You’ve seen the creepy cover for Mike Allen’s new collection Unseaming…now be haunted by the book trailer.

But first, the description:

Everyone in the world awakens covered in blood-and no one knows where the blood came from. A childhood doll arrives to tear its owner’s reality limb from limb. A portal to the spirit realm stretches wide on the Appalachian Trail, and something more than human crawls through on eight legs. Words of comfort change to terrifying sounds as a force from outside time speaks through them. The buttons in the bin will unseam your flesh to bare your nastiest secrets.

Opening with “The Button Bin,” a finalist for the Nebula Award for Best Short Story, and culminating with its sequel, “The Quiltmaker,” which Bram Stoker Award and Shirley Jackson Award winner Laird Barron has hailed as Mike Allen’s masterpiece, this debut collection gathers fourteen horror tales that, in the words of Barron’s introduction, “rival anything committed to paper by the likes of contemporary masters such as Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, or Caitlín Kiernan. This is raw, visceral, and sometimes bloody stuff. Primal stuff.”

Read the rest of this entry

Mike Allen has posted the table of contents for his upcoming anthology Mythic Delirium, which features some great cover art by Hugo-winning artist Galen Dara (a larger version of which appears below). The anthology should be available in time for World Fantasy Convention in November.

Here’s the table of contents…
Read the rest of this entry

Here’s a trio of upcoming books I’m really looking forward to! Read the rest of this entry

Mythic Delirium has posted the table of contents for the next issue, with cover art by Jan van Kessel:

Read the rest of this entry

Podcast Spotlight: Pseudopod

“I have a story for you, and I promise you it’s true.” Pseudopod was the first horror fiction podcast, running continuously since 2006. They cover the whole spectrum of horror, new to old, gory to non, psychological to grossout, it’s all there. Alasdair Stuart’s thoughtful after-story comments are a huge draw to the podcast as well. Among the feature length episodes are “Flash in the Borderlands” episode that group together three flash horror stories with a related theme. Even if I don’t like the story in a particular week, I’ll listen to the end just so I can hear what he has to say. They publish a lot of really great stuff.

Read the rest of this entry

The final installment of my Best Podcast Fiction of All Time List, is finally here, revealing the top ten. You can find  the individual posts as they were posted #41-50 here,  #31-40 here,  #21-30 here, and #11-20 here.  For those who just want to get to the Top Ten already I’ve listed that first.  For ease of reference, I’ve also included the entire list of fifty at the bottom of the post so if you want to refer people to the list, you can just link here.

These are (my opinion of) what is the best of the best, the most epic of the most epic.  Load them all up and have an awesome road trip, or ration them out over months of liistening.

I would love if other fiction podcast fans would comment here and say what their own favorites are and why.

Read the rest of this entry

Table of Contents: Mythic Delirium 1.1 Edited by Mike Allen

Mike Allen has posted the table of contents for the upcoming issue of Mythic Delirium:
Featured in July

  • “Keeper of the Wave” by Jamie Killen
  • “Main Sequence” by Saira Ali
  • “Bearing Witness” by Jane Yolen

Featured in August

  • “The Djinn” by Saira Ali
  • “Orpheus” by Geoffrey A. Landis
  • “It’s a Universal Picture” by Gwynne Garfinkle
  • “Deepwater” by Valya Dudycz Lupescu

Featured in September

  • “Hold Back the Waters” by Virginia M. Mohlere
  • “An Eyewitness Guide to the Sea Shore” by Margo Lanagan
  • “Poor Old Horse” by Sonya Taaffe

Table of Contents: UNSEAMING by Mike Allen


If life going OK? Do you feel the need to be…unsettled?

Mike Allen has posted the table of contents for his upcoming (October 2014) collection Unseaming. Read one of these and that oughtta do the trick!

