It lives! One Kindle/Goodreads giveaway to rule them all

/ July 27th, 2014 / 1 Comment »

My slugline there isn’t hyberbole if you understand that I’ve comparing this one to all the other giveaways I’ve personally done.
There’s five more days to go in the Goodreads giveaway for my upcoming short story collection Unseaming: twenty paperback advance reading copies are up for grabs. To promote that giveaway, I thought I would expand it with a few more.
Starting today and continuing through July 31, to coincide with the end of the Unseaming giveaway, five of my titles will be free on Kindle: my new poetry collection, Hungry Constellations; my sf novelette Stolen Souls; my dark fantasy tales She Who Runs and Sleepless, Burning Life; and, courtesy of the generosity of Haunted Stars Publishing, my debut novel, The Black Fire Concerto.

Unseaming_MD_web black_fire_concerto_front_cover Hungry Cover Mockup 0
cover She_Who_Runs Steamexp

That’s a whole lot of literary darkness for you to savor. Click on the covers to scarf them up!

Aug. 1 in New Paltz, NY, I am reading from UNSEAMING

/ July 23rd, 2014 / 2 Comments »

Unseaming_MD_webI’m thrilled to announce I’m going to be reading from my forthcoming horror story collection Unseaming at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 1 in the Inquiring Minds bookstore in New Paltz, NY. The Facebook event page for the reading is here.
I have to thank my buddy Nicole Kornher-Stace for suggesting this. I did not expect to be doing a reading from the book this fast! What’s especially cool is that there’s a good chance that Laird Barron, who wrote the introduction, and John Langan, who wrote me a wonderful blurb, will also be there.
Though Unseaming doesn’t officially come out until October, I will have some copies with me at the reading.
The trip also means Anita and I get to hang out with Nicole and her husband Dan, and Shveta Thakrar will be joining us, too, and the next day we get to see Paula Friedlander marry her longtime beau.
I hadn’t actually expected to be giving a reading up New York way until February 18, when I’m going to be appearing for the first time ever in the Fantastic Fiction at KGB series organized by Ellen Datlow and Matt Kressel. (To say I’m excited about that would be the understatement of the year.)
For those in Roanoke, VA, where I, heh, actually live, I just got offered a reading slot 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28 at the newly renovated main library branch downtown! (Well, it will be newly renovated by then, anyways. Thanks, Shalon Hurlbert!)
This is probably a good time to remind folks that there’s a giveaway of 20 ARCs of Unseaming going on at Goodreads until July 31. So even if you can’t make my reading next week, there’s still a chance you could get an early copy…

Guest post at THE REVIEW REVIEW on the digital revolution

/ July 8th, 2014 / 2 Comments »

Over at The Review Review, a review site for literary magazines, I’ve contributed a “Publishing Tips” article, which the editors titled On Crowdfunding, Paying Writers, and the Shift to Digital: An Editor Tells His Story. I was asked by poet Alicia Cole to talk about my experience with talking Mythic Delirium digital.
Have an excerpt:

It’s still difficult to get subscribers in the traditional sense, and I suspect that trend is unstoppable. Traditional magazine subscriptions seem to be headed the same way as radio serials. Crowfunding flips the transaction on its head by turning it into an exchange of gifts rather than a business transaction. That’s not so helpful if you’re Newsweek, but if you’re Mythic Delirium it’s a godsend.

Read the rest here.


/ July 3rd, 2014 / No Comments »

Sometimes the writing life smiles on you. Much of the time it doesn’t, but sometimes it really does. Two weekends ago I was stabbing at a creepy-crawly, half-finished horror story called “Tardigrade,” unsure what direction I wanted to take it, hoping I could figure it out before end of summer. Then came a surprise anthology invitation, a deadline of a week, a race to the finish, a last minute plea for beta reader feedback.
Monday, Jason V. Brock of [NaMel3ss] Magazine informed me he would buy “Tardigrade” for his mammoth anthology A Darke Phantastique, a gathering of horror filtered through magical realism with a forward by the late Ray Bradbury and already-accepted stories by Joe Landsdale, Steve Rasnic Tem, Nancy Kilpatrick, Greg Bear, Dennis Etchison, Melanie Tem, William F. Nolan and tons more.

The complete wrap-around cover art by Samuel Araya for Jason V. Brock's A Darke Phantastique anthology. Click to enlarge.

The complete wrap-around cover art by Samuel Araya for Jason V. Brock’s A Darke Phantastique anthology. Click to enlarge.

My thanks to Ken Schneyer, Jennifer Crow, Virginia Mohlere, Shveta Thakrar, Francesca Forrest, Mari Ness, and Anita (of course) for helping me navigate that 0-to-60 writing challenge.
Fortuitously, the same day Jason told me he would buy “Tardigrade,” I received an email from Shawn Garrett of audio magazine Pseudopod accepting my weird horror story “Monster” for adaptation to podcast. In one of those funny coincidences, Jason was the original publisher of “Monster” — it appeared in [NaMel3ss] 3 this spring.
The stories have in common vaguely scientific notions stretched by something akin to dream logic until they’re weeeeell into the realms of the bizarrely sinister.
For the record, “Monster” is now the final story in my forthcoming collection of horror tales, Unseaming. In case you haven’t noticed, there’s an advance reader copy giveaway going on at Goodreads through July 31. I hope you’ll check it out.

