Events Spring 2018

I interrupt this month of Horror to bring updates. 

24th February at Forbidden Planet there is a small press expo. Fox Spirit will be taking part to showcase our two titles ‘And the Fox Crows’ by V.C. Linde and Dark Travellings by Ian Whates. We will also be formally launching ‘Multiverse’ by Jan Siegel. Jan and Ian will be joining us to chat and sign books.  Ian is also of course head of exemplary small press Newcon and will be there in that role as well. An afternoon of Small Press Big Stories, please join us if you can.

10th March is States of Independence at De Montfort University Leicester, and we will have a table at the event with books and merchandise and friendly banter. States of Indie is focused on Indie publishing and has a great showing of poetry. It’s put together each year by the team at Five Leaves Books. 

Todd & Reynard enjoying a book together

Launch Day : Multiverse

We are delighted to bring you only our second volume of poetry, Multiverse by Jan Siegel and guests.

Pat Cadigan, Helen Lederer, Clare Potts and Julian Bell all feature in this delightful collection that tours literature and SFF with original poems and a few homages. 

Jan was on First Dates celebrity in October which is well worth a watch, but we at Fox Spirit are first and foremost fans of her writing. You can find Jan in our own Mouse and Minotaur and of course she is the author of the Devil’s Apprentice and Prospero’s Children among other titles. It is a real pleasure to be publishing her poetry collection. 

The cover illustration is by John Howe while the design and layout are by Vincent Holland-Keen.

You can read Upon a Dark and Stormy Night in it’s entirety here, but for now I leave you with the opening lines to The Barman

‘Once upon a midnight dreary – when I fancied a daiquiri

            After some launch far from cheery in a neighbourhood bookstore,

            To the Groucho then I staggered with a visage pale and haggard

            And I thrust aside each laggard

                                    Lagging round the open door,

            ’Twas a fool and not a blackguard came between me and the door,

            Just a fool I am quite sure.’

Not done yet!

We have had an incredible busy year and launched a wonderful range of titles but we are not done yet!

Coming up before the end of the year we have the Sledge.Lit launch of The Girl in the Fort by Tracy Fahey, we will also be bringing some of this year’s other new titles for a public viewing. If you can’t make Sledge but would like Tracy to sign your copy of Girl, we have done some simple foxy bookplates so let us know.

We have some free fiction to add to our collection which I am looking forward to sharing with you all, from new to us writers. 

Of course we also have three more titles to launch. 

As you know every Christmas we release our newest Monster title and this year it is Pacific Monsters, which an incredible selection of stories and art as ever. Margret Helgadottir has once again worked hard to link up with writers from the region to tell their monsters their way. 

We are also delighted to say that the multi award winning Daniele Serra will be staying on as cover artist to complete the series. 

We also have a poetry collection by the fabulous Jan Siegel who was pure skulk recently on First Date celebrity edition. Jan has guest poems in this collection from people better known in other creative arts including Pat Cadigan and Helen Lederer, who all demonstrate their adaptability here. Multiverse is a wonderful collection, dark, funny, reflective and including cake.

Approach with Caution! The second volume of the Pseudopod Tapes is almost here! A new collection of outro essays from Alasdair Stuart, one of the UK’s best genre voices and author of our own Not the Fox News column. Whether you are a listener or not the host of the world renowned horror story podcast once again offers a collection of essays on genre and life that are more than worth the price of entry. 

We would also like to remind you, if you join your kids up for the Fennec Kit’s Club they get a Christmas card and goodies from Aunty Fox and Kit, so let us know, there are limited places this close to Christmas. 


Multiverse by Jan Siegel and Friends

Cover illustration by John Howe
Design and layout by Vincent Holland-Keen


‘Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.’  Robert Frost.

‘Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.’  T. S. Eliot.

Multiverse brings together the poetry of Science Fiction/Fantasy writer Jan Siegel and five other contributors, also best known in other spheres.  The poems cover love and death, feminism and eco-issues – legends and libraries, chemo and cake, pirates and paranoia and Paris.  They aim to amuse and enchant you, but above all – like the magical forgotten story in Voyage of the Dawn Treader – they are there for the refreshment of the spirit.

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Upon a Dark and Stormy Night by Jan Siegel

It was a dark and stormy night
As oft in days of yore,
A night so black no eye could track
The print of werewolf’s paw;
The rain in waves washed o’er the graves
And strafed the forest floor;
The lonely kirk crouched in the murk –
The wind shook at the door.

The Traveller walked the woods alone
Fearing nor wolf nor wight,
With leaking boot and dripping snoot
He strode on through the night;
Clouds hid the moon (yes, it was June) –
The clearing came in sight –
Where tombstones lurch around the church
He glimpsed a phantom light.

A greenish, pale-ish, flaysome gleam
That flickered, shrank, suspired,
As if a phone there lurked alone,
Its batt’ry near expired,
And called the dead from wormy bed
To haunt the rain-swept gloom –
He thought he saw a spectral claw
Come groping from a tomb.

