Stephen Jones: 2014 News
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News
   2014
 • California Dreaming
 • London Film and Comic Con
 • Best British Horror 2014 Launch
 • The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains
 • Kim Newman's Birthday, July 31
 • A Visit to PS Publishing
 • The David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy
 • Best New Horror Celebrates 25th Anniversary
 • London Book Fairs and Film Convention
 • Neil Gaiman and Tori Amos
 • 24th Annual World Horror Convention
 • 2014 Windy City Pulp & Paper Convention
 • Birmingham Independent Book Fair
 • HWA Lifetime Achievement Award Winners
 • Innsmouth Trilogy Available
 
   2013
   2012
   2011
   2010
   2009
   2008
   2007
   2006
   2005
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   2000
 
2014 News

August 2014

California Dreaming, July 23 - August 6, 2014

Photo © 2014 Stephen Jones
Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz

Desperately in need of a vacation, it was off to California for two weeks to meet up with some old friends and recharge the batteries. After bumping into Dave McKean at the British Airways check-in at Heathrow (he was heading to San Diego's Comic-Con International with some big pieces of artwork), for the first time I flew on an Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger airliner. As it was, I rarely moved from my seat and slept most of the way to Los Angeles, waking up in time to catch a couple of episodes of The Walking Dead before we landed.

Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Stephen Jones signing at Mystery and Imagination
Stephen Jones signing at Mystery and Imagination

Southern California was going through something of a heatwave, with temperatures in the high 90Fs. As usual, Peter Atkins very kindly chauffeured me around (I don't drive) and, although I wasn't able to see everybody I had hoped to, I did manage to link up with such friends in LA as Richard Christian Matheson, Harlan Ellison, Lisa Morton and Glen Hirshberg. I also signed a bunch of my old titles at Mystery and Imagination b ookshop in Glendale.

Owned and operated by Malcolm and Christine Bell, Mystery and Imagination on N. Brand Blvd. is the kind of bookstore I love—an Aladdin's cave of used books and magazines (covering all genres, but specialising in science fiction, fantasy and horror), literally stacked wherever space can be found. Even better, their prices have remained very reasonable over the years, and much of their stock is signed. They had quite a few of my titles, the oldest being a copy of Dark Horizons dating back to 1974!

Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Stephen Jones outside Illiad Bookshop
Stephen Jones outside Illiad Bookshop
Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Stephen Jones and Peter Atkins outside Creature Features
Stephen Jones and Peter Atkins outside Creature Features

Even better prices were to be found in the equally wonderful Illiad Bookshop on Cahuenga Blvd. in North Hollywood, where I not only picked up a number of genuine bargains, but I also discovered an American hardcover Book Club edition of A Book of Horrors that I had no idea even existed!

Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Stephen Jones and Peter Atkins at Bob's Big Boy
Stephen Jones and Peter Atkins at Bob's Big Boy
Photo © 2014 Stephen Jones
Bob's Big Boy
Bob's Big Boy

Photo © 2014 Peter Atkins
Stephen Jones and Richard Christian Matheson
Stephen Jones and Richard Christian Matheson
Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Stephen Jones and Harlan Ellison®
Stephen Jones and Harlan Ellison®

And when I wasn't exploring bookstores or the displays of monster toys and collectibles at Creature Features (on West Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank), then I was invariably eating or drinking (or both). Some of the more memorable meals included my first visit with Pete to the iconic Bob's Big Boy on Sunland Blvd., lunch with Richard Christian Matheson at Geoffreys on Malibu's Pacific Coast Highway (above where they shot some of the AIP Beach Party movies), and a lively dinner with Harlan and Susan Ellison at Il Tiramisu Ristorante & Bar on Ventura Blvd.

Photo © 2014 Stephen Jones
Pete and Dana Atkins
Pete and Dana Atkins
Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Stephen Jones and Lisa Morton
Stephen Jones and Lisa Morton
There was more food with Lisa Morton (whose Zombie Apocalypse! Washington Deceased is just hitting the shelves now) at Mo's Restaurant on W. Riverside Drive, Burbank, and with Glen Hirshberg at one of my all-time favourite Glendale restaurants, Foxy's, on W. Colorado Street, before it was off to LAX to catch a flight to Monterey. While having a beer at LAX waiting for my flight, who should I encounter but my old friend from Evanston, Illinois, renowned genre collector Richard Kaminsky, who was coming into town on business!

Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Stephen Jones, Peter Atkins and Glen Hirshberg
Stephen Jones, Peter Atkins and Glen Hirshberg

Dinner that night was in The Crown and Anchor "British" pub on W. Franklin Street, Monterey. Not only was the food and drink plentiful and reasonably priced, but this was the very same venue that I had hired on behalf of Pumpkin Books back in 1998 for a private party to launch their inaugural titles at World Fantasy Convention! In fact, there is a great photo of me with the Fedogan & Bremer boys standing at the bar from that time.

