Year’s Best Weird Fiction V.1 Short List

Michael Kelly just announced the “almost made the cut” list for Year’s Best Weird Fiction, volume 1, Edited by Laird Barron. I’m very proud and pleased to find my story “Diamond Dust on the list, among some great company.


Michael said: “These are the “Other Notable Works of Weird Fiction” that will be mentioned in the Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Volume 1. In essence, these are the stories that made the very short list, and were in serious final consideration to make the book.”

“Vivian Guppy and the Brighton Belle” Nina Allan, Rustblind and Silverbright

“Americca” Aimee Bender, Slate

“The Sweet Virgin Meat” Kola Boof, Exotic Gothic 5

“The Vast Impatience Of The Night” Mark Fuller Dillon, In a Season of Dead Weather

“Oubliette” Gemma Files, The Grimscribe’s Puppets

“Rocket to Hell” Jeffrey Ford,

“The Man Who Escaped His Story” Cody Goodfellow, The Grimscribe’s Puppets

“Diamond Dust” Mike Griffin, The Grimscribe’s Puppets

“Baba Makosh” MK Hobson, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction

“Mother of Stone,” John Langan, The Wide Carnivorous Sky & Other Monstrous Geographies

“Interstate Love Affair” Stephen Graham Jones, Three Miles Past

“The Cave” Sean F. Lynch, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction

“Hideous Interview with Brief Man” Nick Mamatas, Fiddleback

“In the Darkest Room in the Darkest House on the Darkest Part of the Street” Gary McMahon, For the Night is Dark

“The Design” China Mieville, McSweeney’s 45

“All Your Faces Drown in My Syringe” Ralph Robert Moore, Black Static 37

“Black Hen a La Ford” David Nickle, Chilling Tales: In Words, Alas, Drown I

“The Last Hour of the Bengal Tiger” Yoko Ogawa, Revenge

“The House on Cobb Street” Lynda E. Rucker, Nightmare Magazine

“How I Met the Ghoul” Sofia Samatar, Eleven Eleven

“The Painted Bones” Kelly Simmons, Unlikely Story Issue 6

“Touch Me With Your Cold, Hard Fingers” Elizabeth Stott, Nightjar Press

“Abyssus Abyssum Invocat” Genevieve Valentine, Lightspeed Magazine

“The Fox” Conrad Williams, This is Horror

“On Murder Island” Matt Williamson, Nightmare Magazine

Me again. Congratulations to all the others on this list, to those who actually made it into the book (which is going to be a wonderful anthology — Table of Contents here), and thanks to Laird Barron and Michael Kelly of Undertow Publications for all the hard work. The book will be out this summer.

If You Want to Read My Work

I’ve made a lot of new friends and come into contact with lots of new people lately, both in the real world and social media. NecronomiCon Providence (see last several blog posts) is probably the main reason, and the “friend of a friend” networking effect, following on from that event.

If you’re interested in getting more familiar with my work, I have some suggestions.

My story “Diamond Dust” appeared in the wonderful Thomas Ligotti tribute anthology, The Grimscribe’s Puppets, edited by Joseph S. Pulver Sr. and published by Miskatonic River Press. You can find that book in several formats HERE.

“Arches and Pillars” was published in the latest issue of Black Static, a very fine magazine of horror fiction published in the UK. You can subscribe or purchase individual copies directly from the publisher TTA Press, or you can quickly grab the Kindle version HERE.

You can also find my story “The Lure of Devouring Light” free to read online at Apex Magazine. I’m in Issue 47, April 2013.

Another of my stories that’s free to read online is “Nectar of Strange Lips,” published in Lovecraft eZine Issue 23, April 2013.

I’ve published other stories around, but these are the ones that seem to have received the most attention. Here are some cool book and magazine covers to entice you.





Reading With Pulver, Nicolay and Barron

In an earlier post, I mentioned the surprise reading. If you don’t know what I’m going on about, check out Reading Between Greats and come back.

Joe had already warned me and Scott Nicolay we must be present, so we had an idea he had some plans in store. When this picture was taken, Joe was up at the table fiddling with paper. That’s me, Lena, Scott Nicolay and Lady Lovecraft in front. Behind LL is Justin Steele, behind him Cody Goodfellow, and waaayyyy in the back, Laird Barron.


Joe, better known as Joseph S. Pulver Sr., read a story that will be published in S.T. Joshi’s “Mountains of Madness” themed anthology. In his introduction, Joe described his motivation in writing the story as trying to imagine “What if Laird Barron wrote a riff on At the Mountains of Madness?”

He carried along a copy of the anthology he edited, The Grimscribe’s Puppets, but didn’t read from it. This didn’t seem unusual. Lots of writers carry their latest book up to the table or stage during readings and panels, so people will see it and be mind-controlled into buying a copy.


Joe’s reading was excellent. He stopped about halfway through his story, and said he and Laird both felt strongly about the importance of helping boost newer writers by lending attention and offering endorsement.

He held up his copy of Grimscribe’s, said a few flattering things about me and about Scott Nicolay, and asked us to come up and read selections from our stories in that anthology. Me first.


I recall thinking “I should be really nervous.” I did feel on the spot, unsure how to begin. A story came to mind, a recurring dream I used to have about going to a David Bowie concert. I’d sit in the front row, and before the band started, Bowie would call me up to the stage and insist that I play guitar for them. I’m certainly no guitar player, but in the dream, I make a go of it, convinced that good intentions and zeal will allow me to bluff my way through, playing in place of Ronson, Fripp and Alomar.

I told the audience, “This feels something like that dream,” then read the beginning of “Diamond Dust.”


