Friday, 1 May 2020

Recommendation: Exercise In Control by Annabel Banks

With life being what it is at the moment, I don't really have the time to do this book justice. But I did want to write something about Exercise In Control by Annabel Banks (from Influx Press). It's a book of short stories, and if you love short stories as much as me you'll want to check it out.

These stories are dark, stylish, funny, and disturbing. While not supernatural in the literal sense, the realism of the writing is undercut/enhanced by the sense that something disturbing or off-kilter is happening just out of sight... As you might expect, that disturbing element is brought to light when the stories reach their conclusions - sometimes in a way that's blackly comic ('Harmless'), sometimes disturbing ('Payment to the Universe') and sometimes weirdly touching ('Rite Of Passage'). Naturally, each of these endings only works because the prose and narrative leading up to it is precisely controlled and exquisitely written. 

There's more than one story here I immediately wanted to reread, but special mention must go to the title story, 'Exercises In Control', which pulled me up short not once but twice at the brilliance/nastiness at what I'd just read. 

See, I told you I wouldn't be able to do this book justice. But buy it anyway, alright?

Monday, 20 April 2020

The 101 Club & We All Hear Stories In The Dark

So, Robert Shearman then.

Anyone who's had the distinct pleasure of reading Robert Shearman's stories before will no doubt agree when I say he's one of the best, most distinctive, most original short story writers in the UK at the moment. Let's take that as read. And a bloody nice guy as well, if you've ever had the opportunity to chat to him at a convention. And one of the best writers at reading aloud his own work. Let's take all of that as read...

Because he's just pulled off something incredible. He's released a collection with one hundred and one short stories in it. Not pokey little micro-fictions or flash-fiction, but actually short stories. Which each reader will get to read in an entirely different order, depending on answers they give to questions at the end of each story they read. It's called We All Hear Stories In the Dark, and is published in three volumes by PS Publishing (you can buy it here).

Faced with such an incredible—if not lunatic—achievement, Jim McLeod of Gingernuts Of Horror decided to match it, and commission a review of every individual story in the collection. And so the 101 Club was born, and I was delighted to be asked to review two tales, 'The New Adventures Of Robin Hood' and 'Canon Fodder'. One's about Robin Hood—sort of—and one is about Shakespeare—sort of. Naturally, I decide to start my reviews of them with a, uh, Public Enemy lyric.

You can find Jim McLeod's introduction to The 101 Club here, along with links to the five pages of reviews. It's a huge undertaking, but one which a writer of Rob's talent and kindness totally deserves. And I think I speak for all the reviewers when I say it's been a true labour of love too. I do hope you'll give it a read, and purchase the book.

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Recommendation: Terrible Things by David Surface

The world's a crazy, somewhat scarier place than it was just a few weeks back (and it was hardly a bed of sanity & roses then) and there's little I can do about 99% of it all. But like everyone, authors and small-presses will be affected by coronavirus and its economic impacts, especially those launching books at now-cancelled conventions. So I'm going to periodically post about some of those books on here, and encourage you to throw some money their way if you can.

First off is Terrible Things by David Surface, published by Black Shuck Books. I was actually asked to blurb this book, so here is what I had to say:

"David Surface’s first short story collection is a reason to rejoice for all lovers of disturbing, off-beat, and ghostly fiction. Well-written and multi-layered, these stories are unpredictable in the best possible way: the author doesn’t allow the cliches of the genre to dilute his own personal vision. Put simply, these stories are some of the very best weird fiction has to offer."

And I stand by every word. You can preorder Terrible Things here.

Monday, 9 March 2020

Strange Story #24: Starfish

Strange Story #24: Starfish
Director: A.T. White / Starring: Virginia Gardner

You know what used to be my dream? For everyone to just disappear.

So, it's been six years since I last posted a 'Strange Story' piece on here. But as soon as I had the idea to write about the artsy-'horror'(maybe) film Starfish, it seemed appropriate to resurrect the idea. After all, starfish can regrown lost limbs can't they?

I've never written about a film as a 'Strange Story' before (unless the one in House Of Leaves counts...), probably because I'm not very qualified to do so. So I'll not really mention here the technical aspects of direction or cinematography (although there are some striking visual images), the score (although the music both original and by bands like Sigur Ros is brilliantly used) or the acting (although Virginia Gardner's central performance, alone as she is for most of the scenes, is a key part of what makes this movie work). Okay, so I have mentioned all those things. But really I want to write about how all those elements work together to make this film feel so different: the production, the sound, the imagery, the performances, the plot...

