New Story – Adrenaline Junkies

Happy to announce that my story ‘Adrenaline Junkies’ is due to appear soon in The Porcupine Boy  & Other Anthological Oddities (how’s that for a title?).

I was asked by the editor Christopher Jones to contribute to this and he was very patient waiting for the story, which was a bit tricky to write, so thank you for that Christopher.

Here’s the cover, put together by Natasha Alterici and Deena Warner, and below that I’ll stick the table of contents – I’m lucky enough to be appearing with some great writers.

Introduction by Catherine Grant
Outside, by Gary McMahon
Feral, by Priya Sharma
The Coldness of His Eye, by Brian Evenson
The Porcupine Boy, by Lucy A. Snyder
300 Down, by Keith Minnion
The Dark Windmill, by Janet Joyce Holden
It’s in the Cards, by Elizabeth Massie
Roadkill, by Meryl Stenhouse
The Bone Arena, by Jeffrey Thomas
…and Puppy Dog Tails, by PD Cacek
The Exclusivity of Ravens, by David Nickle
Thank You For Not Ignoring Me, by Violet LeVoit
Jacqueline Laughs Last in the Gaslight, by Paula Ashe
Adrenaline Junkies, by Ray Cluley
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6/6 SOLD OUT

Happy to say 6/6 has SOLD OUT and initial responses have been fantastic. Here’s the wonderful presentation package Steve Shaw at Black Shuck Books put together (image courtesy of Jessica Oliver). 6/6 is a found footage story of sorts, so presenting it as a DVD insert was wonderful – cheers Steve.

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Deep discussion with the Ladies of the Fright

I had a good ol’ chat recently with the Ladies of the Fright about all things horror (and quite a few things that aren’t). I also plug the audio version of Water For Drowning. Here’s the link to listen, and here’s the link to buy Water For Drowning if mermaids and the music scene are your thing…

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Pre-orders, plays, and podcasts

It has been a fair old while since I blogged anything, huh?

I’ve been ridiculously busy lately, but in a good way, with lots of new stuff written or in progress. Here’s a bit of an update as to what’s available where, and with who…

First of all, I have a chapbook coming out in June with the wonderful Black Shuck Books. The story is called ‘6/6’ and concerns a short film that was once available on YouTube but has since disappeared. The chapbook will be presented in special edition packaging (Steve at Black Shuck has been telling me about this, and it sounds great) with a limited run of only 66 copies, selling for £6.66 each. You can pre-order a copy by clicking here.

In other news, my short story ‘Painted Wolves’, which first appeared in the charity anthology In Dog We Trust (available here), has been selected by Ellen Datlow for her Best Horror of the Year series and will be reprinted in volume 11. Check out the terrific cover:

It’s quite the line-up, and I consider myself very lucky to appear as part of it:

  • “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

What else is new? Well, I wrote a play. That was fun. It was performed recently, too, by Banned Brand Theatre, who put on a great show. There’s talk of another performance so I’ll be sure to mention it again, as and when I get more information.

And finally, one last thing – my mermaid story, Water For Drowning, has resurfaced and is now available as an audiobook, read by the superb R J Bayley.

Water for Drowning was first published by This is Horror. I recently spoke with them as part of their podcast series, partly to promote the audiobook but also to go on about horror and writing and all sorts of other things. You can listen to the first part of that here, and the second part here.

As for what I’m getting on with at the moment, I’m currently working on a radio play, a novel for a gaming company recently expanding into horror, and two more novellas. Not to mention working on my own novel and trying to finish a very late (and very uncooperative) story…

Like I said at the beginning, it’s been a very busy time. But busy is a good problem to have.

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The Devil and the Deep: an anthology of spooky sea stories

The Devil and the Deep has surfaced and I’m lucky enough to appear with some great writers here:

    ‘Deadwater’ by Simon Bestwick
    ‘Fodder’s Jig’ by Lee Thomas
    ‘The Curious Allure of the Sea’ by Christopher Golden
    ‘The Tryal Attract’ by Terry Dowling
    ‘The Whalers Song’ by Ray Cluley
    ‘A Ship of the South Wind’ by Bradley Denton
    ‘What My Mother Left Me’ by Alyssa Wong
    ‘Broken Record’ by Stephen Graham Jones
    ‘Saudade’ by Steve Rasnic Tem
    ‘A Moment Before Breaking’ by A.C.Wise
    ‘Sister, Dearest Sister, Let Me Show to You the Sea’ by Seanan McGuire
    ‘The Deep Sea Swell’ by John Langan
    ‘He Sings of Salt and Wormwood’ by Brian Hodge
    ‘Shit Happens’ by Michael Marshall Smith
    ‘Haunt’ by Siobhan Carroll

 

You can buy it in book form, e-book, and as an audio, too. (In the UK, click here. America, here.)

