Writing this post for David Gutowski’s Largehearted Boy was as close to my heart as it gets. I got to write about the music that fueled Collision. I got to say “Like a Bat out of Hell” and “Like Ripples on a Blank Shore” in the one sentence, almost. Meatloaf in collision with Radiohead. Almost ten years of music pared down to 23 songs, same as the number of positions in a one night stand.
In the next couple of hours/days I’ll be posting some reviews, interviews and just general stuff about Collision, my new collection of stories and a novella out from Meerkat Press. For now though, thanks are due to Meerkat Press, especially Tricia Reeks, who is as smart and unstoppable as they come. Matthew Bialer, I literally wouldn’t be here without you. Seb Doubinsky, Angela Slatter, John Langan, Stephen Graham Jones, Kathe Koja, thanks doesn’t cut it. To author/illustrator Keith Rosson for the illustrations. Thanks to editors of some of the early stories and editors everywhere.💐 Thanks to early reviewers and podcasters for letting me ramble. But readers, thank you above all. You’re the ones I do this for. And to my first readers, John Breukelaar Troy Palmer, Isabella Breukelaar, Jack Breukelaar, endless love. 💘
You can purchase Collision: Stories from the usual places. Or click on the banner above for more options.
Here is a teaser.
Townsend Walker over at NY Journal Of Books had this drop today – 15 February EST, the day Collision: Stories is unleashed on the world. Needless to say, I’m honored, stoked and you know, overwhelmed.
“J. S. Breukelaar is a writer of obvious talent, demonstrated over and over in this collection.”
The 12 stories in this collection feature horror, fantasy, and weirdness. The stories and the author are promoted as such. But the reader will probably find the more realistic stories to be her best, and many are quite fine— “Union Falls,” “Fairy Tale,” “Fixed,” and War Wounds.”
Though she wasn’t born in the South, her stories evoke for me the same drawling sense of pocket-universe skewedness as Howard Waldrop’s best, perhaps filtered through a more contemporary sensibility; a time-lapsed version of Stephen Graham Jones’s back-country, tooth-bearing fictions, with disquieting details lovingly blown up and lingered on; and all of this enlivened by injections of surrealism a la Leonora Carrington, with touches of William Gibson-esque techno-estrangement. It’s a mind-expanding brew.
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.
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.