December Count Down to Christmas

Books make fantastic gifts, I get Papa Fox one every Christmas, it’s his annual book and he always reads it over the few days of Christmas while he has a few genuinely slow days. 

So with that in mind we are inviting anyone who would like to, to send us a review or a short list of recommendations of books people should be reading and gifting this year. 

There is a £5 payment and posts should come to submissions@foxspirit.co.uk
We will continue to accept new posts until around the 14th. Please include your paypal details. Also, for each post we will put £5 into a pot to go to booktrust.org.uk. That’s £125 if we get a post per day, so please do join in. 

To get things going a few Fox Spirit titles you might want to consider for Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers.

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The Judgement Call / Along the Long Road 
by Simon Bestwick and Penny Jones
Two short rural horrors playing with the idea of just desserts. A double date goes horribly wrong in Along the Long Road and in The Judgement Call you have to wonder, would the bell toll for you?

Winter Tales
Anthology
A collection of dark stories to keep you under the covers this winter
Edited by Margrét Helgadóttir

Cover by S.L. Johnson

The Monsters Series
Edited by Margrét Helgadóttir

European, African, Asian and Pacific Monsters are all available now, with Pat 1 of American Monsters coming later this month. Collections of short stories and at in a coffee table format. 

Ghoulsome Graveyard
By G Clark Hellery
Something for younger readers from our Fennec line. Spooky adventures.

And if none of those appeal, head over to our buy links to browse a broad selection of genre treats.

Fearless Genre Warriors -FREE!

The fabulous Jenny Barber contacted a whole den full of Skulk and pulled together a collection that spans all the Fox Spirit anthologies and collections published up to 1st November 2018 and what have we gone and done? Made it free!

It is available for under £3 on Amazon (the minimum they would allow), but keep an eye on Twitter and Facebook for the adverts with the passwords in during the run up to Christmas to grab it for nothing in convenient multi format zip files. 

Then just pop to our free fiction page, pop in the relevant password and download. 

If you are heading to Sledge.lit there is a password in the brochures here too. 

Now about that book, In Jenny’s words:

‘Would you like some free short fiction? Would you like some free short fiction from a simply stunning selection of new and established authors? With bonus poems and articles and internal artwork? 

Fearless Genre Warriors covers it all – we have horror tales, fantasy tales, SF tales, crime tales, humorous tales, and tales that blend any or all of the above! So whatever your fiction thing is, we’ve got you covered!’

And here are those wonderful contents, feast your eyeballs on this lot and then maybe consider picking up one of the books they came from, or leaving a few words of review. 

Introduction
The Dragon’s Maw – Cheryl Morgan
Palakainen – K. A. Laity
The Band of Straw and Silver – Andrew Reid 
From the Womb of the Land, Our Bones Entwined – AJ Fitzwater 
The Itch of Iron, the Pull of the Moon – Carol Borden 
Tits Up in Wonderland – Chloe Yates 
Fragrance of You – Steven Savile 
Kumiho – V.C. Linde 
The Ballad of Gilrain – Sarah Cawkwell 
The Ballad of Gilrain – lyrics Sarah Cawkwell, music Adam Broadhurst 
Art is War – Alasdair Stuart
The Alternative La Belle Dame Sans Merci – Jan Siegal 
Thandiwe’s Tokoloshe – Nick Wood 
Unravel – Ren Warom 
The Cillini – Tracy Fahey 
Katabasis – K T Davies 
Train Tracks – W. P. Johnson 
Sharkadelic – Ian Whates 
Feeding the Fish – Carol Borden 
Antichristine – James Bennett 
Lucille –  Alec McQuay 
Carlos – K. A. Laity
A Very Modern Monster – Aliya Whiteley 
You Are Old, Lady Vilma – Jan Siegal 
Winter in the Vivarium – Tim Major 
Always a Dancer – Steve Lockley 
The End of the World – Margrét Helgadóttir 
The Holy Hour – C. A. Yates 
In the Mouth of the Beast – Li Huijia 
Kokuri’s Palace – Yukimi Ogawa 
A Change of Heart A Babylon Steel story – Gaie Sebold 
Indiana Jones and the Pyramid of Envy – Alasdair Stuart 

There is also some bonus stuff in the back, talking about the anthologies we put together. 

Horror Double Feature

Our delightful horror twinset The Judgement Call by Simon Bestwick, a tale to absorb in the run up to Christmas, and Along the Long Road by Penny Jones, are available now for your Halloween delight. No tricks, just dark treats from the British Horror scene.

Penny Jones takes us on a journey of peer pressure and madness on dark country lanes, while Simon Bestwick sees sins answered for. 

Available now on Amazon.

