2016 Awards Eligibility Post for Richard Thomas

rt_2016award_coverSo, I had quite a few things come out this year, and they are all eligible for award consideration. Cat Rambo was encouraging authors to do this, so here I go! (HWA for sure, as well as SFWA, etc.) The short stories were for pro pay, so those markets are definitely eligible. If you are a member of HWA, SFWA or any other organization that nominates for awards and you would like a PDF of any of this work, let me know, at wickerkat@aol.com or richardgamut@gmail.com.

NOVEL: Breaker (Random House Alibi)

Description: Living alone in the dusty apartment where he grew up, Ray Nelson is a mystery to his neighbors and an unbeatable foe to the brutal men he fights in the ring for money. But a life defined by sinister secrets doesn’t stop Ray from trying to do the right thing for his dangerously high-flying sister. Or for Natalie, the young girl living next door. As a sadistic murderer’s ominous white van trolls for young victims throughout the Windy City, Ray is determined to protect Natalie from both predators and a bleak future. When she sees a bruised and beaten Ray return from late-night fights, Natalie spots a kindred spirit. Still, she cannot imagine the darkness just beneath, or what’s hidden in the rooms he calls home. Now, as the horrors of his own past creep back to life with a twisted vengeance, Ray may not even be able to save himself.

Blurbs: “Richard Thomas’s Breaker is a modern noir fever dream: brutal, lyrical, evocative. But it also exhibits surprising tenderness—its shattered characters find strength in one another, and beauty in the pattern of the cracks.”—Chris Holm, author of The Killing Kind / “Gritty, raw, powerful, visceral—that’s all you need to know about Richard Thomas’s novel Breaker. It’s a ‘gotta read this’ book.”—Les Edgerton, author of The Genuine, Imitation, Plastic Kidnapping / “One of the most terrifying, harrowing stories you’ll read all year . . . With a solid mix of heartbreak and action, along with some plot-defying acrobatics not seen on the page too often, Breaker delivers the goods on all fronts.”—This Is Horror

SHORT STORY COLLECTION: Tribulations (Cemetery Dance / Crystal Lake)

Description: In the third short story collection by Richard Thomas, Tribulations, the stories cover a wide range of dark fiction—from fantasy, science fiction and horror, to magical realism, neo-noir, and transgressive fiction. The common thread that weaves these tragic tales together is suffering and sorrow, and the ways we emerge from such heartbreak stronger, more appreciative of what we have left—a spark of hope enough to guide us though the valley of death. Fireflies and wolves, ghosts and golems, tentacled beasts and demonic spirits–these psychological thrillers will hypnotize you as they slide the blade between your ribs, up close and personal, whispering in your ear as you gasp and pull them closer. Tribulations includes 25 short stories–including two that were long-listed for Best Horror of the Year. There are also five original full-page illustrations by Luke Spooner.

Reviews: “Tribulations shows that Richard Thomas not only knows his craft, but excels in it. Readers owe Richard Thomas a letter to thank him for sharing his brilliant work, and Richard Thomas owes readers a letter to apologize for giving them more reasons to never turn off the light”—Cultured Vultures. / “At his best Thomas writes like his life depends on it, while his restraint and careful use of language ensure that these stories hit in all the right places. Whether it’s with a dash of stream-of-consciousness here, a bit of prose poem there, or a starkly minimalist passage, these stories speak to the things that haunt the darkest corners of the mind.”Hellnotes / “Richard Thomas is on the cutting edge of neo-noir fiction and I dare anyone to say different. Tribulations is his best yet: elegantly twisted, superbly creepy, and dripping darkness. This is required reading for anyone into the shadow side of literature.”—Dread Central

