Author and Scriptwriter

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

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?