The plot—I should be able to write something about the plot, as a writer. But even that is not easy to do. Starfish begins with the claim it is based on a "true story" and possibly this might seem plausible for the first twenty minutes or so of the film. The main character, Aubrey (and we'll soon know a lot about her, and very little) is at the funeral of her friend, Grace. Aubrey is not okay: isolated, withdrawn, dissociated from what is around her. She leaves the wake and breaks into Grace's apartment which hasn't been cleared out yet, and finds the first of seven mixtapes her friend has left for her, presses play, goes to sleep...

... and then the world ends.

Well, maybe.

Aubrey wakes up alone in a frozen, depopulated world, with signs of a much larger disaster off-screen: we see smoke on the horizon but not what's burning, blood in the snow but not the bodies. There's an monster lurking in the abandoned town, and the voice of another survivor on a radio says the devastation has been caused by an alien radio single, which has some connection to the mix-tapes left by Grace. If Aubrey can find all the tapes and play them then...

But. Is this really what is happening? There's a dreamlike quality to Aubrey's predicament, an oddness to the world she's in (it reminded me of It Follows and that film's deliberate ambiguity about when the film is set). More than that, there's an aptness to her situation, her literal isolation in an empty world echoing her emotion isolation at the start of the film. When she's not fleeing from the monstrous creature in the streets, Aubrey's perceptions seem odd, surreal, and the stylistic choices the film makes become bolder, and at the same time more disjointed... very much, in fact, like a mixtape from a friend lurching from genre to genre.

We start to realise that this is as much a film about Aubrey's past, and her relationship with Grace, as it is a film about alien apocalypse. Her quest to find the mixtapes might save the world, but she's also trying to get closer to the memory of Grace and atone for some prior wrongdoing... Her flashbacks show us snippets of a fractured narrative, her guilty memories fixated on certain key scenes she replays over and over, rather than allowing us to know the full story.

Based On A True Story—maybe that's more true than it seems, not a postmodern fake-out at all. Everything that happens, everything we see—whether 'real' or hallucinatory in the context of the film—is an attempt to represent something "true" underneath. But the beauty of Starfish is that it doesn't attempt to fully undermine its genre-based alien invasion narrative; there's no Matrix-style different levels of reality, one more real than the others. Both aspects of the narrative work together, it's a picture both of a duck looking left and a rabbit looking right: unfocused your eyes and you can see both. It's something more than the sum of its parts, even if you're not sure what that 'something' is. It's not quite the same as anything else I've ever seen, and I'm still thinking about it a days later. Not for everyone I imagine, but if you like the kind of fiction I've mentioned on this blog before, it may be for you. I loved it.

Oh, and Grace has killer tase in music.

Starfish (Amazon)

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Shadows & Tall Trees 8: 'The Sound Of The Sea, Too Close'

Shadows & Tall Trees 8, which features my story 'The Sound Of The Sea, Too Close', is officially released today. This is a story I'm especially proud of, and I'm pleased that its found a home with the utterly wonderful Undertow Press. As regular readers will know, I've often sung the praises of the work that editor Michael Kelly releases, and getting a story into S&TT is a genuine writing bucket-list moment for me. Especially seeing what other great authors are included, not least Alison Littlewood, Neil Williamson, Steve Rasnic Tem, V.H. Leslie, and... well, they're all brilliant.

Aside from where it's been published, I'm proud of 'The Sound Of The Sea, Too Close' because it achieved something I'd tried and failed at a few times: to write about climate change (and climate fear), in a way that was still speculative and 'weird'. (Maybe 'Heatstroke Harry' from Holding On By Our Fingertips was also a success in this regard.)

I've wrote before on this blog about climate change and fiction, but that piece was called Background Fears and that was largely how I'd tackled the theme in my stories up till now: as a background worry, a bit of atmosphere, a throwaway line. I wasn't sure how to present it as the main focus of a strange story without losing that very strangeness that interests me as a writer; I wasn't sure if it was possible to do so. 'The Sound Of The Sea....' didn't start out as an attempt to untangle that knot, it was originally gong to be a relatively simple and untroubled ghost story, set in an abandoned school. But what the school caretaker found in that abandoned school, in those ghostly classrooms, wasn't a ghost—without knowing I was going to, I wrote something very different and all the better for it. The climate fear—and the guilt—moved centre stage, but the ghostly air remained. Whether it's fully successful as a work of fiction, I'll leave others to judge. But as a way forward for my own work, it feels like an achievement to me.

