The Soul Standard (Dzanc Books) is OUT TODAY!

TSS

How many years has it been since we started this project? I think at least five, my section, Golden Geese, written at the Writers in the Heartland writing residency that I was awarded back in 2011. The Soul Standard (Dzanc Books) is a dark journey—four novellas written by four authors (myself, Nik Korpon, Caleb Ross and Axel Taiari) across for seasons in four different parts of The City. Think Sin City meets Memento. It was an honor to work on this with Nik, Caleb, and Axel—three very talented authors.

Here is what This is Horror had to say about it:

The Soul Standard is unlike anything else you’re likely to read this year, or this decade. Think Sin City meets Blade Runner meets David Lynch and you’ll begin to have an inkling of what’s in store for you, but only a very small one. These four brilliant authors have brought their collective genius together to paint this unflinchingly violent, oppressively bleak city with the adroitness of world class painters, drawing vivid images on your imagination in varying shades of gray and frequent splashes of red. Dzanc Books has a reputation for only publishing the very highest quality fiction and The Soul Standard does nothing to tarnish that rep.”

So if you enjoy my writing, and that of my esteemed peers (Nik is blowing up, with several books out, a new contract with Angry Robot books just announced and Axel Taiari one of the authors in the anthology I edited, Exigencies) then pick this up today.

Here’s the official 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.

Thanks for your continued support!

BOOKED Podcast Interview about The Soul Standard

BookedTSS

I finally had a moment to sit down with Robb and Livius to discuss The Soul Standard (Dzanc Books), my latest project, a novel-in-novellas, written with Nik Korpon, Axel Taiari, and Caleb Ross. We talk about how the book came to be, my novella, Golden Geese, how the stories linked up and our process for that overlap, and much more. Stop by and give it a listen. Axel Taiari shares this episode with me, to give us his stories.

To hear Nik and Caleb talk about their stories and process, GO HERE.

To hear the original review by BOOKED, GO HERE.

This is Horror also put up an excellent review, read that HERE, and here’s a quick excerpt:

The Soul Standard is unlike anything else you’re likely to read this year, or this decade. Think Sin City meets Blade Runner meets David Lynch and you’ll begin to have an inkling of what’s in store for you, but only a very small one. These four brilliant authors have brought their collective genius together to paint this unflinchingly violent, oppressively bleak city with the adroitness of world class painters, drawing vivid images on your imagination in varying shades of gray and frequent splashes of red. Dzanc Books has a reputation for only publishing the very highest quality fiction and The Soul Standard does nothing to tarnish that rep.”

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.

Excellent Review of THE SOUL STANDARD at This is Horror

soul standard cover(1)

Had to take a moment to share a new review of The Soul Standard (Dzanc Books) which is officially out on July 26th. Not only does This is Horror love the entire novel, but they had some kind words about my novella, Golden Geese. Order you copy today!

Check this out:

The Soul Standard is unlike anything else you’re likely to read this year, or this decade. Think Sin City meets Blade Runner meets David Lynch and you’ll begin to have an inkling of what’s in store for you, but only a very small one. These four brilliant authors have brought their collective genius together to paint this unflinchingly violent, oppressively bleak city with the adroitness of world class painters, drawing vivid images on your imagination in varying shades of gray and frequent splashes of red. Dzanc Books has a reputation for only publishing the very highest quality fiction and The Soul Standard does nothing to tarnish that rep.”

And for Golden Geese:

“The shining star in a collection comprised of shining stars, [Golden Geese] introduces us to a sick man trying to come to some kind of terms with the sins he’s committed. The story is dark, bloody, surreal, and heartbreaking and not one that you’ll soon forget. Thomas’ creative genius lies partly in his ability to build incredibly emotional, beautifully broken characters that you find yourself committed to, living with them for the duration of the story and deeply caring about their fates.”

I mean, it doesn’t get much better than that, right?

The Soul Standard is a TOP TEN pick for July at Chicago Review of Books!

july
Chicago Review of Books has The Soul Standard as one of the TEN BEST SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY NOVELS TO READ THIS JULY. How exciting. In great company, too.
Forget the flippant summer beach read. Ring in the dog days with these 10 science fiction, fantasy, and speculative novels picked as July’s best by the Chicago Review of Books. From dark, masterfully constructed plots to stories that probe the human condition, the following books will keep you perplexed—and bewildered—until the leaves begin to change.
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.

