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Johnny_mains (Johnny_mains)
Username: Johnny_mains

Registered: 01-2010
Posted From: 82.22.70.137
Posted on Tuesday, January 05, 2010 - 10:21 am:   

BFTD


NOOSE AND GIBBET 2010

COVER BY: LES EDWARDS

FOREWORD - SHAUN HUTSON

'THE INFLUENCE OF PAN' - DAVID A. SUTTON

LOCKED - CHRISTOPHER FOWLER

MR SMYTHE – TONY RICHARDS

ACUTE REHAB – JOHN BURKE

CAMERA OBSCURA – BASIL COPPER

THE TRUE SPIRIT – DAVID A RILEY

ANGEL – JACK WAINER

A GOOD OFFENCE – MYC HARRISON

GALLYBAGGER – ROGER CLARKE

SPINALONGA – JOHN WARE

THE FORGOTTEN ISLAND – JONATHAN CRUISE

DREAMING THE DARK – J P DIXON

THE LITTLE GIRL EATER – SEPTIMUS DALE

MR GOLDEN’S HAUNT – CHRISTINA KIPLINGER

THE STARE – JOHN BURKE

THE CHILDREN – NICHOLAS ROYLE

THE MOMENT OF DEATH – KEN ALDEN

A CARRIBEAN INCIDENT – JANE LOUIE

THE WAITING GAME – CRAIG HERBERTSON

SCHOOL CROSSING – FRANCIS KING

SOUNDS FAMILIAR - HARRY E TURNER

AN OUTING WITH H – CONRAD HILL

‘LEST YOU SHOULD SUFFER NIGHTMARES’ HERBERT VAN THAL: A BIOGRAPHY by JOHNNY MAINS

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHIES

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS



As a sneak preview, I would like to share with you a few paragraphs of the van Thal biography.


‘The 11th Pan Book of Horror Stories’ was a rather limp affair with only several stories, including the aforementioned David A Riley piece receiving any positive credit. It also marked the beginning of Harry E Turner’s career with his tale ‘Hells Bells’.

He would write thirteen stories for the series in all, though his finest short story ‘Now Showing at the Roxy’, actually appeared in the ‘10th Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories’ edited by Mary Danby.

Bertie obviously knew talent when he came across it, and a friendship was born between the two men, with van Thal writing the introduction for Turner’s extremely rare and sought after first collection, ‘The Man Who Could Hear Fishes Scream’, published by Louiebird Books in 1978.

Poetry also played a part in the 11th and 12th books – with a rather joyous Charles Birkin giving us ‘Au Clare De Lune’ in number 11 – but the dreadful nonsense that is ‘The Instant Divorce’ by David Learmont Aitken highlights what a terrible volume the twelfth one became.

‘The Hunter’ by David Case is interesting but overlong, ‘In Mother’s Loving Memory’ by Barry Martin is by far the worst of the four stories he contributed to the series and T H McCormick’s ‘Man With a Knife’ is pointless, insipid but curiously at home with most of the other tales. However, there is a gem to be found with Robert Ashley’s ‘Pieces of Mary’, the title of which later would be used for a fanzine put together and printed by horror fan Gareth James and would feature in one of the magazine’s last issues, an interview with Clarence Paget talking briefly about the Pan Horrors.

1971 also saw the release of van Thal’s autobiography ‘The Tops of the Mulberry Trees’, published by George Allen and Unwin. The only mention of the Pan Horrors comes indirectly when he is talking about the author Dulcie Gray:

‘Dulcie is one of those phenomena who not only writes a novel a year, an annual horror story or two for my yearly collection, but is hardly ever ‘resting’.

His work in the horror field is never mentioned and Bertie prefers to wax lyrical about his friends in high society.
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Johnny_mains (Johnny_mains)
Username: Johnny_mains

Registered: 01-2010
Posted From: 82.22.70.137
Posted on Tuesday, January 05, 2010 - 10:25 am:   

Oh bollocks...
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 213.219.8.243
Posted on Tuesday, January 05, 2010 - 10:28 am:   

Whe-hey...is that actual size?
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 213.219.8.243
Posted on Tuesday, January 05, 2010 - 10:32 am:   

This might be a better size:

my picture
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 213.219.8.243
Posted on Tuesday, January 05, 2010 - 10:32 am:   

Gorgeous cover, mate.
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Johnny_mains (Johnny_mains)
Username: Johnny_mains

Registered: 01-2010
Posted From: 82.22.70.137
Posted on Tuesday, January 05, 2010 - 10:33 am:   

Why yes, It's a coffee table sized book for the blind. I'm laughing with you all at my stupidness

Oh well, I have a bit to learn about this site...
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Richard_gavin (Richard_gavin)
Username: Richard_gavin

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 65.110.174.71
Posted on Tuesday, January 05, 2010 - 12:35 pm:   

Nicely done, Johnny. It looks absolutely fantastic. I never had the Pan Books growing up here in Canada, so this anthology is a must-buy for me.
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Johnny_mains (Johnny_mains)
Username: Johnny_mains

Registered: 01-2010
Posted From: 82.22.70.137
Posted on Tuesday, January 05, 2010 - 01:03 pm:   

Cheers Richard, once it's out at end of March, I'll get a copy out to you.
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Richard_gavin (Richard_gavin)
Username: Richard_gavin

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 65.110.174.71
Posted on Tuesday, January 05, 2010 - 01:19 pm:   

Cheers, Johnny. I look forward to it.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Tuesday, January 05, 2010 - 01:41 pm:   

I'm very much looking forward to this - as I've said before elsewhere. Hope I do make it to WHC, where I'll be standing in line to meet you, Craig and the other guys at your signing, Johnny.
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Johnny_mains (Johnny_mains)
Username: Johnny_mains

Registered: 01-2010
Posted From: 82.22.70.137
Posted on Tuesday, January 05, 2010 - 03:06 pm:   

Well, we have a final page count - 522 pages... And Caroline, I'll be more than looking forward to meeting you, you have had my back on a few occasions evenly tempered with chastisement regarding my behaviour. For that, you're one of the good 'uns!
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.17.252.126
Posted on Tuesday, January 05, 2010 - 11:23 pm:   

Hi Johnny, as probably everyone here is now aware I've been re-reading the Pans in chrono order this last couple of years and ranking each one as I go along for the craic while selecting out what I consider the best stories from each.

