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

Acclaimed NOWHEREVILLE anthology (featuring my tale “Nolens Volens”) available on Netgalley

/ March 8th, 2020 / No Comments »

I’m quite honored to be part of the ensemble gathered in Nowhereville, the latest anthology of dark fiction from Broken Eye Books (and not just because appearing in the book got me name-checked in USA Today, though that was still really cool!)

Editors Scott Gable and C. Dombroksi put together an amazing lineup of authors (more on that below); I’m super-flattered to have been included. An additional delight for me is that the story I contributed, “Nolens Volens,” connects directly to my story “Gutter” that appeared in Unseaming, and to more tales soon to appear.

Nowhereville has no shortage of impressive industry reviews (more on that below too), but the more the merrier. To that end, Scott has made the book available on NetGalley. Naturally, I hope that if you’re someone who reviews through that service you’ll request the book and find out what the fuss is about. (You can click on the graphic below to head straight there.)

Here’s the complete lineup:

  • “Introduction: Toward a Weirder Tomorrow” by Scott Gable
  • “Walk Softly, Softly” by Nuzo Onoh
  • “Y” by Maura McHugh
  • “Night Doctors” by P. Djèlí Clark
  • “The Chemical Bride” by Evan J. Peterson
  • “Patio Wing Monsters” by S. P. Miskowski
  • “Underglaze” by Craig Laurance Gidney
  • “The Vestige” by Lynda E. Rucker
  • “The Cure” by Tariro Ndoro
  • “Kleinsche Fläche of Four-Dimensional Redolence” by D. A. Xiaolin Spires
  • “Nolens Volens” by Mike Allen
  • “Vertices” by Jeffrey Thomas
  • “Like Fleas on a Tired Dog’s Back” by Erica L. Satifka
  • “Urb Civ” by Kathe Koja
  • “Over/Under” by Leah Bobet
  • “A Name for Every Home” by Ramsey Campbell
  • “Tends to Zero” by Wole Talabi
  • “My Lying-Down Smiley Face” by Stephen Graham Jones
  • “Luriberg-That-Was” by R. B. Lemberg
  • “The Sister City” by Cody Goodfellow

Here’s what the trade publications say about it:

“The 19 unsettling, universally strong stories in this international anthology are connected by their urban settings and ‘weird’ ethos, which editor Scott Gable defines as the ‘maybe state’ between ‘the impossible of fantasy and the inevitable of science fiction.’ . . . Taken together, these stories create an uncanny, unpredictable hall of mirrors. These wonderfully strange takes on modern living are sure to resonate with fans of speculative fiction.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A short story collection provides mixed-genre, speculative fiction, with the tales bound together by mutual love, fear, and fascination with the concept and mystique of the city . . . They complement one another in a way that’s rare even for collections by single authors, much less an anthology delivering 19 disparate voices. Indeed, the effect of this collection is not so much that of a set of loosely comparable episodes but of a kaleidoscope: variegated and multifaceted yet all of a piece. Remarkably powerful urban tales, each one brilliantly in harmony with the others.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Readers will be enchanted by this collection and eagerly anticipate what the next entry will bring. The stories here are disconcerting, ambiguous, and sometimes confusing—but always intriguing and genre-bending, digging into the ways we connect to those around us.” — Booklist

#SFWApro

My 2019 Award Eligibility Post

/ November 25th, 2019 / No Comments »

After a couple of years of what has felt to me like relative dormancy, I actually have a reasonably extensive list of shiny new stories and poems to highlight for the consideration of those who concern themselves with nominating and voting for awards, genre-related and otherwise.

I’ve already written an eligibility post about books and stories put out through my publishing imprint, Mythic Delirium Books: that post is here.

I’d like to put special emphasis on my new fantasy story “The Butcher, the Baker” that appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies in October, not just because you can read it with a click, but because I feel like it’s a particularly strong piece and the reactions to it appear to support my hunch.

I’ve had three new stories come out in 2019.

  • The Butcher, the Baker” in Beneath Ceaseless Skies #289, edited by Scott H. Andrews, also available as an audio podcast read by Michael J. DeLuca.
  • “Nolens Volens,” first published in April in Eyedolon magazine, scheduled to reappear in December in the anthology Nowhereville: Weird Is Other People, edited by Scott Gable and C. Dombrowski. Both magazine and anthology are published by Broken Eye Books.
  • “With Shining Gifts That Took All Eyes,” published in Pluto in Furs: Tales of Diseased Desires and Seductive Horrors, edited by Scott Dwyer of Plutonian Press. (I have good luck with Scotts!)
  • In addition, the following poems of mine appeared this year, including three collaborations with S. Brackett Roberston. By the standards of the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s Rhysling Award, all would be considered short poems.

  • The Sacrifices,” Sycorax Journal #2, February
  • Seed Our Marrow With Glass” (co-written with S. Brackett Robertson), Sycorax Journal #4, October
  • “shore skin” (co-written with S. Brackett Robertson), Not One of Us #62, September
  • “Supernumerary” (co-written with S. Brackett Robertson), Spectral Realms #10, Winter
  • Vacant,” Sycorax Journal #2, February
  • Anybody curious to learn more about any of these works is welcome to contact me.

