Tag Archives: T.E. Grau

An Interview with T.E. Grau

We’re back! And here’s a brand spanking new interview Sean M. Thompson conducted with author T.E. Grau. Take it away, Sean…

What do you think the role of genre is in fiction?

The role of genre is that everything is genre, and nothing is genre. That might sound faux philosophical and ridiculous, and probably is, but it’s what I’ve come to believe, in analyzing how I classify books and stories in my own head based on outside pressures, coming the realization that a) it doesn’t matter, and b) too much is made about genre vs. non-genre, the latter of which is usually referred to as “literary fiction,” as if stories and books tainted with the genre smear are any less literary. I’ve read some poor, incredibly dull writers who are incredibly popular in the “literary fiction” grouping, and read some brilliant, heartbreaking prose that’s been cast down into the basement of genre. I resent the labels, not because they mean anything to me, but because they mean so much to the outside world, and – as a proud writer of so-called genre fiction – I think there is a huge dupe going on, and a tragic disservice.

In a recent “year in review” blog posting, horror author Adam Nevill wrote about recently buying a house through the proceeds of his writing, noting: “Over two decades of commitment to the most unfashionable, and second most derided, genre of fiction eventually paid dividends that I never expected.” Why must one feel this way? Why are very successful horror writers moved to mention such things, even when celebrating success? Because of the very real lack of respect for horror fiction by the outside world, while those on the inside can’t figure out what everyone is not seeing. This was reinforced by a conversation I had just this morning with horror writer Ray Cluley, during which we discussed our frustrations at the reputation worn by “genre fiction,” the near-apologies – or long explanations at the very least – horror writers must make when discussing what they write in mixed company, especially if that company includes writers of what is considered more “literary” fiction. Ray writes some of the most “literary” tales, most of which also happen to be classified as “horror,” that I’ve ever read. But he, too, feels the stigma, the guilt by association. It’s nonsense. But it’s real.

Another example, and more specific to the point: I just finished John Connolly’s masterful Night Music: Nocturnes Volume 2, and the last piece in the book is an essay titled “I Live Here,” in which he discusses how horror fiction, from as far back as its first inception as gothic and supernatural fiction, was seen as somehow lurid and obscene, nearly akin to pornography, or worse – something cheap and certainly not to be taken seriously. This reminded me of how mainstream critics perceived hip hop when it first emerged into the wider public sphere, that it was just some sort of cheap trick, a fad, and not something that merited serious interest or examination. Horror, just like hip hop, is STILL dealing with this sort of second class citizenship, and it angers me greatly, as both are just as worthy – if not often more worthy – of esteem and veneration as weighty and influential members of their particular art form. In looking for an exact quote from this Connolly piece, I came across this bit from the author issued in 2011, published by June Caldwell on her blog Shakespeare Couldn’t Email: “Novelist John Connolly gave a talk at the Irish Writers’ Centre recently on the history of crime writing in Ireland, our problematic relationship with criminality and publishing trends. ‘We have a very peculiar relationship with genre in this country,’ he explained. ‘So few reviewers want to engage with it, they’d rather categorise books they don’t quite get as literary fiction instead.’ Avoiding the subject leads to a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of fiction, a distrust of popularism. ‘Genre is embedded in fiction, if you don’t understand it, then you don’t understand fiction. Novels were always the great populist form, designed to be read by a lot of people; it wasn’t drama or poetry. The idea of high-brow literary fiction as a separate identity is a recent enough (20th Century) notion.’

And these examples of the fallacy of genre occurred just in the last two days, so they are fresh in my mind. There are thousands of examples of this genre-shaming going on, and the reaction to same by those within the genre.

When you truly think about it and parse it down to the atoms, what is genre? Romance? Action? Mystery? Science Fiction? Noir? Western? Horror? What if a story has all of these, in equal measure? Where do you place it on the shelf? What if it has none of these, but nods toward one or more of them? Is that then Literary Fiction? Who decides, and how are these determinations made? Who benefits from these determinations in the end? I think it’s a bunch of malarkey.

