My Story “The Scales Of Injustice” in “Sharkasaurus!” – Out Soon

I have a short story titled The Scales Of Injustice about to be published in Sharkasaurus! which is Volume IV of the Fossil Lake anthology series. The collection is edited by Christine Morgan and will be published by Sabledrake Publications.

My story is drawn from H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos and features a good dose of murder and mayhem.

Exact publication date to be confirmed but essentially as soon as the publisher has okayed the proofs from the printer.

More news soon.

Reviews of the Sweet Dreams anthology and my story R.I.P.

The first couple of reviews for the Sweet Dreams anthology have been published on Amazon, both of which mention my story R.I.P.

 

 

 

 

A collection of unique tales by some very talented authors that will leave your mind wondering at possibilities. My favorites tales were the waking hour and R.I.P, which one’s will be your favorites I wonder.

 

This one is Chastity H. King’s Review of ‘Sweet Dreams’


For her horror anthology ‘Sweet Dreams’, J. L. Lane has selected some of the best short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. Although brought together under a common theme, these tidbits of terror are as diverse as the authors who wrote them. Whether you are looking for some new stories from authors you know and love, or new ones to fall in love with, your search is over. This anthology has something for anyone who loves horror fiction.

A great novel is like meeting someone, going for drinks, then dinner, learning about them over the course of a few months, maybe longer, and hoping it will turn out the way you want. A great short story is meeting someone, skipping the drinks, sharing a passionate kiss in some dark corner and walking away with no time for expectations, just excitement and pure adrenaline. These pages pull you into that corner, kiss you deep, and leave you wanting more.

This book snagged me from the start with Kitty Kane’s Souldrop: A town of terror. This is a story about a journalist whos’ gruesome actions lead her down a road to her unexpected destiny. A little farther along I was delighted to find a wonderfully morbid story by J. L. Lane herself. ‘Waking Hour’ is a nightmare of such intensity that you find yourself questioning which is the dream and which is reality. I was thrown from one dreamland to the next, delving deeper as I went and loving every minute of it. I mean everyone likes to be scared sometimes, right? If you do like getting scared and are wondering if this book is enough to do it, just read this passage from G.H. Finn’s ‘R.I.P.’: I’ll open you up don’t be afraid, just feel the kiss of the edge of my blade.

So, get your copy of ‘Sweet Dreams’, lock your doors, check all the lights are in proper working order, and be ready to go without sleep for the night

Sweet Dreams on Amazon UK

Sweet Dreams on Amazon US

“Rakshasa” – My story is in “Fifty Flashes” – Out Now in Paperback

My flash-fiction speculative/horror story Rakshasa is featured in Fifty Flashes, published in paperback by Whortleberry Press (orderering details below).

Whortleberry Press – The Best In Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Sine 2001

Rakshasa is drawn from Hindu and Buddhist mythology and folklore and mixes horror and Indian philosophy in equal measure.

We proudly present our new flash fiction anthology:
50 FLASHES
Yes, the work of 50 of our outstanding Whortleberry authors is now ready to bring you
thrills and chills, laughter and tears, amazement and awe.

Fifty Flashes is available from Lulu on this LINK

 

“Sweet Dreams” featuring my story “R.I.P.” – Out Now

My short story R.I.P. is featured in the horror & dark speculative fiction anthology Sweet Dreams, the first book out from Anthology House Publishing.

R.I.P. is a twisting tale with an unfolding mystery and features the themes of hypnosis, past-life regression, reincarnation, hidden identity and the terror inspired by the world’s most infamous serial killer…

Sweet Dreams is available in paperback and as an etext (e.g. for the Kindle) and can be ordered from Amazon (links below)

Toss and turn your way through a darkly haunting world of nightmares. After reading this anthology you may never again sleep with the lights off. If you ever dare sleep at all…
23 twisted stories and 5 haunting poems from the depraved minds of:
Kitty Kane
Paul J. Elias
Andrew Lennon
J. Duncan
Toneye Eyenot
J. L. Lane
Essel Pratt
G. H. Finn
Veronica Smith
C.S Anderson
Jim Goforth
Peter Oliver Wonder
Dani Brown
Norbert Góra
Roy C. Booth
Cynthia Booth
Lisa Dabrowski
Anusha VR
Kevin Wimer
Christine King
Tina Piney
R. E. Lyons
Frank Martin

