A Couple of Happy Updates, Plus! Boskone

I’m delighted to report that the Russian translation of The Fisherman has won an award for best translated novel of the year at the “Most Terrible Festival” in St. Petersburg.  Bozhe moi!  Thanks very much to AST publishing, who brought out the novel in Russia, to Grigory Shokin, who translated it, and to everyone responsible for the book receiving its (and my) first non-English language award!

The Fisherman–Russian edition

In related news, I’ve done an interview with the Russian webzine, Darker, in which we talk about The Fisherman and my love for Russian literature.

I’m also delighted to report that my story, “Haak,” which first appeared in Mark Morris’s splendid New Fears 2 anthology has been selected by Ellen Datlow for inclusion in the eleventh volume of her “Best Horror of the Year” series, alongside some fabulous work.  I’m particularly pleased that this story, written for the inestimable Jack Haringa, continues to reach a wider audience.  Here’s the table of contents:

I Remember Nothing by Anne Billson
Monkeys on the Beach by Ralph Robert Moore
Painted Wolves by Ray Cluley
Shit Happens by Michael Marshall Smith
You Know How the Story Goes by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
Back Along the Old Track by Sam Hicks
Masks by Peter Sutton
The Donner Party by Dale Bailey
Milkteeth by Kristi DeMeester
Haak by John Langan
Thin Cold Hands by Gemma Files
A Tiny Mirror by Eloise C. C. Shepherd
I Love You Mary-Grace by Amelia Mangan
The Jaws of Ouroboros by Steve Toase
A Brief Moment of Rage by Bill Davidson
Golden Sun by Kristi DeMeester, Richard Thomas, Damien Angelica Walters, and Michael Wehunt
White Mare by Thana Niveau
Girls Without Their Faces On by Laird Barron
Thumbsucker by Robert Shearman
You Are Released by Joe Hill
Red Rain by Adam-Troy Castro
Split Chain Stitch by Steve Toase
No Exit by Orrin Grey
Haunt by Siobhan Carroll
Sleep by Carly Holmes

Finally, I had a brilliant time this past weekend at the 56th annual Boskone, held at the Westin hotel in Boston.  It’s always a pleasure to see such friends as Paul Tremblay, Jack Haringa, JoAnn Cox, Brett and Jeanne Cox, Nick Kaufmann and Alexa Antopol, Vicki Dalpe, Grady Hendrix, Liz Hand and John Clute, Bracken MacLeod, Errick Nunnally, Chris Golden, and Ellen Datlow, but beyond that, the con organizers have really made an effort to expand their horror-related programming, and to include horror writers on more general-topic panels.  In addition, they’re made a commitment to diversifying their participants that continues to yield results.  It’s made Boskone one of the can’t-miss conventions for me.  Thanks to all who worked so hard at putting it on this year, and to anyone who might be thinking about the convention for 2020, I’d encourage you to give it a try.

 

 

NPR 100 Favorite Horror Stories List

I am astonished and delighted to learn that The Fisherman has made National Public Radio’s 100 Favorite Horror Stories List.  Seeing my book listed alongside those of good friends such as Laird Barron, Gemma Files, Victor LaValle, Livia Llewellyn, and Paul Tremblay is terrific; seeing it rubbing shoulders with work by Stephen King and Peter Straub borders the surreal.  Thank you to everyone who voted for it, and to the judges for all their hard work.

 

Holy Cow!

The Fisherman just won the Bram Stoker Award!

Needless to say, I am gobsmacked, and possibly stupefied.  I wasn’t able to attend the awards ceremony, but Ellen Datlow was gracious enough to accept the award on my behalf and read these remarks:

The very first writing award I wanted to win was the Bram Stoker Award.  I’m more thrilled than I can say to receive one for The Fisherman.  As some of you know, it took a long time for this book to be completed, and then to find a publisher.  Its reception since then, however, has been nothing short of amazing.  I’m grateful to everyone who took a chance on the novel, who left an Amazon or Goodreads review, who recommended it to a friend or family member.  I’m grateful, too, to those of you who saw fit to honor the book with this award.  No one who looks at the novels listed in this category can fail to be impressed by their combined achievement.  To have been numbered among them has been about the highest praise The Fisherman has received.  If you haven’t read any of them, yet, then please accept my recommendation that you do so, post haste.  Together, they display the particular brilliance that shines from the darker corners of the literary tent.
There’s no way my book would have come to pass without the love and support of my astonishing wife, Fiona.  My younger son, David, already an accomplished fisherman at a young age, provided invaluable technical assistance.  My older son, Nick, my daughter-in-law, Mary, and my grandkids provided support and silliness.  Laird Barron and Paul Tremblay talked through various narrative possibilities and complications with me, and cheered me on to the finish line.  My agent, the indefatigable Ginger Clark, never stopped asking when I was going to get back to that book whose opening chapters I’d showed her all those years ago.  And Ross Lockhart and Word Horde accepted The Fisherman with enthusiasm and promoted it with gusto.  My deepest, sincerest love and thanks to all of them.

