Posts Tagged ‘ Paul Michael Anderson ’

YOU, HUMAN – NOW AVAILABLE!

YOU, HUMAN

You, Human is finally here!

What does it mean to be alive? What does it mean to be real? What does it mean to exist? And most importantly, what does it mean to be human? Twenty-four mind-bending works by some of the best in the business explore humanism through science fiction’s various sub-genres, split into three sections by poetic law. Now available in trade paperback and eBook at darkregions.com, with a deluxe hardback available for pre-order (although as of writing this, there was only one remaining).

Click the cover to order online at Dark Regions Press, or you can order a copy at Amazon.com.

I Am the Doorway - Stephen King

Bram Stoker Award winning editor Michael Bailey brings sci-fi back to Dark Regions Press with heart in this genre-bending anthology of dark science fiction and poetry. With fiction illustrated beautifully throughout by world-renowned artist L.A. Spooner, with poetry and spot illustrations supplied by the always-impressive Orion Zangara, and with an incredible introduction on humanism by New York Times bestselling author F. Paul Wilson (Panacea, the Repairman Jack series), Asimov’s three laws of robotics are re-evaluated and revised to help define humanity.

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“I think we can all agree that consciousness, self-awareness, and sentience – the capacity for subjective feelings and perceptions – are indispensable to humanness. The comingling and interaction of all three lead to sapience – the capacity to act with reason and judgment. Apes and dolphins are considered sentient, but not sapient.  Sapience builds civilizations.” – from Wilson’s introduction to You, Human.

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Dark Regions Press makes a return to dark science fiction in this latest of illustrated anthologies by Michael Bailey, the person behind Pellucid Lunacy, the first three volumes of Chiral Mad (1, 2the Benjamin Franklin Award winning Qualia Nous, the Bram Stoker Award winning The Library of the Dead, and most recently, Chiral Mad 3, which was illustrated throughout by legendary artist Glenn Chadbourne and which featured an introduction by Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club, Lullaby, Choke).

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You, Human contains the following works of fiction, split into three sections (one for each of the three laws) by poetry. Here’s what the book has to offer:

  1. “In Accordance With the Laws” (poem) – Marge Simon
  2. “Robot” – Mort Castle
  3. “It Can Walk and Talk, and You’ll Never Have to Worry About Housework Again” – Dyer Wilk
  4. “Keepsakes” – Hal Bodner
  5. “Cosmic Fair” – Darren Speegle
  6. “Unity of Affect” – Jason V Brock
  7. “101 Things to Do Before You’re Downloaded” – Scott Edelman
  8. “The Star-Filled Sea is Smooth Tonight” – Thomas F. Monteleone
  9. “Hopium Den” – John Skipp
  10. “Less Than Human” (poem) – Marge Simon
  11. “Dog at the Look” – B.E. Scully
  12. “Executive Functions” – Lucy A. Snyder
  13. “Pink Crane Girls” – Autumn Christian
  14. “The Cause” – Laura Lee Bahr
  15. “Ditch Treasures” – Richard Chizmar
  16. “I Am the Doorway” – Stephen King
  17. “The Immigrants” – Erik T. Johnson
  18. “Key to the City” – Cody Goodfellow
  19. “Future Imperfect: Broken Laws” (poem) – Marge Simon
  20. “The Pretty Puppets” – Marc Levinthal
  21. “The Goldilocks Zone” – John R. Little
  22. “The Jupiter Drop” – Josh Malerman
  23. “The Universe is Dying” – Paul Michael Anderson
  24. “Fallen Faces by the Wayside” – Gary A. Braunbeck
  25. “What Goes Up Must Come Down” – Janet Harriett
  26. “Gumi-Bear” – Erinn L. Kemper
  27. “The Fourth Law” – Marge Simon

The images above are some of the 24 illustrations created by L.A. Spooner for the fiction in You, Human.  And below are a few of the 10 illustrations created by Orion Zangara for the poetry.

Fans of dark science fiction, fans of genre-bending horror, fans of all things weird… this is your anthology.

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BONES ARE MADE TO BE BROKEN / OTHER MUSIC / THE EIGHTH

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00074]Bones Are Made To Be Broken by Paul Michael Anderson is now available in trade paperback and eBook from Written Backwards, an imprint of Dark Regions Press. This is the first fiction collection by Paul Michael Anderson, and the first fiction collection published by Written Backwards. The book is also available at Amazon.com. Jack Ketchum calls the collection “a dark carnival of rigorous intelligence and compassion.”  Jonathan Maberry says it’s “a truly superb collection of deeply unnerving short stories.” And Craig DiLouie says “Bones Are Made To Be Broken challenges the mind and punches the gut.”  Is that not enough to convince you?

