Help Me Pay Tribute to a Modern Master

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One of the biggest and bestest things to happen to me last year was having the chance to contribute my story “Husks” to Silent Motorist Media‘s Mannequin: Tales of Wood Made Flesh, which then went onto be named “Best Multi-Author Anthology” of 2019 by my beloved Rue Morgue Magazine.

So naturally, when the editor and publisher of that book, Justin Burnett, asked me if I’d like to contribute to his latest project, I had to say yes. Good thing, too, since said project is a literary tribute to Matthew M. Bartlett. If I wasn’t invited, you can bet your ass I’d have done my damnedest to weasel my way onto that TOC regardless.

Bartlett is quite simply one of the very best, most twisted, and most surreal practitioners of the arcane and macabre working today. I’m hardly alone in naming him a personal favorite contemporary author. What’s more, Bartlett is also an incredibly friendly, down-to-earth, stand-up guy who I’ve had the good fortune of hanging out with a handful of times at NecronomiCon Providence and StokerCon. No living creator deserves to be celebrated more than Matthew Bartlett. There may be many who deserve it just as much, but none who deserve it more.

Titled Hymns of Abomination: Secret Songs of Leeds, this upcoming anthology features brand new works by myself, Nathan Ballingrud, John Langan, Brian Evenson, Gemma Files, S.P. Miskowski, B.R. Yeager, Jonathan Raab, Tom Breen, Joseph Pastula, Joanna Parypinski, Farah Rose Smith, Scott R Jones, Betty Rocksteady, Christine Morgan, Kristine Ong Muslim, Christopher Slatsky, Donyae Coles, S.L. Edwards, John Linwood Grant, Robert S. Wilson, Jon Padgett, Sean M. Thompson, and Brian O’Connell.

Hymns of Abomination is currently being crowdfunding on Kickstarter, and to give you an idea of just how psyched this project has got people, it smashed its initial funding goal within 24 hours of the campaign going live. Every penny donated from here on out will go towards making the anthology even better through a number of tantalizing stretch goals.

Contribute today to pre-order a copy for yourself. In doing so, you’ll be helping to pay tribute to a truly one-of-a-kind creator.

Rue Morgue Names Mannequin Best Anthology of 2019

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I’ve been a loyal reader of Rue Morgue Magazine since 2005, when an issue with strikingly gore-geous Joe Coleman cover art based on the 1986 film Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer caught my eye at the local bookstore. After returning home with the magazine and reading it cover to cover, I was hooked. To this day, I maintain that Rue Morgue Magazine is home to some of the very best coverage and analysis of the horror genre you’re likely to find.

Believe it or not, I’m not saying all this in the vain hopes that the staff will reward me with a free lifetime subscription (although I certainly wouldn’t mind that). In truth, I’m saying all this to illustrate just how big a moment it was for me to open the January/February 2020 issue of Rue Morgue and see that the editorial staff had named Mannequin: Tales of Wood Made Flesh, an anthology I contributed to, 2019’s “Best Multi-Author Anthology.”

A heartfelt congratulations to editor Justin Burnett and all my fellow contributors who made that book so great. I’m very grateful for being able to ride your coat tails into fortune and fame, my friends!

Find out what makes Mannequin: Tales of Wood Made Flesh award-worthy by buying your own copy from Amazon. And while you’re at it, show some support to Rue Morgue Magazine too.

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A Cordial Invitation to The Phantasmagorical Promenade

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Well, this is a pleasant surprise! An anthology I contributed to which I thought had been delayed is now available!

The Phantasmagorical Promenade, from Planet X Publications, is a tribute to the classic ghost story and its many variations. From Victorian gothics and M.R. Jamesian chillers to surrealist weird tales and ambiguous psychological thrillers, The Phantasmagorical Promenade explores what it means to be haunted in every sense of the word.

My story, “Social Medium,” is an updated riff on an old urban legend. It’s about a young woman who sends a message to the social media profile of a deceased peer… and gets a response. (Cue spoopy music.)

