Skull On A Stake Reveals Mysterious Ancient Ritual

A fascinating discovery by archaeologists in Sweden: poles with human heads impaled on them at the bottom of a pond, dating back to the stone age.  Apart from the mystery surrounding the ritual, the academics are also scratching their heads about a stone burial mound found nearby – a kind that didn’t become common until much later.

“According to Hallgren this mound of stones was built at the bottom of a pond where nobody could see it. What was the point?…”

 

Testimony Revisited

Very shortly you can expect a new ebook which reflects upon my one and only non-fiction book, Testimony.

This was a truly terrifying account of a family trying to make sense of a maelstrom of supernatural experiences after they moved in to an isolated house in the wilds of Wales. The book sold out its first print run in record time – and then disappeared from the shelves completely. Another story surrounds that.

The ebook will feature new content – including a detailed commentary about the case and how I went about investigating it. At the moment, the aim is to include enough to make it, to all intents and purposes, a new book. That’s one reason why I’m planning to retitle it (the other is that several other books called ‘Testimony’ have come out in the meantime).

The book has already been formatted and the new material prepared – all that’s holding it up is the title.

More soon when I have a publication data.

The Devil’s Looking Glass UK Publication

Published today in the UK: The Devil’s Looking Glass.

First few lines:

The merciless sun boiled in a silver sky. Waves of heat shimmered across the seething main deck of the becalmed galleon where seven sailors knelt, heads bowed. As blood dripped from their noses onto their sweat-sodden undershirts, they muttered prayers in Spanish, their strained voices struggling to rise above the creaking of hull timbers flexing against the green swell. Harsh light glinted off the long, curved blades pressed against their necks.

At the sailors’ backs, the grey men waited in silence, still as statues, drawing out the whimpering men’s agony before the swords swept down. Ghosts, not there yet there, their bone-white faces were wreathed in shadow despite the unremitting glare. Oblivious to the sweltering heat, they wore grey leather bucklers, thick woollen breeches, and heavy boots, the fabrics silver-mildewed and reeking of rot.

Captain Juan Martinez de Serrano was kneeling on the forecastle, heavy brows furrowed as he watched the row of seamen. Even now he could not bring himself to look into the terrible faces of the ones who had boarded his ship. Aft of the Spanish vessel, the other galleon’s grey sails billowed and its rigging cracked, although there was no more wind today than there had been for the past three. Serrano lowered his head in desolation. What fools they had been. Though they knew the devils of the Unseelie Court were like wolves, the lure of gold had been too great.

Review: The Devil’s Looking Glass

Excellent review of The Devil’s Looking Glass in the latest Locus magazine. And they also take the time to praise The Sword of Albion/The Silver Skull:

“These characters tend to peer out from tangles of painfully twisted emotions. The plot can seem just as gnarled, with many turnings, terrors, betrayals, and revelations about its mingling, shifting worlds.”

New Ebooks On The Way

Ebook versions of my out-of-print titles will be published in the coming weeks. These will be enhanced versions, with corrected copy and in some cases additions to text. They will also include detailed commentaries – background to the story, how the book came to be written and how it reached publication. The information, tips and knowledge here will be of particular interest to aspiring writers.

In the pipeline are Lord of Silence, Scissorman, The Eternal, Nocturne, The Fairy Feller’s Master Stroke, and a collection of rare short stories and novellas, as well as a look-back at the ‘lost’ and possibly cursed non-fiction book Testimony.

If you have any preferences for publication order, let me know.

Music From The Stone

When I was researching Jack of Ravens, I spent a lot of time at the hugely atmospheric Iron Age (and probably much earlier) settlement of Carn Euny in Cornwall.  There’s a long sequence at the start of that book set when the village was still vibrant.  As long time readers will recall, it plays a crucial part in the wider story of the Age of Misrule.

Now Cornish band Kemper Norton have recorded a mini-album, Carn, based around field recordings at the location.  The heart of the music lies in the mysterious fogou, a stone tunnel running under the settlement.  There are only around fifteen known fogous and no one is quite sure of their purpose – simple storage, refuge in time of attack or a ritual site.  I’d recommend visiting – the atmosphere in the fogou is intense.

And Kemper Norton capture that haunting feel in this music.  You can download it for £4 or take a listen here.

Get A Green Man For Your Wall

Love the cover of the US edition of World’s End by John Picacio?  Put your hand in your pocket…

John is launching a Kickstarter campaign to produce a 2013 calendar featuring some of his breathtaking art – including this cover.  It’s going to be a truly lovely work, and there will be signed prints and other incentives for those who fancy stumping up a little bit of cash.  The target is $12,000 and you can be a part of it here:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1143812835/the-2013-john-picacio-calendar

Yes, I *know* the world is coming to an end in December.  But just in case we all somehow make it through to New Year, you will surely need a 2013 calendar…with a page dedicated to World’s End…