I’m pleased to announce my forthcoming, all-new anthology of stories and poems inspired by the writings and worlds of William Hope Hodgson, WHERE THE SILENT ONES WATCH, to be released in 2024 by Hippocampus Press. Stay tuned for announcements about the contributors, the cover, and the publication date.
Far ahead down this strange and winding road await fourteen visions of alternate realities. Worlds of the distant past and the far future. Worlds where people forget they possess the power to fly, where artists’ creations overtake their creators, and where the bond of human and machine defines existence. Worlds where magic changed history, reality runs fluid, and planets imprison terrible secrets. Worlds within worlds where technology makes people into ghosts who possess bodies, where refugees from another dimension shatter everyday life, and where answers to the mysteries of existence lie on the far side of an all-encompassing darkness.
From a forgotten sitcom about walruses to the truth behind an interplanetary war, from the steampunk streets of New Alexandria to an enigmatic flood world where people surrender themselves to things that live beneath the water, each of these stories marks a single stop….on the Hierophant Road. Featuring the all-new novella, “Long the Night and Low the Flame.”
Order from Raw Dog Screaming Press. (Preorder here for signed hardcovers.)
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
“Chambers enthralls with this disquieting and eclectic collection of bizarro tales which span the galaxy, the ages, and the human psyche, On the Hierophant Road reasserting his role as a veritable master of new pulp.”—Lee Murray, two-time Bram Stoker Award®-Winner and author of Grotesque: Monster Stories
“…the work really sings when its weirdness is married to narrative tropes readers know well. Readers searching for something unexpected will find a lot to admire in this ambitious, inventive collection.” —Library Journal
“These tales are united by their slightly askew proximity to reality with just enough detail to immerse readers in the well-built worlds and sympathetic protagonists, both of which drive each story. All are satisfyingly unsettling, with tones ranging from existential terror to an uneasy sense of awe. For fans of the new breed of dark-speculative-fiction writers who actively play with genre confines to create reads that are inventive, thought-provoking, and creepily fun…” —Booklist starred review, Becky Spratford
“I pray God will curse the writer, as the writer has cursed the world with this beautiful, stupendous creation, terrible in its simplicity, irresistible in its truth…” –Robert W. Chambers, “The Repairer of Reputations”
Hippocampus Press and editor James Chambers are excited to announce the all-new anthology, Under Twin Suns: Alternate Histories of the Yellow Sign, is available now for preorder from Hippocampus Press and Amazon.
Featuring Stories By: Marc Abbott • Linda D. Addison • Meghan Arcuri • Greg Chapman • J.G. Faherty • Trevor Firetog • Patrick Freivald • Carol Gyzander • Todd Keisling • John Langan • Curtis Lawson • Adrian Ludens • Lisa Morton • Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. • Sarah Read • Kathleen Scheiner • Ann K. Schwader • Darrell Schweitzer • J. Daniel Stone • Steven Van Patten • Tim Waggoner • Kaaron Warren
“When I first read The King in Yellow some twenty-five years ago,” said publisher Derrick Hussey, “I experienced a genuine ‘kick’ of otherworldliness that I don’t run across very often. It’s a thrill to feel that frisson again in the works of these modern writers, and an honor to publish their tales.”
Robert W. Chambers’ classic work of weird fiction, “The Repairer of Reputations,” introduced the world to “The King in Yellow,” a play in two acts, banned for its reputed power to drive mad anyone who reads its complete text. “The Yellow Sign,” used the experiences of an artist and his model to elaborate on the mythos of the Yellow King and the Yellow Sign. In those tales Chambers crafted fascinating glimpses of a cosmos populated by conspiracies, government-sanctioned suicide chambers, haunted artists, premonitions of death, unreliable narrators—and dark, enigmatic occurrences tainted by the alien world of Carcosa, where the King rules in his tattered yellow mantle. In Carcosa, black stars rise and Cassilda and Camilla speak and sing. In Carcosa, eyes peer from within pallid masks to gaze across Lake Hali at the setting of twin suns.
“When I began work on this anthology in the summer of 2019, I never imagined how much would change in the world or how eerily relevant the concept of the Pallid Mask referenced in the King in Yellow stories would become. I’m thrilled to present this collection of amazing, weird stories from a group of supremely talented writers.”
