Tag Archives: short stories

New: Nocturnes and Other Nocturnes by Claude Lalumière

Nocturnes and Other Nocturnes by Claude Lalumière

Cover by Marc Tessier

Just out in paperback and ebook formats, a collection of dark and sensuous fiction from “Montreal’s own master of fantastic fiction” (RoverArts.com).

Nocturnes and Other Nocturnes: Twenty-five dark stories that span a daring breadth of genres. In these noir tales that unfold at the edge of realism, mythic nocturnes from impossible pasts, and disquietingly intimate stories of speculative fiction, Claude Lalumière explores our collective and intertwined obsessions with sex and death.

“In Nocturnes and Other Nocturnes Claude Lalumière plumbs the deep trenches of yearning, fear and the agonies of unfulfilled needs.” – from the introduction by Garry Kilworth

“Claude Lalumière’s stories are dark, mordant, precisely formed.” Lucius Shepard

“Lalumière’s protagonists exhibit the sorts of yearnings and proclivities that our most respected social institutions teach us to mistrust: erotic energy, artistic mania, idiosyncratic mysticism, impassioned empathy with the natural world.” James Morrow

“Claude Lalumière’s extravagant imagination is matched by only two other qualities: his compassion for his characters, and his sparkling facility with language.” Paul Di Filippo

“Claude Lalumière has a poet’s sensibility. He suggests; never overstates.” Richard Calder

“Claude Lalumière’s stories are delicious.” Anna Tambour

“Lalumière’s fiction is indeed fueled by a rich inner psychology … it is potent, memorable stuff.” The New York Review of Science Fiction

Buy this ebook from: Amazon US – Amazon UK – Barnes and Noble – Smashwords

Buy this book in print: Amazon US – Amazon UK – CreateSpace

Guest post: Jason Erik Lundberg on the strangest of mammals

Strange Mammals by Jason Erik LundbergHuman beings are strange mammals. Just thought I’d get that out of the way.

In the animal kingdom, all mammals eat, sleep, mate, and fight to defend themselves. (This, of course, applies to non-mammalian animals as well.) But human beings are the only type of mammal that also questions their own existence and identity. Who are we? Why are we here? What are we supposed to do with the limited time allotted to us?

Evolutionarily speaking, intuitively, this is exceedingly odd. On the face of it, wondering what you want to be when you grow up should actually interfere with, rather than aid with, your continued survival; debating the merits of becoming a fireman versus an astronaut is not entirely helpful if a lion is chewing through your stomach. But this strange and constant questioning has actually done the opposite, and led to human beings, as comedian Louis CK famously pointed out, successfully pulling ourselves out of the food chain. We have survived as a species not in spite of this preoccupation, but because of it.

These questions have spurred on both miraculous innovation and horrific atrocities, but regardless of the results, they are at the fundamental heart of humanity. Literature is one of the few avenues so thoroughly equipped to examine these questions, and speculative fiction is particularly keen, through its slanted focus, on transcending mere fact and approaching truth. (Although anyone with a definitive answer is selling something.)

My very first story was published ten years ago, but I was writing with the active goal of publication for the decade before that, and writing because it was a joyful and fulfilling activity for the decade before that. In all of that time, my fiction has approached these fundamental questions in various ways, lightly or heavily, obliquely or head-on. It is a life-long project, what Zoran Zivkovic calls “the noble art of fiction writing”.

Take the title story of my new collection, Strange Mammals (published this month in paperback and ebook formats by Infinity Plus). The central animals that the protagonist encounters over the course of the narrative—a wombat, an ocelot, a fictional Borgesian catoblepas—can be seen as various aspects of the narrator’s psyche, but the wonderful (and, yes, noble) thing about this kind of story is the ambiguity that allows for all these bizarre animals, and others besides, to exist independent of mere mental projection. This dual existence, which is only possible within the arena of the fantastic, opens up those fundamental questions to scrutiny. If an alcoholic talking wombat with a penchant for Greek food can take over our lives so completely with its forceful personality, where does that then place us on the food chain? Can we still think of ourselves as existentially superior in the face of such a creature? Or else, if it only exists as a hallucination, what does its presence mean for human consciousness itself?

This may elevate literature (and my own in particular) to too lofty a height. After all, stories have to entertain, right? (And, in all honesty, “Strange Mammals” is probably the funniest story I have ever written; it’s difficult for me to read it even silently without bursting into laughter.) One must be engaged with the story or else it becomes discarded in favor of an endless number of diversions and distractions. But this entertainment factor is what makes the fiction so profoundly lasting, that viral insistence which leads to the injection of higher considerations.

What could be stranger than that?

