Save money! Support independent publishing! Get great books!
It’s a bundle of 5 books that can be purchased for whatever the buyer thinks it’s worth, and if the payment is $15 or greater, you get 10 bonus books, including my story collection The Human Alchemy. You can optionally donate 10% of your purchase price to Planned Parenthood at the time of purchase — not paying 10% extra, but just saying “yes, please give 10% of what I paid to charity.”
Aside from the fact that I’ve had two books published by Word Horde, I really believe every book they’ve done has been worth owning — in fact, I’ve already purchased them all! If you own some of these already, it’s still a great way to pick up a lot of what Word Horde has released for a great price, and put some money in the pockets of some great authors, an amazing press, and if you’re so inclined, a worthy institution in Planned Parenthood.
Even if you already own every one of these books, as I do, you can purchase the bundle as a gift for another reader you suspect might enjoy them.
There’s a lot more information about the bundle and all the individual books and authors here: https://storybundle.com/horror
My sincere thanks to Molly Tanzer for curating the bundle (Molly’s super-enjoyable novel Vermilion is part of the 15 book package as well), and to Word Horde for putting out so many great books.
The panel moderator is Gwen Callahan, known to many of you as the co-director of the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, and my fellow panelists include Wendy Wagner, Cody Goodfellow and Christine Morgan.
You can register free of charge at the following link:
Here’s the flier with a bit more information:
In this time without literary and film conventions, it will be nice to chat with my fellow Portland horror writers, and answer questions from readers, writers and anyone else interested in taking part. Obviously because this is online, there’s no reason this should be restricted to people in the Portland metro area, so I hope we’ll see some of our non-local friends at the event!
If you’re on social media, you’ve probably seen various small publishers pointing out that their books are available via Bookshop.org which appears to be an online ordering option for people who want to avoid the “giants” like Amazon, Book Depository and BarnesAndNoble.com
I haven’t ordered from them yet, but I’ll probably give it a try soon and see how it goes.
They seem to have lots of things listed, including my three currently in print books, The Human Alchemy, The Lure of Devouring Light and Hieroglyphs of Blood and Bone. See here:
I assume Armageddon House will appear at some point as well.
I’ll be at ReaderCon this year, Thursday through Sunday. This will probably be the only convention I’ll travel to this year (though I’ll hit the local ones, like HP Lovecraft Film Fest).
As usual, I look forward to reconnecting with old friends, and meeting new ones. It seems as if many of the people I usually spend time with every year, including my #1 ReaderCon buddy Justin Steele, will be absent this year.
I couldn’t miss the 2019 ReaderCon, though, as I’ll be receiving my rock as a Shirley Jackson Award nominee. As far as I’m concerned, this is the top award in the fields of horror and weird fiction, and to me, just being nominated feels like winning. Assuming I’m not the recipient of the award (don’t get me wrong, winning would be nice and I wouldn’t turn it down), I’ll feel nothing but pride and satisfaction at being a finalist.
As usual, I’ll try to post pictures along the way. The Shirley Jackson Award ceremony is 11 AM Eastern, and will be streamed here:
If you see me at the convention, please say hello, even if it seems I don’t recognize you. Sometimes social media friends just need a little reminder, and I love the chance to meet online friends in person.
I wrote that previous “Hey, I’m a Shirley Jackson Award finalist!” blog in advance, knowing that the announcement was going to happen while I was at work. At the time, I didn’t know who else was nominated, but the announcement has been posted and I’ll copy it here:
In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson’s writing, and with permission of the author’s estate, The Shirley Jackson Awards, Inc. has been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.
The Shirley Jackson Awards are voted upon by a jury of professional writers, editors, critics, and academics. The awards are given for the best work published in the preceding calendar year in the following categories: Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Single-Author Collection, and Edited Anthology.
