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About Pendragon

Pendragon Press is an award-winning, UK-based, independent publisher of horror and slipstream short fiction, novellas and novels.

"Pendragon Press is a small press that continues to refine, and go from strength to strength."
- SF Revu

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RIP Mr Harryhausen

Posted by Chris on May 7, 2013 at 18:52
Posted in: General

I don't often use the Pendragon site to make personal statements not related to publishing (the last one was when Rick Wright, keyboard player of Pink Floyd, died) but terribly sad to hear of the passing of one of my greatest childhood heroes: Mr Ray Harryhausen.

About ten years ago I discovered an arts cinema in Cardiff were showing Jason and the Argonauts on the "big screen": there was no question of not attending this screening. I fell in love with Harryhausen's work the moment I first saw the film when I was about 10 one Sunday afternoon.

Off I went and dutifully sat waiting for the film to start. The picture was grainy and jumpy, the sound terribly distorted, but I felt myself being transported back to that day twenty five or so years ago. I looked around the auditorium – not many were watching, but I noticed a mother in the front row whose son clutched onto her when the skeletons appeared on screen. It made me smile – Ray's work was timeless. That lad must be a teenager now, I hope he grows up just like I did with the love of all things fantastic.

RIP Mr Harryhausen.

Shirley Jackson Nominee

Posted by Chris on May 3, 2013 at 18:47
Posted in: Awards, Book News, General

I can now confirm and announce that Nathan Ballingrud's novelette "Wild Acre" (from Visions Fading Fast) has been nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award!

Now, don't you think you should buy a copy of the limited numbered hardback?

Some excellent news!

Posted by Chris on February 19, 2013 at 1:21
Posted in: Book News, General, Reviews

Nathan Ballingrud's story "Wild Acre" that appears in the anthology Visions Fading Fast has been selected by Ellen Datlow for inclusion within her The Best Horror of the Year anthology. Although I am biased being the publisher it is indeed one of the very best tales I read last year; it centres not so much on the horror aspect, but that of a typical, hard-working blue-collar father in North America.

Bite: front cover

Posted by Chris on February 9, 2013 at 20:44
Posted in: Book News, General

Due later this year, the debut novella "Bite" by Gardner Goldsmith – whom many of you will know from this appearances on both sides of the Convention circuit. Cover art courtesy of the supremely talented Ben Baldwin:

Bite by Gardner Goldsmith

For Your Consideration

Posted by Chris on February 7, 2013 at 21:24
Posted in: Book News, Conventions

Despite the fact I personally screwed up last year, there are still two Pendragon titles worthy of your consideration for the British Fantasy Awards:

Best Anthology
Visions Fading Fast, ed. Gary McMahon

Best Collection
To Usher, the Dead by Gary McMahon

Best Artist
Tomislav Tikulin (for VFF)
Paul Mudie (for Usher)

… and from Visions Fading Fast, the five individual tales are also eligible for the Best Novella category:

"Blues before Sunrise" by Joel Lane
"Wild Acre" by Nathan Ballingrud
"Dancer in the Dark" by Reggie Oliver
"The History Thief" by Kaaron Warren
"Night Closures" by Paul Meloy

I thank you.

Competition time!

Posted by Chris on January 14, 2013 at 11:31
Posted in: Book News, General

Ten copies of Stuart Young's The Mask Behind the Face up for grabs if you can answer the following question: who wrote the introduction to this collection?

First ten folk to join the Pendragon mailing list by this Friday and confirm their answer via email to chris at pendragonpress dot net will receive a copy – unfortunately, I'll have to invoice folk from overseas postage costs.

EDIT: Winners contacted; copies to be mailed out. :)

2012: 'Orrible Anus to be blunt…

Posted by Chris on December 10, 2012 at 21:20
Posted in: Book News, General

2012 started so well: I was full of beans (which probably explains the gas) and rather chirpy. Visions Fading Fast was eventually published, and Nasty Snips II was announced along with To Usher, the Dead. Stories trundled in for NS2 which I sent to Ross, Katy and Esther to read and Gary M was proofing Usher ready for FantasyCon launch.

Ordinarily this would be no problem – well, not a problem for any other publisher. Unfortunately, Visions Fading Fast was printed when there wasn't quite enough money in the pot to pay for it; has such, and due to my severe lack of fiscal ability, the printing bill snowballed when I had to get Usher ready for September.

