Monthly Archives: April 2020

Guest Post: The Library of Alison Littlewood

Hello! And a big thank you to Priya for asking me to have a wander around my bookshelves and take some shelfies for a guest post. Let’s face it, all our opportunities for wanderings and witterings are limited these days, so it was a lovely thing to be asked to do. Here we go…


Here are some of the anthologies I’ve gathered over the years, kept in check by zombie bookends and watched over by Brian the zombie – wearing one of those knitted hats you find on Innocent bottles, ’cos even zombies need to keep warm.


Here’s the resident librarian, along with a real mix of books, including some of the earliest I still possess: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and Lewis Carroll from when I was a kid. Just out of view is the beloved copy of Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales my mum bought me when I was five, which I relocated after Vesper-dog tried to eat it when she was a puppy. The horror! I found the little black clay pot in Mexico. It always makes me think it should be inhabited by a genie, though I suppose it would have escaped through the little cut-out stars by now.


Ego shelves. Well, we all needs ’em, preciousss… I’ve been lucky to be in some terrific anthologies over the years, and I keep various editions of the novels on the second shelf. There’s also a framed picture that my mum and dad bought me to celebrate The Unquiet House coming out.



This is a small corner of my short story collections collection. I rearranged my books recently to make room for more of these, because I’m lucky enough to know some very talented people who will no doubt keep filling this shelf! The framed picture is an illustration from one of my stories by another uber-talented friend, Daniele Serra. Also, top left – PRIYA’S BOOK! Honestly, you need this in your life.


Here’s a slightly older photo, just to show that Vesper is rather better behaved these days. See, everyone loves books! And, in these locked-down times, thank goodness for them. I’ve been immersed in some amazing reads recently – Jess Kidd’s Himself, Georgina Bruce’s Honeybones and Pine by Francine Toon were some of the latest to keep me company.

And yes, the sharp-eyed might spot that this last pic was pre-shelf-rearranging! Either that or Brian is in two places at once. But then, I wouldn’t put it past him.

Thanks for dropping by and sharing a little bit of my library. And stay safe out there… Xx

Alison Littlewood

Mistletoe by Alison Littlewood

Alison Littlewood is a British horror author, Shirley Jackson Award winner and multiple August Derleth Award nominee. Mistletoe is her latest novel from Jo Fletcher Books.

Robert Shearman Tells Us Stories In The Dark

I was lucky enough to be in the audience last year at British Fantasy Con (Glasgow) to hear Robert Shearman read from “We All Hear Stories in the Dark”. He has an original mind and is a master storyteller, which is no surprise as he’s worked with Alan Ackybourn and written scripts for Dr Who. His accolades include a World Fantasy Award, a British Fantasy Award and the Edge Hill Short Story Reader’s Prize. I knew he was clever but I wasn’t prepared for just how moving the experience would be.

we-all-hear-stories-in-the-dark-limited-hardcover-set-by-robert-shearman-sold-out-5065-p[ekm]330x461[ekm]My partner turned to me afterwards and  said, “He’s a bit good, isn’t he?” That’s high praise indeed from the master of understatement.

The collection from PS Publishing contains 101 stories in three volumes, all illustrated by Reggie Oliver. The reader choses their own route through the book depending on their mood, making it a unique experience.


Now available for preorder  as trade paperback and hardback sets. The limited edition hardcover set and as a deluxe slipcased hardcover set are already sold out.



GNOHAs if a collection of 101 stories wasn’t bonkers enough, it’s inspired Jim Mcleod of Ginger Nuts of Horror to put together a collection of short reviews of each story, contributed by the horror community.

Introduction by Jim Mcleod

We All Hear Stories in the Dark Review Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

(My reviews are in Part 2).




Stories of Hope and Wonder

I feel very proud to be part of “Stories of Hope and Wonder”.  Ian Whates of NewCon Press has worked very hard to pull together this digital anthology. All proceeds from its sale of this digital anthology are being donated to support NHS staff and other healthcare workers. It contains a mammoth 53 stories, 253,000 words of fiction, including several pieces that are original to this volume.

“The Fox Maiden”, which is reprinted here, originally appeared in On Spec magazine in 2011.

Available on Kindle for £5.99

Table of Contents:

Introduction by Ian Whates

Last Contact – Stephen Baxter
Slink-Thinking – Frances Hardinge
Gossamer – Ian Whates
The Feather Dress – Lisa Tuttle
The Man Who Swallowed Himself – Chris Beckett
A Fat Man in the Bardo – Ken MacLeod
Kings of Eternity – Eric Brown
Muscadet Kiss – Michèle Roberts
Dead Space – George Mann
The Trace – Christopher Priest
Golden Wing, Silver Eye – Cat Hellisen
The Golden Nose – Neil Williamson
On Ilkley Moor – Alison Littlewood
About Helen – Tade Thompson
Iphigenia in Aulis – M.R. Carey
Just Watch Me – Lesley Glaister
The Family Football – Ian R. MacLeod
The Grave-Digger’s Tale – Simon Clark
The All-Nighter – Mark Morris
Her Seal Skin Coat – Lauren Beukes
A Conclusion – Paul Cornell
Liberty Bird – Jaine Fenn
The Ki-Anna – Gwyneth Jones
Scienceville – Gary Gibson
The Sphere – Juliet E. McKenna
An Eligible Boy – Ian McDonald
The Quick Child – Jane Rogers
Trademark Bugs: A Legal History – Adam Roberts
Working on the Ward – Tim Pears
During the Dance – Mark Lawrence
Out of the Woods – Ramsey Campbell
Trick of the Light – Tim Lebbon
Roman Games – Anne Nicholls
44: Digits – Robert Shearman
The Fox Maiden – Priya Sharma
Roads of Silver, Paths of Gold – Emmi Itäranta
All Deaths Well Intention’d – RJ Barker
Epilogue: England, Summer 1558 – Jon Courtenay Grimwood
The Christmas Repentance of the Mole Butcher of Tetbury – Aliya Whiteley
Gulliver’s Travels Into Several Remote Nations Of The World, Part V: A Voyage To The Island Of The Wolves – Jonathan Palmer
Barking Mad – Ian Watson
Lady with a Rose – Reggie Oliver
Missing – Blake Morrison
What We Sometimes Do, Without Thinking – Mark West
Events – Stan Nicholls
Wars of Worldcraft – Adrian Tchaikovsky
Fixer, Worker, Singer – Natalia Theodoridou
Witness – Kim Lakin-Smith
Unravel – Ren Warom
Like Clockwork – Tim Major
A Million Reasons Why – Nick Wood
The Road to the Sea – Lavie Tidhar
Ten Love Songs to Change the World – Peter F. Hamilton

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