Winner of the HWA Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a first novel 2011 for 'Isis Unbound'
Allyson Bird won the British Fantasy Society Award for Best Collection 2009
for 'Bull Running for Girls.'
"Allyson Bird is a rare bird indeed. An original voice in a world of plain vanilla. She rides some dark waves with grace and a heart full of light and shadow. If there's any justice, she's on her way to real recognition." Joe R. Lansdale.
"Allyson Bird’s stories are richly informed by folklore and literature, and use a range of weird fiction narratives to explore female perspectives in terms of the unknown and the supernatural. Bull Running For Girls is reminiscent of both the Gothic fantasies of Tanith Lee and the empathic ghost stories of Mary Elizabeth Counselman. The strangest of Bird’s stories, ‘The Caul Bearer’, also recalls the stark emotional landscape of Robert E. Howard’s classic ‘Sea Curse’. For Bird, the supernatural is an aspect of life, not something from outside it. Her ghosts and demons are as likely to have a stake in our world as in their own withered hearts. This book brings you witches, revenants, mummies, spirit mediums and ritual murderers. Above all, it brings you face to face with real human issues that few of us, however we pass through the night, can safely avoid." - Joel Lane.
the introduction by Joe. R. Lansdale to
WINE AND RANK POISON:
8th May 2012
I am really happy to say that Isis Unbound won a Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in first novel. The ceremony took place in Salt Lake City.
24th February 2012
Paul Wilson (author of The Keep and the Repairman Jack series) has been
reading ISIS UNBOUND.
Joe S. Pulver on ISIS UNBOUND 'Allyson Bird risks it all in the churning cellars and hearts of passion and madness. Her superb and fearless work is not to be missed.'
Also there is a good review of Wine and Rank Poison in The Deepening from Clayton Clifford Bye.
19th February 2012
Very happy to have made it through the jury/member recs, and the longlist, to get to be a nominee on the shortlist for the HWA Stoker award first novel. Congrats to all the other nominees!
'SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A FIRST NOVEL
Isis Unbound by Allyson Bird (Dark Regions Press)
Southern Gods by John Hornor Jacobs (Night Shade Books)
The Lamplighters by Frazer Lee (Samhain Horror)
The Panama Laugh by Thomas Roche (Night Shade Books)
That Which Should Not Be by Brett J. Talley (JournalStone)'
Here is a new review of Isis Unbound from Gene O'Neill:
'Historical fiction is very difficult to write. In addition to telling a compelling story, the writer must insure that, facts and names are all accurate, nothing factual manipulated for plot purposes. Juggling myth into this mix of fact and fiction adds to the high degree of difficulty. Only the best writers attempt this often later in their careers. But Allyson Bird does all this and makes it look easy in ISIS UNBOUND. She must be a polished veteran of historical--mythological novels? But no, amazingly this is a first novel. And an excellent novel at that. The prose is rich, rewarding with a density of detail, the plot compelling, the characters completely believable. A highly literate novel that should appeal equally to genre and mainstream reader alike. I would give this novel my highest recommendation (and have to a number of my reading friends).'
I've signed up with Alessandro Manzetti of The Dark Circle Agency, in Italy.
9th January 2012
Here is a good review from Slade Grayson of Bookgasm.
Lynda E. Rucker
put together an article
for Sinescope:Journal of the Arts.
I wrote a small
piece for it, too.
Written for Kaaron Warren some sparks that started stories.
Angela Slatter invited me for a drive-by.
Good to get a mention from Ann and Jeff VanderMeer.
Isis Unbound is now
available and shipping from Dark Regions Press.
19th September 2011
Isis Unbound will go up for pre-order from Dark Regions Press on the 20th September 2011. An extract can be found on my Bibliography page.
An Interview with Ginger Nuts of Horror. First one since I moved to New Zealand.
13th September 2011
First review of Isis Unbound just in from the Library Journal magazine which is subscribed to by around 30,000 libraries in the U.S. and it's a good one!
'Generations ago, Cleopatra, with the blessing of Isis and Anthony at her side, started an empire. Her descendants still rule, but the goddess Isis has fallen silent, and there are those who fear her favor has been lost and the empire is falling apart. It is not that Isis has forgotten her empire, but she has been killed by her sister, the goddess Nepythys. Now the dead cannot pass over and stumble restless and frightened through a city already oppressed by plague and tyranny. The Chief Embalmer’s daughters, Ella and Loli, get involved in the machinations of the gods themselves as the fate of an empire is decided. VERDICT Set in a declining Egyptian empire dusted with the familiar technological and scientific trappings of a steampunk setting, this debut novel by British Fantasy Award winner Bird (Bull Running for Girls) is a frightening, gorgeous book that breathes something fascinating and new into the genre. It will appeal to avid readers of steampunk as well as horror fans.—April Steenburgh, George F. Johnson Memorial Lib., Endwell NY.'
24th June 2011
Two new reviews up...
The Deepening World of Books
Welcome to the Hellforge
18th May 2011
Always delighted to have a blurb from an author, and Lisa Tuttle has influenced me more than any other living writer.
'Allyson Bird is a writer who never plays it safe. Her wild imagination and power to evoke both myth and madness make her one of the most interesting writers working out there on the edge of horror/fantasy. '
7th May 2011
Since travelling around New Zealand in 2006 I've thought about coming to live here, and now that dream has finally come true. So, North Island New Zealand will be my new base from now on. I will be back in the U.K. for Fantasycon in September.
