Out early in August was the fabulous Phantasm/Chimera: An Anthology of Strange and Troubling Dreams, edited by Scott Dwyer. The TOC is a knockout and features Adam Golaski, Matthew M. Bartlett, Christopher Slatsky, Thana Niveau, Brian Evenson, Livia Llewellyn, Mike Allen, Jon Padgett, Clint Smith, and Jason A. Wyckoff, and me.
My tale is called, "Chrysalis." What do a bird, a beetle, a television set, and a mirror, have to do with one woman finding her way out of a hellish marriage? Well, you need to purchase the anthology to find out.
Here's the opening sequence, to set the mood and pique your interest.
“What in the…?”
The black bird plunked down on the kitchen tiles and skidded along the floor to Regina’s feet. She turned and immediately took to standing on her tip-toes before her balance wavered and she set her heels back down on each side of the trembling creature. She shuffled to one side, the shock of the intrusion one to shake her out of the doldrums of her dreary existence.
While listlessly washing the dishes, she’d once again been daydreaming about suicide as a legitimate goal in life. A goal she knew she was too weak to attain. She used to write bleak, depressive poetry, which might seem a cliché many maudlin young girls on the cusp of womanhood undertake, but her aspirations and talent were obvious. A few years later, as Regina had begun to make a name for herself, the weight of her dead whale marriage crushed her Muse. She allowed real misery to derail her burgeoning writing career before it truly got off the ground. It sank without a struggle, an anchor tied to the ankle of promise.***
Also out in August was the Joe S. Pulver, Sr. edited A Walk on the Weird Side, an anthology put together in conjunction with NecronomiCon 2017. The stellar TOC features: Nadia Bulkin, S. P. Miskowski, Kristi DeMeester, Matthew M. Bartlett, Ann K. Schwader, Michael Griffin, Craig L. Gidney, Farah Rose Smith, Peter Rawlik, Ashley Dioses, Daniel Braum, Nathan Carson, Jon Padgett, Rebecca J. Allred, Alistair Rennie, Starry Wizdom, Rhys Hughes, Michael Bukowski, Michael Wehunt, Anna Tambour, Christopher Slatsky, Scott Thomas, Lynda Rucker, Tom Lynch, Cody Goodfellow, Robert Levy, Jayprakash Satyamurthy, Philip Fracassi, Maura McHugh. And me. Did you just say, "Wow"?!!! ;-)
I corrupt the proceedings with a warped piece called, "Eouem Chumkpaa," which deals with, well, um...language, in a way...and an invasion, of sorts.
Here's the opening paragraph:
They’d driven out to the desert, Cal and the thing that wore the body of the woman he knew as Kayla. It sat in the passenger seat, knocked out old-school style with a rag doused in ether acquired from a friend of a friend who knew people who dealt in illicit drug concoctions and sales. The thing that was not Kayla was bound in rope, with duct tape wrapped tight around the wrists and ankles. A gray strip covered its mouth. Not her mouth. Its mouth.
Also of note, and completely unrelated, as you might know, my second novel, The Wilderness Within, will be published by Trepidatio/JournalStone on October 6. The digital and print versions are now up on Amazon, so do that pre-order thang, because you know you want it.
Here's the cover art for these amazing anthologies.