Archive for the ‘Signal boosts’ Category

Our MystiCon schedules

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Anita and I will be on all kinds of panels and workshops at the upcoming MystiCon convention right here in Roanoke. I’ll be reading from my novel The Black Fire Concerto and Anita and I together will be talking about Clockwork Phoenix and anthologies in general, and Anita, it seems, will be sharing her costuming know-how just about everywhere. Here’s what our schedules look like:
Friday, Feb. 21

4 p.m. Anita. Two hour costume workshop.

7 p.m. Anita. Panel: You Wear It Well: Owning the Costume.

9 p.m. Mike. Kaffeeklatch/reading from novel The Black Fire Concerto.

Saturday, Feb. 22

10 a.m. Mike. Writer’s workshop.

10 a.m. Anita. Panel: Costume fusion.

11 a.m. Anita. Editor’s panel: “If you spell ‘cheif’ like that one more time…”

1 p.m. Anita. Panel: Beyond The Paintbrush: Non Traditional Mediums of Artistic Expression

2 p.m. Mike (moderator.) Panel: Kickstarting your project.

3 p.m. Anita. Panel: Costuming: Form, Function, and Fantasy

3 p.m. Mike. Autograph signing.

Sunday, Feb. 23

10 a.m. Mike. Writer’s workshop.

10 a.m. Anita. Panel: Steampunk Costuming.

1 p.m. Anita. Panel: The Real Dr. Venkman

2 p.m. Anita & Mike (moderator.) Panel: The Role of Anthologies


Stunning cover art for my next poetry collection

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

I’m thrilled to be able to show off Paula Friedlander’s amazing cover art for my next poetry collection, Hungry Constellations.

Hungry Cover Mockup 0

This collection originates with the Mythic Delirium Kickstarter. None of my poetry collections are available in ebook form, so as incentive to make that happen I offered an omnibus poetry collection as one of the Kickstarter prizes…
…and in a fit of sobriety assessed that such a volume would not only be a nightmare to format, but be both massive and repetitive — and what I needed to be putting out was a good book, a fresh book, not an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink book.
So my thanks to Dominik Parisien as well for stepping in to serve as editor, whittling down almost 20 years of my work to a streamlined exhibition of 61 poems, old and new (one previously unpublished); beginning with “The Strip Search,” ending with “Hungry Constellations,” in between encapsulating a lot of the themes I keep coming back to, deliberately or not. (It was a really cool experience, seeing my work curated. Dom did a great job.)
Hungry Constellations will be available in trade paperback too. We’re shooting for March.

The hardest part of writing a novel

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

It’s different from writer to writer and from novel to novel. The Bull Spec blog has a series called the “The Hardest Part” in which writers confess what was most difficult about scribbling out their books. Samuel Montgomery-Blinn generously invited me to share what made The Black Fire Concerto hard to finish. Check it out here.
An excerpt:

There was little time for longhand drafting like I normally do, and hardly any time to plot and plan — it was either sprint to the finish or miss the deadline. Not that anyone was going to punish me if I did miss the deadline, but as a newspaper writer I take deadlines very seriously. So I plunged ahead, basically running on sheer storytelling instinct. I knew there would be walking dead and other monsters, apocalyptic magic, hidden cities, fox people, surprise family connections, flying horses and epic battles, but I was connecting these dots on the fly. Naturally the story went longer than I originally shot for, which didn’t help that deadline problem. When I reached the end, I didn’t have a complete grasp of what I’d written, because so much of that first draft was made up on the go.


Fiction uploaded to SFWA Forums

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

This notice is mainly for those associate and active SFWA members who have access to the private forums. I’ve made all of the following available there for those looking for material for Nebula consideration. #SFWApro




    From Clockwork Phoenix 4

  • “The Canal Barge Magician’s Number Nine Daughter” by Ian McHugh
  • “A Little of the Night” by Tanith Lee
  • short stories:

  • “Our Lady of the Thylacines” by Yves Meynard
  • “On the Leitmotif of the Trickster Constellation in Northern Hemispheric Star Charts, Post-Apocalypse” by Nicole Kornher-Stace
  • “Beach Bum and the Drowned Girl” by Richard Parks
  • “Trap-Weed” by Gemma Files
  • “Icicle” by Yukimi Ogawa
  • “Lesser Creek: A Love Story, A Ghost Story” by A.C. Wise
  • “What Still Abides” by Marie Brennan
  • “The Wanderer King” by Alisa Alering
  • “I Come from the Dark Universe” by Cat Rambo
  • “Happy Hour at the Tooth and Claw” by Shira Lipkin
  • “Lilo Is” by Corinne Duyvis
  • “Selected Program Notes from the Retrospective Exhibition of Theresa Rosenberg Latimer” by Kenneth Schneyer
  • “Three Times” by Camille Alexa
  • “The Bees Her Heart, the Hive Her Belly” by Benjanun Sriduangkaew
  • “The Old Woman with No Teeth” by Patricia Russo
  • “The History of Soul 2065″ by Barbara Krasnoff





