Dying Embers out now

Dying Embers out now

Friday, 24 February 2017

Recommended reads of 2016 (part two)

Following on from my previous blog post about my favoured reads from the last year or so, which was my first blog post for some time, here is part two. I hope you find my choices interesting and that you might give some of these collections a go.

The Unsettling, Peter Rock's first collection of  short stories, from 2006, is one of
my books of the year. It really is unsettling. Some of these tales carry an
emotional charge which is quite a surprise: and a sense of dread which
will stay with you long after you've read them. Seriously recommended.

Gorgonaeon, by Jordan Krall (published by Dunhams Manor Press) is a fascinating
publication. It is a collection of fragments: brief moments of clarity, disparate at first, yet
upon reading they form a strange kind of whole. Surrealistic, grotesque, separate yet
cohesive: Gorgonaeon is unconventional yet a compelling read.

Subtle gore, Kafka, science fiction (or is it?), deserted highways, a weird stuffed bear...
Brian Evenson's A Collapse of Horses is a tour de force in relentless dread
and disconnect. Be prepared for a roller coaster ride through these tight,
breathless tales. If you haven't read anything by Evenson before,
I would suggest you start now!

American Nocturne, by Hank Schwaeble, is another superb Cohesion Press publication.
This collection transcends Americana and is as varied and satisfying a group of dark stories
as you will find anywhere. Schwaeble's writing is punchy and concise. This is a
must read for fans of dark fiction everywhere.

Secret Ventriloquism, by Jon Padgett. What can I say? This book is a journey
through your deepest anxieties. It's creepy. Padgett clearly has the knack to
get under the reader's skin and he takes advantage of that ability
all the way through this collection of interconnected tales of fear.This is the
first of his work I've read and I'll definitely be searching for more.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Recommended reads of 2016 (part one)

Recently I've been rather too busy with writing and other projects for very much blogging. So, to make up for it, I have decided to share just a few of my favourite reads of 2016. More later I'm sure, but for now, here they are:

The Best Short Stories of Garry Kilworth is an expansive, multi-genre collection of tales by a
master writer. There are so many great short stories here, spanning many years, including one of the
finest examples I've read: Blood Orange. If you haven't read it yet, you really should!
Jason A. Wyckoff's second collection The Hidden Back Room is every bit as good as
his first, Black Horse and Other Stories. It contains some wonderful tales,
particularly the title story, which is  satisfyingly strange indeed.
This is yet another great collection from Tartarus Press.

The New Uncanny is from a few years back, but with stories from, among others, Ramsey Campbell,
Christopher Priest, Nicholas Royle, AS Byatt and Hanif Kureishi, it's well worth a read.
One of the most memorable stories here is Ped-o-Matique, by Jane Rogers, which may well
change permanently your view about what to do whilst waiting around for delayed flights in airports!

Stories of the Strange and Sinister is a fascinating collection by a much underrated writer of strange stories.
In The Steam Room is one of Frank Baker's better known tales and is present here in all its mundane
glory. Baker wrote in a minor key and is therefore often overlooked; but but if you're a
fan of the weird I feel he's well worth a read.

Greener Pastures is a collection of Michael Wehunt's superb, left-field stories. Are they
horror, fantasy or literary? Probably a mixture of all three. They are certainly
complex, emotionally charged and grounded in a strange version of reality.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Nightscript Vol 3 by CM Muller


I'm very pleased to announce that my short story The Other Side of the Hill will be included in CM Muller's upcoming anthology, Nightscript Vol 3. Nightscript Vol 1 and Vol 2 were superb publications and still available. Details of Nightscript 3 are available from CM Muller's website here. Below I have reproduced the full table of contents. I'm proud to have my own story featured alongside such illustrious company:

“The Flower Unfolds” — Simon Strantzas
“Downward” — Amar Benchikha
“What Little Boys Are Made Of” — Malcolm Devlin
“Grizzly” — M.K. Anderson
“Might Be Mordiford” — Charles Wilkinson
“Palankar” — Daniel Braum
“The Gestures Remain” — Christi Nogle
“House of Abjection” — David Peak
“The Undertow, and They That Dwell Therein” — Clint Smith
“A Place With Trees” — Rowley Amato
“The Familiar” — Cory Cone
“Liquid Air” — Inna Effress
“The Beasts Are Sleep” — Adam Golaski
“The Witch House” — Jessica Phelps
“On the Edge of Utterance” — Stephen J. Clark
“Homeward Bound Now, Paulino” — Armel Dagorn
“The Affair” — James Everington
“When Dark-Eyed Ophelia Sings” — Rebecca J. Allred
“We, the Rescued” — John Howard
“Twenty Miles and Running” — Christian Riley
“Something You Leave Behind” — David Surface
“Young Bride” — Julia Rust
“The Other Side of the Hill” — M.R. Cosby