You can purchase the gorgeous paperback and hardback editions of Shadows & Tall Trees 8 directly from Undertow, or get the ebook from Amazon (UK | US)

(Pathway to Paris brings together musicians, artists, activists, academics, mayors, and innovators to help raise consciousness surrounding the urgency of climate action and offers solutions to turning the Paris Agreement into action.)

Monday, 27 January 2020

Kit Power's Life In Horror

My life with Kit Power:

  • He wrote a book which, when I reviewed it, all I could manage as a first sentence was, "Well, fuck."
  • Two reading slots I've done with him involved hammers
  • Myself, Kit and Mark West spent what felt like hours talking about IT at the con bar at Fcon Peterborough
  • Umpteen political disagreements
  • I've featured him in a forthcoming short story, although he doesn't know that yet. Nor that in it, I claim that he isn't real
  • Those trousers
  • The support he's shown my own writing, especially his kind words about Paupers' Graves

So anyway, he's crowdfunding what sounds like a brilliant book, My Life In Horror Volume 1 and he's   written this piece, to persuade you to donate your hard-earned towards it. Which you definitely should - did I mention the hammers?

Take it away, Kit:

Sure, it’s a cliche, but it’s also true; life comes at you fast.

It’s January 2014. Having completed an Open University course the previous summer, I’ve discovered I have 10 - 12 hours a week I could be using for something other than watching bad TV. Having also over the summer of 2013 devoured King’s On Writing, I’ve decided to start writing.

Since then, I’ve written one 17,000 word piece I’m optimistically calling a novella, another 12K piece, another 6K piece, and a handful of short stories. I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing, but I am having fun.

The 17K piece is called Lifeline, and I’ve shopped it to a few small presses with no success. Most of the feedback suggests it may be a bit… much. I think it probably is, too, but that’s what I like about it. Then, one small press explicitly says it’s too much but if I have anything else, I should send it - they really want a novella and they like my style.

So I send over the 12K piece, and say I know it’s too short, but I have a 6K piece that might pair with it and bring the wordcount up… and they go for it.

Just like that, I'm going to be a published writer.

And then, hot on the heels of that moment; I should probably figure out a way to tell people about the book.

Enter: Gingernuts of Horror.

Green as I was, I knew the site was a big deal; respected by indie and named authors alike, pulling in some huge interviews, and covering a dizzying range of books and movies. Jim Mcleod, the site proprietor, had also already struck me as a fearsome figure - passionate about the genre, but clearly unwilling to suffer fools gladly, or really at all. Landing a review there would clearly be A Big Deal. So I made the approach, via email.

I heard nothing back.
Undeterred, I continued to plug the book, finding blogs willing to take a review copy, and doing author interviews. And at some point, I completed the Gingernuts ‘5 minutes with…’ template and subbed that. At the same time, I mentioned to Jim that, in the unlikely event no-one of any importance had yet signed up for it, I’d love to take a crack at an essay on Stephen King’s IT for the site’s ‘The Book That Made Me’ series.

To my utter astonishment, he said yes.

So there I am, February 2014, writing a non-fiction essay for one of Europe’s biggest independent horror review sites, about one of Stephen King's biggest ever novels (in terms of both sales, and page count).
I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. But I had fun.

Flash forward a week or so. I’m on Twitter. I am new to Twitter. In what you’ll have already realised is a pattern, here, I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m having fun.

There’s a twitterbot. Whenever you tweet a tweet that contains the word Robocop, it replies to your tweet saying ‘I’d Buy That For A Dollar!’ This is clearly the funniest thing I have so far encountered on Twitter, and during a tweet interaction with Jim, I tell him about it, hoping to impress him.

And it doesn’t work.

I track down the tweetbot, annoyed and a little embarrassed, and discover it’s creator has turned it off in protest at the recent Robocop remake. I explain this to Jim, still a little embarrassed, and then, more or less off the cuff, and certainly intending it to be a goof, I tell him if he ever does a series called The Film That Made Me, I could write him a doozy about Robocop.
Let’s do it, he says.

You can write the first article, he says.
Fantastic, I say.

I have no idea what I am doing.

So I write. And write. And write some more. I discover memories tied to this movie that have sat in my mind, unearthed and apparently unremembered since puberty. And yet here they are, vivid and alive. I write, I remember, I write some more, I get excited, I start cutting loose, and somewhere around the two thousand word mark I realise I am asserting, in an article for The Gingernuts Of Horror, that Robocop is the greatest horror movie ever made.

