If you enjoy weird stories…

No, this blog isn’t about politics, though the subject heading perhaps made you suppose so. It’s about my first-ever published fiction book, which was compiled and launched thanks to the encouragement I received from Barbara and Christopher Roden of Ash Tree Press, Canada. Chris and Barbara had published one or two of my “supernatural” tales in their magazine, All Hallows, and one story that they particularly liked in their 2007 anthology Acquainted with the Night. Then they generously undertook to publish a collection of my “weird” stories under the title Rope Trick: Thirteen Strange Tales.

A few days ago I sent them a new story in this genre – a genuine ghost story this time – and I hope they’ll consider it for All Hallows. But just for curiosity, having dispatched the new tale, I went to their website to see whether Rope Trick was still available. It is: if you go to ashtree@ash-tree.bc.ca and search for the book title (or my name) you’ll find the details, together with a photo of the front cover.

The price of a hard copy is quoted in pounds and in American and Canadian dollars, but you have to search to find details of their Kindle e-book version, which is selling for some $5 – which seems a bargain. I don’t stand to make any money out of further sales of this book, but I know a lot of people have enjoyed it, so maybe you’d be willing to lash out $5 or so… And Ash Tree Press is worth supporting – a really good, friendly little publishing house that gave me my first break in getting my fiction into the public domain and has helped many other authors in a similar way.Ashcroft, British Columbia, Canada V0K 1A0


Tel: (250) 453-2045; Fax: (250) 453-2075



by Mark P. Henderson

ISBN: 978-1-55310-107-9; xviii+190pp; Limited to 400 copies
Jacket art by Jason Zerrillo


PRICE: Cdn$49.00 / US$49.00 / £28.00

A HOUSE WITH A SINISTER HISTORY; dark shadows; creaking doors; thunderstorms; disappearing corpses; tombs with cryptic inscriptions; mysterious, half-seen figures. There are those who assert that a good supernatural tale must include at least one of these stereotypical trappings, but Mark P. Henderson would beg to differ. He accepted the challenge of writing a supernatural tale which would not feature any of these clichés, but which would still be creepy and sinister. The resulting story was ‘Rope Trick’, published in the award-winning Ash-Tree Press anthology Acquainted With The Night,, and described by one reviewer as ‘profoundly unsettling’.

All of the stories in Rope Trick: Thirteen Strange Tales could be described as unsettling. Eschewing the clichés and conventions of the genre, Henderson has created stories which explore the interactions not only between people and places, but between the histories that make up those people and places. His characters are, for the most part, ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances who, being only human, attempt to apply reason to observations and events which defy all attempts at rationalisation, only to find their attempts unsatisfactory at best, and fatal at worst.

Readers who enjoy thoughtful, elegant, and assured tales of the uncanny will find much to savour in Rope Trick: Thirteen Strange Tales. Henderson’s stories will evoke that ‘pleasing terror’ to be found in the best supernatural tales, and with nary a creaking door or disappearing corpse in sight.

Introduction (by the author);
An Incident in Drereton;
East Norham;
De Profundis;
Rope Trick;
The Well Dresser;
Period Instruments;
Disappearing Act;
Return Ticket;
Rome Will Rise Again;
Genius Loci;
What Became of April

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