Thursday, February 17, 2011


When I started out as a writer, Charles Grant's Shadows anthologies were textbooks for me. Like Grant's own work, the stories in Shadows showed how to do quiet horror right, and it was in his anthologies that I encountered the work of some very fine writers for the first time -- Ramsey Campbell, Avram Davidson, T. E. D. Klein, Steve Rasnic Tem, and Al Sarrantonio to name a few.

Sarrantonio's short stories have long been favorites of mine (i. e. if you don't have a copy of his masterful collection Toybox in your library, you're missing some essential reading, pard). Al's also gone on since the Shadows days to become one of the premiere anthology editors in the business, and now he's introducing his own compilation of horror tales on the quiet side: Portents.

And what a lineup of writers he's got: Gene Wolfe, Joyce Carol Oates, Ramsey Campbell, Joe R. Lansdale, Brian Keene, Kit Reed, Melanie Tem, Steve Rasnic Tem, Kealan Patrick Burke, Neal Barret, Jr., Elizabeth Massie, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Kim Newman, Michael Laimo, Jeffrey Ford, Tom Piccirilli, and Alan M. Clark. Plus, I'm proud to say that the lead story in Portents is a new piece by my talented bride, Tia V. Travis. "Still" is a Canadian ghost story with the hard bite of a prairie wind, and you won't want to miss it.

Portents won't be available in stores. You can't grab it on Amazon. Copies of the 1,000 copy limited edition are only available from Al himself. It's $30 (plus $5 shipping and handling), and you can pre-order it now from Al by contacting him at Flyingfoxpub @ aol dot com. From all reports it looks like the book should be shipping soon, so don't snooze if you want a copy. With the roster of talent above, my bet is they'll go fast.