The Human Alchemy – Shirley Jackson Award Finalist

I’m thrilled and very proud to announce that my latest book The Human Alchemy is a finalist for the 2018 Shirley Jackson Awards in the category of Best Story Collection.

The Shirley Jacksons are my favorite awards, which always influence my reading list after each year’s nominees are announced. I’ve really enjoyed attending Readercon in recent years, and that’s the event where the awards are given out. For the 2013 Shirley Jackson Awards, I had the great experience of accepting the “Best Edited Anthology” award won for The Grimscribe’s Puppets by my great friend Joe Pulver, who could not attend.

It’s common for people nominated for awards to express some variation of, “It’s an honor just to be nominated,” but in this case, I really think it’s true. To find myself judged worthy to stand among the ranks of so many of my favorite writers, who have been nominated in the past, is such a great honor. In a nod to Jackson’s best-known story “The Lottery,” in which stones small enough to hold in the hand play an important part, SJA nominees receive an inscribed rock. I think even the eventual winners of the award prize the rock more highly than the award statue itself, and I’ve always been jealous of the rocks received by other writers and editors in the past.

Here’s the excellent Justin Steele with the rock he received for his Shirley Jackson Award nomination for Best Edited Anthology for Looming Low. Justin also has one for the previous anthology he edited, The Children of Old Leech. Steely has received a rock for 100% of the anthologies he has co-edited, which is some kind of really good success rate.

This year, I’m going to get a rock for myself!

As I write this, I don’t yet know who the other nominees are, but I have a few guesses, and can’t wait to find out! Every year’s list of nominees includes past greats, and future stars. It’s truly exciting to anticipate finding myself named among them.

I’d like to thank this year’s jury for choosing The Human Alchemy to stand among the best story collections published in 2018, and also especially want to thank my Publisher, Ross E. Lockhart of Word Horde, for doing so much to present my writing in the best possible light.

2018 This Is Horror Awards Nominations

The 2018 This Is Horror Awards nominations were released today, and I was surprised and very pleased to see my collection The Human Alchemy among the nominees in the Best Collection category.

This comes at a good time, and feels like a great boost! My thanks to This Is Horror and whichever person(s) nominated my book, and really, thanks to anyone and everyone who has read it and helped spread the word.

You can vote on the nominations and help decide who wins the awards by visiting here:

This Is Horror Awards 2018: Vote Now!

This Is Horror Raves About The Human Alchemy

Paul Michaels raves about The Human Alchemy for This Is Horror.

“The Human Alchemy is a thing of beauty, a showcase for a writer who is in possession of a startling array of skills.”

Paul gives the book a careful look, discussing every story in the collection at some length. It’s the most detailed and positive review The Human Alchemy has received so far! My thanks to Paul and This Is Horror for the coverage.

Link:
http://www.thisishorror.co.uk/book-review-the-human-alchemy-by-michael-griffin/

The Human Alchemy Release Day

Today is the official release day of The Human Alchemy.

The Human Alchemy

Some people who preordered direct from Word Horde have received their copies a few days early, and I’ve really enjoyed seeing photos of those paperbacks (and in one case, a Kindle screen) posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I’m not sure why, but somehow seeing the book in the hands of a specific reader makes the connection seem so much more real than when someone just says “I bought a copy.” All the support is appreciated!

Earlier in the week I posted direct links to where the book could be ordered, including Word Horde, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and IndieBound.

A couple more have appeared since:

Book Depository (paperback):
https://www.bookdepository.com/Human-Alchemy-Michael-Griffin/9781939905406

Weightless Books (ebook):
https://weightlessbooks.com/format/the-human-alchemy/

I’m not done bothering everyone about this book, but it’s very exciting to have it out there in the world now, and no longer just “coming soon!”

Where to Preorder The Human Alchemy

This week The Human Alchemy will be out… well, this weekend, at least. Official release date is June 30. So then, assuming you want to get your hands on a copy, where can you get it? Here are some ideas.

PAPERBACK + DIGITAL BUNDLE:

https://wordhorde.com/product/ha-bundle/

PAPERBACK:

AMAZON https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1939905400

B&N https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-human-alchemy-michael-griffin/1128891576

INDIEBOUND https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781939905406

POWELL’S http://www.powells.com/book/the-human-alchemy-9781939905406

KINDLE EBOOK:

NOOK E-BOOK:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-human-alchemy-michael-griffin/1128891576?ean=2940162151340

KOBO E-BOOK:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-human-alchemy

There will probably be others soon, but that’s the list as of now. I very much appreciate the support of everyone who orders a copy!

Hypnotic Book-Buying Enticements

My very fine publisher Word Horde has just come out with a couple of eye-catching promotional bits for my upcoming collection, The Human Alchemy.

Here’s the coolest one.

Earlier, there was this…

It’s wonderful to see Word Horde doing these super-cool, inventive bits to help spread awareness of the books!

Publishers Weekly Likes The Human Alchemy

Publishers Weekly just came out with their review of The Human Alchemy, and they seem to think you ought to buy it and read it.

Here’s a little snippet of the review:

Griffin (The Lure of Devouring Light) creates characters who have experienced deeply personal losses that make their quests to rise above circumstances seem a poignant effort to deny that “everything and everyone… might vanish before its time.” His stories are fantastical and horrific, and their outcomes are refreshingly unpredictable.

Full review link:
https://www.publishersweekly.com/9781939905406

A nice, generous review, which features a couple of brief quotes from the text, and calls out “The Tidal Pull of Salt and Sand” and “Endure Within a Dying Frame” in particular.

Thanks, PW!

Four Wonderful Endorsements

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.

The Human Alchemy Cover Reveal

Things are starting to move along more quickly for my upcoming collection, The Human Alchemy. The latest thing I have for you is a glimpse of the front cover.

Our intention was to create a cover that looked similar to The Lure of Devouring Light, so the books seemed to go together. The artist is the same, Jarek Kubicki, and Scott R Jones tweaked the layout just slightly.

My thanks to Jarek, Scott and of course Publisher Ross E. Lockhart for this great work. I feel like the cover is a great representation of what’s on the pages within.

The Human Alchemy will be out at the end of June, and can now be pre-ordered from Word Horde here.

Progress on The Human Alchemy

An upcoming book doesn’t seem quite real until certain things happen. When I see the cover art, when I get the marked-up manuscript from the copy editor, when reviewers start mentioning they’ve received their Advance Review Copies, when the book is available for pre-order, and when the cover art is first revealed to the public, these are the things that make me feel like the book is something that’s really going to happen soon.

My second collection The Human Alchemy will be released next month, and we’re now at the stage of passing many of these milestones.

I just received the copy edited proofs, and will go through them this weekend.

I’ve seen what cover will look like, and it’s fantastic.

The Advance Review Copies have gone out – here’s a photo from Gordon B. White showing the ARC he just received. This isn’t the official cover art, of course, just a placeholder.

We’ve even received some hints of early reviews that will be appearing.

Next week, the book will be up for pre-order at wordhorde.com and we’ll be revealing the cover as well.

This book is starting to get real!