Don't ask me to explain how I got it so spectacularly wrong… but from August onwards I became a master of juggling; of robbing Peter to pay Paul – but you can only do that for so long. My stress was rising – and is still high – and I was losing sleep (and still not quite right). I was haemorrhaging money and only now I can see a faint glimmer in the distance.

To be fair, this is probably nothing new to many of you – but I shouldn't be in this position: I'm single with no dependants. I live on my own and work full-time, and truthfully on paper Pendragon should be fairly comfortable… but this year, I somehow kept my eye off the the ball and let it drop big-time.

Why am I telling you this – writing this bluntly honest post which is almost akin to that of Gerald Ratner the UK jeweler who called his merchandise "crap". Well, I'm telling you this since I owe people books, and I owe one or two people money and I believe in being truthfully honest – even when I should really be using marketing-speak and bullshit you all.

In case you haven't noticed, I don't do bullshit. And I can't lie.

So, 2012 was bad… very bad; quite possibly my worst year of publishing yet; my ineptitude in money and organisation led procrastination which in itself lead to me being even more inept in doing stuff.

But, as I stated above, I do see a sliver of blue on the horizon: I'm pretty on-top of the bill now, and the trips to the post office are on a regular basis. I see 2013 starting with a clean slate, and a decision to drop a shift in my main-job to concentrate more time and effort on Pendragon.

I'm looking at CreateSpace with regards to the Nasty Snips Project and once I get these stories paid off in full then February will be launch date.

I have three books scheduled in for next year; I'm going back to crawling again and re-learning how to run a business.

In 2013, I will change… I have to if Pendragon is to survive.

Diolch,

Chris

Hardcover blow-out

Posted by Chris on December 3, 2012 at 15:40
Posted in: Book News, General

From now until the end of the year, prices for the remaining stock of Silversands, Feral Companions and We Fade to Grey hardcovers have been reduced.

Though the latter two are signed, the signed copies of Silversands have long since sold out.

In other news, a Review of 2012 is forthcoming…

Postage Update

Posted by Chris on October 23, 2012 at 12:11
Posted in: Book News, General

To excuse any further embarrassment on my part, this update is purely to state that I am processing Usher pre-orders – alas, the day-(or rather, night) job is getting in the way and I effectively only have one day a week to make my journey to the post office. Not much of an excuse, but the only one I have unfortunately.

As usual, your patience is very much appreciated.

Diolch yn fawr.

FantasyCon Write-Up

Posted by Chris on October 3, 2012 at 14:16
Posted in: Book News, Conventions

I am often asked if attending this event is worthwhile financially… and to be bluntly honest with you, I do sell a few books (which helps) and if it were any other Convention I would think twice, but since FCon was my very first event way back in 2000 I have a connection with it and the folks involved and those who attend year-in, year-out.

I don't attend with a view to cover the costs, since I love the weekend away too much – in fact, I think the only time I've covered costs was when Clive Barker and Neil Gaiman attended the Nottingham gig.

I don't have a solid enough memory to write a detailed journal of my five day stay in Brighton – I've even tried selling a copy of To Usher, the Dead today to someone who already purchased a copy last weekend. Embarrassed, me? Yes, very much so. :(

In fact, it is only since attending FCon that I've become more sociable – not that I'm someone whom you could consider a master of conversation, but I try…

Anyway, if you have never attended FCon before then it is easily the friendliest event for convention virgins – and a great place in these days of Facebook friends and Twitter followers to say hello face-to-face and share a drink, many drinks.

Attending FCon for me, though, on a business level is a means of building a shop-front: online sales out-number cold, hard cash… but seeing someone hand-over cash is much more rewarding (and gives me an excuse to exercise my mental arithmetic).

As stated, I've been going to FCon since 2000 and missed three – two one-day events in London and when my nan died – and last weekend was quite possibly the best: drank too much, slept too little, ate great food (just love The Sussex pub) and thoroughly enjoy some wonderful conversation with some great people.

Thanks to those who persevered and waited for my entrance at the To Usher, the Dead launch (and apologies to Gary and Mia for my tardiness) – and equal thanks to those who stopped by the dealer's table.

I would also like to apologise to anyone who caught a glimpse of me dancing on the Saturday night, and to Emily McMahon and her foot who I've just realised I stepped on during "One Step Beyond". :(

No FCon next year (World Fantasy instead) – I've been to a few Cons now and I'm quite apprehensive about WFC (it's huge) – therefore, I'd wait until 2014 for the return of FCon (up north insofar has I am aware) if you are at all intrigued…

Back to the grindstone now – got those Usher pre-orders to post…

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