Thursday 28 December 2023

Favourite Short Stories 2023

Another year done, another of my annual favourite short stories of the year posts. Same 'rules' as before (you can find links to lists from previous years here). For each story, I've linked to the publication where I read the story, which isn't always where they were first published.

Ruth Barber: Unfinished Business (Uncertainties 6, Swan River Press)
James Bennett: The Changing Dust (The Dark #99)
Simon Bestwick: And Ashes In Her Hair (Something Remains, Alchemy Press)
Méabh de Brún: This House Is Haunted (Irish Independent)
Méabh de Brún: Consumed As In Obsessed (Uncertainties 6, Swan River Press)
Ramsey Campbell: The Render Of The Veils (The Inhabitant Of The Lake & Other Unwelcome Tenants, Drugstore Indian Press)
Ramsey Campbell: The Plain Of Sound (The Inhabitant Of The Lake & Other Unwelcome Tenants, Drugstore Indian Press)
Truman Capote: A Diamond Guitar (Breakfast At Tiffany's & Three Stories, Penguin)
Ray Cluley: Sideways (All That's Lost, Black Shuck Books)
Ray Cluley: The Final Girl's Daughter (All That's Lost, Black Shuck Books)
Dan Coxon: Far From Home (Nox Pareidolia, Nightscape Press) 
Libby Cudmore: The Rituals Of Bathing (The Dark #99)
Kayleigh Dobbs: The Last Word (The Perfectly Fine Neighbourhood, French Press)
S.L. Edwards: In The Vastness Of The Sovereign Sky (Nox Pareidolia, Nightscape Press) 
Brian Evenson: The Room Above (Nox Pareidolia, Nightscape Press) 
Kurt Fawver: Merge Now (Nox Pareidolia, Nightscape Press) 
Neil Gaiman: Goliath (Fragile Things, Headline Review)
Neil Gaiman: How To Talk To Girls At Parties (Fragile Things, Headline Review)
Neil Gaiman: Pages From A Journal Found In A Shoebox Left In A Greyhound Bus Somewhere Between Tulsa, Oklahoma & Louisville, Kentucky (Fragile Things, Headline Review)
J.L. George: Water, Word, Flesh (Kaleidotrope)
William Gibson: New Rose Hotel (Burning Chrome, Gateway)
William Gibson: Johnny Mnemonic (Burning Chrome, Gateway)
William Gibson: The Winter Market (Burning Chrome, Gateway)
Adam Golaski: (Rabbit) (Strange Little Stories Newsletter, David Surface)
LC von Hessen: Herr Scheintod (Nox Pareidolia, Nightscape Press)
Timothy J. Jarvis: We Recognise Our Own (Treatises On Dust, Swan River Press)
Timothy J. Jarvis: And Yet Speaketh (Treatises On Dust, Swan River Press)
Timothy J. Jarvis: The Yellow Book (Treatises On Dust, Swan River Press)
Brian Keene: Where The Heart Is (The Perfectly Fine Neighbourhood, French Press)
Micheal Kelly: The Devils Curve (IZ Digital)
Garry Kilworth: Fata Morgana (Bloodmoon & Other Stories, Infinity Plus)
Gwendolyn Kiste: When The Nightingale Devours The Stars (Nox Pareidolia, Nightscape Press) 
Annie Knox: Incorporeal Tax (The Perfectly Fine Neighbourhood, French Press)
Thomas Ligotti: Les Fleurs (Songs Of A Dead Dreamer, Penguin)
Thomas Ligotti: The Greater Festival Of Masks (Songs Of A Dead Dreamer, Penguin)
J.A.W. McCarthy: No Baggage (Hungry Shadow Press)
Gary McMahon: Broken Eye (Something Remains, Alchemy Press)
Avra Margariti: Pulmonary (The Rumpus)
Alison Moore: Where Are They Now? (Uncertainties 6, Swan River Press)
Thana Niveau: Bad Faith (Something Remains, Alchemy Press)
Joyce Carol Oates: Mr. Stickum, (Playboy)
Joyce Carol Oates: Sign Of The Beast (Night-Gaunts & Other Tales Of Suspense, Head Of Zeus) 
Joyce Carol Oates: Night Gaunts (Night-Gaunts & Other Tales Of Suspense, Head Of Zeus) 
Kate Orman: Saltier (IZ Digital)
Jorja Osha: The Fish's Wife (The Dark #103)
John Llewellyn Probert: The Missing (Something Remains, Alchemy Press)
Sarah Royston: She Walks In Fields Of Light (The Rumpus)
Sarah Royston: In the Shrine there stood a Statue with a Stone set in its Foot, which was called Lady of the Spring (Full House Literary)
 Lynda E. Rucker: Knots (Now It's Dark, Swan River Press)
Lynda E. Rucker: The Vestige (Now It's Dark, Swan River Press)
Lynda E. Rucker: The Unknown Chamber (Now It's Dark, Swan River Press)
Robert Shearman: Jason Zerrilo Is An Annoying Prick (We All Hear Stories In The Dark, PS Publishing)
Robert Shearman: The Censor's Report (We All Hear Stories In The Dark, PS Publishing)
Robert Shearman: The Beast At World's End (We All Hear Stories In The Dark, PS Publishing)
Alan Sillitoe: Noah's Ark (The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner, Harper Perennial)
Alan Sillitoe: Uncle Ernest (The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner, Harper Perennial)
Teika Marija Smits: The November Room Or Leaving The Labyrinth (IZ Digital)
David Surface: Strange Little Story #22 (author's newsletter)
Steve Toase:: Uprooted (IZ Digital)
Steve Toase: Safe (author's website)
Lisa Tuttle: Closet Dreams (Pseudopod)
Peter Watts: The Things (Clarkesworld #40)
Michael Wehunt: Hello (Nox Pareidolia, Nightscape Press) 
Michael Wehunt: It Takes Slow Sips (Pseudopod)
Neil Williamson: A Moment Of Zugzwang (author's website)
Neil Williamson: Thirty-Two Tumbling Teeth (Black Static 78/79)

