clive barker?

clive barker?

“I have seen the future of horror and its name is Clive Barker.”

Clive Barker, writer, producer, novelist, director, and playwright, was born by Cesarean section at 1:00 am on October 5, 1952, near Penny Lane, Liverpool. He first realized he could scare people with his words telling stories around a campfire with fellow Boy Scouts when he was ten years old. It gave him “a lovely sense of power.”

He started out writing and directing plays for a fringe theater company he formed in London, producing works such as “Frankenstein in Love,” “The History of the Devil,” and “Colossus,” a play about his favorite painter, Goya. These plays often delved into the erotic, the fantastical, and the horrific, themes that he would later become known for in his literary work. Many of his plays have been collected in two books, Incarnations and Forms of Heaven.

In his spare time, Barker wrote short horror fiction, not expecting to be able to sell it. However, the first publisher he showed it to asked for more, and his stories were published in three volumes in 1984, under the title, The Books of Blood. Moderately successful in Great Britain, the Books found wide critical acclaim in the United States, and now appear in over a dozen languages.

By 1987, two of Barker’s stories had been adapted into movies — Rawhead Rex and Underworld. He was highly dissatisfied with both of them, and decided to direct something himself. The result was an adaptation of his story The Hellbound Heart — a film called Hellraiser.

Today, Barker’s Seraphim Films is involved in CD-ROMs, live theater and art, as well as film and television production. Barker has done everything from major motion pictures for Universal to creating a line of superhero comics for Marvel called Razorline. does barker prefer to write books or make movies? While Barker doesn’t generally say which he likes better, he has said:

“It’s much harder to write a book, at least for me. When making the movie, you are surrounded by other creators, other imaginations all of whom are there to collaborate with you in the process. When I write a novel I am essentially on my own with a pen, a lot of paper, and my ideas — for anything up to 18 months. There is no recourse to other contributors. I am on my own.” [1]
is clive barker gay?

Yes, he is. While he never made any effort to conceal the fact, he did talk openly about his sexual orientation in 1995 interviews in the magazines “OUT,” “The Advocate,” “Genre,” and “10 Percent.” Many Barker fans had already guessed this from some of the themes that reoccur in his work. He writes:

“As a gay writer/filmmaker, I think it’s inevitable that some of my characters and situations echo my orientation. It is, however, a problem to push these elements as far as I would like. By and large, the horror audience is curiously conservative when it comes to erotic matters.” [1]
Naturally, however, Barker is a little too complex to be so easily defined. He also writes:

“I define myself as a gay man who’s had relationships with women. […] I am bound, by political reasons much than anything else, [to] say, well, I’m a gay author. And, I’m very happy to be identified that way. Proud to be identified that way. Is it a simplification? Yes. Is it a politically useful simplification right now? I suspect it is. I suspect it’s important to say that right now. Not because I have a boyfriend and he’d be really pissed off if I didn’t… but, I also think it’s important to say, get over it.” [6]
how can i contact clive barker?

Unfortunately, Barker does not have an e-mail address — he doesn’t even have a computer, preferring to write most of his books by hand — but you can write to him at:

If you’re contacting him because you’d like to perform one of his plays, please see the instructions in Incarnations or Forms of Heaven. All productions must be approved by: Ben Smith ICM Clive Barker’s A-Z of Horror, compiled by Stephen Jones Graphic novels (comics): London : Bloodline (Night of the Living Dead Series) Vol 1 what barker book should i try reading first?

It would depend what your interests are. If you’re looking for horror, try The Books of Blood, or, if you’d rather leap in and try a novel, try The Damnation Game. If you got interested in Barker because of the Hellraiser films, you’ll definitely want to read the story that started it all, The Hellbound Heart.

