The Children of Old Leech lives

The Children of Old Leech (Ross E. Lockhart and Justin Steele, editors)  is an anthology of stories inspired by Laird Barron‘s fictional universe. It’s available now in hardcover, and I just got my copy. It’s a beautifully designed book and I’m so very impressed with Lockhart’s WORD HORDE press.

See the pretty picture:

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I’ve already read a handful of stories and they’re excellent thus far. I’m humbled and happy to be included as one of the kids who get to play in Laird’s sandbox. I’m the tall one.

 

My story (“Notes for ‘The Barn in the Wild”) is a found notebook kind of story. While the story appears in the anthology (with footnotes standing in for marginalia the lost notebook), first 100 folks who pre-ordered of the book (all sold out, sorry) Word Horde included a chapbook of my story actually written out by hand in a notebook. Check out the interior cover and first page:

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Those are my chicken scratches. I wrote out the story longhand into a notebook, scanned the pages, and Word Horde turned the scans back into a 100 print run chapbook of creepy found notebooks. So cool and fun!

You can read more about the book and how they put together the chapbook at Marty Halpern‘s blog.

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Has it been that long since I last updated this stupid blog? Yes, yes it has.

Yikes! Well, I’ve been busy. And lazy. Lazy busy. I suspect in the fall when things start to ramp up for Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn’t Fly and A Head Full of Ghosts, I’ll be peeking my head in here much more often.

In the mean time, here’s a scattershot update of sorts.

Floating Boy is now out in Canada! If you live in the US, do you need a better reason to cross the border? Or you can wait until October, if you wish.

–CZP is having a .99 cent ebook sale on backlist titles through July 4th. So get your e-copies of In the Meantime and Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye cheap!

–Short stories! My story “Notes from ‘The Barn in the Wild’” is now available in the The Children of Old Leech anthology. Just announced, my story “The Large Man” will be appearing in Streets of Shadows, out later this fall.  Other short stories sold to anthologies that I can’t quite name yet include “The Dead Boy,” “______”, and “The Ice Tower.”

Readercon is July 10-13. My schedule:

Friday, July 12
2:30 PM    ENV    Reading: Paul Tremblay. Paul Tremblay reads selections from the upcoming, co-written YA novel, Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn’t Fly.
5:00 PM    ENL    The Satirist’s Progress. Marc Abrahams, F. Brett Cox, Alex Jablokow, James Morrow (leader), Paul Tremblay. In an interview at Clarkesworld Magazine, Nick Mamatas said, “Speculative fiction has become much less about transparent allegories or satires and such, and much more about itself,” while also asserting that “Even if it’s only a minor current within speculative fiction, satire will always have a place in it, because exaggeration is crucial to satire. You cannot satirize the here and now simply through reproduction of it via bourgeois realism.” In response, Paul Tremblay offered examples of three picaresque novels “devoid of speculative fiction elements” that he considered satirical: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, Treasure Island!!! by Sara Levine, and Home Land by Sam Lipsyte. To what extent has the core of genre SF moved away from satire? And is satire possible within pure realism?

Sunday July 13

11:00 AM    F    The Shirley Jackson Awards. Chesya Burke, F. Brett Cox, Jack Haringa, John Langan, Sarah Langan, Kit Reed, Paul Tremblay. In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson’s writing, and with permission of the author’s estate, the Shirley Jackson Awards have been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic. Jackson (1916–1965) wrote classic novels such as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, as well as one of the most famous short stories in the English language, “The Lottery.” Her work continues to be a major influence on writers of every kind of fiction, from the most traditional genre offerings to the most innovative literary work. The awards given in her name have been voted upon by a jury of professional writers, editors, critics, and academics, with input from a Board of Advisors, for the best work published in the calendar year of 2013 in the following categories: Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Single-Author Collection, and Edited Anthology.

 

–What else? Oh, here’s picture of my freaky thumb celebrating the completion of some edits on the new novel.

thumb

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Pre-order The Children of Old Leech, and get a chapbook of my story

So, if you pre-order The Children of Old Leech, you’ll also get an exclusive chapbook of my story “Notes for The Barn in the Wild.”

The story is a found-notebook story. The chapbook will be comprised of scans of the actual notebook pages I wrote longhand. There are fun sketches and chicken-scratched notes in the margins all of which help tell the story of a journalist investigating a disappearance and the odd history of a barn in the middle of nowhere (Labrador).

