Table of Contents

There’s less than a week to go before the final nominees for the Bram Stoker Awards are announced and I find out if “Raw”—currently on the preliminary ballot—made the final cut. And also whether I’m going to have to drag my ass out to Los Angeles for the first time in years to attend the ceremony.

The Table of Contents for Raw and Other Stories can be viewed in the Amazon preview page, but I thought I’d go over the twenty stories in more detail here—and include links to where you can read some of them for free right now.

Wrangler

The closest I’ve come to writing a genuinely cozy crime story, I was fond enough of this tale to start off the entire collection with it. Fond enough, in fact, to withdraw it from submission somewhere else in order to include it here. Pity it didn’t get more of a kick at the can in the open market. I’m sure I might have placed it in some anthology, but one high-profile magazine decided to sit on it for an insane 341 days before getting back to me. Fresh off the keyboard and lost in limbo for nearly a year, it got pressed into service here to bookend the collection between something fairly light, and the extreme darkness of the titular story. If you click on the “Look inside” feature on the store page, you’ll get enough of a preview of the book to be able to read the entire thing.

Heads Will Roll

Based on a real girl who actually did this job for a university one summer, this story was first printed in Betty Fedora Issue Two. Being the lead, you can again check out the “Look inside” feature on the page to get a preview—but you’ll get cut short about halfway through.

Bayonet Baby

Originally slated for the Weird War anthology, it became homeless once that book was cancelled without notice at the 11th hour. A satire about war propaganda, it was hard to place again, but eventually found a home in Illuminati at My Door, where it was expanded by about 300 words.

The Last Seven Miles and Home

A quick little horror/crime jaunt I came up with for the Bumps in the Road anthology, it was chosen to lead off the book. Yet again, the “Look inside” on the Amazon page will give you a look-see—enough to read the whole thing. At this point, with so many free previews, you might be wondering why you would even bother by buy my collection at all. Hint: it’s only a buck right now.

rawandotherstories600It’s the Thought That Counts

This is one of my all-time favourites. Cruel, funny, and dark. It came close to selling a number of times, and then spent a year earmarked to appear in an anthology alongside such luminaries as Margaret Atwood. Yes, Margaret Fucking Atwood. And then the whole book got cancelled for reasons that remain shrouded in mystery. It was time to give up and include it in this collection because readers who follow my work should really have access to this one.

Just One of the Lads

One of the oldest stories in the book, this dates back to a time when I was finding my legs as a writer, before the film business swept me off my feet and plugged me into the screenwriting mill for twenty years. There’s a number of pieces I wrote back then that will never see the light of day. Most, like this one, were never even submitted anywhere, but made the cut as one of the few oldies worth collecting.

Black Ink

A piece of flash fiction I quite enjoy. This one was too dark for some of my usual outlets, but Out of the Gutter Online snatched it up immediately once they had a look. It can still be read on their site. I got the idea while I was sitting in a Toronto production company, waiting to have a meeting about yet another kiddie cartoon. They had a number of books in the waiting area lying on the coffee table, including a rare edition about Russian Mafia tattoos. It was a weird thing to find in a place that worked exclusively in children’s animation.

Anatomy of a Riot

I wrote this one for a very specifically themed anthology. It was perfect for them, exactly what they were looking for. And then they turned it down. I was left with a strange, morbid, docudrama period-piece that was an unlikely fit anywhere else. Indeed, my sporadic attempts to place it elsewhere proved futile, but I remain pleased enough with the results to include it here.

Hot Pennies

Another one of my favourites, it took me years to finally finish it, followed by more years of shopping it around. It became my all-time most rejected story, to the point that it became a running joke. Odd, because it’s among my very best short stories, provided your sensibilities are really troublingly dark. Last year, largely as a lark, I published it as a standalone story to take advantage of a Halloween-themed promotion. It immediately became my most downloaded and highest rated book to date.

Table d’hôte

The first of three pieces of criminal flash fiction I published with Shotgun Honey, you can still read it on their site.

One Last Time

“Foul” is how one friend recently describe this story. Then he went on to tell me how he delighted in relaying its odious contents to his wife. This is another oldie I sat on for many years without submitting anywhere. My initial readers were so appalled a quarter of a century ago, I decided to bury it. I only dug it out of mothballs last year when I placed it with Morpheus Tales for their Taboo Special Issue. Now it has returned to sicken and horrify again.

