New Story: The Forest Abyss…

My short story, The Forest Abyss, appears in the August issue of Aurealis, Australia’s premiere magazine for speculative fiction. If you’re so inclined, you can buy a copy here.

The quiet isolation of nature is fertile ground for fear to take root and myths to thrive. With The Forest Abyss I wanted to create a dark legend of my own. You won’t find the forest in this story on any map. But somewhere, it grows…

Music to Write To… Part Two

A couple of months back I put together a blog recommending some soundtracks I listen to when writing, and highlighted some some of my favourite tracks from those albums. A self indulgent exercise, I know.

Here are some more suggestions below, and not solely confined to soundtracks this time. I hope you find something you like.

I’ve also added them all to a playlist on Spotify, which you can find here.

Mica Levi – Death

Taken from the Under The Skin soundtrack. It isn’t an easy listen, but the track is perfect for the film. Weird and unsettling.

Akira Yamaoka – Theme of Laura (Reprise)

From Silent Hill 2. I’ve always loved this game and this piece in particular. Sometimes the horror is too much and to attempt escape is pointless.

Elskavon – Small Hands

This artist is a recent discovery. Taken from the album Release.

Seifert & Steinbuechel – Maunsel Sea Forts, England

The first entry on the list which isn’t entirely music, but more of an ambient soundcape. Taken from an album called Abandoned Places – all of which is quietly atmospheric.

Giles Lamb – Dead Island Theme

When I saw the trailer for Dead Island and heard the haunting music it instantly became a favourite. And if you haven’t watched the trailer it is well worth your time as a three minute horror film. Since then his music has become a go-to when I’m writing. Give one of his albums a go.

Desiderii Marginis – Come Ruin and Rapture

Dark ambient music. They have a number of albums to try. This track always conjures images of Silent Hill, perhaps helped by the drone of a distant siren.

Atrium Carceri – A Curved Blade

More dark ambience, this is taken from the album Void. Disconcerting tracks to help bring the dark.

Cities Last Broadcast – The Cancelled Earth

I’ve included the whole album for this one. Apparently created from a decades worth of recordings from urban environments and shaped into a nightmare soundscape.

There are many more I could recommend, but these are the ones I return to in order to help me find my feet. Let me know how you find these pieces and suggest your own.

Stories I Loved…

I spent most of 2019 reading short stories and thought it would be a good idea to list some of my favourites as we head into a new decade. However, before looking at my offerings I wanted to point you in the direction of two writers I often turn to for a wealth of story recommendations.

First up, I need to point to James Everington’s blog, which offers an annual list of short stories he enjoyed in the previous year. Here are his lists for 2018 and 2019. Make sure to take a look – they put mine to shame.

Secondly is Maria Haskins. Maria offers monthly reviews of stories she enjoyed in her Short Fiction Roundup and it is well worth your time.

Now, here is my list. Note: not all of the stories listed below were published in 2019 – but this was the year I read them.

If nothing else this list proves I’m woefully far behind in my reading, but I hope you still find something amongst these to enjoy…