M. Stern slated to startle again in Startling Stories #35!

Hi everybody, M. here,

Just a quick update to let everyone know — I signed the contract the other day and I am thrilled to announce that I will be returning to the pages of Startling Stories for the next issue with my science ficftion story titled PHARMAKON, PHARMAKON. As always I’m tempted to reveal way too much about this one but no! I’m keeping this zone as spoiler free as possible. Should have more information on the magazine for you here (and on Facebook) as it gets closer to go-time. Take care everyone!
-M.

New interview about beauty in horror up at Black Gate!

Hey everybody, M. here,

“Beautiful and Repulsive Butterflies: An Interview with M. Stern” now up at Black Gate. Photo by: H. Lindberg

What beauty is there to be found in the grisly, gross and gruesome world of horror? Author and editor S.E. Lindberg has been asking authors of weird horror, sword & sorcery and other sub-genres this question in an ongoing interview series published over at Black Gate, and I was recently honored with the opportunity to add my two cents.

It was a super fun question to kick around, and on top of digging into a bunch of my beautifully horrific favorites and trying to figure out what makes them tick, I also got a chance to go in-depth discussing one of the images in my story “Birth” which appears in Weirdbook #44. I hope the resulting interview makes for a fun read — check it out here!

I should also add that it is well worth your while to dig into the rest of the series for a range of unique takes on the topic, including perspectives from genre fiction mainstays like Darrell Schweitzer, John C. Hocking, and John R. Fultz.

Take care everyone!
-M.

Cosmic Horror Monthly #19 is here! (and other recent developments…)

Hey everybody, M. here,

Just a quick recap of what I’ve had going on lately. For those who have not yet seen this in all its print glory, I got my copy of Cosmic Horror Monthly #19 in the mail right as I was ringing in the New Year (which is to say, hiding in my apartment while the New Year happened around me).
As you can see from the picture, this is one damn fine looking slab of weirdness as promised, and I can verify that the ominously pulsating innards are just as impressive. Of course I’m biased and think you should pick it up for the sake of having a copy of my flash fiction tale of ghastly gourmands and suffering shoggoths, “The Singular,” immortalized in print. But there’s plenty more to recommend: this issue contains a hotly anticipated Laird Barron story featuring his Coleridge/Robard duo making their debut in a new, medieval, possibly post-apocalyptic, definitely gory segment of his multiverse, Geoff Gander‘s tale of an artist inspired all the way to madness by an artifact that demands sacrifice, a slice of classic-style esoteric weird fiction with a capital-W From Erik McHatton, flash fiction from Matt Bliss that infuses the Santa Mythos with the grim, eldritch horror of the Cthulhu Mythos, and more! So grab one of these if you haven’t — supplies are limited!

Two M. Stern Stories On Tangent’s 2021 Recommended Reading List
In other news, a week or two ago I was thrilled to receive word that I have two stories appearing on Tangent Online’s 2021 Recommended Reading List. Both “Payload” from Startling Stories #34 and “Birth” from Weirdbook #44 made the yearly list, which this year consists of 235 short stories, 53 novelettes, and 12 novellas selected by the critics at Tangent from the gazillions of genre fiction stories they read and reviewed throughout 2021. Much thanks to all those who dug the stories and congrats to everyone else who made the list!

Anyway that’s all I got right at the moment — follow me on Facebook for up-to-the-minute announcements, shenanigans, observations, and the occasional meme. And you can also sign up for my email list somewhere on this blog (and maybe some day I’ll actually start sending emails out to that list.)

Happy New Year and here’s wishing everyone well in the deuce-ought-double-deuce. Take care!
-M.

Cover reveal for Cosmic Horror Monthly #19 (January 2022 Issue)

Hey everybody, M. here,

The New Year is on its way and so is the first 2022 issue of Cosmic Horror Monthly. Like I mentioned a few weeks ago, CHM #19 will contain my flash fiction story “The Singular” which was one of the winners of CHM’s Micro Madness flash fiction contest.

This insane cover art for the issue just dropped yesterday and, as you can see, this one features a brand new story from none other than Laird Barron!

Cosmic Horror Monthly #19

More on this one soon, take care everyone!
-M.

Flash story on the way in Cosmic Horror Monthly!

Hey everybody, M. here,

My piece of horror flash fiction titled “The Singular” placed in Cosmic Horror Monthly‘s Micro Madness contest and is slated to appear in the January issue of the magazine, and will be available online shortly before that. I have to say that I am completely thrilled to be making an appearance in CHM — it has quickly become one of the coolest, slickest looking weird fiction magazines out there.

So while you’re waiting to get your hands and eyeballs on my quick and crazy tale of evil aesthetes gone even eviler, check out the CHM website! They’ve run some absolute scorchers in the past couple of issues and I highly recommend that any horror fan grab a copy.

Hope those in the U.S. had a good Thanksgiving — follow me on Facebook and you can see the Cthulhu cookie I decorated in celebration of this heartwarming holiday. Take care everyone!
-M.