Here’s the book description:

Mike Allen has put together a first class collection of horror and dark fantasy. UNSEAMING burns bright as hell among its peers. – Laird Barron, author of THE BEAUTIFUL THING THAT AWAITS US ALL

Everyone in the world awakens covered in blood-and no one knows where the blood came from. A childhood doll arrives to tear its owner’s reality limb from limb. A portal to the spirit realm stretches wide on the Appalachian Trail, and something more than human crawls through on eight legs. Words of comfort change to terrifying sounds as a force from outside time speaks through them. The buttons in the bin will unseam your flesh to bare your nastiest secrets. Opening with “The Button Bin,” a finalist for the Nebula Award for Best Short Story, and culminating with its sequel, “The Quiltmaker,” which Bram Stoker Award and Shirley Jackson Award winner Laird Barron has hailed as Mike Allen’s masterpiece, this debut collection gathers fourteen horror tales that, in the words of Barron’s introduction, “rival anything committed to paper by the likes of contemporary masters such as Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, or Caitlín Kiernan. This is raw, visceral, and sometimes bloody stuff. Primal stuff.”

And here’s the table of contents…
Read the rest of this entry

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

This week we asked our participants to dive into ancient legends, history and myth:

Q: The Iliad and the Odyssey…the Epic of Gilgamesh…the MahabharataJourney to the West… These ancient myths and stories, and many others seem to partake of genre elements. Are they, in fact, on the Road to Science Fiction, to quote James Gunn’s classic series? How do they fit into the world of genre? How can they inform and be used in modern reinterpretations and borrowings of these myths and stories? What writers and stories best rework these myths and legends?

Here’s what they said…

Read the rest of this entry

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

Stew. Beer. Earl Grey, Hot. I *know* there are more interesting science fiction and fantasy foods out there! With that in mind, here’s what we asked our panelists:

Q: What’s your favorite food or drink from the world of speculative fiction? Any thoughts on how you’d go about making it?

Here’s what they said…

Read the rest of this entry

In my first article here at SF Signal, I provided a brief introduction to fiction podcasts, including reasons why they are my primary source of fiction and a list of places where you can find more fiction podcasts. That was just an introduction, to break the ice, to get things going.

Anyone who knows me from Diabolical Plots knows that I love to make lists of my favorite podcast fiction stories. Since 2009 I have listened voraciously to more than 1000 episodes from 17 different podcasts, 12 that I’m still keeping up with, and I’ve written up a bunch of Best Of lists over the course of those five years.

Since I’m new here at SF Signal, I was thinking of how I could get this series of articles kicked off with a bang. I love podcast fiction. I love lists. But I wanted something new, something I’d never done before, something epic. And then I thought: I’ve never made a cross-podcast list. I’ve only compared a podcast’s episodes to its own episodes. I myself didn’t even know which of the podcasts had the most epsiodes I’d liked because each publishes great material but each has found its own style niche.

So here it is, the epic Best Podcast Fiction of All Time list.

Read the rest of this entry

Table of Contents: Mythic Delirium #30 Edited by Mike Allen

Editor Mike Allen has posted the the table of contents for the final print issue of Mythic Delirium — a retrospective covering the first 11 years of our 16-year life span.

Here’s the table of contents…
Read the rest of this entry

Table of Contents: Mythic Delirium 0.4 edited by Mike Allen

Mythic Delirium has posted the table of contents for the next issue:

Read the rest of this entry

TOC: Mythic Delirium 0.3 edited by Mike Allen

Mythic Delirium has posted the table of contents for the next issue:

Read the rest of this entry


Mike Allen‘s first novel, The Black Fire Concerto, came out in July from Haunted Stars Publishing. Tanith Lee, this year’s recipient of the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, calls the book “a prize for the multitude of fans who relish strong Grand Guignol with their sword and sorcery.” By day, Mike works as the arts columnist for The Roanoke Times. His horror tale “The Button Bin” was a finalist for the Nebula Award for Best Short Story. He’s also the editor of the critically-acclaimed Clockwork Phoenix anthologies — the latest volume, Clockwork Phoenix 4, was funded by a $10,000 Kickstarter — and the fiction and poetry webzine Mythic Delirium.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About THE BLACK FIRE CONCERTO

by Mike Allen

Hello, folks! Thanks for reading. When John DeNardo offered me the chance to write a guest post about my first novel, The Black Fire Concerto — the story of a pair of traveling musicians battling ghouls and sorcerers in a grim post-apocalyptic world — I polled friends and colleagues about what topics would be best to talk about. In foolhardy fashion, I’m going to tackle just about all of them, because they all intertwine. Let’s start with how this book came to be published.
Read the rest of this entry

