22 fabulously fantastic stories I read in December

Final love from Maria on Gamut. Much appreciation for all of your support.

Maria Haskins

December was full of wonderful short fiction, and in this monthly roundup I am making space for some special mentions.

  • I’m very sad to say that December 2017 brought us the last issue of Gamut. I’ve really loved the strong voice and vivid dark/noir vibe of this magazine. Gamut published some of my favourite stories last year (and yes, they also published one of my own stories!), and I will sorely miss it. All the best to everyone involved with this publication.
  • This past month I read The Fantasist for the first (but definitely not the last) time. It’s a magazine of fantasy novellas, and it looks rather brilliant to me. Read more about it. Check out their Patreon.
  • Finally, December brought fabulous issues of Lamplight, Anathema, and Capricious. I’ve included stories from all three publications in this roundup, and I highly recommend them…

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14 amazingly awesome stories I read in November

Glad to see “Baby Teeth” getting some love. Great story.

Maria Haskins

November seemed to disappear in a flash. I wrote a lot, and I didn’t read as much as I wanted to read. But then, that pretty much describes any and every month of the year… Here are 14 stories I read and loved.

NOVStoriesAn Unexpected Boon, by S. B. Divya in Apex Magazine. “Kalyani kept Mithraba close over the next few days and nights, watching the lightning beetle’s glow. She decoded his yes and no patterns on the first night: Two light flashes meant yes; one was no.” S.B. Divya tells a gripping story about magic and family and hard choices in a hard world. The perspective switches between Kalyani, a child who sees and experiences the world differently than the other people in her village; and her brother who is trying (sometimes successfully, sometimes not) to understand her, and allow her to be as she is…

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On Writing: Know Your Value

Yep. All of this. Listen to Laird. (He also wrote a BRILLIANT introduction to my first anthology, The New Black.)

In the interest of making a public service announcement:

Best practices are common enough. While not everyone agrees regarding particulars, there is a general consensus among working writers–money flows to the writer; be mindful of boilerplate and your rights as a creator, and so forth.

It’s more difficult to receive guidance in the gray areas of this business. My experience is that at some point, especially after you’ve amassed a portfolio, it’s time to decide, in broad terms, what you’re worth. It’s a perilous assessment–err too far in either direction, you’ll wind up in the rough. Nonetheless, we writers already find ourselves in the tall grass all too often. Mentors can help; agents are useful; but ultimately, it’s on us to make the call, draw the line, and sign it, or not.

Case in point: A while back, I sold a novella to a terrific publisher for a deluxe anthology…

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Two Honorable Mentions for Best Horror of the Year

Thrilled that my stories, “Repent” (in Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories) and “The Offering on the Hill” (in Chiral Mad 3) were both honorable mentions / long-listed for Best Horror of the Year. Both anthologies were also nominated for the Bram Stoker Award. Wow, what an honor, thrilled. Thank you Michael Bailey, Doug Murano, and D Alexander Ward for the continued support, faith, and guidance. Onward and upward!

20 splendiferous short stories I read in August

Great list, including some love for LL Madrid’s “On Light and Shadow” at Gamut.

Maria Haskins

Honestly, August passed in a bit of a blur. I was writing a story that had to be finished by August 31, and the kids were still out of school, so there was a lot of stuff going on. But, yes, there were still so, so many good stories to read.

Right before I put together this month’s roundup, Augur Magazine published their preview issue. This is a brand new Canadian magazine of intersectional, speculative fiction, and it is definitely worth checking out. The preview issue contains wonderful reprints by a range of fantastic authors that gives you a taste of what this magazine is all about. Augur is also running a Kickstarter campaign – so if you feel like supporting a new, pro-paying, Canadian-based venue… head on over and invest a few bucks.

AugustStoriesThe Lamentation of Their Women, by Kai Ashante Wilson at TOR.com. “They loped…

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BEHOLD! Releases, #1 in Horror Anthologies, My Story “Hiraeth” Included

I’m very excited to announce that BEHOLD! Oddities, Curiosities, and Undefinable Wonders (edited by Doug Murano, at Crystal Lake Publishing) is now out! My story, “Hiraeth” is in here, and I think this is really going to be one of the best anthologies put out this year. Doug has been doing excellent work. I turned in TWO versions of my story, and asked Doug which one he wanted (if he wanted EITHER one, LOL) stating that one was riskier, might be more divisive. That’s the version he took.

Who all is in here? Let me list these amazing authors: Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campbell, Lisa Morton, John Langan, Brian Kirk, Hal Bodner, Stephanie M. Wytovich, Erinn L. Kemper, John F.D. Taff, Patrick Freivald, Lucy A. Snyder, Brian Hodge, Kristi DeMeester, Christopher Coake, Sarah Read and Richard Thomas (me!). With a foreword by Josh Malerman.

And the reviews that are coming in are excellent, too, not just for the anthology, but also for my story, “Hiraeth” which closes out the book. Very exciting.

Want to hear more about my story? Check out this video:

Art Reveal for “Hiraeth” in Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders.

Art reveal! Luke Spooner interprets my story “Hiraeth,” a tale about the wondrous power of the stories we tell ourselves. Love this interior art, such emotion and symbolism, which, when you read the story you’ll totally understand. Always a huge fan of Luke’s work.

Fun fact: The word “hiraeth” is defined as a yearning or nostalgia for a home to which we can never return…a home that, perhaps, never was.

Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders publishes July 28 and features Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campbell, Lisa Morton, Brian Kirk, Hal Bodner, Stephanie M. Wytovich, John Langan, Erinn Kemper, John F.D. Taff, Patrick Freivald, Lucy A. Snyder, Brian Hodge, Kristi DeMeester, Christopher Coake, Sarah Read and me!. Foreword by Josh Malerman. Illustrations by Luke Spooner. Cover art by John Coulthart.