Necronomi-RomCom containing Hearts Synchronize is out!

Hey everyone, M. here,

I’m thrilled to share that the Necronomi-RomCom anthology has been called forth from the abyss and is now available for purchase in paperback or Kindle format!

After two years of Cthulhuvian gestation in the hands of editor/publisher Gevera Bert Piedmont this two-tome duology is finally here, featuring dozens of tales that bridge the gap between the heartfelt hilarity of romantic comedies and the mind-numbing terrors of the Cthulhu Mythos. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m happy to be again appearing alongside some of my favorite contemporary cosmic horror authors, John DeLaughter, J.L. Royce, and Miguel Fliguer (whose story with Mike Slater appears in the Light edition) and a ton of other names both new and familiar.

My story Hearts Synchronize appears in the Dark edition and, as I put it over on Facebook, follows perennially underemployed hero Greg Beaman as he takes on two of humanity’s most enduring metaphysical questions: 1.) what is love? and 2.) why do squid-maggots the size of a 12-pound trout keep emerging from another dimension and coming after me?

I can’t tell you if this tale holds the answer to either of those questions because those would be big spoilers, but I can tell you that on the way to finding out you’ll get romantic escapades, body horror and barfing aplenty, and even a reference to experimental composition or two. Everything you’ve ever wanted in a romantic comedy, right?  So check it out, and while you’re waiting for the book to hit your mailbox, take another second to marvel at that incredible cover art for the Dark edition right there on the screen. I can’t wait to see what this arcane volume looks like in print!

More news to come soon, take care everyone!

Die By The Sword Volume II contributor copy

Hey everybody, M. here,

I can’t believe I am only just now getting around to posting this here (though I did share it over on Facebook) but a few weeks ago I got my contributor copy of Die By The Sword Volume II and the book looks truly incredible.

You can see it in the picture there on the left, but this is seriously one to pick up a physical copy of in order to appreciate the energy radiating from this beast, and to enjoy the contents!

This anthology contains my story The Eye Within The Eye, a direct sequel to The Tears of Blood which appears in the first Die By The Sword anthology. It follows Ulxedomus, Crown Prince of K’Zal, and the alien now trapped in his eye socket, as they traverse a bizarre and hostile world of weird cults, mad monarchs, and vicious adversaries to track down his brother–the usurper who brought the Kingdom of K’Zal to ruin.

I am happy to say that I am once again appearing alongside NWOTHM luminary Howie K. Bentley and Celtic scholar Ethan Sabetella who had stories in the first book, as well as U.K. genre fiction legend Adrian Cole, who I have appeared alongside previously in Weirdbook and Startling Stories, and a bunch of other authors writing the grittiest, wildest new dark fantasy going. So dig in for blood and thunder; heroes and horrors! And if you haven’t yet, you can still pick up the first, acclaimed Die By The Sword anthology to start with the debut adventure.

The Necronomi-RomCom is coming…
In other news the hotly-anticipated Cthulhu Mythos/rom-com mashup anthology Necronomi-RomCom is getting closer to hitting the shelves–word has it from publisher Obsidian Butterfly that the book is in the midst of the layout process at the moment. The dark book of the duology will contain my short story Hearts Synchronize, a romantic comedy that contains way more body horror, experimental musical composition, threats from extra-spatial realms, and probably also more barfing than your average Hallmark movie–so the way Hallmark movies should be in an ideal world.

As you can see in one of my previous posts, the cover art is totally on point. The lineup is solid, too — I’m stoked to be appearing once again alongside some of my favorite writers of contemporary Lovecraft fiction John A. DeLaughter, J.L. Royce, and Miguel Fliguer (Argentina’s one and only expert on Lovecraftian cooking, whose story with Mark Slater will appear in the light book), and a ton of other names both known and new to me. Can’t wait for this one to arrive!

Anyway, time for me to try to stop staring at the screen for a second and do some reading. Take care everyone!

Die By The Sword Volume II out now!

Hey everybody, M. here,

Big news in case you missed it! Earlier this week, Die By The Sword Volume II hit the shelves, containing 12 new stories of blood-soaked high adventure including my latest, The Eye Within The Eye. The story is a direct sequel to my story The Tears of Blood from the first volume of Die By The Sword, and follows the continuing adventures of Ulxedomus, Crown Prince of K’Zal, now augmented with an alien presence occupying his eye socket, as he tracks his brother the Usurper through a weird, violent world of mad monarchs, crazed cults, deadly landscapes, bizarre monstrosities and more on his quest for vengeance.

