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The New Black is a collection of 20 neo-noir stories exemplifying the best authors currently writing in this dark sub-genre. A mixture of horror, crime, fantasy, science fiction, magical realism, the transgressive, and the grotesque all with a literary bent, these stories represent the future of genre-bending fiction from some of our brightest and most original voices.
The table of contents includes the following authors and stories: Stephen Graham Jones, "Father Son, Holy Rabbit," Paul Tremblay, "It's Against the Law to Feed the Ducks," Lindsay Hunter, "That Baby," Roxane Gay, "How," Kyle Minor, "The Truth and All Its Ugly," Craig Clevenger, "Act of Contrition," Micaela Morrissette, "The Familiars," Richard Lange, "Fuzzyland," Benjamin Percy, "Dial Tone," Roy Kesey, "Instituto," Craig Davidson, "Rust and Bone," Rebecca Jones-Howe, "Blue Hawaii," Joe Meno, "Children Are the Only Ones Who Blush," Vanessa Veselka, "Christopher Hitchens," Nik Korpon, "His Footsteps are Made of Soot," Brian Evenson, "Windeye," Craig Wallwork, "Dollhouse," Tara Laskowski, "The Etiquette of Homicide," Matt Bell, "Dredge," and Antonia Crane, "Sunshine for Adrienne."
Foreword by Laird Barron.
Man this collection is killer. It's like all these awesome authors that you already admire and love mixed with some new ones that you may not have gotten to yet. If Richard put them in this collection, though, you know they're just as good as any other author in here.
I really can't wait to see the discussion on this beast.
Get to reading!
Purchase the Book Here
Very excited about this. I'll be here for sure, and I'll try to get as many authors as I can to stop by.
Me too! Looking forward to reading this, awesome line up :)
I'm glad you picked this! Know it'll be great.
I might not join the book club (nothing personal, I hate deadlines) but that book looks awesome.
hope you can all stop by. if you want to see what's happening with contemporary dark fiction, not just as a fan, but as an author, these are some of my favorite stories from the past 10 years, and it's a wide range of stories, too, with horror of course, but also fantasy, SF, transgressive, crime, literary, etc. ALSO, if you're ever thinking of submitting to Dark House Press, reading this collection would be a GREAT WAY to see what we like. can't wait to talk about it!
I'm so in! Got my copy ready.
in case you weren't sure on this anthology, here are some blurbs.
"The New Black ought to be the New High Standard for dark fiction anthologies. It's loaded with intelligence and talent. Every one of the pieces in this extraordinary compilation is worthy of your full attention."
"The New Black is a great collection of incredibly unique fiction. I honestly liked every story in here, and I usually don’t say that about an anthology. It was also nice to encounter so many authors with whom I was unfamiliar. A strong compilation of talent. Very strong."
“There's depth to darkness, a richness waiting for those who have the patience to let their vision adjust to it. Rembrandt knew that; it's there in the voluminous shadows that wrap around the figures in his paintings. So did Poe: it's the note sounding underneath the stories his narrators tell us. And so do the writers Richard Thomas has assembled for The New Black. At this point in our shared history, it's no secret that those things closest to us, our family, our memory, may be full of night. What is remarkable is what the writers in this book succeed in telling us about that darkness, what shapes they discern within it. A showcase of some of the most exciting writers at work today, The New Black is not to be missed.”
— John Langan
one of the illustrations, there are FIFTEEN. and, the foreword by LAIRD BARRON is just brilliant, especially if you want to understand neo-noir, or plan to submit to DHP in the future
^ ahh Slaney :)
Love that story!
Great book choice.
Today is the official release date of THE NEW BLACK! This neo-noir anthology is the first I’ve ever edited and it’s also the first Dark House Press title. I’m honored that so many gifted authors were willing to be a part of this book. I can’t thank them enough for taking the time, and for supporting this title, and the press. It’s getting great reviews everywhere, too. If you’re thinking of picking up a copy, consider doing so today, so maybe we can push it up the charts. If this book does well, and Dark House Press succeeds, we can continue to publish the kind of neo-noir, speculative fiction that needs to be read and experienced. Foreword by Laird Barron, with stories by Brian Evenson, Stephen Graham Jones, Craig Clevenger, Paul Tremblay, Lindsay Hunter, Roxane Gay, Kyle Minor, Benjamin Percy, Roy Kesey, Craig Davidson, Matt Bell, Richard Lange, Micaela Morrissette, Joe Meno, Vanessa Veselka, Nik Korpon, Antonia Crane, Rebecca Jones-Howe, Tara Laskowski, and Craig Wallwork. There are also 15 interior illustrations by Luke Spooner of Carrion House. Feel free to share this post, to spread the word. THANK YOU!