In this anthology, twenty-two authors who found the Yellow Sign, share their harrowing visions of worlds shaped by its influence in stories and poems inspired by Chamber’s foundational works of weird horror. From the personal to the historic, from the macabre to the fantastic, the stories and poems gathered here illuminate new, unexpected realities shaped by the King in Yellow, under the sway of the Yellow Sign, or in the grip of madnesses inspired by their power. What terrifying knowledge and unsettling experiences have these creative souls ushered into our world? What visions do they bring from Carcosa, from beneath the mantle of the Yellow King—from under twin suns?
We are especially pleased to include a previously unpublished novella, “less… light…” by the late Joseph S. Pulver, whose stories and anthologies did so much to help the King in Yellow mythos stand on its own in weird fiction.
Coming this summer from Hippocampus Press, Under Twin Suns: Alternate Histories of the Yellow Sign, featuring stories by some of the most powerful writers in dark fiction, spinning their visions of “The King in Yellow.” Look for the cover reveal, with art by Aeron Alfrey, on Ink Heist, Monday, May 3.
I’m honored to have contributed an essay, “The Birth and Death of John Constantine: A Critical Analysis of Hellblazer #4 and #40,” to this new non-fiction collection exploring the influence and lore of what is probably the most important and influential modern horror comic book series. The original run of Hellblazer, 1 through 40, written by Jamie Delano had an incredible influence on my work as a writer, equal to that of reading other genre authors, such as Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman, and Shirley Jackson. To be in a book with a foreword by Mr. Delano is a genuine treat. If you’re a Hellblazer fan or want to learn more about the character, give this book a look.
Many thanks to all the contributors who have made this a fantasitc collection and especially thanks to editors Rich Handley and Lou Tambone for their tireless work in editing this book–and for including me! THe book is now on sale via Amazon and The Sequart Organization. From the book description:
“British occultist John Constantine elevated Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, and it wasn’t long before John had his own spinoff comic titled John Constantine: Hellblazer. This anthology, edited by Rich Handley and Lou Tambone (of Sequart’s Somewhere Beyond the Heavens: Exploring Battlestar Galactica), examines the mage’s history from his earliest appearances to the present – not only in Swamp Thing and Hellblazer, but on film and television as well – with a special foreword by none other than Hellblazer’s creator himself, Jamie Delano. Constantine has a weakness for narcotics, alcohol, and sex; an unnatural obsession with the occult; and a long list of lovers he’s betrayed, hurt, and discarded. He’s slain his twin brother in the womb, taunted Satan, outwitted demons and angels, been trapped in Hell, and even fathered an elemental. No matter what the universe throws at him, he somehow always seems to come out on top… though his loved ones have usually ended up caught in the crossfire. At times, John can be a bastard. He has questionable hygiene and a lack of ethics, and he’ll likely hurt anyone foolish enough to let him into their lives. But John is nonetheless a hero – well, a Byronic hero, in any case. As fans, we wouldn’t have him any other way. The book features essays by Ade Brown, John E. Boylan, James Chambers, Julianne Clancy, Nancy A. Collins, Brian Cronin, Joseph Dilworth Jr., Sabrina Fried, Alex Galer, Richard Gray, Robert Greenberger, Rich Handley, Robert Jeschonek, Ross Johnson, Martín A. Pérez, Draško Roganović, Frank Schildiner, Tony Simmons, Lou Tambone, John Trumbull, James Wilkinson, and Genevieve Williams, with a cover by Leah Mangue.
Many thanks to A.E. Siraki for her thoughtful review of On the Night Border!
Here are stories of madness, torture, violence, settling scores, pain, and more. There are races against time, swerves to keep the reader on the edge of their seat, and haunting descriptions that remain long after the book has finished.
Today is publication day for my new horror collection, On the Night Border, published by Raw Dog Screaming Press, with an introduction by Linda Addison. Thrilled to have this in print! I hope you enjoy it!
Dark things stir in the night. When the world sleeps and quiet settles in, shadows assume sinister shapes, guilt and regret well up from the mind’s deepest recesses, and the lonely face their greatest fears. Darkness bares the secret truths whispered on the lips of the lost and the desperate. At night, terrors come alive. For those who journey too far into the dark, no escape remains—but there is a place from which to view these nightmares, a place…on the night border.
