As if the editor Rog Pile had nothing else to do but astound, this edition of Filthy Creations 6# begins the serialisation of two novels. Sendings by David A Riley and The Death Tableau by, yours truly, Craig Herbertson: Both ‘Pan Books of Horror’ authors. Both novels set up in the grim north. Both their first appearance in print. Both about to be serialized in full. There’s ominous signs in both tales already. Let’s see how they develop.
The issue is packed with poisoned goodies.
The Devil At Your Heels by Robert Mammone deals with that unconscious horror – the hit and run accident. Who is the victim here, the driver who was hit or the driver who ran? Mammome is a sharp writer with a strong style and a sound balance between the beauty of metaphor and the progression of story. He creates some lovely lines: ‘The engine’s dull throb matched his heart’s jerking rhythm,’ and he’s a writer who can draw you in and leaves you hurt: ‘A terrible truth flowered in Arthur’s mind. With sharp edged petal’s, this realisation scoured all other thoughts away and sent him staggering onto the road’
Mammone is one to watch.
In Easy Money by Penni McLaren Walker we move from a car to a house that has its own particular attitude to its incumbents. Penni is a well known song writer and I was gratified to see her talents in the field of horror. They are apparent. Penni writes more like a lady who has hundreds of stories under her belt rather than a couple. All the signs of a writer with a voice. More to come I hope.
D F Lewis has two short tales Rage and The Fat Shrike in here. Both betray the unmistakable marks of genius. Rage deals with the solution to a macabre jigsaw puzzle and the The Fat Shrike simply abounds with unforgettable lines some beginning in mildly prosaic observation before ending in a word feast carnival ‘Maternity in the old days, was a combination of mutual back-slapping and career gossiping: starting as soon as the womb could warm sufficient spaghetti connections into autonomous life and continuing until it was cold enough to keep plasma as well as pasta indefinitely.’ I ask myself who else could have written that?
We move to the face in Bad Manners by Colin Leslie. It’s a well told, enjoyable tale with a sinister theme that Ray Bradbury would have enjoyed writing and no doubt, reading.
There’s a Riot Going On by Franklin Marsh is short, sweet and wonderful. A touch of pathos a touch of humor as the old colonel goes down.
Grey by Charles Black takes residence at the beach but not for a suntan. It’s a dark almost Panesque tale of revenge with a woman at the heart of it but unfortunately, ‘her beauty had been long since vanquished.’ Good to see that the notorious editor of the Black Book of Horror has picked up the quill again.
Crocodile Tears by James Stanger, is a tale of an old demolition worker and a doctor who suffers his apparent hypochondria. But is it all in the old man’s mind or did something crawl up from the blitz-damaged London buildings? I think it might have but it’s not what you expect.
A Solace of Winter Rain by Stephen Bacon leaves us in the comfort of the Club’s leather chairs but we’re not comfortable for very long as Dr Trevelyan explores Mr Farnsworth’s ‘paralysing nightmare.’ I’m a sucker for a smoking room tale and this delivers the disquieting goods.
Night Tide by Rog Pile has a pilot survive his plane crash only to endure greater horrors from the past. It’s a story which balances realism with a shadow world of memory, containing believable characterization which makes you instantly empathetic and horror which battles with pathos. Rog Pile has also managed five interior illustrations and a cover. The illustrations are a high point of this edition of Filthy Creations. Rog Pile has slowly developed as a fine illustrator with an improving technique and that elusive – and often undiscovered in lesser artists – eye for perspective. His illustration of Easy Money in the two corbies in is a beauty.
Filthy Creations 6# is an incredible £2.25 including postage. For the small press it’s a plush looking little thing and, more importantly, it’s full of enjoyable stuff. Purchase it together with issue 4# of The Thinking Man’s Crumpet, edited by Coral King for just £3.50Black Books of Horror, craig herbertson, pan horror