PETALUMA, CALIFORNIA–Word Horde is proud to announce the release of The Children of Old Leech: A Tribute to the Carnivorous Cosmos of Laird Barron. Editors Ross E. Lockhart (The Book of Cthulhu, Tales of Jack the Ripper) and Justin Steele (The Arkham Digest) have gathered together many of the brightest lights in dark fiction to pay homage to one of horror's masters.
Over the past decade, Laird Barron has become one of the most lauded and influential names in horror fiction. His short stories, two novels, and three collections have garnered numerous nominations and awards, including three Shirley Jackson Awards and a Bram Stoker Award. Recognizing Barron's meteoric rise, Lockhart and Steele sought to assemble an original tribute anthology unlike any other, focusing on atmosphere and affect, rather than simple pastiche.
"Barron's fiction has long been an inspiration to his peers," says co-editor Justin Steele. "The interwoven stories and novels create a rich tapestry of noir-infused cosmic horror. This mythology makes for an excellent backdrop for the weird tales within." Offered this unique opportunity to play in what Publishers Weekly calls Barron's "worm-riddled literary playground," these children of Old Leech—Barron's fans, peers, friends—conjured an anthology "with a coherent feeling of dread, without feeling derivative of the source."
The Children of Old Leech is distributed by Ingram, and will be available in Hardcover and eBook formats through most online retailers and better independent bookstores everywhere in July 2014. For more information about Word Horde or to request an electronic review copy, please email publicity[at]wordhorde[dot]com.
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On April 24 I wrote about copy editing The Children of Old Leech for Word Horde; and then on July 5 I posted details on the deluxe edition of TCoOL, of which only 100 numbered copies were made available for sale.
In celebration of the release of TCoOL on July 15, excerpts from each of the stories were published on the Word Horde blog over a span of weeks. All of the excerpts have now been posted.
Here is the contents list for The Children of Old Leech:
Introduction: Of Whisky and Doppelgängers — Justin Steele
The Harrow — Gemma Files
Pale Apostle — J. T. Glover & Jesse Bullington
Walpurgisnacht — Orrin Grey
Learn to Kill — Michael Cisco
Good Lord, Show Me the Way — Molly Tanzer
Snake Wine — Jeffrey Thomas
Love Songs from the Hydrogen Jukebox — T.E. Grau
The Old Pageant — Richard Gavin
Notes for "The Barn in the Wild" — Paul Tremblay
Firedancing — Michael Griffin
The Golden Stars at Night — Allyson Bird
The Last Crossroads on a Calendar of
Yesterdays — Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.
The Woman in the Wood — Daniel Mills
Brushdogs — Stephen Graham Jones
Ymir — John Langan
Of a Thousand Cuts — Cody Goodfellow
Tenebrionidae — Scott Nicolay & Jesse James Douthit-Nicolay
Afterword — Ross E. Lockhart
The first story excerpt is "The Harrow" by Gemma Files; at the bottom of this excerpt you will find a link to the next story, and so on, through the entire contents list. I would normally say something to the effect of "Enjoy the read!" -- but "enjoy" isn't quite the word one would use when it comes to Laird Barron's work, or the work of those writing in Barron's world. In my earlier blog post on copy editing this anthology I used the phrase "a feeling of dread, of impending doom..." So read at your own risk....
If you are a fan of Laird Barron's writing, then you will definitely want to read these stories. If you are a reader of dark fantasy -- very dark fantasy! -- and you are new to the world of Laird Barron, then you should be reading these stories.