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.
April 4. Always a good time mixing things up at LitReactor.
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.
So this is happening—thanks to the good people at Meerkat Press.
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.