Beatific Vermin

The Pan Review, March 2021

‘D.P. Watt returns with a cutdown version of his dystopias; and – particularly for first-time readers – they are the better for it, their relative brevity foregrounding the author’s strengths in his now established field. The first – ‘These, His Other Worlds’ – concerns a biographical researcher’s ambiguous relationship with his subject and his mysterious obsessions. The pervasive question of the unreliable narrator soon arises when a dangerous portal appears to have been opened; but, who, in truth, has opened it? A strong opener and one my favourites… If Egaeus’s ‘Keynote Editions’ can restrict an author from extrapolation to produce their best work, it also enforces a discipline, which allows him / her an opportunity to highlight their strengths. ‘Beatific Vermin,’ with the best in this series, proves this’

Petals and Violins

Publishers Weekly, September 2020

‘Watt creates terrifying situations in prosaic settings in this superior collection… Fans of daylight horror will be eager to seek out more of Watt’s work.’

Andy Hedgecock, Black Static 74, March 2020

‘If Petals and Violins was a gig it would be two sets from Bruce Springsteen, sandwiching one from Dead Can Dance. The book opens and closes with sequences of subtly disturbing stories that rework, combine and perfect traditional motifs of the weird and macabre. In the middle is a series of experimental fragments, fusing a range of styles to produce a more detached and ambiguous, but equally disconcerting set of narratives… a fine collection that seized my attention with the opening story and held it to the last. It’s rich, varied and entertaining and draws on a range of traditions from the library of the weird. In addition, it proves the form is vital, relevant to our era and capable of endless reinvention. A compelling set of tales in a beautiful edition with the publisher’s trademark standards of paper, printing and binding.’

Paul St John Mackintosh, January 2020

‘It goes without saying that a writer this experienced is fully on top of his craft, and can turn a phrase or string a narrative with hooks. Weird or dark fiction, ghost stories, horror or surrealism, whatever you call it, this loose cluster of genres is in rude good health in Britain right now, and D.P. Watt is a tremendously accomplished practitioner. Petals and Violins is a box of dark gems.’

John Hirschorn Smith, January 2020

‘This volume also contains perhaps my very favourite Watt story, ‘Ophelia’. It’s a delicate tale of lost childhood innocence told from the perspective of a toy; a mere five pages long but seems to encapsulate all that is good in Watt’s weird world. It deserves the highest praise and will hopefully find its way into those ‘year’s best’ anthologies.’

Mario Guslandi, SFRevu, November 2019

‘In a very few years Watt has become a frequent and highly praised contributor to a number of anthologies. His collection Almost Insentient, Almost Divine was nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award. The current volume collects eight brand new tales plus seven previously published stories… the large majority of the included material is of high quality, confirming Watt’s ability to produce excellent yarns bound to fascinate and disquiet the reader.’

Des Lewis, November 2019

‘A great collection, of course…’


John Hirschorn Smith, November 2019

‘Did you blink? Then you’ve probably missed getting a copy of this handsome book, nicely printed (black on thick orange paper) in a tiny run of 122. It’s tales like this that make me wish Mount Abraxas runs were longer so that more could enjoy the contents because it’s worth trying to find a copy. ‘

Des Lewis, November 2019

‘Vintage vines of this author for you to harvest, even if that shadow was a monster, and that I in Terror was you.’

Almost Insentient, Almost Divine

Nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award, 2016, in the category ‘Single-author collection’

Christine Morgan, The Horror Fiction Review, January 2017

‘…top kudos to d.p. watt and everyone at Undertow for putting together a truly exquisite, breathtaking piece of work.’

