Flash in F&SF

I have another tiny “where-are-they-now” story in the May/June issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction called ‘Modern Cassandra’. I wrote this in January 2020. It’s about that jerk Apollo and I want to dedicate it to Medium Amanda, who tried so hard to get in touch with me towards the end of 2019. And yet I never opened any of her emails! Who knows what would have happened if I had?

Extract: "She worked as an artist's assistant before she matched with Apollo on Tinder. In the middle of painting exquisite hyperrealist copies of torn-out newspaper pictures to inspire her employer, Apollo took her to lunch in a Covent Garden restaurant filled with pheasant feathers and stags' heads"

The restaurant is Rules! I’m pretty sure it’s run by Apollo the Hunter. Who else?

Podcast – ‘City of Wolves and Lightning’ in Tales to Terrify

Graeme Dunlop has done a fantastic reading of my story “City of Wolves and Lightning” for the Tales to Terrify podcast.

This bit of Roman civil war weird was originally published in Lamplight back in 2016, so it’s not currently available anywhere else online. Sometimes I thought about calling it “Sorry Caesar, But Your City is in Another Country!” Maybe I should have done.

Flash in Fantasy Magazine

Fantasy Magazine cover (Feb 2022)

I have a tiny story in this month’s Fantasy Magazine! It’s about labyrinths. Did you know the Cyprus government gateway portal is called Ariadni? You do now.

After Naxos, Ariadne moved to Nicosia and built a new labyrinth online. Here she sits and smiles and buries her bullish secrets: where to buy building permits and apply for trademarks and government grants and benefits. How to join the fire service. Authenticating seafarers. “That way leads to an external labyrinth,” she says pleasantly. “Oh dear, has the roof fallen in? I’ll send someone down to dig it out later.”

I’ll come back to this in a couple of weeks when it goes live online, but meanwhile you can buy the whole amazing issue or subscribe to read all those fantastic stories and poems now.

3LBE anthology Vol. VII

Three-Lobed Burning Eye Vol. VII cover

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!

Short story in PLACES WE FEAR TO TREAD

PLACES WE FEAR TO TREAD cover

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:

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.

Story extract

(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.!

Kaleidotrope + Big Echo

I have a new story and a reprint out this month.

  1. 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. 

  2. 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.

 

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.

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 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.