The Outer Dark Episode 019

The new The Outer Dark includes an interview with Jennifer Robin, and a special edition of News From the Weird in which host Scott Nicolay interviews a few of us (me, Anya Martin and Ross E. Lockhart) after the end of HPLFF 2017.



My H.P. Lovecraft Film Fest 2017 Schedule

Tomorrow our guests arrive for the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, and Friday the events get underway!

The full schedule is available in PDF format HERE.

Here’s my portion of the schedule, including “note to self” times for when the doors open each day, dinner breaks, and events I’m part of, as well as the screening of They Remain I want to see on Sunday. I’ll have to miss the Saturday world premiere of They Remain in the big theater downstairs because it conflicts with my reading, but as long as I get to catch it the next night, I’m happy.

6PM doors open
8:30-9:30PM “Panel 2: Women in Lovecraftian Fiction, Martin, O’Keefe, R-Smith, Griffin, Lockhart”

12:15 doors open
4-5PM “Panel 4: Evolution of Weird Fiction: Shirley, Carson, Wilson, Griffin, Burk”
5-6:30PM dinner break
8:30-9:30PM “Reading 2, Fuller, Griffin, Hoade”

12:15 doors open
5-6:30PM dinner break
7:20-9:30 They Remain

This event is always really enjoyable, and a great opportunity to see friends and interact with weirdos. We have four people from out of town staying at our house, so it should be a fun four-night slumber party as well!

H.P. Lovecraft Film Fest Next Weekend

After a couple of trips to the East Coast for conventions earlier this summer, I’m very much looking forward to a convention here in Portland. Next Thursday-Sunday, the 2017 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival will be happening at the Hollywood Theater. I’m not sure if this is my sixth or seventh time attending this con, but it’s certainly a sentimental favorite.

I’ll be a guest again this year and should have information soon on programming such readings or panels. The organizers have just posted an updated film schedule:

I’m especially looking forward to the world premiere of They Remain, Philip Gelatt’s take on Laird Barron’s story “–30–,” but there’s all kinds of other great stuff being shown as well.

If you’re going to attend, I look forward to seeing you. If not, I’ll probably be posting a lot of pictures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Darker Companions Coming Soon

I was excited this morning to see an announcement I’ve been awaiting for quite a while. The always excellent PS Publishing is just about ready to go with Darker Companions, the Ramsey Campbell tribute anthology co-edited by Scott David Aniolowski & Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.

Darker Companions will include my story “Meriwether,” in which a couple touring down the coast happen to stop in a small village where an unexplained festival or memorial event seems to be taking place. Contents also include offerings from a really great roster of writers, listed below.

More information can be found on PS Publishing’s order page HERE. They currently list a release date of September 2017, so it won’t be too much longer! One imagines the book will eventually be available through other outlets like Amazon, Book Depository, Barnes and Noble, Powells and other places that usually carry books from PS.

Here’s the full Table of Contents:

Introduction: Hymns from the Church in High Street by Scott David Aniolowski
Holoow by Michael Wehunt
The Long Fade into Evening by Steve Rasnic Tem
Asking Price by S.P. Miskowski
Author! Author? by John Llewellyn Probert
Meriwether by Michael Griffin
The Entertainment Arrives by Alison Littlewood
Premeditation by Marc Laidlaw
A Perfect Replica by Damien Angelica Walters
There, There by Gary McMahon
We Pass from View by Matthew M. Bartlett
Meeting the Master by Gary Fry
Saints in Gold by Kristi DeMeester
This Last Night in Sodom by Cody Goodfellow
The Whither by Kaaron Warren
Uncanny Valley by Jeffrey Thomas
The Dublin Horror by Lynda E. Rucker
The Sixth Floor by Thana Niveau
The Carcass of the Lion by Christopher Slatsky
The Granfalloon by Orrin Grey
Little Black Lamb by Adam L G Nevill

I’m very excited to be part of this one, which represents my first appearance in a PS Publishing book, as well my first time appearing alongside many of these writers. My thanks to editors Scott David Aniolowski and Joseph S. Pulver Sr. for choosing to include me.

NecronomiCon Providence Report, Part 2 – Saturday-Sunday

Previous post HERE covers Thursday and Friday at the convention.