My story, ‘The Whalers Song’, concerns a Norwegian whaling crew who find themselves on a desolate island where the mourning call of the wind haunts them…

The reviews have started coming in. The Game Of Nerds calls The Devil and the Deep a “must have”. Kirkus Reviews picked it as a best read for March, and ran a feature with us lot from the table of contents talking about our work. You can read it here.

Signal Horizon calls it “an anthology that demands the attention of any fan of short horror fiction” and says “‘The Whalers Song’ by Ray Cluley is a particular standout in the middle section of the anthology and an example of a more experimental work.”

YouTuber Erika Senteno, aka ThePerksOfBooks, says of ‘The Whalers Song’ “This story is so immersive and atmospheric. It’s a very chilling an unsettling piece but it’s also hauntingly beautiful.”

And this beauty comes from SFRevu: “The real gem of the book to me is Ray Cluley’s ‘The Whalers Song’, an outstanding piece of fiction featuring a group of whale hunters who, after the sinking of their ship, find shelter on a deserted island where past horrors still linger.”

Thanks, as always, to those taking the time to offer a review, it’s very much appreciated. And to those buying the book, I hope you enjoy the stories.

Image result for the devil and the deep datlow review

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Best Horror of the Year, volume 9

It’s available now, folks. Contains my story ‘The Castellmarch Man’, originally published in Great British Horror: Green and Pleasant Land. You can buy it here for your Kindle or as a good ol’ traditional paperback.

best horror 9

 

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Canal Boats, Cornwall, and Cowboys

Delighted to announce that my short story ‘The Swans’ has been accepted for publication in Black Static, by TTA Press. It’s the magazine where I started out, publishing my first ever submission ‘Viva Las Vegas’ back in 2008, and has been a frequent home for me ever since. It’s a great magazine and I’m thrilled to be back among those dark pages. ‘The Swans’ will be my 15th appearance. 

The story was originally written for an Arthur Machen tribute anthology (which I hope will still be published because it sounded like it was shaping up to be a fantastic book). This means it’s a slower, stranger tale than some of my others; less overtly ‘horror’, more of a psychological study with a sprinkling of bizarre. Set on one of England’s canals (Machen liked canals) it’s based, in part, on one of my own narrow-boat experiences. It also takes a little inspiration from the story of Leda and the Swan. A little. And that’s all I’ll say about it for now.

 

In other news, Terror Tales of Cornwall has now been published. There was some delay due to a change in publisher and the editor’s own busy schedule (the editor being the prolific Paul Finch) but now the book is out there in the world. It contains my story ‘In the Light of St Ives’ which was inspired by a very short interview in an episode of Coast, an artist talking about the magnificent light of the place and how it affects your appreciation of certain colours. The book is available from Telos.

The cover art is by Neil Williams.

Here’s the table of contents:

“We Who Sing Beneath the Ground” by Mark Morris

Golden Days of Terror

“In the Light of St Ives” by Ray Cluley

Morgawr Rising

“Trouble at Botathan” by Reggie Oliver

From the Lady Downs

“‘Mebyon versus Suna’” by John Whitbourn

The Serpent of Pengersick

“The Unseen” by Paul Edwards

Finned Angels, Fish-Tailed Devils

“Dragon Path” by Jacqueline Simpson

Jamaica Inn

“The Old Traditions Are Best” by Paul Finch

Guardians of the Castle

“The Uncertainty of All Earthly Things” by Mark Valentine

The Hooper

“His Anger Was Kindled” by Kate Farrell

The Bodmin Fetch

“Four Windows and a Door” by DP Watt

Owlman

“Claws” by Steve Jordan

The Cursing Psalm

“A Beast by Any Other Name” by Adrian Cole

Of the Demon, Tregeagle

“Moon Blood-Red, Tide Turning” by Mark Samuels

Slaughter at Penryn

“The Memory of Stone” by Sarah Singleton

Queen of the Wind

“Shelter from the Storm” by Ian Hunter

The Voice in the Tunnels

“Losing Its Identity” by Thana Niveau

 

Apart from those stories, there’s been an acceptance or two (okay, two) I can’t talk about yet, and a lot of work on a novella for Horrific Tales. A novella which is trying to become a novel. 50,000 words and counting. I’ve been cutting as I redraft to keep the word count down but if a novel is what it really wants to be, then a novel it shall become. We shall see. Graeme Reynolds, who originally asked for the piece, has been very patient (“I’d rather have it right than right now”) but hopefully it’ll be finished this month. It’s called Dark Horses. It focuses on a woman called Tillie, the Montana cowboys in her life, and a mysterious dark horse that plagues her…

 

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