James Everington, December 2016

‘Almost Insentient, Almost Divine is an excellent collection of short fiction from author D.P. Watt, a very British but also very modern feeling set of weird fiction. The influences of Beckett, M.R. James, Ligotti and (especially) Aickman are evident, but they are just that, influences. The world of D.P. Watt is firmly his own and this collection is proof of the surety of his vision … My favourite pieces here were the opener With Gravity, Grace; the sublimely creepy Shallabalah; and most of all The Usher, the story of a man who attends a very strange theatre performance. It’s a story that exemplifies many of the themes and techniques of this collection, and it seemed to me outstanding, a piece of weird fiction for the ages.’

ordopestilentia, Research Archives of The Constant University, October 2016

‘Although the stories in DP Watt’s collection are almost universally excellent, it’s the sense of world building that develops through them which is the most impressive part of this book; a weirdly out-of-time Mitteleuropa, cut through with theatricals and theatricalities, where masks fall from mannequins only to reveal yet more masks underneath, puppet-mummers snigger in darkened rooms and the human players shimmer between realities, sometimes never to return. Even the handful of stories that don’t fit directly into this milieu are haunted by fragments of a greater whole; mysteriously indistinct figures that lurk outside the circle of firelight or even atavistic thoughts that echo beguilingly from the darkness. The sense of theatre, of the blood-smeared grand-guignol being acted to its terrible conclusion whether wittingly or not, pervades the book and gives the observant reader a more subtle interpretation of that most contentious of themes; the weird.’

Acep Hale, Lovecraft Ezine, October 2016

‘Undertow Publications has stunned me once again. I’ve grown to expect high quality releases from this press yet they consistently surprise me. This is an exquisitely turned collection, from the beautiful cover art by Tran Nguyen, the preface by Timothy Jarvis which would be a stand out short story in any anthology, the stories of DP Watt with the great swath of knowledge and craft behind them, to the 16th Century Flemish mask designs in the grotesque style that mark the passage of the reader through the sections of the book. almost insentient, almost divine is a collection that will be treasured by readers for decades to come and doubtlessly recommended to those looking for an introduction as to what makes this genre special. I relish the fact DP Watt has a long career ahead of him and if some day I read his name alongside Carter and Calvino it will not surprise me.’

Dejan Ognjanovic, Rue Morgue, August 2016

‘This release can be rewarding, no doubt, but requires a patient reader attuned to the of ambiguous, nightmarish whimsy that colours these stories.’

D.F. Lewis (Real Time Review) June 2016

‘So ends this remarkable book…’


D.F. Lewis (Real Time Review) June 2016

‘…a wonderful experience, probably the most important experience in any physical book…’

Al Diniz at Bibliophage, May 2016

‘In one of these vignettes, “Sprovieri Gallery, Rome”, we have a vivid and dynamic description of the Italian Futurist theater. Suddenly, we are told that the images used as background to these presentations, representations of the mechanical vehicles speed and strength  based on Neapolitan carnival, “were nothing but the force of speed and the energy of vehicles, the surging of movement and the violence of colour. They depicted only the passion of their own inception.” Perhaps, this is the best way to describe this little masterpiece, a description that also fit to characterize the intents and unstable utopias, fragile, decadent and useless contraptions produced by the perpetually fascinating art of the avant garde in the twentieth century – a mist, a stream and a ghost, whose intensity dazzles and impresses all the witnesses by its own infinite driving force.’

The Phantasmagorical Imperative and Other Fabrications

David Longhorn at The Supernatural Tales Blog, October 2015

‘In her introduction to this collection of  strange tales Victoria Nelson notes that D.P. Watt’s protagonists tend to be ‘a cross between M.R. James’s buttoned-down antiquarians and H.P. Lovecraft’s high-strung, slightly hysterical misfits’. That’s a good summation of the kind of person we encounter in this collection of somewhat surreal weird tales, which take place in a twilight zone between mainstream British horror and the Kafkaesque provinces of European literature … Suffice to say that D.P. Watt is an interesting and original voice, and proof that what we casually term horror is a very broad (and somewhat ornate) church these days.’