Only my opinion but you might find this interesting (or not as the case may be):

1st : 86%
(1) 'The Portobello Road' by Muriel Spark
(2) 'Raspberry Jam' by Angus Wilson
(3) 'Submerged' by Audrey L. Barker

2nd : 91%
(1) 'The Speciality Of The House' by Stanley Ellin
(2) 'Pollock And The Porroh Man' by H.G. Wells
(3) 'By One, By Two, And By Three' by Stephen Hall

3rd : 91%
(1) 'The Whistling Room' by William Hope Hodgson
(2) 'Meshes Of Doom' by Neville Kilvington
(3) 'Dr Fawcett's Experiment' by Raymond Ferrers Broad

4th : 88%
(1) 'Ringing The Changes' by Robert Aickman
(2) 'The Elephant Man' by Sir Frederick Treves
(3) 'Slime' by Joseph Payne Brennan

5th : 84%
(1) 'The Other Passenger' by John Keir Cross
(2) 'Men Without Bones' by Gerald Kersh
(3) 'The Small World Of Lewis Stillman' by William F. Nolan

6th : 84%
(1) 'Green Thoughts' by John Collier
(2) 'Camera Obscura' by Basil Copper
(3) 'Man Skin' by M.S. Waddell

7th : 82%
(1) 'The Island Of Regrets' by Elizabeth Walter
(2) 'The Monkey's Paw' by W.W. Jacobs
(3) 'Street Of The Blind Donkey' by Rosemary Timperley

8th : 80%
(1) 'The Illustrated Man' by Ray Bradbury
(2) 'Sad Road To The Sea' by Gerald Kersh
(3) 'The Brindle Bull Terrier' by Dulcie Gray

9th : 78%
(1) 'The Whispering Horror' by Eddy C. Bertin
(2) 'Mrs Anstey's Scarecrow' by W.H. Carr
(3) 'Father Forgive Me' by Raymond Harvey

10th : 75%
(1) 'The Flatmate' by B. Lynn Barber
(2) 'Ringing Tone' by John Christopher
(3) 'The Fat Thing' by M.S. Waddell

11th : 68%
(1) 'The Lurkers In The Abyss' by David A. Riley
(2) 'Minuke' by Nigel Kneale
(3) 'Mrs Manifold' by August Derleth

12th : 76%
(1) 'Miss Fletcher's Plum Tree' by Frank Neate
(2) 'The Terrapin' by Patricia Highsmith
(3) 'The Hunter' by David Case

13th : 86%
(1) 'The Dead End' by David Case
(2) 'Spinalonga' by John Ware
(3) 'The Window Watcher' by Dulcie Gray

14th : 79%
(1) 'It Came To Dinner' by R. Chetwynd-Hayes
(2) 'The Man And The Boy' by Conrad Hill
(3) 'Strange Roots' by David Case

15th : 72%
(1) 'Among The Wolves' by David Case
(2) 'Amanda Excrescens' by Conrad Hill
(3) 'Quieta Non Movere' by Sally Franklin

16th : 69%
(1) 'The Bushmaster' by Conrad Hill
(2) 'The Municipal Gardener' by Christopher Bray
(3) 'Diary Of The Damned' by David Lewis

17th : 85%
(1) 'The Abscess' by Myc Harrison
(2) 'The Remains Of Reindeer' by Monica Lee
(3) 'The Claygo Worm' by Jonathan Cruise

18th : 75%
(1) 'The Coffin Flies' by Myc Harrison
(2) 'The Bravest Rat In Venice' by Patricia Highsmith
(3) 'Stevie' by Monica Lee

...and that's as far as I've got.

The overall best collection for me would be 'The 2nd Pan Book Of Horror Stories' and the best single story so far - Elizabeth Walter's 'The Island Of Regrets'. Arguments welcome!
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 195.93.21.74
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 12:00 am:   

Can anyone recall the title of the truly horrible Pan story in which a demented man attempts invasive surgery on himself to remove the twin brother he absorbed in the womb, only to discover that the little chap is still alive and has no intention of being brought out?

I remember reading it on a train, and thinking that the intense "oh, no, no no!" feeling it induced in me was a perfect example of what a good horror story should seek to achieve.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.110.236.161
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 12:31 am:   

Elizabeth Walter's 'The Island of Regrets' is certainly very powerful. I have her Arkham House collection but, as with many purchases of the last few years, haven't read it yet.

August Derleth's 'Mrs Manifold' is a great favourite of mine. You have to imagine an 11-year-old Joel reading that and getting to the bit of wordplay at the end, and a light bulb in a thought bubble glowing above said child's head.
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.17.252.126
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 12:31 am:   

I can't recall having re-read that one yet... although it rings a bell from way back when.

That sickening feeling of disbelief at what you're reading is what made the Pan Horror series famous and also what killed it in the end imho. I believe everyone who read those books as a youth has one particular story that has haunted them ever since - for sheer brutalising shock effect. Great stuff!!
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 220.138.166.181
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 01:05 am:   

Joel, the Arkham House Walter collection is an excellent sampling of her writing, but her original collections (the Arkham was a 'best of') are well worth hunting down.
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.17.252.126
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 01:08 am:   

August Derleth always seems to come in for a lot of stick because he dared to "complete" so many of Lovecraft's unfinished stories and fragments. Yet anything original of his I've read (such as 'Mrs Manifold') is absolute top drawer supernatural fiction.

He was one of Lovecraft's closest correspondents and friends and HPL was always collaborating with and completing works by other people while he was alive so I see this as continuing the tradition and have no problem with it. I've collected all the posthumous "collaborations" and think they're great. Derleth is very underrated if you ask me...
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 220.138.166.181
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 01:13 am:   

Derleth's best work is very good, I think (I'd certainly include the stories 'Mr. George', 'Mrs. Manifold', 'The Drifting Snow' and 'The Lonesome Place'). I'm not so fond of his "collaborations".
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.110.187.98
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 09:13 am:   

I agree that Derleth is underrated – the 'collaborations' and Lovecraft pastiches are the least of his work, but ironically the most-read. I think they're generally rather poor, though some of the early ones are good – 'The Survivor' is a strong horror story, and 'The Lamp of Alhazred' (based largely on a letter from Lovecraft) is a fine tribute to Lovecraft. A single collection of Derleth's best stories would be memorable – of his existing collections, Mr George and other Odd Persons (originally published as by 'Stephen Grendon') is probably the best.

Derleth's greatest sin is the creation of the 'and other' title format for collections, which has hung around ever since. Can you imagine A Warning to the Curious and other Admonitions? Or The October Country and other Autumnal Realms? (Gives a fastidious Lisa Simpson-type shudder.)
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 10:26 am:   



Derleth's "collaborations" certainly pale beside the HPL originals and what I've read of his own work but I honestly would rather have them than not and when they're good they're very good indeed - as with most of 'The Survivor And Others'.

Lovecraft struck me as never overly precious about his own writing and I'm sure would have encouraged Derleth in what he was doing. The posthumous tales (e.g. 'The Shuttered Room' - 3rd Fontana Horror) are often superior to Lovecraft's own collaborations while alive (e.g. 'The Horror In The Museum' - 1st Pan Horror with Hazel Heald).
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.240.106
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 10:28 am:   

Joel, how about: SCARY STORIES AND OTHER, ERM, SCARY STORIES
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Richard_gavin (Richard_gavin)
Username: Richard_gavin

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 65.110.174.71
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 12:09 pm:   

My favourite of the posthumous HPL/Derleth "collaborations" is The Lurker at the Threshold.

