Monday, October 23, 2017

The Stay-Awake Men and Other Unstable Entities

NOW AVAILABLE in a limited edition hardcover!

Introduction by Scott Nicolay
Following You Home
No Abiding Place on Earth
The Stay-Awake Men
The Beginning of the World

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

NEW COLLECTION - Limited Edition

Check out my new collection, "Of Doomful Portent: An Advent Calendar of Grotesque Horrors." Illustrated and handmade by the extraordinarily talented Yves Tourigny. Limited edition tear-away Advent Calendar format.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

July 2017 - Update

Hello, world. Below is a list of forthcoming releases for late 2017 and early 2018. 

“Provisions for a Journey” - Phantasm/Chimera: an Anthology of Strange and Troubling Dreams (ed. Scott Dwyer)

“The Two-Wheel System” - Walk on the Weird Side (ed. Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.)

“Leeds 2600” - Terror in 16 Bits (ed. Jonathan Raab)

“Master of the House” A Breath from the Sky: Unusual Stories of Possession (ed. Scott R. Jones)

“Deep Into the Skin” - Tales from a Talking Board (ed. Ross E. Lockhart)

“We Pass From View” - Darker Companions: Celebrating 50 Years of Ramsey Campbell (eds. Joe Pulver and Scott David Aniolowski)
“Goat’s Rue” - Would Time But Await (ed. S.J. Bagley)
“The Long Lost Parent” (with Tom Breen) - Strange Aeons (ed. Justin Steele)
“The Rats on LePaul” - Dunhams Does Lovecraft #1 (ed. Jordan Krall)

Books (Hardcover)

Gateways to Abomination, Limited Edition of 36 signed and numbered copies, Thunderstorm Books

The Stay-Awake Men and Other Unstable Entities, Limited Edition of 100, Dunham's Manor Press

Books (Other)
Of Doomful Portent: An Advent Calendar of Grotesque Horror

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Of Doomful Portent

I'm thrilled to announce the new collaboration between artist/game designer Yves Tourigny and me: "Of Doomful Portent: An Advent Calendar of Grotesque Horrors."

This fully illustrated chapbook will consist of 25 loosely connected flash tales of horror and the weird, each written by me and illustrated by Yves. The design, also by Yves, will be innovative and unique, and like nothing you've seen before. These chapbooks will be hand-made, literally, and the result will be emblematic of what excites me most about the DIY spirit.

The stories are written, and preliminary edits are begun. We hope to debut these at Necronomicon 2017, in a limited quantity of 100, with a traditional paperback and ebook, available on Amazon and other online book venues, to follow some time in 2018.

"Of Doomful Portent" was a blast to write. Every night I looked forward to waking up to write the next installment. I'm proud as hell of the finished product. I let myself go to some dark and upsetting places, and I want to take you back there with me. I'm excited to unleash it this year, and to work with Yves, one of the most exciting artists to emerge in recent years. More information to come as things progress.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Nathan Ballingrud's Introduction to CREEPING WAVES

I present Nathan Ballingrud's full introduction to my book Creeping Waves. Needless to say, I am in his debt. Enjoy!