If your tastes lean more toward fantasy, you’ll probably want to try Weaveworld or The Great and Secret Show. who are some of barker’s favorite writers? He lists among his influences Edgar Allen Poe, Ray Bradbury, Herman Melville, William Blake, William Burroughs, Arthur Machen, and both the old and new Testaments of the Bible. Other favorites include Oscar Wilde, Shakespeare, Jean Genet, and Poppy Z. Brite. what’s barker’s favorite of his own novels?

Barker writes: “`Imajica’ was my favorite writing experience. A totally obsessive immersion in an invented world. I got the highest highs and the lowest lows out of that experience.” [1] does barker still consider himself a “horror writer?” Not particularly. Barker writes:

“I think I consider myself a plain old imaginative writer. I think I’m less and less labeled a Horror writer. The books tend not to go on Horror shelves anymore and when they do, when I find them on a Horror shelf, I tend to take them off.” [3] why can’t i find the books of blood, volumes 4, 5, and 6?

Probably because you’re looking for them under the wrong title. In the United States, because the second set of volumes were reprinted by a different publisher than the first set, they were given different titles. Look for them as The Inhuman Condition, In the Flesh, and Cabal. has barker written any short stories that weren’t in the books of blood? Yes, he has. Some of his short stories include: “Pidgin and Theresa” (appeared in The Penguin Book of London Short Stories) “On Amen’s Shores” (appeared in Little Deaths and Demons and Deviants ) “Animal Life” (originally appeared in USA Today — now available on-line here)

He has also written a short novel, a framing sequence for an anthology called Revelations, that spans the twentieth century. The framing stories are entitled Chiliad: A Meditation – Men and Sin and Chiliad: A Meditation – A Moment at the River’s Heart. Revelations was edited by Douglas Winter. It’s available in the UK under the title Millennium.

All of these stories should be reprinted in the new, as yet untitled anthology Barker is currently working on, along with new short fiction. what stories does the character harry d’amour appear in? D’Amour, Barker’s hard-boiled supernatural detective, appears in the novels The Great and Secret Show and its sequel, Everville.

He also appears in the short stories The Last Illusion (which was the basis for the movie Lord of Illusions) and Lost Souls (originally printed in the magazine Time Out and reprinted in the anthology Cutting Edge). Barker admits to being fascinated with Harry D’Amour. He also says:

“Harry was always intended as a character we could revisit. And, of course, he has a large place in the third Book of the Art.” [7]
what does everville have to do with the great and secret show?

Everville is the sequel to The Great and Secret Show, and has many of the same characters and settings. It stands well as a story on its own, however, and you can read it without having read the first book.

The novels are the first two volumes of a proposed trilogy, The Books of the Art. The videotape of Clive Barker’s student films was released by a company called Redemption, and is available from a variety of sources, including It’s available on both VHS and DVD.

did clive write any other stories concerning the cenobites? Not yet; he only wrote about these angels of pain in The Hellbound Heart. However, he is working on a new Hellraiser story for his new anthology.

“[…] It was kind of interesting because I thought I would do these things and I thought ‘Geez, I want to tell a story about the man with pins in his head. I haven’t told about him for a long time.’ I’m looking forward to that.” [5] In the meantime, if you’re interested in seeing other authors’ takes on the concept, however, you might want to track down some of the Hellraiser comic books from Epic, especially Clive Barker’s Book of the Damned: A Hellraiser Companion, which came out long before Hellraiser: Bloodline, and therefore presents a very different look at the life of Philip LeMarchand. how much did barker have to do with the hellraiser sequels?

Not much. He sold his rights to Hellraiser for $1 million in the deal that allowed him to direct the first film. Hellraiser 2: Hellbound, while based on a story by Barker, was directed by Tony Randall. Although he was listed as “Executive Producer” of the films, he had no creative input in making Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth, which was directed by Tony Hickox; or Hellraiser: Bloodline, which was directed by Kevin Yagher, but released under the name “Alan Smithee” because Yagher was dissatisfied with the studio’s edit of the film; or in the forthcoming Hellraiser: Inferno.

where can i get a replica of the hellraiser puzzle box?

