Monthly Archives: February 2021

Body Shocks

Bestselling editor Ellen Datlow (Lovecraft’s Monsters) delivers world-class body horror in all its gruesome, psychological, and shocking glory. Discover—if you dare—shockingly twisted tales of the human body that make The Twilight Zone seem like a children’s show. In Body Shocks, you will find twenty-nine chilling tales from storytelling masters including Carmen Maria Machado, Richard Kadrey, Seanan McGuire, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Tananarive Due, Cassandra Khaw, Christopher Fowler, and many more.

The most terrifying thing that you can possibly imagine is your own body in the hands of a monster. Or worse, in the hands of another human being.

Body Shocks is out from Tachyon In October 2021.

Thanks to Ellen for reprinting “Fabulous Beasts” in this anthology.


The Travellers Stay by Ray Cluley
Toother by Terry Dowling
Painlessness by Kirstyn McDermott
You Go Where It Takes You by Nathan Ballingrud
A Positive by Kaaron Warren
La Beauté sans verte by Genevieve Valentine
Subsumption by Lucy Taylor
Spar by Kij Johnson
It Was the Heat by Pat Cadigan
Atwater by Cody Goodfellow
The Transfer by Edward Bryant
Welcome to Mengele’s by Simon Bestwick
Black Neurology: A Love Story by Richard Kadrey
Cuckoo by Angela Slatter
Cinereous by Livia Llewellyn
The Truth That Lies Under Skin & Meat by Cassandra Khaw
Natural Skin by Alyssa Wong
The Lake by Tananarive Due
I’m Always Here by Richard Christian Matheson
The Look by Christopher Fowler
The Old Women Who Were Skinned by Carmen Maria Machado
Spores by Seanan McGuire
Sweet Subtleties by Lisa L. Hannett
Elegy For a Suicide by Caitlín R. Kiernan
Skin City by Gemma Files
A True Friend by Brian Evenson
What I Found in the Shed by Tom Johnstone
Fabulous Beasts by Priya Sharma
Tissue Ablation and Variant Regeneration: A Case Report by Michael Blumlein

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The British Fantasy Awards: Ormeshadow

Thanks for to the British Fantasy Society for this huge honour. Thanks to all the people who voted for Ormeshadow and the jurors, Rachel Aitken, Abigail Baumbach, Steve Howarth, Gagandeep Kaur and Mark West

I am very proud to be nominated alongside the awesome writers that are Nathan Ballingrud, Gareth L. Powell, Rivers Solomon, JY Yang and Tade Thompson.

Ellen Datlow. What can I say? Thank you seems insufficient, but thank you.

Thanks to the team at Tor for taking a chance on this book and all their excellent work- Ruoxi Chen, Irene Gallo, Lee Harris, Mordicai Knode, Amanda Melfi, Melanie Sanders, Liana Kristoff and Caroline Perney. Sorry if I’ve missed anyone.

To Henry Sene Yee for that cover. It exceeded all my expectations with its elegance.

Thanks to Alex Cochrane, my agent at C&W, for believing in my work.

I am hugely fortunate to have so many supportive friends and family. A special thanks to Natalie Tsang and Cait Taylor, who read the original Ormeshadow so many years ago. To Paula Guran for her ongoing kindness.

Thanks to my Mum, Dad and brother, and to my partner, Mark Greenwood. To the Flanagans, Kershaws, Kleiner-Manns, and Greenwoods.

And finally, thank you to my friends in the writing community- you know who you are. You are the best. I can’t wait to see you again.

British Fantasy Awards 2020 announced

The British Fantasy Society has announced the winners for the 2020 British Fantasy Awards:

Best Fantasy Novel (the Robert Holdstock Award)

Best Horror Novel (the August Derleth Award)

Best Novella

  • WINNER: Ormeshadow, Priya Sharma ( Publishing)

Best Short Story

Best Collection

Best Anthology

Best Independent Press

  • WINNER: Rebellion
  • Aqueduct
  • Black Shuck
  • Luna
  • NewCon
  • Undertow

Best Non-Fiction

Best Magazine / Periodical

  • WINNER: Fiyah
  • Black Static
  • The Dark
  • Gingernuts of Horror
  • Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
  • Shoreline of Infinity

Best Artist

  • WINNER: Ben Baldwin
  • Vince Haig
  • Jackie Morris
  • David Rix

Best Comic / Graphic Novel

  • WINNER: DIE, Kieron Gillen & Stephanie Hans (Image)

Best Audio

  • WINNER: PodCastle
  • Breaking the Glass Slipper
  • PseudoPod
  • Speculative Spaces

Best Film / Television Production

  • WINNER: Us
  • Game of Thrones: “The Long Night”
  • Watchmen: “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice”
  • The Witcher: “Rare Species”

Best Newcomer (the Sydney J Bounds Award)

Karl Edward Wagner Award

  • Craig Lockley
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I Spit Myself Out: Q&A with Tracy Fahey

I’m a big fan of Tracy Fahey’s work after seeing her read from her work at Edgelit (an annual celebration of horror, crime, fantasy and science-fiction in Derby, UK) and have this book on pre-order.