It seemed to go well, though that’s hard to gauge as it’s happening. People applauded.

Scott Nicolay came up, and wisely skipped the sort of preamble and introduction I offered. He read a chunk of his excellent tale, “Eyes Exchange Bank,” drawing laughs in all the right places.


Laird Barron came up last, and read the entirety of “D T” from the Pulver-edited King-in-Yellow-themed anthology, A Season in Carcosa. It’s a wonderful story, full of dark unease as well as humor, and pseudo-biographical portraits of recognizable figures, primarily Karl Edward Wagner.

I’ve read “D T” several times before, and very much enjoyed hearing it in Laird’s own voice.

The reading came full circle, from Joe mentioning Laird’s inspiration in his story, to Laird reading his story from a book edited by Joe. And in between, two writers with the highest respect for Barron and Pulver. This was a very special opportunity for Scott and me.


Afterward, many people came up and said nice things. We all signed many books, that is, Scott and I signed The Grimscribe’s Puppets, and Laird and Joe signed their many, various other things. I watched one guy pull out a stack of at least a dozen Barron collections, novels, and anthologies in which his stories appear.

There were questions about Grimscribe’s, and comments from a few who had already read it. One guy told me he was going to run upstairs, buy a copy, and hurry right back so Scott and I would sign it. Also in the room were other contributors to the same anthology, such as Richard Gavin, Cody Goodfellow and Simon Strantzas, so it was a great opportunity for a reader to grab several signatures, including that of Editor Pulver.

Later, when Scott, Lena and I went to lunch, a guy came into the burrito place and asked, “Was it you, just reading with Laird Barron and Joseph Pulver?”

I affirmed that we were. He said he’d enjoyed the reading, and had tried to buy the book, but found it sold out. I told him he must be wrong, that he should’ve asked at the Miskatonic River Press table, because I knew they’d had quite a few copies left before the reading.

It turned out he was right. There was at least some kind of run on these books after the reading. If Scott and I allow ourselves to imagine we had some part in creating a bit of buzz about the book, this is the greatest possible feeling. I’m already very grateful to be included in the book to begin with, and the reading was a wonderful treat.


The book is currently available from Amazon in three formats: Hardcover (of the casewrap variety, not cloth-cover-with-paper-dustjacket), Paperback and Kindle. Direct link HERE. You’ll also be able to grab it from Miskatonic Press, as soon as Tom Lynch obtains more copies, HERE.

Again, thanks to Joe Pulver, Laird Barron, Scott Nicolay, Tom Lynch, and everybody who attended the reading.

The Grimscribe’s Puppets – Now Available

I’ve mentioned several times before my excitement about this upcoming book, The Grimscribe’s Puppets, a Thomas Ligotti tribute anthology edited by Joseph S. Pulver Sr.


Livia Llewellyn “Furnace”
Daniel Mills “The Lord Came at Twilight”
Michael Cisco “The Secrets of the Universe”
Kaaron Warren “The Human Moth”
Joel Lane “Basement Angels”
Darrell Schweitzer “No Signal”
Robin Spriggs “The Xenambulist: A Fable in Four Acts”
Nicole Cushing “The Company Town”
Cody Goodfellow “The Man Who Escaped This Story”
Michael Kelly “Pieces of Blackness”
Eddie M. Angerhuber “The Blue Star”
Jon Padgett “20 Simple Steps to Ventriloquism”
Robert M. Price “The Holiness of Desolation”
Michael Griffin “Diamond Dust”
Richard Gavin “After the Final”
Scott Nicolay “Eyes Exchange Bank”
Simon Strantzas “By Invisible Hands”
Paul Tremblay “Where We Will All Be”
Allyson Bird “Gailestis”
Jeffrey Thomas “The Prosthesis”
John Langan “Into the Darkness, Fearlessly”
Gemma Files “Oubliette”

I’m very excited to appear alongside so many great writers! Now that the book is finally available to purchase, here are some links to the various places to order.

MISKATONIC RIVER PRESS (the publisher – direct from the source)

AMAZON (often cheapest, depending on ever-changing discount percentage)

BOOK DEPOSITORY (free shipping anywhere in the world, probably cheapest for buyers outside North America)


Addendum to 2012 Summary

Last week I wrote a summary of my writing and publishing activities in 2012 in which I mentioned “one other tentative acceptance.” For some months, I’d kept fingers crossed, hoping that the last couple of submissions to a themed anthology would be short enough in word count to leave room for my conditionally accepted piece.

Just after I wrote that, I received word that my story’s acceptance was official!


The anthology in question is The Grimscribe’s Puppets, a tribute to Thomas Ligotti, a very significant and influential 20th century writer (living, and in fact not very old, but apparently retired) of psychological horror fiction. The editor is Joseph S. Pulver Sr. and the publisher will be Miskatonic River Press, which also published Pulver’s recent anthology A Season in Carcosa (link to my own earlier review).

For a writer still struggling to find outlets for stories, every acceptance is welcome, yet this one feels special for several reasons. I’m a huge fan of Ligotti’s fiction, a big supporter of Pulver and his work, and the roster of writers with whom I’ll be sharing a table of contents includes so much great talent. It’s really flattering just to be included here, to have my story in what must certainly be one of 2013’s most notable horror/weird anthologies.

My story is called “Diamond Dust,” and I can’t wait for it to appear. What’s more, I’m excited to read the whole book. The last date I heard suggested for the release of The Grimscribe’s Puppets was February, 2013. It seems likely that will be delayed, as we haven’t yet seen an officially-released table of contents, and it takes time to compile, edit and proofread books, even in this age of digital media production. When I hear a more exact or certain release date, I’ll mention it here.