HIDDEN CITY is out now! Signed book giveaway.

Today sees the release of my latest novel, HIDDEN CITY. New book day is always nerve-wracking, but early reviews have been excellent, so I’m cautiously optimistic. I’m proud of this book – it’s my homage to all the great noir I’ve loved, wrapped up with horror and dark fantasy. At the end of this post is a giveaway, but meanwhile, here’s the blurb:

When the city is sick, everyone suffers.

Steven Hines listened to the city and the city spoke. Cleveport told him she was sick. With his unnatural connection to her, that meant Hines was sick too. But when his friend, Detective Abby Jones, comes to him for help investigating a series of deaths with no discernible cause, Hines can’t say no. Then strange fungal growths begin to appear in the streets, affecting anyone who gets too close, turning them into violent lunatics. As the mayhem escalates and officials start to seal Cleveport off from the rest of the world, Hines knows the trouble has only just begun.

And here’s what some people have been saying:

“A grim and gritty fantasy noir with razor-sharp humor. I loved it!” – Tim Waggoner, author of TEETH OF THE SEA.

“Hidden City is a delicious supernatural noir, the song of a city of the lost with both Chandleresque and Lovecraftian undernotes and distant echoes of Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden. But it is very much its own thing, razor sharp, dark, compelling, cosmic and strangely touching all at once. Highly recommended.” – William Meikle, author of The Ghost Club.

“Poisonous fungi? Check. Murderous transformations? Check. Deep-down, bad-to-the bone evil? Check. Good old-fashioned horror? Check. Enter Hidden City at your peril.” – Angela Slatter, World Fantasy award-winning author of The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings.

Creepy. Visionary. Catastrophic. Apocalyptic. These are words occurring frequently in discussions of horror. But Alan Baxter’s Hidden City encapsulates them all to an unusually high degree. His protagonists, including the sentient city of Cleveport; his multi-level villains; his dark, rain-soaked landscape, inimical to all attempts to understand and defeat an unseen enemy; and the enemy itself, unfathomable and ubiquitous—all embody the best of familiar tropes and make them newly horrific.” – Collings Notes.

“The second half of the book is action-packed and the ending worked really well for me, in fact, I loved it. Alan Baxter continues his good form and Hidden City is a must read for any fans of Alan’s work and definitely for fans of Jim Butcher.” – The Grim Reader

I really hope you take a chance on this one and give it a read. If you do, I really hope you enjoy it. I think you will! But you’re wondering what the giveaway is, right? Well, here’s how it works. Buy a copy of HIDDEN CITY (paperback or ebook), then take a selfie with the book (or your e-reader showing the cover), or take a cool picture of the book or e-reader in a funky place. Then post that photo to your social media and tag me in it. I’ll share all the pics I can, and I’ll save up all the people who posted to do a random draw at the end of March. Three names, drawn randomly at the end of March, will receive a signed copy of ANY of my books. You want a signed HIDDEN CITY, no worries. You want any of my other books signed, no worries either. Pick whichever one you want. When the winners are drawn I’ll contact you to find out which book you want. This is open to anyone, anywhere in the world. So, to recap:

– Get a copy of HIDDEN CITY;

– Take a photo of you with it, or it in a cool location;

– Post that photo to your social media and tag me;

– Hope you’re a winner.

That’s it. Simple. All the links to buy are here: HIDDEN CITY. And if you do read HIDDEN CITY, thank you! If you enjoy it, I’d love it if you told people about it, and maybe you’d take a moment to rate and/or review it on Amazon, Goodreads, etc. because that stuff really helps.