17th April 2011
Happily my collection, Wine and Rank Poison, has been recommended for 'best collection' in The British Fantasy Society Awards. My short story, The Last Supper, has been also recommended for 'best short story.'
The Last Supper can be read here on Issuu.
9th April 2011
Here's the final cover for Isis Unbound out from Dark Regions Press...soon. The artwork by Daniele Serra.
Pleased to say I'm on the anthology panel of the Bram Stoker Awards.....
The Bram Stoker Award Juries are now complete and the Horror Writers Association therefore proudly announces our very impressive panels. Please remember there are strict Rules against spamming the Juries. All offers of your work, or the work of others may be sent ONLY to the Chair of the appropriate Jury. Do not contact Jurors direct or you are at risk of having the work you are promoting disqualified from Stoker consideration.
address of each chair is
listed below, to the right of their name..
news...this time for 2012. Earlier this year I was invited to both
16th February 2011
It's my birthday and I'm really happy to say I've got a positive review, of Wine and Rank Poison, from one of our leading genre reviewers, Pete Tennant, of Black Static...
Laird Barron...'Here are twelve authors of horror, dark fantasy, and the weird who belong on all kinds of reading lists...'
Good to hear which stories hit the mark for Slade Grayson and which didn't in WARP.
Women in Horror Month....
16th January 2011
Positive review of Wine and Rank Poison by Terry Grimwood on Exaggerated Press
5th December 2010
Excellent review of my new collection, Wine and Rank Poison, from Peter Mark May on The Novel Blog!
23rd November 2010
review in from Norm
and the following blurb as a result. I'm really
happy that he liked it.
4th November 2010
Jonathan Maberry has finished reviewing Wine and Rank Poison, and has very kindly made this comment:
"The stories in Allyson Bird's WINE AND RANK POISON draw us into a world of dark magic, infinite possibility and abiding terror; and she does it with a style reminiscent of Shirley Jackson and Robert Bloch. Highly recommended.”
NY Times bestseller Jonathan Maberry, author of ROT & RUIN and THE DRAGON FACTORY
It is great to get a mention, especially at the World Fantasy Convention in Ohio this year, courtesy of the Solaris Editors' blog, 'When Gravity Fails'.
27th October 2010
Good to be a part of Pete Tennants' 'Desert Island Anthologies' over on the TTA press site.
Wine and Rank Poison is now out in hardback with Dark Regions Press.
21st October 2010
Norm Partridge asked me to contribute to his blog, 'American Frankenstein' and I chose to talk about 'The Wicker Man.'
Here is a Q&A session with Alan Kelly on the 'For Books' Sake' site.
27th September 2010
Today is the day that my second collection Wine and Rank Poison is officially launched into the world. A big thank you to my editor Norm Rubenstein, Dark Regions publisher Joe Morey, and the very talented artist Dani Serra.
4th September 2010
Dark Regions Press have kindly had a trailer made to promote Wine and Rank Poison. The collection will be on sale at the Screaming Dreams table in the dealers' room at Fantasycon in Nottingham on the 17th September (limited copies available).
22nd August 2010
Again will be launched at Fantasycon at 2pm
on the Saturday.
Part one of the story notes for Never Again appear on Simon Marshall-Jones' blog dated 16th August.
12th July 2010
I've appeared as guest blogger on Paul D Brazill's Reservoir Blog site talking about the anti-fascist, anti-racist anthology Never Again.
An interesting article here - The Horror, The Horror, by Jonathan Maberry, in Advice for Writers, the Writing Life and I get a mention which is always cool.
2nd April 2010
The World Horror Convention at Brighton.
high spots but I'll try to mention a
21st March 2010
Delighted to say that my story The Convent At Bazzano, from the BFS Yearbook has been recommended for best short story in the British Fantasy Society Awards.
I'll be at The World Horror Convention in Brighton from the 25th - 28th March. Hope to catch up with everyone!
And on the following panel on Saturday:
13th March 2010
The British Fantasy Society have set up an author/artist board for both members and non members. Over 70 have joined up to this co-operative sharing news, blogs and websites. Come and have a look! And better still, join the BFS.
And I'm delighted to announce a new project....
Never Again is an attempt to voice the collective revulsion of writers in the weird fiction genre against political attitudes that stifle compassion and deny our collective human inheritance. The imagination is crucial to an understanding both of human diversity and of common ground. Weird fiction is often stigmatised as a reactionary and ignorant genre – we know better.
The anthology will be published by Gray Friar Press in September 2010, edited by Allyson Bird and Joel Lane. Cover by Daniele Serra.
It will be a mixture of original stories and reprints from Ramsey Campbell, Lisa Tuttle and Joe R. Lansdale amongst others. Never Again is a non-profit initiative aimed at promoting awareness of these issues among readers and writers of weird fiction. The editors, authors/artist and publisher will receive no fees for this work. Any profits made from sales will be donated to anti-racist or human rights organizations, e.g. The Sophie Lancaster Foundation.’
Not only have Dark Regions picked up my second collection, but they want to publish my debut novel too, ISIS UNBOUND. Here is the cover (also by Daniele Serra).
by Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe
Shelley’s, Prometheus Unbound, and
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!
12th December 2009
I'm over the moon to announce my next collection called WINE AND RANK POISON from the American publisher Dark Regions.
Hopefully it will be ready and available for a U.K. launch at Fantasycon 2010.
Joe R. Lansdale will be writing the introduction.