Cover by Neil Williams

 

American Monsters Pt 1 : TOC

TABLE OF CONTENTS – AMERICAN MONSTERS PART ONE
 
Pacific Monsters is presently on the short list for the British Fantasy Society award for Best Anthology. This book has made it to several award shortlists, including the awards Australian Shadows, Sir Julius Vogel, and Aurealis. The lovely people at Sheffield Fantasy and Science Fiction Social also awarded the book Best Anthology and Margrét Helgadóttir was awarded Starburst Magazine’s Brave New Words Award for her editor work on the book. It’s been a good year for monsters.
 
We are pleased to announce that American Monsters volume one is due out this December. American Monsters volume one is the fifth book in our grand world tour exploring monsters tales continent by continent, told by local authors. Margrét is once more the editor. We have split up America in two volumes. In this collection we explore the old myths and monsters in South and Central America, with short stories, graphic stories and art from Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Equador, Uruguay and Guatamala. This book will have five translated stories, something we are very proud of.
 
Our gorgeous cover series by Daniele Serra will continue for this fifth volume. The cover will be released later.
 
Stories from North America (including Mexico and Caribbean) will be out next year before the series end in 2020 with Eurasian monster tales.
 
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. Liliana Colanzi: «The Wave»
  2. Santiago Santos: «A Carpet Sewn With Skeletons»
  3. Sabrina Vourvoulias: «Time’s Up, Cerotes»
  4. Ramiro Sanchiz: «The Pearl»
  5. Paula Andrade: «Almamula»
  6. Cesar Alcázar and Eduardo Monteiro (art): «Cerro Bravo» (graphic story)
  7. Christopher Kastensmidt: «A Parlous Battle»
  8. Mariela Pappas: «The Eyes of a Wolf»
  9. Solange Rodriguez Pappe: «The Entangler»
  10. Daniel Salvo: «Jaar, Jaar, Jaar»
  11. Flavia Rizental: «My Name is Iara»
  12. Gustavo Bondoni: «Vulnerable Populations»
  13. Fabio Fernandes: «The Emptiness in the Heart of All Things»
  14. Paula Andrade: «La Perla del Plata» (graphic story)
  15. Teresa Mira de Echeverria: «Lakuma»
 
The book will have illustrations by Paula Andrade, Lynda Bruce, and Kieran Walsh.
 
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The Fox Spirit Books of Monsters is a coffee table book series from Fox Spirit Books, edited by Margrét Helgadóttir. The series has dark fiction from around the world, written by local authors, short stories and graphic stories based on local folklore, legends and myths. Illustrated by local artists.
 
The series has 7 books published between 2014 and 2020, starting with Europe (2014), continuing with Africa (2015), Asia (2016) and Pacific region in 2017. Volume five (2018) and six (2019) will cover South, Central and North America before the series end with Eurasia (including Russia, Eastern Europe and the Balkan) in the end of 2020.

Snippet Sunday : Always a Dancer

The Mermaid’s Tears by Steven Lockley
Published in Always a Dancer and Other Stories

Claire had seen the box before; only once but it had left her with such a strong impression that she would never forget it. In an instant she had taken in every sway of its grain, and the details of the small brass clasp held tight by the tiny padlock. She remembered it mainly because the last time she had touched it her father had hit her; slapping her so hard on the face that finger marks could still be seen hours later. It was the only time that he had laid a finger on her in her twenty years.
That had been five years ago but now he was urging her to open it as he lowered it gently onto the small table and placed the tiny key on its polished surface. She looked up at him, questioning, but he turned away.
Leah just sat her wheelchair, never blinking while Claire stroked the wood and felt its warmth. Leah did what she always did, nothing, just watched in silence, unable to walk and unable to speak. Claire had never understood why her father had taken her in and devoted the last years of his life to a stranger who had come to rely on him totally. Tonight Leah looked old and frail, as though the bones beneath the skin were dry twigs ready to snap under the slightest pressure.
‘Open it, for God’s sake’, her father pleaded, his voice cracking as if he was desperately holding his emotions in check.
Claire slid the key into the tiny lock and heard the slightest of clicks as the mechanism released and fell open. A grain of white dust fell from behind the clasp and Claire found herself distracted. She raised it with the tip of her finger and raised it to her lips, half guessing what it was. Not dust, but salt.
 

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. 

The Curse of the Mouse and Minotaur

The virgins have been sacrificed, the sage burnt the incense lit and the libations poured.

I am delighted to announce that having done everything except raise the mummy (more luck than judgement tbh), we are finally releasing The Tales of the Mouse and Minotaur, the third and final volume of our Bushy Tales.

