Tag Archives: short fiction

Reading the Dead

After the recent passing of two prominent figures in horror literature, I thought the best tribute I could make was to sit down and read some of their work.  I have only read a couple of James Herbert’s novels in my lifetime, I am ashamed to admit – The Magic Cottage and The Rats – so I chose as my starting point the follow-up to the latter:  Lair.  After a slow but never dull opening, the action and horror is classic Herbert.  Herbert wasn’t the best writer, but he was an expert in those scenes that matter, the scenes that punch and bite.  If you’re unfamiliar with his work, his ‘Rats’ trilogy is as good a place as any to start.

Before Rick Hautala’s death, I was unfamiliar with his work (actually, I had read and enjoyed his story Goblin Boy in Cemetery Dance #64 but did not connect it to him until after his death).  I took advantage of an offer to download (for free) his Best Of short-story collection, Glimpses.  Although the first story did not connect with me at all, those proceeding it have shown me Rick was indeed a skilful and economic writer of dark and unusual prose.  I haven’t finished reading the stories yet; I am dipping in and out, savouring each one.  But I’m pretty sure this won’t be the end of my Hautala experience…

Unlike many of the tribute blog posts I have read, I cannot claim to have extensive knowledge of either man’s catalogue, but I believe it is never too late to start on a journey.  After all, that’s what legacies are made of.  And besides, what better tribute is there to men of words than to read the words they lived for?

R.I.P. James.

R.I.P. Rick.


‘Crimewave’ acceptance

Following the appearance of THE THINGS THAT GET YOU THROUGH in UK horror magazine, Black Static, and the acceptance of THE MACHINEHOUSE WORKER’S SONG for sister mag, Interzone, I am extremely pleased to announce that my latest, THE SPACE THAT RUNS AWAY WITH YOU, will appear in issue 12 of TTA Press’s Crimewave.  Achieving the triple is pretty special to me, and it has given me another jolt of confidence to keep writing and keep getting my work out there.  Thanks to editor Andy Cox for his continuing support.

TTA Press website

What I’ve Been Up To and Where We Go From Here

Steven J. DinesWhat you’re looking at is my official web site.  From this day forward, you will be able to find all of my writing-related news and updates right here.  I am approaching this as a continuation of – and improvement upon – my blog.  Since my last post (on July 2011) a lot has happened.  I quit my job of nearly 12 years and moved from Aberdeen, Scotland to Sliema in Malta.  After 5 months in Malta, my wife and I decided to abandon our plans to settle there and moved back to the UK (for a number of reasons, but mainly because of concerns relating to our son).  Rather than return to my home city, we chose to settle in Salisbury.  A lovely place.  The motivation behind our original move was change, though perhaps not the huge change a move overseas entails, fun though it definitely was.  Anyway, we’ve been in Salisbury for 2 months now and hope to settle permanently here (or hereabouts).

Since July 2011, I have also finished my first novel, THE OTHER SIDE.  While I’ve been working on other projects I admit I’ve become a little bit lax in my efforts to find an agent and/or publisher.  Six months have passed since it’s completion and I haven’t done nearly enough.  I hope to rectify that in the months ahead.

Also, while in Malta, I returned to writing short fiction after a hiatus of 3-4 years.  I’d been focussing solely on THE OTHER SIDE, which took approx. 5 years to write.  I’ve written 4 short stories since then, THE THINGS THAT GET YOU THROUGH, THE GIRLS ON THE BEACH, THE MACHINEHOUSE WORKER’S SONG, and A TRICK OF THE NIGHT.

THE THINGS THAT GET YOU THROUGH has been accepted for publication by Black Static, possibly the UK’s top horror magazine.

A TRICK OF THE NIGHT has been accepted by Fireside, an ambitious new online mag that has featured some big names so far.

THE MACHINEHOUSE WORKER’S SONG is currently under consideration and I’m hopeful it will find a good home quite soon.

THE GIRLS ON THE BEACH is currently awaiting further revision.

So far, so good.

Now I am back in the UK and getting re-settled, I hope to write a lot more short fiction while I try to secure an agent and publisher for my novel.

This web site’s main focus will be on my writing – updates about my work in progress, publication news, etc. – as well as the occassional book or film review, and perhaps even some free flash & short fiction in the near future.  If any of that is of interest to you, please follow my updates by clicking on the appropriate link at the right hand side of the page.  Also, I’ll be adding to the sub-menus in the coming weeks & months, so keep an eye on those, too.  Finally, thanks for dropping by, and of course do come again.  More updates very soon.