Daniele Serra has produced the artwork above for the wonderful cover.
The editors will be Joe Morey and Norm Rubenstein, who often reviews for Horrorworld.
There will be a small run of numbered Delux/Lettered signed hardbacks, signed hardbacks, and a trade paperback edition.
6th December 2009
immersed myself in Stalin's Russia of 1929
for a month, looked at the work of Ilf and Petrov and many other
Russian authors. I've read Bulgakov to my heart's content and have
written a story - just accepted by Dan of Ex Occidente. It is for THE
MASTER IN CAFE MORPHINE: A HOMAGE TO MIKHAIL BULGAKOV
29th November 2009
Great to get a mention, on the Jonathan Maberry blog, from Joe R Lansdale in the section on Who is Writing Good Horror Today?
4th October 2009
Every year Ellen Datlow puts together an anthology of the best of horror and fantasy. This year she has focused purely on horror. I'm really over the moon to announce that I have 6 Honourable Mentions on her list, 1 of which (The Bone Grinder) appears in the book itself. The other 5 won't appear in the book and appear on her on-line journal.
The Honourable Mention's are;
Allyson “The Bone Grinder,”
Bull Running for Girls.
The book can be bought from Nightshade Books Ellen Datlow is an expert editor in the field. Congratulations to all who made it in!
22nd September 2009
Here's the first official photograph of Vincent Chong, Steve Upham and myself with the award.
21st September 2009
Happy to announce that BULL RUNNING FOR GIRLS won best collection at The British Fantasy awards this last weekend A huge thank you to BFS members and Fantasycon attendees. I'm so happy I can hardly express it! Thank you to Vincent Chong for the artwork, Steve Upham for publishing me and to Gary McMahon for the introduction.
Thank you to all who bought the book and to everyone who gave me the support to carry on with BRFG's. To everyone who reviewed me, interviewed me and to those who made comments on their blogs and kept me going in the last year!
Thank you to the BFS committee and Fantasycon organisers for doing so much for writers!
I'll post photos as soon as I can get them from Steve, my publisher :>)
14th September 2009
50 copies of FOR YOU FAUSTINE will be available free on the SCREAMING DREAMS table from Friday afternoon. Not enough for the goody bags so come along and grab a copy!
The British Fantasy Society is proud to present the first in its series of exclusive, annual anthologies. Twenty writers -- from seasoned award-winners to rising stars -- offer twenty never before published tales.
Offering a broad sample of stories with imagination the only limit. Nearly three hundred, hard-bound pages, 100,000 words of the best in speculative fiction from:
JAMES BARCLAY, ALLYSON BIRD, ANDREW CARTMEL, MARK CHADBOURN, CHRISTOPHER FOWLER, GARY FRY, GARRY KILWORTH, TIM LEBBON, STEVE LOCKLEY, JULIET E. MCKENNA, GARY MCMAHON, MARK MORRIS, ADAM L. G. NEVILL, DANIEL O'MAHONY, SARAH PINBOROUGH, NICHOLAS ROYLE, ROBERT SHEARMAN, STEVE VOLK, KAARON WARREN and CONRAD WILLIAMS.
With an introductory essay from Gail Z. Martin
The only way to own a copy is by being a member of the British Fantasy Society, it is given away exclusively to members and will never appear for sale.
To sign up now -- at only £30.00 a year for UK residents -- please visit www.britishfantasysociety.org where you can pay by cheque or online via PayPal. Your membership also includes a £10 discount on the attendance rate for Fantasycon, our legendary, annual convention weekend as well as quarterly mailings of the society magazines Prism, Dark Horizons and New Horizons.
We hope to launch this exciting new anthology at FantasyCon 2009 - with many of the contributing authors gathered under one roof and available to sign copies of the book - how can you afford to miss the opportunity to own such a unique publication?
4th August 2009
Great news! Very happy to be in the British Fantasy Society Yearbook 2009 with my story The Convent at Bazzano. For £30 membership per year you get the yearbook plus £10 discount on FantasyCon in September and also copies of Prism, Dark Horizons and New Horizons quarterly. Very good value.
The yearbook is an anthology of twenty stories by 'seasoned award winners and rising stars'. Further details can be found here:
19th July 2009
Steve Jenson has been kind enough to interview me for his website, Shadows & Illusions.
11th July 2009
Happy to announce that a new story 'For you Faustine' will appear in a publication at Fantasycon 2009. Published by Chris Teague of Pendragon Press. The story is set on Coney Island, New York, and involves the Lamia myth, the mafia and Swinburne's poetry.
30th June 2009
Des Lewis (of Nemonymous fame and writer of many, many short stories) has started a 'real-time review' of Bull Running for Girls. Des is an absolute genius at finding the connections that other people find elusive. It's like having my subconscious talking to me!
7th June 2009
Absolutely delighted to announce that Bull Running for Girls has been short listed in the British Fantasy Society Awards for Best Collection and The Caul Bearer for Best Short Fiction. The last round of voting starts from today, and ends 1st August. Thank you to everybody who voted in the first round. Every vote counts in this last stage, and your continued support would be appreciated. Voting takes place here: British Fantasy Society Awards
The Caul Bearer can still be read on the Screaming Dreams website.
24th May 2009
I had the pleasure recently to have a Q and A session with Liz de Jager during her April/May Horror Blog Fest. Liz certainly has a passion for books and has featured quite a few horror authors on her blog.