Advance Reader Copy Giveaway of UNSEAMING

/ June 30th, 2014 / No Comments »

Antimatter Press is giving away 20 ARCs of my debut horror collection Unseaming. For details, click the widget!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Unseaming by Mike Allen


by Mike Allen

Giveaway ends July 31, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Another Tour of the Abattoir at TALES TO TERRIFY

/ June 16th, 2014 / No Comments »

This latest episode of Tales to Terrify concludes an epic four-part serial of William Hope Hodgson’s The House on the Borderland … and it also contains my latest “Tour of the Abattoir” audio column, in which, at the suggestion of Dominik Parisien, I talk about two weird collections: Karin Tidbeck’s Jagannath and Helen Marshall’s Hair Side, Flesh Side. I had mixed reactions to both books, but found individual stories that I enjoyed muchly. You’ll also hear me wrestle with the notion that, while both books partake of horror tropes, I don’t consider either to be “horror.” Give it a listen here, and share what you think, whether you agree or don’t. Especially if you don’t!

An interview with me at Online Writing Workshop

/ June 16th, 2014 / No Comments »

Jaime Lee Moyer (whose latest novel, A Barricade in Hell, just hit the stands) interviewed me for the Online Writing Workshop newsletter. I talk about why the standard approaches to putting together anthologies won’t work for Clockwork Phoenix, among other things. You can read the interview here (you’ll spot me mugging for the camera as you scroll down).

Two Mind Melds

/ June 5th, 2014 / No Comments »

Recently I was recruited for back-to-back “MindMelds” at SF Signal, in which assorted panelists of authors are asked to riff on sometimes esoteric topics.
In the first, “Our Favorite Food and Drink From Scifi and Fantasy!” I talk about the cooking and eating of ghoul flesh that occurs in my novel The Black Fire Concerto, because of course I would. In all fairness, Andrea Johnson, who organized this one, has read the novel. She had to know what I was going to contribute.
In the second, “When Genre Intersects Classical Literature and Myth,” I think my basic answer was, “When doesn’t it?” Heh. The hardest part was figuring out which examples of myth-mixing to limit myself to — there are soooooo many.
I’m honored to have been tapped, I’m in pretty classy company in both roundtables.

My first short story collection, UNSEAMING, comes out in October

/ June 2nd, 2014 / No Comments »

Unseaming_MD_webI’m thrilled to announce that my first short story collection, Unseaming, will be coming out in October from Antimatter Press, in time for the World Fantasy Convention in Washington, D.C.
This is a project that’s been in the works for at least three years, and is now with its third publisher. It looks like third time is the charm, though, as evidenced by the shiny proof that’s sitting on my home office desk. My thanks to Elizabeth Campbell and Jonas Knight of Antimatter for making this possible, and to Danielle Tunstall for that amazing cover image.
On its journey so far the book, which is a collection of fourteen horror stories, picked up a gracious introduction from horrormeister Laird Barron and approving blurbs from Gemma Files, John Langan and Thomas Ligotti (see below). Antimatter will have advance reviewer copies available before the end of this month (and by the way, if you’re interested in an ARC, ping me and I’ll see about hooking you up.)
Before I share what they said, here’s what’s actually in the book:

  • “Introduction: A Stitch in Darkness” by Laird Barron
  • “The Button Bin” (Helix: Speculative Fiction Quarterly, 2007; 2008 Nebula Award Finalist for Best Short Story)
  • “The Blessed Days” (Tales of the Talisman, 2009)
  • “Humpty” (Flesh & Blood, 2002)
  • “Her Acres of Pastoral Playground” (Cthulhu’s Reign, 2010)
  • “An Invitation via E-mail” (Weird Tales, 2008)
  • “The Hiker’s Tale” (Cabinet des Fées, 2007)
  • “The Music of Bremen Farm” (Cabinet des Fées, 2006)
  • “The Lead Between the Panes” (Lakeside Circus, 2014)
  • “Stone Flowers” (Scheherezade’s Bequest, 2009)
  • “Gutter” (original)
  • “Condolences” (original)
  • “Let There Be Darkness” (Penny Dreadful, 1998)
  • “The Quiltmaker” (original novella; the sequel to “The Button Bin”)
  • “Monster” (Nameless, 2014)

And now, what my colleagues and heroes have said (short version, Laird compares me to Clive Barker, Thomas Freakin’ Ligotti says my book is fun (!)):

Read the rest of this entry »

New arrivals

/ June 1st, 2014 / No Comments »

A big announcement coming (though you might be able to guess what it is) … but first, catching up on some print publications that have arrived chez moi.

Clockwise from top: Artemis journal, containing my poem "A Curtain of Stars"; Memory Man by Ian Watson, which contains all seven of the poems he and I co-wrote, including our masterpiece, "Propitiating Cthulhu"; Nameless magazine, which holds my short story "Monster."

Clockwise from top: Artemis Journal, containing my poem “A Curtain of Stars”; Ian Watson’s poetry collection Memory Man, which contains all seven of the poems he and I co-wrote, including our masterpiece, “Propitiating Cthulhu”; Nameless Magazine, which holds my short story “Monster.”

I'm quite tickled by the full-color illustration for "Monster"...

I’m quite tickled by the full-color illustration for “Monster”…

* * *
...and even more so by Tricia Scott's beautiful painting paired with "A Curtain of Stars."

…and even more so by Tricia Scott’s beautiful painting paired with “A Curtain of Stars.”

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