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Graham Joyce

(1954-2014)
Graham Joyce lives in Leicester with his wife and children. A full-time writer, he has devoted much of his spare time to promoting literacy in prisons running creative writing courses in various high security prisons in the UK. He is a four time winner of the British Fantasy Award. He teaches creative writing at Nottingham University. Graham Joyce has won several British Fantasy Society and World Fantasy awards. Graham Joyce’s website.

Locus’s obituary for Graham Joyce.

How to Make Friends with Demons: Beautiful

Readers’ average rating:

How to Make Friends with Demons by Graham Joyce

Reviewing Graham Joyce for fantasy readers can be tricky, because his novels are often firmly set in our contemporary reality, with only minor fantasy elements. In addition, those fantasy elements are often only visible to the narrator of the novel, creating the impression that they may be figments of the narrator's imagination. Regardless of the fact that Graham Joyce has won a handful of British Fantasy Awards, you could label his books as magical realism, literary fiction, fantasy, or a mixture of all three. The author himself calls his style of writing "Old Peculiar," which is a perfectly fitting way to describe the atmosphere of novels such as The Tooth Fairy and Dark Sister.

How to Make Friends with Demons is another great example of Graham J... Read More

The Silent Land: Not as great as I’ve come to expect from Joyce

Readers’ average rating:

The Silent Land by Graham Joyce

Jake and Zoe are enjoying a ski trip in the French Pyrenées when, during an early morning ski run, they are trapped and buried alive by an avalanche. Miraculously, they manage to dig out of the snow and survive the ordeal, but when they finally make it back to their hotel, they discover that the place has been abandoned. What’s more, the entire village seems devoid of life. Has the area been evacuated, or is there something more mysterious going on? With no telephone or internet access, and the awful possibility that another avalanche will engulf the entire hotel, they are forced to explore their silent and empty surroundings...

As a big fan of Graham Joyce, author of such modern fantasy masterworks as The Tooth Fairy, Requiem, and How to Make Friends with Demons Read More

The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit: A lovingly written ghost story

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The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit by Graham Joyce

It’s the end of August, a time when each day seems noticeably shorter than the one before, when kids are getting haircuts and school supplies and heading back to school, when Thanksgiving and Christmas seem to be just around the corner. It’s a time for taking stock; for many of us, for those who loved the return to the classroom each fall with new resolutions to get good grades and excel at our extracurricular activities, it is more a time for such reevaluation of one’s life, hopes, goals and habits than is New Year’s Day. Perhaps that is why the coming-of-age novel is almost always set in the summer. Graham Joyce’s tale of a young man working at a summer resort, The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit,belongs on the same shelf as other great stories of haunted summers, like Read More

More books by Graham Joyce

Graham Joyce book review Dreamside Dark Sister House of Lost Dreams, Requiem, The Tooth FairyDreamside — (1991) Publisher: It began as an experiment in college — a seemingly harmless investigation into “lucid dreaming,” the ability to control one’s dreams. But they stayed too long on Dreamside, and now, ten years later, the dreams have returned — returned to upend their adult lives. The dreams of youth fade, if you’re lucky. If not, they can consume you… and will.Graham Joyce book review Dreamside Dark Sister House of Lost Dreams, Requiem, The Tooth Fairy


Dark Sister — (1992) Publisher: Alex and Maggie think they live in an ordinary townhouse until they discover a previous occupant’s diary — a narrative of Wiccan practice and herb-lore. Compelled to investigate further, Maggie begins to discover strange powers within herself.


Graham Joyce book review Dreamside Dark Sister House of Lost Dreams, Requiem, The Tooth FairyHouse of Lost Dreams — (1993) Publisher: Mike and Kim Hansom, sell everything they own, give up their jobs, and land up on the Greek Island of Mavros, so that Mike can fulfil his ambition of painting full time. They rent a villa on the beach, it has no amenities to speak of, but the most “marvellous view in the world”. They make friends with people in the village and are as happy as Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden; Ah! then enters, the serpents, the scorpion’s, the saint, in “Metal Shoes”, the shepherd and the mysterious “Watcher on the hill”. From then on everything changes, and we find out the evil intent the house on the beach has on its tenants.