ANTHOLOGY / NOVELLA: The Soul Standard (Dzanc Books) / Golden Geese

Description: Across four different districts of a city that has torn itself to shreds, four different interweaving tales (each written by a different author) play out. In “Four Corners,” a morally dubious banker must keep his employer happy at any cost. The next story, “Punhos Sagrados,” concerns a boxer who finds himself torn between honor and the woman he loves. “Golden Geese” follows a hardened criminal with a terrifying condition who must come to terms with the life he’s led. Finally, “Jamais Vu” provides a stunning denouement as a man searches endlessly for his missing daughter, a task which is complicated by a peculiar condition: his inability to recognize faces. Told in rugged, bare-knuckled prose, The Soul Standard is a nonstop thrill-ride down the darkened avenues and through the shadowed alleys of a nightmare town. MY NOVELLA “Golden Geese” is about a man living in the outskirts, trying to forget the dark deeds he has done, as the consequences of his actions close in around him, one final act of redemption his only way to survive.

SHORT FICTION: “Repent” in Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories (Crystal Lake) / “The Offering on the Hill” in Chiral Mad 3 (Dark Regions Press)

Gutted Description: From Bram Stoker Award-nominated publisher, Crystal Lake Publishing, and the editing duo who brought you the best-selling and critically acclaimed small-town Lovecraftian horror anthology Shadows Over Main Street, comes Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories–a disturbing journey into the beauty that rests inside the very heart of darkness. Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories features the most celebrated voices in dark fiction, as well as a number of exciting new talents: Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campbell, Paul Tremblay, John F.D. Taff, Lisa Mannetti, Damien Angelica Walters, Josh Malerman, Christopher Coake, Mercedes M. Yardley, Brian Kirk, Stephanie M. Wytovich, Amanda Gowin, Richard Thomas, Maria Alexander and Kevin Lucia. Edited by Doug Murano and D. Alexander Ward. MY STORY “Repent” is about a father, a bad man, and what he is willing to do in order to redeem himself and save his son.

Chiral Mad 3 Description: The third act in the critically-acclaimed series by Written Backwards, is a symmetrically-structured anthology of psychological horror by Bram Stoker Award nominated editor Michael Bailey, whose previous anthologies include The Library of the Dead, Qualia Nous and Pellucid Lunacy. The anthology contains 45 illustrations by Glenn Chadbourne, over 20 stories by the likes of Stephen King, Jack Ketchum, Ramsey Campbell, Gary A. Braunbeck, Mort Castle, Josh Malerman, Scott Edelman, Richard Thomas, Richard Chizmar and Gene O’Neill, and with 20 intertwined poems by the likes of Elizabeth Massie, Marge Simon, Bruce Boston, Erik T. Johnson, Stephanie M. Wytovich, and also includes an introduction by the extraordinary Chuck Palahniuk. MY STORY “The Offering on the Hill” is a bit of a Dark Tower homage, about a man wandering in a post-apocalyptic setting trying to find his wife and daughter.

THANKS! ENJOY!

Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories is OUT!

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Last year I only wrote four short stories, one of which, “Repent,” made it into this amazing anthology, Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories, edited by Doug Murano and D. Alexander Ward. This is the second anthology I’ve been in with these guys, the first being Shadows Over Main Street. Oh yeah, Clive Barker and Neil Gaiman? Nice.

I’m fascinated by the idea of beautiful horror, the intersection between hope and terror, between vengeance and redemption, between action and consequence. I think this is some of my best work to date, and I hope you’ll pick up a copy. “Repent” is about a father who has done some pretty dark things in his past, and the chance he has to do something right, to protect his son.  Here’s more about the book:

From Bram Stoker Award-nominated publisher, Crystal Lake Publishing, and the editing duo who brought you the best-selling and critically acclaimed small-town Lovecraftian horror anthology Shadows Over Main Street, comes Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories–a disturbing journey into the beauty that rests inside the very heart of darkness. Awe meets ache. Terror becomes transcendence. Regret gives way to rebirth. Fifteen short stories and one poem span nearly every twisted corner of the horror and dark fiction genres: A woman experiences an emotional reckoning inside a haunted house. A father sees his daughter rescued after a cold case is solved, only to learn the tragic limits of his love. A man awakens a vengeful spirit and learns the terrible price of settling scores. A boy comes of age into awareness of a secret universe of Lovecraftian scale. A young woman confronts the deathly price of existence inside a German concentration camp during the Holocaust. And much, much more… Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories features the most celebrated voices in dark fiction, as well as a number of exciting new talents: Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campbell, Paul Tremblay, John F.D. Taff, Lisa Mannetti, Damien Angelica Walters, Josh Malerman, Christopher Coake, Mercedes M. Yardley, Brian Kirk, Stephanie M. Wytovich, Amanda Gowin, Richard Thomas, Maria Alexander and Kevin Lucia. Edited by Doug Murano and D. Alexander Ward. With a foreword from Cemetery Dance magazine founder Richard Chizmar.

ENJOY!

Interior art reveal for my story, “Repent” in Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories

Repent

Interior art reveal: Artist Luke Spooner deftly captures the creeping dread and inevitable doom that propel my short story, “Repent.” Luke always manages to find the tension and heart of my work, thrilled that he once again is attached to my writing. He’s amazing, and will be a huge part of Gamut, too.

Description: Awe and ache. Terror and transcendence. Regret and rebirth. Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories is out in June! Featuring an all-star lineup including Ramsey Campbell, Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Paul Tremblay, John F.D. Taff, Lisa Mannetti, Damien Angelica Walters, Christopher Coake, Josh Malerman, Mercedes M. Yardley, Brian Kirk, Amanda Gowin, Richard Thomas, Maria Alexander, Stephanie M. Wytovich and Kevin Lucia. With a foreword by Cemetery Dance magazine founder Richard Chizmar.

Tribulations, My Third Collection, Is Out Today!

Tribulations

Thrilled that Tribulations, my third short story collection is finally out. Special thanks to Joe Mynhardt and Crystal Lake Publishing for all of their support and hard work. Thank you Stephen Graham Jones for the wonderful introduction, and Kristi DeMeester and Adam Cesare for the excellent blurbs, as well as Ben Baldwin and Luke Spooner for the amazing art. Honored and thrilled.


From the Introduction by Stephen Graham Jones:

“A good collection of horror stories will, at two in the morning, direct your car more to Motel 6 than Super 8, say. Just because you want to be in a room where someone’s left the light on for you.

Tribulations does that for you, yes? Or, Richard Thomas is doing that for Motel 6.

Either way, it’s delivering the creepy visuals, the prose that worms into your head and crawls around on the backside of your skull.

And we ask for that, don’t we?

We stand at the register and we lay down our money, fully expecting to not be able to turn the lights off that night.

But that’s just what we expect from our horror. That’s the minimum horror has to do to satisfy.

A really good collection of horror stories, then—like this one you’re holding in your hands—it does that and it provides something else, something even creepier and crawlier, something wormier and altogether less comfortable. Something you wouldn’t necessarily ask for.


EARLY PRAISE FOR TRIBULATIONS:

“The stories Richard Thomas tells are dark rooms. Sometimes they are filled with terrors—ghosts and jealousies and strange beasts. Sometimes they are empty. And this might be the most terrifying thing of all. At times sharp and biting and other times dreamy and lyrical, Thomas is a powerful writer and Tribulations is a stellar collection.”—Kristi DeMeester, author of Split Tongues

Tribulations is a dark fiction collection for all readers. No matter your preference: this book ducks, dives, and bounces between genres like an Olympic skier taking on a hillside of slalom. Rarely is reading a collection straight-through as eclectic (or purely enjoyable) an experience. If you’re not already a fan of Thomas: prepare to be.”—Adam Cesare, author of Tribesmen and Zero Lives Remaining

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“…one of the most productive and unique writers on the hardboiled and horror short story markets…Tribulations contains some of his best work…the end result is richer and more visceral than anything he’s ever done before.”—Dead End Follies

“Richard Thomas is on the cutting edge of neo-noir fiction and I dare anyone to say different. Tribulations is his best yet: elegantly twisted, superbly creepy, and dripping darkness. This is required reading for anyone into the shadow side of literature.”—Dread Central

Tribulations shows that Richard Thomas not only knows his craft, but excels in it. Readers owe Richard Thomas a letter to thank him for sharing his brilliant work, and Richard Thomas owes readers a letter to apologize for giving them more reasons to never turn off the light”—Cultured Vultures.