Saturday Lena and I got another late start, skipped breakfast and instead had wonderful early-lunch burritos at Viva Mexico. I should’ve taken pictures! Here’s a picture of me & Lena in the dealer room, photo courtesy of Todd Chicoine.

After yet another run-through of the vending areas, we attended the Thomas Ligotti panel. This featured Alex Houston (moderator), Michael Calia, Jon Padgett, Matthew Bartlett and Michael Cisco.

Jon Padgett offered quite a few special insights and anecdotes from his long friendship with Ligotti. We sat toward the back and couldn’t hear a couple of the panelists very well, so big thanks to Scott Desmarais for recording video, available below!

Immediately after this at 6 PM, just across the hall, was the Looming Low reading. Because we came straight from the other panel, I had to forego my usual fortification of a drink or two just before doing a reading. The event was very well attended, and the room was full, with an especially rowdy contingent of Canadians in back (not visible here).

The picture above is co-editor Justin Steele introducing the program. The audience extended further back, behind what’s shown in this photo.

I read the beginning from “The Sound of Black Dissects the Sun.” Here’s a photo by Jake Marley:

I kind of like this one better, though, as it fits the tone of the story. Photo by Michael Wehunt, with my special, secret “Sound of Black” filter applied.

And here a video of my reading, about 12 minutes worth:

Other readers included Livia Llewellyn, Anya Martin, Brooke Warra, and Michael Wehunt. It was Brooke’s first reading and she did a great job, as did all the others. All my photos had a lot of background glare, so I’ll just post one of Brooke, since a writer’s first reading is a big milestone:

In addition to those of us who read, there were a total of 12 contributors to the book in attendance! The crowd was not only large, but very enthusiastic. I signed more books than I’ve signed all in one place, anywhere, ever. I was also delighted to see how many people owned the hardcover.

Hardcover with art by Marcela Bolivar:

Nothing at all against the paperback — in fact, the art by Yves Tourigny is beautiful and every bit the equal of the hardcover art by Marcela Bolivar — but I love to see people picking up the special limited version despite the higher price. Both versions have the same content, of course, so you can’t go wrong either way. A surprising number of people seemed to have bought one of each.

Trade paperback with art by Yves Tourigny:

The book appears to be one of the Horror/Weird Fiction events of the year, and I very much look forward to investigating all 26 stories. If you weren’t able to pick up a copy at the con but would like to have one, you can order direct from Dim Shores.

Speaking of books and Dim Shores, Sam set aside a few copies of certain out of print Dim Shores chapbooks, intending to sell them at the con, but one of the boxes didn’t arrive until Sunday, after almost everyone had gone. Because of this, a few copies of recent books (previously sold out) are available now via the Dim Shores online store. This includes my own AN IDEAL RETREAT. This hasn’t been for sale in quite a while, and won’t be again, so if you’re ever going to want one of these, grab it up while the store listing is still active.

Here are direct links to the various books available as of now:

Dim Shores storefront
Michael Griffin – An Ideal Retreat
Michael Cisco – The Knife Dance (paperback)
Michael Wehunt – The Tired Sounds, a Wake

Note, not all books published by Dim Shores are by people named Michael! Following is proof:

J.-H. Rosny aîné, translated by Scott Nicolah – The Xipéhuz
Christopher Slatsky – Palladium at Night
Cody Goodfellow – The Polite Ones
Resist and Refuse #1 – a benefit zine
Looming Low volume 1 (trade paperback)
Looming Low volume 1 (deluxe limited hardcover)
Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. and Edward Morris – The Resplendent Troswoman Below

Please note, this last item is a special fundraiser, profits of which go to benefit Joe Pulver, and help offset his ongoing medical costs.

SO, after such events as described above, what more could a convention-goer want? Maybe it was time to call it an evening, shut things down early and retire to restful sleep?


One of the events that has characterized every hotel-based convention I’ve ever attended is the big Saturday night room party. At NecronomiCon in 2013, it was Laird Barron and John Langan’s room. In 2015, with Laird not in attendance, the party happened in John Langan and Paul Tremblay’s room. You might be thinking, “OK, so who did Langan share a room with this year?”

The answer is, John was unable to attend (and was much missed, and also gossiped-about, in his absence), so the torch has been passed to a new generation. The NecronomiCon 2017 room party of record was held in the room 638, shared by Justin Steel and Sam Cowan, co-editors of Looming Low.

