I was asked recently by Acep Hale, a contributor to Lovecraft eZine, to provide a definition of quiet horror. Here is what the ol’ brainpan came up with:
Quiet horror is that abandoned farm house at the end of the country road, the one you’ve returned to again and again, attracted by its grotesque beauty, its dilapidation, its mystery. It fills you with wonder, and most of the time you’re not entirely certain why. And that’s okay. The unknowns in life make things interesting, prod the imagination into fashioning the subtle horrors it so often seeks. You’ve snapped dozens of photos of the derelict structure, not only of its exterior but the interior as well, a select portion of which now reside along your apartment wall in sleek obsidian frames. The bustling metropolis outside your bay window is another kind of horror, more visceral, more in-your-face, brimming with not-always-wanted noise. But there is escape. You need only return to that spectral wall and gaze at the subtle, dreamlike images you have captured, experiencing that quiet and satisfying thrill yet again. The solitude of open space and the broken bit of mystery which lies upon it—a sensation and an image which linger long and challenge easy resolution.
Be sure to give the full article a look-see, as it contains four additional (and perhaps more illuminating) write-ups of quiet horror.
Nightscript received a bit of praise recently from legendary editor Ellen Datlow in her long-running Best Horror of the Year series: “Nightscript I: An Anthology of Strange and Darksome Tales is a very promising anthology debut of what’s intended to be an annual, with content along the lines of New Genre and Supernatural Tales magazines. The first volume has twenty stories. There are notable ones by Patricia Lillie, Daniel Mills, David Surface, Charles Wilkinson, Clint Smith, Damien Angelica Walters, Ralph Robert Moore, and John Claude Smith.”
It is with great delight today that I reveal the contents of Nightscript Volume II. This year I have chosen to include twenty-one tales, a number that might very well have been tripled due to the high quality of stories received and reluctantly turned away. I would like to extend a big note of thanks to everyone who submitted their work. It made for quite the exhilarating reading period.
Here, then, are the “nightscripters” of 2016:
“The Carnival Arrives in Darkness” — Michael Griffin
“In the Dark, Quiet Places” — Kristi DeMeester
“Phantom Airfields” — Christopher Slatsky
“En Plein Air” — J.T. Glover
“The Inveterate Establishment of Daddano & Co.” — Eric J. Guignard
“White Elephants” — Malcolm Devlin
“Reasons I Hate My Big Sister” — Gwendolyn Kiste
“Nearness” — Ralph Robert Moore
“This Lonely Hecatomb” — Christopher Ropes
“Apartment B” — Steve Rasnic Tem
“Understairs” — Jason A. Wyckoff
“As Summer’s Mask Slips” — Gordon White
“And Elm Do Hate” — Nina Shepardson
“A Silence of Starlings” — Kurt Fawver
“Aycayia” — Rowley Amato
“The White Kisses” — Charles Wilkinson
“Down by the River” — H.V. Chao
“Arena” — Daniel Mills
“From the Fertile Dark” — Rebecca J. Allred
“No Abiding Place on Earth” — Matthew M. Bartlett
“Pause for Laughter” — José Cruz
As you can well imagine, I am more than a little eager to get this volume into your hands come grand October. Until then, I hope you’ll check out the inaugural edition of Nightscript.
Thank you for your patronage and support!
I am extremely excited to report that my short tale, “Resurfacing,” has been published in the latest edition of Strange Aeons magazine, sharing space with two of my favorite writers, Kristi DeMeester and Michael Wehunt. This particular issue (#19) marks the magazine’s sixth year in existence as well as the debut of its new fiction editor Justin Steele.
Copies of Strange Aeons are available to order through the magazine’s website, where you can also peruse samplings of both recent and past editions.
Supernatural Tales #31 is hot off the paranormal press today and features my tale of inheritance, book hoarding, and ghosts: “Krogh’s Remains.” This marks my second appearance in David Longhorn’s esteemed and long-running publication. Quite an honor to have carved out a bit of space within such spectral pages as these. This volume is currently available at Amazon or direct from the publisher.
This week, I had the distinct pleasure of appearing on The Outer Dark podcast in order to discuss my annual dark fiction anthology, Nightscript, as well as talk a bit about my own writing. The show’s creator and host, Scott Nicolay (whose debut collection, Ana Kai Tangata, comes highly recommended), goes above and beyond the call of duty each and every week, profiling writers, editors, publishers, artists, and promotors of weird fiction.
Episode 17 | CM Muller: A Lineage of Shadows in the Nightscript
The Yellow Booke makes its second annual autumnal appearance today, featuring tales by a host of strange scriveners, including yours truly. My entry, “The Dust Child,” is a very personal piece told from the point-of-view of a young boy coming to terms with his mother’s illness. This particular volume also contains numerous chiaroscuro illustrations by Michael Kellermeyer (the talented wizard behind the curtain of Oldstyle Tales), and is currently available on Amazon or for free at the publisher’s website.