Mark Andresen at The Pan Review, September 2015

‘This is Watt’s second collection, swiftly re-released as a paperback, after that of his first, ‘An Emporium of Automata.’ (Eibonvale Press, 2013). His friend Daniel Corrick wrote in the introduction to that release how “given his taste for visual flair, it is not surprising that the intermingling between sensation and narrative plays a consderable part in some of the stories.”

Here, this is literally foregrounded with far greater use of accompanying photographs – both personal and ‘found’ – which directly, and indirectly, evoke some part of a story’s narrative. In an interview for Weird Fiction Review, Watt reveals himself – far from unconventional sources – as part of the generation growing away from Arkham-style Americana toward Europe’s own Gothic.’

Ellen Datlow, ‘Honourable Mentions 2015′ for “14ml of Matt Enamel #61,” and “By Nature’s Power Enshrined,” both original to The Phantasmagorical Imperative.

Al Diniz at Bibliophage, May 2014

‘The narratives that we find in The Phantasmagorical Imperative, superficially, could be seen as the collection of a beautiful and elaborate cabinet of curiosities. We have prestidigitation and metamorphosis, inanimate objects that come to life and vice versa, heavenly music from infernal instruments, photographic effects, and audio-visual transitions, faery landscapes from dreams and nightmares. But all this wild parade is just opening to the Watt real entertainment.’

Mario Guslandi at Hellnotes, April 2014

‘An emerging new talent in the British literary scene, DP Watt is the author of strange, neo-decadent, weird fiction. Call it dark fantasy, or slipstream, whatever.  They’re fascinating, not easy to read, sometimes irritatingly obscure stories, but never ordinary, never predictable. The prose is elegant, and the context reveals culture and education.  Hence,what better publisher than the stylish imprint Egaeus Press, providing an exquisite hardcover limited edition apt to ravish any real book lover?’

‘Memorabilia’ in The Transfiguration of Mr Punch

Ellen Datlow, Honourable Mention, Short List (April 2014) for ‘With Gravity, Grace’

Rick Kleffel, The Agony Column (October 2013) 

‘D. P. Watt takes a perhaps more traditional narrative strategy in “Memorabilia.” It’s a very traditional frame story, with a collector speaking to a client who buying a collection of Punch and Judy items. There are four stories in the single story, each one wonderful in itself, the sum of them rather more so. In “With Gravity, Grace,” a puppet maker is asked to craft his greatest creation. In “Oh Pretty Polly,” a young man becomes fixated on a woman. In “The Mechanized Eccentric,” art history gets to strut the stage. In “In Comes I,” a bad cop reaps as he has sewed. The prose for every story is a lovely, stagey mix of terror and wonder, and Watt’s elaborate framing devices form a finely tuned machine. “Memorabilia” truly lives up to the anthology format, offering a theme anthology within the triptych. It’s smart, funny and extremely chilling.

… ‘The Transfiguration of Mister Punch’ is an outstanding triptych, an organic new work that has the feel of the forbidden. Beech, Schneider, Watt and Gardner have pulled together a work that deserves awards, the bigger, the better. This is a breathtaking display of skill and imagination, a fever dream that will haunt your waking and sleeping hours.’

Mark Andresen, The Pan Review (October 2013)

‘Watt’s tale continues this framing device with the character-narrator addressing the reader directly around four short tales. It is the fourth that is most memorable and genuinely chilling; less in the tale itself as in its depiction. The scene of the carnival-disguised ‘freakish mummers’ who enter a crumbling inn to confront the cornered, guilt-ridden policeman who finds himself in what appears a purgatorial parallel of his town is especially good.’

D.F. Lewis, Real Time Review (August 2013)

“And what do we have here, to start us off on our merry adventure?”

And what do we have here? An intriguing prelude in two sections whereby we learn of Mr Hawling’s collection, and another possibly puckish showman engagingly addressing me as the reader he specifically addresses about the collection’s memorabilia and his determination to set out a connected entertainment in four sub-divided hours with contained stories. Or so I guess, by looking briefly ahead at the book’s headings.

