Mammoth Books presents The Unexpected: Six short stories by Michael Marshall Smith, Ramsey Campbell, Simon Strantzas, Nicholas Royle, Robert Shearman ePub (Adobe DRM) download by Ramsey Campbell

Mammoth Books presents The Unexpected: Six short stories by Michael Marshall Smith, Ramsey Campbell, Simon Strantzas, Nicholas Royle, Robert Shearman

Robinson
Publication date: July 2012
ISBN: 9781472102775
Digital Book format: ePub (Adobe DRM)

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What Happens When You Wake Up in the Night - Michael Marshall Smith "'What Happens When You Wake Up in the Night' was one of those stories which come along once in a while," reveals Michael Marshall Smith, "the kind that drops straight into your head, fully-formed, as if fulfilling a forgotten order you made from the great Ideas shop in the sky. "The only problem was that, once this one had dropped on my mental doormat, I didn't want it. It wasn't an idea I liked. It was clearly some part of my brain serving up a notion simply because it could, and because it knew it could frighten me with it. "It did frighten me, and so I did what I always do when that happens - which is write it down, in the hope it will go away." Respects - Ramsey Campbell "'Respects' was suggested by a local incident in which a car thief in his early teens killed himself while fleeing the police," recalls Campbell. "A lamp standard at the site of his demise is still decorated with flowers years after the incident, and the tributes on the obituaries page of one Wallasey newspaper were at least as grotesque as the ones I've invented - the romanticisation of a petty criminal. "How much has this to do with the public hunger for a moment in the media? The tendency has produced its own clich├ęs. There almost seems to be a standard script (created by the demand for sound bites) for grieving parents to deliver at press conferences. A lost daughter inevitably becomes 'my little princess', and it isn't uncommon to hear very young children described as 'my best friend'. "Does this cheapen the grief? People may need to express their feelings (although not doing so, at least in public, can be useful too), but how much does banality and inaccuracy express?" Cold to Touch - Simon Strantzas "Stories often find their origins in unexpected ways," Strantzas reveals. "I was inspired in this case by a photograph of a Zen garden I once used as my computer's desktop background. After staring at it day-in and day-out while I worked, I began to wonder about that dark circle of rocks and just what its true purpose might be. "There was something there in the coldness of the photograph, something that brought to mind the barren vistas of the Canadian Arctic, which ended up being the perfect setting for my tale of tested faith." Along with its appearance here, "Cold to the Touch" will appear in Holy Horrors, a two-volume anthology of religious horror edited by T.M. Wright and Matt Cardin, from Ash-Tree Press. The Reunion - Nicholas Royle "'The Reunion' is based on actual events," reveals the author, "but the story only really came into focus for me when I was invited to contribute to Ellen Datlow's Poe anthology. "Poe is brilliant. I was at a conference recently where a teacher revealed that she had read Poe's 'The Black Cat' to a lecture theatre full of schoolchildren. She switched off all the lights and used a torch to read by. A number of parents lodged complaints, which she took as a measure of the event's success. My tale is inspired by a different Poe story." Granny's Grinning - Robert Shearman "I love Christmas," says Shearman. "Always have done, and always a bit too passionately. The intensity with which I loved Christmas was delightful when I was eight years old, slightly unusual by the time I was eighteen, and increasingly disturbing thereafter. "Into my thirties I was still wanting my family to celebrate the big day with all the same rituals of yesteryear. Giving out presents in a certain order. Listening to the same gramophone record of carols that we had when I was a kid. (Knock your heart out, Andy Williams.) Pulling crackers at the very same break of courses in the very same turkey meal served at the very same time of day - all of us sitting around the table, wearing colourful paper hats as I read out the jokes and mottoes, and threatened everyone with Trivial Pursuit. "I wa
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