The fifteen stories collected here come from the last edge of the light and deliver glimpses into the dreadful, the mysterious, and the strange. These stories offer readers unsettling and weird visions from across the border, visions out of history and from the world around us, visions of cosmic horror, personal madness, and agonizing heartbreak.
A literary legend confronts the reality of a chaotic, uncaring universe. A young girl grows up in the shadow of a ferocious monster. A man seeks to kill his memories. Love defeats death in an odd world not unlike our own. An artist’s drawings unlock a terrifying truth of his adopted city. A mask burns. The mother of plagues offers a deadly future.
Readers will find here all of these and many other visions of what lies on the far side of the line, including, by special arrangement, stories of Lin Carter’s Anton Zarnak and Kolchak, the Night Stalker. Walk up to the edge. Listen to the whispers on the wind. Peer across at the terrors beyond from your vantage point…on the night border!
What They’re Saying
“Leave the comfort of what you think you know behind and journey through the dark imaginings of James Chambers, an author with the talent to turn ordinary places and familiar people into our worst nightmares in this latest collection. Get this book now!” —Rena Mason, Bram Stoker Award® winning author of The Evolutionist and East End Girls
“In his new collection On the Night Border, James Chambers tells stories with the uneasy familiarity of urban legends or tales told around a campfire on a chilly fall evening. Some of the stories you may have read, others leap out at you for the first time. “Kolchak The Night Stalker: The Lost Boy” fluidly takes you back to that ’70s television show, while the closer, “Red Mami,” is a stunner. Highly recommended!” —Multi Bram Stoker Award-Nominated John F.D. Taff, Author of Little Black Spots and The Fearing
“On the Night Border is an assemblage of wonderfully-horrific tales by a writer madly in love with language. The fictions within are chambers of storytelling madness that, once fully explored, each and every one, infect the reader into wanting more, more, more.” —Michael Bailey, author of Psychotropic Dragon and Seven Minutes
Cemetery Dance has now published the new e-book edition of The Dead Bear Witness, my classic novella of walking dead horror and the first volume in my Corpse Fauna novella series! Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Cemetery Dance.
Sentenced to life after a bank robbery gone bad, Cornell thought his worst nightmare had come true—and that he deserved it. After a stint in solitary, though, he learned his nightmare had only started: While Cornell rotted in isolation, all around the world the dead had returned to life.
Inside the prison walls, Cornell should’ve been well protected.
He didn’t reckon on the stone cold killer who demanded his help breaking out, nor the fanatic warden who forced him to help “save the souls” of other prisoners. He didn’t count on being snared in a web of lies, violence, and betrayal. He didn’t expect his survival to depend on fighting his way back to freedom before the eyes of the watchful dead. Now as nooses sway over the prison yard, Cornell can almost feel one tightening around his neck, and freedom seems so far away….
Praise for the work of James Chambers:
“…chillingly evocative writing…”
“James Chambers writes stories that are paced fast enough to friction burn a reader’s eyeballs.”
“…often insightful, and downright creepy…”
—The Nth Degree
Coming in July! The new, remastered, expanded edition of Three Chords of Chaos, available now for pre-order from eSpec Books.
Once, lord of lyrics;
once, prince of peace…
Now a demon let off his leash…
No greater musician than Gorge ever lived in the Realm of the Sidhe.
No faerie musician ever delved so deeply into the taboo songs and the forbidden music—the Way of the Bone. Yet, Gorge refused to deny himself their temptations.
In reward his true love betrayed him, and the faerie kings and queens who once praised him stripped him of his magic and exiled him to the mortal world. Left to go mad and die, Gorge discovered new life in the arms of a mortal woman, Delilah—and new magic in the music that sings in the souls of mortals. Decades later, Gorge walks a dark path through the musical underground of New York City. He lives a secret life, hiding from the fae, waging a guerilla war of punk rock, and wielding his guitar like a weapon as he gathers magic and recharges his power. Until the day he’s strong enough to return home and open the Way of the Bone to all the Faerie Kingdoms. But the mortal world is far more dangerous than it seems
Gorge never expected to discover such raw power, almost beyond his control, among the mortals who worship his music. Nor did he count on a mortal wizard to discover his secrets or turn the ancient weapons of the fae against him. Caught in a dangerous game of magic, music, and lies, Gorge must find the truth and uncover the source of his enemy’s magic. Survival and love hang in the balance. And Gorge has only his music to protect him, only a song for any hope of salvation….
