Diabolical Plots: The First Years

…edited by David Steffen, is now available to pre-order at Amazon and other retailers coming soon. This collection includes all 25 stories published in the first two years of fiction on Diabolical Plots, with absolutely fantastic cover art by Galen Dara and the layout by Pat Steiner.

The contents are:

  • Foreword • David Steffen
  • The Osteomancer’s Husband • Henry Szabranski
  • Bloody Therapy • Suzan Palumbo
  • The Banshee Behind Beamon’s Bakery • Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali
  • The Blood Tree War • Daniel Ausema
  • Giraffe Cyborg Cleans House! • Matthew Sanborn Smith
  • May Dreams Shelter Us • Kate O’Connor
  • Not a Bird • H.E. Roulo
  • In Memoriam • Rachel Reddick
  • Virtual Blues • Lee Budar-Danoff
  • The Princess in the Basement • Hope Erica Schultz
  • The Superhero Registry • Adam Gaylord
  • The Grave Can Wait • Thomas Berubeg
  • The Weight of Kanzashi • Joshua Gage
  • One’s Company • Davian Aw
  • The Avatar In Us All • J.D. Carelli
  • Do Not Question the University • PC Keeler
  • Curl Up and Dye • Tina Gower
  • October’s Wedding of the Month • Emma McDonald
  • The Schismatic Element Aboard Continental Drift • Lee Budar-Danoff
  • A Room For Lost Things • Chloe N. Clark
  • Further Arguments in Support of Yudah Cohen’s Proposal to Bluma Zilberman • Rebecca Fraimow
  • Future Fragments, Six Seconds Long • Alex Shvartsman
  • Taste the Whip • Andy Dudak
  • Sustaining Memory • Coral Moore
  • St. Roomba’s Gospel • Rachael K. Jones

David Steffen is one of the genuine good guys of the genre. Check out his Long List anthologies of Hugo-nominated stories and look out for further Diabolical Plots collections coming out in the near future.

Wyrd Tales

My story The Dreaming Forest is out in the first issue of dark speculative magazine The Wyrd. Download it now: it’s free, and there’s a bunch of great stories in it.

Forest is sort of a sequel to Starfish and Apples and also to Survivors, the result of a spontaneous story-in-a-day duel with RJ Barker. If the setting, of a world dominated by carnivorous trees, appeals, then here’s a taste:

On our second night in the forest, exhausted after a day spent skulking in a fern-shrouded hollow as the trees roused into terrifying activity around us, I stumble over a raised, slime-covered root. Without thinking, I grab hold of a nearby branch. The claw-tree’s thorns pierce my padded glove and my cry of pain echoes through the moonlit wood.

Good luck to the team at The Wyrd. I hope their magazine goes from strength to strength.

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The Wyrd Magazine, Issue 1, art by Jonny Lindner.

The Ear of God

Crikey that title is a bit portentous. Anyway, just news of the sale of my very shorterest story ever, “Cast Down”, to Daily Science Fiction. At only 144 words, I don’t think I’ll be beating that personal record very soon. And, typically, this just after a blogpost saying I had eschewed flash in favour of longer length works. Never mind. Here is the opening line, courtesy of a tweet by Simon Spanton:

The smooth skin and delicate ear of the actual broken and discarded God.


“The Roaring Silence” – Portion of the cover art for Manfred Mann’s Earth Band 1976 album, design by Shirtsleeve Studio.

“Cast Down” should be appearing later some time this year.