I read it back. Shamefully, I admit to laughing at my own jokes.

So I send it to Jim.

He runs it. It goes over gangbusters.

A couple of months later, he asks me if I want to write something regular for the site.

I have absolutely no idea what I am doing. But I’m having fun. So I say yes.

We kick ideas about; Jim’s main suggestion is ‘something like the Robocop piece’, which is flattering and scary all at once, as I still have no idea where most of it came from. But eventually we settle on a monthly format where I explore works - books, movies, music - that messed me up as a kid in some way or another, and that I think of as horror or horror related.

In June 2014, I submit my first column, and My Life In Horror is born.

Fast forward to July, 2015. I’m at my first genre con - EdgeLit in Derby. I am there early, and I am nervous as hell. I’ve had a few shorts in a few anthologies, self published Lifeline as an ebook novella, and I am trying to figure out what the hell I’m going to do with my debut novel, GodBomb! You’ll be astonished to learn I had no idea what I was doing when I wrote it, but I had fun.

I’m early enough that the venue isn’t even open, so I sit at a table outside, and soon, I am approached by a guy who knows my name. This guy is Neil Snowdon, and he knows me from Facebook, and in particular, a recent interview I conducted for the site with Stephen Volk - oh yeah, by this point I’m somehow interviewing Stephen Volk for the site. Guess how much I knew what I was doing. We chatted non-fiction and process (I can’t remember if My Life In Horror came up or not), and our shared love of the longform essay/interview. At some point, I confessed that I had no idea what I was doing. Neil opined that nobody else did, either.

Before the event had even started, I’d made a friend.

Fast forward to October 2016. I’m a podcaster now - as well as a blogger, reviewer, interviewer, and oh, yeah, still author too, the novel’s out now. My podcast is called Watching Robocop with Kit Power and every month(ish) I watch Robocop with a friend and record the resulting conversation. It’s huge fun, and I have absolutely no idea what I am doing.

I am also guesting on other people’s podcasts, including They Must Be Destroyed On Sight! - a movie show about cult cinema. I basically invite myself on to talk about two movies - Parents, and Ken Russell/The Who movie Tommy. My reason for picking the two films is simply that they are the two most cult movies I know and like, and they both kinda messed me up as a kid. I’m also double-dipping the subject matter - my plan is to write a My Life In Horror piece about Tommy, so I figure the rewatch and conversation will help with that. And so it proves.

And Neil Snowdon is listening too. And he gets in touch.

“I like what you had to say about Tommy and Ken Russell. Fancy writing a Midnight Monograph book about the film? I’ve been enjoying your My Life In Horror stuff, seems like Tommy could be a good fit for a longer piece.”

“Well, I don’t know, man, that’s really flattering and I’d love to give it a go, but I’m not really a film expert - in fact, most of the time I have very little idea what I am doing. It’d really just be my take on the film, you know, really personal.”

And then Neil said the words every writer longs to hear from an editor: “Well, that’s exactly what I’m after.”

I waited on making a final decision until after the My Life In Horror article dropped - I thought I’d give Neil a chance to back out once he’d seen me actually flinging written words at the subject. I sent him the link when it went live. “What do you think?”
“I think that’s the introduction.”

Flash forward. Its July 2019. I’m at Edgelit. Again. With Neil. Again. I’ve just interviewed Stephen Volk on stage about his new non-fiction collection, Coffinmakers Blues, which is launching at the event - alongside my own non-fiction debut, the Midnight Monograph book on Tommy. It’s turned out better than I could have dreamed possible - but, then, Neil is one hell of an editor.
Post launch, we break bread and chat, the conversation covering a bewildering array of subjects, before Neil casually asks “So, Stokercon 2020. What are you going to have coming out?”

I explain I have a couple of possible irons in the fire; a short short story collection with a press that specialises in such editions, and a novella I am racing to get finished for another press that I am hopeful will make the grade.

“What about a My Life In Horror collection? I’ve always thought they’d make a good book. Put ‘em in chronological order, it’s almost an autobiography. And you’ll never find a better crowd than Stokercon, it’s tailor made - all that 80’s and 90’s nostalgia.”

“Yeah, but it’s already basically too late to shop around, everyone’s going to have their plans already, I should have been thinking about it months ago to be in with a shot.”

“Self pub, maybe? A WARNING went okay.”

“Yeah, maybe.”

The conversation moves on to other things.
But the idea festers.

Fast forward to November 2019. The novella is with the publisher. So is the short short story collection. I probably have two Stokercon 2020 releases set. I can relax.