I agree that Derleth wrote much better horror fiction when he wasn't tacking stuff onto Lovecraft's ephemera. (That sounds a bit naughty, don't it?)
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 12:21 pm:   

I have 'The Lurker At The Threshold' but haven't got round to reading it yet.

Half way through 'The Great White Space' then got Ramsey's 'Needing Ghosts' so after that I think I will...
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Richard_gavin (Richard_gavin)
Username: Richard_gavin

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 65.110.174.71
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 12:34 pm:   

I think you'll really dig it, Stephen. I know I do.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.240.106
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 12:44 pm:   

'Needing Ghosts' is my absolute favourite of Ramsey's books. It's an extraordinary piece of work, and I'm yet to encounter anything even remotely like it.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 08:48 pm:   

Seconded, Zed!

But back to the Pans ..
>>I believe everyone who read those books as a youth has one particular story that has haunted them ever since<<

For me, there were three which haunted me from my childhood:

1. William Sansom's "The Vertical Ladder" (in #2, I think?)
As I have (and always had) a terrible fear of heights, this story of a man trapped half way up a gasometer after his friends removed the bottom bit of the ladder had me in a cold sweat.

2. Can't recall the name/author of this one (I did ask on the Vault ages ago, and someone told me, but I can't remember still). A young boy finds his mother dead on the kitchen floor after a fall and starts playing with her body. There's a particularly nasty bit involving poking her eyes out. I'm a bit squeamish about eyes!

3. Again, don't know exactly which one this is but in this one a woman (police officer?) opens her door one morning to find a large, pink, slug-like thing on her doorstep. She takes it in and becomes attached to it, nursing it like it's a baby (believe it or not, I'm a bit squeamish about slugs too!)

Is it any wonder I grew up a bit strange reading these kinds of things? Most enjoyable though.

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Johnny_mains (Johnny_mains)
Username: Johnny_mains

Registered: 01-2010
Posted From: 82.22.70.137
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 09:07 pm:   

Heya Stephen - good list, here are my faves from the volumes you have read so far.

PAN 1:

The Copper Bowl by Eliot
Raspberry Jam by Wilson
The House of Horror by Quinn

PAN 2:

The Vertical Ladder by Sansom
The Specialty of the House by Ellin
Leningen Versus the Ants - Stephenson

PAN 3:

Special Diet by Lloyd
The Execution of Damiens by Ewers
An Eye for an Eye by Birkin

PAN 4:

The Little Girl Eater by Dale
Ringing the Changes by Aickman
Slime by Brennan

Pan 5:

The Spider by Copper
The Small World of Lewis Stillman by Nolan
Hand in Hand by Waddell

PAN 6

Camera Obscura by Copper
Party Games by Burke
My Little Man by Ridley

PAN 7:

The Fur Brooch by Gray
The Monkey's Paw by Jacobs
Never Talk to Strangers by White

PAN 8:

The Assassin by Williams
The Janissaries of Emilion by Copper
Suitable Applicant by Braunstone

PAN 9:

The Best Teacher by Graham
A Comedy of Terrors by Burke
The Whispering Horror by Bertin


PAN 10:

The Acid Test by Murray
The Flatmate by Barber
Marmalade Wine by Aiken

Pan 11

The Cell by Case
Hells Bells by Turner
The Lurkers In The Abyss by Riley


PAN 12

Borderline by Jauncey
Pieces of Mary by Ashley


Pan 13
The Man Whose Nose was Too Big by Hillery
Spinalonga by Ware
The Dead End by Case

Pan 14:

The Clinic by White
The Man and the Boy by Hill
It Came to Dinner by Hayes


Pan 15

Under the Flagstone by Greer
A Problem Called Albert by Dinkley
Wally by Hill


Pan 16:

The Bushmaster by Hill


Pan 17:

Sister Cocall's Revenge by Muscillo
The Claygo Worm by Cruise
An Opportunity in Local Government by Kaufmann

Pan 18:

Stevie by Lee
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Rosswarren (Rosswarren)
Username: Rosswarren

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 81.151.96.28
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 09:17 pm:   

I'm suprised 'The Copper Bowl' hasn't been made into a film by Eli Roth
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Steve Bacon (Stevebacon)
Username: Stevebacon

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 90.204.111.196
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 09:24 pm:   

It's quite a sick 'un, isn't it?
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Allybird (Allybird)
Username: Allybird

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 80.43.214.156
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 09:33 pm:   

Steve - just looked up Never Talk to Strangers. Picked up Pan 7 and 10 but never looked at them until now. 'The Last thing she heard him say when he had cut off her arms and legs, and just before she lost consciousness completely' ...well you can guess the punchline.
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.17.252.126
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 11:04 pm:   

Thanks Johnny!
Good to see our lists are so different and I think you're doing a fine job reviving interest in the old books. I still maintain they are more important than they've ever been given credit for - at least sociologically if not always in a literary sense.

Caroline, that story about the child innocently carving up his dead mother is 'Playtime' by A.G.J. Rough from the 8th Pan (1966).

You've got me a bit stumped with the baby slug-thing story but it sounds like it might be 'My Little Man' by Abraham Ridley - 6th Pan (1964)?
That's a powerful story about the nightmare fantasies of a mother grieving for her stillborn child - at least that's how I read it - but the doorstep detail doesn't ring a bell.
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.17.252.126
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 11:11 pm:   

And I agree... 'The Vertical Ladder' is an unforgettably terrifying story!
It's in the 2nd Pan (1960) - the pick of the bunch for me.
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Allybird (Allybird)
Username: Allybird

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 80.43.214.156
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 11:14 pm:   

I have an opinion...and I agree with Ramsey...on an earlier discussion. Second paragraph.

'Well, the first Pan volume was my Christmas present in 1959 - I was thirteen then - and I certainly valued it as just about the only anthology of new or unfamiliar horror then available in Britain. But let's be clear: the literary standard was overall pretty high in those early volumes. The first one includes Joan Aiken, Jack Finney, L. P. Hartley, Nigel Kneale, Muriel Spark and Angus Wilson (and, though pseudonymously and nowhere near his best, Lovecraft). This said, I'd already read and indeed owned collections by Poe and M. R. James, among others, and anthologies by Basil Davenport and John Kier Cross and the Conklins - so the van Thal book by no means brought me into the field; I'd been there for years.

I'd suggest, however, that most of the authors I've listed above as contributors would not be thought of as typical Pan Horror, and that the typical stuff became increasingly offensive and pornographic as either the contributors or van Thal, or both, decided to go for the most basic appeal.'

http://www.knibbworld.com/campbelldiscuss/messages/1/2974.html
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 12:19 am:   

>>Caroline, that story about the child innocently carving up his dead mother is 'Playtime' by A.G.J. Rough from the 8th Pan (1966).