27th April 2009
Bull Running for Girls returns to the original price on 4th May, so if you wish to take advantage of the reduced price, please visit Screaming Dreams and place your order.
SD have resolved all their computer problems now, so normal service has resumed.
25th April 2009
TTA Press are the publishers of Black Static, Interzone and Crimewave magazines. I can highly recommend them, and new subscribers to Black Static, get issue 10 free, which contains a review of Bull Running for Girls by Pete Tennant. He focuses on Bull Running, Hunter's Moon, Wings of Night (his favourite), and Silence is Golden.
He says that the collection, 'impressively showcases the considerable potential of this fresh voice in genre fiction.' Thanks Pete!
A big thank you to Lee Moan for the comments made on his blog 'the steam powered typewriter' on the 24th April
19th April 2009
Steve Upham of Screaming Dreams is having a few computer problems at the moment, so he can't receive any orders placed through his site. If you would like to purchase a copy of Bull Running for Girls at the discount rate below (available for a limited time only), please e-mail me through the 'bio' page on this site.
4th April 2009
Great news! The long list for the British Fantasy Society Awards 2009 has been announced. Bull Running for Girls has been recommended for Best Collection, and the Caul Bearer for Best Short Fiction. Thank you to those who put forward the recommendations.
The Caul Bearer is available free as a PDF, and also as a wonderful ISSUU flip-book from Screaming Dreams. Simply click on the link, and then on the cover of Bull Running for Girls.
As the collection is into its second print run and is doing well, for a limited time anyone who is interested can buy at the SPECIAL OFFER price of £6.99, including FREE postage. Please order through my publisher, Steve Upham of Screaming Dreams.
The Horror World review by Norm Rubenstein has now been archived under October.
6th March 2009
British Fantasy Society award winning artist (2007/8) Vincent Chong has re-launched his wonderful website. Vinny not only produced the superb cover art for Bull Running for Girls, but also the graphics for this site. Check it out here
29th January 2009
Another great review for Bull Running for Girls from Lee Moan on his blog site. Thank you to Lee for your kind words.
7th January 2009
The HUB 2008 awards have just been announced by editor Lee Harris in issue 72. Bull Running for Girls almost won best collection. A big thank you to Lee Harris on his personal selection.
Lee is also an editor with Angry Robot, an imprint of Harper Collins and has also mentioned Bull Running for Girls as runner up in his choices on that site.
Thank you to Joe R. Lansdale (the winner of the British Fantasy Award, the American Horror Award, the Edgar Award, and six Bram Stoker Awards. The World Horror Convention recently made him the recipient of the 2007 Grand Master Award for contributions to the field of Horror fiction) for taking the time to read my collection and provide the following quote:
" Kid, I like all your stories. Your book is killer and a class act for a first collection.
Allyson Bird is a rare bird indeed. An original voice in a world of plain vanilla. She rides some dark waves with grace and a heart full of light and shadow. If there's any justice, she's on her way to real recognition." Joe R. Lansdale.
Lee Harris (editor of Hub magazine) has published a great review of Bull Running for Girls in Hub Issue 70. Congratulations to Lee on the announcement of his new role as assistant editor of Angry Robot (the upcoming contemporary SF and fantasy imprint from HarperCollins).
Stephen Bacon has kindly put this review up on his site <here>. Thank you!
Just received this new review from Elizabeth de Jager <here> Really appreciated.
Thank you also to David Price for the comments…
Just finished reading 'Bull Running ...' and enjoyed a terrific mix of fiction. From the outrageous black farce 'Silence is Golden', to a more menacing atmosphere in stories like 'In The Hall of the Mountain King' and 'Hunter's Moon'. Then there are mixtures of historical and mythical, like 'Blood in Madness Ran', a sort of 're-imagining' of a myth. 'The Caul Bearer' is a good, old-fashioned chiller in the style of M.R. James, while 'The Bone Grinder' is a gripping modern horror story. 'Medium Strange' an eerie ghost story, 'In the Wake of the Dead' a chilling historical tale of the paranormal. Allyson is no one-trick-pony when it comes to story-telling, and this is a terrific little collection. SD Press might have taken a chance on a little-known writer, but it has certainly paid off for them.
Whilst at NEWCON4 in Northampton in October I took part in a panel called ‘SEX SELLS BUT SOULD WE BUY?’ Happily Derrick Lakin-Smith recorded it and placed it on his site - frequency response
Naturally enough we changed the debate to ‘SEX SELLS BUT SHOULD WE SELL.’
Ian Watson (moderator)
I never gratuitously include sex scenes in my work. It was a fun panel to be on, especially with Storm and Sam.
26th October 2008
nights ghost story event went very well - the venue was perfect for
ghost story reading. I find that the more writers get out there and
talk about what horror fiction means to them the more preconceptions
are put to one side. We talked to people who don't usually think that
they read horror. Everyone had fun and it was great that Gary and
John came from quite a long way away on a stormy
22nd October 2008
I’ll be hosting an evening of ghost stories this weekend with Gary McMahon...near the lonely moors of South Yorkshire:
Gary McMahon has numerous books out this year and full details can be found on his website: http://www.garymcmahon.com/
7th October 2008
Norman Rubenstein has written a review for Bull Running for Girls and it is up on Horrorworld. Happy to say it's a good one!
22nd September 2008
A big thank you to all who helped Bull Running for Girls sell all the copies we took to FantasyCon 2008. 52 in all!
