Great news from Chris Black: the Thirteeners join up with Fahrenheit Press!
So, here I am, the new head of a new imprint and it’s important to me that Fahrenheit 13 has a distinctive feel. So if Fahrenheit are the punk publishers of crime fiction, where does that leave Fahrenheit 13?
Simple: Fahrenheit only break the rules. Fahrenheit 13 burns the rule book and buries it out in the desert.
Look for Satan’s Sororityto bounce back even bigger than before!
Aidan Thorn’s got a new book out and it’s something a little bit different from him. Typically Aidan’s been a short story writer or a novella man – this time he’s putting all that into one book. Tales from the Underbelly is a series of linked stories of varying length centered around a few criminal characters but more importantly it’s about the people that get caught up in their world, some willingly, some unfortunately and innocently, and some without ever realising it.
Tony Ricco and Jimmy O’Keefe are rival gang leaders running the streets of a gritty UK city. Throughout Tales from the Underbelly the reader follows the lives of those touched by Ricco and O’Keefe through Chinese takeaways, gyms, run down council estates and fancy suburban houses – the places you and I visit daily – but hopefully never encounter the underbelly that’s never far away.
Aidan’s linked collection includes six short stories, a novelette and the second half of the book is a novella, Worst Laid Plans. Throughout these stories we learn about the world in which Ricco and O’Keefe operate and their reach and influence over the city that they vie for power over. In many ways this collection is the British Pulp Fiction – 20 plus years after that Quentin chap came up with the idea, but you can’t blame Aidan for that, he was just a boy at the time.
Tales from the Underbelly is available now: get it here.
There’s a reason people refer to Godwin as The Dark Lord. He loves to explore the depth of depravity in the modern world. This novella from our shared publisher Number 13 Press might be a little lighter on gore than some of his more brutal books but it makes up for it with paranoia and sexuality. There’s the blackest of black humour here too, especially in the names like protagonist Samuel Verso (the medieval terminology for the sides of a sheet of parchment are recto and verso).
Verso is a publisher and the nexus of a web of problems. His best selling author has disappeared, his partner demands they move into ebooks, his wife is so far beyond anorexia that she lusts for having her limbs removed — and he suspects that he’s being followed, but by whom?
Everybody has a fetish: for his wife Phyllis it was ‘something inside her that was trying to emerge into day…she could only find when the cutting began’; for his partner Belinda it was the desire to see desire in every person she met; for Samuel it is books. Part of the reason he resists the move to ebooks is not only his growing paranoia about code taking over the world but a genuine desire for the book itself. His lover Maxine feeds this fetish: ‘She read from the novel and Samuel recalled publishing it. He could smell the print rising from her hand as he fondled her breasts.’ As she tells him later, ‘I read to you to turn you into a man.’
But even Maxine cannot save Samuel from his growing fears that somehow Fontana Rate, ‘the ever elusive bestseller who despised commercial fiction’ and the men who are following him — maybe? Is it all a delusion? As he asks at one point, ‘Is this some elaborate plan to make me realise my resistance to e-books is old fashioned?’ Or are the serial killers, government agents and tutu-ed libertines real? There are a lot of twists and turns along the way and you’ll find yourself reading faster and faster to figure out what happens. But you’ll probably guess wrong.
Check out all the 13ers at Number 13 Press — it’s Friday the 13th after all!
There are witches and then there are witches; the trope of making them acolytes of the devil persists, though my gals in Satan’s Sorority would never want to be confused with witches. Devil or no, one of the finest films in that vein is Dario Argento’s masterpiece Suspiria which features an equally legendary soundtrack by Goblin. If you’ve never indulged, I suggest you grab your black cat and sit down for a spell.