You've got me a bit stumped with the baby slug-thing story but it sounds like it might be 'My Little Man' by Abraham Ridley - 6th Pan (1964)?
That's a powerful story about the nightmare fantasies of a mother grieving for her stillborn child - at least that's how I read it - but the doorstep detail doesn't ring a bell. <<

Stephen - yes, that's the one - "Playtime". Thanks. But I think I might be misleading you all about the slug-baby one. Now I think harder about it, I think it was pointed out to me in the Vault when I asked ages ago that this was actually a story from one of the Fontana Horrors. I'll try to find the thread at the Vault and confirm that later. I did go for both Pan Horrors and Fontana ones, and I tend to get them mixed up.

Ally, Ramsey - I totally agree that the early Pans were the best. I think I gave up on them after about 11, 12 or maybe 13? To me, they had gone downhill by that time. Last year or the year before, I picked up a number of later ones in a local market. I tried a few stories from each and wasn't impressed. I'd need to read more of them before dismissing them completely, but I put them to one side (as I tend to do with anthologies/collections anyway) and went on to other things when I wasn't really grabbed by anything I'd read at that point.

BTW the one Paul asked about above - that's not the infamous "The Clinic" by Alex White is it?
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 12:20 am:   

This is the one Paul asked about:
"Can anyone recall the title of the truly horrible Pan story in which a demented man attempts invasive surgery on himself to remove the twin brother he absorbed in the womb, only to discover that the little chap is still alive and has no intention of being brought out?"
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 12:27 am:   

Re my slug-baby story, just checked the Vault and I was reliably informed it was David Campton's "Alderman Stratton's Fancy" from Tandem Horror #3. Not a Pan or a Fontana at all! Sorry!
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.240.106
Posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 12:39 am:   

"God, it Was Fun" is my favourite Pan story; an utter guilty pleasure. Can't recall who wrote it, but that image of "Humpty Dumpty" has never left my dreams.
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.17.252.126
Posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 01:30 am:   

The "invasive surgery/twin brother" one must be in one of the later volumes - it vaguely rings a bell but pretty sure I haven't re-read it yet.

'God, It Was Fun' by James McClure is coming up shortly in the 21st Pan. I look forward to it!
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 195.93.21.74
Posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 12:07 pm:   

Someone mentioned SPINALONGA. I can't agree with that selection as a top story, but only because I was fortunate enough (IMO) to read Ramsey's Spinalonga story (THE SAME IN ANY LANGUAGE ... ?) first.

More to the point, I read it shortly after visiting Spinalonga myself, which, despite the blazing Greek sunshine, I found an incredibly grim and forbidding place. While I enjoyed the Pan version, which I read much later, I always thought that Ramsey's tale nailed the feel of that woe-begotten island more accurately.

Isn't it interesting how often leprosy figures in horror stories of a certain era? Charles Birkin touched on it a number of times. Now that leprosy can be cured quite easily, it's nothing like as macabre a subject, though I must confess to being frightened by it as a child, mainly because I saw its graphic depiction BEN HUR.
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 12:28 pm:   

The best leprosy story I ever read is a certain tale by Dino Buzzati in the 12th Fontana Horror.

That and 'Seven Floors' (4th Fontana Horror) are exceptionally well written Kafkaesque nightmares that have me longing to read more of his stuff.

'Spinalonga' is a classic ghost story for me - haven't read Ramsey's tale.
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Johnny_mains (Johnny_mains)
Username: Johnny_mains

Registered: 01-2010
Posted From: 82.22.70.137
Posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 02:10 pm:   

Spinalonga by Ware, is a little masterpiece - and was written when John Ware was dying of a brain tumor. He never saw it printed and it was published three years after his death.

There is another leprosy story in 13 - David Farrers' 'The Revenge.'

Never had a chance to read Ramsey's Spinalonga stoy yet - but I hope to one day.
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 03:51 pm:   

Then more power to you for getting it reprinted!

I didn't know that and makes me even more glad I picked it now. But quality will out!
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 03:59 pm:   

Please note also that I rank the 13th Pan as equally strong as the 1st Pan which makes John Ware's tale even more impressive.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.146.253.215
Posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 04:28 pm:   

I recall being a fan of Pan Horrors in its earliest days. But my memory is bad. I recall liking particularly a story by N. Dennett (Pan two?) and first encountering Robert Aickman and many others.

Here, thanks to Stephen King, is a blurb for the new Pans:
GET THE HOTS FOR DARK PLOTS!
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 195.93.21.74
Posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 04:54 pm:   

There were two periods of my life that I would class as 'my Pan days'.

Firstly, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, I would go each summer with my parents, sisters, various aunts, uncles, cousins, etc, to a hotel in the Lake District. This hotel had its own bookshop, which invariably had several collections of ghost and horror stories on its racks (happy days, or what?). The Pans were always promiment and, even though I was only a kid, I liked nothing better than to buy one and read it in the lounge while all the adults got drunk after dinner in the bar. The second one was in my college days at the beginning of the 1980s. Again it was an era when most good bookshops felt no embarrassment to stock anthologies of horror stories. Each time I came home from London to Lancashire, I picked up a new Pan volume from the same stall at Euston Station, and had usually read it cover to cover by the time I reached Wigan North Western (four and a half hour journey time then, as opposed to the two and half hours it is now).

Sorry if that sounds self-indulgent, but very fond recollections there of my introduction to horror fiction (mainly via Pan).
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 05:13 pm:   

Des, the N. Dennett story 'Unburied Bane' is one of my very favourites from the 3rd Pan Horror.
Quite possibly the greatest screaming skull story ever written - worthy of M.R. James.
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Steve Bacon (Stevebacon)
Username: Stevebacon

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 90.204.111.196
Posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 09:53 pm:   

Paul, I remember sharing that fear of lepers, after seeing Ben Hur. That persisted until the eighties, when it was replaced by my fear of nuclear war.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.22.225.57
Posted on Friday, January 08, 2010 - 08:59 pm:   

For a haunting if unrealistic depiction of leprosy in its final stage, read the end of John Ratho's "Lovers' Meeting" in Pan #3.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.110.173.45
Posted on Saturday, January 09, 2010 - 01:29 am:   

Paul, I've had a few 'Pan days'. Or at least nights. Long time ago however.

I'm not talking about the books.
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Johnny_mains (Johnny_mains)
Username: Johnny_mains

Registered: 01-2010
Posted From: 82.22.70.137
Posted on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 07:39 pm:   

Heya folks - first review (Part 1 of 6) is now up on the Tales from the Black Abyss site.

http://tinyurl.com/ygzot2b
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Weber_gregston (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 03:45 pm:   

When anyone else plugs a book on this board it leads to reactions like this from a certain source


"It's your shameless use of discussion groups to promote yourself that we hate. Marketing is one thing, boring folks rigid with constant, endless "Look at me!" posts is tedious in the extreme. Plug yourself on a website or a blog, not in discussion forums. It's a selfish and egocentric practise that irritates most people. "


I wonder when we can expect to see an attack like that about this thread...