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Written Backwards, the multi-award-winning imprint of Dark Regions Press, continues its saga of producing some of the most beautiful books published today with Bones Are Made To Be Broken, a speculative blend of horror, science fiction, and raw unfiltered emotion by Paul Michael Anderson. 14 works of fiction are collected in this tome, including “All That You Leave Behind,” “To Touch the Dead,” “Love Song for the Rejected,” and a title novella written specifically for this collection. Every story is illustrated by Pat R. Steiner, an award-winning illustrator in the long-running Illustrators of the Future contest, and author of Enlarge Your Tentacles Overnight and Wyrd.

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Bones Are Made to Be Broken includes the following:

  1. Crawling Back to You
  2. Survivor’s Debt
  3. Baby Grows a Conscience
  4. A Nice Town with Very Clean Streets
  5. The Doorway Man
  6. Love Song for the Rejected
  7. Surviving the River Styx
  8. The Agonizing Guilt of Relief (Last Days of a Ready-Made Victim)
  9. The Universe is Dying
  10. Reflecting the Heart’s Desire
  11. To Touch the Dead
  12. In the Nothing-Space, I Am What You Made Me
  13. All That You Leave Behind
  14. Bones Are Made to Be Broken (title novella).

“Anderson’s style is tensely exciting. This collection is a treasure for any horror or dark SF fan’s library.” – Marge Simon, Vectors: A Week in the Death of a Planet

“Paul Michael Anderson writes like no other writer in dark fiction. Simply, he writes a Paul Michael Anderson story—the highest compliment any serious writer can hope to achieve.” – Gene O’Neill, The Cal Wild Chronicles

Yeah, it’s that good. Click the links, or the image of the book, and purchase a copy already!

OTHER MUSIC

Also available, Other Music, the debut solo novel by Marc Levinthal. This is the first novel in the new Dark Regions Sci-Fi imprint from Dark Regions PressOther Music features an introduction by John Skipp, who says the novel is “entirely the kind of forward-thinking, playfully-subversive, nobody-else-could-have-written-this-tickling-at-the-normosphere book I’ve always loved.”

What’s it about?

With the discovery of the Thompson Corridors, the universe has been opened up, connecting humankind with a vast network of sentient species. Xenosociologist Jesse Suzuki, a nanotech-rejuvenated “oldster,” has joined the forced exodus of the newly young, mandated by law to ship out through the Corridors after his 80th birthday. Jesse finds his way to Eastlink, a sprawling human habitat orbiting Shjodathz, home to a race of regenerating beings who maintain direct memory of all their past incarnations. While studying the Shjodathi and their planetary biomachine guardian Kedel, he discovers a strange anomaly within the AI’s mind that leads him on a perilous, mind-blowing adventure… Fans of David Marusek, William Gibson, R.A. Wilson and Philip K. Dick will find common ground here – it’s hard science fiction adventure with an eye toward metaphysics.

And last but not least, The Eighth, the debut novel by Stephanie M. Wytovich.

THE EIGHTH

After Paimon, Lucifer’s top soul collector, falls in love with a mortal girl whose soul he is supposed to claim, he desperately tries everything in his power to save her from the Devil’s grasp. But what happens when a demon has to confront his demons, when he has to turn to something darker, something more sinister for help? Can Paimon survive the consequences of working with the Seven Deadly Sins-sins who have their own agenda with the Devil—or will he fall into a deeper, darker kind of hell?

The Eighth is a stellar horror debut from Stephanie Wytovich. An intimate, painful map of personal and literal hells that would make Clive Barker proud.” – Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author.

Buy all three in either trade paperback or eBook, and / or pre-order the deluxe hardback edition of each now at www.darkregions.com.

What are you waiting for?

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BONES WILL BREAK THIS FALL

This fall, Written Backwards will release its first fiction collection: Bones Are Made to Be Broken, by Paul Michael Anderson. Here’s why…

A while back, Anderson, a regular to Written Backwards anthologies, responded to a mock book cover created by artist/author extraordinaire Pat R. Steiner (who sometimes creates book covers just for fun, and has a short story called “Kilroy Wasn’t There” in Qualia Nous). Steiner created a mock book cover with a title of Bones Are Made to Be Broken, Stories by Paul Michael Anderson, featuring an image of a woman falling against a wall of water.