All fiction is inherently “fake,” and all well-crafted writing is considered “literature,” so a well written book about a bored suburban househusband who takes up quilting to bring meaning to his life is no better example of “literary fiction” than brilliantly rendered story about alien gods bent on destruction of humanity. A gibbering, six armed monster dismembering a jogger is no more or less “horror” than a businessman doing the same over his lunch break. Which is genre? Which is what subgenre within Genre? It’s all unreal, it’s all fantasy. That one can “actually happen” while the other cannot (are we sure about that?) makes no difference to me.

So, neither does “genre.” What matters, truly matters, is this: Is it good? Does it move you? Are you transported? Does it resonate? Are you entertained? Being boringly realistic, or excessively fantastical or gory or bizarre, can’t hide substandard writing, or save a story that probably shouldn’t have been written, as it’s a complete waste of time for everyone involved. That “genre fiction” is held in the same contempt as B-Movies or straight to video indies in Hollywood irritates me, to say the least. The squares and snoots don’t know what they’re missing.

Wow, didn’t think I’d spend two complete pages on that answer. I guess a bit of venting was in order. So, while my long-winded answer to a very straight forward question might have been a tad temperamental, I think it shows my irritation at the treatment of horror authors in the overall publishing industry.

Your story from The Children of Old Leech “Love Songs From the Hydrogen Jukebox,” seems to have, for lack of a better term, rapscallions who take mouth candy and suck at the happy sauce. Is it fun to write beatniks? Also, what inspired you to write this story?

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It’s fun to write about Beatniks and their scene to a point, as the enterprise can easily fall into clichéd, 1960’s Beatniksploitation, but I do admire that whole movement, and hold it close to my heart, as reading the Beats inspired me to change my major from pre-law in college to English Lit, which led to me eventually turning my interest to writing books. So, the Beats blessed and doomed me at the same time, which is sort of a Beatnik thing to do.

The inspiration for the story was a tribute to the Beats and City Lights literary scene, coiled inside a tribute to Laird Barron, who has influenced me most recently in my writing. It all seemed to fit together well.

What does the “E” stand for? Are you allowed to say?

Edamame. My full Christian name is Theodore Edamame Grau III.

Do you have anything one might call a ritual you go through when getting into the headspace to play the keys? For instance, do you listen to music, work out, or sit in silence when reaching deep into the ether to pull out configurations of words stitched together for our amusement?

If I’m going to be writing after I get home from work, I listen to music on the way. Something heavy, martial, as I like to gear up mentally. That’s for the actual writing part. Most of my ideas and pre-production have come just after the gym, in that time of walking, showering, and driving between getting ready for work and arriving at the office. Almost everything good I’ve come up with has been created during that morning time period before my brain is pulled into the details of the day job. My story “Clean” came to me almost fully formed in the 90 second walk from my car to the gym. Mornings are important to my initial creative process, that first blush of story. Nights are for finishing.

Do you feel like your surroundings motivate you to write about a certain place?

I don’t know about motivate, per se, as motivation usually comes from within. But, I do feel like my surroundings and the places where I’ve lived and visited have hugely impacted my stories. I live in Los Angeles, and have for many years now, longer than any other location in my life. Because of this, the city features heavily in several of my stories, such as “The Screamer” (Century City, Echo Park) “MonoChrome” (Pico Union, downtown LA), “Twinkle, Twinkle” (Pasadena), “Low Hanging Clouds” (Hollywood Hills, Century City). I’m hammering out a crime (genre!) novel in my head that is set in Highland Park (a section of northeastern Los Angeles), that is mostly about murder, but also explores gentrification and hipsterization of historically blue collar or non-white (I despise the term “ethnic” used as an adjective) neighborhoods. I have two more Noir/crime novels that will be set in Los Angeles, as well, in vastly different parts of the city. LA is such a fertile ground for the dark, the weird, the brutal, and the beautiful. It’s got it all.

