Tag Archives: Ellen Datlow

The Ghost of a Flea

I have made the Flea my business since that first night with John Varley.

I searched out Robert Hooke’s Micrographia: Some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies Made by Magnifying Glasses with Observations and Enquiries. Micrographia. Small drawings.

Hooke’s work is an exquisite endeavour but his rendering of the flea is larger than any other creature therein. So much so that the page folds out as if Hooke is trying to communicate something. Why else would he elevate the flea so?

Hooke made his study in 1665. One hundred and fifty-three years ago. He writes with obscene interest  of the flea’s curiously polish’d suit of sable Armour, neatly jointed, and beset with multitudes of sharp pinns, shap’d almost like Porcupine’s Quills, or bright conical Steel-bodkins; the head is on either side beautify’d with a quick and round black eye, behind each of which also appears a small cavity, in which he seems to move to and fro a certain thin film beset with many small transparent hairs, which probably may be his ears; in the forepart of his head, between the two fore-leggs, he has two small long jointed feelers, or rather smellers…

            That we could be terrorised by something so minute is both woeful and laughable. Unlike Hooke I see nothing to admire in this parasite. I’ve seen the Flea’s ghost and he doesn’t look like Hooke’s drawing. No, not at all.

The Ghost of a Flea by Priya Sharma
The flea from Hooke’s Micrographia

This story has been in my head for years, ever since I attended a series of talks called “Dreams and Nightmares” at Liverpool University as part of their Continuing Education Classes. William Blake’s “The Ghost of a Flea” stayed with me and I have finally exorcised it via a story for Ellen Datlow’s anthology Screams from the Dark: 29 Tales of Monsters and the Monstrous.

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Screams From The Dark

I love a good monster story, so am thrilled to be in Ellen Datlow’s new anthology with a story called “The Ghost of a Flea”.

Contributers list: Ian Rogers, Fran Wilde, Gemma Files, Daryl Gregory, Priya Sharma, Brian Hodge, Joyce Carol Oates, Indrapramit Das, Siobhan Carroll, Richard Kadrey, Norman Partridge, Garry Kilworth, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Chikodili Emelumadu, Glen Hirshberg, A. C. Wise, Stephen Graham Jones, Kaaron Warren, Livia Llewellyn, Carole Johnstone, Margo Lanagan, Joe R. Lansdale, Brian Evenson, Nathan Ballingrud, Cassandra Khaw, Laird Barron, Kristi DeMeester, Jeffrey Ford, and John Langan.

Find out more here.

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Breaking the Glass Slipper

Thanks to Charlotte Bond, Lucy Hounsom (who writes as Times Bestseller author Lucy Holland), and Megan Leigh, the team at Breaking the Glass Slipper for having me on their show. We talked about families in horror fiction and my new story (“The Ghost of a Flea”) which appears in Screams from the Dark: 29 Tales of Monsters and the Monstrous, edited by Ellen Datlow, out from Tor Nightfire on June 7th.

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Body Shocks Edited by Ellen Datlow

Body Shocks Edited by Ellen Datlow is now out from Tachyon Press.

“Hugo Award–winning editor Datlow brings together 29 spine-tingling tales of body horror to terrify even the most seasoned horror reader.”

– Starred review from Publishers Weekly

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

Contents:

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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Screams From The Dark

Screams From the Dark: Tales of Monsters and the Monstrous, a thrilling anthology featuring all-original tales of monsters from bestselling and award-winning authors and edited by Ellen Datlow, will be published by Nightfire in June 2022!

From werewolves and vampires, to demons and aliens, the monster is one of the most recognizable figures in horror. But what makes something, or someone, monstrous?

Nightfire

I am thrilled to be included alongside a dizzying list of writers in this all anthology of new stories. The list so far includes Indrapramit Das, Ian Rogers, Gerry Kilworth, Joe R. Lansdale, Glen Hirshberg, Stephen Graham Jones, Carole Johnstone, Laird Barron, Nathan Ballingrud, John Langan, Siobhan Carroll, A.C. Wise, Daryl Gregory, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Brian Evenson, Margo Lanagan, Richard Kadrey, Fran Wilde, Brian Hodge, Joyce Carol Oates, Jeffrey Ford, Kaaron Warren, Cassandra Khaw, and Kristi DeMeester.

You can find more information here.

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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.

Contents:

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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Fantastic Fiction at KGB

Massive thanks to Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressell for inviting me to their virtual Fantastic Fiction at KGB.

