The Hotwells Horror & Other Stories

hotwellscoverSo, we did it. As of January 2018, our little tribute to David J Rodger can be found at Amazon and all good online vendors. It’s a strange feeling to be writing this, over two years since we lost David. I’m not going to say it provides closure, because it doesn’t. I doubt anything except time ever will. It does feel good though.

I’m proud of it. Out of our shared grief has come something really rather special. When we were planning this, the working title was simply “For David”, because we decided to create an anthology of tale that we felt he’d enjoy. David’s work deals with themes of urban alienation and decay, existential horror and betrayal, transhumanism and cosmicism, sex and death. We deliberately chose not to make something sombre or overly cerebral. Instead we aimed for something that would have raised the crooked smile we all love and miss. I think we succeeded.

The majority of the actual heavy lifting was done by Peter Sutton, which is something I will always be grateful for. After proposing the idea (which it turns out Peter and Tom Parker had already discussed) and putting out a call for contributors, I basically checked out of life for over a year. Grief does weird things, even when you think you’re hardened to the occasional jape that life plays on you. It was only when the deadline for submissions arrived that I was able to stir myself, and even that was a “down to the wire” thing where I was typing away at three in the morning because I’d promised Pete I’d have the story with him the next day.

Dave Sharrock provided us with an amazing cover, which you can see above. Look at it. It’s gorgeous. It looks even better on the dead tree version.

The contents are as follows;
The Hotwells Horror, by David J Rodger
Out of Context, by Chris Halliday
A Day at the Lake, by Thomas David Parker
Coffee and Cthulhu, by Ian Millsted
A Piece of the Puzzle, by Cheryl Morgan
Hillraiser, by Ken Shinn
Psilocybin, by Dave Sharrock
HIAB-X, by David J Rodger
The Lost Brother, by Simon Brake
Dead Reckoning, by John Houlihan
Fall of Ophiucus, by Samantha J Rule & Eli Johnston
Salvation, by Dave Bradley
Signal in the Dark, by Peter Sutton
Fast Love Die, by David J Rodger
David J Rodger: Some Memories, by Floyd Hayes

The last piece by Floyd is a beautiful montage of moments with David across a number of years, and is deeply touching. Along with the three stories by David and the remembrances of the contributors, it all makes something that I’m proud to have on my shelf next to his novels.

All profits go to MIND, the Mental Health charity, because we all go a little mad sometimes. You can pick up a copy in print or ebook at;

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Other vendors are also available (but I’m not going to provide links because Google is a thing, okay?) If you like it, leave a review. Heap praise upon the authors and encourage them to create more. Every single one of them is lovely, and they deserve good things.


Chris Halliday,
Bristol, 20th February 2018

New Cthulhu Mythos fanzine due to launch in Japan

Hush! Hush! Top secret.  Currently corresponding with editor of a new Cthulhu Mythos fanzine who is based in Japan. No formal launch date yet. More info when available.  Just finished final proof of MS containing short story I submitted to him, featuring a new Great Old One and weaves together some of the underlying concepts of my bigger work.  Looking good.

Wrapping up Frome Festival With Some SciFi Dark Fantasy

I was a guest of honour at Frome’s SciFi Event

Fantasy reading room upstairs at the Three Swans in Frome - used by Sci-Fi Evening

Fantasy reading room, Three Swans, Frome

The week long Frome Festival, deep in the fertile, post-industrial landscape of South West England, came to an end yesterday.  Hugging the final few hours was the Frome Science Fiction & Fantasy event held at the fantastic upper room of the Three Swans. The room was crowded with objets d’art and eclectic furniture, including baroque pieces, skulls and a unicorn head mounted on the wall; it all resembled something out of a scene from the movie Sir Henry At Rawlinson End, or, more appropriately, the eccentric collection of a Mind from one of Ian M Banks’ great starships carefully rendered and put together for us fleshy creatures to savour.  There was certainly a buzz in the room.  The mood expanded and maintained by the tribal low res psychedelic trance  oozing through the speaker system.  Superbly well-organised and presented, with John Walton – blacksmith, shipmate, radio presenter and writer – doing a Stirling job of keeping the dialogue going.

Dante's Fool a crime thriller with occult horror twist by David J Rodger (2)

Click full size

Continue reading