Bending to Earth: Tales of vengeful wives and murderous husbands

Review: Ghost stories and ancient fairy tales unearthed in genre-bending collection

Strange and wonderful: cover art of Bending to Earth by Karen Vaughan

Strange and wonderful: cover art of Bending to Earth by Karen Vaughan

We are living in scary times, and so perhaps it’s not surprising that the past few years have been fruitful ones for the horror genre. A decade or so ago, designated horror sections were disappearing from mainstream bookshops, and beyond the ubiquitous Stephen King you had to look quite hard to find new, scary books.

It was often down to small, independent, specialist presses to keep the candle of horror fiction flickering: Tartarus, way up in the remote North Yorkshire dales; Ash Tree, even more far-flung in the village of Ashcroft, British Columbia; and Valancourt in Richmond, Virginia. In Dublin, the extraordinary Swan River Press, run by the indefatigable Brian J Showers, has published new writers and revived forgotten ones, often with a distinctively Irish focus.

For people like me, it’s a treasure.

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