Sweet Dreams on Amazon UK

Sweet Dreams on Amazon US

FREE! Read my story “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” in Sirens Call #30 “Death In All Its Glory”

Title: Gotta Catch ‘Em All

Published in the FREE MAGAZINE

The Sirens Call : “Death In All Its Glory” (Issue #30)

Sirens Call 30

Electronic Magazine Available FREE here

www.sirenscallpublications.com/pdfs/SirensCallEZine_December2016.pdf

Micro-Fiction, 300 words

Pokemon Go inspired comic horror

Published in The Sirens Call eZine Issue #30 – Death In All Its Glory.

gotta-catch-em-all


Sweet Dreams Anthology – Back Cover

The Back Cover for the "Sweet Dreams" anthology. Design by Dale Leary.
The Back Cover for the “Sweet Dreams” anthology. Design by Dale Leary.

I have a story titled R. I. P. coming out soon in the collection Sweet Dreams from Anthology House Publishing. Here’s the back cover artwork for the book.

This anthology is themed around dark and disturbing dreams and contains a host of tales that blend unsettling speculative fiction, weird terror, the supernatural and horror in all its forms.

More news on the anthology soon.

Finn

 

I’m in the Fall/Autumn issue of New Zenith Magazine

I have a story, The Halloween Party, in the latest issue of New Zentih Magazine which is available now in digital format for the very modest price of US $3.99 (about £3.27) – click here to get a copy (it will be available in print format shortly).
My story is in the paid edition but if you’d like to see what to expect from the magazine there is a free web edition here
I’m in good company in the present issue. Details of my fellow contributors are below.

NZM Logo

Contributors – Fall 2016

Robert Edward Baker

Robert Edward Baker works as a male model by day and a rock singer by night. He also writes fiction like the above. In truth, Robert lives in Bradford, England, with his wife and their three sons. Recently, he took his first baby steps toward a career in writing.

Robert’s Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Robert-Edward-Baker-1743647935882181/

Allison Epstein

Allison Epstein

Allison Epstein is a writer, marketer, feminist, and recreational student of Shakespeare living in Chicago. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Strangelet Journal, Ugly Sapling, The Huffington Post, and Adios Barbie, among other publications. She hasn’t finished a conversation without quoting the musical Hamilton since September 2015.

Twitter: @AllisonEpstein2

Publications: allisonepstein.contently.com

Blog: thebodypacifist.wordpress.com

Ute Carson

Ute Carson

A writer from youth, German-born Ute Carson has published three novels, three collections of poetry and numerous essays and short stories. She resides in Austin, Texas with her husband. They have three daughters, six grandchildren, a horse and a number of cats. Please visit her website www.utecarson.com.

G. H. Finn

G. H. Finn

G. H. Finn is the pen name of someone you are very unlikely to have heard of but who keeps his real identity secret anyway, possibly in the forlorn hope of one day being mistaken for a superhero.

Website: http://ghfinn.orkneymagic.com/

Twitter: @GanferHaarFinn

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/g.h.finn/

Amazon Author’s Page: UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/G-H-Finn/e/B0147L6E66/ & US http://www.amazon.com/G-H-Finn/e/B0147L6E66/

Previously Published & Forthcoming Fiction:
Please see this link http://ghfinn.orkneymagic.com/published-fiction/

Sandra J. Jackson

Sandra J. Jackson

Born in Montreal, Sandra J. Jackson now resides in a rural setting in Eastern Ontario.

Sandra is a multi-genre author. Her debut novel, Promised Soul, was released in March 2015. She is currently working on her first series, the first of the books due to release sometime in 2016.

Links

Website: www.sandrajjackson.com

Amazon (International link): myBook.to/PromisedSoul

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/sandrajjackson.author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sjjacksonauthor

Google +: http://google.com/+Sandrajjacksonauthor

Linkedin: http://ca.linkedin.com/in/sandrajjacksonauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13681910.Sandra_J_Jackson

Lisa Luciano

Lisa Luciano

Lisa Luciano enjoys reading, writing, and creating art with recycled materials. She has been through the “Miraculous Marathon” a few times….being the mother of eleven children.

