Monday, 29 December 2014

Compulsory 2014 Retrospective Post

So, 2014.

The Writing:
In terms of my writing, 2014 has felt like an important year for me, although from the outside it might not seem like it. Falling Over continued to pick up some nice reviews, and I had some stories published in anthologies this year, but no big releases. Nothing new purely under my own name.

But I've been hard at work on a lot of different things this year, most of which will see the light in 2015.

Most exciting is The Quarantined City, my monthly serial which will be published by Spectral Press, with the first episode The Smell Of Paprika hopefully being released in January. Spectral Press are one of my favourite publishers and the fact that they're releasing something of mine feels like a real achievement, something that if you'd told me a year ago I'd never have believed. In addition, in writing The Quarantined City (the episodes so far, at least) I feel I've written my most ambitious work to date. Without giving away too much at this stage it's part horror, part fantasy (sort of), part head-scratching weirdness. I've stretched creative muscles I've not stretched before and had a blast doing so.

Europe After the Rain II - Max Ernst 1940-42. © 2014  Wadsworth Atheneum
Max Ernst's Europe After the Rain II will provide the basis for the cover art for each episode of The Quarantined City.
In addition, I've a story in the Lovecraftian anthology The Outsiders from Crystal Lake (another dream publisher) coming out early 2015,  my chapbook Dark Reflections from Knightwatch Press, plus a few other acceptances and thingabobs that I can't mention as yet.

The People:
This year conventions and book launches have gone from being things I was pretty nervous about (because I knew no one and am shit at introducing myself to strangers) to things I actively look forward to, in part through the realisation that the horror community are among the friendliest people I've met (especially those who like a good curry). I've done a few readings this year as well, which went okay, I think. So 2014 felt like an achievement in that sense as well. I certainly hope to attend as many events as is realistic next year. And not forgetting the friendship & advice from people I've only ever met online, which is just as appreciated.

So lots of people I should thank, but too many to list here without it becoming interminable. Here's to you all; you know who you are. The first pint's on me.

Top Ten Books:
The Language Of Dying - Sarah Pinborough
No One Gets Out Alive - Adam Nevill
The Southern Reach Trilogy - Jeff VanderMeer
The Spectral Book Of Horror Stories
Gifts For The One Who Comes After - Helen Marshall
Into The Light - SP Miskowski
Best British Horror 2014
Shadows & Tall Trees 2014
The Sleeping Dead - Richard Farren Barber
Dream Of The Serpent - Alan Ryker

(See also my massive favourite short stories post)

Top Five Films: American Hustle; The Double; The Grand Budapest Hotel; A Most Wanted Man; The Wolf Of Wall Street

Top Ten Albums: 
EMA - The Future's Void
Martin Carr - The Breaks
Jenny Lewis - The Voyager
Sharon Van Etten - Are We There
King Creosote - From Scotland With Love
Allo Darlin' - We Come From The Same Place
Lana Del Ray - Ultraviolence
Chvrches - The Bones Of What You Believe
Bob Dylan - The Complete Basement Tapes
Stephen Malkmus - Wig Out At Jigbags


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