New Tales to Terrify, new “Tour of the Abattoir” column

/ February 27th, 2012 / No Comments »

The latest of Larry Santoro’s Tales to Terrify podcasts includes my second “Tour of the Abattoir” column, in which I join the voices calling for a change in the World Fantasy Award statuette and give John Langan’s debut collection Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy Encounters the abattoir treatment. Also included, fiction by P.D. Cacek and John Everson.

A new podcast and a new short story sale

/ February 12th, 2012 / No Comments »

My apocalyptic short story “Let There Be Darkness” has just appeared at Pseudopod, read with prophetic conviction by Christiana Ellis. (Click here to hear how the world will really end.) “Let There Be Darkness” will be included in my horror collection coming out later this year from Apex Books, The Button Bin and Other Horrors.

And, the same day the “Let There Be Darkness” podcast appeared, literary adventure fantasy webzine Beneath Ceaseless Skies bought a short story from me, a dark tale (imagine!) called “The Ivy-Smothered Palisade.” A slew of awesome people helped me polish this tale before I submitted it anywhere, and it sold the first place it went to. My sincere thanks to all of them: Sally Brackett Robertson, Sonya Taaffe, Nicole Kornher-Stace, Erik Amundsen, Alexandra Seidel, Jennifer Crow, Rick Herndon, Elizabeth Campbell and Virginia Mohlere. And of course, Anita Allen!

“Twa Sisters” sells to Not One of Us

/ February 7th, 2012 / No Comments »

I’m pleased to announce that my highly experimental sf short story “Twa Sisters” has sold to John Benson at Not One of Us, scheduled for his April issue.

The story was inspired by this set of artwork shown to me by buddy Patty Templeton. I consider it the “spiritual sequel” to my novelette “Stolen Souls” that just got reprinted in Fantastique Unfettered. But while “Stolen Souls” was an example of how far my imagination could push its limit in the 1990s, “Twa Sisters” is about how far I can push it now. In other words, considerably farther out.

The story contains zany visual formatting (not dissimilar in places from what Kendall Evans, David C. Kopaska-Merkel and I did in our poem “Rattlebox III.”) I’m grateful John’s willing to tackle it, multiple text columns and all.

An award nomination and a nice review

/ January 30th, 2012 / No Comments »

Some nice recognitions for my poetry over the past few days.

First, the poem that I co-wrote with Sonya Taaffe and Nicole Kornher-Stace, “The King of Cats, the Queen of Wolves,” selected by Catherynne M. Valente for publication in Apex Magazine last year, has been nominated for a Rhysling Award. I can’t help but be pleased, as of all the new things I had published in 2011 this piece is hands-down my favorite.

Second, the Fantasy Literature blog has posted a review of Phantasmagorium issue 2, and bless Terry Weyna for once again taking the time to also review the poetry, a duty most reviewers shirk. She writes this about my poem “Budding”:

…about parents troubled by the apparent artistic talent of their baby, who seems to be painting like Francis Bacon while still in her crib. Those parents are proud as can be, but worried – maybe even scared. It’s a successful horror poem with some nice imagery (“sketched houses with screams for doors,” for instance).

“Carrington’s Ferry” appears at Strange Horizons

/ January 24th, 2012 / No Comments »

My new poem “Carrington’s Ferry” has just appeared in Strange Horizons, a piece inspired by the life and works of Leonora Carrington. It’s the first installment in my “Disturbing Muses” cycle of poems since “Mondrian’s War” in 2008 (which, interestingly enough, also appeared in Strange Horizons.)

I’ve just recorded my first column for “Tales to Terrify”

/ January 22nd, 2012 / No Comments »

Tales to Terrify is the new sister podcast to StarShipSofa, focused exclusively on horror.

Madman Tony C. Smith invited me to contribute a monthly column to Tales to Terrify. I just finished recording the first installment. I’m calling it “Tour of the Abattoir.” Said abattoir being my brain, as many of the characters from my stories could attest.

I hope folks enjoy it. I’m also grateful that Tony is a patient madman because (ulp!) it’s two weeks late…

First publication of the new year

/ January 19th, 2012 / No Comments »

My poem “Budding” is now available in Issue 2 of Phantasmagorium, edited by new master of horror Laird Barron. I understand there will be a print edition to come, but as of now the new issue of the zine is available in PDF, .epub and .mobi format. Click here to learn more.

“The Duelists” sells to Star*Line

/ January 14th, 2012 / No Comments »

I’m still pretty giddy from the news that I’ve sold my first short story collection, but I had another sale earlier this week. New Star*Line editor F.J. Bergmann has accepted my poem “The Duelists” for her fall issue. Woo-hoo!

Apex Books to publish my first story collection: The Button Bin and Other Horrors

/ January 11th, 2012 / 4 Comments »

You might recall this post I made last month about creating an e-book collection of my horror tales?

Well, scratch that plan. Much to my delight, and with immense gratitude to Jason Sizemore: Apex Publications is going to do it. And it will be available in trade paperback too. Official press release here at the Apex blog.

The tentative table of contents (nothing set in stone yet, of course) looks like this (Anita helped me figure it out.)

  • The Button Bin
  • The Blessed Days
  • Humpty
  • Her Acres of Pastoral Playground
  • An Invitation via E-mail
  • The Hiker’s Tale
  • The Music of Bremen Farm
  • Stone Flowers
  • Let There Be Darkness
  • The Quiltmaker

That’s a lot of concentrated evil in one book.

I should note, the Papaveria Press special hand-bound hardcover edition of “The Quiltmaker” (the novella-length sequel to “The Button Bin”) is still a go. (And still seeking fabric.)

Teaching at the Roanoke Regional Writer’s Conference

/ January 9th, 2012 / No Comments »

Here’s a curious turn for you: I’m once again being asked to teach in a reputable setting.

Saturday, January 28 at 9 a.m. on the Hollins University campus, I’ll give a presentation called “The Last Redoubt: Writing Short Stories for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Markets” as part of the weekend-long Roanoke Regional Writers Conference (click here for details). My presentation is followed at 10 a.m. in the same room by fellow Roanoke writer Rod Belcher’s “Selling the Sense of Wonder: Writing, Marketing and Surviving Science Fiction/Fantasy and Horror.” (Rod has a novel on its way from Tor.) I chose the title “The Last Redoubt” based on the idea that speculative fiction is the last commercial genre where the short story scene remains important.

Now, to figure out what I’m actually going to say….

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