It’s now on YouTube. I’d urge you to listen in as Justin C. Key is just brilliant. I’ve not read any of his work but I will be after last night. Read “The Perfection of Theresa Watkins” on Tor.com.

Justin was a hard act to follow. I read “Egg”, a story that first appeared in Paula Guran’s Once Upon A Time: New Fairy Tales and then All The Fabulous Beasts, my collection from Undertow Publications.

January’s guests are Lauren Beukes and Usman T. Malik

 

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Fantastic Fiction At KGB

Fantastic Fiction at KGB is a monthly speculative-fiction reading series held on the third Wednesday of every month originally at the KGB Bar in New York City, and now on YouTube, hosted by Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel.

Previous readers include Joyce Carol Oates, Joe Hill, Jeffrey Ford, Scott, Kelly Link, China Miéville, Nancy Kress, Paul Tremblay, Peter Straub, Catherynne Valente, Ellen Kushner, Jeff VanderMeer, Naomi Novik, Elizabeth Bear, and William Gibson, just to name a few.

I am excited and nervous to be appearing alongside Justin C. Key, December 16th, 7pm Eastern Time. This will be streamed live on YouTube.

Justin C. Key is a speculative fiction writer and psychiatrist. His stories have appeared or are forthcoming in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, Tor.com, Escape Pod, and Crossed Genres. His novella, Spider King, will be released by Serial Box in early 2021.

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Edited By

In dozens of anthologies published over the last thirty years, the words “edited by” have been followed by a singularly reassuring name: Ellen Datlow. For countless readers (and writers), Datlow’s name has served as a virtual guarantee of quality. Each of her many anthologies, whatever its specific nature, reflects a high degree of taste, intelligence, and professional judgment. As Gary K. Wolfe notes in his excellent introduction, her work has received “an almost unprecedented string of honors.” Honors and awards are fine, of course, but it’s the stories that ultimately matter. And Datlow has ushered more good stories into the world than any editor in living memory. The book you are currently holding stands as a testament to that fact.

Edited By is a thoroughgoing attempt to reflect both the quality and infinite variety of the fiction she has championed in the course of her career. The stories gathered here come from all over the literary map. There are SF, fantasy, and horror stories, often in unique combinations. There are household names among the contributors, such as Neil Gaiman, whose screenplay/story “Eaten (Scenes from a Moving Picture)” is a chilling account of eater and eaten, predator and prey. There are newer, lesser known figures as well, among them Nathan Ballingrud, whose “Monsters of Heaven” is an achingly beautiful story of grief, loss, and strange encounters. And there are many award-winning writers included, among them Elizabeth Hand, Kelly Link, Lucius Shepard, Ted Chiang, and Jeffrey Ford, to name just a few. Their contributions are among the many highlights of this book.

From publisher Subterranean Press.

 

Edited By is now out in hardback. It can be bought directly from Subterranean Press, Amazon UK, Amazon US, your local bookshop, among others.

I am delighted to be included in such a special book. “The Crow Palace” was first published in Ellen Datlow’s Black Feather: Dark Avian Tales in 2017.

Table of Contents:

Introduction by Gary K. Wolfe (not signing), Home by the Sea by Pat Cadigan, The Evolution of Trickster Stories Among the Dogs of North Park After the Change by Kij Johnson, The Bedroom Light by Jeffrey Ford, The Carrion Gods in Their Heaven by Laird Barron, The Crow Palace by Priya Sharma, Some Strange Desire by Ian McDonald, The Lepidopterist by Lucius Shepard, Bird Count by Jane Yolen, Anamorphosis by Caitlín R. Kiernan, The Hortlak by Kelly Link, In the Month of Athyr by Elizabeth Hand,Precious by Nalo Hopkinson, Daniel’s Theory About Dolls by Stephen Graham Jones, The Mysteries by Livia Llewellyn, Dancing Men by Glen Hirshberg, The Office of Doom by Richard Bowes, Black Nightgown by K. W. Jeter, A Delicate Architecture Catherynne M. Valente, The Goosle by Margo Lanagan, Eaten (Scenes from a Moving Picture) by Neil Gaiman, Teratisms by Kathe Koja, The Monsters of Heaven by Nathan Ballingrud, That Old School Tie by Jack Womack, Love and Sex Among the Invertebrates by Pat Murphy, Overlooking by Carol Emshwille, Sonny Liston Takes the Fall by Elizabeth Bear, Technicolor by John Langan, The Sawing Boys by Howard Waldrop, Shay Corsham Worsted by Garth Nix, Seventy-Two Letters by Ted Chiang, Interview with Ellen Datlow by Gwenda Bond

 

 

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