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Look Out For… The People in the Castle: Selected Strange Stories by Joan Aiken and The Bad Game by Adam Millard

AikenLook Out For… The People in the Castle: Selected Strange Stories by Joan Aiken

“Written a constantly engaging and evocative style, full of twists, turns and note-perfect endings.”

Here is the whisper in the night, the dog whose loyalty outlasted death, the creak upstairs, that half-remembered ghost story that won’t let you sleep, the sound that raises goose-flesh, the wish you’d checked the lock on the door before dark fell. Here are tales of suspense and the supernatural that will chill, amuse, and exhilarate.

Features a new introduction by the late author’s daughter, Lizza Aiken.

Why We’re Excited About This Book:

This is probably the first time This Is Horror has featured an author whose publishing credits include Good Housekeeping, Vogue and Women’s Own. Joan Aiken is perhaps best known for the classic The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, a book which like all the best children’s tales contains elements of darkness. But she also wrote over a hundred short stories, many of them gothic or bizarre. Aiken was particularly drawn to the classic ghost story, being a fan of M.R. James and Fitz O’Brian.

Small Beer Press have now collected together a selection of her supernatural works in The People In The Castle. The book features stories that range from the relatively light-hearted (‘A Room Full of Leaves’) to the genuinely unsettling (‘Listening’). Many of these stories read like modern-day fairy tales or draw on folk-lore and mythology, such as in ‘The Lame King’.

Written a constantly engaging and evocative style, full of twists, turns and note-perfect endings, this collection of stories is one to treasure.

The People in the Castle: Selected Strange Stories is released on 26 April 2016 from Small Beer Press.

BGLook Out For… The Bad Game by Adam Millard

“Video games, with their alternative realities, ultraviolence and additive properties would seem ready made for a good horror story.”

You Don’t Play It… It Plays You

Hemsby is thriving; a seaside town on the up. The holidaymakers are flooding in, and so is the money. For the majority of those who live there, the resort is idyllic. But not for Jamie Garrett. Fifteen years old and bored to tears, Hemsby is the last place he wants to be. Aside from the occasional sea rescue, nothing exciting ever happens. That’s about to change as a mysterious new game arrives at the beach-front arcade. No one knows of its origin, or the rules of the game, but soon it is the talk of the resort, attracting children far and wide with its complex gameplay and surreal graphics.

When the children of the resort become the perpetrators of uncharacteristic and brutal violence, Jamie realises that it is a side-effect of the game, and sets out to pull the plug on the machine before it is too late.

Dare you play The Bad Game?

Why We’re Excited About This Book: Although horror is full of cursed films, creepy books and haunted paintings the genre has been slow to catch up on newer art-forms as ways of scaring readers. Video games in particular, with their alternative realities, ultraviolence and additive properties seem ready made for a good horror story or two. Last year saw the Snowbooks short story anthology Game Over, and now we have the full-length The Bad Game from Adam Millard and The Sinister Horror Company.

The Bad Game is set in a seaside video arcade, where a new game with odd graphics and twisted game play arrives. And soon more and more of the local children are obsessed…

Adam Millard is the author of nearly twenty amusing and gruesome horror novels, so you know you’re in experienced hands with The Bad Game. Ready Player 1?

The Bad Game is released on 2 May 2016 from The Sinister Horror Company.

 

JAMES EVERINGTON


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