2015 is shaping up to be a busy year with a highly ambitious schedule. One of those projects may be small in scale — my part, at least — but my stoked-factor is mighty.
I’m one of 16+2 writers brought on board for 2113: Stories Inspired By The Music of Rush, to be edited by Kevin J. Anderson. It’s all happening with the blessings of the band, in particular drummer extraordinaire Neil Peart, with whom Kevin worked on a novel based on Rush’s latest album, Clockwork Angels. See more here, in Kevin’s neighborhood.
As no other band has, Rush seems to have been with me throughout my entire life — definitely since adolescence on. They’ve accompanied everything from high school misadventures to my weekly IT maintenance routines on our home network. I never had to rediscover them. They never downshifted into a nostalgia act, coasting on past glories and the fumes of diminishing expectations. They’ve always been there as an ongoing, vital presence, with more to look forward to.
The song I’ve chosen for this book is “Witch Hunt,” from Moving Pictures. It’s been a favorite ever since I first heard it in my dorm room my first year at the University of Illinois. For my tastes, it’s the most ominous track Rush has ever done. So that’s fitting. The dirge-like, plodding pace was a departure for them; as a keyboards geek, I loved the epic Oberheim synth chords of doom; and lyrically, it remains as chilling as ever.
In the past few months, I’ve gotten on well with Mike Davis, founder of the excessively cool and informative Lovecraft eZine.
This week, I’m the featured Author of the Week there, which keeps up with this trend of mini-interviews that has clustered the past few months (really, see the Press page under 2014). I’m already dreading next week, and am looking for loopholes so I can remain the Author of the Week every week.
Freshly baked this month by England’s Spectral Press is The Spectral Book of Horror Stories … which editor and way-back-in-the-long-ago fellow Dell/Abyss author Mark Morris hopes is the first of an ongoing series. So buy the thing already and help make that a reality!
My piece? “Cures For A Sickened World,” it’s called, and you could think of it as a love letter to smug haters everywhere. Remember that line of Patrick Swayze’s from Roadhouse: “Be nice, until it’s time to not be nice”…? Yeah, that time is shrinking in the rear view mirror already.
For a bit more insight into the conception process than usual, let me swipe from the short interview I gave to contributor Angela Slatter, in her customary series of Q&As with the rest of her fellow anthology residents:
“It came out of two factors that were perfectly juxtaposed. One day, on Facebook, I followed a link that author Steven Savile posted to a review of the last Coldplay album. Scathing doesn’t even begin to describe it. I don’t care anything about Coldplay — I don’t think I’ve ever heard one of their songs in its entirety. But this reviewer’s whole routine seems to be that he hates everything and everyone, and tries to be as insulting as possible, even if he has to bring your family into it. Apparently it’s supposed to be amusing.
“At the time, I happened to be devouring this big encyclopedic book on black metal. I don’t give a shit about Coldplay, but I love black metal, and as I was reading that review, I thought, ‘Hmm, how might one of those guys react to this? What if someone decided to take this reviewer’s hyperbole at face value?’ So the story emerged as this unlikely head-on collision between cosmic horror and the deterioration of journalistic integrity. And it definitely wouldn’t have happened if not for those two windows of exposure lining up the way they did.”
The Spectral Book of Horror Stories is published in the U.K., but here in the U.S. you can order it domestically through Amazon in print or for Kindle.
Get your forklifts ready. Cemetery Dance Publications’ long-awaited Big Fat Hardcover Edition of my early post-apocalyptic epic, Dark Advent, is slated for release late this summer. An e-book edition will follow within a few months.
One reason to go for the print edition: the gorgeous cover art wrought by artist Vincent Chong, who also did the cover for my 2011 collection, Picking The Bones. It’s a wraparound panorama that takes up the entire dust jacket.
While I normally give early work a light polish before it goes back into print, this time I put in so much labor it amounts to a brand new draft. Not to worry — nobody behaves any differently. Mostly it was about getting out of my own way, and clearing up a couple of lapses in logic. An afterword about the novel’s origins, etc., rounds the whole package off. This is going to be a beautiful edition that, unlike the original, will no longer require an electron microscope to read.
You could call it a collection. Or you could call it an episodic novel, containing a novel-within-the-novel.
