Short Story in On Spec

I am very late to this, but I see Issue #110 Vol. 29 No.3-4 of On Spec came out in April with a piece by me – well, really a collection of very short pieces called ‘The Care and Conservation of Unusual Properties’.

Contains library deep-cleaning, inventory marking, dusting, volunteer incentive issues and very large spiders! This collection was once accused of being postmodern, which surprised me, because I thought of it as a reasonably accurate transcription of several monologues someone rather like me was once on the nodding side of.

Well, fairly accurate. I guess no one said anything about a dragon.

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Lackington’s #18 free to read

The “Magics” issue of Lackington’s is now free to read, including my little Roman ghost story, Prima Fuit, Finis Erit.

First Cynthia caught me with her fulminating eyes. O me miserum! Captive and collared, a fool never before touched. Now she, trailing charred Coan silk, her curls breathing cold perfume, leans over my bed: We shall lie together, you and I…

… but of course you should check out the whole amazing issue. I have said this before, but Propertius is my favourite of the Augustan lyric poets, partly just because of all the Augustan lyric girlfriends only Cynthia gets to speak for herself. And what she says is almost never flattering to Propertius.

Detail of Pear Nuallak’s gorgeous illustration!

Short story in The Dark

The February issue of The Dark is out, containing

“The Crying Bride” by Carrie Laben
“The Little Beast” by Octavia Cade (reprint)
“The Red Forest” by Angela Slatter (reprint)

and also “Butterflies and Hurricanes”, a new short story of mine about demon conjuring in Regency London:

The calling cards arrived with the morning milk. Three quarters of an hour later, as told by the clock that discarded eight minutes every day and gained it back with interest when a certain word was spoken, two gentlemen took their seats in the clean brown parlour…

Short Story in Lackington’s

Lackington's #18 Cover

The ‘Magics’ issue of Lackington’s is out, with a little Roman ghost story from me that I’m not going to say much about, because I said it all in an interview a couple of weeks ago, although I had not then seen Pear Nuallak’s gorgeous illustration. The full table of contents is:

When the Vine Came, by S.R. Mandel
Prima Fuit, Finis Erit, by Julia August
The Wytch-Byrd of the Nabryd-Keind, by Farah Rose Smith
Collar for Captain Cormorant, by Rekha Valliappan
Song of the Oliphant, by KT Bryski
Love Letters from Velveteen, by M. Raoulee

Artists: Carol Wellart, Grace P. Fong, Sharon J. Gochenour, Derek Newman-Stille, Pear Nuallak, Kat Weaver, and P. Emerson Williams.

… and you can get the issue as ePub, mobi and PDF if you don’t want to wait six months to read it (which of course you shouldn’t).

Short story in The Dark

I’m a little late with this, but the October issue of The Dark is out, with new fiction by Nelson Stanley, reprints by Chaz Brenchley and Michael Harris Cohen, and a short psychogeographic monologue called Psychopomps of Central London by me:

Whenever it was, whenever St. Anselm & St. Cæcilia’s Peter acquired his golden foot, you shouldn’t touch it. Reach into the fist-sized hole in the statue’s seat instead and set your palm against the wood. You may feel a heartbeat. Wait until the wood yields like flesh beneath your fingers and a slate-blue shadow falls across the nave.

This is where we begin your journey to the underworld.

You can absolutely take this walk on your own time! Unfortunately The Hunterian Museum is shut for refurbishments until 2021, so you’ll have to wait till then to visit Charles Byrne, the Irish Giant – unless he goes back to Ireland in the meantime.

Short Story in Kaleidotrope

Welcome to 2018! The cover for the new issue of Kaleidotrope was drawn by Kat Weaver and it is so beautiful you absolutely need to go take a look just for that.

Also I have a story in it: ‘The Little Duchess’, in which Baldesar di Casatico relives nine years of his life all at once and regrets dealing with a devil of sorts:

She was wearing crimson, as she had been when Baldesar first met her. He found his feet beginning to drag. In nine years, she hadn’t aged a day.

She wasn’t smiling; but then, she seldom did. He grasped a headstone. He might have known, he thought. Ambitious courtiers, like their princes, seldom got to enjoy a peaceful retirement. He might have realized there would be no escape.

The headstone was shaking, or he was.

“Anna,” he said.

The full TOC is stellar:

“Shadows and Bells”  by Mari Ness
“A Slip in the Slice” by Heather Morris
“The Fashion of Men” by Kat Otis
“The Temporary Suicides of Goldfish” by Octavia Cade
“Totemic” by Jennifer Crow
“Batman at the Wheel” by Mary Alexandra Agner
“Report on Incident 3179” by irving
Horoscopes
A Word from the Editor

Flash Fiction in Syntax & Salt

The new issue of Syntax & Salt is up and I have a dark little piece in there about plagues:

Nothing comes from nothing; this is the cornerstone of all truth. The plague of Thucydides comes from Ethiopia; that of Procopius from Egypt; that of Boccaccio is sea-swept from the dawn toward the setting sun. Virgil’s descends from a diseased sky. Is it the East? Is it our malignant star? Is it the baneful air flying out of a foreign quarter of the heavens?

No: it is a manifestation. It is a sign.

Well, all right: plagues and plague-tropes. As my bio for this one says, I’m trying to give up plagues. Maybe that should be a new year’s resolution.

TOC, aka Other Stories You Should Read:

In The Beginning, All Our Hands Are Cold by Ephiny Gale
Mother Imago by Henry Stanton
When We Sleep We Kill The World by Adam Lock
The Fox, Expatriate by Emily Horner
Milk Teeth And Heartwood by Katherine McMahon
High, High Away by Hamilton Perez
Tales Without Fairies by Matthew F. Amati
The Spinnings by Rob Francis