The Spare

Piece number two with Shotgun Honey remains on their site. This bit of polite violence is possibly my favourite of the flashes.

Choke the Chicken

Originally appearing in New Canadian Noir, I later published this as a standalone once the rights reverted to me. Call it a director’s cut of the story. Like “Hot Pennies” before it, this one also has some basis in my happy but sinister childhood memories.

The Appeal

This short piece hints at a larger story, then purposely refuses to give it to you. I considered it a thematic choice, but it frustrated editors. It will probably irritate you too.

Meridian Response

This one barely got sent out before I stuck it in here. It’s an extreme (but consensual) piece of horror about ASMR culture, and I didn’t feel like waiting around for the next rare anthology into this sort of material to crop up.

Young Turks and Old Wives

From Locked and Loaded: Both Barrels Vol. 3 comes this crime story within a crime story. One reviewer called it “Hitchcockian,” but Hitchcock tended to make stories about a better class of criminal than these scumbags.

It’s All on You

Recently published by Out of the Gutter Online, it came out within 24 hours of the collection.

Underwriter

Likely the most autobiographical story I’ll ever write, it’s still a grotesque distortion of real life. It might give you some idea of what it’s like working in the screenwriting trenches. This isn’t a transcript of any meetings I’ve ever had, but some have come damn close.

The Wash

Another recent crime story. Reading it back-to-back with the climactic tale, you’ll see some hints that many of these stories may be taking place in some shared criminal universe. This will come up again in future work.

Raw

And finally, the biggest bad boy of the group. Originally appearing in Silent Screams, now in line for a Bram Stoker Award nomination, this is a crime story that crosses the line into horror, and then likely crosses another line into what’s often labelled “extreme horror”—whatever that means. Uncompromising, no-shit horror, I guess. It remains the only story I’ve ever written with material disturbing enough that my wife had to skip parts when she was proofreading it. I had to point to a spot on the printed page where it would be safe to resume, but really, it only gets nastier.

Raw and Other Stories remains priced at $0.99 until the nominations, and can also be borrowed and read for free by Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

837610f8-3c4d-493f-9079-7de45a53ba0cAfter a brief intermission being a pay book, Filmography has dropped down to freebie status again for the second promotion of the week. I expect most people reading this have long-since grabbed their own copy, but check out the rest of the Mystery and Thriller Book Promotion for more genre eBooks that are free this weekend.

Apocalypse Guy and the 10,000 Covers

As ubiquitous in publishing as the Wilhelm Scream is in film, Apocalypse Guy is on a hell of a lot of book covers. Not just books out there for sale right now, but books yet to be born, books yet to even be conceived.

There are a number of websites were authors can licence pre-made book covers that have been cobbled together by many talented (and some untalented) Photoshop wizards from stock photo sites that are brimming with hundreds of thousands of images. So far, I’ve only ever bought one cover like this, because the odds of finding a pre-made that sufficiently matches the contents of one of my books are pretty low. It’s not that I’m super-picky, but usually when I see one that could work, it’s either shitty from a design perspective, or too generic to get me excited about adding it to my author shelf. Nevertheless, I like to browse, hoping to one day stumble across something perfect.

Over the weekend, I binged and ended up looking at nearly 10,000 different covers. That’s right, 10k. I did the math. Of all those, I bookmarked 27 for future consideration. I’ll probably end up pulling the trigger on zero of them. Still, compared to how many images I’ve looked at on the various stock sights, that’s a drop in the ocean.

After a while, you come to recognize certain key images that get used or incorporated over and over again. Photo shoots with specific models leap out, and you’ll know exactly where that image came from. You’ll feel intimately acquainted with Brunette-Chick-With-Sword, even while you’re cheating on her with Blonde-Chick-With-Sword. Some photo shoots are so overused, I wouldn’t touch a single element from any of them. They’ve been around, they’ve been loose with their evocative imagery and, worst of all, they’ve become sad, used-up clichés in the book-cover biz.

bigstock_42159622The biggest tramp on the block has to be Apocalypse Guy. This one is from an instantly-recognizable photo shoot of an unrecognizable model in full-body gear and a gas mask. Sometimes he’s carrying a gun. Sometimes he’s sitting in a chair. Always he seems to be looking at you through his dark lenses, indifferent or accusatory, as though asking, “How could you let the world come to this?” Insert various backgrounds of ruins and decay and there’s your generic cover for your dystopian-future novel. Sixty bucks, please.

