Two Honorable Mentions for Best Horror of the Year

Thrilled that my stories, “Repent” (in Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories) and “The Offering on the Hill” (in Chiral Mad 3) were both honorable mentions / long-listed for Best Horror of the Year. Both anthologies were also nominated for the Bram Stoker Award. Wow, what an honor, thrilled. Thank you Michael Bailey, Doug Murano, and D Alexander Ward for the continued support, faith, and guidance. Onward and upward!

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2016 Awards Eligibility Post for Richard Thomas

rt_2016award_coverSo, I had quite a few things come out this year, and they are all eligible for award consideration. Cat Rambo was encouraging authors to do this, so here I go! (HWA for sure, as well as SFWA, etc.) The short stories were for pro pay, so those markets are definitely eligible. If you are a member of HWA, SFWA or any other organization that nominates for awards and you would like a PDF of any of this work, let me know, at wickerkat@aol.com or richardgamut@gmail.com.

NOVEL: Breaker (Random House Alibi)

Description: Living alone in the dusty apartment where he grew up, Ray Nelson is a mystery to his neighbors and an unbeatable foe to the brutal men he fights in the ring for money. But a life defined by sinister secrets doesn’t stop Ray from trying to do the right thing for his dangerously high-flying sister. Or for Natalie, the young girl living next door. As a sadistic murderer’s ominous white van trolls for young victims throughout the Windy City, Ray is determined to protect Natalie from both predators and a bleak future. When she sees a bruised and beaten Ray return from late-night fights, Natalie spots a kindred spirit. Still, she cannot imagine the darkness just beneath, or what’s hidden in the rooms he calls home. Now, as the horrors of his own past creep back to life with a twisted vengeance, Ray may not even be able to save himself.

Blurbs: “Richard Thomas’s Breaker is a modern noir fever dream: brutal, lyrical, evocative. But it also exhibits surprising tenderness—its shattered characters find strength in one another, and beauty in the pattern of the cracks.”—Chris Holm, author of The Killing Kind / “Gritty, raw, powerful, visceral—that’s all you need to know about Richard Thomas’s novel Breaker. It’s a ‘gotta read this’ book.”—Les Edgerton, author of The Genuine, Imitation, Plastic Kidnapping / “One of the most terrifying, harrowing stories you’ll read all year . . . With a solid mix of heartbreak and action, along with some plot-defying acrobatics not seen on the page too often, Breaker delivers the goods on all fronts.”—This Is Horror

SHORT STORY COLLECTION: Tribulations (Cemetery Dance / Crystal Lake)

Description: In the third short story collection by Richard Thomas, Tribulations, the stories cover a wide range of dark fiction—from fantasy, science fiction and horror, to magical realism, neo-noir, and transgressive fiction. The common thread that weaves these tragic tales together is suffering and sorrow, and the ways we emerge from such heartbreak stronger, more appreciative of what we have left—a spark of hope enough to guide us though the valley of death. Fireflies and wolves, ghosts and golems, tentacled beasts and demonic spirits–these psychological thrillers will hypnotize you as they slide the blade between your ribs, up close and personal, whispering in your ear as you gasp and pull them closer. Tribulations includes 25 short stories–including two that were long-listed for Best Horror of the Year. There are also five original full-page illustrations by Luke Spooner.

Reviews: “Tribulations shows that Richard Thomas not only knows his craft, but excels in it. Readers owe Richard Thomas a letter to thank him for sharing his brilliant work, and Richard Thomas owes readers a letter to apologize for giving them more reasons to never turn off the light”—Cultured Vultures. / “At his best Thomas writes like his life depends on it, while his restraint and careful use of language ensure that these stories hit in all the right places. Whether it’s with a dash of stream-of-consciousness here, a bit of prose poem there, or a starkly minimalist passage, these stories speak to the things that haunt the darkest corners of the mind.”Hellnotes / “Richard Thomas is on the cutting edge of neo-noir fiction and I dare anyone to say different. Tribulations is his best yet: elegantly twisted, superbly creepy, and dripping darkness. This is required reading for anyone into the shadow side of literature.”—Dread Central

ANTHOLOGY / NOVELLA: The Soul Standard (Dzanc Books) / Golden Geese

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. MY NOVELLA “Golden Geese” is about a man living in the outskirts, trying to forget the dark deeds he has done, as the consequences of his actions close in around him, one final act of redemption his only way to survive.

SHORT FICTION: “Repent” in Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories (Crystal Lake) / “The Offering on the Hill” in Chiral Mad 3 (Dark Regions Press)

Gutted Description: From Bram Stoker Award-nominated publisher, Crystal Lake Publishing, and the editing duo who brought you the best-selling and critically acclaimed small-town Lovecraftian horror anthology Shadows Over Main Street, comes Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories–a disturbing journey into the beauty that rests inside the very heart of darkness. Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories features the most celebrated voices in dark fiction, as well as a number of exciting new talents: Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campbell, Paul Tremblay, John F.D. Taff, Lisa Mannetti, Damien Angelica Walters, Josh Malerman, Christopher Coake, Mercedes M. Yardley, Brian Kirk, Stephanie M. Wytovich, Amanda Gowin, Richard Thomas, Maria Alexander and Kevin Lucia. Edited by Doug Murano and D. Alexander Ward. MY STORY “Repent” is about a father, a bad man, and what he is willing to do in order to redeem himself and save his son.