Reviews, podcast appearances, updates and more

Hey everybody, M. here,

It’s been a minute since my last blog post, so here are some quick updates on what has been going on over the past few months here in my secret headquarters on the dark side of the moon:

Review of “Birth” from Weirdbook #44 in Tangent
Toward the end of the summer Victoria Silverwolf at Tangent Online reviewed Weirdbook #44 and had some very nice things to say about my story “Birth.” Here’s an excerpt:

“…the author manages to make many disparate elements come together into a unified whole. The story’s structure provides an unusually profound character portrait of the protagonist. The ending is unexpected, and offers strange beauty as well as cosmic awe and wonder.”

Check out the rest of the review (and see what she has to say about the rest of the stories in the issue)! And if you have not picked up a copy of this issue of Weirdbook, it is still available to buy in print wherever weirder books are sold — and in e-book wherever weirder e-books are sold.

Talking Weirdbook and more on Apocalypse Cinema!
I was back on the Apocalypse Cinema podcast and had the opportunity to go in-depth about some of the stories I have had released in 2021. Listen to the discussion here! On this one me and Rob talk about the limits of what can be known with certainty, the relative presence or lack thereof of authors in their stories, why clowns are or are not scary, ideas being like viruses, and a bunch of other stuff.

The First Page of “Gus”
“Gus” has been available for a few months in the Funny as a Heart Attack anthology from Schlock! Publications, and I realized that I neglected to post a teaser of the first page here when I got my copy. Look no further:

Gus

Grab yourself a copy of the anthology today if you have yet to pick that one up, there’s a bunch of good stuff in it.

As a side note, right after the story came out I had a plan to possibly revisit the world of “Gus,” or reality, or realities, or segment of the quantum multiverse I guess you could say, for one more story, but I have put that idea on hold until I can find the right way to get it out there. But maybe it will happen some day.

Anyway, time for me to  go tend to this segment of the quantum multiverse I’m dealing with here, in all its mad glory. As always, if you’re digging my stories feel free to follow me on Facebook if you haven’t yet  — and join my email list in case Facebook dies, because it might. Take care everyone!
-M.

Gus hits the shelves! Weirdbook #44 in my hands! New story on the way in Lovecraftiana: The Magazine of Eldritch Horror!

Hey everybody, M. here,

It’s been another couple of weeks over here at M. Stern Headquarters where the news is coming in faster than I can post it! Yowza! That could speak more to my blog updating pace than anything, but there have indeed been a few of pretty cool developments lately (most of which I have mentioned over on Facebook, where you should follow me if you’re digging what I’m writing!). Anyway here’s a quick run through:

“Gus” is now available in print and e-book
I’m happy to say that the Funny as a Heart Attack anthology, edited by Doug Draa — which contains my story “Gus” — is now available in print and e-book from Schlock! Publications. What is the story about?

Gus is the most famous clown in a clowntastic, clowntabulous world. He is a big deal. A legend, even. Something, though, has started to change — things feel like they are getting meaner, angrier, darker. And while he can’t quite put his finger on how, Gus is beginning to suspect that he might have something to do with the whole world’s decline and fall into madness.

If you like your cosmic horror with a hefty dose of madcap, slapstick comedy (and a bunch of other stuff I won’t spoiler you on), you’re not going to want to miss this one. Whether you love clowns or hate them or even if you are indifferent about them.

Also, though it’s a little difficult to capture with my limited photographic resources, the trade paperback format looks nice as hell if you want one of these in print. There is no particular reason that I can think of that I have this one sitting near the section of my book shelf for French literature in the picture. Though there are mentions of a few famous French clowns in the story here and there, so perhaps I made a subconscious connection of some sort. And I’m not 100 percent sure but I think Schlock! Publishing might be based in France. Synchronicity abounds! Speaking of which …

“The Study of Worms” coming in 2023 in Lovecraftiana
The other day I received an email from Schlock! Publications mastermind and Lord of Lovecraftian Letters Gavin Chappell, and I am happy to say that my new story “The Study of Worms” is slated to appear in Lovecraftiana: The Magazine of Eldritch Horror in early 2023.

More on what you can expect from that story to come in the future, but I should first note for those just swinging by that this will be my second story to appear in Lovecraftiana. The first — “After the After Party” — is still available in the Candlemas 2021 issue, if you want to check out that wild romp of a cosmic horror-comedy. “After Party” is quite a different animal from the thundering, lumbering, howling, hallucinogenic beast of a Cthulhu Mythos tale that is “Worms” — but it’s worth a read while you wait! Trust me, you’ll never listen to Mozart’s The Magic Flute the same way again after reading that one. Hit that link if it sounds like your thing, and if you have Kindle Unlimited — a service that I don’t even know what it is — you can snag that Candlemas issue for the low price of $0.00.

Contributor copy of Weirdbook #44 arrived in my mailbox
Last but certainly not least, my contributor copy of the hotly anticipated Weirdbook #44 — containing my story “Birth” — arrived in the mail the other day. It’s a damn nice looking volume, with a table of contents brimming with all different walks of weird fiction to inject into your brain by way of your eyes.

If you want to pick this puppy up, the physical version should be available wherever weirder books are sold — and that includes Bucket o’ Blood Books and Records, one of the coolest independent book and record stores on the planet. Just give them a holler on Facebook and let them know you want one and, you can get your weird on without donating too much of your hard-earned cash to Jeff Bezos’ next trip to outer space. If you want it on Kindle, I think the e-book version should be dropping at some point in the near future. I’ll let you know.

Anyway time for me to go write some words elsewhere so that I can read some other words after that. Take care everyone!
-M.

Funny as a Heart Attack anthology cover art is here!

Just a quick note — the cover design for Schlock! Publishing’s upcoming clown noir/horror anthology Funny as a Heart Attack is out now, and as you can see above they’re not clownin’ around with this one! Looks like these stories should give you a real jolt! (This cover image seems to have unleashed my inner-Crypt Keeper, too.)

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this anthology is edited by Doug Draa (Weirdbook, Startling Stories) and published by Gavin Chappel (Lovecraftiana: The Magazine of Eldritch Horror, Schlock! webzine) and will contain my story “Gus.” I guess you could say it’s a horror-comedy about how cruelty rears its head in the funniest places.

More news to come!
-M.

Strangely Funny VIII contributor copy! MUSIC inspired by an M. Stern story!

Hey everybody!

Took a minute to get this post together as I have been spending a great deal of time chasing my new Roomba around trying to keep it from destroying things, and I have been otherwise distracted. But as you can see from the picture I received my contributor copy of the Strangely Funny VIII anthology edited by Sarah E. Glenn the other day, containing my story “Parts” in all its weird, wacky glory — here’s a snippet:

What could possibly be tickling our hero’s nose and why? The answer to that question just might tickle YOUR nose — or your funny bone, or even another part of you where you’re ticklish I guess — but you have to read it to find out! So snag a copy of the anthology in print or e-book today and dig in.

Which brings me to a quite exciting and unexpected development. You may have wondered why my copy of Strangely Funny VIII pictured in this post is sitting next to a speaker.  Or maybe you didn’t wonder that at all, but I will tell you why — it is because there is now …

Music inspired by the story “Parts” by M. Stern
In a surprise so awesome that it knocked me on my ass, my incredibly talented buddy Rob (host of the Apocalypse Cinema podcast and member of prog rock band Hedghog and the Fox) enjoyed “Parts” so much when he read it that he composed an original piece of experimental electronic music inspired by the story’s cosmically-horrific culmination. So when you read the story, you absolutely need to check out the theme for the arrival of a certain alien demigod on his SoundCloud,

Now my Roomba is blinking its light at me and it seems angry, so I have to go figure out what it wants. Take care and happy Monday everyone. Oh right and don’t forget to follow me on Facebook for even more updates!
-M.

Weirdbook #44 is here — and another story is on the way!

Hey everybody, M. here,

It’s been a busy week over here at M. Stern Headquarters but in the midst of it all I got news that the long-awaited Weirdbook #44 is now available in paperback. This one contains my story “Birth” — a sort of epistemological escapade filled with international intrigue, arcane rituals, quantum Weirdbook Magazine #44indeterminacy, metaphysics, and online eating challenges. Get hip to it and get weird! You can grab a copy at Amazon, (I’ll get some other links up here in the near future for those who want to support a specific local indie bookstore or have a general Amazon allergy.)

But that’s not the only exciting news that hit my inbox this week…

New anthology story on the way!
I’m thrilled to say that I will have a story coming out in the upcoming clown-themed anthology from Schlock! Publications titled Funny As A Heart Attack. The story is called “Gus.” (That’s all I am saying about it at the moment, you’ll wrestle no spoilers from me this early.)

The anthology is being edited by Doug Draa (of Startling Stories and Weirdbook) and published by Gavin Chappel (of Lovecraftiana: The Magazine of Eldritch Horror and Schlock! webzine). I am truly excited about being part of the first collaboration between these two cornerstones of today’s weird fiction scene. Hopefully more to come on this soon!

Don’t forget to pick up Strangely Funny VIII!
Strangely Funny VIIIDo you like to laugh and scream and maybe even barf all at the same time? Then don’t forget to pick up the Strangely Funny VIII anthology which dropped last week and contains my weird cosmic body-horror comedy “Parts.” As I have said elsewhere, while the story does not really resemble Gogol’s “The Nose,” it does, like that Gogol classic, have a missing nose in it. Does that ever-so-slight spoiler pique your curiosity? Well things just get crazier from there.

So grab a copy in print or Kindle through that there link or — and I encourage you to do this — ask about it at any mom-and-pop bookstore where weirder books are sold and get hooked up through them.

Get on my email list and follow me on Facebook!
Whether you made it here because you dug one of my stories or showed up completely by accident, I encourage you to follow me on Facebook and also to sign up for my email list over there on the side of the screen. I want to be able to keep everyone hip to my latest authorial shenanigans even if social media collapses and we are left dependent on Stone Age technology like email to remain in contact.

Time to get back to the shit, hope everyone is staying as safe and sane as possible. Take care!
-M.