Save

Booked Podcast Reviews THE SOUL STANDARD

BookedTSS

Excited to get one of the first early reviews of The Soul Standard (Dzanc Books) a novel-in-novellas that I wrote with Axel Taiari, Nik Korpon, and Caleb Ross over at Booked Podcast. This has been a long time coming—so thrilled that Dzanc Books believed in this project and that it’ll be out soon. It’s Sin City meets Raging Bull with a hint of The Machinist.

FULL 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 endless 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.

Save

Cover Reveal for The Soul Standard (Dzanc Books)!

soul standard cover(1)

Exciting cover reveal for The Soul Standard (Dzanc Books) out this July. Written by myself, Nik Korpon, Axel Taiari, and Caleb Ross. It’s four linked novellas over four seasons in four different parts of the City by four different authors! Kind of a Sin City vibe. Thrilled to be working with Guy Intoci and Dan Wickett, two of my heroes.

DESCRIPTION: The economy has fallen, and flesh is worth more than dollars. Across four different districts of the City, a desperate banker must keep his employer happy at any cost, a boxer must choose between honor and the woman he loves, a criminal must atone for his past, and a man with a terrifying condition searches desperately for his missing daughter.

Save

Complete List of Stories in Print

Here is a complete list of all of my stories that are in print, or digital only format.
It’s in reverse chronological order. Enjoy!

UPDATED: July 6, 2020

Nightside Codex
“In His House”
(Silent Motorist Media)

Christmas Horror, Volume Three
“Chrysalis” (reprint)
(Dark Regions Press)

XVIII: Stories of Mischief, Stories of Mayhem
“How Not to Come Undone” (reprint)
(Underland Press)

Cossmass Infinities
“Little Red Wagon” (reprint)

Screen Shot 2020-01-10 at 7.40.00 PM

Shallow Waters: A Flash Fiction Anthology
“Maker of Flight” (reprint)
(Crystal Lake Publishing)

The Seven Deadliest
“Ring of Fire” novelette
(Cutting Block Books)

The Best Horror of the Year, Volume Eleven
“Golden Sun” novelette
with Kristi DeMeester, Damien Angelica Walters, and Michael Wehunt
(Prime Books)

Shallow Creek
“The Caged Bird Sings in a Darkness of Its Own Creation”
(STORGY)

Grease Paint and .45s
“Clown Face”
(Down and Out Books)

50969817_10218468233527788_3627061613313392640_o

When the Clock Strikes 13
“Open Waters”
(In Your Face Books)

It’s Alive: Bringing Your Nightmares to Life
“The Many Faces of Horror: Craft Techniques” (non-fiction)
(Crystal Lake Publishing)

Chiral Mad 4: An Anthology of Collaborations
“Golden Sun” novelette
with Kristi DeMeester, Damien Angelica Walters, and Michael Wehunt
(Written Backwards)

Mythos Magazine
“White Picket Fences”

s665497115385132279_p19_i1_w1280

Gorgon: Stories of Emergence
“Undone”
(Pantheon)

40049156_2253075918258171_139665030726549504_o

Lost Highways: Dark Fictions from the Road
“Requital”
(Crystal Lake Publishing)

LostHighways

Where Nightmares Come From: The Art of Storytelling in the Horror Genre
“Storytelling Techniques” (non-fiction)
(Crystal Lake Publishing)

Tales from the Shadow Booth: Volume 1
“White Picket Fences”

Deciduous Tales (Debut Issue)
“Nodus Tollens”

DeciduousTales1

Behold: Oddities Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders
“Hiraeth”
(Crystal Lake Publishing)

33400659

The Soul Standard
Golden Geese
(novella)
(Dzanc Books)

soul standard cover(1)
Blue Monday Review, Vol. 3, No. 2
“How Not to Come Undone”

BMR copy
Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories
“Repent”
(Crystal Lake Publishing)

Gutted_Cropped
Tribulations
(Crystal Lake Publishing / Cemetery Dance)

