“A Brutal Chill In August shows the human tragedy behind Jack the Ripper’s crimes.”
We all know about Jack the Ripper, the serial murderer who terrorised Whitechapel and confounded police in 1888, but how much do we really know about his victims?
Pursued by one demon into the clutches of another, the ordinary life of Mary Ann “Polly” Nichols is made extraordinary by horrible, inhuman circumstance. Jack the Ripper’s first victim comes to life in this sensitive and intimate fictionalised portrait, from humble beginnings, to building a family with an abusive husband, her escape into poverty and the workhouse, alcoholism, and finally abandoned on the streets of London where the Whitechapel Murderer found her.
With A Brutal Chill in August, Alan M. Clark gives readers an uncompromising and terrifying look at the nearly forgotten human story behind one of the most sensational crimes in history. This is horror that happened.
Why We’re Excited About This Book:
The horror genre has long had a fascination with Jack The Ripper, ranging from the supposedly realistic treatment of Alan Moore’s From Hell to the futuristic version on the killer in Robert Bloch’s time-hopping stories. Most of these tales have one thing in common though: a focus on the murderer.
Alan M. Clark has taken the opposite approach, with previous works The Double Event and Of Thimble And Thread telling the stories of the Ripper’s victims. His latest, A Brutal Chill In August, focuses on Mary Ann Nichols, the first person killed. In doing so he shows the human tragedy behind the Ripper’s crimes.
Nichols faces a supernatural threat in the form of the sinister sounding ‘Bonehill Ghost’. More scary still perhaps is Clark’s expert depiction of life for the Victorian poor of London: a world of alcoholism, disease and desperation.
A Brutal Chill In August promises to be a compelling and terrifying novel.
“In these twin volumes, nothing is as it seems and reality itself unfamiliar.”
Uncertainties is an anthology of new writing—featuring contributions from Irish, British, and American authors—each exploring the idea of increasingly fragmented senses of reality. These types of short stories were termed “strange tales” by Robert Aickman, called “tales of the unexpected” by Roald Dahl, and known to Shakespeare’s ill-fated Prince Mamillius as “winter’s tales”. But these are no mere ghost stories. These tales of the uncanny grapple with existential epiphanies of the modern day, and when otherwise familiar landscapes become sinister and something decidedly less than certain …
Why We’re Excited About This Book:
Uncertainties is a new double volume anthology from Swan River Press that explores the ambiguous, the liminal and the strange in the modern horror story. Much of the best horror writing works by robbing its characters (and thus the readers) of their certainties. It’s this sense of dislocation, as much as any physical threat, that makes the figure of the ghost so potent. If ghosts exists, what else could exist? What other beliefs that seem rock-solid could in fact be unfounded? But the uncanny isn’t just confined to ghost stories, as the tales in Uncertainties illustrate. In these twin volumes, nothing is as it seems and reality itself unfamiliar.
It’s a testament to the vision of editor Brian J. Showers that so many of today’s best authors have contributed stories. Across the two volumes you’ll encounter tales from Steve Duffy, V.H. Leslie, Steve Rasnic Tem, Adam Golaski, Timothy Jarvis, Lynda E. Rucker, Gary McMahon and many more.
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