But I won't hold my breath because that person is a hypocrite and only certain people get targetted from this board for what is perfectly normal spreading of good news about what's happening in our lives.

I'm not attacking you Johnny. I'm happy for the progress you're making and the reviews you're getting.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 195.93.21.74
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 04:27 pm:   

Too much information, Joel. ; >

Johnny, well done on this, mate. It looks like a cracker and I hope it does well for you.

I shall certainly be buying a copy at WHC.
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 04:29 pm:   

I'll be buying this as soon as I see it... well done Johnny.

Come back Alexicon!!
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Colin Leslie (Blackabyss)
Username: Blackabyss

Registered: 02-2010
Posted From: 86.164.67.73
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 05:50 pm:   

>>It's your shameless use of discussion groups to promote yourself that we hate<<

Surely in this case Johnny is actually promoting http://www.talesfromtheblackabyss.com

Thats http://www.talesfromtheblackabyss.com
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Weber_gregston (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 05:57 pm:   

He's plugging a book with which he is intrinsically involved. I'm pretty certain that's Johnny's name on the cover at the top of the thread.

I have no problem with people plugging their books. And I'm betting that certain people, because it's Johnny plugging and not a Gary or Ally or Paul etc, won't give a damn about it either.

But God help the Garys if they post a link to a review on here.
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Colin Leslie (Blackabyss)
Username: Blackabyss

Registered: 02-2010
Posted From: 86.164.67.73
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 06:04 pm:   

I think there are dark forces at work here I don't understand. What about if I plug the review, after all there is nothing in it for me. Talking of which there is a review of Paul Finch's excellent Cape Wrath here http://talesfromtheblackabyss.com/2010/02/15/cape-wrath-by-paul-finch/
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Weber_gregston (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 06:04 pm:   

By posting a link to a review of your book, you're directly plugging your book.

Like I say, I have no problem with this happening.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 06:12 pm:   

Colin - this harks back to an issue over another book (by an RCMB member) which a forum with which Johnny's involved moaned about, saying it was "too much marketing" or some such nonsense. You needn't worry about this. As far as I can see, this board welcomes posts from any member with anything to celebrate which might be of interest to other members - which is just the way it should be in my opinion.
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Colin Leslie (Blackabyss)
Username: Blackabyss

Registered: 02-2010
Posted From: 86.164.67.73
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 06:15 pm:   

Thanks for the explanation Caroline, I'll keep out of the politics.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 06:16 pm:   

Sorry, my first sentence above probably doesn't make a lot of sense to anyone who doesn't know the full story. I was trying to summarise events as concisely as possible - no easy task! - and without sparking everything off again. Needless to say - unless Ramsey or Gary says differently - my understanding is that you can post any links you like to interesting, relevant stuff here.

Weber was, I believe, just trying to make a point about possible double-standards which had happened previously - fair enough point, but no need to say any more!
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 06:17 pm:   

Ooops, sorry Colin - we were posting at the same time! Yes, best not to worry about the politics.
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Johnny_mains (Johnny_mains)
Username: Johnny_mains

Registered: 01-2010
Posted From: 82.22.70.137
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 06:18 pm:   

==And I'm betting that certain people, because it's Johnny plugging==

Oh, Horror Watch won't get at me, because I AM HORRORWATCH. Or was that supposed to be SPARTICUS?

Dammit.

Weber, I'm fair game, like everybody else. If I was to plug every time that Colin put up one of the promised six part reviews - then hell - everybody come at me.
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Allybird (Allybird)
Username: Allybird

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 80.47.103.170
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 06:28 pm:   

And looking through your site Colin, a thank you to you for reviewing The British Fantasy Society YEARBOOK. It is the only review that I've seen. It is doubtful that there will be another because of costs, and not enough people becoming members of the society - which is a shame because they are (leaving me aside but thank you for your comment on it) all, good, solid stories from all contributors.

http://talesfromtheblackabyss.com/2010/01/12/the-british-fantasy-society-yearboo k-2009/
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Colin Leslie (Blackabyss)
Username: Blackabyss

Registered: 02-2010
Posted From: 86.164.67.73
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 08:47 pm:   

Thats a real shame Ally, it was one of the strongest collections I have read in a while, I thought it was going to be an annual treat
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Allybird (Allybird)
Username: Allybird

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 80.47.103.170
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 08:48 pm:   

I feel the same way.
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Stephen Theaker (Stephen_theaker)
Username: Stephen_theaker

Registered: 12-2009
Posted From: 62.30.117.235
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 09:25 pm:   

Allyson, Colin - no decision as yet on the 2010 yearbook either way, but thanks Colin for the great review of the first one. I was going to read my copy this week but I've lost the darned thing.

Caroline - it does say on the way in that, "This area does not constitute free advertising space unless you are Ramsey Campbell. Please post accordingly." So don't go crazy...
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Friday, February 19, 2010 - 01:03 am:   

>>Caroline - it does say on the way in that, "This area does not constitute free advertising space unless you are Ramsey Campbell. Please post accordingly." So don't go crazy...<<

Hey, that's a good point - I'd completely forgotten it says that. Perhaps we need some clarification from young Gary on this then? People here do post links to reviews and stuff I think (but my brain's foggy, so I may be wrong), so I was assuming that to be the case.

So, Gary, could you clarify for us please? Not that I've got anything to sell myself, but I was just trying to explain the situation to Colin - I don't want to be giving anyone wrong info.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.110.232.234
Posted on Friday, February 19, 2010 - 10:33 am:   

My impression is it's OK to post our news, whether that is personal (within limits) or literary, and to post genre information that we think readers will find interesting. What would not be acceptable, I assume, is using the RCMB as a billboard for advertising in a commercial spirit. That's why it's better to post links rather than lengthy reviews or book images: it means you don't have the information imposed on you if you if you don't choose to look for it. This is not a forum, for example, for a publisher to start a thread saying 'Here are our new books and why you should buy them' and then presenting loads of promotional material. But if a publisher turns up and says 'You may be interested in our new books by xxxx and xxx, for details visit xxx.xxx', that would normally be fine. If a reader mentions a new book they have enjoyed and the publisher adds a comment, that's fine too. It's a matter of degree and tone.

Gary, is that roughly how it works?

I know from bitter experience that books don't sell themselves. Without promotion, they get forgotten – especially with poor bookshop distribution or none at all. You have to let people know your work is out there. Doing so with appropriate decorum and perspective, but without fear, takes some practice. The dividing line between not enough and too much is very thin.