Praise for the work of James Chambers:
“…chillingly evocative writing…” —Publisher’s Weekly
“James Chambers writes stories that are paced fast enough to friction burn a reader’s eyeballs.” —Horror Reader.com
“Three Chords of Chaos is a darkly rich story, starring an exiled faery and his lady love. Mr. Chambers has created a cast of intriguing and charismatic characters in a music and magic fueled world.” —Bibliophilic Book Blog
“Three Chords of Chaos is a well-written, compelling story interwoven with an authentic description of the famed punk rock culture that developed in the early 80s. A very entertaining and enlightening novella. Highly recommended.” –Gene O’Neill, The Cal Wild Chronicles
“In this dark urban fantasy James Chambers plays a thrilling riff on the razor’s edge where music and magic meet. Sex, drugs, Faustian bargains, and rebellious Fae make Three Chords of Chaos my kind of faery tale.” –Douglas Wynne, author of The Devil of Echo Lake and Steel Breeze
The latest release from eSpec Books includes my story “A Feast for Dead Horses.” This is a new tale in the my Machinations Sundry steampunk series, starring Morris Garvey, Detective Daniel Matheson, Anna Rigel–Queen of the Witches, and guest-starring Ricard LeFarge, Hatiain Minister of Hoodoo! With stories by Jody Lynn Nye, David Sherman, Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin, Michelle D. Sonnier, Jeffrey Lyman, Bernie Mojzes, Jeff Young, David Lee Summers, L. Jagi Lamplighter, and Danielle Ackley-McPhail, After Punk: Steampowered Tales of the Afterlife delivers a great line-up of steampunk stories tinged with the supernatural. While mankind can scarce hope to pierce the Veil without crossing it, a few intrepid souls will ever bend their will against the aether, combining artifice and the arcane to uncover its secrets. From voodoo death cults to the Day of the Dead, mummy parties, the wheel of reincarnation, the practice of death portraits, and so much more, these tales leave no gravestone unturned. Be it heaven or hell or the limbo in between, the hereafter is about to get ‘Punked.
Shadows Over Main Street 2, edited by Doug Murano and D. Alexander Ward, is still on sale! This collection of horror stories inspired by H.P. Lovecraft and set in small-town America includes fiction by Joyce Carol Oates, Joe R. Lansdale, Gary Braunbeck, John F.D. Taff, Lucy Snyder, Erinn Kemper, and many others, including my Bram Stoker Award nominated story, “A Song Left Behind in the Aztakea Hills.”
Inspired by Jack Kerouac’s years spent living in Northport on Long Island, “Aztake Hills,” blends literary history, the Lovecraftian mythos, and 1960s counter-culture in haunting vision of cosmic horror hidden in the shadows of a small town.
You know this place. Seems normal enough. But you know better, don’t you? You’ve heard rumors of strange histories. You’ve seen hints of dark deeds.
Turns out you can go home again, and the shadows will be waiting for you. Bram Stoker Award® nominated editors Doug Murano and D. Alexander Ward bring you Volume 2 of their best selling, critically-acclaimed small-town Lovecraftian anthology series. Within these pages, you’ll discover:
- America’s pastime awakening dark secrets buried deep within the earth.
- Vietnam War heroes who glimpse something worse than war and return home to discover a new kind of hell waiting for them.
- The music of a generation—of many generations—revealed as something older, hungrier and more insidious than a bad acid trip.
- A war-widow who rediscovers love and passion… only to cultivate the world’s end.
I’m pleased to announce the publication of Shadows Over Main Street 2, edited by Doug Murano and D. Alexander Ward, which includes my story “A Song Left Behind in the Aztakea Hills.” In small-town Knicksport on the Long Island Sound, an iconic American author encounters a Lovecraftian reality, an experience that resonates in the life of a local painter.
