An update before Shark Week begins

It’s been so long since I’ve posted here I expected to find tumbleweeds rolling around the place! With one book in the can and another that I’m waiting to get edits back on, I find myself enjoying an unexpected break from writing. So I thought I’d take the opportunity to provide a few updates on some of my projects.

First, the Fungi anthology, which will include a new Felix Renn story, “Out of the Blue,” has a release date of December 2012. The publisher has created a very cool website for the book with all kinds of groovy fungi-related info, as well as the table of contents and pricing on the various editions.

An interview I did with Mike Carey, Linda Carey, and Louise Carey about their collaborative novel, The Steel Seraglio was posted on the HarperCollins book blog, The Savvy Reader. The Careys are an extremely kind and talented family, and I was fortunate enough to meet Mike and Linda last year when they were in town for the SpecFic Colloquium. The interview was very informative and a lot of fun.

The Canadian “best of” anthology, Imaginarium 2012, is popping up in bookstores and various online venues. If it’s not available at your favourite outlet, it should be by the end of the month. The book includes my story, “The Candle.”

A new short story, “I Hate Needles,” will be published in September in the eBook anthology Strange World. This is the first book from BIFF BAM POP, the pop culture website where I wrote articles on TV’s Lost as well as the occasional book review.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention that there is now less than one moth to order the hardcover limited edition of my forthcoming collection, Every House Is Haunted. The hardcover will contain bonus material not included in the trade paperback or the eBook, including a full-colour frontispiece and an extra short story, “The Secret Door.” The hardcover won’t be available in bookstores, so be sure to order soon if you want to snag a copy.

I think that’s everything that’s going on right now. Hopefully it’s enough to tide you over while I prep for my favourite time of the year. Shark Week! Time to put on my shark jersey, slip into my shark slippers, and cue up the Jaws theme.

Imaginarium 2012

I’m very happy to announce that my story, “The Candle,” which appeared in Michael Kelly’s excellent journal Shadows & Tall Trees, has been selected for inclusion in Imaginarium 2012, an anthology coming out next month from ChiZine Publications.

This is the first time one of my stories has been chosen to appear in a “year’s best” collection, and I’m pretty freaking excited about it. I was also informed that two of my Felix Renn stories, “My Body” (which originally appeared in the anthology Chilling Tales) and Black-Eyed Kids (a chapbook from Burning Effigy Press) both received honourable mentions in the book.

If you’re interested in checking out Imaginarium 2012 — where my story will appear alongside others by Kelley Armstrong, Cory Doctorow, Rio Youers, Gemma Files, and many more — the pre-order links are already up at ChiZine Publications.

The Post-Con, Post-Flu Report

I’ve been out of the loop the last couple of weeks. Wizard World Comic Con was great, our table was about ten feet away from Amy Acker’s, I met a lot of really nice people, sold a bunch of books, was even interviewed a couple of times. Unfortunately, during all of my glad-handing, I picked up an extremely unpleasant flu virus that hit me with five days of fever. Even now, a week later, I’m on the mend but still very weak.

It’s taken me a little while but I’m finally starting to catch up on things. Pictures from Comic Con are now available on my Facebook page. One of the two interviews I gave is now online, over at Press +1. The two best things about this con: seeing people come up to the table and pointing at one of the Felix Renn chapbooks and saying, “I already have that one!” And a couple of people who bought chapbooks coming back to the table later in the day to say they already started reading them and couldn’t put them down.

I found out that my Felix Renn story, “My Body,” and another short story, “The Candle” (that appeared in Shadows & Tall Trees), received honourable mentions in Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year, Volume 4.

I also came upon a review of the three Felix Renn chapbooks by Robert Morrish. Here’s an excerpt:

“…I’m usually not a fan of horror/comedy mash-ups. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that I do enjoy horror-comedy when it’s done well, but more often than not I find attempts to combine the two genres fall flat. So when I say that I really enjoyed Ian Rogers’ three darkly humorous Felix Renn novelettes, understand that I’m a tough critic when it comes to these types of tales.”

Read the full review.

In other news, I have seen the almost-final draft of the cover artwork for my forthcoming ChiZine collection, Every House Is Haunted, and it is absolutely fantastic. Ever since my book was accepted, I’ve been imagining what my cover was going to look like, because the CZP covers are always so incredible. Artist Erik Mohr didn’t disappoint, and I think you’re really going to dig his take on haunted houses. I should be able to post it here in the next day or two, and the pre-order info for the limited edition hardcover should be online around the same time.

“Out of the Blue” accepted

FungiA new Felix Renn story, “Out of the Blue,” has been sold to an anthology called Fungi, edited by by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Orrin Grey, to be published by Innsmouth Free Press later this fall.

