Sunday, 18 January 2015

Announcing The War of the Rats

As their officially delegated spokeshuman, it falls upon me to announce that the rat populace of the world is - as of this date, the 18th of January 2015 - declaring total war upon the human population of the Earth.  They've had enough, frankly, and they're just not going to take it any more.  Pack your bags, people, and start looking for another planet with more placid rodents, because as of tomorrow this one is officially Ratworld Prime.

No, wait, that's not at all what this post was supposed to be about.   (Shuffles notes.)

Hum.  Okay.  So, I mentioned a few incoming projects in my round-up of last year, and it was a huge relief, because all of them were things I've been getting horribly excited about for ages now and not been able to talk much about.  And, thinking about it, a couple of them still fall into that category - though hopefully for not too much longer - but there's one at least that I can finally announce, and so this is me doing just that.

Here's one of the illustrations we DIDN'T use.
The War of the Rats and Other Tales, as it's tentatively known, is my first single-author collection of short fiction.  It's coming out from Spectral Press, (you know Spectral, they get nominated for British Fantasy Awards with alarming reality and have or are due to publish work by most of the top writers in British horror,) in August of this year, in e-book, paperback and super special, limited edition hardback.  And all of those editions will include illustrations by my artist mate and long term collaborator Duncan Kay, who seems to get better by the month and is currently sending me stuff that, frankly, would make your toes curl.  Seriously, there's a reason I've wrangled Duncan into two of my major releases for this year, and that reason is that he's shockingly good at this illustrating lark.  Whatever else The War of the Rats and Other Tales is, it's going to look beautiful.

That possibly means that I run the risk of my stories being upstaged in my own first short story collection; still, if readers manage to tear their eyes from the pictures, I'm hopeful that some of my all-time best fiction is going into this thing.  I mean, we have stories that have appeared in some of my favourite markets: places like Nightmare, Bull Spec, Flash Fiction Online.  We've got a tale that was in a Stoker-nominated anthology, another that was in last year's Stoker winner, (which, by the way, also happens to be my personal choice for the best horror story I've written.)  Maybe most exciting for me, we have my Spectral novelette, previously only available in very limited edition, and a new novelette written at the end of last year especially for the collection.

That one's called The War of the Rats, funnily enough.  And it isn't about rats declaring war on humanity.  I just made all of that up.

Or ... did I?

No, I did.

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