Revisited : The Pseudopod Tapes Vol 1

In 2012 Alasdair Stuart collected his outro’s for horror podcast Pseudopod into a book sub titled ‘Not the end of the World, just the end of the Year.’ It’s a collection that showcases Alasdair’s deep genre knowledge and his very personal and honest style of journalism.


Pseudopod Tapes by Alasdair Stuart
Cover Art by S.L. Johnson

‘Not the end of the world, just the end of the year’

Alasdair Stuart, one of the UK’s most knowledgeable and passionate genre journalists has finally decided to do a book. And not just any book, he’s not just offering up his in depth genre gems for your delectation, it’s better than that.

In the Pseudopod Tapes, Alasdair gathers a years worth of outro’s from one of the worlds leading horror podcasts and collects them all together for you in this volume. Stuart hosts Pseudopod with a sharp wit, clear insight, tremendous honesty and warm humour. It translates extremely well to the page.

‘Alasdair Stuart, host of the must listen Pesudopod just became a must read!’ -Steven Savile

If You Like Books Vol 1 :  Stuart acknowledges that the zombies scratching at your door might be real or imagined, but if you don’t escape them they will eat you alive. The goosebumps and raised-hairs on the back of your neck might just be an evolutionary quirk, or they might be the very thing that keeps you safe from the monsters under the bed.

BFS reviews : Each little piece is a gem: insightful and intelligent, and I often find myself re-evaluating a story, or examining my own opinions or my whole life, based on Alasdair’s little snippets of wisdom

Opening Paragraphs

Sunday in the Park With Bruce

(Originally appeared on episode 264, January 13th 2012, A Study in Flesh and Mind by Liz Argall)

Let’s talk about comics for a minute. Grant Morrison, Scottish comics writer to some, electric wizard of the post human post millennium new fiction zeitgeist to others, is engaged in an interesting experiment with his current work on Batman. Morrison is telling a multi-year story, across multiple titles, exploring the character from every possible angle as he delves deeper not only into the psyche of a man who dresses like a flying rodent to frighten poor people, but also into the nature of fiction and fictional reality. He’s done this before, the fiction suit idea toyed with in The Invisibles for one, but he’s rarely done it in more detail and at more length than he has with his Batman work. Batman is, after all, a man with a lot more history and life experience than pretty much everyone reading him. To borrow a quote from another Scot, and horribly mangle it, Batman and Gotham City, his home has been mapped out of obscurity into street by street reality.

Don’t believe me? There is a map of Gotham City, initially designed for the No Man’s Land story years ago which has now been modified and adopted by the Christopher Nolan-directed Batman movies and the Tracy Hickman written novel, Wayne of Gotham. A fictional city is not only mapped down to individual blocks, that map is carrying across different media. Morrison talks, a lot, about fictional reality and is on record as saying he believes the DC universe is sentient and it’s only a matter of time before we make first contact. He’s been saying that for a few years now, and whilst I think if we ever do make fictional contact it’ll be with a certain madman in a blue box, but I can see his point. After all, Gotham City is now the same across three media. It’s growing, extruding, reaching out, the amalgamated geography of hundreds of creative teams’ work, a city made of stories, gleaming in the early morning light. A model ecosystem made of fiction.

But where does the model end and the art begin?

Revisited : Wicked Women

When Alchemy Press editors Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber approached Aunty Fox to ask if we interested in an anthology called Wicked Women they pretty much got straight into ‘things Aunty Fox loves’. Obviously we said yes and we are delighted that one of the stories ‘Change of Heart’ by the marvelous Gaie Sebold is now up for Best Short Story in the BFS awards this year.


Wicked Women Edited by Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber
Cover by Sarah Anne Langton

From thieves and tyrants to witches and warriors, here are twelve tales of women who gleefully write their own rules, who’ll bend or break the social norms, who’ll skate along the edge of the law and generally aim to misbehave.

A. R. Aston –  No Place of Honour, Stephanie Burgis – Red Ribbons, Zen Cho – The First Witch of Damansara, Jaine Fenn – Down at the Lake, Juliet E. McKenna – Win Some, Lose Some, Christine Morgan – The Shabti-Maker, Tom Johnstone – Kravolitz, Gaie Sebold – A Change of Heart, Sam Stone – The Book of the Gods, Adrian Tchaikovsky – The Blessed Union, Jonathan Ward – A Change in Leadership, Chloë Yates – How to be the Perfect Housewife

N.R on Amazon : Fox Spirit’s “Wicked Women” anthology is yet another standard bearer for independent women and publishing and well-worth perusing!

