Tag Archives: ray cluley

New additions to Recommended Reading

It’s been a while since I updated the Recommended Reading section of this website. The last addition to the short stories list, I believe, was Priya Sharma’s ‘The Absent Shade’ back in January 2015. Since then, I’ve read 64 short stories in 2015 and 24 in 2016 (to date). From those 88 stories, here are those I unequivocally recommend (in the order I read them):


Men Wearing Makeup by Ralph Robert Moore – Black Static #46 (May-Jun 2015)
All the Day You’ll Have Good Luck by Kate Jonez – Black Static #47 (Jul-Aug 2015)
A Case Study in Natural Selection and How it Applies to Love by Eric J. Guignard – Black Static #47 (Jul-Aug 2015)
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver  –  What We Talk About When We Talk About Love (collection, 1981)
Morality by Stephen King  –  The Bazaar of Bad Dreams (collection, 2015)
I Have Heard the Mermaids Sing by Ray Cluley  –  Probably Monsters (collection 2015)
At Night, When the Demons Come by Ray Cluley  –  Probably Monsters (collection 2015)
Obits by Stephen King  –  The Bazaar of Bad Dreams (collection, 2015)
Drunken Fireworks by Stephen King  –  The Bazaar of Bad Dreams (collection, 2015)
Summer Thunder by Stephen King  –  The Bazaar of Bad Dreams (collection, 2015)
Ishq by Usman T. Malik  –  Black Static #43 (Nov-Dec 2014)
Dirt Land by Ralph Robert Moore  –  Black Static #49 (Nov-Dec 2015)

Other additions:


Point Hollow by Rio Youers (2015)
The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick (2014)


On Writing by Charles Bukowski (2015)
An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield (2013)
Beneath the Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas by Matthew O’Brien (2007)


2015 – What I Read (and Loved)

Okay, so I only read 16 books (fiction/non-fiction) and 64 short stories in 2015. It isn’t a lot, I know, but for what it is worth here is a list of the titles I particularly enjoyed and do not hesitate to recommend. In no particular order:


  • On Writing – Charles Bukowski (2015)*
  • Point Hollow – Rio Youers (2015)

* This is perhaps one for fans, rather than a starting point for readers interested in Bukowski’s work.


  • The Absent Shade – Priya Sharma (Black Static #44)
  • Men Wearing Makeup – Ralph Robert Moore (Black Static #46)
  • All the Day You’ll Have Good Luck – Kate Jonez (Black Static #47)
  • A Case Study in Natural Selection and How It Applies to Love – Eric J. Guignard (Black Static #47)
  • What We Talk about When We Talk about Love – Raymond Carver (collection of the same name)
  • Morality – Stephen King (collection: The Bazaar of Bad Dreams)*
  • I Have Heard the Mermaids Sing – Ray Cluley (collection: Probably Monsters)*

* I am still  currently reading The Bazaar of Bad Dreams and Probably Monsters.

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.

A sneak peek…

…at the artwork for my story THE BROKEN AND THE UNMADE, which is due to appear in Black Static #39 next month.  Artist Ben Baldwin has done a brilliant job, I think, and I cannot wait to hold this issue in my hands.  Visit TTA Press if you would like to purchase an issue or a discounted subscription (recommended).
Black Static enjoyed a particularly successful year in 2013, with FIVE stories from its pages being selected for Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year #6.  Congratulations to Stephen Bacon, Ray Cluley, Priya Sharma, Steve Rasnic Tem, and Tim Casson!

The Broken and the Unmade

My favourite short fiction reads of 2013

2013 was the first year in which I tracked all of the short fiction I read.  In total, I read 154 flash fictions, short stories, and novelettes, 17 of which made it onto my on-going Recommended Reading list here.  Without further ado – and in no particular order – my 3 favourite short fiction reads of 2013* were…

The Death Drive of Rita, Nee Carina by Ray Cluley, published in Black Static #31
Stray Dogs
by James Cooper, published in Black Static #33
Slider by David Niall Wilson, published in Shock Totem #1

* note: stories I read in 2013, not necessarily published in the same year.

Black Static #37

This month, with the publication of Crimewave 12:  Hurts and Black Static #37, I have achieved two trebles.  The first, to have three stories appear in horror journal Black Static.  The second, to have a story appear in all three TTA Press periodicals – Black Static, Interzone, and Crimewave.  In short, what a lovely way to tie up the year!

I’ve talked about Crimewave elsewhere, so here are the final cover, ToC, and interior artwork for Black Static #37.

Black Static #37
(Cover art by George Cotronis)

“When Charlie Sleeps” by Laura Mauro.  Art by Rich Sampson.
“Bones of Crow” by Ray Cluley (recent winner of the British Fantasy Society award for Best Short Story for “Shark! Shark!”)  Art by George Cotronis.
“All Your Faces Drown in My Syringe” by Ralph Robert Moore.  Art by David Gentry.
“The Strongest Thing About Me is Hate” by DeAnna Knippling.
“The Sunflower Seed Man” by Priya Sharma.  Art by Richard Wagner.
“The Sound of Constant Thunder” by Steven J. Dines.  Art by Joachim Luetke.

When Charlie Sleeps   Bones of CrowAll Your Face Drown in My Syringe   The Strongest Thing About Me is HateThe Sunflower Seed Man   The Sound of Constant Thunder

Please visit TTAPress for more details, or to take out a subscription.  I recommend you do.

There will be no other new material from me this year, but I have a story,  A TRICK OF THE NIGHT, due to appear in Fireside Magazine in January.  I’m also working on new short fiction for 2014 including THE BROKEN AND THE UNMADE and my first ever collaboration.  Details to follow!

“The Sound of Constant Thunder” sold to Black Static

My 12,000 word post-apocalyptic novelette, THE SOUND OF CONSTANT THUNDER, has been accepted for publication in UK literary horror magazine, Black Static.

This will be my third appearance, following THE THINGS THAT GET YOU THROUGH in #31 and MEN PLAYING GHOSTS, PLAYING GOD in #35.

I’m also looking forward to sharing the pages with the talented Ray Cluley and Ralph Robert Moore (as well as those still-to-be-announced).  I’ve been a fan of Ralph’s work for years (check out his fiction, available free, on his web site) and Ray’s excellent story, THE DEATH DRIVE OF RITA, NEE CARINA, from Black Static #32 is one of my favourite short story reads of 2013.

Also out in November from TTA Press:  Crimewave 12: Hurts.

Finally, if you’re interested in reading a little more about the origins of THE SOUND OF CONSTANT THUNDER, I touch upon it in the two following posts:

Where My Ideas Come From

Toothache and Inspiration, or, Where My Ideas Come From, Part II