Complete List of Stories in Print

Books

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: December 15, 2018

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

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

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 Magazine)

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)

22MQS
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 – essay,
“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
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”

MWG
Arcadia Magazine – “Chrysalis”

“Transmogrify”

transmogrify
Sanitarium Magazine – “Bringing in the Sheaves”

Sanitarium
Weird Fiction Review – “Flowers for Jessica”

WFR
Into the Darkness – “The Wastelands” (Necro Publications)

Darkness
Nova Parade – “On a Bent Nail Head” (Solarcide)

Nova
Terror Scribes – “Transmogrify” (Dog Horn Publishing)

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

OBH
Gargoyle Magazine – “Tinkering With the Moon”

Gargoyle

Curbside Splendor – “Divining”

Curbside
Slices 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

Bar Scars by Nik Korpon

When I think back to when and where my writing career really started, about five years ago, one of the first names that pops into my head is Nik Korpon. He was there when I discovered what neo-noir was all about, and he’s been a brother-in-arms ever since. With the release of Bar Scars (Snubnose Press) he puts together a compelling collection of neo-noir fiction that is always entertaining, thought provoking, and unexpected. Since we both have collections coming out with Snubnose this month, I’m going to talk about Bar Scars, and he’s going to talk about my collection, Herniated Roots, over at his blog. So check out both posts, it’ll definitely be worth your time.

“This Will All End Well”
SYNOPSIS: A man walks in on his girl with another guy. Or does he?
COMMENTS: With a title like “This Will All End Well,” you know it can only be the opposite. What Nik does so well here is set you up, again and again. First, it’s the cheating wife, the politician tossing money on the floor, begging for forgiveness, caught in the act. Then, it’s the fact that she hasn’t been cheating at all, this is all a set up, they’re in on this caper together. But there’s more here. And that’s what I love about Nik’s work, it just goes deeper. Adding in his usual lyrical voice and ability to turn a phrase, set the stage, and you have a great opening story to his collection.

“A Sparrow With White Scars”
SYNOPSIS: A man in a bar has an ongoing relationship with a young girl.
COMMENTS: Tension is another thing that Nik does really well. I was nervous throughout this whole story. An underage girl, a man who is spending time with her when he shouldn’t, love that knows no rules. The violence fans out in every direction, and in the end, it’s a brutal story, one that cause you to shift loyalties several times.
QUOTE: “Darla straddled a stool, listening to a man in a white polyester suit tell a joke. He looked like a Messiah Elvis. Her pockets peeked below the frayed edge of her jean shorts, a bikini strap caressing her neck underneath a tank top the color of a fresh bruise. She threw her head back when she laughed, tender breasts rocking, slender throat pale and exposed and I could taste the salt on her neck, smell the hot sweat on her thighs. When the troll turned to order drinks for them, she glanced over to me, licked her teeth and winked. My stomach filled with moths and metal shards.”

“Intersections”
SYNOPSIS: A man prepares to propose to his girl, but an accident ruins everything.
COMMENTS: Of course the title gives you the first clue, “Intersections.” This story moves along at nice clip—we see the seedy underbelly of Baltimore, a guy trying to get out from under a rock, no more working for Mr. Harry. And in one evening things take a dark turn. I thought I knew where this one was going, too, and the tension, that beautiful moment when you get a shock through your system, muttering to yourself, “No, no…it can’t be.” And then you think, he’s going to get away with it, it’s okay, you realize there is a tape, and there is proof now, and everything spins out of control. Nik is very adept at creating these situations, things get bad, and then they get worse, and then there’s no way out.

“That Pale Light in the West”
SYNOPSIS: A confrontation in a bar does not go well.
COMMENTS: In a very short period of time, two pages here, we get the whole story. It doesn’t feel like a set-up from the beginning, but at some point you know it’s going to go wrong. The last line is heavy. It’s nice to know that psychopaths have rules.