There was a very good, full-size replica of the Lament Configuration made by Screamin’ Products. Although they seem to have gone out of business, you can still sometimes find it available for sale at science fiction and horror conventions — so if you do see one, buy it now while you still can.

Do note, however, that the replica is just a box, and not a real puzzle — it doesn’t open in the same way that the ones in the films do. (On the bright side, it also doesn’t open portals to Hell . . . . ) what happened to the hellraiser cd-rom game?

Hellraiser: Virtual Hell was a real-time 3D adventure game created by Magnetic Interactive Studios. Based on the popular Hellraiser films, Doug Bradley reprised his role as Pinhead for this game. A CD-ROM game for Pentium-based machines, Virtual Hell was scheduled for release at the end of 1996, but never showed up. Michelle Seebach of Magnetic Interactive Studios reportedly said about the project:

“unfortunately, magnet was unable to secure a publisher for the game and had to stop production. so currently the game has been shelved.” [4]
Magnet is said to have gone out of business shortly thereafter. what book is barker working on now? Barker’s current project combines his writing with his paintings. He writes:

“I don’t know how familiar you are with the paintings but many of them, I wouldn’t say tell a complete story. My paintings seem to be fragments of narrative. I’m doing a book right now for Harper Collins which won’t come out for another year and a half called The Book of Hours which is a book of stories created around a series of paintings which I’ve made. Huge paintings. […] It’s for Harper Collins children. I hope it will reach the adult audience.” [5]
“I realized that some of what draws me to the Book of Hours project is those things you get in Star Wars; a whole universe of creatures, worlds and landscapes. I hope the Book of Hours will provide the same pleasures, where you will be able to step into this place and have a sense that it is totally realized in paint and poetry. It is an alternative universe, the way Narnia is or Middle Earth. The uniqueness of this project is the same hand that is writing the words is also painting the pictures. I think that will make this fun for people.” [2]

This project is now known as The Abarat Quartet, and the first book should be published in November 2001. Disney is spending $8 million for the film and multimedia rights, and there are plans to develop movies, TV series, theme-park rides, video games and more. [2] Barker is also currently working on a collection of short stories. Getting his publishers to agree to this was no small feat. He writes:

“The problem right now is getting my publishers to agree to let me do short fiction. It’s a troubled market right now. Books are a troubled market. [… My publishers] said, ‘Please don’t do this. You will sell five times more if you write a novel.’ It’s really tough selling short stories. […] It frustrates the fuck out of me. I love short stories. I love writing short stories.” [6]
Stories in the collection will include: reprints of older, hard-to-find material; a set of new medieval fantasy stories entitled, “Mercy and the Jackal;” and a new novella entitled, “The Last Resrequiem,” featuring the familiar characters, Harry D’Amour and Pinhead. There will be approximately eighteen stories in all, plus introductions for each. The book is tentatively scheduled to be released in the late fall of 2000.

“Cold Heart Canyon,” originally said to be part of the anthology, is apparently going to be released as a short novel, to be published by Harper Collins in April 2001. The story is set in Los Angeles in the 1930’s. [2]

He is also reportedly working on a compilation of erotic drawings and prose vignettes for Callaway Editions. [7] when is the next book of the art going to be released? Unknown at this point, although he is actively working on it: “The third Book of the Art takes place in Quiddity, the Dream Sea […] I have been planning that for five years, and I have 500, maybe 600 pages of notes towards that novel. A week doesn’t go by without my contributing something to that.” [7] It is taking quite some time, however, since it is such an immense project:

“I have a book in my head… and it’s going to be huge. And I know it’s going to be huge. And there’s a sense of which I have to gear myself up for a big book like that. The key thing for me is waiting for the moment when I have all the ideas in place. Because large narrative structures like that, if you begin without knowing where you are going, forget it. I’ve got Tesla, I’ve got Harry, I’ve got all these characters in play at the same time. And I have to resolve them all in one mammoth narrative line, which I have in my head… I need to be ready […] and it’s eighteen months of my life. And when I sit down, I know it’s going to consume me. And, I also know, this is not a rehearsal, I’ve got to get this right.
“[…] Tesla Bombeck has been released into this place about stories, this place where all stories happen with equal validity, in a way. So, the final book, to some extent is about what story is. And, it’s a big subject for a storyteller. For a storyteller not to simply write, ‘once upon a time’, but to write about what ‘once upon a time’ means, is a big subject. And I want to make sure that when I tell it, I have the right answers.” [6]

what film projects does barker have in the works?