Other highlights for me Joel Lane winning the award for My Stone Desire - short story. I bought THE LOST DISTRICT last year and was bowled over by his work. Guy brought the black bull from Spain and he did a marvellous job with Sarah Pinborough with the raffle. David Howe going down on his knees before me, chats with Lee Harris, Troo, Lee Thompson, Steve Upham, Brendan, Paul Campbell, Geoff Nelder, Selina and Jay in the dealers’ room, getting locked out of my room repeatedly, drinking far too much Guinness in the bar with John Travis, Paul Finch, Terry Grimwood, Chris Gange, Lee Moan, Steve Bacon, Jeff Brown, Vincent Chong, Paul, Simon Bestwick, Simon Clark, Stephen Volk, Tony Richards (we both love Hong Kong). Chats with Peter Coleborn, (pause for breath) Stephen Theaker, GCW and Susie, Mick and Debs, JLP, Gary (you snogged Conrad) McMahon and Emily, Simon Stranza and Fran, Sam Stone, Terry Martin, Mark West …..Dave Price, Greg Hamerton, Charles Black, Stu Young, Mark Samuels, Adriana, Paul Roberts, Trebay, Mark Morris, Wayne, Nadie, Roy Gray, Darren Turpin, ….John Grant (sadly a brief hello), Martin and Helen, Marie and Paul…. going to forget someone if I’m not careful…..Ramsey Campbell, Niki Crowther, Mandy, Teaguey, Steve Lockley, Graham Joyce, Gary Couzens, Andrew Hook, Ian Whates, …apologies to those missed off….never got time to see all the people I wanted to though…
Taken from the news section of the British Fantasy Society forum posted by Stephen Theaker:
Screaming Dreams are celebrating this week: not only did cover artist Vincent Chong win the British Fantasy Award for Best Artist, they sold every copy of Bull Running for Girls by Allyson Bird that they brought to Fantasycon 2008. In fact, things went so well that they came perilously close to selling out before the monster small press book launch! They would like to thank all who bought it for their enthusiasm, time and support.
Apparently there are just a few copies remaining of the first impression but the book will go back to press very shortly.
Allyson herself had this to say about the event:
"Fantasycon 2008 was my third convention and I think that it was Gary McMahon who first told me about it. Bringing my book to Fantasycon was a great opportunity to promote my debut collection, to meet new writers and readers, and as always to have a bloody great party with friends met in previous years too! The panels and readings were interesting and Fantasycon is a wonderful place to meet like-minded people. Where else in the world could I have had breakfast with Ian Watson, talked to Chris Golden about trolls on forum boards in America, and listened to ghost stories late at night in the gloomy corridors of a hotel?”
It goes without saying – but it’s nice to say it anyway – that everyone at the convention was very happy to see that the health of the man behind Screaming Dreams, Steve Upham, had improved enough for him to attend.
Apologies to anyone misled by the headline into thinking Michael Moorcock had announced a return to the Corum series…
14th September 2008
Sales of Bull Running for Girls are going well, copies are still available direct through this website on my bibliography page here.
Only four days to go until the formal launch of Bull Running for Girls at The British Fantasy convention http://www.fantasycon.org.uk/
I’ll be reading from my collection at 10.30a.m. on Saturday. Not sure which story I’ll go for yet – I’ll make my mind up this week.
Two reviews have gone up on Amazon now – thank you to both reviewers!
Between 26th September and 6th October I’ll be at a signing event in Hong Kong. Details to be added later.
Saturday 11th October I’ll be on the same bill that Iain Banks and Storm Constantine are guests of honour on. http://www.newcon4.com/newcon/main/default.aspx I’ll be reading on the Saturday at high noon.
Saturday 25th October It will be the local launch of Bull Running for Girls and as it is close to Halloween there be a few ghost story readings with SIMON CLARK http://www.bbr-online.com/nailed/index.html .I’ll be signing copies of my book too.
11th August 2008.
The Bulls have been released!
BULL RUNNING FOR GIRLS came by overnight delivery from Biddles in Norfolk this morning. An exciting day! Everything looks to be in perfect order—it is strange to actually hold the book in my hands. The beautiful cover—by Vincent Chong. The stunning introduction by Gary McMahon and the stories—all my personal fears for the world to read about.
Due to Steve Upham (the publisher) at Screaming Dreams being ill, the book is only available through this site, and can be purchased through the links on the bibliography page <here>.
Praise for Bull Running for Girls:
upon Shadow : When
committed adultery, she expected to pay for it one day but the form and
the manner of that payment touched the essence of evil. "A dark tale
indeed!" — Ramsey
"Allyson Bird is a powerful and personal writer" - Andrew Hook
Laird Barron has written this review:
“I recently got my tentacles on Allyson Bird's forthcoming debut collection Bull Running For Girls. Mine is an e-copy, but the actual artifact promises to be quite handsome. The book is comprised of sixteen original stories and five reprints. Bird's classical influences are evident; her pieces owe much to the likes of Poe, Le Fanu, Machen, and Jackson -- as much is referenced throughout her narratives and the excerpts preceding each tale.
Bird exhibits a fascination with regional legends, fairy tales, and ghosts. Her renovation of traditional weird tropes reminds me of Matt Cardin, Mark Samuels, and Don Tumasonis -- contemporary authors who cleave to the classical vein without resorting to pastiche. The Tumasonis comparison may be the most striking in that he and Bird seem chiefly concerned with a quiet, almost prosaic type of horror; the horror of psychological dislocation and alienation. Tumasonis demonstrates this most profoundly when examining relationships between the protagonist and his/her significant other, and the isolation experienced by the protagonist as a stranger in a strange land. While Bird similarly gives us a veritable travelogue of settings and a substantial dose of supernatural intrusion, her protagonists are often most thoroughly afflicted by personal demons, as much victims of their own pathology as they are of external forces, becoming, like as not, strangers in their own skin.