Tribulations
Chiral Mad 3
“The Offering on the Hill”
(Written Backwards)

CM3_Cover
Blue Monday Review, Vol. 2, No. 3
“Twenty Reasons to Stay and One to Leave”

BMR
Gaia: Shadow & Breath Vol. 2
“Asking for Forgiveness”
(Pantheon)

GAIA2

Slave Stories
“From Within”
(Omnium Gatherum)

SlaveStories
Cemetery Dance #72
“Chasing Ghosts”

CD#72
XIII: Stories of Transformation
“Chrysalis”
(Resurrection House)

XIII_coverLitro UK #138
“Little Red Wagon”

LitroUK138 LitroSpread

Truth or Dare?
“Shackled to the Shadows”
(Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing)

TruthOrDare
22 More Quick Shivers
“Homecoming”
(Daily Nightmare)

Dead Harvest
“Bringing in the Sheaves”
(Scarlett Galleon Publications)

DeadHarvest
Qualia Nous
“The Jenny Store”
(Written Backwards)

QualiaNous_crop
Pantheon Magazine
(Ares Issue)
“The God of War”


Pantheon6
Penumbra Magazine
(Pain Issue)
“Balance Sheet”

Penumbra
Horror 101: This Way Forward
“The Journey of ‘Rudy Jenkins Buries His Fears” (non-fiction)
(Crystal Lake Publishing)

ThisIsHorror
Shadows Over Main Street
“White Picket Fences”
(Hazardous Press / Cutting Block Books)

ShadowsOverMainStreet
Gaia: Shadow and Breath
“Flowers for Jessica”
(Pantheon Magazine)

Gaia
Vignettes from the End of the World
“This is How It Ends, My Love”

Vignettes
Pantheon Magazine
(Aphrodite Issue)
“Rapture”

PantheonMag
Trouble in the Heartland
“Because the Night”
(Gutter Books)

Heartland
Pantheon Magazine
(Dionysus Issue)
“Head Like a Hole”

full-cover-dionysus
Chiral Mad 2
“Playing With Fire”
(Written Backwards)

1404956_662039637159846_650160715_o
Fear the Reaper
“The Culling”
(Crystal Lake Publishing)

Fear the Reaper FB version
The Best of the Horror Society 2013
“Victimized”

best-of-the-horror-society-2013
Reloaded: Both Barrels, Volume 2
“Trinity”
(One Eye Press)

reloadedfrontcover
Bleed
“Death Knell”
(Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing)

Bleed
Cipher Sisters
“Dance, Darling”
(Thunderdome Press)

Cipher
Booked Anthology
“Surrender”
(Booked Podcast)

BookedAnthologyFrontCover-e1373343973611
Staring into the Abyss
(Kraken Press)


Daddy Cool
“Bloodline”
(Artistically Declined Press)

Daddy_Cool_Cover_large
Best of Surreal Grotesque
“Vision Quest”

Surreal
Midwestern Gothic
“Garage Sales”


Arcadia Magazine
“Chrysalis”

“Transmogrify”

transmogrify
Sanitarium Magazine
“Bringing in the Sheaves”


SanitariumWeird Fiction Review
“Flowers for Jessica”

WFR
Into the Darkness
“The Wastelands”
(Necro Publications)Darkness
Nova Parade
“On a Bent Nail Head”
(Solarcide)


NovaTerror Scribes
“Transmogrify”
(Dog Horn Publishing)

terror-scribes-cover
One Buck Horror
“Wicker Park Pause”


OBHGargoyle Magazine
“Tinkering With the Moon”
(Paycock Press)

Gargoyle

Curbside Splendor – “Divining”


CurbsideSlices of Flesh
“Rudy Jenkins Buries His Fears”
(Dark Moon Books)

Slices-of-Flesh
In Search of a City: Los Angeles in 1,000 Words
“The Jenny Store”
(Thunderdome Press)

LosAngeles
Dark Moon Digest Presents: Vampires!
“Transmogrify”
(Dark Moon Books)

Vampires
Warmed and Bound
“Say Yes to Pleasure”
(Velvet Press)

warmedandboundwebfront400
Speedloader
“Herniated Roots”
(Snubnose Press)

SPEEDLOADER_cover2_167dpi
“Victimized”

victimized
Shivers VI
“Stillness”
(Cemetery Dance)

ShiversVI

 

My review of My Only Wife by Jac Jemc is now live at The Nervous Breakdown.