MIND MELD: Our Favorite Women Horror Writers

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

Inspired by such so-called “Greatest Horror Writers” lists as this and this — which include zero women — I asked our esteemed panel the following questions…

Q: Who are your favorite women horror writers? Which current women horror writers deserve more attention?
Ann VanderMeer
The founder of the award-winning Buzzcity Press, Ann VanderMeer currently serves as an acquiring fiction editor for Tor.com, Cheeky Frawg Books, and weirdfictionreview.com. She was the editor-in-chief for Weird Tales for five years, during which time she was nominated three times for the Hugo Award, winning one. Along with nominations for the Shirley Jackson Award, she also has won a World Fantasy Award and a British Fantasy Award for co-editing The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories. Other projects have included Best American Fantasy, three Steampunk anthologies, and a humor book, The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals. Her latest anthologies include Steampunk III: Steampunk Revolution, The Time Traveler’s Almanac, and an as-yet unnamed anthology of feminist speculative fiction.

Here are some of my favorite women writers who write horror:

  • Gertrude Barrows Bennett (writing as Francis Stevens) – She wrote a number of uncanny stories in the early 20th century and has been called “the woman who invented dark fantasy.” Indeed, it has been said that her fiction was a huge influence on H.P. Lovecraft. Although not all of Stevens’ work has dated well, she was the first American woman to have her weird fiction widely published and acclaimed.
  • C.L. Moore – Catherine L. Moore was an American science fiction and fantasy writer, most often known as C.L. Moore. She was one of the first women to write in either genre, and paved the way for many other female speculative fiction writers. Her earliest stories appeared in Weird Tales and a lot of her work was very dark, hence I add her to this list.
  • Daphne du Maurier – Although her work was incredibly dark, she was still a very popular writer during her lifetime. Many of her most prominent works have been adapted into movies. My favorite is “The Birds” from Alfred Hitchcock. Although her background could be considered more from the gothic side of fiction, I find her work very dark and disturbing.

Read the rest of this entry

TOC: Mythic Delirium 0.2 (Digital) and #29 (Print) edited by Mike Allen

Mythic Delirium has posted the table of contents for the next digital (0.2) and print (#29) issues:
Read the rest of this entry

TOC: Mythic Delirium 0.1 edited by Mike Allen

The final story from Mythic Delirium 0.1 (with cover art by Danielle Tunstall) has been posted online:

Cover & Synopsis: “The Black Fire Concerto” by Mike Allen

Mike Allen has posted the cover art and synopsis of his upcoming book The Black Fire Concerto.

Here’s the synopsis:
Read the rest of this entry

TOC: Mythic Delirium #28 Edited by Mike Allen

Mike Allen has posted the table of contents for issue #28 of Mythic Delirium:

  • Editorial: Myths and Delusions
  • “The Theatre Golems” by Dominik Parisien
  • “Mice” by Beth Cato
  • “Grant Proposal” by Alexandra Seidel
  • “Wheels” by Adele Gardner
  • “The Motor Prayer” by Donald Raymond
  • “The Princess Becomes a Prophet” by Jeannine Hall Gailey
  • “Gleaming” by Mari Ness
  • “The Beast” by Rachel Manija Brown
  • “skin” by Lynn Hardaker
  • “Circe in Manhattan” by Wendy Howe
  • “Persephone Set Free” by Sofia Samatar
  • “Rare Annie” by Caitlyn Paxson
  • “How to Bring Your Dead Lover Back” by KL Pereira
  • “Día de los Muertos” by F.J. Bergmann
  • “The Green Green Rain” by Neile Graham
  • “Doomcall” by Alistair Rennie
  • “The Ceremony of Innocence” by Sonya Taaffe
  • “Maud Gonne, After” by Alicia Cole
  • “The Serpent Explains the Nature of Tricksters to His Wife” by Ruthanna Emrys
  • “The Last Siren” by Andrew Gilstrap
  • “Revising Horror (The Wrong Mouth)” by David Sandner
 Page 1 of 2  1  2 »