Altogether, Bird's writing is strong, her instincts sharp. These qualities are exemplified by the titular story; the eerie and chilling "Shadow Upon Shadow," which possesses a singularly creepy scene (you'll know it when you see it!); the Bradbury-esque "The Conical Witch"; and "Pompeii," a grim and surreal piece regarding the superimposition of the ancient world over its modern counterpart to catastrophic effect. However, my favorite was "The Caul Bearer" with its spooky premise and not-so subtle nod to Lovecraft.
Admittedly, there are a few rough edges. Several pieces are much weaker than the core stories and would've benefited from tougher editing to smooth awkward phrasing. A couple of stories feel rushed; in another instance a coda is unnecessary and its presence nearly undermines the dramatic tension so artfully maintained prior to that moment. Certainly these are distractions, but they're overshadowed by Bird's prowess as a storyteller, her knack for dialing in on a starkly vivid bit of imagery at precisely the right moment. This is very good work by a new author.
There's a great deal to love about Bull Running For Girls, not the least of this being its promise that we've only seen the beginning of a remarkable career.”
Laird Barron – winner of the single-author collection for the Shirley Jackson award, for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror and the dark fantastic 2007.
3rd August 2008
I'm really happy to provide the link to the first review of BULL RUNNING FOR GIRLS, from Laird Barron.
Pre-Orders are now being accepted (click here). The books will be arriving from Biddles the printers around the 15th August. I'll despatch them to those who have pre-ordered as soon as they arrive, before the formal launch at BFSCon in Nottingham in September.
17th July 2008
Here is Vincent Chong's wonderful back cover for BULL RUNNING FOR GIRLS.
Laird Barron posted this on shocklines.
reading an advance copy at the moment. It's good. Ally's style is
definitely of the storyteller mode, and very mannered in a classical
sense -- what I've read so far. I'm going to post a review at my
journal one of these days; however, if the rest holds to the standard,
I suspect the book will be well regarded.
16th July 2008
Steve is still recovering, Paul Campbell (who stepped in to help Steve
edit BRFG) and I will man the SD table for Steve selling all Screaming
Dream books. I'm bringing BRFG with me but if I have to get up very
early and go to Wales to get the other author's books I will. Mind you
I'm hoping that someone from Wales will help him out and bring some.
15th July 2008
publisher, Steve, is ill at the moment and has asked me to ensure that
Bull Running for Girls stays on track and is launched at the BFS
convention in Nottingham in September. Hopefully he will be well before
then. I've promised Steve that I'll sort everything out and he is not
to worry about anything. The Book is at Biddles the printers now and
will be ready in a few weeks.
12th July 2008
I'm happy to present the cover for Bull Running for Girls.
A selection of adventure-horror stories set in many locations, from the excitement and danger of bull running in Pamplona, to small town life in Madison County, U.S. Stories set amidst the bustle of Hong Kong, on The Silk Road in China and under a hunter's moon in Bordeaux. Then there are those which are much closer to home.
Wonderful cover by British Fantasy Society award winning artist 2007, Vincent Chong. Introduction by Gary McMahon.
To be launched at the British Fantasy Society Convention, September 2008 by Screaming Dreams Press.
1st June 2008
My story THE SILK ROAD will be in the British Fantasy Society publication, NEW HORIZONS edited by Andrew Hook, out in December.
From THE SILK ROAD.
Frieda looked at the Indo-European mummies in the glass topped cases in The Urumchi Museum. They had been preserved by the salt flats in which they had been found. The Loulan Mummy was from Qawrighul (Gumugou, in Chinese). She had a Caucasian face, reddish hair and amongst her clothes was found a preserved material, a sort of Celtic plaid. DNA results of another mummy, Cherchen Man, revealed him to be related to Swedes, Finns, Tuscans, Corsicans and Sardinians. Here Frieda had an Indo-European woman, found on the Silk Road, thousands of years before she should have been there. Some scholars thought that western travellers had arrived in China well before Marco Polo and indeed did not believe Polo’s writings, considering them to be eccentric accounts from a man who did not travel so far to the East.
Three days until BULL RUNNING FOR GIRLS goes to Steve Upham of SCREAMING Dreams for typesetting. I’ve dedicated the book to my mother Laura, and my sister Sylvia, who died the 1st March. It hasn’t exactly been easy finishing the collection during the last three months. Some of the stories have intensely personal aspects to them but I have promised myself to be as honest as possible whilst dealing with them.
The latest book from the above press is DRAGONS OF MANHATTON by John Grant. www.screamingdreams.com
New blog to explore from the talented writer Laird Barron.
Great to see John Probert’s new web site up and running.
26th April 2008
Alt.Fiction in Derby was a crazy affair this year. Travelled down with John Travis and Gary McMahon and unlike last year when John and I went to almost all the panels most of the time was spent in the bar with friends. Met up with Simon Clark, Ian Whates and chatted to Conrad Williams and Shaun Hamilton, amongst more but all a little cloudy now. I let my hair down and had a good time.
