A Golden Moment for Short Stories by Farhana Shaikh

A Golden Moment for Short Stories

The short story has traditionally been an American love affair. Hemingway, Carver and Vonnegut are often cited among the ‘greatest’ of all time. Across the Atlantic, hundreds of new short stories are published each week through independent small presses, the New Yorker publishes one each issue, which is unpicked and put back together again during their hour-long podcast, and many more are written by nervous MFA students.

In the UK, the form has at worst been ignored, but recent literary prizes seem to have played their part in elevating interest. The popularity of creative writing degrees has helped to produce a new wave of writers who are firmly committed to mastering the art. Despite this, securing publication for a collection from a first-time writer remains difficult.

A Golden Moment for Short Stories by Farhana Shaikh.

Read the whole article here on The Asian Writer.


Tagged , , , ,

Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: 2018


Paula Guran has announced the table of contents for Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2018.

I am absolutely delighted to be included with “The Crow Palace”, which originally appeared in “Black Feathers” (edited by Ellen Datlow).



“Sunflower Junction,” Simon Avery (Black Static #57)
“Swift to Chase,” Laird Barron (Adam’s Ladder: An Anthology of Dark Science Fiction)
“Fallow,” Ashley Blooms (Shimmer #37)
“Children of Thorns, Children of Water,” Aliette de Bodard (Exclusive for The House of Binding Thorns preorders/Uncanny #17)
“On Highway 18,” Rebecca Campbell (F&SF 9-10/17)
“Witch Hazel,” Jeffrey Ford (Haunted Nights, eds. Ellen Datlow & Lisa Morton)
“The Bride in Sea-Green Velvet,” Robin Furth (F&SF 7-8/17)
“Little Digs,” Lisa L. Hannett (The Dark #20)
“The Thule Stowaway,” Maria Dahvana Headley (Uncanny #14)
“The Eyes Are White and Quiet,” Carole Johnstone (New Fears, ed. Mark Morris)
Mapping the Interior, Stephen Graham Jones (Tor.com)
“Don’t Turn on the Lights,” Cassandra Khaw (Nightmare #61)
“The Dinosaur Tourist,” Caitlín R. Kiernan (Sirenia Digest #139)
“Survival Strategies,” Helen Marshall (Black Static #60)
“Red Bark and Ambergris,” Kate Marshall (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #232)
“Skins Smooth as Plantain, Hearts Soft as Mango,” Ian Muneshwar (The Dark #27)
“Everything Beautiful Is Terrifying,” M. Rickert (Shadows & Tall Trees, ed. Michael Kelly)
“Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience™,” Rebecca Roanhorse (Apex #99)
“Graverobbing Negress Seeks Employment,” Eden Royce (Fiyah #2)
“Moon Blood-Red, Tide Turning,” Mark Samuels (Terror Tales of Cornwall, ed. Paul Finch)
“The Crow Palace,” Priya Sharma (Black Feathers, ed. Ellen Datlow)
“The Swimming Pool Party,” Robert Shearman (Shadows & Tall Trees 7, ed. Michael Kelly)
“The Little Mermaid, in Passing,” Angela Slatter (Review of Australian Fiction, Vol.22, #1)
“Secret Keeper,” Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Nightmare #61)
“The Long Fade into Evening Steve,” Steve Rasnic Tem (Darker Companions, eds. Scott David Aniolowski & Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.)
“Moon and Memory and Muchness,” Katherine Vaz (Mad Hatters and March Hares, ed. Ellen Datlow)
“Exceeding Bitter,” Kaaron Warren (Evil Is a Matter of Perspective, eds Adrian Collins & Mike Myers)
“Succulents,” Conrad Williams (New Fears, ed. Mark Morris)
“The Lamentation of Their Women,” Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com 8.24.17)

Tagged , , , ,

Five Weird Books for Strange Times by Paul Di Filippo

Thanks to Paul Di Filippo for featuring “All the Fabulous Beasts”  as one of his five weird books for strange times, in his essay for Barnes & Noble Review.

“Having published her first story only in 2005, Priya Sharma has taken until now to amass a volume’s worth of her tales, but the wait has been amply repaid. The sixteen items in her debut collection, All the Fabulous Beasts, show her to be a young adept at stories that specialize in eerie transformations and dead-end lives broken beyond repair. Her occasional resonances with certain literary ancestors show a deep knowledge of and reverence for the Weird, which she extrapolates along her own special vectors.” Paul Di Filippo


Read the full essay here.


Something to look forward to…

The Dollmaker by Nina Allan

Out in March 2019. More information is on The Spider’s House, Nina Allan’s blog.



Tagged ,

The Asian Writer

Thanks to both Penny Jones for reviewing “All the Fabulous Beasts”, and Farhana Shaikh for including the review on her website, The Asian Writer.

The strength of Priya’s writing and the beauty of the tales transgresses all boundaries, she manages to convey a depth of emotion and understanding for her characters no matter how flawed they may be and it’s that understanding of humanity and all its intrinsic strengths and flaws which make this such a well rounded book. Because it isn’t just a collection of horror stories, or a debut of literary delights; it is much more than that, it’s a book about life; our life, the lives of those who mean so much to us, and the lives of those that we may wish in our weaker moments were dead. An exquisite collection that will delight all readers. Penny Jones.

Read full review here.


Tagged , , ,

Nightmare Magazine Issue 69

nightmare-magazine-issue-69-june-2018Thanks to John Joseph Adams for including a reprint of “The Anatomist’s Mnemonic” in the latest issue of Nightmare. This story originally appeared in Black Static (Issue 32).

Tagged ,

2018 Summer Reading Recommendations from The Unbound Writers

A huge thanks to The Unbound Writers for listing my collection, “All the Fabulous Beasts”, on their Summer Reading List.

I particularly like Gemma Webster’s suggestions about what to do while you’re reading it…

Their list includes a couples of books that are already on my summer holiday book pile, including “Circe” by Madeline Miller and “Annihilation” by Jeff VanderMeer.

Check out the article here.


Tagged ,

Gothic Manchester Festival 1st-5th August 2018

The 6th annual Gothic Manchester Festival is themed on “Gothic Hybridities”.

We are here this year to explore how the Gothic stitches together a dark and delicious patchwork of different influences, aesthetics and emotions into a shadowy, grotesque and strangely beautiful edifice.

The Gothic throws its pale arms out to encompass the monstrous, the fantastical, the gory and the glorious. The Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies is here to bring you all this, and more. Please join as we celebrate vaulted architecture, evocative music, classic and contemporary writing and all kinds of Gothic queerness.

Manchester will never be the same.


Events list

Gothic Hybridities

I’m sad that I can’t make it to this year’s celebration, particulary Twisted Tales of Hybridity which will bring together three authors who have all appeared in previous years; Rosie Garland (Vixen and The Night Brother); Helen Marshall (Hair Side, Flesh Side and Gifts for the One Who Comes After) and Laura Mauro (Naming the Bones) to explore how hybridity informs their work. The event will feature a reading from each author, a panel discussion, and Q&A. It will be followed by a signing session.

I’ve seen all three of them doing readings and Q&As and I reckon this will be a wonderful event.


News from Nowhere

A big thanks to the team at News from Nowhere on Bold Street, Liverpool for stocking a few copies of All the Fabulous Beasts.

News from Nowhere is a non-profit radical and community bookshop that was established in 1974 and is run collectively by a women workers’ co-operative. Next door to the shop is Liver House, the home of Jeannie Mole.


Tagged ,