This Dreaming Isle edited by Dan Coxon
shortlisted for the shirley jackson awards 2018, best edited anthology
‘DARK SHELLS’ BY ALIYA WHITELEY FEATURES IN THE BEST OF BRITISH FANTASY 2018
‘OLD TRASH’ BY JENN ASHWORTH FEATURES IN BEST BRITISH HORROR 2019
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.
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
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.
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.
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