Edward McDermott

Edward McDermott

Edward McDermott, born in Toronto, has a professional day job but spends his spare time pursuing a writing career. Aside from taking writing courses and participating in writers’ groups, Edward takes time for sailing, fencing, and working as a movie extra. http://www.edwardmcdermott.net/

Kate Krake

Kate Krake

Kate Krake is a writer, mother, wife and beagle tamer. She is the author of the continuing urban fantasy meta-novel, Guessing Tales as well as numerous non-fiction books for writers. Kate also runs the writing advice website, The Write Turn. Kate lives in Brisbane, Australia (and yes, her backyard is at times overrun with kangaroos).

http://www.katekrake.com

http://www.thewriteturn.com

http://www.guessingtales.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/katekrake

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katekrake/

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/katekrake

Denny E. Marshall

Denny E. Marshall

Denny E. Marshall isn’t a high-flying super hero, nor president of the largest nation in the world, and he hasn’t been published in the New Yorker. However, he is one heck of an artist, and a pretty mean storyteller. Watch out world because we haven’t seen the last of him!

Chance Nix

Chance Nix

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Chance managed to escape the trappings of life by running away to join the United States Marine Corps in time to serve during the battle of Fallujah in 2004. After serving two tours in Iraq and helping during Hurricane Katrina, Chance was discharged with a Purple Heart and Combat Action Ribbon. He currently lives in Princeton, Texas with his wife Jennifer, their two sons; Damien and Bastian, and two wonderful dogs. When he is not spending his time with his family or watching UFC, Chance can be found at his keyboard working on yet another story.

Brooke Petrie

Brooke Petrie

Brooke Petrie is an author who carries a pen, notebook and a tonne of adjectives with her wherever she goes. She has a passion for all forms of storytelling – be it poetry, music, visual art or narratives. Brooke can’t wait to venture out of the small city of Adelaide, South Australia, to hear more stories from different places in the world. Her dreams often involve meeting Jack Kerouac.

Jacqueline Seewald

Jacqueline Seewald

Multiple award-winning author, Jacqueline Seewald, has taught creative, expository and technical writing at Rutgers University as well as high school English. She also worked as both an academic librarian and an educational media specialist. Sixteen of her books of fiction have been published to critical praise including books for adults, teens and children. Her short stories, poems, essays, reviews and articles have appeared in hundreds of diverse publications and numerous anthologies.

Her writer’s blog can be found at: http://jacquelineseewald.blogspot.com

LD Masterson

LD Masterson

LD Masterson lives in Dayton, Ohio and enjoys writing in a variety of genres. Her short stories have been published in several anthologies and she recently completed a paranormal suspense novel, Hunter’s Way.

Catch her at http://ldmasterson-author.blogspot.com.

Jay Seate

Jay Seate

After Jay read a few tales to his parents, they booted him out of the house. Undaunted, he continues to write everything from humor to the macabre. Jay won Horror Novel Review’s Best Short Fiction Award as well as placing stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul. He has longer works on Amazon and B&N.

Luke Spooner

Luke Spooner

Luke Spooner currently lives and works in the South of England. Having graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a first class degree he is now a full time illustrator working under two aliases; ‘Carrion House’ for his darker work and ‘Hoodwink House’ for his work aimed at a younger audience. He believes that the job of putting someone else’s words into a visual form, to accompany and support their text, is a massive responsibility as well as being something he truly treasures.

John H. Stevens

John H. Stevens

John H. Stevens lives with his lovely wife, Geraldine and daughter Katie in the suburbs of Chicago after growing up near Wrigley Field. During the day, he’s a mild-mannered Systems Programmer. At night, he tries to come up with ideas for horror stories despite his dogs’ demand to play with them. His scariest secret is he’s a Cub’s fan.

Darren Todd

Darren Todd

Darren writes short fiction full time, along with book editing for Evolved Publications and narrating audiobooks for Audible. His stories have appeared in seventeen publications. He’s had two plays produced and a non-fiction book published. He lives in Phoenix with his wife and son and does his best work in coffee shops on a dated word processor.

