Blurring The Line – Marty Young, editor

12003146_879319075487621_892517258321694034_nBlurring The Line is the new anthology of horror fiction and non-fiction, edited by award-winning editor Marty Young, published by Cohesion Press. You can get your copy here or anywhere you normally buy books (the print edition is coming any day now).

To help people learn a bit more about it, I’ve arranged for each fiction contributor to answer the same five questions, and I’ll be running these mini interviews every weekday now that the book is available. (And yes, I have a story in it, so I’ll be interviewing myself too!)

But first off, I have the same interview (with a slightly different first question) from the editor himself. So without further ado, introducing:

Marty Young

MartyYoungMarty Young is a Bram Stoker-nominated and Australian Shadows Award-winning writer and editor, and sometimes ghost hunter. He was the founding President of the Australian Horror Writers Association from 2005-2010, and one of the creative minds behind the internationally acclaimed Midnight Echo magazine, for which he also served as Executive Editor until mid-2013.

Marty’s first novel, 809 Jacob Street, was published in 2013 by Black Beacon Books, and won the Australian Shadows Award for Best Horror Novel. His novel was also given an Honorable Mention in Shelf Unbound’s Page Turner competition. His short horror fiction has been nominated for both the Australian Shadows and Ditmar awards, reprinted in Australian Dark Fantasy and Horror (‘the best of 2008’), and repeatedly included in year’s best recommended reading lists. Marty’s essays on horror literature have been published in journals and university textbooks in Australia and India, and he was also co-editor of the award winning Macabre: A Journey through Australia’s Darkest Fears, a landmark anthology showcasing the best Australian horror stories from 1836 to the present.

When not writing, he spends his time in the deep dark jungles of Papua New Guinea as a palynologist, whatever the heck that is.

1. What was your guiding framework for selecting stories for BtL? Did you have any methodology in mind?

I wanted to be taken somewhere uncomfortably real. Now I know the idea of all horror stories is to do that, to make you believe or to at least give you believable characters in an unreal situation, but there were some tales I rejected because they were just too far out there for what I had in mind (for example, set on another planet, or with humans integrated with monsters in society). I wanted the events in the story to seem like they could have come from a newspaper, but then I also wanted strange and surreal things to happen so it was a fine line to walk. Our world remains a mystery, despite all we know about it, and I wanted the stories to reflect that.

I also wanted these stories offset against non-fiction material. Some people might not get why non-fiction is included, or find this jarring, but it was an attempt at trying something a little different to what is standard practice. For me, it’s one thing to suspend belief for a story’s sake because you know, deep down, that what you’re reading isn’t real, no matter how realistic it might be. That’s the whole fun of horror fiction, right? It’s a safe scare. But it’s something else altogether to read details of actual real events or technological breakthrough that defy belief or cause you to question the world. So as per the title, I thought it would also be fun to take this a step further and blur the two, so some of the short stories are based on real events, while some of the non-fiction is made up. It’s up to the reader to work out which is which.

2. What does horror mean to you?

Horror to me is an emotional reaction to a horrifying event or situation. It’s something personal, hence why one person will call a book horror while someone else won’t. The genre is a nebulous beast, with horror being found in all kinds of books. We’ve come out of the ghetto and infiltrated the world; people read horror now without even realizing it, and then still claim it’s not a genre they like. In some ways, I think calling horror a genre isn’t accurate anymore. Maybe there’s a core element of horror that’s still there and easily classified as such, but there are certainly no boundaries anymore.

3. What’s a horror short story that you think everyone should read?

Phew, tough question, but one that comes to mind is ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ by WW Jacobs. The ending is just so perfect and terrifying. Another that I love for is surreal creepiness is ‘The Wendigo’ by Algernon Blackwood. Or for something a little different but still just as horrifying, ‘I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream’ by Harlan Ellison. Absolutely brilliant.

4. What horror novel should everyone read?

Mine! No? Okay then, I’m going to go for Clive Barker’s Weaveworld for it’s poetic language, the staggering scope of its imagination, and the horror contained within. It’s one of my all time favourite novels. Beyond that, any of Stephen King’s books (especially his earlier ones). Not very original of me picking King and Barker, but I grew up with those two and they have had a heavy hand in shaping my writing.

