Well, this is a great way to start the weekend. Wayne Brenner at The Austin Chronicle posted an amazing review of Will the Sun Ever Come Out Again? today. Go check it out.
My next novel, Porcelain, is currently available for pre-order from Lethe Press. Due in March, Porcelain has been a long time coming. I put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this one, and I think it shows. So, what’s it about? And what have folks been saying about it? Here ya go…
Comedian Jason Hawks carries with him a mountain of emotional issues and an impressive drug habit. When he learns his high school sweetheart went on a shooting spree before turning the gun on herself, he returns home to confront a past that includes a drunken orgy in an abandoned factory and six close friends who never spoke to each other again. Something more sinister is at work than teenage hormones, however, and what Jason learns as he reconnects with his past will either fix him or shatter him further. And it could send an entire city into an abyss of lust-fueled horror.
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR PORCELAIN…
“Equal parts horror and character-driven redemption tale, Nate Southard’s Porcelain is a supernatural and pyschosexual romp that will make you squirm in more ways than one. That should be enough for you. Perv.” — Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and Disappearance at Devil’s Rock
“In Porcelain, Nate Southard turns his talents to one of the central horror stories of the modern era: a band of old friends drawn back together to confront an evil from their youth. The characters who populate these pages carry their damage with them, but they struggle to overcome it as they wrestle with the sinister forces they uncover. With Porcelain, Nate Southard has written a response to Peter Straub’s Ghost Story and Stephen King’s It. Horror fans will applaud.” — John Langan, author of The Fisherman and The Wide, Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies
“Porcelain is creepy and provocative. Southard has carefully crafted a suspenseful story that makes the reader beg to know more with every page. An addicting read from beginning to end.” — Tiffany Scandal, author of Jigsaw Youth and Perdida
“Nate Southard’s Porcelain is the kind of mature erotic body horror that brings to mind Cronenberg at his venereal peak. Southard deftly navigates the existential space between good sex and the threat of losing one’s physical autonomy without crossing the line into either prurient exploitation or puritan judgment. He handles his flawed characters’ anxieties about the past and the present with care, while keeping the central mystery moving forward at a compelling pace. Porcelain made me lose sleep because, like the characters in it, I couldn’t stop myself once I started it. You had better block off some time before you go inside this book. It’ll take you over.” — Bracken MacLeod, author of Stranded and Come to Dust
For the first time since 2012, I made it to Fantastic Fest. Shane McKenzie convinced me to return, and I’m glad he did. I forgot how fun and exhausting the festival can be. Yeah, watching movies is exhausting. You forget what the sun looks like. It’s a very weird vibe.
So, what movies should you look for on the horizon? For me, the film of the week was 3Ft Ball and Souls. It’s a trippy and emotionally affecting comedy about four people trying to commit suicide via fireworks. I don’t want to give you too much beyond that admittedly ridiculous description, but I will say I was in tears at the end.
Other highlights included The Endless, the new film from Resolution and Spring directors Justin Benson and Aaron Scott Moorhead, the upcoming Stephen King adaptation 1922, and pretty much every short film involved in the annual Short Fuse program. Five years ago, that block was the one thing I needed to see every year, and I’m glad to report the quality has remained incredibly high.
Time will tell what becomes of Fantastic Fest. Hopefully, I can go back next year.
Ahoy, mates! Or some other weird greeting. I dunno. I’m awkward.
So, I’ll be appearing at STAPLE! The Independence Media Expo on September 9th and 10th in Austin, Texas. STAPLE! is it little comic con that could, and I’m thrilled to once again be a part of it. Sunday the 10th, at 2:30, I’ll be on a panel with Lee Thomas, Gabino Iglesias, Wrath James White, and Nicky Drayden discussing genre writing. Come check us out and say hi, and then come see us in the dealers’ room!
It’s been a long time. Sorry about that. As you may have noticed, the website’s been having some issue. It appears we’re now back up and running, so I figured I should update everybody on life and stuff.
First off, I have a new short story collection available. Selected Stories, published by Independent Legions, is now available in both paperback and ebook. It’s a pretty comprehensive collection. Any short of mine you want to read is probably in there.
Also, I’m dipping my toes into that Patreon stuff all the kids are raving about. The Barnyard Series will be a quartet or serialized strange crime and horror novellas. Just one dollar gets you access. You can also sign up for additional material, like bonus essays, never before seen stories, recipes, or to become a character in the series! Check it out….
Finally, Sinister Grin Press has released several of my previous books. If you’re looking for Red Sky, Lights Out, or Just Like Hell, you can grab ’em below:
It’s good to be back, friends. More soon….
…Are we back online? Testing?
Howdy do, folks?! It’s with great pleasure that I can announce Red Sky is once again available in paperback and ebook. Thanks so much to Sinister Grin press for releasing the new edition. In the coming year, they’ll also be re-releasing Lights Out and Just Like Hell (with a little added surprise), so stay tuned for that.
Hey, everybody. Happy Monday and stuff.
I just wanted to take a second to say the fine folks have Sinister Grin Press have started merchandise stores for several of their titles, and both The Slab City Event and Red Sky made the cut. You can buy everything from shirts to phone cases to travel mugs. Go check it out. There’s some fun stuff there.
Well, another year has come to an end. Maybe you noticed that, but more than likely you’re too busy watching Star Wars. I get it. If I wasn’t terrified of crowds, I’d be seeing it today, too. Instead, I’m writing this for you. Pretty cool, huh? Eh, just roll with it….
