Christmas Horror, Volume Three, Cover Reveal

Check out this awesome cover reveal for Christmas Horror, Volume 3 (Dark Regions Press) out later this year. I’ll have a reprint in here, my story, “Chrysalis.” Love the art, by Zach McCain. Very cool. Here is what Chris Morey had to say about the project on his Facebook post:

We are excited to reveal the fantastic artwork and front cover by artist Zach McCain for Christmas Horror Volume 3 coming later this year from Dark Regions Press!

Christmas Horror Volume 3 will be designed at the same trim size as Christmas Horror Volume 1 and will have a deluxe signed slipcased hardcover that will have exclusive materials not found in any other edition. Authors Jeff Strand, Stephanie M. Wytovich, Lisa Morton, John Palisano and more join us for this new entry in our popular Christmas Horror anthology line!

This Summer we will be adding the Christmas Horror Volume 3 product page to the Upcoming section of our website (orders will open in November) and we are working to get shipping started on Volume 3 by November 2020. Watch for more updates in the months ahead!

This should be a lot of fun! Keep an eye out.

Burnt Tongues is Being Re-released!

Burnt Tongues is going to be re-released with Turner Publishing, on August 25th. Very excited to share the new cover with you. Always a pleasure working with Chuck Palahniuk and Dennis Widmyer. This is an edgy, transgressive anthology that came out of The Cult workshops back in the day. (It was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award.) New illustrations, as well. Can’t wait! Very exciting. 

TOC:

Live This Down by Neil Krolicki
Charlie by Chris Lewis Carter
Paper by Gayle Towell
Mating Calls by Tony Liebhard
Melody by Michael De Vito, Jr.
F For Fake by Tyler Jones
Mind and Soldier by Phil Jourdan
Ingredients by Richard Lemmer
The Line Forms on the Right by Amanda Gowin
A Vodka Kind of Girl by Matt Egan
Gasoline by Fred Venturini
Dietary by Brandon Tietz
Invisible Graffiti by Adam Skorupskas
Bike by Bryan Howie
Heavier Petting by Brien Piechos
Engines, O-Rings, and Astronauts by Jason M. Fylan
Lemming by Terence James Eeles
The Routine by Keith Buie
Survived by Gus Moreno
Zombie Whorehouse by Daniel W. Broallt

50 Films to Know Me

I’m not saying these are the best movies ever (though many are favorites), and I have divided this up into ten different categories, but I thought it might be fun to share this with you all. These are movies that shocked and amazed me, films that horrified and inspired me, work that has influenced my writing. I hope to see your head nodding as you read down this list, but more importantly, I hope you find a few movies that you have NOT seen yet. Maybe those films will provide you with some entertainment, terror, wonder, and excitement. ENJOY!

ONE: A24 FILMS

  1. Hereditary: Scared me to death in theaters, and also later, at home. Wow.
  2. The Witch: Wouldst thou like to live deliciously? I would.
  3. Under the Skin: What a haunting arthouse flick. Scarlett at her best.
  4. Enemy: A paranoid thriller that will shock and surprise. That ending!
  5. Ex Machina: A great SF/AI film that asks what it means to be human.

TWO: NEO-NOIR

  1. Blade Runner: Quite possibly my favorite movie ever. Set the bar high, still holds up.
  2. Mulholland Drive: My favorite Lynch, the truth is shocking, the movie so stylish.
  3. Memento: Entirely backwards! And with short term memory loss, that’s trouble.
  4. Seven: What’s in the box! Such tension, great acting, tons of atmosphere.
  5. No Country for Old Men: Such a creepy bad guy, in Anton Chigurh. Lots of emotion.

THREE: STUDIO GHIBLI

  1. Howl’s Moving Castle: Has always been my favorite, my first. So weird and cool.
  2. Spirited Away: So strange, very original, definitely creeped me out at times.
  3. My Neighbor Totoro: Such a sweet film, but not without the oddities. Lots of heart.
  4. Princess Mononoke: An epic film, with so much to root for, great characters.
  5. Nausicaä and the Valley of the Wind: War, environment, and lots of drama.

