Some Things I’ve Read Recently

Having recently finished the first draft of a novella, I’ve been able to dedicate a little more time to reading these last few weeks. I’ve been sticking to short fiction and novellas. Here are some recent ones, in no particular order.

A short story called “In the Wake of my Father” by Ray Cluley. One of the highlights of Black Static #74, which can be bought here. A meditation on fathers, childhood, memory and grief. Excellent. Another of Ray’s stories, “The Whaler’s Song,” is in the May issue of The Dark.

“Emergent” by Rob Costello. This was in the February issue of The Dark. A very different take on a father/son relationship – this one’s full of toxicity and resentment, all of it wrapped up in the supernatural and swirling around one very sad incident.

Agents of Dreamland by Caitlin R. Kiernan. I’m woefully behind on my Kiernan reading, and clearly I’ve been missing out. A really tightly structured novella of cosmic horror, end-of-the-world cults, and shadowy government agents. Kiernan’s writing is great. It’s the first in a trilogy, published by Tor.

I was going to read Kiernan’s The Drowning Girl next, but then I heard about the Shirley Jackson film, so now I’m rereading We Have Always Lived in the Castle, just because. Then I’ll get back to The Drowning Girl.

April Round-up

April has been a pretty cool month.

“Glass Eyes in Porcelain Faces” will be in the next volume of Paula’s Guran’s The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror. The full table of contents (Joyce Carol Oates!) can be found here. It’ll be published by Pyr and will be out later this year. It’s an honour to be included in this – Paula Guran’s anthologies are essential reading if dark short fiction is your thing.

Also, “Pomegranate Pomegranate” was included in the honourable mentions for The Best of British Fantasy 2019, edited by Jared Shurin. Check out the full list. The anthology will be published by Newcon Press in the summer and is totally worth getting – the table of contents is basically a who’s who of British speculative fiction.

Both “Glass Eyes…” and “Pomegranate Pomegranate” originally appeared in Black Static in 2019. My thanks to Andy Cox for publishing them.