If you are looking for a unique voice, then you’ve found it. Jac Jemc has a poet’s heart, and she brings that POV to her longer fiction. My Only Wife (Dzanc Books) is a haunting, touching and ultimately unsettling novel. I loved it. For the full review, head over to The Nervous Breakdown. Also, Dzanc Books is one of the best independent publishers out there. I’ve linked this book to Amazon, but you can also purchase directly from Dzanc. Be sure to check out some of their other titles, and their imprints, Starcherone, Other Voices, and Black Lawrence Press (where I’ll be editing an anthology out in 2014).

My review of Cataclysm Baby by Matt Bell is now live at The Nervous Breakdown.

I can’t remember the last time I read such a compelling work of fiction. I’ve been a long time fan of Matt Bell, but Cataclysm Baby (Mudluscious Press) may be some of his best work to date. Maybe it’s the fact that these stories were scattered far and wide across the literary landscape, and now that they are all contained in this one collection, they are larger than the sum of its parts. All I can say is that these depictions of life in the post-apocalypse are dark, touching, and haunting. Do yourself a favor and pick this up today. Read the full review at The Nervous Breakdown for all of the details.

In addition, Matt is one of the nicest guys out there in the literary world, doing great work at Dzanc Books, one of my favorite independent presses, one of the best, as well as running The Collagist. So, some extra reasons to support his writing.

Complete list of book reviews by Richard Thomas

This is a list of all of my current, live book reviews. It is in reverse
chronological order by web site. Last updated 3/22/15.

Entropy

Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter
Bird Box
by Josh Malerman

Spent
by Antonia Crane

The Nervous Breakdown

In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods by Matt Bell
Don’t Kiss Me
by Lindsay Hunter

Red Moon
by Benjamin Percy

Donnybrook
by Frank Bill

The Next Time You See Me
by Holly Goddard Jones

Vampire Conditions
by Brian Allen Carr

Battleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins
At-risk
by Amina Gautier

May We Shed These Human Bodies
by Amber Sparks
Nine Months
by Paula Bomer
Little Sinners and Other Stories
by Karen Brown
Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye by Paul Tremblay
My Only Wife by Jac Jemc
Cataclysm Baby by Matt Bell
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
THREATS by Amelia Gray
Ampersand, Mass
by William Walsh
Damascus
by Joshua Mohr
NowTrends
by Karl Taro Greenfeld
The Necessity of Certain Behaviors
by Shannon Cain
Crimes in Southern Indiana
by Frank Bill
Short Bus
by Brian Allen Carr
The Devil All the Time
by Donald Ray Pollock
Follow Me Down
by Kio Stark
Zazen
by Vanessa Veselka
Drinking Closer to Home
by Jessica Anya Blau
Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City by Michael Bible
The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch
Volt by Alan Heathcock
Normally Special by xTx
You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know by Heather Sellers
Sarah Court by Craig Davidson
The Ones That Got Away by Stephen Graham Jones
In The Mean Time by Paul Tremblay
Cut Through The Bone by Ethel Rohan
The Wilding by Benjamin Percy
Daddy’s by Lindsay Hunter
The Avian Gospels by Adam Novy
It Came From Del Rio by Stephen Graham Jones
The Physics of Imaginary Objects by Tina May Hall

Triquarterly

The Cost of Living by Rob Roberge

Lit Reactor

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
Joyland
by Stephen Kin
g
11/22/63
by Stephen King

Outsider Writers Collective

Wild Life by Kathy Fish
Hiram Grange and the Chosen One by Kevin Lucia

Emerging Writers Network

“Windeye” by Brian Evenson
Black Tickets
by Jane Anne Phillips

Bookslut

Men Undressed: Women Writers and the Male Sexual Experience
ed. by Stacy Bierlein, Gina Frangello, Cris Mazza and Kat Meads

The Cult

Cape Cod Noir edited by David L. Ulin
Forecast by Shya Scanlon
Slut Lullabies by Gina Frangello