A SINISTER QUARTET makes its debut + new reviews

/ June 15th, 2020 / No Comments »

In case you missed it last week — though, if you follow me on social media, you likely didn’t, I’ve been shouting it from the rooftops — A Sinister Quartet, the new anthology featuring C. S. E. Cooney, Jessica P. Wick, Amanda J. McGee and myself, premiered as scheduled on Tuesday, June 9. (To see all the different ways to buy a copy, click here.)

Quite a few terrific and incredibly thorough new reviews appeared, too, including this one from Little Red Reviewer:

And this one from Anthony R. Cardno:

(There’s more but I believe I am going to save those for a future post.)

This next bit almost feels like it should go without saying, but I think it’s clear it should be said: if you’re instead paying attention to the Black Lives Matter protests and the long-overdue and necessary changes that are happening because of them, by all means keep doing that. And stay safe, as the COVID-19 pandemic has not gone away either.

All that said, if our not-so-little book of dark fantastic tales has caught your eye and made you decide to take a break and check it out, and if you happened not to hear about last week’s launch, there’s some fun things the four of us did to promote the book that you’ll probably enjoy catching up on.

On launch day, we all turned up at John Scalzi’s Whatever blog, contributing an essay to the “Big Idea” series he curates in which we all “interviewed” each other about our stories in Sinister Quartet. (Click on the screenshot to check it out…)
 


 
As you can see, we have the distinction of setting a new record in the history of Big Ideas.

The next day, all four of participated in a Reddit Ask Me Anything held on the r/Fantasy forum, and the result doubles as a pretty terrific interview with the authors. (Again, to check it out, click on the screenshot.)
 


 
Just in case you missed our other stunts in the weeks leading up the book’s premiere, here’s the group Zoom reading we did, here’s a post about cocktail mixes that match our stories that has matching tongue-in-cheek photos, and here’s one about playlists that match our stories with cool matching graphics by Amanda McGee.

I’m grateful my co-authors for all the work they are putting into making this book a success — above and beyond the excellent stories they contributed.

There will be more to come, including a second virtual group reading scheduled for Wednesday, June 24, orchestrated by Book No Further, the downtown indie book store here in Roanoke, Virginia, which just recently re-opened to admitting small groups of customers.

More news on all of that as it develops.

Cross-posted from Mythic Delirium Books

More readings and excerpts from A SINISTER QUARTET

/ June 3rd, 2020 / No Comments »

In hopes of providing a fleeting but fun distraction in these tense days of justified protest, I’m pleased to be able to share with you more excerpts from A Sinister Quartet, which gets released in a mere six days, and a bit of silly business that goes even beyond that.

First, World Fantasy Award winner C. S. E. Cooney shares another excerpt “The Twice-Drowned Saint,” her new novel that forms the first part of A Sinister Quartet. She reads from chapter seven, “Long Shot: The Serac,” in a fireside setting that includes charming costumes and amusing cameos from her husband, Carlos Hernandez, and from her mother, Sita Aluna.

Sinister Quartet Reading of The Twice-Drowned Saint from C. S. E. Cooney on Vimeo.

Second, Amanda J. McGee has also shared an excerpt from her novella “Viridian” on her blog. Read the excerpt from Chapter 4 here.

Finally, on Monday all four members of the quartet made an appearance with a guest post at The Next Best Book Club’s Next Best Book Blog. We were challenged to participate in the site’s ongoing “Books & Booze” feature, which required us to come up with mixed drinks that somehow related to our stories. Not only did we manage that, but we came up with some pretty priceless self-portraits to go with it.

To hone your thirst, Claire Cooney’s recipe for “Alizar’s Benison Wine”:

In Fabulous Gelethel, which is always under angelic quarantine, the only thing citizens may drink is what is provided by the angels themselves. In this case, the Seventh Angel—Alizar the Eleven-Eyed—has provided, in his great munificence, a shrub called “Benison Wine.”

INGREDIENTS: 1 shot glass of ineffable beauty, bought on the cheap from your favorite thrift store; 1 “dollop” of Ginger Beer (brand: Reed’s “Strongest”); 1 “dash” of Jalapeño/Tequila/Lime Hot Sauce (brand: Queen Majesty, of course); 2 “glugs” of Prickly Pear Sour (brand: Iconic Cocktail Co.); and just a “soupçon” of D’Anjou Pear White Balsamic Vinegar (brand: We Olive). For garnish: a tiny, tasty red pepper! This drink is refreshing, complex, sweet, sour, and bold. Above all, it’s good for the gut!

