Aftermath of a Shirley Jackson Award nomination

/ July 20th, 2021 / No Comments »

Boy, did this take an embarrassingly long time to write.

I’ll be frank: I had resigned myself to the notion that, as a single drop tossed out into the world-changing tsunami of 2020, my book Aftermath of an Industrial Accident had already made all the ripples it was destined to make.

In June, Anita and I took a vacation trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, celebrating our 29th anniversary, and on a day that was plagued by car malfunctions and eased by the kindness of multiple strangers, we ended up at a delightful seafood restaurant in Pigeon Forge called Harpoon Harry’s that was well worth the hour wait. There at our table, waiting for dinner to arrive, my phone chimed an alert: an email from Shirley Jackson Award administrator JoAnn Cox, letting me know the jurors had picked Aftermath as a finalist for best single author collection.

In the days between that notification and the public announcement I kept checking my Gmail account to make sure I really had received that letter — the electronic equivalent of pinching myself. I am uncertain how obvious this would be to any reader who came to the books cold, but I have always pictured Aftermath as a spiritual sequel to my debut horror collection Unseaming; it’s no casual coincidence that the books use the same cover artist and cover model. (And of course I want to thank artist Danielle Tunstall and model Alexandra Johnson for coming back on board!)

Given that I am hardly a name to conjure with, Unseaming did freakishly well — the 10,000th copy sold last month — but having Aftermath follow in Unseaming’s footsteps in any way seemed too much to hope for. Except now, in an extremely significant way, it has.

It means a lot personally as, of all my books, Aftermath is the one that most fully represents the range of my writing modes.

There are so many people who deserve credit and thanks for assisting me in the making of this book: Paul StJohn Mackintosh, who over multiple conversations at WorldCon 75 in Helsinki convinced me that Mythic Delirium would be the best publisher for this collection; Elizabeth Campbell, who helped with edits and who encourages me in all things, and without whom Mythic Delirium Books would not exist; Jeffrey Thomas, who not only wrote a wonderful introduction but went above and beyond to give me editorial feedback; Artist and designer Brett Massé, who turned my scribbly sketches for interior illustrations into something genuinely creepy to behold; to C. S. E. Cooney and Christina Sng, for allowing me to include our collaborations, and to early readers, blurbers and supporters Rod Belcher, Nathan Ballingrud, Craig L. Gidney and A.C. Wise; to Anya Martin and Scott Nicolay and all the Outer Dark crew for their support; to all the beta readers, editors and staff who helped these individual pieces along their way to their first publication; and of course, most importantly of all, to Anita, who worked her magic in ordering the stories and poems in this volume, and who is the reason I keep on keepin’ on.

Finally, I want to thank the 2020 Shirley Jackson Award jurors for giving my book the nod, and placing it among such excellent company, when there were so many other candidates that were at least as equally deserving. And I want to thank the Shirley Jackson Award administrators for persistently calling attention to the rich legacy of the award’s namesake in this really cool way.

Cross-posted from Mythic Delirium Books

THIS THURSDAY: A strange, weird and uncanny reading (+ a terrific AFTERMATH review)

/ July 11th, 2021 / No Comments »

I’m delighted to share that on Thursday, July 15, at 8 p.m. EST, I’ll be taking part in the second installment of a summer reading series organized by my colleague in Weird fiction, Daniel Braum. I’m thrilled to be part of a stellar lineup of readers that includes Jeffrey Ford, Laurel Hightower and Gwendolyn Kiste!

The Strange. The Weird. And the Uncanny: Summer 2021 Readings #2 will happen live on YouTube, and it will continue to live on YouTube after it’s done streaming. Watch it at this link.

During this reading I’ve going to share some huge (for me!) publishing news that has yet to be publicly aired. I’m grateful to Daniel for including me and so glad he’s giving me this opportunity to share this writing news in an entertaining way.

The first reading of the series, featuring Inna Effress, Emma J. Gibbon, Jo Kaplan and Jon Padgett happened June 10 and it’s totally worth a watch. (Click here to view…)

While I am at it, I have yet to use this space to trumpet the wonderful review of Aftermath of an Industrial Accident that appeared at Mike Davis’s Lovecraft Ezine the day after I made on an appearance on Mike’s venerated podcast. Aside from being a lot of fun, the podcast presented me with my first ever experience being interviewed by a reviewer, in this case fellow horror writer Peter Rawlik, who had this to say about my book:

Many years ago I stumbled across Mike Allen’s collection Unseaming which I enjoyed immensely and still haunts my bookshelves as a permanent part of my weird fiction collection. Allen’s new collection, Aftermath of an Industrial Accident, is more diverse than Unseaming … Mike Allen has hit another home run with this subtle and multi-nuanced collection.

