World Horror Conference 2010

World Horror Conference 2010

I’ve just about recovered from this marvelous event, held in the UK for the first time in Brighton where the chips are normally good and there is a pier.

My adventures were mainly concerned with two publications

John Mains (ed.) – Back From The Dead: The Legacy Of The Pan Book Of Horror Stories (Noose & Gibbet, March 2010)
Les Edwards
Shaub Hutson – Foreword
David A. Sutton – The Influence Of The Pans
Christopher Fowler – Locked
Tony Richards – Mr. Smythe
John Burke – Acute Rehab
Basil Copper – Camera Obscura
David A. Riley – The True Spirit
Jack Wainer – Angel
Myc Harrison – A Good Offence
Roger Clarke – Gallybagger
John Ware – Spinalonga
Jonathan Cruise – The Forgotten Island
J. P. Dixon – Dreaming The Dark
Septimus Dale – The Little Girl Eater
Christina Kiplinger – Mr. Golden’s Haunt
John Burke – The Stare
Nicholas Royle – The Children
Ken Alden – The Moment Of Death
Jane Louie – A Carribean Incident
Craig Herbertson – The Waiting Game
Francis King – School Crossing
Harry E. Turner – Sounds Familiar
Conrad Hill – An Outing With H.
John Mains – ‘Lest You Should Suffer Nightmares’. Herbert Van Thal: A Biography


Charles Black (ed.) – The Sixth Black Book Of Horror (Mortbury Press, March 2010)
6th Black Book of Horror: artwork; Paul Mudie
Paul Mudie
John Llewellyn Probert – Six Of The Best
Simon Kurt Unsworth – Traffic Stream
Steve Lockley – Imaginary Friends
R. B. Russell – An Unconventional Exorcism
Paul Finch – The Doom
Gary Fry – Keeping It In The Family
Craig Herbertson – Spanish Suite
Reggie Oliver – Mr. Pigsny
Alex Langley – The Red Stone
Stephen Bacon – Room Above The Shop
David A. Riley – Their Cramped Dark World
Mick Lewis – Gnomes
Anna Taborska – Bagpuss
David Williamson – The Switch
Mark Samuels – Keeping Your Mouth Shut

It was a chance to meet two editors who have revitalized my ailing career as a horror writer: Charles Black who has now published me in five of his critically acclaimed horror series and John Mains, the man who knows more about Pan Horror than Pan Horror.

The nucleus, I suppose, of the interest began with the Pan horror series which was an immense dark influence on the youth of my day – running to 30 volumes of unadulterated nastiness; a nastiness which beckoned me in Pan 29 where my novella The Heaven Maker (which I state now, contrary to the received view, had nearly no blood and gore in it) was published. It was series that saw stories by the greatest writers and the quickest hacks of weird tales, from Lord Dunsany to John Lennon and many more.

I am very very grateful to both of these fine editors for recovering my body from the abyss.

You will gather from the wealth of talent in these two books, launched at the conference, that it was a somewhat humbling experience. One clear highlight was beating my brother at chess for a change, but the other was certainly sitting on a panel with names who chilled the blood of several generations: Christopher Fowler, Tanith Lee, Tony Richards, David A Riley, David A Sutton, Basil Copper, Nicholas Royle and Les Edwards to name but a few. We tried to explain what we had done to the current generation in the way of nightmare and fear. All hosted by the sinister, John Mains.

At one point John asked the audience who had been turned to horror by the Pan books. Nearly everyone held up their hands. I realized then that we had become an institution -anyone who knows me knows I hate institutions but if I have to belong to one I think I’ll go with that.