Last week, Josh Winning with the guest on the first episode of the Good Journeys Podcast!
Winning is the author of the acclaimed novel THE SHADOW GLASS, which is out now in the UK and North America. Published by Titan Books, here’s the synopsis…
Jack Corman is failing at life.
Jobless, jaded and on the “wrong” side of thirty, he’s facing the threat of eviction from his London flat while reeling from the sudden death of his father, one-time film director Bob Corman. Back in the eighties, Bob poured his heart and soul into the creation of his 1986 puppet fantasy The Shadow Glass, a film Jack loved as a child, idolising its fox-like hero Dune.
But The Shadow Glass flopped on release, deemed too scary for kids and too weird for adults, and Bob became a laughing stock, losing himself to booze and self-pity. Now, the film represents everything Jack hated about his father, and he lives with the fear that he’ll end up a failure just like him.
In the wake of Bob’s death, Jack returns to his decaying home, a place creaking with movie memorabilia and painful memories. Then, during a freak thunderstorm, the puppets in the attic start talking. Tipped into a desperate real-world quest to save London from the more nefarious of his father’s creations, Jack teams up with excitable fanboy Toby and spiky studio executive Amelia to navigate the labyrinth of his father’s legacy while conjuring the hero within –– and igniting a Shadow Glass resurgence that could, finally, do his father proud.
Here, too, are some of the great reviews the novel has received so far…
‘There’s a stirring sense of adventure, excitement, and terror running throughout… a treat for fans of the movies that inspired it.’ — Publishers Weekly
‘This book is the only thing I’ve read that captures the dark and dreamlike feel of 80s cult fantasy like Labyrinth and The Neverending Story. It’s a beautifully written homage to that era of filmmaking.’ — BookRiot (Best Books of 2022 So Far)
‘[R]emarkable… Ultimately though this is a story of the power of fandom. I love, love, love the way Winning portrayed fandom and our obsessions; the way we collect as much merchandise from the movie as we can – figures, games, posters, novelisations. The way we also collect as much information as we can, always trying to delve that bit deeper. How we band together in our nerddom. Movies, books and games can have such a wonderful impact on our lives. The scene with The Dragon Con illustrated this perfectly and was an absolute delight… a love letter to 80’s fantasy fans, fandoms, and those enamoured by nostalgia.’ — Fantasy Hive
‘The fantasy adventure my 80s-loving heart needed! Loaded with unforgettable characters, a thrilling quest, and the best 80s pop culture references, I loved every moment.’ — Kat Ellis, author of Harrow Lake
‘You don’t have to be a child of the ’80s to appreciate THE SHADOW GLASS. There’s enough magic within these pages to dress you in leg warmers and take you there. Nostalgic, heartfelt, and bristling with humor. An absolute corker!’ — Rio Youers
‘THE SHADOW GLASS is like the old children’s movies it worships: sometimes dark, but never heartless; gritty yet soulbaring. It embraces its referents as a whole: their beauty with their ugliness, the healing power of nostalgia with its potential to poison the present. But it never goes cynical, never loses faith. It stands proud with a VHS copy of its favorite movie held aloft, daring you to say it’s not the greatest film ever.’ — Edgar Cantero
‘Wonderful. A bold and heartfelt adventure from another world, another time — and our own.’ — Max Gladstone
‘We need more proof that 1980-89 rocked the most and Josh Winning’s THE SHADOW GLASS may just be the book to do it… What makes Shadow so fun is that it uses nostalgia intelligently. Unlike certain bestselling books, it does not use other IPs to fill in the void of having no ideas of its own. Instead, Winning explores the concept of nostalgia, whilst also providing it… In this modern world it is great that such beautifully written flights of fancy are still being created. I for one would be happy to read more tales of Jack, his Guild, and the characters of Iri.’ — SF Book Reviews
‘This book was a love story to the wonderful, imaginative things I grew up with, and I enjoyed every moment of it… From the characters to the storyline, every word was perfectly placed. THE SHADOW GLASS was a delightful smorgasbord of nostalgia and fun, while at the same time exploring themes of loss, love, grief, and self-discovery. I know- I didn’t think it was possible to cram all of that into one book, but author Josh Winning did it beautifully. The balance between fantasy action and extremely well-written character development is perfect. The battles and madcap adventures are a brilliant backdrop for a profound look at how broken relationships can affect every part of a person. Parts of the book had me on the edge of my seat and I actually teared up at one point. THE SHADOW GLASS is sheer perfection. Read it.’ — Grimdark Magazine