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.

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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!

Contents of The Human Alchemy

As mentioned here recently, my next collection The Human Alchemy will be released next month by Word Horde, the excellent Petaluma, California press that put out my first collection The Lure of Devouring Light in 2016.

It’ll be a while before we can reveal the cover, but for now, here’s something:

Table of Contents of The Human Alchemy:
Introduction by S.P. Miskowski
Firedancing – 5,500 words
The Smoke Lodge – 6,200 words
Everyone Gathers at Haystack Rock – 7,600 words
The Slipping of Stones – 5,600 words
The Tidal Pull of Salt and Sand – 8,000 words
Delirium Sings at the Maelstrom Window – 6,000 words
An Ideal Retreat – 28,000 words
Endure Within a Dying Frame – 6,200 words
The Only Way Out is Down – 8,900 words
The Insomniac Who Slept Forever – 5,200 words
The Human Alchemy – 11,000 words

Total count is about 98,000 words of fiction plus S.P. Miskowski’s Introduction, which is about 1,000 words. This should make this book almost exactly the same length as The Lure of Devouring Light, maybe just a few pages shorter.

Soon I’ll post a little information about each story, including where they appeared in print before. My first collection included quite a few “exclusives,” but this time only one, “The Only Way Out is Down,” appears for the first time in the collection.

The Human Alchemy is Coming From Word Horde

My first short fiction collection The Lure of Devouring Light was released just short of two years ago by Word Horde. I still vividly recall seeing for the first time the beautiful cover art Jarek Kubicki and layout by Scott R Jones, and feel the cover is a wonderful complement to what’s inside.

The book included a very nice introduction by one of my favorite writers, John Langan, and was overall quite well received. I obtained endorsements or “blurbs” from several more of my favorite writers, including Laird Barron, S.P. Miskowski, Michael Cisco and Jeffrey Thomas. I poured a lot of myself into that book, and I still feel it’s an expression I can be proud of.

Though the news of my forthcoming second collection The Human Alchemy has emerged in hints and whispers over the past six months or so, I think I ought to make a proper announcement. I’ll have more details to share between now and the release date, and of course I’ll likely be sticking the book in everyone’s face (virtually, that is), more than they might care to see it, once released. For now, I’ll give you this.

The Human Alchemy will be released in June, 2018 by Word Horde.

Editor and Publisher Ross E. Lockhart has been a never-ending pleasure to work with, both a solid and serious professional when there’s business to be done, and great fun when it’s time for chatting about books or getting beers at a convention. I couldn’t have been happier with the whole process of putting out my first collection, and always hoped it would do well enough that Word Horde would want to do another. I will now have the honor of being the first writer to have two books on Word Horde.

I’ll soon share the table of contents, information about the stories, the introduction, the blurbs, and eventually the cover art. Like the Beach Boys said in Surfin’ USA… Can’t wait for June!

Early 2018 Update

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.

Honorable Mentions 2016 – Best Horror of the Year

Writers strive in several directions… To be published in great places, to attract readers to our work, and to achieve the approval of editors we respect.

Ellen Datlow is the top editor in the fields of Horror and Weird Fiction, and her Best Horror of the Year is an essential summary of every year’s activities. I’m pleased and very flattered to see Ellen Datlow’s 2016 Honorable Mentions list for Best Horror of the Year includes four of my stories, incuding two from my first collection and two that will be in my second collection.

Griffin, Michael “Endure with a Dying Frame,” The Lovecraft ezine, #38.

Griffin, Michael “The Black Vein Runs Deep,” The Lure of Devouring Light.

Griffin, Michael “The Human Alchemy,” Eternal Frankenstein.

Griffin, Michael “The Jewel in the Eye,” The Lure of Devouring Light.

The full Honorable Mentions list for 2016 is spread across 3 pages, and all my entries are on page 1 because of the way the alphabet works.

http://ellendatlow.com/2017/10/12/honorable-mentions-2016-best-horror-of-the-year-volume-nine-1/

http://ellendatlow.com/2017/10/12/honorable-mentions-2016-best-horror-of-the-year-volume-nine-2/

http://ellendatlow.com/2017/10/12/honorable-mentions-2016-best-horror-of-the-year-volume-nine-3/

My thanks to Ellen for the endorsement, and to Ross E. Lockhart for publishing Lure of Devouring Light and Eternal Frankenstein, and to Lovecraft eZine for publishing “Endure Within a Dying Frame.” The above-mentioned second collection, called The Human Alchemy, will include that story as well as “Endure Within a Dying Frame” and several others, and should appear in 2018.

Eternal Frankenstein Cover Reveal

One of the most exciting projects I have coming out in the second half of the year is Eternal Frankenstein, a Frankenstein-themed anthology edited by Ross E. Lockhart and to be published by Word Horde in October. The book will include my novelette, “The Human Alchemy.”

Ross has just revealed the cover, by Matthew Revert, and it’s a beauty!

EternalFrankenstein

Of this project, Word Horde says:

Two hundred years ago, a young woman staying in a chalet in Switzerland, after an evening of ghost stories shared with friends and lovers, had a frightening dream. That dream became the seed that inspired Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, a tale of galvanism, philosophy, and the re-animated dead. Today, Frankenstein has become a modern myth without rival, influencing countless works of fiction, music, and film. We all know Frankenstein. But how much do we really know about Frankenstein?

This October, Word Horde will be publishing Eternal Frankenstein, an anthology edited by Ross E. Lockhart, paying tribute to Mary, her Monster, and exploring their entwined legacy.

Table of Contents:
Amber-Rose Reed – Torso Heart Head
Siobhan Carroll – Thermidor
Autumn Christian – Sewn Into Her Fingers
Rios de la Luz – Orchids by the Sea
Edward Morris – Frankenstein Triptych
Michael Griffin – The Human Alchemy
Betty Rocksteady – Postpartum
Scott R. Jones – Living
Tiffany Scandal – They Call Me Monster
Damien Angelica Walters – Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice
Orrin Grey – Baron von Werewolf Presents: Frankenstein Against the Phantom Planet
Nathan Carson – Wither on the Vine, or Strickfadden’s Monster
Anya Martin – The Un-Bride, or No Gods and Marxists
G. D. Falksen – The New Soviet Man
Kristi DeMeester – The Beautiful Thing We Will Become
David Templeton – Mary Shelley’s Body

Preorder Eternal Frankenstein today! Pub Date: October 9, 2016. And for more about Eternal Frankenstein and the cinematic history of Frankenstein, check out this Pacific Sun interview with editor Ross E. Lockhart.