HELP FOR THE HAUNTED
In a review of Help for the Haunted published in Occult Detective Quarterly, Dave Brzeski says that “it’s one of the strengths of Tim Prasil’s writing that he absolutely shows, rather than tells. He has a facility for allowing the reader to understand what his characters are thinking and feeling without stating it outright, which lends great veracity to his storytelling.” Regarding the range of tales in the collection, Brzeski adds that “there’s no shortage of originality here.”
Katherine Nabity writes The Writerly Reader blog, where she posted a review of Help for the Haunted. “The stories have a lot of humor, but have chilling moments too,” she writes, adding, “If I were given the opportunity to hang out with Sherlock Holmes or Vera Van Slyke, I’d choose Vera.”
The Holmes analogy reappears in a review at the Multo (Ghost) website, where Nina writes: “I love the rapport between Vera and Lida. They’re like a beer-drinking, ghost-hunting Holmes and Watson, if Holmes and Watson were American women.”
If you’d prefer an interview, Vera and I both discuss the great ghost hunter’s life and investigations at GirlZombieAuthors, which offers a lot of information about authors working the horror and paranormal genres. An earlier interview is at Mysterious Heartland, a site that looks more at reported hauntings and related phenomenon.
If you’d rather listen than read an interview, I discuss Help for the Haunted and related topics on The Big Séance: My Paranormal World podcast. Download it, or listen to it online.
THOSE WHO HAUNT GHOSTS
Those Who Haunt Ghosts spotlights tales of ghost hunters written from the 1820s to the 1920s. It includes authors such as Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Henry James, Charlotte Riddell, Ambrose Bierce, H.G. Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, Algernon Blackwood, Rudyard Kipling, Sax Rohmer, and H.P. Lovecraft.
A website called oddly weird fiction says this about the collection: “There are too many stories that I loved in this book to cull out a single favorite. . . . And while one might think that an entire volume of tales that take place in various haunted locations would soon enough become same-old same-old, that doesn’t happen here at all. To his credit, Mr. Prasil has chosen a wide variety of stories in terms of place, hauntings, and the ghost hunters themselves; there are also a number of tales here with surprise endings that I never saw coming.”
GIVING UP THE GHOSTS
Giving Up the Ghosts is a collection of early occult detective fiction that I edited. Michael Dirda, of The Washington Post, mentions this book in a survey of 2015’s “Halloween chillers.” He says, “Editor Tim Prasil introduces several psychic investigators who feature in two or three stories apiece by the likes of Gelett Burgess and A.M. Burrage, among others. Included is Blackwood’s Jim Shorthouse, a precursor to the author’s . . . John Silence; don’t miss Shorthouse’s deliciously kitschy visit to a werewolf.”
There’s another very nice review at oddly weird fiction, where Nancy describes Giving Up the Ghosts as “a lovely anthology, perfect for someone like myself who delights in these old stories — not just in the reading, but also in the discovering.”
SFFaudio, a site spotlighting speculative-fiction audio, says this about “Frozen Words Thawed,” the second of the Marvellous Boxes plays: “The plot impressed me, the unconventional storytelling impressed me, the research and scholarship impressed me, and I liked a whole lot too! . . . Very, very impressive Mr. Prasil!”
The producers of Top of the Pods, a program heard over the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, also liked “Frozen Words Thawed” — enough to broadcast it across the continent.
Apparently, the folks at SFFaudio were impressed enough once the entire series had been posted to ask me for an interview. The podcast, which can be downloaded or heard online, opens with “Facing Cydonia,” the third Marvellous Boxes play.