First up is Maniac by Debbie Bennett. A collection of short stories for adults: 'haunted fairgrounds, escaped murderers...fantasy, mythology and urban SF/horror...' 'A sound from upstairs makes the snapshot drop from her fingers. This is why she hates men - for the power that they have over women. Why else would she be standing in her own hall, too terrified to move?'
Debbie is also the author of the gritty and disturbing Hamelin's Child.
|'The Secret Commonwealth'|
Catherine's powerful romance Bird of Passage also features, among other threads, a ghost story.
Susan Price has published three collections of short ghost stories as e-books, as well as the Carnegie winning The Ghost Drum, with its sequels, Ghost Song and Ghost Dance. She has said that her intention in writing them was to produce fantasies 'as beautiful as they were terrifying.' Set in an icy, dark northern land, they feature shamans, shape-shifters, ghosts and other worlds. Price never flinches from the harshness and cruelty of this world and they are, as promised, both terrifying and beautiful.
'I tell, (says the cat,) of a far-distant, northern Czardom where half the year is summer and light, and half the year is winter dark.
'I tell of the strangeness of summer and winter and the Earth's turning. Summer so short, and yet its days so long: one bright day pours endlessly into another and the sun shines at midnight.
'But winter so long, and its days shorten and shorten until noon is dark, and above the snow-covered land the freezing black sky presses down, heavy with the thousands of sharp, glittering stars and the white, white moon.
' The story I tell begins, (says the cat,) in these cold wastes where the moonlight rises from the snow and half-melts the darkness to a silver mist. It begins with the lonely hunter Malyuta journeying over the snow to look at his traps...' (Ghost Song.)
A fittingly spooky book to end with is Enid Richemont's Wolfsong: 'I shall never forget my first glimpse of Chanteloup - its square tower, its copper-green roof, its biscuity walls warmed by the dying sun and its window eyes lidded with white wooden shutters...' There are no wolves left in present day Brittany... And yet Ellie hears them singing at night, and past and present merge... A dark romance, for both young and old(er) adults.
Authors Electric wish all their readers a suitably spooky Hallowe'en!