I responded with “I’d publish that,” because, well, I have enjoyed every story I’ve read by Paul Michael Anderson. In fact, I’ve published three of his stories to date. His work appears in Qualia Nous, Chiral Mad 3, and the upcoming You, Human I’m putting together for Dark Regions Press later this year. Anderson’s overly-long titles include “In the Nothing-Space, I Am What You Made Me,” and “The Agonizing Guilt of Relief (Last Days of a Ready-Made Victim)” and a not-so-long “The Universe is Dying.” His stories are dark, emotional, highly-literary (in my opinion), and incredibly enjoyable.

The Universe_b&w2_edited-2

A few private messages and emails went back and forth between us, and we somehow found ourselves talking ideas for such a book collection, which had to be called Bones Are Made to Be Broken. “Feel like writing a longer piece to be included in the collection?” I asked. Apparently Anderson already had a story in mind, a novella that needed to be written called, aptly, “Bones Are Made to Be Broken.”

While discussing the book deal with Anderson, I simultaneously discussed cover ideas with Pat R. Steiner (who was more than happy to create more book cover concepts, a few dozen if I remember correctly). While I loved the original mock cover that sparked all this magic to happen, I was looking for a cover that spoke more of the stories to be included in the collection. Bridges often appear in the stories, so a bridge had to be in there somewhere; water had to be in there as well; and a woman. I’m not sure why, but I wanted a mostly black-and-white cover with some red in the text and a delicate feel to match the delicate stories within. After much fun, we created the following, currently used with the Advanced Reading Copies:

Bones Are Made to Be Broken ARC

As you can see, Pat R. Steiner did a tremendous job capturing the essence of Bones Are Made to Be Broken. Now, here’s something else that happened… because strange things happen sometimes when strange people with strange ideas toss those strange ideas back and forth… the magic happens.

While Qualia Nous was in full swing, Steiner (again, just for fun), created illustrations for each of the stories for the that anthology, which he later put together as a hardbound book called Qualia Nous Illustrated. I have a copy of that beautiful work on my shelves. So, I sent Pat an email out of the blue: “Remember what you did with Qualia Nous? Want to do something similar for Bones Are Made to Be Broken?” More ideas, tossed back and forth. He immediately started with the illustrations, and within a matter of weeks, a simple idea turned into some incredible illustrations for each story in Anderson’s collection. Steiner’s unique style matched the book perfectly. Here are a few:

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Did I mention this book is going to be absolutely gorgeous? Over 440 pages of fiction, 14 illustrations, blurbs by people I can’t yet talk about, an introduction by someone I can’t yet talk about… Okay, I can share a few:

“What a pleasure to read these fresh and darksome tales! Anderson’s style is tensely exciting. His are stories never quite what you think they are going to be about and his endings resonate with fear. He gives us new horizons in horror that are futuristic and psychical. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but “Baby Grows a Conscience” is simply brilliant! You’ll have to read them all. This collection is a treasure for any horror or dark sf fan’s library.”  – Marge Simon, Bram Stoker Award winner, Vectors: A Week in the Death of a Planet.

“Paul Michael Anderson writes like no other writer in dark fiction. His premises, plots, and story structure are unique. Every story in Bones Are Made to Be Broken follows this pattern, and are intriguing and very good. Simply, he writes a Paul Michael Anderson story – the highest compliment any serious writer can hope to achieve. Highly recommended.” – Gene O’Neill, The Cal Wild Chronicles

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Later this fall, the combined efforts of Written Backwards and Dark Regions Press will release Paul Michael Anderson’s Bones Are Made to Be Broken in trade paperback and eBook, which will feature the illustrations by Steiner in black-and-white. Full-color illustrations of each are also prepared for the deluxe signed edition to be released at a later date.

Bones Are Made to Be Broken will include the following:

  1. Crawling Back to You
  2. Survivor’s Debt
  3. Baby Grows a Conscience
  4. A Nice Town with Very Clean Streets
  5. The Doorway Man
  6. Love Song for the Rejected
  7. Surviving the River Styx
  8. The Agonizing Guilt of Relief (Last Days of a Ready-Made Victim)
  9. The Universe is Dying
  10. Reflecting the Heart’s Desire
  11. To Touch the Dead
  12. In the Nothing-Space, I Am What You Made Me
  13. All That You Leave Behind
  14. Bones Are Made to Be Broken (title novella).

