Look Out For… Black Star, Black Sun by Rich Hawkins and The Doll Collection

517MM1woWfLLook Out For… Black Star, Black Sun by Rich Hawkins

“Black Star, Black Sun looks set to confirm Hawkin’s position as one of the most promising new horror authors around.”

Ben Ottway has returned to his family home in Marchwood; tired, broken, and grieving over the disappearance of his wife. This should be a time of rest, of contemplation and reconnection with his elderly father, a chance to recharge in the fresh air of the remote village. However, grim nightmares and daytime visions of hellish environments populated by insidious creatures serve only to fray his already ragged nerves. A chance encounter with a fellow sufferer leads to an unlikely alliance as imaginary threats suddenly become manifest, and the entire village falls under the sway of the Black Star. As neighbours become enemies and the world around him crumbles, Ben must search for the truth but, more importantly, he must be prepared to accept it. Black Star, Black Sun – an unsettling new novella from Rich Hawkins, the author of the critically acclaimed novel, The Last Plague.

Why We’re Excited About This Book: Fresh from the success of his novel The Last Plague, author Rich Hawkins returns with a new novella Black Star, Black Sun. After The Last Plague’s depiction of destruction across the whole of the country, this novella takes a narrower focus, telling the story of Ben Ottway returning to his childhood home of Marchwood. It soon becomes clear that not everything in the remote village is as it should be. Ben suffers visions of the coming of the Black Star, sees the inhabitants of Marchwood dead or tortured or insane in the fields, whilst black birds fill the sky…

Black Star, Black Sun looks set to confirm Hawkin’s position as one of the most promising new horror authors around.

Black Star, Black Sun is out now from April Moon Books.


51isd+XqkyLLook Out For … The Doll Collection

“Ellen Datlow’s anthologies are always highlights for any horror fan.”

The Doll Collection is an anthology designed to frighten and delight, featuring all-original dark tales of dolls from bestselling and award-winning authors compiled by one of the top editors in the field, a treasured toy box of all-original dark stories about dolls of all types, including everything from puppets and poppets to mannequins and baby dolls.

Master anthologist Ellen Datlow has assembled a list of beautiful and terrifying stories from bestselling and critically acclaimed authors. Featuring everything from life-sized clockwork dolls to all-too-human Betsy Wetsy-type baby dolls, these stories play into the true creepiness of the doll trope, but avoid the clichés that often show up in stories of this type. The collection is illustrated with photographs of dolls taken by Datlow and other devoted doll collectors from the science fiction and fantasy field. The result is a star-studded collection exploring one of the most primal fears of readers of dark fiction everywhere, and one that every reader will want to add to their own collection.

Why We’re Excited About This Book: Creepy dolls are a staple of horror fiction and film, and this new anthology from acclaimed editor Ellen Datlow features seventeen stories by Pat Cadigan, Stephen Graham Jones, Joyce Carol Oates and many others. These stories aren’t Child’s Play clones (“no evil dolls” was Datlow’s instruction to the writers) but instead explorations of the strangeness of things that look alive but aren’t; that look like us but are other.

These stories feature not just toy dolls but all manner of puppets, mannequins, ventriloquist dummies and clockwork automations, so there really is something for everyone intrigued (or just disturbed) by the theme. Datlow’s introduction lightly explores some of the theories behind why dolls unnerve us so, from Freud’s essay The Uncanny, to more recent ideas like ‘the uncanny valley’.

Datlow’s anthologies are always highlights for any horror fan, and this one looks extra special. Datlow herself collects dolls (the book is illustrated with photographs of some of her collection) so the theme is obviously close to her heart. And given the stellar list of authors involved, it looks like she’s certainly done it justice with The Doll Collection.

The Doll Collection is out on 10 March 2015 from Tor Books.


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