Anyway, as I have to say every time I do one of these lists, these are not all books that came out this year. These are books I read this year. I am constantly playing catch up and–shocking!–I still haven’t caught up.
So enjoy. Then follow some links and buy some books. There’s still time before Christmas!
10. KNIFE FIGHT AND OTHER STRUGGLES by David Nickle – This year, I read a lot of short fiction. Gotta say, I am so glad I did! Of all the amazing genre shorts I read this year, this collection contains some of the best. Nickle’s short fiction settles in deep and refuses to let go. Strange love stories like “Looker” leave you feeling lovely and shaken and aching, while horrifying satire like “Knife Fight” leaves you thrilled and…also shaken. To me, the masterpiece of this collection is “Basements,” a story that scared the hell out of me and is one of the quartet of stories I think every genre author should read.
9. HAIR SIDE, FLESH SIDE by Helen Marshall – Marshall writes the kind of dark fantasy the makes your skin crawl. The stories in this collection cover the gamut from ghost stories to the downright bizarre. Little girls who receive the bodies of saints for their birthdays, editors who find lost manuscripts written on the inside of their skin, and so much more. You will find something incredible in this collection.
8. THE VISIBLE FILTH by Nathan Ballingrud – Brutal, grimy, horrifying. This novella, about a bartender who recovers a cell phone after a violent brawl and starts receiving more and more disturbing/violent messages, pulls no punches. Ballingrud starts with a place full of dirt and shadows, makes you feel at home there, and then slowly turns up the heat. An excellent study in rising tension and engaging characters.
7. WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY FINE by Daryl Gregory – A support group made up of very unique people might just save the world from a very ancient, otherworldly terror. This novella was the first Gregory I’ve read, but it will be nowhere near the last. He creates riveting characters and lets the story roll out naturally, not to mention the amazing amount of imagination and a brilliant, heartfelt final twist. Read. Now.
6. AVAILABLE DARK by Elizabeth Hand – Cass Neary ain’t your standard heroine. I mean, she has experience with heroin. And speed. And pills. And death. She’s lived hard, she’s a mess, and she’s tough as a metal bucket. There is a lot to love about Cass Neary, but don’t you dare pity her. This book, the sequel to Generation Loss, is in many ways its equal and in some ways its better. In this one, Cass travels to Europe to authenticate a series of gruesome photographs for a collector and ends up embroiled in a series of murders related to the Scandinavian black metal scene. If the standard crime novel isn’t mean enough for you, check out this one.
5. CONFESSIONS by Kanae Minato – Yuko Moriguchi is a teacher giving her last lecture in the wake of her four-year-old’s accidental drowning. Here’s the thing, though: Yuko knows her child’s death was no accident. It was murder. Further, she knows two of her students are the murderers. This novel, told from several points of view, adds layers of tension and intrigue in a way that never lets you forget the very real hearts of its characters. You’ll find yourself cringing on one page and then cheering on the next.
4. LET’S PLAY WHITE by Chesya Burke – I was four years late reading Chesya Burke’s most recent collection. It’s a mistake I will not make again. At turns terrifying, thought-provoking, and heartbreaking, the stories in Let’s Play White examine society, relationships, and the horrors humans inflict on each other and ourselves, all wrapped in delicious, fantastical prose. The story “Purse” is still lodged in my brain. I can’t shake it loose.
3. NOT FOR NOTHING by Stephen Graham Jones – Hands down, the best noir I’ve read in years. Nicholas Bruiseman is a disgraced homicide detective living in a storage unit in his Texas hometown. When his former cheerleader crush shows up asking for help, it leads him on a path straight to destruction. Nicholas is all too human, making choices he thinks are the right ones only to find they were wrong at best and downright stupid at worst. Jones writes prose that crackles with a pitch black energy. This one, here…amazing.
2. A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS by Paul Tremblay – Look, if you read any list of the best horror novels of the year, you’ll read about this book. Stephen King loved it. Brian Keene loved it. Everyone loved it. Why? It’s amazing. A demon possession novel that makes you continuously doubt there’s an actual possession taking place, A Head Full of Ghosts keeps you guessing right up to the last page and beyond, the way The Caretaker of Lorne Field and Gone Girl did in years past. Paul always delivers the goods. He does the same here, and it is well worth the read.
1. THE PULSE BETWEEN DIMENSIONS AND THE DESERT by Rios de la Luz – Holy Hell, man. I was not prepared. Not even a little. Rios de la Luz came out of nowhere to deliver this collection–her first–and amaze me on every level. In these stories she rides a razor’s edge between crime, fantasy, and horror (so much so that some might call these stories bizarro, which I find steals some of the credit due her incredible balancing act) while exploring such themes as alienation, racism, sexism, family, and so much more. Some stories are sweet and wondrous, while some are so brutal they’ll make you flinch. No other book I read this year was so refreshing and thought-provoking. nothing made me feel as deep and desperately as this collection. Rios is it. Check her out immediately.
Heya, everyone! If you’re fans of my over the top zombie/hot rod novel The Slab City Event, then I have some excellent news for you! The fine folks at Sinister Grin Press were kind enough to create as serious of Slab City Event T-Shirts. You can pick the color, and there are plenty of options. Go grab one, wear it with pride, and I will give you an awkward-yet-heartfelt thumbs up if I ever see you wearing one. Have a good one, people!