Archive for the ‘For Writers’ Category


Good news – the specials and extras from Poppet have finally arrived safe and sound, in spite of going off the radar (apparently the tracking number went dead for a while). So i will be getting all the preorders packed up and mailed out starting from Monday.

To make up for the delay for some of you, I will be popping an extra Eibonvale paperback in as many of them as i can. It will be a bit random, but i only have a certain number to hand!

Before all that though, there’s just time for a bit of book porn. One of the perks of this business is that i get to play with them en mass. Most of you you only get one copy. I get to roll in them (metaphorically – usually)! Heheh! So here they are!



Just a note for those who preordered our special copies of Rustblind and Silverbright and Moonshine Express.  The books have not been dispatched yet since i am waiting for an international delivery of the personalised material that will accompany some of them – which of course had to be prepared AFTER people had ordered the book!

I must apologise for the speed this one has been dispatched.  For some reason it never occurred to me just how much getting this stuff posted half-way round the world would slow things down!  However, it should definitely not be too long now and of course, i will announce the dispatch here on the blog when it happens.

Hang in there my friends!


Arriving at Platform 1…

Posted: July 27, 2013 by douglasthompson in Reviews, Rustblind and Silverbright


The renowned writer and reviewer D F Lewis has completed one of his legendary ‘Realtime Reviews” of Rustblind and Silverbright. Des was at the launch event itself, and seems to love the book, describing it in his ever-idiosyncratic style as “its own Holy Grailtrack”. He also says “This book no longer surprises me as one gem follows another, all skilfully chosen by the book’s over-arching force of creation…”

Des’s technique is such that he (uniquely among reviewers) makes it almost impossible for me to paraphrase his review without giving undue weight to one story over another, so dear reader, you’ll just have to read his review in its entirety here. Suffice to say he enjoyed every story and predicts this will be rated as one of the best anthologies of the year.

Moonshine 03

There is just a day or two left to get a copy of Moonshine Express complete with personalised bookplates – or a hand-lettered copy of Rustblind and Silverbright (or both!).  With the launch out of the way on Thursday, preorders will close.  It is fair to assume that if you miss getting one of these, there will be VERY few chances for a personalised copy of Moonshine – EVER!

The book exists!

Posted: June 22, 2013 by eibonvale in Rustblind and Silverbright


The book exists! Rustblind and Silverbright.  It could be the excitement of the moment, but I really do believe that this is one of our best titles yet – all the authors who contributed did such amazing jobs and the whole thing came together into a whole that is more than the sum of its parts – an extraordinary journey thanks to some of the best writers out there!

Rustblind 5

Ok folks, the pre-orders for Rustblind and Silverbright and Moonshine Express are now live.  This is a chance to get one of the first 25 copies, which will be hand lettered.  They will close again either when all are sold or on the 4th July when the books are launched and will become available in the usual way.

Moonshine 03

Rustblind 5Here at last is the first public look at the cover for Rustblind and Silverbright, though it has been on my facebook pages for a few days now.  The book is currently at the printers and I am awaiting the delivery of the proof copy, to tell me if everything is ok.  As you can see, this one is an even more bizarre cover than usual in terms of structure with a massive rear ‘contents map’ on the back that extends right onto the rear flap.

With the launch of this, the first true anthology I have edited, we are planning a big event in London entitled Slipstream Journeys, which will bring several new books by several specialist presses together into one evening of readings and wine.

The books involved will be:

  • Rustblind and Silverbright: Slipstream Stories of the Railway, edited by David Rix
  • Defeated Dogs, by Quentin S Crisp
  • Stardust by Nina Allan
  • Helen’s Story, by Rosanne Rabinowitz
  • Jane, by P.F. Jeffery

The event will take place at the Review Bookshop, Peckham on the 4th July at 7PM.  I hope you can make it.  There will be wine to drink and authors to meet.  Readings to listen to and books to buy!

Facebook event page:

On the Map – Danny Rhodes

Posted: June 12, 2013 by eibonvale in Rustblind and Silverbright

In the hectic time leading up to the publication of Rustblind and Silverbright, our anthology of railway-themed slipstream and horror, I have invited short blog contributions from the authors included in that book, which I will be publishing at irregular intervals over the next month or two.  Here, Danny Rhodes gives a quick insight into how his story ‘The Cuts’ came to be. 

