The Wrong Game, Ramsey Campbell
I must have dozed despite the image that wouldn’t leave my mind or grow clearer, because I awoke at a few minutes past two. I had a sense that I’d heard something not especially substantial on the move in the dark. The only light came from the scrawny digits of the bedside clock, which aggravated the darkness. As I groped for the cord above the bed I felt as if the gloom was gathering like soot on my fingers. By the time I located the cord I’d begun rubbing them together. The light showed that I hadn’t closed the drawer of the chest as tight as I’d imagined, since it displayed a shadow like a thin strip of earth. Surely it was just because I hadn’t fully wakened that the sliver of blackness looked restive. Lurching out of bed, I slammed the drawer and found myself staring at the room. What should it remind me of? Then I knew, and rather more than that. It brought to mind the first time I’d stayed by myself at a hotel.
I’ll be reading at an event at Waterstone’s, Liverpool, tomorrow night to celebrate the launch of Simon Bestwick’s post-apocalyptic novel Hell’s Ditch along with horror legend Ramsey Campbell. Tickets are available for £3 and we kick off at 6.30 pm. Come and join us!
It’s always a thrill to receive a box of books in the post. And it was especially satisfying to open this parcel, if only because it meant it hadn’t gone missing (which I was convinced was going to happen). The books are lovely; Titan have done a beautiful job. It seems like such a long time ago that I first came up with the concept, but all the hard work was done by others: eighteen ridiculously-talented writers (and each one a pleasure to deal with) contributed wonderful stories. I was thinking with some sadness that the project was over, but really, with the book’s publication, it’s only just started. Because now you lovely readers get involved. I hope you love this anthology as much as I do.
The splendid Ali Karim has posted an in-depth interview he conducted with me for The Rap Sheet, the essential, award-winning resource for readers seeking information about what’s new and interesting in the world of crime fiction. You can read it here. Thanks to Ali and The Rap Sheet for their interest and support.
I’m pleased to be able to reveal the cover to the new anthology, scheduled for publication next year. Credit to Titan for agreeing to list every author on the cover. None of that ‘And Many Others’ nonsense here!
It was a privilege to work with so many talented writers. I hope you’ll be as impressed by the stories as I was.
Coming in April 2016 from Titan Books…
An anthology of the undelivered, the missing, the returned…
Edited by Conrad Williams
The Green Letter – Steven Hall
Over to You – Michael Marshall Smith
In Memoriam – Joanne Harris
Ausland – Alison Moore
Wonders to Come – Christopher Fowler
Cancer Dancer – Pat Cadigan
The Wrong Game – Ramsey Campbell
Is-and – Claire Dean
Buyer’s Remorse – Andrew Lane
Gone Away – Muriel Gray
Astray – Nina Allan
The Days of Our Lives – Adam LG Nevill
The Hungry Hotel – Lisa Tuttle
L0ND0N – Nicholas Royle
Change Management – Angela Slatter
Ledge Bants – Maria Dahvana Headley & China Miéville
And We, Spectators Always, Everywhere – Kirsten Kaschock
On October 7th I posted a blog about the Gothic Manchester Festival, and how I was hoping to write a new short story in time for a reading I was scheduled to perform at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation along with Ramsey Campbell and Stephen McGeagh. I intended to write something “brisk and baleful”, around 1500 words. Well, I didn’t. Not brisk, anyway. It ended up being around 6000 words, and I ditched my original title, Way Out Via 30 Steps (although I like that title too much to discard it completely). It is now called Shaddertown, and it will be appearing early next year in the excellent Shadows & Tall Trees (edited by Michael Kelly), alongside Alison Moore, Kaaron Warren, Myriam Frey, David Surface, CM Muller, Robert Levy, Charles Wilkinson, Tara Isabella Burton, VH Leslie, Brett Cox, Michael Wehunt, Ralph Robert Moore and Ray Cluley.