“…and at its heart beats the pulse of that great anarchic spirit, Mr Punch,…”


Matthew Kerr, Goodreads, March 2013

‘A beautiful to touch and beautifully written sequence of stories within a story. A shop keeper tells us of the objects which are dear to him – a flower press, a peepshow, a suitcase, a speculum and a Russian doll, and we hear a tale attached to each, often macabre and tragic.

The kind of writing which the large publishing houses overlook. Seriously, the small presses are increasingly the only places to find soul-nourishing prose.’

Real Time Review D.F. Lewis (February 2013)

‘An Anita-Brooknerian-type soul, of conspiratorial mien, displanted, in the 1970s, to Planty Park and its environs for shopwork in the shadow of Europe’s ultimate pain. An achingly delicious, immaculate English prose undeniably to die for, and one can imagine its words throbbing into Polish rather than being translated…I have no hesitation to say that – based on my reading of it – this book is something truly special.’

An Emporium of Automata (Eibonvale 2013)

Rosemary Pardoe, The Ghosts and Scholars M.R. James Newsletter 25, March 2014

A fair proportion of the twenty-one stories in this collection are peopled by scholars, researchers, academics, collectors, writers and historians. Of such stuff are Jamesian stories made, but Daniel Watt is a very original and inventive writer and one quickly learns not to expect what one might normally expect from such indications … Many tales touch on deeper themes than MRJ’s ever did (though he could sometimes be deeper than we give him credit for) and ask questions about the nature of reality that MRJ would never have thought about. Daniel Watt has been likened to Thomas Ligotti, but he is actually much more accessible: An Emporium of Automata is thought-provoking, sometimes uncomfortable but always readable.

Adam Groves, Fright Site (October 2013) 

‘A most welcome reprinting of a collection originally published in 2010 by Ex Occidente Press, who specialize in extremely expensive limited editions. For this trade paperback version Eibonvale Press provided a gorgeous cover design, but of course it’s the content that really makes this book one of Eibonvale’s finest publications to date (let’s hope Eibonvale, or somebody, gets around to reprinting the same author’s other Ex Occidente publications).

D.P. Watt has a decidedly unique imagination and a love of esoteric wordplay (sample sentence: “I had not taken you for one who skulks behind the scenes to see God’s entrance debased to pure mechanism”). His writing is reminiscent of horrormeisters like Thomas Ligotti and Robert Aickman, yet it displays the verve, literary mastery and idiosyncratic worldview that denote a standalone master of the form.’

Rising Shadow (April 2013)

‘Watt combines history, weirdness, surrealism and literary prose in these stories and creates a magically charged and alluring atmosphere which will leave readers spellbound. The author’s beautiful literary prose highlights the strange atmosphere and literally seduces the reader with nuanced descriptions of the happenings and places.

In my opinion D. P. Watt is one of the best authors of literary fantasy and weird fiction at this moment. He seems to have a vast imagination and he wonderfully exhibits signs of being able to write beautiful and macabre stories, which will charm readers with their unique weirdness and gothicness. The macabre elements perfectly manifest themselves in the way the characters act and what happens to them.

D. P. Watt’s beautiful prose deserves an extra mention, because his prose is stunningly beautiful. He uses plenty of descriptive expressions and sentences, and hooks his readers with them.

What separates D. P. Watt from other authors of weird fiction is that he explores the world, characters and happenings through a wonderfully twisted sense of wonder and darkness. He addresses several themes from identity to morality and pays attention to the atmosphere. He is an observant author and he offers fascinating glimpses into the lives of humans.

To be honest, D. P. Watt is one of the rare authors who can write weird stories and make them his own. He has a unique voice of his own and he is clearly a master of his art, because he writes about humane and philosophical elements in an unforgettable way.’