5. Name something that you think just might be real, or might not…

I believe in monsters – except for me monsters are just animals we’re yet is formally discover and classify. I believe we will soon enough create AI (and then find ourselves in trouble). I believe in aliens, and I believe in the power of the mind.

I’m not sure I believe in alternative dimensions, even if they have been proven mathematically. I’m also not sure I believe in ghosts, hence why one of my hobbies is ghost hunting. I’m a scientist so of course I need proper indisputable evidence to prove their existence before I’m happy to believe. Do other supernatural entities exist? Fairies and demons and vampires and werewolves, etc.? I don’t know but I hope that they do.


And Then… Big book of awesome on its way

So this is quite exciting. I’ve been sitting on this one for ages and it’s finally being officially announced.

Clan Destine Press are crowd funding a giant anthology of cross-genre buddy-adventure sff stories by the likes of Jack Dann, Narrelle Harris, Jason Nahrung, Dan Rabarts, Tor Roxburgh, Amanda Pillar, Mary Borsellino, Jason Franks… and many more excellent writers of genre fiction. And me. I have a historical fantasy story in there that includes kung fu, Chinese spirit magic, the Australian gold rush and all kinds of heroic fun. Sounds great, right?

It’s going to be huge. Check it out here:

There’s an indiegogo campaign to get involved too, from as simple as a couple of bucks in support, to paying now to pre-order the book, right up to some very sweet rewards, including critiques of your fight scenes by me and loads of other stuff. Check out all that goodness here:–2#/

The fact that this commissioned anthology grew from one into two books, just because all the contributors turned in such great, and long, stories, is pretty exciting. My own yarn ran right up to the word limit and even tumbled over just a fraction. It’s a different story to anything I’ve written before and I’m really pleased with it. I can’t wait for it to get out there into the world.

Watch this space for more details, or just go and sling a few bucks at the indiegogo campaign and you’ll get regular updates.


Bloodlines available now

Bloodlines-cover-1aThe paperback of Bloodlines is available now from Amazon and all good bookstores.

Here’s the Amazon link:

Here’s the Table of Contents:

Bloodlines, the new non-traditional dark urban fantasy anthology edited by the award-winning Amanda Pillar. These 16 incredible original stories are:

  • Joanne Anderton “Unnamed Children”
  • Alan Baxter “Old Promise New Blood”
  • Nathan Burrage “The Ties of Blood, Hair and Bone”
  • Dirk Flinthart “In The Blood”
  • Rebecca Fung “In the Heart of the City”
  • Stephanie Gunn “The Flowers That Bloom Where Blood Touches Earth”
  • Kelly Hoolihan “The Stone and the Sheath”
  • Kathleen Jennings “The Tangled Streets”
  • Pete Kempshall “Azimuth”
  • Martin Livings “A Red Mist”
  • Seanan McGuire “Into the Green”
  • Anthony Panegyres “Lady Killer”
  • Jane Percival “The Mysterious Mr Montague”
  • Paul Starkey “The Tenderness of Monsters”
  • Lyn Thorne-Adder “Lifeblood of the City”
  • S. Zanne “Seeing Red”

Go get some!


SNAFU: Survival of the Fittest & Blurring The Line

Cohesion Press are a relatively new Australian publisher (a couple of years old now) who are already doing absolutely amazing things. They put out books of fantastic quality, packed to the gills with amazing stories from talented authors. And somehow I’ve managed to get myself included among that stellar company in two new releases out now. One is the next in their line of military horror anthologies, known as the SNAFU series. SNAFU is a military acronym for Situation Normal, All Fucked Up. The latest in the series is SNAFU: Survival of the Fittest (edited by Geoff Brown and A J Spedding), and it includes my novelette, “In Vaulted Halls Entombed”. The other volume out for pre-order now is an anthology of horror stories following the very open theme of Blurring The Line (edited by Marty Young), which is also the anthology’s title. And that one includes my story, “How Father Bryant Saw The Light”.

