Today my sixth short story collection, ONLY THE LIVING ARE LOST, is available to order from Hippocampus Press. It’s been five years since my last collection, and it’s amusing to remember back then that my plan was to have this one ready to go in two years. Much of it was roughed out and I had only to write a few stories to make that happen. Alas, as I was working on the final novella for that version of the book, a novella around which the entire book was built, I realized not only did it not work, but was beyond saving. I’d have to rewrite it from scratch and frankly I just didn’t have it in me.
And then, as if to make things worse, COVID-19 arrived and threw all my plans asunder.
There were about a half-dozen iteration of what my next collection would be until I settled on the group of stories that make up ONLY THE LIVING ARE LOST. Almost all have been published before elsewhere, but I hope the context I’ve placed them in here helps heightened their effect. There is one award-nominated story in these pages, and two selected for annual best-of anthologies. The oldest story was first published in 2015; the most recent in 2021. Overall, I’d say this book differs from my previous collections in that its protagonists are not quite as sympathetic. There’s a strain of noir running through this book which lend itself nicely to stories about people on the wrong side of the law. I don’t know if I’d want to spend time with any of them, to be honest, but I really hope you’ll feel differently.
Included in this collection are the following stories:
The King of Stones
In the Event of Death
Thea Was First (previously unpublished)
So Much Potential
Circle of Blood
Doused by Night
Clay Pigeons (previously unpublished)
The beautiful cover you see here is by Jason Van Hollander. This is the second collection of mine he’s worked on and he never ceases to impress.
2023 has proven to be a year filled the great short story collections—the field is booming!—so I know yet another book by an old man is a tough sell. But I think this book is different enough from my previous collections that you’ll still find a surprise or two inside. I hope you give it a chance.