Photo © 2014 Stephen Jones
The Smiths at Home
The Smiths at Home
Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Steve, Mike, Debs and Tad
Steve, Mike, Debs and Tad

The next day, Michael Marshall Smith and his wife Paula arrived to collect me. After a terrific lunch at The Fish Hopper on Cannery Row, from where we watched sea otters and seals while we ate, we then headed down to their lovely home in Santa Cruz, where I spent the next week as their guest. In between trips into town (I found some nice bargains at Logos Books & Records on Pacific Avenue, including a copy of The Vampire and Other Poems by Rudyard Kipling) and dips in their spectacular pool, Mike and I got a lot of Smith & Jones design work done and we visited many of their favourite bars and restaurants. On the Saturday night, neighbours Tad Williams and Deborah Beale came over for a barbeque, and the drinks and conversation lasted late into the night.

Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Drinking in Santa Cruz with Michael Marshall Smith
Drinking in Santa Cruz with Michael Marshall Smith
Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
More drinking in Santa Cruz with Michael Marshall Smith
More drinking in Santa Cruz with Michael Marshall Smith

Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Still drinking in Santa Cruz with Michael Marshall Smith
Still drinking in Santa Cruz with Michael Marshall Smith

But it finally had to end. Mike and Paula drove me up the scenic route to San Francisco, where we stopped at the award-winning Sam's Chowder House in Half Moon Bay for lunch. Then after an overnight stay at the Marriott Waterfront hotel with its spectacular views of the airport runway, it was time to catch the flight home. Although this time I didn't meet anybody I knew as I was leaving SFO, I did notice actor Ian McNeice having a Costa coffee while I waited for my cab at Heathrow. That's surely got to count . . .?

Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Stephen Jones outside Davenport CA's 1914 Jailhouse
Stephen Jones outside Davenport CA's 1914 Jailhouse
Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Stephen Jones and Michael Marshall Smith outside Sam's Chowder House
Stephen Jones and Michael Marshall Smith outside Sam's Chowder House

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July 2014

Kim Newman's Birthday, July 31

Photo © 2014
Greetings from California!
Greetings from California!

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London Film and Comic Con, London, July 12-13

I had arranged to meet up with Johnny Mains at the London Film and Comic Con on Saturday, July 12. From amongst a bewildering array of guest actors, film-makers, writers and artists, I wanted to get legendary Marvel editor Stan Lee to sign some of my most-prized comics from the mid-1960s (at £45.00 a pop, I should add). Stan is getting on in years, and not only was this his first UK appearance that I knew of, but also the only time I have ever had the opportunity to meet him.

Photo © 2014 Stephen Jones
The signing area
The signing area

So I headed over to Earls Court around mid-day only to be confronted with an astonishing line that not only looped around the entire circumference of the exhibition centre, but also out and down into the street! Literally thousands of people—many in spectacular costumes—were still lined up in the sweltering heat, including people with obvious physical disabilities and small children with their parents. As the line crept very slowly forward, information and crowd control was basically non-existent. After talking with Johnny on the phone (he had arrived earlier than me, queued for four hours to get in, and was now in yet another queue for George R. Romero), I realised that there was no way that I could possibly get into the building before the event closed for the day. So, after wasting more than two hours in the blazing sunshine, I headed home. As it turned out, Stan Lee had left around 4:00 p.m., so my waiting any longer would have been pointless anyway!

Still, not to be defeated, I was up bright and early on the Sunday morning and back at Earls Court before 8:30 a.m. Even then, the line stretched a long way, but once the doors opened at 9:00, it moved much faster than the day before. Of course, I had to pay twice as much than I expected for the "Early Bird" rate (which got me nothing but entry), but I soon found myself in the line for Stan Lee, which appeared to be moving quite quickly. Unfortunately, it turned out that it was just to get a ticket to see Stan later in the day. Even though it was now only around 9:30, my ticket number was over 700 (and I was nowhere near the back of the queue)! We were told to keep checking back throughout the day to see how the numbers were going.

Photo © 2014 Stephen Jones
The queue for George R. Romero
The queue for George R. Romero

So, seeing that I was obviously going to be stuck there all day, I took the opportunity to look around the event. It was basically one giant dealer's room with an area at the back where numerous B and C actors for Game of Thrones, Star Trek and other media franchises were signing for a hefty price. I couldn't make out what was happening with the Carrie Fisher queue (she was the other big draw alongside Stan for the weekend), but I had brought an original pressbook for Daleks Invasion Earth—2150 A.D. for Bernard Cribbins to sign, so that it wouldn't be a completely wasted weekend. But I couldn't find the actor anywhere! After asking three events stewards if they could tell me where he was signing, the third person I asked finally looked up a list and informed me that he was only signing on the Saturday! (It would have been helpful in the convention publicity had stated that.)

