Staring Into the Abyss (Kraken Press) is NOW OUT!

I’m excited to announce that my second short story collection, Staring Into the Abyss (Kraken Press) is now OUT! It’s a collection of 20 neo-noir stories that lean towards horror, and some of my best work to date, I think. It has some of my favorite stories: “Stillness” which was in Shivers VI (Cemetery Dance) with Stephen King and Peter Straub, “Twenty Reasons to Stay and One to Leave” which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize over at Metazen, “Maker of Flight” which won a contest at ChiZine, and “Victimized” one of my longest stories ever. What are people saying? Here are some blurbs and reviews to help you figure out if this is a collection that you’d enjoy. Thanks for the support!

BLURBS:

“The stories in STARING INTO THE ABYSS are little literary predators that are smart, savage, and stealthy, with a lethal pounce at the end. Readers who enjoy finely-crafted and genuinely disturbing dark fiction will love Richard Thomas’s outstanding collection.”
—Lisa Morton, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Monsters in L.A.

“STARING INTO THE ABYSS by Richard Thomas is an outstanding book, a grim tapestry of broken lives and shattered dreams, of dark fantasies and dark reflections. It’s one of the better single-author collections I’ve had the pleasure to read in recent years, and as such, gets my highest recommendation. It’s also a fine testament to a talent I suspect we are going to be hearing a lot more from, and soon.”
—Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Turtle Boy, and Kin

“With STARING INTO THE ABYSS, Richard Thomas takes you on a ride into a world of darkness and despair, punches you in the gut, and leaves you breathless. You’ll hug your psyche a little tighter after reading.”—Damien Walters Grintalis, author of Ink

“STARING INTO THE ABYSS is gritty and ugly, seductive and sexy. Inside these filthy walls you will find everything you’ve ever feared you’d become; thugs, drunks, cons, prostitutes, murderers. Think of these pages as a mirror of what anyone–even you–can become, after just a few critical mistakes in life. Richard Thomas has proven time and again that he is one of the rising stars in the neo-noir culture. With this collection, he proves he has mastered it.”
—Max Booth III, author of True Stories Told By a Liar and Black Cadillacs

“NO ONE DOES IT like Richard Thomas. Dark and disturbing, his unique blend of horror and noir digs its way into your psyche and leaves you begging for more.”
–C. W. LaSart, author of Ad Nauseam

REVIEWS:

“Richard Thomas may well be the best author that you haven’t heard of yet…The longest story in the collection [‘Victimized’] is…one of the best short stories that I’ve ever read. This kind of transgressive fiction is absolutely my favorite style of writing, leaning close enough towards horror to satisfy all of my darker urges.”
—P.M. Buchan, Starburst Magazine

“I am pleased to say that STARING INTO THE ABYSS may have changed my attitude toward the short story format, it’s that good…There was an almost poetic quality to the writing…it is truly aptly-titled in the respect that these stories come across as describing the human-condition at its worst and best.”
—Nick Tab, Robot-Zombie Reviews

“Richard Thomas is a workhorse who is no stranger to dark fiction. But with his newest anthology of short fiction…[he] cranks the intensity up a notch while simultaneously turning the dimmer switch all the way down…Richard Thomas presents his gritty vision of despair at an unflinching, rapid-fire pace.”
—Sean Leonard, Horror News

“This collection examines darker elements of the human condition with a mixture of wit and unflinching brutality…There are some great stories here, ranging from subtle humor to rushes of adrenaline. ‘Underground Wonder Bound’ had me practically euphoric with its pitch-perfect ending. ‘Victimized’ had me on the edge of my seat, completely wrapped up in the story and oblivious to the world around me.”
The Indiscriminate Critic

“[STARING INTO THE ABYSS] epitomizes what I love about Richard’s writing—the rich and vibrant worlds he creates using an economy of words…I can guarantee you that with [his] skill in creating visceral landscapes, believable characters, and tense plots across a range of genres, there’s something in [this collection] for everyone.”
—Jessica Meddows, Parable Press