The nominees for the 2018 Shirley Jackson Awards are:
Everything Under, Daisy Johnson (Jonathan Cape)
In the Night Wood, Dale Bailey (John Joseph Adams Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Little Eve, Catriona Ward (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, an imprint of The Orion Publishing Group)
Social Creature, Tara Isabella Burton (Double Day/Raven Books)
We Sold Our Souls, Grady Hendrix (Quirk Books)
Judderman, DA Northwood (Gary Budden) (Dead Ink Books/Cinder House Publishing)
The Atrocities, Jeremy C. Shipp (Tor.com)
The Only Harmless Great Thing, Brooke Bolander (Tor.com)
The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky, John Hornor Jacobs (HarperCollins Publishers)
The Taiga Syndrome, Cristina Rivera Garza (Dorothy, a Publishing Project)
“Adriftica,” Maria Dahvana Headley (Robots vs. Fairies)
“Blood and Smoke, Vinegar and Ashes,” D.P. Watt (The Silent Garden)
Ghostographs: An Album, Maria Romasco Moore (Rose Metal Press)
“Help the Witch,” Tom Cox (Help the Witch)
“The Black Sea,” Chris Mason (Beneath the Waves – Tales from the Deep, April 2018)
“Back Seat,” Bracken MacLeod (Lost Highways)
“Hell,” David Hansen (The Charcoal Issue of Fairy Tale Review, March 2018)
“How to be a Horror Writer,” Tim Waggoner (Vastarien: A Literary Journal vol 1., issue 2 – Summer / Grimscribe Press)
“The Astronaut,” Christina Wood Martinez (Granta 142: Animalia)
“The Woman Dies,” Aoko Matsuda, translated from the Japanese by Polly Barton (online edition of Granta 144: genericlovestory)
All the Fabulous Beasts, Priya Sharma (Undertow Publications)
From Deep Places, Gemma Files (Trepidatio Publishing)
Garden of Eldritch Delights, Lucy A. Snyder (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
Quartier Perdu, Sean O’Brien (Comma Press)
The Human Alchemy, Michael Griffin (Word Horde)
Chiral Mad 4: An Anthology of Collaborations, edited by Michael Bailey and Lucy A. Snyder (Written Backwards)
Robots vs Fairies, edited by Navah Wolfe and Dominik Parisien (Saga Press)
The Silent Garden: A Journal of Esoteric Fabulism, edited by The Silent Garden Collective (Undertow Publications)
This Dreaming Isle, edited by Dan Coxon (Unsung Stories)
Tiny Crimes: Very Short Tales of Mystery and Murder, edited by Lincoln Michel and Nadxieli Nieto (Black Balloon)
Shirley Jackson (1916-1965) wrote such classic novels as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, as well as one of the most famous short stories in the English language, “The Lottery.” Her work continues to be a major influence on writers of every kind of fiction, from the most traditional genre offerings to the most innovative literary work.
The 2018 Shirley Jackson Awards will be presented on Sunday, July 14, 2019, at Readercon 30, Conference on Imaginative Literature, in Quincy, Massachusetts. Readercon Guests of Honor Tananarive Due and Stephen Graham Jones will be the ceremony hosts.
Media representatives who are seeking further information or interviews should contact JoAnn F. Cox.
My sincere thanks to all the jurors and board members for the Shirley Jackson Awards, and congratulations to all the other nominees!
One of the rare but wonderful occurrences in publishing is the moment before an upcoming book is published when the blurbs start to arrive. Not many things feel as wonderful as receiving endorsements from some of my favorite writers. For The Human Alchemy, I made of point of only reaching out to writers who hadn’t written blurbs for The Lure of Devouring Light (which included Laird Barron, S.P. Miskowki, Jeffrey Thomas and Michael Cisco). The blog post where I first announced the blurbs for my first collection is here
This time, I was lucky enough to get responses from Richard Gavin, Brian Evenson, Gabino Iglesias and Gemma Files. Despite my “no repeat” rule, S.P. Miskowski did return to write the introduction, about which I’ll say more in a future blog post.
