FORTHCOMING: “The Nectar of Nightmares”–an illustrated story

Dim Shores will release limited edition chapbook of a new short story of mine, “The Nectar of Nightmares.” It will be illustrated by the  talented Orion Zangara. It will be out sometime this fall.

The NoN is contemporary dark fantasy, inspired by the “symphonic” technique used by David Mitchell in Ghostwritten, Cloud Atlas and Bone Clocks.

Having an illustrated story is a bucket list dream of mine! Thanks to Sam Cowan of DS and Scott Nicholay for introducing my work to the press.

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“So Fey: Queer Fairy Fiction” is being reissued with a gorgeous new cover!

So Fey: Queer Fairy Fiction, featured my first major sale (“A Bird of Ice”). It was an honor to be place alongside work by Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Rick Bowes and Tom Caradamone. Publisher and editor Steve Berman is reissuing the book with a hot new cover.

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Current Reads: Autopsy of an Eldritch City by James Champagne.

Autopsy of an Eldritch City

I am turned off by Lovecraft’s fiction because of his lurid and insistent white supremacy. But Lovecraftian fiction, that plays with his tropes, can be philosophical, poetic and beautiful. I am currently reading AUTOPSY OF AN ELDRITCH CITY by James Champagne, a fellow Rebel Satori author, which modernizes and plays with Cosmic Horror tropes. Set in a fictional Rhode Island city, the stories are full of ominous dark fantasy imagery, full of nihilistic angst with a dash of bleak humor.

From the back cover copy:

Every city casts a shadow, some longer than others. And the city of Thundermist, Rhode Island casts one of the longest shadows of all. With a population of 40,000 people, it might not seem like the most populated place on earth, but every citizen there has a story to tell, some more sinister than others. Look past the city’s pious Catholic façade and you shall see dead children floating face down in its sewers, witches corrupting susceptible minds with blasphemous books, and demons capering on the frescos of its haunted churches. It is a city where even the most innocent of objects–a quilt, a video game, a snow globe, a notebook–can act as a key that unlocks the doors to Doom, Delirium, and Death. The city has long since faded away: all that lingers is its nightmares, in the form of these ten testimonials from the damned, tales of strange and unproductive thinking. Will you open these pages and conduct an autopsy of your own on this dead city? But be warned: the scalpel that dissects the shadows is also the scalpel that cuts both ways.

I helped destroy Horror!

The TOC of Nightmare Magazine’s Queers Destroy Horror has been announced, and the cover art has been unveiled!* I loved reading the slushpile for this special issue. There were many darkly glittering jewels that didn’t make the cut for one reason or another and I hope those pieces find other homes. And congratulations to those whose work will be included, and props to Wendy Wagner, John Joseph Adams and the rest of the staff/volunteers for all their hard work!

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*According to Mr. Adams, this is NOT the cover art…It is just a place holder….

Wilde Stories 2015

Wilde Stories 2015

My story “Conjuring Shadows” has been reprinted in the 2015 edition of Wilde Stories: The Year’s Best Gay Speculative Fiction (Lethe Press). The story sits along side work by other masters of SF, Horror and Fantasy literature. Here’s the line, assembled by editor Steve Berman:

“The Love of the Emperor Is Divine” by Tom Cardamone
“The Vampire of Xanthos” by Andrew Warburton
“The True Alchemist” by Sonya Taaffe
“The Mortuaries” by Katharine Duckett
“What Glistens Back” by Sunny Moraine
“Passion, Like a Voice—That Buds” by Steve Berman
“True North” by Chaz Brenchley
“The Oily Man” by Alex Jeffers
“Werewolves of Northland” by Patrick Pink
“Notes for ‘The Barn in the Wild’” by Paul Tremblay
“Conjuring Shadows” by Craig L. Gidney
“The God Within” by Damien Kelly
“A Gift in Time” by Maggie Clark

MUSIC RECOMMENDATION: Arctic Art Pop–Anneli Drecker’s “Rocks & Straws”

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I have been following the music of Anneli Marian Drecker since the 1980s, when she was the lead singer of the synth-pop band Bel Canto. The first three Bel Canto albums melded fairytale-themed lyrics, neoclassical and world music (mostly Middle-Eastern) influences to electronic music, over which Drecker’s dramatic coloratura swooped and fluttered. (Imagine a cross between the Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance and Depeche Mode). Later Bel Canto albums drifted to a more 90s-era electronica sound, and Dreckers previous two solo albums were pretty much straight-forward pop.

Her new self-produced album, Rocks & Straws, is a triumphant return to her art-pop roots. From the press release:

Rocks & Straws is a homecoming album, an ode to her native town and region. The songs, all composed by Anneli, are based on lyrics by cult poet Arvid Hanssen and translated to English by artist and writer Roy-Frode Løvland. Hanssen´s poems are strongly influenced by the mysterious and powerful nature of this arctic region, like the writings of Knut Hamsun, born only a few miles from Hanssen´s birthplace. 

Drecker’s voice is deepened to a lovely lyric alto, but she can still reach stunning soprano heights. The melodies she composed have actual hooks—this is accessible art pop. The album is warm, orchestral, and there is a jazzy noir vibe to some of the songs. Drecker’s piano playing is impressively delicate, like the faintest webbing of frost.  Rocks & Straws belongs somewhere between the ethereality of Bjork’s Vespertine and Kate Bush’s whimsical 50 Words For Snow.

You can listen to one of song here:

http://www.runegrammofon.com/artists/anneli-drecker/rcd2169-anneli-drecker-rocks-straws-cd-lp/