“Jason Erik Lundberg’s stories, launched from the real world on a trajectory to the surreal, fuse the idle daydream with the desperate heart. You should read them.”
John Kessel, author of The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories

The Strange Mammals ebook is available from: Amazon US – Amazon UK – Kobo – Apple – Smashwords

And the print edition: Amazon US – Amazon UK – CreateSpace

New: Strange Mammals by Jason Erik Lundberg

Strange Mammals by Jason Erik LundbergJust out, in print and ebook formats:

The fabulous Strange Mammals by Jason Erik Lundberg.

I really shouldn’t rave about individual titles – I genuinely love all the books we put out, otherwise why bother? But I did particularly enjoy this one – a real treat for anyone who loves stylish, strange contemporary fantasy.

Also out; new print editions of two earlier titles, Red Dot Irreal and The Alchemy of Happiness.


Great response to The Fabulous Beast by Garry Kilworth

The Fabulous Beast by Garry KilworthLovely review for Garry Kilworth’s new collection over at the Guardian:

“His forte has always been the short story. The Fabulous Beast, his eighth collection, gathers eighteen stories of horror and dark fantasy. They’re never less than entertaining, and all share startling initial ideas – what if Jesus had been known only for his ability to walk on water? What might happen to a captive vampire if deprived of human blood? – allied to a graphic and often grotesque descriptive ability.”

And on the back of that, the ebook edition has leapt into two Amazon top tens, and sneaked into another top hundred.

Fabulous Beast riding high at Amazon

Nice to see recognition for a writer I’ve always hugely admired.


New: The Fabulous Beast by Garry Kilworth

The Fabulous Beast by Garry KilworthA set of beautifully crafted tales of the imagination by a writer who was smitten by the magic of the speculative short story at the age of twelve and has remained under its spell ever since.

These few stories cover three closely related sub-genres: science fiction, fantasy and horror. In the White Garden murders are taking place nightly, but who is leaving the deep foot-prints in the flower beds? Twelve men are locked in the jury room, but thirteen emerge after their deliberations are over. In a call centre serving several worlds, the staff are less than helpful when things go wrong with a body-change holiday.

Three of the stories form a set piece under the sub-sub-genre title of ‘Anglo-Saxon Tales’. This trilogy takes the reader back to a time when strange gods ruled the lives of men and elves were invisible creatures who caused mayhem among mortals.

Garry Kilworth has created a set of stories that lift readers out of their ordinary lives and place them in situations of nightmare and wonder, or out among far distant suns. Come inside and meet vampires, dragons, ghosts, aliens, weremen, people who walk on water, clones, ghouls and marvellous wolves with the secret of life written beneath their eyelids.

‘Kilworth’s stories are delightfully nuanced and carefully wrought.’ Publishers Weekly

‘A bony-handed clutch of short stories, addictive and hallucinatory.’ The Times

‘Here is a writer determined and well equipped to contribute to the shudder-count.’ The Guardian

Buy the ebook edition now:
amazon.com
amazon.co.uk
kobo
barnes and noble
Buy the print edition:
amazon.com
amazon.co.uk
createspace.com


One copy of Eric Brown’s Salvage, looking for a good home

A chance to win:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Salvage by Eric Brown

Salvage

by Eric Brown

Giveaway ends July 12, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 


War Stories: a new anthology from Andrew Liptak and Jaym Gates

War stories… I’ve always had an uneasy relationship with them. My kind of SF is the polar opposite of all those gung ho militaristic right-wing wet dreams that are pretty much a sub-genre in their own right. I’d hate to write anything that might be seen as glamorising combat.

And yet… I loved war stories as a kid, whether they were the adventures of Biggles or the Combat! TV series and all kinds of war movies. And looking back on my writing career, I can see that a fair proportion of my output has explored various aspects of war, from my angry young man first novel Keepers of the Peace to my post-war fantasy Lord of Stone and my recent Nick Gifford ebook, “The Ragged People”.

Fiction is all about conflict, after all, whether it’s the tensions of a love triangle, a murder thriller or a courtroom drama: it’s the conflict that makes things happen, that creates story; and conflict doesn’t come much more dramatic than warfare.

Just announced is an anthology of war stories, edited by Andrew Liptak and Jaym Gates. Not stories that glamorise or sensationalise, but fiction that explore “the cultural, social, political and psychological repercussions of modern war”. The editors have already had strong interest from some great authors, including  TC McCarthy, Karin Lowachee, F Brett Cox, Laura Anne Gilman, Will McIntosh, Joe Haldeman and yours truly (they’ll be including my story “War 3.01”). They’ll also be running an open submission period later this year. It looks like being a really interesting – and no doubt entertaining – book, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

War Stories will launch on Kickstarter in early September, with a variety of perks for backers, ranging from an ebook / physical copies of the anthology, to prints of the cover and other exciting things to come!

To follow the progress of the anthology’s planning, and to get sneak peeks, excerpts and news from around the military science fiction world, you can visit the project’s website, follow the project on Twitter (@warstoriesantho), or like the anthology on Facebook.


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