Books

Strange Tales in Fiction and Fact

Ghosts, vampires and the afterlife merge with the forces of nature and symbolic archetypes in these twelve highly original stories that run the gamut from darkness and death to innocence and hope. While rooted in this world, they reach into the beyond with the mystical insight of parable and myth that touches something deep within the unconscious.

The eminent composer, Alan Hovhaness, writes: “I greatly admire Richard Howard as a very fine and original writer. I cannot praise highly enough Tower Song. This I think is one of the great stories of all time and certainly should be published throughout the world. The Messenger has a quiet mysterious power and great depth. I know the difficulty to arrive at the spiritual and mental harmony which allows such poetry to flower in naturalness and spontaneous singing quality. The Temple of Lior held my attention from beginning to end. It is compelling and its symbols are of profound wisdom. Moon Prophecy is wonderful. The forces of terror and beauty are controlled. This story with its message haunts me. Mass consciousness dangers are warnings from ancient times into modern times.”

And the celebrated English artist, Coral Guest, writes: “Strange Tales is a portal into another reality. Each of these stories offers us an entry point into something ‘other’ and mirrors a particular awareness that we all possess in the depth of our psyche. Richard Howard is a unique talent who has the power to invoke this particular frequency. He is a spiritual writer, one of rare integrity, and each story is a testimony to his own insight. A book of rare truth and all-encompassing mystery.”

This volume also contains an autobiographical essay in which the author recounts a lifetime of strange experiences that very early on aroused his curiosity about the paranormal.

“Beautifully written and most fascinating” ~ Colin Wilson.

Some reader reviews:

“This is a hugely enjoyable and diverse collection of short stories, each drawing on a different aspect of otherworldly or supernatural phenomena. The author masterfully builds pace and expectation making for some truly chilling moments throughout. From the magical atmosphere of Stars and Crystals, to the dark currents underpinning Last Rites, each story is beautifully written, some packing quite an emotional punch with their deeper message. Howard's style of writing eschews waffle and excess padding. A few of the stories are bite-sized (a mere couple of pages is all he needs) but even the longer ones admirably cut to the action very quickly. All in all, glad to have this book in my collection ~ highly recommended, and hopeful of a volume 2.”

“This is a brilliant collection of stories that I would recommend to anyone. The tales delve into the collective unconscious as any good yarn should, and leave one with a lingering sense of the spiritual. Many, such as The Prisoner or The Messenger, have an allegorical element that can be related to the life of the reader. The writing style is timeless and I predict that people will still be reading them many years from now.”

 

Strange Tales in Fiction and Fact:

  • The Temple of Lior
  • Storm Child
  • Elegy in Red
  • The Messenger
  • Lacrimae
  • Stars and Crystals
  • Echoes
  • Moon Prophecy
  • Last Rites
  • The Prisoner
  • Labyrinth
  • Tower Song
  • Strange Tales in Fact: An autobiographical essay recounting a lifetime of the author’s own strange experiences.

ISBN: 978-1-4120-9339-2


Strange Tales in Fiction and Fact:


£8.99 + £1 towards postage & packing in the UK.  Overseas postage at the current rate.


Tales of the Lost

Tales of the Lost is Richard Howard’s second book of short stories that bring us face to face with some very strange encounters and some unexpected twists along the way. Each story inhabits its own individual world and is told in a very direct style. As the author says in his introduction, the themes for these later stories are darker in mood than his earlier works. The longest of them, Flora’s Return, was inspired by what the author regards as ‘the finest ghost story ever written’, The Turn of the Screw by Henry James.

These new stories range from realms of complete fantasy to modern day settings. Some are ghost stories, others are just scary, and most have a twist in the tail. In each one there is a character who, in one way or another, is lost, hence Tales of the Lost.

Story-telling has a long tradition and is as old as humankind, fulfilling many different functions. Some are very dark ~ think of the popularity of ‘murder mysteries’ or the many dystopian tales from Orwell’s 1984 to The Hunger Games. Stories can serve to express anger, grief, hope, wish fulfilment or any emotion you care to name. So long as the internal logic of a story is consistent, then even the most fantastic situations can be made believable. From fairy tales to science fiction, stories have been written that allow us to enjoy feeling scared in a safe environment. This collection will not disappoint.

 

Reviews of Tales of the Lost from independent reviewers subscribed to the NetGalley website:

"This being my first attempt at reading a short story collection, I have to say that it was a great experience! Every story is intriguing and packed with something unusual, with characters that you can live vicariously through, and supernatural elements that you could never have dreamed of. There were so many myths and legends and ghost tales that were brought into this collection, and it was just great to read so many different stories about them all! I actually enjoyed the cliff-hanger feeling that each story left me with because it made me go through a rollercoaster of emotions, and culminated in a dramatic ending that made me literally go "whoa"! Some of the longer stories could have used some more transition elements but other than that, I really enjoyed everything I read! Overall, this was a great experience for me, and I cannot wait to read more short stories!"

"This book surprised me. I wasn’t expecting much because the blurb was a bit vague on what the stories were about. All I knew was this ‘Some are ghost stories, others are simply scary, and most have a twist in the tail. In each story, there is a character who, one way or another, feels lost.’ I can honestly say that it delivered on that promise. What it contains is a number of delightfully twisted little stories, that aren’t always scary, and there may have been one about time and a wish that went over my head, but were none the less fascinating and enjoyable to read. Do recommend for anyone who likes twists and a little bit of horror (at least the kind without gore). If I had any complaint about this book, it would be simply that it was not long enough for me, but then I’m greedy like that."

"Some of these stories are really great! It's rare to find a book of short stories where you like them all; some were definitely stronger than others. Worth a read, particularly if you enjoy short format."

“This is a collection of short stories that surprised me. They range from fantasy to contemporary time periods. Each story is in its own world. I forgot everything else with each short story I read. Not all stories do this for me, especially short stories written all by the same author. The twists in each story kept me reading and enjoying them! There were unusual supernatural stories, myths, and ghost tales. There are stories that aren't scary but were still engaging to me. They are all somewhat dark. This is a book that could introduce short stories to those who enjoy reading novels. Don't pass it by because it's a short story collection!”

 

Tales of the Lost

  • Blood Moon
  • The House of Dreams
  • Mirage
  • The Kiss
  • Dust
  • The Life and Purpose of Mr Henry Dodd
  • Outrage
  • Nemesis
  • Jump
  • It’s Only a Myth
  • Flora’s Return
  • Fight or Flight
  • The Encounter

ISBN: 978-1-7858-9836-5


£8.99 + £1 towards postage & packing in the UK.  Overseas postage at the current rate.