I am not relaxed. The conversation with Neil is playing on my mind. Festering. I’ve put the first three years of My Life In Horror together in chronological order. I’ve revised and expanded every single essay.

I think I like it. I think it works.

So do the publishers I show it to, but it’s not for them, at least not for Stokercon. And that’s fine, I have two books coming out already, three might be considered greedy.


It’s My Life In Horror.

Post Fcon, I’m chatting with another friend. We kick it about, and he names the publishers I’ve already approached. Then he casually tosses into the conversation “Of course, you could crowdfund it.”

Bloody hell, I think.

I mean, bloody hell, I guess I could.

I mean, I’d have absolutely no idea what I was doing.

But it sounds like fun.

Kit Power’s My Life In Horror Volume One is crowdfunding until 23rd February. The campaign features two limited edition hardbacks, both of which are exclusive to this campaign, signed paperbacks, ebooks, and audio recording perks. To back the campaign, please visit If successful, books should be ready by Stokercon 2020.

Assuming Kit has the faintest idea what the hell he’s doing.

Monday, 30 December 2019

Favourite Short Stories: 2019

This is the seventh year I've posted my annual favourite short story list (you can find links to my previous lists here) and I still really enjoy doing so. It's always been meant to be a celebration of short story writing, and to that end I've relaxed one of the self-imposed rules that have governed previous year's lists. Specifically, if I've liked a story I've included it no matter how old it is, rather than be constrained by a nebulously-defined concept of 'contemporary'. Otherwise, all is the same. I read many stories this year, and the ones below stood out as being outstanding in one way or another. For each, I've linked to the publication where I read the story, which isn't always where they were first published.

I hope readers of this blog will sample at least a few of the stories below. Happy new year all.