Saturday 25 November 2023

"The Sinister Horror Company"

Some years back, while leading up to Trying To Be So Quiet being published by The Sinister Horror Company, I for some reason wrote a story called 'The Sinister Horror Company'. It was a small piece with a tone different to most of what I write, and it was about, well, a sinister horror company taking over the world... 

It's been homeless since then, not really fitting anywhere, but with the recent sad news that the real Sinister Horror Company is winding up shop, I'm pleased to say that this fictional* 'Sinister Horror Company' has now been published over at the brilliant yet sinister HAPPY GOAT HORROR run by the also brilliant/sinister Kayleigh Dobbs. Anyway, here it is.



* honest, fictional. **









** THEY MADE ME SAY THAT

Thursday 12 October 2023

Darkest Nights

Pleased to say I'll be be taking part in Darkest Nights writing school, running one of the online sessions along with some fantastic authors, as you can see below:


Details & tickets here


 



Friday 26 May 2023

'The Switch' to appear in Uncertainties 6

I'm pleased as punch to say my story 'The Switch' is to be appear in the forthcoming anthology Uncertainties 6 from the mighty Swan River Press.


“Ghost stories,” as Elizabeth Bowen observed, “are not easy to write—least easy now, for they involve more than they did.” But these eleven writers take up the challenge, each in their own way, with expert awareness of the genre’s limitless possibilities.

Uncertainties is an anthology series—featuring authors from Ireland, France, Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom—each exploring the concept of increasingly fragmented senses of reality. These types of short stories were termed “strange tales” by Robert Aickman, called “tales of the unexpected” by Roald Dahl, and known to Shakespeare’s ill-fated Prince Mamillius as “winter’s tales”. But these are no mere ghost stories. These tales of the uncanny grapple with existential epiphanies of the modern day, when otherwise familiar landscapes become sinister and something decidedly less than certain . . .