Photo © 2014 Stephen Jones
The queue for Carrie Fisher
The queue for Carrie Fisher

So, after lunch, another wander around the main hall and a careful look at Loncon 3 tables—where they were generously giving away huge numbers of vintage books and magazines for free—I went back to the Stan Lee area to see how the numbers were going. When I had left in the morning, the sign had said "0-25". When I got back in the afternoon it hadn't changed! In fact, there was quite a crowd now gathering, and they were not happy. Eventually, the organisers called everybody together and admitted that Stan had gone for a little lie-down and they weren't sure if he would be coming back. Although he had met most of his high-priced commitments (special pass tickets, premium photo opportunities etc.), he apparently never signed for any of the many hundreds of people who had just paid a daily or weekend rate to see him.

Photo © 2014 Stephen Jones
Waiting for Stan Lee
Waiting for Stan Lee

So the whole weekend had been a complete waste of time and money for me! I had looked at some cool dealers' tables, picked up a few free books, and had a brief chat with artist Bryan Talbot, and that was it. There was no doubt that the event was a huge success and made a great deal of money for the organisers, but it was poorly run and hugely expensive for what it was. Unless you had paid for one of the many premium tickets available, then there wasn't a chance in hell that you would ever meet Stan Lee, and the people running it should have been honest about that up front.

Still, I'm glad to report that, after all that waiting on the Saturday, Johnny did finally get the signatures he wanted from George Romero. He just missed his train home.

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Best British Horror 2014 Launch, London, July 11

Photo © 2014 Stephen Jones
Reggie Oliver and Mark Samuels at the Best British Horror 2014 Launch, July 11, 2014
Reggie Oliver and Mark Samuels at the Best British Horror 2014 Launch, July 11, 2014

On July 11, I went along to Waterstones in Covent Garden to support the launch of Salt's new anthology series, Best British Horror, edited by the indefatigable Johnny Mains. I have never been a big fan of author readings, so I disappeared off to the pub next door, returning in time to catch the end of a panel discussion conducted by Johnny with such contributors as Thana Niveau, Reggie Oliver, John Llewellyn Probert, Robert Shearman and Stephen Volk. The publisher then hosted an excellent launch party where I got to chat with, amongst other attendees, Lynda R. Rucker and the usually reclusive Mark Samuels.

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The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains, London, July 4

Photo © 2014 Stephen Jones
Neil and FourPlay on stage
Neil and FourPlay on stage

On July 4, Neil Gaiman invited me along to the London Barbican centre for an almost sold-out "synchronised multimedia storytelling event". In front of a live audience, Neil read his gruesome revenge tale 'The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains'—along with other stories and poems—with musical accompaniment from Australia's FourPlay String Quartet (their interpretation of the Doctor Who theme went down extremely well with the enthusiastic crowd) and illustrations by Eddie Campbell projected onto a large background screen. Following a mercifully brief on-stage interview with the various participants by the artist's daughter, Hayley Campbell, I popped into the surprisingly dry After Show event to congratulate Neil before having to rush off to catch a tube train home.

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June 2014

A Visit to PS Publishing, Hornsea, East Yorkshire, June 27-29

Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Pete and Steve enjoying bacon butties by the sea
Pete and Steve enjoying bacon butties by the sea

For only the second time, I travelled up to Hornsea in the East Riding of Yorkshire, to visit with Peter and Nicky Crowther of PS Publishing over the weekend.

Photo © 2014 Stephen Jones
Peter Crowther in the Hornsea Museum
Peter Crowther in the Hornsea Museum
I'd been meaning to go visit again for some time, plus we had a number of upcoming projects to discuss, so it made sense to do it over a few (okay, many) glasses of wine in the comfort of their delightful home/office, which is situated only a short walk from the seafront.

Photo © 2014 Stephen Jones
Peter Crowther with bear
Peter Crowther with new junk-shop bear
Photos © 2014 Stephen Jones
Creepy Mannequins  in the Hornsea Museum
Creepy Mannequins  in the Hornsea Museum
Creepy Mannequins in the Hornsea Museum
The weather couldn't have been better, and although Hornsea suffers from a lack of good pubs (which was surprising), there are some fine restaurants (Pete loves his food) and a number of charity shops and antique emporiums in the area that we just had to check out. We also visited the quaint Hornsea Museum, situated in a 18th century farmhouse and two adjacent cottages and featuring some creepy-looking mannequins, and we listened to a ukulele(!) recital in an English country garden while having tea and cake.

Photo © 2014 Stephen Jones
Peter Crowther, where he belongs!
Peter Crowther, where he belongs!
Fellow PS staff members Mike and Sheryl Smith popped in for a quick drink on the Friday night and stayed for dinner as we discussed the next Basil Copper Collection, the upcoming Weird Tales anthology, the Best New Horror reprints and various other PS projects that will all be revealed in good time. As always, Pete and Nicky were perfect hosts, and it was a lovely break from book deadlines for me.