G.V. Anderson: Maid Of Many Skins (Syntax And Salt)
G.V. Anderon: Whistles After Dark (Great British Horror #4: Dark And Stormy Nights, Black Shuck Books)
Anon.: The Dark Inside (Maps Of The Lost)
Simon Avery: All The Secret Colours Of The World (Great British Horror #4: Dark And Stormy Nights, Black Shuck Books
Stephen Bacon: Pain Has A Voice (Black Room Manuscripts IV, The Sinister Horror Company)
Ruth E.J. Booth: Telling Stories (The Dark #43)
Borges: The Duel (Doctor Brodie's Report, Penguin)
Tom Breen: Amorica, 116 Roane Street (Orford Parish Murder Houses, Orford Parish Books)
Georgina Bruce: Cat World (This House Of Wounds, Undertow)
Georgina Bruce: The Lady Of Situations (This House Of Wounds, Undertow)
Georgina Bruce: Wake Up Phil (This House Of Wounds, Undertow)
Ramsey Campbell: Dragged Down (Black Room Manuscripts IV, The Sinister Horror Company)
Eliza Chan: Knowing Your Type (Three Crows #4)
Ted Chiang: It's 2059, And The Rich Kids Are Still Winning (New York Times)
Chloe N. Clark: Like The Absence... (Supernatural Tales #39)
Chloe N. Clark: They Are Coming For You, So You Better Run, You Better Run, So You Can Hide (Jellyfish Review)
Ray Cluley: Painted Wolves (In Dog We Trust, Black Shuck Books)
Ray Cluley: 6/6 (Black Shuck Books)
Kath Deakin & Tim Lebbon: Faith Leaps (Great British Horror #4: Dark And Stormy Nights, Black Shuck Books)
Claire Dean: Bremen (Nightjar Press Chapbook)
Claire Dean: Lichen Storey (An Invite To Eternity, Calque Press) 
Theresa DeLucci: Cavity (Strange Horizons #8)
Malcolm Devlin: My Uncle Eff (An Invite To Eternity, Calque Press) 
Steve Duffy: The God Of Storage Options (Supernatural Tales #42)
Chikodili Emelumadu: What To Do When Your Child Brings Home A Mama Wata (Tales From The Shadow Booth #2)
Tracy Fahey: Dark It Was Inside (New Music For Old Rituals, Black Shuck Books)
Tracy Fahey: The Green Road (New Music For Old Rituals, Black Shuck Books)
Tracy Fahey: Playing In Their Own Time (New Music For Old Rituals, Black Shuck Books)
Mike Fox: The Violet Eye (Nightjar Press Chapbook)
Gary Fry: Checking Out (author's website)
Cate Gardner: The Iron Curve Of Thorns (The Woods, Hersham Horror)
J.L. George: Mam's Girl (Black Room Manuscripts IV, The Sinister Horror Company)
J.L. George: Parsley, Pennyroyal, Paracetamol (Constellary Tales #3)
Kerry Hadley-Pryce: What Do You Mean? (The Incubator)
Kerry Hadley-Pryce: When I Say (author's website)
Carly Holmes: Perspectives (The Open Press)
Kaely Horton: Things That Could Go Wrong In Idaho (Flash Fiction Online)
S.L. Hwang: At The Last I May Know (Tor.Com)
Carole Johnstone: Skinner Box (Tor Original)
Daisy Johnson: How To Win (New Statesman)
Penny Jones: The Changeling (Suffer Little Children, Black Shuck Books)
Jess Koch: Fur And Feathers (Metaphorosis Nov 2019)
V.H. Leslie: Tide Will Tell (Black Room Manuscripts IV, The Sinister Horror Company)
Eliza Lynn Linton: The Fate Of Madam Cabarel (Vampires, Faber)
Usman T. Malik: Laal Andhi (An Invite To Eternity, Calque Press) 
Amelia Mangan: I Love You Mary-Grace (In Dog We Trust, Black Shuck Books)
Sophia McDougall: The Beasts In The Arena (Gollancz)
Mark Morris: The Scariest Place In The World (Hauntings, NewCon Press)
Joanna Parypinski: Dead Worms Dangling (Nightmare #87)
J.R. Park: The Last Horror Story (Black Room Manuscripts IV, The Sinister Horror Company)
Sarah Pinsker: The Blur In The Corner Of Your Eye (Uncanny#29)
Marian Pitman: Forward And Back, Changing Places (Hauntings, NewCon Press)
John Llewellyn Probert: Author! Author? (Darker Companions, PS Publishing)
Tiina Raevaara: The Birds Always Return (An Invite To Eternity, Calque Press) 
Kristen Roupenian: The Rainbow (An Invite To Eternity, Calque Press) 
Gareth E. Rees: Tyrannosaurs Bask In The Warmth Of The Asteroid (An Invite To Eternity, Calque Press) 
Gareth E. Rees: We Are The Disease (Tales From The Shadow Booth #2)
Lynda E. Rucker: The Dublin Horror (Darker Companions, PS Publishing)
Lynda E. Rucker: So Much Wine (Supernatural Tales #42)
George Sandison: Keel (Tales From The Shadow Booth #2)
Erika L. Satifka: You Have Contracted A Deadly Song Virus (Daily Science Fiction)
Priya Sharma: My Mother's Ghosts (Great British Horror #4: Dark And Stormy Nights, Black Shuck Books)
Robert Shearman: Simon Harries (Hauntings, NewCon Press)
Eloise C.C. Shepherd: A Tiny Mirror (Supernatural Tales #39)
Ana María Shua: Authentic Zombies Of The Caribbean (The Dark #53)
Christopher Slatsky: Obsidian Capra Aegagrus (The Lovecraft eZine #19)
Phil Sloman: A Dog Is For Death (In Dog We Trust, Black Shuck Books)
Carlie St. George: You Were Once Wild Here (The Dark #53)
Florence Sunnen: The Mermaid (author's website)
Rachel Swirsky: Your Face (Clarkesworld #155)
Jeffery Thomas: Uncanny Valley (Darker Companions, PS Publishing)
Alexis Tolstoy: The Family Of The Vourdolak (Vampires, Faber)
Stephen Volk: Certain Faces (The Parts We Play, PS Publishing)
Stephen Volk: Matilda Of The Night (The Parts We Play, PS Publishing)
Damien Angelica Walters: A Perfect Replica (Darker Companions, PS Publishing)
D.P. Watt: We Are The Clay (An Invite To Eternity, Calque Press) 
Mark West: The Goblin Glass (Darker Worlds)
Edith Wharton: The Eyes (To Be Read By Candlelight, Parsimony Press)
Edith Wharton: The Triumph Of Night (To Be Read By Candlelight, Parsimony Press)
Aliya Whiteley: Ear To Ear (Tales From The Shadow Booth #2)
A.C. Wise: Juliet And Juliet(te) (Curious Worlds)
A.C. Wise: Mathew, Waiting (Curious Fictions)
Marian Womack: Frozen Planet (Lost Objects, Luna Press)
Marian Womack: Kingfisher (Lost Objects, Luna Press)
'X.L.' A Kiss Of Judas (Vampires, Faber)
E. Lily Yu: The Time Invariance Of Snow (Tor.Com)