Author and Scriptwriter

'Among the most important writers of contemporary British horror.' -Ramsey Campbell

Monday 27 November 2023

The Obligatory Blowing of Horns: Awards Eligibility Post 2023

It's been nearly a year since I last posted here, mainly because my alter ego Mr Church has had a lot to say for himself over on his website. He's been pretty busy writing, too, but the Bestwick byline hasn't been completely dormant

2023's been comparatively quiet on the publication front: another of those 'duck in the mist' years where a lot of work's been getting done, but the results won't be visible for a while yet. Nonetheless, a few things made it into print, so here's the obligatory round-up of any work that saw daylight for the first time this year. 


'Are We Going Under?,' published digitally in Parsec #6, January 2023, edited by Ian Whates. Reprinted in book form by the same editor in Parsec in Print, September 2023. 

'Kingbreaker,' published in Shakespeare Unleashed, edited
by James Aquilone, July 2023.

'The Flight of Ravens,' published in Unknown Heroes versus the Forces of Darkness, edited by Will Jacques, April 2023.


Most of my Patreon output's consisted of a new serial story, Dogman, which is still ongoing. Some stories have appeared, but most of these have been previously published pieces, with the following exceptions:  

'731' (short story,) October 30th.

'The Good Man's Ghosts' (verse,) March 15th. 

And that's the lot, this year!

All the best, folks.


Saturday 31 December 2022

'22 in Review

Phew. Well that was quite a year.

A fair bit happened, just for me personally (I'm not even going to try to summarise the year's political upheavals or all the cool people we lost.) It went something like this:

I got an agent (properly speaking, I signed with the Ki Agency last year, but couldn't officially announce it, for Reasons, till well into this year.) I'm still with Ki and looking forward to more excitement in 2023, but now represented by agency founder Meg Davis, as Anne Perry has moved on to become the new commissioning editor at Jo Fletcher Books. Anne has been an absolute star and I hope we get to work together again in the future.

I had a novel published under a new pen name, to excellent reviews and pretty good sales. 

I wrote two complete novels in 2022, and am partway through a third. That took up the bulk of my time and energy work-wise this year, but I also managed to place three stories with publications due out in 2023: 'Are We Going Under?' will appear in ParSec Magazine, 'Kingbreaker' in Shakespeare Unleashed, and 'The Flight Of Ravens' in Unknown Superheroes Vs The Forces of Darkness

On top of all that, I started a podcastNo Darkness But Ours, with my friend and colleague Gemma Files, in which we discuss horror in all its forms. Topics so far have included snowbound horror, the work and legacy of M.R. James, and Folk Horror. We're currently in the middle of a discussion on Queer Horror, with more to come. You can check our work out here.  

Under my own byline, the following was published this year:

Short Fiction:

Nemesis of Wire (Phantasmagoria #20, ed. Trevor Kennedy)

Bait (Book of Extraordinary Femme Fatale Stories, ed. Maxim Jakubowski)

Mummy Calls (Classic Monsters Unleashed, ed. James Aquilone)

Work published on Patreon:

Short fiction:

This Life, This Death

The Night of the Dog-Headed Man

The Death of Norma Lake (fragment from early draft of Bonewalker)

Low Over Water

The One You Feed

Adaptive Evolution In The Lancashire Grindylow: A Report By Alexandra Thraves Ph.D

The Bactrian



Beacon 46-A

The Christmas Kiss

In addition, my story 'Redwater,' from The Alchemy Press Book Of Horrors 3: A Miscellany Of Monsters, was reprinted in Ellen Datlow's The Best Horror Of The Year #14, making three years in a row that my work's appeared there.

Thank you to all the editors who've published me this year, to Anne and Meg, to Gemma for her support on the podcast, and to all readers and listeners who've supported my work by reading or listening to it.

Finally, and most of all, to my lovely wife, Cate, without whom none of this would have been possible.

Happy New Year, everybody.

Good luck for 2023.