I can’t even calculate how many covers I’ve seen him on at this point, both published and proposed. I’ve stumbled upon the original photo shoot many times as well—plain, modified, mangled, but always that same guy.

Now that you know his face—or lack thereof—you’ll never fail to notice him if you browse enough virtual bookshops. Like the survivalist he represents, he’ll outlive us all.

Speaking of apocalypses, how was your Valentine’s Day? Are you sick of that shit yet?

If so, check out the Anti-Valentine’s eBook giveaway for a bunch of novels, novellas and short stories that aren’t about all that icky romance stuff. You can grab a free copy of my book, Filmography, which does have some romance stuff in the mix, but not of the usual icky variety. This is the kind of romance that will make you feel dirty, and not in the good sexy sort of way. More in the used and abused sort of way. Like real relationships.fb-antival-thrillerhorror-xpromo

If you’re paying attention to the minutia of the website (and I know you aren’t—I barely do), you’ll see that there’s a newsletter you can now subscribe to on the right-hand sidebar. Two issues in, it’s still early days for regular readers here to climb aboard. Subscribers will receive additional news about discounts and giveaways, and will also have unique opportunities to get previews, exclusive content, advanced copies, and other goodies. Fill out the short form, and you’ll get irregular emails from me. I swear to never, ever send you offers for boner pills, or account notices that pretend to be from your bank. But no promises about soliciting you for fake funeral insurance.

Half-Baked, Under-Done, or Raw

With the Bram Stoker Awards pending, and “Raw” on the preliminary ballot for a long-fiction nomination, I decided it was time to put out a collection of stories for people who might be interested in checking out the titular horror/crime opus, in addition to a pile of other material I’ve accumulated. Some of it has seen print in recent anthologies, some of it is making its first appearance here (often after being scheduled for publication, only to have an unexpected book cancellation pull the rug out from under it, leaving the rights tied up for a year). Many of the never-before-seens are among my A-list short stories, but for various reasons never found the right niche market, or got dicked around so long, I grew impatient to show them to readers. Thus their inclusion.

“Wrangler,” leading off the bunch, is one of those. Probably the most commercial short I’ve tried to flog in recent years, I only ever sent it to one major publication. They sat on it for a whopping 341 days before saying “no” and, in the process, made me miss out on a lot of other potential venues. Sad considering that, as far as my writing goes, this one is charmingly whimsical. Y’know, in a gallows-humour sort of way.

rawandotherstories600I’ve had an uneven year, where some publishers have come through as solid and reliable, with quality products and occasionally even fair pay rates (so rare in proseland). Others—particularly some of the more major players—have made me wonder where all the professionals have gone. I expect I’ll want to bitch about this further in an upcoming blog post, so stay tuned for some bridge-burning anecdotes about the writing/publishing business. For now, though, this should be a day of celebration. A twenty-story collection is nothing to toss off without some fanfare.

I think the most surprising thing about this single-author collection—to me at least—is how much more is yet to be collected. I could have kept going, but decided to hold off on a bunch of stories for a variety of reasons. Some are still under contract and awaiting publication. The Sherlock Holmes material will one day be assembled in its own book. And then there are others that fall into the realm of science fiction and the supernatural, which wasn’t a good thematic fit with the rest of what’s in Raw and Other Stories.

All the stories in Raw are grounded in some semblance of reality, even at their most horrific. A few spin off into the realm of outlandish satire, but are at least based on real events—semi-autobiographical in cases. It’s dark stuff, to be sure, but always delivered with a wink. Picture a nihilist who makes a living as a stand-up comic. That’s pretty much my writing career.

Aside from the Amazon preview page (yet to be generated as of this writing) which will give you a look at most of “Wrangler,” you can get another preview of the collection over at Out of the Gutter Online. As of this very same day, they’re hosting my flash-fiction story, “It’s All on You.”

And if that doesn’t sell you, maybe a limited-time offer will seal the deal. Raw and Other Stories will be available on Kindle at only $0.99 for the next two weeks, right up until the final nominations for the 2016 Bram Stoker Awards are announced. After that, regardless of whether the news is good or bad, it will get bumped up to a more regular eBook price. A paperback edition is pending, if physical is still your thing.

Arthur Conan Doyle Versus Bram Stoker

They were pals back in the day, now they’re competing for my attention.

