NEW FICTION NEWS: A new collection and a new short story

/ Sunday, June 9th, 2024 / No Comments »

There’s been a lot of moving and shaking in my world, much of which has been mentioned or at least hinted at on my Facebook and Instagram pages, where I am posting most of my immediate updates in this post-Twitter environment.

The biggest news looming on my horizon (that I can publicly discuss) would be the July 16 release of my third collection of horror and dark fantasy tales and poems, Slow Burn. The book includes my novella “The Comforter” and short story “The Feather Stitch,” the conclusion and the prequel, respectively, to my horror sequence that starts with “The Button Bin” and “The Quiltmaker.” The title story, “Slow Burn,” brings to an end of sorts the sequence that begins with my Lovecraftian yarn “The Sun Saw.” There are ten more stories besides and a host of poems, many previously uncollected, that serve as thematic transitions between the longer works, hand-picked by Anita to work just so.

The cover art by Lasse Paldanius and interior illustrations by Paula Arwen Owen are all dynamite. Three-time Bram Stoker Award winner (and my dear friend ) Christina Sng was kind enough to write the introduction.

I’m also thrilled by the many kind words the book has received from reviewers and blurbers in the months leading up to publication. Just a sample below:

“Nerve-racking anticipation and dread . . . An assemblage of horror tales and somber verses that frighten and fascinate.” —Kirkus Reviews (read full review here)

“Will appeal to horror fans seeking something fresh.” —Publishers Weekly (read full review here)

“Mythical, chilling, and visceral . . . a slow burn readers will crave to simmer in.”
Ai Jiang, Bram Stoker and Nebula award-winning author of Linghun

Slow Burn is a multifaceted, multifarious feast for the horror-hungry.”
Matthew M. Bartlett, author of Gateways to Abomination and Where Night Cowers

“By turns gorgeous, horrifying, gruesome, furious, darkly erotic, wickedly funny, and frequently all of those things at once, this extraordinary collection never shies away from pushing the reader’s boundaries. Allen masterfully succeeds in being transgressive in all the best and most beautiful ways. I adore this book.”
Sunny Moraine, author of Your Shadow Half Remains

The debonair L.C. Marino invited me onto his podcast, The Suspense is Killing Me, to talk about Slow Burn and a host of other topics:

Anita and I are planning to come to Readercon in Boston and, for the first time, Necronomicon in Providence to help raise awareness that Slow Burn exists, and there are more evens in the works or at least in discussion, cross fingers.

You can pre-order the book through the links below:

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

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

If you want to taste before you buy, on my Instagram page, you can find sample passages from twelve of the included pieces.

The Windows Breathe The Feather Stitch The Green Silence
Strange Wisdoms of the Dead The Shadow Train Abhors
Slow Burn The Butcher, the Baker Matres Lachrymarum
Supernumerary The Comforter Machine Learning

Another story connected to the “Sun Saw/Slow Burn” sequence, called “Machine Learning,” just came out in the newest issue of Cosmic Horror Monthly. I love, love, love this creepy yet cute cover art.

However, my story ain’t got no cat in it, just for the record. An elevator pitch for it would sound something like, “What if Skynet served Nyarlathotep?” The inspiration came in part from the close proximity my day job work has placed me in with regard to pioneering research in artificial intelligence, and the societal issues that arise from it — and also from a pair of unconnected nightmares that are now forever fused in the setting where our heroines meet their fates.

I’m always thrilled to be back in Cosmic Horror Magazine. These folks run a terrific show. You can get a copy or a whole subscription at this link.

I have even more exciting news to share, but I can’t yet because the publishers involved haven’t launched their official announcements, and I can’t get more specific in public until they do. What I can say that recently my career has taken a wild turn, and I’ve both sold a new novelette with ties to yet another of my dark fiction sequences (“The Hiker’s Tale/Follow the Wounded One/The Cruelest Team Will Win”) and received the first half of an advance for an even bigger deal. I can’t wait to share what this deal is — but alas, I have to.

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