My 2016 awards eligibility postMike Allen / Monday, December 12th, 2016 / 1 Comment »
2016 was a strange year for me (and a stressful one, too, though in ways that have little bearing on this post). My output as a publisher was pretty spectacular by personal standards — my awards eligibility post for Mythic Delirium Books can be found here.
I also wrote, and am still writing, quite a bit, but in terms of new works from me that made it all the way to publication, there wasn’t all that much. No new poems at all this year. There were just three new stories that appeared, and they all made their entrances in January. Remember January?
This little Tweet I made way back then (also shared on Facebook, naturally) proved prophetic.
So, those three stories were:
“Longsleeves,” published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies. “Drift from the Windrows,” published in Tomorrow’s Cthulhu. “Silent in Her Nest,” an original story included in The Spider Tapestries.
By the way, The Spider Tapestries, new this year, is my second collection, containing six bizarre sci-fi/fantasy reprints as well as the above-mentioned original. It became available for pre-order in January and emerged fully from the birth canal in March. It’s about half as long as Unseaming and ten times weirder, but not weird in the way that folks who like “The Weird” tend to like, which meant it didn’t achieve anywhere near the traction Unseaming did, though it earned kind evaluations from the likes of Nicole Kornher-Stace, Helen Marshall, Scott Nicolay, Jeffrey Thomas and A.C. Wise, and Publishers Weekly and Library Journal were pretty kind to it, too. It is, of course, eligible in “collection” categories, for the few awards that have such.
Of the three short stories, “Longsleeves” has by far stirred up the most feedback. I joke that it’s my #killallmen story, though, actually, I’m not really joking. It’s also a companion piece to the first dark fantasy of mine to appear at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, “The Ivy-Smothered Palisade.”
“Drift from the Windrows,” believe it or not only my second explicitly Lovecraftian story to see print (the first was “Her Acres of Pastoral Playground” in Cthulhu’s Reign, more on that below), tells the story of star-crossed lovers and how they become tangled in the affairs of a company named SanMorta that specializes in designing genetically-modified crops.
“Silent in Her Nest” is connected in a kind of catty-corner way to “Her Acres of Pastoral Playground” — it’s told from the point of view of the type of creature that served as antagonist in the latter story. There’s also an invasion of the themes I explored in The Black Fire Concerto and “Longsleeves,” this time in a tremendously twisted science fantasy setting.
Should any of these tidbits make you curious to read these pieces, and you can’t get your hands on the texts in the usual ways, feel free to give me a holler.