My first short story collection, UNSEAMING, comes out in October

/ Monday, June 2nd, 2014 / No Comments »

Unseaming_MD_webI’m thrilled to announce that my first short story collection, Unseaming, will be coming out in October from Antimatter Press, in time for the World Fantasy Convention in Washington, D.C.
This is a project that’s been in the works for at least three years, and is now with its third publisher. It looks like third time is the charm, though, as evidenced by the shiny proof that’s sitting on my home office desk. My thanks to Elizabeth Campbell and Jonas Knight of Antimatter for making this possible, and to Danielle Tunstall for that amazing cover image.
On its journey so far the book, which is a collection of fourteen horror stories, picked up a gracious introduction from horrormeister Laird Barron and approving blurbs from Gemma Files, John Langan and Thomas Ligotti (see below). Antimatter will have advance reviewer copies available before the end of this month (and by the way, if you’re interested in an ARC, ping me and I’ll see about hooking you up.)
Before I share what they said, here’s what’s actually in the book:

  • “Introduction: A Stitch in Darkness” by Laird Barron
  • “The Button Bin” (Helix: Speculative Fiction Quarterly, 2007; 2008 Nebula Award Finalist for Best Short Story)
  • “The Blessed Days” (Tales of the Talisman, 2009)
  • “Humpty” (Flesh & Blood, 2002)
  • “Her Acres of Pastoral Playground” (Cthulhu’s Reign, 2010)
  • “An Invitation via E-mail” (Weird Tales, 2008)
  • “The Hiker’s Tale” (Cabinet des Fées, 2007)
  • “The Music of Bremen Farm” (Cabinet des Fées, 2006)
  • “The Lead Between the Panes” (Lakeside Circus, 2014)
  • “Stone Flowers” (Scheherezade’s Bequest, 2009)
  • “Gutter” (original)
  • “Condolences” (original)
  • “Let There Be Darkness” (Penny Dreadful, 1998)
  • “The Quiltmaker” (original novella; the sequel to “The Button Bin”)
  • “Monster” (Nameless, 2014)

And now, what my colleagues and heroes have said (short version, Laird compares me to Clive Barker, Thomas Freakin’ Ligotti says my book is fun (!)):

PROOFMike Allen has, with this debut collection, immediately made a case for his inclusion at the forefront of the New New Wave. Unseaming is representative of the finest work being done today … he doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to his art. His darkest fascinations rival anything committed to paper by the likes of contemporary masters such as Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, or Caitlín Kiernan. This is raw, visceral, and sometimes bloody stuff. Primal stuff.
— from the introduction by Laird Barron
“These stories glow with demonic energy, and what they illuminate are the faces of our secret selves, screaming back at us from the mirror’s depths.”
— John Langan
“Sowing out a hundred different apocalypses, personal and otherwise, these stories reap an unforgettable crop of nightmares.”
— Gemma Files
“There’s one thing that I feel especially urged to say: these stories are fun. Not ‘good’ fun, and certainly not ‘good clean’ fun. They are too unnerving for those modifiers, too serious, like laughter in the dark—unnerving, serious laughter that leads you through Mr. Allen’s funhouse.”
— Thomas Ligotti

It really has been very hard to sit on all this stuff for so long, heh. I’m grateful I don’t have to any longer.
More to come, obviously. Expect a big ARC giveaway on Goodreads in the not-too-distant future.

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