Don’t sleep on this one, fans of blood and thunder! Grab yourself a copy right here and dig in if you dare! If you’ve not yet read the story that kicked off the adventure, you can still pick up a copy of the acclaimed first Die By The Sword anthology as well.

And you’re curious about my inspiration, influences, and so on when it comes to writing sword & sorcery, weird horror, science fiction, and more, check out this interview I did last year with DMR Books as part of the Independent Author Spotlight. I got a chance to go deep into my background as an author, the differences between writing dark fantasy set in a secondary world and fiction in contemporary settings, and a bunch of other stuff you might find interesting.



Quick update on upcoming story in Chthonic Matter Quarterly

Hey everybody, M. here,

I mentioned last spring that I had a story slated to come out some time in 2024 in C.M. Muller‘s new quarterly anthology series Chthonic Matter Quarterly. I’m happy to announce that I received some more details (and signed a contract), and my story Sticky will be appearing in the Winter 2024 issue of CMQ. It’s a weird one, and not one you’ll want to miss. Keep an eye out here (and on Facebook) for more news!

New story on the way in Die By The Sword Vol. II!

Hey everybody, M. here,

I’m happy to report that the big news that I have been alluding to since the end of last year is now public — I can officially reveal that my sword & sorcery story The Eye Within The Eye will be appearing in Die By The Sword Volume II from DMR Books in March. The story is the direct sequel to The Tears of Blood which appeared in the first volume of the anthology series. You can check out the full table of contents for the anthology over at the DMR website, and before you even get there feast your eyes on the mind-blowing cover illustration by Matthew Skillern below:

Die By The Sword Vol. II

I’m rushing right now so I can’t write as much as I’d like, but there will be plenty more to say about this one here and over on Facebook in the coming days, so keep a lookout and get ready!

Necronomi-RomCom cover/TOC release

Hey everyone, M. here,

Stuff is starting to get cooking here in 2024 as anthology editor/curator Gevera Bert Piedmont over at Obsidian Butterfly just released the cover art and table of contents for The Necronomi-RomCom, As I shared over on Facebook the other day, my short story Hearts Synchronize will be appearing in the dark incarnation of the two-tome duology, alongside stories from some authors I have appeared alongside before, like J.L. Royce and John A. DeLaughter, and a bunch more practitioners of modern Mythos fiction.

You can see the full table of contents right here, with links to other author webpages and so on. Both books are scheduled to come out sometime during the summer.

As you can see here from the preview image, the cover is a jaw-dropper. I think it nails the perfect balance between the aesthetics of an ancient arcane tome and a Valentine, and I’m looking forward to see how all the stories therein do the same.

As I said, I’ll be appearing in the “dark” volume of this book, and there is also sure to be plenty of scorchers in the light volume of the set, the cover for which you can see to the right. Yes, the design aesthetics here are enough to drive you to frothing, babbling madness and the stories will be too!

As I mentioned in my last post, the Lovecraftian rom-com (or just the horror/rom-com mashup in general) is a genre close to my heart, and I think my story A Roommate Named Lazarus Black, which appears in the From Beyond The Threshold anthology from Eerie River Publishing probably falls under this category at least somewhat–if you’re looking for something to check out in a similar vein from me while you’re waiting to see what this one is all about.

That’s about all I’ve got for the moment — still waiting for the go-ahead on some big news which should be coming soon. In the meantime I’ll just be continuing to try to wrestle back my concentration from the doldrums of distraction, and enjoying the arctic weather. Take care everyone!

End of year wrap-up for 2023

Hey everybody, M. here,

Seemed like I was about due to post an end-of-year wrap-up blog, so I’ll start off with a teaser. I’ve got some VERY exciting news about a story that should be on the way next year and I am waiting for the go-ahead to talk about it publicly. So keep an eye out over the next few months (and follow me on Facebook) to get the news when it drops.

In terms of stuff that I can currently talk about, here’s a recap what I already have slated to hit the shelves in 2024.