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The David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy, London, June 13

After last year's presentation at the World Fantasy Convention in Brighton, the David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy were back at their "spiritual" home, at The Magic Circle in London.

It may have been Friday the 13th, but nothing appeared to go wrong thanks to Stan and Anne Nicholls' usual excellent organisation, and the hard work of the volunteer staff.

It was also a perfect opportunity for writers, artists, editors, publishers and agents to mingle with each other over drinks and canapés. Having attended the dire British Fantasy Society Open Night the previous week, this was a perfect example of how to get people together in a fun and relaxed manner. Would that all genre events were this well managed.

Photo © 2014 Peter Coleborn
Marie O'Regan, Stephen Jones and Lou Morgan, Gemmell Awarsds
Marie O'Regan, Stephen Jones and Lou Morgan, Gemmell Awarsds

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Best New Horror Celebrates 25th Anniversary with PS Publishing

Every now and again, something comes up that just pushes me over into a state of utter fevered excitement. No, hold it there . . . just wait a minute, right? The truth is that I spend most of my life in utter fevered excitement cos that's the type of guy I am, but you know what I mean, right? A time when something crops up and pushes the jump-up-and-down button so hard you can't sit still. The latest one involves my chum Stephen Jones.

Best New Horror (1990)
Cover by Lee Elias
Cover design by Smith & Jones
Best New Horror 2 (1991)
Cover by Ken Bald
Cover design by Smith & Jones

Sometime last year, Steve mentioned in passing (I think we may have been in a bar—can't be certain, of course) that 2014 will be the 25th Anniversary of Best New Horror. "And wouldn't it be neat," he went on with that slightly wicked glint in his eye, "if this stuff were to be made available again for new readers." Twenty five years! A quarter century! Wow! Where the heck did THAT go, huh? But I got thinking about how much the series meant to me—and meant to anyone who has even the most passing of loves for horror fiction. A pleasant hour or two flicking through the volumes on my own shelves (and, alas, I do not have a complete collection!) pretty much took my breath away. And then I went back to Steve and said, "So let's make 'em available again." The smile said it all. He'd figured that out for himself already, of course.
Best New Horror 3 (1992)
Cover by Al Avison
Cover design by Smith & Jones
Best New Horror 4 (1993)
Cover by Lee Elias
Cover design by Smith & Jones
The Best New Horror Volume Five (1994)
Cover by Lee Elias
Cover design by Smith & Jones

So we sorted out an agreement—that's me, Steve and Ramsey Campbell (co—editor for the first five volumes)—and then set about making the series uniform. Being immersed in the world of pre-Comics Code comic books, I suggested splashing the glorious palette of fangs and claws, corpses and vampires, aliens and ghouls all over the covers. Without further ado, Steve picked out five illustrations to start us off and then set to designing the initial quintet. Here are volumes 1 and 2 and their respective line-ups (and note that the books will contain the full summary of that particular year in the field of horror).

BEST NEW HORROR #1
PIN Robert R. McCammon
THE HOUSE ON CEMETERY STREET Cherry Wilder
THE HORN Stephen Gallagher
BREAKING UP Alex Quiroba
IT HELPS IF YOU SING Ramsey Campbell
CLOSED CIRCUIT Laurence Staig
CARNAL HOUSE Steve Rasnic Tem
TWITCH TECHNICOLOR Kim Newman
LIZAVETA Gregory Frost
SNOW CANCELLATIONS Donald R. Burleson
ARCHWAY Nicholas Royle
THE STRANGE DESIGN OF MASTER RIGNOLO Thomas Ligotti
...TO FEEL ANOTHER'S WOE Chet Williamson
THE LAST DAY OF MISS DORINDA MOLYNEAUX Robert Westall
NO SHARKS IN THE MED Brian Lumley
MORT AU MONDE D.F. Lewis
BLANCA Thomas Tessier
THE EYE OF THE AYATOLLAH Ian Watson
AT FIRST JUST GHOSTLY Karl Edward Wagner
BAD NEWS Richard Laymon

