After taking an accidental COVID lockdown hiatus, I am back with a dose of the miracle elixir in my arm and exciting news to share.
Novella Announcement: The Doom That Came to Mellonville
My debut novella The Doom That Came to Mellonville will be coming out soon from Filthy Loot.
Isaac Plank was an occultist with a book of obscene spells and a collection of oddities that would put a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! museum to shame. But Isaac is dead now, and his father – respectable accountant Lawrence Plank – has put his estate up for auction.
When an army of cursed knickknacks is unleashed upon the town, Lawrence and Isaac must do battle against reanimated taxidermy, flesh-eating shrunken heads, an angry mob, and a vengeful mummified Pharaoh who wants to rule again.
The Doom That Came to Mellonville is a macabre horror comedy in the vein of Beetlejuice, The ‘Burbs, and Reanimator.
Stay tuned for more details.
New Story: The Green Man
He towered like a tree, nest of hair tied back hastily, the long limb descending from his right arm sprouting a clamp to cleanse the earth. With mechanical efficiency it picked up a yellow wrapper, a snow-white issue stained with grease, crumpled plastic. Into the black they went, and the world was clean.
I recently added my folk horror story “The Green Man” to the website (after posting it to Instagram and Twitter for World Goth Day).
Written for a creative challenge on the Folk Horror Revival Facebook group, it’s inspired by the Type O Negative song of the same name and frontman Peter Steele’s former career at the New York City Parks Department.
You can read it here.
New Poem: “I Didn’t Mean to Tell You That” (Denmark)
My poem “I Didn’t Mean to Tell You That” can be found in Denmark, editor Kristin Garth’s scandalous and surreal tribute to Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut.
Download it for free at the Daily Drunk Mag website.
Summer Music Showcase
Lorde – “Solar Power”
Lorde is back and her new single is perfect for your goth-girl beach day – complete with a “California Girls”-meets-Midsommar music video.
The Beaches – “Blow-Up”
This danceable Beaches single is the perfect anthem for the return of the bar scene.
What I’ve been reading during quarantine:
Joanna Koch – The Wingspan of Severed Hands (Weirdpunk Books)
The Wingspan of Severed Hands tells a weaving, surreal story of mutilation and madness. The story fractures and comes together like a kaleidoscope image, or its protagonist’s body which is poetically dismembered, consumed, and dragged through space and time in a hallucinatory cosmic horror odyssey. You will cheer!
Jo Quenell / Sam Richard / Brendan Vidito / Justin Lutz – Teenage Grave (Filthy Loot)
Transformation is achieved through pain in these four razor-sharp stories about addiction, grief, infidelity, and insecurity. I was especially sucked in by Lutz’s “Start Tomorrow,” which explores the fine line between self-help and self-destruction.
Sam Richard – Sabbath of the Fox Devils (Weirdpunk Books)
This book breaks hearts and snaps spines. Protagonist Joe is a sensitive kid suffering under his parents’ religious fundamentalism and grieving his missing brother, who was kicked out of the house for being gay. When an occult cartoon leads him to a forbidden library book, he brings the warnings of his pastor to murderous life. This one wormed its way into my head and won’t leave.
Paul Michael Anderson – Standalone (Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing)
This sci-fi horror novel has an awesome premise, executed with maximum strangeness and melancholy. It turns out the slasher villains we know and fear are reluctant conscripts, regular men ordered to kill to preserve balance in the multiverse. The bonus story at the end – about parenting and the necessity of pain – knocks it out of the park.
Michael Moorcock – Elric of Melnibone (DAW)
Doom haunts this prequel to Moorcock’s psychedelic sword-and-sorcery saga, which sees its titular anti-hero come into his cursed powers. Not yet the amoral mercenary introduced in “The Dreaming City,” young Elric is a weak and conflicted emperor, torn between his proto-democratic ideals and the cruelty his subjects expect. After surviving a coup attempt, Elric embarks on a mindbending quest to rescue his kidnapped lover – a journey that sees him claim the cursed sword that will one day kill them all.
Madeleine Swann – The Vine That Ate the Starlet (Filthy Loot)
A surreal-yet-breezy mystery set in the Roaring Twenties, a time when socialites feared and relished seeing their names in the papers and New York City was overrun with man-eating plants. The Vine That Ate the Starlet is a sci-fi/noir that reads like a madcap caper, in which a charming gossip columnist gets caught up in a sinister conspiracy. The story takes strange turns (and is worth re-reading to catch hidden clues), and Swann’s prose is littered with amusing details and subtle bizarro touches.
Hailey Piper – Benny Rose, The Cannibal King (Unnerving)
With a quirky sense of humour and a vicious streak, Hailey Piper’s novella reads like a forgotten eighties slasher. Her titular villain is the unholy child of Leatherface and Candyman, a superpowered cannibal who steps out of legend and into the lives of four teenage girls who pick the wrong part of town for their Halloween festivities. The setting of the novel, the stifling small town of Blackwood, comes alive on the page as thoroughly as Benny Rose. It’s a place that’s willfully blind and hostile to outsiders, unremarkable except for its vivid local myths and odd morbid fixations; the type that only comes alive on Halloween, when the veil between worlds is thinner.
- Patricia Lockwood – No One Is Talking About This
- Andrzej Sapkowski – The Witcher Saga: Blood of Elves
- T.H. White – The Once and Future King
- Sarah Ellis – Back of Beyond: Stories of the Supernatural
- Sam Richard – To Wallow in Ash & Other Sorrows
- Arthur Machen – The White People and Other Weird Stories