He strode up to the oaken door
And knocked in manner bold,
While up his spine there crept a line
Of shivers – he was cold –
The phantom gleam approached and seemed
To watch him like an eye;
That baleful gaze yet could not faze
The man who stood nearby.

He beat upon the door again
As Lear beat on his breast;
He wiped his nose upon his clothes
With manners not the best;
And as he beat he heard the feet
Come dragging on the floor,
The handle creaked, the timbers squeaked
A hand drew back the door.

‘It wasn’t locked,’ the priest declared,
‘For locks cannot deny
The graveyard ghosts that come in hosts
To haunt me by and by.’
‘You’ve hit the Scotch.’ ‘Ah, on this watch
There’s little else to do.
We’d both be damned without a dram –
Now try my Mountain Dew.’

And so they sat beneath the cross
Sampling a whisky rare
And still ignored the shadow-horde
That gathered round to stare,
The phantom leer from sockets drear,
The empty mouths that gaped,
As from those bones as dry as stones
The dreadful groans escaped.

The spectral light popped through the door
And hovered in the aisle.
Within the pews their ghostly trews
Had long gone out of style.
‘The grave is dry,’ the phantoms sighed,
‘And death is deadly dull.
Come, fill the cup!’ They handed up
Some body’s empty skull.

The priest he filled it to the brim –
They passed the skull around;
He saw the spasm of ectoplasm
Which all but shook the ground,
For twelve-year malt’s a lightning bolt
To liven up the dead
And every ghost there drank a toast:
‘Life after death!’ they said.

All through the night the men caroused
Among the cheerful shades,
The baneful light grew warm and bright
And o’er the forest glades
The full moon grinned despite the wind
And wiped its yellow face
Upon a shroud of passing cloud
The rainstorm to erase.

They drained the whisky bottle dry,
They started on a new –
And when the lark chased off the dark
The phantoms formed a queue
And vapour-faint in day’s constraint
They tottered to their bed
And each one pullt his grassy quilt
Above his aching head.

The graveyard sleeps under the sun,
The men sleep in the kirk
And maybe, in an hour or three,
They’ll stagger back to work…
But when again there blows the rain
Some dark and stormy night
They’ll party with the hearty dead
Until the morning light.



Winter Tales : Under your Skin

by Amelia Gorman

I have a poem in Fox Spirit Books’ Winter Tales anthology, edited by Margrét Helgadóttir! It’s a beautiful book, with a fun mix of fabulism, sci-fi, stories with only the smallest touch of speculative elements, poetry, all kinds of stuff. I’d like to share the things that I think are great that inspired my particular piece.

There were two specific ideas I had been kicking around for months, trying to work into a poem or story when I saw Fox Spirit’s call for Winter Tales.

The first was a ballad in a book of poetry I stumbled across at the library. I think I was looking for the book “Monsters of the Sea” but this rebound, simple book of poetry grabbed my attention. It had classics like The Mermaid by Yeats, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, many more modern pieces and a few inspiring strange anonymous ballads I had never read before.

(Weird. I want to say it was Penguin Random House’s Poems of the Sea because most of the pieces I remember being in the book EXCEPT the relevant poem is listed on the table of contents. Oh well, that looks like a nice book of poetry about the sea too.)

The best ballad that caught my attention was The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry.

An earthly nourris sits and sings,
And aye she sings, “Ba lilly wean,
Little ken I my bairn’s father,
Far less the land that he staps in.”

Then ane arose at her bed fit,
And a grumly guest I’m sure was he,
Saying “Here am I, thy bairn’s father,
Although I am not comely.”

I am a man upon the land,
I am a silkie in the sea,
And when I’m far frae every strand,
My home it is in Sule Skerry.”

“It was na weel”, the maiden cried,
“It was na weel, indeed” quo she,
“For the Great Silkie of Sule Skerrie,
To hae come and aught a bairn to me!”

Then he has taken a purse of gold,
And he has laid it on her knee,
Saying, “give to me, my little young son,
And take thee up thy nouriss fee.

It shall come to pass on a summer’s day,
When the sun shines hot on every stone,
That I shall take my little young son,
And teach him for to swim the foam.

And thou shalt marry a proud gunner,
And a very proud gunner I’m sure he’ll be,
And the very first shot that e’re he shoots,
he’ll kill both my young son and me.”

I found a number of things in this poem sticking with me. First of all, most selkie stories about women and their lives of shedding their skin, marriage, children, and usually returning to the sea. It was strange to read a story where the mythological creature was the father. Beyond that, the entire contents of the poem were just bizarre. He buys his son back? Especially knowing what’s going to happen? Is that a prophecy at the end or just him being sarcastic?

I wanted to tell a slightly more compassionate story, so I wrote about the difficulty of a formerly absent father adopting his son after the death of the mother.

Gorman - WInter Tales - blog picture

The other topic that fascinated me at the time was the Weddell seal, especially as presented by David Attenborough in the polar seas episode of Blue Planet It was almost too easy to anthropomorphize the seal’s fascinating life into something deeply lonely and tedious. The Weddell Seal is forced to gnaw open a single air hole alone all winter long so as to not run out of oxygen. In fact, its life span is shortened by its decreased ability to feed after dulling its teeth during the winter. I turn to nature documentaries for a lot of plots, the lives of animals contain so many bizarre, rich events that don’t take much work to twist into narrative structures.