FOUR: COMEDIES

  1. Caddyshack: Classic, hilarious, great cast, lots of lines to quote.
  2. Pee Wee’s Big Adventure: I know you are but what am I. So funny, and weird!
  3. Rango: Totally cracks me up, not just for kids, adult references, surreal at times.
  4. Fast Times at Ridgemont High: No shoes, no shirt—no service.
  5. Fantastic Mr. Fox: Something about the dry humor just cracks me up.

FIVE: CULT CLASSICS

  1. Repo Man: Always the first thing I think of when I hear “cult film.” Plate of shrimp.
  2. Donnie Darko: Such a dark, strange film, but a compelling one, for sure.
  3. Ghost World: A great graphic novel, and film. Excellent cast.
  4. Clerks: Starting to show its age, but so many great lines. Early Kevin Smith.
  5. Rocky Horror Picture Show: Hopefully you first saw it in theaters with all the props.

SIX: THRILLERS

  1. Silence of the Lambs: A classic, with an excellent cast.
  2. Leon, the Professional: Definitely not formulaic. Lots of heart. Breaks the mold.
  3. The Game: It’s an older flick (1997) but the head games—wow. So good.
  4. Cape Fear: I like De Niro’s version, he’s so damn creepy.
  5. The Prestige: What a game of cat and mouse, has us guessing to the end.

SEVEN: TRANSGRESSIVE FILMS

  1. Fight Club: The first rule about fight club…had to list this one. Great book, too.
  2. Requiem for a Dream: What a dark, bleak, insane film, the ending unbearable.
  3. Trainspotting: Likewise, what a downward spiral this one is. Trippy.
  4. Oldboy: A wild ride, and then the ending is just so…shocking, in so many ways.
  5. Kids: So screwed up, but it still sticks with me. Unsettling. Dark stuff.

EIGHT: EDGY DRAMA

  1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Just breaks my heart every time.
  2. American Beauty: A haunting film about so much—love, intolerance, lust, loss.
  3. The Machinist: Christian Bale at his best, so surreal, and the ending!
  4. Shutter Island: Love Lehane’s books, this story really takes us for a ride.
  5. The Usual Suspects: Love the way this story is told, another intense ending.

NINE: SCIENCE FICTION

  1. Alien: Set the bar very high, inspired so many other films. Great franchise.
  2. Arrival: When you understand what’s going on, it breaks your heart. I always cry.
  3. Interstellar: Another one that crushes me at the end, such a great ride.
  4. Inception: The layers and layers and layers—goes so deep. That ending!
  5. The Matrix: I mean, another trendsetter, still holds up, great effects.

TEN: CONTEMPORARY HORROR

  1. Black Swan: I like the mix of lust and danger, good casting, too.
  2. The Ring: Still freaks me out, and it was kind of ahead of its time.
  3. Get Out: Another film that breaks the mold, so much paranoia, and tension.
  4. A Dark Song: Love the rituals and authority, and then that ending! Whoa.
  5. Spring: A romance! And so much more. Very original. Touching ending.

I’m Open to New Editing Clients

Just wanted to let you all know that I will have a little extra time this summer in case you have a novel that needs editing. Here are some of my past clients and projects—over 100 titles going back to 2013 (with many new titles being shopped right now). For more information on rates and terms, please head over to Storyville Studio. Thanks!