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Stokercon 2018

I’m excited to be going to the US for the first time ever in a couple of weeks. I’m especially excited because I’m going there to attend Stokercon, the official horror convention of the Horror Writers Association. There are some amazing guests of honor and a whole selection of cool things going on. I’m looking forward to meeting lots of people I’ve only ever interacted with online before, and hopefully making a bunch of new friends. I’m also doing a reading and a few panels while I’m there. Here’s my full schedule:

PANEL – Knock Out Fight Scenes – Friday – 12:00 PM

This how-to panel will dissect the elements of a kick-ass fight scene, with insights and suggestions from real-life experts to have you writing visceral, realistic action. Covering all manner of weapons from ball-points to ballistics, and arming you with blow-by-blow writing techniques, this panel will give your hero all they need to know to take on a soldier, a section, or a supernatural being.

Panelists: Alan Baxter, J.H. Moncrieff, James Moore, Lee Murray (Mod.), Teel James Glenn, Tim Waggoner

PANEL – Beyond the Borders: Writing and Reading Outside the USA – Friday – 3:00 PM, State Suite B

Join our panelists as they discuss the challenges, pitfalls and opportunities of writing outside in the U.K., Canada, and the far-flung edges of the planet, namely New Zealand and Australia, and learn how the experience of an outside perspective can help writers in the U.S. broaden their own horizons.

Panelists: Alan Baxter, Chris Marrs, Dan Rabarts (Mod.), Lee Murray, Ramsey Campbell

READING – Friday, March 2, at 4 p.m. in L’Apogee on the Seventeenth Floor of the Biltmore.
I’ll be reading from my new novel, HIDDEN CITY, with S Kay Nash and Paul Tremblay. Afterward, we’ll be at an autographing table in the Dealers Room.

PANEL: How to Choose Good Markets, Saturday 2:00 PM

Horror authors face a broad spectrum of publishing possibilities from fanzines to pro-markets. Choosing the right market involves many considerations: payment, reputation of the publisher, contract terms, distribution and promotion, editorial expectations, and more. The panelists will discuss what authors should weigh when submitting their work or accepting a publication offer, with insight into researching publishers, finding the right market for your work, and why you should avoid “for the love” markets.

Panelists: Alan Baxter (Mod.), Brian Kirk, Erik T. Johnson, Jeff Strand, Jennifer Brozek, Meghan Arcuri-Moran

All such cool stuff, I really can’t wait. Outside of the things listed above, I’ll be trying to get to as many panels as possible to see what I can learn, and I’ll otherwise be in the bar. I’m at the Biltmore from Thursday through to Monday morning, so please come and say hi. I’m terrible at recognizing people from profile photos, so if we know each other but have yet to connect in the meatspace, please introduce yourself. Now, I’d better start getting organized!

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A little piece to camera

I was kindly invited by the Sydney Mechanic’s School of Arts to do a little piece to camera about my books and writing in general. Kindly hosted by Dymocks in Wollongong, it’s only a few minutes long and it’s on YouTube here:

HIDDEN CITY cover reveal and excerpt

Check out that amazing cover! Done by the insanely talented Christian Bentulan at Covers by Christian. Click on the cover for a higher resolution version and see it in all its horror noirish glory. The book should be up for pre-order soon, so watch here or sign up to my newsletter so you don’t miss that. There’s a page all about the book here, and that will be updated with links as soon as they’re available. HIDDEN CITY is officially released on February 20th, so not long to wait now. Exciting times! Meanwhile, HIDDEN CITY pre-order for Kindle is live! Price is only US$2.99, but that will go up on release day, so get in early.

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078YH5G4F/
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B078YH5G4F/
AU – https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B078YH5G4F/

Alternatively, this link will take you directly to the Kindle store for your country.
http://hyperurl.co/hiddencity

Some early comments are coming in about the book too, and they’re seriously encouraging:

“A grim and gritty fantasy noir with razor-sharp humor. I loved it!” – Tim Waggoner, author of TEETH OF THE SEA.

“Hidden City is a delicious supernatural noir, the song of a city of the lost with both Chandleresque and Lovecraftian undernotes and distant echoes of Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden. But it is very much its own thing, razor sharp, dark, compelling, cosmic and strangely touching all at once. Highly recommended.” – William Meikle, author of The Ghost Club.