9th February 2008
The BFSCon York evening of ghost stories was a great success. The event was organized by Lee Harris, (editor of HUB and PRISM,) and everyone had a great time in York Brewery. First on was Mark Morris, then myself reading THE CAUL BEARER, Peter Roberts read his poem THE REAL TOOTH FAIRY, Simon Clark read DEATH SHALL HAVE NO DOMINION by Dylan Thomas, Peter Crowther, CLEANING UP and finally the wonderful Ramsey Campbell read CALLING CARD. Happy to report that the feedback was very good from members of the society and guests.
20 January 2008
Delighted to announce that BULL RUNNING FOR GIRLS is to be launched at The British Fantasy Society Convention on Saturday 20th September 2008 by Steve Upham of SCREAMING DREAMS PRESS. The table of contents is as follows, with perhaps one more story to be added. The introduction to be written by Gary McMahon. The wonderful BFS award winner for Best Artist 2007, Vincent Chong, will be adapting the artwork from my website homepage for the cover.
Shadow upon Shadow
The Conical Witch
In the Wake of the Dead
Realm of the Dead
The Sly Boy Bar and Eatery
The Celestial Dragon
Wings of Night
In a Pig's Ear
A Poison Tree
The Silk Road
Blood in Madness Ran
In the Hall of the Mountain King
Silence is Golden
19th January 2008
I'll be reading my story THE CAUL BEARER at the BFS Open Night event, AN EVENING OF GHOST STORIES in Europe's most haunted city, York, on Saturday 26th January. The venue is the York Brewery, and full details can be found here. 'The Caul Bearer,' is a chilling tale set in 19th century Robin Hood's Bay, North Yorkshire.
My story THE LAST SUPPER is due out in March in the anthology DEAD ENDS from SCREAMING DREAMS PRESS. Jake Monroe of Peachtree Creek, journalist on an Atlantan newspaper, faces a personal dilemma and just why do copperhead snakes live side by side with the Monroe family?
10th October 2007
Two of my stories for Bull Running for Girls have received comments from two Masters of Horror whom I admire greatly.
About SHADOW UPON SHADOW: When Alice Harwood committed adultery, she expected to pay for it one day but the form and the manner of that payment touched the essence of evil. RAMSEY CAMPBELL - "A dark tale indeed!"
On, IN THE WAKE OF THE DEAD: Set in 19th Century Sligo, where magic and ritual have terrible consequences for the occupants of Elsinore House. "A potent brew of historical facts and gruesome imaginings.” – SIMON CLARK.
25th September 07
There is a new extract from REALM OF THE DEAD, on the Screaming Dreams site which will be in Bull Running for Girls. The whole story is also on a promotional CD which was available at The British Fantasy convention last weekend. I believe 150 copies were picked up in all, which is excellent.
About REALM OF THE DEAD. I have never taken instruction readily and on a visit to the catacombs in Rome ventured a little further than the rest of the tourists. Silly I know but in those shadows and behind steel doors the dead have stories to tell.
The British Fantasy Convention.
I arrived at about 6p.m. with John Travis and realized that we were a good 4 hours drinking time behind Gary Fry, Gary McMahon and John L Probert. As a consequence of playing catch up Friday evening is still a little of a blur but we hooked up with Stu Young, David Price and Chris - whose first con it was and went to a Turkish restaurant. Good way to celebrate Dave's birthday. I remember that the food was excellent and the strange case of the man in the street thrusting a child's shoe into my face, saying he was very worried about the child. Apparently he does this all the time.
Highlights of the weekend.
The extremely amusing conversation that took place between John Travis and John L Probert at around 3a.m. in the bar, about Dracula, the hawthorn bush and Jaffa cakes.
The raffle where John L Probert won a knitted dalek and almost had to lock it in the hotel safe to repel all attempts to steal it away.
The Machen panel - Ramsey Campbell, Simon Clark, John L Probert, Gwilym Games, and Mark Samuels.
The trip to The Old Jerusalem pub for Sunday lunch and a ghost hunt with Mark Samuels, Adriana, Gwilym Games, Stu Young, John L Probert, Vinny Chong, Jetse and Alison Davies.
Vincent Chong winning the Best Artist award. Cool - because he has designed the cover for my collection Bull Running for Girls.
Far to many good people to mention here but for the first time I met Simon Clark, Paul Finch, Simon Bestwick, Lee Harris, Paul Campbell, John Grant, David Riley, Charles Rudkin, Des Lewis, Adriana and Mark Samuels, Neil Davies, David Sutton, Jetse, Guy Adams, Ian Alexander Martin and Marion Arnott...and many more.
Two days later and I'm still recovering from the convention. For the second year running the bar ran dry at 4a.m. each night. All attempts to drink from dusk until dawn were foiled - there is always next year!
22nd July 07
Bull Running for Girls is coming along well; 70,000 words completed of a 100,000 word book. A new extract from Hunter's Moon is up on the Screaming Dreams site. This story, set in Bordeaux, is based on a true life tragedy.
20th May 07
WINGS OF NIGHT is up at the HUB ezine site. Subscription to the weekly magazine is free, as the site is sponsored by Orbit Publishing. If you opt in now HUB will slip silently into your email boxes every Saturday. HUB contains reviews; a new series on past Doctor Who's (should be in next week) and a new Felix Castor story by Mike Carey will be up in August. The mag had originally over 1,000 submissions so I’m pleased to be in it.