The Kickstarter for the next volume of MX Sherlock Holmes stories has begun. Volume Six will feature my new Sherlock & Wiggins story “The Adventure of the Cat’s Claws” and will be out in May. The funding goal has already been achieved, but don’t let that stop you from making a pledge and getting your copy earlier and cheaper than everybody else. Higher pledge levels can also nab you all the other entries in the series, which together amount to heaping piles of Holmes mysteries—more than Conan Doyle himself ever got around to writing. My earlier Wiggins story, “The Song of the Mudlark” can be found in Volume One. As always, all profits go towards the restoration of Undershaw.mxsherlock6

On the Stoker front, my story “Raw” which appeared in Silent Screams: An Anthology of Socially Conscious Dark Fiction has made the preliminary ballot for the 2016 Bram Stoker Awards in the long fiction category. It’s not a nomination, but it places me among the eleven possible nominees. There will be an announcement in February. I’ll try not to get my hopes up, but the trophy is a friggin’ haunted house with Cthulhu gargoyles and tentacles poking out the windows. Who wouldn’t want one of those? I would totally lord it over the Oscar winners I know and tell them how much my award kicks the shit out of their boring-ass statuette.

Because being a sore winner is all the rage.bramstoker

Hit the Ground Crawling

My desire to begin 2017 with a bang fizzled into a whimper and a pathetic plea for more chicken soup. Just when I thought I was one of only a handful of people to survive 2016, that cursed year’s attempt to murder me lingered well into January. For the first time in years, I came down with a major cold—the same one that absolutely everybody seemed to get and might have put a new royal on the throne and all over our money had it been a touch more virulent.

My New Year’s Eve party amounted to sitting, sniffling, in front of the television, watching CNN implode in a live on-air drunken orgy of stupidity that’s only gotten worse since everyone sobered up and resumed reporting fake news with a straight face. Admittedly, that was way more fun than any party I might have attended, but is was still a sad showing. My illness only got worse from there, and all the ambitious plans I had for Eyestrain had to be put on hold while I recovered.

In the thick of it, I did manage to finish “The Adventure of the Cat’s Claws” for the next MX volume of Sherlock Holmes stories. Even then, I was such a mess, I only managed to cross the finish line five days past deadline, which is unheard of for me. Asking for an extension—even one happily offered well before the deadline—was a bitter pill to swallow. Back in my school days, I was the kid who always had the class projects and term papers ready on time. I used to resent the slackers who got extensions, but I resented the teachers who offered extensions even more. To this day, I consider it an awful lesson for any teacher to give to their students. Getting a zero on a term paper because it was handed in late would have taught tardy teens so much more about life and succeeding in the work place than anything they were studying or writing about at the time. It’s something they would remember. An essay on milling wheat, chosen by pulling a topic randomly out of a hat, not so much.

This is why I never became a teacher. Not because I’d be too much of a hard-ass with students. But because of all those obnoxious parent-teacher meetings with helicopter moms and dads who think their eighth grader’s pop-quiz D-minus will scuttle their chances of getting into Harvard.

I guess this is my roundabout way of thanking editor David Marcum for not being a hard-ass. I promise, I really was sick. And my dog really did eat my first draft.

It’s the first promotion of the year.

Sex Tape is back down to $0.99 this weekend. It’s part of Renée Pawlish’s latest bundle of mysteries and thrillers on sale at Amazon. Check out the pile of bargain books for your Kindle device or software while supplies last.

Actually, they’re eBooks, so supplies can’t run out. But the sale price will be over come Monday morning, so peruse now while you have the chance, and let your fingers do a one-click purchase whenever your brain thinks “That might be fun.” Everything is only a buck.

The Plagueis Dogs

“Damn you, 2016!” shouted the mountain range of cocaine and the ocean of alcohol ingested in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Snickering between themselves, they slunk away to the back of the gathered mournful crowd, who were again lamenting how the cursed year had robbed them of another celebrated celebrity.

Remember when Groucho Marx died within a few days of Elvis Presley? Everybody was so upset about the bloated icon, destroyed at a young age by an overindulgence in drugs and fatty foods, they paid no attention to the passing of a true master of the language and a writer of extraordinary wit and intelligence. Thankfully the internet allows us to act as our own media filter now and we can focus on the stories that matter most to us, if nobody else.

