The latest issue of On Spec is out, featuring my very short story ‘The Opportunity Costs of Adventure: Unsent Emails from Stephen Greenwood’s Drafts Folder’. Did you ever wonder what it does to your career when you keep running off to save the world? Dr Greenwood (last seen in The Journal of Unlikely Academia‘s ‘Soteriology and Stephen Greenwood’) would really like to tell you! However, he’s not going to, because nothing ruins a reputation faster than emailing a professional mailing list about apocalypse and ancient prophecy. Maybe he’ll just save that email to Drafts.
The latest limited edition print anthology of Andrew S. Fuller’s Three-Lobed Burning Eye zine is out, with all-new art. This one includes a reprint of my story from Issue 28, ‘Delia’s Door’, as well as stories by Cat Rambo, Mari Ness, JM McDermott, Gwendolyn Kiste and many more, and I cannot wait to get hold of my copy!
Hello! Jasmine Arch has done a fantastic reading of my story ‘Tongueless’ for Episode 468 of Tales to Terrify. This story was originally published in The Sockdolager back in 2016; it’s a messy little horror story about professional jealousy, alien experiments and extremely poor decision-making.
There was a white light in the dark where there shouldn’t have been. It lit up the window and glowed around the door, so I said, “Hello? Is someone out there?” and no one replied. I wrestled the bolt back and stepped out into the porch on my bare toes, shivering as the breeze pushed up my cotton nightie.
There wasn’t anyone there. The light beamed down unnaturally from above. I looked up and saw the thing blotting out the stars just as everything went black.
I love this reading! It’s absolutely spot on. The whole episode is great; I loved The Cremation of Sam McGee and Louis B. Rosenberg’s Dogs, Cats and the End of the World too.
26 authors, 26 locations, 347 pages, 100k+ words; original horror stories from many of the genre’s darkest minds. Nightmares imagined into real places; from Nigeria to Japan, North America to Australia. Locations the authors have inhabited and imbued with the sinister–hiking trails, haunted lakes, relics of faded industry, and even a Hawaiian volcano!
I have a piece of London weird in this anthology. Real places featured include:
- Aviation House
- Lincoln’s Inn
- Maughan Library
- the Waterloo Underpass
- and the Puppet Theatre Barge, which everyone should visit whether they have kids or not. (Go now! They’re currently moored down at Little Venice.)
It has now been six months since I’ve seen any of those places (thanks, 2020!) so I’m delighted to revisit them in print.
(If you think £20k is a lot to spend on a sofa, so did I. But I had only been in London for a month or so, back when I was eavesdropping on that particular conversation, so I kept my mouth shut.)
I originally wrote this story as a birthday present for a friend. Her birthday has come around again, so happy birthday L.S.!
And it’s out!
Anna’s reference to the university at Felsina, the city where Violante had been born, made Violante lean happily forward in her chair. “Do you know people at the university? I always wanted to go to the anatomy at the carnival, but my parents wouldn’t let me. That was before I was married, of course.”
“I studied the anatomy with Jacopo Barigazzi,” Anna said. “He spent some time here not long ago. We dissected one of Pietro’s criminals.” She poured herself wine, then filled Violante’s cup too. “Is that enough? How is Baldesar? I thought he might bring you. Pietro would have liked to see him again.”
“Oh no, he’s too busy with his writing. I’ve brought letters from him, though.”
“Last time, he wrote that you had a problem for me. Do you still?”
Read the rest of ‘Passavanti’s Fantasima’ (and buy the whole amazing issue) here.
The Experimentation issue of Apparition Lit is out, with two poems and four stories, including ‘Passavanti’s Fantasima’, a piece about Anna, my natural scientist and incidental sorceress, trying really quite hard to be a good hostess for an old friend’s wife. And mostly succeeding! When I think about this story, what I remember is the cherry torte, which plays a very small role in the story but an outsize one, apparently, in my gustatory imagination.
You can get the issue now for just $2.99 or wait for it to become available online.
I have a new story and a reprint out this month.
- Doll’s House follows directly on from God Thing, which also appeared in Kaleidotrope back in 2017. They are both bouncy adventure stories about Rob and Lettie, a couple of kids doing inadvisable things in a ruined city, under the disapproving supervision of Rob’s goddess, Ann. You shouldn’t need to read both of them, but of course you may want to.
This issue also includes great stories and poetry by Anya Ow, Cat Sparks, William R. Eakin, Santiago Belluco, Helen Stubbs, Megan Arkenberg, Jennifer Crow, Karolina Fedyk, R.K. Duncan, Cassandra Rose Clarke and Hester J. Rook.
- Under Dead Marsh originally appeared in Lackington’s Magazine in 2016 and I am really happy it has been reprinted in Big Echo’s Avant Garde issue, which looks fantastic.
The other stories are by Brendan C. Byrne, Stephen Langlois, Ahimaz Rajessh, Yurei Raita, Dan Grace, John Shirley, Victor Fernando R. Ocampo, Peter Milne Greiner, Laurence A. Rickels and Rudy Rucker. Mine remains a mix of Dylan Thomas and town council planning application squabbles, on Mars.
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.
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!
The February issue of The Dark is out, containing
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…