The Next Big Thing – ‘The Darkness Embraces’

Skyrim DungeonWe’re all about the writing this week, as our reviewer and sometime podcaster Kieran Mathers takes us on a whirlwind tour of his forthcoming fantasy novella.

What’s the working title of your book?

‘The Darkness Embraces’

Where did the idea for the book come from?

Bizarrely enough, the idea came from playing Skyrim. In that, you often explore great underground tombs and temples, either on your own with a companion. While I was thinking about this general fantasy trope, I found it interesting to imagine what would happen if, instead of a small group fighting another small group, you had entire armies underground who were trying to prosecute a military campaign. So it was a narrative leap into the darkness of the cave, and the very first title was actually Legion in the Dark. Plus, I was raised in Yorkshire, and we’ve got massive caverns and a great tradition of caving there, so I tried to bring some of what I know about that to the book as well.
The book was actually my attempt at NaNoWriMo, the National Write a Novel in a month contest, but it turned out so well that I thought I’d continue it towards publication.

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‘The Trinket’ – a story of mystery, magic and murder

The MorriganWe’re pleased to announce that Psuedopod – ‘the world’s premier horror fiction podcast’ – have published The Trinket, a short, dark fantasy tale penned by our very own P.G. Bell. And it’s yours to download FREE, right here or listen in the player below.

When a young legionary finds himself caught between cowardice and friendship on the harsh frontier of Roman Britain, his only hope is a Celtic woman with a sinister agenda.  Can she really help him flee the bloodshed? And what powers lie within the golden pendant she so desperately seeks?

The story first appeared in the anthology The Phantom Queen Awakes from Morrigan Books. This updated version is read for audio by novelist John Trevellian and has already been selected by Amazing Stories magazine as one of their Picks of the Month.

So go ahead, have a listen and feel free to discuss the story here or on the Pseudopod forum.

“They burned Gederus in the yard outside the barracks. Dawn had brought the first break in rain for ten days and the men, still cold and filthy from the construction work, cast anxious glances at the black weight of cloud that threatened to stamp out and drown the struggling flames. Those closest to the pyre stole a guilty pleasure from its warmth.

All except Rufinius, who stood to attention at the head of the bonfire, his nostrils thick with the smell of pitch and roasting meat…”



The Next Big Thing – ‘This Darkened World’

St Paul's CathedralFollowing on from P G Bell’s Next Big Thing feature, site editor Caleb Woodbridge takes his turn in the hotseat to say what he’s got in the writing pipeline!

What’s the working title of your book?

“This Darkened World”

Where did the idea for the book come from?

When I was in school, I was that awkward kid in the corner always with my nose in a book. If a magic portal had opened up to some other world, I’d have been through it like a flash, even if I had no idea what would happen to me or whether I’d ever come back. Continue reading

Author Discussion: Diana Wynne Jones

Diana Wynne JonesJoin us for a spirited discussion of one of our favourite fantasy authors – the late, great Diana Wynne Jones!

Author of Howl’s Moving Castle, Archer’s Goon and the Chrestomanci series, among many others, Diana was described by Neil Gaiman as “…the best writer of magic there is, for readers of any age.” But, after so much success, why isn’t she a household name? What is her place in today’s crowded YA fiction market?  And just how much of her difficult childhood is evident in her stories? Our panel of intrepid fantasy fans set out to answer these and other questions on their whistle-stop tour of her life and works.



How's Moving Castle

Is Peter seeing things, or are there bits of the Welsh dragon in there?

The Bellows #2 – On Writing a Novel

Bosch's vision of HellFollowing last month’s introduction, horror author Simon Kurt Unsworth returns to chart the vagaries of writing full time for a living.

So, where in Hell are we? This is a pun, of sorts, but not one that’ll mean anything to you. I may choose to explain it later. Bear with me.

Last time we talked, I introduced myself; this time, I need to introduce my novel, seeing as that’s sort of what these columns are supposed to be about. Well, I can tell you it’s been a long, long time coming. Don’t believe me? Picture it: it’s 1995, and I’m 23 and sat in a fairly grim bedsit in Leeds, near the Faversham Public House. I’m waiting for my then girlfriend, Susie, to come home from work and three things collide like damp tissue paper in my head.

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The Bellows #1 – Meet the Author

Simon at the ‘Quiet Houses’ launch

Impossible Podcasts is very proud to bring you The Bellows, a brand new monthly column by horror author Simon Kurt Unsworth. Regular listeners will know Simon from our interview at FantasyCon last year and our review of his excellent book, Quiet Houses. Now he’s back to tell you all about… well, we’ll let him explain, shall we?

I suppose the first question you’re asking is, “Who is this who is coming?” No? Well, I’m going to tell you anyway. There are, of course, many ways to answer this: I’m a husband, father, child, self-employed trainer, author and wearer of cowboy boots, and each of these realities exists alongside the others and has given me experiences and a history. For your purposes, the most important stuff is this: I’m a World Fantasy Award-nominated author, and I write horror stories.

I was first published in 2007, and I’ve got two collections out: Lost Places came out from the Ash Tree Press in 2010, and Quiet Houses, published by Dark Continents, came out in 2011. Lost Places was Peter Tennant’s (reviewer for Black Static magazine) favourite collection of 2010 on days when Angela Slatter’s Sourdough wasn’t (his words, not mine), and Quiet Houses was placed on the Edge Hill Short Story Collection longlist.

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