What’s lined up for next year so far
Other than the story I alluded to above, I’ve got a few others already in the hopper for some very exciting upcoming anthologies. As I announced over the summer, my story of urban isolation, paranoia, cosmically horrific catastrophe, and love or something like it, titled Sticky, is slated to appear in a 2024 issue of Chthonic Matter. That’s the quarterly anthology edited by C.M. Muller and the successor to his wildly popular Nightscript anthology series which ran from the mid-’10s through 2022. Keep an eye out for it (or a tooth, as it were! What could I possibly mean by that? You’ll have to wait and find out…).

And as I’ve more recently announced, my story Hearts Synchronize will be appearing in The Necronomi-RomCom anthology. If you liked the tone and sensibility of my story in From Beyond The Threshold then this is one you’re not going to want to miss. I had actually been taking a bit of a pause writing fiction using figures, settings, concepts, etc., directly from the Cthulhu Mythos (however unconventionally my stories might use them), as calls for Mythos fiction have grown comparatively rare with respect to where they were a few years ago at the peak of the most recent Lovecraft boom. I’ve got a few written that I absolutely love and hope will see the light of day, but the presence of Mi-Gos and other Lovecraftian Easter Eggs is making them a tougher sell these days.

That said, when I saw the submission call for The Necronomi-RomCom, the concept seemed so perfectly in my wheelhouse that it seemed like a mistake not to try to sell a story there. So I wrote up something brand new, sent it over, and was beyond thrilled to get an acceptance. “Hearts Synchronize” is filled with hilarity, horror, Hallmark moments (and a few references to Post-Cage experimental composition that you might not necessarily see in a Lifetime Original, but that you certainly should!).

I’m unbelievably excited to see the TOC and other stuff on both of these as things develop.

Stories that came out in 2023
What would the passing of a year be without one of these next-to-impossible to take photographs of the anthologies I’ve appeared in this year? So here’s a pic of most of the books my stories appeared in throughout 2023 (one I never received, I gather because of some shakeups at the fledgling publisher).

The photo may be blurry but I’m happy to share that my work has appeared in some damn handsome volumes this year–and every one is filled with solid stories.

As far as stories from me, you’ve got my action-packed leap into sword-and-sorcery with The Tears of Blood in the highly-acclaimed Die By The Sword anthology from DMR Books. You’ve got a story of urban goofballery and a roommate search gone cosmically horrific with A Roommate Named Lazarus Black in the Tim Mendees-curated From Beyond the Threshold anthology from Eerie River Publishing.

In Lovecraftiana: The Magazine of Eldritch Horror first you’ve got The Study of Worms, a story of a reprobate in the mid-’90s journeying through dream dimensions and weird worlds in search of arcane knowledge, finding it, and facing the vicissitudes of life and fatherhood with Elder Gods and eldritch forces ever looming in the background. And finally you’ve got Something Missing, an experimental, eschatological, and very busy rom-com that delves into esoteric religious practice, biblical apocrypha, online cults, the machinations of an indifferent Lovecraftian demiurge and the unbearable tedium of working a job in the suburbs, looking for love, and trying to figure out what the hell to do–even as the end is nigh. (Note for if you pick up the last one: the original version of that issue featured another author’s bio under my name at the end of the book, I am not sure if it has been corrected).

They’re all still available online, check out my full list of published work to see where you can pick them up.

Anyway time for me to motivate — I’ve got some other stuff I wanted to explore in this post that popped up this year, for instance I’d like to write a bit about how much I loathe generative AI, but that topic and some other stuff I’ve long planned to write about might serve better as standalone blog posts. I’d make a New Year’s resolution to post more here and focus more on that type of essay-style content, and maybe even get back to writing movie reviews, but I can’t make any promises, just playing it by ear as always.

Happy New Year everyone, take care,

New story acceptance and new book pics

Hey everybody, M. here,

Just a couple of quick updates. First off…

New story slated for publication in the Necronomi-RomCom!
I’m happy to announce that my short story Hearts Synchronize will be appearing in next year’s Necronomi-RomCom anthology. The collection is being curated, edited, and published by the wonderful Gevera Bert Piedmont (author of the Mickey Crow Paranormal Adventure Series) through her indie press Transformations by Obsidian Butterfly.