Barker has a project in development right now with New Line. Currently titled American Horror, the film will be set in the 1860’s in the Old West during the expansion of the railroads. Although the title and subject matter are American, the film will have a European feel to it, like Dracula and Frankenstein. Barker is writing and directing the film. [8]
There is reportedly going to be a live action version of The Thief of Always, directed by Bernard Rose for Universal, with effects by Industrial Light and Magic. The animated version of The Thief of Always has fallen through, as Barker explains:

“After the phenomenal success of The Lion King, no one seemed comfortable about going up against Disney [….] We were pitching Thief around and, though people seemed willing to fund modestly scaled animated pictures, they didn’t want to make a really elaborate one. And I was not comfortable with the idea of not doing this the proper way.” [7]
No release date in sight for the Director’s Cut of Nightbreed, although it’s a project that Barker still very much wants to do:

“I think I need to step up to the plate in cleanest, clearest way I can and without apology, and with as little interference from the MPAA as possible. That’s why I’ve always tried to put out uncensored versions of things. We’re still hoping that we eventually get an edition of Nightbreed on DVD and laser which will replace the 25 minutes that are missing.” [5]
Shock Cinema, which was being developed for television, seems to have become a feature film project. It and Ectosphere are in development for Spelling Films. Also, Barker and Seraphim Films have been hired to develop ideas for three films based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe.

Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II will be released on Special Edition DVDs from Anchor Bay Entertainment. These editions will be THX approved, and feature full commentary tracks from Clive Barker and a documentary, Resurrection, featuring the original cast members.

what projects is barker working on for television? A TV movie entitled Silo is in development for Fox. Silo reportedly deals with a creature made of flies and worms that haunts killing fields. Weaveworld is still in development to be adapted for television by Showtime. The screenplay was written by Michael Marshall Smith, author of the novels Only Forward and Spares. Peter Lenkov has been hired to re-write.

Also in development are a series for HBO called “Heretics,” and a series that will debut on the DirecTV satellite service entitled “Witness To Fear,” about tabloid-TV producers who discover that the world of the paranormal they report on is actually real.

No longer in development are a series called “Retribution” for Fox and a TV movie entitled Hoop Hell. Also, Shock Cinema is apparently no longer a television project, but a feature film project. will there ever be a sequel (or another sequel) to . . . ? Galilee? Barker does plan to write a second Galilee novel. Hellraiser? Hellraiser V: Inferno recently finished principal photography, and is now in post-production. The film is directed by Doug Aarniokoski and written by Michael Lent. As with the other Hellraiser sequels, Barker has no direct involvement with this project.

Lord Of Illusions? Discussions still continue about a possible sequel as either a film or a possible television series. The direct-to-video sequel entitled Vipex is reportedly still under consideration, according to Barker:

“That’s still in the works. It hasn’t gone away, it has just taken a back seat to a whole bunch of other things that have been going on […] I provided a story. The script — which is very good — was written by David Campbell Wilson, who wrote this new movie Supernova which Walter Hillis directing. It’s a really first-rate scripts, but we just haven’t focused a lot on the project.” [7] Scott Bakula is reportedly still enthusiastic about reprising his role as Harry D’Amour.  Nightbreed? Barker says:

“There will certainly be a book at some point, and I would love there to be a movie. There is just so much going on right now, but don’t discount the possibility.” [2] He has reportedly been considering writing a Nightbreed story for his new anthology.