Simon x


Thursday 7 July 2022

Boris the Fridge-Hider (2022 version)

I first wrote this before the 2019 election. Here's a slightly updated version:

Look who's scurrying across the floor
Blond and hairy, has no balls
In the polls he was ahead
Now he's hanging by a thread
Boris the fridge-hider
Boris the fridge-hider
He can tell nothing but lies
Has no issue with Russian bribes
Reporters cause him indigestion
(They might ask an awkward question)
Boris the fridge-hider
Boris the fridge-hider
Creepy Tory, Creepy Tory,
Creepy Creepy Tory Tory Creepy Creepy Tory Tory
Creepy Creepy Tory Tory Creepy Creepy Tory Tory
Screws anything that's in a skirt
(And anyone who trusts his word)
Bellowing: "Get Brexit Done!"
Then hides away 'mid the gammon
Boris the fridge-hider
Boris the fridge-hider
Now all of his tricks are gone
Yet somehow he still clings on
Drag him out of Number 10
Bring him to a sticky end
Boris the fridge-hider
Boris the fridge-hider


Friday 1 April 2022

I have an agent!

As promised in my last post, more exciting news:

I'm now represented by the brilliant Anne C. Perry at the Ki Agency.

I couldn't be happier. Anne is a lovely person and - better still - incredibly good at her job, as well as being a pleasure to work with.

There will be more news soon.

Thursday 31 March 2022

A Conversation with Ramsey Campbell, and a new review of Black Mountain at Horrified!

Over at Horrified Magazine, Ally Wilkes reviews Black Mountain, rating it as: 

"Unquestionably a must-read. It felt like diving into the best and most compulsive creepypasta, or the weird world of Missing 411 and disappearances in the wilderness: full of questionable narrators, conflicting explanations, and the unspooling realisation that whatever haunts the Bala Triangle has been doing so at least as far back as recorded history. 

...A propulsive narrative and a compulsive read... Bestwick is to be applauded for creating a pitch-perfect creepypasta in book form, full of unsettling incidents and genuinely scary scenes of folk – and cosmic – terror."

Along the way, there are comparisons to Mark Z. Danielewski's House Of Leaves, Matt Weselowski's Six Stories novels, and (deep breath) ARTHUR MACHEN

That's Arthur Machen, as in The White People, and The Great God Pan.

I could not be more delighted.

In other news, Tuesday saw the paperback launch of The Way of the Worm, the stunning conclusion to Ramsey Campbell's trilogy The Three Births of Daoloth. Ramsey's a marvellous raconteur, with a wealth of insights and anecdotes; he needs very little encouragement to share them, but somebody had to provide that, and it turned out to be me!

The event was held at Blackwell's Bookshop in Liverpool, and was followed up by a very nice (and very large) Chinese meal at Mr Chili's, a brilliant Sichuan restaurant that you really should pay a visit to if you're ever in town. Phil, the excellent store manager at Blackwell's (ably assisted by James Lefebure) livestreamed the event to Facebook, and you can watch it here if you're so inclined.

More exciting news soon!

Tuesday 15 March 2022

'Redwater' to be reprinted in Best Horror of the Year #14

I'm delighted to announce that my story 'Redwater,' which appeared in The Alchemy Press Book Of Horrors 3: A Miscellany Of Monsters last year, is to be reprinted in the 14th volume of Ellen Datlow's Best Horror of the Year. It leads off a line-up of brilliant authors, including some of my favourite contemporary horror writers. Volume 14 promises to be a dark and scary treat.

That table of contents in full:

Redwater -- Simon Bestwick
Caker’s Man -- Matthew Holness
Black Leg -- Glen Hirshberg
The Offering -- Michael Marshall Smith
Fox Girl -- Lee Murray
Shuck -- G. V. Anderson
The Hunt at Rotherdam -- A. C. Wise
Dancing Sober in the Dust -- Steve Toase
The God Bag -- Christopher Golden
The Strathantine Imps -- Steve Duffy
The Quizmasters -- Gerard McKeown
All Those Lost Days -- Brian Evenson
“Elephant Subjected to the Predations of a Mentalist” – Dir. B.S. Stockton, 1921
And “Ol’ Will’s Birthday Bash and Dither Family Reunion” – Dir. Various, 1952.
-- Jonathan Raab
Three Sisters Bog -- Eóin Murphy
The Steering Wheel Club -- Kaaron Warren
The King of Stones -- Simon Strantzas
Stolen Property -- Sarah Lamparelli
Shards -- Ian Rogers
Chit Chit -- Steve Toase
Poor Butcher-Bird -- Gemma Files
Trap -- Carly Holmes
I’ll Be Gone By Then -- Eric LaRocca
Jack-in-the-Box -- Robin Furth
Tiptoe -- Laird Barron

