marshall Smith – The Man Who Drew Cats: One day old Tom just blew into Kingstown, stepped into The Hogshead Bar and the locals – unusually for them – took to the quiet fellow straight away. A quiet and private man, he makes his living from the extraordinary paintings he tosses off for tourists and sometimes when the mood takes him, he chalks his more complex designs on the pavement. But when he befriends little Billy and his mom and learns that her nogoodnik drunken husband regularly beats the shit out of them both, he draws something really terrifying.

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David Sutton & Stephen Jones – Dark Voices 3

Posted by demonik on September 7, 2007

David Sutton & Stephen Jones (eds.) – Dark Voices # 3: The Pan Book Of Horror (Pan, 1991)

Cover Illustration: Dave Carson

Bob Shaw – A Real Downer
Basil Copper – The Academy Of Pain
Richard Easter – Amy
Ramsey Campbell – The Pattern
Mark Morris – The Company
Lene Kaaberbol – Puss
Brian Lumley – The Picnickers
Melanie Tem – Christmas With Jeremy
Stephen Laws – He Who Laughs
Robert Hood – Nasty little Habits
Charles Wagner – Vision In A T-Bird
Graham Masterton – 5a Bedford Row
Kathe Koja – Impermanent Mercies
David J. Schow – Not From Around Here

Contributors’ notes

See also Vault Of Evil’s Dark Voices 3 thread

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David Sutton & Stephen Jones – Dark Voices 4

Posted by demonik on September 7, 2007

David Sutton & Stephen Jones (eds.) – Dark Voices # 4: The Pan Book Of Horror (Pan, 1992)

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Cover Illustration: Dave Carson

Christopher Fowler – On Edge
Graham Masterton – Absence Of Beast
Les Daniels – The Little Green Ones
Charles Gramlich – Razor White
Peter James – Propellor
John Brunner – They Take
Nicholas Royle – The Last Drop
David J. Schow – Pick Me Up
R. Chetwynd-Hayes – The Frankenstein Syndrome
Daniel Fox – High Flying, Adored
Bernard Donaghue – A Night With Claudette
Stephen Gallagher – Casey, Where He Lies
Peter Crowther – The Visitor
Tony J. Forder – Book End
Kim Newman – Week Woman
Philip J. Cockburn – Necrophiliac
Norman Partridge – Return Of The Shroud
W. Elizabeth Turner – Cold As Iron
Michael Marshall Smith – A Time Of Waiting
Joe R. Lansdale – By Bizarre Hands

Contributors’ notes

Joe R. Lansdale – By Bizarre Hands: Ever since his sister was molested and murdered Preacher Judd has had a thing about retarded girls and Halloween. So when he learns of the Widow Judd’s idiot daughter Cinderella he decides to do the Lord’s work …

Nobody ever accused Lansdale of being PC – many of his stories are written from the viewpoint of the type of Redneck celebrated by RevCo circa Beers, Steers And Queers – and this story is calculated to offend on several levels: incest, racism, violence against women …
His The Night They Missed The Horror Show and the Bram Stoker Award winning novella On The Far Side Of The Cadillac Desert With Dead Folk are cut from the same cloth and modern masterpieces IMO.

Philip J. Cockburn – Necrophiliac: Reminiscent of the type of short-short Norman Kaufman used to contribute to the mid-late Pan Horror‘s. A first person account of sex with dead folk, the unlovely narrator biting off more than he can chew when he digs up the luscious Ella.

Kim Newman – Week Woman: Peter Mysliwiec marries butch lesbian Madeleine Waters in a mutually beneficial arrangement whereby they can both obtain British nationality. Unfortunately, Mad the blushing bride takes the ceremony seriously and he can’t dissuade her that their marriage is a sham and that he is not really her husband. Worse, Mad has multiple personalities, each of them lasting seven days, so one week it is all Anne Diamond and afternoon TV, the next it is Eisensturzende Neubauten cassettes and suicide attempts (Newman fits more pop culture references into this and other stories than even Timothy Lea in the Confessions … novels), the third and she’s sex-mad loving wife of the year, etc. Peter loses his exasperated girlfriend Karen and very nearly his life when Mad goes into slasher movie mode and tortures him with household implements to the strains of Little Jimmy Osmond and Aled Jones. And things are about to get grimmer still.

R. Chetwynd-Hayes – The Frankenstein Syndrome: “Don’t let it attach itself to … anything that protrudes”. RCH was dismissive of his story It Came To Dinner on the grounds of it being (in his opinion) too violent and gory, having been pretty much written to order for Pan Horror #14. Seems to me that The Frankenstein Syndrome was his attempt at a Dark Voices story, hence the lashings of mutilation – you don’t get instances of “a lot of blood and torn gristle between his legs” in an Chetwynd-Hayes story as a rule.
This one begins in the usual jokey vein with well-to-do young oddball Morris Smith announcing to his devoted girlfriend Mary-Jane Jenkins that he is going to create a new life-form. Before long, he’s bred a maggot-like entity which feeds on semen and meat and can drain the warmth from any human it encounters. The head maggot is the length and shape of a python and tends to leap from the floor and get its mouth around any “protuberances”, and there are also several miniature versions of him slithering about the lab. Yes, it is surprisingly gross when you think of who penned it.

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