BEST NEW HORROR #2
THE FIRST TIME K.W. Jeter
A SHORT GUIDE TO THE CITY Peter Straub
STEPHEN Elizabeth Massie
THE DEAD LOVE YOU Jonathan Carroll
JANE DOE #112 Harlan Ellison
SHOCK RADIO Ray Garton
THE MAN WHO DREW CATS Michael Marshall Smith
THE CO-OP Melanie Tem
NEGATIVES Nicholas Royle
THE LAST FEAST OF HARLEQUIN Thomas Ligotti
1/72ND SCALE Ian R. MacLeod
CEDAR LANE Karl Edward Wagner
AT A WINDOW FACING WEST Kim Antieau
INSIDE THE WALLED CITY Garry Kilworth
ON THE WING Jean-Daniel Breque
FIREBIRD J.L. Comeau
INCIDENT ON A RAINY NIGHT IN BEVERLY HILLS David J. Schow
HIS MOUTH WILL TASTE OF WORMWOOD Poppy Z. Brite
THE ORIGINAL DR SHADE Kim Newman
MADGE D.F. Lewis
ALIVE IN VENICE Cherry Wilder
DIVERTIMENTO Gregory Frost
PELTS F. Paul Wilson
THOSE OF RHENEA David Sutton
LORD OF THE LAND Gene Wolfe
AQUARIUM Steve Rasnic Tem
MISTER ICE COLD Gahan Wilson
ON THE TOWN ROUTE Elizabeth Hand

Steve is going to go through and edit the supporting notes to bring them a quarter-century up to date and the plan is to have certainly the first volume on hand for FantasyCon in September, with maybe the second volume as well. We'll see. Volumes #3, #4 and #5 will follow as soon as inhumanly possible.

—Peter Crowther
PS Publishing
June 6, 2014

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May 2014

London Book Fairs and Film Convention, May 2014

My brother-in-law, artist Randy Broecker, was in town with my sister from Chicago, so it was a week of attending book fairs and the London Film Convention.

Photo © 2014 Sara Broecker
Stephen Jones and Randy Broecker, The London International Antiquarian Book Fair, May 22, 2014
Stephen Jones and Randy Broecker, The London International Antiquarian Book Fair, May 22, 2014

On Sunday 18th, we were off to the Royal National Hotel in Bloomsbury, followed by The London International Antiquarian Book Fair and a side-event at a nearby pub the following Thursday. Amongst the many choice items we saw that were well out of my price-range were a copy of The Cell by David Case (£150), three different copies of The Creature from the Black Lagoon in dust-jacket (£900–£1,500), one of only three known first editions of The Phantom of the Opera in original dust-jacket (£24,000) and—my favourite—a copy of M.R. James' A Thin Ghost and Others once owned by H.P. Lovecraft and signed by him (£2,500). An original herald for Fritz Lang's classic silent SF movie Metropolis wasn't even priced, and we were afraid to ask. Part of the fun was bumping into veteran dealer George Locke at all three locations!

Photo © 2014 Sara Broecker
Randy Broecker & Stephen Jones, Hand and Flower Book Fair, May 22, 2014
Randy Broecker and Stephen Jones, Hand and Flower Book Fair, May 22, 2014

Randy did another book fair at Earls Court on his own on the Friday (I have to work sometime!), then we met up again at the London Film Convention at Central Hall Westminster on Saturday 24th. Having got some horror film tie-ins and movie memorabilia signed by Hammer horror starlets Yvonne Romain (The Curse of the Werewolf) and Suzanna Leigh (The Lost Continent), I had just enough cash left over to make it to the pub with Randy and David "Baz" Barraclough.

Photo © 2014 David Barraclough
Randy Broecker and Stephen Jones at the London Film Convention, May 24, 2014
Randy Broecker and Stephen Jones at the London Film Convention, May 24, 2014

This collecting thing can be expensive at times!

 
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Neil Gaiman and Tori Amos: Comic Connections, British Library, London, May 16, 2014

Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
John Harris Dunning, Neil Gaiman, Tori Amos and Paul Gravett
John Harris Dunning, Neil Gaiman, Tori Amos and Paul Gravett

Neil invited me along to this sold-out conversation between singer Tori Amos and himself, held as part of the British Library's exhibition 'Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK', running until from May 2 until August 19.

I have to admit that I was not overly impressed with the exhibition itself, which is grandly billed as "The UK's largest ever exhibition of mainstream and underground comics, showcasing works that uncompromisingly address politics, gender, violence, sexuality and altered states". I didn't like the way that the items were presented in thematic instead of chronological order, and I felt that the whole thing lacked a sense of fun and wonder that comics should inspire (perhaps not so surprising, given the subject matter). That said, the high point for me was seeing an incredibly rare (if slightly battered) copy of the British reprint edition of EC's Tales from the Crypt. For some inexplicable reason, they also had Aleister Crowley's spell book and what purported to be a sound recording of Crowley muttering some kind of incantation.

Neil and Tori are old friends and very comfortable with each other on stage. As a result, this led to a fascinating and entertaining 90 minutes in which the topics ranged from specific projects to the role of the creator and the plight of the Sudanese refugees in Jordan (where Neil had just returned from a UNHRC-sponsored tour).

It was followed by 'Late at the Library', an evening cabaret of music and words, in which artist Dave McKean sung three of his own songs and played the piano, then skilfully improvised the musical accompaniment to the first of two short stories and a poem read by Neil. This duo were so good, they should take the show on the road. I'd pay good money to see them perform together in a more intimate venue.