Anyway, once I realized I wanted to combine those two ideas I wrote the poem that appears in Winter Tales. And along with that, I’m happy to share a very interesting ballad and one of nature’s great stories of survival, both of which are worth spending a little time with.

Copyright information for the quoted poem:
From Ballads Weird and Wonderful from 1912.,_The_Great_Silkie_of_Sule_Skerry,_1912.png.  Ballads Weird and Wonderful, 1912 can be checked up on here –

Thank you! Yes you…

You know who you are. You have retweeted, liked, shared, reviewed, talked about, bought, loaned or just visited us over the year.

We, the editors, artists, writers, formatters etc, all of us here making books happen appreciate your interest, purchases and signal boosts over the year. If you’ve stopped to chat at an event, thank you.. sitting alone behind those tables is terrifying if no one stops to say hi.

Everyone who has passed through here, our facebook page or our twitter is valuable to us. I hope we will see you again next year. In the mean time here is a sampler of ‘And the Fox Crows’ a book of poetry drawing from fox mythology and folk lore all around the world, for you to download and enjoy.
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WEBFox crows FINAL

Out Now! The Velocity of Constant

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if PK Dick wrote beat poetry? We may be getting close to answering that.

Leicester based poet Hardeep Sangha’s first novella length published work is now available in paperback from Amazon uk and worldwide.

‘Welcome to Shit Towne. Here denizens collide as they are propelled through a maelstrom of lives and time itself, struggling to escape the past and in constant search of an exit from the present. Whilst another within their midst, a man out of time, longs to return to the future. Lungs inhale, bodies contort and spines detach as all feel the unrelenting pull of velocity. ‘

A blend of poetry and prose, sci fi and a drug fueled hazy reality this is an exciting and unique offering in the world of genre fiction, all for the price of a frothy coffee.

the velocity of constant - with layout


We will be having a signing event with a number of authors to launch Velocity at Leicester Central Library on 6th November from 5pm.

And The Fox Crows

And The Fox Crows

A collection of poetry by V.C.Linde

Cover art by S.L.Johnson

WEBFox crows FINAL

Taking inspiration from the vast wealth of myths, legends and tales about foxes, these poems are a range of humorous, dark, magical and mystical verses framed by Pan, watching over, seeing all, from the ancient past to the immediate present. The fox has inspired art and literature since humans started telling stories. From the Kumiho of Korea to Aesop’s tales. From religion to faith. From hunter to hunted, the fox takes on many forms as do the poems in And The Fox Crows. In turns lyrical and dramatic, playful and sombre, V.C. Linde explores the spirit of the fox through poetry.

Sample Poem

From the fable of ‘The Cock and the Fox’ by La Fontaine
Sharp claws scratch-scratch
at the high tree bark. Where tall
branch breezes turn her feathers
to the sky. On the opposite, ground
brushed brown fur and bright eyes
watch, wait, call out.
An olive branch. A clever lie.
But high wits win over low cunning
when far sight and a counter tale set
his four sure feet running for safety.

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From amazon : The whole thing has a lovely feel to it, bringing the adventures of the fox to life. It is a short book, coming in at just 54 pages, but for me it feels just the right length. Much more could have been ‘fox overkill’ but the author has judged it just right.


We told you we had a lot lined up for 2014 right? Right?

Having just released the marvelous White Rabbit by K.A Laity and the first Young Adult novel, the excellent ‘Warrior Stone : Underland’ By R.B  Harkess we are not slowing down. Next up we have the two volumes of ‘The Girl at the End of the World’, ‘Missing Monarchs’, the part prose part poetry novella ‘The Velocity of Constant’ and what we are calling ‘the summer of the wolf’, because we have two werewolf novels coming up. ‘Heart of Fire’ by J.Damask and 25 Ways to Kill a Werewolf’ by Jo Thomas.

We’ve already show you the other covers, so here is Jo’s wraparound to keep you on the edge of your seat.

25 Ways Wrap 72ppi


Sign up to our newsletter for more information and a free sampler of forthcoming poetry chapbook ‘And the Fox Crows’ by V.C. Linde

It’s none stop in the Fox Den to bring you fantastic fiction.

Crowing Foxes, Emily Nation and Warrior Stone

Lots of news for you all today.

First of all Warrior Stone is winging its way out into the world. We are very proud of this first Young Adult novel on the Fox Spirit roster. It’s had a cracking review already as well as some incredible pull quotes.

Cover by Linzi Goldstone 




We also have a cover image reveal for Emily Nation by Alec McQuay, out later this year. The image is by Jenna Whyte. The novel is post apocalypse punk set in what’s left of Cornwall.

Book cover Base 2 copy



Finally, the sekrit project we have been working on for some time!

‘And the Fox Crows’ is a collection of poems based on fox mythology from all over the world by V.C.Linde. A free sampler will be send out with the next newsletter so sign up now! The cover will be by S.L.Johnson and we look forward to revealing that soon!