On August 23rd, Dark Regions Press will begin a multi-book campaign, which will include You, Human (the first science fiction anthology I’m editing for DRP, which is fully illustrated by L.A. Spooner and Orion Zangara and includes an introduction on humanism by New York Times Bestselling Author F. Paul Wilson), Other Music by Marc Levinthal (the first science fiction novel I’m editing for DRP, which features an introduction by John Skipp), and a few other books in the works by Dark Regions Press, such as Return of the Old Ones, Children of Gla’akiThe Eighth (the debut novel by Stephanie M. Wytovich), and this wonderful book, Bones Are Made to Be Broken by Paul Michael Anderson.

Information on this multi-book campaign can be found here!

 

Bones Are Made to Be Broken

YOU, HUMAN

front cover - DRP teaser

What does it mean to be alive? What does it mean to be real? What does it mean to exist? And most importantly, what does it mean to be human? You, Human, Michael Bailey’s first science fiction anthology for Dark Regions Press, will tackle those heavy questions. Twenty-four mind-bending works by some of the best in the business explore humanism through science fiction’s various sub-genres, split into three sections by poetic law.

The Three Laws of Humanity:

  1. A human being may not injure another human being or, through inaction, allow another human being to come to harm.
  2. A human being must obey the orders given it by other human beings except where such orders would conflict with the first law.
  3. A human being must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the first or second laws.

You, Human - 01

Bram Stoker Award winning editor Michael Bailey brings sci-fi back to Dark Regions Press with heart in this genre-bending anthology of dark science fiction and poetry. With fiction illustrated beautifully throughout by world-renowned artist L.A. Spooner, with poetry and spot illustrations supplied by the always-impressive Orion Zangara, and with an incredible introduction on humanism by New York Times bestselling author F. Paul Wilson (Panacea, the Repairman Jack series), Asimov’s three laws of robotics are re-evaluated and revised to help define humanity.

You, Human - 02

“I think we can all agree that consciousness, self-awareness, and sentience – the capacity for subjective feelings and perceptions – are indispensable to humanness. The comingling and interaction of all three lead to sapience – the capacity to act with reason and judgment. Apes and dolphins are considered sentient, but not sapient.  Sapience builds civilizations.” – from Wilson’s introduction to You, Human.

You, Human - 04

Dark Regions Press makes a return to dark science fiction in this latest of illustrated anthologies by Michael Bailey, the person behind Pellucid Lunacy, the first two volumes of Chiral Mad (1, 2), the Benjamin Franklin Award winning Qualia Nous, the Bram Stoker Award winning The Library of the Dead, and most recently Chiral Mad 3, which was illustrated throughout by legendary artist Glenn Chadbourne and which featured an introduction by Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club, Lullaby, Choke, et al).

You, Human - 03

You, Human will contain the following works of fiction, which will be split into three sections (one for each of the three laws) by poetry. In no particular order:

  1. “I Am the Doorway” – Stephen King
  2. “Robot” – Mort Castle
  3. “101 Things to Do Before You’re Downloaded” – Scott Edelman
  4. “Cosmic Fair” – Darren Speegle
  5. “The Star-Filled Sea is Smooth Tonight” – Thomas F. Monteleone
  6. “Executive Functions” – Lucy A. Snyder
  7. “Hopium Den” – John Skipp
  8. “Dog at the Look” – B.E. Scully
  9. “Ditch Treasures” – Richard Chizmar
  10. “The Pretty Puppets” – Marc Levinthal
  11. “Pink Crane Girls” – Autumn Christian
  12. “The Cause” – Laura Lee Bahr
  13. “Keepsakes” – Hal Bodner
  14. “The Goldilocks Zone” – John R. Little
  15. “The Jupiter Drop” – Josh Malerman
  16. “Key to the City” – Cody Goodfellow
  17. “The Universe is Dying” – Paul Michael Anderson
  18. “Fallen Faces by the Wayside” – Gary A. Braunbeck
  19. “It Can Walk and Talk” – Dyer Wilk
  20. “What Goes Up Must Come Down” – Janet Harriett
  21. “The Immigrants” – Erik T. Johnson
  22. “Gumi-Bear” – Erinn L. Kemper
  23. “Unity of Affect” – Jason V Brock
  24. “The Fourth Law” – Marge Simon

Poetry will include the following, by Marge Simon:

  1. “In Accordance With the Laws”
  2. “Less Than Human”
  3. “Future Imperfect: Broken Laws”

Coming this fall from Dark Regions Press

You, Human - 04

CHIRAL MAD 3 – NOW AVAILABLE!

