New Titles for December 2017

Immanion Press is holding a launch event on December 7th in Stafford UK to celebrate the publication of six titles.

Two of the new releases are hardback limited Collectors’ Editions of the Grimoire Dehara series – Book Three Nahir Nuri, which Storm Constantine co-wrote with Taylor Ellwood, and also a reissue of the hardback of the first volume Kaimana, which came out in 2005. While the first volume’s text hasn’t been expanded or changed, (other than a few errors corrected), it does include several extra illustrations from artist Ruby, and one by the late Billie Walker-John, who did quite a few Wraeththu Mythos illustrations back in the 90s.

The new Grimoire Dehara book is also being released in paperback at the same time.


On the fiction side, we have ‘Dark Dance’ by Tanith Lee, the first in her Blood Opera Sequence, (long out of print), featuring an introduction and interior illustrations by Storm Constantine. The second volume, ‘Personal Darkness’ will be released in early 2018, and will feature an introduction and interior illustrations by Freda Warrington. The third book in the series, ‘Darkness, I’, will be published one to two months after the second volume, and will feature an introduction by Sarah Singleton. All three books will have cover art by John Kaiine. The ‘Blood Opera Sequence’ is Tanith’s unique and baroque exploration of the vampire myth.


‘The Darkest Midnight in December: Ghost Stories for the Winter Season’ features a cover by Danielle Lainton and stories by J. E. Bryant, Storm Constantine, Louise Coquio, Wendy Darling, Nerine Dorman, Rosie Garland, Jessica Gilling, Suzanne Gyseman, Misha Herwin, Rick Hudson, Rhys Hughes, Hannah Kate, Fiona Lane, Fiona McGavin and Adele Marie Park. With seven illustrations by Storm Constantine and Wendy Darling.

The ghost story is a Christmas tradition; shadows looming over the brightly-lit tree in a room where logs crackle in the hearth, and the smell of spice and brandy fill the air. Outside the weather is chill; perhaps snow is falling. The house is far from town – lights twinkle in the distance. And over the festive season, as people gather to celebrate and welcome in the New Year, eerie breath might be heard in a dark corridor, hurrying footsteps overhead, a sigh in the depths of a stairwell. When all are supposed to be happy and secure, the intrusion of fear, grief or sadness are alien, and yet bizarrely integral to a time of celebration whose roots lie in ancient, pagan festivals. What stirs in the darkness?


Now that humankind is on the edge of extinction and the androgynous Wraeththu have inherited the earth, hara have developed their own spiritual systems, often based upon ancient beliefs that developed when humanity had been closer to the earth.

For Songs to Earth and Sky, Storm Constantine invited some of the Wraeththu Mythos writers to explore the eight seasonal festivals of the year, (plus the ninth minor celebration in early December), to dream up new beliefs and customs, new myths, new dehara – the gods of Wraeththu. These stories delve into magic, nature, the supernatural, and local folklore. As different communities develop among Wraeththu, so fresh legends spring up – or else ghosts from the inception of their kind come back to haunt them. From the silent, snow-heavy forests of Megalithican mountains, through the lush summer fields of Alba Sulh, into the hot, shimmering continent of Olathe, Songs to Earth and Sky explores nine festivals within the Wheel of the Year, bringing its powerful spirits and landscapes to vivid life.

Nine brand new tales, including a novella, a novelette and a short story from Storm herself, and stories from Wendy Darling, Nerine Dorman, Suzanne Gabriel, Fiona Lane and E. S. Wynn. The Deharan system of magic explored in these stories reinvents the Pagan Wheel of the Year with an androgynous focus, and will be fascinating both to fans of the Mythos and those who are new to it.


Review PDFs of any of these titles can be obtained by mailing editorial(at)immanion-press(dot) com. More details can be found on our web site


Unity of Vision in a Story Collection

Rhys Hughes, whose short story collection ‘Salty Kiss Island’ has recently been released by Immanion Press, shares his thoughts on creating a unity of vision in compiling a collection of short stories.

SKI one photo

My new collection of stories is my favourite among my books of stories, but I wasn’t fully aware of this fact until I actually held a published copy in my hands and took a deep breath. The sigh that came out was one of deep contentment and then I knew.

I have often said that such-and-such a book is my personal favourite and there have been many candidates for that distinction but Salty Kiss Island has a quality, I’m not sure what, that most others don’t have, an unplanned quality. Purity perhaps.

Not purity in the sense of lacking bite and darkness, but purity in the unity of the visions that the book assembles and disseminates. The stories just seem to fit together very nicely. They amplify each other. I feel great delight at the final sum of the parts.

We write stories over a long period of time, years, even decades, and when we collect them together into a book we can’t really know what the end result will be like. The stories weren’t written to be together, they are discrete pieces existing on their own.

And now they are suddenly required to appear with other stories, to dwell with neighbours between the covers of a book, and they are asked to do this because they have themes in common, or an approach or tone that categorizes them. They are allied.

How will they get along? This is impossible to predict accurately until the book is ready. Sometimes they will interfere with each other, quarrel, contradict, attenuate, decay. If they are juxtaposed like this, elements that weren’t weaknesses may become so.

For example, any repetition of ideas, moods, events and reactions will be plain to see. Such repetition may not be self-plagiarism on the part of the author, it may not be indolence, it might be convergent evolution, the same solution to utterly different texts.

But it won’t look that way to the reader, it will appear like a limitation or an obsession, unless the repetition has strong intertextual attributes and adds its pulsation to the bigger rhythm, to the heartbeat of the entire book, the general health of the fictive gestalt.

