Short Story, “Feast Your Eyes,” to Appear in NIGHTSCRIPT, Vol. VII

Cover Art Courtesy of Jana Heidersdorf

Received word that my short story, “Feast Your Eyes on the Yawning Monotony of Humdrum Rot,” will appear in the forthcoming installment of C.M. Muller’s Nightscript, Volume 7, featuring absolutely stunning cover art by Jana Heidersdorf.

I’m certain more will make announcements in due time, but I have word from my colleagues, Douglas Ford (Ape in the Ring: & Other Tales of the Macabre and Uncanny) and Joshua Rex (What’s Coming For You) that they too will contribute stories to this edition of Nightscript.

This particular tale was constructed with the (fictional) setting as the centerpiece: the Mooring Cove Inn situated in a vague province along the coast of Lake Michigan. My characters find themselves lodged in this novelty, tourist-attraction of a hotel on New Year’s Eve, 2000. There is, indeed, a party of sorts; but, for my protagonist, the Gregorian festivity (and time itself) slips into the a rather grim event. Keep your “eyes” peeled on the noble month of October, 2021.

A diagram of naval shipworms, a.k.a. “termites of the sea”

UPDATE: Table of contents for Nightscript, Vol. VII announced on C.M. Muller’s site, wherein I find myself in profoundly talented company…

1. “Feast Your Eyes on the Yawning Monotony of Humdrum Rot” — Clint Smith

2. “The Passing” — Joshua Rex

3. “When Sleep At Last — Douglas Thompson

4. “The Summer King’s Day” — Timothy Granville

5. “Roadkill” — Elin Olausson

6. “It Looked Like Her” — Gordon Brown

7. “Little Gods To Live In Them” — David Surface

8. “We Are The Gorillas” — Douglas Ford

9. “The Body Trick” — Alexander James

10. “Feed” — Jason A. Wyckoff

11. “’Neath The Mirror Of The Sea” — Rhonda Eikamp

12. “Clipped Wings” — Steve Toase

13. “The Cardboard Voice” — Tim Major

14. “The Validations” — Ashley Stokes

15. “A Perfect Doll” — Regina Garza Mitchell

16. “Madam and Yves” — Marc Joan

17. “The Delf” — Danny Rhodes

18. “Where the Oxen Turned the Plow” — Charles Wilkinson

19. “Feast of Fools: A Heartwarming Holiday Romance” — LC von Hessen

Nightscript, Volume VII will be released on October 1st, 2021.

Disquieting Aggregations: A Review of Douglas Ford’s APE IN THE RING

There is a gravity to Douglas Ford’s stories that is deceptive in their disquieting aggregations; and if you’re unfamiliar with the offerings from this sapient scribbler, I submit to you an ideal place to begin a highly-encouraged acquaintance.

Ape In The Ring & Other Tales of the Macabre and Uncanny (Madness Heart Press), cover art by John Baltisberger

Ford has assembled seventeen impressive specimens for his collection, Ape In The Ring & Other Tales of the Macabre and Uncanny (Madness Heart Press, edited by Flora Bernard).  The stories showcase both Ford’s narrative fluency and literary dexterity, as well as his thematic preoccupations.  Along the inky tracts of Ford’s nearly twenty tales, he compels readers to confront the vagaries of family dynamics (some heinous — see “Thief In The Night” — and some poignantly deteriorative — see the phenomenal and heartbreaker-of-an-opener, “Wasps”), the guises of gutless grifters, and generally the paths of poor choices.  The title story, “Ape In The Ring,” concludes the collection with a pummeling, with one clenched fist toned in the vein of Donald Ray Pollack, the other bearing the connective tissue of classic Bradbury.

Read more about author Douglas Ford at Goodreads.

While the substantive circuitry of the stories is composed of high-quality wiring, what I appreciate (and enjoy) the most is Ford’s commitment to interpersonal dialogue.  For writers, convincing dialogue is, of course, action in itself, and so it stands to reason that Ford’s stories have a certain traction and momentum — one that is (as I’ve stated above) seductive in its quiet command.  The result is exchanges which echo and linger, unsettlingly in both their implications and ostensible simplicity.  “Is he happy now?” one of Ford’s characters asks another.  “Does he still scream?”
With Ape In The Ring, Douglas Ford displays an ease with his distinct execution of storytelling and his vivid visions, his didactic dreams — I’m confident that readers will be compelled to follow and accept, as one of Ford’s passages unfolds, “the same way she accepted the dreams that raged at her…”