“Alex and the Music Box”
SYNOPSIS: A man sneaks into an ex-girlfriend’s apartment to get something turns out bad.
COMMENTS: The tension of not only sneaking back into an ex-girlfriend’s apartment but then her coming home with a guy? Man, that’s tough. Poetic at times this story, like much of Nik’s work, has layers, and we keep getting into it deeper and deeper until there’s no way out. I like that he leaves it open, the ending. We’re left with that anxiety of what to do.
QUOTE: “I lay listening to breath drift from my mouth for minutes or hours. Rub my palms over my cheeks. I blow on her hand, and when she doesn’t move, I slide around it and stand. Naked, sweaty and flushed, she’s sprawled over her bed like a gunshot victim. Red phantom fingers wrap around her neck. I want to lay my hands on them, pretend they’re mine again. No smell of latex and I hope she doesn’t regret this tomorrow. I kneel beside her, penitent.”

“She Sleeps Beneath Clouds of Embers”
SYNOPSIS: Foggy memories and a strange hotel room lead to some very strange moments.
COMMENTS: “This is one of Nik’s more atmospheric pieces, and really, doesn’t a foggy memory, bruises and a dildo always lead to trouble? There is a sadness that permeates this story, the last line echoing desperation and loss. And somehow in the midst of this Baer inspired madness he made me laugh twice.”

“Haymaker”
SYNOPSIS: A fighter runs into a bit of bad luck.
COMMENTS: “This one kind of breaks my heart. I hate it when the good guy gets screwed over by a crooked cop, some palooka trying to work his way out of the gutter with his fists, or some straight blue collar job, but the man keeps pushing him down. The ending just makes me sad.”

“His Footsteps are Made of Soot”
SYNOPSIS: When his mother’s memories and bruised love can’t be ignored any longer, our protagonist opts for a risky surgery.
COMMENTS: “This might be the best story in the collection. It’s the back and forth between the basement surgeries he assists and the broken body and mind (and heart) of his mother that really pulls you in. The final scene, and the final words (or lack thereof) are so powerful, they just echo out into the silence. Classic Korpon.”
EXCERPT #1: “Sometimes things happen in home surgery, and it’s easier to be objective when the body doesn’t have a name, an address, a way
they take their coffee. Everything’s easier when history is malleable.”
EXCERPT #2: “I just nod and lay down, close my eyes. A muted rainbow of dots float across the flesh inside my eyelids. I focus, try to rearrange them into a halftone print of a family portrait with only two people. Inhale. The smell of damp smoke floods my nostrils, and Marcel gave up cigarettes years ago when his wife died of cancer. Exhale. The sound of game-show audiences drowns out scratchy country guitars. Inhale. A fist of cheap cologne, vodka and the burnt baby laxative used to cut dope crushes my nose. Exhale. A whiff of ash, of baby powder, of Mom’s shampoo from when I was younger that always reminded me of cut grass. Inhale. Nitrous oxide and Marcel’s liquid voice telling me to count to ten. Somewhere beyond my ears, past bloody eyelids and clenched fists and bruised legs and pipe-burnt chests, Hank Williams drags his voice over broken glass in the darkness.”

“Glass Bubbles”
SYNOPSIS: Hanging out in a local bar you can only get yourself in trouble.
COMMENTS: “This story touches on those lost moments, things you can’t get back, better days. I love the way he doesn’t tell this story in chronological order, it makes it much more powerful.”

This is a great collection of Nik’s work. Chuck Palahniuk said something like “Teach me something, make me laugh, and then break my heart.” And that’s what Nik does. Whether it’s educating me about Baltimore or basement surgeries, boxing or drug dealing, his stories always resonate with authority. He also has a way of turning a phrase, juxtaposing words in a way that is totally unique, his own language. And he also creates plots that aren’t what you expect, layers and turns that keep you guessing. He’s one of my favorite neo-noir authors going, and if you haven’t read his work before, this is a great place to start.