Remember: Alizar the Eleven-Eyed provides for his people. Unlike some angels we could mention.

Read the whole thing and get the other three recipes here, and pre-order A Sinister Quartet here.

Cross-posted from Mythic Delirium Books

Playlists for A SINISTER QUARTET, picked by the authors

/ May 25th, 2020 / No Comments »

Just two weeks left until the debut of A Sinister Quartet, and it makes sense that this unusual book inspires unusual behavior.

I have never before put together a Spotify playlist. Many other authors do this as a way to keep the inspiration fountain flowing. I haven’t quite joined those ranks yet — I tend still to listen to full albums when I write — but my three co-authors in A Sinister Quartet (C. S. E. Cooney, Jessica P. Wick and Amanda J. McGee) all make extensive use of playlists, including songs curated specifically for their Sinister stories.

The pandemic has required all sort of outside the box promotional thinking. I don’t think it’s that unusual for authors to post playlists, but it’s a step outside the box for me for sure to make one. Between my co-authors’ enticing song choices and the fun graphics Amanda came up with to illustrate the lists in ways that connect directly with each story, I decided I had to give it a go.

Clicking each graphic will take you directly to the songs. Happy jamming!

___________

“The Twice-Drowned Saint” by C. S. E. Cooney

THE TWICE-DROWNED SAINT playlist
___________

“An Unkindness” by Jessica P. Wick

AN UNKINDNESS playlist
___________

“Viridian” by Amanda J. McGee


___________

“The Comforter” by Mike Allen

THE COMFORTER playlist
___________

A Sinister Quartet makes its debut June 9

click cover to pre-order



 

Cross-posted from Mythic Delirium Books

Zoom reading from A SINISTER QUARTET + new stories showcased at Decameron Project

/ May 19th, 2020 / No Comments »

The COVID-19 crisis has required us to get creative as we promote our forthcoming anthology A Sinister Quartet, as live events remain out of the question for the moment and review venues deal with disruptions in schedule and income. We’ve had some good breaks to make up for some of the bad, and my three co-authors, C. S. E. Cooney, Amanda J. McGee, and Jessica P. Wick, have been great at brainstorming all new things to try out in the weeks leading up to the release of A Sinister Quartet on June 9.

The biggest of these so far was an invite-only reading on Zoom held on May 7 that all four of us where able to take part in. Credit to Amanda McGee for coming up with the idea and to our buddy Steve Glassbrenner for helping us with the set up logistics. Claire Cooney read the fourth chapter of her short novel “The Twice-Drowned Saint,” Jessica Wick read a harrowing passage from the third chapter of her novella “An Unkindness,” Amanda read the prologue and first chapter of “Viridian,” and I read the second and third chapter of “The Comforter.” Afterward we had a Q&A session in which we talked about why we do (or don’t, depending on who answered) choose to write dark fiction and discussed some of the surprising thematic connections that exist between the four stories, even though all were created independently.

Amanda and Steve were able to record the event so that afterward, we could share it publicly. Read Amanda’s own blog entry on our reading here.
 

Authors Mike Allen, C. S. E. Cooney, Amanda J. McGee and Jessica P. Wick participated in a group reading for A Sinister Quartet that took place Thursday, May 7, 2020, on Zoom. Watch each author read excerpts from their ‘sinister’ stories.


 
Both A Sinister Quartet and my own upcoming collection of horror tales Aftermath of an Industrial Accident have been beneficiaries of a cool new project first through up by Mythic Delirium contributor Maya Chhabra. (Read her poem “After Pandora” here.)

The New Decameron Project, organized by Maya and the amazing Jo Walton, is a wonderful way to provide reading material for everyone stuck at home because of the pandemic — in the spirit of the original Decameron, this Patreon offers new stories and novel excerpts every day.

In recent days, the New Decameron Project featured the mind-blowing second chapter from C. S. E. Cooney’s “The Twice-Drowned Saint,” the first tale in A Sinister Quartet; and the project also featured the entirety of my new story “Blue Evolution,” one of the original stories featured in my collection Aftermath of an Industrial Accident, which gets released July 7. It was a real honor for us to take part!

Links to the stories below.
 

