Category Archives: Fantasy and Horror Fiction

Thank You! – Karl Edward Wagner Award 2017

For those who where in the banquet room and wondered at my tongue-tied floundering, believe me when I say that I was so totally unprepared for it all that my mind was, at that moment, a total blank! Stunned, bewildered and just plain gobsmacked only begins to describe my winning the Karl Edward Wagner Award from the British Fantasy Society; truly, it came totally out of the blue.

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So many people were crammed in to watch the awards ceremony that, despite extra chairs being parachuted in, it was standing room only at the back. Suffering lack of sleep, as you do at these convention weekends, and knowing my poor old knees where not going to survive that long on my feet, I had elected to sit in the bar, (which was close enough to hear the applause). Besides, I knew that all the details would reach us bar flies soon enough along the con-telegraph.

When the announcement was made, I am told that somebody shouted out ‘She’s in the bar!’, which was greeted with tolerant laughter. Karl would have been proud of me.

The first I knew, however, was Pauline Morgan hoving into view shouting, ‘Oi, you – get in there! Pronto!’

Now, when Pauline tells you to move you don’t ask questions, so as I hurried into the banqueting room, I was totally unprepared for what was to come. I paused for a moment, realising by the way everyone was looking in my direction, that something was afoot.

I hadn’t any pre-composed speech (well, why would I?) nor had even time to think far beyond the instant.

‘Get to the platform,’ Pauline hissed from behind me. I took several bows to cover my confusion and raced on, arriving at the podium to broad grins from Ramsey Campbell and Phil Lunt. Still totally at sea I whispered to Phil, ‘What’s going on?’

‘You have an award,’ he whispered back.

‘Me? What award? What for?’

‘It’s the Karl Edward Wagner Award…’

I hadn’t any pre-composed speech (well, why would I?) nor even time to think far beyond the instant. I ‘believe’ I managed to stammer something along the lines of ‘Gosh… Thank you…’ before reeling away, beaming, bemused and bewildered beyond mere words.

All of the above aside, let me take the time now to say a proper thank you to the British Fantasy Society and the Fantasycon committees.

To receive the Karl Edward Wagner Award is an honour that I am still not convinced I deserve, but I accept it with humble thanks. I have been around long enough to recall Karl and his unstinting support of Fantasycon and the BFS. His imposing presence and impeccable Southern manners were always a delight, as was his impish sense of humour. (And as I have already said he would have been highly amused by the above events.) As a writer of fantasy fiction and editor of so many fine anthologies, promoting and supporting writers along the way, his passing was and still is keenly felt, which for me, at least, makes the award all the more poignant.

So, once again, my heartfelt thanks to all of those responsible for the honour and privilege of having a British Fantasy Karl Edward Wagner Award – and indeed, my heartiest congratulations to all of this years’ recipients of various British Fantasy Awards. (pics to follow Continue reading

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Happy New Year!

First day of 2017 and that traditional news round-up of the previous twelve months. First of all I wish you all a wonderful 2017 and thank you all for supporting my writing over 2016!

2016 was a strange year. A great deal of it felt as if life in the Edwards-Coleborn household was marking time. Health and homes and all those things that make up what is so quaintly called the rich tapestry. But all of that, darlings, is sooooooo last year! Onward (as they say) and not upward so much as forward into stardom!

front cover 003Most prominent with regard to my writing was the arrival of Fables and Fabrications (available in paper and kindle formats at all good online outlets 🙂 🙂 )   This has been a steady seller I am happy to say – even finding an audience outside of the UK, despite many of the stories being very ‘English’ in setting – as the cover blurb has it: “Fourteen tales of mystery, mirth and the macabre. From the arctic wastes of Norway to a fun laden evening at the fair, Jan Edwards leads us through a world where nothing is as it seems. Shape changers and ancient spirits roam and cats play a crucial part in stories that unsettle and disturb the reader’s perception.” Continue reading

December 2016 Alchemy Newsletter & Quiz

Enter the Alchemy Book Quiz!

The Alchemy Press

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It’s almost the end of 2016, time for reflection. The Alchemy Press has had a relatively quiet year with just three titles under our belt: The Complete Epistles of Penelope Pettiweather, Ghost Hunter by Jessica Amanda Salmonson; The Private Life of Elder Things by Adrian Tchaikovsky, Keris McDonald and Adam Gauntlett; and Something Remains edited by Peter Coleborn and Pauline E Dungate, an anthology of stories based on the notes left by Joel Lane after his untimely death. Click on the titles to read more about these titles, or visit the Alchemy website to discover our complete range of books.

