Thursday, 6 November 2014

In a Glass Darkly...

This is my favourite time of year, connected inextricably with ghost stories. Revisiting Sheridan Le Fanu's "In a Glass Darkly", I came across this disquieting paragraph...

"Mr Jennings is a perfectly gentlemanlike man. People, however, remark something odd. There is an impression a little ambiguous. One thing which certainly contributes to it people, I think, don't remember; or, perhaps, distinctly remark. But I did, almost immediately. Mr Jennings has a way of looking sidelong upon the carpet, as if his eye followed the movements of something there. This, of course, is not always. It occurs only now and then. But often enough to give a certain oddity, as I have said, to his manner, and in this glance travelling along the floor there is something both shy and anxious."

Sunday, 19 October 2014


I'm really thrilled to be able to announce at last that my third novel, Cannonbridge, will be published by Solaris in February next year. I don't want to say too much about it yet but here's a brisk teaser...

Flamboyant Matthew Cannonbridge was touched by genius, the most influential mind of the 19th century, a great novelist and playwright and the poet of his generation. The only problem is, he should never have existed...

Amazon, inevitably, has more...

Judgement announced!

The new series of Sherlock Holmes has been announced! A four-hour audio-drama, starring Nicholas Briggs and Richard Earl, it examines those mysterious years in which Holmes was missing, presumed dead, whilst secretly travelling the world in disguise. I've written the scripts and I hope that it fits together satisfyingly with my previous Holmes stories, The Ordeals of Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of the Perfidious Mariner, as well as hinting at some possible future developments. It's released in December on CD and download from Big Finish Productions. More here:

Monday, 7 July 2014

Frankenstein teaser clip...

Online to listen to now for free... a teaser clip from the forthcoming version of Frankenstein from Big Finish Productions, which I adapted and which stars Arthur Darvill.

Very excited for this to come out - it's sounding great so far... :-)

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Two new essays

It's been a busy few months. And here are two of the reasons why...

Two exciting pieces of recent work:

A new introduction to J B Priestley's novel The Doomsday Men for Valancourt Books (

An essay for Fan Phenomena: Sherlock Holmes: "On Writing New Adventures on Audio: Into the Interstices of Canon" (

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Charlotte Pollard

I'm delighted to say that I've written the scripts for the opening two episodes of the new SF audio series from Big Finish Productions: Charlotte Pollard

It's a Doctor Who spin-off of sorts (for the uninitiated, Miss Pollard was the longest-running – and, arguably, the definitive – companion to Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor) but I think it has its own distinctive character and flavour. 

I've contributed the first two stories – The Lamentation Cipher and The Shadow at the Edge of the World – whilst the second pair – The Fall of the House of Pollard and The Viyran Solution – have been written by Matt Fitton. India Fisher and Michael Maloney star! More here:

Love this creepy, kooky cover for the second story!

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Skayne: Reviewing the ghost stories

I'm delighted to report that the excellent Paul Simpson of the website Sci-Fi Bulletin has reviewed individually all six of the tales which make up the ghost story sequence SKAYNE.

He's been remarkably generous, calling them "insidiously creepy", suggesting that "Barnes skilfully builds the atmosphere" and writing that "each resounds in the mind afterwards for different reasons".

You can read the reviews at the SFB website, via the links below:

One: The Library at Iffley Tower

Two: The Tempelstone Gate 

Three: The Last Constitutional

Four: GH19 

Five: Synch in Progress 

Six: The Ground Outside 

All six stories themselves are still available here: