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On Feb. 2 (Groundhog Day!) as part of the New York Review of Science Fiction/Hour of the Wolf reading series in Brooklyn, Clockwork Phoenix 5 author Barbara Krasnoff read her contribution to the anthology, the moving ghost story “Sabbath Wine,” providing audience members with a preview of the book. Barbara was paired with fantasy and horror writer Richard Bowes.
 
The reading was livestreamed and remains available on video. You can watch it here or at the Mythic Delirium Books site. Barbara starts reading “Sabbath Wine” at about 12 minutes in.
 
CP5_widgetOn April 5, I’ll be in Brooklyn myself, along with Barbara and fellow Clockwork Phoenix 5 contributors Rob Cameron, A.C. Wise, Shveta Thakrar, Sonya Taaffe, C.S.E. Cooney and Carlos Hernandez for the official launching reading, which will also be part of the NYRSF series. Each of the writers will read excerpts from their stories in the anthology, and I may well read one myself from one of the absent contributors. I’ll have copies available for sale as well. For more details on the reading series, click here.
 
April 5 is the official launch date for Clockwork Phoenix 5, but you don’t have to wait until then to reserve a copy; the book is available for pre-order in both e-book and paperback format at a ton of online retailers. Click here for links!
 
#SFWApro
 

Originally published at Mythic Delirium Books. You can comment here or there.

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This post first appeared at Descent into Light.

 
TSPcoverI’m hugely honored that Jeffrey Thomas, author of the cult classic genre mashup Punktown, took time away from his busy writing schedule to craft a blurb for my forthcoming collection The Spider Tapestries.
 
And I’m doubly honored by what he had to say:
 

“We think of science fiction, fantasy, and horror as genres of the imagination, but someone like Mike Allen shows us how lacking in daring and vision so many of their works can be, by resisting the labels altogether. The Spider Tapestries is kaleidoscopically, gloriously imaginative—feverish and fantastical—while never threatening to spin away into the nonsensical. Beyond the gorgeous and poetic mind pictures, he creates real, powerful emotions in the most alien of settings and circumstances. Allen achieves what I find most exciting in any artistic medium: a synthesis of beauty and the grotesque.”

 
Thank you, Jeff!
 
The Spider Tapestries officially goes live March 1, and is available for pre-order in paperback and e-book formats. Later this month I’ll be giving away ten ARCs on Goodreads, watch this space for more info.
 
#SFWApro
 

Originally published at Mythic Delirium Books. You can comment here or there.

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Mythic_Delirium_2_3_web_smallIt’s a constant refrain here at Mythic Delirium Books right now: so much is happening that it’s a challenge to coherently chronicle it. Last week we enjoyed the unexpected but much deserved appearance of C.S.E. Cooney’s collection Bone Swans and novella “The Bone Swans of Amandale” on the 2015 Locus Recommended Reading List.
 
In the zine zone, we also released our featured story and featured poems for February, offering variations on hellish themes from the “pages” of the Jan.-March 2016 issue of Mythic Delirium.
 
Luz and Bee at the Beach” by Janna Layton is a short, witty and intensely disturbing vignette about higher powers lounging amid the madding crowd.
 
The violent theme continues in Olchar E. Lindsann’s “The Immortal Accursed,” a villanelle about an eternal curse that may well undo its Creator.
 
Shifting out of the metaphysical, “When the Gunman Comes” by Edith Hope Bishop is a thoughtful and sad meditation on the alarmingly common American problem of mass shootings – and we’re proud to note that it’s also Edie’s first publication!
 
If you don’t want to wait for our March features to go live, and if you want to make sure you get an early copy of our April-June issue, with works from Theodora Goss, Roshani Chokshi, A.J. Odasso, Virginia M. Mohlere, Alisa Alering, and more, you can click this link to subscribe.
 
#SFWApro
 

Originally published at Mythic Delirium Books. You can comment here or there.

