THE WEIRD MALDIVES
Issue 4 of the beautiful Nightmare Abbey magazine arrived this week. It includes a new original story, 'Get Away', which sees a couple on holiday experiencing something weird in their would-be paradise.
The story appears alongside work from many a wonderful writer, and you can buy a copy via amazon, here:
RECENT APPEARANCE: EDGE-LIT 2023
Thanks to the efforts of the fabulous Holly Stephens, Edge-Lit came back from the dead to celebrate all that is weird and wonderful in literature. With an abundance of guests and panels and readings, the event was a huge success and I dearly hope it continues. I was lucky enough to be invited along to run a workshop, sit on a panel, and perform a reading, all of which – I am pleased (and relieved) to say – went very well indeed.
The workshop was called ‘Something from Nothing: Turning a Blank Page into a Short Story’ and was well attended, with people openly sharing some great ideas. It was fun to put the teaching hat back on again for a while, and I hope it was useful.
For the panel, ‘The Art of the Succinct: The Benefits and Drawbacks of Short Stories and Novellas’, Lynda Rucker asked interesting questions of Ian McDonald, myself, Nina Allan, and Stephen Volk (as pictured left to right) and I’m sure we could have chatted for hours on the subject. Even in the short time allowed we managed to cover a wide range of ideas on the topic, from favourite stories to challenges and techniques to the depressing invasion of AI.
It was particularly great to catch up with Nina Allan again after a fair few years, briefly in the panel mentioned above but at greater length in the reading and Q&A that the two of us took part in afterwards (pictured). Nina read a terrific extract from her current work, and I read my story ‘In The Shadow of the Lightning Tree’ from All That’s Lost, not only because it’s a story that fits neatly in a reading time slot but because I referred to the piece a few times as part of my workshop activity, so it seemed apt.
Lynda Rucker and Stephen Volk also performed readings, this time at a nearby pub. Regrettably I only managed to hear one of them as the well-packed room was so stifling hot a few of us had to escape for fresh air and water.
Of course, the best part of any convention – as much as I love the books and talks and reading, etc – is catching up with friends, and this Edge-Lit was no exception. It was very well attended, and drinks were had (many drinks), and there was even a surreal venture into karaoke at a (sort of) nearby bar, and then afterwards in a spontaneous after-party of sorts. I’m told there’s video evidence, but you won’t ever be seeing it here…
NEW ORIGINAL STORY: 'THAT MADDENING HEAT'
I took a short break from the PhD to write a story for the glorious Nightmare Abbey magazine, edited by Tom English. ‘That Maddening Heat’ is available now in issue 3 of the magazine, alongside many terrific writers.
You can buy it here.
'THE HUFAIDH SOUNDER' REPRINTED
‘The Hufaidh Sounder’, which originally appeared in the anthology They’re Out to Get You, has been reprinted in The Dark. The story is set shortly after the Great War and is located in the marshes of the Middle East.
You can read it here, along with stories by Orrin Grey, Lucas Santana, and Angela Slatter.
CEMETERY DANCE INTERVIEW
Daniel Braum asked some terrific questions about All That’s Lost for an interview appearing at Cemetery Dance Online. We mostly focus on ghosts and the significance of specific locations, and it was a joy to answer such astute and insightful questions.
You can read the interview here.
'THE FINAL GIRL'S DAUGHTER' REPRINT AND REVIEW
‘The Final Girl’s Daughter’, an original story from All That’s Lost, was recently reprinted in The Dark magazine, edited by Sean Wallace and Clara Madrigano.
Joe Nazare liked it and reviewed it here.
The last ever issue of Black Static is coming soon, and it features my story 'Cabin Fever'.
While I'm very sad to see the magazine coming to an end (my first ever published story appeared in their pages), I'm thrilled to have a story in the final issue.
You can order a copy here: Black Static 82/83 Double Issue
RECENT APPEARANCE: WATERSTONES KENDAL
On 24th October, I took part in a Halloween reading with Simon Kurt Unsworth at Waterstones in Kendal. I read 'In the Wake of my Father' from All That's Lost before discussing horror in anticipation of the spooky holiday. Books were signed and sold, and much fun was had. If you're ever nearby, check out Kendal's Waterstones - they have a fabulous horror selection.
RECENT APPEARANCE: SWANSEA UNIVERSITY
A few weeks after ChillerCon, I appeared for an
‘In Conversation’ event at Swansea University, talking to
Dr Alan Bilton about All That’s Lost, Probably Monsters, and the appeal of horror as a genre.
You can find out more about the event, and ones like it, here.
RECENT APPEARANCE: CHILLERCON
ChillerCon was an absolute joy, providing much opportunity for catching up with friends and fiends. I was one of the speakers on a panel about getting your short stories published, and I performed a reading as part of the Black Static reading group as well, which was great fun.
There was also much fun to be had at the Black Shuck Books launch, where I joined Sean Hogan and Gary McMahon to release new books into the wild.
My second collection All That's Lost will be launched at ChillerCon this May and is available now for pre-order as a fancy signed and limited hardback from Black Shuck Books.
I'm very proud of this collection, and thankful to Steve Shaw for publishing it, as well as to Stephen 'Ghostwatch' Volk who was kind enough to write a wonderful introduction. I've also been lucky enough to receive a quote form the brilliant Brain Evenson, so I'm thrilled about that. Here's a snippet:
"Cluley's fiction is precise, creepy, and weirdly unsettling. He knows better than anyone how to pick at the seams of reality until they begin to come apart and something dark begins to leak out"
To pre-order, simply visit blackshuckbooks.co.uk
'FLOATING ON THE RIVER'
BY RAY CLULEY
As a kid, I was lucky enough to have some very creative and hugely supportive teachers who encouraged us all to write stories, and when the local radio station wanted to run a feature on our school, I was volunteered to read one of mine for the show.
I'll forever be grateful to my teachers at Elizabeth South Junior Primary School for that. I have no doubt that my drive to write grew out of those inspiring early classes and that radio moment.
So if you want to hear the first story I ever shared with the public, simply click below. And as an added bonus, you'll hear what I used to sound like as a 7-year-old with an Australian accent...
NEW WEBSITE. NEW BOOK (SORT OF).
Ray Cluley's debut collection, Probably Monsters, has recently resurfaced and is available to purchase once again.
Originally published in 2015 and short-listed for a British Fantasy Award for Best Collection, it has now been republished by Vulpine Press.
You can order it here.