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!

The eBook for Tribulations is now out with Cemetery Dance.

CDTribulations

Thrilled that I can finally announce the eBook of my third short story collection Tribulations is out now with Cemetery Dance Publications. Long time fan of CD, bought so many Stephen King titles from them over the years. I’ve previously published a short story, “Stillness” in Shivers VI (alongside Stephen King and Peter Straub) as well as “Chasing Ghosts” in Cemetery Dance #72 (also alongside Stephen King—it’s like the dude is stalking me).

Tribulations, My Third Collection, Is Out Today!

Tribulations

Thrilled that Tribulations, my third short story collection is finally out. Special thanks to Joe Mynhardt and Crystal Lake Publishing for all of their support and hard work. Thank you Stephen Graham Jones for the wonderful introduction, and Kristi DeMeester and Adam Cesare for the excellent blurbs, as well as Ben Baldwin and Luke Spooner for the amazing art. Honored and thrilled.


From the Introduction by Stephen Graham Jones:

“A good collection of horror stories will, at two in the morning, direct your car more to Motel 6 than Super 8, say. Just because you want to be in a room where someone’s left the light on for you.

Tribulations does that for you, yes? Or, Richard Thomas is doing that for Motel 6.

Either way, it’s delivering the creepy visuals, the prose that worms into your head and crawls around on the backside of your skull.

And we ask for that, don’t we?

We stand at the register and we lay down our money, fully expecting to not be able to turn the lights off that night.

But that’s just what we expect from our horror. That’s the minimum horror has to do to satisfy.

A really good collection of horror stories, then—like this one you’re holding in your hands—it does that and it provides something else, something even creepier and crawlier, something wormier and altogether less comfortable. Something you wouldn’t necessarily ask for.


EARLY PRAISE FOR TRIBULATIONS:

“The stories Richard Thomas tells are dark rooms. Sometimes they are filled with terrors—ghosts and jealousies and strange beasts. Sometimes they are empty. And this might be the most terrifying thing of all. At times sharp and biting and other times dreamy and lyrical, Thomas is a powerful writer and Tribulations is a stellar collection.”—Kristi DeMeester, author of Split Tongues

Tribulations is a dark fiction collection for all readers. No matter your preference: this book ducks, dives, and bounces between genres like an Olympic skier taking on a hillside of slalom. Rarely is reading a collection straight-through as eclectic (or purely enjoyable) an experience. If you’re not already a fan of Thomas: prepare to be.”—Adam Cesare, author of Tribesmen and Zero Lives Remaining

InteriorArt

“…one of the most productive and unique writers on the hardboiled and horror short story markets…Tribulations contains some of his best work…the end result is richer and more visceral than anything he’s ever done before.”—Dead End Follies

“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

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.

“Richard Thomas does this thing where he introduces us to his friends, folks just like you or me, good, hard-working, honest folks. People we can relate to on many levels. And then, for whatever reason, he drops them right into the middle of hell. Maybe he just enjoys making them suffer. Maybe he knows that we enjoy watching. Whatever the case, with Tribulations he has let us get a little closer, made the glass between us and the suffering a little thinner, and reminded us that we just might be next in line.”—Horrornews.net

“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

Cover Reveal for Tribulations

Tribulations

Cover reveal today for my third short story collection, Tribulations. Art by Ben Baldwin—don’t you love it? So much texture and emotion. Creepy, too. This will be out in April with Crystal Lake Publishing. See below for the full table of contents:

Introduction: Stephen Graham Jones
Fireflies (art)
Chrysalis
Love Letters
Vision Quest
Surrender
The Wastelands (art)
Misty
The Handyman
Bringing in the Sheaves
Divining
The Culling
Flowers for Jessica (art)
Wicker Park Pause
On a Bent Nail Head
Dance, Darling
The Fix-It Man
Gandaberunda (art)
Shackled to the Shadows
Playing with Fire
Little Red Wagon
Asking for Forgiveness
Balance Sheet
White Picket Fences (art)
Chasing Ghosts
The Offering on the Hill

EARLY PRAISE FOR TRIBULATIONS:

“The stories Richard Thomas tells are dark rooms. Sometimes they are filled with terrors—ghosts and jealousies and strange beasts. Sometimes they are empty. And this might be the most terrifying thing of all. At times sharp and biting and other times dreamy and lyrical, Thomas is a powerful writer and Tribulations is a stellar collection.”
—Kristi DeMeester, author of Split Tongues

Tribulations is a dark fiction collection for all readers. No matter your preference: this book ducks, dives, and bounces between genres like an Olympic skier taking on a hillside of slalom. Rarely is reading a collection straight-through as eclectic (or purely enjoyable) an experience. If you’re not already a fan of Thomas: prepare to be.”
—Adam Cesare, author of Tribesmen and Zero Lives Remaining

“…one of the most productive and unique writers on the hardboiled and horror short story markets…Tribulations contains some of his best work…the end result is richer and more visceral than anything he’s ever done before.”
Dead End Follies

“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

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.

“Richard Thomas does this thing where he introduces us to his friends, folks just like you or me, good, hard-working, honest folks. People we can relate to on many levels. And then, for whatever reason, he drops them right into the middle of hell. Maybe he just enjoys making them suffer. Maybe he knows that we enjoy watching. Whatever the case, with Tribulations he has let us get a little closer, made the glass between us and the suffering a little thinner, and reminded us that we just might be next in line.”
Horrornews.net

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: July 20, 2016

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)

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

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