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Bone_Swans_ARC_frontOn Feb. 1 (by coincidence, my birthday) Locus magazine posted its 2015 Recommended Reading List, and we at Mythic Delirium got a wonderful present.
 
Not only did our first book of short stories by one author, Bone Swans by C.S.E. Cooney, make the best collection list — the book’s original novella, “The Bone Swans of Amandale,” made the best novella list.
 
We’re so proud of Claire! To celebrate the recognition her work is getting, and encourage more of same, we’ve made Bone Swans available at 99 cents across almost all of the e-book platforms where it’s available. We’ll keep it that way until the end of this week.
 
Here’s where to find the e-book: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon AU | Nook | iBooks | Kobo | SmartURL
 
And if you just want to check out the novella by itself, “The Bone Swans of Amandale” is free to read here on the Mythic Delirium Books website.
 
Claire also made the list with a second novella, the second installment in her Dark Breakers trilogy, The Two Paupers.
 
The 2016 Locus Poll and Survey is also online. Not only can you vote for Bone Swans for Best Collection and “The Bone Swans of Amandale” for Best Novella, but Mythic Delirium is included as a candidate for Best Magazine. None of the terrific stories we published last year are included individually, but you are more than welcome to write them in if you feel inclined.
 
We’re glad to see our works included in such terrific company!
 
#SFWApro
 

Originally published at Mythic Delirium Books. You can comment here or there.

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TSPcoverThis past week, Publishers Weekly reviewed my new short story collection, The Spider Tapestries, and I feel like one lucky author, because whoever wrote the review seems to have understood my super-strange little book on every level.
 
The gist of the review:
 

“Elegant language and surrealistic themes defy genre and moral expectations in the weird and transgressive stories found in this collection . . . Allen’s pairing of individualistic suffering and cosmic hugeness evokes a lyrical friction between dread and wonder.”

 
Click here to read the whole review. The reviewer highlights stories “The Spider Tapestries,” “Sleepless, Burning Life,” “She Who Runs” and “Still Life With Skull,” over half of the “seven strange stories” in the book.
 
The Spider Tapestries officially goes live March 1, and is available for pre-order just about everywhere, in paperback and e-book formats.
 
Most of the book promo plans I have this year involve throwing whatever weight I have as a publisher behind Clockwork Phoenix 5, so I have no official plans for a Spider Tapestries launch. However, I’ll likely be reading from it at Mysticon here in Roanoke at the end of February. (It’s sold out, but if you happen to be going already, stop by and say hello.)
 
#SFWApro
 

Originally published at Mythic Delirium Books. You can comment here or there.

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CP5_widgetHey, everybody, mark your calendars for Clockwork Phoenix 5 launch reading, one the books to take place April 5 at 7 p.m. in The Brooklyn Commons Cafe at 388 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, New York as part of the New York Review of Science Fiction/Hour of the Wolf Reading series.
 
I’ll be there with bells on, and so will seven of the book’s 21 contributors: Rob Cameron, C. S. E. Cooney, Barbara Krasnoff, Carlos Hernandez, Sonya Taaffe, Shveta Thakrar, and A. C. Wise. All will read excerpts from their Clockwork Phoenix 5 stories.
 
And folks, even if you can’t make it to Brooklyn that night, mark your calendar anyway, as these readings are recorded and livestreamed.
 
The folks who backed the Clockwork Phoenix 5 Kickstarter are getting their copies right now (in fact, may already have them.) The official release date for the book is April 5 (the same day as the reading!) and if you want to reserve a copy of your own, the book is now available for pre-order pretty much everywhere. Check it out!


Pre-order from:
 
Paperback: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound
 
Ebook: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon AU | Nook | iBooks | Kobo | Scribd


 
#SFWApro

Originally published at Mythic Delirium Books. You can comment here or there.

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My next collection of short stories, The Spider Tapestries: Seven Strange Stories, is available now for pre-order in both electronic and paperback formats.