Tracy is an Irish writer of Gothic fiction. In 2017, her debut collection The Unheimlich Manoeuvre was shortlisted for a British Fantasy Award for Best Collection. Her short fiction is published in over thirty American, British, Australian and Irish anthologies. She holds a PhD on the Gothic in visual arts, and her non-fiction writing is published in edited collections and journals. She has been awarded residencies in Ireland and Greece. She has written two collections, New Music For Old Rituals and The Unheimlich Manoeuvre, the mini-collection, Unheimlich Manoeuvres In The Dark, and the novel, The Girl In The Fort. Her new collection, I Spit Myself Out is published by the Sinister Horror Company in February 2021

I see that you’ve got a short-story collection coming out, I Spit Myself Out. Can you tell us a little more about it?
TF: Of course! I Spit Myself Out takes as its central theme the idea of vulnerability and terror that arises from possession of a female body. But each of the eighteen stories takes this question from a different angle – crime, childbirth, forensics, medical experimentation, mythology, pathology, psychosis, love and loss.

What influences or research did you draw on in writing this book?
I’m always intensely interested in women who write the body; who hang fiction or poetry on those ideas of vulnerability. So this collection was written in the shadow of some great women – Margaret Atwood, Carmen Maria Machado, Sylvia Plath, Georgina Bruce, Charlotte Gilman Perkins (in fact the titular story, ‘I Spit Myself Out’ owes a great debt to ‘The Yellow Wallpaper.’) I was also very influenced throughout the whole collection by Julia Kristeva’s essay ‘The Powers of Horror,’ and in particular by the way she explores the notion of the abject; that which is of us, but which the body casts off. I also ended up reading a lot about skin, morbid anatomy and Catholic rituals to do with the body while reading it.

The book is one that delves into the idea of female terror. Is there any redemption or escape to be found for your female protagonists?
Although this is a body horror collection, and by default, it does explore the painful places of our bodies and minds, it’s not without hope. Within it, the female protagonists struggle to overcome forces within and without, and in many cases they find a voice to declare their pain. Some of the stories, ‘Love Like Blood’ and ‘I Kiss The Wounds’ in particular focus on regaining autonomy in the face of challenges.

What was the most difficult part of writing this book?
I wanted to write this book, but when the pandemic hit, I was still locked into both writing and editing it. The relentless interiority of the project was challenging, because I can’t write unless I emotionally project myself into the minds of my protagonists and ‘feel’ my way through the narrative. Trying to go to these dark places during the initial lockdown caused a shocking amount of cognitive dissonance, and I began to question if I was ever going to finish this book. So I went off on a side-track, reading about morbid anatomy and monstrosity, and visiting old pagan and Catholic shrines (when lockdown eased)… and out of those experiences, stories began to trickle slowly forth again.

What are your future writing plans?
I always work on a collection with the vague notions of other potential collections trembling like a mirage on the horizon. This is partly because I hate to be stranded without a project when I finish a book, but also because of my insane obsession with filing stories thematically. So I’m contemplating a Gothic crime collection that deals with the psychological impact of crime on victims, perpetrators and investigators, and also one on liminality and identity which will be based on Michel Foucault’s essay Of Other Spaces. I’m also working on co-developing a screenplay based on a short story, ‘Í Look Like You, I Speak Like You, I Walk Like You’ from The Unheimlich Manoeuvre, and I’ve just been invited to co-write a research project application to fund the creation and population of a digital storytelling app; something quite new for me.



I Spit Myself Out contains eighteen unsettling narratives map the female experience from puberty to menopause.

