Tag Archives: update

Q4 2013 Publisher Update

It’s been almost exactly six months since our last publisher update, so we’re a bit overdue.  This time around, I’m not just adding new and newly discovered presses, I’m also removing several publishers who have either closed their doors or have been moribund for an extended period.

Publishers Added to the List

1313Horror.com – An exercise in pretension and hokiness, 13Horror trumpets their Thirteen anthology series as “The scariest books ever published” and “…the most important contribution to the horror genre in living memory.  Steeped in controversy and banned in certain parts of Europe…” Volume one in the series features no less than 113 stories, and with that many stories I’m sure there isn’t a clunker in the bunch.  Ahem.  Press founder Andrew Hannon supposedly disappeared in 2010, with his estate “assuming responsiblity [sic] for publishing the horror legacy compiled and edited by Hannon.”  Yeesh.

 

BigTime_HellBig Time Books – Founded by indy-film veteran Eric Miller, BTB’s debut title, the anthology Hell Comes To Hollywood, certainly reflects Miller’s background both in theme and the contributor list, which is filled with screenwriters and others with film backgrounds. The anthology is available in both trade paperback and ebook formats.  No additional titles have yet been announced.

 

 

 

DarkOpus_PoeDark Opus Press – An offshoot of Bête Noire magazine, Dark Opus has published a couple of interestingly themed anthologies — For All Eternity, based on the seven deadly sins, and In Poe’s Shadow, wherein the stories are inspired by Poe — with a third (Tell Me a Fable, stories based on Grimm’s Fairy Tales) on the way.  Unfortunately, some of the text on their website is pretty poorly written, which is never a good sign.

 

 

DarkRen_RichardsDark Renaissance Books – After turning over control of the long-standing Dark Regions Press to his son Chris, Joe Morey has now gone on to found  Dark Renaissance Books, a press that “… will specialize in publishing literary horror, dark fantasy, and fantasy short story collections, and poetry collections” (with the occasional anthology thrown into the mix, apparently).  Dark Renaissance has published three titles so far — highlighted by Jeffrey Thomas’ collection, Worship the Night — and announced three more, including Tony Richards’ The Universal and Other Terrors. Titles are published in numbered and lettered hardcover editions.

 

Dreadful_AgonyDreadful Cafe – A publisher of the “strange and mysterious,” DC looks to be an ebook-only publisher and so far has just one title to their credit — Rick Wayne’s Agony in Violet — but have also announced two anthologies, Membrane and Thresholds. Their place on the list is tentative, due to both their nascent state and the question of whether they will turn out to be primarily a horror publisher.

 

 

 

Fox_ShadowsFox Spirit Books – UK-based cross-genre publisher, with nine of their eleven titles (two novels, four novellas, four anthologies and one non-fiction title) involving horror.  Their books are available in paperback and ebook formats, and representative titles include Jo Thomas’ 25 Ways to Kill a Werewolf and Joan De La Haye’s Shadows.

 

 

 

GreyM_DarkVisGrey Matter Press – Promoted from the “Pending” list now that they’ve published their first couple of books, this Chicago-based publisher is specializing, perhaps exclusively, in anthologies, with their first five announced titles all falling into that category.  Of those five, one has has so far been published — Dark Visions: Volume One, featuring the likes of Ray Garton, Jonathan Maberry, David Riley, and John F.D. Taff.  Grey Matter books are available in both trade paperback and ebook formats.

 

GreyhartGreyhart Press – An ebook-only publisher of roughly equal amounts of science fiction, fantasy, and horror.  In the realm of horror, they’ve published five novels and a novella, all by either Mark West or Paul Melhuish.

 

 

 

 

 

Mystery_UndeadMystery and Horror, LLC – This company was originally launched as a writing partnership between Gwen Mayo and Sarah Glenn, because they were going to the same conventions and events to promote their books, but the two decided in 2013 to expand into publishing, and have already published four anthologies (and apparently will continue to focus exclusively on that format).  M&H has a strong secondary focus on humor, with half of their books to date featuring a horror/humor hybrid approach — Strangely Funny and the unfortunately titled Ha-Ha Horror.  Formats: trade paperback and ebook.

 

Sirens_MentalSiren’s Call Publications – Self-described as “an edgy/dark Fiction Publisher interested in stories of Horror, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Mystery and Suspense,” Siren’s Call — which is owned and operated by three women — also seems to have a pretty strongy emphasis on romance, with four of their nine titles to date either primarily or secondarily focused on that genre.  As you can gather from those numbers, Siren’s Call just barely qualifies for inclusion on our list, with five of their titles falling into the horror /thriller category.  Representative titles include The Undying Love by Greg McCabe and Days With the Undead by Julianne Snow, both post-zombie-apocalypse tales, and Siren’s Call books are available in the usual trade paperback and ebook formats.

