"The Strange Dark One" is a new Sesqua Valley novelette of 14,000 words. With it I borrow one of the blackened windows from the Starry Wisdom church of HPL's "The Haunter of the Dark" -- but most surprisingly I have also referenced one of August Derleth's Cthulhu Mythos tales, "The Dwellers in Darkness," one of my favorite Mythos tales despite its stupid ending. In Augie's story there is a character named Laird Dorgan -- and in my story I introduce his daughter, April (whom I named after Derleth's own daughter, who recently passed away). I think this novelette is one of the coolest tales of Sesqua Valley that I have ever penned.
"Past the Gates of Deepest Dreaming" (7,431 words) has appeared once, in The Fungal Stain and Other Dreams; this new version is heavily revised for its appearance in TSDO.
"Some Bacchante of Irem" (3,000 words), a tale that has not been reprinted since its initial publication in Dark Discoveries.
"The Audient Void" (1,500 words), heavily revised.
"The Hands that Reek and Smoke" (3,000 words), for which the above black & white illustration was created.
"One Last Theft" (10,000 words).
"Immortal Remains" (2,579 words), utterly rewritten for this book.
"To See Beyond" (7,500 words), brand new unpublished Sesqua Valley story that is my sequel to Robert Bloch's "The Cheaters."
My editor, Scott Aniolowski, has requested closing and opening poems, so I shall pen two new sonnets for the book as well, although my poetic efforts are a bit rusty. The book will be published this October -- I love having books published in October.
While driving up to Olympia last weekend with S. T. Joshi to have dinner with the magnificent Laird Barron, my beloved friend and the fellow whom I consider today's most talented and fantastic new weird writer (if you haven't read Laird's two collections from Night Shade Books, you really need to devour those!), S. T. said he felt that Hippocampus Press won't be able to publish my next collection from them, Uncommon Places," until next year. That is way cool with me.
And I will begin work eventually on two collaborative books: one with Maryanne K. Snyder, where every tale and poem will be inspired by the works of Clark Ashton Smith; and a new Lovecraftian collection with Jeffrey Thomas, concerning a sinister New England artist, a book of connected tales.
Lots of wonderful work yet to do! Books and more books to write! It is the work that I love, because it helps to sooth and save my sanity, my soul.
Hooray -- I think I have now been able to load ye book's FABULOUS COVER!!