This series started with Tales of the Nun & Dragon which is the book that started Fox Spirit and it is the conclusion of our original project. As always a mixture of genres, with humour and darker stuff featuring greek myths and rodents, sometimes both. 

Stories from K.T. Davies, Chloe Yates, James Bennett, Nerine Dorman, Jay Faulkner, Sarah Cawkwell, Pat Kelleher, C C D Leijenaar , Joan De La Haye, Andrew Reid, Ben Stewart, Catherine Hill, Jan Siegel and T.J. Everley 

Out Now: Respectable Horror

Respectable Horror front cover

Respectable Horror front cover

Get your hands on this beauty! Respectable Horror is out in the wilds and ready to be lured to your home. Miss Poppy (our cover model designed by S. L. Johnson) will lead the way to a spectral crew of authors who are just dying to give you spine-tingling chills. This new collection offers names both familiar and new, writers who believe that it’s possible to terrify without more than a few drops of blood. The wind in the trees, the creak in the floor board, an innocent knock on the door: they’ll all take on a more sinister cast as you turn the pages of this book.

Introduction by K. A. Laity
The Estate of Edward Moorehouse by Ian Burdon
The Feet on the Roof by Anjana Basu
Spooky Girl by Maura McHugh
Recovery by H. V. Chao
The Holy Hour by C. A. Yates
Malefactor by Alan C. Moore
A Splash of Crimson by Catherine Lundoff
In These Rooms by Jonathan Oliver
A Framework by Richard Farren Barber
Running a Few Errands by Su Haddrell
Miss Metcalfe by Ivan Kershner
The Little Beast by Octavia Cade
The Well Wisher by Matthew Pegg
Where Daemons Don’t Tread by Suzanne J. Willis
Full Tote Gods by D. C. White
Those Who Can’t by Rosalind Mosis
The Astartic Arcanum by Carol Borden

Description:

Do serial killers, glistening viscera, oceans of gore and sadistic twists make you yawn behind a polite hand? Are you looking for something a little more interesting than a body count? These are tales that astonish and horrify, bring shivers and leave you breathless. You may be too terrified to find out what happens next – but you won’t be able to resist turning the page. We’ll make you keep the lights on. For a very long time.

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Respectable Horror: Ian Burdon

Polin seaside

We’ve got a scintillating new collection of stories coming: Respectable Horror. As you might guess from the title it’s a return to creepy spooky unsettling tales — think Shirley Jackson and M.R. James. Here’s one of our writers telling you about how he came to write his story:

Polin seasideIan Burdon

I used to write.

I used to start things, then abandon them because they were crap. That isn’t false modesty, I still have some of them on floppy disk, or even typewritten with copious Tippex corrections (yes kids, that’s how old I am). I keep meaning to destroy them, but somehow can’t; so sometimes I take them out and read them, and they’re still crap.

Eventually I stopped writing fiction; not for any real reason, just the usual job and family things that took up my time. And I wrote stuff for work, which sublimated the urge to make things up (though I was a civil servant, so…).

I even got published.

Then one day my wife and I were on a remote single-track road in the Highlands, and, as we rounded a blind corner, a spume of characters and ideas blew in through the open car window and into my notebook. I started plotting a novel, somewhat inspired by my first degree (Theology) and Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum, but set in Caithness, with characters who might or might not exist, depending on your point of view. I knew two things straight away: I wanted to write that story, and I didn’t have the skills to do it. So I wrote lots of practice pieces to try and develop, sharing my efforts with friends in similar circumstances.

Eventually, after lots of words, and lots of deletions, I produced a couple of scenes that I knew were qualitatively better than previous efforts, and promptly went on holiday.

This time, we were walking on a remote Sutherland beach [photo above!] where I was reminded of Jonathan Miller’s classic 1968 adaptation of Oh, Whistle, And I’ll Come to You, My Lad. Gosh, I thought, we’re walking through the middle of an MR James story. Out came the notebook. Not long after, the first draft of “The Estate of Edward Moorehouse” was complete.

I didn’t write it with publication in mind, and I didn’t expect to write anything in the horror genre, respectable or not; it’s not what I normally read. Authors whom I’d like to emulate in one way or another include Muriel Spark, Edna O’Brien, Dorothy Dunnett, George MacKay Brown, M John Harrison and Christopher Priest.

Since Edward Moorehouse, I’ve completed several stand-alone stories and a 105K word collection of linked short stories—that began when I found myself inadvertently writing a vampire story and knew I didn’t want to write any such thing. I’m currently working on a sequel to that. And I still have that other novel to write, and the one about sex workers in post-war Edinburgh, and by the way did I tell you about the monk who talked to lizards, and the boy who rode trains with his coyote, and…

 

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