I have also lived in Nebraska, and in Pennsylvania (at both ends of the state), and those places show up in my work, too. My novella “The Mission” takes place in the Nebraska Sandhills west of Fort Robinson, and introduces the fictional town of Salt Creek, Nebraska, which is a location that I will be returning to several more times in the future. “Beer & Worms” is set in Nebraska on a farm pond, around the Douglas/Washington County line. The featured couple in “Return of the Prodigy” (from Cthulhu Fhtagn!) is from Omaha.

Cthulhu Fhtagn! edited by Ross E. Lockhart

I think place can have a huge impact on a story, and help color it. As for motivation, and living in Los Angeles, daily witness to one or more of the forty-seven billion screenwriters hammering out screenplays at every coffeehouse and cafe within the city limits can either motivate you to sit your ass down and write along with them, or it can make you never want to commit another sentence to paper, just to avoid the whole cheeseball affectation of it all. It’s a double edged sword, living in a creative town. The energy is palpable, but the execution can be off-putting. Or maybe I’m just jaded.

Do you feel there are any themes you keep going back to in your work?

I do, yes, and it’s not usually conscious, but definitely there. Innocence adrift in a cruel, dangerous world. Individuals alone in a crowd. Failed parenting. Travel as a form of life renewal. The terrible nature of human males. They hypocrisy and tragedy of religion. Misanthropy. Cosmic nihilism. Not all of these are always on the surface, but most of these themes show up in the bios of the characters in my pieces, and therefore inform their actions and reactions.

Thanks for your time, and do you have any plugs for our mugs?

Thank you for the interest! I’m such a huge fan of Word Horde, so I’m stoked to be included on the site.

As for plugs, my first fiction collection, The Nameless Dark, is currently available in paperback and e-book through Lethe Press. Stories that weren’t included in the book can be found in the anthologies In The Court of the Yellow King (“MonoChrome”), and Dark Rites of Cthulhu (“The Half Made Thing”), as well as a few other sources that are now out of print and floating around eBay.

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I’m finishing the first draft of a novella titled They Don’t Come Home Anymore, a tale of obsession, mortality, and the myth of vampirism, that will be published in 2016 by This Is Horror. A second novella for This Is Horror is also in the works, taking place in a doomsday seed vault near the North Pole, which will also be released in 2016.

Everything else is still too undercooked to discuss, but I’m sure I’ll be yapping about it sometime in the coming year, which promises to be a busy one.

Now Available: Cthulhu Fhtagn!

Happy 125th Birthday, H. P. Lovecraft. To celebrate, we baked you an anthology. Featuring 19 weird tales inspired by H. P. Lovecraft by 20 of the best authors working in Weird Fiction today, Cthulhu Fhtagn! is sure to satisfy. But don’t just take our word for it. Check out Cthulhu Fhtagn! for yourself!

Cthulhu Fhtagn! edited by Ross E. Lockhart

In his house at R’lyeh, Cthulhu waits dreaming…

What are the dreams that monsters dream? When will the stars grow right? Where are the sunken temples in which the dreamers dwell? How will it all change when they come home?

Within these pages lie the answers, and more, in all-new stories by many of the brightest lights in dark fiction. Gathered together by Ross E. Lockhart, the editor who brought you The Book of Cthulhu, The Children of Old Leech, and Giallo Fantastique, Cthulhu Fhtagn! features nineteen weird tales inspired by H. P. Lovecraft.

