The Best Horror of the Year, Vol. 6

Cover art: Pierre Droal
Cover art: Pierre Droal

I’m thrilled to have made the cut for Ellen Datlow’s annual ‘best of’ anthology for the second year running. My story The Fox is reprinted within. The book is due to hit the shelves some time in June. a full ToC can be found here.

OMZ!

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I’m delighted to announce that my story Horizon Deep will feature in the final volume of Stephen Jones’ monumental Zombie Apocalypse! trilogy, to be published by Robinson in the UK and Running Press in the States. Book Three, Endgameshould be out before the end of the year. A complete TOC can be found at Steve’s website.

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Photo: GETTY

Today is the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. I knew one of the victims – Ian Whelan – from my form at Priestley sixth form college, Warrington. I remember him as being a quiet, pleasant lad. We never really talked much (although I’m sure I might have made more of an effort had I known he was a fellow Red).

On the 15th April 1989, a gorgeous, sunny day, he, along with 95 other football fans, went to Sheffield to watch a football match and did not come home. I remember my Dad picking me up from my girlfriend’s house with the bad news. We listened to Peter Jones on the radio, relaying the confusion and the horror. Later there was the shock of recognising one of the faces.

As we all know, thanks to the extraordinary reports of evidence being doctored, and police obstruction, the confusion and horror has followed this event ever since. Only now, with the new inquests taking place in Warrington, does it look as though some justice, and hopefully some peace, might come to those poor families deceived for so long.

Never forget. YNWA.

Kurt Cobain

Photo by Martyn Goodacre
Photo by Martyn Goodacre

I’m not interested in why. I don’t care if there were clues there for all to see. So he was a drug user. So he couldn’t handle fame. Twenty years have sanded away my opinions about that, if I even really had any. Outside of family and friends, his death shocked me like no other. He was only 27 years old. There was pain and rage and screaming, but there was melody too.

When I first heard the song… that song… in 1991, I was a second-year student sharing a house in Bristol. Too young to have appreciated punk in 1976, I suddenly understood – as those power chords kicked in – how people hungry, primed, for musical change (here we are now, entertain us) must have felt. I listen to Nirvana and the hairs on the back of my neck rise. The music is still relevant, in my eyes. It is timeless, visceral, raw and beautiful.