New short story “The Ivy-Smothered Palisade” appears at Beneath Ceaseless Skies

/ April 19th, 2012 / No Comments »

My dark fantasy short story “The Ivy-Smothered Palisade” just appeared in the newest issue of literary fantasy adventure zine Beneath Ceaseless Skies. It was inspired by a nightmare I had while attending the World Fantasy Convention in Columbus, OH in 2010 — though the scene that sparked the idea is not actually in the story. You’ll have to guess what it was.

I’m grateful to Scott Andrews for giving this piece such a prestigious home. The cover art by Zsofia Tuska, while not commissioned to illustrate my story, still matches it to eerie perfection, heh.

I hope to revisit this world in the not-too-distant future. returns? Stay away. (With illustration.)

/ April 11th, 2012 / 4 Comments »

I have been through many a cringe-inducing conversation in my life wherein someone identifies themselves to me as a fellow published poet, and then reveals that they were published by the National Library of Poetry, one of the most infamous scams in recent publishing history. It appears a company is using the old NLoP website,, to attempt to stage a comeback. Writer Beware has more details.

I feel the need to once again exhibit one of my prize possessions. I once sent in an obvious joke poem to this company just to prove that everyone became a “semi-finalist,” regardless of what they submitted, and were then asked to pay a steep price for the privilege of seeing their work in print. Here, once again, is the scan of the envelope I received after I submitted, with the poem all prettily typeset in the display window:


At one time, this poem was actually available on (even though I never responded to their offer) before someone apparently noticed my postings about it and removed it.

“Twa Sisters” (new short story) appears in Not One of Us

/ April 9th, 2012 / 5 Comments »

A sample from Alessandro Bavari 's "Sodom and Gomorrah"I’m very pleased to be able to announce the publication of my new short story “Twa Sisters.” It’s a highly experimental science fictional lark that came together from several different point of origin.

The most important threads in the weave come from two places. First, Patty Templeton pointed me at the collages of Italian artist Alessandro Bavari. Second, Nicole Kornher-Stace challenged me to try to write a story they way I write poems. She meant using the same language I use in poetry, but what actually happened was I wound up using the same visual trickery I sometimes experiment with in poems, such as parallel columns of text. I’ve written many poems inspired by artwork, and so I turned to Bavari’s work to draw inspiration for the story’s setting. The result piles strangeness on strangeness; it was a pleasant shock to have “Twa Sisters” find a home as quickly as it did, as it pushes limits in all directions as far as I’ve ever pushed them.

What follows is Not One of Us editor John Benson’s complete statement about the new issue, which looks pretty scrumptious overall.

Announcing Not One of Us 47

In this, our latest issue, things are not as they seem. We have walls with voices and zoos with mirrors, living dead and sex with ghosts, breasts with blue hair and beasts not quite unicorns, the dead as comfort in despair and angels as messengers of doom, health for the waiting and a secretly shared cortex.


The Glass Presence, by Daniel Kaysen
Classroom Wall, with Voice (poem), by Lucas Strough
The Living Dead (poem), by Amanda C. Davis
When the Blue Hairs Grow, by Patricia Russo
Reiselied (poem), by Sonya Taaffe
Here at the End of All Things, by Francesca Forrest
Twa Sisters, by Mike Allen
The Hero’s Journey (poem), by Sonya Taaffe
Universal Engines (for Christopher Morcom) (poem), by Jeannelle Ferreira
Dr. Crow (poem), by Jeff Jeppesen
The Waiting, by A.A. Garrison
Black Molly (poem), by Marigny Michel
Art: John Stanton

Not One of Us #47 will be available from Chris Drumm Books, or you can order a copy or subscription right now directly from me .

We’ll be mailing the contributors’ and subscribers’ copies this week.

“Kandinsky’s Galaxy” appears at Strange Horizons

/ April 9th, 2012 / 1 Comment »

Kandinsky's last large painting, "Reciprocal Accord." One of the pieces I reference obliquely in "Kandinsky's Galaxy."Kandinsky’s Galaxy,” the latest and for now last of the poems in my Disturbing Muses series, has just appeared in the new issue of Strange Horizons. You can read it here.

