Encyclopedia Phantasmagoria

Guide to the Fontana Ghost, Horror & Tales of Terror series’.

Archive for the ‘Gloomy Confidential’ Category

The ‘Frighteners’ Set

Posted by demonik on May 31, 2007

My friend Charles Black recently drew my attention to a post on the Ray Bradbury forum from Terry Tapp. Mr. Tapp (not, apparently his real name) admits to writing under a number of pen-names, some male, some female, citing John Duncan as an example (under this name he contributed a story to Mary Danby’s The Green Ghost collection for young adults, the title story of which is as by ‘Terry Tapp’).

I’d wondered about the collective of contemporary authors who regularly turn up in Danby and Chetwynd-Hayes’ Fontana books. So many of them seemed to vanish into the ether when the series’ stopped. How many, I wonder, were the work of one writer adopting multiple pseudonyms?

Well, if the mighty Locus site have it right – and I’ve no reason to doubt them – one of my favourites, Roger Malisson wasn’t a guy at all, but the nom de plume of Catherine Gleason who also contributed stories under her own name.

I’ve not looked into this in any depth but what of Kay Leigh, Heather Vineham, Barbara Joan Eyre, Roy Harrison, Pamela Vincent and Bryn Fortey? We know Tony Richards is real: He’s gone on to publish a number of novels and has his own site, Richards Reality , while Roger F. Dunkley has a birth date against his name (1943 -) in the Locus directory, usually a good indication that the author is who he says he is.

If anybody can contribute more information, please don’t hold back! :)

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How It Works

Posted by demonik on May 29, 2007

illustration copyright Chrissie Demant

 Illustrations by kind permission of Chrissie Demant

The campaign to clog up cyberspace with more worthless horror fiction pondering continues. What to use this for? Well, haven’t tried data-basing before, so I guess I can recycle all that poor man’s E. F. Bleiler garbage as an ENCYCLOPEDIA PHANTASMAGORIA this time.

But which of my top terror idols haven’t  already been put under the gloomy microscope? Gruesome Cargoes has picked on Charles Birkin, Christine Campbell Thomson and John Gawsworth. Loughville singles out poor old R. Chetwynd-Hayes and Vault … well, there can’t be too many horror anthologists Vault haven’t discussed at one time or another. So, given that it’s my current obsession and will be for at least ten minutes, this time its the turn of FONTANA. In short, an annotated guide to the Fontana Horror, Ghost and Tales of Terror series’, Mary Danby’s Frighteners and Robert Muller’s Supernatural.

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Some days later …. 

So I’m a bit dim and realise – too late! –  that it would have been better to post these entries as stubs because essentially, that is what they are, and I’m updating them regularly (for example, in the past 24 hours I’ve added notes on stories by Sydney J. Bounds, Barbara Jane Eyre, de Balzac, L. A. Lewis, Virginia Swain, ‘Roger Malisson’ and Pamela Vincent among others). Anyway, I can’t be bothered with all that re-posting malarkey so this is what we’re stuck with.

I hope it is of use to somebody.

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