Carnivàle

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.

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