Read Chapter II. Interior: The Celestial Corridor
from The Twice-Drowned Saint by C. S. E. Cooney
at the New Decameron Project
________

Read “Blue Evolution,” an original story
from Aftermath of an Industrial Accident
free at the New Decameron Project

 

Cross-posted from Mythic Delirium Books

The Outer Dark now and The Outer Dark then

/ May 7th, 2020 / No Comments »

I am honored to return to The Outer Dark podcast to take part in the latest episode their Quarantine Readings series, alongside (so to speak, in virtual space) my great friend (and Mythic Delirium alumna) Christina Sng. She reads from her new poetry collection from Raw Dog Screaming Press, A Collection of Nightmares, and I read an excerpt from “Aftermath of an Industrial Accident,” the title story of my forthcoming collection Aftermath of an Industrial Accident, and an excerpt from “The Comforter,” my novella in the forthcoming anthology A Sinister Quartet (the first of many promotions for that book that C.S.E. Cooney, Jessica P. Wick, Amanda J. McGee and/or me will be concocting and participating in). Anya Martin is our gracious host, and Gordon B. White provides a review of horror author Michael Griffin’s latest book.

Here’s the full episode description:

In the second installment of The Outer Dark Quarantine Reading series, Christina Sng (0:16:30) and Mike Allen (0:58:45) offer their tips for surviving social distancing, writing, and book promotion in a stalled world and their quarantine reading recommendations, plus discuss and read from their new books: A Collection of Dreamscapes (0:37:33), Christina’s poetry collection from Raw Dog Screaming Press; Aftermath of an Industrial Accident (1:12:16), Mike’s upcoming collection from Mythic Delirium (out July 7); and ‘The Comforter’ (1:35:25) in A Sinister Quartet, which also includes works by C.S.E. Cooney, Amanda J. McGee, and Jessica P. Wick, also from Mythic Delirium (June 9). The episode opens with a few words about the passing of author/editor Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. (0:02:20), a monumental loss to the Weird fiction community, and a new installment of Reviews from The Weird by Gordon B. White (0:06:00) featuring Armageddon House, Michael Griffin’s new novella from Undertow Publications. Listen to Mike read from Armageddon House in TOD 067, part one of our Quarantine Readings series.

If you like what you here, consider supporting Outer Dark and their hosts, the This Is Horror podcast! They’re awesome folks.

While I’m at this, I want to correct a wrong. I made appearance on the Outer Dark last year as well, after Anita and I traveled to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., to give a talk about “Horror and the Weird” for a group of interested librarians. The frenzy of preparing for launch events related to Snow White Learns Witchcraft and The History of Soul 2065 (and working on the draft of my next novel, These Bloody Filaments, in whatever free time I didn’t have) was such that I neglected to share this particular episode (exactly 20 episodes ago) anywhere other than on fleeting social media posts! So here I am, fixing that, 11 months later.

The episode description that Anya Martin wrote includes a great breakdown of my talk:

(00:19:25) Rachel Frederick, Library Technician at the Library of Congress, introduces writer/editor/publisher Mike Allen, who jumps off with the recent revival of horror as a hot publishing and media category, then veers Weird, starting with Jeff and Ann VanderMeer, as well as a list of other prominent horror authors which they include in their groundbreaking collection The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories . He continues with ‘working definitions’ of horror and The Weird and his personal passage from Tolkien high fantasy to horror, as well as recommending A Spectral Hue, the new novel by Craig Laurance Gidney, who was in the audience. He then reads from three stories that for him capture the strength and allure of Weird fiction: ‘The Mystics of Muelenberg’ by Thomas Ligotti (00:30:49), ‘Descending’ by Thomas M. Disch (00:34:35), and his own deeply disturbing ‘The Button Bin’ (00:41:45). Next he talks about Weird fiction as ‘spiritual dare’, 2014 as a banner year for the Weird, his own warm experience with the Weird writing community, Sword and Soul, his ‘Cliff Notes History’ of The Weird, strands coming together in the New Wave of science fiction, built-in contradictions and how Lovecraft’s writing seems so much less Weird than he used to. A Q&A with the audience ends the lecture.

This presentation I gave has added poignancy now. I was there to speak at the invitation of Library Technician Rachel Frederick as part of the Library of Congress Professional Association’s “What If…Science Fiction and Fantasy Forum,” but that invitation would never have come about without the prodding of our mutual friends Casey and Mark Shapiro, who also schlepped Anita and I in an out of D.C. and let us stay over at their house in Northern Virginia, where excellent conversations took place, making the trip even more special.