CHIRAL MAD 3 cover

The highly-anticipated third volume in the award-winning and critically-acclaimed Chiral Mad series of psychological horror is now available! This marks the first anthology by Written Backwards as an imprint of Dark Regions Press.

Click the book cover above to order Chiral Mad 3 directly from Dark Regions Press in trade paperback, eBook, or to pre-order one of the 26 deluxe hardcover editions signed by everyone but King (these will go incredibly fast, so if you’re even thinking about ordering a copy, you should probably just order one). We may release this incredible book in hardback later down the road, but if you’re a collector, the signed/lettered deluxe edition will sell out quickly, so act fast.

You can also order a copy of the trade paperback or Ebook editions on Amazon.comChiral Mad 3 will also appear in various bookstores and libraries throughout the world, and wholesale pricing will be made available to retailers in Ingram Catalog (ipage). Email written@nettirw.com for more information.

CHIRAL MAD 3 illustrations

This stunningly beautiful book is illustrated throughout by legendary artist Glenn Chadbourne (45 images), with 400 pages of fiction and symmetrically placed poetry (see full table of contents below), and features a special introduction by Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club and the Bram Stoker Award nominated Beautiful YouYes, this anthology is insane.

Introduction: Observations on Horror Burnout – Chuck Palahniuk

Fiction:
01. The Poetry of Life – Richard Chizmar
02. The Last Rung on the Ladder – Stephen King
03. A Rift in Reflection – Hal Bodner
04. Windows, Mirrors, Doors – Jason V Brock
05. Prayer – Mort Castle
06. The Agonizing Guilt of Relief (Last Days of a Ready-Made Victim) – Paul Michael Anderson
07. The Black Crow of Boddinstraße – Emily B. Cataneo
08. A Flash of Red – Erinn L. Kemper
09. Red Runner vs. The Surgeon, Issue 18 – Jessica May Lin
10. The Dead Collection – Mercedes M. Yardley
11. Watch Me – Meghan Arcuri
12. The Bigger Bedroom – Josh Malerman
13. That Perilous Stuff – Scott Edelman
14. Know Your Code – Ramsey Campbell
15. 3-Dot People – Gene O’Neill
16. Silver Thread, Hammer Ring – Gary A. Braunbeck
17. Those Who Watch From on High – Eric J. Guignard
18. Blood Dust – Max Booth III
19. The Offering on the Hill – Richard Thomas
20. The Whipping Girls – Damien Angelica Walters
21. Seconds – Jack Ketchum

CHIRAL MAD 3 illustrations

Poetry:
01. Fair – P. Gardner Goldsmith
02. Fail-Safe – Jonathan Balog
03. Folie à Deux – Sydney Leigh
04. Reflecting on Reflections – Bruce Boston
05. Mirror Image – Marge Simon
06. Black River #1 – Elizabeth Massie
07. Prescience – Rose Blackthorn
08. The Speed of Sound – Ciarán Parkes
09. Welcome Home, Darling – Stephanie M. Wytovich
10. Whisper #1 (A Warning) – Erik T. Johnson
11. Whisper #2 (A Prophecy) – Erik T. Johnson
12. Put Me to Dream – Stephanie M. Wytovich
13. Recognizing Trees – Ciarán Parkes
14. Arbitration – Rose Blackthorn
15. Black River #2 – Elizabeth Massie
16. Reflections Through the Raven’s Eye – Marge Simon
17. Beyond Symmetry – Bruce Boston
18. Folie à Plusieurs – Sydney Leigh
19. Insomnia in Reverse – Jonathan Balog
20. Promise – P. Gardner Goldsmith

Grab a copy today!

[ artwork by Glenn Chadbourne ]

CHIRAL MAD 3 cover

BONES ARE MADE TO BE BROKEN, by Paul Michael Anderson

Bones are Made to be Broken

So this is happening…

2016 is going to be an exciting year for Written Backwards, which was recently announced as an imprint of Dark Regions Press. The first anthology to be released under this new imprint will be Chiral Mad 3, a book completely illustrated by Glenn Chadbourne and introduced by the wonderful Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club, the Bram Stoker Award nominated Beautiful You), and will feature fiction by Stephen King, Jack Ketchum, Josh Malerman, Gary A. Braunbeck, Scott Edelman, Richard Chizmar and a bunch of others (including Paul Michael Anderson from the image above), along with interwoven poetry by Elizabeth Massie, Marge Simon, Stephanie M. Wytovich, and a bunch of others. The Confessions of St. Zach, the first novel in The Cal Wild Chronicles by Gene O’Neill (a 4-book series that will also include The Burden of Indigo, The Near Future, and The Far Future) will be out soon as well, and this entire series will be illustrated by Orion Zangara, and will feature individual introductions by John R. Little, Lisa Morton, Meghan Arcuri, and Scott Edelman. But you know about these projects…

