Secret Invasion: tales of eldritch horror from the West Country


Secret Invasion: tales of eldritch horror from the West Country

This new book is now available to the public

Editor: Tony Eccles

Artwork by John Swogger

Artwork by John Swogger

“I ran. Behind me I heard the windows break like gunshots in the heat. I turned my head as I ran, and the last thing I saw was flames licking out of the window, and small burning things attempting to crawl away but stopping and curling up into blackened shapes as they died.” The Dark, Hidden Places by Andrew Lane

What is Secret Invasion?

West of Arkham the hills rise wild, and there are valleys with deep woods that no axe has ever cut.

H.P. Lovecraft, “The Color Out of Space”

The cold sea crashes upon the bare rocks below. There’s a lingering evening fog that blocks any view of this hostile water. There’s a wooden bench that faces out onto the ocean. Blind steps ahead would lead to certain doom. With the full moon above trying to break through the mist, the only other thing in view is the regular pulsating bright illumination of Pendeen lighthouse and the deep roar of its horn. Beneath one’s feet is an expanse of abandoned mines. This was my first experience of Cornwall in 2005, I had found the perfect location for a tale I was writing.

The English South West includes Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset; counties with a strong cultural identity. This special world is enjoyed by millions of visitors who flock there each year in part because it is surrounded by the sea. Here exists a long rugged coastline, with its dark coves and countless deadly rocks that jut above the waterline. On the southern Jurassic coast, cliff faces are scoured by hunters hoping to uncover fossils. Coastal sea waves all around the peninsula are adored by surfers.

Those who prefer the land encounter the wild windswept moors that are allegedly haunted by phantoms, wild cats and those hairy hands that force drivers off the road.  The lore of fairies and the legends of King Arthur abound for it is a spiritual realm. Ramblers will know well the ancient oak trees that stand in the valleys or the burial chambers and stone circles that were constructed by people several millennia ago. And of course, how can one forget the historic castles and estates of the old aristocracy who once had the fortune to reside in them?

This humble anthology, however, is concerned with a landscape tourists do not know, and hopefully will never know. For indeed if a traveller was to encounter the horrors lurking within these pages and learn of their terrible plans they would quickly perish.

Influenced by the weird fiction of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, Secret Invasion is a tome of horror set in the mystical West Country landscape; Devon being the ancient ancestral home of Lovecraft’s family.

For the storyteller the land can be used to define many things such as boundaries and identity. It contributes to a story’s atmosphere, it creates obstacles and isolates characters and best of all monsters are concealed there. Landscapes vary from the city, the suburbs to the farmlands and beyond; horror can take place anywhere depending upon the nature of the tale.

Horror is a pleasure to read and it’s our pleasure to bring you this volume of 15 tales by professional and amateur writers alike. Without giving anything away, the stories herein take advantage of the rich environment many of the authors live in because it naturally offers a remote wild terrain that is so perfect for monsters. It was important to Dunsany, Machen and Lovecraft’s storytelling, it’s also important to us. It’s amazing to learn then that the South West rarely features in Lovecraft’s tales, especially as he was anglophile, and that’s another reason why this volume was created. Lovecraft was proud of the east coast America he considered home; that’s how we feel about the South West.

This book was made with typical Cygnus Alpha passion and I sincerely hope you have many nightmares afterwards. Okay maybe that’s too much to ask but I’m sure you’ll enjoy these wonderful stories with the hope that one day your curiosity will get the better of you and draw you to this part of England. You now, Exeter does have a rat    herRamsey Campbell’sstory locations of Clotton, Goatswood and Brichester are located in the Severn valley within Gloucestershire, which is considered part of the South West.

Contents

Secret Invasion includes 15 new tales by authors professional and amateur alike who have created their own weird tales to help raise money for the mental health charity MIND.

Tales provided by Andrew Lane (Young Sherlock), Jessica Palmer (Dark Lullaby and Shadowdance), Helen Stirling, Jon Arnold, Christopher Glew, Anna Norman, Dan Barratt, Simon Brett, Richard Freeman, Steven Trickey, Mark Norman, Nigel Foster and Tony Eccles.  There is also a chapter for the artists to talk about their work.

An interview with horror maestro Ramsey Campbell will be added in November.

How do I acquire a copy?

  1. Visit: http://www.justgiving.com/secretinvasion
  2. Make a donation – you can donate any amount
  3. Follow the link given on the JustGiving page and download the book (you have a choice of format)
  4. Enjoy the read

Updates will be provided here and here.  Print on demand version to come.

Enquiries to me: curator33@hotmail.com

 

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