In honor of the 4th of July Steve has posted his short story "Origami Bird" on our occasional blog, Sotto Voce. It originally appeared as an Independence Day greeting card from Wormhole Books in 2002. This piece will be part of his short story collection CELESTIAL INVENTORIES, out next year from ChiZine Publications.
Steve's new novel Deadfall Hotel appeared first as a gorgeous limited-edition hardcover from Centipede Press. The illustrated Centipede edition extras include a new original Deadfall story, an essay, and a reprint of an early version of the "Bloodwolf" chapter from Charlie Grant's old SHADOWS anthology. Available in our gallery are advance illustrations from this edition by the Danish illustrator John Kenn Mortensen. Here's a direct link to the thumbnails page: John Kenn Mortensen Illustrations. Click on a thumbnail to see a larger image, then click on that image to see an even larger image.
In this Edward Gorey-esque, Mervyn Peak-esque novel a widower takes the job of manager at a remote hotel where the guests are not quite like you and me, accompanied by his daughter and the ghost of his wife--"a literary exploration of the roots of horror in the collective unconscious." Chris Fowler calls it "eerie, disturbing and yet strangely touching."
The mass market paperback and ebook edition of Deadfall Hotel was recently published by Solaris Books.
"In addition to some affinities of place with Peake's work, Deadfall Hotel reminds the reader of Ray Bradbury, Edward Gorey, and Shirley Jackson without being derivative. Far from it--indeed, the novel provides a smorgasbord of sweet spots for the weird fiction connoisseur. Nightmares, supernatural creatures, cults, eccentric characters, and the atmosphere of the titular hotel all combine in a fascinating read."-- Jeff Vandermeer, Shelfari. Click HERE for the full review.
"If you really need to lose yourself in lush language for a while, to race between mourning and desire & wander the corridors of a hotel where ordinary people just do not stay, then this is the book for you. For me it is a very literary treatment of the uncanny, a much more psychologically satisfying handling of grief and shock and unreal realities than most books of terror will brave. I've had the pleasure to teach a portion of this novel twice from Exotic Gothic 3 to my Gothic students at Lone Star College in Texas, who are rather picky connoisseurs. They have been left breathless. This is one meant for a larger audience."--Danel Olson, Professor of English, Lone Star College and editor of the Exotic Gothic anthology series.
Read a FREE TEASER of Deadfall Hotel Online
You might call it my particular version of a ghost story for Christmas. I'm pleased to announce that The Weird Fiction Review is running a long, self-contained excerpt from DEADFALL HOTEL, "The King of the Cats," in four parts, every Thursday between now and Christmas. Part 1 is up now: http://tinyurl.com/cdpb9fr
Steve's THE FAR SIDE OF THE LAKE NOW AVAILABLE AS AN EBOOK
THE FAR SIDE OF THE LAKE
Steve's rare second short story collection, previously only available in an expensive, limited hardcover edition, is now available as an ebook from Ash-Tree Press.
A scatter of comments on the individual stories:
"Crutches"--"an unforgettable surrealistic nightmare" -- Washington Post Book World
"The Sky Come Down to Earth"--"No one has written so well of the inward spirit of the unwanted child since Shirley Jackson." -- Stephen King
"Leaks"--winner of the British Fantasy Award
"Another blue-chip collection, another book you need to own if you're at all interested in where the literature of the uncanny is at, or in where it's going. Taken together [with City Fishing] . . . the two volumes stand alongside anything published in the field of supernatural literature over the last few years."
-- Steve Duffy, All Hallows
CONTENTS: Introduction (‘Speak Softly and Listen’); At the Bureau; Crutches; The Bad People; Leaks; Stone Head; Mirror Man; The Sky Come Down to Earth; Houses Creaking in the Wind; Grim Monkeys; Rider; Escape on a Train; The Far Side of the Lake; Presage; Derelicts; Aquarium; In the Trees; Among the Old; The Little Dead Girl; In a Guest House; Underground; Dark Shapes in the Road; Decodings; At the End of the Day; Fogwell; Ice House Pond; Charlie Goode’s Ghosts: Introduction (‘Hauntings: The Power of the Past’); The Dancers in the Leaves; Hearts; Bouquet; The Snow People; Cutlery; Absences; Goode Farm. Bibliography.
Note: the special limited hardcover edition is also still available from Ash-Tree Press.
THE BOOK OF DAYS
Unabridged Narration by Nathan Lowell: Run Time 8 hours & 6 minutes
Steve's second novel, The Book of Days consists of a short story told each day by a man trying to talk himself back to sanity. A kind of literary sampler quilt, these daily inventions emulate the styles of everything from traditional ghost stories to the works of O’Henry and James Whitcomb Riley, from westerns to fifties science fiction to boy’s own adventure stories. As a sequence illustrating the narrator’s deep internal struggle, these dark stories take on additional weight, making each one a sharp shock that builds to an electrifying whole.
Praise for The Book of Days:
A finalist for the International Horror Guild Award in the novel category. “Steve Tem possesses both the guts and the ability to try about anything with his fiction and his best work (like “The Man on the Ceiling” co-written with Melanie Tem) is often that which strays farthest from the oft-trod trail . . . In Tem’s skilled hands, the intangible is made tangible through metaphor and imagery. [Here] he transcends his own gimmick to achieve a work that is both intriguing and inspirational.” — Paula Guran, Cemetery Dance
“This contemplative odyssey is easily one of the more risk-taking and rewarding books of fantasy published this year.” — Publishers Weekly
On the audiobook: "BOOK OF DAYS by Steve Rasnic Tem has elements of horror, fantasy, and even romance to it, but it's really a poetic homage to childhood itself, when we conjured entire worlds out of sticks in mud, and the future held limitless promise....Prepare for an unusual experience that is also, in a magical way, familiar. Narrator Nathan Lowell is ideal to voice the character, as he possesses the right sense of timing and tone, knowing just when the sentences need to flow together like a poem." -- Audiobooks Today
You may listen to a sample of this audiobook by going to the ordering website.