Edited by Ross E. Lockhart
Cover Art by Adolfo Navarro
Cover Design by MMP

Table of Contents

Introduction: In His House at R’lyeh… – Ross E. Lockhart
The Lightning Splitter – Walter Greatshell
Dead Canyons – Ann K. Schwader
Delirium Sings at the Maelstrom Window – Michael Griffin
Into Ye Smoke-Wreath’d World of Dream – W. H. Pugmire
The Lurker In the Shadows – Nathan Carson
The Insectivore – Orrin Grey
The Body Shop – Richard Lee Byers
On a Kansas Plain – Michael J. Martinez
The Prince of Lyghes – Anya Martin
The Curious Death of Sir Arthur Turnbridge – G. D. Falksen
Aerkheim’s Horror – Christine Morgan
Return of the Prodigy – T.E. Grau
The Curse of the Old Ones – Molly Tanzer and Jesse Bullington
Love Will Save You – Cameron Pierce
Assemblage Point – Scott R. Jones
The Return of Sarnath – Gord Sellar
The Long Dark – Wendy N. Wagner
Green Revolution – Cody Goodfellow
Don’t Make Me Assume My Ultimate Form – Laird Barron

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Pie by Petaluma Pie Company.

Ask for Cthulhu Fhtagn! wherever books are sold.

The Children of Old Leech Nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award

It is with pleasure and gratitude that we announce the following: The Children of Old Leech: A Tribute to the Carnivorous Cosmos of Laird Barron has been nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award. Needless to say, we are over the moon.

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It requires an army of people to put together an anthology like The Children of Old Leech, so a huge THANK YOU! goes out to the following: Co-editor Justin Steele; authors Allyson Bird, Jesse Bullington, Michael Cisco, Jesse James Douthit-Nicolay, Gemma Files, Richard Gavin, J. T. Glover, Cody Goodfellow, T.E. Grau, Orrin Grey, Michael Griffin, Stephen Graham Jones, John Langan, Daniel Mills, Scott Nicolay, Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., Molly Tanzer, Jeffrey Thomas, and Paul Tremblay; copyeditor Marty Halpern; hardcover artist/designer Matthew Revert; softcover artist Dalton Rose; softcover designer Scott R. Jones; and, of course, Laird Barron, for letting all of us play in his universe. Thanks also to all of you who purchased the book (and other Word Horde titles), and to all of the readers and reviewers who have taken the time to recommend the book to others. Thanks to the Shirley Jackson Awards Board of Directors and jurors. And thanks to everyone who shared a toast to Old Leech with us back when we launched the book. Cheers!

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Read the full list of nominees here: http://www.shirleyjacksonawards.org/nominees/

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Cover Reveal

Cthulhu Fhtagn! edited by Ross E. Lockhart

Coming from Word Horde this August: Cthulhu Fhtagn!

Now available to preorder: http://wordhorde.com/product/cthulhu-fhtagn-bundle/

From Ross E. Lockhart, the editor who brought you The Book of Cthulhu, The Children of Old Leech, and Giallo Fantastique comes Cthulhu Fhtagn!, 19 weird tales inspired by H. P. Lovecraft.

Table of Contents:

Introduction: In His House at R’lyeh… – Ross E. Lockhart
The Lightning Splitter – Walter Greatshell
Dead Canyons – Ann K. Schwader
Delirium Sings at the Maelstrom Window – Michael Griffin
Into Ye Smoke-Wreath’d World of Dream – W. H. Pugmire
The Lurker In the Shadows – Nathan Carson
The Insectivore – Orrin Grey
The Body Shop – Richard Lee Byers
On a Kansas Plain – Michael J. Martinez
The Prince of Lyghes – Anya Martin
The Curious Death of Sir Arthur Turnbridge – G. D. Falksen
Aerkheim’s Horror – Christine Morgan
Return of the Prodigy – T.E. Grau
The Curse of the Old Ones – Molly Tanzer and Jesse Bullington
Love Will Save You – Cameron Pierce
Assemblage Point – Scott R. Jones
The Return of Sarnath – Gord Sellar
The Long Dark – Wendy N. Wagner
Green Revolution – Cody Goodfellow
Don’t Make Me Assume My Ultimate Form – Laird Barron

Preorder today: http://wordhorde.com/product/cthulhu-fhtagn-bundle/

Cover art by Adolfo Navarro

Horror Talk Reviews The Children of Old Leech

The Children of Old Leech: A Tribute to the Carnivorous Cosmos of Laird Barron

HorrorTalk today reviews The Children of Old Leech, saying, “The Children of Old Leech is about paying tribute to a man who has made us be afraid of what lives in the woods in new and terrifying ways, but it also ends up being an outstanding collection of short fiction by some of the best authors out there. Throw in an introduction by Justin Steele and an afterword by Ross E. Lockhart, undoubtedly two of the best dark fiction editors and anthologists, and what you get is a book worthy of being followed into the woods on a dark, moonless night.”

