Published: 28/01/2017
ISBN: 9781785898365
eISBN: 9781785897245
Format: Paperback/eBook



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Short stories are my preferred form of expression in the genre of ghost and horror stories or simply 'strange tales'. I grew up reading Edgar Allan Poe, M.R.James, H.P.Lovecraft, 'Saki', and Algernon ... read more

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Tales of the Lost
by Richard Howard

“Something in that magical atmosphere had subtly changed as if the previous stillness had been merely a portent to some mysterious event... He tilted his head to catch whatever sound it was that suddenly made him feel that someone, or something, was watching him.”

Tales of the Lost is a book of short stories for adults, ranging from realms of fantasy to modern-day settings. Richard Howard’s stories are born out of a lifelong love of ghost stories and ‘curious tales’, which he read as a child. 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.

One story, Flora’s Return, takes its main character from Henry James’ novella The Turn of the Screw, which was filmed in 1960 as The Innocents. Richard takes this story, which he believes is one of the finest ghost stories ever written, and continues it with an exciting new twist.

Richard’s stories are based on his experiences of growing up in a house with its own ghosts during his childhood. Ghosts created by the author M.R.James, the many aspects of horror and disquiet by William Hope Hodgson, the dark humour of Saki and the relationship between man and the forces of nature in Arthur Machen and Algernon Blackwood have all inspired the author to contribute to the short story genre.

From science fiction to fairy tales, stories have been written that allow us to enjoy feeling scared in a safe environment. This collection will not disappoint.

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I have written two books of short stories. The first is entitled 'Strange Tales in Fiction and Fact' and includes an essay about my own first-hand strange experiences ranging from ghosts to meaningful coincidences.

My second book is entitled 'Tales of the Lost', in which the stories are, perhaps, rather darker in tone than the first book.

Only the second book is published by Matador and both are available from my website at www.richard-howard.com

***

REVIEWS FOR
'STRANGE TALES IN FICTION AND FACT'

"Beautifully written and most fascinating" ~ Colin Wilson.

The eminent composer, Alan Hovhaness, wrote:

"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.”

The celebrated painter, Coral Guest, has written:

“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.”

Other readers have commented as follows:

“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. Highly recommended."

And:

“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.”

***

REVIEWS FOR
'TALES OF THE LOST'

From independent reviewers subscribing 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 cliffhanger 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 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 all written 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!"

***

"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."

***

5 Stars ***** on Amazon
A fabulous, thought-provoking read

I got so much pleasure from reading these stories. Each one was like an escape into another world for me and I eagerly followed the journeys of all protagonists with keen anticipation for the outcome; I love all the twists, the different characters and the variety of themes relating to the supernatural. Reading each story was like watching a film, as they're so visual. Many made my spine tingle, other made me smile at their hidden messages. I think the author did a magnificent job of creating different narrative moods and pacing the story-telling to suit the plots and I know I’ll return to these stories time and again. I highly recommend it.




http://www.richard-howard.com

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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 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.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

by Celeste Menezes (NetGalley reviewer)


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 weer 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 cliffhanger feeling that each story left me off with because it made me go through a rollercoaster of emotions, and culminated in a dramatic ending that made me literally go "woah"! 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!

by Vishaka Rajan


I received a free digital copy from the author/publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest feedback.

I don’t usually read a book of short stories so this was a welcome change. I got to admit that I also was drawn to this because of the pretty book cover. After finishing the book, I think the cover could be more interesting and could perhaps be more connected with the stories.

The short stories in this collection varies in length and introduces different creatures from ghosts, to folklore, to even Greek mythology. I enjoy the horror genre, but not particularly some of those which were presented in this book. Still, it was an enjoyable read. I did have a couple of favorites – Flora’s Return and Outrage. There was an air of mystery on both accounts and although they were predictable, still made me excited to have the whole plot revealed.

Overall, I would recommend this to those who would delight in short and easy reads, mostly on fantasy-horror.

by Katia Linda


This is a collection of short stories that surprised me. They range from fantasy to contemporary time periods. Each story is in their 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 stories twist in each kept me reading and enjoying it! There were unusual supernatural stores, myths, and ghost tales. There are stories that aren't scary but are still were engaging to me. They are all somewhat dark. This is a book that could introduce short stories to the novel readers and enjoy reading. Don't pass it by because it's a short story collection!

by Susan Mahaffey


"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 all written 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!"

by Monique Otai


 

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