Kyra Spisak

Kyra Spisak

Kyra Spisak resides in the Great White North of Canada. She spends her nights writing and her days working in a half asleep haze. You can find her and all her writing adventures on Twitter, @GeorgeSpisak. She publishes under both Kyra Spisak and George Spisak, depending on her mood.

J. J. Steinfeld

J. J. Steinfeld

Canadian fiction writer, poet, and playwright J. J. Steinfeld lives on Prince Edward Island, where he is patiently waiting for Godot’s arrival and a phone call from Kafka. While waiting, he has published seventeen books, including Would You Hide Me? (Stories, Gaspereau Press), Misshapenness (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions), Identity Dreams and Memory Sounds (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions), Madhouses in Heaven, Castles in Hell (Stories, Ekstasis Editions), and An Unauthorized Biography of Being (Stories, Ekstasis Editions).

Paul Weidknecht

Paul Weidknecht

Paul Weidknecht is the author of Native to This Stream: Brief Writings About Fly-Fishing & the Great Outdoors, a collection of short stories, essays and poems. His work has also appeared in A Readable Feast: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Tales for Every Taste by the Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC, Best New Writing 2015, Gray’s Sporting Journal, The Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine Anthology, The MacGuffin, Potomac Review, Rosebud, Shenandoah, and Structo, among others. He resides in New Jersey and has completed a collection of short fiction.

“The Halloween Party” in New Zenith Magazine

Just in time for the spooky season, I have a short story titled “The Halloween Party” about to be published in New Zenith Magazine

logo“New Zenith Magazine is a quarterly short fiction, poetry, and visual art magazine. Within its pages you will find short stories of all genres, flash fiction, mesmerizing poetry, hilarious cartoons/comics, photography, illustrations, inspiring author interviews, articles on the topic of writing, provocative writing prompts and more. This page-turning magazine will delight your senses, and incite your curiosity. There is truly something for everyone inside the pages of this eclectic journal.” I’m delighted to have been chosen to be among New Zenith’s featured authors.

new-zenith-300-cropped“The Halloween Party” features a veritable cornucopia of rum and uncanny characters such as The Gobdjeofel, Morrogolloro, The Bloody Lobaghast, Granddaddy Strawbones, Jo-Jo Le Snatch, The Skenny-Grobbler, Lulu Gongo, Baa-Baa-Dead-Sheep, Black-and-Blue Jenny, Abu-Mambu-Babu, The Ladyjack, Gog-Gog, Old Mother Shatter and Yasakaluka the Sucking Devil.

I won’t give any spoilers but the story blends folklore, the belief in childhood bogeymen, dark humour, horror and the weirdly macabre.

Just what you need for a happy halloween….

The Autumn/Fall issue of New Zenith Magazine is due out very shortly & I’ll update as soon as it is avaliable.

 

OUT NOW! Phantasmical Contraptions & Other Errors

cover2My short story Obelisk has just been published in the steampunk anthology Phantasmical Contraptions & Other Errors, from JayHenge Publishing.

Phantasmical Contraptions & Other Errors is avaiable in either e-text or paperback.

I won’t give any spoilers but Obelisk is set on a recently colonised Mars during an alternative-history Victorian period.

You can expect tongue-in-cheek humour, lots of nods to Victorian sci-fi, and more than a hint of cosmic horror.


Title: Obelisk – October 12th 2016

Short Story, 7250 Words

Steampunk, Adventure, Lovecraftian, Victorian Sci-Fi, Horror

Featured in the anthology Phantasmical Contraptions & Other Errors, edited by Jessica Augustsson, published by JayHenge Publiushing.


Available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

Mediaeval Dead! Another story accepted this morning.

death3death2Well, here I go into full gloat mode.

It’s the 11th of October and I’ve already had four stories accepted this month.

This latest one is a para-quasi-pseudo-semi-historical fantasy.

Or if you prefer, a sword-and-sorcery romp with some very tongue-in-cheek tones.

I’ll be posting more about this later but for now I’ll mention that the tale takes place in 9th century Hungary.

You know, back in that period when the land was being plagued by marauding hordes of the undead…

The story also features the return of my erratically reoccurring character Caligula Wulf (who made his first published appearance in the story Unnatural Acts).

