Recommended Reading: Clarion Write-A-Thon Edition

Stories from a few of the authors of the Clarion Write-A-Thon:

“The Book of Autumn” by Rachel Acks

“A Study in Flesh and Mind” by Liz Argall

“Chill” by Dora Badger

“Celadon” by Desirina Boskovich

“War of the Lights” by Madeleine Rose Reardon Dimond

As you can see, I only got through the D’s. You can browse the author list for more stories here. Assuming that I can find more time to read, I’ll post another of these next month!

Recommended Reading: Shoggoths in Bloom

A good friend turned me on to this Elizabeth Bear story about shoggoths, monsters of Lovecraftian lore. It’s longer than the stories I usually promote in this space, but not by much, and it’s worth the extra few minutes it takes to finish. It’s also chock full of delicious social commentary and historical context, two things I love to see in genre fiction.

Shoggoths in Bloom

Shameless plug: For more Lovecraft-style horror stories, I suggest Historical Lovecraft: Tales of Horror Through Time. The ebook is only $3.99!

Cuts Both Ways

Every now and again a really awesome story just kind of falls in my lap. This is an example of one such story, which was discovered on the livejournal facebook page, of all places. It’s a poignant little tale that reminded me of what it was like to be in Middle School, watching kids who were your friends over the summer avoid you in the hallways nine months out of the year. It brought up painful memories, perhaps bittersweet because of lessons learned since then. And, because I like speculative fiction, this story also features a little fantasy element to keep things interesting.

Cuts Both Ways

And the Next, And the Next

This week I’ve been busy with last-minute craziness for the upcoming release of The Crimson Pact: Volume 1 and Millennicon, which is this weekend, so I haven’t had much time for posting! Who knew being a writer would be so much work?!

Today’s recommended reading was found while trawling the internet for zombie anthologies accepting submissions. Written in ultra-creepy second person, to horrific effect, it inspired the perspective I used in “It Wants.” This story might be the best zombie story I’ve ever read. Not for the faint of heart!

And the Next, And the Next

Opening the Fridge, Erotically

The creator of the helpful site Dark Markets also has a blog, Sex Scenes with Monsters, and sometimes she posts fiction. It’s really good, too. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Opening the Fridge, Erotically

A Modern Satanist’s Halloween

Although there isn’t any particularly bad language or nudity or anything particularly objectionable, you may want to avoid explaining why you went to a site that mentions sex and monsters to your boss, so NSFW applies here.


This week’s story is neither horror, nor steampunk. It’s not even science fiction. But it is good. It’s also written by my friend Steve Saus, and it has been chosen by Every Day Fiction as one of their top stories of 2010.


This story is an excellent example of how to do flash fiction brilliantly. Every word is chosen for maximum impact, the story is about a life-changing moment for a character with whom we immediately identify, and nothing is over-explained. I actually felt sympathy for the character even though I knew him for less than a thousand words.  That’s effective storytelling!

Recommended Reading

Since I want to submit a story to The Red Penny Papers, I thought it would behoove me to read their current issue. This story completely blew me away: it’s concise, succinct, and manages to be unique and conversational, while achieving a depth I rarely see in works this short. This author is really talented.

Jack The Ripper: Savior of Humanity

This is the kind of stuff I’d like to be writing: really outside-the-box pieces that are easy to read and powerful without rambling on for 10,000 words.