Alas, in the months that followed, Mark Shapiro developed pancreatic cancer. During treatment, he never lost his wit and courage. He died just days ago, and I regret that I won’t be able to talk books with him anymore. My heart goes out to Casey and their daughter Alanna Shaffer. Bless his memory.

Cross-posted from Mythic Delirium Books

The Theodora Goss Collection + ongoing e-book sale [Mythic Delirium Books]

/ May 6th, 2020 / No Comments »

In a thrilling bit of news that ideally I would have announced a month ago — but the times are what they are and my lack of time is what it is, so I am belatedly getting around to it now — Mythic Delirium Books has added two new members to the family. We are proud to become the new stewards of the Theodora Goss Collection, first created by our friends at Papaveria Press in 2014.

The collection consists of short story collection In the Forest of Forgetting and poetry collection Songs for Ophelia, both of which were finalists for the Mythopoeic Award. We’re proud to continue to feature Virginia Lee’s gorgeous matching cover art, and the introductions written by Terri Winding for Forest and Catherynne M. Valente for Songs. We’re offering both paperback and e-book editions, all of which are available for purchase now, and we’ve made them available in more venues than they were previously. (And at the moment all e-book editions are on sale for $1.99, as are most other Mythic Delirium Books offerings; more on that below.)
 

paperback editions

In the Forest of Forgetting: Bookshop | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

Songs for Ophelia: Bookshop | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

 

e-book editions

In the Forest of Forgetting: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon AU | Nook | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Scribd

Songs for Ophelia: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon AU | Nook | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

Some praise for In the Forest of Forgetting

“It should be said right away that praise is due Theodora Goss, praise be. In the Forest of Forgetting ranks with Joe Hill’s 20th Century Ghosts, Glen Hirschberg’s The Two Sams and Kelly Link’s Stranger Things Happen and Magic for Beginners as one of the finest collections of short fiction from a member of that class of authors of the 21st century who are comfortable here.”
—John Clute, SciFi.com

“. . . it doesn’t seem too hasty to exclaim, ‘Classic!’”
—Ray Olson, Booklist, starred review

“An original voice, and an original vision: crystalline, precise, mordant and devastating.”
—Ellen Kushner, author of Swordspoint

Some praise for Songs for Ophelia

“These poems by Theodora Goss are wonderfully nineteenth century and yet modern faerie at the same time. They remind me of the best of the ballads, both the ones from the long tongue-polishing of singers and the ones written by a single poet like Keats’ ‘Belle Dame Sans Merci’. Not to be missed. Especially the ‘Ophelia Cantos’.”
—Jane Yolen, author of Sister Fox’s Field Guide to Writing, Things to Say to A Dead Man, and Owl Moon

“Willows, dancing maidens, gypsies, mothers, lovers, daughters, magic animals, living waters, and transformations of all kinds abound in these gorgeous poems. With her formal prosody, her fairytale subjects, and her insights on love and loss and longing, Goss manages, Janus-like, to look back to the Victorians and inward at the heart of a modern woman with intelligence and grace.”
—Delia Sherman, author of The Freedom Maze and Changeling

$1.99 e-book sale
_____

As I mentioned above, the e-book editions of In the Forest of Forgetting and Songs for Ophelia are all available right now for only $1.99, as is true for most Mythic Delirium Books, excepting those that are at this point only available for pre-order. This began as a pandemic-related “times are hard for everyone right now/the publisher has an unpaid furlough pending” sale on Theodora Goss’s books that I expanded soon after to include most of our titles.

See below for a list of books you can get right now for $1.99.

By Theodora Goss
Snow White Learns Witchcraft
In the Forest of Forgetting
Songs for Ophelia

 

Edited by Mike Allen
Clockwork Phoenix
Clockwork Phoenix 2
Clockwork Phoenix 3
Clockwork Phoenix 4
Clockwork Phoenix 5

 

Edited by Mike and Anita Allen
Mythic Delirium
Mythic Delirium: Volume Two

By Barbara Krasnoff
The History of Soul 2065

 

By C. S. E. Cooney
Bone Swans: Stories

 

By Nicole Kornher-Stace
Latchkey

 

By Mike Allen
Unseaming
The Black Fire Concerto
Hungry Constellations (poems)
The Spider Tapestries
The Sky-Riders
(with Paul Dellinger)

Cross-posted from Mythic Delirium Books

Support Mythic Delirium Books and independent bookstores by buying paperbacks through our Bookshop page

/ May 6th, 2020 / No Comments »

Mythic Delirium Books is now an affiliate at Bookshop, a new bookselling website born in January 2020 that directs a portion of every sale toward assisting independent bookstores. (Hat tip to Jessica Wick for this development.)