More on this and other stories very soon.death6

My story “Obelisk” is due out this month

logomars1I’ve heard from JayHenge Publishing’s hard working editior, Jessica Augustsson, that my short story Obelisk is due to be published very shortly in an anthology titled Phantasmical Contraptions & Other Errors.

This is a steampunk themed anthology and looks to have an exciting and diverse line-up (more on that soon).

The exact date for publication is yet to be confirmed but it should certainly be in October (and of course I will be posting as soon as I hear myself).

I won’t give any spoilers but my own story is set on colonial Mars during the Victorian era and… well… wait and find out…

images-duckduckgo-com

Title: Obelisk – coming October 2016

Short Story, 7250 Words

Steampunk, Adventure, Lovecraftian, Victorian Sci-Fi, Horror

To Be featured in the anthology Phantasmical Contraptions & Other Errors, edited by Jessica Augustsson, published by JayHenge Publiushing.

 

Gotta Catch ‘Em All

gotta-catch-em-all

Have you read my darkly comic 300-word micro-fiction story, “Gotta Catch ‘Em All”?

It won 2nd place in the ZeroFlash aniversary competiton in July 2016.

You can read it free online here :

Gotta Catch ‘Em All

Another story accepted – due out this Autumn/Fall

halloween-finn-banner

I’m once again delighted to have sold another story, this one is a seasonal tale, set at Halloween.

pumpkin-1713381_960_720

It deals with folklore, childhood fears, a bizzare array of assorted horrors and some dark, comic fantasy.

pumpkin-988231_960_720

As with my other recent stories, more details coming soon….

Two more stories accepted yesterday

big_thumb_8a208215fcb0f2e7188cbc52d2190531

I’m delighted to be able to gloat that I had two more short stories accepted (by different publishers) yesterday.

One is a Steampunk adventure set on a recently colonised Mars during a divergent-history Victorian period. It features a hint of romance and some ancient, dark, Lovecraftian menace…

The other is a psychological horror mystery. It is a tale of hypnotism, dreams, past-lives, maddness, reincarnation, stories-hidden-within-stories…. and the most infamous serial 7013401819_319cb49abe_bkiller. Ever.

I will of course be waffling on about these and other forthcoming stories endlessly… so expect more details soon.

Finn

The Scales Of Injustice

anglerI’m delighted to be able to announce that I have a new short story coming out in early 2017.

The Scales of Injustice – February 2017

Short Story, 5000 words.

Cthulhu Mythos / Crime / Mystery.

To be Published in the anthology Fossil Lake (Volume 4), edited by Christine Morgan, published by Sabledrake Enterprises

Fossil Lake IV

Coming in 2017 … SHARKASAURUS!

Anticipated Release Date: February 2017 in print and ebook.

Once again, the title should tell you all you need to know for the theme. Sharks and/or dinosaurs! We expect teeth. Lots and lots of teeth. Beyond that, pretty much anything goes. Fighting each other? Chomping teenagers on spring break? Teaming up buddy-cop-movie-style and learning to respect one another’s differences? The doomed romance of star-crossed lovers? Time travel? Monstrous hybrids? Magical musical singing and dancing? Bring it!

Stuck for a last minute present? Try one of these books! (Shameless plug)

Screenshot1You can find anthologies of short stories featuring my work on my author’s page at Amazon.co.uk here and another on Amazon.com (i.e. for the USA) here.

They are all available digitally as well as in print (and in the case of The Adventures of Moriarty as downloadable audio) so you could have them delivered quite literally at the last minute!

(If you have read my work , please do leave a review!)

 

More info & direct links :

 


 

Wild Things Cover

The cover for Wild Things – Thirteen Tales Of Therianthropy

Title : Santa MarimbondoAugust 16th 2015

Black Shuck BooksHorror short story, circa 5,000 words, featured in Wild Things – Thirteen Tales Of Therianthropy (anthology), edited by Steve J Shaw,  published in the UK by Black Shuck Books, an imprint of Great British Horror Books.