New poetry sale, new novel review, and a little more

Monday, October 14th, 2013

I’m pleased to report that Strange Horizons is buying my new poem “The Paper Boy,” a grim meditation on a crime’s aftermath. Thanks go to Romie Stott for accepting it and to Dominik Parisien for motivating me to write it. #SFWApro
I’m also pleased to report another nice review for The Black Fire Concerto, this time from blogger Grace Troxal at Books Without Any Pictures. She writes:

The magical apocalypse envisioned in The Black Fire Concerto is unlike anything I’ve ever read. … Mike Allen’s imagery is incredible. He creates great machines fueled by rotting corpses, the friendly fox-like Vulpines, and villains that will give you nightmares and make you feel sympathetic at the same time. A blend of fantasy and horror, The Black Fire Concerto will leave you begging for more.

There’s a couple more Black Fire Concerto-related links I want to share:


SF Signal Mindmeld on women writers of horror

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

sfsigI’m honored to have been invited to take part in the latest Mindmeld post on SF Signal, a roundup of fellow writers and editors discussing favorite women horror writers and current writers to watch. Other participants are Ann VanderMeer, Joe McKinney, Lisa Morton, Rhonda Parrish, Kenneth W. Cain, DeAnna Knippling, Nicole Cushing, Maurice Broaddus, R.J. Cavender and Jason V. Brock. Click here to check it out!
A special thanks to Silvia Morena-Garcia for her suggestions as to who I ought to mention. #SFWApro


Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

black_fire_concerto_front_coverThe folks at SF Signal are generously hosting a giveaway of my novel The Black Fire Concerto. There’s two trade paperback copies up for grabs. Anyone anywhere in the world is eligible. Click here to take part if y’wanna.
Also, Haunted Stars publisher John O’Neill asked me to plug the book a couple times more at his other publishing venture, Black Gate.
In “The Black Fire Concerto & the Monsters of Memory” I talk about my inspirations for the multitudes of undead ghoulies that populate the book.
In “Musical Mayhem and The Black Fire Concerto” I talk about how the book partakes of both heavy metal and classical music.
Keep this up, the sum of my posts about my book will end up being as long as the book, heh. It’s a short book, comparable to one of Roger Zelazny’s Amber novels or Michael Moorcock’s Elric compilations. And that no doubt is fodder for another post somewhere down the road. #SFWApro


Thursday, September 5th, 2013

I’m pleased to announce that my strange somewhat science fictional poem “Dearly Beloved” has just sold to Canadian anthology series Postscripts to Darkness.
I’m especially tickled because “Dearly Beloved” is part of a series — it’s set in the same far future world as my short stories “Twa Sisters” (published last year in Not One of US #47) and “Still Life With Skull” (in Solaris Rising 2: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction, which appeared in March.)
I guess this means I need a name for this series, eh? In my mind it’s called the “Hierophant’s Daughter” sequence, for whatever that may be worth. #SFWApro

Ellen Datlow’s BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR honorable mentions

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Ellen Datlow has posted her annual “long list” of honorable mentions (Part 1) (Part 2) selected from the material she read for this year’s edition of The Best Horror of the Year.
I was pleased to discover I earned four this year for stuff I had published in 2012. Ellen gave nods to three poems:

  • “Budding” in Phantasmagorium 2 (a short-lived zine edited by horror master Laird Barron)
  • “The Duelists” in the July-September issue of Star*Line
  • The Vigil,” dedicated to my buddy Nicole Kornher-Stace, in the Autumn 2012 issue of Goblin Fruit.

And she gave a nod to one story:

I’m also proud to report that poems published in 2012 in Mythic Delirium received nods.
From Issue 26:

  • “The Daughter of Lir” by Sandi Leibowitz
  • “Scythe-Walk” by Sonya Taaffe

From Issue 27:

  • “The Bones of the Girl Muscians” by Sandi Leibowitz

Congratulations to Sandi and Sonya!

Short story sale to LAKESIDE CIRCUS

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

I’m proud to able to announce the sale of my short story “The Lead Between the Panes” to Lakeside Circus, publisher, editor and writer Carrie Cuinn’s new online zine. (By the way, she’s still looking for submissions for the first issue.)
“The Lead Between the Panes” was inspired by a stained glass window on display in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts — and a reflection of that window that appeared to hover disembodied over the museum’s atrium, as if it were the ghostly manifestation of a church that once stood in that spot. Spiders, storms and a rural family’s dysfunctional history also figure in the mix. Of course they all live happily ever after. *wink* #SFWApro