2016 Wrap-up

It seems the thing to do around now is a summation of reading and writing matters.  This is all the introduction I’m going to do, so let’s begin:

Writing/Publishing

My story, “The Drognar”, which was my first actual horror short story submission and subsequent rejection, has found a home this year in The Yellow Booke, Vol. 3

I placed an essay exploring the use of “supernatural” video as a plot device in horror fiction with the mighty fine Thinking Horror, Vol. 2, forthcoming in January 2017.  I’m delighted to join many other folks whose work I esteem, including a second time sharing a ToC with Kristi Demeester.  I read her chapbook, Split Tongues, early in the year and it was quite good.  It’s sold out now, but you should give her other fiction a gander or ten.  Thinking Horror, Vol. 1 was also a highlight from earlier in my year of reading, which makes the essay acceptance all the more pleasing.

I also got a little more official-like (I think) with a page on Amazon

I’ve been stalled at about the halfway point on another work of fiction that I’d hoped to have completed long before now, but life happens and this has been a shitty, stressful year for personal reasons as well as political ones.

Weird Fiction Review – Below are the reviews and interviews I worked on for WFR this year:


Pleasure Reading

My favorite 2016 release was Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt.  One of the stories in this collection is also discussed in my forthcoming essay for Thinking Horror, Vol. 2, and not a single story in his collection was disappointing.  For more, please see my brief review on GoodReads.

My favorite book read but not released in 2016 was Alectryomancer and Other Weird Tales by Christopher Slatsky, which was similarly consistent in quality throughout.  Since I haven’t gotten a review up yet, I’ll mention that the two I most enjoyed were “This Fragmented Body,” which takes some plot devices often seen in horror literature and makes them new in a way that really connected with me, and “No One Is Sleeping in This World”, which is a really interesting work of what I’d call architectural folk horror.  Though it’s admittedly a stretch, I found myself thinking of it at certain points as a kind of urban answer to Clive Barker’s “In the Hills, the Cities.”

There are a ton of books that arrived this year that I unfortunately have not gotten to, but if I told you I got your book and it doesn’t appear below, that’s the more likely reason than that I  read it and didn’t like it.  Unfortunately life has slowed my reading quite a bit the last couple of years.  In any case, the other works I read this year that ranked highly in my estimation and deserve your time and money are (in no particular order):

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson

A Natural History of Hell by Jeffrey Ford (favorite stories: “Word Doll” and “Mount Charry Galore”)

Brightfellow by Rikki Ducornet

Gateways to Abomination by Matthew Bartlett

The Account of David Stonehouse, Exile by Daniel Mills

Fume by Richard Gavin

Some great stories I read this year outside the context of a single-author collection:

each thing i show you is a piece of my death” by Gemma Files and Stephen J. Barringer (also discussed in my Thinking Horror essay)

The Screwfly Solution” by James Tiptree Jr./Alice Sheldon Bradley

Nemesis”by Laird Barron

“The Spindly Man” by Stephen Graham Jones

“The Wombly” by K.L. Morris

“The Singing Soldier” by Natalia Theodoridou

“An Atlas in Sgraffito Style” by A.J. Fitzwater (winner of best opening sentence of the year)

“Flowers of the Sea” by Reggie Oliver

“Logues” by Eric Basso (this is sort of a collection of sketches that are unified by setting, theme, and mood, rather than plot)

 

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