Friday, 31 January 2014

Tenebrous Tales finally published as an e-book

My short-story collection "Tenebrous Tales" is now available on Amazon as a Kindle download.

Originally published in 2010, the book quickly sold out, partly because of the low print run, partly because of the popularity of books produced by the publisher Ex Occidente Press amongst connoisseurs of luxuriously bound books. Rather embarrassingly, on the rare occasions when copies do surface on Ebay, they fetch a couple of hundred quid even sans dustwrapper, which is probably as prohibitive to the reader as it is incomprehensible to the author.

The collection includes one novella and nine short stories. The book was highly praised by various critics and reviewers, and four of the stories received 'Honourable Mentions' by Ellen Datlow in her yearly round-up of the year's best fiction. The novella 'The Melancholy Haunting Of Nicholas Parkes' was nominated for a British Fantasy Award but [as is my curmudgeonly wont] I rather haughtily requested that it be removed from the list.

I am currently adapting 'The Melancholy Haunting Of Nicholas Parkes' into a mainstream novel. This story fictionalises the life, death and subsequent haunting of the ill-fated cult musician Nick Drake; or rather, it seeks to blur reality with fantasy, whether it be Drake's, mine or other people's. In the novel, I have created many new characters, including some fictional contemporary musicians, replete with concept albums and full discographies.

Pompously, I do not regard "Tenebrous Tales" as a collection of horror stories, I view it as a semi-autobiographical journey through various dreams, nightmares and obsessions. I try to explore serious themes such as loss, isolation, memory, suicide, mental disturbance and self-harm.

I deliberately set out to vary pace, style and perspective in each of my stories, and have hopefully created a series of psychological narratives which have been filtered through experience, along with a deep and passionate interest in literature, film and music.  

The contents comprise:

TALES

The Melancholy Haunting of Nicholas Parkes . . . . . . .9

Subtle Differences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51

The Motiveless Pursuit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

Snow Train . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 82

The Sinister Cupboard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91

The Man Who Fell Awake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115

The Tableaux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .119

The Cliff Path . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132

Drill Head . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137


The Thing in the Tree . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .142


Here endeth the sale pitch.

CB


"'Tenebrous Tales' by Christopher Barker is another fine debut collection that showcases the author’s talent for both the formality of the traditional gothic tale and for depicting disturbing graphic violence in more contemporary types of horror."
Ellen Datlow, 'The Best Horror Of The Year' [2011]

Grim Review of the book.

Des Lewis's 'Nemonymous' review of the book.

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