From a personal perspective, Peter has experienced the ups and downs of the NHS as he underwent a series of investigations for cancer, culminating in surgery soon after our return from FantasyCon, which was held in Scarborough this year (and which, by the way, we both thoroughly enjoyed despite the…

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An Extract From ‘Drawing Down The Moon’ #fiction #fables&fabrications #horror

In the light (  🙂 ) of this week’s supermoon…

front cover copyAn extract from ‘Drawing Down the Moon’ – one of the creepy tales to be  found in my collection Fables and Fabrications.  (Available in paper and kindle formats)

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…She breathed in ozone-laden moisture and remembered how she had stood on the hillside within the temple grounds on many such nights as for old enmity he held for her sisterhood.

Wilder elements always focused her psyche. This rite was something she had not anticipated acting out ever again, yet it was always there; waiting in the shadows for her to reach out and pluck it into the semi-light.

Kicking off her shoes she shed her coat, letting it slip free of her fingers. She unzipped her skirt and allowed it to drop around her ankles. I who have nothing, she crooned into the room’s silence, and smiled. In the old days men were crazed by the notion of spying on her order. In the old days the Sisters would have crazed any man known to risk that spying. She unbuttoned her blouse as she hummed the recent ballad, swaying her hips, taking her time, taunting. Any added emotion her audience brought to the rite was to be welcomed.

She stood tall in nothing but black chemise and composure. Long ago she would have been naked but temperature ruled against it. They would have their floor show soon enough. Let them leer, allow them anticipation.

Her lips moved, like a slow reader, not singing now but chanting. To herself first, and then more loudly as her conscious merged with the echoes of beyond. She called on the Keres, daughters of Nyx, on Mnemosyne and Bia and on Lethe, but most of all she called to Styx and to Hecate. She slipped into the ritual as a ripe and luscious strawberry slides into the rich, sweet, darkness of chocolate. She became the rite, the vessel, through which the tendrils wafting off the Veil strayed into this world.

Energised by her actions she moved to the fountain; stretching her arms toward the spigots, whirling three times in a twisted, fluid dance; aping the very water. She swayed beneath the liquid, allowing it to cascade around her neck and shoulders before throwing her head back to loose a wild ululation. She called once again upon Hecate and Styx to allow the soul departed a brief return.

From beyond the clouds she felt the pull of the moon. It called her and she called back, repeating her watery dance twice more. Then she dropped to the hard, cool floor; prostrating herself before her elementals, with arms outstretched.

Wind rattled the glass, reaching into the room and splaying the fountain’s water flow in its passing, rippling the voile curtains into horizontal.

Whilst this Thessalian woman worked her dark acts; diving into the world of shades and emerging with an act of full blown necromancy, just two pairs of eyes watched her, in thrall as the bodyguards, having washed the corpse had withdrawn; apparently not to be privy to any information the deceased might have.

Cin saw Jeno.

Cin saw her boy.

Their heads were almost touching. She saw them both look at her, and whisper to each other.

Betrayal? Was he also a man? Mid-rite she could not permit her own wants to intrude. She could not, would not, see her boy intimate with the man who killed so lightly.

The storm cut off as though a switch had been flicked. Where there had been only cloud, a harsh moonlight slotted across the untidy shagginess of blasted borders and winter lawns, glinting off the door panes and onto the woman who waited for its touch.

Cinthia swept off her eye patch to expose a puckered depression. Deliberately, elegantly, she came up to full height with arms up and rigid fingers splayed wide. She flexed each digit, clawing at the shaft of light, emitting a litany of noise from deep in her throat.

Listeners could not discern words in either Greek or English, but there was an unmistakable cadence placed on the edges of those notes that shredded nerves as surely as cat-claws down velvet curtains.

The moon’s colour changed, starting on one side and creeping across its face, growing deeper and larger than its silvery persona. It had taken on a reddish hue, hanging low, resting on the jagged horizon of surrounding rooftops; a fecund and brooding night bird waiting to drop on its prey.

Review for Fables and Fabrications

Super 5* review for Fables and Fabrications here on Amazon!

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So Why the Cat?

front cover copyOne of the most frequently asked questions from people who first see my Fables and Fabrications collection is ‘why the cat?’ Continue reading

Fcon report

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Older Fantasycon goers amongst us will remember the annual Fcon report that appeared in the BFS Newsletter/Bulletin/Prism following Fantasycon each year.

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