New poem in STAR*LINE; new review in RUE MORGUE

/ November 20th, 2017 / No Comments »

So this was a surprise. I’d thought my poem “The Headless Hero” in the October issue of Dreams & Nightmares was going to be my last published poem for a while. But then a poem I had sent to Star*Line came out in the Fall 2017 issue just a month after I received a letter from the new editor expressing interest, thus proving my pronouncement about “The Headless Hero” greatly exaggerated.

“Draught” is a nightmarish rendition of a game of checkers. I wrote it some time back, I’m not quite sure what inspired it, whether it was a literal nightmare or a random musing.

Speaking of nightmares, Scott Dwyer’s anthology Phantasm/Chimera: An Anthology of Strange and Troubling Dreams received a glowing review in the Nov./Dec. 2017 issue of Rue Morgue, especially fun for me as the cover story celebrates the 30th anniversary of the first Hellraiser film.

My story “Binding” is one of the works highlighted in Dejan Ognjanovic’s review, accurately described as “an urban legend told among students about the sinister campus library.” Also highlighted: tales by Brian Evenson, Clint Smith, Livia Llewellyn, Christopher Slatsky, Matthew M. Bartlett and Jason A. Wyckoff. Ognjanovic writes, “Don’t let this small press [anthology] fall under your radar.”

It’s a pleasure to get a mention again in the pages of Rue Morgue, which published a flattering review of my horror collection Unseaming back in 2015.


New fiction & poetry + adventures in translation: an update

/ October 16th, 2017 / No Comments »

It feels like Anita and I haven’t had much time to take a breath since we got back from from Finland and Iceland in August. In my editorial for the newest issue of Mythic Delirium, I wrote a bit about how that trip went, and I’m still a bit too strapped for time to elaborate further, so I may just never get to. But some cool things have happened since we came back — so here, succinctly, are some writing career-related things that have gone down since our WorldCon adventure.
Translation into Chinese

My Nebula Award-nominated horror tale “The Button Bin” has been translated into another language for the first time ever — and it’s quite an auspicious foreign debut, as the story appears this month in Science Fiction World, China’s largest-circulation sf/fantasy magazine. That cover art is off the chain.
Two new horror stories

Phantasm/Chimera: An Anthology of Troubling Dreams, edited by Scott Dwyer, includes my horrotica tale-within-a-tale “Binding,” described in a Ginger Nuts of Horror review as “no-frills ghoulish fun.” You can get the anthology here.

The newest issue of John Benson’s Not One of Us features a surreal, stream-of-consciousness horror venture from me, “Burn the Kool Kidz at the Stake.” I’m tickled to be back in the pages of this long-running dark fiction zine, which you can subscribe to here.
One new poem

The latest issue of David C. Kopaska-Merkel’s Dreams & Nightmares contains “The Headless Hero,” the first poem I’ve had published in two years (and likely the last poem of mine to appear for a long while). Nonetheless, it’s cool to be back in the old stomping grounds.

“The Headless Hero” was inspired by a strange dream about a alternate-universe television show wherein the main protagonist has no body (thus the title is a playful inversion). The rest of the poem is playful, too: you can check out the zine here and see for yourself.

While I’m at it, I feel a need to note, tongue-in-cheek, that all my new publications this year are seriously old-school; that is, no e-versions exist. It’s like I’m back in the 1990s!
Translation into Ukrainian

“The Button Bin” isn’t the only story of mine slithering its way into another language. What you’re looking at is a Ukrainian translation of my Lovecraftian tale “Her Acres of Pastoral Playground” at the Warkô Movčök blog. Rather than a commercial venture, this was a labor of love done by professional translator Babasik Funkie on his own time.

Babasik tells me he’s working on the companion story, “Silent in Her Nest,” which flatters me hugely, not the least because I don’t think many people even know that “Her Acres” has a companion story! That’s some impressive “deep cut” knowledge of my oeuvre.

I’ll share that translation when it appears, too.
Works in progress

Earlier this year, I mentioned that I finished an intensive rewrite of Trail of Shadows, a novel that’s an expansion of my short story “The Hiker’s Tale.” The novel remains on the desk of the personage I pitched it to, so cross your fingers.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on a novella with the working title of “The Comforter,” the next story in the sequence begun with “The Button Bin” and “The Quiltmaker.” I wrote most of this one longhand — in fact, one of my fondest memories from the trip to Helsinki involves simply sitting on a bench atop a hill in the little park next to our hotel, enjoying the warm sun and a gentle breeze as I scribble away with pen on steno pad, concocting new terrors for my characters to endure. I’ve at last completed the first draft, but it’s mostly handwritten, so now comes the part where I transcribe it all into a word processor file.