The Children of Old Leech: A Tribute to the Carnivorous Cosmos of Laird Barron

Read the full review at this link, and ask for The Children of Old Leech by name wherever books are sold. Or order direct from Word Horde.

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Table of Contents Reveal!

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This August, the stars will be right. Cthulhu Fhtagn! Weird Tales Inspired by H. P. Lovecraft will be unleashing cosmic horror onto an unsuspecting–but deserving–world, just in time to commemorate H. P. Lovecraft’s 125th birthday. In the next few weeks, we’ll be revealing the cover and opening up pre-orders, so that you can bring this monster home, but today, as promised, here’s the full Table of Contents:

Cthulhu Fhtagn!
Table of Contents

Introduction: In His House at R’lyeh… – Ross E. Lockhart
The Lightning Splitter – Walter Greatshell
Dead Canyons – Ann K. Schwader
Delirium Sings at the Maelstrom Window – Michael Griffin
Into Ye Smoke-Wreath’d World of Dream – W. H. Pugmire
The Lurker In the Shadows – Nathan Carson
The Insectivore – Orrin Grey
The Body Shop – Richard Lee Byers
On a Kansas Plain – Michael J. Martinez
The Prince of Lyghes – Anya Martin
The Curious Death of Sir Arthur Turnbridge – G. D. Falksen
Aerkheim’s Horror – Christine Morgan
Return of the Prodigy – T.E. Grau
The Curse of the Old Ones – Molly Tanzer and Jesse Bullington
Love Will Save You – Cameron Pierce
Assemblage Point – Scott R. Jones
The Return of Sarnath – Gord Sellar
The Long Dark – Wendy N. Wagner
Green Revolution – Cody Goodfellow
Don’t Make Me Assume My Ultimate Form – Laird Barron

Photo: H. P. Lovecraft’s own depiction of Cthulhu.

The Children of Old Leech: Excerpt: “Love Songs from the Hydrogen Jukebox,” by T.E. Grau

Yesterday was the official release date for The Children of Old Leech, and many of you were able to join us online for our virtual release party and toast to Old Leech. Many a libation was poured in the name of cosmic horror. But a day-long celebration can make the next morning one for sober reflection and deep spiritual contemplation. So let’s go to church, and get a little bit of that old-time religion with T.E. Grau and this excerpt from his “Love Songs from the Hydrogen Jukebox.”

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Thousands of people stood patiently in a queue that spiraled around the structure, looking inside the doorway, hoping to get a glimpse of what lay beyond. As they waited to reach the door, men and women, nearly indistinguishable from each other due to the lack of facial and cranial hair, walked up and down the line holding bins labeled “DONATIONS TO THE FATHER” in pink, bouncy letters. As each pilgrim walked past, they dropped in wallets, watches, jewelry. Some even tossed in their clothes, returning to the line in various stages of undress as the shadows of trees and peaks cut slowly across the clearing.

I walked past the line with Doyle, heading toward the entrance. Just like with every joint on the Hill, Doyle never stood in line. VIP all the way, regardless of the geography. “Why are they doing that?” I asked, motioning to the rapidly filling bins, trying to avoid the sporadic nakedness, as my blush would surely out me as a prude.

“You can’t enter the temple burdened by the outside world,” Doyle said. “Cuts down on the transmission, like lead between an X-ray. But aside from all that,” he added, shooting me a mischievous grin, “everything’s better when you’re naked.”

