Thursday, August 29, 2019

She's an Angel Witch: The Witches Series by James Darke (1983-86)

Still so many treasures to be found in paperback horror! I was rereading a Sphere book recently and noticed this back pages ad that I had previously missed, for a horror series I had never heard of before:

Immediately I got on the Google to see what I could see and lo and behold my faithful readers I was rewarded with these delightfully vintage softcore covers for The Witches, an eight-volume series of historical horror novels by one James Darke.

If you were around in the early '80s, then these covers bring back forbidden images of men's mags like Gallery, Oui, Hustler, Penthouse, as well as MTV video starlets and instructional aerobics programs. How the janky lighting, the fog machine, and cheap set design takes me back!

James Darke is, you won't be surprised, a pseudonym; in this case, for a writer new to me, Laurence James (1942 - 2000), who wrote mostly pulp apocalyptic science fiction. The Witches was never published in the States, which certainly accounts for my unfamiliarity with it.

The few reviews I've found online range from good to not-good, neither which makes me eager to read them, but I would not pass up an opportunity to add them to my shelves! If anyone's read them, please, do tell...

Friday, August 23, 2019

The Fawcett Gold Medal Paperbacks of Robert Arthur Smith

British horror novelist Robert Arthur Smith, born on this date in 1944, produced these paperback originals between 1977 and 1991. He lives in Toronto today but other than that I could find out no real biographical info about him. I own copies of The Prey and Vampire Notes but have not read them; the latter book notes "by the author of The Leopard" but I could find no cover image for that title. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction says Vampire Notes is "an unusually intricate take on Vampire topoi" and I thought "topoi" was a typo of "topics" till I looked it up and learned it is the plural of a new-to-me, and quite relevant, word! Weird, don't know how that escaped me all these years...


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