A digital version of the story will be included in the anthology, but only in the limited/exclusive chapbook will you get the recreation of the actual hand-written notebook. You want the chapbook, you know you do….

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My story “Swim Wants to Know If It’s as Bad as Swim Thinks” to be included in YEAR’S BEST WEIRD FICTION

Last fall my short story “Swim Wants to Know If It’s as Bad as Swim Thinks” appeared in the 8th issue of the very cool magazine, Bourbon Penn. It’s still online here if you want to take a gander.

Very pleased to announce that the story will be appearing in the inaugural YEAR’S BEST WEIRD anthology (Undertow), edited by Laird Barron, series curated by Michael Kelly. The lineup looks to be fantastic and I’m honored to share in the TOC.

“Success” by Michael Blumlein, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction,Nov./Dec.

“Like Feather, Like Bone” by Kristi DeMeester, Shimmer #17

“A Terror” by Jeffrey Ford, Tor.com, July.

“The Key to Your Heart Is Made of Brass” by John R. Fultz, Fungi #21

“A Cavern of Redbrick” by Richard Gavin, Shadows & Tall Trees #5

“The Krakatoan” by Maria Dahvana Headley, Nightmare Magazine/The Lowest Heaven, July.

“Bor Urus” by John Langan, Shadow’s Edge

“Furnace” by Livia Llewellyn, The Grimscribe’s Puppets

“Eyes Exchange Bank” by Scott Nicolay, The Grimscribe’s Puppets

“A Quest of Dream” by W.H. Pugmire, Bohemians of Sesqua Valley

“(he) Dreams of Lovecraftian Horror” by Joseph S. Pulver Sr., Lovecraft eZine #28

“Dr. Blood and the Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron” by A.C. Wise, Ideomancer Vol. 12 Issue 2

“The Year of the Rat” by Chen Quifan, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July/August.

“Fox into Lady” by Anne-Sylvie Salzman, Darkscapes

“Olimpia’s Ghost” by Sofia Samatar, Phantom Drift #3

“The Nineteenth Step” by Simon Strantzas, Shadows Edge

“The Girl in the Blue Coat” by Anna Taborska, Exotic Gothic 5 Vol. 1

“In Limbo” by Jeffrey Thomas, Worship the Night

“Moonstruck” by Karin Tidbeck, Shadows & Tall Trees #5

“Swim Wants to Know If It’s as Bad as Swim Thinks” by Paul Tremblay, Bourbon Penn #8

“No Breather in the World But Thee” by Jeff VanderMeer, Nightmare Magazine, March.

“Shall I Whisper to You of Moonlight, of Sorrow, of Pieces of Us?” by Damien Angelica Walters, Shock Totem #7.

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The Big News: New two book deal with William Morrow

See the link. Really! It’s true!

A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS will be scaring the pants off of you in summer of 2015. So, buy extra pants?

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Boskone, February 14-16th

February in Boston means only one thing. SF conventions. Right? Right. I’ll be at Boskone again, and I’ll be busy is seems.

To the panel schedule!

Blurred Lines: Collapsing Literary Classifications

Friday 18:00 – 18:50

Speculative fiction authors write outside the box. Many don’t even _see_ the box! We’ll discuss works that defy the boundaries once confining speculative fiction (SF/F/H/YA) — and that also break down the barriers between our genres and romances, mysteries, thrillers, mainstream fiction, or even nonfiction. While we’re at it, what other boundaries can our authors demolish?

Vincent O’Neil (M) , Joshua Bilmes, Stacey Friedberg, Paul G. Tremblay

Great Ghost Stories

Friday 21:00 – 21:50

Out on the fringe, the living and the dead intersect in some fascinating fashion, bringing out the drama, tension, and atmosphere that have become hallmarks of a well-told tale of the supernatural. A shining example: Shirley Jackson’s _The Haunting of Hill House_. However, not all ghost stories are created equal. Join us for an unsettling discussion of what makes a good ghost story great — and why some don’t scare us for a second, while others haunt us still.

Paul G. Tremblay (M) , Theodora Goss , Jack M. Haringa , Lila Garrott , F. Brett Cox

Kaffeeklatsche with Jack Haringa & Paul Tremblay

Saturday 13:00 – 13:50

Failure Is an Option

Saturday 17:00 – 17:50

We have been trained to believe that failure is a bad thing — that it’s never an option. Fear of failure paralyzes us, keeps us from trying new things and reaching beyond the safe choices. What if failure _were_ an option? How does failure affect the growth of a character? What about a society’s failure? How does failure affect the trajectory of a story? What can we learn from it, and what does it reveal about us and the stories we tell?