Chiral Mad 3 Description: The third act in the critically-acclaimed series by Written Backwards, is a symmetrically-structured anthology of psychological horror by Bram Stoker Award nominated editor Michael Bailey, whose previous anthologies include The Library of the Dead, Qualia Nous and Pellucid Lunacy. The anthology contains 45 illustrations by Glenn Chadbourne, over 20 stories by the likes of Stephen King, Jack Ketchum, Ramsey Campbell, Gary A. Braunbeck, Mort Castle, Josh Malerman, Scott Edelman, Richard Thomas, Richard Chizmar and Gene O’Neill, and with 20 intertwined poems by the likes of Elizabeth Massie, Marge Simon, Bruce Boston, Erik T. Johnson, Stephanie M. Wytovich, and also includes an introduction by the extraordinary Chuck Palahniuk. MY STORY “The Offering on the Hill” is a bit of a Dark Tower homage, about a man wandering in a post-apocalyptic setting trying to find his wife and daughter.

THANKS! ENJOY!

Glenn Chadbourne Illustration for “The Offering on the Hill” in Chiral Mad 3

Check out this amazing illustration by Glenn Chadbourne that will accompany my story, “The Offering on the Hill” which will be appearing in Chiral Mad 3, edited by Michael Bailey, at Written Backwards. Who else is in this anthology so far? Some pretty amazing authors—Stephen King, Gene O’Neill, Ramsey Campbell, Jessica May Lin, Paul Michael Anderson, Jason V. Brock, and Mercedes M. Yardley. More news to come.

offering_hill_bw

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: November 6, 2017

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'”
(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)

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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

Complete List of Online Stories

This is a Table of Contents for all of my current, LIVE fiction that is available online for FREE. Below are each of the stories, a brief synopsis, and a link to the site that hosts them. They are in reverse chronological order.

What do all of these stories have in common? I tend to write about the darker aspects of life, and am fascinated by what happens when things fall apart, how we handle life when it throws us a curve ball, the dysfunction in everyday life, how we rebel against the rules of society, and what goes on in the middle of the night.

Last Updated: October 19, 2017

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

“The Offering on the Hill”
GAMUT
SYNOPSIS: When a man scours a dead land for his daughter, he’ll do anything to get her back. Inspired by The Dark Tower series, originally published in Chiral Mad 3, a Bram Stoker nominee. Long-listed for Best Horror of the Year. (Subscription required to read.)
PART ONE / PART TWO

“Vision Quest”
NORWEGIAN AMERICAN
SYNOPSIS: When a violent car accident takes his family, one man starts having visions.
VISION QUEST

I have a few up at GREAT JONES STREET, which you can read online OR on their app:
Maker of Flight,” (contest winner at ChiZine) “From Within,” (long-listed for Best Horror of the Year) “Chrysalis,” “White Picket Fences,”(long-listed for Best Horror of the Year) “Flowers for Jessica,” “Bringing in the Sheaves,” “Chasing Ghosts,” and “Asking for Forgiveness.”

“Repent”
GAMUT
SYNOPSIS: What would you do to save your son? Can a truly evil soul become anything else? Originally published in Gutted: Beautiful Horror stories, a Bram Stoker nominee. Long-listed for Best Horror of the Year. (Subscription required to read.)
PART ONE / PART TWO

“Rapture”
SOLARCIDE
SYNOPSIS: It’s not easy being a goddess these days. But there’s hope for Dia still.
RAPTURE

“From Within”
CEASE, COWS
SYNOPSIS: In a slave state, how do you protect your son? What if he doesn’t need protecting? Long-listed for Best Horror of the Year.
FROM WITHIN

“Little Red Wagon”
THE WRITING DISORDER
SYNOPSIS: What would you do to keep the human race alive? And what does being human really mean?
LITTLE RED WAGON

“Moving Heavy Objects”
STORYSOUTH
SYNOPSIS: A son tries to forgive his father for being so distant.
MOVING HEAVY OBJECTS

“Asking for Forgiveness”
MENACING HEDGE
SYNOPSIS: When the land yields nothing but abomination, how does family change, how do we survive? Long-listed for Best Horror of the Year.
ASKING FOR FORGIVENESS

“Gandaberunda”
SHOTGUN HONEY
SYNOPSIS: What happens when evil finds a young boy, an ancient creature, the signs all ignored?
GANDABERUNDA

