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

“Playing With Fire” accepted for Chiral Mad 2, out in December

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Thrilled to join Jack Ketchum, Ramsey Campbell, Mort Castle, Max Booth III, Gene O’Neill, Gary MacMahon, Erik T. Johnson,  Andrew Hook, David Morrell, and many others in this anthology of psychological horror, edited by Michael Bailey for Written Backwards press, and out this December. Chiral Mad was nominated for a number of awards, and even won a few, so I have great expectations for this anthology. 

In my story, “Playing With Fire,” expect wolves, fireflies, waking up in a field, a lost love, a hut on a hill—you know, the usual. Honored, humbled, and stoked.

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