Read the rest of the review here!

Cross-posted from Mythic Delirium Books

All this week: 99¢ e-book special on THE HISTORY OF SOUL 2065 by Barbara Krasnoff

/ July 5th, 2021 / No Comments »

It’s been two years since Mythic Delirium Books brought out Barbara Krasnoff’s story collection and mosaic novel The History of Soul 2065, a haunting, stunningly beautiful, genre-blending and genre-defying work of art.

These 20 tales that depict snapshots in the lives of various members of two Jewish families across multiple generations. Though all of these characters will have otherworldly encounters, some supernatural, some science fictional, most of them will never meet, and they will never know how their destinies are entangled, but when the last story clicks into place, the result, as Publishers Weekly put it in a starred review, adds up to “far more than the sum of its parts.”

A great friend to Mythic Delirium Books, Andrea Johnson a.k.a. The Little Red Reviewer, put it in a way that I adore and will coyly share in hopes of further whetting your appetite:

My first thought about this book was “what’s up with that title? It makes no sense!” … My last thought when I was finishing the book was “oh, now I get it! The title makes sense now!”, and then a few pages later “oh. Now I really get it. Oh my.”

And to further whet your appetite, the Nebula Award-nominated short story “Sabbath Wine,” first published in our anthology Clockwork Phoenix 5 and a key piece in the generational portrait Krasnoff’s binds together, can be read for free right here!
&nsbp;

Sabbath Wine
2016 Nebula Award Finalist for Best Short Story

 

As the headline says, for this week most e-book editions of The History of Soul 2065 are on sale for 99 cents, and here are links that will take you directly to the vendors that will allow you to take advantage of the special:

&nsbp;

Ebook: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon FR | Amazon DE
Amazon AU | Nook | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

 

A lot of cool things have happened connected to Mythic Delirium Books over the past month, and I’ve got a lot of catching up to do to share them all, but this was top priority. If you’ve not yet read The History of Soul 2065, don’t miss out on this chance to add this deeply affecting book to your library. If you have read this book, then you know how good it is. Please spread the word!

Cross-posted from Mythic Delirium Books

Today on the Lovecraft eZine Podcast

/ June 6th, 2021 / No Comments »

Lovecraft Podcast Banner

I’m thrilled to be making my first ever appearance on Mike Davis’s Lovecraft eZine Podcast today (Sunday, June 6) at 6 p.m. EST. I imagine I’ll be talking about some horror books, both those I’ve written and those of others. Catch it live on Youtube (or come back and watch it later)!

Cross-posted from Mythic Delirium Books

Celebrating a SINISTER year

/ June 4th, 2021 / No Comments »

Hello everybody! It has almost been a year since the premiere of the Mythic Delirium Books anthology A Sinister Quartet.

What an astonishing and stressful year it has been — a year of tragedy and resilience.

It was absolutely a challenge through that environment to call attention to the release of this odd and not-so-little book (I mean, at a time when people were shying away from dark fiction, we stuck to our course); but hands down. working on A Sinister Quartet has been one of the most fun and rewarding projects that I have ever been part of. The three top reasons for that were my three collaborators in shaping this extremely strange and haunting piece of art: C.S.E. Cooney, Jessica Wick and Amanda McGee. I could not possibly have recruited a better marketing team.

I would be remiss if I left out the contributions of artists Brett Massé, Jason Wren and Paula Arwen Owen, for making this book lively and bringing its scenes to life.

I have not, as publisher of Mythic Delirium Books, ever made it a point to celebrate book birthdays … but you know what, I think it’s time I started.

↑↑ click the banner to register ↑↑

On June 10 at 8 p.m., all four members of the Quartet are going to celebrate this monster book’s first birthday and we’re giving all of you folks a chance to participate in the virtual fun. We’ll get together via Zoom and do our best to amuse and spook each other. Plans are still forming, but we promise it will be a festive occasion.

To take part, register through the EventBrite link so that we can have a safe and secure gathering.

Once again I want to thank C. S. E. Cooney and Carlos Hernandez for making this event possible.

During this virtual soiree, there will (we believe) be food and drinks (and recipes). We will each read favorite passages from each others’ works, and there may even be costuming.

I’m holding a giveaway and if you attend, you’re eligible: the winner gets a free four paperback set that includes A Sinister Quartet, with a bookplate signed by all four authors, and the three related books Bone Swans: Stories, Aftermath of an Industrial Accident: Stories, and Unseaming. If (as is perhaps likely) the winner already has one or more of these, I will substitute other Mythic Delirium Books titles.