Readers of my fiction, or of this blog in general, will no doubt recognise why this chimes with me so, and why I'm excited to have a story in this latest volume, alongside some absolutely fantastic authors. 

You should never trust a writer's own opinion of their work, but I've always considered 'The Switch' to be a very me story, a very Everington story. A writer friend who read a draft of it said "only send this one to the best places" and, with Uncertainties 6, I certainly obeyed.

You can read more about the anthology and pre-ordered it here.


Sunday 1 January 2023

Favourite Short Stories: 2022

A  bit delayed posting this due to Covid, but here's my annual favourite short stories of the year' post. Same 'rules' as before (you can find links to lists from previous years here). For each story, I've linked to the publication where I read the story, which isn't always where they were first published.


Robert Aickman: Hand In Glove (Intrusions, Tartarus Press)
Joey Baglio: The Jackal (Conjunctions)
Laird Barron: Joren Falls (Come Join Us By The Fire #2, Tor)
James Bennett: Sulta (The Dark #91)
Desirina Boskovich: The Great Dying Of The Holocene (Tomorrow's Cthulhu, Broken Eye Books)
Richard Lee Byers: Advanced Placement (Tomorrow's Cthulhu, Broken Eye Books)
Ramsey Campbell: The Devil In The Details (This Dreaming Isle, Unsung)
David Carpenter: There Goes The City (Cloister Fox #1)
Eliza Chan: The Tails That Make You (Fantasy Magazine #82)
Kay Chronister: Linden In Effigy (The Dark #85)
Chloe N. Clark: A Map For Stars We Haven't Yet Marked (Counterclock #14)
Indrapramit Das: You Will Survive The Night (Come Join Us By The Fire #2, Tor)
Sarina Dorie: Arachnids In Your Bed: An Interactive Bedtime Story For Children—And Adults (Weird Horror #4, Undertow)
Steve Duffy: The Woofle Dust (Supernatural Tales #49)
Brian Evenson: The Cabin (Come Join Us By The Fire #2, Tor)
Brian Evenson: The Rider (Weird Horror #5, Undertow)
Charles L. Grant: Out There (Cutting Edge, Guild)
Graham Greene: When Greek Meets Greek (21 Stories, Penguin)
Graham Greene: A Drive In The Country (21 Stories, Penguin)
Lucie McKnight Hardy: Cavities (Dead Relatives, Dead Ink)
Lucie McKnight Hardy: Dead Relatives (Dead Relatives, Dead Ink)
Lucie McKnight Hardy: The Pickling Jar (Dead Relatives, Dead Ink)
William Hope Hodgson: The Gateway Monster (The Weird Tales of William Hope Hodgson, British Library Tales Of The Weird)
William Hope Hodgson: The Derelict The Weird Tales of William Hope Hodgson, British Library Tales Of The Weird)
Andrew Hook: Beyond Each Blue Horizon (Never Again, Grey Friar Press)
Dan Howarth: Aperture (Weird Horror #5, Undertow)
Andrew Humphrey: Hurled Against Rocks (Weird Horror #4, Undertow)
Stephen Graham Jones: How To Break Into A Hotel Room (Nightmare #112)
Carole Johnstone: Machine (Never Again, Grey Friar Press)
R.J. Krijnen-Kemp: Volk (Never Again, Grey Friar Press)
Eleanor Kirk: The No Sex Thing (Adda Stories)
Joel Lane: The Clearing (The Earth Wire, Influx Press)
Joel Lane: And Some Are Missing (The Earth Wire, Influx Press)
Patricia Lillie: Mother Sylvia (Nightscript V)
Jack Lothian: Susan & The Most Popular Girl In School (Weird Horror #3, Undertow)