15th April 07
Pleased to say that my story called WINGS OF NIGHT is to be in HUB E-zine. The story is set against the time when I worked as an usher in The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, and the nightclub I used to frequent on my own, (my mates wouldn't go to it!) called Rockworld. I am pencilled in for issue 15 round about the 13th July.
2nd April 07
got back from WHC Toronto. It was
fantastic! Got to talk to Joe R Lansdale and Gary Braunbeck as well as
have late night chats in the bar with Chris Teague, Stuart Young, John
Travis, Dave Price, Mick Curtis and his wife Debs. Gary Fry and Gary
McMahon were staying with friends in the city so it was a shame that
they missed the late night Guinness.
Bram Stoker Award winners 2006 were:
Achievement in a NOVEL
Achievement in a FIRST NOVEL
Achievement in LONG FICTION
Achievement in SHORT FICTION
Achievement in an ANTHOLOGY
Achievement in a COLLECTION
Achievement in NONFICTION
Achievement in POETRY
23rd March 07
My story FOR YOU FAUSTINE will appear in a future edition of TRIQUORUM, from Pendragon Press, edited by Chris Teague.
Set on Coney Island, FOR YOU FAUSTINE is a revenge story involving the myth of the Lamia, and the poetry of Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909)
22nd Feb 07
BULL RUNNING FOR GIRLS to be published by Steve Upham of Screaming Dreams Press in 2008:
A selection of adventure/horror stories set in many locations, from the dark and dangerous Catacombs of Rome, to small town life in Madison County, U.S. Stories set amidst the bustle of Hong Kong, on The Silk Road in China and under a Hunter’s moon in Bordeaux. Then there are those which are much closer to home. Within this collection there are females who cause trouble, some who help you out of it and some who just can’t leave it alone.
19th Feb 07
The year has got off to a great start. Kenneth James Crist, of Black Petals has picked up my story SHADOW UPON SHADOW for future publication. Part of the story is autobiographical but I’m not saying which. Okay, I probably will after a few beers at some convention or other sometime.
THE DARKEST HOUR is to be published this year by Paul Calvin Wilson in the Lighthouse V11 anthology, alongside some notable writers, such as, Gary Fry, Gary McMahon and John. L. Probert. The story had its origins in the Strangeways riots of April, 1990 but it ended up influenced by the Attica riots which took place in 1971 in the U.S. I will say though, that I did see a note from a prisoner, who described in tragic detail, the violence that took place within Strangeways, during the first few days.
THE LAST SUPPER is out later on this year in Dead Ends, from Steve Upham at Screaming Dreams Press. This intensely personal story speaks for itself. Not all my stories come from actual experience but in these three cases there are elements in them that do.
I’m waiting to hear from Grafika magazine, who took my three stories, IN A PIG’S EAR, DEATHSIDE and SUNNY DOWN SNUFF last May. The editor has announced that he intends to only bring out the first two issues, (to honour the contracts) but at this point, I don’t see that happening.
Rage Machine announced that it was folding its magazine, taking down two of my stories, SILENCE IS GOLDEN and THE ASYLUM with it. I can’t say that I’m too bothered by this, as those two stories are now developing into a novella. The protagonist Vince Taylor, plagued by a devoted dead wife, just won’t go down without a fight.
THE SLY BOY BAR AND EATERY, is in with Jeff and Ann VandeMeer for consideration in the Fast Ships, Black Sails anthology.
WINGS OF NIGHT has been submitted to the good looking, HUB magazine, edited by Lee Thomas.
REALM OF THE DEAD has been sent off to Matt Cardin and T.M. Wright for consideration in the Holy Horrors anthology. The guidelines say send, “Anything that spins, gestates, evolves, devolves, erupts, or otherwise issues, in a spectacularly evil, disturbing, supernatural, horrific, weird, insane, or otherwise grotesque way from religion.” Now, I visited The Catacombs in Rome last summer and a story about a mafia member seeking refuge in Italy, has gone into that anthology.
I’m getting excited about going to Toronto for the World Horror Conference at the end of March. Great chance to meet up with friends made at the British Fantasy Convention last year. I just hope there are no delays getting to Paris to catch a connection. I never learn my lesson and should book a trip with no stopovers. My only other worry is the walk back from the convention hotel, The Marriott to the Bond Hotel. Apparently it is a hang out for prostitutes and if I have had too much too drink I might just try do some research and ask questions – it doesn’t bear thinking about.
My literary love affair with the writer Joe. L. Lansdale continues after me being blown away by his stories. THE STEAM MAN OF THE PRAIRIE, AND THE DARK RIDER, as the author says is, “a tribute to the old stuff, with a touch of the new. There is also another influence. Philip Jose Farmer. If Burroughs is my sentimental favorite of all time, Philip Jose Farmer is my out-right favorite.” Another great story is THE BIG BLOW, set against the great hurricane of 1900, that hit Galveston. Both come from, MAD DOG SUMMER, which is an incredible collection of stories.
For my birthday, a few days ago, I was given The Unblemished by Conrad Williams. I’m really looking forward to reading this.
18th Feb 07
New web site launched! I’m really excited about the artwork. Vincent Chong has designed the new site with an astounding front page. I’m hoping to sell a collection of my stories under the title BULL RUNNING FOR GIRLS – hence the tie in with the site. Amongst Vinny’s credits are the covers for 20th Century Ghost, written by Joe Hill, published by P.S.Publishing, The Heart Shaped Box, also by Joe Hill, out from Gollancz S.F and Rough Cut, written by Gary McMahon and published by Pendragon Press.