I’m very excited to have recently learned that my story “We Spend Weekends With Dad” will be included in Looming Low, Volume II, a forthcoming anthology from Dim Shores Press edited by Justin Steele and Sam Cowan.
From the recent announcement by Dim Shores, here’s a list of stories that will be included, in alphabetical order by author last name:
Matthew M. Bartlett – “The Cryptic Jape” Nadia Bulkin – “Your Heart is a House on Fire” Brian Evenson – “Vigil in the Inner Room” Kurt Fawver – “Radius Unknown” Gemma Files – “Bb Minor” Richard Gavin – “The Intercessor” Craig Laurance Gidney – “Impz” Cody Goodfellow – “Serve & Protect” Michael Griffin – “We Spend Weekends With Dad” Michael Kelly – “Dead but Dreaming Still” Gwendolyn Kiste – “To the Progeny Forsaken” Anya Martin – “The Other Cat” S.P. Miskowski – “Across the Darkness” David Peak – “Zones without Names” Erica Ruppert – “Ex Astris” Clint Smith – “Lovenest” Simon Strantzas – “Still Packed” Jeffrey Thomas – “Strangler Fig” Brooke Warra – “We Don’t Live Here Anymore” Kaaron Warren – “Songs We Sing at Sea” A.C. Wise – “Into the Green” Alvaro Zinos-Amaro – “Undo”
The book is expected to be released in August of 2022 at NecronomiCon in Providence, RI. I’m sure before then we’ll get a look at the cover, and when that’s available I’ll share it here. My thanks to Justin and Sam for including me among this most impressive group of writers!
It’s been a while since I’ve done a general update about what’s happening with my writing and publishing.
So then, January 2018. What’s been happening lately?
On the publishing side, in February 2017, my first novel Hieroglyphs of Blood and Bone came out as the first release on the new Trepidatio imprint of Journalstone. Of course, the release of my first novel certainly counts as my publishing event of 2017.
In the summer, my stories appeared in several anthologies, Looming Low, Walk on the Weird Side, and Darker Companions (the Ramsey Campbell tribute). At the very end of the year, Journalstone surprised me by releasing The Demons of King Solomon a little early.
That covers it, as far as publishing. Back to writing, then.
I finished and submitted a few short stories that were accepted for anthologies that haven’t been announced yet (so I can’t talk about them yet), then I spent a few months starting a new novel. I finished 30,000 words of rough scene sketches, notes and outlines until the shape of it had begun to come together, then had to set aside the novel to work on two more short stories for invitations.
Later in the year, I started a new story intended to be the final, exclusive/unpublished piece for my second collection. That story grew into novella territory (15,000 words and still not nearly finished), so while I still considered the story viable and compelling, I had to set it aside. It’s simply too long to fit in the book, so I’ll return to it later.
That meant starting another new story for the collection. That effort resulted in “The Only Way Out is Down,” which will appear for the first time in The Human Alchemy… speaking of which, my second collection will be my big publishing event of 2018. I’ll be making some kind of more official announcement about that soon.
Since the collection manuscript is complete and in the hands of the publisher and the writer who is doing the introduction for me, I’m back to the previously mentioned novel. I’m having a lot of fun, gaining momentum, and starting to see how the characters and settings will play together. I look forward to working toward a complete rough draft by mid-year, at which time I’ll need to take a break to push and promote The Human Alchemy. I’m sure the release of that book will be my publishing event of 2018.
Between August and September, my stories appeared in three new anthologies. I’ve mentioned all three as “upcoming” in previous blogs, but now that they’re all available, I wanted to follow up to make sure everyone knows they’re available to order.
This star-studded compendium of the weird was the first anthology released by Dim Shores, and came out simultaneously in limited, deluxe hardcover and trade paperback versions.