As a rule of thumb, any book you actually like has been shyly under-promoted and any book you don't like has been aggressively over-promoted.
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 61.216.44.129
Posted on Friday, February 19, 2010 - 01:54 pm:   

"As a rule of thumb, any book you actually like has been shyly under-promoted and any book you don't like has been aggressively over-promoted."

That's a pretty accurate description of many of my own experiences when it comes to the promotion of a book and its subsequent merit, Joel (in my personal estimation, of course).
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Friday, February 19, 2010 - 02:47 pm:   

>My impression is it's OK to post our news, whether that is personal (within limits) or literary, and to post genre information that we think readers will find interesting. What would not be acceptable, I assume, is using the RCMB as a billboard for advertising in a commercial spirit. That's why it's better to post links rather than lengthy reviews or book images: it means you don't have the information imposed on you if you if you don't choose to look for it. This is not a forum, for example, for a publisher to start a thread saying 'Here are our new books and why you should buy them' and then presenting loads of promotional material. But if a publisher turns up and says 'You may be interested in our new books by xxxx and xxx, for details visit xxx.xxx', that would normally be fine. If a reader mentions a new book they have enjoyed and the publisher adds a comment, that's fine too. It's a matter of degree and tone.<<

Joel, that sums up what I was trying to say so much better than I could!
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Johnny_mains (Johnny_mains)
Username: Johnny_mains

Registered: 01-2010
Posted From: 82.22.70.137
Posted on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - 10:41 am:   

Books have arrived from the printers - I would post a pic, but I'm afraid that my previous cock-up with posting pics on here might happen again.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - 01:33 pm:   

You just need to make the image smaller, Johnny. I don't know the best size, but Gary might be able to tell you. Or if you decrease it to the size of the second image you posted here - or a bit smaller - that should do it.
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Ian Alexander Martin (Iam)
Username: Iam

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 64.180.64.74
Posted on Wednesday, February 24, 2010 - 02:54 am:   

I'm still waiting for Mr. Fry to react to being called "young Gary" further up! It's certainly news to me! He's my age, isn't he?

Granted, he's younger than Ramsey, so around these parts we're all young, then.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.27.30.20
Posted on Wednesday, February 24, 2010 - 09:14 am:   

Sorry, guys, missed this thread.

Basically, as long as the advert is relevant to the general atmosphere here - one of interest in all things horror - then I'd say it's fine. In this case, the ad has stimulated some decent discussion, so it's fine. I take your point, Weber, but we can't all go around being mindful of lurkers, can we? We'd go mad.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.27.30.20
Posted on Wednesday, February 24, 2010 - 09:14 am:   

cover
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.27.30.20
Posted on Wednesday, February 24, 2010 - 09:15 am:   

>>>I'm still waiting for Mr. Fry to react to being called "young Gary" further up! It's certainly news to me! He's my age, isn't he?

I'm not 12!! :-)
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Wednesday, February 24, 2010 - 06:58 pm:   

>>>>>I'm still waiting for Mr. Fry to react to being called "young Gary" further up! It's certainly news to me! He's my age, isn't he?

I'm not 12!! :-)<<

It was me who called him "young". You're *all* young to me, you see.
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Ian Alexander Martin (Iam)
Username: Iam

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 64.180.64.74
Posted on Wednesday, February 24, 2010 - 07:18 pm:   

Gary, thank you, but I'm now over 3˝ times 12, despite my behaviour. It's time to own up that you're old enough to drive, vote, and even have the occasional pint.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.27.30.20
Posted on Wednesday, February 24, 2010 - 07:32 pm:   

I'm old enough to know better, but that's such a poor excuse for not having a blast!
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Colin Leslie (Blackabyss)
Username: Blackabyss

Registered: 02-2010
Posted From: 86.164.67.73
Posted on Wednesday, February 24, 2010 - 08:34 pm:   

Just posted Part Two of the review here :-
http://talesfromtheblackabyss.com/2010/02/24/back-from-the-dead-selected-by-john ny-mains-part-two/
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Johnny_mains (Johnny_mains)
Username: Johnny_mains

Registered: 01-2010
Posted From: 82.22.70.137
Posted on Monday, March 15, 2010 - 03:16 pm:   

In time for the WHC next week, Michel Parry has these thoughts on Back From the Dead:

BACK FROM THE DEAD

For me the most satisfying contributions to Johnny Mains’ anthology homage to the Pan Horror series are those which one can easily imagine appearing in Herbert Van Thal’s original selections.

Christopher Fowler’s ‘Locked’ is classic Pan Horror material: a deceptively jaunty setup, in which an inexperienced young woman moves into a rundown apartment building in London, leads inexorably to an unpleasant resolution (note the ominous detail of the four cheese-graters.)

Tony Richards’ ‘Mr Smyth’ features another ill-fated dweller in a decaying London apartment building. The creepy Casanova of this dark tale of rampant sex magic is an entirely original creation, yet the demi-monde of sexual excess he inhabits has echoes of the one once explored by pseudonymous Pan regular Adobe James.

From time to time Van Thal would throw a story of ‘nature red in tooth and claw’ into his mix for variety (remember ‘Leningen Versus the Ants’ ?) Jonathan Cruise’s ‘The Forgotten Island’ is just such a story, as well as a riveting example of a ‘desert island tale’ where the island turns out to be not so deserted after all.

The basic grand guignol tale of ingenious revenge and torture was a mainstay of the Pan Horror series, as well as the series which inspired it – Christine Campbell Thomson’s ‘Not At Night’. ‘Waiting Game’ by Greg Herbertson, in the tradition of Poe by way, perhaps, of Oscar Cook, is as gruesome a little conte cruel as ever appeared in either series.

These new stories a la Pan may be more up to date in their details and allusions, yet the best of them are timeless in a way which would ensure their effectiveness whenever they were published.

A 21st century revamping of an old favourite could be viewed as a form of literary grave-robbing, but this resurrection is one to be embraced.

Michel Parry
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.169.217.52
Posted on Monday, March 15, 2010 - 03:37 pm:   

I was lucky enough to go to school with Michel. He got me into HPL in 1965, and (unintentionally) set a course for me by so doing. :-)
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.163.170.179
Posted on Monday, April 05, 2010 - 11:47 pm:   

Just started a real-time review of BACK FROM THE DEAD. The first story's got Facebook in it. http://weirdmonger.blog-city.com/back_from_the_dead.htm
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Mark_samuels (Mark_samuels)
Username: Mark_samuels

Registered: 04-2010
Posted From: 81.129.143.153
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - 01:47 am:   

I've only read one or two of the stories: most striking thus far is "An Outing with H". It's completely bonkers and over the top! I highly recommend it.