That’s a lot to pack into a post — but now I’m caught up!


World Fantasy nomination & Tanith Lee panel at WorldCon 75

/ August 5th, 2017 / No Comments »

I put up a long post at the Mythic Delirium Books website about the World Fantasy Award nominations for my anthology Clockwork Phoenix 5 and for Rachael K. Jones’s story in it, “The Fall Shall Further the Flight in Me.” In that entry, I wrote about what the nominations mean from the perspective of an editor and publisher.

Here, I’m just plain ol’ me, squeeing that I actually made the World Fantasy Award ballot. It really is a longtime dream of mine, or at least an idle daydream that started up about the time Clive Barker’s Books of Blood became my favorite read as a teenager.

It’s especially wonderful that this nomination dovetails with the choice of the WorldCon 75 programming staff to place me on a panel commemorating the life and art of Tanith Lee.

Thursday, August 10, 2:00 p.m.
Remembering Tanith Lee, 101d, 14:00 – 15:00
John-Henri Holmberg, Shawna McCarthy, Ian Whates, Mike Allen

Tanith Lee (1947-2015) was one of the most influential English writers of science fiction, fantasy, and horror from the 1970’s onward. Her books grappled with contradictions and intersections, especially with regards to horror and eroticism. Her protagonists were often lonely, lovely, and alienated.

Tanith Lee’s stories were the core of the Clockwork Phoenix anthologies through their first four volumes. I feel the need to refer everybody to yet another Mythic Delirium Books entry: here I wrote in detail about her significance to the Clockwork Phoenix books and how a relationship that started out wholly professional became something more for both myself and Anita.

I confess that with each of the first four volumes I had hoped against hope something like this would happen. It never did, and I am definitely sorry that this did not happen in Tanith’s lifetime, although she certainly had no shortage of honors from the World Fantasy Awards and many other awards institutions without any help from me.

Nonetheless I cannot help but feel that she deserves to be acknowledged in this posthumous nomination. And I intend to say so this coming Thursday when I’m speaking on the panel in Helsinki.

Last year I was included on a similar panel at Readercon, and something became clear to me, that I was working with Tanith in more ways then I realized, as the books produced through my ventures as an editor and publisher have been filled by writers inspired by Tanith. On some level I suppose I knew this, but up until that panel I’d not had it so dramatically underscored, listening to authors I’ve worked with and published on multiple occasions — Theodora Goss, Gemma Files, Sonya Taaffe and Lila Garrott — speak about how deeply Tanith’s work influenced them as young readers.

I also recognized during that panel that while the interactions I had with Tanith while she was alive were very dear to me, my relationship with her and her work was rather narrow in scope. So in preparation for this upcoming panel at WorldCon I reached out to other writers and asked them to share what Tanith Lee meant to them. I’m grateful to Dora Goss and Gemma and Sonya and Nicole Kornher-Stace and Silvia Garcia-Moreno and Craig Laurance Gidney, who did not hesitate to share their own very moving thoughts about Tanith. I will share as much of what they sent me as I can with the audience at the panel, and perhaps find a way to make these tributes even more widely available once we’ve returned to lil ol’ Roanoke.

I’m looking forward to seeing many old friends in this country that’s new to us, and also looking forward to making new ones. Onward we go!


New story sales and stranger things

/ May 16th, 2017 / No Comments »

Art by Serhiy Krykun

Back in September, I threw myself full tilt into a long overdue redraft of my fantasy/horror novel Trail of Shadows, after about a year and a half of occasionally pecking at it while dealing with obligations related to Clockwork Phoenix 5.

This past Sunday, I finished that rewrite. (Or, more accurately, abandoned it.) And now that this monster of a book is off to market, I’m pondering which of two to four possible large scale writing projects will be the next thing I machete my way into.

In the meantime, things have happened, none of which I’ve reported here.