Practically speaking, what this means is there is at last a one-stop shop where you can find all of our trade paperback editions, with quite a few offered at discounts. It’s probably the closest thing we’ve ever had to an actual storefront. Click here to check it out!
 


 
Purchases also benefit Mythic Delirium Books directly. For more about what Bookshop sets out to do, see below. Times are really hard for independent bookstores during these months of pandemic shutdown, and I hope this little bit we’re doing still manages to provide some help.

The following comes from the Bookshop “About” page:

As more and more people buy their books online, we wanted to create an easy, convenient way for you to get your books and support bookstores at the same time.

If you want to find a specific local bookstore to support, find them on our map and they’ll receive the full profit off your order. Otherwise, your order will contribute to an earnings pool that will be evenly distributed among independent bookstores (even those that don’t use Bookshop).

We also support anyone who advocates for books through our affiliate program, which pays 10% commissions on every sale. If you are an author, a website or magazine, have a bookclub, an organization that wants to recommend books, or even just a book-lover with an Instagram feed, you can sign up to be an affiliate, start your own shop, and be rewarded for your advocacy of books. Bookshop wants to give back to everyone who promotes books, authors, and independent bookstores!

Cross-posted from Mythic Delirium Books

A SINISTER QUARTET: four long stories of wonder and horror from C. S. E. Cooney, Amanda J. McGee, Jessica P. Wick and me

/ May 5th, 2020 / No Comments »

Cross-posted from Mythic Delirium Books:

Mythic Delirium Books is proud at last to announce our next release, A Sinister Quartet, scheduled to drop June 9, 2020. It’s the biggest book we’ve ever put together, gathering four stories that, combined, amount to more than 150,000 words of wondrously weird dark fantasy and horror. These eerie stories go long.

The book begins with an original short novel from C. S. E. Cooney, author of the World Fantasy Award-winning Bone Swans: Stories, also available from Mythic Delirium Books. Cooney’s “The Twice-Drowned Saint,” an epic tale set in a surreal and dangerous land of airplanes, angels and ice walls, stands alone but has connections to her tales “Godmother Lizard” and “Life on the Sun” (the latter reprinted in Bone Swans.)

The surreal and dangerous ambience continues with poet and editor Jessica P. Wick’s debut novella “An Unkindness,” a dark fantasy that pits familial bonds against ancient power and cruel sorcery.

The going gets darker yet with fantasy novelist Amanda J. McGee’s debut novella “Viridian,” an classic grim fable updated and transformed into a modern tale of creeping Gothic horror.

This quartet closes with “The Comforter” by Mike Allen, a standalone novella of terror and transmutation that continues the narrative of his Nebula Award-nominated short story “The Button Bin” and its novella-length sequel “The Quiltmaker.” The patchwork binds beyond those sources, with ties to the stories “Gutter” and “The Hitchhiker’s Tale” in Allen’s Shirley Jackson Award-nominated collection Unseaming, and to his story “Nolens Volens” in the Broken Eye Books anthology Nowhereville.

Pre-order now!

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

Paperback: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE
Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

In case you want to know even more, here’s the cover art and the official back cover and press release copy:

Cover art by Jason Wren. Cover design by Brett Massé.

Behind the walls of an invulnerable city ruled by angels, old movies provide balm for the soul and a plan to escape risks grisly retribution. A princess discovers a passage to a nightmarish world of deception and blood-sealed enchantment. A woman who has lost everything meets a man of great wealth and ominous secrets. In a town haunted by tragedy, malevolent supernatural entities converge, and the conflict that ensues unleashes chaos.

A Sinister Quartet gathers original long-form wonders and horrors composed in unusual keys, with a short novel by World Fantasy Award winner C. S. E. Cooney and a new novella from two-time World Fantasy Award finalist Mike Allen joined by debut novellas from rising talents Amanda J. McGee and Jessica P. Wick. All four offer immersions into strange, beautiful and frightening milieus.