The book will officially launch March 1. The title story is the surreal piece that recently appeared at Lackington's, that, as it happens, works out pretty well as a sort of introduction to the remaining six. You could view this book as my follow-up to Unseaming, although it's a very different book; there're horror elements mixed in there, for sure, but these aren't horror stories — at the root they're sci-fi and fantasy (and both) but above all they're exceedingly strange.

Why only seven stories? All seven share a density of plot and an intense visual and conceptual weirdness that to my mind justifies the smaller size of the book. Together they represent my most experimental work. Adding more from the material I have available would dilute the effect.

The book includes "The Spider Tapestries" (Lackington's 8, 2015), "Sleepless, Burning Life" (Steam-Powered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories, ed. JoSelle Vanderhooft, Torquere Books, 2011), "Twa Sisters" (Not One of Us 47, 2012), "Silent in Her Nest" (original to the collection, an oblique companion piece to my Mythos story "Her Acres of Pastoral Playground"), "She Who Runs" (Sky Whales and Other Wonders, ed. Vera Nazarian, Norilana Books, 2009), "Stolen Souls" (Altair 3, 1999), and "Still Life With Skull" (Solaris Rising 2: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction, ed. Ian Whates, Solaris, 2013).

A lot of "s" alliteration in this book. I think that's just a thing I like to do. #SFWApro

I'm really privileged to have a terrific introduction to the book from Nicole Kornher-Stace; and humbling blurbs from Helen Marshall, Scott Nicolay and A.C. Wise. I'm gonna conclude this post by showing off those blurbs:

“Readers, be warned: Mike Allen will infect your subconscious with hallucinatory and alarming delight. This book is a must-read for fans of weird fiction and dark fantasy.”
—Helen Marshall, World Fantasy Award-winning author of Hair Side, Flesh Side and Gifts for the One Who Comes After

“There was a time before the marketplace sliced our wild fantastic literature into bite sized chunks, a time when visions could be astounding, amazing, and weird all at once, a time when Clark Ashton Smith could mainline a Thousand and One Nights into million-colored suns. Now comes Mike Allen, shredding raw that scar-woven shroud between then, now, and infinity, releasing hallucinatory torrents of jewel-encrusted erotic transhumanism with the intensity of a quasar and stripping bare the secret wheels and cogs of the universe beside those lovers who would destroy them. Here are stories accelerating divine sibling rivalries into ultimate cosmic horror and offering unthinkable sacrifices to mark mere step stones on journeys redefining time, space, and identity … dangerous short stories, not padded doorstops, epic explosions out of almost microscopic doses. More than a simple collection, these seven tales overlap and interplay in a crystalline cubist web that might as easily be the nightmares of deities or the dead dreams of a painted cranium, pirated memories or the visions gifted in an azure star spider’s bite. Surrender yourself to The Spider Tapestries and let these tales rewire your mind past genre for a while—a while woven out of an eternity.”
—Scott Nicolay, World Fantasy Award-winning author of Do You Like to Look at Monsters? and Ana Kai Tangata

“The aptly named Spider Tapestries forms a stunning picture that is equal parts darkness and light … a whirlwind tour through worlds of decadent fantasy, noir-touched future-weird, and elegant horror. Mike Allen offers up intricate mythologies that feel real and lived in, rich-detailed stories for readers to immerse themselves in, and from which they will emerge changed. The stories feel epic in scope, from an assassin climbing through the clockwork gears of the world to rescue a goddess in a cage, to an AI moving through bodies and networks to gather up and reassemble the pieces of his lost love. Allen takes readers on a journey through years and worlds, all in the space of a few pages.”
—A.C. Wise, author of The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again

Pre-order from:

Paperback: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound
 
Ebook: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon AU | Nook | iBooks | Kobo | Scribd



TSPcover


originally posted at Descent Into Light

Current Mood:
contemplative contemplative
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2016Mock-300Anita and I want to extend our proud congratulations to Swapna Kishore, whose short story “The Absence of Words” from our January-March 2015 issue is going to be reprinted in Paula Guran’s The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror: 2016, forthcoming from Prime Books.
 
