Woke up to find this gorgeous piece of work in my inbox. It’s the final cover for Haunted Legends, a collection of ghost stories coming out from Tor Books (follow their blog here: Tor) in the first week of September this year. It includes, among other fine things, my story “Following Double-Face Woman”, which was inspired by my time in small-town Nebraska where ghosts roamed the streets thick as crows on a battlefield. It was a real surprise when this story was chosen as I’d sent it off to the slush at Clarkesworld Magazine, which was at the time being co-edited by Nick Mamatas. Even though it wasn’t right for CW, Nick must have found something worthy in it and the next thing I knew, he and Ellen had taken it for this collection. Thank you Ellen and Nick for giving my story such a wonderful home!
Native American legend. Double-Face Woman is a traditional figure who leads people from the path of thoughtful living into self-destructive ways. In the narrator’s world, this means the meth pipe.
She raised that pipe to my lips and held the match over it for me, all for me. She never once looked me in the face, and now I know why. She was hiding half of her own, saving the truth for later. I inhaled. When I opened my eyes, she was gone.
There is a very strong and effective image here, although it is mostly a still image; there is little movement in the story, little change, and no hope.
You might think I’d be upset by this review, but I’m not! NO HOPE! That’s exactly the point. Imagine watching your fourteen year old niece disintegrate before your eyes over the space of less than a year. NO HOPE.
And then there is this review, from PW:
Edited by Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas, Tor, $25.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2300-2
Datlow (Lovecraft Unbound) and Mamatas (Spicy Slipstream Stories) collect 20 original stories based on ghost legends from around the world. A few famous figures appear (such as the mysterious hitchhiker in Kaaron Warren’s “That Girl” and Gary A. Braunbeck’s “Return to Mariabronn”), and lesser-known regional tales inspire two top-notch stories: Jeffery Ford’s intriguing “Down Atsion Road,” set in southern New Jersey, and Laird Barron’s incredibly creepy “The Redfield Girls,” about a haunted lake in Washington State. International entries include Ekaterina Sedia’s disturbing “Tin Cans,” about girls murdered by Stalin aide Lavrenty Beria, and Catherynne M. Valente’s “15 Panels Depicting the Sadness of the Baku and the Jotai,” a whimsical and dreamy foray into Japanese myth. Another standout is the riveting “The Folding Man” by Joe Lansdale, featuring a mysterious, murderous pack of nuns. Only a few weak choices feel more like rehashings than retellings. (Sept.)