The Arkham Digest (April 2013)

‘Mr. Watt’s fiction puts one in mind of decaying Europe cities. Bizarre, archaic secrets hide behind the facade of fringe theater, puppetry, and mechanical toys. The language is reminiscent of older theater, poetic, and at times using words that have an eccentric, archaic feel to them. This itself is present in the titles of the stories (which are wonderful): Erbach’s Emporium of Automata, Dr. Dapertutto’s Saturnalia, Of Those Who Follow Emile Bilonche, Archaic Artificial Suns, and Pulvaris Lunaris or The Coagulation of Wood just to name a few. Almost every single story in this book is deep enough for the reader to benefit from re-reads.

…This collection offers much to weird fiction connoisseurs, and up until now was only available as an expensive, hard to find hardcover. Watt’s collection appeals to the curious child in all of us; the macabre mysteries within shot through with a melancholy, captivating beauty.’

Speculative Fiction Junkie (March 2013) 

‘This preoccupation with not just the humanity before us but with all of the individual humans who are absent is, I believe, at the root of several of the other strengths of Mr. Watt’s work, including the extreme beauty of his prose and the way that his narrators directly address the reader. While these traits obviously owe a debt to the author’s roots in the theater, their real impetus is the urgency that results from the dizzying work of confronting such a terrible vision.

An Emporium of Automata is a truly landmark collection and is as rich a treasure as literature is capable of producing.’

Jacket Comment:

‘There has existed all through the Ages an extraordinary idea that puppets are inanimate creatures controlled by human beings; but after spending some years behind the scenes in manipulating the strings of marionettes I am well assured that the position is quite the reverse, and that a puppet-showman is entirely at the mercy of his figures.’

Walter Wilkinson, The Peep Show, 1933

I can think of no better quotation that sets the stage for this magnificent collection of timeless and haunting tales by British weirdsmith D.P. Watt. This new edition of the author’s collection, An Emporium of Automata, delivers a thesis of the theatrically strange. In these stories the frightening hints penned above by a literate Punch and Judy man long ago are cunningly proven and made starkly manifest. This fine new edition places in the hands of all seekers after the beautiful and weird a grand collection which, for so long, has been privy to the locked bookcases of collectors and connoisseurs of the macabre and fantastique.

Story after uncanny story unfolds before the reader; a maze of carnival mirrors that we fear we might never escape from. Here are missing tales from some lost, darkly romantic Germanic madman’s attic. The rotting, wooden fissures that manifest fill in a gaping and pockmarked wooden maw somewhere between E.T.A. Hoffmann, Nabokov and Ligotti. To these name vaguely reminiscent stylists is far too simple. D.P. Watt dips first and foremost into his own, personal experience.

Through his sepia colored lens we are allowed to gape inside the old trunks of puppet men who have sold their souls in the rain, so that they might write such stories as these. The reader senses the authenticity of these cryptic pains, ritualistic longings, gorgeous and slow destructions. A literary answer to the modern neon sewer, these pages embrace the worship of decay, the altars of the desolate and all things archaic or fundamentally grotesque. The violently attractive, dangerously jagged islands of the mind which Mr. Watt guides us to are his own half-charted territories. I must also note that the book is structured in a manner, and so dense, that one is really getting three books of first-rate outré literature for the price of one.

Puppets rejoice! Read herein these baroque fables in which the drifting souls, toys and ticking things of men revert to fulfil far more ancient impulses. You have nothing to lose but the strings of your mind. Just as Walter Wilkinson was finally convinced that ‘a puppet-showman is entirely at the mercy of his figures’ so too, the reader of An Emporium of Automata will find themselves utterly at the mercy of dark conductor, D.P. Watt, who wields his rusty-scalpel words with the precision and mad gusto of a wildly leering, yet jaded, carnival showman.

Charles Schneider, author of The Mauve Embellishments

This Hermetic Legislature

Top 5 Reads of 2012 – Speculative Fiction Junkie (December 2012)

‘If you’re going to splurge on one expensive book from 2012, it ought to be this homage to Bruno Schulz from Ex Occidente Press. It contains some of the most beautiful short stories ever written.’

