Friday, 24 June 2011


Ray Russell recently wrote a guest blog over at Confessions of a Technophobe, suggesting that a great deal of satisfaction and enjoyment in publishing comes from collaborating with other people. We thought we would list here some of the small presses we've worked with over the years, and the books we have jointly published.
Aklo and Ornaments in Jade
Caermaen Books. Mark Valentine and Roger Dobson used this imprint back in the 1980s and 1990s, notably publishing five issues of the highly regarded magazine, Aklo. Ray first met Mark and Roger in Usk at a meeting of the old Arthur Machen Society, and collaborated with them on the publication of Ornaments in Jade, with an Introduction by Barry Humphries. In 1998 Mark and Roger were discussing what to do with the material already accepted for future issues of Aklo, some of which didn’t fit the format of the magazine. A final, last hardback volume was the way forward, jointly edited by Mark, Roger and Ray, and produced by Tartarus.

Ornaments in Jade by Arthur Machen, 1997
Aklo, 1998

The Collected Strange Stories
Durtro Press. David Tibet used this imprint until relatively recently (he now publishes as Coptic Cat). It was David who first communicated to us his enthusiasm for Robert Aickman, letting us borrow his books, and persuading us that a Collected Aickman was something we should publish jointly. It was a massive undertaking (half a million words!), and not without problems. It was a considerable investment at a time when we weren’t able to judge Aickman’s popularity. We’d like to think that this volume helped seal his reputation among aficionados of the Strange Tale.

The Collected Strange Stories of Robert Aickman, 1999

The Life of Arthur Machen
Arthur Machen Society/Friends of Arthur Machen
Back in the days of the old Arthur Machen Society, Ray Russell produced the last two issues of the journal Avallaunius as hardback books for the Society. These provided the format for the journal of the subsequent Friends of Arthur Machen journal, Faunus. In association with the AMS, he and Jon Preece arranged for the publication of Vincent Starrett’s study of Machen, A Novelist of Ecstasy and Sin as a memorial volume to the late Christopher Palmer. Precious Balms was also produced for the membership, and the most ambitious project was John Gawsworth's Life of Arthur Machen jointly published by Tartarus, the Friends of Arthur Machen and Reino de Redonda (official imprint of the realm of Redonda).

Faunus issues sixteen and seventeen, 1997
Avallaunius, various issues 1998 to date
Precious Balms by Arthur Machen, 1999
The Life of Arthur Machen by John Gawsworth, 2005 (also in association with Reino de Redonda)
N by Arthur Machen, 2010 (also in association with The Stoke Newington Literary Festival)

The Wandering Soul and The Lost Poetry
PS Publishing
Pete and Nicky Crowther at PS Publishing had already arranged to publish a large collection of material by William Hope Hodgson, edited by Jane Frank, but decided that it needed a rather more 'archaic' design than was usual for their PS Publications. For some reason they thought of us (!) In this instance we managed to interest two quite different readerships in Hodgson's works.

The Wandering Soul and The Lost Poetry, by William Hope Hodgson, 2005

N by Machen, and The Inner Room by Aickman
The Stoke Newington Literary Festival
A small paperback printing of Arthur Machen’s short story ‘N’, to promote a reading and discussion of Machen by comedian Stewart Lee at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival.

N by Machen, 2010

Halifax Ghost Story Festival.
A small paperback printing of Robert Aickman’s short story ‘The Inner Room’, to promote a reading and discussion of Aickman by Jeremy Dyson (League of Gentlemen) at the Halifax Ghost Story Festival.

The Inner Room by Robert Aickman, 2010

The House of the Hidden Light
Ferret Fantasy. Really a collaboration between George Locke, Bob Gilbert and Ray Russell, who cooked-up the project between them one lunchtime in The Plough in Museum Street, London. We can’t quite recall what Ferret Fantasy’s input actually was, although the proprietor managed to acquire forty copies for himself, and had his imprint added to the book.

The House of the Hidden Light by Arthur Machen and A.E. Waite.


  1. It was really nice to read of these collaborations. Can there be a reprinting of any of these volumes?

  2. Hi Riju,
    The Aickman stories are all reappearing, and we hope that Gawsworth's Life of Machen will be reprinted in due course. The Hodgson volumes are still available individually, but as for the others, there are no plans for reprinting at the moment.
    Al the best

  3. I'd LOVE to get a copy of Gawsworth's "The Life of Arthur Machen." Please do consider reprinting it soon.