There’s a new boss at NecronomiCon!

Justin Steele guarding the first deposits to the Iron Bank of Whiskey.

Here we have Lee Thomas, Katie Lang-Calia, Livia Llewellyn, Michael Calia, Simon Strantzas and Nicholas Kaufmann. The photo is slightly blurry because the room was so hot and humid, my lens fogged up.

Here I am standing by the cool ventilation of the open window with Theresa DeLucci and her husband, mostly talking about how the new Twin Peaks is the best thing ever, and anybody who doesn’t get it is just sad and wrong.

And here’s another angle of the cool, open window, with Paul Tremblay, Michael Calia, Me, Teresa, her husband Pritpaul, and Jake Wyckoff.

Somehow Lena and I managed to stick around until after 2:30 and there were lots of people still up and around when we left. The next day, Sam reported that he finally expelled the last stragglers at 4 AM. Room party successful!

I’ve never been good at falling right asleep when I get home (or at least to my hotel room), so I was up another hour or so, and had to set an alarm to wake me up after a short rest.

Sunday morning, the final morning of the convention, I had my earliest panel. Here’s somebody’s hand-drawn sign outside the room:

So it was, the Dreaded Surreal: Landscapes in Weird Fiction panel, with Eric Schaller (moderator), Craig L. Gidney, me, Jeffrey Thomas and Christopher Burke. Here, during introductions, Jeffrey Thomas shows off the novel I just mentioned.

That’s a buddy, helping with the promotional boost!

The panel went well, with plenty of interesting discussion and questions and recommended reading to check out. Before we know it, though, the thing was over! Not just the panel, but the whole convention.

Lena and I had to leave immediately after the panel, so I had my suitcase with me at the table and headed outside without delay. Before we knew it, Lena and I were at the airport, then through security, and NecronomiCon 2017 was already in the rear-view mirror. The whole convention was a wonderful experience. Highlights included the Looming Low reading, the Dim Shores room party, accepting the Robert Bloch award for Joe Pulver, attending the Ligotti panel, and having a chance to meet a great many online friends in person for the first time.

The NecronomiCon was a great experience all around. I only wish it happened every year. My sincere thanks to Niels Hobbs and his crew of tireless volunteers for making this happen!

NecronomiCon Providence Report, Part 1 – Thursday-Friday

Last weekend, Lena and I attended NecronomiCon in Providence for the third time. We left Wednesday evening, flew overnight through Newark and arrived in Providence early Thursday morning. We tried to take a bus downtown, as we did in 2013 and 2015, but found busses were only running every 2 hours! Instead, took a Lyft and found that a much better alternative. Check-in time at the Omni was 4PM and we arrived almost 8 hours before that, but asked at the desk just in case, and they had our room ready!

Lena and I were both tired from serious lack of sleep, and even more-than-usually delirious, so went to lunch then came back to crash for an hour or two. Not too many people were in town Thursday, but we hung around a bit with Sam Cowan of Dim Shores until others started to arrive toward evening, notably Sam’s co-editor on Looming Low, Justin Steele.

For lunch we went to Viva Mexico, one of our favorite spots in the neighborhood, with Sam and Justin. We ended up seated at a table beside Michael Kelly and his wife Carolyn with Jake Wyckoff, Simon Strantzas and one other person I’m forgetting.

The most notable aspect of this encounter was seeing the Kelly duo polishing off a giant pitcher of margarita between them. OK, it was actually pretty much just Michael all by himself.

It was most interesting to capture a glimpse into how Michael maintains peak mental sharpness, as well as an athlete’s physical stamina, he needs to continue his great work running Undertow Press and putting out the Year’s Best Weird Fiction series.

Lena, Justin, Sam and I went to McCormick’s bar with a few others, including Craig L Gidney, Eric Schaller, Matthew Bartlett, John Glover and Barry Lee Dejasu. I might be forgetting somebody, too. The whole weekend was just such a whirlwind!

Anyway, here’s where it really started to feel like a convention, and here too is where most of us saw the Looming Low hardcover for the first time.

After a bit of random goofing around after dinner, Lena and I decided to turn in early. Though it was tempting to continue hanging around with friends, we were both pretty woozy, since we’d had only an hour or two of sleep the night before.

