Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Jones, Stephen

(1953-    ) UK editor, columnist, illustrator and movie publicist and consultant. He first established himself in UK fantasy fandom with his work on Dark Horizons 1974-1976, which helped make the magazine a focal point for the still fledgling British Fantasy Society. At this time he was more productive as an artist (often in the style of Virgil Finlay) and a poet (usually as Steven Gregory). This period gave SJ a grounding in magazine production, which he used to good effect when in 1977, with David A Sutton (1947-    ), he launched Fantasy Tales, the UK's first semi-professional magazine of Fantasy and Supernatural Fiction. It modelled itself on Weird Tales and rapidly proved popular, winning its editors the British Fantasy Award seven times and the 1984 World Fantasy Award. In 1988 it was converted into a professional magazine in paperback format. Its two spinoff Anthologies, The Best Horror from Fantasy Tales (anth 1988) and The Anthology of Fantasy & the Supernatural (anth 1994), were both ed SJ with Sutton.

Through his role as publicist and promoter SJ helped Pan Books repackage their horror and fantasy lines. This included re-energizing the long-running Pan Book of Horror Stories, which he relaunched with Clarence Paget (1909-1991) as Dark Voices. The first volume was a retrospective of the series, Dark Voices: The Best From the Pan Book of Horror Stories (anth 1990). Thereafter the series was continued with Sutton with #2 (anth 1990), #3 (anth 1991), #4 (anth 1992), #5 (anth 1993) and #6 (anth 1994). It rapidly became a focal point for modern Horror, with stories (original and reprinted) by many of today's leading writers. #5 won SJ and Sutton a British Fantasy Award in 1994. After #6 the series was dropped by Pan and transferred to Gollancz as Dark Terrors (anth 1995), followed by Dark Terrors 2 (anth 1996) and others.

As an anthologist SJ also inaugurated the Best New Horror annual selection, the first 5 vols compiled with Ramsey Campbell. It runs Best New Horror (anth 1990), #2 (anth 1991), #3 (anth 1992), #4 (anth 1993), #5 (anth 1994), #6 (anth 1995) and #7 (anth 1996). The first 3 vols were assembled as The Giant Book of Best New Horror (cut omni 1993); selections from #3 and #4 were assembled as The Giant Book of Terror (cut omni 1994). #1 won the editors both World Fantasy Award and British Fantasy Award in 1991. SJ also compiled a popular set of thematic anthologies in the Mammoth Book series: The Mammoth Book of Terror (anth 1991; vt The Anthology of Horror Stories 1994), The Mammoth Book of Vampires (anth 1992; vt The Giant Book of Vampires 1994), The Mammoth Book of Zombies (anth 1993; vt The Giant Book of Zombies 1995), The Mammoth Book of Werewolves (anth 1994; vt The Giant Book of Werewolves 1995) and The Mammoth Book of Frankenstein (anth 1994; vt The Giant Book of Frankenstein 1995). His interest in the works of H P Lovecraft inspired two further anthologies: H.P. Lovecraft's Book of Horror (anth 1993) with Dave Carson, a compilation of Lovecraft's favourite stories, and Shadows Over Innsmouth (anth 1994 US), new stories inspired by Lovecraft's classic work. All of this work was for Robinson Books, for whom SJ was editorial director 1993-1995, establishing the specialist Raven Books imprint for supernatural fiction and publishing the works of Les Daniels, Dennis Etchison, Robert Weinberg and Nancy Kilpatrick.

SJ has been particularly adept at packaging special-interest books. Some, like Horror: 100 Best Books (1988) with Kim Newman – which won the Bram Stoker Award in 1990 – and Now We Are Sick (anth 1991) with Neil Gaiman, a volume of grotesque poetry, are of novelty interest. James Herbert: By Horror Haunted (anth 1992), however, is a more evaluative tribute to James Herbert. In like vein is Clive Barker's A-Z of Horror (1997), a heavily illustrated but more serious overview of the horror genre tied to a tv series. SJ has co-produced with Clive Barker several illustrated volumes related to Barker's work: Clive Barker's The Nightbreed Chronicles (graph 1990), Clive Barker's Shadows in Eden (anth 1991) – which won the Bram Stoker Award in 1992 – and The Hellraiser Chronicles (graph 1992) (see Hellraiser; Nightbreed [1990]). He also compiled The Vampire Stories of R. Chetwynd-Hayes; (coll 1997) (see R Chetwynd-Hayes).

SJ's work as a movie publicist and consultant (and occasional director and production coordinator on tv programmes and videos) has resulted in a series of highly illustrated guides: The Illustrated Vampire Movie Guide (1993), The Illustrated Dinosaur Movie Guide (1993), The Illustrated Frankenstein Movie Guide (1994; vt The Frankenstein Scrapbook 1995 US) and The Illustrated Werewolf Movie Guide (1995). [MA]

other works: Gaslight & Ghosts (anth 1988) ed with Jo Fletcher (1958-    ) for the 1988 World Fantasy Convention.

Stephen Gregory Jones


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.