Saturday, 25 February 2017

Collective Lunacy

Up until three years ago it had never crossed my mind to have a collection of my short fiction published. Over the decades I’ve sold something like sixty-plus short stories, but even my closest friends – at their most charitable – would agree the earlier stuff isn’t worth collecting.

Yet, in a moment of uncharacteristic optimism, I selected eighteen pieces and approached The Alchemy Press. In 2015, GIVE ME THESE MOMENTS BACK was published (a title which, I am told, Alchemy Press supremo Peter Coleborn keeps wanting to correct to something less poetic and more grammatical). The contents were, typically, somewhat – shall we say, eclectic? I’ve always been something of a gadfly: hopping from one genre to another without any obvious plan or direction, and the collection reflected that. I’ve no idea if, from a marketing standpoint, it was a good thing or not.

Then, as 2016 tailed off, it occurred to me that I actually had sufficient material for a more horror (or dark fantasy, if you prefer) based collection. I put together sixteen dark tales – two previously unpublished – and asked David A Riley of Parallel Universe Publications if he’d like to take a look at RADIX OMNIUM MALUM & OTHER INCURSIONS. Next thing you know, I have a sale; and better yet: David A Sutton agreed to write the introduction (to my embarrassment, making me sound like some kind of Renaissance Man). 
However, at some point in the past I think I must have irritated the gods of publishing. When I was editing SWORDS AGAINST THE MILLENNIUM for The Alchemy Press, the signature sheet for the limited edition hardback got lost in the post, delaying publication; a few years later Amazon questioned whether Fringeworks had the rights to publish my Sherlock Holmes steampunk mash-up, VALLIS TIMORIS and held it up; and just as RADIX’s publication was announced, Amazon took that down for some reason. I began to detect a theme.

Luckily the problem was resolved quickly, and the book back on sale in a day or two.

But for now I’m all out of material. The next collection will have to wait until I’m rich and famous. MIKE CHINN: THE FORMATIVE YEARS, and all that early stuff.

Review of RADIX OMNIUM MALUM

"Anyone who wants to spend time with the uncanny and horrific will find this volume contains gems" Pauline Morgan has review...