Alexander Jablokov (M) , Paul G. Tremblay, Shahid Mahmud, Felicitas Ivey, Anna Davis

My Favorite (or Worst) Story and Why I Wrote It

Sunday 10:00 – 10:50

Certain short stories hold a special place in the author’s heart, no matter how they are perceived by the audience. Maybe it was an award-winner, gave birth to a series, earned a place in a notable anthology — or turned out to be a complete failure. Each panelist will discuss a single published short story and share its genesis. What challenges arose when writing it? Has it led to new opportunities, fan interactions, or other surprises? What makes it special?

Leigh Perry (M) , Paul G. Tremblay , Dana Cameron , Charlaine Harris

Who’s in the Attic, What’s in the Basement, and I Don’t Know Is Under the Bed

Sunday 13:00 – 13:50

A panel discussion of the things that give us goose bumps, send chills down our spines, or otherwise scare the daylights out of us.

Gillian Daniels (M), Darrell Schweitzer, F. Brett Cox, Paul G. Tremblay , Max Gladstone

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So it’s 2014, eh?

Where does the time go?*

Publication-wise, not a whole lot happened on my end. I had three short stories published. But. But!!! Writing-wise I started a novel in February and finished it mid-December. Phew. Here’s hoping that I have good news to share about it sooner rather than later. 2014 will also see the publication of FLOATING BOY AND THE GIRL WHO COULDN’T FLY. If you buy and like the book, Stephen Graham Jones and I will come to your house and perform our sock-puppet interpretation of the novel.**

Favorite reads of 2013 

I didn’t get as much reading as I normally do (I could blame the proliferation of doorstop novels, but let’s pretend it was because I was working hard on my own novel. Let’s split my favs list into two groups.

2013 Books by people I don’t know:

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, by Karen Joy Fowler. The novel of the year for my money. Brilliant novel about loss, memory, family, self, identity, told through a story about a chimp being raised as a child with human siblings.

S. by J J Abrams and Doug Dorst. I had so much fun reading this puzzle box. The Ship of Theseus novel was fun as was the love story between the margins. While I found the grad and undergrad a little precious and entitled at times, the overall affect of the intertwined narratives worked.

The Wake, part 1 by Scott Snyder. The first five issues of a new comic featuring a mermaid/sea monster creature(s). The narrative jumps timelines and destroys the world in five short issues. What more do you want in a monster comic?

Other favorites include The Color Master (Aimee Bender), Revenge (Yoko Ogawa), The Fun Parts (Sam Lipsyte), The Miniature Wife and Other Stories (Manuel Gonzales), and The Tenth of December (George Saunders).

2013 Books by People I know

In no particular order because all these books were great:

Collections from Bearded Men: The Wide Carnivorous Sky by John Langan, The Beautiful Thing that Awaits Us All by Laird Barron, and North American Lake Monsters by Nathan Ballingrud. You’d be hard pressed to find a better trio of horror fiction collection published this or any other year.

The SGJ wing: Stephen Graham Jones published 1,230 books this year. I don’t know how he does it and I don’t know how everything he writes is original and yet fits within his exponentially increasing cannon. Least of My Scars and Flushboy, for example, couldn’t be more different in terms of plot/theme/character/presentation, but they are recognizably SGJ novels, and great ones at that.

Mark Haskell Smith’s Raw was the funniest book I read this year. And the saddest (as it satirizes publishing and celebrity a little too well…man, we’re screwed).

John Mantooth’s debut novel The Year of the Storm deftly mixes horror, dark fantasy, southern gothic, and his own world-weary yet warm style of writing.

Nick Kaufmann’s Dying Is My Business is a fun paranormal detective romp.

Nick Mamatas’ Love is the Law is a punk noir with Satanism and magick mixed in (my favorite book of his).

Nate Southard’s Pale Horses is a gritty crime novel that packs an emotional wallop.

 

Looking forward to so many books in 2014, including my own! I hope everyone has a happy, healthy, and fun new year. **

 

* I like to imagine that time piles up behind us, like dirty laundry, and the pile just gets bigger and bigger, so big that you can’t shut the closet door (that’s where you dump all the dirty laundry, you know) anymore.

**I didn’t ask Stephen’s permission yet. I’m sure he’ll be on board with it.

***Speaking of fun….

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