Link to Wild Things on Amazon UK or if you are in the US Wild Things on Amazon.com

Steve J Shaw’s website Great British Horror

wild Things 2

 

 

 

 

 


Title : The Perfect Crime – 15th October 2015

The cover of The Mammoth Book of the Adventures of Moriarty: The Secret Life of Sherlock Holmes's Nemesis

The cover for The Adventures of Moriarty: The Secret Life of Sherlock Holmes’s Nemesis

Short story, circa 5,000 words, featured in The Adventures of Moriarty: The Secret Life of Sherlock Holmes’s Nemesis (anthology), edited by Maxim Jakubowski, published in the UK by Constable Robinson and in the USA by Running Press.

“We think of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, but far more seductive is the pairing of Holmes and Professor James Moriarty, ‘the Napoleon of crime’ – a rivalry unparalleled in the world of crime fiction. Fiercely intelligent and a relentless schemer, Moriarty is the super-villain as megastar.

The anthology reveals not just the evil side of Moriarty’s personality, but his humanity, his motivations and his human failings. Some of the stories are humorous, some scary, but all are hugely entertaining.”

Link to the print & etext versions of the book on Amazon UK  & Amazon.com

moriarty audioLink to the Audio-book version published by Audible Studios.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Title : Unnatural Acts – October 15th 2015

How To Trick The Devil - How Far Would You Go

The cover for How To Trick The Devil

 

 

erebuspressShort story, dark supernatural comic-horror, circa 4,000 words, featured in How To Trick The Devil (anthology), edited by Stephaine Buosi, Published in the UK by Erebus Press.

Stephaine Buosi’s website

 

 

How To Trick The Devil - Front & Back

 


 


Fox Spirit

Title: Cold-Hearted – February 2016 (date to be confirmed)

Short story included in the forthcoming anthology, Winter Tales, edited by Margrét Helgadóttir which is due to be published by Fox Spirit Books (early 2016).

Reviews for “Wild Things”

A few reviews of Wild Things, the horror anthology that features my story Santa Marimbondo, published by Black Shuck Books.

 

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Wild Things Cover

Black Shuck BooksWild Things – Thirteen Tales Of Therianthropy (anthology), edited by Steve J Shaw,  published in the UK by Black Shuck Books, an imprint of Great British Horror Books.

Link to Wild Things on Amazon UK or if you are in the US Wild Things on Amazon.com

Steve J Shaw’s website Great British Horror

wild Things 2

 

 

 

WINTER TALES – authors & stories update

The forthcoming anthology Winter Tales will feature my short story Cold-Hearted.

Reblogged from Fox Spirit Books.


 

Well, the nights are drawing in and winter is coming, so it seems a good time to share a little more about forthcoming anthology Winter Tales, edited by Margret Helgadottir and due for release in early 2016

WINTER TALES

FIMG_0027 (1)rost pierces through everything. Your bones ache in the icy wind. Harsh winter storms rage and the sun is leaving, not to return for many months. The cheerful men arriving to the mountain bothy in the midst of the winter storm, why do they unnerve you so much? The hunter who follows after you on your way home from the store, what does he hunt? The old neighbour lady seems so innocent, but you know the truth: you saw her that night. Why will the police not listen to you?

Dark, grim, beautiful and grotesque. We are delighted to bring you a collection of speculative winter stories and poems from new and established writers. The collection is edited by Margret Helgadottir. Winter Tales will be released in early 2016 from Fox Spirit Books.

Cover art will be by S.L. Johnson

 

Contents

Mat Joiner: The frost sermon
Su Haddrell: The Bothy
Sharon Kernow: The Wolf Moon
Ruth Booth: The love of a season
Masimba Musodza: When the trees were enchanted
Fiona Clegg: Sunday’s Child
Tim Major: Winter in the Vivarium
Lizz-Ayn Shaarawi: Snow Angel
Amelia Gorman: Under your skin
B. Thomas: Among Wolves
Eliza Chan: Yukizuki
DJ Tyrer: Frose
G.H. Finn: Cold-Hearted
David Sarsfield: Voliday
Kelda Crich: Coldness Waits
K.N. McGrath: The Siege
Jonathan Ward: Spirit of the Season
James Bennett: The Red Lawns
Anne Michaud: Frost Fair
Jan Edwards: Shaman Red
Adrian Tchaikovsky: The Coming of The Cold
Verity Holloway: The Frost of Heaven

Santa Marimbondo/Wild Things – Book review

A very nice review of both the anthology Wild Things and of my story Santa Marimbondo (highlighted in red below).