Richard Adams, it was announced today, died on Christmas Eve at the age of 96. Hardly unexpected so late in the game, it’s still a blow to fans of his classic novels such as Watership Down and The Plague Dogs. I was thinking of him only a couple of days ago, noting his advanced age on his Wikipedia entry, not realizing he was already dead. Like a lot of celebrities who are less in the public eye—writers in particular—word of their passing often comes days after the fact, once the family or representation issue a statement.

Watership Down remains one of my all-time favourite novels. I haven’t actually read The Plague Dogs because I saw the movie (adapted by the same animation studio that made the brutal film version of Watership) and it kicked the shit out of me. In my 40s. I recommend exposing your children to Adams’s animal-centric stories as early as you can. They’ll be traumatized in all the important ways children should be traumatized while preparing themselves for a vicious, merciless world.

But, of course, stealing all the headlines is a competing celebrity death that eclipses all others. Because she was in Star Wars.

I like Carrie Fisher. I’ve read a couple of her books. She was a reliable Hollywood script doctor and occasional actor, who showed up for mostly small roles in a variety of non-Star Wars related films. But let’s be honest. We’re mostly surprised she lasted this long.

Back when it was popular to do so, Carrie Fisher snorted ALL the coke. Drank ALL the booze. Did ALL the rehab. It’s astonishing she survived the 20th century at all. And even though she was the picture of health in Rogue One (it’s like she hadn’t aged at all), the fact that her body finally gave out in the wake of all her old bad habits should shock absolutely no one.

Callously, my greatest concern is how much rewriting this is going to inflict on the current trilogy. Not that there was much story to The Force Awakens, but if the writers have been doing their job and stepping up their game for episodes VIII and IX, Leia may have actually been part of a real character arc, now cut short. It’s a bad blow to the franchise in general and, I expect, Fisher in particular.

Here’s my fix:

Because Star Wars is all about fan service (and Richard Adams and The Plague Dogs is fresh in my mind), cast Fisher’s pet Gary the Dog as Darth Plagueis. Seriously. Gary is beloved, he’s creepy looking, and we haven’t seen Darth Plagueis on screen in a Star Wars movie yet, so they can cast ANYBODY. Disney, I’m talking to you. You want to protect your four billion dollar investment, you need to do shit like this. Or at least cast Gary in a Yoda prequel. He’s a natural. He’s a STAR. Much more so than whatshisface and whatshername or whosthatguy you’ve got filling in the slots of the next generation. Run with him.

People will love you for it, you’ll be doing Carrie a solid, and Gary will have the cash he needs to feed his Milkbone habit. I’m nothing if not a problem solver. You’re welcome.

In other news, Harrison Ford is still alive. He was in a plane crash, the Millennium Falcon tried to eat him, he was trampled by elephants, shot by John Hinkley Jr., blown up in the Hindenburg, stripped to the bone by ravenous piranhas…and that was just today. The man is accident prone, but nothing can kill him. Except maybe his role choices since the ‘80s.

One final note. A word of warning in these closing days.

You have not yet survived 2016.

2016 is still out there. Prowling. Waiting. Hungry.

Watch yourself.

Sex Tape Tenth Anniversary Already?

My novel, Sex Tape, is purposely ambiguous about when it takes place. There are hints, suggestions, and conflicting clues throughout. Mostly it can only be pinpointed to “somewhere in the first decade of the 21st century.”

Since then, I’ve been working on other stories from the same criminal timeline, including the subsequent cases of shabby detective, Sid Volke. The next novel in his personal history specifically happens the following year, and loosely ties in with events from my novella, Filmography. As a result, I’ve had to admit to myself that, all cute games aside, Sex Tape now unfolds throughout a very precise set of dates at the end of 2007. Hockey-match and unseasonable-weather specifics notwithstanding (such historical facts are now officially fudged for the sake of my narrative) I’ve come to realize that Alexandra Middleton’s plane touched down in Montreal exactly ten years ago today. By this time tonight, she would have already witnessed the murder that set her on her path of holiday mystery-thriller-comedy-romance-high jinx that climaxed less than a week later, on New Years Eve.

All this to say that now would be an appropriate time to crack open your own copy of Sex Tape and give it a read. Amazon and Goodreads reviews are encouraged and welcomed. A grand total of 1762 eBook editions were downloaded during last month’s Christmas giveaway, so I know there are a lot of copies floating around out there. It’s a no-brainer to grab an eBook while it’s free, but it’s quite another thing to actually sit down and take the time to read it. So far I’ve been contacted by a few freebie fans who were delighted with their $0.00 purchase and want more more more (that they’ll be willing to pay for this time).