Also amongst the enthusiastic audience were Judith Clute, Roz Kaveney, Bryan Talbot and Helen Marshall.

 

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24th Annual World Horror Convention, Portland, Oregon, May 8-11, 2014

Photo © 2014 Beth Gwinn
Guests of Honor
Guests of Honor

Another weekend, another American city. This time it was Portland, Oregon, where the World Horror Convention was being held in conjunction with the Horror Writers' Association Bram Stoker Awards.

The HWA had generously invited me to attend the Saturday evening Banquet to collect a Life Achievement Award.

Although the weather ranged from hailstorms to nearly eighty-degree sunshine, Portland is full of great restaurants and brewpubs, with a multitude of micro-beers and fine wines that are produced locally.

Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Alan M. Clark, Stephen Jones and Brian Keene
Alan M. Clark, Stephen Jones and Brian Keene
Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Nancy Holder and Stephen Jones
Nancy Holder and Stephen Jones

I had barely arrived at the slightly shabby Double Tree hotel on the Thursday evening when I found myself at the Opening Ceremonies alongside fellow guests (and old friends) Nancy Holder, Jack Ketchum, Norman Partridge, Paula Guran, Brian Keene and Alan M. Clark. Bizarrely, after waiting nearly twenty minutes for someone from the convention to turn up, Toastmaster Alan took things into his own hands and proceeded to introduce us all.

Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Norman Partridge and Stephen Jones
Norman Partridge and Stephen Jones
Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Paula Guran and Stephen Jones
Paula Guran and Stephen Jones

And that pretty much set the tone for the rest of the weekend. We had to clean up tables and find our own water before panels, while information seemed to be on a need-to-know basis. It was basically a convention of two halves—one involving the HWA and most of the professional guests, and the other catering to the WHC crowd, who seemed more interested in the non-literature programming. In fact, I never met anybody involved in the actual organisation of the event all weekend, although most of the staff members who introduced themselves were perfectly pleasant.

Oddly, the Artist Reception was also held on the Thursday (before most people had even arrived). Although the small display was somewhat lost in a cavernous hall, I did get to meet British Artist Guest of Honor Greg Staples (whose work was the highlight of the show), and everybody received a drinks ticket that was redeemable at the full bar.

Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Stephen Jones and Stephen Graham Jones
Stephen Jones and Stephen Graham Jones
Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Michael Marshall Smith and Stephen Jones
Michael Marshall Smith and Stephen Jones

Michael Marshall Smith had come up from Santa Cruz to support me, so Friday morning we headed out to the legendary Powell's Books, which was every bit as impressive as people had said (they had a lot of my titles). That evening Mike and I participated in the Mass Autograph Signing, which started at 6:00 pm. Confusingly, because of lack of space, the main signing area was separated into two shifts, while all the guests were hidden away from everybody else in a side room. It wasn't ideal, and although I signed plenty of books, it was mostly for dealers. Personally, I managed to get some 1950s SF digest magazines signed by the legendary William F. Nolan, and Special Guest Victoria Price signed her biography about her father, Vincent, for me. Afterwards, Fedogan & Bremer held a nicely old-school room party to launch their latest titles from S.T. Joshi and Scott Nicolay, although I stayed a little too long due to the single malt publisher Dennis Weiler kept plying me with.

Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Michael Marshall Smith interviewing Stephen Jones
Michael Marshall Smith interviewing Stephen Jones
Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Stephen Jones signing
Stephen Jones signing

Saturday morning I was interviewed by Mike in front of a disappointingly small audience, although we still managed to have fun (the HWA have filmed it for their online archive). That afternoon I participated in a lively panel about 'How to Put Together a Great Anthology' along with moderator Ellen Datlow, R.J. Cavender, Paula Guran, Jennifer Brozek and Nick Mamatas. This was much better attended, and the audience seemed to enjoy the discussion as much as the panellists did.

Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
HWA Lifetime Achievement Award
HWA Lifetime Achievement Award
Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Stephen Jones and William F. Nolan show off their Bram Stoker Awards
Stephen Jones and William F. Nolan
show off their Bram Stoker Awards

Saturday night was The 27th Annual Bram Stoker Awards Banquet. Due to some miscommunication between the convention and the hotel, this had to be pulled together at almost the last minute by the HWA. Unfortunately the buffet food was not very good and the hotel staff was even worse. However, the awards ceremony itself—comically hosted by regular MC Jeff Strand—was a mostly slick affair. I could have done without the knockabout humour between the presenters (this is World Horror, not Necon, after all) and there were some minor problems with the sound and video streaming, but overall it was an enjoyable evening, although I still have some problems with the quality of material that gets on to the Stoker ballot.