StrangeH_vomitStrange House Books – Named after its founder, Kevin Strange, the moniker also describes the press’ purpose, which — as described on their website — is to “showcase the most bizarre, horrific, weird, and downright Strange fiction the genre has to offer.”  In business for just over a year at this point, Strange House has already published fourteen titles, including nine novels, four anthologies, and one collection.  Somewhat disconcertingly, five of the nine novels are by Strange himself (never a good sign when a founder is so fixated on publishing their own work).  Strange House is clearly treading the same bizarro ground as Eraserhead Press and LegumeMan Books, as evidenced by some of their book titles: Alien Smut Peddlers From the Future; Dinner at the Vomitropolis; and Vampire Guts in Nuke Town.

StrangeW_TwistedStrange, Weird, and Wonderful Publishing – Cross-genre publisher of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, with five titles to their credit so far — three anthologies, all edited by D.L. Russell and Sharon Black; a novel; and a collection.  SW&W employs an extremely bare-bones website, and while their submissions page talks about acquiring electronic rights as well as print rights, their books seems to so far be available only in trade paperback format.

 

 

 

Stumar_SpareStumar Press – A UK-based ebook-only publisher launched in 2011, the press’ name is a combination of the founders’ names (Stuart Hughes and Mark West).  Stumar debuted with an anthology and has since published collections by Stuart Young, Sara Jayne Townsend, and Hughes, with another anthology and a collection of collaborative stories, by Tim Lebbon and D.F. Lewis, having been announced.  In the “not-so-good news” department, their website looks to not have been updated since 2012, so they’re going to immediately sport an asterisk next to their name on the list.

 

Vamp2_WalkingVampires2 Publishing Company– Sigh.  It pains me to include publishers like this on the list, but…based on my criteria, they qualify.  Featuring a website straight out of 1995, Vampires2 has published 24 titles — some really only short stories in length, all in ebook format, and all with horrendously amateurish covers. Enough said.

 

 

 

 

Villipede_AbsenceVillipede Publications – Featuring a stylish website (bordering on style over substance, actually, with some annoying display and user experience issues), Villipede debuted in 2011 with a science fiction anthology, but has since followed up with the horror novel The Absence of Light by J. Daniel Stone and the horror anthology Darkness Ad Infinitum, and have announced a collection.  Paperback and ebook formats.

 

 

Publishers Removed From The List

I’ve been allowing a lot of questionable publishers (questionable in terms of whether they’re truly still active)  to cling to the list for far too long.  A culling of the herd is way overdue, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do here.

I considered removing all of the presses listed below… some I wound up moving to the “Defunct” list, some I declared dormant and moved to the “Excluded Publishers” list, and some I kept on the Active Publisher list, with an asterisk to denote their borderline status.  See the comments for each publisher for details:

  • Alter Ego Books – Dormant; published one title (a chapbook) in 2011, with nothing announced on their website since then.
  • Annihilation Press – Although they’re putting out some comics, Roger Dale Trexler’s press has been dormant as a book publisher since 2009.
  • Babbage Press – Dormant; website was last updated in January 2011, and when I tried to email Babbage to query their status, my message got bounced back because their mailbox was full.  Seems like no one’s minding the store.  Press owner Lydia Marano is a friend from long ago, but… I’m declaring this press dormant.
  • Bandersnatch Books – Defunct; website has been taken over by Asian squatters; Bandersnatch is deader than dead.
  • BlackSails Press – Defunct before they started; no updates to website since 2011; no titles ever published.
  • Blade Red Press – Dormant; no posts on their site since April 2011.
  • Bloodletting Press – Defunct; the lease expired on the website name registration, and the name been taken over by another party. However, former Bloodletting Press owner Larry Roberts is still publishing other imprints (see Arcane Wisdom).
  • Coscom Entertainment – Dormant; no posts to site since April 2011.
  • Dark Prints Press – Announced minimum 1-year hiatus 7/13/13, so I’m keeping them on the list, but giving them an asterisk.
  • Dark Scribe Press – Defunct; no posts since 2010; apparently no books published since 2009.
  • Darkwood Press – Defunct; although the primary imprint Fairwood Press (which is non-horror) continues to publish, sub-imprint Darkwood appears to have gone dark.
  • Dead Letter Press – Nothing published in a long time, but press owner indicates they’re not dead yet, so they’ll stay on the list with an asterisk.
  • DHG Press – Defunct; lease expired on website name registration.
  • Elder Signs Press – No new titles published since Fall of 2011, but they did post in May 2013 that one of their titles will be translated and published in Spain, so I’ll keep them on the list and give them an asterisk.
  • E-volve Books – Defunct; website has been down for more than three months. That’s more than enough cause to declare them dead.
  • Haunted Computer Books – Dormant; no posts since March 2011.
  • Hersham Horror Books – No posts on their site since 2011, but they did publish a book in May 2012, so they’ll continue to stay on the list, with an asterisk, for now.
  • Library of the Living Dead Press – Defunct; no posts on website since 2011; no activity on Facebook page since 2010.
  • Mythos Books – Dormant; no new titles since May 2010.
  • Necessary Evil Press – Dormant; no books released or posts made to site since April 2011.
  • Necropolitan Press – Dormant; no titles released since 2009.
  • Pill Hill Press – Defunct; closed their doors January 2013.
  • Sideshow Press – Dormant; no posts (or titles published) since April 2011.  (Update: as per comments below, I’ve added Sideshow back to the list.)
  • Spectre Library – Dormant; no posts (or titles published) since Spring 2011.
  • Strange Publications – Dormant; no posts (or titles published) since March 2011.
  • Triskaideka books – Defunct; website down; no posts on Facebook page since September 2011, when they announced that they were suspending an anthology.
  • War of the Words Press – Defunct before they started; never published the Weird War anthology that they announced, and showed off a very cool cover for (which can still be seen on their dormant Facebook page).

