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.

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New Interview With John Linwood Grant

John Linwood Grant posted our interview on greydogtales.com yesterday. We went in some interesting directions with this set of questions and answers, discussing a number of angles I hadn’t previously addressed about my work.

Mystery and confusion are aspects I enjoy generally, and particularly in this story, I felt they were important, maybe even central.

I really enjoyed thinking about and responding the interview questions, and hope you’ll take a look. We spent a fair amount of time on both THE LURE OF DEVOURING LIGHT and HIEROGLYPHS OF BLOOD AND BONE.

LINK:

http://greydogtales.com/blog/devouring-hieroglyphs-michael-griffin

My thanks to John Linwood Grant for the interesting approach to interview questions, and the opportunity to spread the word about my work in general, and the new novel in particular.

Interviewed by Gwendolyn Kiste

I recently completed an interview with Gwendolyn Kiste, which has just been posted to Gwendolyn’s blog.

We talk a lot about the new novel Hieroglyphs of Blood and Bone, about my collection The Lure of Devouring Light, and various other things past and present, such as the difference in my approach, writing short stories versus novels. Here’s the link:

http://www.gwendolynkiste.com/Blog/devoured-by-the-light-interview-with-michael-griffin/

I’d like to thank Gwendolyn for the opportunity, and the great questions!

Benoit Lelievre Review at Dead End Follies

It’s been quite a week for reviews of The Lure of Devouring Light. First S.T. Joshi, then John Claude Smith. This morning, Benoit Lelievre has posted a review on his blog, Dead End Follies.

http://www.deadendfollies.com/blog/book-review-michael-griffin-the-lure-of-devouring-light-2016

Griffin-Lure-Cover

Lelievre also references points brought up in previous reviews by Bob Pastorella at This Is Horror, and this week’s controversial Joshi review.

It’s always interesting to see the ways different reviewers see the same book — not just whether they like it or don’t, but which pieces they hold up as particular strengths, and what aspects they consider to be weaknesses. I believe the best way to get a sense of any given book is to read many reviews of the same work in different places, and I’m very pleased to see my book receiving such a variety of coverage. My thanks to Benoit Lelievre for this review.

John Claude Smith Reviews Lure and Others

John Claude Smith, himself one of the best and most interesting writers currently happening in weird/horror, blog reviews a number of this year’s books, including The Lure of Devouring Light. Among the other items covered are some of my own favorite reads of the year so far.

http://thewildernesswithinbyjohnclaudesmith.blogspot.com/2016/10/reviews-for-horror-fiction-weird.html

Items reviewed, in order:
Noctuidae—Scott Nicolay (King Shot Press)
Stag in Flight—S.P. Miskowski (Dim Shores)
Altar—Philip Fracassi (Dunhams Manor Press)
The Visible Filth—Nathan Ballingrud (This Is Horror)
The Operating Theater—Christopher Ropes (Dunhams Manor Press)
Greener Pastures—Michael Wehunt (Shock Totem Publications)
The Lure of Devouring Light—Michael Griffin (Word Horde)
Creeping Waves—Matthew M. Bartlett (Muzzleland Press)

This is well worth checking out in its entirety, apart from whether you’re interested in reading another appraisal of my book. Thanks to John Claude Smith.

The Lure of Devouring Light Reviewed by S.T. Joshi

Lovecraft historian and biographer S.T. Joshi has reviewed The Lure of Devouring Light on his blog, HERE.

I was actually pleasantly surprised to see the amount of praise contained in the review, because in the past Joshi has expressed what seemed to be undiluted disdain for my work. The strong negativity did not surprise me, and though I was too busy to say much about it — Lena and I are getting ready to put our house on the market — I did comment on Facebook as follows:

“I really don’t mind receiving a mixed review, especially from a reviewer I would have expected to find no merit in my work.”

I meant this, and was not trying to be snippy, or to score points. What I didn’t anticipate was that over the following 24 hours, an eruption would occur of anger at Joshi’s review, partly for the more harshly negative of his statements regarding my book, but mostly for a few nasty personal asides about Laird Barron and Scott Nicolay.

These reactions by others didn’t exactly surprise me, because I recall instances when S.T. Joshi’s reviews and comments have inflamed many in the Weird Fiction, Lovecraftian and Horror Fiction communities. Though I understand people taking issue with insults toward different writers sprinkled into a review of my book, I should make clear that as pertains to the portion of the review that was actually a review of my book, I have no problem with the negativity. Writers must accept with equanimity the harsher judgments that fall upon them if they wish at other times to bask in whatever praise they might receive. The two go together.