The Ten Dictates of Alfred Tesseller

Sacrum Regnum II, March 2013

‘The thing which continually impresses us about Watt is his exotically coloured and scalpel sharp style and the consistency with which he keeps it up. He has a good eye for apt, almost aphoristic phrases and lively metaphors: an apple is ‘alive with the evil chuckle of wasps’, the stricken character hides in the mud like ‘a medal on a lost corpse’, and so on. The more avant garde format allows him to go all out with descriptive narrative to dramatic effect, so much so that the very prose becomes intoxicating in its intensity, possessed of an immanent fecundity, burgeoning forth with images, colours, scents, sensations and apocalyptic utterances. This choice of style, both chaotically vitalistic and necrotic for want of a better word, combines for a clever mingling between the chaotic vision and visitations described and the narrative structure itself: therein lies the greater part of the novella’s power maybe. This can at times make the text difficult to read, which is one of the reasons why we’d advise readers to approach it as a lengthy poetic work as opposed to a straight story… still, it is the most exciting work from a modern author we have read this year.’

Speculative Fiction Junkie (December 2012)

‘D.P. Watt is one of my favorite writers, and this book shows that he is not afraid to take his work in bold new directions. The Ten Dictates of Alfred Tesseller contains more of what makes D.P. Watt’s voice such a powerful one: prose that is almost unbearably beautiful and a way of speaking to his audience so directly that it lends the work a seldom encountered intensity. I only wish that the book was a little more comprehensible.’

Real-Time Review by D.F. Lewis (August 2012)

‘…the cross-sectioning of our single lunatic mind as constituted by the felt sanities of each self we wield… All conveyed by a prose style to die for. This is a symphonic poem without enjambement or notes – other than that tangle of notes above us like knitting. Those images and words that I suspect are clinging deeper the deeper I go. Not an easy experience but certainly a fulfilling one…’

An Emporium of Automata

Wormwood Journal, Vol. 17, by Reggie Oliver (November 2011)

‘Watt has real talent. His work is not easily defined, but his stories, like Aickman’s, may be categorised as ‘strange’. They deal with questions of identity, illusion and reality, shifting perspectives and moral structures. This may sound daunting, but the quality of the writing engages the reader. Watt writes in a neo-decadent style: elegant, euphonious, with an observant eye and ear… Watt is a writer who offers us a consistent vision. It touches on and reflects the world we know, but as in a glass darkly. Performance and puppets play a role in many of these stories because they both examine and defy what we imagine to be reality…’

Goodreads Review by Benjamin Uminsky (May 2011)

‘This was a wonderful collection of the bizarre, supernatural, uncanny, and flat-out weird… I gladly recommend this collection to any reader of the weird, fantastic and supernatural (or any reader of great lit).’

Top 5 Reads of 2010 at Speculative Fiction Junkie (December 2010)

‘D.P. Watt is a bit of mystery and his work is still not discussed as much as it should be. An Emporium of Automata collects his best stories published to date elsewhere as well as some new material appearing in this collection for the first time.

In a field that is fairly crowded with great authors, Mr. Watt’s voice is unique and one that I will eagerly watch in the years to come.’

Real-time review by D.F.Lewis (November 2010)

‘This particular text is full of great stories that stand on their own – Jamesian, Samuelsian, Ligottian, Meyrinkian, but above all Wattian… This book, by retrocausality of night’s fidgeting words, now takes on a new vantage point, where aeon swallows moment, and vice versa.  Its gestalt is ‘being’ in everything I found above blended together. It is in the slowly emerging flavour I found in the book while I hope you, the review-reader, find a similar or, even, different flavour during the course of reading my own personal findings of Wattian leitmotif in the book.’

