The good people of Pornokitsch held a Gothic evening at Blackwell's Books in Charing Cross, London, last month, where they celebrated the tradition of the Gothic on and its influence on modern literature. Sadly I was unable to make it, but I contributed a wee guest blog for the bookshop's blog about the Gothicity (is this a word?) of The Faceless. Particularly with regard to that all-important factor of location, location, location...
Delighted to announce that my short story 'Laws of Acquisition' will appear in Darker Minds, the forthcoming anthology from Dark Minds Press, edited by Ross Warren and Anthony Watson. It'll be due out in April- good lord, that's anytime!
One book I've loved since I first read it in the early 1990s (Christ, has it really been nearly twenty years?) is Antony Sher's Year Of The King, his memoir of the twelvemonth leading up to his performance as Richard III for the RSC in 1985. Drawn from his diary and sketchbooks (he's a gifted writer and artist as well as actor) it's often funny, sometimes touching, and fascinating if you want to an insight into how a great actor works. One thing he'd done at the time was to give up reading reviews of his performances.
Anyway, towards the end of the book, the show has opened and Sher has various Big Names coming backstage to congratulate him. Among them is Michael Caine, who asks: 'Well, what about the reviews?'
'I don't read them,' explains Sher.
'Don't read them? You wrote them didn't you?'
All of which is a roundabout way of saying that I hate blowing my own trumpet. I honestly do. I was brought up not to brag. But there've been quite a few reviews of The Faceless, and they've all been a bit good. So much so that I'm almost too embarrassed to quote them here.
So- deep breath- here goes:
One print review so far, from Gareth Hughes in SciFiNow magazine, who gives it four stars out of five:
'It's refreshing to read something as original as The Faceless... Despite some heavy themes it never seems exploitative, tapping into a very modern, almost post 9/11 fear... Bestwick has produced a piece of work streets ahead of his peers.'
'The Faceless contains a level of craft and execution that, alongside the work of Ramsey Campbell, Conrad Williams and Gary McMahon, goes a long way in restoring the reputation of the horror novel... a name to watch out for in the future.'
'Simon is one of the best writers of horror fiction currently plying their trade. In fact scrap that... Simon is one of the best writers - of any genre - currently plying their trade. This is a great book, one that I thoroughly enjoyed (if that's the right word) reading. It has everything...
The book is beautifully written, yes. It has a great plot, yes. Most importantly though, it's scary as hell...'
'In this day and age it takes a lot of skill, and perhaps a truly deranged mind to come up with a monster that will terrify a reader, as much as The Spindly Men. The Faceless is a modern masterpiece of British horror... the must read horror novel of the year so far.'
From Spooky Reads:
'The Faceless is an edge-of-your seat read, and definitely needs to be read by any fan of the supernatural horror fiction genre. If you like Ramsey Campbell, Gary McMahon, and Adam Nevill’s work, then you’ll likely enjoy what Simon Bestwick has created here. It’s a compelling read; decently paced, its greater underlying themes, and messages, linger on after the tale itself has been told.'
All of which actually isn't so much receiving love as being gang-banged. In a good way. As it were.
(Totally random pic, I know. But hey, I liked it.)
Yes, it's been ages since I last bloggaged here. Sorry about that! Hope you weren't worried. (I expect I'm flattering myself there.) :)
Just been quite busy of late. Also, planned to blog re the SFX Weekender (and hopefully will, albeit much belatedly) but kept putting it off. In the meantime, much else hath occurred, so the total amount of stuff that needed putting in a new blog post piled up and up. Making the job bigger and bigger. And so I kept putting it off.
Soooo... over the next few days/weeks I'll be posting a series of News Roundups like this, just to bring all the news that's fit to print to your attention.
So first off- and yes, this is a bit belated and all- I have a story up on This Is Horror's Flash Fear section. 'Tumblers' is a bit less than 800 words long, which was quite a fun length to write at. It was also nice to write something 'blind' for once: I started with the title, went with the first opening line it suggested... and lo and behold, it took shape.
I like it, anyway, and it has a very cool illustration by Mr Dan Henk. Thanks to Michael Wilson for inviting me to contribute!