  • “Binding,” a surreal and gruesome little #librarotica story-within-a-story, is scheduled to appear in August in Phastasm/Chimera, an anthology of “strange and troubling dreams” from Scott Dwyer’s imprint The Plutonian. The book has a terrific table of contents that includes Livia Llewellyn, Brian Evenson, Matthew M. Bartlett and more. I understand the goal is a book launch at NecronomiCon in Providence.
  • “Burn the Kool Kidz at the Stake,” an exercise in stream-of-consciousness reality bending that may or may not also be a ghost story, is tentatively scheduled to appear in the October issue of John Benson’s terrific zine Not One of Us.
  • Speaking of excellent, long-running zines, David C. Kopaska-Merkel’s Dreams & Nightmares intends to publish my poem “The Headless Hero” in September. This is the first poem I’ve sold in many a moon and is likely the last one I’ll have published for a long, loooong time, so I’m glad it’s found a good home.
  • On the soundfile front, the talented young Brooklynite whippersnappers behind Kaleidocast are making plans to do a new audio adaptation of my horror story “The Blessed Days,” most recently seen in Unseaming. Apparently this involves capturing my soul inside a chibi drawing.
  • To give a little extra context to that very first item, Trail of Shadows is about 100,000 words set in the same hypothetical world as my short story “The Cruelest Team Will Win.” As with that story, there are spiders. I’m sure that’s a surprise. The novel is an expansion of “The Hiker’s Tale” that appears in Unseaming. Where there are also spiders. If it’s any solace, cats are in there, too.


    My schedule (in fact, the entire schedule) for the Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird

    / March 23rd, 2017 / No Comments »

    Saturday, I’ll be one of a host of intriguing writer guests reading and giving talks at an event near Atlanta called The Outer Dark Symposium of the Greater Weird. It’s an event created by Anya Martin and Scott Nicolay, the masterminds behind the Outer Dark podcast, now dwelling at the This Is Horror website.

    Outer Dark Coffee! Photo by Anya Martin

    There’s only one programming track, so I’ll get to be in the audience for the items I’m not participating in. (I’ve had an immensely busy week at my day job, so I still don’t know what I’ll be reading.) I’m quite excited about meeting a number of these folks, many of whom I only know by reputation or via social media.

    Bonus: it’s my understanding that all the panels will be recorded for future use as podcasts.

    9:30-10 AM

    10-10:15 AM
    INTRODUCTION: Scott Nicolay

    10:15-10:30 AM
    READING: Kristi DeMeester

    10:30-11:15 AM
    Though there have always been great Weird novels such as Die Andere Seite, The House on the Borderland, The Haunting of Hill House, and Our Lady of Darkness, many still see The Weird as a creature of the short form. Does this perception stem from a fixation on the writers associated with Weird Tales magazine? Is this perception a mistake? The current decade has seen a major boom in novel-length Weird including Jeff VanderMeer’s bestselling Southern Reach trilogy, with more to come including novels by some symposium participants. Why now, and what are the challenges and benefits of sustaining the Weird across a longer narrative?
    Moderator: Scott Nicolay
    Panelists: Kristi DeMeester, John Foster, Nicole Givens Kurtz, Michael Wehunt

    11:25-11:40 AM
    READING: Daniel Braum

    11:40-11:55 PM
    READING: Valjeanne Jeffers

    11:55-12:40 PM
    PANEL: Other Weird Tales: Unraveling Paradigms as the Protagonist Shifts Away from the Cis White Male
    Weird fiction, like SF/F/H, has predominantly centered on CIS white male protagonists mostly written by CIS white male authors. One of the most dynamic aspects of the contemporary Weird Renaissance is that this is no longer true. Non-CIS-white-male writers are not only altering the concept of what the Weird is as a literary form but also pushing its boundaries and defying editorial and publishing expectations. How does the narrative shift when the protagonist is a woman, a person of color, LBGT and/or disabled? What are some examples of good contemporary, or older Weird tales with Other protagonists that exemplify these different qualities? What challenges have the authors on the panel personally faced in approaching the Weird from Other perspectives–cultural, gender, orientation, etc.? Finally, how are new writers, new perspectives and new audiences opening up the Weird and spec-lit in general to new markets, and conversely how are new markets (small press, self-publishing) facilitating exposure to different voices?
    Moderator: Craig Laurance Gidney
    Panelists: Mike Allen, Gerald L. Coleman, Valjeanne Jeffers, Damien Angelica Walters

