2021 has been a strange old year, but I’ve still managed to get a few stories out there. Below is a quick overview of what I’ve been up to writing wise.
In April my debut short story collection came out from Undertow Publications. To Drown in Dark Water contained 26 stories in total with six of them previously unpublished. The stunning cover art is by Stefan Koidl who is eligible for Best Artist, as is Vince Haig who is responsible for the fantastic design. Michael Kelly is eligible in Best Editor categories and definitely deserving of all the nominations.
To the stories!
Dancing Sober in the Dust concerns a researcher becoming obsessed with the grotesque costumes of Weimar Republic era dancers. Dancing Sober was inspired by the research for this Daily Grail article I wrote. “Dances of Vice, Horror and Ecstasy: Suspiria and Dance as a Magical Act in Weimar Germany“
Atelier is set in Munich during the first Der Blaue Reiter art exhibition, where a young artist at the Munich Künstlerinnen-Verein confides in a stranger about her latest commission.
Grenzen sees an American soldier drive his family along the motorway that runs through East Germany between West Germany and West Berlin. In such a liminal place, can he get through without attracting the attention of the Stasi?
Beneath the Forest’s Wilting Leaves is a story about a father and son discovering an abandoned stick built lean-to in the woods. After they add to the construction they return to find someone else is also continuing to build the structure.
Winter Home is a seasonal ritual to welcome in the second half of the year. For the first time Lena is taking part in the celebrations. Will she be overwhelmed by her responsibilities, or will she discover something much darker at the heart of the festival?
In Under the Banner of the Black Stamen the dead are carried on converted car ferries across The Channel to the archipelago they are accompanied by The Psychopomps. Sabine has made the journey many times, glimpsing her old home through the mist, but this time something doesn’t feel right.
The year started with the publication of Death Wears a Crown of Baling Twine appearing in Not One of Us #65, a story set in a furrowed field where the narrator has to stay ahead of Death, while being ‘helped’ by the various mythic creatures that live amongst the crop.
In April I had a second story in Not One of Us. How to describe A Seep of Cats? A Seep of Cats is inspired by the song Jolene, and is about love, witchcraft and the gaps in the world. Also cats.
DENDROCHROMATIC DATA RECOVERY REPORT 45-274 was published in Analog: Science and Fact May/June 2021. In a future where tree rings are used to store data, Dendrochromatic is a story told as a server crash report. While Dendrochromatic can be read as is, part of the text is in hexadecimal code, and converting that adds a very different dimension to the story. Here’s a link to a useful online hexadecimal to text converter
Nightscript 7 came out in October, and includes Clipped Wings by me, a story about a young son, his parents, and snow angels.
In December I have three stories coming out.
‘To Rectify in Silver’ appears in the December issue of Nightmare Magazine. This is my first original story in Nightmare, and is a story about archaeology, aerial photography, and the devastating effect of grief.
Tuppence a Bag will be published in They’re Out To Get You: Volume One Animals and Insects, edited by Johnny Mains. They’re Out To Get You looks back at the pulp animal horror of the seventies and eighties (Think Rats and Slugs), and Tuppence a Bag is an archaeology story that goes in an unexpected direction.
Chit Chit is due out in Chilling Crime Short Stories from Flame Tree Press. Chit Chit is a little bit supernatural, a little bit crime story and a little bit folk horror. All the good stuff.
In other news I had my first story appear in translation. Call Out was published as Wezwanie in the Polish Magazine Nowa Fantastyka.
Away from fiction I wrote a short piece about grief in horror which you can read on this very blog here.
This year I’ve also worked as the script editor on Audio Universe Tour of the Solar System, a planetarium show for people who are vision impaired. More details when I can share.
I’ve also been working on a commission with sound artist Eric Holm for Les Ensembles 2.2 as part of In The Field. Set in, Lasauvage, Luxembourg, the commission is a sound installation played on smartphones, and forms part of the wider Esch, Capital of Culture 2022.
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