THE NEW BLACK is #7 on Amazon, under Kindle anthologies! Jack Ketchum called it the new high standard in dark fiction
Got mine--- Congratulations and fingers crossed for mucho more sales!!
thanks! hope you enjoy it. we got as high as #2 for Kindle anthologies, and #11 for print anthologies.
We posted up some 20+ excerpts from THE NEW BLACK today on Twitter. To see them all use the hashtag #thenewblack in the search window over there. ENJOY!
You could do swag---t-shirts, hats, etc... go for the whole franchise thingy! :)
thought about it. not sure if anybody really cares or digs it. i'll bring it up at our next weekly call. you mean for TNB or DHP in general? could be interesting.
In case you missed THIS, we did pretty good on release day.
OH, and we were on a few of THESE as well. HOT RELEASES!
sweet! hope you dig it.
UPDATE: I will give away an ARC of the upcoming Stephen Graham Jones collection, AFTER THE PEOPLE LIGHTS HAVE GONE OFF to one lucky person who attends this book club. USA only. Just post up a question in order to enter. It's one hell of a good collection, too and not out until this September. So if you're a SGJ fan, come by and ask some questions!
awwwww boooo :(
Would you consider me viable if I offered to pay the postage?
Yeah boo. I will also offer to pay postage. I'm a few stories in and loving it.
Richard - was there an average word limit for these stories?
@Richard-- I was thinking of both, really. I'd buy a tee; I think the cover is great!
sure, if you'll offer up postage, you can enter, anybody outside USA. i'd pay for it myself, but at $3 a pop here in the US it's much different than $10-15 each, especially when i'm mailing out 2-5 books at a time. i don't think London is that bad, really, but Australia might be expensive. thanks for the interest!
shoot me any questions you have! here's me talking about TNB at a few places:
come in in, it's okay. i don't bite!
Richard, I thought "Children are the Only Ones that Blush" was fascinating and it was one of my fav in the book, but even more interesting was it inclusion in a "neo-noir" anothology. If I had read this story anywhere else, I would be thinking a straight literary genre. And considering it was first published in "One Story" (not an easy lit market to get in to) a lot of people may agree with my assessment. Can you tell me a little more about what you think of the story and how it become part of this book? This story just really stuck out from the rest, to me.
I've not quite finished it yet, Richard. I expect i'll be along soon enough :)
No worries, Em!
Well, Doug, I think what allowed me to place this story in a neo-noir anthology was the thread of lies, the secrets, the despair that runs through it. The protagonist is unhappy, the girl he meets and friends, even gets naked with, it's still so sad. The cat, the balloons, all of it. When I got to the end it just felt so bleak. I can see how this would fit within a literary journal, but for me, it still felt pretty desperate, sad, and dark at the end there. Buried under the humor was a lot of depression, I thought.
I imagine similar thoughts would go with the Vanessa Veselka story, "Christopher Hitchens."
The majority of the other stories have more classic neo-noir roots in horror, crime, and even fantasy/science fiction.
Great question. You have an astute eye.
Go on then, I'll join in!
Richard, maybe that's what captured me about it. The author took all those parts of life that SHOULD be happy or positive (impending adulthood, being a twin, cats, balloons, an intact family working through their issues in counseling) and twisted it to show how it can be dreadful in the wrong "hands." The sister is a good example of what I'm talking about--you always hear that being a twin is a special relationship, yet these two are about as split apart as they could be. She's horrible! And he almost has to bear thru it or he'd be the bad guy. A story full of contradictions and contrasts--Maybe that's why it stuck out so much.
And "Drudge?" Holy shit. Even though you can see what's coming (it doesn't take rocket scientist to figure out what he's setting himself up for), with the bits of pain we see from his childhood, I couldn't help but watch things unfold. What a beautiful car wreck. lol.
"That Baby" is so fucking creepy. The story got me so excited as I read it, I am not even sure how to explain it. It was so well executed, just, damn.