STARING INTO THE ABYSS is a very well-written mix of nitty-gritty short stories, each conveying a different message and emotion. Some of them lift up the spirit, others narrate about the dark visages in the human psyche, all of them haunting and insightful… All in all, I highly recommend this book for people who love short stories, be it horror, humor or just a really compelling story.”
—Dia Pelaez, Book Junkie Joint

“Richard Thomas has given us a collection of gut-wrenching tales about love, hatred, discovery, loss, pain, and elation…If you enjoy short stories with bite, and aren’t intimidated by plots that might disturb the peaceful fabric of your psyche, then read this book.
—Missy Jane, Dark Media Online

“Richard has done it again, and this time he’s given the reader a glimpse into what the abyss really is: a world of heartbreak, death, suicide, lust, sex, fighting… pulling bits and pieces from the science fiction and horror genres with hints of Bukowski and Palahniuk sprinkled in for good measure.”
—Joseph Lambach, The Dying Goose

“The writing itself was very well done. It was descriptive and to the point, fluid and stylistic at points, and quite effective…If these are the type of stories you’re into then I can say with some level of certainty that you will enjoy it. It’s deep and thought provoking and most of all dark.”
—Scatty, The Big Nerd of Three

“I really enjoy Thomas’s writing…some of the stories were really intriguing and I thought they were brilliant…I will try to look out for more of his works.”
—Hecate, The Middle Nerd

“The writing…flows, it is descriptive, and it sucks you in. What I like too is that each story was told with a slightly different style or tone, so I never felt as though I was reading the same narrator twice. There were some that had wonderful twists…I enjoyed each and every story…I would recommend this collection of short stories…I’ll have a second helping.”
—Isis, The Small Nerd

Blurbs are in for Staring Into the Abyss (Kraken Press) out in March.

Thank you so much to Lisa, Kealan, Damien, Max and Caren. These are five fantastic authors, and I’m honored to have their support for this collection.

“The stories in STARING INTO THE ABYSS are little literary predators that are smart, savage, and stealthy, with a lethal pounce at the end. Readers who enjoy finely-crafted and genuinely disturbing dark fiction will love Richard Thomas’s outstanding collection.”—Lisa Morton, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Monsters in L.A.

“STARING INTO THE ABYSS by Richard Thomas is an outstanding book, a grim tapestry of broken lives and shattered dreams, of dark fantasies and dark reflections. It’s one of the better single-author collections I’ve had the pleasure to read in recent years, and as such, gets my highest recommendation. It’s also a fine testament to a talent I suspect we are going to be hearing a lot more from, and soon.”—Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Turtle Boy, and Kin

“With STARING INTO THE ABYSS, Richard Thomas takes you on a ride into a world of darkness and despair, punches you in the gut, and leaves you breathless. You’ll hug your psyche a little tighter after reading.”—Damien Walters Grintalis, author of Ink

“STARING INTO THE ABYSS is gritty and ugly, seductive and sexy. Inside these filthy walls you will find everything you’ve ever feared you’d become; thugs, drunks, cons, prostitutes, murderers. Think of these pages as a mirror of what anyone–even you–can become, after just a few critical mistakes in life. Richard Thomas has proven time and again that he is one of the rising stars in the neo-noir culture. With this collection, he proves he has mastered it.”—Max Booth III, author of True Stories Told By a Liar and Black Cadillacs

“NO ONE DOES IT like Richard Thomas. Dark and disturbing, his unique blend of horror and noir digs its way into your psyche and leaves you begging for more.”–C. W. LaSart, author of Ad Nauseam

Slices of Flesh (Dark Moon Books) out soon, at World Horror Convention

OUT SOON! At the World Horror Convention on March 29th. Very excited.
My story “Rudy Jenkins Buries His Fears” is in here.

