“Different Angels” reprinted at Nightmare Magazine

The first story I ever published, “Different Angels,” has been reprinted over at Nightmare Magazine. I wrote this way back in the halcyon days of the late 1990s–a different world, that was–and it was published by The Third Alternative, the precursor to Black Static, in 1999. I’ve written elsewhere about what TTA Press meant and means to me and how important that first sale was–the first story I sent to Andy Cox!–so I won’t belabor that point here, but I did want to talk a little bit about the story’s origin.

Back in the 1990s, I was still very much finding my voice as a writer. And wow, I could not sell a story. I couldn’t even give a story away–believe me, I tried. Back then, nobody wanted the kind of stories I was writing, or didn’t want them from me, at any rate.

The stories we write are always stories that come from where we are in that particular time and place, and “Different Angels” is an angry story I could have only written in my twenties. I was still angry at the rural South where I’d grown up, and hadn’t yet figured out how to reconcile the things I hated about it–ignorance and bigotry and small-mindedness and religious fundamentalism–with who I was–unmistakably a product of that rural South, however much I wanted to deny it. So I wrote a story that twisted a lot of the values I was kicking against–religion, the family. I think I was also mainlining a lot of writers like Flannery O’Connor and Harry Crews around that time.

I used to hear a lot of writers say that nothing changes after you publish your first story, but I found that wasn’t true at all. I had wanted to be a writer ever since I could hold a pen, and I’d been seriously submitting stories for four years with no success. To finally get an acceptance, and to a magazine I admired so much, was a huge deal to me. I felt like a real writer at last–even if nobody in America had ever heard of the magazine or TTA Press back in those days and just looked at me blankly when I mentioned it. Plus, it plugged me into a community of TTA readers and writers, some of whom I’m real-life friends with today.

Of course, if you like the story, you can check out other stories by me that are available free online. “Different Angels” is also reprinted in my first collection, The Moon Will Look Strange, which is available at all the Amazons (even though I only linked to two) in Kindle or paperback. And you can pick up my second collection from Swan River Press, You’ll Know When You Get There.


“The Burned House” at Nightmare magazine

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!

The Moon Will Look Strange: reviews roundup

The Moon Will Look Strange finalsmall

My first short story collection, The Moon Will Look Strange, is receiving some thoughtful and positive feedback from some blogs online. Here are a few:

Simon Strantzas: “Rucker’s characters do not experience loss as much as they are lost, and the disorientation they feel is mirrored in the reader’s own disorientation, evoked by Rucker’s delicate sense of ambiguity…In this way, her work calls to mind one of the most appealing aspects of Robert Aickman’s work—the air of dislocation created by the unfolding of strange and dreamlike events.”

Supernatural Tales blog: “Rucker is exceptionally good at evoking a spirit of place in a few deft lines, quickly establishing her characters as outsiders.”

Ginger Nuts of Horror: “Dark, emotional and otherworldly, The Moon Will Look Strange  is another wonderful example of intelligent horror.”

M.R. Cosby names it one of his favorite books of the year.

table of contents: The Moon Will Look Strange

The Moon Will Look Strange final

Here is the final table of contents for my debut short story collection, The Moon Will Look Strange, which will be out at World Fantasy Convention in November (and  possibly a bit before on Kindle; details to come).

Introduction by Steve Rasnic Tem
The Burned House, Original to this collection
No More A-Roving
The Chance Walker
The Moon Will Look Strange
In Death’s Other Kingdom, Original to this collection
These Foolish Things, Original to this collection
Beneath the Drops
These Things We Have Always Known
Different Angels
The Last Reel

You will be able to order the book on Amazon, or, if you’d like a signed copy, you can shoot me an email/comment below and I’ll set one aside at WFC to be mailed to you (pay by PayPal). Let me know, too, if you’d like to buy one at WFC; we are taking a headcount to make sure enough books are brought to the convention.

an update on my short story collection

The Moon Will Look Strange final

Alert readers may recall an earlier post from me in which I announced the ebook version of my short story collection, The Moon Will Look Strange, was coming out in April with the paperback to follow in September. And then…silence.

There is no bad news or secret scandal behind this. (I feel compelled to emphasize this because publishing is so rife with awful stories behind book delays, but happily, this isn’t one of them.) I’ve just been remiss in updating the ebook release date. Pushing the book forward was an easily arrived at and mutual decision arrived at by the publisher and me due to, well, let’s just say due to Some Boring Stuff.

The paperback remains on track to come out in September and the ebook may or may not be out earlier than that, and this time around, I will actually keep you posted.

two announcements

The Moon Will Look Strange final

1. Above is the final cover for my forthcoming short story collection which, if you missed my earlier announcement, will be published by Karōshi Books later this year. To say I am delighted with the introduction by Steve Rasnic Tem would be a huge understatement.

2. From May, I’ll be the newest columnist for the British horror magazine Black Static, joining regulars Stephen Volk and Christopher Fowler. I’m thrilled about this as Andy Cox bought my first stories for its earlier incarnation, The Third Alternative (and the title story from the collection above appeared in there as well). Having an editor or two who believes in you in those early days is, well, pretty much what keeps you going.