As Simon Strantzas recently acknowledged: with contracts signed and sailing off to the editor’s desk, I have the greenlight to make this announcement: Received a seismically significant communique from Stephen Jones-Editor announcing that my short story, “Dirt on Vicky,” is slated for inclusion in Best New Horror No. 26, the award-winning anthology which is set for an autumn, 2015 release through PS Publishing (http://www.pspublishing.co.uk/).
For those unfamiliar with the story, here’s a bit of Robert Butterfield’s review from Dead Reckonings No. 16 which appeared earlier this year: “‘Dirt on Vicky’ is another standout—a mix of psychological and supernatural horror…Set shortly before Halloween in a small Midwestern town, the story allows Smith to demonstrate that he can capture that particular seasonal feel as well as anyone. It centers on Bill Hughes, his son Casey, and the connection between what passes as the town’s haunted house and Bill’s deceased wife, Vicky.”
In his introduction to Daniel Mills’ haunting debut collection, The Lord Came at Twilight, Simon Stranzas noted, “In some way, the last great revolution in horror was its rediscovery of its past.”
Make no mistake, just because certain camps of weird- and horror-related writers keep those strange homefires burning doesn’t mean the medium grows stale. In fact, think of this past-present relationship as a Mobius strip, ribbons of prescient visions braided with thematic cords from our predecessors. Echoes, if harnessed properly, have the capability of providing new momentum—new dimension.
As the editorial helmer of the annually-planned Nightscript, C.M. Muller is guiding us into steady—though nightshaded—waters. And owing to his well-read awareness, we should accompany with confidence.
There are no tricks here, folks. Muller is a mensch who knows his stuff. If he hasn’t read it, he’s heard of it. If he doesn’t own an obscure copy of a critical text, it’s probably because he’s kindly sent it along (gratis) to an acquaintance with kindred tastes.
Sure, I’m beyond honored to hold court with my fellow Nightscripters; but I’m also eager to see where—over the next few burnt-orange, smoke-scented Octobers—Muller has in mind to take us. You’d do well to follow…
Nightscript, Vol. I—TOC:
“Everything That’s Underneath” — Kristi DeMeester
“Strays” — Gregory L. Norris
“In His Grandmother’s Coat” — Charles Wilkinson
“The Cuckoo Girls” — Patricia Lillie
“The Sound That the World Makes” — David Surface
“Below the Falls” — Daniel Mills
“The Keep” — Kirsty Logan
“She Rose From the Water” — Kyle Yadlosky
“Animalhouse” — Clint Smith
“Tooth, Tongue, and Claw” — Damien Angelica Walters
“Momma” — Eric J. Guignard
“The Trees Are Tall Here” — Marc E. Fitch
“A Quiet Axe” — Michael Kelly
“The Death of Yatagarasu” — Bethany W. Pope
“The Cooing” — John Claude Smith
“A Knife in My Drawer” — Zdravka Evtimova
“On Balance” — Jason A. Wyckoff
“Learning Not to Smile” — Ralph Robert Moore
“Fisher and Lure” — Christopher Burke
“The Death of Socrates” — Michael Wehunt
These first few months of 2015 are marked by several pieces of writerly news — notably, the acceptance of a pair of stories in two, inceptive publications, each helmed by estimable editors possessing inventive visions.
My story “Animalhouse” found placement in CM Muller’s inaugural Nightscript, “N. is a venue for ‘strange tales’,” writes Muller, “fictions supernatural, uncanny, [and] weird.” The content will no doubt possess “subtle and darksome literary horror.” Look for fictions in the vein of Robert Aickman, Shirley Jackson, Dennis Etchison, Flannery O’Connor, Terry Lamsley, Lisa Tuttle, Thomas Owen, Mary Shelley, and Arthur Machen,
The second odd abode in which my tale “The Rive” has found a “home” is in Jordan Krall’s venture, Xnoybis, a journal of weird fiction, the first issue of which will feature a “never-before-published interview with Thomas Ligotti from 1999 which has been approved by Tom himself,” according to Krall. (The interview was conducted by David Edwards.)
And when we say limited we mean limited. My novella, When It’s Time For Dead Things To Die, is slated for release through Dunham’s Manor Press, an imprint of Dynatox Ministries.
From the publisher: This chapbook novella is limited to 50 copies, half of which will be available here on the store, and half in the Indiegogo campaign.
Things are in decline…for Joseph Lowe, a rootless young man who falls for the wrong girl; for Gregory Bath, an aristocratic magnate who spares Lowe an almost certain death for his “transgression,” imposing upon him a kind of parasitic servitude. Now working as a line cook at Bath’s legendary Tudor Quoin, as well as catering to the growing needs of a man far older than he seems, Lowe desperately seeks release from a trap which has ensnared him for the past nine months. But who could possibly escape a family as powerful, as influential, or as far-reaching as the Baths? In the end, choices must be made, sides must be drawn, and for Lowe this means discovering an unlikely salvation between himself and his captor, as well as learning the true meaning of “family.”
Special thanks to Jordan Krall.
Latest installment of Dead Reckonings now available via Hippocampus Press. Review of Ghouljaw and Other Stories by Robert Butterfield: “A Tale of Two (Word)Smiths.” From the review:
“‘Dirt on Vicky’ is another standout — a mix of psychological and supernatural horror that further showcases Smith’s fine writing. Set shortly before Halloween in a small Midwestern town, the story allows Smith to demonstrate that he can capture that particular seasonal feel as well as anyone.”
(From the shadow-stitched outskirts, a slow-swelling broadcast…a static-lashed transmission…)
…in news from the Twilight Zone, Clint Smith has been selected to participate in the 2014 Indy Author Fair — presented by the Indianapolis Public Library and the Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award — from Noon to 2 p.m. Saturday October 25, 2014 in the Central Library’s Simon Reading Room. With guests and fellow Hoosiers, Smith will be discussing his work as a freelance writer along with his first collection of dark tales, Ghouljaw and Other Stories (Hippocampus Press). Though overtly humbled, Smith could not readily be reached for comment and was last seen combing the city’s southside in search of the elusive Three Floyds Zombie Dust…
For more information, please visit The Indianapolis Public Library…
…that is all for now, friends…
Lettering by Jared Boggess
In a recent post on his website, cover artist, Jared Boggess, writes about his strategy for executing the project, and graciously provides some initial, illustrative drafts.
Ghoulish Sketch by Jared Boggess
Here’s an excerpt from his post:
“The centerpiece of this collection of short horrors follows a young man tormented by series of hallucinations and dreams. Clint Smith beautifully depicts a surreal dream experience in which this young man finds himself swallowed by the ocean haunted by an apparition known as the Ghouljaw.”
Stop by Boggess’s site — there are plenty of impressive pieces of eye candy from his numerous projects: www.jaredboggess.com