Sometimes the writing life smiles on you. Much of the time it doesn’t, but sometimes it really does. Two weekends ago I was stabbing at a creepy-crawly, half-finished horror story called “Tardigrade,” unsure what direction I wanted to take it, hoping I could figure it out before end of summer. Then came a surprise anthology invitation, a deadline of a week, a race to the finish, a last minute plea for beta reader feedback.
The complete wrap-around cover art by Samuel Araya for Jason V. Brock’s A Darke Phantastique anthology. Click to enlarge.
My thanks to Ken Schneyer, Jennifer Crow, Virginia Mohlere, Shveta Thakrar, Francesca Forrest, Mari Ness, and Anita (of course) for helping me navigate that 0-to-60 writing challenge.
Fortuitously, the same day Jason told me he would buy “Tardigrade,” I received an email from Shawn Garrett of audio magazine Pseudopod accepting my weird horror story “Monster” for adaptation to podcast. In one of those funny coincidences, Jason was the original publisher of “Monster” — it appeared in [NaMel3ss] 3 this spring.
The stories have in common vaguely scientific notions stretched by something akin to dream logic until they’re weeeeell into the realms of the bizarrely sinister.
For the record, “Monster” is now the final story in my forthcoming collection of horror tales, Unseaming. In case you haven’t noticed, there’s an advance reader copy giveaway going on at Goodreads through July 31. I hope you’ll check it out.
Monday, Jason V. Brock of [NaMel3ss Magazine</i> informed me he would buy “Tardigrade” for his mammoth anthology </i>A Darke Phantastique, a gathering of horror filtered through magical realism with a forward by the late Ray Bradbury and already-accepted stories by Joe Landsdale, Steve Rasnic Tem, Nancy Kilpatrick, Greg Bear, Dennis Etchison, Melanie Tem, William F. Nolan and tons more.
Congratulations! That's serious cover art, too.