This was the official weird fiction, fantasy and horror anthology of the NecronomiCon Providence 2017 convention. Edited by Joseph S. Pulver Sr., it includes work from:
Nadia Bulkin – Empire Down
S.P. Miskowski – 140 x 76 (A Tour of Griffith Park)
Kristi DeMeester – A Sound from the Earth
Matthew M. Bartlett – The Two-Wheel System
Ann K. Schwader – Haunted Innsmouth
Michael Griffin – Everyone Gathers at Haystack Rock
Craig L. Gidney – Eidolon Realty, LLC
Farah Rose Smith – As Unbreakable as the World
Peter Rawlik – The Final Days of Der Zirkus LAvenza
Ashley Dioses – Daemonolatry
– A Sea of Snow and Frost
Daniel Braum – Goodnight Kookaburra
Nathan Carson – Divine Providence
Jon Padgett – A Little Delta of Filth
Rebecca J. Allred – Lambda 580
Alistair Rennie – The Fear Seeker
S M Wright – Night Gaunts, Too (On reading sonnet XX in H.P. Lovecraft’s *Fungi from Yuggoth* cycle)
Rhys Hughes – The Bannister
John Claude Smith – Eouem Chumkpaa
Ashley Dioses – Hollow King
Michael Bukowski (Illustration for Michael Wehunt text)
Michael Wehunt – The Loved One (being among the Thousand Forms of Nyarlathotep)
Anna Tambour – The Godchildren
Christopher Slatsky – The Anthroparian Integration Technique
Scott Thomas – The Red Gryphon
Lynda E. Rucker – Stolen
Tom Lynch – Release
Cody Goodfellow – He Opens a Window
Robert Levy – This is Love
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy – The Night Of Maya
Philip Fracassi – ID
Ann K. Schwader – Tomb-Feasters
Maura McHugh – Impossible to Feign
This is supposed to be available through other outlets at some point, but for now you can only get it through the link above.
This tribute to the work of Ramsey Campbell was released by Britain’s P.S. Publishing in a beautiful hardcover, currently available only direct from the publisher. Contents include:
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
My limited novella An Ideal Retreat sold out earlier this year at Dim Shores, but Publisher Sam found a few extra copies. An Ideal Retreat is available for sale again, while they last. It’s a beautiful book, with art by Mikio Murakami.
Also, while you’re there, take a look at the latest from Dim Shores, The Resplendent Troswoman Below, by Joseph S. Pulver Sr. and Edward Morris. This release is a fundraiser to our good friend Joe Pulver, who has experienced a terrible health episode recently, necessitating a lengthy hospital stay, and followed by a slow recovery. All proceeds from sales of the chapbook will go directly to benefit Joe.
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:
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!
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.
Friday – 3:00-4:15pm
ELDRITCH ARTHOUSE: WEIRD FICTION INFLUENCES IN ART CINEMA – Newport-Washington, Omni 3rd Floor 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
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
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!
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:
I’m most definitely looking forward to seeing the book and hearing all these readers together!
I think one of the most interesting books coming out this summer is Looming Low, the first anthology from Dim Shores. I’m very pleased to have a story in the book, which features quite an impressive array of talent.
Looming Low Table of Contents:
Kurt Fawver – “The Convexity of Our Youth”
A.C. Wise – “The Stories We Tell About Ghosts”
Michael Wehunt – “In Canada”
Brian Evenson – “The Second Door”
Daniel Mills – “The Christiansen Deaths”
Betty Rocksteady – “Dusk Urchin”
Livia Llewellyn – “The Gin House”
Damien Angelica Walters – “This Unquiet Space”
Sunny Moraine – “We Grope Together, and Avoid Speech”
Brooke Warra – “Heirloom”
Lucy A. Snyder – “That Which Does Not Kill You”
Simon Strantzas – “Doused by Night”
Kaaron Warren – “We Are All Bone Inside”
Lisa L Hannett – “Outside, a Drifter”
Kristi DeMeester – “The Small Deaths of Skin and Plastic”
Scott Nicolay – “When the Blue Sky Breaks”
Craig L. Gidney – “Mirror Bias”
Anya Martin – “Boisea trivittata”
Michael Cisco – “Rock n’ Roll Death Squad”
S.P. Miskowski – “Alligator Point”
Jeffrey Thomas – “Stranger in the House”
Christopher Slatsky – “SPARAGMOS”
Richard Gavin – “Banishments”
Michael Griffin – “The Sound of Black Dissects the Sun”
Nadia Bulkin – “Live Through This”
Gemma Files – “Distant Dark Places”
If that list of writers isn’t enough to convince you, or the expertise of co-editors Steele and Cowan, how about these two covers:
This week, Sam from Dim Shores offered a peek at the alternate cover artwork that will be featured on the limited hardcover version. This wonderful art is by Marcela Bolivar.
I love the idea of very different artwork variations for different formats of the book, similar to what Word Horde did with The Children of Old Leech, with a hardcover art by Matthew Revert and paperback art by Dalton Rose.
Here’s a bit of a closer focus on just the front cover:
The book is meant to be out this summer, with an official launch at NecronomiCon in Providence in August, and it appears the plan is that both trade paperback and limited hardcover will be available at that time, as well as through the Dim Shores online store. The paperback version will be available through other outlets such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and so on.
More information about the project, including a listing of all the writers and their stories, can be found at Sam Cowan’s blog HERE.