Sunday, July 6, 2014

Some more kindly Knife Fight words

As you'll have seen from the last post, I've been pulling on the coats of some writers whose work I admire to have a look at Knife Fight and Other Struggles, the new story collection out in October 2014. Laird Barron got back to me a little while back (see the last post) and some others weighed in shortly afterward. I am immensely grateful.

Jeffrey Ford, multiple-World-Fantasy-Award-Winning novelist and story writer, had this to say:

"David Nickle's Knife Fight and Other Struggles is a collection of 13 unique glimpses into the weird.  Dynamic imagination, masterful writing of both the every day and the nightmare, characters that breathe, and a dark sense of humor make this a keeper.  If you've not yet read Nickle's fiction, Knife Fight is a great place to start.  If you have, you've no doubt already bought this book."
Helen Marshall, author of the brilliant story collection Hair Side, Flesh Side, and the forthcoming collection Gifts For The One Who Comes After, offered up this:
"David Nickle is Canada's answer to Stephen King. His writing charms even as it slices like a blade between the ribs: sharp, subtle, and never less than devastating."
And Nathan Ballingrud, who knocked everybody on their collective ass last year with his amazing collection North American Lake Monsters, wrote this about Knife Fight:
"David Nickle is my favorite kind of writer. His stories are dark, wildly imaginative, and deeply compassionate -- even when they're laced with righteous anger. He's at the top of his game in this new book of short stories, and that's about as good as it gets."

Friday, June 27, 2014

Laird Barron weighs in on Knife Fight

A lovely blurb came in today for my upcoming collection Knife Fight and Other Struggles, from none other than Laird Barron--who's leading the 21st century movement toward neo-Lovecraftian weird fiction through a clutch of excellent stories (collected here, here, and most recently here) and a novel (here).

Laird has this to say:
"Knife Fight and Other Struggles is a remarkable collection that drops some hi-fidelity weirdness on the scene . Nickle's prose has gorgeous lines of symmetry and a steel spine."
Knife Fight and Other Struggles will be my second story collection, after 2009's Monstrous Affections.
It'll be out in October 2014, available in the usual places. Readers anxious to get it first can, of course, pre-order it here.

* * *

After I posted this, Laird effectively offered up a second blurb, with a short post on his own blog, right here. This is what we at the Yard call a class act.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Knife Fight and Other Struggles

Here it is: the Erik-Mohr-designed cover to my second story collection, Knife Fight and Other Struggles. It's coming out in October, but it's up for pre-order at, Barnes and Noble, Chapters-Indigo, Powell's, and of course ChiZine Publications.

The book's filled with 12 stories (13 if you count the special bonus prologue to my next novel Volk at the end), two of them original to the collection (three if you count the special bonus prologue to Volk).  It's also got an introduction by my good friend (and science consultant/mentor) Peter Watts. And this kick-ass cover that would do well on front of a new Jim Thompson novel, should one ever appear.

Here's the back-cover business:

A young man at loose ends finds he cannot look away from his new lover's alien gaze. A young woman out of time seeks her old lover in the cold spaces between the stars. The fleeing worshippers of an ancient and jealous deity seek solace in an unsuspecting New World congregation. In a suburban nursery, a demon with a grudge and a lonely exorcist face off for what could be the last time. 
And when a big city mayor who delineates his mandate by the slash of a blade faces an unexpected challenger ... it turns into a struggle that threatens to consume everything. 
In KNIFE FIGHT AND OTHER STRUGGLES, David Nickle follows his award-winning debut collection Monstrous Affections with a new set of dark tales that span space, time and genre. 
"If the Group of Seven had worked in prose instead of oils— and if they'd been raised on a diet of Lynch and Cronenberg— they might have come close to what David Nickle fishes from his id for our edification." 
-Hugo-winning author Peter Watts, from the Introduction

And to further whet, as it were, literary appetites, here's a bit from the opening of the title story, "Knife Fight":

Not many outside the confines of the political wing at City Hall would guess it, but our new mayor is an expert with a knife. 
He has been practising since he was a boy—from the day he first laid eyes on the eleven-inch bowie knife jammed hilt-deep into a tree stump in the family’s ancestral woodlot, and withdrew it, claiming it as his own then and forever. 
The concrete of his father’s basement workshop floor is still flecked with tiny, reddish-brown dots, a Jackson Pollock record of the young mayor’s apprenticeship, those nights when he was too slow, or worse . . . too quick. Those days are long past, and now the mayor is neither. He is merely bold. He is an expert. 
Since the hour of his swearing-in, the mayor has kept the knife in the desk drawer next to his chain of office, wrapped in an oilcloth tied with thin leather straps. There it slumbers, six nights a week. The seventh—Thursday—the mayor carefully unwraps it, holds it to the fading afternoon light to see that its edge remains keen and, in the company of his older cousin . . . the one who oversees road repairs in the west district . . . the mayor steps into the elevator that takes him straight to the parking garage. 
And so it begins.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

New Canadian Noir

A heads-up, Yard-apes and others with an interest in adding a little maple flavour to their noirish imaginings: I'm co-editing an anthology of new Canadian noir stories. There's not much to say beyond the guidelines: so here are the guidelines:


The Exile Book of New Canadian Noir guidelines
For The Exile Book of New Canadian Noir, editors Claude Lalumière and David Nickle are looking for previously unpublished dark fiction that spans across genres to capture the whole spectrum of the noir esthetic: its traditional form within crime fiction; its imaginative forays into horror, fantasy, and surrealism; its dystopian consequences within speculative fiction; its disquieting mood in erotica; its grim journeys into frontier fiction; its stark expression in literary realism. We will look at noir fiction of any stripe, within any genre or any combination of genres. Although writers need to be Canadian, there is no restriction on setting. Stories can be set anywhere.
  • Open only to Canadian writers (citizens, residents, expats, etc.)
  • Length: 1000-8000 words
  • Previously unpublished stories only (no plays or poetry)
  • English-language translations of stories having previously appeared in other languages welcome
  • Opens to submissions on 1 March 2014
  • Deadline: 2 July 2014, 12 midnight, Pacific Time
  • Multiple submissions welcome; up to two stories, sent under separate cover
  • We prefer no simultaneous submissions, please (we promise to respond promptly)
  • Initial responses (rejections, holds, and rewrite requests) within 15 days of submission; final responses no later than 30 days after the deadline
  • Pay: 5 cents/word
  • Electronic submissions only, via Submittable at
  • File Formats: .docx, .rtf, or .doc.
  • Formatting: indented paragraphs; italics in italics (not underlined); Canadian spelling; # (or other unambiguous symbol) to indicate scene breaks; no headers; no outlandish formatting, please; full contact info and word count on the first page (that said, don’t fret too much about formatting; good fiction is what’s most important)
  • Please include a cover letter with a brief author bio, title of story, and full contact info, including street address (if your address is outside Canada, please explain your Canadian status in the cover letter)
  • Do not summarize or describe the story in the cover letter
  • To be published by Exile Editions in 2015.
  • queries:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My SFContario Schedule

I'm going to be at SFContario this weekend: a very cool little Toronto convention, located right in the downtown core at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, 300 Jarvis Street (here's a link)..And I've got a schedule of panels and whatnot. 
Here's the gist of it:

Ballroom BC          Sat. 12:00 PM                               You Can Kill Zombies, But You Can’t Kill The Zombie Craze.      
A little over forty years ago, George A. Romero changed the nature of zombies with his low-budget breakthrough film, Night of the Living Dead. Since then zombies have shuffled into the mainstream. There are now countless zombie movies being
Gardenview          Sat.  1:00 PM                                Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy
What makes them distinctive, and why might readers of one be hesitant to cross over to another? Writers of these genres discuss the differences and what you can do to attract readers from other genres.
Gardenview          Sat.  4:00 PM                                Politics And Horror                   
It can be argued that there is horror in all politics, but is there politics in all horror? Horror, like many genres, works best when it works on more than one level. Our panelists discuss the political foundations of horror books and movies.
Gardenview          Sat.  5:00 PM                                Scary, not Slimy                     
Are intense descriptions of bloody death and torture really necessary to scare the bejeebers out of your audience? Join our discussion on how to terrify without all the gory details.

And I'm reading Sunday morning, right after Madeline Ashby, at 10:30 a.m., in whichever room it is that they're doing the readings.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Playlist for Eutopia

All the kids seem to be doing this lately: putting together a list of the music that helped inspire their new books, sort of a mix tape for readers, a bit of an aural window into the writer for the curious. Stephen King did it here for Doctor Sleep; Joe Hill did it here for NOS4A2. In that spirit, I thought I'd offer up this one, for my 2011 novel Eutopia: A Novel of Terrible Optimism.

Because music played a tremendous role in the writing and the re-writing, and also keeping poor, exceptional farm-boy Jason Thistledown and brilliant, beaten-but-not-defeated surgeon Andrew Waggoner, alive enough in my mind to consider a sequel.

There is a sequel coming. Right now, we're calling it Volk, and it follows the characters and creatures that showed up in 1911 Idaho to 1931 Europe, and we're aiming for 2015.  Can't say too much more than that now.

But I can say this: Here's the playlist for Eutopia: A Novel of Terrible Optimism--starting with the music accompanying the book trailer:

...and moving on to these:

Theme from Jurrasic Park by John Williams
Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes
White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes
Ellis Island by Thomas Newman (from the Angels in America Soundtrack)
The Lyre of Orpheus by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
God's Away on Business by Tom Waits
Christian Zeal and Activity by  John Adams
Son by The National
The Pines of the Appian Way, by Resphighi (from the Pines of Rome)
God Shuffled His Feet by the Crash Test Dummies
Look To The Rainbow by Astrud Gilberto
Down To The River To Pray by Allison Krauss
O Death by Ralph Stanley
You Can't Unring A Bell by Tom Waits

Friday, October 4, 2013

O happy Hallow's Eve!

Rue Morgue Magazine's Jessa Sobczuk digs my novel The 'Geisters and says so, in the magazine's supersized Halloween edition. There's nowhere to link--Rue Morgue doesn't fly with the idea of free content on the website--but allow me to quote her opening:

"Award-winning Toronto author David Nickle (Monstrous Affections, Eutopia) masters the art of terror in The 'Geisters, a poltergeist novel alive with magnetic characters, steady action and atmospheric scares. Nickle populates his fictional world with supernatural threats that are as believable and startling as they are scary and enigmatic. He hooks the reader in a matter of pages and never lets up until the end."

It goes on for a bit, then finishes: 

"Anyone who enjoys ghostly yarns or supernatural dark fiction should add this perverse, spine-tingling tome to their collection -- stat!"

This is the latest in a couple of fashionably-late-to-the-party reviews of The 'Geisters to come out. Bookgasm's Mike Reynolds penned a really kindly review here, in which he writes, in part: 

"The book doesn’t just explore the attractiveness of terror — it embodies it in a narrative that demands (excites even as it repels) your attention. It’s a(nother) strong novel by one of the best, most interesting horror writers working today."
 And blogger CheffoJeffo writes in this review:

"In The ‘Geisters, David Nickle captures two types of horror (the latter being too often overlooked): horror found in the supernatural and, even more frightening, the horror to be found in humanity.
"So, how much did I enjoy The ‘Geisters?
"Enough to jack up my TBR stack by a couple of inches:"