Advance reading recs

I’ve had the pleasure of getting sneak previews of a couple of things coming out soon, one a short novel and one a novella.

sentinels

David Longhorn is the editor of the well-regarded Supernatural Tales magazine [disclaimer: yes, I have had a few stories published there] and his debut novel proves that he’s as adept at storytelling as he is at selecting stories. Sentinels is the first of a trilogy and has the same old-fashioned feel to it as a Jonathan Aycliffe novel (and here I mean “old-fashioned” as a compliment). Fast-paced and fun, Sentinels, set in England in 1940, mixes horror with international intrigue (Nazis! Spies!) and a dash of M.R. James (and maybe some Tombs of the Blind Dead, although that my just be my own undying fondness for that film coming through that made me picture the “Raggedy Men” as those scary undead Templars). I can’t wait for the next installment. This is available on Amazon on June 17, and you should check it out–you can preorder it for a mere 99 cents as an ebook, and it’s also available as a paperback. (Also available on Amazon UK.)

muscadines

If you aren’t already familiar with her, Shirley Jackson Award-nominated S.P. Miskowski writes stories about very bad, very real women. In other words, not women who are, say, bad but sexy. Or “women that you love to hate.” Miskowski’s characters are complex and terrifying and they probably will remind you of at least one person that you know or have known. Or maybe that’s just me.

Muscadines is a very dark novella that is coming soon from Dunhams Manor Press.  Here’s what I had to say about it elsewhere: “Narrated in prose as languid and deceptively dreamlike as a Georgia summer afternoon, S.P. Miskowski’s Muscadines feels like a fairy tale recast as a Southern Gothic—a fairy tale of the old, savage, unsanitized-for-modern-children’s-consumption variety. Nobody does very bad women like Miskowski, and this deeply disturbing story further establishes her as a master at exploring the psychological terrain of the kind of women who aren’t supposed to exist.”

 

 

 

 

 

“The Wife’s Lament” in Supernatural Tales

My story “The Wife’s Lament” is available now in the magazine Supernatural Tales #24, a fine journal edited by David Longhorn. When I first read the poem from which the story borrows its name and themes and imagery, I was fascinated by its weirdness and ambiguity and wanted to write a story about it for a long time before the right tale finally found me. Years ago, I translated the poem myself from the Old English (roughly), and bits of that translation appear in the story. Here is one translation (not mine), but the thing about this poem is that modern English can’t do it justice, and what you don’t get from reading anyone’s translation is the confusion in the poem. It is really not clear, in the Old English, whether there is one man or two and who has “buried” her and whether that is literal or figurative–is this the lament of a dead woman, or is she still alive? What exactly has happened? The poem, in its original language, raises more questions than it answers. This might not be the case if we were native speakers of Old English; some of the confusion is over issues of syntax and word choice, and we don’t have any early medieval Anglo Saxons hanging around that we can check with. Go here to hear a reading of the poem in the original Old English.

My version of “The Wife’s Lament” is set in modern times. I really love this story; I hope you do too.

You can also read fiction from Stephen Goldsmith, Jane Jakeman, John Llewellyn Probert, Sean Logan, Michael J. Abolafia, and Sam Dawson (who also illustrated the cover for the ebook) as well as an assortment of reviews. The magazine is available in both print and ebook formats.

Supernatural Tales acceptance

I’ve had my first acceptance of 2012. My story “The Wife’s Lament” will appear in a future issue of the excellent British magazine Supernatural Tales. Not till next year at the earliest, so I wouldn’t advise holding your breath for it or anything, but in the meantime, you could amble on over to that link and take out a subscription. It’s a quality publication; you won’t be disappointed!