And "It's Against the Law to Feed the Ducks" is incredibly beautiful.
Max, I don't know if you have much expereince raising kids, but the way I read it, the author showed how they can basically take over your life and you feel like you just want to leave them in the park sometimes. It seems horrible, for the most part we would do ANYTHING for our kids. But a parent would be lying if they said they didn't see where the author was coming from (so I think, at least).
What I love about Lindsay is her ability to take some very normal moments, common events (such as childbirth) and make it so bittersweet. In this case, with such a powerful ending. I've known Lindsay for years, she invited me to my first reading here in Chicago (for the Quickies! series) where I read a bizarro story of mine. I met Blake Butler, Amelia Gray, Jac Jemc, Ben Tanzer, a ton of people. She just did a reading here for this book release with Joe Meno and read this story. Fantastic. I guess this story would fall under the suburban or rural noir area of neo-noir, or maybe Southern gothic, the grotesque. If you haven't read DADDY'S or DON'T KISS ME, pick them up.
Trembay is really great, this story was in his collection IN THE MEAN TIME. It's so subtle and touching and heartbreaking. I opened with SGJ, Tremblay and Hunter for a reason, to tap into the family dynamic, and all of the loss and emotion those three stories have. Paul's story really got to me too, having kids.
Good point, Doug. I think any parent would be lying if they said that they didn't melt down over their kids. Having twins, oh lord, there were some nights in the beginning when they were fed every two hours where I thought I might lost it. I sat in the vestibule between my apartment and the outside, locked out, while my wife was in the hospital, and just cried. I love my kids, but Lindsay really taps into that element of fear (what am I doing?!?!) and remorse (oh why did I think I could handle this?!?!) in such an eloquent way. That last line about "nipples like lit matchheads" just get to me every time.
For anybody posting up, a few questions:
1. Had you read any of these stories before?
2. How many authors did you know, or recognize?
3. How many authors were totally new to you?
Great discussion. I'd sure most of you had not heard of Micaela Morrissette before this, unless you read the HUGE book, THE WEIRD, edited by the VanderMeers.
Vanessa and Micaela are the only contributors I hadn't heard of, and I've read/own more than half of these stories already, which is why I'm way more interested in the upcoming Exigencies. But for those new to the genre, this will definitely make for an excellent gateway, a greatest hits of sorts.
1. Had you read any of these stories before? I hadn't read any of these before.
2. How many authors did you know, or recognize? I've read SGJ before (The Least of my Scars, Gospel of Z, ATPLHGO) I'd heard of Vanessa and Nik, but not read any of their stuff before.
3. How many authors were totally new to you? The rest, aside form the above, were new to me. I'm new to the genre, so I think I'm a good yardstick as to a reader fresh to contemporary noir.
Thanks, Gordon. Yeah, Exigencies will not only be authors that are less known, but also all original fiction. I wanted to do both, kind of a "best of" and then a "new wave" of neo-noir. Hope you enjoyed TNB anyway, especially the new authors and stories.
Doug: 1. cool! 2. wow, so lots of these authors were new to you. 3. great news
I love "Father, Son, Holy Rabbit." SGJ seems to have a knack for making his stories easy to read, but full of depth and meaning too. That story really hit me :)
I'm still working through them. :)
I'm not done yet, but I'm going to join in now for the bits I can talk about:
1. Yes, I've previously read: Father, Son, Holy Rabbit, The Baby, His Footsteps are made of Soot, and Blue Hawaii
2. Eight, so just less than half.
3. Simple math, twelve :)
1. Not read any of these stories before.
2. Jones, Clevenger, and Wallwork.
3. so 17 - lot of new ones.
cool. glad that there is so much new work, was hoping that you'd all find a few familiar faces in there. FSHR by SGJ may be my favorite story in here. i just really love the emotion, the surprise, the sacrifice. it's beautiful, and yet brutal and haunting. i think that's why i'm such a huge fan of his work.
do you guys have any questions for me? happy to talk about this book, DHP, my work, anything at all. this was a pleasure to put together, but it wasn't easy. i'll have a column up today that will touch on a few things, will post when it's live.