Opening Paragraphs:

From ‘Win Some, Lose Some.’ by Juliet E McKenna
The Martagon is one of those taverns which, while not a brothel, always has enough lasses idling about in low cut bodices to catch a man’s eye through its hospitably open door. And there are always plenty of men passing the door, given it’s in the middle of a street of rooming houses that cater to country folk on some long anticipated visit to this splendid city of Selerima. Such folk always include plough boys desperate to quench their youthful ardour without the risks of sowing their seed in some local furrow. And then there are the older men whose marriage bed has long since staled. They can often be tempted into a slice from a fresh cut loaf.
‘Livak, there’s a man asking for you.’ One of the lasses sauntered over, hips swinging, hem of her pink gown hiked up to show the golden lace on her petticoats and fine white stockings above her soft yellow slippers.
I swept up the rune bones I’d been casually rolling on the table in front of me. ‘Send him for a walk down the Andelane. He’ll find what he’s looking for there.’
Even dressed in a man’s breeches and boots with shirt and jerkin loose enough to disguise my curves, getting the occasional offer is one of the prices of setting up in an inn like the Martagon. Some mistake me for a lad in the candlelight, half blinded by guilt or anticipation or both. Others just see my red hair and green eyes and remember all the whispered stable yard tales about the insatiable appetites of Forest women. Such whispers had mortified my respectable housekeeper mother once I’d reached girlhood, just when she’d thought the gossip about her ill-starred dalliance with the Forest minstrel who was my father had finally faded.

Revisited : 25 Ways to Kill a Werewolf by Jo Thomas

Today we launch the second Elkie Bernstein novel at Edge.Lit4, so it seems a good time to revisit the first in the series.

Elkie is a great heroine, with nothing but her determination, her wits and the strength of any girl living in rural Wales to help her she survives focused attacks, personal betrayal and more. Elkie is an ordinary woman in extraordinary circumstances.

25 Ways Wrap 72ppi

25 Ways to Kill A Werewolf by Jo Thomas
Cover Art by Sarah Anne Langton

‘My name is Elkie Bernstein. I live in North Wales and I kill werewolves.’

When Elkie finds herself fighting for her life against something that shouldn’t exist she is faced with the grim reality that werewolves are real and she just killed one. Part diary, part instruction manual Elkie guides the reader through 25 ways you can kill a werewolf, without any super powers, and how she did it.

Opening paragraphs

My name is Elkie Bernstein. I live in North Wales and I kill werewolves.

I’m human and nothing special. No quick healing, no super strength, no fantastic reflexes, no mutant powers. Just human. I get hurt and the injuries take their own time to heal. It leaves me weak and vulnerable so I avoid it. I can’t fight a million attackers at once — I don’t have the raw talent or the trained skill — so I avoid doing it. I can’t read minds or call lightning from the sky so I avoid situations where they would be my only possible line of defence.

I’m nothing special. But anyone who tells you that you have to be special to kill werewolves hasn’t been trying hard enough. And anyone who says there’s only one way to kill a werewolf needs to experiment more. A lot more.

Revisited : The Noir Series

Weird Noir was one of our early titles, edited by K.A. Laity and it was so much fun we managed to persuade her back to do two more, Noir Carnival and Drag Noir. The idea was simply to throw another genre or trope that interested us in the mix with noir stylings and it resulted in some incredible stories and really superb anthologies.


‘On the gritty backstreets of a crumbling city, tough dames and dangerous men trade barbs, witticisms and a few gunshots. But there’s a new twist where

urban decay meets the eldritch borders of another world: WEIRD NOIR.

Featuring thugs who sprout claws and fangs, gangsters with tentacles and the occasional succubus siren. The ambience is pure noir but the characters aren’t just your average molls and mugs—the vamps might just be vamps. It’s Patricia Highsmith meets Shirley Jackson or Dashiell Hammett filtered through H. P. Lovecraft. Mad, bad and truly dangerous to know, but irresistible all the same.’

WEB Final Noir Carnival

Dark’s Carnival has already left town, but it’s left a fetid seed behind. There’s a transgressive magic that spooks the carnies and unsettles the freaks. Beyond the barkers and the punters, behind the lights and tents where the macabre and the lost find refuge, there’s a deformity that has nothing to do with skin and bones. Where tragic players strut on a creaking stage, everybody’s going through changes. Jongleurs and musicians huddle in the back. It seems as if every one’s running, but is it toward something—or away?

The carnies bring you stories, a heady mix of shadows and candy floss, dreams gone sour and nights that go on too long. Let them lure you into the tent.

Carnival: whether you picture it as a traveling fair in the back roads of America or the hedonistic nights of the pre-Lenten festival where masks hide faces while the skin glories in its revelation, it’s about spectacle, artificiality and the things we hide behind the greasepaint or the tent flap. Let these writers lead you on a journey into that heart of blackened darkness and show you what’s behind the glitz.

Underneath, we’re all freaks after all…

We all went a little crazy at the Noir Carnival launch at Edge.Lit 2013

Jo Jo the Dog Faced boy and the bearded lady
Jo Jo the Dog Faced boy and the bearded lady

and finally we closed off by taking a look at gender and sexuality in Drag Noir. K.A. Laity swears she won’t do any more, but we’ve heard that before.

Cover by S. L. Johnson
Cover by S. L. Johnson

DRAG NOIR: this is where glamour meets grit, where everyone’s wearing a disguise (whether they know it or not) and knowing the players takes a lot more than simply reading the score cards. Maybe everyone’s got something to hide, but they’ve got something to reveal, too. Scratch the surface and explore what secrets lie beneath — it’s bound to cost someone…a lot.