“Poisonous fungi? Check. Murderous transformations? Check. Deep-down, bad-to-the bone evil? Check. Good old-fashioned horror? Check. Enter Hidden City at your peril.” – Angela Slatter, World Fantasy award-winning author of The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings.

When the city is sick, everyone suffers.

Steven Hines listened to the city and the city spoke. Cleveport told him she was sick. With his unnatural connection to her, that meant Hines was sick too. But when his friend, Detective Abby Jones, comes to him for help investigating a series of deaths with no discernible cause, Hines can’t say no. Then strange fungal growths begin to appear in the streets, affecting anyone who gets too close, turning them into violent lunatics. As the mayhem escalates and officials start to seal Cleveport off from the rest of the world, Hines knows the trouble has only just begun.

 

New deals and a new book in February!

First of all, Merry Christmas! However you do or don’t celebrate, I hope this time of year finds you well. And if you do get presents, I hope lots of them were books! A couple of things to chat about here – a new novel coming early next year, and special deals on the Alex Caine Series, which is finally available everywhere in the world.

Let’s start with Alex Caine. Here are some links for the individual books in the trilogy, but look to the end for a special deal on a boxed set of all three ebooks.

BOUND
US Kindle
UK Kindle
AUS Kindle

OBSIDIAN
US Kindle
UK Kindle
AUS Kindle

ABDUCTION
US Kindle
UK Kindle
AUS Kindle

And of course, if your preference is another store or a paperback, they’re all available in all the usual places. You can start your search here and give me a shout if there’s anything you can’t track down (that goes for all my books, of course.) If you want a signed set of the trilogy in paperback, drop me a line and we can organise that too.

ALEX CAINE TRILOGY BOXED SET

Now this is currently only available in ebook and not available in Australia or NZ (sorry about that – different publisher), but everywhere else in the world can get all three Alex Caine books in a single omnibus Kindle volume for only US$8.99 (or £6.69 in the UK). Bargain!

You can get that here in the US and here in the UK.

Search your local stores if I haven’t included the link here.

And if you’ve enjoyed these books, your honest review at Amazon and Goodreads would be hugely appreciated.

New Book – HIDDEN CITY

And now news of my next novel. Gryphonwood Press will be releasing Hidden City some time around the middle of February 2018. Cover art is being done right now, but meanwhile, here’s the blurb:

When the city is sick, everyone suffers.

Steven Hines listened to the city and the city spoke. Cleveport told him she was sick. With his unnatural connection to her, that meant Hines was sick too. But when his friend, Detective Abby Jones, comes to him for help investigating a series of deaths with no discernible cause, Hines can’t say no. Then strange fungal growths begin to appear in the streets, affecting anyone who gets too close, turning them into violent lunatics. As the mayhem escalates and officials start to seal Cleveport off from the rest of the world, Hines knows the trouble has only just begun.

I can’t wait for this books to hit the shelves. It’s a standalone novel, mixing up urban horror, neo-noir, and dark urban fantasy tropes. Early reviews have been incredibly encouraging, which only makes me more excited. Watch my social media feeds for more news and pre-order links which should go up soon.

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News, of old books and new!

You may or may not be aware that I’ve had nightmares with publishers lately. Ragnarok Publications, publishers of my Alex Caine books in the US and UK, and Cohesion Press, publisher of Primordial, both ran into trouble. Well, I’m happy to announce that Primordial is back up in ebook and audiobook, with print to come any day now, thanks to Adrenaline Press. And the Alex Caine trilogy has been picked up by the good folks at Gryphonwood Press and all three books should be back up in ebook and print at all the usual vendors with a week or two. And there’s more good news! Gryphonwood Press are also publishing my new standalone novel, HIDDEN CITY, early next year. Best described as urban horror/supernatural noir, I can’t wait for it to be out in the world. Here’s the blurb:

When the city is sick, everyone suffers.

