When asked "which writer was your first encounter with horror?" My answer is always James Herbert, but while he was my first, he was not the one that switched on that part of my brain hardwired into loving horror. That honour has to go to Graham Masterton. I remember the day very well. I was in a deep conversation that only kids of a certain age could have about the different types of superheroes you could get. The ones born into it, the ones who have it thrust upon them, those who want to be one, the reluctant ones and a few other types. When one of the group brought up Graham Masterton. Now being a sixteen-year-old in St. Andrews in the late 1980's was a far different time than those we live in now. We had a John Menzies, one bookshop and one record store. Moreover, that was it. I think at one point we had a Wimpy, but that might be just old age getting me all confused.
The bookshop, The St. Andrews Citizen, was an old building on two levels, the downstairs sold magazines, pens and all the pointless tacky gifts you could only ever find in a provincial shop. It was where I got my first deck of Tarot Cards, which were kept behind lock and key in the shop, for fear of the evil spilling out. Upstairs was where they held the books, and where I spent nearly all of my pocket money. It has to be out in perspective though this was not a large shop, it was barely larger than a decent sized living room, but they crammed in books like there was no tomorrow. Moreover, if you wanted a book that they did not stock, it was not just a case of them typing the name of it into a computer, no they had to either search through massive catalogues or phone the distributor up directly.
They did not have any Graham Masterton books on sale, so I had to ask them to order me a copy of The Night Warriors. The lady working the till was shocked when she read the synopsis and asked if this was the sort of book a young man should be reading. I said it was, and please get me a copy posthaste or words to that effect.
When the book arrived, I was transfixed by the cover, a demonic eel, under a cover that had an oily rainbow like font. I hated eels then, and I hate them now I knew I was going to have some nightmares with this book. And I did to the point that now nearly thirty years later I still look forward to reading the next book from the man who brought me into the horror fold.
And as a means to thank you to the great man I present to you my personal top ten Graham Masterton Books.
After my debut Ginger Nuts of Horror post in which I moaned about overused tropes and clichés in horror cinema, I’m worried that I might seem like a bit of a grouch. So, in an attempt to show that I prefer praising to complaining, I thought that I would list my favourite horror movie scenes of all time, and explain what makes each one more jaw-dropping than the rest.
Obviously, like my first piece, these are entirely my own opinion, and I’d love to hear what you agree and disagree with.
Following on from the huge success of last years The Black Room Manuscripts, The Sinister Horror Company, has pulled out all of the stops and and made volume 2 of this charity anthology even more amazing. Featuring such giants of horror as Graham Masterton, Shaun Hutson and William Meikle, The Sinister Horror Boys should be rightly proud of themselves for bagging such talent. And I couldn't think of a better person to hand over the introduction duties to, Chris Hall of DLS Reviews is a fantastic reviewer.
The Black Room Manuscripts Volume Two is due to be released on 9th July. As with the first volume, all profits will be donated to charity. This year the title will be raising money for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Whilst the production of the anthology is very much a team effort by the Sinister Horror Company, each edition is run by a different member. For volume two JR Park, author of Upon Waking and Punch, was in charge of overseeing the project and curating the contributors that appeared within its pages.
As the curator, JR Park will talk through the table of contents, with a note on the stories, the authors and his decision in asking for them to be part of this fantastic collection.
‘Behold my epic, futile waste!’
Jon Wallace’s new novel, Rig, takes place at sea. Part of the story is set aboard The Ark, a luxury ship populated by the super-rich survivors of nuclear war. The Ark sails in a perpetual circle about a huge oil rig, where poorer survivors toil in its service.
Here Jon discusses how super yachts and oligarchs helped to shape his scifi – and why Donald Trump makes it all feel a bit close for comfort.
With an upcoming remake of the Stephen King classic IT, people are rightfully concerned about who’ll play the iconic big bad Pennywise the Clown. After all, Tim Curry (perhaps the most underrated bad guy actor in cinema) gave a legendary performance. Without Curry’s swinging from eerie buffoonery to snarling savagery, the IT mini-series would have been dangerously close to being as forgettable as the Tommy Knockers adaptation.
Currently, Bill Skarsgard is pegged to fill the big floppy shoes- and that’s a good choice. Skarsgard has an ethereal pretty boy quality that makes him all the more terrifying when he breaks out the crazy (as he frequently does in Twilight-for-Perverts Netflix show Hemlock Grove). But half the fun is speculation, and there are plenty of other great choices out there to fill the vacant slot in our children’s nightmares.