Back From The Dead

Reading & Writing

When I was a kid I collected the Pan Books of Horror. They represented the cutting edge of dark fiction, featured a roll-call of horror greats and were hugely popular – so popular that they ran to thirty volumes. I collected them all, and in certain ways they helped to shape my reading. What I found so fascinating was that they weren’t simply shockers. Many stories from William Faulkner to John Collier, were masterclasses in grace and concision. Personally, I always preferred the less explicit, subtler tales of fear, in the same way that I preferred ‘The Orphanage’ over ‘Hostel’. Many years later, I was thrilled to be invited to join the greats when my very first short stories were picked for the final volumes in the Pan series.

Now editor Johnny Mains has put together a new collection of Pan Horrors. He’s been able to do this by commissioning those of us remaining who featured in the original series. I haven’t read the book yet, but if the cover is anything to go by it could be a treat. Here’s hoping we’ve still got what it takes.

5 comments on “Back From The Dead”

  1. Steve says:

    Not certain about the others, but I’m sure you’ve still got what it takes! Hopefully they’ll be available in the States.

  2. Helen Martin says:

    That cover is distinctly familiar, but I don’t know from where. It truly is effective, in any event.

  3. Alan says:

    Personally – I’ll be haunting Kingston’s only remaining bookshop.

  4. Ah, the Pan Book of Horror Stories were my bibles through the teen years. I only regret I ditched them at some time in the various house moves. Time to begin collecting again! A couple stand out in my memory: one featured a surgeon operating on a body and coming across a THING blinking with one eye from the chest cavity. The best was Arthur Machen’s “Novel of the White Powder” which I can still remember 40 years later.

  5. David Bell says:

    This is a real Back Fron The Dead event. I’m delighted the John Mains has included a story of mine (pen-name Jack Wainer) in his new anthology. I only just scraped into the final Pan edition (N0 30, if I remember correctly) with a couple of stories. They didn’t pay much but the company was amazing!

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