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.”
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
Featuring all new stories by many of the brightest lights in dark fiction:
J. T. Glover & Jesse Bullington
Stephen Graham Jones
Scott Nicolay & Jesse James Douthit-Nicolay
Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.
Edited by Ross E. Lockhart and Justin Steele
Cover Design by Matthew Revert
Pub date: July 15, 2014
It is award season once again in genre fiction land, so I’ve been fielding occasional queries wondering whether Tales of Jack the Ripper (Word Horde) and its contents are eligible for various awards. In the interest of placing all the necessary information at your fingertips (and mine), here is some statistical information on the anthology that I hope will both inform and enlighten.
The anthology Tales of Jack the Ripper was published August 31, 2013, and is comprised of seventeen stories, two poems, and an introduction. Of those seventeen stories, three are reprints, as are the two poems, and fourteen stories are original to the anthology. Tales of Jack the Ripper is a professional market, paying .05/word for original stories and .02/word for reprints. The anthology as a whole should be eligible for consideration in most industry awards’ Anthology categories. The book is 75,859 words total; 60,134 original [79.27%]; 15,723 reprint [20.72%].
The following original stories should be eligible for consideration in most Novelette/Novella/Mid-Length Fiction categories:
Barron, Laird: “Termination Dust” 10101 words
Kurtz, Ed: “Hell Broke Loose” 9796 words
Sargent, Stanley C.: “When the Means Just Defy the End” 12226 words
The following original stories should be eligible for consideration in most Short Fiction categories:
Drake, Ennis: “The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker” 4300 words
Grau, T.E.: “The Truffle Pig” 2840 words
Greatshell, Walter: “Ripping” 2302 words
Grey, Orrin: “Ripperology” 2800 words
Moreno-Garcia, Silvia: “Abandon All Flesh” 2200 words
Morris, Edward: “Where Have You Been All My Life?” 1900 words
Pulver, Joseph S.: “Juliette’s New Toy” 861 words
Rawlik, Pete: “Villains by Necessity” 2149 words
Tobler, E. Catherine: “Once November” 2400 words
Tumblety, Patrick: “Something About Dr. Tumblety” 4114 words
Yardley, Mercedes M.: “A Pretty for Polly” 1600 words
Editor Ross E. Lockhart is eligible to be nominated as Best Editor (Short Form) for Tales of Jack the Ripper, and as Best Editor (Long Form) for works published in 2013 (all of which are also worthy of your consideration), including Blind Gods Bluff, by Richard Lee Byers; Earth Thirst, by Mark Teppo; No Return, by Zachary Jernigan; Binding, by Carol Wolf; The Beautiful Thing that Awaits Us All, by Laird Barron, The Daedalus Incident, by Michael J. Martinez, and Reanimators, by Pete Rawlik.
Publisher Word Horde is eligible to be nominated (where applicable) as Best Publisher.
On behalf of Word Horde and the authors included in Tales of Jack the Ripper, thank you for your consideration and support during this year’s oh-so-competitive awards season.
Ross E. Lockhart