Tuesday, 15 March 2016

New Published Stories

During February and March new work of mine appeared in various publications.  Firstly, of course, back in February Voids - the novella I wrote with Martin Greaves was published by Omnium Gatherum.  Voids has already picked up some rave reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, and appears to have had quite an emotional affect on some readers.

Towards the end of March another of mine and Martin's collaborations will appear as our short story <500 will be reprinted in The Singularity Magazine.  Just look at that amazing cover! 

March has already seen the release of Strange Little Girls from Belladonna Publishing, which features my story Deep Down.  Having Deep Down accepted for Strange Little Girls was perhaps my proudest writerly moment yet.  This anthology feels like it has been a long time coming, but I'm certain it will be worth the wait and that editors/artists/designers Liv Lingborn and Camilla Bruce will have done an excellent job on it.

Still to come on March 22nd is the anthology Dark Little Dreams from Bad Dreams Entertainment, which features my novellette The Wilds.  The Wilds is about Connor - a teenage boy - who is seduced by his sister in law, and then forced to go on a trek into Sutter's Wilds - a mysterious, uninhabited part of his island home - in order to find his missing brother, Lewis.  Excerpt below:

"The wind suddenly picked up and turned the pages of the notebook.  A line of trees on a ledge above them began to sway.  Connor thought he heard another sound, and Paige must have heard it too because she looked around in alarm and pressed against his side.  The wind became fearful and though they were relatively sheltered from it in the valley where they stood, the trees above began to bend with the force of it.  Watching them, Connor’s heart leapt up as he thought he saw the grey figure of a man standing beneath the trees.  He had thought it might be Lewis but it was not.  The man was oddly tall, and like the trees he swayed back and forth, but he swayed with laughter.  Connor realised that this was the sound he’d heard, a kind of mad braying laughter coming to him from far away.  With his heart pounding he flicked to the start of the notebook again and scanned Della’s notes, but there was nothing written about this laughing figure.  He saw a line he’d read before.  Here’s where the winds start.  And there was a drawing of three trees, much like the ones now swaying above them."

New Discoveries in Short Fiction

There's something to be said for discovering a short fiction writer who hasn't yet released a collection; it forces you to hunt down their existing work in anthologies and magazines.  Along the way, you'll discover new publications and new writers, but always there's a kind of treasure hunt mentality - will you unearth a new gem?

Here, I'll mention a few writers whose treasures I've been unearthing recently.

I first encountered L.S. Johnson when she submitted her flash fiction This Is How You Lose Yourself to the second Dark Lane anthology.  Although this wasn't a story in the traditional sense, but more of a prose poem, I was struck by the quality of the writing and it piqued my curiosity enough to seek out more of her work.  I then read two wonderful pieces of weird fiction: first Little Men With Knives, published in Crossed Genres; and Julie published in Tartarus Press' Strange Tales V.   I also enjoyed Johnson's other story of shape-shifting Ada, Awake published in Strangelet magazine; and her story Queen of Lakes from World Weaver Press' Fae Anthology.

L.S. Johnson has just published her first collection of stories,Vacui Magia, which contains both Little Men With Knives and Julie, amongst others, and which I would highly recommend to any lovers of literary weird tales.  Julie is also scheduled to appear in The Year's Best Weird Fiction: Volume Three later this year.  Congratulations L.S!

In Strange Tales V I also first encountered the work of Elise Forier Edie.  I enjoyed her chilling beautifully-written contribution, You-Go-Back, so much that I sought out more of her fiction and also enjoyed her story Mother Night, a clever tale featuring terrifying fairies published in the Winter Horror Days anthology from Omnium Gatherum, which proved to be a perfect read for a cold evening back in January.

Undertow Publications' The Year's Best Weird Fiction: Volume Two introduced me to a number of new writers.  First, Carmen Maria Muchado, who contributed two stories to that anthology including the excellent The Husband Stitch.  I also enjoyed her tongue-in-cheek Horror Story which can be read online in Granta Magazine.  The other stories I loved in YBWF2 was Rich Larson's The Air We Breathe Is Stormy, Stormy (I love a good mermaid story), and K.M. Ferebee's The Earth and Everything Under.  To my list of favourite shorts read this year I will also add Larson's The Mermaid Caper, and Ferebee's The Bird Country.