Mostly, though, I just think of it as an omnibus edition gathering the first four installments of my Misbegotten story cycle, which has been called “a mythos every bit as dismal and bleak as Lovecraft’s Elder Gods.” And which I’m planning on furthering later this year.
Bringing these works together in one place, rather than leaving them scattered thither and yon, will make it a lot easier to maintain accessibility as I go forward with this saga. For more details, see the book’s bibliography page.
Alert readers may have noticed that the short novel World of Hurt is not yet among the books of mine that have made the transition into e-book format.
That’s because for quite some time I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. While it can stand alone, it’s still part of a larger story cycle that by now I think of as the Misbegotten mythos. Ultimately, I didn’t want to send it out without backup.
Enter DarkFuse, publisher of my recent longish works Whom the Gods Would Destroy and Without Purpose, Without Pity. Next up, we’ll be doing an omnibus edition of all four installments to date in this cycle. This gathers together, for the first time:
“The Alchemy of the Throat” (Bram Stoker Award finalist)
“The Dripping of Sundered Wineskins” (World Fantasy Award finalist)
“When the Bough Doesn’t Break”
World of Hurt
It’s win-win. Not only does a unified volume bring everything together in the same place; it will also make it easier to keep future Misbegotten works under the same roof.
Worlds of Hurt should be released sometime in the next several weeks.
Oh, Lovecraft … you could be such a fussy fellow, but your whacked-out imagination is the gift that keeps on giving.
The Ellen Datlow editorial byline on this beast should be all the imprimatur you need for quality control. But I’ve read my contributor copy straight from Tachyon already, and can confirm: Yup, this is the goods. The reviews I’ve seen, and there have been many, have skewed heavily toward the rave end of the spectrum.
Plus if you missed my own “The Same Deep Waters As You” in Weirder Shadows Over Innsmouth and just can’t wait for it in The Best Horror Of The Year, Vol. 6, then all roads have led you to this perfect moment.
So it’s official: after making the shortlist for DarkFuse’s Readers’ Choice Award, Whom the Gods Would Destroy takes the win for Best Novella of 2013. Fellow Coloradan Jon Bassoff took Best Novel, with Corrosion, making it an improbable all-Boulder sweep. There’s a plaque coming — nice, but you can tell from the photo what I’d […]
This essay on the origins of my recent release, Whom the Gods Would Destroy, was originally done for the publisher, DarkFuse. I think it belongs here, too… Some questions dog us almost from the cradle to the threshold of the grave. “What really happens to us when we die?” — top of the list, I’m […]
The new book has freshly landed courtesy of DarkFuse. I’ve described it below — and here, of course — so no need to repeat myself. Instead, let’s defer to another early review, which calls it “an incredibly dark tale … Hodge plays with the notion of evil versus amorality. If an advanced enough intelligence seems […]
And so concludes editor Stephen Jones’ epic trilogy of anthologies spawned from H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Shadow Over Innsmouth.” This project has spanned nearly 20 years, and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of its culmination, and to join the company of the authors who’ve been a part of it. If you know Lovecraft […]
Just in time as an antidote to the holidays, a family even weirder than yours: Whom The Gods Would Destroy is a month from release from DarkFuse, but the e-book edition up for pre-order now at 33% off, with fulfillment coming from Amazon. Call it 32,000 words of Carl Sagan gene-spliced with HP Lovecraft. It’s […]
“We all go a little mad sometimes.” — Norman Bates And Norman’s father of sorts, Robert Bloch, plays the posthumous host to this whopping volume acrawl with his descendants. This thing is big. The title won’t cue you in, but it’s actually another in the venerable line of “Mammoth Book of…” books. It’s big, I […]
Here’s a thought: why not count down to everybody’s favorite October holiday with a seasonal story per day? Just to get into the Halloween spirit early and all… Say, with this freshly minted anthology edited by Paula Guran, and brimming with lots of people I’m honored to share pages with: John Shirley, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Laird […]
And the cluster of new releases begins. Fearie Tales is the next book from the editor / publisher tag team of Stephen Jones and Jo Fletcher, who were behind 2011′s A Book Of Horrors, if you recall my novelette “Roots and All.” This time the directive … well, given the title and the subtitle, you […]