“Sugar and Spice”
WEEKENDER
SYNOPSIS: A father comes to terms with the fact that his innocent daughter is growing up, and isn’t quite so innocent any more.
SUGAR AND SPICE

“Tinkering With the Moon”
GOREYESQUE
SYNOPSIS: When a little boy misses his father, he’d do anything to reunite with him.
TINKERING WITH THE MOON

“Bury Me Deep”
THE BIG ADIOS
SYNOPSIS: Out in the wild west, there lurk shadows and dark deeds, all done under the blazing sun for God and all to witness.
BURY ME DEEP

“Love Letters”
CEASE, COWS
SYNOPSIS: The things we do for love are often very destructive.
LOVE LETTERS

“Flowers for Jessica”
MAYDAY MAGAZINE
SYNOPSIS: How far would you go to bring your loved one back from the dead?
FLOWERS FOR JESSICA

“The Fix-It Man”
BLACK HEART MAGAZINE
SYNOPSIS: When a man falls apart, disconnects from his wife and son, what gesture can he make as he disintegrates?
THE FIX-IT MAN

“Something’s Broken”
FLYWHEEL MAGAZINE
SYNOPSIS: You fix it if you can, whatever’s broken. Because once somebody else picks the pieces up, once somebody else fixes it—it’s no longer yours.
SOMETHING’S BROKEN

“Vision Quest”
SURREAL GROTESQUE
SYNOPSIS: When a violent car accident takes his family, one man starts having visions.
VISION QUEST (ISSUU direct)

“Charlotte Sometimes”
ZOUCH
SYNOPSIS: Charlotte needs to escape sometimes.
CHARLOTTE SOMETIMES
[Sixth place winner of the Zouch Lit Bits Fiction contest]

“Jimmy Five Ways”
PUNCHNEL’S
SYNOPSIS: A wife, a son, a mistress, a partner and a man named Jimmy—five ways.
JIMMY FIVE WAYS
[One of the five winners of the Punchnel’s Hard-Boiled Down Noir Fiction contest]

“The Handyman”
CONJECTURAL FIGMENTS
SYNOPSIS: What makes us human and what makes us inhuman?
THE HANDYMAN (ISSUU direct)

“Death Knell”
THUNDERDOME
SYNOPSIS: A companion piece to “Say Yes to Pleasure” which was in the Warmed and Bound anthology, this story shows the opposite side of the coin, the POV of the victim, and how she dealt with the tragedy that descended upon her.
DEATH KNELL

“Twenty Reasons to Stay and One to Leave”
METAZEN (Defunct)
SYNOPSIS: When something tragic happens, do you stay or do you leave? Sometimes you stay for a long time, only to realize that leaving would be less cruel. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
TWENTY REASONS TO LEAVE AND ONE TO STAY

“Love Letters”
CANNOLI PIE
EXCERPT: “It started with the paper, tearing it apart into little pieces, pressing it into tiny balls and popping the crumpled words into her mouth.”
LOVE LETTERS (ISUU direct)

“Daybreak”
STEPAWAY MAGAZINE
SYNOPSIS: Sometimes you walk away from it all. Or maybe you’re walking towards something. Either way, be complete in your transformation.
DAYBREAK

“After She Has Gone”
SHOTGUN HONEY
SYNOPSIS: When she takes it all, and you’re left with nothing but despair, what do you do? Suicide is an option—and as you wander the woods in search of a tomb, the darkness speaks to you the truth.
AFTER SHE HAS GONE

“Splintered”
PANK
SYNOPSIS: In real life, there are paths to take, sometimes you have a choice, some times you do not. In this adult “choose-your-own” ending adventure it’s up to you whether or not to be parnoid or to trust, to be innocent, or just a fool.
SPLINTERED

“Three Mistakes”
WORD RIOT
SYNOPSIS: Sometimes that’s all it takes, three mistakes to fall from grace, to lose it all, and maybe realize too late, that you had a pretty good life.
THREE MISTAKES

“Maker of Flight”
CHIZINE
WINNER of the 2009 “Enter the World of Filaria” contest
SYNOPSIS: In this contest, we were given the challenge of adding to the vivid and futuristic world that Brent Hayward created. In 1000 words, you were to find a way to insert a short piece of fiction that could stand alone, and also add to the world of Filaria. In Brent’s words:“That was a really nice piece you wrote, and in my head now it’s somehow forever tangled up in Filaria.”
MAKER OF FLIGHT

(A number of other stores are no longer available as the websites and publications have since gone under. I have removed them from this list as they have disappeared. Gone are: Opium Magazine, Colored Chalk, Cause & Effect, Nefarious Muse, ChiZine’s Chiaroscuro, Cherry Bleeds, Troubadour 21, Carbon-Based Lifeform Blues, Leodegraunce, Metazen, Emprise Review, Conjectural Figments, Beat the Dust, Thickjam, Circa, The Dying Goose, Parable Press, Revolt Daily, Penumbra, etc. RIP. )