10 (extra) spectacular speculative stories I read in May

Maria always has great taste. Some excellent authors on this list. Click over and enjoy!

Maria Haskins

May was full of stories. Great stories, wonderful stories, frightening stories, EXCELLENT stories. So. many. stories. I share ten of them here, and there’s another ten for your reading pleasure at B&N:

May2018StoriesFaint Voices, Increasingly Desperate, by Johanna DeNiro in Shimmer
This rich, devastating tale is so good it sort of gives me vertigo to read it. DeNiro vividly reimagines Freia and Odin, the world tree, life and death (silk worms!), AND gives you Freia living in Vienna, blood magic, and a shattering love story. This Freia is such a fantastic character – awesome and hot-blooded, vulnerable and powerful. It’s a story that took me completely by surprise from beginning to end, and I love that.

What You Pass For, by Melanie West in F&SF
With an old fence-painting brush, white fence paint…

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DIVERSITY IN SMALL PRESS

This is great. Michael is working so hard to get this right. It’s very encouraging. I’m also honored to be in quite a few of these anthologies—Chiral Mad 2, 3, and 4; Qualia Nous; and Prisms.

WRITTEN BACKWARDS

There has been a lot of discussion lately about female to male ratios within anthologies, and a lack of female presence and diversity in general. Lisa Morton, president of the Horror Writers Association, recently recapped a study from 2010 of Women in the Horror Small Press, which is around the time Written Backwards first started publishing anthologies. This got me thinking about my own projects over the years, so I put all the data I have into a spreadsheet.

Written Backwards - M-F

My goal with these anthologies has always been to find new voices (the reason I started the press in the first place) and to place them alongside legends, no matter the individual. For the last five years, however, I have consciously widened my scope, reaching out to more diverse writers from all genres, hopefully to bring you some amazing books along the way.

Anyway, I encourage all small presses to…

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PRISMS Table of Contents Announced, at PS Publishing, with My Story “Saudade.”

Thrilled to be a part of this excellent anthology. Announcement today from Michael Bailey:

I am proud to announce the official line-up for PRISMS, the next dark science-fiction anthology co-edited by Darren Speegle and yours truly, to be released by PS Publishing.

“We Come in Threes” – B.e. Scully
“The Girl with Black Fingers” – Roberta Lannes
“The Shimmering Wall” – Brian Evenson
“The Birth of Venus” – Ian Watson
“Fifty Super-Sad Mad Dog Sui-Homicidal Self-Sibs, All in a Leaky Tin Can Head” – Paul Di Filippo
“Encore for an Empty Sky” – Lynda E. Rucker
“Saudade” – Richard Thomas
“There is Nothing Lost” – Erinn Kemper
“The Motel Business” – Michael Marshall Smith
“The Gearbox” – Paul Meloy
“District to Cervix: The Time Before We Were Born” (novelette) – Tlotlo Tsamaase
“Here Today and Gone Tomorrow” – Chaz Brenchley
“Daylight Robbery” – Anna Taborska
“The Secrets of My Prison House” – J Lincoln Fenn
“A Luta Continua” – Nadia Bulkin
“I Shall but Love Thee Better” (novelette) – Scott Edelman

The prism: dispersion of humankind into the spectrum of herself / himself; an object, a place, or something figurative; the human condition as it relates to the self, or to humankind in general; ascension; translation…

* Note that these are not official covers of any kind, just mock-ups I created during the conception of this project.

2018 / 2019 Richard Thomas Fiction Writing Course Guide

I’ve decided to teach and write full-time! So that means I’m expanding my catalog of classes, and opening it up to authors of all levels. If you’d like the complete University of Richard Fiction Writing Course Guideclick here to email me now! It includes more information on my classes such as rates, length, overviews, books, and testimonials.

What classes am I offering in 2018 and 2019? Here is the list:

  • Short Story Mechanics (LitReactor.com) two weeks long
  • Keep It Brief: A Flash Fiction Intensive (LitReactor.com) two weeks long
  • Contemporary Dark Fiction (Skype, email, and Facebook) 16 weeks long
  • Advanced Creative Writing Workshop (Skype, email, and Facebook) 16 weeks long
  • Novel in a Year (via Skype, email, and Facebook) 52 weeks long

Come join the fun! And help take your writing to the next level. Class sizes are small, and payment plans are available, so drop me a note today!

Click HERE to get your free copy of the Writing Course Guide now!

In Defense of The Price

Great column. I was just talking about endings in horror stories on social media. Love what Nadia is saying here.

NADIA BULKIN

I miss high-stakes horror movies.

I miss not knowing who’s going to die. I miss not being able to telegraph the end. I miss protagonists that make bad decisions. I miss last-minute twists. What I really miss are lasting consequences. I miss horror movies where every bet is off save for one eternal rule: The Price.

This is the law of The Price. Imagine that in every horror movie, there is a troll under the bridge who collects the fare – The Price – for crossing over from the so-called normal world, or their ordinary existence, into the world of the dead or the damned or whatever else. Sometimes it’s a conscious decision to trespass across this boundary – a character decides to use a ouija board to contact a dead relative; a character uses a spell to hex a rival – and sometimes it’s not – a character makes…

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BEHOLD!: Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders wins Bram Stoker Award!

So excited to announce that BEHOLD!: Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders (Crystal Lake Publishing) has won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Anthology. Doug Murano was an excellent editor, always a pleasure to work with him. My story “Hiraeth” was really out there, and Doug worked with me on it, and even accepted the EDGIER version, encouraging me to push it, and take chances with the narrative. It was also the last story in the anthology, which to me, is another honor.

Featuring Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campbell, Lisa Morton, Brian Kirk, Hal Bodner, Stephanie M. Wytovich, John Langan, Erinn L. Kemper, John F.D. Taff, Patrick Freivald, Lucy A. Snyder, Brian Hodge, Kristi DeMeester, Christopher Coake, Sarah Read and Richard Thomas. Foreword by Josh Malerman. Illustrations by Luke Spooner. Cover art by John Coulthart.

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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