LOOMING LOW, Vol. II Now Available!

I’ve mentioned it before, but it looks like the physical-copy rollout is official. Looming Low, Vol. II is now available by the good people at Dim Shores, with my story, “Lovenest,” appearing on a roster of woefully-talented writers. Check out the trailer for Looming Low, Vol. II created by Lena Griffin. The paperback edition is coming at you (at a steal) with the price tag of $22, while the limited edition, hand-numbered hardback clocks in at a wholly-reasonable $40.

In “Lovenest,” I return to themes of relational decay and carnality amid a prolonged razing of a Midwest motel. Along with a bat-creature attack and an onslaught of reanimated corpses, it’s one of my wilder stories that’s been published.

“Sex and Character,” Alois Kolb (1903)
“Each Night a Dream Visits Us,” Alfred Kubin (1903)

And I’m privileged to share a table of contents along with this stunning, literary lineup:

  • Kurt Fawver – “Radius Unknown”
  • Alvaro Zinos-Amaro – “Undo”
  • Brian Evenson – “Vigil in the Inner Room”
  • Michael Kelly – “Dead but Dreaming Still”
  • Gwendolyn Kiste – “To the Progeny Forsaken”
  • Anya Martin – “The Other Cat”
  • Clint Smith – “Lovenest”
  • Jeffrey Thomas – “Strangler Fig”
  • Simon Strantzas – “Still Packed”
  • Brooke Warra – “We Don’t Live Here Anymore”
  • Michael Griffin – “We Spend Weekends With Dad”
  • Matthew M. Bartlett – “The Cryptic Jape”
  • Craig Laurance Gidney – “Impz”
  • Cody Goodfellow – “Protect & Serve”
  • David Peak – “Zones Without Names”
  • Erica Ruppert – “Ex Astris”
  • Richard Gavin – “The Intercessor”
  • Kaaron Warren – “Songs We Sing at Sea”
  • S.P. Miskowski – “Across the Darkness”
  • A.C. Wise – “Into the Green”
  • Gemma Files – “Bb Minor”
  • Nadia Bulkin – “Your Heart is a House on Fire”
Cover Design by Yves Tourigny

An Unforgiving Oblivion:  David Peak’s CORPSEPAINT (Word Horde, 2018)

There’s a dark identification in Corpsepaint (Worde Horde, 2018) on which Peak knowingly seizes, capitalizing on what exists in the often unmentioned dungeon of our conscience.  I’m a fan of Peak’s aesthetic, and the novel offers a bit of his range and impressive palette:  moments stripped bare while others hum with literary electricity.  An unforgiving piece of fiction that needs to be trusted in its execution and appreciated in its endurable scope.

Peak pleasingly name-drops the usual, classic- and Black-Metal suspects:  Bathory, Maniac, Judas Priest, Darkthrone, and throughout there are obvious nods to the infamous Mayhem (Peak even delivers a sly ball-breaker in the form of a “tech-death metal band in Indiana,” which, owing to my Midwest stomping grounds, elicited a grin).  In fact, Bathory’s indelible, 1988 album, Blood Fire Death, might serve as a succinct review for Peak’s novel by its title alone.

The novel, while bleak, was a swift read for me, owing mainly to Peak’s unforgiving urgency to extricate readers from comfy convention in exchange for the frigid, bloodlessness of primeval rumination and ancient instinct.  Corpsepaint ultimately operates like a ruthless gaze, one which, while cold, urges us, at first, to acknowledge the darkness, before turning our gaze in on ourselves.