You know this place. Seems normal enough. But you know better, don’t you? You’ve heard rumors of strange histories. You’ve seen hints of dark deeds. Turns out you can go home again, and the shadows will be waiting for you. Bram Stoker Award® nominated editors Doug Murano and D. Alexander Wardbring you the next installment of their best selling, critically acclaimed small-town Lovecraftian anthology series: Shadows Over Main Street, Volume 2. Within these pages, you’ll discover: * America’s pastime awakening dark secrets buried deep within the earth. * Vietnam War heroes who glimpse something worse than war and return home to discover a new kind of hell waiting for them. * The music of a generation—of many generations—revealed as something older, hungrier and more insidious than a bad acid trip. * A war-widow who rediscovers love and passion… only to cultivate the world’s end. Featuring stories by: Joyce Carol Oates, Joe R. Lansdale, Gary A. Braunbeck, John F.D. Taff, Lucy A. Snyder, James Chambers, Erinn L. Kemper, Michael Wehunt, Suzanne Madron, William Meikle, Ronald Malfi, Damien Angelica Walters, Max Booth III, C.W. LaSart, Eden Royce, Jay Wilburn, and Douglas Wynne. With a foreword by Laird Barron and stunning illustrations by Luke Spooner. Every turn you take leads back to Main Street. We’ve been waiting. Welcome home.
I’m happy to announce that my story, “Right of Crossing,” will soon be published in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias, coming soon from Lycan Valley Press. In this anthology of horror stories, which includes pieces by Michael Bailey, Richard Chizmar, Chad Lutzke, and Tim Waggoner, each author wrote a pulp horror story inspired by a real-life phobia. My tale follows a cold-blooded but superstitious Norwegian hitman as he tries to escape from Brooklyn with the help of the Russian mafia. More info soon!
Artist Luke Spooner created this rich and evocative illustration for my story in the forthcoming anthology, Shadows Over Main Street 2. Much of my tale, “A Song Left Behind in the Aztakea Hills,” is grounded in research I did in my hometown, Northport, and mixes a fair bit of fact with its fiction regarding the time Jack Kerouac spent here in the 60s. I went out on a limb with this one narratively as well so it’s very close to my heart. Edited by D Alexander Ward and Doug Murano, Shadows should be published later this year.
Recently released by eSpec Books, The Awakened: Modern includes my short story “The Little Sisters of the Hourglass.” Set in the world of the Awakened role-playing game created by Hal Greenberg, the anthology includes a mix of modern fantasy stories influenced by super-hero themes. Published by eSpec Books.
Get Ready To Be Awakened…
The sudden appearance of a second moon in Earth’s sky awakens latent abilities in humanity…a link to a familiar, control of the elements, and so much more become possible as the second moon takes effect. What impact will this sudden change have on society? Only time will tell.
With stories by Drew Bittner, Ty Johnson, Torah Contrill, Walt Ciechanowski, James Chambers, Hal Greenberg and Kenneth Shannon III, Erik Scott de Bie, Jennifer Brozek, and Ed Greenwood
Originally published by Dark Quest Books, Defending the Future, Volume 5: Dogs of War has bee re-issued by eSpec Books. This volume includes my story, “Father of War,” about a scientist taken prisoner, and the cybernetically enhanced dogs he created who attempt to rescue him. Researching military working dogs (MWDs) proved fascinating. The ability of these dogs amazed me as much as their connection to their handlers. These brave canines have saved many lives in battle over the years, though they haven’t always been treated with the respect and appreciation they earned. That situation has improved significantly in recent times, but there’s still a ways to go. This collection honors their efforts and those of their trainers and handlers. “Father of War” is the most emotionally taxing story I’ve written for DTF–but there’s a fair amount of fun to it as well, especially for those who enjoyed 1970s war comics and the artists and writers who created them. More info and the full table of contents is posted on eSpec’s website. Amazon has the book for sale in print and e-book.