Wild Things – Book review

reblogged from:

cropped-logo1

http://www.britishfantasysociety.org/

Wild Things Edited by Steve J Shaw, 2015, Black Shuck Books, Website, p/b £8.99

 Reviewed by Nigel Robert Wilson

There could be no better celebration for a publishing house named after a spectral hound than to produce an anthology of therianthropy or humans changing into other beasties.

This reviewer will admit to an appreciation of short stories as they are an ideal tool in taking the tedium out of commuting. I no longer have to submit to the vagaries of public transport but the habit has stuck, along with the shortened attention span.

Be warned this book is not for bed-time reading. Do not under any circumstance read any of these stories before you switch off the light to go to sleep. Each has its well-fabricated terrors which could easily come back to bite you during the night. As it was I read most of it with an aging cat snoozing on my lap in the sure knowledge that she has ambitions, as yet frustrated, to become human and relate at length the injustice of nature that made me a man and her a cat.

There are stories of werewolves, sure. But also were-birds, a were-centipede and were-pretty, little dogs. For myself, and I recognise that the whole point of anthologies is that there is something in them for all tastes, the best is Rachel Halsall’s `Hunting’. A powerful story of difference, cruelty and identity built around the silkies or selkies, those mythological creatures, part-man and part-seal who are said to inhabit the North Sea. Are they a memory of those hunter-gatherers in Mesolithic times who drowned on Doggerland when the last of the ice melted? A hidden portion of my or our collective unconscious?

There are thirteen stories of which all contain quality writing with plots to a high standard.

`Fish’ by Anna Taborska is a well-executed, ironic tale of the unfortunate outcome of mistaken identity involving a puffer fish. It contains a strong moral message.

`Confession’ by Christopher Law is almost a shape-changer in itself. It starts out as a fairly mundane tale involving familiar clichés when it is actually about a man who finds he can turn into a bird of prey. The story goes wild as our hero becomes a junkie who eats children – mmm, delicious – as he yearns to be free from his ravening hunger!

`Scruffy Dog’ by D S Ullery is a delightfully whimsical story about a little stray dog. We have been conditioned to see were-wolves as horrific creatures of the night, only this one isn’t. Or is it?

`Hunting’ by Rachel Halsall is a wonderful tale which is to be recommended. It pulls no punches as sea creatures are hunted down by men for their meat and for the purpose of sex-slavery. The heroine is a child trapped between her human and selkie origins. It contains some excellent writing and is a challenging experience. Take it and enjoy!

`A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing’ by Darrel Duckworth is a humorous tale of lycanthropy in modern dress. Are all company boardrooms populated by were-wolves and wizards? In this case the wizard gets it wrong as he relied upon an ancient archive rather than the scientific method.

`The Shape of Nothingness’ by Scott Shoyer assures us that a shape-changer is immortal, so he fears being dead. If a sexual partner falls in love with him sufficiently to fear losing him then he involuntarily turns into a monster and eats them. Then he comes across another woman he quite fancies, but she is an immortal too!

`The Fragility of Flesh’ by Laura Mauro is a strong narrative of a poor kid, badly bullied at school who no longer wants to be seen by anyone so becomes something else.

`Golden Moments’ by James Park also introduces an immortal woman with the dietary habits of a praying mantis. For a price she traps a man who lusts for her fleshly attributes. This is an exotic tale of revenge eaten in the best way possible.

`Leydra’s Maiden’ by Kelda Crich tells us of Matilda, a housekeeper on the make who can become a crow. She seeks the hand of her employer whilst slowly poisoning his wife. Leydra is an aspect of the Great Goddess who sees all and knows all. This is an ingenious story about the outing of wickedness that draws upon our deeper nature.

`Santa Marimbondo’ by G H Finn is about an anthropologist in Brazil researching the cult of Santa Muerte or St Death, a version of the Grim Reaper. Then a peasant tells her about Santa Marimbondo, a demonic wasp that has to leave its eggs in a human host to develop. This is an excellent plot set out to induce an exquisite sequence of tensions.