I owe Strange Horizons Poetry Editor Sonya Taaffe for the existence of both this one and its recent predecessor “Carrington’s Ferry” — both for buying the poems, and for inspiring me to write them to begin with; in the case of Carrington’s, by direct request, and in the case of Kandinsky’s, through sheer enthusiasm. Sonya has long been a champion of this sequence … since even before the original Disturbing Muses collection came out in ’05. (Heck, she had a big hand in that existing, too.) Thank you, milady!

“Kandinsky’s Galaxy” is directly inspired by a 2009 visit to the Guggenheim in Manhattan, wherein I walked up the spiral through the truly jaw-dropping exhibition of the Russian master’s paintings from the beginning to the end of his life. It took me a long time, though (plus some encouragement from Sonya) to express what that experience planted in my head in a manner I was satisfied with.

verse and voice: new things I have out

/ April 3rd, 2012 / No Comments »

As I continue to work on my Secret Second Novel, a number of cool things sort of accumulated all at once. I shall enumerate them here.

I have a new poem, “Surcease,” out in Issue 3 of the recently-revived Inkscrawl, edited by Samantha Henderson, published by Rose Lemberg. Inkscrawl specializes in poems of 10 lines or less. Lots of other good work in this one too, by Mari Ness, Alexa Seidel, Howard Hendrix, Kristine Ong Muslim, Ann K. Schwader and more.

My newest “Tour of the Abattoir” column has appeared in the latest Tales to Terrify podcast. This month, my friend Shalon Hurlbert and I dissect an obscure almost-gem, the bizarre J-horror flick Marebito, from Ju-On: The Grudge creator Takashi Shimizu.

Over at StarShipSofa, the sister podcast of TtT, Diane Severson’s latest edition of Poetry Planet features a Rhysling Award-nominated poem, “TimeFlood,” that I co-wrote with Ian Watson. Gardner Dozois bought it for Asimov’s not long before he retired from that editing post. The poem’s part of an ensemble focused on time travel.

Back to Rose Lemberg again, my tiny contribution to Issue 7 of her webzine Stone Telling, called the “Queer Issue” and dedicated to LGBT themes, involves playing the role of “Abe” in the audio recording of Lisa Bradley’s epic meta-horror poem “we come together we fall apart.” It’s a powerful issue overall, I’m flattered to have a bit part in it.

Not to be found online: I’ve just received my copy of the Danish sf fanzine Fandom Forever — it’s a seriously old-school DIY zine — which contains my poem “A Prayer,” as well as four reprinted poems: “Strange Cargo,” “Tithonus on the Shore of Ocean,” “Charon Finds a Woman on the Gridshore” and “retrovirus.” The issue also holds work by Tobias S. Buckell, Peter Payack, Bruce Boston and  Lavie Tidhar.

Extra bonus: There’s been a special illustrated poster made of Neil Gaiman’s poem “Conjunctions,” which I first published in Mythic Delirium issue 20 — and Neil autographed a copy for me and had it sent to me. And I got it today and am now basking in the glow. (The art you see along the left is an image of the poster.)

Mythic Delirium 26 cover art; Clockwork Phoenix 2 available at Weightless Books

/ March 22nd, 2012 / No Comments »

I’m pleased to be able to show off the cover artwork for Mythic Delirium 26. Not long now at all until it’s introduced into the postal system bloodstream. If you want to subscribe or need to renew, now is a good time, click here to do so. And let’s not forget that you can also purchase electronic subscriptions at Weightless Books.

Art by Tim Mullins

Clockwork Phoenix 2: Tales in EPUB and MOBI

Speaking of Weightless Books, you can now purchase there the e-book edition of Clockwork Phoenix 2: More Tales of Beauty and Strangeness, should you not want to do so on Amazon (USA) (UK).

I’ve been asked about making the Clockwork Phoenix anthologies available on Smashwords or for Nook. As best as I can tell, that would require me to format the books much more simply than the versions I’ve currently created, which are meant to simulate the experience of reading the print books as closely as possible (with those last remaining pesky typos fixed and as well as some extra e-enhancements) and apparently, at least when viewed on Kindle or iPhone, my efforts have paid off. However, to make the books work for these other formats I’d have to strip a lot of my formatting out and essentially create a new version. I still may do that, but it probably won’t be until after the Kindle/Weightless version of Clockwork Phoenix 3 is alive and walking. I don’t know quite yet when that will be, but do stay tuned.

