Saturday, 24 August 2019

Incoming: Two New Tales

I've had two stories accepted for publication in the last couple of weeks. They're two recent-ish stories that I think are among my best work, while being at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of style. And I'm really proud and flabbergasted to say that they are both appearing in the latest volumes of two publications that I regard as absolutely essential for anyone with an interest in weird horror fiction:

'Defensive Wounds' will appear in Tales From The Shadow Booth #4 (ed. Dan Coxon)

'The Sound Of The Sea, Too Close' will appear in Shadows & Tall Trees #8 from the mighty Undertow Publications (ed. Michael Kelly)

I know, right?

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Recommendation: The Finite by Kit Power

Well, fuck.

I recommend books for all kinds of reasons on here: the plot, the characterisation, the quality of the prose, the intellectual and thematic ideas underpinning the whole. (Normally, of course, if it's worth recommending it's for more than one element.) Fancy ideas which really all come down to one thing: did the book make an emotion impression on me? Will I remember scenes or dialogue or just the general feel of it? Has it, in however small a way, changed me?

I'll be remembering scenes from Kit Power's novella The Finite for a long time, I think. This one is going to linger. It's going to be hard to forget the ashy taste of it under my tongue, the gritty feel of it on my skin. It combines a real & genuine evocation of parental love with a gut-wrenching sense of absolute fucking fatalism and despair.

So look, you can read the blurb yourself, but basically The Finite is about a nuclear bomb going off and a father and daughter who survive the initial blast but have absorbed a fatal dose of radiation poison anyway. It's about their last, finite span of time together with that knowledge, and it's absolutely as devastating and soul-destroying as that sounds. (And, to repeat: it's also a book about love.)

It hardly needs to be said, this could all have gone horribly wrong. One false note, one poorly written scene or cliched character decision, and the whole thing would have become ridiculous and bathetic and easily ignored. But Power doesn't put a foot wrong, and so he succeeds in writing one of the most bleak and terrible things I've read since The Road. He succeeds in changing me in those small and awful and glorious ways that good fiction can. He succeeds into making horror into art.

And because it needs to be said a third time: this is also a story about love. And you should read it.

The Finite: Black Shuck Books

Thursday, 8 August 2019

RIP David Berman

David Berman. He was this good:

"Out the window, in the harbor he saw a little ship
The moon was worn just slightly on the right
And they slow danced so the needle wouldn’t skip
Until the room was filled with light" I Remember Me

"Boy wants a car from his Dad
Dad says, first you gotta cut that hair
Boy says, hey Dad Jesus had long hair
and Dad says that’s right son but Jesus walked everywhere" The Frontier Index

"I asked a painter why the roads are coloured black.
He said, “Steve, it’s because people leave
and no highway will bring them back.

So if you don't want me I promise not to linger,
But before I go I gotta ask you dear about the tan line on your ring finger." 
Random Rules

"Repair is the dream of the broken thing." We Are Real


Sunday, 7 July 2019

Edge-Lit 8

I'll be at the Edge-Lit convention again this year—always a fantastic day. I'll be around for most of the day mingling, eating, drinking, not-winning the raffle, and no doubt buying books. Plus! I'm also part of these programmed events:

3pm – Black Shuck Books – Book Launch
The official launch for Pareidolia, edited by myself and Dan Howarth, alongside The Finite by Kit Power.

4pm – Multi-Publisher Horror Book Launch
Launches for titles from Dark Minds Press, The Sinister Horror Company, and Hersham Horror who are releasing The Woods with a story from me, and others by Cate Gardner, Mark West, Penny Jones and Phil Sloman.

Hope to see a bunch of you there. Say hi!

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Announcing... Pareidolia!

So, I'm really pleased to be able to announce this: coming this summer is Pareidolia, a new anthology I've edited (alongside co-editor Dan Howarth).

Pareidolia contains stories on that very theme, a phenomena which has long fascinated me and which has formed the basis of many a horror and weird fiction tale. And when you see the contributors you'll appreciate what a huge thrill it's been to be able to read stories this good before the rest of the world! 

Big thanks to Steve Shaw at Black Shuck Books for publishing this. It will be formally launched at EdgeLit 8 on the 13th July—you can preorder it before then from Black Shuck Books..

The blurb, wonderful cover art, and TOC is below:

Have you ever seen figures in the clouds, heard voices in the sound of a detuned TV, recognised faces made by the shadows in the corner of a room?

Pareidolia is the phenomenon where the mind perceives shapes, or hears voices, where none apparently exist. But what if what you were seeing was really there? What if the voice you heard really was speaking to you, calling you?

Pareidolia contains new dark and surreal stories by Tim Major, G.V. Anderson, Sarah Read and many more.

Step inside, and see if you see what they do.

Featuring: Into the Wood ~ Sarah Read | Joss Papers for Porcelain Ghosts ~ Eliza Chan | What Can You Do About a Man Like That? ~ Tim Major | The Lonely ~ Rich Hawkins | A Shadow Flits ~ Carly Holmes | The Butchery Tree ~ G.V. Anderson | The Lens of Dying ~ Charlotte Bond | How to Stay Afloat When Drowning ~ Daniel Braum | Geode ~ Rosanne Rabinowitz | House of Faces ~ Andrew David Barker

Sunday, 28 April 2019


Trying To Be So Quiet & Other Hauntings was published yesterday by The Sinister Horror Company. The title story was originally publishing as a limited edition novella; the new volume contains two extra stories: 'The Second Wish' and 'Damage'. They are all stories on the theme of the supernatural as a manifestation of grief and loss.

Some of the original reviews are linked below, if you'd like to know more...

"If you like your horror quiet, stealthy, and throat-achingly sad, this one is for you." Tracy Fahey

"...a deeply moving story, emotionally charged,with a powerful and rich narrative, it is an exemplary example of ability for quiet horror to chill a reader to the core." 
Gingernuts Of Horror.

"This hugely chilling and evocative story, mixing lyrical language and lost love, is told with great psychological acuity." 
Horror Blog UK

"A small, quiet, poignant novella about grief and significance... No noise, no fuss, just good, honest writing about the things that matter. Recommended." Gary McMahon

"I really enjoyed this short, condensed novelette, which is packed full of bitterness and yearning, defeatism and aspiration. It’s what loss actually feels like... It’s a fine piece of work." Gary Fry

"I literally had goosebumps when I finished reading"

Anthony Watson, Dark Musings

"A must read, wonderful.", Yvonne Davies, Terror Tree

 Trying To Be So Quiet.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Coming Soon: The Woods....

I've a new story out soon, in a forthcoming anthology from Hersham Horror called The Woods.

My tale is called 'A Short Walk Round The Woods'. As well as mine, you'll be getting stories from Cate Gardner, Phil Sloman, Penny Jones and Mark West....