Who Are…Gabriel Grub and the Goblins?

Gabriel-Grub-Cvr“Short tales to appease your monstrous hunger for suspense” is how we describe SWC Horror Bites, a series of digest-sized done-in-one stories and short-story collections that will be available in print and e-book formats exclusively from the StarWarp Concepts webstore, and at the conventions we’ll be attending next year.

The series, a mix of new and classic horror stories, kicked off this past February with Clemence Annie Housman’s White Fell—The Werewolf. And, as I told you a couple of days ago, the second title will be Tales to Sorta Tremble By, a 13-story collection available in time for Halloween.

In December, StarWarp Concepts will be releasing a third Horror Bite: Gabriel Grub and the Goblins, a yuletide tale by Charles Dickens, the legendary author of A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, and David Copperfield (among others).

“The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton” (also known as “The Goblins and the Sexton”) was first published in 1836 as a chapter of Dickens’s first serialized novel, The Pickwick Papers. It’s not nearly as famous as A Christmas Carol, but it does share the same theme of a bad-tempered loner being forced by supernatural intervention to learn the meaning of Christmas. Scrooge gets the spirits of Christmases past, present, and yet to come (plus the ghost of his old business partner, Marley); Grub gets the goblin king and his subjects.

As for our title change…well, there are three reasons. First, there was something about the triple-G alliterative quality—Gabriel, Grub, Goblins—that appealed to my inner Stan Lee (the real-life Mr. Lee having given us such character names as Peter Parker, Matt Murdock, Reed Richards, Betty Brant, and J. Jonah Jameson). On another level, I thought it had a Harry Potter–esque fantasy vibe that would catch the eye of potential readers. And lastly, most people today would probably have no idea what a sexton is, and might think it was either sextant—the nautical tool used for charting courses—or something related to intercourse.

Here’s the back-cover copy:

Ghosts aren’t the only supernatural creatures with the holiday spirit…

Gabriel Grub hates absolutely everything about Christmas—chestnuts roasting on open fires, yuletide carols being sung by a choir, the tidings of comfort and joy, the belief in peace on Earth and good will toward all men, even the figgy pudding. It’s all…well, if not humbug, then something pretty close to it.

What Gabriel Grub does enjoy, however, is digging graves—it’s not just one of his duties as a church sexton, it’s something that actually brings him a small measure of joy. So with a shovel in one hand and a bottle of gin in the other, he sets out one Christmas Eve to catch up on some work.

But as he will soon discover, the king of the goblins takes an extremely dim view of those who refuse to get into the holiday spirit.

It’s about to become a very memorable Christmas Eve for Gabriel Grub…

Gabriel Grub and the Goblins goes on sale on December 13 exclusively through the StarWarp Concepts webstore, and will be available in print and digital formats.

SWC Horror Bites Coming from StarWarp Concepts

Hey, horror fans, Pan’s publisher is launching a new chapbook series next week, called SWC Horror Bites. Here’s the official press release, so you’ll know what’s coming this year—it’s some good stuff!


whitefell-werewolf-cvr“Short tales to appease your monstrous hunger for suspense” is how StarWarp Concepts publisher Steven Roman describes SWC Horror Bites, a new chapbook series that the company will launch on February 7, 2017. The series, a mix of new and classic horror stories, will be available in print and e-book formats exclusively from the SWC webstore, and at the conventions that StarWarp Concepts attends.

The SWC Horror Bites debut title is White Fell—The Werewolf. Originally published in 1896 as The Were-wolf, it was written by renowned author, artist, and suffragette Clemence Annie Housman, and is regarded by scholars as perhaps the first feminist werewolf story. In it, a beautiful woman named White Fell wanders into a snowbound village—and into the hearts of twin brothers, one of whom immediately becomes smitten by her. The other brother, however, soon grows suspicious of the enigmatic White Fell. Where did she come from? Why does she always carry an ax? And is her sudden appearance somehow related to the recent sightings of a bloodthirsty wolf in the area? He may come to regret being so inquisitive…

Tales-Sorta-Tremble-CvrThe anthology Tales to Sorta Tremble By, scheduled for release in October and edited by Roman, will be the second Horror Bite. During the 1950s, comic book publishers were required to include text pages in their releases if they wanted their publications to meet U.S. postal requirements as magazines. They solved this problem by running mini prose stories, one to two pages in length, in their comics. Tales to Sorta Tremble By collects thirteen of those stories, with subjects ranging from vampires and werewolves to evil killer plants and mean-tempered zombies.

The third Horror Bite for 2017 is Gabriel Grub and the Goblins. Before miserly Ebenezer Scrooge had a run-in with ghosts in the pages of A Christmas Carol, author Charles Dickens wrote The Pickwick Papers, in which he introduced readers to Gabriel Grub, a foul-tempered gravedigger sorely lacking in the Christmas spirit. But all that changes when he draws the attention—and the ire—of the Goblin King, who sets about teaching Grub the error of his ways.

Gabriel-Grub-CvrWhite Fell—The Werewolf debuts on February 7, 2017, during StarWarp Concepts’ recognition of Women in Horror Month. Tales to Sorta Tremble By rises from the crypt on October 13, 2017 (Friday the 13th). And Gabriel Grub and the Goblins arrives on December 13, 2017.

For more information, please visit www.StarwarpConcepts.com.

About the Books:
White Fell—The Werewolf
by Clemence Annie Housman
Published by StarWarp Concepts
48 pages, chapbook (5.5” x 8.5”)
U.S. $4.00 (print edition) • $1.99 (digital)
On sale February 7, 2017

Tales to Sorta Tremble By
Edited by Steven A. Roman
Published by StarWarp Concepts
52 pages, chapbook (5.5” x 8.5”)
U.S. $4.00 (print edition) • $1.99 (digital)
On sale October 13, 2017

Gabriel Grub and the Goblins
by Charles Dickens
Published by StarWarp Concepts
24 pages, chapbook (5.5” x 8.5”)
U.S. $3.00 (print edition) • $1.50 (digital)
On sale December 13, 2017