What you should be asking yourself is “What can I expect from Written Backwards now that it’s an imprint of Dark Regions Press?” Well, Written Backwards is still going strong, and even stronger thanks to Dark Regions Press. The Allevon series of illustrated novellas will continue (more on this soon), the Chiral Mad series will continue, there will be new anthologies, and perhaps some other fine books. There are many projects lined up through mid-2017, but the first project I can announce deals with the beautiful cover above (created by Pat. R. Steiner).

Later this year, Written Backwards will release its first fiction collection, Bones are Made to be Broken, by Paul Michael Anderson. Paul’s work fits perfectly within the Written Backwards mold. In fact, he’s made an appearance in a few of my projects. His story “In the Nothing-Space, I Am What You Made Me” appeared in Qualia Nous, the also-long-titled “The Agonizing Guilt of Relief (Last Days of a Ready-Made Victim)” will soon appear in the aforementioned Chiral Mad 3, and his most recent story, “The Universe is Dying,” will appear in the science fiction anthology I’m working on for Dark Regions Press called You, Human (I plan to announce this officially within the next few days).

Bones are Made to be Broken will be released in trade paperback, eBook, and 26-lettered limited edition hardback with an expected fall release date.

WRITTEN BACKWARDS AWARDS ® / DRAWA

Written Backwards Awards

Also known as the DRAWA, the Written Backwards Awards ® celebrates the recognition of literary marvels. For those unfamiliar with this somewhat-annual tradition of virtual award-giving, here are the details (most plagiarized from the previous award year):

The prestigious DRAWA / AWARD is not determined by jury, not by recommendation counts of any kind, and not by a jury/rec superpac, but is decided upon by Written Backwards and its staff… meaning one person, Michael Bailey. He determines whether a literary work is DRAWA eligible by reading or looking at various readable or lookable things throughout the year, whether it be a short story, novelette, novella, novel, screenplay (which we all know is just watching a movie), soundtrack, grocery list, magazine, website article, literary journal, pretty picture/artwork, or whatever else he sees fit, mentally scores this work on a scale of suck to badass, and from that point creates a preliminary ballot in his head from which to randomly choose ballotees. From this “preliminary” ballot, he then carefully and skillfully and adverbly removes “preliminary” altogether, thus creating what is known as the Written Backwards Awards® final ballot, which may or may not have to include works from the previous year. DRAWA winners are determined from this mental list, if remembered, depending on eligibility.

There is no hindrance on publication date, as long as the publication date does not surpass the year in which an award is planned for issue. For example, if Joe King publishes an award-winning masterpiece in March 2016, he is not eligible for a 2015 award because, well, his work is from the future, and future literary works are prohibited, as mentioned somewhere in the figurative small-print. Awards can go to the dead, although they cannot be accepted in person.

Please note that all writers whose work appeared or will soon appear in Written Backwards anthologies are not only eligible for a DRAWA, but automatic recipients of the Written Backwards Awards ®. This includes the following anthologies not covered previously: Qualia Nous, The Library of the Dead, as well as the upcoming Chiral Mad 3 and You, Human. If your work appeared or will soon appear in the aforementioned anthologies, you are hereby or soonby an alumni recipient of the Written Backwards Awards ® for the given year of publication. See anthology table of contents page for a full list of alumni recipients.

So, without further ado, Written Backwards is proud to introduce the the latest winners of the Written Backwards Awards ®, also known as the DRAWA (name not yet a registered trademark). The following works were admired greatly since the last award season, and can forever be considered literary marvels from this point onward. If you haven’t read these books, do so now. I’ll even supply a direct link where you can buy these books, as well as a few kind words about each…

Slade HouseSlade HouseThere’s a reason writers such as Joe Hill, Dean Koontz, Anthony Doerr and Gillian Flynn blurbed this novel; while Cloud Atlas had its share of fictional history, science fiction, and even horror, Slade House is Mitchell’s first take on straight-up horror. Some are describing this book as our generation’s The Turn of the Screw. I read a lot of both published and unpublished dark fiction, and this is one of the finest, most well-structured short horror novels I’ve read in the last ten years. The book is a work of art, inside and out. I adore this book completely.

