Archive for the ‘SuperNOIRtural Tales’ Category

10 years of Felix Renn and the Black Lands

I was updating the Black Lands website the other day when I noticed something interesting — a milestone I wasn’t aware of, but one that I feel deserves a small acknowledgement.

Ten years ago, in September 2009, the very first Black Lands story was published as a chapbook by Burning Effigy Press.

“Temporary Monsters” marked the introduction of Felix Renn, the Toronto PI who works supernatural cases in a world where paranormal has become the norm.

Several more novellas and short stories have followed over the years, some featuring Felix, some introducing new characters — because as I’ve always said, the main character in this series is the Black Lands itself — and they’ve always been my favourite ones to write.

Last year I finally finished the first Felix Renn novel, Sycamore, and I have plans for many more books in the series.

I don’t like to talk about stories that aren’t written yet, or books that aren’t published, but I can tell you there’s a lot happening behind the scenes. I’ve got enough material for a new collection of Felix Renn stories, a collection of standalone Black Lands stories, and I’m about to begin work on the second Felix Renn novel.

I wish I could tell you when these books will see the light of day, but that’s a bit harder to determine. Without getting into the business side of things, all I’ll say is that I’m currently looking for the right agent, one who gets what I’m trying to do with this series, and will support and champion my work. Any writer will tell you this can be a long and difficult process.

But today I’d like to focus on the 10th anniversary of “Temporary Monsters,” and the debut of Felix Renn and the Black Lands.

I’d like to thank Monica S. Kuebler for publishing that little chapbook all those years ago, and the ones that followed, as well as the Felix Renn collection, SuperNOIRtural Tales (and to Mike Carey for writing a wonderful introduction). I’d also like to thank all the writers and readers who have supported my work, and the Black Lands series in particular. The world of writing and publishing can be as dark a place as the Black Lands itself, and you have all been the beacons of light that help show me the way.

I look forward to seeing what happens in the next ten years.

(“Temporary Monsters” is available to read for free online — also as an eBook for Kindle, epub, pdf.)

Reviews and Interview

There were a couple of reviews of SuperNOIRtural Tales posted over the holiday break. Ted E. Grau over at The Cosmicomicon had this to say:

Rogers’ style is a perfect fit for this sort of fiction, as his writing is clean and straight ahead, without a lot of jazz hands, while also dashing the stew with a necessary amount of sarcasm and bone dry, black humor.  But there is also a depth of character, and a firm respect for what makes both good Horror and good Crime Fiction.  Like a mellow scotch, Rogers’ writing is the ideal blend of the spooky and the restrained, the shocking and the procedural, striking a balance that serves this sort of mash-up perfectly.

Ted also interviewed me for his website, which you should definitely check out because Ted is a big a fan of horror and noir as I am. Here’s an excerpt:

Do you have any more stories percolating that take place in or around the Black Lands?

My first non-Felix Black Lands story was recently published in the anthology Chilling Tales 2, edited by Michael Kelly. It’s called “Day Pass,” and it deals with a kind of halfway house for shapeshifters. People who have been infected by a Black Lands virus that’s basically the supernatural equivalent of rabies.

I’ve got a new Felix Renn story called “Eyes Like Poisoned Wells” that’s currently making the rounds.

And I’m currently working on a short story featuring Jerry Baldwin, the haunted house realtor from “The Brick.” It’s a tale of demons and exorcism called “Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Law.” Jerry’s stories tend to be a bit lighter. Not outright comedies, but less dark than the rest of my Black Lands stories. I like them because they let me explore not just another character, but another view of the world. Jerry’s outlook is very different from Felix’s. He doesn’t like the way the Black Lands is intruding on our world, but he’s trying to make the most of it. Even more, he’s trying to make money out of it.

You can read the whole review and the rest of the interview at The Cosmicomicon.

Josh Black also reviewed the book for Hellnotes:

The Brick is easily the highlight of the collection. It’s a creepy and effective haunted house tale, a terrifying monster-battling romp, and a strikingly poignant family saga that asks some probing questions regarding self-sacrifice. This one had me laughing, tearing up and nearly jumping out of my chair in equal measure.

Read the full review

Thanks to both of these fine gents for the excellent reviews.

The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 5 – Honorable Mentions

Very proud to see that six of my stories, including the Felix Renn tales “Out of the Blue” (from the Fungi anthology) and “Midnight Blonde” (from Supernatural Tales), were included on Ellen Datlow’s list of honorable mentions for The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 5.

I really need to get that Felix novel finished.

Oh, and yet another reminder that if you want to pick up a copy of SuperNOIRtural Tales, and have it signed by me, you should come out to Fan Expo / Festival of Fear this weekend!

Shark Week hangover

Another Shark Week is here and gone. It’s kind of sad, but the memories (and the new Shark Week shirts) will last a lifetime.

I thought I’d take the opportunity to post a writing update.

My good friend and fellow scribe Kurt Dinan has posted an interview with me on his blog, in which we talk about my two collections, the Felix Renn novel, and whether or not “prolificness” is a word (not according to my spell-check).

I’ve posted a new short story online called “The Tour.” It was inspired by the winning entry of the Every House Is Haunted Photo Contest. Congrats once again to Tony Myles for submitting such an unsettling picture.

An amusing aside to the new story: the night I finished it, I gave it to my wife to read. While she was finishing it, I happened to be shooting a video of our cat Thor chewing on my hand. What happens next is now available for everyone to see thanks to the convenience of YouTube.

