Things that are and things that shall be

May 21, 2015


That’s just a portentous way of announcing that I have a lot to announce: some stuff is coming out that I can now talk about, and some other stuff is already out.

First, get yourself on over to Nightmare Magazine because the fine folks there have allowed me ramble on at length about things to do with the South and horror: Southern horror writers and growing up in the South and how that has shaped me as a writer and as a writer of horror fiction. You can read “The H Word: The Dirty South” for free.

Next, Aickman’s Heirs is finally out, which means that you can order it from Amazon USAmazon UK (or all the other Amazons I presume) or Barnes & Noble. I am very excited about and proud to be in this book for a lot of reasons, including the fact that Robert Aickman is so, so important to me and it seemed like for years and years you would say his name and people would go “Who?” I love that there seem to be so many of us publishing now who also love Aickman and were influenced by his weird off-kilter fiction, and I am very honored to share a table of contents with so many of my talented colleagues.

There is also another Black Static out with my column “Notes from the Borderland” and will you just look at that lineup of writers? TTA Press has always published superior horror fiction, first in The Third Alternative and now in Black Static, but damn if they just don’t seem to be moving from strength to strength and outdoing even themselves recently with fiction lineups that read like a who’s who of exciting talents in the genre.

Finally, some other things are forthcoming. My story “The Secret Woods,” which is, among other things, inspired by Arthur Machen’s “The White People,” will be in the anthology Soliloquy for Pan. (Unfortunately, there’s no way to permalink to that news item, but it’s announced on the May 16, 2015 entry.) I read part of this story last summer at Loncon. Soliloquy for Pan is coming out in June from Egaeus Press. Pan has long been one of my favorite gods, and Egaeus Press makes gorgeous books. Once again, I’m so excited to be part of this brilliant lineup writing about something that is very close to my heart.

Also coming up is my story “Yellow Bird” in the Joe Pulver-edited anthology of King in Yellow stories by women, Cassilda’s Song, published by Chaosium Press. Joe’s assembled a terrific lineup of women writers for this one–including Helen Marshall, S.P. Miskowski, and Maura McHugh–and it’s due to be launched at Necronomicon in Providence, Rhode Island in August. This is the second King in Yellow-inspired story I’ve written–the first, “The Queen in the Yellow Wallpaper,” appears in the British Fantasy society anthology The Burning Circus. For those of you who don’t know, Robert W. Chambers was a hugely popular writer around the turn of the 20th century, but what has survived is his contribution to weird fiction, a cycle of stories known as The King in Yellow. Lovers of the weird have always been hip to Chambers, but he recently came to much broader public attention when True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto riffed on his work in season 1 of that series. It’s a fascinating mythos to play around in.

And last but not at all least, the 30th issue of Supernatural Tales is coming up, and to celebrate the longevity (15 years!) of this terrific little magazine of weird and supernatural fiction, editor David Longhorn went and asked some former contributors if they might like to write something for this special anniversary issue. The result is a breathtakingly fine lineup of stories by Steve Duffy, Michael Kelly, Helen Grant, Mark Valentine, and Adam Golaski. And also me with my story “An Element of Blank.” This will be out in the autumn.

Wait! Not last! Because while I am here, I might as well also mention that I have an essay coming up in Spectral Press’s tribute to Nigel Kneale, We Are the Martians, edited by Neil Snowden and due out in December 2015. You can preorder it now.

And there’s more to come! Stay tuned.


Ghost Story Award for “Dreams of Shadow and Smoke”

March 31, 2015


Last year, to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Irish writer J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Swan River Press released a tribute anthology, Dreams of Shadow and Smoke: Stories for J. Sheridan Le Fanu that included my riff on “An Account of Some Strange Disturbances on Aungier Street” titled “The Corner Lot.” Yesterday, we learned that the anthology had won the inaugural Ghost Story Award for best ghost story book published in English in 2014! Congratulations also are due to D.P. Watt, whose story “Shallabalah,” originally published in the Ghost & Scholars Newsletter, won for best short story.

You can purchase Dreams of Shadow and Smoke at the Swan River Press website.


“The Burned House” at Nightmare magazine

March 30, 2015

My story “The Burned House,” originally published in my collection The Moon Will Look Strange and reprinted in The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror #25, is now available online at Nightmare Magazine.

Also, the anthology Aickman’s Heirs, edited by Simon Strantzas and including my story “The Dying Season,” is now available for pre-order and ships in May!


My Loncon schedule

July 30, 2014

It’s a busy one. Also, be sure to stop by the fan table for the Worldcon bid for Dublin 2019, and come to our party on Saturday night! The full program for Loncon 3 is here.

Tove Jansson’s Moomins: Their Legacy and Influence

Thursday 12:00 – 13:30, Capital Suite 13 (ExCeL)

It’s 100 years since the birth of Finnish author/artist Tove Jansson, the award-winning creator of the beloved Moomins. Moomins appeared in novels, illustrated books, comic book strips and today are celebrated with their own theme park called Muumimaailma (Moomin World).

Why did Jansson’s Moomins capture the attention and affection of the panellists, and how do Moomins continue to fire the imagination of new generations despite being nearly seventy years old?

What is the legacy of the Moomins, and how do they continue to influence European comic books today?

Kathryn (Kate) Laity (M), Lynda Rucker, Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson, Mary Talbot, Karrie Fransman

Horror Without Monsters

Thursday 13:30 – 15:00, Capital Suite 8 (ExCeL)

It’s often said that some of the most frightening horror fictions stir fear without ghouls or gore. Is this true? What are the psychological horror tales that stay with us past the final page? Does the greatest terror lie within ourselves?