Friday, we slept in a bit, missed several breakfast invite text messages, and ended up grabbing a late breakfast in McCormick’s. We also decided we like the idea of getting some sleep, and eating a meal that covers both breakfast and lunch, so we don’t have to eat three meals at restaurants every day.

After, we spent a little time in the dealer room, talking with Sam as he set up the Dim Shores table.

Others were offering to sell all kinds of merchandise.. every kind of temptation imaginable!

I bought almost nothing, not because there wasn’t an abundant bounty of stuff I coveted, but because I travelled with a tiny suitcase. Still, I couldn’t pass up an early release of the new collection by one of my favorite writers, S.P. Miskowski. Strange is the Night comes out soon from Trepidation, the same division of Journalstone that published my own novel Hieroglyphs of Blood and Bone, as well as S.P.’s recent novel I Wish I Was Like You, which has been my favorite read of the summer.

We spent more time in the upstairs dealer room, hanging around the Dim Shores table, and spending a bit of time signing some books, and checking out Journalstone, Hippocampus and other dealers.

The downstairs dealer room, seen here, was larger and busier. I think many people shopping down there didn’t even realize there was another dealer room up above until later in the convention, when the traffic seemed to equalize a bit.

My first panel, Friday at 3PM, was ELDRITCH ARTHOUSE. I discussed strange films with Richard Stanley, Gemma Files, Philip Gelatt (moderator), Joseph E Dwyer, me, Izzy Lee and Heather Buckley. It was a lot of fun, interesting and entertaining, and I think the audience went away with several films or directors in mind to check out. There was a fair amount of talk about Tarkovsky’s Stalker and Zulawski’s Possession, both amazing and artful films of special interest to the “weird” community.

I was able to talk a bit about David Lynch and a bit more about Lars von Trier and Antichrist (which remains a powerful film despite the presence of the talking fox), and was happy to listen to lots of other good stories, anecdotes and information. After, Heather Buckley had the very good idea that the world needs a Ken Russell panel in the future. Yes!

That evening was the Guest Reception, restricted to Guests and Gold Key ticket holders, and held up on the 17th floor of the Biltmore. Following conversation and drinks and small plates of food, NecronomiCon coordinator Niels Hobbs presented the Robert Bloch Awards. I had been informed in advance that I needed to be present to accept an award on behalf of a friend who could not be present.

One of two such award was given to my friend Joe Pulver, who at the last minute was prevented from attending due to a health scare. It was a shame Joe had to miss receiving this award in person, but it was wonderful to hear the appreciation Niels Hobbs expressed for Joe and his influence upon the community.

After Niels spoke, it was my pleasure to say a little about what Providence and NecronomiCon mean to him, and his wife Katrin. I was honored to be a small part of the occasion.

Here is a camera phone video of Niels making a speech honoring Joe, and presenting the award, then my own remarks accepting the award for Joe, and expressing how I believe Joe feels about this event and the people surrounding it. The video also shows the presentation of the second award.

The whole event was very nice, though of course everyone was a bit sad because we all knew how happy it would have made Joe if he’d been able to receive the award in person. The photos and video were passed along to his wife Katrin Pulver, who shared the story with Joe in the hospital.

After the reception, we went back to Sam Cowan and Justin Steele’s room for a small get-together. We enjoyed a little taste of the very special whiskey Justin had obtained for room party to be held by Dim Shores to celebrate the release of Looming Low.

This small group, anticipating the more challenging adventure of the big Saturday night party to come, took it somewhat easy, tasted the good stuff, and conversed in hushed, reverent tones. It was almost civilized!

This gets us through Friday night, roughly the first half of the NecronomiCon 2017 adventure. If I’ve forgotten anything from Thursday or Friday, let me know! I’ll post a follow-up, covering Saturday and Sunday, very soon.

Providence Bound

Lena and I will be arriving in Providence Thursday morning for NecronomiCon, and participating in the scheduled events already mentioned in the previous post.

I should be posting lots of pictures, which won’t show up here until later, if at all. If you want to follow along, check my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds, and give me a like/friend/follow or that sort of thing.

I’m really looking forward to this convention, especially seeing the two newly-released books in which I’m a participant.

Also, copies of my own books should be available in the dealer room — Word Horde has items for sale at the Martial Migraine Press table, and Journalstone’s table should have books from their Trepidatio imprint as well. I’ll stop by those tables and sign the stock, if possible, and I’ll be glad to sign anybody’s unsigned copies as well.