Graham Joyce book review Dreamside Dark Sister House of Lost Dreams, Requiem, The Tooth FairyRequiem — (1995) Publisher: Following the death of his wife, Tom Webster travels to Jerusalem in search of a friend from his college days. But the haunted city, divided by warring religious groups, offers him no refuge from guilt and grief. As he wanders through the streets and the archaeological sites, a mysterious old woman appears to him, delivering messages that seem beyond comprehension. Then a fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls, kept hidden by an elderly innkeeper, appears to offer the key to understanding the woman’s pronouncements. Perhaps the spirit of Mary Magdelene is trying to reveal to Tom the hidden history of the Resurrection. And perhaps the truth is even stranger…


Graham Joyce book review Dreamside Dark Sister House of Lost Dreams, Requiem, The Tooth FairyThe Tooth Fairy — (1996) Publisher: After Sam Southall looses his first tooth and places it under his pillow, he awakens to the tooth fairy sitting on his windowsill. But it is not the same tooth fairy from legend.Graham Joyce The Stormwatcher, Indigo, The Facts of Life, The Limits of Enchantment, Do the Creepy Thing, The Exchange, How to Make Friends with Demons


The Stormwatcher — (1998) Publisher: In a restored farmhouse, James and his French wife Sabine, their two children and their friends sit uneasily. All are implicated in a tragedy which, in a matter of days, will sweep aside the web of deception they have built around their lives.


Graham Joyce The Stormwatcher, Indigo, The Facts of Life, The Limits of Enchantment, Do the Creepy Thing, The Exchange, How to Make Friends with DemonsIndigo — (1999) Publisher: As he tries to faithfully execute his father’s will, Graham Joyce is drawn into a bizarre and frightening world, moving among the ruins of ancient forces in a journey of the flesh and spirit.Graham Joyce The Stormwatcher, Indigo, The Facts of Life, The Limits of Enchantment, Do the Creepy Thing, The Exchange, How to Make Friends with Demons


The Facts of Life — (2002)  Publisher: The Facts of Life tells the story of an extraordinary family of seven sisters living in Coventry during the second world war. Presided over by an indomitable matriach the sisters live out a tangled and fraught life that takes them through the blitz, war work and on into the hopeful postwar years and a bizarre interlude for one of them in a commune. And through it all wanders the young son of one of the sisters, passed from sister to sister, the innocent witness to a life that edges over into the magical and the world of the fey.


Graham Joyce The Stormwatcher, Indigo, The Facts of Life, The Limits of Enchantment, Do the Creepy Thing, The Exchange, How to Make Friends with DemonsGraham Joyce The Stormwatcher, Indigo, The Facts of Life, The Limits of Enchantment, Do the Creepy Thing, The Exchange, How to Make Friends with DemonsThe Limits of Enchantment — (2005) Publisher: The story of a young woman in the midlands in 1966. A woman who may be a witch. She and her family live on the margins of society. Nevertheless her family life is stifling and she seeks freedom with more outsiders, a group of beatniks, but fights to find acceptance there also. And all the time she is struggling with her fey powers.


Do the Creepy Thing — (2006) Publisher: Fourteen-year-old Caz and her friend Lucy do the Creepy Thing. It’s a bizarre version of ‘chicken’. They break into houses while folk are asleep, challenging each other to ‘do a creepy’. To ‘do a creepy’ you approach a sleeping person in the dark, in the dead of night, putting your nose one inch away from the sleeper’s face for a count of fifteen seconds. One night, Caz breaks into the house of Sara Metherall, a lonely old woman shunned by the community. Lucy challenges Caz to do the Creepy Thing. Caz rises to the challenge. She creeps, she counts. But just before she completes the count of fifteen the old woman opens her eyes and clamps Caz’s wrist with a cold silver bracelet. The next morning the bracelet has disappeared, but left in its place a tattoo. A tattoo that holds a curse. While her life disintegrates around her, Caz has to find a way of lifting that curse. Or returning it to the place it came from…