Mark S.
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.22.6
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - 03:35 am:   

Glad you liked it,Mark. 'Completely bonkers and over the top'. Synchronicity here... It's precisely why I rate your work so highly! Cheers,mate.
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Patrick Walker (Patrick_walker)
Username: Patrick_walker

Registered: 01-2010
Posted From: 217.171.129.69
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - 06:16 am:   

I recently went back to my Pan collection when a lady I served in my shop was enthusing about Mrs Anstey's Scarecrow in number 9. That was the story that had haunted her in to adulthood. For me personally, I've never forgotten a genuinely horrific little tale which I think was actually from one of the Fontanas I believe. Without going through my collection to check, I think it was called The River Bed or something. It was an utterly disturbing, haunting little tale. Perhaps someone knows what I'm talking about?
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Mark_samuels (Mark_samuels)
Username: Mark_samuels

Registered: 04-2010
Posted From: 81.129.143.153
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - 09:24 am:   

Alexicon

Crikey! I had no idea the author of such gems as "The Bushmaster" was here. Great stuff.

Patrick

I had a gander at the Fontana horror listings over on the Vault, but couldn't spot a tale with that title...

Mark S.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.163.170.179
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - 09:49 am:   

So we know who Alexicon is now. :-)
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.17.252.126
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - 12:50 pm:   

Patrick, are you thinking of 'Submerged' perhaps in the 1st Pan Horror? Boy dives into river and gets entangled with corpse of drowned woman? Or maybe 'Off The Deep End' in 18th Fontana Ghost? One of the best "underwater zombie" stories I have read involving another innocent boy fishing at a remote spot... both classic chillers.
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John Llewellyn Probert (John_l_probert)
Username: John_l_probert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 213.253.174.81
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - 01:03 pm:   

It could be B Seshadri's The River Bed from Pan 26

AlexiCon you naughty fellow! What a pleasure to make your electronic acquaintance!
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.17.252.126
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - 01:15 pm:   

Haven't got that far yet but must have read it back in the day.

Good to see you back, Alexicon!
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.37.199.45
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - 02:07 pm:   

Hi Alexicon. Those of us with nimble fingers for picking up dropped hints already knew your identity! Great to have your company.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - 02:28 pm:   

Yes, nice to see you back and with your cloak of anonymity removed, Alexicon.

I hadn't worked it out, but after chaining Johnny securely to the hooks on the wall in my cellar and threatening him with a red hot poker, he finally agreed to put me out of my misery and tell me who you were (so long as I kept quiet about it, which I did of course
).

Very much looking forward to receiving and reading this book. I'm currently trying to avoid all reviews - of this and the Sixth Black Book of Horror - until I get them both and read them.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.177.173.157
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - 07:17 pm:   

Just read master Mains' interview in the latest Prism - good stuff...
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Patrick Walker (Patrick_walker)
Username: Patrick_walker

Registered: 01-2010
Posted From: 217.171.129.72
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - 07:19 pm:   

Ah, then it must have been that one from Pan 26. Beg your pardons. I'll go and check nonetheless. I haven't read it in close to twenty years. Maybe I'll do that tonight...
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.14.98
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2010 - 06:08 am:   

Belatedly,and in haste:

Mark Samuels: Speaking of gems,I've read your alter ego's,No Such Thing as a Friendly. Right up my boulevard. The laughter started as soon as I read the name,'Goboya'...

John Llewellyn Probert: Delighted likewise to make your acquaintance. In addition to your wizardry with words,I also understand that in real life you're big in the world of micturition. I need to speak to you about this because I'm thinking of scripting a couple of Grue-Brit flicks,tentatively titled BLADDER 1 and BLADDER 2. Your input would be invaluable.

Stephen Walsh: Hi mate,I note the name change...So,Stevie-Babe,I need to talk to you sternly about William Golding.

Joel,Good morning to you. I already know that you're exceptionally nimble of brain but the fingers business is perhaps a tad too much information...

Caroline: Johnny says he adored being chained to your cellar wall and abused with that red-hot poker. In fact,the says that if you do it again - with more enthusiasm this time - he'd be prepared to reveal yet another Alex persona.
Re the book itself,Johnny's essay on van Thal is extremely interesting - not only what you see on the pages,but also what you read between the lines.

Des: no,better not disturb Des; I'll only get him riled.


I need to get BBOH 6 to see what you chaps are up to. Anyone kicking and twisting the genre? I bloody hope so,you scamps!
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 217.43.30.125
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2010 - 09:09 am:   

Des: no,better not disturb Des; I'll only get him riled.
=============================

I'm the most equable person on this board, I reckon. :-)
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Mark_samuels (Mark_samuels)
Username: Mark_samuels

Registered: 04-2010
Posted From: 81.129.143.153
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2010 - 10:07 am:   

Alex

The other Staines tale, "The Sucking Pub", remains, as yet, unpublished. Set in the 70s too, it concerns a (secret) gay vampire bar in Camden Town that's taken over by an unsuspecting old-school landlord.

And much hilarity ensured therefrom.

Mark S.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2010 - 10:09 am:   

Mark, where can I find No Such Thing as a Friendly? I'd like to read that one.
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Mark_samuels (Mark_samuels)
Username: Mark_samuels

Registered: 04-2010
Posted From: 81.129.143.153
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2010 - 10:12 am:   

Zed

It's in BBoH #5.

I can't believe it wasn't picked up for any of the Year's Best anthologies...


Mark S.
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John Llewellyn Probert (John_l_probert)
Username: John_l_probert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.142.146.96
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2010 - 10:18 am:   

Indeed . The Staines oeuvre so far has provided me with much entertainment
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2010 - 01:11 pm:   

Just received the BBoH6. I've only read the Unzo, Fry and Samuels stories, and liked them all very much. Mark's is probably the most Pan-like story I've read in one of these anthologies, and Unzo's is my favourite thing of his because it's such a clever concept. Gary's is just mad. The more of his stuff I read, the more afraid I become.

I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the tales, particularly Paul Finch's. Because Finch is da man, baby.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2010 - 01:12 pm:   

Shite. Wrong thread... ah, well.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 217.43.30.125
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2010 - 02:39 pm:   

Just received the BBoH6. I've only read the Unzo, Fry and Samuels stories, and liked them all very much. Mark's is probably the most Pan-like story I've read in one of these anthologies, and Unzo's is my favourite thing of his because it's such a clever concept. Gary's is just mad. The more of his stuff I read, the more afraid I become.
=============================

Gary F's story taught me the word 'eusocial'.
And Mark S's story leant back into the past and pulled out my entrails.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.17.252.126
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2010 - 02:40 pm:   

Alexicon, I take it you found 'The Inheritors' difficult then lol. Many people do (I've only met 2 others who shared my enthusiasm)... but I still consider it a masterpiece. Each to their own.

Can't wait to read the new Pan Horror book and your story in particular. When will it be out in paperback? I'm not one for splashing out on big hardback tomes.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.29.110.205
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2010 - 03:05 pm:   

>>>Gary's is just mad. The more of his stuff I read, the more afraid I become.