Consider it a door prize!

We’ve also got the postcards by Paula Arwen Owen that illustrate each story to give away; I’ve not decided how many sets yet.

In the meantime, if you still haven’t investigated A Sinister Quartetrecommended as one of the best speculative fiction anthologies of 2020 by Locus Magazine — I hope you’ll consider it now.

A Sinister Quartet by Mike Allen, C. S. E. Cooney, Amanda J. McGee and Jessica P. Wick
 
Order from:

Ebook: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon FR | Amazon DE | Amazon AU | Kobo | iBooks | Nook | Google Play
 

Paperback: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Bookshop

Cross-posted from Mythic Delirium Books

Come see NIGHTMARES UNEARTHED this Saturday night

/ March 25th, 2021 / No Comments »

I am proud to be a part of Nightmares Unearthed: A Contemporary Horror Reading, a literally monstrous virtual reading that’s going to happen at 8 p.m. this coming Saturday, March 27 (two days from now!) — to join, you need to register using this EventBrite link (click here).

Lots more details to be found at this blog post written by our gracious host, C.S.E. Cooney — but I will do my best to convey the goodness.

“Nightmares Unearthed” began with a notion to hold a reading that would give some horror writers whoae books came out during the 2020 maelstrom another chance to have their work seen. Once Claire Cooney became involved, the event began to grow into something even more dynamic and exciting, with the addition of authors who have books forthcoming in the maelstrom of 2021!

Aside from yours truly, the reading features Zin E. Rocklyn, Cassandra Khaw, Daniel Braum, Emma J. Gibbon, and Gordon B. White.

We are each reading, when possible, excerpts from our recently released or forthcoming books. Aside from my own Aftermath of an Industrial Accident, these books include Daniel’s Underworld Dreams, Emma’s Dark Blood Comes from the Feet, Cassandra’s Nothing but Blackened Teeth, Zin’s Flowers for the Sea and Gordon’s When Summer’s Mask Slips.

I would be remiss not to mention C.S.E. Cooney’s own books, even though she is hosting rather than reading: Bone Swans | Desdemona and the Deep | A Sinister Quartet.

There will be a Q&A for everybody afterward.

Security will be closely monitored, so to get the link to take part, you definitely need to use the EventBrite signup. Our Facebook event page explains even further.

Hope to see you and scare you there!

Cross-posted from Mythic Delirium Books

Dark, fantastic, mythic, delirious e-book sale + signed copy offer

/ March 3rd, 2021 / No Comments »

Dark fantastic sale banner

I’m pleased to share that Mythic Delirium has found a way to further celebrate the recognition our 2020 titles received in from the latest Locus Recommended Reading List, and furthermore, that we’re able to include our other titles that have direct links to our most recent books.

Starting yesterday and continuing for however long we feel like it, both the 2020 dark fantasy anthology A Sinister Quartet and the 2020 horror collection Aftermath of an Industrial Accident are on sale for 99 cents (e-book editions, of course).

On top of that, most all e-book editions our 2016 fantasy novella collection Bone Swans by C.S.E. Cooney and our 2014 horror collection Unseaming are also on sale for 99 cents.

 

 
Sinister

Amazon
Amazon AU
Amazon CA
Amazon DE
Amazon FR
Amazon UK
Nook
iBooks
Kobo
Google Play
ScribD

 

 
Aftermath

Amazon
Amazon AU
Amazon CA
Amazon DE
Amazon FR
Amazon UK
Nook
iBooks
Kobo
Google Play
ScribD

 

 
Aftermath

Amazon
Amazon AU
Amazon CA
Amazon DE
Amazon FR
Amazon UK
Nook
iBooks
Kobo
Google Play
ScribD

 

 
Aftermath

Amazon
Amazon AU
Amazon CA
Amazon DE
Amazon FR
Amazon UK
Nook
iBooks
Kobo
Google Play
ScribD

 

 

How are these connected? Let me break down the ways.

A Sinister Quartet, which made the 2020 Locus list for Best Anthology, opens with short novel “The Twice-Drowned Saint” by C.S.E. Cooney, which made the Locus list for Best First Novel.

“The Twice-Drowned Saint” is set in the same world as, and makes reference to the events of, “Life on the Sun,” the first story in C.S.E. Cooney’s World Fantasy Award-winning Bone Swans. (The second novella, “The Bone Swans of Amandale,” was a Nebula Award finalist.)

A Sinister Quartet concludes with my novella “The Comforter,” which, though it works as a standalone, is in fact the third story in a trilogy. The first two tales, the Nebula Award-nominated “The Button Bin” and its sequel “The Quiltmaker,” appear in Unseaming, which was itself a nominee for the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Collection.