Station Identification: WXXT
by Nathan Ballingrud

           Nobody saw this guy coming. The small and indie press horror scene is a pretty self-aware bunch. Everybody might not know everybody, but everybody certainly knows of almost everyone, including a lot of the up-and-comers. With the proliferation of online magazines, subscription chapbook series, genre-focused podcasts, and the clutching grasp of social media, there aren’t many surprises to be had. But in the summer of 2014, without fanfare and to small notice, a self-published book called Gateways to Abomination, by Matthew M. Bartlett – a name most of us had never heard before – crept into the world. And it was getting ready to make a big noise.
           Slowly, it started to get passed around. There was no ad campaign. No book trailers, no social media blitzes. What Gateways to Abomination had was something much more valuable: it had word of mouth. People started talking about this book. It kept cropping up in conversations, links started peppering social media feeds. After a while it seemed to have become part of the atmosphere. If you were part of the horror and weird fiction community, you couldn’t turn around without seeing the folk art aesthetic of its blood-red cover posted somewhere, that title seemingly stripped raw from the scuffed box of a cult horror VHS tape.
           In any small and passionate literary community, the desire to discover and foster success, while inarguably noble, sometimes leads to books being exalted beyond their actual merit. Because of this, when I sat down to read it, I did so with no great expectation. I expected a pleasant diversion, at best.
           I might as well have wandered onto a freeway while staring at my shoelaces. I was that unprepared.
           What I encountered was a writer in full flourish, in complete command of his art. I encountered a savage dream which moved with the lethal confidence of a great white shark. Bartlett was no dilettante; here was someone channeling a vision. The book seemed to vibrate.
In Gateways to Abomination, Bartlett introduced us to Leeds, Massachusetts, a town under the thrall of a witch cult broadcasting from a radio station – WXXT -- found on the far left regions of the dial. Those call letters, I am confident, will echo through the years in discussions of great early Twenty-First Century horror fiction, sending a glad shiver through the blood of anyone who’s read it.
           And so now we come to Creeping Waves: the full aesthetic flowering of that vision. Promises made are delivered upon, secrets hinted at are – if not revealed – then given deeper layers of mystery. Like its predecessor, Creeping Waves is a series of stories and vignettes, clippings and broadcasts, so that the experience is one of steady accumulation. Characters disappear for a while only to crop up again unexpectedly; threads are presented, hidden, and revealed again in new contexts. The larger story does not play out before you so much as it reveals itself around you: incrementally, suffocatingly.
           Leeds is a modern town – indeed, there are several overt examples of corporate horror, of a kind that would do Thomas Ligotti proud – but the looming presence of the Dark Wood, and all the witch-haunted New England folklore which accompanies it, is ever-present. That the voice of this presence is articulated through the radio is one of Bartlett’s canniest innovations. The radio is a modern instrument, yet just quaint enough that it seems a bit archaic to the modern reader – a relic from a simpler time. It is a kind of halfway point between the present day and the dark days of old, when the wind was smeared with the greasy ashes of accused witches. This is no accident. Bartlett draws a hard, bloody line from the past to the present, the echoes of ancient cruelties spilling blood into our own bright afternoons. The character of Leeds shapes the characters of the people who live there. (Sometimes literally, and always with violence.) In this way, Creeping Waves functions as a work of psychogeography, in the tradition of Alan Moore’s From Hell and Voice of the Fire. It is the story of a place before it is the story of people.
           But let’s not be coy. You’ve come here for a horror story. And what you get is one of the purest and most audacious expressions of horror in the modern day. There are more tantalizing ideas per page than you’ll find in most full-length novels. Here you will encounter faded cult leaders returned to prominence and infused with bloody purpose; old grimoires, diaries, and cookbooks of unsavory provenance catalogued and priced for the corrupted bibliophile; passage to the Night of Black Tents and to the blood-drenched carnival at the rancid heart of the dream. There are missing children and missing souls. Every past sin and every forgotten defeat returns to you here, dressed in the terrible glamor of an animated, ravenous death.
           There are times you will want Bartlett to stop. You will think, “You’ve gone too far. You shouldn’t say this. You shouldn’t write this.” And that’s when Creeping Waves is succeeding at its deepest levels. I believe horror operates at its best when it functions as a transgressive literature. It achieves its full majesty when it places itself in opposition to the reader. Creeping Waves is transgressive because it is fearless, crossing boundaries with a hungry intent and with full aesthetic integrity, pushing the horror so far that it ceases to be a source of fear or revulsion and instead passes over into the sublime. This is Hell’s beautiful, bleeding face.
           A part of me is a little jealous of Bartlett, and of what he achieves in this extended category of nightmares. But it’s pointless to be jealous of him, in the same way it’s pointless to be jealous of David Lynch, or Lars von Trier. He is an artist in service to a vision; there is no replicating it. Nor should there be a desire to. You just thank whatever accident of fate allowed you to witness it.
           You’re listening to WXXT, the worm in the heart, the maggot in the skull.

Sunday, March 12, 2017


Check out this storybundle!