Books Edited by Richard Thomas

 

ANTHOLOGIES

  • Burnt Tongues – with Chuck Palahniuk and Dennis Widmyer, Medallion Books (Bram Stoker nominee, This is Horror, INDIEFAB and USA Books News Best winner for Best Anthology)
  • Exigencies – Dark House Press (Shirley Jackson nominee)
  • Lineup: 20 Provocative Women Writers, The – Black Lawrence Press
  • New Black, The – Dark House Press

COLLECTIONS

  • After the People Lights Have Gone Off by Stephen Graham Jones, Dark House Press (Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson nominee, This is Horror winner for Best Collection)
  • Dead Reckoning by Dino Parenti, Crystal Lake Publishing
  • Vile Men by Rebecca Jones-Howe, Dark House Press

MAGAZINES

  • Gamut magazine, 12 issues, from 2016 to 2018

NON-FICTION

  • La Folie Forty by Thierry Tellier and Jennifer Jones, Baer Books Press

NOVELLAS

  • Federales by Christopher Irvin, Shotgun Honey
  • Beneath Ash and Bone by D. Alexander Ward, Necro Publications
  • Black Canyon by Jeremy Bates, Ghillinnein Books (Lou Allin Memorial Award winner)
  • Box of Bones by Jeremy Bates, Ghillinnein Books
  • Neighbors by Jeremy Bates, Ghillinnein Books
  • Rewind by Jeremy Bates, Ghillinnein Books
  • Run by Jeremy Bates, Ghillinnein Books
  • Six Bullets by Jeremy Bates, Ghillinnein Books

NOVELS

  • Alone on the Shield by Kirk Landers, Academy Chicago Publishers
  • Bald New World by Peter Tieryas, Perfect Edge Books
  • Bone Weaver’s Orchard, The by Sarah Read,  Trepidatio Publishing (Bram Stoker nominee)
  • Catacombs, The by Jeremy Bates, Ghillinnein Books (Australian Horror Writers Association Shadows Award and IPPY Bronze Medal/Horror winner)
  • Dublin by Eli Wilde and Anna DeVine, Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing
  • Echo Lake by Letitia Trent, Dark House Press
  • Greylock by Paula Cappa, Crispin Books (Chanticleer Book Award winner)
  • Helltown by Jeremy Bates, Ghillinnein Books
  • Island of the Dolls by Jeremy Bates, Ghillinnein Books (Foreword INDIES Horror Book of the Year Award Gold Medal winner)
  • Mind is a Razorblade, The by Max Booth III, Kraken Press
  • Milk-Blood by Mark Matthews, Wicked Run Press
  • Mjolnir by Brian James, CreateSpace
  • Neophyte by Eli Wilde and Anna DeVine, Matador Publishing
  • New America Utopia Calling by Jeremy Bates, Ghillinnein Books
  • Old Farmer’s Road by Isaiyan Morrison, CreateSpace
  • Paper Tigers by Damien Angelica Walters, Dark House Press
  • Ragnarok by Brian James, America Star Books
  • Ramblings of a Revenant, The by David Tromblay, CreateSpace
  • Robin Randle Stories, The by Wood Dickinson, CreateSpace
  • Scratch by Steve Himmer, Dark House Press
  • Seeking Redemption by Elizabeth Zguta, EZ Indie Publishing
  • Toxicity by Max Booth III, Post Mortem Press
  • Truth About the Moon and the Stars, The by Brian Jacobson, Montag Press
  • United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas, Angry Robot Books (Seiun Award for Best Translated Novel 2017)
  • Until Death by Kari Kilgore, Spiral Publishing

“Ring of Fire” Makes Preliminary Bram Stoker Award Ballot!

 

I’m thrilled to announce my novelette, “Ring of Fire,” has made the preliminary ballot for the Bram Stoker Award in the Long Fiction category.

This was one of the most difficult stories I’ve ever written. I knew going in that pairing horror and lust was going to be difficult—not echoing Hellraiser, avoiding anything that came across as misogynistic, as I didn’t want to alienate the reader. I was inspired by Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer, as well as The Warren, by Brian Evenson, and a few movies at A24 I don’t want to mention, to avoid spoiling it. I also knew that I wanted the ending to be optimistic, but the entire epilogue was a surprise.