`Centipede’ by Helen Catten-Prugl returns us to the poor kid bullied in school. Only this one has the ability to turn into a centipede to eat babies, policemen and, in a fit of jealous anger, the girl he fancies. I think I prefer it when they just turn up with a gun.

`The Change’ by Callum Chalmers tells the story of a man with a secret shame. Every Thursday he has to get home early before he turns into an animal. This is a wonderfully detailed account of a man forced to hide his true nature for fear of being ridiculed.

`The Were-Dwarf’ by Johnny Mains is about what can happened when a height-challenged disc-jockey is attacked by a were-wolf. This develops into a hilarious tale of a bizarre celebrity trying to manage an insane condition. The denouement is quite superb. Read it!

Wild Things : The Fragility of Flesh by Laura Mauro

Reblogged from Steve Shaw

Steve Shaw's photo.
Steve Shaw's photo.

WILD THINGS, Day Seven – ‘The Fragility of Flesh’ by Laura Mauro. Laura lives in London and, when she’s not writing, works as a laboratory technician. Her work has featured in BLACK STATIC and SHADOWS AND TALL TREES, as well as BEST BRITISH HORROR 2014. ‘The Fragility of Flesh’ marks the halfway point in the book, and starts out like

this…

It starts as a whisper, the merest suggestion of a word. A low sound in the back of her skull, building gradually like a headache, taking slow form. The same word every time, because they lack imagination. Because they know it hurts.

“Oi, fleabag!”

Carol has heard it a thousand times. By rights, whatever small power it ever had should have dissipated entirely by now – internal scar tissue ought to have built up around her wounds, rendering her impervious. And it’s such a small, silly word. Sticks and stones, as her mum likes to say, as if it’ll magically erase the hurt. Still, her shoulders unconsciously hunch, her face pressed closer to the maths textbook in front of her, and they sense that as surely as a shark senses blood.

“Hands up if you think Carol Delaney is a fleabag!”

A flurry of hands thrust into the air. Carol tries to ignore it, to pretend she can’t hear the ripple of giggles that passes through the classroom. She’s read the same sentence six times over and it still doesn’t make any sense. ‘The probability of an event happening is equal to 1 minus the probability of the event not happening’. The words seem to undulate, reconfigure, until the sentence no longer resembles itself.

Something big and heavy whizzes past her head, landing with a colossal thud on the desk in front. A hardback dictionary, cover splayed. Don’t flinch she tells herself even as she draws sharply back, dragging her pen inadvertently across her textbook. Humiliation burns a trail up the back of her neck, colouring her cheeks a livid pink. Still, she refuses to look up. She knows by now that it won’t make her invisible, but if she sits very still, very quiet, they’ll get bored sooner. It’s not as much fun for them when she doesn’t play along. She’s learned that the difficult way.

“Oi Carol, who cut your hair, the council?”

The probability of an event happening is equal to…

“She gets her shoes from Poundland. I saw her in there on Saturday.”

The probability…

“Are you deaf, fleabag? Got shit in your ears?”

Another ripple of laughter. The point of her pen digs hard into the paper; blue ink blooms outwards. The teacher will be back any minute, and they’ll shut up then. They’ll have to.

A sharp, brittle pain blooms suddenly in her left leg; a pair of long-bladed scissors clatter to the floor by her feet. Dumbly, Carol looks down at herself, at the dark, delicate runnel of blood tricking down the junction between calf and thigh. Her face must contort, betraying her upset, because Lewis Knight bursts into gleeful primate laughter. The classroom erupts into hushed chatter, thirty pairs of eyes trained on Carol Delaney and her rucked-up skirt, simultaneously shocked and impressed at Lewis’s audacity. And it is at that moment that Mr Cronin walks back into the classroom, striding past the scissors splayed on the floor, and the class settles quickly back into its usual rhythm, oblivious to Carol’s shame-flushed face and the blood soaking into the elastic of her sock.

Laura’s blog can be found at crunchyblanket.wordpress.com.

WILD THINGS is now available from Black Shuck Books at http://blackshuck.greatbritishhorror.com/wild-things

Steve Shaw's photo.