Ash-Tree Press
P.O. Box 1360, Ashcroft, British Columbia, Canada V0K 1A0
Tel: (250) 453-2045; Fax: (250) 453-2075



by Paul Finch


ISBN: 1-55310-021-2; xi + 245pp
Published 27 April 2001

Price: Cdn$58.00 / US$43.00 / 27.50 (Postage Code B)

‘The really unexpected thing lay on the other side of the door—a cave, or at least the entrance to one; a narrow cleft in the bedrock of the mountain, without doubt of natural origin. Its walls were smooth, but slimy and rippled, while its roof was low and jagged with stalactites. It angled sharply down, the dull light penetrating far enough into it to show a right-hand turn about thirty feet along, beyond which there was only blackness. A dank subterranean breath flowed out, redolent of deep-earth chasms and underground lakes. Water dripped in the furthest depths.’

Rob and Gina’s dream house in the Derbyshire Peaks seems perfect in every respect; until a furious pounding awakens them in the middle of the night. It seems to be coming from behind the locked door in their cellar; a door which leads into a vast network of underground caverns, which at first appear empty. Before long, however, the couple realise that the caverns have their own inhabitants; ones who won’t be kept out merely by a wooden door . . .

Welcome to the world of Paul Finch: a world in which the ordinary and the everyday are rarely what they seem, and where the forces of the past are constantly intruding on the present. It's a world in which an innocuous-looking holiday camp turns out to provide a vacation from hell, where the search for an elusive book raises spectres from the past, and where a ruined castle exerts an inexorable pull over those unfortunate enough to visit. It is, in short, a world where nothing can be taken for granted; something the characters of these stories only realise when it is far, far too late.

Paul Finch’s stories have appeared in numerous small press publications on both sides of the Atlantic. Ash-Tree Press is proud to be presenting, in After Shocks, the first collection of supernatural tales from one of the most exciting contemporary writers in the field.

CONTENTS: Introduction; The Knock at the Cellar Door; The After Shock; Devils of Lakeland; The Magic Lantern Show; The Wolfman’s House; Eleanor’s Garden; A Night on Dragon Rock; February; Teresa’s Torment; To the Castle; The Altar; August; The Hotel on the Borderland; The Punch and Judy Man; September; The Dandy Dogs; Enemy Ours; The Fimbulwinter.

Jacket painting is by Tony Patrick. Limited to 500 copies.

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Ash-Tree Press 2003