    12:40-12:55 PM
    READING: John Foster

    12:55-1:05 PM
    READING: Edward Austin Hall

    1:05-1:50 PM

    1:50-2:05 PM
    READING: Craig Laurance Gidney

    2:05-2:20 PM
    READING: Grafton Tanner

    2:20-3:05 PM
    PANEL: Not Another Bug Hunt: The Weird Monster as a Study of Singularity and in Différance
    The monster in traditional horror tropes (vampire, werewolf, zombie) operates within predictable modes of behavior and rules by which they can be destroyed or contained. Not so, with the monster in Weird fiction. What form or lack of form does the Weird monster take? Is the Weird monster always even recognizable as a “monster” by conventional definition, or is it better described through the lens of object oriented ontology? Does a concept like evil have any relevance or what, if anything, motivates the Weird monster? How does the role of the protagonist change when confronted with Weird versus traditional monsters?
    Moderator: Daniel Braum
    Panelists: Orrin Grey, Edward Austin Hall, Anya Martin, Eric Schaller

    3:15-3:30 PM
    READING: Balogun Ojetade

    3:30-3:45 PM
    READING: Mike Allen

    3:45-4:30 PM
    PANEL: The Dark Forward: The Weird and the Word as Resistance
    What happens when reality itself gets Weird? That’s how many people are describing the day-to-day dissonance of Trump’s America. For those who define the Weird as cosmic horror, it’s hard not to see a parallel between an indifferent or hostile universe and a government bereft of empathy. The Weird Fiction Renaissance predates this election, but the panelists explore the notion that the Weird may be uniquely positioned to be the literature of our time, as well as the role of writing in a Fascist Dystopia.
    Moderator: Balogun Ojetade
    Panelists: Selena Chambers, Milton Davis, Scott Nicolay, Grafton Tanner

    4:40-4:55 PM
    READING: Damien Angelica Walters

    4:55-5:05 PM
    READING: Eric Schaller

    5:05-5:15 PM

    5:15-6 PM


    A generous signal boost from Laird Barron + a new poem sale

    / March 14th, 2017 / No Comments »

    Laird Barron, one of my favorite horror writers of all time and a really generous guy (don’t miss his latest, Swift to Chase), started a series of posts over at his journal simply titled “Authors to Read.” Part I, from late February, highlighted great books from Karin Tidbeck, Livia Llewelyn and more; and I was thrilled to learn that the second installment includes my horror collection Unseaming. His one-line review:

    “journalist, horrorist; this is one of the best cosmic horror collections around”

    My publisher persona also had reason to rejoice, as he included C.S.E. Cooney’s World Fantasy Award-winning Bone Swans collection too, along with Jeffrey Thomas, Gemma Files and other authors I hugely admire.

    In other fun news, I’ve sold a poem, the first one in many, many months. David Kopaska-Merkel of long-running ’zine Dreams & Nightmares bought first rights to “The Headless Hero,” a bit of mean-spirited tongue-in-cheek stream of consciousness about television narratives and mutilated protagonists. The poem, inspired by a nightmarish dream, appropriately enough, is scheduled for the September issue.


    Locus Poll + Hugo eligibility/WorldCon + MystiCon

    / February 22nd, 2017 / No Comments »

    I’ve often broken the informal “three things make a blog post” law, but this time around I fully intended to combine three things in one post, heh.

    Thing One:

    I’m delighted that Clockwork Phoenix 5 made the 2016 Locus Recommending Reading List and thus is included in this year’s Locus Poll in the Best Anthology category. (The poll is used to select the Locus Award finalists.)

    This is the first time an entire book of mine has made the list since the very first Clockwork Phoenix volume, eight years ago. (Individual stories from the second through fourth volumes made the list, but not the whole shebang.) I super-proud of and grateful to the Clockwork Phoenix 5 contributors, whose shoulders I’m standing on.

    The magazine I edit, Mythic Delirium, is a Locus Poll choice for Best Magazine (a dark horse choice, I freely admit), and, to my delighted surprise, of which I’ve gotten to experience a lot lately, the poll for the first time includes me among the choices for Best Editor!

    There’s any number of solid options besides, of course. If you’re interested, you don’t need to be a subscriber to Locus to vote. The deadline for voting is April 15.

    Thing Two:

    Speaking of dark horse options — but on my mind because Anita and I are planning to attend WorldCon 75 in Helsinki — I thought I should make mention at least once that according to the Hugo Award rules, I’m qualified for the Short-Form Editor category, and Mythic Delirium qualifies as a semiprozine. There are many other potential candidates with much bigger profiles, but at least I’ve now said it, heh.

    I did have three original short stories published last year, which I’ve written about here; in terms of stories to consider for the Hugo, though, I’d much rather point people to the 2016 Mythic Delirium Books eligibility post, here. (That list now contains a Nebula Award finalist and an Aurealis Award finalist, woo-hoo!)

    The deadline for Hugo nominations is March 17, and I’m looking forward to eventually casting my first Hugo votes, and actually being there when the results are announced.

