Monday, 7 March 2016

Short Story News, March 2016

It's been a while since I recapped any news on the short story front, perhaps because I've been distracted by having an entire collection of the things out.  But while the release of The Sign in the Moonlight and Other Stories at the end of the last month - available from Amazon UK and Amazon US, amongst other places! - has certainly been the biggest thing happening, it's been by no means the only one.

There is, for example, the publication - as cover story, no less! - of my first and so far only stab at crime short fiction, Step Light, in the prestigious Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.  I remain completely gobsmacked that this ever happened, it seemed like a huge risk dipping my toes into a genre I had no experience of and it's hard to imagine how it could possibly have worked out any better.

(Though, if you should ever want to suck all the fun out of having a story published in a well-respected magazine for someone, do what some complete stranger did to me and message them to point out that it was full of mistakes.  For maximum fun-sucking, make sure to be as blunt as possible, and to not tell them what those mistakes actually were.)

Meanwhile, at the end of last year, A Killer of Dead Men marked my second appearance in the ever-wonderful Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and my second tale following the adventures of master-assassin Otranto Onsario: you can read it here or listen to it here, but I'd strongly recommend opting for the latter because it's a great rendition.  Still on the dark fantasy front, one of my personal favourites stories, The Magpie of Souls, got picked up by new market Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores.  This is the tale of two archetypes, the evil sorcerer and the heroic warrior, coming face to face with each other and their own natures and discovering that perhaps they've turned out to be very different people to what they once intended.  It should be out by the time you read this, and though you'll need to subscribe, doing so will only set you back a modest $12 for this first year.  Meanwhile, another recently appeared market, Liminal Stories, picked up my incredibly odd science fiction story Team Invasion - seriously, this is the oddest thing I've written in years - and Golgotha, an historical horror story of sorts, is set to appear in the upcoming Mysterion anthology.

The bulk of my recent sales and publications, though, belong to Digital Fiction Publishing and its growing number of imprints.  In fact, given that Digital is also the home of The Sign in the Moonlight and Other Stories, it's fair to say that they've now published far more of my short fiction than any other market, and there's more on the way.  Late last year, my The Painted City came out as a solo e-book, and has since been collected as part of the delightfully-named Infinity Cluster anthology - one that for once I've read in a timely fashion, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend.  In the meantime, I've sold a couple more reprint stories to Digital Science Fiction, Dancing in the Winter Rooms and Passive Resistance, while the Digital Fantasy Fiction imprint has picked up my Black Horticulture.

I remember saying the last time I discussed short fiction, back in October of last year, that the strong spell of sales and publications I was having couldn't possibly last; looking back now, I can only feel immensely grateful that it's gone on for at least a little longer.  I can't remember a time when so much work I was really proud of was being picked up and published at such a rate.  Sooner or later it's bound to dry up - who knows, perhaps it already has? - but in the meantime it's been a lot of fun. 

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