CONFERENCE WITH THE DEAD by Terry Lamsley, intro by Ramsey Campbell. Portland, OR/San Franscisco, CA; Night Shade Books. 1st US hardcover edition. Originally published in a 500 copy edition by Ash-Tree Press, Terry Lamsley's Conference with the Dead has long remained almost unobtainable.
A nominee for the World Fantasy Award, and winner of the Internation Horror Guild Award, this chilling collection of tales has remained out of print for far too long.
"In Conference with the Dead, Terry Lamsley presents ten excellent ghost stories in the classic English mode, deceptively civilized in execution but deeply disturbing as a trickle of icy water down the back of the neck. Any stiff upper lips encountered here are the result of rigor mortis. I really would not read these late at night, if I were you."
– Kage Baker, author of The Graveyard Game and Mother Aegypt
“I love ghost stories, especially when the writer is as good as Terry Lamsley, who has one of those legendary, word-of-mouth reputations, straight from self-publication to international recognition. He knows how to ground terror in a meticulous observation of the ordinary, and how to use the incomer's, the outsider's, disquieting uncertainties.
Some of these tales ("The Toddler", "Blade And Bone") conjure the traditional M. R. James frisson, buried evil disturbed by the unwary. Some raise other echoes: the fate of the siren-haunted rivals in "The Outer Darkness" recalls May Sinclair's classic "And Their Fire Is Not Quenched"; others are not so easily placed. The aimless young man who takes a dog-walking job seems to have walked into a weird tale written by Conan-Doyle; but then things get much stranger, and much more unpleasant. There's a matter of fact, touching conviction in Terry Lamsley's treatment of children and other lost souls: the very worried little boy on holiday with his decaying grandparents, in "The Break" will stay with you, arousing pity and terror; as will the abused child in "The Inheritance", who finally finds a way of belonging... Best of all, these are not imaginary, fanciful gore-fest terrors. These are real nightmares, about the grubby sad and cruel things that real human beings do to each other, given the abyssal values of classic horror; the skin of our life and times peeled back with an expert hand.”
– Gwyneth Jones, Author of Life, and Bold as Love
Introduction by Ramsey Campbell;
Walking the Dog,
Blade and Bone,
Someone to Dump On,
Running in the Family,
The Outer Darkness,
Fine in fine dj.