For a mere five bucks, you get the following six eBooks:
  • The Nickronomicon by Nick Mamatas
  • Sword and Mythos by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Resonator - New Lovecraftian Tales from Beyond edited by Scott R. Jones and including my story "Machine Will Start When You Are Start"
  • Radiant Dawn by Cody Goodfellow
  • When the Stars are Right by Scott R. Jones
  • and my own debut Gateways to Abomination

For a mere fifteen bucks you get the above PLUS:

  • Home From the Sea by William Meikle
  • Priestess: The Collected Blackstone Erotica by Justine Geoffrey
  • Cthulhusattva: Tales of the Black Gnosis edited by Scott R Jones
  • She Walks in Shadows by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Move Under Ground by Nick Mamatas
  • Ravenous Dusk by Cody Goodfellow


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Rounding things up for 2016

It's been a busy year. The highlight was the publication of my story "Rangel" in "Year's Best Weird Fiction, Volume 3", edited by Michael Kelly and Simon Strantzas.

Here's what one reviewer had to say: I have a gut-level dislike of weird/horror stories about Halloween (it's a little too on the nose), but man, did I love this one. Like Glenn Hirschberg in "Mr. Dark's Carnival," Bartlett successfully uses the holiday festivities to emphasize a strong sense of place and occult harvest ritual disguised and wrapped around the everyday. Thirty years ago, a young girl went missing around Halloween, and now her brother is returning to the autumnal gloaming of New England from the home he's made in LA. He's always been stuck in the past, and while the present-day majority of the story is written in standard past tense, the flashbacks are related in present. This all builds to a horribly beautiful moment of gnosis, just as the ineffable just starting to shine through the cracks of the world. Maybe I'm harping on this book because I'm trying to review it now too, but Bartlett shares with Gemma Files's "Experimental Film " the ability to convey something of the numinous, not just the horrific, as forces simultaneously mesmerizing and awful just start to come into view of their characters.

I self-published Gateways to Abomination in 2014 with no writing credits of which to speak, so to have a story in a book with stories by Robert Aickman, Ramsey Campbell, Reggie Oliver, and's hard to reconcile it with my life before writing.

Here's the roundup, then, of 2016:
•Spettrini April 2016. Dunhams Manor Press, limited edition of 25 copies. To be reprinted in The Stay-Awake Men and Others.
Creeping Waves April 2016. Muzzleland Press
Dead Air - Early Broadcasts October 2016, self-published 

•“If He Summons His Herd” Lost Signals (eds. Max Booth III and Lori Michelle) June 2016
•“Where Night Cowers” Lost Signals (eds. Max Booth III and Lori Michelle) June 2016
•“No Abiding Place on Earth” Nightscript Vol. 2; ed. C.M. Muller October 2016
•“Rangel” (reprint) Year's Best Weird Fiction, Vol. 3 (ed. Simon Strantzas, series ed. Michael Kelly) October 2016
•“The Terrible Old Friend” Ravenwood Quarterly #1 (ed. Travis Neisler) November 2016
•"The Dark Match" Three Moves of Doom, Orford Parish Books (ed. Tom Breen)

And here's a preview of what's forthcoming in 2017, so far:

•The Stay Awake Men and Others. Dunhams Manor Press.
•“We Pass From View” Darker Companions: Celebrating 50 Years of Ramsey Campbell (ed., Joe Pulver and Scott David Aniolowski)
•"The Long Lost Parent" Collaboration with Tom Breen. Strange Aeons (ed. Justin Steele)
•"The Rats on LePaul" Dunhams Destroys Lovecraft (ed. Jordan Krall)
•"Goat's Rue" Would But Time Await, Orford Parish Books, (ed. s.j. bagley)

Four additional stories written, including "Provisions for a Journey", "In the Van", and "Master of the House."

At least five more stories in progress, and several books in progress as well.

You want a card game based on the Leeds/WXXT mythos (so to speak)? Well, one is coming in 2017, thanks to the masterful Yves Tourigny.

What else? I reduced the price of The Witch-Cult in Western Massachusetts. It was $9.99; now it's $5.99. 

I'm grateful to have worked with Yves Tourigny and Nick Gucker, and I really look forward to future projects involving Michael Bukowski and Dave Felton. I'm grateful to anyone who has read my stuff, and to anyone who's reviewed it.

Well, this has all been a way to put off writing? Why? It's snowing outside. Time to get back to it.