This Dreaming Isle edited by Dan Coxon

shortlisted for the 2018 shirley jackson awards




Something strange is happening on British shores.

Britain has a long history of folk tales, ghost stories and other uncanny fictions, and these literary ley lines are still shimmering beneath the surface of this green and pleasant land. Every few generations this strangeness crawls out from the dark places of the British imagination, seeping into our art and culture. We are living through such a time.

This Dreaming Isle is an anthology of new horror stories and weird fiction with a distinctly British flavour. It collects together fifteen brand new horrifying or unsettling stories that draw upon the landscape and history of the British Isles for their inspiration. Some explore the realms of myth and legend, others are firmly rooted in the present, engaging with the country’s forgotten spaces.

This Dreaming Isle
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Featuring new stories from:

  • Ramsey Campbell, multi-award winning author of over 40 novels

  • Andrew Michael Hurley, author of The Loney and Devil’s Day

  • Catriona Ward, author of Rawblood and Little Eve

  • Robert Shearman, World Fantasy Award, British Fantasy Award and Shirley Jackson Award winning author of four collections

  • Jenn Ashworth, author of Fell, Cold Light and more

  • Gareth E. Rees, author of Marshland and The Stone Tide

  • Tim Lebbon, screenwriter and author of over 35 books including Dusk, The Silence and Relics

  • Alison Littlewood, author of The Crow Garden, The Hidden People and more

  • Aliya Whiteley, author of The Beauty, The Arrival of Missives and The Loosening Skin (forthcoming from Unsung Stories)

  • Stephen Volk, screenwriter and author of Whitstable, Monsters in the Heart and more

  • Kirsty Logan, author of The Gloaming, The Gracekeepers, A Portable Shelter and The Rental Heart

  • James Miller, author of UnAmerican Activities, Lost Boys and Sunshine State

  • Jeannette Ng, author of Under the Pendulum Sun

  • Richard V. Hirst, co-author of The Night Visitors

  • Alison Moore, author of The Lighthouse, Missing and more

  • Gary Budden, author of Hollow Shores

  • Angela Readman, author of Don’t Try This at Home and The Book of Tides

Perfect for a wintry night in an armchair with a bottle of brandy.
— Niall Griffiths, author of Grits and Sheepshagger


I remember being anxious about where we were headed as a nation, and that anxiety has not lessened since. It felt natural to confront that uncertainty by looking at Britain’s folklore. That these folk tales were often frightening or unsettling seemed only right for the times.
- Editor Dan Coxon’s Top 10 Folk Tales in Fiction in The Guardian


There is so much with This Dreaming Isle to marvel at, from the inception of the remarkable concept from editor Dan Coxon, to the beautifully haunting image that wraps itself around the book… it’s a celebration of fabulous writing, it’s an ingenious collection and concept, all of the writers turn in stunning works of eerie, creepy goodness, and lastly it’s a celebration of the rich history we have here on our little island of storytellers, raconteurs, myths and folklore.

Whether you read these tales in the city, countryside, or by the coast, you will be left a little less comfortable than you were before. Like the Pan Book of Horror Stories, I’m certain this finely edited paperback will become a cult classic.
–Sabotage Reviews

I challenge anyone not to find at least one tale in This Dreaming Isle that speaks to them, that touches their heart or sets it racing. This is a gorgeous book. It is wreathed in terror and enchantment and it presents the supernatural as it should be—wild, inexplicable, beautiful, but never, ever safe.

In this fascinating selection Dan Coxon has assembled a host of authors to tell tales set in the cities, coasts and countryside of the UK and I’m delighted to say it’s a wonderful collection to add an additional shiver to your nights on these cold evenings.
–Runalong The Shelves

Many of the stories in This Dreaming Isle explore things – legends, creatures, folk-tales – from the past which have been dug up, discovered or otherwise reactivated; some of them (‘Not All Right’ by James Miller springs immediately to mind) speak to this particular moment in British history… All are worth reading, none worth skipping.
–Into the Gyre

This Dreaming Isle is a must for fans of folk-horror and folklore… There’s something to suit every taste, and every chance you’ll find an unexpected treasure.
–Exploring Otherwheres

The sheer variety present within the general, unifying theme of the anthology shows how rich this seam of dark inspiration can be.
To the End of the World