At the moment, I’m doing the final edit of a science-fiction comedy novel that I’ve been describing to people as The X-Files meets Arrested Development. It’s an odd little book (actually, at 120,000 words, it’s not really little at all) about UFOs, conspiracies, and family.

I expect to have it finished in the next month or so, and then, yes, finally, I’ll begin work on the Felix Renn novel. I promise.

Finally, I’d like to remind everyone that I’ll be a guest at this year’s Fan Expo / Festival of Fear, taking place at the Toronto Convention Centre from August 22-25. I will be selling and signing copies of Every House Is Haunted and SuperNOIRtural Tales. Hope to see you there!

The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 5 now available

It looks like the eBook version of The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 5 has arrived a few weeks ahead of the trade paperback release. This one features my novelette, “The House on Ashley Avenue,” reprinted from my collection Every House Is Haunted (and recently nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award!). Here’s the cover and table of contents:

Best Horror of the Year, Volume 5

“Nikishi” by Lucy Taylor
“Little America” by Dan Chaon
“A Natural History of Autumn” by Jeffrey Ford
“Mantis Wives” by Kij Johnson
“Tender as Teeth” by Stephanie Crawford and Duane Swierczynski
“The Callers” by Ramsey Campbell
“Two poems for Hill House” by Kevin McCann
“Mariner’s Round” by Terry Dowling
“Nanny Grey” by Gemma Files
“The Magician’s Apprentice” by Tamsyn Muir
“Kill All Monsters” by Gary McMahon
“The House on Ashley Avenue” by Ian Rogers
“Dead Song” by Jay Wilburn
“Sleeping, I Was Beauty” by Sandi Leibowitz
“Bajazzle” by Margo Lanagan
“The Pike” by Conrad Williams
“The Crying Child” by Bruce McAllister
“This Circus the World” by Amber Sparks
“Some Pictures in An Album” by Gary McMahon
“Wild Acre” by Nathan Ballingrud
“Final Exam” by Megan Arkenberg
“None So Blind” by Stephen Bacon
“The Ballad of Boomtown” by Priya Sharma
“Pig Thing” by Adam Nevill
“The Word-Made Flesh” by Richard Gavin
“Into the Penny Arcade” by Claire Massey
“Magdala Amygdala” by Lucy Snyder
“Frontier Death Song” by Laird Barron

I also received some nice comments from Ellen in her summation of 2012. In addition to singling out my Felix Renn stories “Midnight Blonde” and “Out of the Blue” as notable tales in Supernatural Tales and the Fungi anthology respectively, she had this to say about the two collections I had published last year:

Ian Rogers had two collections out in 2012: Every House Is Haunted (ChiZine Publications) was his debut collection, with twenty-two stories, seven published for the first time. His best stories are suffused with the perfect creepiness so many horror aficionados crave. One is reprinted herein. SuperNOIRtural Tales (Burning Effigy Press) collects four reprints and an original novella about Felix Renn, a paranormal investigator. Mike Carey provides a brief introduction and Rogers gives a history of his creation, the Black Lands, a parallel dimension to ours, darker and inhabited by all sorts of supernatural creatures.

Not too shabby, eh? Best Horror of the Year, Volume 5 is currently available as an eBook on Kindle, Kobo, and Nook. The trade paperback will be out at the end of August.

Toronto ComiCon 2013

Next weekend, March 9th and 10th, I will be signing books at Toronto ComiCon. You can find me at the Burning Effigy Table. Copies of SuperNOIRtural Tales will be for sale, and I’ll have a few copies of Every House Is Haunted and Deadstock, as well, from my personal stash. It looks like it’s going to be a great con, so come out and say hello and maybe buy a book or two.

I’d also like to direct you to the excellent website, Speculating Canada, where some book club questions for SuperNOIRtural Tales have been posted.

In other news, Lurid Lit recently reviewed “Temporary Monsters,” calling it “brash, brilliant, and salivating.” Check out the full review on their website.

“Weirding” the home

Derek Newman-Stille over at Speculating Canada reviewed SuperNOIRtural Tales. Here’s a little of what he had to say:

Rogers plays with the juxtaposition of the ordinary and the extraordinary, illustrating how ordinary people can learn to cope with the introduction of the Weird into their everyday lives… Ian Rogers ‘Weirds’ the home, disrupting the safe blanket of domesticity that has become the foundation for Western modernity. Houses become things that can attack people, that can kill, that can be possessed… and even the bricks of the home itself can become infused with the ‘Weird’. They can be tainted spaces, infused with the miasma of the Black Lands.

Read the full review at Speculating Canada.

SuperNOIRtural Tales now available!

The first collection of Felix Renn stories, SuperNOIRtural Tales, is now available for sale!

SuperNOIRtural Tales cover

Featuring all three Felix Renn chapbooks — “Temporary Monsters,” “The Ash Angels,” “Black-Eyed Kids” — as well the short story “My Body,” and a brand-new, 50,000-word novella called “The Brick.” As well as story notes, a history of the Black Lands, and an introduction by Mike Carey, author of the Felix Castor novels and writer for the DC/Vertigo comic book series Lucifer, Hellblazer, and The Unwritten.

If you’re curious about the book and the series, you can check out the first novella, “Temporary Monsters,” for free!

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What are the Black Lands?

The Black Lands is a dimension filled with supernatural creatures that lies next to our own world. This alternate reality is the setting for a series of stories by Ian Rogers.

To find out more about the Black Lands, read the history.