Maw

The sea was now in retreat. The air smelt swept clean. Water collected in the ripples on the sand and reflected the blue sky overhead.
Donald, Magnus’s younger son, saw the dead seal first. Magnus squatted beside it. Its neck was badly bruised and one of its eyes had gone. A flipper was missing.
“What happened to it, Dad?”
Magnus rolled it over. His cursory post-mortem was inconclusive.
“I don’t know.”
They followed the curve of the beach, and there lay mackerel, herring and ugly monkfish, dull eyes wide in surprise at their fate. Some were whole, but most were torn up, the clumsy dissection revealing guts and flesh already starting to rot.
“Shame. What a waste.”
They picked their way through more seal carcasses. These had fared less well. Most were missing great chunks. Some looked bitten down to bone, the edges black and high.
“Rank.” Peter covered his nose.
“It’s nature.” Magnus loved his sons too much to coddle them. “We all end up like this.”
Magnus meant rotting, not chewed up. Donald screwed up his face.
They found pieces of oars too, beaten and worn. A rowing boat with a hole in its hull. A length of fearsome looking chain. The ocean bed had been dredged and deposited on the shore.
After a quarter of a mile, the soft ascent of beach onto land was replaced by vertical columns of rock. The container was in the cliff’s shadow.

From “Maw”

***

“Maw” is a new story of mine that will appear in NEW FEARS 2, edited by Mark Morris. It’s not in my new collection from Undertow Publications.

Mark Morris has posted this on his Facebook feed with regards to NEW FEARS 3-

“Despite the amazing feedback, NEW FEARS hasn’t *yet* sold enough copies in the UK and the US for Titan to commit to any further volumes of the series, which means there almost certainly *won’t* be a NEW FEARS 3 next year. I’m pretty gutted about this, as I dearly wanted NEW FEARS to be an annual anthology in the tradition of the old Pan and Fontana paperbacks.

Every cloud has a silver lining, however, and Titan have not yet cancelled the series outright, but merely put it on hiatus while they assess the situation. What this basically means is that NEW FEARS needs to sell more copies if it’s to have any chance of continuing beyond a mere two volumes. So if you’ve been thinking of buying the book, but haven’t got around to it yet, could I please urge you to take the plunge and order a copy? Alternatively, if you’ve already got the book, then please tell others about it, or buy copies for friends and family as presents (whether they like horror fiction or not).

I’ve had *so much* feedback from people telling me that an annual, non-themed, mass-market horror anthology of original fiction is what the genre has been crying out for for years – but the bottom line is that in order for the series to continue each volume needs to earn out for the publisher.” Mark Morris

This mades me sad, not as a writer, but as a reader. Horror is being squeezed. So is the small press. Without them, I wouldn’t have venues to send my work to for consideration but more importantly I wouldn’t have places to go and read new stuff, the really challenging, beautiful and subversive stuff that’s hard to find in mainstream publishing. Even if you don’t like “Maw”, NEW FEARS is a buffet, so something else will be to your taste. Not sure about NEW FEARS? Try  TTA Press, Undertow Press, Unsung Stories, Black Shuck Books or Fox Spirit.

Money is getting tighter for everyone except Kim Kardashian. If you can buy just one book, it will mean these hardworking people will be able to continue publishing wonderful fiction. Ask someone to order one for you as a birthday present instead of them buying you a pack of socks (unless you need a pack of socks). Socks get holes in them. Books are forever.

NEW FEARS 1 is still available and you can pre-order NEW FEARS 2 now (links below).

 

New Fears 2

Preorder New Fears 2 on AmazonUK or AmazonUS

New Fears

Order New Fears on AmazonUK or AmazonUS

 

 

 

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Black Feathers Edited by Ellen Datlow

black-feathers-jpg-wraparound“Black Feathers: Dark Avian Tales” is now out in paperback and is available from Amazon UK (currently £10.99), Amazon US (currently $15.95) and Barnes & Noble.

With stories by Joyce Carol Oates, Seanan McGuire, Pat Cadigan, Richard Bowes, Paul Tremblay, A. C. Wise, Usman T. Malik, Jeffrey Ford, Sandra Kasturi, Mike O’Driscoll, Priya Sharma, Alison Littlewood, M. John Harrison, Nicholas Royle, Livia Llewellyn, and Stephen Graham Jones.

 

 

 

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Kickstarter campaign by The Dark Magazine

the-dark-logo

Horror fans will be familiar with The Dark.

Co-editers Sean Wallace and Silvia Moreno-Garcia are looking to “help finance the magazine for two more years to allow us to increase the subscription base, increase the pay rate, and increase the amount of fiction we bring to you. Because we don’t just like dark fantasy, horror, or weird fiction . . . we love it.”

