I’ve been in some damn good anthologies since Postscripts 18: This is the Summer of Love came out in 2009. I have worked with many wonderful editors, and shared pages with some of the great names in the spec-fic community. And you’d better believe that I still get a buzz when I see one of my stories in print. Doesn’t matter if it’s with an independent press, or one of the bigger houses. When I open that book and see my name in the table of contents … it’s Thrill City, baby.
So you can imagine how jazzed I am to be in A CARNIVÀLE OF HORROR: DARK TALES FROM THE FAIRGROUND. Not only does it boast a beautifully twisted cover from artist-extraordinaire Ben Baldwin, it also features circus-themed stories from the likes of John Connolly, Muriel Gray, and Robert Shearman. And yeah, I confess to getting a little giddy when I saw SPURS by Tod Robbins in the table of contents—the short story that inspired Tod Browning’s cult classic FREAKS (I remember watching this movie when I was a kid, and having nightmares for the next three weeks—Jesus, I’ll never forget Prince Randian lighting his cigarette). For me, though, the absolute showstopper is the master himself: the late and very great Ray Bradbury. A CARNIVÀLE OF HORROR opens with an excerpt from his wonderful novel, SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES, and I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am to feature in a line-up alongside this legendary author. No, it won’t make me rich, or earn me an appearance on Letterman. But on a personal level, it’s a massive accomplishment.
My contribution to the anthology is called TIGER, TIGER, a story about a sad and bullied boy who finds a tiger tooth in the grass after the circus has left town. I deliberately went for a Bradburyesque flavour, with a generous sprinkling of Roald Dahl. Basically, I wanted a children’s story for adults, and I think I pulled it off.
Here’s the full table of contents:
Introduction: Horror of the Carnivàle by Marie O’Regan & Paul Kane
Something Wicked This Way Comes – Ray Bradbury
A Flat Patch of Grass – Muriel Gray
Some Children Wander By Mistake – John Connolly
Spurs (AKA Freaks) – Tod Robbins
Tiger, Tiger – Rio Youers
Blind Voices – Tom Reamy
Mister Magister – Thomas F. Monteleone
Twittering From The Circus of The Dead – Joe Hill
The Pilo Family Circus – Will Elliott
Face of The Circus – Lou Morgan
Escardy Gap – Peter Crowther & James Lovegrove
The Circus of Dr Lao – Charles Finney
In The Forest of The Night – Paul Finch
All The Clowns in Clowntown – Andrew McKiernan
Nine Letters About Spit – Robert Shearman
To Run Away and Join The Circus – Alison Littlewood
A CARNIVÀLE OF HORROR is edited by the expert team of Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane, and will be available from PS Publishing later this month. Considering this is a limited edition print run, you might want to think about PREORDERING. If you’d prefer the signed, jacketed hardcover (limited to only 100 copies), click right HERE.
Also, if you’re attending this year’s FANTASYCON, you can pick up a copy at its launch on Saturday 29th at 5.00 pm. There’ll be a bunch of contributors on hand to sign copies, including yours truly.