I am delighted to announce that the wonderful Sheila Williams has bought my novelette “The Prisoner’s Cinema” for Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine. This makes my ninth sale to that venerable publication. Here’s a small taste:

“What’d they nab you for, see? Max said in an attempt at a gangster drawl.  “You know, Madame X was betting on you being Bangus Shi.  I mean, not you, but the new arriv—”

He was cut off by a new set of claxons.  Nhe’eng lifted her chin toward the closest monitor. The livestream had cut to a camera on the outside of the station, a view from the Control module along the central tether to their own Studio module in the distance, the two modules like tin cans twirling on either end of the tether’s string with the Earth and stars slowly spinning past.  The commentators were babbling something about an imminent impact. 

“Ah, well, about that,” Leonora said.

Something small and bright flashed into frame on the monitors, belched a cloud of exhaust, slowed to a stop against the side of the Studio module.   They heard a gentle thud from the hull somewhere off to the Sasquatch’s left, and then a mechanical rattle.  On the monitor, the mysterious something unfolded to release a swarm of smaller objects, which spread along the side of the station and popped in clouds of color, a sizzle of sound audible through the hull, hints of pattern in the shifting sun.  The camera zoomed in, searched shakily for the object, zoomed back out to reveal a painting that stretched halfway across the Station module:  A multi-colored cartoon skull with a silver smile, a lit fuse curling from its round head, and bright bold letters underneath that read, “And introducing Bangus Shi!”  

They heard a second deep thud, and on the monitor a little cloud of glittering confetti rose and slowly drifted outward into its own orbit.

Leonora turned to them with a wide smile, and shrugged.  Max gave a low whistle.  Nhe’eng tilted her head.  Madame X lifted her finger.  The Sasquatch cracked his callous-crusted knuckles and stepped forward.

My story “The Night Soil Salvagers” is out today on tor.com—a Weird tale of nocturnes and renewal. Or buy an e-book version for just $0.99—link in the comments. Many thanks (as always) to my wonderful wonderful editor Ann VanderMeer, to Red Nose Studio for the gorgeous cover art, and to everyone at Tor!
Read it for free online here, or buy an e-book for just $0.99 here!

A lovely review by Des Lewis of my story The Hearts of All from Black Static #73. Follow the link for more.

This is an amazing piece that is still working hard on me as I write this […] A fine visionary panoply of words. Our only hope, such poetry.

I am delighted that my story The Telling, which won the 2013 World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story, will appear in a Mandarin Chinese translation in the June issue of Science Fiction World. This is, as far as I know, the first translation of any of my work in Chinese.

My story The Hearts of All is out Black Static #73 from TTA Press, along with stories from Keith Rosson, Maria Haskins, and Jack Westlake. The issue is, as always, beautifully illustrated and filled with great non-fiction as well.

Here’s a sample of The Hearts of All:

It was only after the horse had turned that they saw that it was still on fire.  A rim of thin blue flame outlined the patch where the skin had burned away, from flank to jaw.  A tendon in its neck quivered like a plucked string, shockingly white against the blackened flesh.

Fallow clenched his fingers in his beard, and tried not to think of the candle’s flame gone that same blue against the spoon.

The horse’s head trembled, every muscle in its jaw ridged as if carved by a dull tool, but its eye was steady on them.

The Realtor raised her phone again, as if it were a gun, as if a report could evict the horse from this misery.

Fallow said, “He must be wicked to deserve such pain.”

My story Dear Boy is out now in Weird Fiction Review #10 edited by John Pelan and published by Centipede Press. It’s an absolutely beautiful volume, 392 pages, filled with color illustrations, with fiction by D. P. Watt, Anna Tambour, Richard Gavin, Marc Laidlaw, Gemma Files and others, and a slew of non-fiction articles including a history of Mexican horror comics by Silva Moreno-Garcia. On sale now for a great price.

Here’s a sample from Dear Boy:

Ernst Vul struggled to explain how he could be so haunted by a story that he barely remembered.  He could not even recall when he had read it; decades ago at the very least.  Had he been in school?  Would the school library have carried a work so unsettling, one set so deeply in the grotesque?

It might have been a comic, one of those rare prizes plucked from an old sibling and passed from seat to seat while the teacher’s back was turned, or read by flickering light under bedcovers.  The images in Ernst’s head, as torn and faded as they were, were certainly vivid enough: a cast of intricately depicted deformities; perspectives of unsettling angles, as if the viewer had suffered some dreadful dislocation; the colors, the lurid, unnatural colors, nothing like the bright primary colors of the art class, as if refracted from some other light, distilled from pigments of some obscure and esoteric source.  

I am delighted to announce that my story The Empyrean Light, originally published in Conjunctions #71, will be included in Paula Guran’s Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror from Prime Books, alongside works from some of my favorite authors.

Announcing The Unquiet Dreamer: A Tribute to Harlan Ellison, edited by Preston Grassmann with illustrations by Yoshika Nagata, coming out this August from PS Publishing. I am delighted that my story With Frank and Lucinda Brewer at the East Pole is part of this anthology.
It’s available for preorder now, in both hardcover and a signed limited-edition slipcased version. And the release party will be at WorldCon in Dublin—look for me there!

Here’s a peek at the backstory behind the anthology, and at some of the included artwork and stories.

And here are details on the limited edition.



Teodor Reljić interviews me in the latest issue the Antae Journal on the topic of Utopias, available online now, prompted in part by the recent new edition of More’s Utopia from Verso Books, featuring fantastic essays from China Miéville and Ursula K. Le Guin.

We talk about utopias as process vs. plan, the American tradition of the shiny “world of tomorrow”, the problem of inclusion in Utopia, and whether Jeff VanderMeer’s Area X is a new sort of Utopian vision.

Read more here!

I’ve sold my story Between Dry Ribs to The Dark magazine for their February 2016 issue.  The story travels from St. Martin to Finland, in search of the healthy benefits of a good sauna.  Here’s a taste:

In the mirror, the parents are studying the menu in a sort of baffled dread. ‘What are we doing here,’ those looks said, so far from the pastel-painted markets by the cruise ship landing, manned by Dutch students on their year-off adventure, alway within safe range of a McDonalds or PizzaHut or Starbucks. Their confusion, the way their eyes twitch as the bartender hacks at the ice with a pick, the way their sweat-slick shoulders hunch forward. All that, too, is reassurance.

The boy has twisted in his chair, has pinned a gecko’s tail to the wall with one finger; as I watch in the mirror the tail pulls free and the gecko drops to safety. The girl has set her phone down. Her reflection gives me a look too dry and flat, and a fresh layer of sweat breaks out across my scalp, under my bra. I smell my own fear. The girl is rolling her can of Coke across her forehead, and her reflection is too distorted, the mirror too dank and corroded for me to tell if the glints are sweat or just the can’s condensation.

The humidity, which finds everything, can make my lighter unreliable. I fight the urge to try it, imagine the lure of the flame. Instead I pull out my little pocketknife, open it so the blade faces upward, rest the last joint of my forefinger upon it.

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