    Thing Three:

    Speaking of attending conventions, Anita and I will be programming guests at sold-out MystiCon in Roanoke this coming weekend. Though I’m on a number of panels, I’ve deliberately not signed up for any autograph sessions or readings — I decided I wanted a break from book peddling, as my time these days is mostly consumed with a novel rewrite-in-progress. But if you’re going to be there, don’t hesitate to say hello!

    Bonus: for my day job, I wrote about MystiCon’s artist guest of honor, Mark Davis.

    “The Quiltmaker” at Apex Magazine

    / January 20th, 2017 / 1 Comment »

    Starting today at Apex Magazine, my 20,000-word horror story “The Quiltmaker” is free for all to read. This is easily my most gruesome published work to date, originally available only in my Shirley Jackson Award-nominated collection Unseaming. My thanks to Jason Sizemore and his crew for bringing it to a whole new audience!

    I’m in great company in this issue, which also contains stories by Lia Swope Mitchell, Iori Kusano, Ursula Vernon, James Beamon, J.J. Litke and Rich Larson.

    I should mention that the Nebula Award-nominated prequel to this story, “The Button Bin,” is also available at Apex Magazine.

    Hopefully the make-believe horror will help take your minds off the real horrors so prevalent this week.

    2016 postmortem and highlights reel

    / January 2nd, 2017 / No Comments »

    Overall, 2016 was a pretty mixed year for us. We lost our dog, Loki, a sweet soul who’d been the cheerfully goofy center of our household since 2003. I had injury-related health issues that haven’t fully gone away and Anita had an unwelcome surprise on the employment front. Long-time friends of ours died too young.


    On the other hand, it had some pretty amazing highlights. I shared a first place Virginia Press Association award for a photo-story package that bested an offering from The Washington Post. I managed to knock out about 98% percent of the incredibly complex obligations from the Clockwork Phoenix 5 Kickstarter despite a number of unplanned-for obstacles. Anita and I had some great adventures and got to spend time with folks we love and admire.


    And the following things happened:


    Frankly, I can’t think of any moment in my entire career as a publisher that compared to hearing Gordon Van Gelder announce Claire Cooney’s book as the World Fantasy Award judges’ choice for best collection of 2016.

    Proud publishers bracket a World Fantasy Award-winning author! Me, C.S.E. Cooney and Anita after the World Fantasy Award ceremony in Columbus, Ohio. Photo by Amal El-Mohtar.

    Proud publishers bracket a World Fantasy Award-winning author! Me, C.S.E. Cooney and Anita after the World Fantasy Award ceremony in Columbus, Ohio. Photo by Amal El-Mohtar.

    I make no bones about Mythic Delirium Books essentially being a hobby — yet I take my duties as a publisher very seriously, and try to take each project as far as my own resources and the industry environment will allow. Anita and I take great pride in our track record, and publishing Bone Swans by C.S.E. Cooney was an experiment that had already exceeded expectations. As the award ceremony drew closer at what had already been a pretty darn wonderful World Fantasy Convention, Claire and I had conversations (at dinner, the evening before, and lunch, a couple hours prior to the announcements) about how Bone Swans had likely gone as far as it would go. We agreed, against its competitors, it was a dark horse candidate.


    But of course I had my fingers crossed that Claire was going to win. Anita and I came hoping to see it happen, and we got our wish.


    A not-so-distant second, in terms of exhilarating highlights, has to be the realization that dawned on me as the Clockwork Phoenix 5 launch reading geared up to start that we were going to be playing to a packed room. (For more objective confirmation, see the File 770 article about the reading(!); or photographer Melissa Beckman’s album on Facebook.)

    The crowd gathering at Commons Café in Brooklyn for the Clockwork Phoenix 5 launch the evening of April 5.

    I didn’t begin the CP5 Kickstarter with a plan to launch the anthology in New York. Credit for that goes totally to Jim Freund, host of radio show Hour of the Wolf and organizer of the New York Review of Science Fiction reading series, of which our launch became a part. We had seven contributors from the book there to read — Rob Cameron, Shveta Thakrar, Barbara Krasnoff, Sonya Taaffe, A.C. Wise, and C.S.E. Cooney and Carlos Hernandez — and an eighth to help sign books, as cover artist Paula Arwen Owen also made it! All the writers gave terrific readings, and much to my delight, the audience was totally down for the challenging, poetic experiences that Clockwork Phoenix stories provide.