Kathryn E. McGee: Saving Face (Kelp Journal)
Gary McMahon: Not A Place I Recognise (author's website)
Alison Moore: The Stone Dead (This Dreaming Isle, Unsung)
Sunny Moraine: If Living Is Seeing I'm Holding My Breath (Come Join Us By The Fire #2, Tor)
Jeannette Ng: We Regret To Inform You  (This Dreaming Isle, Unsung)
Joyce Carol Oates: Strip Poker (Give Me Your Heart, Corvus)
Daria Patrie: Tangles (Tomorrow's Cthulhu, Broken Eye Books)
Miyuki Jane Pinckard: A House Full of Voices Is Never Empty (Uncanny #38)
Eric Raglin: Dead Rain (Dreadstone Press online)
Lauren Ring: Sunrise, Sunrise, Sunrise (Apparition Lit)
Gareth E. Rees: The Knucker  (This Dreaming Isle, Unsung)
C.D. Rose: Sister (Best British Short Stories 2018, Salt)
Nicholas Royle: The Other Man (The Dummy & Other Stories, Swan River Press)
Nicholas Royle: Cuckoo (The Dummy & Other Stories, Swan River Press)
Nicholas Royle: Moving Out (The Dummy & Other Stories, Swan River Press)
Salman Rushdie: The Shelter Of The World (The New Yorker Feb 08)
Robert Shearman: Damned If You Don't (Never Again, Grey Friar Press)
Robert Shearman: Sounding Brass Tinkling Cymbal (We All Hear Stories In The Dark, PS Publishing)
Robert Shearman: The Wait (Cloister Fox #1)
Zadie Smith: Blocked (Grand Union, Penguin)
Zadie Smith: Meet The President! (Grand Union, Penguin)
Teika Marija Smits: Absinthiana (Fairlight Stories)
Jo Mazelis: Skin (Best British Short Stories 2018, Salt)
Peter Straub: Blue Rose (Cutting Edge, Guild)
Dan Stintzi: The Border (Nightscript V)
Simon Strantzas: Jason's In The Garden (Nightscript V)
Don Tumasonis: What Goes Down (Ghosts & Scholars)
Charlotte Turnbull: Eventually, The Body Will Reject A Hostile Object Of Its Own Accord (Splonk #6)
Lisa Tuttle: The Horse Lord (A Nest Of Nightmares, Jo Fletcher Books)
Lisa Tuttle: A Friend In Need (A Nest Of Nightmares, Jo Fletcher Books)
Emily Ruth Verona: I Wrote Your Name (Coffin Bell) 
Catriana Ward: Once We Lived Beside A Lake (Rawblood bonus content, Gollancz)
Kaaron Warren: 68 Days (Tomorrow's Cthulhu, Broken Eye Books)
Gordon B. White: The Roast (author's website)
Zachariah Claypole White: The Eighth Room (Weird Horror #5, Undertow)
Aliya Whitely: Plans For Expansion (Drabblecast #458)
Conrad Williams: Cwtch (Best British Short Stories 2018, Salt)
A.C. Wise: How The Trick Is Done (The Ghost Sequences, Undertow)
A.C. Wise: Tekeli-Li They Cry (The Ghost Sequences, Undertow)
John Wiswell: The Coward Who Stole God's Name (Uncanny #46)
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro: Lapses (Cutting Edge, Guild)

Saturday 3 December 2022

UK Ghost Story Festival 23

 Pleased to say I'll be haunting the good people of Derby as part of the UK Ghost Story Festival...



Saturday 12 November 2022

Night Time Logic: Interview with Cemetery Dance

I've been interviewed by the weird fiction author Daniel Baum as part of his Night Time Logic column over on Cemetery Dance. Daniel and I share a love of Robert Aickman, so the interview inevitably touches on that, strange stories in general, and my recent anthology from Hersham Horror, Ebb Tides


You can read it here.


Ebb Tides: UK | US