The campaign offers art prints, signed manuscripts and limited edition books, subs to The Dark and Gamut magazine, and story critiques. Contributers to this include Damien Angelica Walters, Michael Wehunt, Matthew Bennardo, Kali Wallace, Douglas Smith, Erin Roberts, Angela Slatter, Emily B. Cataneo, Bruce McAllister, Erica Satifka, Nin Harris, Kaaron Warren, E. Catherine Tobler and A.C. Wise.

I offered a critique, which has gone (thank you, whoever you are!)

Support The Dark’s Kickstarter Campaign.

 

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Mark West’s Stephen King Mixtape

I really like Mark West’s Mixtape posts. So far he has compiled Brit Horror, American Horror and Women In Horror tapes and he’s kindly included me in all of them.

The mixtape project is, in Mark’s words, harking back to the 80s glory days of the homemade mixtape but he’s invited lots of different people to pick a “track” to go on there. They’re all full of the joy of discovering the short stories that other writers love and work you might not have heard of.

Now Mark has turned his attention to the shorter works of Stephen King. Is your favourite in there?

stephen king mixtape mark west strange tales

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All the Fabulous Beasts paperback out now

“All the Fabulous Beasts” is now available directly from Undertow Publications now and to pre-order from Amazon UK (to ship on 1st May 2018).

All the Fabulous Beasts

Order from Amazon UK

 

 

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Resonance & Revolt on its way…

Excited about this new collection from Rosanne Rabinowitz, author of “Helen’s Story”, a Shirley Jackson Award nominated novella.

Rosanne Rabinowitz

unnamedThe final touches to my collection Resonance & Revolt are in progress and it should be ready to go to the printer very soon. Ebook editions will also be produced. There may be a further tweak or two on the cover but the picture above should give you a good idea of what it will look like. Meanwhile, the book is available for preorder at Eibonvale Press.

Eibonvale describes the book as an “intense and erudite collection of slipstream stories steeped in European history and the world of modern Britain”. This extract from the introduction provided by Lynda E Rucker – friend, fellow writer and cohort in several anthologies – expands on this:

At the heart of Resonance and Revolt is a radical reimagining of what the world could be, both politically and metaphysically. Revolutionaries spill out of its pages, whether they hail from 15th-century Central Europe, the present-day era of…

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C7-Shiina

 

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All the Fabulous Beasts

Mike Kelly of Undertow Publications has been terrific to work with. One part of the process I’ve particularly enjoyed is helping him to pick the cover artwork for “All the Fabulous Beasts”.

Messages went back and forth between us as we scoured the internet, and both of us are very happy with the final choice for the trade paperback edition.

The artist is Hiroko Shiina, known as C7-Shiina, who is a graduate from Toyko Design Gakuin College.

Her intricate work is picked out in muted tones, painted in ink, acrylic, watercolours and sometimes coffee.

I love the detail of C7-Shiina’s art, which forces me to look again and again at the different elements within it. She repeats her dark themes of reduced anatomies, tattooed flesh, fetishism, of death and unfolding wings, opium poppies and transformation, the primordial forms of embryos and decorated foetal skulls, masked lovers and the black gloves of a killer.

My thanks to her.

http://c7-shiina.tumblr.com/

https://www.facebook.com/C7artworks/

 

 

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This is Horror Awards 2017

This-Is-Horror-Awards-Banner

This is Horror Awards 2017 is open for public voting. More information is here.

Voting closes at 12:01am GMT on Monday 26 February 2018.

Novel of the Year

  1. Black Mad Wheel by Josh Malerman
  2. I Wish I Was Like You by S.P. Miskowski
  3. In the Valley of the Sun by Andy Davidson
  4. The Changeling by Victor LaValle
  5. The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn

Novella of the Year

  1. Agents of Dreamland by Caitlin R. Kiernan
  2. In the River by Jeremy Robert Johnson
  3. Mapping The Interior by Stephen Graham Jones
  4. Quiet Places by Jasper Bark
  5. The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson

Short Story Collection of the Year

  1. Behold the Void by Philip Fracassi
  2. Everything That’s Underneath by Kristi DeMeester
  3. Her Body and Other Parties: Stories by Carmen Maria Machado
  4. She Said Destroy by Nadia Bulkin
  5. 13 Views of the Suicide Woods by Bracken MacLeod

Anthology of the Year

  1. Last Podcast on the Left
  2. Lore Podcast
  3. Lovecraft eZine Podcast
  4. Post Mortem with Mick Garris
  5. The Horror Show with Brian Keene
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New Fears 2

 

Mark Morris has announced the line-up for New Fears 2, out later this year from Titan. Many thanks to Mark for including me in this.

New Fears, which was released in 2017, is still available.

Table of Contents:

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Weird Fiction Review

Thanks to the good people at Weird Fiction Review who have interviewed me as part of the 9th annual Women in Horror month. They’ve also reprinted “The Nature of Bees”, a story that originally appeared in Issue 38 of Albedo One and that is included in my collection “All the Fabulous Beasts” from Undertow Publications.

 

 

 

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