We’re really happy for Swapna, and pleased that her haunting story will get a chance to reach a new audience.
 
We’re also delighted for reasons of enlightened self-interest. The Clockwork Phoenix books have had a number of stories reprinted in Best Of anthologies and nominated for awards. The old saddle-stapled incarnation of Mythic Delirium, i.e. Mythic Delirium Mark I, was the first home to five Rhysling Award-winning poems, all of which were reprinted in the Nebula Awards Showcase series. It’s thrilling to have this additional proof that Mythic Delirium Mark II is right in line with the quality and consistency of its predecessors. (And it was a great excuse for yet another celebration!)
 
#SFWApro
 

Originally published at Mythic Delirium Books. You can comment here or there.

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issue-8-coverThree eerie new stories of mine are available online, two of them free to read, the third acquirable via Kindle.

Lackington's first published my short surreal piece "The Spider Tapestries" in November. This month editor Ranylt Rachildis posted all the stories from Issue 8 to the magazine site. You can now read "The Spider Tapestries" here.

(The illustration, I think, is a bit misleading. I swear this isn't a horror story—at least it doesn't fit my definition of one—nor are the protagonists exactly human.)

I have more to reveal about "The Spider Tapestries," but that's for another post.

Beneath Ceaseless Skies released my dark fantasy story "Longsleeves" as the first story in the first issue of 2016. What an honor!

You can read it online here.

longsleevesI've written about the story's origins in this post. To what I wrote there I'll add something even more arcane. "Longsleeves" was the first story I wrote after finishing my novel The Black Fire Concerto, and in a way the story is a kind of evil-funhouse-mirror reflection of the book, not unlike Stephen King's Desperation and its companion novel The Regulators, just on a smaller scale.

(Adding a bit to the strangeness: Part Two and Part Three of The Black Fire Concerto are themselves a kind of funhouse mirror distortion of the characters and especially the plot of my far future short story "Twa Sisters" — so I see the three works as a kind of thematic trilogy. I don't know if anyone else would be able to detect the elements that link them.)

Tangent Online gave "Longsleeves" a positive review. "Longsleeves" is also a companion piece to my previous Beneath Ceaseless Skies outing, "The Ivy-Smothered Palisade."

TC-coverAnd finally, anthology Tomorrow's Cthulhu has been released on Kindle. It contains my short story "Drift from the Windrows," a story rooted in the not at all far-fetched premise that beings from Lovecraft's Mythos might find a use for genetically-modified organisms (and the companies that make them).

I know I'm building a reputation as a horror writer, but believe it or not, this is only the second explicitly Lovecraftian story I've written to see print. (The first was "Her Acres of Pastoral Playground" in Cthulhu's Reign.)

I'm someone who believes that writing in that form is better accomplished with theme, mood and imagery than by sowing Lovecraft's made-up words throughout the story, so just like in my first outing, you won't find any Unnameable Ones mentioned by name.

If you check 'em out, let me know what you think.

#SFWApro

originally posted at Descent Into Light

Current Mood:
restless restless
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The second Mythic Delirium anthology, which I co-edited with Anita, came out at the very end of 2015, while I was in a frenzy of e-book preparation and mailing.

When we released the first anthology in the series, waaaay back in 2014 (heh) we were blessed with a rave review and a star from Publishers Weekly. For this new volume, alas, we were not so blessed, but even this very mixed review enthused about some of the stories and poems and praised some of the work as "brilliant." In my biased opinion, of course, all of it is brilliant.

I've at last assembled all the links where you can buy the book in one place. You can find that page here.
 
Order from:

Paperback: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Barnes & Noble | Powell's | Indiebound
 
Ebook: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon AU | Nook | iBooks | Kobo | Scribd

 
#SFWApro
 

originally posted at Descent Into Light


 
Current Mood:
aggravated aggravated
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