Broodcomb Press

House publisher for the peninsula

Books

A note on postage: Combining orders makes the price more palatable for customers overseas; if you would like more than one book, drop me a line at jamie@broodcomb.co.uk and I’ll calculate a total cost.

Sylvia Littlegood-Briggs, Old Children, Hardback 162 pp., £17.50 [Limited] – 2024

“Another world was beside them even now. Jack would never be able to articulate it, but he knew there were aspects of his time in Blackwood Cottage with Polly that he could not fully accept. There was how things might be explained or ignored, and then there was the truth. The truth that Robert Hobbins never left, he just became invisible; that the tall man’s cat namesake was more conscious than any other cat; that if Jack was still working towards dusk, when the air was still, the faint almost-heard knocking he heard was not a distant axe chopping wood, or a picture being framed in a village cottage, the sound carrying for miles, nor even a late woodpecker: the knocking in truth came from within the grave he had himself dug.”

Wild Marjoram Tea by Sylvia Littlegood-Briggs was steeped in peninsular folklore, and her new novel, Old Children, returns to the same landscape to tell a tale of theft and return, once again taking us far from the fields we know and deep into a sinister world that exists just next door—

Like its predecessor, Old Children is both haunting and filled with disquiet. As ever, it might not be for you—

UK £17.50 + Free postage and packing

Europe £17.50 + £8 postage and packing

RoW £17.50 + £17 postage and packing

USA and Canada £17.50 + £17 postage and packing

R. Ostermeier, Nocebo, French Flaps 294 pp., £12.00 – 2023

“I believe that religion did a great disservice to the word soul by grabbing it for its own goody-bag. The soul has eyes and ears that receive signals from the light and the dark, from above ground and below, from the quotidian present to the deep past. The soul in this sense is open to the world at a level we cannot comprehend fully because it lies beyond the reach of words, of explanation. Soul resonates to symbol, ritual. It was what I suspected Birdwhistell was trying to articulate with her emphasis that we’d never know what we’d found, and my sense that the word feel was unspoken—.”

R. Ostermeier’s new collection comprises four longer tales of peninsular folklore and history, including the long-out-of-print Upmorchard as well as three new stories—

Winn’s Clock and Mommick draw from deep wells of rural disquiet, while the long novella Moving the Yew tells of the unsettling consequences from an act of rescue.

Nocebo revisits and reknits themes familiar from A Trick of the Shadow and Therapeutic Tales yet, as ever, it might not be for you—

UK £12.00 + Free postage and packing

Europe £12.00 + £10 postage and packing

RoW £12.00 + £17.50 postage and packing

USA and Canada £12.00 + £18.50 postage and packing

R. Ostermeier, Therapeutic Tales, French Flaps 216 pp., £12 – 2022

“—it was then Doktor Gaitskill asked me the question that led to this book. Are we stranger than people elsewhere?

I don’t recall my answer in detail, but in general the answer was, Yes. The peninsula was welcoming to the unusual, and there existed a fighty acceptance here of lived realities that places elsewhere would consider either unscientific or folkloric—.”

R. Ostermeier’s new collection of tales revisits peninsular folklore and history through the lens of psychotherapy, and includes the deeply unsettling Rubby and the existential dread of The Shop. Therapeutic Tales also contains the eerie novella The Ulfsson Chapel, together with Skin-and-grief, first published as part of the Doomed House of Abraxas series by Mount Abraxas Press.

UK £12 + Free postage and packing

Europe £12 + £8 postage and packing

RoW £12 + £12 postage and packing

USA and Canada £12 + £12 postage and packing

Jude Golby and Another, Delivery Artefacts, French Flaps 228 pp., £12 – 2022

“I thought of the first image I’d had when told of chain-fluid, a transparent metal snake coiled so tight there was no air in the jar. I couldn’t rid myself of the sense the twist-jar was filled with clear snake, and somewhere within, equally transparent and therefore invisible, were metal snake eyes watching, and the conviction I’d had as a child – that snakes had eight eyes like a spider, spread in the same pattern – returned and cooled me to zero all over…”

Delivery Artefacts is a report from the recent past of the peninsula, where scholar Jude Golby finds that his memories of a departed friend are urgently sought by a facility sited deep in the hills between Ockmarsh and Petersdock. The report that unfolds is an unsettling addition to the Broodcomb Press family for, as the nature of the artefacts becomes clear, a world of disquiet is revealed—

UK £12 + Free postage and packing

Europe £12 + £8 postage and packing

RoW £12 + £12 postage and packing

USA and Canada £12 + £12 postage and packing

Sylvia Littlegood-Briggs, Wild Marjoram Tea, French Flaps 132 pp., £10 – 2021

May your pockets be deep in dust,
for each mote is a star, little one,
and your right pocket holds one world
and your left holds another.

