A nice surprise at the end of an arduous if triumphant May: my Shirley Jackson Award-nominated horror story collection Unseaming earned some kind words in the latest issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction from reviewer Paul di Filippo:
“Representing sixteen years of prose output from a fellow better known for his poetry and editing skills, these stories nonetheless show a writer with a natural facility for offbeat, gruesome conceits and expert delivery. Take a story like ‘The Blessed Days,’ which shows a future Earth where everyone exhibits copious bloody stigmata while they sleep. Such a notion is hard to reify plausibly, much less explain, but Allen does both. Then there’s ‘The Music of Bremen Farm,’ which takes a familiar folk tale and puts a creepy modern spin on it. Finally, ‘The Quiltmaker’ picks up where Allen’s Nebula-nominated ‘The Button Bin’ left off, giving us familial horrors encapsulated in unforgettable visuals.”
My thanks to Simon Strantzas for tipping me off. Paul also had kind words for his new collection Burnt Black Suns, also a Shirley Jackson finalist, also featuring an introduction by Laird Barron!
No rest for the wicked here. Anita and I are gearing up for Readercon, where we’ll be celebrating my Shirley Jackson nomination (and finding out who actually wins), and launching Bone Swans by C.S.E. Cooney, the first single-author story collection from Mythic Delirium. Plus, the Clockwork Phoenix 5 Kickstarter made it goal (Yes! Whew!) and the book is now open to submissions.