     

    A double horror special

    / November 19th, 2019 / No Comments »

    Over at my low key Patreon page, I have begun serializing the latest draft of my new horror novella of more than 30,000 words, “The Comforter,” the third installment in the series that began with my Nebula Award-nominated story “The Button Bin” and continued in a 20,000 word sequel, “The Quiltmaker.” My Patreon only has one pledge level, $1 a month, so if you’ve read those stories and you’re wondering how that storyline could possibly go further (in multiple meanings of that phrase) I hope you will check it out.

    I just uploaded the second installmentthe first one went up on Halloween.

    At the same time, and not entirely coincidentally, I’m running a 99 cent e-book special on my multiple award-nominated horror collection Unseaming, which contains “The Button Bin” and “The Quiltmaker” and several other stories. If you don’t have it already, here’s links to where you can snatch it up!

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


     

    Artwork by Jason Wren (left) and Danielle Tunstall

    When it rains … (new stories, new podcasts, new poem, & more)

    / November 4th, 2019 / No Comments »

    Rain has been a theme here in Roanoke this Halloween season.

    As sometimes happens to everyone in this business, a number of things going on behind the scenes have kind of built into thunderheads at once, resulting in something of a downpour of publication news after months of drought.

    The loudest thunderclap: I’m delighted to return to the electronic pages of Beneath Ceaseless Skies (whose editor and publisher, Scott H. Andrews, just won the World Fantasy Award!) with my dark fantasy tale “The Butcher, the Baker.” I’ve described it as “The Gingerbread Man” meets “Macbeth.” I also think it’s one the most-life affirming stories I’d have published, even as complimentary reviews have called it “tragic” and “grisly.”

    From Charles Payseur’s Quick Sip Reviews: “a dark piece, and rather heartbreaking, but worth spending some time with. A fine read!”

    The 1000 Year Plan blog included “The Butcher, the Baker” in a roundup of The Best Short SFF of October 2019: “Trukos is the golem-like protagonist of Allen’s gripping dark fable about the relationship between creator and creation … The setting and backstory are unique, and Trukos’ journey is memorably grisly.”

    Beneath Ceaseless Skies also released “The Butcher, the Baker” in audio format, read by Michael J. DeLuca, the first time I’ve been part of the BCS podcast.

    (For the record, “The Butcher, the Baker” is set in the same darkly magical city of Calcharra that provides the setting for my previous tales published at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, “The Ivy-Smothered Palisade” and “Longsleeves.”)

    And a lightning strike: Tales to Terrify has released an audio adaptation of my Cthulhu Mythos tale “Drift from the Windrows,” that imagines what Lovecraft’s creations might accomplish were they involved with developing GMOs, and also tells an extremely dysfunctional love story.

    (The story originally appeared in 2016 in the Broken Eye Books anthology Tomorrow’s Cthulhu: Stories at the Dawn of Posthumanity.)

    And another lightning strike: my latest poetic collaboration with S. Brackett Robertson, “Seed Our Marrow with Glass,” just appeared in Issue #4 of Sycorax Magazine, edited by Sandi Leibowitz.

    This is my third collaboration with Brackett to appear in print this year, following “Supernumerary” in Spectral Realms #10 and “shore skin” in Not One of Us #62.

    This also my third poem to appear this year in Sycorax, following “The Sacrifices” and “Vacant” from Issue 2.

    Saturated ground: I received my contributor copy of Pluto In Furs: Tales Of Diseased Desires And Seductive Horrors and I just had to show it off. It includes a new horror tale from me, “What Shining Gifts That Took All Eyes.”

    Now that I have the book in hand I can share with you the amazing lineup that editor Scott Dwyer put together, that I’m proud to be a part of.

    An Abysmal Masochism (An Introduction) • Scott Dwyer
    The Tangible Universe • Jeffrey Thomas
    With Shining Gifts That Took All Eyes • Mike Allen
    The Wolf at the Door or The Music of Antonio Soler • Devora Gray
    Dermatology, Eschatology • Kurt Fawver
    Headsman’s Trust: A Murder Ballad • Richard Gavin
    It’s Hard to Be Me • short fiction by John Claude Smith
    The Gutter at the Bottom of the World • David Peak
    Worm Moon • Gemma Files
    Walking in Ash • Brendan Vidito
    The Silvering • Thana Niveau
    Other Yseut and Romance Tristan • Adam Golaski
    Tender is the Tether • Rhys Hughes
    Stygian Chambers • Orrin Grey
    Behemoth • Clint Smith

    Finally, a prediction of future flurries: I’ve not mentioned here before that I sold a new poem, “Urban Renewal,” to S.T. Joshi for Spectral Realms #12, scheduled to appear in January.

    Morgan Scorpion presents “Let There Be Darkness”

    / October 2nd, 2019 / No Comments »

    Vlogger Morgan Scorpion has a YouTube channel in which she narrates new and classic horror tales in her delightfully stentorian voice. The likes of Edgar Allan Poe, Oliver Onions and M. R. James mingle with many of today’s most fascinating writers of horror and the weird: Simon Strantzas, William Meikle, Cody Goodfellow and the late W.H. Pugmire.