Wild Marjoram Tea is one of the standalone texts that grow out of the peninsula’s world of weird fiction and strange tales.

As with The Night of Turns, the new book explores folklore and folk horror, yet it is also a deeply moving exploration of growing up, change and the nature of being.

Beautiful, strange and terrifying, Wild Marjoram Tea draws on a wide range of British folklore sources – from the myriad treasures of English and Scottish song to the disquieting cruelty of legend – to create a distinctive world of unsettlement.

As ever, it might not be for you—  

UK £10 + Free postage and packing

Europe £10 + £6 postage and packing

RoW £10 + £12 postage and packing

USA and Canada £10 + £12 postage and packing

Edita Bikker, The Night of Turns, French Flaps 210 pp., £12 [Limited] – 2021

“The Night of Turns” is a tale of folk horror where caravans travel a circular path without cease, moving from garden to garden as dictated by the sinister Game of the Goose.

This is a land where unsettlement is a deeply-treasured belief; a land where theatre is used as a weapon; a land in thrall to the shadowy figure of the beekeeper—


‘[The book] is a tale of capture, a history of a seduction. I do not believe in the reality of what [Edita Bikker] describes, but neither do I see (as many have) the sinister spoor of a cult in these pages, unless it is a cult with no guru; a cult whose guru is Chance itself.” – From the preface

UK £12 + Free postage and packing

Europe £12 + £8 postage and packing

RoW £12 + £12 postage and packing

USA and Canada £12 + £12 postage and packing

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J.M. Walsh, A Journal, French Flaps 120 pp., £10 [Limited] – 2020

Written over the course of a year, A Journal engages with worlds natural and domestic, allowing the differing voices of a human life the space to communicate. These interlinked voices – engaged, trivial, wondering, sensual – create a narrative of a year, encompassing change, illness, despair and moments of great happiness.

“I decided to limit my engagement to what might be manageable on a daily basis. The form the limitation took was to allow myself the same number of words as the date, e.g. for the first of the month, I’d have a one-word allowance for the day, for the second two words, and so on until the maximum daily engagement of thirty-one words.” – J.M. Walsh

UK £10 + Free postage and packing

Europe £10 + £6 postage and packing

RoW £10 + £12.00 postage and packing

USA and Canada £10 + £12 postage and packing

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R. Ostermeier, A Trick of the Shadow, French Flaps 210 pp., £10 – 2020

R. Ostermeier lives and works on the peninsula. This first collection of strange tales draws predominantly on the region’s folklore and history, yet also includes first-hand accounts of contemporary disquiet.

A Trick of the Shadow contains the extraordinarily unnerving ‘Object’ and the disturbing, Arthur Machen-inspired ‘A Tantony Pig’, as well as the novella ‘Bird-hags’, which in all truth might not be for you.

A Trick of the Shadow […] is a set of disconcerting and bleak stories, all set on the mysterious ‘peninsula’. These are compelling and disquieting tales, with an eerie surrealism running through. ‘A Tantony Pig’ explicitly evokes [Arthur] Machen, though all play on those themes he returned to again and again throughout his life […] of the dark glamour of weird rites, and the corruption of innocence […] the story builds to a moment of Machenesque dread and ecstasy.” – Timothy J. Jarvis, Faunus: Journal of the Friends of Arthur Machen

UK £10 + Free postage and packing

Europe £10 + £8 postage and packing

RoW £10 + £12 postage and packing

USA and Canada £10 + £12 postage and packing

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R. Ostermeier, Rumsy Schoolchildren, Hardback 102 pp., £15.00 [Strictly Limited] – 2024SOLD OUT

“There’s evidence childhood games mimic desired behaviour of fairness. The Opies found there were certain fundamental truths about games that are suggestive considering how we behave as adults. For example, children dislike having power in a game. They long to pass the power on. A strange inversion of how we behave as adults. This is why deciding who is to be It at the start of the game is as much a part of the game as the game itself. Another truth is that a child who is It when the game stops—. That child feels truly ill-at-ease at the end of the day. To leave as It can be existentially threatening. They carry their It-ness home with them, which can be spiritually sickening.”

R. Ostermeier’s new novella is a disquieting tale of the past returned, and the devastating consequences that sometimes accrue from schooldays, giving a disturbing insight into hidden peninsular lives.

Never to be reprinted as a stand-alone book, Rumsy Schoolchildren is strictly limited to two hundred copies.

O. Jamie Walsh, The Settlements, French Flaps 252 pp., £10 [Limited] – 2018 SOLD OUT

Set in a community where people live according to their creative drives, this “endlessly surprising novel” embodies the philosophy that life is not a narrative with a beginning, a middle and an end. Challenging, experimental, yet also human, funny and deeply moving, The Settlements is about finding worth in stories and lives cast off or considered of no use; a book about the possibility and randomness of human growth; and ultimately a (curious) love story for those who are misfits beyond the age when it is cool to be so

“In my role as omissioner, I receive summonses from all over the settlements. My function is to offer an ear, a valve for the bleeding of grief or worry or simply unspent chat, and to do this well I must adapt myself to those who live in different settlements. Anyone can call me. It costs nothing, and I offer no advice: all an omissioner does is listen, finding worth in words that would otherwise remain unspoken or forgotten.”

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Peter Asbæk, A Mosaic Obituary, Hardback 144 pp., £10 [Strictly Limited] – 2018 SOLD OUT

Peter Asbæk’s final book is his experimental obituary, penned by 53 different people who did not know him. The hardback edition is strictly limited to 53 numbered copies only.

from Ursula Wolf’s introduction—

“Peter Asbæk conceived the project himself, the idea coming one evening when he was considering the disposal of his assets and ‘his ending’. He wanted to control the funerary ceremony […], the music, the duration, but above all the secularity of the occasion. Almost everything to do with his ending was under his control apart from the obituary, and it was while he was thinking of this the idea occurred of providing his own.

He shared his idea […] of a collaborative obituary, one whose form and end was subject to great variables. It became clear to us almost immediately any such obituary would end up not resembling an obituary at all; however, the name stuck, and the project of an open obituary – a mosaic obituary formed of many and varied impressions – was born. This final piece of work from Asbæk’s mind asked a simple question: What kind of obituary might be written by a stranger?

R. Ostermeier, Upmorchard, Hardback 96 pp., £15 [Strictly Limited] – 2021 SOLD OUT

Strictly limited to one hundred copies, and never to be reprinted as a standalone volume, Upmorchard revisits the peninsula’s past for the tale of Watts Barlik – Barley – who is drawn to an abandoned fishing hamlet and the stone artefact housed there—

“With prompting, Mrs Lofts told him all about the discovery. Out there in the darkness was what she called a spit island, Gloy Ness. The island’s geography and composition was impermanent. The shingle was endlessly reformed by storms, the tide, littoral drift. Ten years previously a feral storm uncovered a vast area of human-made artefacts. Gloy Ness was roughly five miles long, and it shifted quickly in tough-weather years so whatever the artefacts were, they took them out in case of damage (or loss) had the island reformed over it.

By this time Barley was like a dog with its teeth stuck in a toffee. He leaned towards what he could see of the woman, hoping the dark would rattle more out of her. It did—.”

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..O. Jamie Walsh, The Revenants, Hardback 228 pp., £15 [Limited] – 2022 SOLD OUT

“In the settlement of Death, the corpse isn’t buried for some time as the body artist needs to mould it for the mourning display […] Rarely acknowledged is how closely a coffin maker must follow the work of the embalming artist. Once the presentable corpse is fixed, the body cannot be returned to the usual mind-me-tits pose of a regular burial (not that anyone in Death would desire anything so missionary), and so the coffin is never the traditional shape.

One recent funeral was remarkable. Eavan Dermoût in death eschewed the traditional horror motif and elected for a perfect foetal shape for her last journey. They’d to break her bones to get her in position, but in the end she rested upright like a wheel, naked and hairless. Behind her the coffin was almost circular, like a coracle with a pot lid—.”

The Revenants is a return to the “eerie mental eavesdropping” of The Settlements, and although not in any way a sequel, this endlessly inventive new book listens to the voices of the peninsula, following meandering tales according to a dream logic—

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