The story, as you might expect from the title of the anthology, is a Cthulhu Mythos rom-com. If you’ve read some of my stories in Lovecraftiana and the one I have in the From Beyond the Threshold anthology, you might have already realized that I’ve got sort of a thing for mashing up cosmic horror with romantic comedy, so I’m really excited to have a story appearing in this anthology dedicated to the concept. The anthology is scheduled for summer of 2024, and I’ll be posting more details as they come!

Author copy of From Beyond the Threshold has arrived
I forgot to post about it here last month but I did mention over on Facebook (where you can follow me if you haven’t already!) that I received my author copy of From Beyond the Threshold from Eerie River Publishing. As you can see from the picture of it there on my shelf, it’s an excellent looking book. It’s got the contents to match, too–I’m nearly done reading it and I’m particularly digging:

  • Corpora by J.L. Royce, which incorporates natural language processing, brain implant technology, and ancient texts into something reminiscent of Altered States;
  • The Well by Georgia Cook, an atmospheric, isolated tale, that is distantly rural but nevertheless brought to mind the highly urban all-star ensemble horror flick The Sentinel with a solid twist, and;
  • Phantasmagoria by Tim Mendees himself, who once again nails the feeling of classic Victorian period horror along the lines of The Asphyx in a Lovecraftian jaunt through Ripper Country, while incorporating his characteristically dead-on wry sense of humor, a couple of mustachioed inspectors out of a Hitchcock film, and no small helping of stomach-roiling gore.

Those are three that popped out in my head right off the bat, but there are plenty of other bangers in there (including one by John A. DeLaughter, whose name you’ll recognize from the cover of the most recent issue of Lovecraftiana) so pick up the anthology in print or e-book and get into it.

I should also mentioned that Mr. Mendees, who curated the collection, has an  article up on the British Fantasy Society website about the use of comedy in horror that has some nice observations and is worth a read.

And to get a hint of what you have to expect from my tale of urban dwelling, pests, and the desperate search for a roommate gone cosmically horrific, check out the first couple of paragraphs of A Roommate Named Lazarus Black in From Beyond the Threshold pictured to the right.

Hopefully I’ll have some other news on the way sooner than later, in the meantime check me out on Facebook for more frequent updates. Take care everyone!

From Beyond The Threshold OUT NOW from Eerie River Publishing!

Hey everybody, M. here,

Just a quick note to announce that the From Beyond The Threshold cosmic horror anthology is out now from Eerie River Publishing. It contains my cosmic horror comedy A Roommate Named Lazarus Black and is available in print and e-book from Amazon, and the e-book is also available directly through Eerie River (and currently available as part of a launch sale for only $2.99 CAD, until September 7!).From Beyond The Threshold

Get ready to laugh until you scream, then scream until you laugh (then maybe barf if you’re easily grossed out) at my tale of two goofballs taking on the most frightening, sanity-rattling task that one can face–a roommate search–and the maddening horror that ensues when the guy they find is a bit too perfect!

Super excited to be appearing in this anthology, the first one from Eerie River that I have been in, alongside 11 other top-notch authors of weird and terrifying tales, including the always excellent, prolific, and hilarious Tim Mendees, who curated the anthology.

Time for me to get my day started! Follow me on Facebook for more up-to-the-minute developments and shenanigans. Take care everyone!

From Beyond The Threshold anthology coming August 31!

Hey everybody, M. here,

Just a quick update to share some news, in case you’ve been on the other side of the wall of sleep and missed the big announcement. Over the weekend (on the birthday of H.P. Lovecraft, no less) Eerie River Publishing announced the official title, table of contents and release date for From Beyond The Threshold, the cosmic horror anthology curated by Tim Mendees coming at the end of the month.

The anthology will contain my cosmic horror-comedy A Roommate Named Lazarus Black, a story about the howling abyssal void that is the search for a roommate. In it, goofballs Victor and Adrian need someone to move into the weird-shaped third room in their apartment as soon as possible. But could the roommate they end up finding be a little too perfect?

I’m super excited to be making my first appearance in an Eerie River anthology, and as I knew would be the case, this is shaping up to be one amazing looking book as you can see from the mind-warping, reality-bending promotional graphics. It has a hell of a lineup of authors including the prolific and hilarious Mr. Mendees himself. Very excited both to appear in this one and to read it!

Just a few more days, so turn up your Resonator and get ready. And don’t forget to follow me over on Facebook for other semi-regular updates and shenanigans.  More to come soon, take care everybody!