Jonathan Oliver (M), F. Brett Cox, Elizabeth Hand, Sarah Pinborough, Lynda Rucker

Fantasy and Medievalism

Friday 13:30 – 15:00, Capital Suite 7+12 (ExCeL)

High fantasy is almost invariably set in invented worlds inspired by medieval Europe. Can we put this down to the legacy of Tolkien and to genre works being in close conversation with each other? Or is there something about the place that medieval Europe occupies in our imagination that makes it a perfect companion for tales of epic striving and larger-than-life Good versus Evil? Either way, does this help or hinder the genre?

Kathryn (Kate) Laity (M), Suanna Davis, Robin Hobb, Marieke Nijkamp, Lynda Rucker

Comic Book Networking: It’s Not Just The Interwebs

Friday 19:00 – 20:00, Capital Suite 3 (ExCeL)

Social media – Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter – are all de rigeur for networking for creators and fans, but what about all the other ways to meet your audience, your favourite creators, or just to talk to people about comic books?

What are the benefits of comic book reading groups, conventions, comic book jams/drawing sessions, or networking meetings like Laydeez do Comics?

In a virtual world, there’s still a lot of meeting face-to-face going on.

Maura McHugh (M), Lynda Rucker, Kurt Erichsen, Yen Ooi, Meg Frank

Reading: Lynda Rucker

Saturday 21:00 – 21:30, Capital Suite 13 (ExCeL)

Lynda Rucker

Master of Dark Arts – an insight into editing for writers

Sunday 15:00 – 16:30, Capital Suite 5 (ExCeL)

Editor Stephen Jones is interviewed by Lynda E. Rucker about being an editor of short dark fiction, providing insight for new and current writers and afterwards answering questions from the floor. Advice and pointers, pitfalls, how a professional editor should deal with writers and what a writer’s expectations of editors should be will be among the topics covered.

Lynda Rucker (M), Stephen Jones


More Moon Will Look Strange Reviews

May 2, 2014

A couple more terrific reviews for The Moon Will Look Strange have turned up recently. From Paul St. John Mackintosh at Telereads:

Because this is a Very Good Book. Indeed. Of the eleven tales in it, three – “The Burned House”, “In Death’s Other Kingdom”, and “These Foolish Things” – are first-time appearances. That actually comprises a large portion of her published work to date. But on such slender bases great reputations are built.


Maura McHugh has also written a long, thoughtful review of the book for the journal published by Swan River Press, The Green Book. You’ll have to buy a copy to read the whole thing, but you should anyway, because The Green Book is a terrific publication. Here’s an excerpt from her review:

Rucker writes the kind of effortless prose that reads easily, but is only created from careful, determined craft. Her stories describe conflicted, lost people, and dreadful situations you could never imagine, yet believe must have happened.

This is the mark of a superior storyteller, and points to Rucker as one of the most promising purveyors of the supernatural weird tale writing at the moment.


You can of course purchase The Moon Will Look Strange from Amazon at the links below, or check my page for instructions on how to order a signed one directly from me (will cost you a bit more due to exorbitant postage costs, I’m afraid!).

The Moon Will Look Strange, paperback, Amazon UK

The Moon Will Look Strange, Kindle, Amazon UK

The Moon Will Look Strange, paperback, Amazon US

The Moon Will Look Strange, Kindle, Amazon US


Best Horror of the Year

February 16, 2014

I’m pleased to announce that my story “The House on Cobb Street,” which originally appeared over at Nightmare Magazine, will receive its first print publication in volume 6 of Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year. I am particularly delighted by this news because it marks the first time I’ve sold a story to Ellen Datlow, who of course is one of the top short fiction editors in the field. Here’s the rest of the terrific lineup:

Apports by Stephen Bacon Black Static #36
Mr. Splitfoot by Dale Bailey Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells
The Good Husband by Nathan Ballingrud North American Lake Monsters
The Tiger by Nina Allan Terror Tales of London
The House on Cobb Street by Lynda E. Rucker Nightmare #9 June
The Soul in the Bell Jar by KJ Kabza F&SF November/Dec
Call Out by Stephen Toase Innsmouth Magazine #12
That Tiny Flutter of the Heart I Used to Call Love by Robert Shearman Psycho-Mania
Bones of Crow by Ray Cluley Black Static #37
Introduction to the Body in Fairy Tales by Jeannine Hall Gailey Phantom Drift #3
The Fox by Conrad Williams This is Horror chapbook
The Tin House by Simon Clark Shadow Masters
Stemming the Tide by Simon Strantzas Dead North
The Anatomist’s Mnemonic by Priya Sharma Black Static #32.
The Monster Makers by Steve Rasnic Tem Black Static #35
The Only Ending We Have by Kim Newman Psycho-Mania
The Dog’s Paw by Derek Künsken Chilling Tales: In Words, Alas, Drown I
Fine in the Fire by Lee Thomas Like Light For Flies
Majorlena by Jane Jakeman Supernatural Tales 24
The Withering by Tim Casson Black Static 32
Down to a Sunless Sea by Neil Gaiman The Guardian.com
Jaws of Saturn by Laird Barron The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All
Halfway Home by Linda Nagata Nightmare #12
The Same Deep Waters as You by Brian Hodge Weirder Shadows Over Innsmouth


Interview with Steve Rasnic Tem

January 23, 2014

I’ve been reading Steve Rasnic Tem for two decades, and so when I learned he would write the introduction to my first short story collection, The Moon Will Look Strange, I was overjoyed. I was equally pleased to have the opportunity to interview him in connection with his latest collection from Swan River Press, Here with the Shadows, which is available now for pre-order and shipping next month. I got the opportunity to ask him about specific stories and themes in the book, his own approach to writing such powerful and moving fiction, and his personal history among other things. His responses were terrific, and very enlightening. You can find the interview here at the Swan River Press website, and while you’re there, take a look around at some of the other books and chapbooks for sale.


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