“Richard Thomas does this thing where he introduces us to his friends, folks just like you or me, good, hard-working, honest folks. People we can relate to on many levels. And then, for whatever reason, he drops them right into the middle of hell. Maybe he just enjoys making them suffer. Maybe he knows that we enjoy watching. Whatever the case, with Tribulations he has let us get a little closer, made the glass between us and the suffering a little thinner, and reminded us that we just might be next in line.”—Horrornews.net

“At his best Thomas writes like his life depends on it, while his restraint and careful use of language ensure that these stories hit in all the right places. Whether it’s with a dash of stream-of-consciousness here, a bit of prose poem there, or a starkly minimalist passage, these stories speak to the things that haunt the darkest corners of the mind.”—Hellnotes

Release Day for Chiral Mad 3

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So, wow, this has been a long time coming. I’m a big fan of the work that Michael Bailey has been doing at Written Backwards (now a Dark Regions Press imprint). I was in Chiral Mad 2, and Qualia Nous, and if I can keep up with him, I hope to publish more stories with him in the future. I’m not only really impressed with the cover art, and interior illustrations by Glenn Chadbourne (see below), but by the extensive table of contents. My story, “The Offering on the Hill” (illustrated below, with the NORTH sign) is included in this wonderful anthology—over 6,000-words long, one of the longest stories I’ve ever written, and hopefully one of my best. In many ways this story is a bit of an homage to Stephen King and The Dark Tower series. I hope you’ll pick up your copy of Chiral Mad 3 today. I’m think it could be one of the best anthologies published this year. (NOTE: Don’t miss out on the $150 signed/limited edition. Everybody but King is going to sign it!) Introduction by Chuck Palahniuk, too!

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Fiction:
01. The Poetry of Life – Richard Chizmar
02. The Last Rung on the Ladder – Stephen King
03. A Rift in Reflection – Hal Bodner
04. Windows, Mirrors, Doors – Jason V Brock
05. Prayer – Mort Castle
06. The Agonizing Guilt of Relief – Paul Michael Anderson
07. The Black Crow of Boddinstraße – Emily B. Cataneo
08. A Flash of Red – Erinn L. Kemper
09. Red Runner vs. The Surgeon, Issue 18 – Jessica May Lin
10. The Dead Collection – Mercedes M. Yardley
11. Watch Me – Meghan Arcuri
12. The Bigger Bedroom – Josh Malerman
13. That Perilous Stuff – Scott Edelman
14. Know Your Code – Ramsey Campbell
15. 3-Dot People – Gene O’Neill
16. Silver Thread, Hammer Ring – Gary A. Braunbeck
17. Those Who Watch From on High – Eric J. Guignard
18. Blood Dust – Max Booth III
19. The Offering on the Hill – Richard Thomas
20. The Whipping Girls – Damien Angelica Walters
21. Seconds – Jack Ketchum

Poetry:
01. Fair – P. Gardner Goldsmith
02. Fail-Safe – Jonathan Balog
03. Folie à Deux – Sydney Leigh
04. Reflecting on Reflections – Bruce Boston
05. Mirror Image – Marge Simon
06. Black River #1 – Elizabeth Massie
07. Prescience – Rose Blackthorn
08. The Speed of Sound – Ciarán Parkes
09. Welcome Home, Darling – Stephanie M. Wytovich
10. Whisper #1 (A Warning) – Erik T. Johnson
11. Whisper #2 (A Prophecy) – Erik T. Johnson
12. Put Me to Dream -Stephanie M. Wytovich
13. Recognizing Trees – Ciarán Parkes
14. Arbitration – Rose Blackthorn
15. Black River #2 – Elizabeth Massie
16. Reflections Through the Raven’s Eye – Marge Simon
17. Beyond Symmetry – Bruce Boston
18. Folie à Plusieurs – Sydney Leigh
19. Insomnia in Reverse – Jonathan Balog
20. Promise – P. Gardner Goldsmith