Steven Hines listened to the city and the city spoke. Cleveport told him she was sick. With his unnatural connection to her, that meant Hines was sick too. But when his friend, Detective Abby Jones, comes to him for help investigating a series of deaths with no discernible cause, Hines can’t say no. Then strange fungal growths begin to appear in the streets, affecting anyone who gets too close, turning them into violent lunatics. As the mayhem escalates and officials start to seal Cleveport off from the rest of the world, Hines knows the trouble has only just begun.

So after months of spinning my wheels trying to fix problems, it finally feels like things are moving forward again. Watch this space for updates!

Awards eligibility post 2017

It’ll be no surprise to regular readers that I’m a big fan of authors reminding everyone of what work they’ve produced in any given year. When it comes to awards season and editors considering work for their Year’s Best anthologies and so on, it’s very easy with the overwhelming quantity of work out there to forget things. So it’s good, I think, for authors to make a post to remind people. It’s also a valuable reminder for the us of what we’ve achieved in any given year. So here’s my awards eligibility post for 2017. As it happens, I’ve had an incredibly lean year in terms of short fiction publications, but I’m very proud of the stories and books I have had published. Here they are:

Novel: Primordial, from Cohesion Press. (Currently under re-release with Adrenaline Press.) Click here for details of this book.

Novel: Anubis Key: Jake Crowley Adventures 2, from Adrenaline Press. Click here for details of this book.

Novella: The Book Club, from PS Publishing. Click here for details of this book.

Short stories:

“They All Come Through London In The End”, published in Between The Tracks anthology (ed. Steve Dillon, Ozhorrorcon, April 2017). Horror short story.

“Once Was Lost”, published in Aurealis Magazine #99, ed. Michael Pryor, June 2017. Science-fiction short story.

And that’s it for me this year. If you thought any of these stories were award-worthy and you’re inclined to nominate them anywhere, I can’t thank you enough.

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“Bodies of Evidence” up at Starship Sofa

Another of my stories has been narrated as a podcast. This time it’s “Bodies of Evidence” from the In Your Face anthology published last year by Fablecroft. It’s one of my rarer forays into science-fiction, this one a cyberpunk exploration of disability and body modification. Grab the whole anthology if you can, meanwhile you can listen to the podcast of my story here:

http://www.starshipsofa.com/blog/2017/11/22/starshipsofa-no-513-alan-baxter/

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Seven B&W photos of my life.

I don’t often join in with the memes and stuff that fly around social media, but this one caught my eye, so I decided to have a go. The premise was elegant and simple:

Seven days. Seven B&W photos of my life.
No people.
No explanation.
Challenge someone new each day.

I was challenged by my pal, Cat Sparks. I thought I might drop my seven photos here now the week is done, just for posterity’s sake. It was surprisingly challenging. I tried not to think too hard about it, but to capture things that were the major influences and focuses of my life. So the pictures are below in the same order I posted them. I tried to play around with photo dimensions a bit (but most are square as I did the posting via Instagram), and different types of B&W. But in keeping with the meme, I’ll say no more about it. (Click each one to see a bigger version.)

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Bonus shot. I realised my seven photos lacked a very important aspect of my life, so this is a bonus 8th photo.

Ten Commandments for Writers

This is something I wrote mainly for myself, as a kind of credo to keep me sane. Then I thought that maybe others would like it, so I made it into an image and shared it through my social media accounts. Now I’m putting it here for safe-keeping. The original “commandments” are below, or you can click on the image for a bigger version of that. Feel free to share this post if it moves you, or you’ll find the image on my Twitter and Facebook pages too.

Ten Commandments for Writers

Thou shalt not covet or decry the success of others.

Thou shalt support and boost other writers as they are allies, not enemies or competition.

Thou shalt always remember that rejection is the default.

Thou shalt always strive to improve thy craft.

Thou shalt not be a precious buttercup about editorial advice.

Thou shalt not deny the role of luck in all publishing.

Thou shalt never respond to reviews.

Thou shalt not spam all thy channels (or other people’s) with BUY MY BOOK! posts.

Thou shalt always remember that no writer ever pleases everyone.

Thou shalt do the fucking work.