“The Comforter” also contains an appearance by a favorite character of mine, John Hairston, whose further harrowing adventures can be tracked in “The Sun Saw” and “Nolens Volens,” included in Aftermath of an Industrial Accident.

Furthermore, Aftermath contains the stories “The Cruelest Team Will Win” and “Follow the Wounded One,” which tie to “The Hiker’s Tale” in Unseaming — and the “The Hiker’s Tale” shares setting elements with “The Comforter.”

Naturally it’s our opinion that readers will reap the greatest reward from owning all four books!
 


 
We also want to remind folks about a second celebratory promotion that is still ongoing: a set of trade paperbacks of A Sinister Quartet and Aftermath of an Industrial Accident signed by all the authors is still available from the publisher for $25, shipping included.

 

Buy now for $25
— U.S. Only!

 

Read more about this deal here!


 

Cross-posted from Mythic Delirium Books

SNOW WHITE LEARNS WITCHCRAFT wins the 2020 Mythopoeic Award for Adult Literature

/ February 15th, 2021 / No Comments »

We at Mythic Delirium Books — that is, Anita and I — want to offer our heartfelt congratulations to Theodora Goss, whose collection of fiction and poetry that we brought out way back in February 2019, Snow White Learns Witchcraft, just won the 2020 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature!

(See the full list of winners here.)

This is the third time Dora has been nominated for the award, and clearly the third time is the charm in this case! (I note, of course for reasons both prideful and crassly mercenary, that her previously nominated works, In the Forest of Forgetting and Songs for Ophelia, are also available from Mythic Delirium Books.)

Here’s just a bit more about what the award is, taken from the Mythopoeic Society website:

The Mythopoeic Society is a national/international organization promoting the study, discussion, and enjoyment of fantastic and mythopoeic literature through books and periodicals, annual conferences, discussion groups, awards, and more. We are especially interested in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Williams, prominent members of the informal Oxford literary circle known as the “Inklings” (1930s-1950s).

The Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature is given to the fantasy novel, multi-volume novel, or single-author story collection for adults published during the previous year that best exemplifies “the spirit of the Inklings”.

We define this [Mythopoeic Literature] as literature that creates a new and transformative mythology, or incorporates and transforms existing mythological material. Transformation is the key — mere static reference to mythological elements, invented or pre-existing, is not enough. The mythological elements must be of sufficient importance in the work to influence the spiritual, moral, and/or creative lives of the characters, and must reflect and support the author’s underlying themes.

You can watch a video of the virtual ceremony here, with a statement from Dora Goss about magic, myths and fantasy literature:

An additional shout out to Mythic Delirium contributor Yoon Ha Lee, who won the 2020 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature with his novel Dragon Pearl!

Cross-posted from Mythic Delirium Books

2020 Locus Recommended Reading List recognizes Mythic Delirium Books

/ February 1st, 2021 / No Comments »

Congratulations to our authors selected for the 2020 Locus Magazine Recommended Reading List!

 
Aftermath
of an Industrial
Accident:
Stories

by Mike Allen

 
Order from:

Ebook: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon FR | Amazon DE | Amazon AU | Nook | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play
 

Paperback: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon FR | Amazon DE | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Bookshop

 
A Sinister Quartet
by Mike Allen, C. S. E. Cooney, Amanda J. McGee and Jessica P. Wick

 
Order from:

Ebook: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon FR | Amazon DE | Amazon AU | Kobo | iBooks | Nook | Google Play
 

Paperback: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Bookshop

Mythic Delirium launched two books in 2020, and from our perspective their appearance was mostly buried by the tumult of the pandemic and the political landscape. Our books were hardly alone in facing that predicament, and a lot of cool things still came to pass regarding our experimental anthology, A Sinister Quartet, and my own story collection Aftermath of an Industrial Accident.

Nonetheless, to me as publisher (and also as author) gaining attention for these book felt like an uphill struggle at all times.

And so it came as as not just an honor but a surprise and relief to learn that Mythic Delirum Books managed to achieve a sweep of sorts, when we got word that both A Sinister Quartet and Aftermath of an Industrial Accident had been selected for the 2020 Locus Recommended Reading List.

Congratulations to my fellow Sinisters, C. S. E. Cooney, Jessica P. Wick and Amanda J. McGee! And, you know, congratulations to . . . me!

I’ve appeared on the Locus list twice before, but as an editor, for Clockwork Phoenix: Tales of Beauty and Strangeness and Clockwork Phoenix 5. (Several stories from the Clockwork Phoenix anthologies have made appearances, though, which has been wonderful in its own way.)