Pieces for Puppets and Other Cadavers

Speculative Fiction Junkie (March 2010)

Sleazehound, Mogens Hoegsberg (August 2008)

Joey Madia, New Mystics Reviews (September 2007)

Necropsy: The Review of Horror Fiction (Vol. XXVII, Autumn 2007)

Short Stories

‘Blood and Smoke, Vinegar and Ashes’

Nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award in the category of ‘Novelette’

Selected for reprinting in The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2019, ed. Paula Guran

Paul Michaels at This is Horror (November 2018)

‘It’s a wonderful piece that sets the tone for the rest of the book, a mix of ambiguity, cautionary themes, and a sense of the cosmic that isn’t necessarily horrific or dark, but can be destructive and forbidden.’

‘Four Windows and a Door’

Ellen Datlow, Honourable Mention (2017)

‘Real-time’ review by D.F. Lewis (May 2017)

‘Unless I imagine the story’s development, it took a new slant, a new Madeline mystery, an aching overhang of ordinary things become strange and threatening. And an attrition, via a cosmic transcendence worthy of this book, towards on of the most powerfully oblique endings you are ever likely to meet.’

Joe X Young at Gingernuts of Horror (May 2017)

‘This is a beauty. I’ve been on the same boat trip in this story and saw similar things as described. It’s the story of a little girl, a derelict house and a tragic mystery, more than that I can’t say without giving stuff away. It’s a creepy gem of a story and one of the highlights of the anthology.’

‘Myself / Thyself’

Ellen Datlow, Honourable Mention 2016

Craig Herbertson at Goodreads (August 2015)

‘“Myself / Thyself” by D.P. Watt comes quite close to being a classic and I can imagine it being reprinted.’

‘Honey Moon’

Selected for Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Volume 3, ed. Simon Stratzas, Undertow Publications

Gary Fry, (October 2016)

‘In D P Watt’s ‘Honey Moon’, a recently married couple – he initially eager, she prudish – undergo a modification of sexual roles, as a landscape and its history tease out the limbic forces in both, drawing them inexorably into animalistic passion. The tale’s deceptively simple, cleanly written surface only enhances the power of its truly wild conclusion.’

Ellen Datlow, Honourable Mention 2016

Mario Guslandi at Thirteen O’clock (July 2015)

‘Among the various contributions some are especially worth mentioning … In the intense “Honey Moon” by DP Watt, a newly wedded couple spending their time in a remote country cottage are overwhelmed by a Pan-induced storm of passion and lust.’

‘Real-time’ Review by D.F. Lewis (June 2015)

‘A mildly amusing, but ultimately uninspiring, honeymoon story… [an] end bracket…’

‘A Delicate Craft’

Mario Guslandi at Hellnotes (June 2015)

‘…an unsettling, cautionary tale about witchcraft.’

S.P. Miskowski at Goodreads (June 2015)

‘“A Delicate Craft” by D.P. Watt is also about a transformation. This time the encounter is between a disillusioned Polish laborer and an elderly woman expert in the art of lacemaking. The final event comes as no surprise, so the selling point of the story is the author’s excellent attention to detail, demonstrating a thorough knowledge of a beautiful, bygone craft.’

‘Real-Time’ Review by D.F. Lewis (May 2015)

‘A significant Wattage of lace-making lore and the condition of modern humanity…Electric prose with Aickman dim and sleekly soft undercurrents.’

‘Laudate Dominum (for many voices)’

Reprinted in Best British Horror 2014, ed. Johnny Mains, Salt Publishing

Ellen Datlow, Honourable Mention, Short List (April 2014)

The Arkham Digest, June 2013

‘D.P. Watt is an author I recently became familiar with, and very much enjoy. Laudate Dominum (for many voices) is a good example of the author’s talents. Watt takes a stuff-shirt protagonist, and puts him in an awkward social situation which takes a turn for the worse. This story is a great example of one of those stories that can make the reader laugh one minute, but freak them out by the climax.’

