Skip to main content
Our Haunted Year 2021

Our Haunted Year 2021

14 December 2021

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that running a small press is not an easy job. It’s a precarious balancing act with limited resources on one side and an ever-shifting set of challenges on the other. This year was perhaps the most difficult I’ve experienced, due not only to the continuing pandemic, but also from the very real fallout caused by those twin bad decisions: Brexit and the Trump administration. We’ve been subjected to significant jumps in postage, reams of customs forms where there were none before, and supply chain issues that are likely to affect …

Read more
The Green Book 18

The Green Book 18

8 October 2021

Editor’s Note Buy a copy of The Green Book 18 This issue is another selection of profiles from our tentatively named Guide to Irish Writers of Gothic, Supernatural and Fantastic Literature. The keen-eyed will spot one name that might seem out of place: Harry Clarke (1889-1931). Clarke, of course, was not a writer, but an artist who worked in watercolour, pen and ink, and stained glass. As an illustrator, Clarke put his indelible mark on literature of the macabre and fantastic. His best-known illustrations are those accompanying Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination (1919/23), though his illustrations for …

Read more
“How I Write My Books”: An Interview with Mrs. L. T. Meade

“How I Write My Books”: An Interview with Mrs. L. T. Meade

7 October 2021

Despite her wide contributions to genre literature, Irish author L. T. Meade is now remembered, if at all, for her girls’ school stories. However, in 1898 the Strand Magazine, famous for its fictions of crime, detection, and the uncanny, proclaimed Meade one of its most popular writers for her contributions to its signature fare. Her stories, widely published in popular fin de siècle magazines, included classic tales of the supernatural, but her specialty was medical or scientific mysteries featuring doctors, scientists, occult detectives, criminal women with weird powers, unusual medical interventions, fantastic scientific devices, murder, mesmerism, and manifestations of insanity. …

Read more
Publication Delay

Publication Delay

27 May 2021

Update: All pre-orders and most contributor copies will be in the post by Friday, 4 June. Thank you again for your patience. – Brian First of all, please let me apologise for the continued delay in shipping our three recent titles: The Fatal Move, Uncertainties 5, and The Green Book 17, which were supposed to have been delivered here in Dublin by our UK printed at the end of April. The story briefly goes like this: Delay #1: Printer broke downDelay #2: Ran out of cloth for bindingDelay #3: Cloth needs more time to dryDelay #4: I was informed I …

Read more
Swan River Press Publishing Chronology

Swan River Press Publishing Chronology

20 May 2021

I’ve been spending the occasional odd moment assembling a Swan River Press bibliography. I started the press in 2003, so am getting to the point when I can no longer hold all the publishing details in my head. The bibliography (intended as a forthcoming publication) is meant as much a resource for me as I hope it will be of interest to readers, collectors, and bibliophiles. The book will contain my own notes on each publication as well as insights and reminiscences from authors, editors, and artists. I think there’s a certain personality type that’s drawn to bibliographies; we possibly …

Read more
Conall Cearnach’s “The Fatal Move”

Conall Cearnach’s “The Fatal Move”

27 April 2021

A few years back I wrote a short piece on how we put together Lafcadio Hearn’s Insect Literature (2015) from a design point of view. There are often embedded design details of significance in our books—the sort of things you might not notice until they’re pointed out and the various meanings explained. With the imminent publication of The Fatal Move by Conall Cearnach, I thought it might be a good time to write another such essay looking at how we designed this particular book. Irish author F. W. O’Connell (1875-1929)—who often published as “Conall Cearnach”—was brought to my attention by …

Read more
THE GREEN BOOK 17

THE GREEN BOOK 17

16 April 2021

The Green Book 17 (Bealtaine 2021) – Editor’s Note. #IrishWriters #OscarWilde #AltheaGyles #HdeVereStacpoole #KatharineTynan #DoraSigersonShorter #LTMeade

Read more
“That Didn’t Scare Me”: Thoughts on Horror Fiction

“That Didn’t Scare Me”: Thoughts on Horror Fiction

7 April 2021

“Horror is not a genre like the mystery or science fiction or the western . . . Horror is an emotion.” – Douglas E. Winter “That didn’t scare me.” This level of criticism grates my sensibilities. That didn’t scare me. It’s the sort of comment you overhear when leaving the cinema or that you might witness among a torrent of social-media posts, not generally known for their insight or elucidation in the first place. It’s not even the brevity of this comment that bothers me, but rather that this grunt seems to convey a shallow understanding of horror: “That didn’t …

Read more
Our Haunted Year 2020

Our Haunted Year 2020

27 December 2020

We can probably safely say that few could have guessed what 2020 would have in store for us. I haven’t quite decided yet whether or not I take comfort in the fact that this can be said at the start of any given year. Anyway, here at Swan River Press I had to adjust quickly: I started to work my day job from home last March, which then blurred daily into the evening hours that I put into the press. Time is a bit elastic in this room, and it isn’t uncommon to find myself wondering what day of the …

Read more
Ghost Story of a Novelist

Ghost Story of a Novelist

18 November 2020

Mrs. Katharine Tynan relates a Weird Tale—May Be a Coincidence.

Read more
Ghosts of the Chit-Chat

Ghosts of the Chit-Chat

3 November 2020

“This Society shall be called the ‘Chit-Chat Club’, and consist of Members of the University, and have for its object the promotion of rational conversation.” “Preface” to Ghosts of the Chit-Chat by Robert Lloyd Parry This rule, the first in the founding charter of the Chit-Chat, was not always strictly observed during the thirty-seven years of the club’s existence. It’s true that membership was only ever drawn from undergraduates and staff of Cambridge University, but the name was subject to variation, and it was for an evening of supernatural storytelling rather than rational conversation that the Chit-Chat has earned its …

Read more
Swan River Press Paperbacks

Swan River Press Paperbacks

21 September 2020

So we’ve decided to publish a line of paperbacks. Yes, I know, we’re as shocked as you are. But this new publishing stream only has emerged after much consideration and planning. Our long-time readers will know Swan River Press primarily focuses on limited edition hardbacks. Sometimes these print runs disappear quickly, leaving some readers paying large sums for second-hand copies. Similarly, it is unfair to our authors to allow their works to languish out of print. We hope, also, that these paperbacks will help new readers find our books. And so we’ve decided to reissue as paperbacks a selection of …

Read more