Acceptance

Diabolical Acceptance

No, the post title doesn’t refer to a vitriolic critique of the third instalment of Jeff VanderMeer’s excellent Southern Reach trilogy — my story “The Osteomancer’s Husband” has been accepted by Diabolical Plots for their inaugural year of publishing fiction. I am January. Or rather my story is. Yes, that’s next year. Here’s the ToC:

  • March: “Taste the Whip” by Andy Dudak
  • April: “Virtual Blues” by Lee Budar-Danoff
  • May: “In Memoriam” by Rachel Reddick
  • June: “The Princess in the Basement” by Hope Erica Schultz
  • July: “Not a Bird” by H.E. Roulo
  • August: “The Superhero Registry” by Adam Gaylord
  • September: “A Room for Lost Things” by Chloe N. Clark
  • October: “The Grave Can Wait” by Thomas Berubeg
  • November: “Giraffe Cyborg Cleans House!” by Matthew Sanborn Smith
  • December: “St. Roomba’s Gospel” by Rachael K. Jones
  • January: “The Osteomancer’s Husband” by Henry Szabranski
  • February: “May Dreams Shelter Us” by Kate O’Connor

Glad that my story was fished out of an anonymised slush pile by the folks behind the hugely popular and useful Submission Grinder. It’s a long wait until it appears, but the following image hints at the theme…

Miniature Cement Skeletons by Isaac Cordal

Miniature cement skeletons by Isaac Cordal

The Maze of His Infinities

My flash story “The Maze of His Infinities” has been accepted by Perihelion Science Fiction and is now available in their February edition.

This story arose from a combination of a dream that involved The Construct as described in the story (I woke shouting: “Infinity is not a number!”), vague recollection of this New Scientist article, and a story prompt based on the lyrics of Blue Öyster Cult’s “In The Presence of Another World”. It’s one of those stories I wonder if I should have fleshed out to a fuller length, say 3 or 4K, or perhaps even longer….but oh well. So many ideas. So little time.

NB: Also my flash story “Starfish and Apples”, originally published by Nine, is currently available for free all this week at QuarterReads. This is the first time it’s been available without being behind a paywall and you can check it out here.

Serge Salat's "Beyond Infinity" art installation.

Serge Salat’s “Beyond Infinity” art installation.

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I See Faces In Things. Don’t You?

Pleased to announce my dark flash story “Animus” has been accepted by Horror D’Oeuvres.

I wrote this story whilst tossing and turning in bed with flu, so that may explain some of its hallucinatory fever dream vibe. Combine a high temperature with a writerly imagination and all sorts of strange visions may result. Once I was laid up with tonsillitis and I still clearly remember the weird fish that swam across the ceiling during my illness. And a fever wasn’t always required before I started to “see things”. As a child I was taken to the doctor because I claimed disembodied faces floated about my bed at night and stopped me from sleeping. A course of placebo sugar pills later and the apparitions faded away…or so I assured my worried parents.

Nowadays I hardly ever hallucinate. Apart from the boys’ toys (which are always chattering away to us and to each other), I haven’t heard common household items speak to me for a good long while. Although I admit I do hear voices emanating from my phone from time to time.

“Animus” will “go live” later this month, at 12 EST on 20th June (to be more or less exact). A site subscription is required to read the full story.

Update: “Animus”‘ is now live at the http://www.horrordoeuvres.com site.

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Fantasy Circus Or Lakeside Scroll?

Happy to learn a couple of stories have been accepted in the past few weeks. “Within Without”, a hard(ish) SF flash piece at Lakeside Circus, and a 5K story “The Dragonmaster’s Ghost” at Fantasy Scroll Mag. The latter is the third and very probably final instalment in the “Mevlish The Mighty” sequence of tales that started with The Edge Of Magic and continued in The Clay Farima. I’m really pleased all three found good homes and readers can follow the whole saga (if they wish!).

Pure coincidence, but the current Issue 1 cover at Fantasy Scroll Mag by Jonathan Gragg is actually a pretty good match for the theme of “The Dragonmaster’s Ghost”. More details about this story and “Within Without” closer to their publication dates.

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Fantasy For Good

Very pleased to announce my story “The Edge Of Magic” will be included in the upcoming charitable anthology “Fantasy For Good”, edited by Richard Salter and Jordan Ellinger, published by Nightscape Press. Net proceeds will be going to Colon Cancer Alliance.

The anthology’s contributor line-up includes some of the best known names in fantasy writing. Frankly, I can’t believe I’m sharing a ToC with these people: Michael Moorcock (I grew up reading Elric, Corum, Von Bek, et al: they’re a part of my writerly DNA), Piers Anthony (again, I grew up reading early “Xanth” novels, “Kirlian Quest”, “Blue Adept”, etc.), Alan Dean Foster (before “The Empire Strikes Back” was more than an improvised twinkle in George Lucas’ eye, the only Star Wars sequel that existed was Foster’s “Splinter Of The Mind’s Eye“), Neil Gaiman, Nnedi Orokafor, Carrie Vaughn, Jay Lake…the stellar list goes on (see more here). Oh, and there’s also some guy called George RR Martin, who’s recently enjoyed some modicum of success with a popular long-form tale involving dragons, knights and zombies — but to me, he’ll always be the author of “A Song For Lya“, “Sandkings“, “In The House Of The Worm”, “The Way Of Cross And Dragon“…some of my very favourite SF stories.

Oh, and the anthology cover. Lookit that cover by Paul Pederson. Judge the book by it. Go on: judge it.

So yeah. Many, many reasons to rush out and buy multiple copies of this anthology when it comes out this summer.

I’m honoured and humbled to be a small part of it.

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“The Bargain” accepted by DSF

Learned today that my short flash story “The Bargain” has been accepted by Daily Science Fiction. This is my fourth acceptance at DSF, and will be my sixth story to appear there in total (if you count Three Kisses as three separate stories). It also means that I already know I will (very probably) have at least six stories published in 2013 — and February’s not even ended! Not quite believing it all yet…I keep looking up, waiting for a piano to drop on my head and restore the karmic balance…

More details about “The Bargain” closer to its publication.