The Bone ClocksThe Bone Clocks
Just before so beautifully tackling the horror genre, Mitchell beautifully tackled the science fiction genre with The Bone Clocks, a novel composed of six interconnecting novella-length works. “Tackled science fiction” is not strong enough. “Crushed it” may fit better. In fact, he won the World Fantasy Award and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for this novel. And he should have won the Nebula, in my opinion. Again, one of the finest, most beautifully-constructed science fiction novels I’ve read in the last ten years.

The Reason I JumpThe Reason I Jump – Jon Stewart probably says it best: “One of the most remarkable books I’ve ever read. It’s truly moving, eye-opening, incredibly vivid.” And I agree 100%. This is a translation (by both David Mitchell and his wife) of a memoir by thirteen-year-old Naoki Higashida, a boy living with autism. If you want to understand autism, this is the book to read. As Stewart said, “eye-opening.” This should be required reading in schools. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve loaned this book for someone else to read.

David MitchellSlade HouseThe Bone Clocks, and The Reason I Jump (yes, two novels and a nonfiction book from a single author made the list this year). I fell in love with Mitchell’s first novel, Ghostwritten, and then Number9Dream, and then Black Swan Green, followed by Cloud Atlas, which was adapted to the screen by the Wachowski’s, and although I haven’t read The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, I highly enjoyed the audio book. In writing these books, which all connect in subtle ways, Mitchell has quickly become my favorite contemporary writer, hands-down. His latest three books are probably some of the most important books written in the last however-many years, and are some of the most literary/accessible works I’ve had the pleasure of reading (and re-reading, since I will be revisiting each of these books in the future). It’s probably safe to say that David Mitchell is the most important writer working today.

IQ84

IQ84 by Haruki Murakami caught my eye as I was perusing a bookstore in some airport a few years ago, mostly because of its size. This book could be a… well, a bookend, or a doorstop. It’s 1,184 pages, to be exact, which works well with the title. I’ve read this book in print, as well as listened to the audio book, and it’s a trip, a long trip, but one worth the journey. Part fantasy, part science fiction. My only regret is that I’m sure it’s lost some of its beauty in translation. If you’ve got some time to kill, kill it with this book.

Beautiful You

So Fifty Shades of Grey happened not long enough ago… Now imagine that book as not one of the worst things ever written, and imagine something better, so much, much better, written with… what’s the word… English, and then add a splash of end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it horror, and let it come from the mind of Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club, Choke, Survivor), and you have Beautiful You (novel), probably the strangest book to win a DRAWA. Nominated last year for the Bram Stoker Award, this is… well, interesting. I guess I should let the Amazon book description do its thing: “when Penny discovers she is a test subject for a line of female sex toys so effective that women by the millions are lining up outside the stores to buy it on opening day, she understands the gravity the situation. A billion husbands are about to be replaced.” Yep. It’s like that.

Lisey's StorySince we’re on the subject of love (sort of), Stephen King wrote Lisey’s Story (novel) over ten years ago, and it’s good enough to make it on my list this year, mostly because I want people to give it a shot. I’ve read it three times now. Some people love it; others hate it. My opinion? This is Stephen King’s best novel (yeah, I said it, so what?). Even Stephen King thinks it’s his best work. It’s sort of a ghost story about the secret language of love… of all things. I’m guessing you’ve never read it. If not, read it. Now. It was up for the World Fantasy Award, as well as the Bram Stoker Award for long fiction back when the original “Lisey and the Madman” was published a few years prior to the novel.

Bird Box

Birdbox (novel) by Josh Malerman is the first book in a long while that kept me riveted, to say the least, and the book refused to be put down for a break, and every time I did (sometimes I had to), it left me wondering “what’s next?” and wanting to finish the rest of it. I’d think about it all day, wanting to get home to read more. Why? A woman and two four-year-old children float down a river, blindfolded, with someone or something out there making noises, perhaps following them. Malerman’s debut novel deserved the Stoker for first novel, in my opinion (although there was some fierce competition), and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

The MartianWhether you loved it or hated it (seems to be a toss-up, either one or the other, and never anywhere in the middle), The Martian (novel) by Andy Weir made the cut for this year’s DRAWA. As of writing this, I haven’t seen the movie (although I’ve heard it’s Ridley Scott’s best thing since Alien and Blade Runner), but the book held me. I read this thing in three sittings. Plus, I love science, and this book was full of nerdy sciency stuff. If I were stranded on Mars, this would probably be close to my memoir. I guess you could say I liked it…