The Phantasmagorical Promenade is now available in both paperbook and ebook. Full TOC below:

Table of Contents:

Ashley Dioses – Behind Dead Eyes, part one
John Paul Fitch – Ray
Jill Hand – Not a Ghost
Matthew St. Cyr – All Through the House
Roger Taylor – Chatterbox Chatterbox, We All Fall Down
Sarah Walker – Be Careful What You Wish For
Rob Martin – We’re All Haunted Houses
Zoltán Komor – The Ghost Molester
Justin Burnett – The Slave House
Can Wiggins – Haint
John Claude Smith – You Cannot Live Here Forever
Alessandra Bava – Star-Child
S.L. Edwards – Aurora
Sean M. Thompson – Avaunt
S.E. Casey – Gods Rushing Madly
James Fallweather – The Philip Experiment
Philip Fracassi – The Taker
Debra Robinson – G Is For Ghost Fever
Alan Sessler – A Bitter Pill
Mer Whinery – The Children of the Crow Hollow Skillet
Scott J. Couturier – Ten Cents a Bottle
Manuel Paul Arenas – Night Hag
Russell Smeaton – Purpose
Frank Coffman – The Forsaken
Farah Rose Smith – An Account Above Burnside Park
E.O. Daniels – War Over Walter
Duane Pesice – Ghost Tracks
Levi Dunn – Something Wicked in the Hills
William Tea – Social Medium
K.A. Opperman – A Ghostly Lily
Ashley Dioses – Behind Dead Eyes, part two

Mannequin: Tales of Wood Made Flesh is Finally Here!

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Summer is almost upon us. The sun is shining and the temperature’s rising. If you’re a normal person, that means backyard cookouts, trips to the beach, and vacation plans. If you’re a shut-in like me, though, it means cranking up the AC and curling up with a couple dozen books. Luckily, there’s a brand new anthology out today that’ll make a perfect addition to that stack. And best of all, I’m in it.

The debut anthology from Silent Motorist Media, Mannequin: Tales of Wood Made Flesh is available now in both paperback and ebook formats. It features 16 stories about glassy eyes that should not see, wooden mouths that should not speak, porcelain bones that should not break, and plastic hearts that should not hate… but they do. They do.

My story, “Husks,” is about a man plagued by guilt over refusing to make amends with his estranged, now deceased father. Upon inheriting the family farm he becomes obsessed with making its soil flourish once again, even if doing so wreaks havoc on his marriage, his health, and his sanity. All the while, his efforts are overseen by a lone scarecrow, its burlap face blank but for a garish painted grin.

Check out the full contributor list below, then click on over to Amazon and order yourself a copy.

Ramsey Campbell
Michael Wehunt
Christine Morgan
Richard Gavin
Kristine Ong Muslim
Nicholas Day
William Tea (hey, that’s me!)
S.L. Edwards
Matthew M. Bartlett
S.E. Casey
Austin James
Jon Padgett
Duane Pesice
Daulton Dickey
Justin A. Burnett
C.P. Dunphey

Introduction by Christopher Slatsky

Cover & Contributor List for Mannequin: Tales of Wood Made Flesh

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Do you walk a little faster whenever you pass a storefront with still, silent figures standing sentinel in the window? Do you feel their blind plastic eyes watching you, hear their painted rictus grins laughing at you? Do you ever worry that maybe they’re not the ones on display for us, but that we’re on display for them?

If you don’t now, you will after reading Mannequin: Tales of Wood Made Flesh, the debut anthology from Silent Motorist Media (the same good folks who named me one of their “Ten Weird Writers to Save Us All“). Showcasing 16 stories of deadly dummies, diabolical dolls, and other eerie effigies, Mannequin promises to plunge readers deep into the darkest region of the uncanny valley. And the best part? I get to help!

Marvel at the Don Noble cover art above, then drool over the recently announced list of contributing authors below:

Ramsey Campbell
Michael Wehunt
Christine Morgan
Richard Gavin
Kristine Ong Muslim
Nicholas Day
William Tea (hey, that’s me!)
S.L. Edwards
Matthew M. Bartlett
S.E. Casey
Austin James
Jon Padgett
Duane Pesice
Daulton Dickey
Justin A. Burnett
C.P. Dunphey

Introduction by Christopher Slatsky

Mannequin: Tales of Wood Made Flesh is due out in June, and will be available in both paperback and ebook formats wherever eldritch tomes of forbidden knowledge are traded for human souls. So, like, Amazon.