I looked around at the variety of mostly unclothed flesh, noting the variety in shape and size and skin tone and hair density. “I don’t know about that.”

Doyle laughed and threw his arm around my shoulders, kissing me on the side of the head. “You’re a real peach, you know that, Barnacles? If I didn’t like pussy so much I’d marry you tomorrow.”

We walked to the front of the line and passed through the wide doorway. The side of my head where Doyle’s lips touched it throbbed with a liquid warmth. Neither of us had removed any clothing, but I felt more naked than I’d ever felt in my life.

Inside, people were seated on a dirt floor in evenly spaced lines, just inches apart from each other, like a mosaic of humanity. The air was heavy with burning incense that billowed from giant copper braziers hanging from thick chains bolted to the vaulted ceiling of the dome, that wasn’t as naturally sloping as one would expect from the outside, but possessed a hyperboloid geometry that made me dizzy. Or maybe it was the smoke, which smelled just like Doyle’s strange little cigarettes.

The hushed congregation was facing a low stage built at the front of the cavernous space, backed by heavy curtains of a thick and lustrous fabric. Doyle led me to the far end of the room, just in front of the rise, and squeezed my shoulder. “Wait here,” he said into my ear, “and don’t get on stage, no matter what I say.”

The bell chimed again, startling me, mostly because it seemed to be coming from directly underneath the room, somewhere deep under the mountain, and not from a hidden steeple. This is the church, this is the steeple, open the door, and see all the people… I realized after a few fuzzy moments that I was staring down at my waggling, intertwined fingers. Perhaps I was becoming a child again, as well. I looked up to show Doyle, but he was gone. The recessed lights hidden in a gutter circling the high walls dimmed at that moment, and the tolling of the bell abruptly stopped. I could hear the beating of my heart in my ears. It was a slow, syrupy rhythm. The sound of an organ in mid-dream.

The Children of Old Leech: A Tribute to the Carnivorous Cosmos of Laird Barron may be ordered directly from Word Horde or wherever better books are sold. Ask for The Children of Old Leech and other Word Horde titles at your favorite bookseller.

Recent Reviews: The Children of Old Leech

We’ve been busy shipping preorder copies of the latest Word Horde anthology, The Children of Old Leech: A Tribute to the Carnivorous Cosmos of Laird Barron, and the book is starting to be spotted at retailers, e-tailers, and in the wild. It’s also been picking up some great reviews. You may have seen our previous round-up of the Publishers Weekly and Cthonic Matter reviews, but here are two more to add to the balefire.

We love you...

Scott R. Jones of Martian Migraine Press touches onto core fears in his review of The Children of Old Leech, sharing a chilling tale of a hollow tree in his detailed examination of stories by Gemma Files, Molly Tanzer, T.E. Grau, Richard Gavin, Paul Tremblay, Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., John Langan, and Cody Goodfellow, concluding: “Each is a class in storytelling, every one is entertaining, and every other one is thought provoking. Lockhart and Steele have a winner on their hands, I think; this is one I’ll keep coming back to, much as I do with Laird’s work. Reading TCoOL was like standing in that Tree beside that lake in the hills, up to my ankles in smoky rot and grey grubs, unable to move, while the sun dipped down to dusk. Recommended.” Read the full Martian Migraine Press review at this link.

Over at Betwixt Book Reviews, Benito Corral also digs deep, singling out tales by Gemma Files, Orrin Grey, Jeffrey Thomas, T.E. Grau, Michael Griffin, Cody Goodfellow, and John Langan, saying, “Each story in The Children of Old Leech leads you deeper and deeper into the ‘carnivorous cosmos’ of Laird Barron; all the authors here have crafted glorious tributes to the master, faithfully plumbing his Mythos to create a truly stunning collection.” The review concludes, “The Children of Old Leech is a triumph for Lockhart and Steele, and a tremendous gift for purveyors of dark fiction. Look for this volume to be on multiple ‘best of’ lists this year. Mr Barron would be proud!” Read the full Betwixt Book Reviews review at this link.

