Locus reviews SOLARIS RISING 2

/ October 2nd, 2013 / No Comments »

Locus Magazine short fiction review Rich Horton has some really cool things to say about my short story “Still Life With Skull” in his just-published review of Solaris Rising 2.
 

Mike Allen’s “Still Life With Skull”, set in the same very strange world as his “Twa Sisters” from last year, is about the most adventurous story here. As with the previous story, it’s not always easy to get what’s going on, which is part of the point, I think. It involves strangely sculpted people — the main character is a box with eight arms and two legs — but one thing is illegal, changing your core DNA. And so when the main character is asked to perform this service for a visitor — well, all heck breaks out. Neatly wild ideas, and a creepy ending.

 
Rich put my story on his Recommended Reading List. He also highlighted stories from the anthology by Eugie Foster and Kim Lakin-Smith. #SFWApro
 

THE BLACK FIRE CONCERTO giveaway at SF Signal

/ September 17th, 2013 / No Comments »

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

Translated into Russian!

/ September 16th, 2013 / No Comments »

My contributor’s copy arrived today of the Russian edition of Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year One, which contains my poem “The Thirteenth Hell.” This is the first time my work has ever been translated. It’s neat to see my name in Cyrillic. (Photos by Anita.) #SFWApro
 

Russian_horror
 
13th_Russian_Hell

 

Poetry sale to POSTSCRIPTS TO DARKNESS

/ September 5th, 2013 / No Comments »

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

At Black Gate, an interview, at Tales to Terrify, a new Tour

/ September 4th, 2013 / No Comments »

black_fire_concerto_front_coverThe folks at Black Gate have been doing a wonderful job of promoting my new novel, The Black Fire Concerto. This past Sunday they posted an interview with yours truly conducted by the magnificent Patty Templeton.
 

Q: Do you talk out your works in progress with anyone or is all the work done in self-reflection?
 
I’m very superstitious about that. Sometimes I’ll share an idea with Anita and let her float suggestions, but generally I do not like to talk about works in progress. I think there’s a number of reasons for that. I don’t want to lose the momentum by talking it out rather than writing it out. I don’t want to invite criticism too early. I want to get the piece to the point where I think it at least looks like what I imagined it would before I let the rest of the world in.
 
I do sometimes sketch outlines. A couple nights ago I inadvertently stumbled across the first outline I did for what become Part I of The Black Fire Concerto. That was funny to see…the characters had different names!

 
Earlier, Black Gate overlord John O’Neill discussed my career and my new novel in one of his “New Treasures” posts.
 

I read Mike’s book in draft last year and was wowed. He has created a singular feat of the imagination, a world of shape-shifters, ghouls, and worse things, where two young women with a very unique form of magic may be the only hope against a sorceress of untold power.

 
Next up, I’m supposed to provide a guest post discussing the monsters in Black Fire Concerto. I’m a little behind on this, because I’m a little behind on everything. But it’s in progress. I’ve received a new batch of paperback copies as well, so review copies are also going out. (If you’d like to consider the book for review, by the way, get in touch!)
 
Speaking of catching up, my poor neglected audio column “Tour of the Abattoir” has resumed at Tales to Terrify. This time Shalon Hurlbert and I discuss two movies that purport to examine dybbuk possession, The Unborn and The Possession. It’s a fun column, though its informative value may be dubious, heh. #SFWApro
 

My novel THE BLACK FIRE CONCERTO gets official virtual launch

/ August 26th, 2013 / No Comments »

black_fire_concerto_front_coverSo the official launch reading and launch party for my first novel, THE BLACK FIRE CONCERTO, took place at ReaderCon, and I ended up selling all the copies I had, which in the land of small press translates to “smashing success.”
 
The online launch of the novel has lagged behind by about a month — such are the ways of publishing. But it’s definitely here. You can read and/or listen to Part One, “The Red Empress,” and read the beginning of Part Two, “Bone Mosaics,” and of course buy the book, in trade paperback or Kindle formats. Because folks have asked: there are no other e-book formats being offered for sale at this time. (Psst! Review copies are another story.) #SFWApro
 
Most of my posts about my own writing are just of the “Hey, look at this!” variety. But here’s where I feel I should finally say: “The Red Empress” and The Black Fire Concerto represent the best writing I’ve produced since “The Button Bin” — and I really hope folks will take a look and listen.
 
Here’s the finished website for Haunted Stars Publishing, who published The Black Fire Concerto. Links to buy are here, plus blurbs from Tanith Lee, John R. Fultz, Tiffany Trent and R.S. Belcher.
 

haunted stars

 
Here’s the Haunted Stars sample chapter page, where you can read the opening section, “The Red Empress,” and also listen to C.S.E. Cooney’s amazing reading of same.
 
red empress

 
Here’s the excerpt from Part Two, “Bone Mosaics,” at Haunted Stars’ sister publication, Black Gate.
 
bone mosaics

 
You can also listen to Claire Cooney’s reading of “The Red Empress” at Tales to Terrify.
 
tales empress

 
Obviously, I hope you’ll check all of it out!
 

Ellen Datlow’s BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR honorable mentions

/ August 22nd, 2013 / No Comments »

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!
 
#SFWApro
 

Short story sale to LAKESIDE CIRCUS

/ August 15th, 2013 / No Comments »

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
 

Little Red Reviewer on THE BLACK FIRE CONCERTO

/ August 14th, 2013 / No Comments »


 
The snarky redhead behind the Little Red Reviewer blog takes on my first novel, The Black Fire Concerto, and has some really kind and downright awesome things to say about it:
 

Exploding with magic, music, and violence, this short novel has the magical feel of an old school suspenseful fantasy adventure as filtered through the eyes of H.R. Giger. …
 
Allen’s dark imagery includes temples and catacombs made of thousands of bones and body parts, clockwork machines that run on vertebrae and brain matter, and [heroine] Olyssa quickly dispatches anything and everything that gets in her way. This is a woman you do not want to piss off! …
 
If you’ve got a strong stomach and want a story with a unique magic system, give The Black Fire Concerto a try. Allen is under the radar, but he shouldn’t be.

 
I’ll be getting new copies of The Black Fire Concerto Concerto soon for those who might want a signed one directly from me, but other than that it’s available in print or on Kindle exclusively at Amazon. #SFWApro
 

FLYING HIGHER — a free ebook of superhero poetry

/ August 8th, 2013 / No Comments »

FHThe completely free e-book only poetry anthology Flying Higher: An Anthology of Superhero Poetry, edited by Shira Lipkin and Michael Damian Thomas, just came out today. It contains among many other things my incredibly silly poem “Darksein the Diabolic Plots His Comeback from Beyond the Grave” and my wife Anita’s not quite as silly poem “Mrs. Freeze.”

A lot of cool people contributed to this project. To see the full table of contents, click here.

To download as many free copies as you want, click here.

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