    (The level of unexpected triumph left me so discombobulated that not only did I forget to call the contributors present together for a post-reading group photo, but I left Brooklyn Commons without my cellphone, which had to be mailed to me in Roanoke.)


    On a broader scale, Bone Swans became the second book I’ve shepherded to break 5,000 copies sold. (The first was my own debut short story collection Unseaming last year.) And, gratifyingly, Clockwork Phoenix 5 became the fourth book affiliated with me to surpass 2,000 copies sold. (The first in that quartet is Clockwork Phoenix: Tales of Beauty and Strangeness, strangely, steadily selling since 2008.) For the curious, BookBub promotions figure prominently in the most recent of those totals. Consider that statement an endorsement.



    Can you spot Unseaming?

    Speaking of Unseaming, a sharp-eyed colleague spied a copy on Guillermo Del Toro’s bookshelf. Not in person, mind you, but in a photograph published in At Home with Monsters, the catalog that accompanied an exhibition of Del Toro’s personal collection of monster-related art and artifacts at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Yeah, I was pretty happy about that…


    On the writing side, I got to attend an incredibly useful retreat organized by Beneath Ceaseless Skies editor Scott Andrews. I enjoyed taste-testing what seemed like an infinite supply of craft beers with my fellow retreaters (Kris Dikeman, A.T. Greenblatt, Rajan Khanna, and Devin Poore) and, even more importantly, were it not for the chance to attack the rewrite of my novel Trail of Shadows without interruption, I wouldn’t be starting 2017 at the 46,500 word mark in said rewrite, my highest priority through the spring.


    (And a special extra thanks to Scott, who loaned me a laptop after I meticulously packed my own and then, hilariously, forgot to put it in the car before driving up. Do you see a pattern here?)


    More cool thing happened, but as a highlight list, this will certainly do. Time to armor up and get on with this new year’s doings. Anita and I won’t be coming to many cons this year, except for the big one, which we’re really excited about: Worldcon 75 in Helsinki.

    My 2016 awards eligibility post

    / December 12th, 2016 / 1 Comment »

    2016 was a strange year for me (and a stressful one, too, though in ways that have little bearing on this post). My output as a publisher was pretty spectacular by personal standards — my awards eligibility post for Mythic Delirium Books can be found here.

    I also wrote, and am still writing, quite a bit, but in terms of new works from me that made it all the way to publication, there wasn’t all that much. No new poems at all this year. There were just three new stories that appeared, and they all made their entrances in January. Remember January?

    This little Tweet I made way back then (also shared on Facebook, naturally) proved prophetic.

    So, those three stories were:

  • Longsleeves,” published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies.
  • “Drift from the Windrows,” published in Tomorrow’s Cthulhu.
  • “Silent in Her Nest,” an original story included in The Spider Tapestries.
  • By the way, The Spider Tapestries, new this year, is my second collection, containing six bizarre sci-fi/fantasy reprints as well as the above-mentioned original. It became available for pre-order in January and emerged fully from the birth canal in March. It’s about half as long as Unseaming and ten times weirder, but not weird in the way that folks who like “The Weird” tend to like, which meant it didn’t achieve anywhere near the traction Unseaming did, though it earned kind evaluations from the likes of Nicole Kornher-Stace, Helen Marshall, Scott Nicolay, Jeffrey Thomas and A.C. Wise, and Publishers Weekly and Library Journal were pretty kind to it, too. It is, of course, eligible in “collection” categories, for the few awards that have such.

    Of the three short stories, “Longsleeves” has by far stirred up the most feedback. I joke that it’s my #killallmen story, though, actually, I’m not really joking. It’s also a companion piece to the first dark fantasy of mine to appear at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, “The Ivy-Smothered Palisade.”

    “Drift from the Windrows,” believe it or not only my second explicitly Lovecraftian story to see print (the first was “Her Acres of Pastoral Playground” in Cthulhu’s Reign, more on that below), tells the story of star-crossed lovers and how they become tangled in the affairs of a company named SanMorta that specializes in designing genetically-modified crops.

    “Silent in Her Nest” is connected in a kind of catty-corner way to “Her Acres of Pastoral Playground” — it’s told from the point of view of the type of creature that served as antagonist in the latter story. There’s also an invasion of the themes I explored in The Black Fire Concerto and “Longsleeves,” this time in a tremendously twisted science fantasy setting.

    Should any of these tidbits make you curious to read these pieces, and you can’t get your hands on the texts in the usual ways, feel free to give me a holler.

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