Photo © 2014 Beth Gwinn
Bram Stoker Award Winners, 2014
Bram Stoker Award Winners, 2014

This year's Life Achievement Awards came, strangely, between the presentations for Long Fiction and Graphic Novel. Following a very funny acceptance video from R.L. Stine, the hard-working Lisa Morton gave me a glowing introduction and even managed to get in a plug for our new Zombie Apocalypse! novel. As I headed towards the stage, I received the first standing ovation of my life. And I can tell you it felt great. I had prepared my thank-you speech on a series of index cards so that I wouldn't forget any names, and that seemed to work as people were very complimentary about it afterwards (despite the fact that I was starting to lose my voice by then). You can see the whole awards ceremony below. After the requisite winners' photos, we retired to the Bram Stoker Awards After-Party, sponsored by the HWA and Samhain Publications, where Leslie Klinger made sure that I kept my throat suitably lubricated for a couple of hours while chatting with people.


Bram Stoker Awards 2014

Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
'In Memoriam' panel
'In Memoriam' panel

My final convention event on the Sunday afternoon was an 'In Memoriam' panel moderated by Jason V. Brock and also featuring Anya Martin, Sunni Brock and Bill Nolan. It turned into a wide-ranging discussion that overran its time slot and meant that I missed the Closing Ceremonies. The rest of the day was spent hanging out with friends. It was not a great World Horror Convention. The well-stocked Hospitality Suite had some annoyingly complicated rules about serving alcohol in the evenings (which didn't apply to any of the other on-site parties) and I gave up going there after the first night. Although the Souvenir Book looked superficially nice, it was frankly an embarrassment for a WHC, with all the guests represented solely by their biographical notes. The Pocket Programming Guide was neatly laid out, but in teeny tiny type and filled with numerous errors and omissions. At least the Art Show and Dealers' Room were better than I had expected, and there was an impressive spread of new and used titles on sale in the latter.

Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Nancy Holder, Steve Rasnic Tem, Douglas E. Winter and Stephen Jones
Nancy Holder, Steve Rasnic Tem, Douglas E. Winter and Stephen Jones
Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Stephen Jones and Kami Garcia, WHC 2015 Party
Stephen Jones and Kami Garcia, WHC 2015 Party

Overall, though, I had a terrific time—but that was mostly despite the convention. Receiving the award was a high point in my career, and people were extremely kind and generous to me throughout the weekend. I also got to spend time with a lot of old friends—including Scott Edelman, Cody Goodfellow, Beth Gwinn, Del Howison, Roberta Lannes, Nancy Kilpatrick, Yvonne Navarro, Weston Ochse, John Skipp, Steve Rasnic Tem, F. Paul Wilson, Douglas E. Winter and many others—which made the trip more than worthwhile. I finally got to meet my charming namesake, Stephen Graham Jones, along with the very talented Tim Waggoner.

I'd like to thank Rocky Wood, Lisa Morton and Leslie Klinger for looking after me so well, and Michael Marshall Smith for not only a great interview, but all the drinks in the bar. Next year's World Horror Convention is the 25th Anniversary, and is being held in Atlanta, Georgia, in association with The Bram Stoker Awards Weekend.

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April 2014

The 2014 Windy City Pulp & Paper Convention (#14)
Chicago, Illinois, April 25-27, 2014

Photo © 2014
Dealers' Room at 2014 Windy City Pulp & Paper Convention
Dealers' Room at 2014 Windy City Pulp & Paper Convention
Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Dealers' Room at 2014 Windy City Pulp & Paper Convention
Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Dealers' Room at 2014 Windy City Pulp & Paper Convention
Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Dealers' Room at 2014 Windy City Pulp & Paper Convention
Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Dealers' Room at 2014 Windy City Pulp & Paper Convention

It was off to Chicago for the weekend (book deadlines wouldn't allow me to go longer) for one of my all-time favourite conventions. Windy City is basically a giant dealers' room packed full of pulps and magazines, books, movie memorabilia and original artwork. For three days it is a veritable Aladdin's Cave of collectible paper material ranging in price from one dollar to many, many thousands.

Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Stephen Jones with legendary collector and editor Robert Weinberg
Stephen Jones with legendary collector and editor Robert Weinberg
Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Dealer George Hagenauer, Stephen Jones and Phyllis and Bob Weinberg
Dealer George Hagenauer, Stephen Jones and Phyllis and Bob Weinberg

This year's nominal themes of the "Detective Pulps and the 85th Anniversary of The Maltese Falcon" and the "Western Pulps and the 95th Anniversary of Western Story Magazine" were most obviously celebrated in the extensive Film Programme and Tom Roberts' always excellent programme book. The Art Show not only included some impressive Western pulp and paperback art, but a special section celebrating the 100th(-ish) Anniversaries of Virgil Finlay, Hannes Bok and Edd Cartier boasted some terrific black and white illustrations along with rarely-displayed cover paintings. This was worth the price of admission alone.

Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Designer/distiller Michael Waltz, Stephen Jones and editor Dwayne H. Olson at the Fedogan & Bremer table
Designer/distiller Michael Waltz, Stephen Jones and
editor Dwayne H. Olson at the Fedogan & Bremer table
Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Stephen Jones and legendary Whispers editor Stuart David Schiff
Stephen Jones and legendary Whispers editor Stuart David Schiff

There were also a number of panel discussions and two major auctions. Although I battled to stay awake during both thanks to jet-lag, the Saturday night auction featured a special section devoted to The Shadow as well as more general items. But it was the Friday night event that I was most interested in. With items offered from the Jerry Weist Estate and Robert Weinberg's collection, some of the more desirable pieces included two issues of the rare UK digest Weird and Occult ($140); the one-shot Canadian pulp Eerie Tales ($375); an original preliminary illustration by Lee Brown Coye ($650); items signed by Weird Tales editors Farnsworth Wright and Edwin Baird ($325); letters from author Henry S. Whitehead ($425); an archive of materials relating to fantasy author Francis Stevens ($300), and the night's star item—the original signed manuscript for C.L. Moore's Weird Tales story 'Black God's Kiss' ($4,500). Despite my enthusiastic bidding, I failed to win anything, but it was still great fun.

Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Stephen Jones and publisher Robert T. Garcia at the American Fantasy table
Stephen Jones and publisher Robert T. Garcia at the American Fantasy table
Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Stephen Jones with dealers Larry Hallock and Dave Willoghby
Stephen Jones with dealers Larry Hallock and Dave Willoghby

As always, Windy City allowed me to not only pick up some nice pieces for my collection, but also provided me with the opportunity to catch up with a lot of old friends. And I signed a lot of books. Organisers Doug Ellis, John Gunnison and their team of volunteers are to be congratulated for once again putting on a first-rate convention, and I hope that it'll not be too long until I am able to make it back there again.

Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Stephen Jones and artist Randy Broecker
Stephen Jones and artist Randy Broecker
Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Stephen Jones and artist Tom Gianni
Stephen Jones and artist Tom Gianni

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Birmingham Independent Book Fair, April 12

Photo © 2014 Sandra Sutton
Left to right: Peter Coleborn, Mike Chinn, Johnny Mains, Stephen Jones and David A. Sutton
Left to right: Peter Coleborn, Mike Chinn, Johnny Mains, Stephen Jones and David A. Sutton
Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
David A. Sutton and Stephen Jones
David A. Sutton and Stephen Jones
Photo © 2014 Mandy Slater
Johnny Mains and Stephen Jones
Johnny Mains and Stephen Jones
Sponsored by Writing West Midlands, the Birmingham Independent Book Fair was a one-day event held at the city's Ikon Gallery. Offering the public the opportunity to buy books directly from the publishers, around twenty tables showcased everything from self-published fiction and poetry, to established genre presses such as Shadow Publishing and The Alchemy Press.

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February 2014

HWA Lifetime Achievement Award Stephen Jones and R.L. Stine Announced as HWA Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

The Horror Writers Association has chosen two long-time icons of the genre to receive the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award this year. The award, given in recognition of the recipient's overall body of work, will go to Stephen Jones and to R.L. Stine.

HWA President Rocky Wood said, "This is the second year in three we have recognized an Editor with the Lifetime Achievement Award-editing is a crucial skill in our genre, where anthologies regularly showcase the best of horror writing. Stephen Jones, in his capacity as editor of both the annual Best New Horror series and as editor of dozens of stand-alone anthologies and author of non-fiction titles, has had a profound impact on the genre and we are pleased to recognize him with our genre's highest award."

The Lifetime Achievement Award is the most prestigious of the Bram Stoker Awards, given by the HWA in acknowledgment of superior achievement not just in a single work but over an entire career. Past Lifetime Achievement Award winners include such noted authors as Stephen King, Anne Rice, Joyce Carol Oates, Ray Bradbury, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Ramsey Campbell and Peter Straub. Winners must have exhibited a profound, positive impact on the fields of horror and dark fantasy, and be at least sixty years of age or have been published for a minimum of thirty-five years. Recipients are chosen annually by a committee.

The LAAs will be presented on May 10th as part of the Bram Stoker Awards Banquet at the World Horror Convention 2014 in Portland, Oregon.

For more information, go to: www.stokers2014.org/laa.html


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Innsmouth Trilogy Available at Special Priced Set while Stocks Last

Shadows Over Innsmouth (1994) Weird Shadows Over Innsmouth (2005) Weirder Shadows Over Innsmouth

While stocks last of Shadows Over Innsmouth (there are fewer than 100 copies still available), Fedogan & Bremer is offering all three "Innsmouth" trade hardcovers at the special set price of $72.00 USD plus single-book shipping and handling charge. For full information and ordering, please go to: www.fedoganandbremer.com/products/innsmouth-3-book-set-sale-price

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