Clockwork Phoenix 2 reborn as e-book

/ March 13th, 2012 / No Comments »

Three months later than I originally planned, I’ve finished converting Clockwork Phoenix 2: More Tales of Beauty and Strangeness to e-book format. It’s available now on Amazon for Kindle and will soon be available in EPUB and MOBI format at Weightless Books.

Between reacquainting myself with the Clockwork Phoenix books and some of the reprint sales I’ve made it seems like I’ve spent much of the past four months walking down memory lane. This stretch is particularly gilded: it’s a bit mind-boggling to me how well this book and these stories wound up doing. To enumerate:

  • • Overall, first starred review in Publishers Weekly for a Norilana Book (and for anything I’ve put together.)
  • • “Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela” by Saladin Ahmed was a 2009 Nebula Award finalist, picked for reprinting in Nebula Awards Showcase 2011 and Hartwell and Cramer’s Year’s Best Fantasy 10.
  • • “each thing i show you is a piece of my death” by Gemma Files and Stephen J. Barringer was a finalist for the 2010 Shirley Jackson Awards and the 2010 WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction and was reprinted in Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year 2.
  • • Ann Leckie’s “The Endangered Camp” was reprinted in Horton’s Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2010.
    Claude Lalumière’s “Three Friends” was also selected by Hartwell and Cramer for Year’s Best Fantasy 10.
  • • Tanithe Lee’s “The Pain of Glass” and Gemma and Stephen’s novelette made the 2009 Locus Magazine Recommended Reading List.
  • • Gardner Dozois, in his Year’s Best Science Fiction 27, gave honorable mentions to Kelly Barnhill’s “Open the Door and the Light Poors Through,” Leah Bobet’s “Six,” Marie Brennan’s “Once a Goddess,” Mary Robinette Kowal’s “At the Edge of Dying,” Barbara Krasnoff’s “Rosemary, That’s For Remembrance,” Ann’s story, and Claude’s, Tanith’s, and Gemma and Stephen’s novelettes. That’s well over half the book!
  • • Datlow, in her extended Honorable Mentions list for that year, gave nods to Ian McHugh’s “Angel Dust” and Barbara’s short story.

If there’s anything else (whew!) I don’t remember it right now….

This review of the anthology by Amal El-Mohtar remains my personal favorite. I’m glad to book this “choir of the uncanny” for performances in a new venue.

P.S.: It occurs to me that I should link to the first volume too!

Mythic Delirium 26 preview, part three

/ March 1st, 2012 / No Comments »

Here’s Paula Friedlander‘s illustration for G.O. Clark‘s “Lost in the Static.”

For even more of Paula’s work, here she is at, Cafe Press, and Etsy.

This ends the preview for this week. You can see the issue’s complete table of contents here. If you don’t want to miss it, subscribe to the paper version here at or the electronic version here at Weightless Books.

And by the way, Mythic Delirium reopens to submissions today. I’m now reading for Issue 27.

Illustration © 2012 by Paula Friedlander. All rights reserved.

Mythic Delirium 26 preview, part 2

/ February 29th, 2012 / No Comments »

Here’s Daniel Trout’s illustration for “The Forest King” by Alexandra Seidel. (Intriguingly, this is a case of art begetting art begetting art; Alexa’s poem was in turn inspired by this painting by Anita, also included in the issue in a b&w version.)

Don’t want to miss the issue? Subscribe to the paper version here at or the electronic version here at Weightless Books.

Illustration © copyright 2012 by Daniel Trout. All rights reserved.

Mythic Delirium 26 preview, part one

/ February 28th, 2012 / No Comments »

Here’s Paula Friedlander‘s illustration for “Tryptich: an Offering of Fruit” by Dan Campbell.

Full table of contents viewable here. If you don’t have a subscription and want one, or you need to renew, click here.

Illustration © 2012 by Paula Friedlander. All rights reserved.

Illustration © 2012 by Paula Friedlander. All rights reserved.

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