SLAIN IN THE SPIRIT
Unabridged narration by Ann Richardson: Run time 7 hours and 20 minutes
Leila Blackwell suffers from keratitis, a condition that, coupled with prior eye problems, is slowly robbing her of her sight. Nevertheless, she stubbornly tries to maintain a "normal" lifestyle, often forsaking the companionship of her lover Cathy to act independently, as any fully sighted person might do. It's thus that she finds herself alone in a public rest room when a familiar male voice penetrates the silence, saying, "Don't be afraid, I won't hurt you."
Leila finds herself kidnapped and confined in a basement, slowly and steadily losing her site, as she is forced to engage in a batlle of wills with a man who beleives he is acting to save her soul. Through a series of harrowing escapes and confrontations with obstacles both real and self-imposed, Leila must try to survive to reach freedom, and her life, without losing her sanity in the process.
You may listen to a sample of this audiobook by going to the ordering website.
Unabridged narration by Terry Daniel: Run time 7 hours
This is the author's first all-audio short story collection, containing a selection of science fiction and horror short stories hand-picked by the author for Speaking Volumes.
"[Tem's] stories have the compression of poetry. He is able to create rapidly a mood of menace and revulsion." -- Publisher's Weekly
Contents: Among the Old, Celestial Inventory, The Disease Artist, Head Explosions, In These Final Days of Sales, Origami Bird, Out Late in the Park, Taking Down the Tree, Invisible, Mirror Man, The Strangers, The Company You Keep, Underground, Mouths, The World Recalled, Yesterday
Order directly from the publisher. Available as CDs or as an MP3 download:
MELANIE'S THE ICE DOWNSTREAM NOW AVAILABLE IN E-BOOK FORM
Nineteen tales of dark, psychological horror from the pen of one of the modern masters of dark Fiction, award-winning author Melanie Tem. This is her first solo short story collection.
The Ice Downstream / Sitting with the Driver / The Rock / The Co-op / Secrets / Daddy's Side / Loving Delia / Aspen Graffiti / Chameleon / The Better Half / Memento Mori / Trail of Crumbs / Pandorette's Mother / Pele / Cousin Claudine / Fry Day
This eBook is available in MOBI (Kindle) EPUB (Sony / Nook / iPad / Kobo) PDF (Adobe) and PRC (Mobipocket) formats.
NEW & FORTHCOMING
"At Play in the Fields," Solaris Rising, ed. Ian Whales, "Back Among the Shy Trees," Shadows & Tall Trees 2, "Bingo Thompson's Flying Cat," Stories from the Hearth, ed. Brian J. Hatcher, Woodland Press, "Cattiwampus," forthcoming in The Devil's Coattails, ed. Jason Brock, "Ephemera," Asimov's SF Magazine, December 2011, "La Mariee," Art From Art, ed. Stephen Soucy, "Little One," Unspoken Water 1, "Miri," Blood and Other Cravings, ed. Ellen Datlow, "The Old Man Beset by Demons," forthcoming in Exotic Gothic 4, ed. Danel Olson, "Shaggy Dog Story," Blood Lite II: Overbite, ed. Kevin Anderson, "Skullbees," the Centipede Press edition of Deadfall Hotel, "Waiting At The Crossroads Motel," forthcoming in Black Wings II, ed. S.T. Joshi, "Willie the Philologist," Now & Then, vol. 26, no. 2
"Best Friends," forthcoming in The Devil's Coattails, ed. Jason Brock, "Corn Teeth," Asimov's SF Magazine, August 2011, "Dahlias," forthcoming in Black Wings II, ed. S.T. Joshi, "Keeping Corky," Blood & Other Cravings, ed. Ellen Datlow, "Little Shit," Supernatural Noir, ed. Ellen Datlow, "The Shoes," Shivers 6, ed. Richard Chizmar
MELANIE'S WRITING CLASS AND EDITING SERVICES
E-mail for information about Melanie's ongoing writing class (fiction and non-fiction, all genres; $10 per class) or about her editing and in-depth critiquing services ($40 per hr).
MELANIE TEM: Storyteller
"Telling the poetry of everyday life"
In the last quarter century, the ancient oral tradition of storytelling has seen a revival in many countries. In America, the first storytelling festival was in Jonesborough, TN, and that's where "telling" got into my blood a little over a year ago, when I sat in the audience transfixed by a master teller and found myself thinking, "I can do that! I want to do that!"
Now there are storytelling festivals in almost every state, including at least three in Colorado, and the Jonesborough festival attracts some 9000 tellers from all over the world. Having been a writer all my life, I'm exhilarated to have discovered all this, for there are stories that must be told without being written.
Here are some of mine:
"Margaret's 'Possums," which is really more about Margaret than about 'possums
"Come Live with Me," about Alzheimer's and poetry
"Cousins," in which shared experiences give rise to very different memories
"An Ordinary Little Life," about how the stories we tell, sometimes without even knowing it, can change someone else's life.
To arrange storytelling for your group or gathering, contact me at email@example.com or 303-477-0235.