Linda Addison
Janice Gable Bashman
Erin Bender
Laura Benedict
Max Booth III
Chantal Boudreau
Gary Braunbeck
Kevin James Breaux J
ason V. Brock
Reesa Brown
Jennifer Brozek
Ramsey Campbell
Tom Cardamone
Stewart Carrick
Sierra Christman
Simon Clark
Sandy DeLuca
Christopher DiLeo
James Dorr
David Dunwoody
Ed Erdelac
J G Faherty
Charlie Fish
Fran Friel
Sephera Giron
Charles Gramlich
Amy Grech
Eric J. Guignard
Bryan Hall
Rick Hautala
David Hayes
Brad Hodson
Nancy Holder
Del Howison
Robert Jackson
Lee F Jordan
Paul Kane
Brian Keene
Nate Kenyon
Jack Ketchum
Nancy Kilpatrick
C. W. LaSart
Tim Lebbon
Adrian Ludens
Graham Masterton
Araminta Star Matthews
Kevin McClintock
Joe McKinney
Michelle Mellon
Lori Michelle
William F Nolan
Marie O’Regan
Michael O’Neal
Monica O’Rourke
J F Palma
Susan Palwick
J R Parks
R. B. Payne
Anne Petty
Aaron Polson
Lon Prater
Timothy Remp
Roy Robbins
Jacob Ruby
Lawrence Santoro
J W Schnarr
M R Sellars
Lorelei Shannon
Jeremy C. Shipp
Lance Shoeman
Wayne Simmons
Marge Simon
Douglas Smith
D L Snell
Simon Strantzas
Stan Swanson
David Tallerman
Richard Thomas
Peter Timony
Shelley Towne
Stephen Volk
Jeremy Wagner
Matthew Warner
Kaaron Warren
Lawrence Watt-Evans
Fred Wiehe Connie Wilson
Jennifer Word

“Transmogrify” in Dark Moon Presents: Vampires

I’m thrilled to announce that my twist on the classic vampire tale, “Transmogrify” is now available in a new anthology from Dark Moon Books. They’ve done a few themed issues, such as ghosts and zombies, so of course, vampires is up next. They’re doing great things over at DMB, and I’ll have another story coming out with them in a really cool flash fiction collection called Slices of Flesh, which will have some big names in it, like Jack Ketchum, Ramsay Campbell, and many more.

Here’s more about this book, as well as a tables of contents. I’m familiar with C.W. LaSart and Kenneth W. Cain, who are really excellent dark fiction authors.

SYNOPSIS: It’s true that few of us would choose the life of a zombie, mindlessly consuming every moving thing in sight as we rot and shrivel with decay. It’s also true that few of us would choose to become a ghost, dolefully watching the comings and goings of the living, unable to touch, to breathe, to feel them in a physical way. But, if given the chance to become a vampire, I think most of us would bite. Vampires make our pulses quicken: whether they are the velveteen figures of Anne Rice or Bram Stoker, or the violent monsters of Stephen King, we don’t care. Not the hunters. Not the hopefuls. The real, blood-drinking, neck-biting fiends. Vampires are timeless because they are immortal. And the vampires in these pages may just come back to bite you in the end. These are stories you can really sink your teeth into. Promise.

TOC:

Voices Carry (TOM WORTMAN)
Fountain of Flesh (NICKY PEACOCK)
Dawn Hunter (EARL PARRISH)
Green Eyes and Chili Dogs (KEVIN DAVID ANDERSON)
Cosmina (CHRISTOPHER LEPPEK & EMANUEL ISLER)
Rite of Passage (LORI MICHELLE)
7 Hours (MAX BOOTH III)
Liquid Blue (DREW WILCOX)
Ordering Out (KENNETH W. CAIN)
To The Last Drop (ERIC GRAWE)
Sekhmet’s Daughters (C. W. LaSART)
Entangled (JENNIFER LEFSYK)
The Spy Who Bit Me (LORELEI BELL)
An Unusual Occurrence at Pointe Laurent (MARYKATHRYN GELISSE)
Tough Love (DAVID THOMAS)
The Taste of Love (RENEE PAWLISH)
State of Grace (TARA FOX HALL)
Transmogrify (RICHARD THOMAS)
The Key to Happiness (PENELOPE CROWE)