Author and Scriptwriter

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

Monday 6 May 2024

Things of the (Last Couple of) Week(s), 6th May 2024 - ParSec, Nightmare Abbey and Fears

Dusting off the blog again, because it seems like a good idea...

So the past week or two has seen one story newly published, another accepted, and an upcoming anthology appearance announced!

The newly published story is 'The Manktelow Timepiece,' which appears in issue 10 of ParSec magazine. It's one of my Bone Street stories; others include 'And You Heard The Rattling Death Train' in Railroad Tales and 'Are We Going Under?' in ParSec #6 (and later ParSec In Print.) This was actually the first of the stories I wrote, but I'd almost despaired of finding a home for it when Ian Whates snapped it up (thanks once more, Ian!) So I'm truly proud and delighted to see it appear at last. You can buy ParSec #10 here

The latest acceptance is 'Territory,' a funny tale whose basic premise had been with me since about 2006 or thereabouts till I finally managed to do justice to it. That notched up its fair share of rejections too, but has finally a loving home in the haunted halls of Nightmare Abbey, in which it'll be appearing in the summer! A big thank you to Tom English for taking it on.

And finally, the anthology appearance! I'm honoured to announce that my story 'Bait' is being reprinted by the great Ellen Datlow in her new anthology of psychological horror, Fears, alongside works by Annie Neugebauer, Josh Malerman, Dale Bailey, Steve Duffy, Margo Lanagan, Bracken MacLeod, Tim Nickels, Stewart O’Nan, Priya Sharma, John Patrick Higgins, Livia Llewellyn, Laird Barron, Theresa DeLucci, Sharon Gosling, Joyce Carol Oates, Ray Cluley, Carole Johnstone, Hailey Piper, Charles Birkin and Stephen Graham Jones. That's bloody good company to be in. To feast your eyes on that cover in full, click here. If you'd like to pre-order the anthology, here's the link.

All of which is very happy news.

Simon :) 



Tuesday 20 February 2024


My new novella, Jaeger, will be published on 29th February by Black Shuck Books.

It's a follow-up to my earlier novella Roth-Steyr, picking up the trail of its narrator, Valerie Varden, a few months after the events of the first story.

Trained as an assassin by the crumbling Habsburg Empire to fight a secret war that began in the last days of World War One, Val's spent a lifetime trying to forget all she once she knew. But some things are never forgotten...

Fleeing across a darkening Europe, Val finds being hunted by a relentless, determined and powerful enemy - one who, wherever she goes, wants to see her dead. To survive, she'll need to draw on all her old, lethal skills and become the hunter herself. A Jaeger.

“A worthy sequel to the author’s Roth-Steyr, packed with action and intrigue. Alongside a lethal and fascinating protagonist, Bestwick drives us without pause through the tangled remnants of a secret war over a century old — remnants drenched in blood, madness and memories. Fast-paced, engrossing, and extremely satisfying. No one truly survives the Sindelar Gate.”

John Linwood Grant, Shirley Jackson Award-nominated author of Where All is Night, And Starless.

"With the structure of a spy novel, a heart of cosmic horror, and an elegy at its core, Simon Bestwick's relentlessly paced and meticulously researched Jaeger  hurtles across Europe from the turn of the last century to the present day in this gripping, satisfying follow up to Roth-Steyr."

Lynda E. Rucker, author of The Moon Will Look Strange and Now It's Dark.  

Jaeger is a time-hopping, occult-tinged thriller featuring a deadly, transcontinental game of cat-and-mouse showcasing a wealth of brilliantly crafted set-pieces. It’s also a meditation on love, loss, grief and immortality. It ticked so many boxes for me that I ran out of boxes. I loved it."

Anthony Watson, author of The Fallen.

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!