GHOST HIGHWAYS is the second of the Midnight Street Anthologies. It contains 12 previously unpublished stories and a further 3 reprinted stories, (one of which is a completely revised version), from some of the most exciting and proven masters of the genre, including Ramsey Campbell, Simon Clark, Ralph Robert Moore, Ray Cluley and Thana Niveau, as well as an introduction by Paul Finch. The themes relate to ghost highways in the fullest, often oblique, sense. But there is another aspect to these stories: that of the haunting residue; ghosts in all their various interpretations. The characters are haunted in some way, often in subtle ways. The nightmares that haunt them are often baleful, leaving the protagonists trapped within the fates they have invoked. Each story has an illustrated introductory page that suggests the mood of what is to come, tempting the reader into whatever nightmarish world the author has created. GHOST HIGHWAYS is the most ambitious project that Midnight Street Press has launched so far. There is subtlety, augmented by an impending or ongoing horror, and a focus on character that creates unease and ultimately, a full blown, terrifying denouement, often not immediately obvious, but always unsettling. GHOST HIGHWAYS is a unique journey along highways that will transport the reader to places – outside the comfort of home, of the cosy armchair – where demons in their many forms, hold sway.
When Joel Lane died unexpectedly in November 2013, the literary world lost a remarkable talent. He left us too early, with so much unfinished as indicated by the copious notes and outlines of stories and poems he had yet to write. In these pages you will find stories inspired by and based on these notes, completed by many of his friends and colleagues – over thirty writers including Tim Lebbon, Steve Rasnic Tem, Alison Littlewood, John Grant, Simon Bestwick, Lynda E. Rucker, John Llewellyn Probert, Gary McMahon, Thana Niveau, Steven Savile and many others.
Mark Samuels—“the contemporary British master of visionary weirdness”, as Ramsey Campbell has called him—stands at the forefront of 21st century Horror, combining an unparalleled understanding of the Weird Fiction tradition with his own modern take on cosmic dread. An acknowledged influence on numerous writers in the field, his stories depict the isolation and despair of urban life giving way to vistas of universal alienation and, on occasion, spiritual transcendence.
Now, in this collection of original works inspired by Samuels’ writing, his characteristic themes are extended into previously undreamt-of settings: the hull of a Russian nuclear submarine headed to the heart of Chaos; the compound of a Japanese death cult with designs on the human race; a hospital run by the Men with Paper Faces; the Crying Rooms of London’s secret Reverse; the far reaches of the collapsed future and even the private thoughts of St. John of the Cross. Fed by the “strange tales” of the 19th and 20th centuries but firmly rooted in the present, Marked to Die is a digest of urban terror shot through with intimations of a monstrous Sublime.
In this tenth issue of Shock Totem, you will find fiction from Trace Conger, David G Blake, Thana Niveau, Margaret Killjoy, and eight other fantastic authors. TED Klein breaks his long silence in an exclusive interview with Barry Lee Dejasu. Paul Tremblay is also interviewed. Plus reviews, nonfiction, and more…
Come see why Shock Totem is billed as “one of the strongest horror fiction magazines on the market today” (Hellnotes)
“One of Ghedi’s friends had been hit by a dropped stanchion on an earlier raid, bursting his head open so that his brains had spattered out and ended up looking like worms on the deck, pink and crawling…”
LITTLE TRAVELLER by Simon Kurt Unsworth
“It was reaching out toward the glass door, toward Buck, with a hand or a paw that seemed to be tipped with thick, black claws like the talons of an eagle…”
WHERE THE FOREST ENDS by Sean Logan
“One of the big horses bounded in, a black silhouette against the pale sky, the rider rearing on its back, lugged spear held aloft. With a whoop, he flung it down. It struck with a thick squelching crunch, and the screaming stopped…”
HORN OF THE HUNTER by Simon Bestwick
Let’s face it: zombies are hot, and baby, they’re getting hotter. Although not the most traditional of sex symbols, zombies are truly coming into their own, even landing on the silver screen in romantic roles, not to mention ambling and shambling across the pages of novels and television screens. Gone are those one-dimensional scary characters from George Romero’s grim and gruesome flick Night of the Living Dead. Zombies now have a lot more to offer to the non-zombie world. From the best-selling novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to the hit TV series The Walking Dead, zombies are taking over as a source of entertainment. So isn’t it about time they had their more …err …romantic and sexy sides showcased? Mitzi Szereto wrote the sex back into Pride and Prejudice and her new Love, Lust and Zombies warms the coldest among us with stories so daring they can even raise the dead!
…I suddenly felt a chill go up my back, as though a spider had dropped inside my shirt and was creeping towards my neck.’ TWO FIVE SEVEN
Or perhaps, revel in sadistic glee?
‘”As soon as the needle pierces your skin, you’ll feel a stinging, then, as the drain cleaner enters your vein, it will start to burn. The burning will make you want to tear apart your flesh and dig into your own veins to relieve the pain …”‘ TEATIME
Do you take a ghoulish delight in the grotesque?
‘His eyes were gone, the sockets filled with flies that crawled and buzzed. His mouth, open and lipless, was a black hole of moving shapes. The odour was overwhelming.’ FLIES
Ah, yes, that smell… ‘…the pungent, nauseating reek of putrefaction.’ SLAUGHTERED LAMB
Sickening, isn’t it? And yet, you can’t resist, can you? Dare you?
Three Cthulhu novellas by today’s leading horror authors, set throughout the twentieth century. NOT TO TOUCH THE EARTH by Thana Niveau, set in San Francisco during the Summer of Love; THE GAMEKEEPER by Johnny Mains, set in Scotland during the 1940s and 1970s; and ONE NAMELESS THING by Alison Littlewood, set in the Maldives in the present day.