Friday, 29 December 2017

My Reading Year 2017

The talent of current short story writers, especially within the horror, fantasy and science fiction genres, is immense, making choosing my favourite short stories of the year very difficult. In the end, out of the 241 stories I read, I chose those that wowed, that I thought award-worthy, and which scored 8½ or above on my unscientific scale. I also read 9 novellas and 36 novels (hope to improve on that figure next year).

Here are my favourites:

The Booking - Ramsey Campbell
The Bloody Chamber - Angela Carter
Skyshine (or Death by Scotland) - Carole Johnstone
Naming the Bones - Laura Mauro
Of Sorrow & Such - Angela Slatter

The Time Keeper - Mitch Albom
Blacklands - Belinda Bauer
The Beautiful Dead - Belinda Bauer
Devil in Red (unpublished) - Simon Bestwick
The Manchunian Candidate (unpublished) - Simon Bestwick
The Girls - Emma Cline
The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins
The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson
We Have Always Lived in the Castle -Shirley Jackson
Hater - David Moody
A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness

Into Gold - Krista Ahlberg (Red Rose Review)
Mental Diplopia - Julianna Baggott (Tor)
The Misericord - AK Benedict (Black Shuck Books - Green & Pleasant Land)
Breakwater - Simon Bestwick
Horn of the Hunter - Simon Bestwick (The 2nd Spectral Book of Horror Stories)
The Library of Lost Things - Matthew Bright (Tor)
Seven Minutes in Heaven - Nadia Bulkin (Nightmare)
The Lily Rose - Emily B Cataneo (The Dark)
The Swans - Ray Cluley (Black Static)
Is-And - Claire Dean (Dead Letters)
The Beautiful Thing We Become - Kristi DeMeester (The Dark)
Dogsbody - Malcolm Devlin (Black Static)
Perspective - Steven J Dines (Black Static)
Room Tone - Brian Evenson (The Masters Review)
Whipping the Dead - Jen Finelli (Pantheon)
En La Case de Fantasmas - Brian Holguin (Shimmer)
A Nest of Ghosts, A House of Birds - Kat Howard (Uncanny)
The Lottery - Shirley Jackson
Flower Garden - Shirley Jackson
Songs to help you cope when your mom won't stop haunting you and your friends - Gwendolyn Kiste (Black Static)
Buyers Remorse - Andrew Lane (Dead Letters)
Signal - John Lanchester (The New Yorker)
Flotsam - Tim Lebbon (The 2nd Spectral Book of Horror Stories)
Shell Baby - VH Leslie (Shadows & Tall Trees)
The Mysteries - Livia Llewellyn (The Dark)
The Spook School - Nick Mamatas (Nightmare)
Over to You - Michael Marshall Smith (Dead Letters)
Strange as Angels - Laura Mauro (Black Shuck Books - Green & Pleasant Land)
Sun Dogs - Laura Mauro (Shadows & Tall Trees)
Will you Accept these Flowers From Me? - Ralph Robert Moore (Black Static)
In the Days of our Lives - Adam Nevill (Dead Letters)
Rapture of the Deep - Thana Niveau (Unquiet Waters)
The Curtain - Thana Niveau (The Dark)
The Reflection - Thana Niveau (Unquiet Waters)
Flowers of the Sea - Reggie Oliver
The Veils - Ian Rogers (The 2nd Spectral Book of Horror Stories)
Monster Girls Don't Cry - A Merc Rustad (Uncanny)
Shallaballah - Mark Samuels (Nightmares: A Decade of Modern Horror)
Pearls - Priya Sharma (Nightmare)
Lump in your Throat - Robert Shearman (The 2nd Spectral Book of Horror Stories)
Things Crumble, Things Break - Nate Southard (Nightmare)
Every Black Tree - Natalia Theodoridou (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
A Home in the Sky - Lisa Tuttle (Black Static)
Painter of Stars - Wang Yan & Translated by Andy Dudak (Clarkesworld)

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Sherlock Holmes's School for Detection

I am very excited to announce that my story, The Gargoyles of Killfellen House, is available to read in Sherlock Holmes's School for Detection, published by Robinson and edited by the gracious and talented Simon Clark.

Other authors include Simon Bestwick, Carole Johnstone, Alison Littlewood, Paul Finch, William Miekle, Steven Saville, and Guy Haley. You can purchase it in the usual places including Amazon UK and US.

Here be an extract:

Sometimes father scares me. I push him too far. At least, that's what mother says. Running from the room would have made me appear weak. Instead, I retrieved the newspaper, righted the lamp and headed to the roof where I could rant and rage and only gargoyles would notice. Oh, to be taught by the great Sherlock Holmes!

Although mother and James stood directly below me, due to the stillness of the day their voices did not carry to the roof forcing me to lean far forward. Beside me, Tweedledum wobbled but I righted him. Time must have weathered the gargoyles base. At this moment, my investigation into its instability ventured no further. Then James laughed and he sounded so much like Ted that I wanted to cry. If only father would open the telegram. I ache to know what happened to my brother.

He's dead. Will knowing the cause ease the pain of that?

Friday, 3 March 2017

Vicky's World

Many of you know I started a card business (The Handmaidens Tale) over on Etsy last year (still loving it) and it's doing far better than I expected. My study is suffering though as it is trying to balance my writing and my card making and is about the size of a wardrobe.
One of the joys of Etsy is discovering new artists and I am particularly interested in other card makers and regularly buy cards from other sellers. One I've discovered recently is Vicky's World and her artwork, mostly collages, is outstanding. The above piece is titled 'Flights of Fancy' and below are a few more examples of her extraordinary work.