With 'Below' appearing in Volume 12 and 'A Treat For Your Last Day' in Volume #13, 'Redwater' marks three consecutive appearances for yours truly in Best Horror of the Year - a hat trick! I am, as I said above, absolutely delighted.

A lot of alterations were made to the original MS of 'Redwater', not all of which I was able to correct in time for publication; Ellen has very kindly allowed me to rectify them all for the reprint, and so Best Horror of the Year will be publishing my preferred version of the text.

Monday 7 March 2022

An Evening with Ramsey Campbell (with burblings from Bestwick)

The paperback of Ramsey Campbell's novel The Way of the Worm will be launched this month at Blackwell's Bookshop in Liverpool. I'll be interviewing the big man (or burbling meaninglessly; anyway, I'll be there), so why not come along? Tickets are available here
The time: Tuesday 29th March, 2022, 6.00 - 7.30pm.
The place: Blackwell's Bookshop, Peach Street, Liverpool, L3 5UH

"Join us on the 29th March when the legendary Horror writer Ramsey Campbell will be in conversation with Simon Bestwick
About the Author:
Ramsey Campbell is an English horror fiction writer, editor and critic who has been writing for well over fifty years. Three of his novels have been filmed.
In 2021 appreciation of his collected works, The Washington Post said, " taken together, they constitute one of the monumental accomplishments of popular fiction". Three of his novels have been filmed.
Since he first came to prominence in the mid-1960s, critics have cited Campbell as one of the leading writers in his field: T. E. D. Klein has written that "Campbell reigns supreme in the field today", and Robert Hadji has described him as "perhaps the finest living exponent of the British weird fiction tradition", while S. T. Joshi stated, "future generations will regard him as the leading horror writer of our generation, every bit the equal of Lovecraft or Blackwood."

About the book:
Book 3 in the Three Births of Daoloth trilogy.The present day, or something very like it. Dominic Sheldrake has retired from lecturing and lives on his own. His son Toby is married with a small daughter. The occultist Noble family are more active than ever. Their cult now openly operates as the Church of the Eternal Three, and has spread worldwide. The local branch occupies the top floors of Starview Tower, a Liverpool waterfront skyscraper. To Dominic's dismay, Toby and his wife Claudine are deeply involved in it, and he suspects they are involving their small daughter Macy too.
Dominic lets his son persuade him to attend a meeting of the church, where he encounters all three generations of the Nobles. Although Christian Noble is almost a century old, he's more vigorous than ever - inhumanly so. The family takes turns to preach an apocalyptic sermon that hints at dark secrets masked by the Bible and at the future that lies in wait. In a bid to investigate further Dominic undergoes the rite the church offers its members, which confers the ability to travel psychically through time. Before he's able to flee back to the present he has a vision of the monstrous fate that's in store for the world.

Dominic discovers a secret he's sure the Nobles won't want to be made public. Although he has retired from the police, Jim helps him establish the truth, and Roberta publishes it on her online blog. It's the subject of a court case, the results of which seem to defeat the Nobles, only for them to return in a dreadfully transformed shape. Now Dominic and his friends are at their mercy, and is there anywhere in the world to hide? Even if they manage somehow to deal with the Nobles, there may be no escaping or preventing the alien apocalypse that all the events of the trilogy have been bringing ever closer..."  
In keeping with the Lovecraftian theme, I only learned today that there's an Iron Maiden song inspired by Ramsey's story 'The Inhabitant of the Lake.' I'm just listening to it now - so why don't you as well?