Last night, I joined the “cool kids of the London horror scene” (to paraphrase Will of Spooky Reads) in rubbing shoulders and exchanging idle chit-chat with some notable names in British horror at the lauch of Solaris’ new horror anthology, House of Fear. The anthology is editied by Jonathan Oliver, “the hottest new horror editor […] since Stephen Jones”*, who downplays the complexity of his role by saying that he “finds a lot of stories he likes and puts them together.”
He also chaired the release event, leading a panel of Christopher Priest (him that penned The Prestige), Sarah Pinborough and Paul Meloy. I hadn’t read any of these authors yet, despite all intentions, but I hadn’t heard of the last at all – however, I found myself most impressed by his thoughts and contributions.** Sarah was affable and only semi-coarse, relating her thoughts to a well received response from the audience – most notably to over-loud (and over-lustful?) laughter from the man seated beside me. Chris’ mike lay on the table, and his calm contributions*** had the audience leaning forward to catch his words, calm and rapt. He reminded me of when I saw Philip Pullman talk at a panel at the Oxford Literary Festival.
I’ve not read beyond one story in the collection yet, but the tales range across the wide realms of haunted house literature. It’s an interesting topic, and one that generated much interest, and much discussion, on the night.
I’ve a mind to recreate that here.
* So says Jonathan Strathan, who is quoted on the back of the book itself.
** Indeed, I read his story as soon as I got home, rather than waiting to reach it in the collection as otherwise I would.
*** Sorry I contribute that word too freely in this entry.