Something Remains

Peter’s thoughts on the making of Something Remains

Peter Coleborn


At the 2013 World Fantasy Convention, held in Brighton, Joel Lane’s Where Furnaces Burn won the World Fantasy Award for Best Collection. Due to personal problems Joel wasn’t able to collect the award in person. I had intended to visit Joel soon after, meet up for one of our irregular balti meals with mutual friends Dave Sutton, James Brogden, John Howard, Mike Chinn and Stan Nicholls, and to toast Joel for the win. Sadly, that visit to Birmingham didn’t materialise in time – for not long after the convention Joel passed away in his sleep. His death left a huge cavity in my life.

Last year, after months of sorting out the detritus of his life (in other words, clearing his house in preparation for its sale) Pauline Morgan mentioned the wealth of notes Joel had left behind. The notes were penned in his immaculate handwriting on all manner of…

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Alchemy anthologies

Alchemy Press titles Not to Be Missed!

The Alchemy Press

Alchemy Press anthologies are available in print and eBook (Kindle) formats. Click on the titles for the relevant links — and fill your eReader with excitement, wonder, myth, horror and pulp heroics.

Ancient Wonders 170KB UM cover A 008 b Urban Mythic 2

Pulp Heroes 144KB pulpheroes 2 a Publication PH3a

Astrologica 150KB Kneeling In The Silver Light 2

front cover 003b Something Remains A002

  • The…

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Gluten Free Sticky Ginger Cake


  • 120 gms treacle  (you can use 140 gms of golden syrup instead of  the treacle and honey mix – but this will make a paler and in my opinion far less flavoursome cake).
  • 20 gms honey (you can go the whole hog with treacle but this is my lip service to healthy!)
  • 115 gms unsalted butter (or substitute olive or other spread – but butter works best)
  • 115 gms dark brown sugar (you can use moist light brown but as with the treacle it does affected colour and to some extent flavour).
  • 250 gms gf flour (you can substitute 40 gms with coconut flour for nuttier flavour)
  • 2/3 tsp ground ginger (or to taste)
  • 1 to 1/2 tsp cinnamon (or to taste. Use mixed spice if prefered)
  • 1.5 tsp gf baking powder
  • 1 tsp xantham gum
  • 1 tsp gf bicarb
  • 3 chunks of stem ginger finely chopped (you can use crystalised ginger, or better still the Buderim ‘naked’ preserved ginger, in which case and half dozen or so chunks (or more according to your preference)
  • 2 tbsp stem ginger syrup (if crystalised ginger is used substitute with maple or similar ‘light’ syrup)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 fl oz milk



  1. Heat over to 180c (350f or gas4)
  2. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin or 2 X 1 lb tins or deep tray-bake pan.
  3. Put syrups, butter and sugar in pan and gently melt together
  4. Sift all other dry ingredients into large bowl
  5. Add cooled butter/syrup and mix well
  6. Add chopped ginger, eggs and milk and mix well with wooden spoon. (Should be a loose mixture (but not runny) for best results. Add a little more milk if required)
  7. Pour into greased tin and bake for 50-55 mins – sponge should spring back when lightly touched. If making as tray-bakes adjust the baking time.
  8. Leave to cool for 10 mins before removing from tin. (Some people may like to add some water icing before storing but I prefer not as I think the ‘sticky’ top that forms after 12 to 24 hours is rather the point)
  9. Will keep in airtight tin for up to 7 days


I found quite by accident (I ran out of ground ginger) that blitzing some crystalised ginger to a paste is a great (if expensive) substitute for the powdered form but needs slightly more cinnamon or mixed spice


Something Remains: A tribute to Joel Lane blog by Lynda E. Rucker

in the pines


Last year, Peter Coleborn of the award-winning Alchemy Press contacted me about a project he was working on with Pauline E. Dungate that I couldn’t possibly have said no to: an anthology based on some of the unfinished work of the British writer Joel Lane. After Joel’s untimely death in 2013, his loved ones found that he had left a lot of fragments behind. Those of us working on the project were sent scans of the manuscript fragments to choose from, and I selected a fragment called “The Other Side.” What I had to work with were two handwritten pages, one partly notes and prose and the second all prose based on the notes of the previous. I used Joel’s second page of prose almost exactly as it appeared and built my own Lane-esque story around it.

It was an enormous honor to work on this and also an extremely…

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o/t: Something Remains/Joel Lane

Something Remains


Something Remains A002

The hugely talented writer Joel Lane, best known for his dark fantasy, died far too young in 2013. He left behind him scattered notes for a myriad of stories that he’d never gotten around to writing, and it occurred to Pauline Dungate that a suitable memorial to him might be a charity anthology in which other writers used Joel’s notes as the basis for new, preferably Joel-esque stories.

