YBWeirdFictionMy story “The Key To Your Heart Is Made Of Brass” is appearing in YEAR’S BEST WEIRD FICTION, Vol. 1, edited by the great Laird Barron (for Undertow Press), and scheduled for an August release. You can pre-order it right here.

I am thrilled and honored to be included in this book, especially because “Key” was rejected NINE times by various publishers large and small over a period of about four years. Finally it was published by Pierre Comtois in the 30th edition of his terrific indie magazine FUNGI (#21) and released at the the 2013 NecronomiCon. (NOTE: That same issue also contains a sequel to “Key”, a story called “Flesh of the City, Bones of the World”.)

Now that “Key” has been picked by one of the genre’s most respected leaders for inclusion in a “best of” collection, I can only assume that the story was either ahead of its time or simply TOO WEIRD for anything else but FUNGI. Many thanks to Pierre for getting the tale into print, and to Laird for recognizing it.



This is going to be a brilliant inauguration for the YEAR’S BEST WEIRD FICTION series. Each volume will be edited by a different “guest editor,” and Undertow could not have picked a better captain for their first book: Laird Barron is not only one of the best weird/horror writers in the field, he’s also a helluva nice guy. But you’d never know that just from reading his terrifying fiction. I reviewed Laird’s first novel THE CRONING right here.


Table of Contents

“Success” by Michael Blumlein, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Nov./Dec.
“Like Feather, Like Bone” by Kristi DeMeester, Shimmer #17
“A Terror” by Jeffrey Ford, Tor.com, July.
“The Key to Your Heart Is Made of Brass” by John R. Fultz, Fungi #21
“A Cavern of Redbrick” by Richard Gavin, Shadows & Tall Trees #5
“The Krakatoan” by Maria Dahvana Headley, Nightmare Magazine/The Lowest Heaven, July.
“Bor Urus” by John Langan, Shadow’s Edge
“Furnace” by Livia Llewellyn, The Grimscribe’s Puppets
“Eyes Exchange Bank” by Scott Nicolay, The Grimscribe’s Puppets
“A Quest of Dream” by W.H. Pugmire, Bohemians of Sesqua Valley
“(he) Dreams of Lovecraftian Horror” by Joseph S. Pulver Sr., Lovecraft eZine #28
“Dr. Blood and the Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron” by A.C. Wise, Ideomancer Vol. 12 Issue 2
“The Year of the Rat” by Chen Quifan, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July/August.
“Fox into Lady” by Anne-Sylvie Salzman, Darkscapes
“Olimpia’s Ghost” by Sofia Samatar, Phantom Drift #3
“The Nineteenth Step” by Simon Strantzas, Shadows Edge
“The Girl in the Blue Coat” by Anna Taborska, Exotic Gothic 5 Vol. 1
“In Limbo” by Jeffrey Thomas, Worship the Night
“Moonstruck” by Karin Tidbeck, Shadows & Tall Trees #5
“Swim Wants to Know If It’s as Bad as Swim Thinks” by Paul Tremblay, Bourbon Penn #8
“No Breather in the World But Thee” by Jeff VanderMeer, Nightmare Magazine, March.
“Shall I Whisper to You of Moonlight, of Sorrow, of Pieces of Us?” by Damien Angelica Walters, Shock Totem #7.

Illustration by Dalton Rose.

Laird Barron doing his cosmic thang, as depicted by artist Dalton Rose for Slate.com