“The Anniversary Of Never gives us a chance to appreciate Joel Lane’s genius was one last time.”
“It was like a black and white film, or someone else’s memory” — ‘Crow’s Nest’
Joel Lane’s award-winning stories have been widely praised, notably by other masters of weird fiction such as M. John Harrison, Graham Joyce, and Ramsey Campbell. His tales also regularly appeared in the “best of” annual anthologies of Ellen Datlow, Karl Edward Wagner, and Stephen Jones. With this posthumous collection, Lane continues his unflinching exploration of the human condition.
Why We’re Excited About This Book:
Joel Lane’s tragic death in 2013 deprived British horror of one of its most vital voices. Literate and fiercely intelligent, his stories reinvented the weird tale by invoking the horrors of post-Thatcherite Britain. Lane was an accomplished poet and novelist, but his talent really shone in his short story collections, of which five were published during his lifetime.
Now Swan River Press are releasing a posthumous collection, The Anniversary Of Never, although it should be stressed that this collection was planned by Lane before he died. The tales within are Lane’s exploration of the theme of the afterlife. With an introduction by Nicholas Royle and brilliant cover art, The Anniversary Of Never gives us a chance to appreciate Joel Lane’s genius was one last time.
“The stories in this anniversary issue showcase the impressive range of the magazine.”
Supernatural fiction of all kinds. This issue contains six stories by leading authors in the field.
In ’30’ by Helen Grant, a room at an Oxford college contains something that should never be confronted. But inevitably, someone does. ‘Tears From An Eyeless Face’ is a bizarre prose-poem by Canadian author Michael Kelly. ‘An Element of Blank’ by Lynda E. Rucker sees three friends revisit an ill-starred house where, as teenagers, one of them was assailed by an occult entity. ‘Wild Dogs’ by Adam Golaski takes us out to a night club where the floor show leaves something to be desired–survivors. And in ‘Even Clean Hands Can Do Damage’ two women who have suffered terrible loss are brought together by the ghost of a child, but it seems that closure is not always on offer to those who deserve it most. Mark Valentine’s story ‘Vain Shadows Flee’, a tribute to the late Joel Lane, sees a man haunted by a hymn-singing vagrant.
Why We’re Excited About This Book:
There aren’t not many magazines of horror fiction that reach thirty issues, so when one as good as Supernatural Tales does it’s a reason to celebrate. For this special issue the editor David Longhorn contacted some of the authors who have previously appeared in the magazine and asked them for a new story.
The results showcase the impressive range of the magazine: there’s a Jamesian ghost story from Helen Grant, a modern tale of growing up, deceitful memories and demons from Lynda E Rucker, and a disturbing prose-poem from Michael Kelly. Adam Golaski explores a surreal outbreak of violence in a nightclub, whilst Steve Duffy gives us a tale about a psychic and a grieving mother.
And aptly enough, given the other Look Out For selection this week, Mark Valentine’s story is a tribute to Joel Lane.
Rounded off with a selection of reviews by the editor, Supernatural Tales 30 is a testament to the power of short horror fiction. And if you enjoy this, there twenty-nine back issues to explore afterwards…
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- Water For Drowning by Ray Cluley
- Chalk by Pat Cadigan
- Roadkill by Joseph D’Lacey