Revisited : Requiem in E Sharp by Joan De La Haye

Joan was the first author to sign a novel with Fox Spirit. One of her novels with us also has the distinction of being our first crime release. Requiem in E Sharp.

Requiem Cover


‘A troubled detective

A tormented serial murderer

Sundays in Pretoria are dangerous for selected women.

A murderer plagued by his childhood, has found a distinctive modus operandi to salve his pathological need to escape the domination of the person who was supposed to cherish him.

As The Bathroom Strangler’s frenzy escalates and the body count mounts, Nico van Staaden, the lead detective on the case, finds himself confronting his own demons as he struggles to solve the murders of the seemingly unconnected victims. The lack of evidence in the sequence of deaths and pressure from his superiors are challenges he must overcome.

The resolution is bloody, savage and merciless.’

You can find the book on Amazon here
‘Bravo. I picked this book up and couldn’t put it down. Dark and grisly at times, the character development pulls you into the lives of these hopelessly screwed up people and doesn’t let you go. I’d never dreamt of having a peek into the backstory of a serial killer as intimately as I got in this book. Equally disturbed and enthralled, I am wondering how I am already done reading and yet in want of more?!’ – Amazon reviewer

The opening paragraphs

Sunday, 23 June

His hands shook. He wanted them to stop; he wanted everything to stop.

All he could hear was her banging on the piano. It reverberated along the passage,
through the tiled floor of his childhood bathroom and into his brain. The feel of the cold,
smooth surface of the bath beneath his small curled-up body was soothing and calmed him.
It was safe as long as she banged on the piano. The moment the music stopped the real
nightmare would begin. Urine ran down the insides of his legs causing his jeans to cling to
them. The music stopped. She would be coming soon.

He closed his eyes and tried to shut out the memory.

The car boot slammed shut and brought him back to the present. The street lights above
his head flashed on and illuminated the quiet street. A slight though cool breeze played with
crisp brown leaves on the ground around his feet; a dog barked down the street, disturbing
the quiet suburb. The owner of the dog yelled at it to shut up. Why did people keep dogs to
protect them, then stop them from doing their job? It was something he would never


Revisited : Breed by K.T. Davies

I was reading an excellent article on gender and stereotyping in fantasy over at Fantasy Faction and thinking about our books.

K.T. Davies rightly pointed out her lead in Breed has no identifiable gender stated, although interestingly many reviews assign one to the character. I think we do this without even realising. I also think here at Fox Spirit we do pretty well on having varied approaches to our female leads, we’ve even had one who is a fish. In Drag Noir we focussed particularly on gender as a variable scale ecouraging writers to look at and challenge typical gender roles.

In amongst all this it occurred to me that many people who have started enjoying Fox Spirit over the last three years may not have picked up on all the things we have out there. So with our new third year of our existence starting, we are going to revisit our previous releases. Starting topically with Breed.

Breed Final Digital Cover for Upload

‘After Breed, a Guild Blade of small renown, is chased by a dragon, tricked by a demon, almost killed by a psychopathic gang boss and hunted by a ferocious spider-like arrachid assassin life really takes a turn for the worst. Sentenced to five years bonded servitude to a one-handed priest magician, Breed must find the hammer of the ancient hero known only as the Hammer of the North within a year and a day… or else. And so, with only a drug-addicted vagrant, a rat-faced child, and a timid priest for back up, Breed sets out for the mighty city of Valen and the tomb of the Hammer. What could possibly go wrong? I’ll give you a clue. Everything!’

You can read the amazon reviews in full here

‘I can’t recommend Breed enough. It hits the ground running (literally) and drags you happily with it until the end when you start screaming for MORE!’ Amazon reviewer.

The opening paragraphs for your reading pleasure:


There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as headlong flight, when fear of the unknown is banished by the sure knowledge that whatever lies ahead cannot be as dreadful as that which is behind. It is liberating, like being a child again. Although, truth be told, as wild as my childhood was, this was the first time I’d ever been chased by a dragon.
Even though my situation was rapidly sliding from dire to fatal, every fibre of my being sang with the sheer joy of being alive. I let out a loud whoop! It was a challenge, an exultation. Not to be outdone, the dragon answered with an ear-splitting roar and spewed a mouthful of frosty bile in my direction. I dodged into a stand of knotted pines. A wash of ice glazed the copse, leaves shattered like glass, trunks and boughs cracked like old bones. I escaped all but the merest lick of cold fire but that slight splash was enough to peel the skin from my shoulder. I stumbled, arms windmilling, feet scrabbling for purchase. The second I regained my balance, I dug my claws into the ground, and propelled myself down the mountain. My thoasan father had blessed me with his race’s superior speed and agility, alas; my human mother had cursed me with the stamina of her breed. The pace was hard and the furious dragon was devouring my lead with every beat of its coriaceous wings.

Please join us next week for another ‘Revisited’