Good Things – Awards Season

This is just a quick post to mention two good things that have happened in my writing world of late. Firstly, against any of my expectations, Imposter Syndrome,  that I co-edited with James Everington has been short-listed for Best Anthology at the British Fantasy Society Awards.

The long-list came out ages ago and it had slipped from my mind so to see the book make the final cut is fantastic. It has to be said that this anthology is where it is due to the fantastic quality of the stories sent in by our wonderful authors. Thanks must also go to my co-editor James, Ross and Anthony at Dark Minds Press and Neil Williamson who designed the cover art. As well as all of the readers who picked up a copy. Here’s hoping we can scoop the trophy in October!

The full anthology category is listed below. There is some fantastic competition and congratulations to all of the other nominees.

Best Anthology
· 2084, ed. George Sandison (Unsung Stories)
· Dark Satanic Mills: Great British Horror Book 2, ed. Steve Shaw (Black Shuck Books)
· Imposter Syndrome, ed. James Everington & Dan Howarth (Dark Minds Press)
· New Fears, ed. Mark Morris (Titan Books)
· Pacific Monsters, ed. Margret Helgadottir (Fox Spirit)

Pick up your copy of Imposter Syndrome here: – (UK | US)

In other news, my contributor copies of Stories of the Dead: A Tribute to George A. Romero have arrived, and they look absolutely stunning. The book is a charity anthology and contains stories from great writers such as Rich Hawkins and Anthony Watson. My story “Grounded” leads off the TOC and I’m really proud to have been involved. It’s been a fantastic experience working with Duncan Bradshaw and David Owain Hughes on this book. Pick up your copy here.


Book Rec – The Fisherman by John Langan

It’s been a little while since I updated this site, largely due to holidays but because I’ve been busy with editing my novel and writing a few short stories.

Today’s recommendation is the The Fisherman by John Langan. Yes, this book is unlikely to be a new find to anyone already involved in the horror community. It has won a Bram Stoker Award as well as being named This Is Horror Novel of the Year in 2016. However, sometimes a book is just so good that you need to tell people about it, even if those people have already heard about it.

The truth is, I’ve owned this book for a while and have been very excited about reading it. We (future wife and beautiful daughter) recently went away to Cornwall on holiday which featured a week of lazing around, seeing sights and stealing reading time. I’d been saving The Fisherman for just such an occasion. A chance to sit (lie down) and relax and appreciate some words. I’m glad I waited.

The Fisherman is firmly entrenched as one of the best books I’ve read. Everything about this spoke to me. I’d previously read a few of John’s short stories and been impressed by his work. This book has made me want to track down the rest and read them immediately.

The Fisherman is the story of two widowers, Abe and Dan, who bond over grief, work and a love of fishing. However, when they decide to seek out the infamous Dutchman’s Creek in the New York State area they live in, things take a turn for the sinister.

The real skill shown in The Fisherman is not only the awe-inspiring horror that Langan produces, which includes some epic Lovecraftian moments. Or the account of the creation of reservoir in the middle of the book that showcases a couple of genuinely scary moments. But the true highlight of the book is its central relationship between the two men. Langan’s portrayal of their grief and their slowly flourishing friendship is incredibly touching, as is the description of Abe’s brief but fateful marriage. Grieving and its psychological impact has long been a wealthy mine for horror writers but Langan never cheapens this emotion  or uses it in a way that undermines the characters for shock value.

There is a poetry to Langan’s prose throughout the book. He has a subtle, colloquial way of writing that feels as though someone you have known a long time is telling you a story. The Fisherman is a staggering achievement, one that all horror readers (and writers) should devour immediately. I’m sure most have, but if like me, you have this one on the shelf unread, correct your error today. It’s amazing.

Get the book straight from the source at the Word Horde website.