Bram Stoker Award Nomination

Well, the Stoker Award final ballot was released today, and I wasn’t quite prepared for the shock of one category.

Superior Achievement in SHORT FICTION
RETURN TO MARIABRONN by Gary Braunbeck (Haunted Legends)
THE FOLDING MAN by Joe R. Lansdale (Haunted Legends)
1925: A FALL RIVER HALLOWEEN by Lisa Mannetti (Shroud Magazine #10)
IN THE MIDDLE OF POPLAR STREET by Nate Southard (Dead Set: A Zombie Anthology)
FINAL DRAFT by Mark W. Worthen (Horror Library IV)

Just… wow.  Can I say, ‘Wow?’  It’s an honor.  I’ve hoped for an official Stoker nomination for years, but never did I dream it would come in the short fiction category.  That’s where the real competition usually sets up camp.  I think about the folks who’ve won that award or have been nominated, and I can’t help but feel a little overwhelmed.

The rest of the nominees are below.  I just want to take a second to say congratulations to everybody.  You all deserve it!

Superior Achievement in a NOVEL
HORNS by Joe Hill (William Morrow)
ROT AND RUIN by Jonathan Maberry (Simon & Schuster)
DEAD LOVE by Linda Watanabe McFerrin (Stone Bridge Press)
APOCALYPSE OF THE DEAD by Joe McKinney (Pinnacle)
DWELLER by Jeff Strand (Leisure/Dark Regions Press)
A DARK MATTER by Peter Straub (DoubleDay)

Superior Achievement in a FIRST NOVEL
BLACK AND ORANGE by Benjamin Kane Ethridge (Bad Moon Books)
A BOOK OF TONGUES by Gemma Files (Chizine Publications)
CASTLE OF LOS ANGELES by Lisa Morton (Gray Friar Press)
SPELLBENT by Lucy Snyder (Del Rey)

Superior Achievement in LONG FICTION
THE PAINTED DARKNESS by Brian James Freeman (Cemetery Dance)
DISSOLUTION by Lisa Mannetti (Deathwatch)
MONSTERS AMONG US by Kirstyn McDermott (Macabre: A Journey through Australia’s Darkest Fears)
THE SAMHANACH by Lisa Morton (Bad Moon Books)
INVISIBLE FENCES by Norman Prentiss (Cemetery Dance)

Superior Achievement in an ANTHOLOGY
DARK FAITH edited by Maurice Broaddus and Jerry Gordon (Apex Publications)
HORROR LIBRARY IV edited by R.J. Cavender and, Boyd E. Harris (Cutting Block Press)
MACABRE: A JOURNEY THROUGH AUSTRALIA’S DARKEST FEARS edited by Angela Challis and Marty Young (Brimstone Press)
HAUNTED LEGENDS edited by Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas (Tor)
THE NEW DEAD edited by Christopher Golden (St. Martin’s Griffin)

Superior Achievement in a COLLECTION
OCCULTATION by Laird Barron (Night Shade Books)
BLOOD AND GRISTLE by Michael Louis Calvillo (Bad Moon Books)
FULL DARK, NO STARS by Stephen King (Simon and Schuster)
THE ONES THAT GOT AWAY by Stephen Graham Jones (Prime Books)
A HOST OF SHADOWS by Harry Shannon (Dark Regions Press)

Superior Achievement in NONFICTION
TO EACH THEIR DARKNESS by Gary A. Braunbeck (Apex Publications)
THE CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE HUMAN RACE by Thomas Ligotti (Hippocampus Press)
WANTED UNDEAD OR ALIVE by Jonathan Maberry and Janice Gable Bashman (Citadel)
LISTEN TO THE ECHOES: THE RAY BRADBURY INTERVIEWS by Sam Weller (Melville House Publications)

Superior Achievement in a POETRY collection
DARK MATTERS by Bruce Boston (Bad Moon Books)
WILD HUNT OF THE STARS by Ann K. Schwader (Sam’s Dot)
DIARY OF A GENTLEMAN DIABOLIST by Robin Spriggs (Anomalous Books)
VICIOUS ROMANTIC by Wrath James White (Bandersnatch Books)

Coming Soon…

I don’t want to give too much away, because the closest I have to a release date on this sucker is “Before World Horror in April,” but there’s a fun synergy that I wanted to share.

On my birthday last year,  shared the Burning Effigy Press had purchased my novella This Little Light of Mine. Well, this year, I want to celebrate my birthday by sharing the cover, which is my favorite so far.

Norm Partridge lays down the wisdom

Over on his excellent blog, American Frankenstein, Norm Partridge has spent the last week or so talking about first time novelists and what they can do in the current genre environment.  Norm covers a lot of problems I’ve been churning over in my own head, including that horrific head scratcher “What do you do when your first novel has a print run of barely 100 copies?”

So go check it out.  You’re sure to learn something as Norm lays down the wisdom…

First Novels and Micro-Runs, Part I

First Novels and Micro-Runs, Part II

Putting You First Novel to Work

The Magic Bullet

Red Sky copies available

Due to some cancelled reservations, Paul at Thunderstorm has a few copies of Red Sky available.  I honestly have no idea how many he has in stock.  Later this week, he’ll have a buy button set up on the Thunderstorm Books website.  If you’d rather get a jump on things, shoot him an email at and he can send you an invoice.

Red Sky costs $60 + $5 shipping.

Under the Dome

More than a year late, I finally read Stephen King’s Under the Dome.  It shouldn’t be that surprising, because I’m always behind in my reading.  There are only a handful of writers (Gillian Flynn, Sarah Langan, Paul Tremblay, Norman Partridge, Brian Keene) that I’ll read almost immediately.  Everybody else has to wait until my mood is right.

Well, I wish I hadn’t waited, because Under the Dome quickly became one of my favorite King works (Fun Note: I originally spelled the title as Under the Dame, which I’m sure is a very different book).

For those who might also be behind on their reading, Under the Dome is about the small town of Chester’s Mill, Maine and how, shortly before election time in 2012, a dome drops over the entire town, trapping the residents inside.  It’s a simple-yet-brilliant set up, and what happens to Chester’s Mill’s citizens over the space of the next week is nothing short of horrific.  King digs the knife in deep and twists it mercilessly.  Really, he’s just as good as he’s always been.

What sets this novel apart for me, however, is the villain.  Big Jim Rennie, the town’s second selectman (what the hell is a selectman, anyway?), isn’t the supernatural force of nature that Randall Flagg or Pennywise the Clown is.  In truth, he’s something much worse: crooked, human, self-righteous, and convinced above all things that he’s right.  There were more than a few chapters in Under the Dome that had me shaking with anger.  That’s good writing.  The only other writing passage to get such a visceral reaction from me was the end of Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects.

So, for those of you who thought the King is dead, you’re wrong.  Go pick up Under the Dome.  Long live the King!