In sum: I’ve added 15 new presses to the Active Publisher list, and removed 23, for a net reduction of eight, and a new total of 183 publishers on the list.

New Press Roundup for Q4 2012

It’s been almost four months since our last round-up of new publishers, so it’s time for another status check on what’s new in the horror small press. Here are 14 new (or newly discovered by me) publishers that I’ve added to the list:

Burial Day Books — Run by the apparent husband-and-wife team of Gerardo and Cina Pelayo, BDB publishes in both trade paperback and e-book editions. They have two titles to their credit so far: the anthology Gothic Blue Book, which is a collection of short stories and poems that “resurrect the spirit of … Gothic Blue Books, [which] were short fictions popular in the 18th and 19th century”; and the anthology Loteria, a collection of 54 “macabre Latin fairy tales,” one for each of the cards in the Mexican board game of the same name.

Cold Fusion Media — Started out by publishing five issues of the (now defunct) PDF-only magazine Arkham Tales, and has since moved into book publishing (both trade paperbacks and e-books). CFM has so far only published titles written or edited by publisher Nathan Shumate, making their place on this list precarious.  The anthology Arcane, which includes stories by Gemma Files and… a whole bunch of other folks, is sufficient to get the press included, at least for now.  Their other two titles are a novella and non-fiction book, both by Shumate.

Crowded Quarantine Publications — A UK-based publisher with an annoying, badly-designed and nearly content-free website, CQP is another press that is far too focused on books written or edited by the publisher — Adam Millard, in this case.  Despite an earlier announcement that CQP is “currently seeking 8 full-length novels for publication in 2012,” it appears that all seven of their titles are either authored or edited by Millard.  Publishing in both trade paperback and e-book formats, their most recent title is the anthology Grindhouse, featuring stories by Wayne Rogers and 17 others.

Cruentus Libri Press — Another UK publisher, this one with a bare-bones WordPress-based website, CLP bill themselves as “purveyors of unspeakable horror.”  Three anthologies have been released so far, all edited by Kevin Bufton: 100 Horrors, gathering 100 flash-fiction stories of 100 words each; A Fistful of Horrors, a collection of western/horror hybrid stories (interesting choice for a non-US publisher); and Lucha Gore, which focuses on tales with a wrestling theme.

Crystal Lake Publishing — The first South African publisher on our list, CLP specializes in anthologies and single-author collections, and considers itself primarily an e-book publisher, although it offers trade paperback editions as well.   A collection by Joe Mynhardt has been released, and For the Night is Dark, an anthology featuring Gary McMahon, Stephen Bacon, and Scott Nicholson, among others has been announced for 2013 publication.

Dancing Tuatara Press — An imprint of Ramble House Press, DTP titles are selected by John Pelan, who has focused his editorial efforts here since his Midnight House press folded.  The focus is on resurrecting forgotten and overlooked tales from the horror and weird menace pulps.  Available in both trade pb and hardcover editions, 37 titles have been published to date (with 10 of those categorized as detective, SF, or fantasy titles).  Hugh Cave’s House of the Restless Dead is a recent title of interest, and Mark Hansom is a house favorite, with five titles published.  Look for a review of H.B. Gregory’s Dark Sanctuary upcoming here on Twilight Ridge.