Activites at NecronomiCon Providence 2017

Here are my scheduled activites at NecronomiCon Providence 2017, which happens August 17-20.

Friday – 3:00-4:15pm
Jodorowsky, Lynch, Gilliam, Maddin, Tarkovsky… Arthouse cinema directors have long been praised for their use of strange and abstract elements. How much of these narrative and visuals elements are rooted in literary works, particularly in Weird fiction? What parallels may be drawn between notable works of film and particular works of the Weird?
Panelists: Joseph Dwyer, Gemma Files, Philip Gelatt (Moderator), Mike Griffin, Izzy Lee, Richard Stanley

Saturday – 6:00-7:15pm
AUTHOR READINGS – L’Apogee, Biltmore 17th Floor
Looming Low Launch Party – Michael Griffin, Livia Llewellyn, Anya Martin, Michael Wehunt

Sunday 10:30-11:45AM
The Dreaded Surreal: Landscapes in Weird Fiction – Newport-Washington, Omni 3rd Floor
External landscapes have been something of a dark playground for weird fiction writers and artists throughout the history of the genre. Many bizarre and unsettling places have served as the settings for countless memorable works. Which of these fictional places have been most memorable in the minds of artists and writers working in horror, weird fiction, and science fiction today? What strange, terrifying places may yet be created? And how might they steer the genre in terms of narrative structure and content?
Panelists: Christopher Burke, Craig Gidney, Mike Griffin, Eric Schaller (Moderator), Jeffrey Thomas

The full schedule is available here:

Of course, much of the fun of this convention, and any other, comes from the many unscheduled and random interactions, browsing the dealer room, enjoying drinks and meals, meeting new friends and seeing old friends yet again. I very much look forward to NecronomiCon Providence next week!

Ambient Horror Interview by Gus Butler on CVLT Nation

Gus Butler recently interviewed me for CVLT Nation, an interview which covered both my writing and music activities. This made for an interesting exchange, beyond the usual questions. We started via Facebook private messaging, and continued via email, and Gus included the less formal early exchanges.


In his novel, Hieroglyphs of Blood and Bone, for example, he shows us a man of 50, post-divorce, who meets a mysterious woman whose appearance in his life pushes him out of a funk. That description might sound like countless Hollywood afterthoughts, but Griffin uses that familiarity to slowly pulsate his narrative into desolate ambiguity and cosmic unease. By the end of the novel, a reader can’t be sure how much of the narrative to trust at all, nor the actual fate of its hapless characters. Much of Griffin’s writing is almost like cosmic horror glimpsed through a rotting fence: there are rarely the blood-soaked set-pieces that some horror fans come to the party for; monsters are limited to the hidden beasts many humans act to ignore within themselves. Yet, SOMETHING is happening behind the shroud of reality.


My thanks to Gus Butler for the interesting questions and ideas, and to for hosting the interview.

The News According to Dim Shores

Just back from ReaderCon 2017, and I may have more to say about that soon. For now, just a couple of notes about news from today’s Dim Shores email update.

First, Sam Cowan of Dim Shores confirms that Looming Low (the first installment) will in fact be released at NecronomiCon Providence in both Deluxe Hardcover and Trade Paperback. You can order copies to pick up at the con, or to be mailed out afterward. Looming Low was talked about quite a bit at ReaderCon, and clearly a lot of people are very excited about it.

Also, Sam will have 10 copies each of several sold-out chapbooks to sell at NecronomiCon, including:

THE XIPÉHUZ (J.-H. Rosny aîné, Scott Nicolay, Michael Bukowski)
THE TIRED SOUNDS, A WAKE (Michael Wehunt, Justine Jones)
AN IDEAL RETREAT (Michael Griffin, Mikio Murakami)

So, if you missed out on any of these, make sure you race directly to the Dim Shores table in the dealer room as soon as you can!

Lastly, back to Looming Low news, seven contributors to the book will be reading in a pair of reading blocks yet to be scheduled. Those include:

Nadia Bulkin
Michael Cisco
Michael Griffin
Livia Llewellyn
Anya Martin
Scott Nicolay
Michael Wehunt

I’m most definitely looking forward to seeing the book and hearing all these readers together!