I was highly honored when The Alchemy Press’s Peter Coleborn asked me to be a contributor to the anthology, and even more so when my story was accepted.

The book is not a slender tome; the e-ARC I’ve seen weighs in at a hefty 374 pages, though of course that may not be the final printed tally. All profits go to the charity Diabetes UK.

Something Remains is going to be launched at this year’s Fantasycon (23-25 September 2016), in Scarborough…

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Filler content with Alchemy Press – Part 2


Further to Wednesday’s post, two more reviews and the second part of the feature on The Alchemy Press that originally appeared in Black Static #50:-


Mike Chinn it appears needs no introduction. His collection GIVE ME THESE MOMENTS BACK (Alchemy Press pb, 266pp, £9.99) opens with ‘Welcome to the Hotel Marianas’ in which a submersible with idle rich passengers voyages to a hotel built in the depths of the Mariana Trench, only to find that something monstrous is waiting. It’s a story that’s written with a feel of momentous events taking place and increasing unease as they unfold, the characters well drawn and the idea of the ultimate in adventure holidays coming across strongly, all of which can’t obscure the fact that ultimately it is just a gotcha story, one in which everything, all the careful preparation, leads up to the moment when the big…

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Filler content with Alchemy Press – Part 1


Two reviews and the first part of a feature on The Alchemy Press that originally appeared in Black Static #50:-


The Alchemy Press have been a regular feature of the UK genre scene for a number of years and in 2014 received a British Fantasy Award as Best Small Press. And in 2015 Nick Nightingale Investigates* by Adrian Cole, which they co-published with Airgedlámh Publications, won the Award for Best Collection. Nick Nightingale Investigates* was sent in to Case Notes for review, but I never got round to reading it, and I guess on the back of that BritFA it doesn’t need my endorsement anyway. I did however read six other Alchemy single author collections.

LEINSTER GARDENS AND OTHER SUBTLETIES (Alchemy Press pb, 144pp, £6.99) is by long established writer and editor Jan Edwards, who is shown on the Alchemy website as co-publisher, along with Peter Coleborn…

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Funny old week

This has been a strange week – in fact its been a pretty off month – on odd year!  I have read in various places about the seven year cycle – where your life changes every seven years and moves on.

True to form my own life seems to buck that trend because my life seems to re-invent itself every ten years which made me wonder whether other lives ran along set timelines. Be it five years or seven of ten  or even more. (And this before we even THINK about the EU…)

Something to think about.

House keeping those platforms

Building platforms for your writing is always tricky, and potentially unwieldy with so many threads to look after.  For some time I have followed the trend of launching a new Facebook page for every book as it comes out, but once you get a few of them its so hard to keep track and update then regularly enough to attract footfall.

After much thought I decided to ‘merge’ all of my various Facebook pages dedicated to individual book titles into one page.
cropped-feb-2016.gifNot a huge change as changes go but easier to house keep (I hope)

So if you are on Facebook then go and like Jan Edwards Books!

Weird Epistles

Coming Soon from Alchemy Press – Weird Epistles

The Alchemy Press


Coming very soon from The Alchemy Press: The Complete Weird Epistles of Penelope Pettiweather, Ghost Hunter from Jessica Amanda Salmonson.  Fourteen stories — or epistles, rather — detailing Penelope’s quest to understand the nature of ghosts. Full of the rich history and landscape of Salmonson’s northwest USA, these quiet tales will appeal to the fan of the traditional ghost story.

Theo squatted down. He heard his knees crack. The fire itself was strangely quiet. He stared into the blaze, mesmerized by the weird beauty of the hounds. Then the fire flared again. It seemed the hounds had leapt across the hearth! Theo started to stand, shouting but they bore him down. Their snarling was the sound of an inferno. They fastened to his neck and right arm. The flashlight went rolling. He choked out one more shout, then burning fangs tore out his vocal cords.

Jessica Amanda Salmonson is a recipient…

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Quick Pork and Asparagus Lunch

More flavours of Italy from ‘The Britalian’

Being Britalian

One of the things that I like most about being in middle Italy is seasonal eating. Italy is much better than the UK for eating what is in season rather than importing from far afield: Now this is only an observation based upon my experience here in Abruzzo. Possibly up in the affluent North there’s supermarkets filled with out-of-season produce meaning the discerning Milanese can have asparagus all year round.

What a coincidence…

It’s asparagus that I’m talking about today – Okay I admit it, that was a tenuous link.

Italian asparagus season starts in March with the local population combing every lane and slice of rough land for the wild variety, which is bitter to the palate and spindly; but good in an omelette with lashings of black pepper and a knob of salted butter. At the moment cultivated asparagus is in abundance; In fact down at our local…

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