About the authors

World Fantasy Award-winning writer C. S. E. Cooney is the author of Desdemona and the Deep, and Bone Swans: Stories. She has narrated over a hundred audiobooks—including her own—and has produced three albums as the singer/songwriter Brimstone Rhine. Her poetry collection How to Flirt in Faerieland and Other Wild Rhymes includes “The Sea-King’s Second Bride,” which won the Rhysling Award for best long-form verse in speculative poetry. Her short stories and poems can be found in numerous anthologies and magazines: most recently Jonathan Strahan’s Book of Dragons, and Ellen Datlow’s Mad Hatters and March Hares: All New Stories from the World of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Learn more online at csecooney.com.

Jessica P. Wick is a writer and freelance editor living in Rhode Island. She enjoys rambling through graveyards and writing by candlelight. She will take her shoes off to walk through some truly freezing surf. You can follow her at instagram: foamlyre, twitter: lunelyre, or jessicapwick.com.

Amanda J. McGee is a mapmaker by day and a writer by night. She has degrees from Hollins University and Virginia Tech, where she studied languages, politics, and infrastructure. She is the author of the epic fantasy series The Creation Saga, one half of the podcast Pop Fizz!, and blogs weekly on books, movies, anime, and writing advice. When not writing, she can be found in the garden. She lives in Southwest Virginia with the love of her life, two fluffy cats, and a plethora of plants. You can find out more on her website at amandajmcgee.com.

Nebula, Shirley Jackson and two-time World Fantasy award finalist Mike Allen wears many hats. His short stories have been gathered in three collections: Unseaming, The Spider Tapestries and the forthcoming Aftermath of an Industrial Accident. He’s won the Rhysling Award for poetry three times, and his most recent collection of verse, Hungry Constellations, was a Suzette Haden Elgin Award nominee. For more than a decade he’s worked as the arts and culture columnist for the daily newspaper in Roanoke, Va., where he and his wife Anita live with a cat so full of trouble she’s named Pandora. You can follow Mike’s exploits as a writer at descentintolight.com, as an editor at mythicdelirium.com, and all at once on Twitter at @mythicdelirium.

Announcing AFTERMATH OF AN INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT + Publishers Weekly starred review

/ May 5th, 2020 / No Comments »

It’s been six years since my last (and first) collection of horror stories, Unseaming, appeared in the world and fared shockingly well on multiple fronts.

My second collection of horror tales (and third story collection overall), Aftermath of an Industrial Accident, will debut July 7; and, since I’ve been too swamped to make any kind of formal announcement, most folks are finding out the book exists via the starred review posted Saturday on Publishers Weekly, a development I am incredibly pumped about. I don’t think I could have dreamed of a kinder review (or at least what passes as kind when discussing horror):

Cover art by Danielle Tunstall

Allen (Unseaming) overflows the tank with nightmare fuel in this collection of 23 stories and poems that showcase his ability to find the monstrous in almost any setting. Bracketed by two poems (“Six Waking Nightmares Poe Gave Me in Third Grade” and “The Night Watchman Dreams His Rounds at the REM Sleep Factory”) exploring Allen’s drive to write horror tales, the collection dances through hauntings, carnage, body horror, and psychological chills. … Readers will be impressed by the variety, intensity, and skilled craftsmanship Allen brings to this collection. These horror shorts are sure to linger in the dark corners of readers’ minds.

It’s a nice break after having a number of promotional plans go awry. I had originally hoped to offer previews of A Sinister Quartet at Outer Dark 2020 and a full-fledged party at Readercon in July that would have encompassed both Sinister and Aftermath. Instead the events are postponed, arranging reviews is proving challenging, and promoting new books is going to require a lot of creativity and trying of new things. (Luckily with Sinister my co-authors, Amanda J. McGee, C. S. E. Cooney and Jessica P. Wick, also make for a formidable marketing team.)

The Aftermath review has been “featured” all this on the Publishers Weekly landing page for reviews, a development that I can’t believe will ever happen again but which I’m sure not going to complain about.

(At risk of coming off like I am gloating — but let’s face it, I am — I note with glee that Unseaming also got a Publishers Weekly starred review when it came out. So this is promising! Another resonance with Unseaming is that Aftermath has the same cover artist, Danielle Tunstall, and the same cover model, Alexandra Johnson, and I’m delighted to welcome them back!)

