Look Out For… Dark Travellings by Ian Whates and The Pale Brown Thing by Fritz Leiber

dark-travellings-front-187x300Look Out For… Dark Travellings by Ian Whates

“These stories combine suspenseful plotting with an astute eye for both character and setting.”

Showcasing the darker side of the author’s imagination, Dark Travellings takes us from a post-apocalyptic future where music offers mankind its only hope to a quiet country lane where an apparently chance encounter leads to deception and betrayal, from rain-swept London streets terrorised by a creature out of folklore to the nostalgic beauty of a seaside town, where a young girl learns far more about her grandfather than she ever wished to. We are introduced to a cast of heroes and villains, including a brilliant artist with a unique form of inspiration, an ordinary man who stands firm against a vampire horde, and a woman who personifies a dangerously misunderstood legend. Thirteen stories that reveal the best and the worst of humanity: murder, adultery, treachery and depravity, but also compassion, hope, and love. Thirteen stories that will unsettle, delight, and entertain.

Why We’re Excited About This Book:

Ian Whates is best known as an science-fiction author, as well as being the head of NewCon Press. But he’s also pretty adept at writing horror as well, as the stories in his third collection attest. Dark Travellings is released by Fox Spirit and features thirteen of his darker tales, including the never before published ‘Lens Flare’ which is set in a good old fashioned British pub.

These stories combine suspenseful plotting with an astute eye for both character and setting. They are intelligent, witty, down to earth yet have the ability to shock and disturb with a turn of phrase. It’s a treat for all fans of horror fiction to have this talented author’s darker works collected in this indispensable volume.

Dark Travellings is out now from Fox Spirit.

grande_palebrown1Look Out For… The Pale Brown Thing by Fritz Leiber

“The Pale Brown Thing is a must buy for all Fritz Leiber fans.”

Serialised in 1977, The Pale Brown Thing is a shorter version of Fritz Leiber’s World Fantasy Award-winning novel of the supernatural, Our Lady of Darkness. Leiber maintained that the two texts “should be regarded as the same story told at different times”; thus this volume reprints The Pale Brown Thing for the first time in nearly forty years, with an introduction by the author’s friend, Californian poet Donald Sidney-Fryer. The novella stands as Leiber’s vision of 1970s San Francisco: a city imbued with an eccentric vibe and nefarious entities, in which pulp writer Franz Westen uncovers an alternate portrait of the city’s fin de siècle literary set–Ambrose Bierce, Jack London, Clark Ashton Smith–as well as the darker invocations of occultist Thibaut de Castries and a pale brown inhabitant of Corona Heights.

Why We’re Excited About This Book:

The Pale Brown Thing by Fritz Leiber was originally published as a serial in The Magazine Of Fantasy & Science Fiction in 1971. It represents the author’s first version of the story that he later rewrote as Our Lady Of Darkness, a novel few would deny is a modern genre classic. It’s a story where the supernatural elements of the author’s imagination rub shoulders with a down and dirty portrayal of 1970s San Francisco. Leiber deliberately references the city’s pulp fiction past, mentioning authors such as Clark Ashton Smith, Jack London (both of whom lived in the city), Lovecraft and Bierce. These fictional references echo throughout The Pale Brown Thing, in which the plot takes in occult conspiracies, mysterious, forbidden books and supernatural entities lurking just out of sight

This release from Swan River Press is the first time The Pale Brown Thing has been published in a single volume and so it’s a must buy for all Fritz Leiber fans. The volume contains an introduction by the poet Donald Sidney-Fryer, a good friend of Leiber during the period when he lived in San Francisco. There is also an afterword describing by John Howard describing the evolution of The Pale Brown Thing into Our Lady Of Darkness.

The Pale Brown Thing is available to preorder now from Swan River Press.


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