Short story in Monstrosities

Third Flatiron’s latest anthology, Monstrosities, is out and I contributed a small monster called ‘The Catacombs of Constitutional History’. It involves a haunted library and several haunted people:

The wichtiger lounged just inside the Library door. It shook its brindled hackles and yawned, showing off every single yellow tooth, then laid its long muzzle down on its paws and closed its yellow eyes. Only a glimmer of well-fed interest showed as I crept by.

You can buy the book from Amazon as an e-book right now or as an actual book in about a week! Let me know if you want a review copy or a discount on the paperback.

The full amazing TOC is:

Chicken Monster Motel by Keyan Bowes
Five Billion Pounds of Soul by Larry Hodges
Sacrifice Needed, Alcohol Provided by Carl R. Jennings
#Notalltigers by Mark Pantoja
The Doomsday Machine Retires by Ray Daley
Alien TV Shows Are Bad for Your Eyes by Brian Trent
Got Them Wash Day Blues by James Dorr
This Tyrant Crown by Liam Hogan
The Great Mall by Salinda Tyson
Skywalker by Jennifer R. Povey
Eaten by Ville Meriläinen
Into Xibalba by Sita C. Romero
The Emerald Mirage by Martin M. Clark
TidBits by Sharon Diane King
The Catacombs of Constitutional History by Julia August
New Shoes by Robert Bagnall
Kismet by Barry Charman
They Saw Me Coming by Russell Hemmell
Bigger and Better Things by Joseph Sidari


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
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

Short Story in 3LBE #28

I have a new short story in 3LBE #28: Delia’s Door, a piece about music, escapism and the power of inertia. It’s a little melancholic, but on the plus side: no body horror.

The first time I saw the summer country was when the first fugue of Vivaldi’s Dixit came together, finally, for a single perfect moment one wintry night. The rain beat against the drafty windows and fifty voices sang out together, split into two choirs, which means eight different harmony lines, which is quite hard when you’ve only got six tenors and seven basses to start with, and for once, for once it sounded as if we were really singing what Vivaldi had written.

I saw it then. A wash of blue and gold lit up the old school hall turned community centre, splashing raggedly across the choir notice boards and institutional paint and hundred-year-old prize lists full of familiar names, and through a hole as evanescent as a soap bubble I saw a new horizon: green hills, summer sunset skies, a long perspective onto light and color and a different country, far away — yet one I could reach if I could just step through the door our singing had opened up…

I may as well admit now that the quickest way to get my attention is to have a really good singing voice, preferably bass. For this reason, my favourite dragon is Fafner. (Sorry, Glaurung; sorry, Smaug.) Anyway, you should certainly check out the issue! The full table of contents is:

Around the Internet (October 2015)

To all intents and purposes, I took October off to watch Person of Interest. Whoops. John Reese: sucker for a pretty woman who knows how to frame an inconvenient witness with a brick of cocaine. Anyway, I had two stories out this month: (1) Soteriology and Stephen Greenwood in The Journal of Unlikely Academia, featuring textual criticism, academic passive-aggression, Latin puns and quite a lot of links. If you don’t feel like following all of them, maybe just start here. I love the issue as a whole, so do check out the other stories. (2) A piece of drowned-town flash, The Girl who Talked to the Sea in Unsung Stories. This one is really about the drowned towns along the Norfolk coastline.


Unearthly Landscape by A Lady by Rebecca Campbell (dresses, painting, filigree cosmic horror)

Directions by Fred Coppersmith (underworld, quest, instructions, whoops sorry no revenge for you)

Witches and Wardrobes by Anna Anthropy (interactive, clothes, anxiety)

And Other Definitions of Family by Abra Staffin-Wiebe (pregnancy, self-sacrifice, humour)

Minotaur: An Analysis of the Species by Sean Robinson (ethnography, analysis, minotaur)

Follow Me Down by Nicolette Barischoff (orphan, incubus, heartwarming)

Alviss the Dwarf by David A. Hewitt (Loki, courtship, trickery)

To Claim a Piece of Sky by Crystal Lynn Hilbert (shapeshifter, weapon, freedom)

There are Rules by William Stiteler (ritual, food, savants)

Dance of the Splintered Hands by Henry Szabranski (gods, hands, adventure)

What Happened to Lord Elomar During the Revolution by Kelly Jennings (three wishes, revolution, victory)

Mother Made a Lovely Feast! by Laura DeHaan (Tam Lin, hallucinations, R’lyeh)

Short story in Unsung Stories

I have a piece of drowned-town flash up at Unsung Stories: The Girl who Talked to the Sea.

The first storm hit Eccles-on-Sea on Jenny’s fourteenth birthday. She lay curled up counting her cold toes while the wind battered the roof tiles and knocked the bells about in the grey church steeple. Rain splattered against the shutters like a cat trying to claw its way inside. Shivering, Jenny pulled her blankets over her head and squeezed her eyes shut against the dark.

I find drowned towns creepy and fascinating, and although the drowned towns along the Norfolk coastline aren’t as dramatic as Helike, there’s a lot to be said for walking along grey beaches listening out for the church bells tolling under the sea.

Around the Internet (September 2015)

In case you missed it, I had a couple of short stories out this month: (1) Voice and Silence appeared in The Sockdolager this month. It’s a dark little piece featuring kittens being horrible to even smaller animals, among other things. If you cohabit with cats, you may appreciate it. (2) Rites of Passage appeared in Kaleidotrope. It’s a dusty desert adventure featuring empire-building, false amber, Ann and a dragon, among other things. (Helpful note: when I say “dragon”, I’m thinking of something that looks rather like this.)


The Unicorn by Amanda C. Davis (poem, unicorn, magic)

Your Future and Mine by John Grey (poem, space, not so glamorous as you thought)

Ghostalker by T.L. Huchu (practical necromancy, vivid landscapes, cultural references)

The Closest Thing to Animals by Sofia Samatar (artists, jealousy, friendship)

Prospero by Bruno Dias and Edgar Allen Poe (interactive, red death, masque)

The Peal Divers by Francesca Forrest (poetry, sunken churches, sound)

Grandmother by Leslianne Wilder (poetry, grandmother, ageing wolfishly)

Note to the Caretaker by Lisa Bellamy (poetry, mole, earth artistry)

Scythia by Marinelle G. Ringer (poetry, myths, Greece and Rome)

Hide Behind by Jason Kimble (monster, mystery, jackalopes)

Storm on Solar Seas by T.L. Huchu (space shipwreck, cannibalism, unhappy ending)

Lock and Key by Mike Reeves (assassination attempts, vizier, lady alchemist)

Dustbaby by Alix E. Harrow (end times, dust bowl, old worlds)

The Oiran’s Song by Isabella Yap (war, abuse, prostitution, demon)


Plasma Frequency are holding a kickstarter to fund their return.

The Strange Horizons 2015 fund drive has launched.

Lightspeed is open to fantasy subs until 31 October.

The Book Smugglers have a call for novellas.

Lackington’s Magazine editor Ranylt Richildis went to Nantes and saw a clockwork elephant!