Here are a few kind words that reviewers had to say about the work:

“’Ring of Fire’ by Richard Thomas—which tackles ‘lust’—is by far my favorite story in this collection and, in my opinion, the most skillfully rendered. First of all, like all the other stories, Thomas doesn’t give us a clichéd horror story about someone’s sexual urges leading them to a grisly death. However, this is Richard Thomas we’re talking about. I knew he wouldn’t lean on cliches going in. Instead, he tackles the intersection of loneliness, guilt, shame, grief, the desire for companionship, and, yes—sexuality. But sexuality through the lens of longing for companionship, for physical comfort and belonging, for intimate connection. I’m not going to say anything else about this story, except that lots of folks claim to write “science fiction/horror” blends, but few get it right. Thomas gets it extremely right in this.”
Cemetery Dance

“‘Ring of Fire’ is undoubtedly the most ‘horror’ of all the stories in this anthology, an unsettling pot-boiler that seethes with atmosphere and dread. Following a lone researcher at a facility in some unknown snowy location, Richard Thomas is the master of withholding information and creating mystery. It is always as much about what we do not know than what we know; what he refuses to say, as what he says. Our narrator for this story is straight-up unreliable, and the world around them is unreliable too. As we progress, however, and notice these disturbing deja vu moments, these chimes of coincidence, we begin to piece together the deeper narrative of what is happening…Richard Thomas plays with us, and our expectations, capturing the kind of paranoia of Blade Runner and mixing it with the existential dread of 2001: A Space Odyssey. There are sci-fi elements here, but they are subtle; our narrator seems to barely grasp them, describing his processes and encounters with unease and uncertainty, the vocabulary of a man at his wit’s end. This story is about lust, yet Richard makes sex conspicuous by absence, all the while amping up the pressure-cooker of sexual tension until we are, like our protagonist isolated in a lone facility, about to implode.
STORGY

Wish me luck! Fingers crossed!

2019 Year in Review

 

2019 YEAR IN REVIEW:

  • “Golden Sun” (novelette) with Michael Wehunt, Damien Angelica Walters, and Kristi DeMeester in Best Horror of the Year, Volume Eleven (reprint)
  • “Undone” in Gorgon: Stories of Emergence (Pantheon Magazine)
  • “The Caged Bird Sings in a Darkness of Its Own Creation” in Shallow Creek (STORGY) currently recommended for a Bram Stoker Award
  • “Ring of Fire” (novelette) in The Seven Deadliest (Cutting Block Books) currently recommended for a Bram Stoker Award
  • “In the Shadows” in The Field Guide to Evil (MONDO / Alamo Drafthouse)
  • “The H Word: How The Witch and Get Out Helped Usher in the New Wave of Elevated Horror” Nightmare (non-fiction) currently recommended for a Bram Stoker Award
  • “Clown Face” in Grease Paint and 45s (Down & Out Books)
  • “Open Waters” in When the Clock Strikes 13 (In Your Face Books)
  • “Love Letters” in Shallow Waters: A Flash Fiction Anthology (Crystal Lake) (reprint)
  • Three flash fiction stories for Gotham Ghostwriters, on Twitter.

Not a bad year!

COMING IN 2020:

  • “Battle Not With Monsters” in Cemetery Dance
  • “Saudade” in PRISMS (PS Publishing)
  • “Kindred Spirits” TBA anthology (Lycan Valley Press Publications)
  • “How Not to Come Undone” XVIII (Underland Press) (reprint)
  • “Chrysalis” in Christmas Horror, Volume Three (Dark Regions Press) (reprint)
  • “Little Red Wagon” at Cossmass Infinities (reprint)
  • “In His House” in TBA anthology

Storyville is NOW LIVE!