That is a difficult thing to engineer. It means that every time a story is being composed, the author responsible must take care not only with the aesthetic parameters of that particular work but also consider how it will unite with and complement every other story he or she has written or will write. This is surely too much to ask. The writer therefore must fall back on the emergency option of serendipity.

Happy chance can assemble a short story collection from many pieces that turns out to be harmonious, cohesive, synchronised. The stories may amplify each other in ways the author never imagined, reveal aspects that were hidden before the gathering. Such a story collection has the unity of a novel while remaining a true collection.

I never supposed that the majority of my fantastical love stories would appear in a single volume. It wasn’t planned at all. I didn’t even realise I was in thematic thrall while writing them. Each was just a new tale and a striving to express burning ideas, to get them out of my head and onto the page, where they would leave me alone.

But I truly believe it has turned out very well, better than I had hoped, and that Salty Kiss Island is an important stage of personal fulfillment on the somewhat rickety career ladder of my writing life. I am not especially successful in terms of sales, despite the critical acclaim my work garners, yet I am satisfied now. This book exists.

Every writer has a host of influences and inspirations. These might be situations and circumstances, remarkable people, abstractions, sensations, the desire to be different or to be the same. And other authors will always play a large part in the creation of a prose style, in the fundamentals of a writer’s vision and method. We attempt to imitate, then we rapidly go off on tangents, and our tangents collide and mesh with other tangents given off by other influences, and fly off again.

My fantastical love stories were influenced by my love of whimsy and invention, by certain individuals, by memories of (and yearnings for) the tropical life, by music from Brazil and Cape Verde, by the sea and stars, by the incredible writers Amado, Pessoa, Couto, Vian, Calvino, by hope and anticipation, and always by language.

salty kiss 1

Para Kindred Blog Hop – Day 2

Welcome to the Immanion Press blog hop for the new Wraeththu anthology, Para Kindred. Every day until 25th June the PK authors will be posting a blog post about their story in the collection. Read every contribution to the blog hop, answer all the secret questions about the posts, and you will be entered into a prize draw to win an item from the New section of our Café Press store.

Authors who don’t have blogs of their own will have their articles posted here. Today’s featured author is Maria J Leel. The secret question is at the bottom of this post, along with details of yesterday’s author’s (Earl S Wynn’s) contribution.

 An Unravelling Thread

Maria J Leel

Like most writers I keep a scribble book. Not a diary or journal as such although some entries do read very much that way. I use it as a place to download, to keep thoughts and experiences… like the sadly sodden, rotting hare corpse I nearly stepped on whilst hiking the other day – never know when that memory is going to come in useful… It’s also the place where story ideas are recorded and where I loosen up and practice writing exercises. Anyone who didn’t know what writers were like and what writers do would find my notebook a very strange place indeed and would, in all probability, question my grip on reality.

Sometimes the scribble book is the place where a story suddenly and surprising takes off and pages and pages of ideas, dialogue and description ensue. Every page is numbered and referenced at the back. So if a project has languished for a while I can always go back and pick up the threads…

Which leads me to Threads – my contribution to the latest Wraeththu Mythos anthology Para Kindred. The story of Chenga, a harling who lives in a repressive regime in a secluded territory in the Far East. Chenga is unusual as he can hear the chatter of the fungi, the threads, which carpet the forest floor where he lives. He does not understand them but through his human teacher, Master Deshi-Tu, Chenga learns to decipher the threads’ meaning and eventually is able to make use of them to escape the cruel situation he finds himself in.

At something over fifteen thousand words Threads is on the hefty side for a short story and even though there is an ending, an escape, there is no resolution. Many threads are left hanging. And so in February (24th to be precise) my scribble book holds an entry exploring some of those ‘what next’ questions.

Chenga escapes by faking his own death. Would that be believed? Like most abusers, Zu-Lee, Chenga’s oppressive consort, viewing Chenga as his ‘property’, would be unlikely to let go that easily. The continuing story begs for a confrontation.

Chenga planned to spend several years travelling the threads with Master Deshi – what does he learn in that time? Despite his travels Chenga will, inevitably, be drawn to contact his sons, both of whom have made their own escapes to Immanion. How might that reunion proceed? Would Xan and Nisha have seen through Chenga’s ruse or would they believe him dead? Would they welcome him back or be angry with him? And would rumour of this family reunion alert Zu-Lee that his lost consort had resurfaced? How had Xan and Nisha made lives for themselves in Immanion and would Chenga find a place there? Then what of Dolah? The servant who kept Chenga sane and safe during his years in Zu-Lee’s palace? Dolah was planning his own escape to his brother over the mountain. Did that go well or badly and does Dolah still have a part in the continuing story? And then there is Mildor, one of Chenga’s fellow consorts, a pale-skinned Freyhellen who dreams of the dark pine-scented forests of his own homeland. Slowly awakened to rebellion, Mildor facilitates Chenga’s escape by keeping quiet but, never particularly stable, would Chenga’s apparent death have completely unsettled Mildor or can he find his own route to freedom?

Finally there is Zu-Lee. After all his abuses and cruelties would some kind or reconciliation ever be possible? Could Zu-Lee have some kind of epiphany and wake up to what he was? Oh I do hope not… The pages of my scribble book contain a deliciously nasty death scene for him… at the hands of Chenga and the threads. So what could have prompted this? And how will Chenga live with the consequences afterwards?

Stories never end… they just take the occasional breather.


Maria’s question: Where was Chenga’s servant Dolah planning to escape to?

Earl’s question: Who do the spirit wolves watch over, according to legend?

Link to Mon 16th June post by E. S. Wynn

Link to Wed 18th June Post by Storm Constantine