Burnt Tongues

I read a lot of short fiction for my anthologies (millions and millions and millions of words each year) so it’s a nice surprise to find a gem of an anthology from talented peers, such as Burnt Tongues (anthology), edited by Richard Thomas and Chuck Palahniuk. Although I’ve never heard of a single name in this book (other than its creators), this is a great collection of short fiction by some writers that should probably be a little more well-known (so give them a shot!), and an anthology deserving of the recognition its received. Kudos to Richard Thomas for putting together such a fine looking book, and to Chuck.

Head full of ghostsI wouldn’t be surprised if Paul Tremblay’s A Head Full of Ghosts (novel) takes home the Bram Stoker Award this time around. It’s a fine novel, one that gave Stephen King a scare, no less. I’d never heard of Paul Tremblay until this book was mentioned on Brian Keene’s podcast, The Horror Show with Brian Keene. Brian had enough kind things to say about this book that I gave it a read. And, well, it’s incredible. Slade House will probably be overlooked for the Stoker, so A Head Full of Ghosts would probably be my next vote.

Where We Live and DieSince I mentioned Brian Keene, and I’m sure he probably wouldn’t mind a nod, Where We Live and Die (nonfiction) made the cut this year. Brian Keene. Nonfiction. Enough said, right? This is how I like my nonfiction! Many know Brian’s work because of The Rising and The City of the Dead, or his novel about giant earthworms (all great books, by the way), but I discovered Brian by accident by reading a lesser-known novel of his called Terminal, which would make my list of all-time favorite books, if I were to make such a list. Jeff Strand‘s Pressure would probably make that list as well, which I’d consider his best book… But enough about fiction. Read this nonfiction.

The Art of Horrible PeopleThe last DRAWA this year goes to John Skipp for The Art of Horrible People (fiction collection). “Savor this book. Savor this writer.” Josh Malerman rightfully states this in his introduction. The Art of Horrible People collects Skipp’s fiction in a way I’ve never experienced before in a fiction collection, offering a reflection of our sick selves in the process, a look at just horrible we’ve become, and how beautiful that can be. Skipp is perhaps the living example that the phrase “there are no original ideas” is a load of crap. Skipp can crank out originality like it’s-not-going-out-of-style.

You have 12 new books to read (or perhaps re-read if you’ve read them already). Buy yourself something nice this holiday season. Like 12 books. And then read one each month for the next 12 months.

That’s it for this year, except…

Last year there were some special Written Backwards Awards ® given to those making a noticeable difference in the writing community. This year, Written Backwards proudly presents the DRAWA Presence, Inspiration, and Voice. (See how that works? AWARD is spelled backwards, with the subject of the award after… so, this would actually be a Presence Award, Inspiration Award, and a Voice Award… clever, right?)

Anyway, the DRAWA Presence recognizes an individual completely dedicated to the craft, someone who’s been around awhile and knows what they’re doing, and is not afraid to share that knowledge for the greater good. The DRAWA Inspiration recognizes an individual somewhat new to the craft, someone with emerging talent, a strong, literary powerhouse waiting to erupt; this is the person to watch closely. Lastly, the DRAWA Voice recognizes an individual  with a fresh, unique literary voice, someone who quite clearly knows all the rules, and is very good at breaking them; this person has their own genre of awesomeness, in other words. Who are these people?

DRAWA Presence – Mort Castle is a teacher, a counselor, a man willing to mold the future of all things literary. He is an inspiration, and he inspires.

DRAWA Inspiration – Emily B. Cataneo was first introduced to me by Jack Ketchum a few years ago when I was on the hunt for short fiction. Emily likes to send me stories with incredibly long titles, such as “A Guide to Etiquette and Comportment for the Sisters of Henley House” and “The Rondelium Girl of Rue Marseilles.” I have now published three of her stories, and all three of them are golden. Keep an eye out. Her words are beautiful.

DRAWA Voice – Paul Michael Anderson also likes to send me stories with incredibly long titles, such as “The Agonizing Guilt of Relief (Last Days of a Ready-Made Victim)” and “In the Nothing-Space, I Am What You Made Me.” And I publish every single one of them, because they are incredible.

And in case you missed last year’s Written Backwards Awards ®: http://wp.me/p2gHzu-9W