The Children of Old Leech: A Tribute to the Carnivorous Cosmos of Laird Barron is now shipping from Word Horde. Ask for the anthology and other fine Word Horde titles at your favorite bookseller.

Recent Reviews: We Leave Together and The Children of Old Leech

Brand-new pre-release reviews are in for our two summer books, J. M. McDermott’s concluding Dogsland novel, We Leave Together (June 15, 2014), and tribute anthology The Children of Old Leech: A Tribute to the Carnivorous Cosmos of Laird Barron (July 15, 2014).

Here’s what the critics have to say about J. M. McDermott’s We Leave Together:

“McDermott’s third novel set in Dogsland brings closure to the saga of the deceased Jona Lord Joni, whose memory-filled skull yields the narrative. […] Readers will still find Dogsland a grittily imagined fantasy world, with a personality as vivid as any of its residents.” —Publishers Weekly

Read the full review at this link.

And here’s the Publishers Weekly review of The Children of Old Leech:

“Lockhart and Steele collect 17 original stories from some of the shining stars of modern horror, constructing a worm-riddled literary playground from elements of the fiction of horror maestro Laird Barron. The results come across with a coherent feeling of dread, without feeling derivative of the source. […] Hopefully Barron will enjoy this tribute; his fans certainly will.” —Publishers Weekly

Read the full review (including mentions of stories by Molly Tanzer, J. T. Glover & Jesse Bullington, T.E. Grau, and Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.) at this link.

The Children of Old Leech was also recently reviewed by C. M. Muller, Scrivener of Weird Fiction, at his blog Chthonic Matter. Of the anthology, Muller says:

“This multifaceted grimoire, and the talent associated with it, is staggering to behold. Its co-editor, Justin Steele, sets the tone in a highly entertaining introduction, one which pits his fictional self against the very ‘carnivorous cosmos’ he so innocently sought to collect. In many like anthologies that focus on the oeuvre of a specific writer, the works themselves rarely rise above pastiche—but this seems to be exactly what the editors wished to avoid when fashioning their tribute to Laird Barron. Steele brings this to the fore when singling out Ellen Datlow’s excellent Lovecraft Unbound as a source of inspiration. Potential readers who are not familiar with Barron’s work need not worry. The tales, while sometimes recalling certain tropes or characters from his fiction, can be enjoyed in their own right; and, I must say, the range of styles on display is consistently impressive.” –C. M. Muller, Chthonic Matter

Read the full review (including detailed mentions of stories by T.E. Grau, Richard Gavin, Paul Tremblay, Michael Griffin, Daniel Mills, Stephen Graham Jones, John Langan, Cody Goodfellow, and Scott Nicolay & Jesse James Douhit-Nicolay) at this link.

Now Available for Pre-Order: The Children of Old Leech

The Children of Old Leech: A Tribute to the Carnivorous Cosmos of Laird Barron

There are Things – terrifying Things – whispered of in darkened forests beyond the safe comfort of firelight: The Black Guide, the Broken Ouroboros, the Pageant, Belphegor, Old Leech…

These Things have always been here.

They predate you. They will outlast you.

This book pays tribute to those Things.

For We are the Children of Old Leech… and we love you.

The Children of Old Leech

Featuring all new stories by many of the brightest lights in dark fiction:

Allyson Bird
Michael Cisco
Gemma Files
Richard Gavin
J. T. Glover & Jesse Bullington
Cody Goodfellow
T.E. Grau
Orrin Grey
Michael Griffin
Stephen Graham Jones
John Langan
Daniel Mills
Scott Nicolay & Jesse James Douthit-Nicolay
Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.
Molly Tanzer
Jeffrey Thomas
Paul Tremblay

The Children of Old Leech: A Tribute to the Carnivorous Cosmos of Laird Barron

Edited by Ross E. Lockhart and Justin Steele
Cover Design by Matthew Revert

Pub date: July 15, 2014

Pre-order today!