Without writing a separate review of each of these tales it’s difficult to do full justice to the quality of this author’s writing, but what it is very easy to do is to urge you to read these haunting, disturbing and thought-provoking stories for yourself. If you enjoy the weird, the quirky and the unexpected, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
While I’m catching up on news, here is Breach magazine’s review of my upcoming collection, Collision.
Stories are ruthless, nothing is safe—even the child who offers a lollipop and loses a wrist to the Clint Eastwood dog. Breukelaar experiments with the Gothic and queries the queer. Bedded within the tales is a voluptuous energy that turns pages. Tables pirouette in a blink and, before you know it, the story is eleven shades grimmer.
Thanks to Eugen Bacon and Breech Mag for the words.
You can pre-order Collision here and everywhere.
Best books of 2018? I read very few books last year. I don’t know why I read so little. The ones I did were mainly for work. I read a lot of student work, edited manuscripts for clients and my own. Getting Collision edited and ready for printing took a lot of my time, partly because the folks from Meerkat are almost as anal as I am. Or at least pretend to be when I know they are just being patient. Anyway here are my pics for 2018 over at LitReactor. And while you’re there, check out Parts 1 and 2, pencil at the ready to jot down the list for your local bookstore.
Where do I start? Probably with a huge huge shout-out to CreateNSW who made travel to WFC Baltimore possible by awarding me the Artist Quick Response Travel Grant.
This is the first time I’ve gone to World Fantasy with any assistance, and it lifted a whole lot of stress and allowed me to concentrate on networking, learning, making new friends and connecting with old ones. Another first for me this time was having my publisher front and centre. I owe a huge debt of gratitude and respect to Tricia Reeks, CEO of Meerkat Press for everything she did, and is. Finally, it was such a joy to reunite with my agent Matt Bialer and my brother-from-another planet Seb Doubinsky who is also part of the Meerkat family. I don’t want to write too many spoilers here because of a forthcoming article at LitReactor.com, but yeah, hi-jinks did ensue.
Here are some of the pictures, but they don’t tell the whole story. This is the convention that keeps giving for sure, in terms of friends, colleagues, and inspiration. I sold books. I connected with new readers. I read new work by some talented people. I panelated with, um, Alliete de Bodard. I drank a teensy bit too much with Ms Warren and Mr Jeffrey Ford. I slept way too little. Can’t wait to go back.
So this is happening—thanks to the good people at Meerkat Press.
My first grant, so. When the guy from CreateNSW called me and told me, I literally cried and he was embarrassed. It was a moment. Anyway, thank you CreateNSW. I’m goin’ to Baltimore, my third World Fantasy, and the first one not on my own dime, entirely. Can’t wait to meet my new publisher, Tricia Reeks of Meerkat and to reunite with my amigo Seb Doubinsky, and hang out with my people. I always get so much out of these cons—meeting new readers, bonding with new viewers, scoring invitations to contribute to anthologies. But the best thing about this World Fantasy is getting to support some fellow Australian authors, especially the amazing Kaaron Warren, who is Guest of Honor. I plan to hang out in NYC for three short days afterward, where I’ll be reading at Gotham writers Workshop and elsewhere.
I’ll be tweeting about my road to WFC Baltimore so watch that space.
The walls are coming down: sign up here.
Thanks to authors like George Saunders (weird ghosts), Jeff Ford (fantastical horror), Jeremy Robert Johnson (biznoirro), Angela Slatter (fairy tales with bite) and Kelly Link, whose stunning fantasy, “Stone Animals,” was included in Best American Short Stories, the lines dividing one set of genre conventions from another, can be blurred to stunning effect—and that’s what today’s publishers and editors are looking for.
The genre barbarians are at the gate, and getting all up in the guts of what used to be called ‘literary fiction,’ and the result is dark fantasy with sf elements, crime fiction with ghosts, vampires with artificial intelligence—the sky is literally the limit, and the old rules no longer apply.
Of that sounds like you—fascinated with Japanese horror yet knee-deep in a western sf novel, or if your crime story draws from Norse mythology, or American folk tales, or your fairy tales features robot romance—consider yourself home. Some of the most in-demand fiction today includes the best elements from multiple genres and styles in one big mosh-pit of surreal Gothic hellraising.
J.S. Breukelaar is the acclaimed author of the futuristic wild west horror novel, American Monster; Aletheia, a noir ghost-story with a sci-fi twist, and the upcoming collection, Collision, which includes dystopian ghost tales, Halloween war stories, alien gender-bending, body-horror romance, and a zombie novella for the AI age.
And, over four weeks of intense writing, plus exposure to some of the ground-breaking genre-benders making waves today—you will discover new techniques to pull the most powerful elements from countless genres—into a story with the kind of heart and soul editors are looking for.
THank you to Canadian author Maria Haskins for her kind words about meh book:
Like a steam-train, it gathers momentum in the telling, and while the first chapters draw you into the world of the story, allowing you to get to know the characters, everything soon takes a turn I did not see coming. And towards the end, the story is just edge-of-your-seat GRIPPING. Horror and landscape mix with memory and desire in a way that is riveting.
Record sales in horror fiction, according to the Daily Telegraph? Thank you Stranger Things, Andy Muschietti’s film adaptation of Stephen King’s It? And maybe a bunch of other factors too. Like this, from Alexander Gordon Smith, over at Tor.com:
Horror makes us children again, in the best possible way. We’re incredibly resilient when we’re kids, because our imaginations are so vast, so powerful. They cannot be defeated. When we go through bad things, we have the emotional intelligence to recover, because we know that anything can happen. If there can be monsters under the bed then there can be miracles, too.
Or, in my twisted take on horror’s weirdness over at LitReactor:
All these stories instill a kind of terror in the reader, but the kind of terror where the fever dream is not so much to defeat It, as to see It, touch It. Make It stick. Because without It, what are we?
Speaking of LitReactor, Peter Derk’s Cormac McCarthy birthday tribute is pretty cool. This one took me way, way down the rabbit hole.