Aftermath is available for pre-order just about everywhere, it has an introduction penned by Punktown creator Jeffrey Thomas (who is responsible for the existence of the title story) and it’s also received some humblingly wonderful blurbs from the likes of Nathan Ballingrud, Craig Laurance Gidney, Christina Sng, A. C. Wise and R. S. Belcher. Gonna share a bit of all of that below:

“From heartbreaking character studies to exercises in Grand Guignol excess, from scalpel-sharp poetry to sledgehammers of blood-soaked prose, Mike Allen displays not only his own considerable range, but the range of the horror genre as well. Aftermath of an Industrial Accident will surprise and delight you at every turn.”
—Nathan Ballingrud, Shirley Jackson Award-winning author of Wounds

Aftermath of an Industrial Accident puts the weird in Weird Fiction. The stories range from clever twists on the Lovecraft mythos, to the downright madcap (spider demons nesting in suburban souls!). Allen weds the brute visceral punch of early Clive Barker with the demented whimsy of darker Neil Gaiman.”
—Craig Laurance Gidney, Lambda Award-nominated author of A Spectral Hue

“From a university library’s forbidden collection, to a manse occupied by cursed souls, to seemingly ordinary suburban homes haunted by memories and otherworldly beings, Aftermath takes readers on a journey, and Allen deftly imbues each world visited with its own own special kind of dread.”
—A .C. Wise, Nebula Award-nominated author of Catfish Lullaby

“From World Fantasy Award-nominated author and editor Mike Allen comes a mesmerizingly beautiful, classic horror collection of short stories and poems. Each tale in Aftermath of an Industrial Accident packs a punch that will keep you willingly pinned to the wall. A master of the hook and a perfect ending, Allen’s fast-paced, fluid prose engages you from the very beginning and does not let you go until it is done with its story; and the stories will keep resonating in your mind like a wonderful, terrible memory that haunts and thrills you.”
—Christina Sng, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of A Collection of Nightmares

“In this collection, Allen demonstrates again and again his masterful ability to infuse cosmic, existential terror into the most intimate, and mundane aspects of our lives, while never failing to point out the self-made horror already there: from his introductory piece that credits Poe as a conjurer of inescapable, psychic horror and a muse-sinister for Allen, to the title story that force-marches the reader through rising terror, like a tea kettle screaming, for which there is no escape, no sanctuary, even within your own mind..”
—R. S. Belcher, Locus Award-nominated author of The Brotherhood of the Wheel

where to pre-order

 

Paperback: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA
Amazon DE | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

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

Cross-posted from Mythic Delirium Books

More honors for SNOW WHITE LEARNS WITCHCRAFT by Theodora Goss [Mythic Delirium Books]

/ May 5th, 2020 / No Comments »

It’s not been easy, being a journalist working from home during the COVID-19 crisis; and now I’m journalist placed on unpaid furlough for a week because of the dent that same crisis has made in advertising purchases. However! One positive development is that it gives me some time to update items on my blogs that sorely need updating. Certainly nowadays folks get their very first news about creative developments from the social media accounts of the personages involved; however, such posts are ephemeral, and there’s still plenty of value in giving items of news a more permanent home.

First up, the collection of poetry and fiction by Theodora Goss that we released in February 2019, Snow White Learns Witchcraft, has made some more waves (or should that be flurries?) since the start of 2020.

First, Snow White Learns Witchcraft made the 2019 Locus Magazine Recommended Reading List in the best collection category, and one of the two stories original to the collection, “A Country Called Winter,” appeared on the list in the best novelette category. (Dora actually made three appearances on the list, with the final volume in her The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club trilogy, The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl, appearing in the Best Fantasy Novel category.)

Then, the other story original to Snow White, “Conversations with the Sea Witch,” got selected by editor Paula Guran for the forthcoming edition of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 2019. Congratulations, Dora!

Mythic Delirium Books has other news related to Theodora Goss, which you could figure out easily enough by exploring the MDB site, heh, but I am going to save the formal announcement for a separate post that I hopefully will get to before the week is out.

One last little bit of intrusive explanation: because the threads of my publishing and writing careers are going to be especially intertwined this year, I am going to start cross posting Mythic Delirium Books blog entries on my writer homepage, Descent Into Light, and vice versa. (I used to do this all the time, but have compartmentalized things a bit more in recent years. For now, though, the streams are crossing and the wall is coming down.)

Cross-posted from Mythic Delirium Books

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