‘…he was water before he was fire…’

The Arkham Digest, March 2013

‘D.P. Watt is the first author in the anthology of whom I am not familiar. After reading …he was water before he was fire… I am now determined to become more familiar with his work. The story concerns a city man who decides to go camping, which is rather uncharacteristic of him. He becomes enchanted with a certain cove, and it isn’t long before the place’s magic has a hold on him. Watt’s story is masterfully narrated, and shows a rather dark imagination. Another favorite.’


Ellen Datlow, Honorable Mention (April 2013) 

Brendan Moody, The Stars at Noonday (September 2012)

‘D. P. Watt’s “Vertep” is arguably more puppet horror than classical music horror, but either way it’s a good one. Initially its narrator’s flat affect is a mixed blessing, making the prose seem crude rather than simple, but as this tale of obsession builds toward its unexpectedly blatant climax, that bluntness becomes appropriately disturbing, a mark of insanity that strikes an appropriate balance between terror and a terrible humor. Admirers of Thomas Ligotti’s later work are particularly advised to check out this story.’

Matthew Fryer (August 2012)

‘ “Vertep” by DP Watt is narrated by a man whose passion is collecting Jack-in-the-Box toys. He discovers a damaged specimen that plays Stravinsky, and his life soon descends into visions and obsession. This author has a very listenable voice and we are transported by the magic to a shocking, sharp conclusion.’

‘All His Worldly Goods’

Horror World (October 2011)

‘Watt’s “All His Worldly Goods” is an excellent, solid piece of fiction where a copy of Montague Summers’ “The Supernatural Omnibus” (that anthology really exists! I got a copy on my shelves…) keeps haunting a lonely bookshop clerk.  A great mix of horror and nostalgia.’

Nick Jackson, ISMs Press (September 2011)

‘In D. P. Watt’s story, “All Your Worldly Goods”, we are introduced to the deceptively cosy world of a charity shop volunteer.  His carefully regulated life is gradually undermined when a mysterious man brings a fateful book into the shop.  The very ordinariness of the man’s life, its petty jealousies and creeping sense of worthlessness creates a profoundly moving setting.’

Matthew Fryer (July 2011)

‘The book ends on a high note with “All His Wordly Goods” by D.P. Watt, the ghostly tale of a man who works in a charity shop and discovers that a donated volume – the Supernatural Omnibus – refuses to leave him alone. Well written, and suffused with a creepy, small town claustrophobia, this tale also nails that fragility of lost childhood.’


Long walk with Books (November 2010)

‘«Apotheosis» by D.P. Watt is, perhaps, the best in this anthology. This is a metastory where the protagonist, a writer, discovers that some of his prose is stolen and published under a different name, Tullis. The most striking thing for this writer is that he himself had sent his text to unknown plagiarist. Watt wrote a nearly perfect story about information and how it absorbs everything: information is nameless, and this is the worst thing in it.’

David Hebblethwaite (October 2010)

‘In Watt’s tale, S.D. Tullis is an enormously prolific and celebrated writer, whose secret is that his work is assembled from the solicited contributions of who-knows-how-many others. Our narrator is one such writer, who received a letter from ‘Tullis’ and responded with a short paragraph – and now obsessively checks Tullis’s output for signs of his contribution. ‘Apotheosis’ works enough well on its own as a character study and a story that hints at a hidden view of the world; but it works even better in Null Immortalis, whose structure echoes that of the work in the story.’

Grim Blogger (August 2010)

‘D. P. Watt’s “Apotheosis” similarly draws outside its fictitious borders by presenting a sort of literary experiment by which all writers’ words are collectivized into an entity named Tullis, the greatest author in the world. Watt’s stylistic repetition lends an extra jolt to his story, a play on language very at home with the Lewisian fondness for coining new terms like “Nemonymous.”

Ellen Datlow Honorable Mentions April 2012

for ‘Memento Mori’ and ‘Archaic Artificial Suns’


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