2015 – What I Watched (and Loved)

I watched 95 films in 2015, give or take. Here is a (pretty long) list of those I recommend. I’d seen many of them before (some many times), but others, such as the terrific Her, were new to me. The list is in the order I watched them, and my three favourite films are marked in bold.

  • Always
  • Scent of a Woman
  • Rain Man
  • Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Nightcrawler
  • Interstellar
  • Gone Girl
  • Carnage
  • Boyhood
  • The Breakfast Club
  • Training Day
  • Big Hero 6
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Duel
  • Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
  • Babadook
  • Glengarry Glen Ross
  • West of Memphis
  • Her
  • Pale Rider
  • Pan’s Labyrinth
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Big Lebowski
  • Dead Poet’s Society
  • Groundhog Day
  • The Green Mile
  • Scarface
  • Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
  • Star Wars: Episode V – Empire Strikes Back
  • Inside Out

Next: 2015 – What I Read (and Loved)

BRING YOUR OWN LIGHT

I’ve announced this on Facebook already, so it might not be news to some of you, but here it is: my debut short story collection is due to be released next year by TTA Press, publisher of Black Static magazine. The awesome Wayne Haag will provide the cover art, and in the coming months I will be revealing more about the book and talking about some of the stories that will be included in its pages…watch this space.

It’s been a couple months since SO MANY HEARTBEATS, SO MANY WORDS appeared in Black Static (#46), and it’s fair to say that it has been generally well-received by readers and reviewers alike. A number of people messaged me on Facebook to share their thoughts, and one or two even posted some kind words on here. If you were one of them, please accept my deepest thanks. It’s appreciated, believe me. If you want to read the story, you can download the issue onto your Kindle from Amazon or buy issues (or even a subscription) direct from TTA Press. It’s a wonderful magazine, and I’ve been pretty lucky to be a part of its history.

The latest issue (#47) is out now, featuring columns by Stephen Volk and Lynda E. Rucker; fiction from James Van Pelt, Kate Jonez, John Connolly, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, Ray Cluley, and Eric J Guignard.

I will be back in September’s issue (#48) with THE SUFFERING, and hopefully I’ll be in a position to share the artwork that will accompany that story in the next few weeks…

Meantime, I’m working on something new. PERSPECTIVE is an ambitious multi-viewpoint story (it’s written in First, Second, and Third Person) that deals with an historical rape, hysterical blindness, and a marriage feeling the strains of both. It’s about power and powerlessness, the need to be seen, and the need to see. Hands down, it’s the darkest, most disturbing thing I’ve ever written. But I feel it has some important things to say. All going well, it will be ready soon. As it’s my first project following a long break I am taking my time and getting it right…

Two acceptances, one thank you

After a long and difficult quiet period (my last story acceptance was exactly one year ago today, oddly enough), I am thrilled to announce the sale of not one but two stories to UK horror magazine Black Static. These will be my fifth and sixth appearances in the magazine, although never let it be said that it gets any easier – it doesn’t!

The first story is called So Many Heartbeats, So Many Words.  It’s a 7,900 word novelette about family relationships and communication (or rather, lack of), and it’s probably the most heartfelt and personal story I’ve written to date (inspired by actual events, let’s say), and so I am both excited and nervous about how it will be received by the Black Static readership. Fingers crossed.

There is a family relationship at the heart of the other story too, which is called The Suffering, and it is that of a mother and her dead daughter. At 5,500 words it is one of the shortest stories I’ve written in a while. I don’t often write about monsters, but you’ll find one in this tale. I hope I did it justice.

Look out for these stories in future issues of Black Static, as well as tales from the likes of Gary McMahon, Cate Gardner, and Damien Angelica Walters, to name but three. Then, that’s probably three reasons you should take out a subscription…

Lastly, thank you once again to Priya Sharma and Ray Cluley for their selfless encouragement and support of late – two hugely talented writers with better things to do with their time than pick me up and dust me down, but that’s precisely what they did. Read their work, folks. For such good and decent people, they write some dark and scary sh#t!

All the best.

Best British Horror 2015

Here is the cover and table of contents for Best British Horror 2015, an anthology coming soon from Salt Publishing and edited by Johnny Mains.

Best British Horror 2015

SHADDERTOWN – CONRAD WILLIAMS
QUARRY HOGS – JANE JAKEMAN
RANDOM FLIGHT – ROSALIE PARKER
A SPIDER REMEMBER – SARA PASCOE
EASTMOUTH – ALISON MOORE
LEARNING THE LANGUAGE – JOHN LLEWELLYN PROBERT
REUNION – REBECCA LLOYD
THE THIRD TIME – HELEN GRANT
DROWNING IN AIR – ANDREW HOOK
ALISTAIR – MARK SAMUELS
IN THE YEAR OF OMENS – HELEN MARSHALL
APPLE PIE AND SULPHUR – CHRISTOPHER HARMAN
ON ILKLEY MOORE – ALISON LITTLEWOOD
THE BROKEN AND THE UNMADE – STEVEN J. DINES
ONLY BLEEDING – GARY McMAHON
THE NIGHT PORTER – RAY RUSSELL
SOMETHING SINISTER IN SUNLIGHT – LISA TUTTLE
SUMMERSIDE – ALISON MOORE
PRIVATE AMBULANCE – SIMON KURT UNSWORTH
THE RISING TIDE – PRIYA SHARMA
THE SLISTA – STEPHEN LAWS
DOG – REECE SHEARSMITH

My story, The Broken and the Unmade, was first published in Black Static #39, edited by Andy Cox.  So, a massive thank you to both Andy and Johnny for their support.

Merry Christmas!