I remember meeting Orrin Grey a few years ago at Readercon, and he told me about his fungus fascination. It was one of the first things he told me, in fact, and I recall smiling, nodding, and backing away slowly. Then he explained that he was interested in fungus-related stories (Hodgson’s “The Voice in the Night,” Lovecraft’s Fungi from Yuggoth, Jeff VanderMeer’s Ambergis books) and that it was his hope to one day put together a collection of them for a themed anthology. Well, it finally happened, and I’m very happy to be a part of it.

I’m particularly excited about “Out of the Blue” because it introduces a new character to the Black Lands universe. Jerry Baldwin is a smooth-talking real estate agent (and Felix’s sometime lawyer) who only represents haunted properties. Haunted houses, haunted apartments, haunted condos, haunted farms, etc. In addition to providing a bit of comic relief, Jerry is an example of the way ordinary people have adapted to live in a world where the supernatural exists as a part of their daily lives. In Jerry’s case, he tries to make a few bucks out of the situation.

Fungi will be published in hardcover, paperback, and as an e-book. The hardcover will feature some bonus material not included in the other editions. Very excited about this one!

“Day Pass” accepted

I’m very excited to announce the sale of the very first standalone Black Lands story, “Day Pass.”

When I say standalone, I mean that while this story takes place in the Black Lands universe, it does not feature Toronto p.i. Felix Renn. I love writing about Felix, and I plan to do so for many years to come, but you only get a small view of the world through the eyes of a single character. This new story is one of many that explores how other people in other parts of the world are dealing with the existence of the Black Lands.

“Day Pass” will appeared in the EDGE books anthology Chilling Tales 2, edited by Michael Kelly. The book isn’t scheduled to come out until February 2013, but I’ve got a couple of other announcements coming up for some things that you’ll be able to get your mitts on a bit sooner. Details to come.

Wizard World Toronto Comic Con

I’m very excited to announce that I will be one of the author guests at this year’s Wizard World Comic Con, taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on April 14-15.

I’ll have a table in Artist Alley where I’ll be selling and signing copies of Deadstock and the Felix Renn chapbooks.

You can find my bio on the convention website, and information about the event itself on the main page. Lots of great guests will be in attendance, so come out and say hello!

The Deadstock Black Lands Connection

For the past couple of months — since my interview with The Ginger Nuts of Horror, to be exact — I’ve received a few e-mails from people asking about my Weird Western novella, Deadstock.

In the interview I revealed that Deadstock is, in actuality, a Black Lands story, a fact that has confused some people as I’ve never mentioned this before.

The truth is, I only revealed this information because Jim Mcleod at Ginger Nuts of Horror happened to ask me, seemingly out of the blue, if there was a connection between Deadstock and the Black Lands. I’m not sure why he asked the question — perhaps Jim has some sort of psychic ability he hasn’t told me about — but I can tell you I gave serious thought to not answering it.

Why? Because while Deadstock is indeed a Black Lands story, it does not feature my supernatural detective Felix Renn and there are no overt references to the Black Lands.

The reason I never mentioned this before is because I wanted Deadstock to stand on its own without piggybacking on the success (however meager it may be) of the Felix Renn stories. I also didn’t want to take advantage of readers who might expect more of a connection to the Black Lands-verse than there actually is.

The connection is there, I can assure you, and it will become more apparent in the Deadstock prequel, Zero Fill, and especially in the sequel, Land of the Never-Rising Sun (a title that probably reveals more about the connection to the Black Lands than anything else).

So does that mean readers be left out of the Black Lands loop if they don’t read Deadstock? Absolutely not.

Of course, it is my opinion, extremely biased though it may be, that reading Deadstock will add to the overall enjoyment of the Black Lands series as a whole.

BEKs and Deadstock reviewed

A couple of new reviews have rolled in over the past week or so. The first is for Deadstock and it comes from the fine folks over at Sonar4 Landing Dock Reviews:

A highly recommended read for fans of ghouls, zombies and old west supernatural tales and not as graphic as one would expect. Kudos for the writer. 

Read the full review.

The other review is for “Black-Eyed Kids” and it comes from Gef Fox at Skull Salad Reviews:

Whoa Nelly, this one was a dark treat to read. The first two books certainly had their fair share of sinister vibes, but there was more–how do I put it?–rollickingness. No that’s not right. Maybe sardonic tone is what I mean. Felix is the kind of guy who will let his world-weary side shine through. This time around there isn’t a lot of room for that, because his life is in imminent danger even more than the last two times. The story is the most intense of the three with a threat that Felix comes to believe he can’t defeat. Everything plays out really well with an episodic quality I’ve come to expect and appreciate from Ian’s work.

I think this would have to be Ian’s strongest effort yet of the three novellas published so far, which bodes well for future iterations, including a Felix Renn novel that’s apparently in the works. If you enjoy gritty urban fantasy, this should be right up your alley.

Read the full review.

Thanks to both reviewers for the kind words, and for taking the time to read (and review) my work!

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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.