Mammoth Books Presents Messing With Your Head
Black Country - Joel Lane"'Black Country' is one of a sequence of weird crime stories set in the West Midlands that I've been working on for years," says Joel Lane. "A collection of them is forthcoming with the title Where Furnaces Burn. 'Black Country' is also a sequel to my earlier story 'The Lost District', which describes another narrator's experience of Clayheath."I'd like to thank The Nightingales and Gul Y. Davis, whose words influenced this story. It was originally published as a chapbook by Nightjar Press, with an enigmatic cover illustration by Birmingham photographer Trav28."
We All Fall Down - Kirstyn McDermott
"I carried the bones of this story around for quite a few years before I finally stumbled upon its beating heart," explains the author. "In my head was the image of a doll house, huge and not quite right, and a woman searching desperately for something concealed inside. But I could never work a story around it that didn't seem twee. Doll houses, you know?"But then Emma and Holly appeared - trapped within their own fractured, futile relationship - and everything just, well, fell together. Beautifully. Awfully. And now I have a doll house story. Of a kind."
Telling - Steve Rasnic Tem
"As for the following story," reveals Steve Rasnic Tem, "it began with a dreadful image at the end of a dream. I couldn't remember the other details of that dream, but I was determined to find out where that image might have come from."
A Revelation of Cormorants - Mark Valentine"
'A Revelation of Cormorants' first appeared in the excellent series of chapbooks published by Nicholas Royle's Nightjar Press," explains Valentine, "and I first encountered the dark grace of the cormorant while visiting Galloway with Jo."
Just Outside Our Windows, Deep Inside Our Walls - Brian Hodge
"I hardly ever write extended fragments of things and then leave them indefinitely," Brian Hodge reveals, "but that's how 'Just Outside Our Windows, Deep Inside Our Walls' got started."I first wrote the part about the fantasised magic show, plus the earliest bit about Roni moving in, after rereading a Thomas Ligotti collection. It may not be apparent to anyone else, but some flavour of his lingered in me for a little while and wanted to come out, and the magic show was the result."Then it sat idle for three years or so before I knew what more to do with it. Maybe because I had to forget about how it had begun and get back to being myself again."
girl had offered the confusing comment: “They all hate me, the others, it was all of them. All of them in one.” Asked to draw her attacker, she’d gone on drawing one face over another until the image was impossible to make out. She’d been referred for psychiatric assessment. The local toyshop had been broken into via a back window, too small for a normal adult. The cat burglar had escaped before the police could respond to the automatic alarm, taking a random sample of items: toy soldiers,
REVELATION OF CORMORANTS copyright � Mark Valentine 2010. Originally published in A Revelation of Comorants. Reprinted by permission of the author. JUST OUTSIDE OUR WINDOWS, DEEP INSIDE OUR WALLS copyright � Brian Hodge 2010. Originally published in Darkside Digital. Reprinted by permission of the author. All rights reserved. This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise circulated in any form of binding or
of laughter. I reached for the book of matches, tore one off and struck it. Then lit another as the contents of the den slowly revealed themselves to me. Every inch of space on the rotting shelves and floorboards was covered with stolen things: dog-eared books, flaking comics, model soldiers and aircraft, soft toys, bars of chocolate, Coke cans, sticks of liquorice. All of it carefully, neatly arrayed, to be gloated over and sampled through the long nights. A secret hoard. The half-moon passed
Nahrung. “I carried the bones of this story around for quite a few years before I finally stumbled upon its beating heart,” explains the author. “In my head was the image of a doll house, huge and not quite right, and a woman searching desperately for something concealed inside. But I could never work a story around it that didn’t seem twee. Doll houses, you know? “But then Emma and Holly appeared – trapped within their own fractured, futile relationship – and everything just, well, fell
wonder. But Emma bites her tongue. She’s tired – more than tired, damn near exhausted, caught deep in a post-adrenaline crash – and she doesn’t want to fight. Not now, not here in this house with Mrs Jacoby right down the hall, blankets pulled up to her chin as she wonders just what it is that two young l-e-s-b-i-a-n-s get up to when the lights go out. Emma steps out of her jeans, modestly donned for the brief trip from bathroom to here, and slips an arm around Holly’s waist. “Have a shower and