N.b – the illustration shows a request stop station in Norfolk.

On the Map

By Danny Rhodes


I decided pretty early on in the process that if I was going to write a story about trains it might be on the Beeching cuts. I knew if I was planning to submit the story to David, a train enthusiast (I hesitate to use ‘anorak’ as I’ve never met the bloke), it seemed to me, then I ought to try to give the story some accurate historical grounding. I spent some time flicking between various sites on Beeching and Google maps, checking out landscapes and trying to discover a suitable ‘culled’ branchline on which to set the story.

Somewhere around this time I had to take a train to Prestatyn and it was while I was on this journey that I learned there are remote, unmanned stations in Wales (and perhaps in other places) where the passengers have to make ‘request stops’ in order for the train to halt there. I’d never heard of ‘request stops’ on railways before. An idea dropped into my mind, of a man waiting at a station for a train, a man in danger, and the train not stopping, the train leaving him there to his fate.

In the end I didn’t set the story in quite so remote a location. I found the perfect line for a story though, on Anglesey, and using Google Maps I was able to follow the old train line out of Gaerwan north through the countryside, noting its flat topography, and thus arrive at Rhosgoch, a village that once had a station but no longer. If you go to Google maps you can do the same. I’m finding the ‘street level’ element of this quite a tool. Us writers can go virtually anywhere these days and write fairly accurate visual descriptions of locations we have never been to. What’s exciting about this is that we are not rooted to the popular, worn out ‘tourist trail’ settings anymore. We can wander quite freely into any corner of any place on the planet where the Google cameras have been…if we want to that is, if we don’t want to let our imaginations take over at some point, as I found I did, if we want to create our own worlds and base them in a reality of our own choosing.

The Gaerwen to Amlych line has gone now, good only for walking. There seem to be various people doing just that on Google maps. You can see them if you look hard enough, strange, two dimensional individuals with blurred faces, sometimes staring in wonder at the Google maps camera van as it moves on its merry way, mapping and capturing every inch of the world (or those places that have agreed) for reasons we have not yet begun to comprehend…

In the hectic time leading up to the publication of Rustblind and Silverbright, our anthology of railway-themed slipstream and horror, I have invited short blog contributions from the authors included in that book, which I will be publishing at irregular intervals over the next month or two.  This time, R D Hodkinson addresses a tender elegy to a London icon . . . 

The Underground Diaries

By R D Hodkinson


There is a reworking of the London Underground map in which the names of all the stations have been replaced by those of cultural luminaries drawn from the arts, from sport, science, religion and any other area of human endeavour the artist found fit. My local station is Steve Martin, as in: incidents of knife crime have reached unprecedented levels in and around Steve Martin this year.

The name of Simon Patterson’s whimsical work is The Great Bear, which suggests the tube network re-imagined as a great, grotty constellation, plucked from the heavens and shoved underground, presumably as some Olympian punishment for failing to maintain the escalators at Swiss Cottage, or repeated signal failure at Theydon Bois.

But to those of us who have spent much, or most, or all of our lives in the capital, the tube map is also a memento mori to a galaxy of personal experiences now dead and gone: catastrophic regurgitation of kebab at Putney Bridge, catastrophic romantic tryst at Finsbury Park, catastrophic business meeting-cum-full-blown fist fight at Ravenscourt Park, homes – some more catastrophic than others – at Richmond, Hounslow East, Barons Court, Highbury & Islington, Leicester Square, Highbury & Islington again, Dalston Junction and, now, Steve Martin. (In defence of the author, the business meeting that went to twelve rounds at the York Hall was a one off, and the unscheduled reappearance of meat products, while less rare, was at least restricted to my younger years. As for any catastrophic trysts, like most men I can offer no reasonable excuse.)