Defending The Future is a long-running, award-winning series of military/science fiction, comprised of six volumes. I’ve been fortunate to have contributed stories to all but one volume, with special thanks to series editors Mike McPhail and Danielle Ackley-McPhail whose confidence in me allowed me the opportunity to take a crack at writing this kind of s/f. It’s a challenging genre to write, demanding of meticulous research, and I’ve turned in at least one or two “weird” stories along the way when ideas led me to strange places. Mike and Dani accepted them along with the more conventional ones, much to my great excitement. Editors aren’t always able to allow their writers that kind of freedom. For authors, it’s invaluable because it opens up opportunities to flex different writing muscles, explore new ideas, and play with genre conventions.
I’ve seen plenty of sci-fi movies that fit into this genre, with Aliens, Enemy Mine, and Starship Troopers springing to mind. But my inspiration for writing these stories lay firmly with the works of Joe Haldeman, Robert Heinlein, Larry Niven, Fred Saberhagen, and the other s/f masters I read growing up, with perhaps a dash of DC Comics’ Weird War Tales thrown in (especially for my contribution to Dogs of War). So it strikes me as a great honor that my story, “Mother of Peace,” originally published in DFT3: By Other Means has been selected for the recently published The Best of Defending the Future. The stories, chosen based on reader reaction and requests, individual reviews, and editorial judgement include a fantastic cross-section from the series and work by some of the best military/sf writers working today. More information and the full list of table of contents can be found here. The Best of Defending the Future is also available on Amazon.
Earlier this year, Mark Parker, publisher at Scarlet Galleon Publications, kindly asked me to send him a story to consider for his Dark Hallows II anthology, a follow-up collection of dark Halloween stories to last year’s Dark Hallows. After mulling it over for a few days, I sent Mark a quick pitch for a story about sex, betrayal, and horror inspired in part by the classic E.C. Comics horror stories and then set out to write it, finding in it some grim and twisted turns I hadn’t even anticipated. It’s a trip into a weird, Halloween-inflected world, a story about a love triangle, about ritual and riches, love and betrayal, the conflict between rich and poor, and the sacrifices people make (or force others to) to preserve their way of life. It’s called “The Many Hands Inside in the Mountain,” and you can read it in Dark Hallows II, along with tales from Lisa Morton, Richard Chizmar, Ronald Malfi, Annie Neugebauer, Brian Moreland, and many other terrific writers. Now on sale at Amazon.com.
Due out at the end of November, Kolchak the Night Stalker: The Forgotten Lore of Edgar Allan Poe! Here’s the final cover design. Created by Jeff Rice, Kolchak the Night Stalker sprang to national attention when Darren McGavin brought the character to life for a TV movie, The Night Stalker, in 1972, produced by Dan Curtis, directed by John Llewellyn Moxey, and written by Richard Matheson. It became the highest-rated television movie ever at the time. A sequel, The Night Strangler, followed, created by the same team, and then Kolchak moved into a regular TV series, which lasted a single season in 1974. The character’s enduring appeal and ground-breaking stories inspired The X-Files and many other supernatural investigator characters and stories. Today, with the full run of the show available on Netflix, he is more popular than ever.
Written by James Chambers. Art by Luis Czerniawski, Felipe Kroll, and Jim Fern. Cover by E.M. Gist.
From tell-tale hearts and premature burials to black cats and the Red Death, reporter Carl Kolchak grapples with deepening horror and madness as events from Edgar Allan Poe’s tales of mystery and imagination come to life in modern-day Baltimore. Kolchak teams with a street magician who performs tricks and escapes inspired by Poe to expose the supernatural power bringing the author’s deadly visions to life and solve a series of terrifying occurrences, disappearances, and murders.
My all-new, original graphic novel, Kolchak, the Night Stalker: The Poe Cases is in the home stretch in production and soon to be sent off to press. Moonstone Books will be publishing it this spring, the latest in their ongoing series of comics and anthologies continuing the adventures of Carl Kolchak. Although The Night Stalker originally comprised two novels by creator Jeff Rice, two television movies written by Richard Matheson and directed by Dan Curtis, and one season of an hourly television series, Carl seems more popular today than ever before. The full original series is currently streaming on Netflix, and I’m extremely excited to add to the Kolchak mythos, especially with The Poe Cases, which pits Carl against a series of macabre occurrences and threats inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe. To hold you over until the book is published, here are some preview pages. More soon!