Announced: “Lovenest” to Appear In LOOMING LOW VOL. II Anthology (2022)

Just received correspondence from editors giving a greenlight to announce: My short story, “Lovenest,” is slated to appear in the forthcoming Dim Shores anthology, Looming Low Vol. II, a follow-up to a book which was nominated for the 2017 Shirley Jackson Award, and won the This Is Horror Award for Anthology of the Year. Sam Cowan and Justin Steele are helming this project — Cowan and Steele are a pair of professionals I’ve been eager to work with for a number of years. The intent, according to Cowan and Steele, is to premiere the anthology in August, 2022, to coincide with the bi-annual NecronomiCon in Providence, RI (August 18-21, 2022).

The table of contents for Looming Low Vol. II will be announced in the weeks ahead.

UPDATE: Table of Contents announced:

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

Something Abides After Such Horror: a Review of Daniel Mills’s Collection, AMONG THE LILIES

I initially became acquainted with Mills’s work back in 2014, when I picked up a copy of The Lord Came at Twilight (Dark Renaissance Books), a collection that, I might note, continues to garner much (and well-deserved) praise.  (Bonus:  each story in this volume is supplemented by an illustration by M. Wayne Miller.)  Not long after, I was privileged to have a story appear along with Mills in the inaugural installment of C.M. Muller’s annual anthology, Nightscript (Chthonic Matter, 2015); and it was with the tale therein, “Below the Falls,” that I grew piqued by the author’s storytelling strength.  Among the Lilies (Undertow Publications, 2021) is his latest fiction collection.

Cover art by Yves Tourigny

Using the term “channeling” when assessing Mills’s work, I intend it devoid of pejorative.  Daniel Mills writes without emulation, but his style taps into a medium of Kodachrome antiquity, conjuring an aesthetic of arresting sagacity.  

One can find a number of stories that are period pieces, of a sort — stories that, while paying reverence to traditions ossified by Hawthorne, Bronte, and Brockden Brown, operate as an enhancement to the forms of the Gothic and nineteenth-century supernatural horror.  Mills acknowledges this in sly blips, communicating to his audience, “We talked of music and literature and I admitted even my love of Poe and Hawthorne and to the escape I had found in romances of the darkest character” (“Lilies”).

Other tales, though, are robust in their modern mode.  I’d point to “The Lake” and (a dark little ditty with which I’m particularly enamored) “Dream Children”; I’ve been unable to cast light onto the surface of water at night without a stitch of icy unease since reading it.  The collection is capped off by the impressive novella, “The Account of David Stonehouse, Exile,” which originally appeared as a standalone volume published by Dim Shores in 2016.

Regardless of the era Mills places his readers, he conducts his literary tours with a professorial lack of pretension, revealing stories that are sharp and crisp — tales that hum with neon solemnity.

After all this time, I find Mills’s writing creatively nourishing, and I believe unacquainted readers will find his skills, as one of his characters puts it, “not inconsiderable.”  Conversely, to his steadfast friends:  those who know this, know.  I’ve stated it elsewhere, but it bears repeating:  Deft and unsettling, Daniel Mills’s Among the Lilies is a haunting enhancement of modern horror fiction — an electrically delicate collection of specters.