After three decades of riding the rails there is barely an inch of tube map I can look at without becoming misty-eyed or wistful or furious or wracked with shame. It is the same for every Londoner, each projecting his or her personal cartography of experience onto that famously clean schematic, the only map that makes sense of the capital’s chaotic layout. It’s all there: Hopes (both thwarted and realised), triumphs (real and imagined) births, marriages and deaths ineradicably stamped on each traveller’s psycho-geographic version of the map, an impression made stronger by one’s actual proximity to death while travelling underground. Press your hand against the tiled tunnel walls of the deep bore Central, Piccadilly, Victoria or Northern lines and how far can you be from the remains of a dead Roman or a former Tudor-bethan? Or a blitz victim awaiting rediscovery by a man with a hard hat and a JCB? The clay above the stations holds a great communion of the London dead, a silent counterpart to the crude, noisome, self-interested crowd above, though every now and again one of that number will peel away and join the ranks of ex-Londoners by buying a ticket for the tube and opting for death by Circle Line, the second most selfish method of suicide yet devised (number one being Sylvia Plath gassing herself with her children still in the house, silly cow.) Do not be tempted to end it all under the wheels of a rush hour train: no one will weep for you and your terminal moment will be tormented by images of irate commuters picketing your funeral because by the time they got home Tesco’s was shut and Masterchef had finished.

I have never kept a diary and I will never need to. The only aide-mémoire I shall ever need can be picked up for free from any tube station and folded to fit a wallet: a map not of a great city’s metro system, but of my entire adult life. Even the bits I would pay good money to forget.

In the hectic time leading up to the publication of Rustblind and Silverbright, our anthology of railway-themed slipstream and horror, I have invited short blog contributions from the authors included in that book, which I will be publishing at irregular intervals over the next month or two.  Next in the series is Eibonvale regular Douglas Thompson with a characteristically metaphysical and thoughtful musing on the nature of the familiar railway station . . . 

Stations are How Towns Dream.

by Douglas Thompson


Stations are how towns dream.

If you are lucky enough to have one of those Victorian ones left over, not crushed and brushed away under the onslaught of sixties modernism and brutalism that swept through our world like a rabid brontosaurus and lurched off around the corner of our minds in a hazy childhood cloud of half-remembered concrete dust. If you have a real station building with timber trellised eaves and cast-iron fretwork of interlacing beams like corset work, you’ll know that you are licensed to dream there, and that as you do: the town and all the long-dead men who built it are dreaming with you.

At its station, the limits of a town’s identity cease in a wistful demarcation, a petering out, and the town dreams of being by the seaside, or at the foot of a Highland glen. The station dreams of being Euston, Paris Gare Du Nor, Istanbul, a gateway to the Orient, its cool marble slabs spattered with the exotic spices of foreigners gabling in obscure tongues like music. The word ‘gay’ becomes somehow innocent and playful again under the canopies of a true station, built in the golden age when the world first became aware of itself and its true extent. There is something forever festive and celebratory in the architecture, like frozen flags and buntings. We are all going somewhere, or someone much beloved is coming home again after a long trial. An exciting beginning or a happy ending.

In stations, the buildings themselves dream that they are not bound to the ground by foundations, that like us they might up sticks, gird their loins, and shimmy off towards the far horizons drawn by the sight of a wistful puff of summer cloud that says “Escape”. Station architecture dreams of timber bathing huts by the seaside, of Alpine villas and the bracing air of snowfields and natural springs.

And what of the towns themselves that we glimpse from these stations as we pass on through in the train? We see them from above, we see their roofs beneath which their citizens sleep in harmonious rows like well-behaved children.  Their dead sleep there too, in their graveyards, and the dead have left their stories woven around the thousand chimney pots like drifting smoke. The living citizens each think they are unique and new as they walk around like little toy soldiers and dolls in their perfect town that the dead have left them. But bit by bit, the buildings themselves and the stories they have encoded, re-take the citizens in their dreams as they sleep at night, and make them one with the town itself, the town’s true, immortal character. History repeats itself like a stained-glass window through which each day’s new sun must shine. The colours change but the pattern is so beautiful that it creates itself, it seems always to have existed, as all great art must.

A town is a living entity, which while its citizens themselves must know birth and death, it can know neither. People are like light bulbs, newspapers, matches, a tide of necessary ephemera which comes and goes, swept in and out at its stations. What is left behind and what endures is the town, its spirit and character and hope, the character of humanity and of the earth itself, which is indomitable and indestructible. Therefore never despair of your own life and fate, but know this: that you are not the matches burnt or the paper discarded on the wind. You are the town itself, its very bricks, part of it and all of it.

A town is a living person, and its station is where it dreams.

Visit Douglas Thompson at