stoker-award

This Is Horror Awards

I am stunned and delighted to report that The Fisherman has won This Is Horror‘s Novel of the Year award!  Here’s what I had to say:

“I’m thrilled and humbled that the voters have selected The Fisherman as Novel of the Year. To have been nominated alongside the other novels in this category was already an honor, and the ballot as a whole is a reminder of the talent flourishing in the horror field. I’m grateful to everyone who sat down with my book and gave it a chance, and I’m thankful to everyone who cast a vote for it. The Fisherman owes its publication to Ross Lockhart, for which, many, many thanks. It owes its composition to my lovely wife, Fiona, for which all, all of my love.”

It’s a terrific slate of winners; congratulations to Victor LaValle, Livia Llewellyn, Mike Davis, Ross Lockhart, and everyone else!

The Fisherman–One Month On

My second novel, The Fisherman, has been out for a little over a month, now, and it’s received a number of very kind and insightful reviews.  I hope you’ll forgive me if I post links to a few of them here.

Here’s Shane Douglas Keene, at This is Horror.

Here’s Barry Lee Dejasu at The New York Journal of Books.

Here’s Benoit Lelievre at Dead End Follies.

I’ve also received some lovely reviews over at the book’s Amazon page and on Goodreads.  To everyone who’s taken the time to put down your thoughts on the novel, thanks very much; it’s much appreciated.

 

The Fisherman: Publication Day!

In addition to being the birthday of my talented friend, Paul Tremblay, today is also the official release day for my second novel, The Fisherman.

TheFishermanCover

I’m extremely grateful for all the support I’ve already received, in the form of several very kind reviews.  I’ll put up links to them in another day or two.  In the meantime, I wanted to present an excerpt from the book:  the acknowledgments page.  While writing a novel is ultimately  a solitary activity, it doesn’t take place in a vacuum, and without a lot of help from a lot of people, this book would not have seen the light of day.  So:

 

When I started writing the story that would become this book, my wife was pregnant with our son.  He’s now twelve-going-on-thirteen.  Needless to say, that’s a long time from start to finish.  A lot has happened during that time, a lot has changed, but the love and support of my wife, Fiona, has remained a constant.  More than that:  as the years slid by, she was the one who said, every now and again, “You have to get back to The Fisherman.”  This book wouldn’t be here without her.  Thanks, love, for everything.

That twelve-going-on-thirteen-year-old has blossomed into quite the fisherman, himself these last few years, pretty much on his own.  (I basically sit nearby with a book and try to make comments that don’t sound too ignorant.)  David Langan’s technical advice helped a great deal in making the fishing-related portions of this narrative more accurate, while his love and all-around awesomeness made the rest of my life better.

My older son, Nick, and my daughter in law, Mary, and their trio of astounding kids, my brilliant grandchildren, Inara, Asher, and Penelope the Bean, have brought and continue to bring more joy into my life than I probably deserve.

It’s becoming a critical commonplace to say that we’re currently experiencing a resurgence in the field of dark/horror/weird/whatever fiction.  I happen to think this is true, but what matters more to me is the friendship so many of my fellow writers have offered me.  Laird Barron and Paul Tremblay have been the other brothers I never knew I had, even as their work has made me grit my teeth and tell myself to do better.  Sarah Langan, Brett Cox, and Michael Cisco are pretty good, too.

These last few years, I’ve continued to benefit from the kindness of writers whose work inspired my own.  Both Peter Straub and Jeffrey Ford have been unfailingly generous in their support and example.  While I am at it, let me raise a glass to the memory of the late, great Lucius Shepard, whose encouragement, praise, and fiction I continue to treasure.

My indefatigable agent, Ginger Clark, has been a champion of this book since I sent her its first three chapters a long, long time ago.  Every now and again, Ginger would send an e-mail encouraging me to finish the novel, and when at last I did, there was nobody happier.  I’m grateful for her continuing faith in me and my work.

As was the case with my previous novel, House of Windows, The Fisherman took a while to find a home.  The genre publishers said it was too literary, the literary publishers, too genre.  Thanks to Ross Lockhart and Word Horde Press for responding so immediately and enthusiastically to the book.

And a final, heartfelt thank you to you, the reader, for the gifts of your time and attention.  You make this writing life I have possible, and I’m grateful for it.

 

If I were going to add any names to this list, it would those of the writers who provided some very flattering blurbs for it:  Laird Barron, Adam Cesare, Michael Griffin, Stephen Graham Jones, Richard Kadrey, Victor Lavalle, Cameron Pierce, Pete Rawlik, and Paul Tremblay.  For about a day, their kind words made me more insufferable to my family than usual.  (“Do the dishes?  Do you know what Victor Lavalle had to say about my book?”)