For now, here’s what Richard, Brian, Gabino and Gemma had to say.
“Every story in The Human Alchemy is a finely-wrought tapestry, containing many shades of darkness and light. Michael Griffin deftly weaves together threads of loss, mysticism, and creeping fear to create a truly remarkable collection. His tales usher the reader through the familiar world, then reveals to them the infinite.”
— Richard Gavin, author of Sylvan Dread
“Griffin’s characters often live in the aftermath of loss and, deeply wounded, they search for something to make them whole or to make them feel the world is not an arbitrary place. From cult followers awaiting enlightenment, to believers in mystical texts, to a mathematician who tries to formulate the structure of the world, to a woman who thinks she’s entering a threesome but ends up getting (and losing) so much more, Griffin’s characters pursue the lure of enlightenment into places that are very dark indeed–and once they’re inside, chances are they won’t be able to get out. A strong collection that makes us understand the weird in a powerful new way.”
— Brian Evenson, author of A Collapse of Horses
“Michael Griffin’s The Human Alchemy is fine art dripping slime from another dimension. This is cool, strange, creepy, elegant fiction. Think Iceberg Slim in a tailor-made Italian suit channeling the best of Lovecraft while dragging it, kicking and screaming, into our time. Throw in crackling dialogue and an Escher-like ability to bend time and space while forging new realities and what you have is a collection that cements Griffin as one of the most stylish, unique, and entertaining voices in contemporary weird fiction.”
— Gabino Iglesias, author of Zero Saints
“Michael Griffin’s The Human Alchemy reveals a multifoliatedly arcane world hidden beneath the surface of our own mundane one, riddling it with hell-holes, quicksand and potential ecstatic ruin. His stories snag and drown readers by degrees, fast or slow, every sequence a new section of reef lying in wait for unwary navigators, especially those trained to expect the usual horror tropes. In other words, damn this stuff is Weird.”
— Gemma Files, author of Experimental Film
I can’t possibly thank these four amazing writers enough to accurately convey how flattered and pleased I am to receive their words. I hope anyone not already familiar with the work of any or all of the four will seek it out.
Maybe you missed The Outer Dark Symposium in San Jose two weekends ago, and wish you could’ve attended all the panels and readings? If so, you’re in luck, because The Outer Dark is also a podcast, and they’re starting to run audio of some of that programming.
Upcoming installments of The Outer Dark podcast will feature panels and other readings. It was a great convention, and now’s your chance to check it out.
Next week I’ll be heading down to San Jose, California for the 2018 Outer Dark Symposium, held this year at the famous and scary Winchester Mystery House.
The Indiegogo fundraiser supporting this event still runs for two more days, so you can look HERE for supporting memberships, or to purchase donated books and other perks.
I’ll be part of a Friday evening reading, along with Rios de la Luz, Tiffany Scandal and Scott R Jones, at the Plaza Suites hotel.
The Symposium proper happens on Saturday, with four panels, all of which sound interesting to me. I’ll be a panelist on panel #3, “The Frame is the Landscape. In between the panels are individual readings. After, we’ll be taking guided tours of the Winchester Mystery House.
Sunday, after the Symposium is officially closed, there will be a breakfast, then a few off-site activities for those who aren’t heading home immediately.
This should be tons of fun! I’ll post photos for those who can’t be present, as much as possible. I look forward to seeing many good friends again, and meeting new ones for the first time.
Brown Paper Tickets link: https://theouterdark.brownpapertickets.com/
The Outer Dark Symposium Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/192046028027298/
Friday Night Readings Presented by Word Horde Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/268053990398820/
John Langan’s 2017 summary article “2017: A Year Inside the Tent” now appears on the Locus Magazine web site, and it’s a good overview of the prior year.
John calls out my debut novel Hieroglyphs of Blood and Bone, as well as several of the anthologies in which I appeared last year, and mentions a lot of other novels, collections, and anthologies and works of nonfiction. Definitely worth a look.