Kim Newman (born in London on 31 July 1959) is an English journalist, film critic, and fiction writer. Recurring interests visible in his work include film history and horror fiction—both of which he attributes to seeing Tod Browning’s Dracula at the age of eleven — and alternate fictional versions of history. He has won the Bram Stoker Award, the International Horror Guild Award, and the BSFA award.
Early in his career, Newman was a journalist on the left-wing City Limits listings magazine and men’s top-shelf magazine Knave.
Newman’s first two books were both non-fiction; Ghastly Beyond Belief: The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book of Quotations (1985), co-written with Neil Gaiman, a light-hearted tribute to entertainingly bad prose in fantastic fiction, and Nightmare Movies: A Critical History of the Horror film, 1968-88 is a serious history of horror films. A massively expanded edition, bringing his overview of post-1968 genre cinema up to date, was published in 2011.
Newman’s non-fiction also includes contributions to The Aurum Encyclopedia of Film: Horror (several editions) and the British Film Institute Companion to Horror (1996) and Horror: 100 Best Books (co-editor, 1988), which won a Bram Stoker Award for Best Non-Fiction.
Newman acts as one of several contributing editors to the UK film magazine Empire, as well as writing the monthly segment, “Kim Newman’s Video Dungeon” in which he gives often scathing reviews of recently released straight-to-video horror films. He also contributes to Rotten Tomatoes, Venue, “Video Watchdog” (‘The Perfectionist’s Guide to Fantastic Video’) and Sight & Sound.
Newman’s first famous horror novel is Anno Dracula (1992). It is set in 1888, during Jack the Ripper‘s killing spree—but a different 1888 to the one we know, in which Dracula became the ruler of England. In the novel, fictional characters—not only from Dracula, but also from other works of Victorian era fiction—appear alongside historical persons. One major character, the vampire Geneviève Dieudonné, had previously appeared (in a different setting) in his Warhammer novels. Anno Dracula was followed by a series of novels and shorter works that followed the same alternative history, including The Bloody Red Baron (set in World War I), and Dracula Cha Cha Cha (titled Judgment of Tears: Anno Dracula 1959 in the US). The fourth novel in the series, entitled Anno Dracula – Johnny Alucard was published on September 13 2013. His BFI Film Classics book on Hammer Films’ Quatermass and the Pit was published in 2014.
In September 2017, Titan Books published Video Dungeon – the first collection of Kim’s full reviews of the best and worst ‘B’ movies, inspired by his legendary Empire column of the same name, which appears every month in the UK’s largest film speciality magazine.
With themed chapters covering new films and re-releases, from After Death to Zombie Shark, from 1915’s Les Vampires to 2016’s The Shallows, over 500 of the cheapest, trashiest, goriest and, occasionally, unexpectedly good films released for the home entertainment market are covered here, torn apart and stitched back together again in Kim’s unique style.
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