To Other Similar Abysses!

Part of my day job entails coming up with Read-Alikes: little lists for popular books that can direct readers to other titles based on sharing similar themes, concepts, or aesthetics. For example, Laird Barron’s The Croning could be on a Read-Alike list for Jeff VanderMeer’s City of Saints & Madmen due to them both dealing with strange nonhuman entities and toying with the reliability of historical accounts. Diehard cosmic horror fans could probably quibble over the finer points of the comparison, but it’s a way of saying “if you liked X, try Y” for people who may not be that familiar with the genre.

And if there’s one thing common to the genres I like the most, it’s that lots of folks aren’t familiar with them.

So here’s a list of Read-Alikes for To Another Abyss. If…

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New Story Up on Mad Scientist Journal

My short story, “Excerpts from the Diary of Theodore Miro, Competitor on CryptoChefs Season Two” is now up on Mad Scientist Journal, with wicked cool art by Shannon Legler! They’re a consistently fun publication I’ve been subscribing to for a while, and I really appreciate that they go and commission artwork for each of their stories.

I don’t really have a lot to say about the process behind it. A friend of mine is an excellent chef who competed on a couple cooking shows last year and wasn’t able to talk about it for several months, so I set to imagining what might go on behind the scenes at a cooking contest that you’d need to legally bar contestants from talking about. It turned out to be petty stuff like how often they had to blot Guy Fieri between takes, but still, it was fertile ground for dreaming up weird hi-jinx.

Read it at the above link or buy a copy of the Winter 2018 issue here!

Ode on a Grecian Yearn

After a slight Esoterotica hiatus I’m back on my bullshit with another Multiple-Choice Misadventure! And I haven’t learned anything about historical accuracy since the last one.

You are Daphne. Not the one from Scooby Doo — I mean the Greek nymph. You’re currently on tinder. Not the app — I mean that you just had to turn into a goddamn tree to stop that horndog Apollo from dragging you into an evening of epic poetry and chill. He seemed nice enough when you were talking to him on Tinder (and I do mean the app that time,) but in person… he’s a major creeper. Not creepy enough that he would try to fuck a tree, your plan totally worked there, but he was definitely too skeezy for you to want to touch as a human.

Which leaves you at an impasse. A woman’s still got needs.

Once you’re sure the coast is clear, you turn back into a human and since you are being written by a man you immediately admire your breasts in the reflection of a nearby lake for about five minutes.

You still don’t have any plans for this evening, so you take out your phone and find that you have three new messages from eager suitors.

The first message appears to be yet another dick pic from Zeus, only he’s a swan in this one. Eeewwwwww.

The second message is from a man named Pentheus. There are pictures of him next to his chariot, lounging on the balcony of his palace, giving a speech at so–waitwait, palace? Scroll back. Yeah, that’s his own frickin’ palace.

Whoever sent the third message has profile pictures of themselves posing with the corpse of a giant boar they’ve killed, and… one of them wrestling a lion? Ohmigod is that really HERCULES macking on you?!

To respond to Pentheus and have him buy you whatever the Greek equivalent of Cosmopolitans were, turn to page 2.

To respond to Hercules because you want to give the Hydra a run for its money as far as head goes, turn to page 3.

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Nocturnal Admissions: Swine & Roses

Entry number five or six in my series of shorts about a third-shift psychologist. Special guest-reference to the work of Andy Reynolds, fellow New Orleans SF writer — check his stuff out here.

 

Nocturnal Admissions: Swine & Roses

Ever since I helped that smooth guy from Cafe Envie get over his affair with a sexually-frustrated ghost, my practice has begun taking on the occasional supernatural client. A number of them, unsurprisingly, have trouble integrating into modern society.

Andy is probably the one who gave Circe got my number. Dream girl? I can’t date clients. Pixie? It was more of a Chelsea cut. But manic? That’s exactly what her appointment that night was about!

“So,” she began, “after some bro-y sailor spread gossip about me being a battleaxe just because I wouldn’t line his crew up and blow ’em all in a row like a trained seal, I had to skip town for a couple thousand years. New Orleans seemed like a fun place with the vampires and all.”

“That’s just for tourism,” I said.

“Whatever helps you sleep at night.”

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