Monday, October 8, 2012

Scary Books – The Borders Just Beyond by Joseph Payne Brennan


The Borders Just Beyond was published in 1986 by Donald M. Grant with illustrations by Randy Broecker. 750 signed copies were produced making this a real collector’s item. Joseph Payne Brennan (1918 – 1990) began his pulp fiction career writing westerns. In the mid-50s he had switched to horror and fantasy and created Macabre magazine which is now a collector’s item. In the 1960s he teamed up with August Derleth, publisher of Arkham House Books, and Brennan’s first collection Nine Horrors and a Dream was published in 1958. All of Brennan’s early pulp magazine appearances and collections are highly prized. The Borders Just Beyond was one of his final books and it features 24 macabre tales. These are short-shorts, sometimes no more than five or six pages long. The book is precisely 200 pages with large print type. All of the stories included in The Borders Just Beyond are creepy classics. Stand out stories include “Long Hollow Swamp,” “The Jugular Man,” “Vampires from the Void,” “Silver Death,” and “Lottman’s End.” Many of the stories in The Borders Just Beyond were originally published in Macabre magazine and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine (when it was still worth reading). I believe that Joseph Payne Brennan has always been underrated by horror fiction fans and he is not republished often. That’s a shame because he was one of the better writers working in the horror and suspense market. I love Brennan’s work and highly recommend this book.

4 comments:

  1. A sound recommendation. I'm adding this to my horror list. Haven't read much horror lately. Time to start again.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Joe! I think copies can be found fairly easily on Alibris.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I had a paperback copy of SHAPES OF MIDNIGHT about 10 years ago but NO idea what happened to it. Actually at the time I wasn't too impressed with the stories I read, so maybe I traded it in or sold it. Anyway in the past few months I've read a handful more of Brennan's stories in various '80s horror anthologies and have really enjoyed them, and hope to write a bit on him. And also get another copy of SHAPES OF MIDNIGHT!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Brennan was underrated and I'm glad to learn my blog is inspiring people to check him out. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

I apologize for the necessity to moderate comments, but somebody opened the zoo cages and the beasts are running amok!