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Harvey Duckman Presents… Volume 8
By C.G. Hatton
“You’re the editor, you write the foreword,” Harvey shouts as he waltzes out of the office with his passport in one hand and panama hat in the other.
I am the editor of this fine series. I can write a foreword. I can.
“And for Jiminy’s sake,” he yells, before disappearing out of sight, “make it funny!”
I don’t do funny.
Especially not at two in the afternoon before the Kraken has been opened or a Mai Tai or two mixed.
Is it too early…?
What should a foreword do? Introduce the fab stories contained herein by the bunch of brill authors that are our magnificent Harveys.
I can do that. And I can litter the page with even more words upon which Harvey will frown when he sees this in print. Ha!
First up is the wonderfully charismatic Christine King with a beautifully poignant twist on a fairy tale, followed by Mark Hayes at his best with one of my favourite of his stories (not to mention the Tower and anything Hannibal).
Then we have the fantastic Alex Minns with more thought-provoking and tantalising scifi (yes, we want more of this), before we launch into a brilliantly matter of fact debut story from Muriel R. Blythman.
Fantasy next with more adventures of Adrian Bagley’s elf-taunting Beast (yay Beast, taunt those elves!) and then an awesomely enigmatic steampunk tale from the wonderful Crysta K. Coburn.
Brennan and Riz make their regular appearance with another case of the paranormal from Peter James Martin, this time with even more of that deliciously dark undercurrent that we all love so much (having read the upcoming novel, I’ll say no more…).
Joseph Carrabis then takes a break from his woodland tales (yes, I cried at the Little Knitty Dragon too and I love that the story was inspired by a little knitted dragon I was lucky enough to be tabled next to at a comic con in London some time ago). In this volume, Joseph delivers a set of four sharp, fast, super as always, snappy stories to make you think.
Another Harvey debut next from Jack Pentire (which is a pen name but I’ll leave you to read the bio to find out more) and one of his brilliantly researched, and devastatingly real, historical tales from the West Country.
Bruce Connelly (whose Harvey Pirate story has just been dramatised for radio, how cool is that?) also takes a sidestep from his usual Harvey Bicycle Cycle series with a story we had originally planned for Easter, which shows how long we’ve been working on this volume, but hey, a visit from the Easter Bunny is funny any time of the year.
Melissa Wuidart Phillips is next with an alternative reality, beautifully written, steampunk-esque adventure with a message, followed by the Harvey debut from Davia Sacks and a thought-inspiring, straight to the point story that hits hard.
Harvey regular and author of our much-loved Tully stories, Liz Tuckwell also throws in a totally different, one off, side-spinning story to unsettle (…what would you do?).
(As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in the garden, in the sunshine, with a rumski, and the most beautiful dragonfly just landed on my hand for a lookski… how amazing… more on dragons later…)
One of the best creations to pop up as a result of Harvey is Finch (when I asked the ever excitable and indomitable Kate Baucherel to write us a short story) which brings us another adventure from our favourite avian galactic adventurer.
And to close this latest instalment of Harvey, Alexandrina Brant (darling of the Zoom sessions when everyone’s Alexa devices go potty) gives us a quirky, energetic and delightful story with an awesome last line. How could we not place this tale as our finale?
So there you go, the tenth Harvey Duckman Presents… is here at last! Thank you to everyone involved. Hope you enjoy reading. Can I have more rum please?
ps. Yes, the dragons… there be no dragons here at all. No actual dragons, no dragons in any stories, only the merest hint of a mention (from a previous volume, the lovely little knitty dragon) but a super cool dragon on the cover… why not?