You only visit. I have to live here.
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Johnny_mains (Johnny_mains)
Username: Johnny_mains

Registered: 04-2010
Posted From: 82.22.70.137
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2010 - 03:06 pm:   

Stevie - Back from the Dead won't be going to paperback - only 150 copies have been printed and at last count only 40 are left. The website will soon be opening up a wee shop where you can get a copy if you so desire!
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.17.252.126
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2010 - 03:23 pm:   

Aww hell, I've probably no mission of getting a copy then!

Then again...
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2010 - 04:36 pm:   

Stevie - get it! I insist! You won't be disappointed.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.176.102.176
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2010 - 04:42 pm:   

Johnny - what's yer website address?
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Johnny_mains (Johnny_mains)
Username: Johnny_mains

Registered: 04-2010
Posted From: 82.22.70.137
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2010 - 04:58 pm:   

www.nooseandgibbetpublishing.com - but I have to wait till my website magician comes back so we can update etc. If people want a copy in the meantime - email me at panbookofhorrorstories@gmail.com
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.176.102.176
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2010 - 07:17 pm:   

Cheers Johnny - all sorted now thanks to the technological marvel that is Facebook.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 217.43.30.125
Posted on Friday, April 09, 2010 - 09:03 am:   

Has anyone read 'Dreaming the Dark' by J P Dixon yet? If so, what did you think? And, if not, I think you should.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 217.43.30.125
Posted on Sunday, April 11, 2010 - 09:27 am:   

Last night I finished my real time review of 'Back From The Dead'. It starts here:
http://weirdmonger.blog-city.com/back_from_the_dead.htm

Locks, metal-embeddings in the ground, Death as an Island or Character - book's general leitmotifs?
LOST - its gestalt?
??
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Johnny_mains (Johnny_mains)
Username: Johnny_mains

Registered: 04-2010
Posted From: 82.22.70.137
Posted on Sunday, April 11, 2010 - 09:44 am:   

Thank you very much for the 3 part reviews Des - I'm glad you enjoyed the book and that several of the stories really hit their mark for you!

Thanks for taking the time to read it!

Johnny
x
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 217.43.30.125
Posted on Sunday, April 11, 2010 - 12:30 pm:   

Thanks, Johnny. An objectively great book, to my mind.

Also, just realised, Lock is actually the name of a character in LOST. :-)
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Sunday, April 11, 2010 - 01:07 pm:   

I don't normally start with the longest stories in a book, but after Des' comment about "Dreaming in the Dark" I had to try that one first. All I can say is, wow! If the quality of writing and intensity of horror in the rest of the stories is as good as that one, then I'm in for a treat when I get the chance to read the rest of it.

I'm avoiding your review, Des, and your one of BB0H6, until I've read them (or read more of them anyway).

Looking very good so far ...
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.145.36.248
Posted on Saturday, April 17, 2010 - 06:13 pm:   

Has anyone else read 'Dreaming The Dark' yet?
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Johnny_mains (Johnny_mains)
Username: Johnny_mains

Registered: 04-2010
Posted From: 82.22.70.137
Posted on Saturday, April 17, 2010 - 08:45 pm:   

Your presuming more than three people bought the book... :D
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Tuesday, May 04, 2010 - 03:57 pm:   

Just finished the 19th Pan Horror and continuing on from my list above...

19th : 78%
(1) 'The Quiet Girl' by Robert Holdstock
(2) 'Eric And I' by Chris Morgan
(3) 'Give A Dog A Bone' by Diana Forster

Also reaally liked 'The Power Cut' by Rosemary Timperley & the two "ordeal horror" stories by Guy Delaway, 'Wild Bees, Golden Honey' & 'The Boy Who Was Afraid To Die', will certainly be hard to forget while the rest ranged from entertaining to really quite duff!

Now starting 'The 19th Fontana Book Of Great Ghost Stories' (1983) edited by R. Chetwynd-Hayes.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.17.252.126
Posted on Thursday, July 22, 2010 - 05:01 pm:   

That's the 20th Pan Horror read:

20th : 74%
(1) 'School Crossing' by Francis King
(2) 'The Victorian Conservatory' by Alan Temperley
(3) 'A Smell Of Fresh Paint' by Carl Schiffman

I found this one of the weaker collections with quite a bit of bland filler material, but 'Hell On Both Sides Of The Gate' by the ever reliable Rosemary Timperley & 'The Lion's Cradle' by Harry E. Turner were pretty good.
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Steve Bacon (Stevebacon)
Username: Stevebacon

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 90.208.112.244
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2010 - 09:59 pm:   

I recently read this. Funnily, 'Dreaming the Dark' wasn't one of my favourites, although I have to say I did enjoy it. The stories that worked best for me (other than the superb classic reprints) were 'Locked' by Fowler, 'Gallybagger' by Clarke, 'The Children' by Royle, 'The Waiting Game' by Herbertson and 'An Outing With H' by Hill.
Overall, I greatly enjoyed this anthology. And Johnny's bio of Van Thal is very interesting.
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John Llewellyn Probert (John_l_probert)
Username: John_l_probert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 213.122.209.76
Posted on Saturday, July 24, 2010 - 02:40 pm:   

I'm with you on that Steve. 'Dreaming the Dark' didn't work for me at all (and I loved The Surgeon's Tale in Pan 29, which of course might be a reason). The stories you've listed however were all good solid tales - nasty, scary and entertaining by turns and very much in the spirit of the good Pan horrors.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - 12:26 pm:   

Just finished 'The 21st Pan Book Of Horror Stories':

21st : 85%
(1) 'The Incidents At Scanham' by Ian C. Strachan
(2) 'Graveyard Shift' by Stephen King
(3) 'The Mangler' by Stephen King

Stephen King hit the series like a thunderbolt with two of his most enjoyable early stories, well selected by Van Thal, but I was genuinely surprised that the Lovecraftian oddity, 'The Incidents At Scanham', topped him for best tale imo. In fact this was one of the strongest Pan collections in a while with Ken Johns' 'Mumsy And Sonny' & James McClure's 'God, It Was Fun' making it five real crackers out of 14. Of the others; 'The Thug' was another great Rosemary Timperley tale, while memorably gruesome stories like 'Cynthia And Charles', 'Baby, Baby', 'Flayed' & 'The Black Bedroom' will make this one volume to stick long in the mind... one of the good ones!
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - 12:37 pm:   

'God, It Was Fun' still haunts me now. It's absurd, grotesque, and genuinely disturbing.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - 03:41 pm:   

Yes, it's a great story, and one that as I read it, I remembered it - for the first conscious time since - and felt a shiver go down my spine as I realised that's where that particular horrible image, lurking in my subconscious, had come from... an experience the Pan Horrors are particularly good at creating. Hence their importance imho.

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