Johnny Mains

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Johnny Mains
Born 1976
Galashiels, Roxburghshire
Occupation editor
Nationality Scottish
Genres Horror fiction, Non-fiction

Johnny Mains (born 1976, Galashiels, Roxburghshire) is a Scottish editor and writer of horror fiction.


Johnny Mains is an award winning editor, biographer and horror historian whose main area of expertise is British horror anthologies. He also the author of two collections of horror stories.

Mains is a lifelong fan of The Pan Book of Horror stories and created a fan site for the thirty book series.[1] This in turn led him to release his first anthology as editor, Back From the Dead: The Legacy of the Pan Book of Horror Stories, which features sixteen new stories and five reprints from the original series. Authors featured include such Pan luminaries as Basil Copper, Christopher Fowler and Nicholas Royle. The book was released through Mains' Noose and Gibbet imprint at the World Horror Convention in March 2010.[2][3][4] and won the Best Anthology Award at the 2011 British Fantasy Society Awards.

At the World Horror Convention in March 2010, Mains was responsible for the biggest gathering of Pan Horror authors for a panel on the history of the series and the dealings the authors had with its editor, Herbert Van Thal.

Mains was appointed Project Editor for the re-issue of the 1959 Pan Book of Horror Stories. The book was published, with a new introduction in October 2010 to critical acclaim.

Mains was a regular contributor to 'The Paperback Fanatic', a magazine devoted to pulp paperbacks. His interviews for the magazine have included Basil Copper, David F. Case, Shaun Hutson and John Holmes. Mains has also written for 'SFX' and the re-launched 'Fear' magazine, Mains' interview with James Herbert was one of the last Herbert did.

Other Works[edit]

Mains' debut collection 'With Deepest Sympathy' was published by Obverse Books in October 2010. Containing fourteen stories of the 'odd and twisted' the tone of the stories are very Pan Horror in style, though the collection does include several ghost stories, one of which; 'Reconvened: The Judge's House' is an unofficial sequel to Bram Stoker's short story 'The Judge's House.'

Mains has also edited the first Obverse Quarterly book 'Bite Sized Horror' and 'The Screaming Book of Horror' - which contained unpublished stories by John Brunner and John Burke.

In July 2013, Mains announced his involvement with two new horror anthologies from Salt Publishing.[5] - Best British Horror, a collection of the best horror short fiction from 2013, and Dead Funny (with Robin Ince), a collection of horror stories by comedians.

In October 2011, Zoghogg TV announced that Mains' story 'The Jacket' would be turned into small film. Mains has also appeared on the special features of a Hammer Horror documentary.

Lest You Suffer Nightmares[edit]

Mains is credited with writing the first biography on van Thal. Lest You Should Suffer Nightmares was published as an addendum to Back From the Dead: The Legacy of the Pan Book of Horror Stories. It was reprinted (with additional information) and published as a stand alone book by Screaming Dreams in September 2011 with artwork by Les Edwards.


Short Stories[edit]

  • The Bear and the Fish Writers Cafe Anthology 2006 (Writers Cafe)
  • The Spoon The Third Black Book of Horror (Mortbury Press)
  • With Deepest Sympathy The Fourth Black of Horror (Mortbury Press)
  • The Trapper Pantechnicon (e-zine)
  • First Foot Estronomicon (Screaming Dreams)
  • Gun Money* Pantheon (magazine)
  • George V Voices From The Past (H&H Books)
  • Final Draft Graveyard Rendezvous (Black Hill Books)
  • The Jacket Alt-Dead (Hersham Horror)
  • Head Soup Aklonomicon (Aklo Press)
  • The Cure The Unspoken (tba)
  • I Wish 13 (tba)
  • Aldeburgh (tba)


With Deepest Sympathy

  • Reconvened: The Judge's House
  • With Deepest Sympathy
  • Gun Money
  • Jesus Wept
  • The Bag Lady
  • Falling in Love with a Dead Boy
  • Losing the Plot
  • Bloody Conventions
  • The Spoon
  • The Trapper
  • Life Through a Lens
  • The Family Business
  • Stour Bridge
  • Final Draft

Frightfully Cosy and Mild Stories For Nervous Types

  • Aldeburgh
  • Mrs Claus and the Immaculate Convention
  • Cure
  • The Tip Run
  • Head Soup
  • Dead Forest Air
  • The Rookery
  • Prim Suspect
  • The Jacket
  • 'I Wish'
  • George V
  • The Were-Dwarf


  • Back From the Dead: The Legacy of the Pan Book of Horror Stories (Noose & Gibbet)
  • Bite Sized Horror (Obverse Books)
  • Screaming Book of Horror (Screaming Dreams)

Essays and Interviews[edit]

  • A Brief History of the Horrors - Pan Book of Horror Stories (Pan Books)
  • An Interview with Basil Copper - Brighton Shock (WHC 2010/PS Publishing)

Noose and Gibbet[edit]

  • Back From The Dead: The Legacy of the Pan Book of Horror Stories
  • The Mask and Other Stories - Herbert van Thal
  • Party Pieces: The Horror Fiction of Mary Danby (Sept. 2012)


External links[edit]