I Spit Myself Out is a collection of female-voiced stories exploring the terror that lurks beneath the surface of the skin. In this collection, an Anatomical Venus opens to display her organs, clients of a mysterious clinic disappear one by one, a police investigation reveals family secrets, revenge is inked in the skin, and bodies pulsate in the throes of illness, childbirth and religious ritual.
Disturbing and provoking in equal turns, I Spit Myself Out reinvents the body as a breeding ground of terrors that resurface inexorably in the present.
Pre-order it at, or directly from the Sinister Horror Company

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WIHM: Lee Franklin

Lee Franklin kindly asked me to answer some questions for her blog as it’s Women in Horror Month (you can read those here). I agreed as long as she reciprocated.

Where are you from and what type of horror do you write?

LF: I am a West Australian from a beachside city called Rockingham.  For the last 4 years I have been living and loving life in North Yorkshire countryside.

I enjoy writing creature features, extreme horror and revenge. Most of my work is quite tight and fast paced with a lot of action. I would never be accused of being literary talent that is for sure. But I like what I write and how I write it.

Having said that, I do have plans for dark fantasy and some atmospheric, creepy lingering pieces of dread.


All of our characters have elements of ourselves woven into them. Which poor character is most like you?

I guess Terry “Pinny” Pinfold is quite a lot like me. We aren’t good at confrontation and would happily hide away until it all blows over. But it doesn’t always blow over it usually blows up. We don’t always quite fit in either, black sheep of our communities neither here nor there. Yet when shit hits the fan we normally play it right.


Imagine I am filthy successful agent (I did say imagine) we are stepping into an elevator. Hit me with your top three elevator pitches for three pieces of your work.

  • An Australian Aboriginal discovers the real reason for the Vietnam War and ends up becoming the most successful experiment for the mysterious and sexy Dr Harding. Think Deadpool and Predator have a love child raised by Overlord.
  •  An abusive man demands a tattoo of a Thai deity Nang Tani and his life quickly descends into hell as she uses him to extract revenge on other sexual predators.
  •  An Australia backpacker picks up work in a North Yorkshire school. She doesn’t listen to the warnings about the ancient oak tree and is soon devoured by its power. The Devil’s Tree Published in DJ Doyles Twisted Tales


Do you have a ritual before you start writing, or is it spontaneous venture?

No I am definitely a person or routine and ritual. After school run and exercise I ensure the TV Remotes are stashed far away from me. Coffee is hot and to hand with two Digestive biscuits. My Chief Assistant Editor Benji will then pin me into the recliner and my Project Manager Terra will strap my legs into the chair with her body to ensure there is no movement. Then I can commence work.


Is there one thing you would have done differently or known earlier in your writing career?

I would’ve possibly either not published my first book Berserker – Green Hell until I had the first draft of the sequel done. Or, made the ending a little less open. I just put too much pressure on myself.


What are you currently working on?

I am currently working getting my website up an running with interesting content. But mostly I am working on my Berserker sequel (working title) Berserker – Sandfire.  That WILL be published this year.


We all know horror people are just the warmest, friendliest bunch of writers around. Why do you think this is?

I believe it is often underestimated how empathetic we are. We are constantly pushing our own boundaries and facing our own fears so that we can provide a safe place for others to explore themselves. We understand pain, fear, heartache and grief better than most, mainly because we make ourselves live it, to bring truth to our characters. Well I do.


How do you determine success for yourself?

The kind of success I am aiming for is just for people to read and enjoy my work.  So far I have been successful. I have definitely achieved more in my four years of writing than I anticipated achieving in ten. So that is successful.  My next goal is to actually make enough money to treat my family to a holiday. Still,  I wouldn’t knock back a significant movie deal or even streams of adoring fans.


Other than WIHM which is an amazing month for female horror writers. How do you feel other women can best support each other in this genre?

I like to think horror people and horror women in general are good at working together. You can’t read or buy every book no matter how much you want to. As well as Beta reading and re-reading my own work I read about 50 books a year. Already my TBR is likely to topple shortly and kill somebody.

I think it comes down to the simple things. Sharing posts, liking posts, recommending books that you may not have read but you know it the type somebody is looking for. Looking for something outside or your regular reading lists. If you love something tell the writer and the world.

If you can see a writer is struggling with some aspects of their work and you are prepared to do so, contact and reach out to them. Most people are hungry for help. If they are rude. Well …


Where did you discover your love for all things that go bump in the night, or splat on the walls?

On visitation with my Dad he always fed us a healthy diet of B grade horror and action movies. I could never totally gel with the whole Care Bear and Princess phenomena. So much drama and the happiness always seemed to fake and over the top. So I guess it started there, in film.

I have always been a massive reader, but never consciously “genre read” I just picked up whatever I fancied. Since I started writing horror I have certainly read a lot more specific to the genre, and I have not been disappointed.

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