Thursday, 14 May 2015

Mirrors in the Deluge

Mirrors in the Deluge (2015)
Elsewhen Press

A collection of 32 stories of unusual fantasy, philosophical satire, ironic adventure and laterally logical daftness.


The Prodigal Beard * The Bungle Duke * The Modesty Men * The Soft Landing * Gathering the Genial Genies * Najort Esroh * Travels with my Antinomy * The Bubble Bursts * A Dame Abroad * A Real Nowhere Man * Gold, Myrrh and Frankenstein * The Mouth of Hell * The Strings of Segovia * Paired Down * Arms Against a Sea * The Martian Monocles * Suddenly * Stand and Deliver * Trophy Wife * The Unkissed Artist Formerly Known as Frog * The Fairy and the Dinosaur * The Goat that Gloated * Vanity of Vanities * Unicorn on the Cob * Sunstorm * The Anvil Cloud * The Apple of My Sky * The Taste of Turtle Tears * The Musical Universe * The Bones of Jones * Train of Thought * The Haggis Eater

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Thirty Tributes to Calvino

Thirty Tributes to Calvino (2015)
Gloomy Seahorse Press

A collection of thirty stories inspired by the genius of the writer Italo Calvino...

Paradoxical and philosophical fables; impossible cartographies and labyrinths of the mind and heart; towers that stretch across the universe; men who set sail on domestic oceans; the opinions and hopes of the sun; sentient geometries; games with gravity and planets; metafiction and wordplay; recursion and exploration; the perplexities of logic and desire.

These thirty tribute stories demonstrate the whimsical inventiveness and originality of an author who has won considerable acclaim for his speculative fiction.


The Memory Palace * The Time Tunnel Orchid * Trombonhomie * The Non-Existent Viscount in the Trees * The Impregnable Fortress * Mundi Mourning * The Grave Demeanour * The Planet of Perfect Happiness * Starfish Wish * Beyond Paraparapara * The Pig Iron Mouse Dooms the Moon * Universe Tower * Benchmark * The City That Was Itself * The Rowing Machine * Sending Freedom Far Away * The Cowardly Custard Apple * Doom It Heavenwards * The Chattering Star * Hagmouth Town * A Spaceship in the Shape of a Woman * The Melon Seller * The Square Circle * Giddy Up * The Days of the Turbans * The Blue Jewel Fruit * Canute a Little * Broom Cupboard of Crossed Destinies * The Bathing Bells * My Most Metafictional Tale

Orpheus on the Underground

Orpheus on the Underground (2015)
Tartarus Press

Orpheus on the Underground is the new Rhys Hughes collection from Tartarus Press, containing fifteen previously unpublished stories and ‘The Concise Picaresque Adventures of the Wanderlust Bridge’, which first appeared in Strange Tales II, 2008. Ranging from the ghostly, through horror to the entirely fantastic, Hughes’ marvellously inventive tales steer the reader through the bizarre labyrinths of his unique talent for the strange.

In ‘The Upper Reaches’, two pilots discover a world beyond their mission, while the eponymous hero of ‘Orpheus on the Underground’ attempts to fit classical myth into the transport system of a modern metropolis. ‘Behind Every Ghost’ takes a conventional aphorism to its illogical limit, while ‘The Phantom Festival’ explores the history of music on various levels. In the ‘The Quixote Candidate’, a would-be film director is persuaded to give what may turn out to be an overly comprehensive interview.

In the twenty years since the publication of his first short story collection (Worming the Harpy, Tartarus Press, 1995) Rhys Hughes has become an éminence grise of the strange tale. He wears his reputation lightly, and it is the sheer fun and individuality of the stories in Orpheus on the Underground that make them so memorable.


The Upper Reaches * Orpheus on the Underground * The Gargoyles of Black Wood * The Despicable Bungling of Yorick Porridge * Behind Every Ghost * The Ghost Written Autobiography of a Disembodied Spirit * Double Meaning * The Nick of Time * The Bicycle Centaur * The Quixote Candidate * The Pocket Shops * The Concise Picaresque Adventures of the Wanderlust Bridge * The Phantom Festival * Not Looking * New Improved Recipe for Disaster * The Great Me

Bone Idle in the Charnel House

Bone Idle in the Charnel House (2014)
Hippocampus Press

For more than two decades, Welsh writer Rhys Hughes has been entertaining and befuddling readers with his distinctive mix of terror, humor, fantasy, and absurdity. Although influenced by such writers as Italo Calvino and Jorge Luis Borges, his work is utterly unique in its melding of weirdness and comic grotesquerie.

In this substantial collection of new and reprinted stories, Hughes displays the literary skills that have brought him a wide and devoted readership. Many of these stories have been published in leading magazines and anthologies over the past decade; but several are unpublished and reveal their wonders and mysteries for the first time. With this book, Rhys Hughes stakes a claim to being one of the most original writers in contemporary weird fiction.


The Swinger * Bitter in Sour * The Old House Under the Snow * Degrees of Separation * The Warlord * Vampiric Gramps * Bone Idle in the Charnel House * What I Fear Most * Rediffusion * Casimir the Converter * Smuggling Old Nick to Newfoundland * Shelling the Toad * The Hydrothermal Reich * The Spoon * Chameleons * Happiness Leasehold * Life and the Plumbline * The Unsubtle Cages * Signma Octantis * The Century Just Gone