Sordid Spheres!

Sphere Horror In The Seventies

Posts Tagged ‘H. P. Saucecraft’

Basil Copper – Here Be Daemons

Posted by demonik on June 6, 2009

Basil Copper – Here Be Daemons (Sphere, 1978)


Old Mrs. Cartwright
The Knocker At The Portico
The Way The World Died
The Second Passenger
The Treasure Of Our Lady
Justice At The Crossroads
Mrs. Van Donk
The Trodes
The Great Vore

Black Magic novella The Great Vore is arguably the stand-out of this, Copper’s fifth collection. Revenge At The Crossroads sees a stranger fall foul of superstitious villagers when they mistake him for a vampire. The Second Passenger, and a murderer is pursued by the rotting corpse of his victim – hardly original, but one of the best stories of its kind.

Thanks to H. P. Saucecraft for providing the cover scan

See also Here Be Daemons thread on Vault Of Evil

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Peter Tremayne – Swamp!

Posted by demonik on June 4, 2009

Peter Tremayne – Swamp!   (Sphere, 1985)


It was huge, reptilian, a flesh-eating nightmare from hell! Its lair was by the murky waters of Chay-in-cuna – Lake of the Dead in the old Calusa tongue of the Indians who once inhabited these Florida Everglades.

Sometimes this monstrous survivor of the primitive past would emerge into the foul, fetid air of the swamps, and run amok among the impenetrable mangroves and giant waving sawgrass. It killed whatever crossed its path – hunters, tourists, swamp people.

And not even the worst hurricane to strike Florida in years could forestall its bloodthirsty rampage!

Thanks to H. P. Saucecraft for the cover scan.

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Peter Tremayne – The Morgow Rises

Posted by demonik on June 2, 2009

Peter Tremayne – The Morgow Rises (Sphere, 1982)


Review by Killercrab.

Beware when the Morgow rises:
Lament for the living.
Lament for the unborn.
All things end!

The idyllic Cornish village of Bosbradoe is suitably populated by eccentrics – none more so than 72 year old retired mining expert Henry Archibold Penrose , known as *Happy* to the locals. Owning a crumbling old mansion Tybronbucca ( meaning House on Goblin Hill) – Happy likes nothing better than to pack a thermos and sandwiches and explore the disused Tom Wheal tin mine he owns , adjoining the property , in the hopes of finding a new vein of Malachite that will re-energise the town’s economy.

However the dank and fetid undersea caverns hold something far more deadly than tin , as Happy finds out to his peril…

Meanwhile his visiting neice Claire breaks down on a lonely stretch of the Bodmin moor ( in the best Hammer Horrible tradition). Local fortune teller and witch , cackling Mother Polruan accosts her – fortelling of her *doom* in no uncertain terms – echoes of a village CURSED reverberating across the desolute moors ! Claire is *rescued* by Willian Neville – thriller writer , car expert and all round handsome chap and together their twin fates spiral intextricably towards the slavering jaws of the Morgow !!…

Peter Tremayne’s knowledge of Cornish lore embues the story with a delicious superstitous aura – is the Morgow a monster of myth or something of a more recent vintage?! The local pub The Morvren Arms is no doub’t a derivation of Morveran – the name of the mermaid from Cornish folklore and certainly befits the drinking hole of the local fisherfolk like old Billy Scalwen and Jack Trenaglos – overseen by the moon-faced landlord Noall. The actual legend of the Morgow though seems more a fiction dreamed up by Tremayne – possibly the name inspired by the character of the same name in LORD OF THE RINGS ? – no matter – Tremayne makes you believe that Mother Polruan’s fortellings of the mythical beast returning are dangerously real enough. Mix into this potent brew journalistic rivalries and Harrier jump-jets and you’ve a cracker of a tale!

Whilst the book boasts a salaciously saliva-drippingly lurid delineation of red head siren Sheila Fahy ( of the too full breasts she opines!) , getting scoffed alive by the slithering Morgow – Tremayne opts to concentrate more on building suspense initially , rather than outright explicit sex and gore – but let’s fly as the reader rounds on the final bend of the book The story is exuberantly kinetic and easy on the eye – a couple of hours should suffice the average reader. Tremayne’s real strentgh lies in his ability to forge folklore and reality convincingly without the story getting bogged down in too much detail – highly recommended!

Killercrab click rating 4/5

Thanks to H. P. Saucecraft who kindly provided the cover scan.

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Giles Gordon – A Book Of Contemporary Nightmares

Posted by demonik on October 23, 2007

Giles Gordon (ed) – A Book Of Contemporary Nightmares (Sphere, 1978)

Cover illustration: Les Edwards

Cover illustration: Les Edwards

Brian W. Aldiss – The Bang-Bang
Patricia Highsmith – Please Don’t Shoot the Trees
Francis King – Voices
Penelope Shuttle – The Other Husband
William Trevor – Broken Homes
Michael Moorcock – The Minstrel Girl
William Sansom – In Cold Daylight
Angela Carter – The Scarlet House
John Sladek – Scenes from the Country of the Blind
Peter Redgrove – Our Lady of the Ice
Joan Aiken – Power-cut
George MacBeth – Birth
Barry Unsworth – Death of a Primitive Humanist

Thanks to Charles Black for providing the contents and H. P. Saucecraft (Dave) for scanning the cover!

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