Fiction uploaded to SFWA Forums

/ November 2nd, 2013 / No Comments »

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





My ghost story The Helping Hand in THE ROANOKE TIMES

/ October 29th, 2013 / No Comments »

Today, for the sake of the Halloween season, The Roanoke Times (my employer!) published my new ghost story “The Helping Hand.” This was an unexpected boon! I’m honored that my colleagues in the Features Department gave me a chance to exercise my fiction-writing chops for the paper, something I’ve only gotten to do once before.* This tale is much more family-friendly than my usual work, but it was still a lot of fun to write.
And talk all you want about the problems newspapers are having: this story was seen by thousands upon thousands more people than would ever see it in any given genre venue, hee. (Alas, too bad I can’t do this every day.)
On my work blog, I offered a little explanation of what I had in mind when I put the story together. Click the photo illustration by my co-worker Stephanie Klein-Davis below to give the tale a read.


*The first time was in 2004, when I wrote a Christmas story with a sci-fi twist called “A Ghost of Christmas Future.” No literal ghosts in that one — it was all metaphor. Trust me. #SFWApro

Scenes from THE BLACK FIRE CONCERTO launch party

/ October 27th, 2013 / No Comments »

The Roanoke launch party for The Black Fire Concerto took place this past Tuesday (Oct. 22) in a cozy space at the Raleigh Court Library. (Technically this is the second launch party for the book; the first one happened in July at ReaderCon.) Since I have a thing about performing in hats, I wore my recently acquired cowboy hat, heh. My friend Anne Sampson brought her dulcimers and provided a live soundtrack as I read. I read for about 40 minutes, then stayed answering questions and chatting until the library closed. Sold a handful of books, too. My thanks to everyone who came out, and to my buddy Shalon Hurlbert for organizing this in the first place.
(My mom showed up, by the way, to hear me read about ghouls, cannibalism and massacres by gunfire. No pressure there!) #SFWApro

Gathering around
Live soundtrack!
Sunlight for a dark story
Fliers left over


My Hungry Consellations poem cycle featured at GOBLIN FRUIT

/ October 19th, 2013 / No Comments »

There’s a new issue of Goblin Fruit out, which is always reason to celebrate.

I have a special reason beyond the norm to celebrate this particular issue. The Goblin Queens have honored me by publishing “Hungry Constellations,” a light-hearted (for me) meditation on the stars, alternate realities, storytelling, theater and the banality of evil (or something like that) that you can read either as one long poem or a 10-poem cycle. The Goblin Queens have made it work both ways by making my poetic thingamabob their 2013 Fall Feature.
There’s also an interview with me and a nice essay about how I’ve bedeviled the Queens from the get-go.

One week until THE BLACK FIRE CONCERTO launch party in Roanoke

/ October 15th, 2013 / No Comments »

The Raleigh Court Branch Library is holding the Roanoke launch party for my first novel, The Black Fire Concerto, the story of a pair of sorceress-musicians who fight necromancers and ghouls in a post-apocalyptic future. My friend Anne Sampson will provide some beautifully eerie music for the occasion. The event, which is free, starts Tuesday, Oct. 22 at 5 p.m. I’ll have copies of my book to sell and sign, of course. Refreshments provided, too, courtesy of the wonderful folks at the library.



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

/ October 14th, 2013 / No Comments »

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:


A new Tour of the Abattoir about Joe Hill’s NOS4A2

/ October 4th, 2013 / No Comments »

My “Tour of the Abattoir” column in the most recent Tales to Terrify podcast discusses the career so far of horror writer Joe Hill, including a lengthy review of his latest novel, NOS4A2. Fiction is by John Dodds. Click here to have a shivery listen. #SFWApro

Just Book Reading reviews THE BLACK FIRE CONCERTO

/ October 3rd, 2013 / No Comments »

black_fire_concerto_front_coverThe reviewer behind the Just Book Reading blog just came out with a review of The Black Fire Concerto. Not all reviews are like surprise presents, but this one is.

I listened to the first part of this book when it was featured on Tales to Terrify. It was wonderfully creepy and I had a picture of this world in my head so when the book arrived I was anxious to get started. The world of Erzelle and Olyssa held true and I found myself rushing through this story full of ghouls, flesh eaters, magically driven harvesters of the dead … The Black Fire Concerto packs a lot into its few pages. I was satisfied by the end but I wanted more. It was just that good …

Earlier, Amy at Just Book Reading reviewed C.S.E. Cooney’s reading of the first part of my novel, “The Red Empress,” at Tales to Terrify.

The narrator, C.S.E. Cooney stuck the perfect tone. Her voice a perfect fit for the story … The first part sets the stage for more to come and I want more of this broken and deranged world.


SF Signal Mindmeld on women writers of horror

/ October 3rd, 2013 / No Comments »

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

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

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