I love editors. Whether they’re helping me to make my writing ever so much better than I could have made it by myself, or whether they’re assembling some kick ass short stories into a book is irrelevant. They do some awesome work and of them all Peter Haining is my favourite. I’ve read many books he’s edited and I only wish I could have met him. Sadly, that is never going to happen.
Some of the authors we have this fantastic book (I should stop with the adjectives, really, you’ve got the idea):
- Clive Barker
- H. P Lovecraft
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
- William Waldorf Astor
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- Anthony Berkeley
- Ruth Rendell
In the introduction Haining discusses Madame Tussaud’s and spending a night in their Chamber of Horrors. He loved the idea of this chamber as a child and the fascination has never waned. These stories are divided into two sections: tales about the rogues themselves and stories of the continuing influence their crimes have had on society.
Just a couple of things I’m going to mention. Robert Arthur in The Mirror of Cagliostro wrote a bone chilling story about a mirror and a man researching the owner of that mirror. Can’t say any more due to spoilers but I will give you a summary of the researcher in the first half of the story. He liked his life and death – in the pages of books.
Jack’s Little Friend by Ramsey Campbell. It’s a fabulous story, I loved it. I also loved some of the phrases “Beneath your tongue, your pulse is going wild.” Normally we read about heart’s beating in chests or being clammy or any other cliches. Not this time, now I’m going to trying to find the pulse beneath my tongue.