Egaeus Press — Unlike many publishers I cover, UK-based Egaeus has a clear statement of purpose: “It is our intention to publish morbid, decadent and baroque fiction in limited edition hardcover volumes of a quality of ornateness rarely seen in modern books.”  Based on what I can discern from photos and specifications, their first two titles certainly live up to those goals.  Reggie Oliver’s 250-copy collection, Shadow Plays, is already out of print while Stephen J. Clark’s intriguing-sounding novel In Delirium’s Circle was published in an 300-copy edition and is still available.

EvilEye Books — Features an interesting website design with different format options for viewing, but in a rather ridiculous turn, the most important page on the site — “Our Books” — is empty save for a “Coming Shortly…” message.  Forced to go investigating through their blog posts and their Amazon listings, I found approximately six titles, some available only as e-books but a couple also in print editions.  Notable titles include John Urbancik’s DarkWalker, the first volume in an ongoing supernatural noir series, and the anthology The Burning Maiden, which features Sarah Langan, Joe Lansdale, and Tim Lebbon, among others.

Gallows Press — Another trade paperback and e-book publisher, Gallows Press features a few current or former Delirium Book authors among their ten-book line-up, including Brian Knight, Kurt Newton, and Jeff Strand.  Mark Allen Gunnell’s novel Sequel appears to be the most recent title. It’s unclear what Gallows’ relationship with Sideshow Press is, but they list one of Sideshow’s titles among their own catalog of titles.

Genius Book Publishing — A cross-genre (horror, crime, SF, thrillers) with five horror titles among the seven titles they’ve published to date.  Notable titles include Gene O’Neill’s collection In Dark Corners, and two zombie novels in The Hungry series, co-written by Harry Shannon and GBP owner Steven W. Booth.  Titles are available in both trade pb and e-book editions.

Hieroglyphic Press — Seemingly somewhat inspired by Romanian publisher Ex Occidente Press, HP’s focus is defined thusly: “We are a small imprint primarily dedicated to publishing works of an eclectic and rarefied nature: to use a quote from elsewhere we wish for spiritual art – Decadence, Esoterica and Symbolism.”  The four short-run hardcovers published to date feature a decidedly European slant, including: a translation of Polish master of the macabre Stefan Grabinski’s 1919 collection, On the Hill of Roses; and Requiems & Nightmares, the first collection of short fiction by Italian Guido Gozzano, another early 20th-century writer.

Ravenous Shadows — An imprint of Ravenous Romance, edited by horror luminary John Skipp, specializing in novellas and short novels.  RS seems to be approaching things somewhat backwards — as far as I can tell, they don’t have a dedicated website yet, or even any mention on the parent Ravenous Romance site, but they have a Facebook page and a Twitter account.  Ravenous Romance bills itself as a an ebook-only publisher, but there are paperback editions of the RS titles available through Amazon’s print on demand program.  The press debuted with a quartet of titles early in 2012, highlighted by Eric Shapiro’s The Devoted and Adam Cesare’s Tribesmen.  With a stated goal to publish 30-40 titles a year, they’ll seemingly be prolific.  An announced title of note is Unwanted, by Creeping Hemlock publisher RJ Sevin.

This Is Horror — A new venture from a UK-based horror website (of the same name — www.thisishorror.co.uk), which features columns, reviews, fiction, and more.  TIH’s publishing arm is exclusively focused on chapbooks, in a similar vein to Nightjar Press and Spectral Press (although the latter has now branched out beyond chapbooks).  The first round of This Is Horror titles includes some impressive names: Simon Bestwick & Gary McMahon; David Moody; Conrad Williams; and Joseph D’Lacey.

Triskaideka Books — Truly international in flavor, having launched in 2011 in New Zealand and now located in Japan, Triskaideka (which translates to the number 13) started out publishing in book trade pb and e-book editions, but has now switched to digital only.  Their website is disconcertingly out of date and features several broken links but it appears that they have published eight titles so far, with highlights being David Mathew’s  O My Days and Carson Buckingham’s Home.

In the “borderline” category, Eraserhead Press added another bizarro imprint, Lazy Fascist.  Some of their titles may be of interest to readers of this blog.

As for removing publishers from the list…Cargo Cult Press and Dark Silo Press are the only publishers I’m aware of that seem to have definitively shut down recently (their website domains having expired).  There are several others, however, who have been quiet for so long that they appear to be moribund.  For example, Darkhouse Publishing, Golden Gryphon, and Midnight Library all appear to have turned out the lights, at least for now.