Thursday, 8 October 2009 The Great Pan

Warning: this could easily turn into another teary-eyed, nostalgia-tinged post, but I’ll try my best not to let it get out of hand, so I’ll keep it short.

One thing guaranteed to keep me happy and quiet for hours back in my formative years was being nose deep in one of the Pan Book of Horror Stories. These were yearly anthologies that ran from 1959 to 1989 mixing classic reprints and new tales from the likes of Bram Stoker, HG Wells, WW Jacobs, Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch, Joan Aiken, R. Chetwynd Hayes, Ian McEwan, Stephen King and… well the list goes on.

They were the kind of books you moved on from after reading The Bumper Book of Bothersome Ghosts for Bored Boys. The covers were always lurid and pulpy and most definitely a part of the appeal.

All in all they were a great tradition and are sadly missed.

But now, they’re back.

Happy days.


Michael Stone said...

I bought my first Pan Book of Horror Stories when I was eight, and it was promptly confiscated by my parents. I'm not surprised though. One story had a guy being boiled to death as an experiment, and in another a young girl had her limbs cut off so she could be used as a helpless sex toy. Sick? Ever so slightly.

I'd love to get one of my stories in the new books. That would be a pinnacle of my horror short story writing career.

Rebecca Nazar said...

Oh please ( I said that just like Eric Idle) I like it when you get all teary eyed and notalgia-ee.

Noose and Gibbet Publishing, huh, what's not to love about an outfit that names itself that? I'm happy for you, them resurrecting this.

At first I thought it read giblets which are pretty horrific too, especially when you went to your grandparents house as a kid and they thought you looked peckish and iron deficient and giblets were just things you needed.

L.R. Bonehill said...

Mike – I’m with you on that one; it would be fantastic. Granted, some of them were a little sick, but great fun nonetheless.

A lot of mine went in the Great Book Purge I had years ago, now I wish I’d hung on to them. I feel an EBay search coming on.

Becca – Don’t worry; I’ll no doubt be waxing nostalgic about some other icons of my childhood soon. I think I must be in the throes of a mid-life crisis.

Giblets are never just the thing you need. My dog loves them, but anyone else… that’s just plain wrong.

Aaron Polson said...

I (heart) nostalgia. Why else would I keep listening to my Monster Shindig LP that dates from before I was born?

Cate Gardner said...

I loved those books. A familiar gave me a second hand collection of those books when I was about ten.