“Repent” accepted for Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories anthology

Gutted

(Cover art by Caitlin Hackett )

Thrilled to announce my 6,000-word story, “Repent” has just been accepted for Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories, alongside Neil Gaiman! Did you read that there—Neil Gaiman! Wow. I mean, I’ve published alongside Stephen King four times now (Shivers VI, Cemetery Dance #72, and Chiral Mad 2 & 3) but this is the first time with Neil. I’m a big fan of his work, loved American Gods and Anansi Boys, as well as Neverwhere, Coraline, and of course The Sandman series.

Edited by Doug Murano and D. Alexander Ward (who also edited Shadows Over Main Street, which included my story, “White Picket Fences”) this anthology also includes fiction from Amanda Gowin, Brian Kirk, and John F.D. Taff. More names and stories TBD/TBA, but I’m really excited to see who else joins us.

Out with Crystal Lake Publishing in 2016. I’m a big fan of CLP, and I’ll have an announcement about another project I’m doing with them in 2016, but I did publish a story with them in the Fear the Reaper anthology and some non-fiction in the Horror 101: The Way Forward anthology as well. Joe Myndhardt is doing great things over there.

More news to come!

Chiral Mad 2 Table of Contents Set

Love the cover art, and this TOC is so amazing. Honored to have my story “Playing With Fire” in here. It’s got more wolves, fireflies, a hut on a hill, a man alone trying to fix his broken heart, and a giant tree branch that may be his undoing.

Looks like Michael Bailey and Written Backwards have done a great job with this.

OUT SOON!

1. “TIGHT PARTNERS” by GENE O’NEILL
2. “THE CHUTE” by GARY McMAHON
3. “WELCOME HOME, ALL YOU UNINVITED” by ERIK T. JOHNSON
4. “INTERFERENCE” by ANDREW HOOK
5. “THE WORD” by RAMSEY CAMPBELL
6. “THE COUNSELOR” by MORT CASTLE
7. “ORANGE IS FOR ANGUISH, BLUE FOR INSANITY” by DAVID MORRELL
8. “THE RIGHT THING” by JACK KETCHUM
9. “FLOWERS BLOOMING IN THE SEASON OF ATROPHY” by MAX BOOTH III
10. “ANOTHER MAN’S BONES” by MASON IAN BUNDSCHUH
11. ”WHITECHAPEL” by P. GARDNER GOLDSMITH
12. ”PLAYING WITH FIRE” by RICHARD THOMAS
13. ”A GUIDE TO ETIQUETTE AND COMPORTMENT FOR THE SISTERS OF HENLEY HOUSE” by EMILY CATANEO
14. ”EMPATHY” by JOHN SKIPP
15. ”MNEMONICIDE” by JAMES CHAMBERS
16. “PASSING AFFLICTION” by PATRICK O’NEILL
17. “PICTURE-IN-PICTURE” by DUSTIN LaVALLEY
18. ”WHEN I WAS” by THOMAS F. MONTELEONE
19. ”DEAR BOY” by JOHN BIGGS
20. ”SCAVENGING” by KEVIN LUCIA
21. ”THE GEMINIS” by JOHN PALISANO
22. “IN THE EYES OF THE BEHOLDER” by ANN K. BOYER
23. “THE TENDED FIELD OF EIDO YAMATA” by JON MICHAEL EMORY
24. “INDIAN SUMMER” by PHILIP C. PERON
25. “APPROACHING LAVENDER” by LUCY A. SNYDER
26. “THE GREAT PITY” by GARY A. BRAUNBECK
27. “BLOOD WOMEN” by USMAN T. MALIK
28. “VERSIONS” by E.L. KEMPER