/ Monday, January 7th, 2019 / No Comments »

Released just before Christmas, this book with a new story from yours truly is not at all a holiday-themed book: rather the opposite!

Transmissions from Punktown from Dark Regions Press is a shared-world anthology, and the world shared is Jeffrey Thomas’s Punktown, set in a far future city on a distant planet inhabited by humans and a multitude of extraterrestrial (and extra-dimensional) beings, with a gritty, grimy noir feel — an elevator pitch description might be The Fifth Element meets Chinatown, or Touch of Evil set in the Star Trek universe.

It’s an enormous book, which I attempted to convey with this iPhone photo.


Jeff kindly asked me to write a story from this book after writing a blurb for my collection The Spider Tapestries. And as luck would had it, I had read his first Punktown collection, an excellent slice of dark worldbuilding, not long before the invitation came. (Extra thanks here to Scott Nicolay for putting me in touch with Jeff.)

My story, “Aftermath of an Industrial Accident,” started with one of my few remaining spectacularly memorable childhood nightmares that I had not already worked into a piece of fiction, and from there evolved into a blacker-than-the-abyss workplace comedy. Here’s the opening, to hopefully lure you in:

Shadeishi and I pushed the storage room door shut, not knowing whether anyone else had already dashed in to hide, or whether any of the creatures were waiting inside. The screams coming from the students down the hall deafened us to any telltale noise. My own panting breath whooshed in and out—I had a key and had spent precious seconds locking the door, as it couldn’t be locked from inside. Shadeishi’s face hovered an inch from mine the whole time, her wide, toothy, toothsome mouth silently shaping Hurry hurry.

Neither of us were thinking past surviving the next few seconds. Our frantically chosen hiding place offered no other exit, unless we decided to break out a window and drop twelve stories. But that really didn’t matter. There was nowhere to escape to. Where the hall outside turned a corner, there were more windows, and as we ran past them I had snatched a glimpse of the company’s front lawn, its level green stippled with torn bodies. Outside and inside, we were all prey.

I really need to mention that I am in intimidatingly impressive company in this book. Here’s the complete table of contents.

Table of Contents

  • “Dreaming the City” – Jeffrey Thomas
  • “The Cyclops: Part One” – Jeffrey Thomas
  • “The Dilky Never Landed” – Paul Tremblay
  • “Bedbug Radio” – Ian Rogers
  • “Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring” – Nick Mamatas
  • “Growth Spurt” – Richard Lee Byers
  • “Novah On The Run (Her Blue Monday)” – Glynn Owen Barrass
  • “Ritual of Adoration” – W.H. Pugmire
  • “The Over and Under” – D.A. Madigan
  • “Lacunae and Nocturnes” – William Meikle
  • “Riding the Rainbow” – Don Webb
  • “Not For Human Consumption” – Peter Rawlik
  • “Sunup Over Misery Street” – Konstantine Paradias
  • “Blueshift Drive” – Edward M. Erdelac
  • “Aftermath of an Industrial Accident” – Mike Allen
  • “Less, Then Zero” – Jeff C. Carter
  • “Baphomet Descendent” – Scott R. Jones
  • “Crow-picked” – Christine Morgan
  • “The Monochromatic Betrayal of Frank Xerox” – Neil Baker
  • “Ksenija’s Pirate Prince” – Lee Clark Zumpe
  • “The Cherry” – Tom Lynch
  • “Payment for a Scar” – Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.
  • “The Extremities of Godfrey Aquinas” – Michael Griffin
  • “The Cyclops: Part Two” – Jeffrey Thomas

Paperback and e-book editions are available now. Dark Regions will also publish a limited edition signed and lettered hardcover later this year — if you’re a big spender on dark fiction (bless you if you are!), it goes for $250 and there are 11 still unclaimed as of this posting.

I’ll finish with the softest of all official book announcements. I have a new collection of horror fiction planned for 2020, and Aftermath of an Industrial Accident will be the title story. More details to come when plans for the book are a bit less protean.


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