The appearance of Aftermath on the list marks the first time the panel of advisors has picked me for something I have written, and that feels like a major accomplishment. And I suppose I am double-dipping with A Sinister Quartet, as I am an editor of that book and I also wrote one of the four stories.

Especially wonderful, Claire Cooney’s contribution to Sinister,The Twice-Drowned Saint: Being a Tale of Fabulous Gelethel, the Invisible Wonders Who Rule There, and the Apostates Who Try to Escape its Walls,” made the list on its own in the “First Novel” category.

This probably going to confuse some folks, because people who see A Sinister Quartet is comprised of four long stories naturally assume all four are novellas. (In the case of Jess’s “An Unkindness,” Amanda’s “Viridian” and my own “The Comforter,” that is correct.) And it’s a testimony to how well “The Twice-Drowned Saint” is written that even people who have read it think it’s a novella.

But no, as I have had to explain more than once, “Twice-Drowned Saint” is longer than 60,000 words, a novel by pretty much every definition! I’m definitely grateful that the folks at Locus found a way to keep calling attention to this amazing piece after learning it didn’t fit where they originally planned to put it.

Back to that notion of a sweep. Well, 2020 will be the first year that Mythic Delirium put out two books and both books made the Locus list. I call that evidence of at least one small thing going right in 2020.

The inclusion of all these items on the list, by the way, means folks will be able to vote on them in the Locus Awards poll, yay!

I intend to do something special to celebrate this milestone and yes, it will involve a sale. But that’s not quite ready yet, and I wanted to make sure I got the word out! Not to mention I wanted to give anyone clicking through the links posted by Locus some guidance on what these books are and how to get them!

And did I mention it’s also my birthday today? What a terrific present.

Cross-posted from Mythic Delirium Books

2020 Awards Eligibility Post

/ December 28th, 2020 / No Comments »

I’m a couple months late posting this, which has definitely been a 2020-connected theme. Nonetheless, at the last minute is still better than never!

My personal and publisher lists mostly overlap this year, so I am going to combine them.

This was a risky year to release a book, especially one with horror-centric themes, and so of course the Mythic Delirium Books imprint produced two, hee hee.

The first book we published in 2020 was an anthology of original longform stories and a team effort called A Sinister Quartet. Producing and taking part in it has been a delight.

Published in June, A Sinister Quartet contains the following, all first published in 2020:

  • “The Twice-Drowned Saint: Being a Tale of Fabulous Gelethel, the Invisible Wonders Who Rule the City, and the Apostates Who Try to Escape its Walls,” a short novel from C. S. E. Cooney (which has ties to her novella “Life on the Sun” in her World Fantasy Award-winning collection Bone Swans). There’s an excerpt available at the New Decameron Project.
  • “An Unkindness,” the debut novella from Jessica P. Wick
  • “Viridian,” the debut novella from Amanda J. McGee
  • “The Comforter,” an novella by Mike Allen (a.k.a. me!), that ties into the creatures and events encountered in other stories of mine. (Specifically, “The Button Bin,” “The Quiltmaker” and “The Feather Stitch,” more on that last one in a bit.)

The second book we published in 2020 was my own collection of short stories, Aftermath of an Industrial Accident. It’s my second collection of horror stories and my third fiction collection overall, and it’s been in the works pretty much since my debut Unseaming appeared in 2014.

Published in July, Aftermath of an Industrial Accident contains one novelette, sixteen short stories, and six poems. Four of the short stories are original to the collection:

As for my other writings outside those projects, I had two original pieces appear:

If you’d like all that broken down into a convenient category list, that looks like this:
 

Anthology:
A Sinister Quartet by Mike Allen, C. S. E. Cooney,
Amanda J. McGee and Jessica P. Wick

Collection:
Aftermath of an Industrial Accident: Stories by Mike Allen

Novel:
The Twice-Drowned Saint” by C. S. E. Cooney

Novella:
The Comforter” by Mike Allen
Viridian” by Amanda J. McGee
An Unkindness” by Jessica P. Wick

Short story:
Blue Evolution” by Mike Allen
A Deaf Policeman Heard the Noise” by Mike Allen
The Feather Stitch” by Mike Allen
Puppet Show” by Mike Allen
The Sun Saw” by Mike Allen

Poem:
Urban Renewal” by Mike Allen

 

If you are a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America or the Horror Writer’s Association, most of these books and stories have been made available through the authorized private forums in channels, so feel free to look for them there. If you’re interested in considering any of this material for review or awards consideration purposes and don’t have ready access to it otherwise, feel free to contact me at mythicdelirium[at]gmail[dot]com.

Cross-posted from Mythic Delirium Books

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