More is in the works. Sid Volke will return. I don’t like to make promises, but 2017 is set to be awash with new material from Eyestrain Productions, including at least three novels. One of them will almost certainly be Corpus Christi Catwalk: The Sid Volke Casebook Volume 2. FOLLOW the blog to get the news as it becomes available.

Christmas Balls

The Christmas free eBook giveaway from The Self-Publishing Roundtable is underway, along with a contest to win a Kindle Fire and Amazon gift cards. Thirty-seven Christmas-themed books (including my own Sex Tape—now officially launched) are up for grabs for nothing at all. And the contest entry is as simple as signing up to be on some author mailing lists, which you can bail on at any time.

christmasgiveawayWhy brave the madhouse Black Friday sales when we’re giving away so much stuff for free? There’s everything you could want here from sparkling-clean cute romance, to utterly vulgar sleaze (that last one would be mine).

Have I mentioned recently how very proud I’ve made my family by managing to use the word “cumshot” in my first two books?

I’ve been running a few other promos in conjunction with the Roundtable group-author one, this being the first real push for my novel. As of this writing, Sex Tape has climbed to number seven on Amazon’s free mystery/private investigator list, number eight on their free thriller/crime list, and number 348 on the overall free eBook list (up many thousands of spots from where it was a couple of days ago). Snatch a copy now and let’s see how much higher we can push it. The higher it goes, the more browsing eyes get to see it.

Three Missing Years

holmesawayfromhome1We’re down to the final few days of the Kickstarter for Holmes Away from Home: Adventures from the Great Hiatus. I’m excited for this two-volume collection, and wanted to take this last opportunity to suggest, if you’re interested in reading all about what Sherlock Holmes got up to during his faked-death episode, that you back the project now. Funding has been met, but you’ll benefit from getting the books first and cheaper than anyone else.holmesawayfromhome2

The most recent Kickstarter update features a mini interview with me about The Adventure of the Melting Man, my second Wiggins story to date (with more pending). So far, each of these short stories has proved to be a fun diversion and research project away from my usual topics of morbidity and gallows humour. Running around Victorian London with some of the most famous characters in detective-fiction history is a mini holiday for me, before I get back to the grind of writing about my own original creations.

Speaking of which…

The official launch of Sex Tape, starring Sid Volke, the shabbiest of all slob private detectives, is almost upon us. I’m setting up some final promotions that will coincide with the next big Self Publishing Roundtable multi-author giveaway. This one is Christmas themed, and since Sex Tape is a mystery/thriller that specifically takes place over the holidays, my new tawdry crime-comedy is wedged into the middle of the pack of holly and jolly romance, erotica and shifter-bear novels. There are other genres sticking out of the scrum like sore thumbs as well, so check the list. You’ll find something up your alley, or down your chimney.

It will all be free this weekend, starting Friday. If you can’t possibly wait that long, Sex Tape is currently on Amazon for the reduced launch price of $0.99. Or you can read it for free right now if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber.

Hat Trick

I’m back on CJLO’s Cinema Smackdown at 7:00 pm EST again tonight. This will be my third appearance at the film-nerd Thunderdome, where I’ll attempt to crush all who oppose me once more and maintain my short but unbroken winning streak. Unlike the last show, I’ve had more than 30 minutes to prepare, so my answers will be carefully considered and cultivated. Two weeks ago, I won by throwing out the first things that came to mind. This week, find out if my over-prepared change of strategy will trip me up. Tune in online or at 1690AM in the Montreal area.

Silent Screams: An Anthology of Socially Conscious Dark Fiction is now available, not only as an eBook, but as a paperback as well. Twenty-six stories, each with an illustration by Emory Watts, awaits. And the dark fiction does indeed get dark. My own story, Raw, stands among the darkest things I’ve ever written. Grab a copy in your format of choice if you’re brave enough.

The Kickstarter for Holmes Away from Home: Adventures from the Great Hiatus marches on past the halfway mark. This terrific two-volume Sherlock Holmes anthology will be available in time for Christmas, with my story, The Adventure of the Melting Man, capping off the collection. Funding goals may have been met, but I urge you to support the Kickstarter, if only to get your copies sooner and cheaper than everybody else.