SNAFU: Survival of the Fittest is out now in print and ebook, including limited edition hardback. Blurring The Line is available for ebook pre-order now and will ship in a few weeks. Print will follow very close behind. Both books have an amazing line-up of contributors, which you can find below. It’s particularly humbling for me to be a in a book with Tom Piccirilli, who died this year after a long war with cancer. Tom is an incredible writer and you really should check out his work. To be in a book with him is a real honour.

Everything you need to know about SNAFU: Survival of the Fittest, including links to buy it, you can find here.

Everything you need to know about Blurring The Line, you can find here – and you can pre-order that on Kindle here. Print, including limited edition hardback, will be available very soon. Watch the Cohesion Press website for that stuff. Keep an eye on my Facebook page or Twitter too, as I’ll post links to all that stuff as it becomes available.

And incidentally, how fucking awesome are both those covers below? I love them. Full Table of Contents for each book follows.

12003146_879319075487621_892517258321694034_nBlurring The Line

Introduction – Marty Young
“Our Doom is Nigh” – Tom Piccirilli
Blurring the Line (non-fiction)
“Woolen Shirts and Gum Boots” – Lisa Morton
“Clown’s Kiss” – Tim Lebbon
Seeing is Believing (non-fiction)
“Empty Cars” – Lia Swope Mitchell
“How Father Bryant Saw the Light” – Alan Baxter
Candlelight and Circles (non-fiction)
“The Good Work” – James Dorr
“Fearful Asymmetries” – Peter Hagelslag
Big Brother is Watching (and Predicting) You (non-fiction)
“1-2-3 Red Light” – Gregory L. Norris
“Miskatonic Schrödinger” – Steven Lloyd Wilson
Monsters Don’t Exist (non-fiction)
“Old Green Eyes” – James A Moore
“A Peripheral Vision Sort of Friend” – Alex C. Renwick
The Undiscovered Supernatural (non-fiction)
“Consorting with Filth” – Lisa Hannett
“Hoarder” – Kealan Patrick Burke
Human Monsters (non-fiction)
“With These Hands” – Brett McBean
“The Body Finder” – Kaaron Warren
Building Frankenstein’s Monster (non-fiction)
What’s A Monster without Resurrection? (non-fiction)
“Salt on the Tongue” – Paul Mannering
“Every Time You Say I Love You” – Charles L Grant
“Honey” – Annie Neugebauer
The Voices Told Me To Do It (non-fiction)
“Distorted and Holy Desire” – Patricia J. Esposito
“Nita Kula” – Rena Mason

snafunotwonojosephSNAFU: Survival of the Fittest

“Badlands” – S.D. Perry
“Of Storms and Flame” – Tim Marquitz & J. M. Martin
“In Vaulted Halls Entombed” – Alan Baxter
“They Own the Night” – B. Michael Radburn
“Fallen Lion” – Jack Hanson
“Sucker of Souls” – Kirsten Cross
“Cold War Gothic II: The Bohemian Grove” – Weston Ochse
“After the Red Rain Fell” – Matt Hilton
“The Slog” – Neal F. Litherland
“Show of Force” – Jeremy Robinson & Kane Gilmour

Fablecroft’s Focus 2014: highlights of Australian short fiction

fablecroftFablecroft Publishing have released the ToC for their Focus 2014: highlights of Australian short fiction and I’m very happy to say that my story, “Shadows of the Lonely Dead” from the Suspended In Dusk anthology, is getting another outing, and in excellent company.

This is the third in Fabelcroft’s Focus series, which each year collect an elite selection of work which has received acclaim via national and international Awards shortlisting. My story won the 2014 Australian Shadows Award for Best Short Story. So you know that every yarn in this book will be great. In fact, I’ve read most of them and I know they’re great!

Here’s the contents:

St Dymphna’s School for Poison Girls by Angela Slatter
Wine, Women and Stars by Thoraiya Dyer
Vanilla by Dirk Flinthart
The Legend Trap by Sean Williams
The Seventh Relic by Cat Sparks
Death’s Door Café by Kaaron Warren
The Ghost of Hephaestus by Charlotte Nash
The Executioner Goes Home by Deborah Biancotti
Signature by Faith Mudge
Cookie Cutter Superhero by Tansy Rayner Roberts
Shadows of the Lonely Dead by Alan Baxter

Focus 2014 will be available in September in all e-book formats.