This whole matter led to a flood of people reaching out to me with comments, or tagging me on social media posts of their own. A wonderful side effect was that many people let me know how much they had enjoyed The Lure of Devouring Light, which they may not have bothered to tell me if this hadn’t happened. Best of all, many others stated that the discussion had inspired them to order the book for themselves. Maybe it will lead you to buy the book and read it, if you haven’t, or review it, if you have!

Lure Reviewed on Teleread by Paul StJohn Mackintosh

Paul StJohn Mackintosh has just posted an in-depth review of The Lure of Devouring Light on Teleread.

lure-1

If you want the tl;dr version, here’s how it was distilled down to its minimum essence by my publisher:

“Griffin is a craftsman of the highest order… Highly recommended.”

But really, you should read the whole thing. I enjoyed seeing a reviewer mention one of the less-discussed stories in the book, “The Jewel in the Eye,” which is also one of my own favorites. It also pleases me to see yet another reviewer call out “The Black Vein Runs Deep” as a highlight.

My thanks to Paul StJohn Mackintosh and Telereads for the REVIEW.

Collected Praise for The Lure of Devouring Light

I’ve been very fortunate with the reviews I’ve received for The Lure of Devouring Light so far. Though I’d still like to see more “reader reviews” especially on Amazon, the magazine and online reviewers have been very kind to the book. I’ve distilled some of these reviews down to a sentence or two each for the purpose of updating the book’s listing on Amazon, and thought I’d post them here as well.

“In 11 weird tales gathered for this promising debut collection, characters step outside their comfortable ordinary routines and inadvertently plunge into strange worlds beyond their control or comprehension… This book is a solid outing from a rising star in horror and dark fantasy.”
-Publishers Weekly

“The Lure of Devouring Light is one of those rare first story collections that defines both the writer and the genre, with stories that linger long after the last page is turned. In a year already full of amazing collections… we feel this is one collection that will remain one of your favorites for years to come.”
-Bob Pastorella, This is Horror

“The Lure of Devouring Light is a celebration of creativity and transformation… often poignant, frequently terrifying, surreal, and brilliant. Griffin is a stellar wordsmith who approaches his work like the artistry that it is, pouring his sweat, his blood, and his self into every exacting sentence and holding the reader captive from page one to the final, soul stirring, heartrending sentence.”
-Shane Douglas Keene, Shotgun Logic

“Griffin has a wonderful ability to create realistic images through his words, particularly with his deft use of descriptive language, crafting delicious stories of dark, weird horror. This is a fantastic collection and I highly recommend it.”
-Adrian Shotbolt, Beavis the Bookhead

“An amazing collection… haunting, evocative, and intelligent in every way, shape, and form. Michael Griffin has achieved something truly stunning with this book that will continue to resonate… a must read for anyone with even a remote interest in genre fiction.”
-Matthew Summers, Smash Dragons

“Do yourself a favor and get this one fast. It doesn’t get more recommended than this.”
-Brian Sammons, Hellnotes

I’d like to offer my sincere thanks to all these reviewers for their time and consideration!

If you’re a reviewer who would like to cover the book but haven’t seen a copy, please let me know, or get in touch with Ross Lockhart from Word Horde. You can comment here, or reach either of us on social media.

I’m Interviewed on Ginger Nuts of Horror by Shane Douglas Keene

Shane Douglas Keene, who just gave a wonderful rave review of The Lure of Devouring Light HERE, also recently interviewed me. That lengthy interview now appears on Ginger Nuts of Horror.

lure-of-the-devouring-light-by-michael-griffin-fiction-book-novel-review_orig

http://gingernutsofhorror.com/interviews/-lure-of-the-devouring-light-an-interview-with-michael-griffin

Maybe unsurprisingly, we talk a lot about the new book, but also spend a fair amount of time discussing ambient music and my record label Hypnos Recordings, the importance of setting and in particular the Pacific NW, upcoming projects, what it’s like to be published by Word Horde, and more. My thanks to Shane Douglas Keene for taking the time to put together the interview, and to Jim Mcleod for hosting it at Ginger Nuts of Horror.