    Scorpion (a.k.a. Julia Morgan) asked me earlier this year if I’d be willing to let her record “Let There Be Darkness,” one of my earliest published fictions, and one that’s been reprinted several places, including Pseudopod and The Bible of Hell. (At the moment it’s readily available in my horror collection Unseaming.)

    In August, Scorpion shared the final result, and bowled me over. It’s sinful that I took so long to share it here. (And so perhaps I deserve to have my soul devoured for all eternity in a monstrous cosmos-spanning perpetual motion machine.)

    Delight in the end of the world:

     


    Hear Morgan Scorpion read my short story “Let There Be Darkness

     

    In particular, this comment in response to the video brings a wide, evil smile to my face. If you give this tale a listen, you’ll understand why.

    For what it’s worth, the idea came from a fugue of imagery I experienced in my youth every time I listened to a certain heavy metal song.

     

    NOWHEREVILLE available for pre-order

    / October 1st, 2019 / No Comments »

    Having gone many months without a new short story publication to squee about, we’ve got a bit of rain in the forecast that is threatening to become a downpour.

    The latest Broken Eye Books anthology, Nowhereville: Weird Is Other People, has officially become available for preorder. The book includes my horror tale “Nolens Volens,” a story of court system corruption and gruesome supernatural vengeance.

    For me, there’s an especially cherished bonus to seeing “Nolens Volens” reach print that won’t be immediately evident to readers who encounter this story for the first time. Though “Nolens Volens” stands alone, it’s strongly connected to my story “Gutter” that appeared in Unseaming, and also my story “The Sun Saw,” slated to appear in The Leaves of a Necronomicon, and also my novel-in-progress, These Bloody Filaments, and at least one more unpublished story. It’s also distantly connected to an older story, “One Shoe Left,” which I just made available on my Patreon page in a patrons-only post.

    My thanks to editors Scott Gable and C. Dombrowski for including me!

    In addition to a new work from yours truly, Nowhereville contains tales from an amazing mix of writers: Nuzo Onoh, Maura McHugh, P. Djèlí Clark, Evan J. Peterson, S.P. Miskowski, Craig Laurance Gidney, Lynda E. Rucker, Tariro Ndoro, D.A. Xiaolin Spires, Jeffrey Thomas, Erica L. Satifka, Kathe Koja, Leah Bobet, Ramsey Campbell, Wole Talabi, Stephen Graham Jones, R.B. Lemberg and Cody Goodfellow.

    The release date is Dec. 17.

    Pre-order link here!

    Nowhereville

    Cover art by Meredith McClaren

    By the way, this is not the first Broken Eye Books anthology edited by Gable & Dombrowski that I’ve popped up in. My story “Drift from the Windrows” appeared in Tomorrow’s Cthulhu: Stories at the Dawn of Posthumanity, which you can order here.

    #SFWApro

    A new horror story in PLUTO IN FURS

    / September 30th, 2019 / No Comments »

    Atoning for more crimes in delayed blog posts: back in August, Plutonian Press released Pluto In Furs: Tales Of Diseased Desires And Seductive Horrors at Necronomicon 2019 in Providence. I’m incredibly honored that editor and publisher Scott Dwyer included me in this project.

    My contribution, “With Shining Gifts That Took All Eyes,” began as as a challenge to me from my wife to write something that would scare her. What I came up with did not scare Anita (and no one who knows her will be surprised by that, she’s pretty unflappable) but it turned out to be a tale well in line for what Scott was looking for, so providence provided, so to speak.

    How to summarize the story? It’s about a couple with cracks developing in their marriage, and how those cracks further widen after they collect a strange flower during a trail hike and bring it home.

    Here’s the full list of stories and contributors, which you can see is pretty incredible.

  • “The Tangible Universe” by Jeffrey Thomas
  • “The Wolf at the Door or The Music of Antonio Soler” by Devora Gray
  • “Other Yseut and Romance Tristan” by Adam Golaski
  • “Dermatology, Eschatology” by Kurt Fawver
  • “Headsman’s Trust: A Murder Ballad” by Richard Gavin
  • “It’s Hard to be Me” by John Claude Smith
  • “The Gutter at the Bottom of the World” by David Peak
  • “Tender is the Tether” by Rhys Hughes
  • “With Shining Gifts That Took All Eyes” by Mike Allen
  • “Stygian Chambers” by Orrin Grey
  • “Behemoth” by Clint Smith
  • “Worm Moon” by Gemma Files
  • “The Silvering” by Thana Niveau
  • “Walking in Ash” by Brendan Vidito
  • Cover art by Matthew Revert

    Pluto in Furs is only available in paperback: get it here.

    By the way, this is the second Plutonian Press anthology I’ve appeared in; and only the second they’ve ever published! The first, Phantasm/Chimera: An Anthology of Strange and Troubling Dreams, containing my short story “Binding,” you can find here.

    #SFWApro

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