Also, keep an eye out for a future project we’re doing together entitled Four Corners, a series of four novellas that Nik and I, along with Caleb J. Ross and Axel Taiari have written and are currently shopping. It’s some of his best work to date, I think. You can find more of his work on Amazon, of course. I suggest Stay God as well as By the Nails of the Warpriest.

READ HIS COMMENTS ON MY COLLECTION, HERNIATED ROOTS, HERE.

My debut short story collection, Herniated Roots (Snubnose Press) is now OUT.

OUT NOW.

Table of Contents
Unzipped
Your Enemies Will Devour You
A Bird in the Hand
Released
Herniated Roots
Seeing Red
Gateway
Say Yes to Pleasure
Terrapin Station
Daybreak
Three Mistakes
Descent
The Jenny Store
Tinkering With the Moon
Kiss Off
Dyer

PRAISE:

“Richard Thomas’s stories are filled with a kind of dark magic shot through with danger. These are beautiful roses loaded with thorns. Take hold of them at your own risk and reward—be prepared for the most exquisite, ecstatic kind of pain.”
—Amber Sparks, MAY WE SHED THESE HUMAN BODIES

“Richard Thomas writes from the inglorious depths of human experience. Each sentence, blooming like a bruise, articulates the unspeakable truth of our own disappointment. In Herniated Roots, an aggressive collection of modern fables and cautionary tales, Thomas delivers the kind of prose that leaves you bloody on the inside. This is the kind of book that demands a second reading long before your ribs begin to heal.”
—Daniel Casebeer, PEAR NOIR

“Richard Thomas writes seductively mordant prose. His powerful short stories are noir fables for the twenty-first century—gracefully controlled yet executed with a lethal precision. Precious few writers can provide a vital anatomy of the inner self. Thomas does so masterfully, presenting the darkest slices of the human soul.”
—Darren Richard Carlaw, STEPAWAY MAGAZINE

“Richard Thomas can make his readers feel what he wants them to feel. He distills life into the moments that charge us, and he works them into honest and gripping prose, with visuals that invariably leave a mark.”
—Pela Via, WARMED AND BOUND

“An outstanding short story writer who consistently nails the bull’s-eye.”
—David Cranmer, BEAT TO A PULP

“Herniated Roots by Richard Thomas demonstrates a masterly use of tension. Real page-turning fiction that never resorts to cliché or stereotype.”
—Doug Johnstone, HIT AND RUN

They’re saying good things about Speedloader (Snubnose Press)

So I’m always curious to see what total strangers have to say about my writing. Speedloader (Snubnose Press) is getting some love over at Amazon and Goodreads, so I thought I’d share the kind words that these readers had to say about my story “Herniated Roots.” So far mostly five stars, nothing worse than four, from what I’ve seen.

“…trust me–this is noir burned to a crisp. I’ve seen a lot of Richard Thomas lately (Shotgun Honey, Dirty Noir). He delivers here with the seriously depressing Herniated Roots. A recovering alcoholic finds a girl who proves to be his true love. Or the cause of his slow death. Something like that. The message that “You’re screwed!” comes through loud and clear and brilliant. The character’s meandering yet inevitable demise proves to be (somehow) very satisfying.”

“What a nicely balanced group of stories to debut from Snubnose Press. They are companionable yet each one has a different tone, setting, style. Of course, as if often the case, a writer will choose the story most like he/she would write, or hope to write, and in my case I would single out the story that leaked the least amount of testosterone: Herniated Roots by Richard Thomas. (Not meant to offend, Mr. Thomas) It was a story that was most about prose. The language was lovely, the story well told. Thanks for a great debut from a wonderful group of writers. Nary a miss in the collection.”

“Richard Thomas’ Transubstantiate (currently on promo at 71p ) has just landed on my Kindle based on how good his effort here was.”

NOT BAD, yeah?