FSHR ~ I love that story. First time I read it, I got to the part where they name the rabbit "Slaney" and I'm telling my husband ~ hey look this book I'm reading, the rabbits got our surname. And then I read the whole thing, and wow. So powerful. So so...lost for words, because as a parent you'd do anything to keep your kids alive. And so afterwards, I start to tell my husband about it, like tell him the basic story and I can feel myself getting all choked up as I'm talking. Which takes me by surprise a little. But, yeah, that's how powerful that story is.
Lindsay Hunter's books ~ Ahh yeah, definitely recommend these, love her writing.
Question: Do you have a release date yet for Bek's short story collection? I've been looking forward to that since she mentioned it, I always enjoy her stories :)
Geez, how could I forget Craig C for my answer to question number two. Not only did I take his class, but I discovered The Contortionists Handbook soon after joining LR. I loved that one, although I wasn't as hot on Dermaphoria--maybe just because it was so different and I was looking for something along the lines of his first book. "Act of Contrition" reminds me of why I enjoy his work. He's got kind of a "get down to business" voice--not flowery or lyrical, but he's basically saying let's get down to the brass tacks with this.
Richard, I'm not too familiar with DHP and it's history, but I'm guessing it's a new imprint. It seems interesting that two of the three offerings are collections (forgive me if I'm missing something, but I'm referring to TNB, ATPLHGO, and Echo Lake). Is this a typical lineup, vice coming out with more novels and the occasional collection/anthology? I know pretty much nil about the publishing side of things, so I figured I'd ask.
On a related note, I think in our earlier exchange of messages you said you had a day job unrelated to writing? With that in mind, how do you define your involvement with DHP and where do you see both DHP, and your place there, 5-10 years down the road?
It seems like a lot of the stories in TNB deal with familial relationships--either parent/child and/or between siblings. Intentional?
Em - yeah, you can tell it's a good story when you get choked up reading it, or talking about it. my goal was to make the reader cry in the first three stories. VILE MEN will be out in 2015, summer i think. july is the date i think we're looking at right now. it's good for sure.
DB - yeah, always a fan of CC's work. it was hard picking a story of his, but i loved this one in W&B. As for
DHP, my goal was to do four books a year—two novels, one anthology, and one collection. novels typically sell better than anything else, so if we expand to 6 or 8 books, they'll probably all be novels. not many presses do anthologies, but i love them, had a blast putting together THE LINEUP (Black Lawrence Press) and then THE NEW BLACK and even BURNT TONGUES (Medallion) with Dennis and Chuck. i don't think it's typical. i do want to do at least one collection a year, because i love stories. partly it'll depend on what sells, what makes money. i have to be able to defend my choices to my boss. :-) my GOAL is to be a full-time writer, which includes my writing (stories, novels, columns) as well as editing (anthologies and private consultation) and teaching, plus publishing with DHP. i'm going to give DHP a couple of years to see if i can handle the load, make any money, and keep the imprint alive. ideally, i'd do this all and not work as an art director or graphic designer, but i've been doing that for 20 years, make good money, and writing is so difficult. even if you're making $200-400 per story, you'd have to sell a story a day at $200 (4,000 word story at .05/word, pro rates) to make $73k. every other day, that's $36,500. a story a week at $200 is only about $10k. so, for me it's why i have so much going on. advances, foreign sales, film rights—all of that would help me to make this possible. but i really love DHP and what we've done so far, the writing, the art, the reception. to have this much creative control is pretty rare, so, i'm hoping it works out. we'll see. :-)
as for the FAMILY stuff, i intentionally DID want family up front, the first three stories. i think for some of these i wanted to show that the horror is not always a monster, some beast, the supernaturl, sometimes it's us, our neighbors. some of the more realistic stories do come back to family, such as Meno and Veselka, but you can also look at Micaela's story, which is supernatural, even Kyle's, Evenson's is siblings really. not as many "loner" stories in this anthology, for sure, but you get that with Nik's and Matt's. i think a lot of noir is atmosphere for sure, but also relationships. but yeah, looking over the TOC now, i can see that MOST are centered around families vs. loners.
column about anthologies is up, has some info about TNB in there:
Thanks Richard, great answers.
I'm still working my way through the stories, but I'm really loving all of them. A few that I've read before, but lots and lots of new stuff, too. And a few authors that have been on my "really need to read this person" list. And now I want to read ALL of their stuff, now I've had a taste.