Graham Joyce The Stormwatcher, Indigo, The Facts of Life, The Limits of Enchantment, Do the Creepy Thing, The Exchange, How to Make Friends with DemonsThe Exchange — (2008) Publisher: Caz and her best friend Lucy have a secret. Late at night, they break into strangers’ homes — not to steal anything, just for the rush. Then Caz gets caught in the act by elderly Mrs. Tranter, and before she knows it, the old woman has snapped a silver bracelet around her wrist. Caz can’t remove it, no matter what she does; and then it becomes part of her, sinking into her skin like a tattoo. Worst and most unsettling of all, it’s given her an unpredictable kind of ESP. She can see into people’s inner lives, whether she wants to or not. The Exchange is gritty magical realism with a sense of humor — just right for fans of Holly Black and Sonya Hartnett.


Graham Joyce The Devil's LadderThe Devil’s Ladder — (2010) Ages 9-12. Publisher: The time has come… Sophie and James’ paths don’t cross. Why would they? She’s from rough Abbey South School and he’s your typical Castle Gate posh geek. They have nothing in common. Or so they thought. For the truth is that they both share a special and dangerous gift: they are savants. Innately sensitive to the presence of ghosts and spirits, they share strange visions and visitations from frightening messengers. With no one else to turn to, they must come together to understand the meaning of the spectres and apparitions that they sense all over their town. Why have they been chosen? Who are these unhappy souls calling from afar? What dangers lurk behind the shadowy eyes of strangers? And can Sophie and James overcome the presence of evil to save their friends and themselves?


Graham Joyce The Silent LandSome Kind of Fairy Tale — (2012) Publisher: Acclaimed author Graham Joyce’s mesmerizing new novel centers around the disappearance of a young girl from a small town in the heart of England. Her sudden return twenty years later, and the mind-bending tale of where she’s been, will challenge our very perception of truth. For twenty years after Tara Martin disappeared from her small English town, her parents and her brother, Peter, have lived in denial of the grim fact that she was gone for good. And then suddenly, on Christmas Day, the doorbell rings at her parents’ home and there, disheveled and slightly peculiar looking, Tara stands. It’s a miracle, but alarm bells are ringing for Peter. Tara’s story just does not add up. And, incredibly, she barely looks a day older than when she vanished. Award-winning author Graham Joyce is a master of exploring new realms of understanding that exist between dreams and reality, between the known and unknown. Some Kind of Fairy Tale is a unique journey every bit as magical as its title implies, and as real and unsentimental as the world around us.


fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsThe Year of the Ladybird — (2013) Publisher: It is the summer of 1976, the hottest since records began and a young man leaves behind his student days and learns how to grow up. A first job in a holiday camp beckons. But with political and racial tensions simmering under the cloudless summer skies there is not much fun to be had. And soon there is a terrible price to be paid for his new found freedom and independence. A price that will come back to haunt him, even in the bright sunlight of summer. As with SOME KIND OF FAIRY TALE, Graham Joyce has crafted a deceptively simple tale of great power. With beautiful prose, wonderful characters and a perfect evocation of time and place this is a novel that transcends the boundaries between the everyday and the supernatural while celebrating the power of both.


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World Fantasy Convention 2011: Day Two

I'm reporting about Day 2 today. Read about Day One here.

There were lots of interesting panels today, and it was frustrating to try to boil them down into the ones I wanted to see.

My first choice was “Retelling Old Stories: The New Fairy Tales.” I’ve got all the modern fairy tale collections edited by Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow and many other rewritings, so I was eager to hear this discussion, and it didn’t disappoint. The first question addressed by the panel was the obvious one: why rewrite fairy tales? Jessica Day George Read More