Saturday, April 08, 2006
One of the nicest things about going to the annual FantasyCon event is the friends you make and renew every year. It's great to have an annual event where you can wander through a hotel and see people you've not seen for a year and to catch up ... to spot writers, editors and artists at the bar and in the restaurant and to sit down for a chat and a drink and to renew old friendships. At FantasyCon in 2005, we were, as usual, in the bar, and there was discussion about great horror films and why we loved them. Usual bar chat really. But then Mark Morris, a talented author himself, suggested collecting some of these stories of love and passion in a book and Cinema Macabre was born. Various people were leaping in with suggestions of films to cover, and my suggestion was Suspiria, an incredible slice of Italian giallo from Dario Argento which I have loved ... well forever. So I duly penned my piece and submitted it ... Now, this week, the final book arrived ... and Wow. Oh my God was I blown away. It's been produced by Pete Crowther and the folks at PS Publishing and it is possibly the most gorgeous book I have seen. From J K Potter's eerie cover to a nice black and white photo section it looks and feels wonderful. And that's before you even get to the words. Jonathan Ross contributes an introduction and then we're into appreciations of films from the likes of Simon Clark (The Unknown), Neil Gaiman (The Bride of Frankenstein), Brian Aldiss (Les Diabioliques), Jeremy Dyson (Night of the Demon), Christopher Fowler (Witchfinder General), Mark Gatiss (From Beyond the Grave), Simon Pegg (Dawn of the Dead), Muriel Gray (The Thing), China Mieville (Razorback), Graham Joyce (Jacob's Ladder), Ramsey Campbell (Lost Highway) and Justina Robson (The Blair Witch Project). There are fifty films discussed here and some are obvious choices while some are more surprising. But none are dull. The standard hardback edition is signed by Mark Morris and is limited to 500 copies while there is also a slipcased deluxe hardback, which is limited to 200 copies and which is signed by all of the contributors ... yes, that's ALL of them. The 50 writers, plus Ross, plus Potter for the cover. Copies of both editions are available direct from PS Publishing if you're interested. The standard edition is £25 while the deluxe is £75. Visit www.pspublishing.co.uk for more details. I'm so proud to be a part of this project, and hearty congratulations to Mark and Peter for such a superb job in pulling it together.