Black Static 35 is Really Real

I mentioned a few weeks ago that Black Static issue 35, containing my story “Arches and Pillars,” would appear imminently.

Since then I’ve seen a number of people, mostly located nearer the UK headquarters of TTA Press (which publishes not only Black Static but the science fiction focused InterZone and crime-focused Crimewave magazines) have received their copies. It didn’t seem quite like a real thing until my own contributor’s copy arrived.

It’s real!




This isn’t my first publication, or my first print publication, or my first publication in a venue of prestige, or my first publication with an illustration. It’s especially wonderful, though. I have a very high regard for this periodical, and this is the first time I’ve held a copy in my hand (after buying several Kindle issues). It’s beautifully designed and well-produced, on nice, white paper. I think I’m going to have to get a proper subscription.

If you haven’t seen Black Static before, you might consider picking it up.

My story is “Arches and Pillars,” and it appears along with work by Steve Rasnic Tem, Daniel Mills and others. I mean to read all of these and write at least a brief report. My thanks to editor Andy Cox for picking up my story.

“Arches and Pillars” in Black Static 35

My story “Arches and Pillars” is set to appear in issue 35 of Black Static, the July/August 2013 issue. I’m very proud and excited to have my work appearing in a magazine Ellen Datlow described as: “The most consistently excellent horror magazine published.”

Black Static 35

In addition to my story, the issue also includes fiction by Steve Rasnic Tem, Daniel Mills and others.

Also, during July, Black Static is offering free copies of issue 35 to all new subscribers. More information about the offer HERE.

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.

First Publication, Coming Soon

I’ve just received some very good writing-related news.

Every writer understands the giant gulf between the way published and unpublished writers are perceived. Of course, writers write, and that doesn’t change just because they’re published. Publication indicates a change in how the writer is received by the world, not in what the writer does. Still, it’s hard not to feel changed by the news that somebody wants to publish something you’ve written.

I’ll hold off naming the story and the venue until the contract has been signed by both parties, but I feel very relieved. I’ve heard of writers laboring for many years before their first acceptance, and I can only guess how frustrating it would be to face many times more rejections than I’ve had to face before that first break. I’ve only been back at it for about eighteen months, but writing is something I worked at consistently all through my twenties, and for another stretch in my mid-teens, so I feel like I’ve paid my dues.