My newly expanded teaching “empire” is now LIVE! Head on over to Storyville to see what we’ve done, especially the reboot of Day of Reckoning (signing up now for 2020). Lots of classes, something for everyone. This is basically just a dedicated website for all of the previous classes I’ve taught, plus some new ventures:

  • Short Story Mechanics—still at LitReactor.com, the essentials of storytelling
  • Short Story Mechanics (At Your Own Pace)—a NEW version of this popular class at your own pace
  • Keep It Brief—still at LitReactor.com, a class on flash fiction
  • Contemporary Dark Fiction—still being taught online, sold out for Jan 2020, a few spots left for Sept 2020
  • Advanced Creative Writing Workshop—still being taught online, sold out for Jan and May 2020, a few spots left for Sept 2020
  • Novel Writing Class—still being taught online, only one session for 2020, sold out
  • NEW: Day of Reckoning—one day, monthly, with seven teachers, a wide range of topics, as well as feedback, a great class
  • NEW: Guest Authors—a range of authors will be teaching stand-alone classes, monthly, as well

Feel free to share, retweet, invite your friends, etc. Thank you for the continued support. Means a lot.

PS: Look at the amazing authors that will be a part of Day of Reckoning—Carina Bissett, S. L. Coney, Brian Evenson, Brian Hodge, Sarah Gailey, Lindsay Hunter, Gabino Iglesias, John Langan, Livia Llewellyn, Jacklyn Dre Marceau, Sarah Read, Kelly Robson, Eden Royce, Karen Runge, Priya Sharma, Angela Slatter, Lucy A. Snyder, A.C. Wise, Mercedes M. Yardley, Richard Wood, Richard Thomas—Moderator.

How The Witch and Get Out Helped Usher in the New Wave of Elevated Horror

Did I ever tell you about this article I wrote for Nightmare? “The H Word: How The Witch and Get Out Helped Usher in the New Wave of Elevated Horror“. ENJOY!

“If you haven’t seen The Witch (2015) and Get Out (2017), you must have been living under a rock. The former was a breakout title for A24 Films, becoming the fifth highest grossing movie they’ve put out to date (with over $25 million dollars in earnings). And the latter was nominated for several Golden Globe and Academy Awards, winning the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Two very different films, they both took chances at the box office—with their stories, images, themes, settings, and overall experiences. By garnering financial and critical success, they opened the door for a slew of experimental, edgy, divisive horror films.”

Best Horror of the Year, Volume Eleven. I’m IN IT!

The Best Horror of the Year, Volume Eleven, edited by Ellen Datlow, is out today. LOVE that cover art. It includes work by Laird Barron, Joe Hill, John Langan, and Gemma Files, among others, as well as “Golden Sun,” a novelette I co-wrote with Kristi DeMeester, Michael Wehunt, and Damien Angelica Walters. Pick up your copy today!

Burnt Tongues Out of Print, Copies for Sale

As you may or may not know, Medallion Press went bankrupt. I bought the last 15 cases of Burnt Tongues, the anthology I edited with Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club, Choke, Survivor) and Dennis Widmyer (Starry Eyes, Pet Sematary). So it’s now out of print. I’m going to be selling signed copies for $10 + $3 shipping. USA only. Outside the USA shipping will be more. Sometimes MUCH more. But do inquire. It’s an edgy, dark, weird anthology. Transgressive fiction. If you have a book club and want to order multiple copies I can give you a greatly reduced cost (say 50% off). Email me at richardgthomasiii@gmail.com if you have any interest.

FULL TOC:

Live This Down Neil Krolicki 11
Charlie Chris Lewis Carter 29
Paper Gayle Towell 41
Mating Calls Tony Liebhard 55
Melody Michael De Vito, Jr. 77
F for Fake Tyler Jones 89
Mind and Soldier Phil Jourdan 109
Ingredients Richard Lemmer 123
The Line Forms on the Right Amanda Gowin 141
A Vodka Kind of Girl Matt Egan 155
Gasoline Fred Venturini 163
Dietary Brandon Tietz 187
Invisible Graffiti Adam Skorupskas 207
Bike Bryan Howie 217
Heavier Petting Brien Piechos 225
Engines, O-rings, and Astronauts Jason M. Fylan 247
Lemming Terence James Eeles 255
The Routine Keith Buie 281
Survived Gus Moreno 293
Zombie Whorehouse Daniel W. Broallt 305