Back in 2013, when Miles Boothe first approached me about the possibility of co-editing an anthology of occult detective stories for Emby Press, I wasn’t sure I was up for it. And to be honest, I’m still not certain. I’m not entirely convinced that I’m one of those rare sorts who can flip gears from writer to editor, and do so effectively. Still, I wanted to give it a try, if only to see if it was something I might enjoy. And I did. Whether I was any good at it…well, that’ll be for you to decide, I suppose.
The original plan was too put together a 21 to 24 story volume, but the more we read, the more excited we were to include additional stories. So one volume transmogrified into two, and 20-odd authors became 40-odd.
Miles and I are EXTREMELY excited to present these books and this is exactly the sort of collection we love to read. Putting it together has been an absolute blast.The books will appear in ebook, trade paperback and hardcover editions from Emby Press and details about the anticipated release date will be announced very soon. But for now, congratulations and thank you to the authors listed below.
Note: stories not listed in final order of appearance.
1. “An Unanchored Man” by Tim Prasil
2. “Memento Morbid” by C.L. Werner
3. “The Devil’s Mudpack” by Neil Baker
4. “Vinnie de Soth and the Vampire Definition” by I.A. Watson
5. “The Case of the Vorpal Tomahawk” by Joel Jenkins
6. “The Prince of the Power of the Air” by Robert M. Price
7. “That the Wicked Shall be Welcome” by Lee Clarke Zumpe
8. “Body of Proof” by Thomas Deja
9. “The Broken Choir” by David Annandale
10. “Matt Brimstone, P.I.” by Christine Morgan
11. “The Red Brotherhood” by Scott Chaddon
12. “Bump in the Night” by Justin Gustainis
13. “Wished Away” by Lizz C. Schulz
14. “Cinder and Smoke” by Antonio Urias
15. “An Unexpected Carcass” by Nathaniel Brehmer
16. “Murder on the Feng Shui Express” by Jason Andrew
17. “The Stain” by Damir Salkovic
18. “Freak Show” by Russell Proctor
19. “Aftermath III” by Glynn Owen Barrass
20. “The Inuit Bone” by William Meikle
21. “Deck the Halls” by Mike Chinn
22. “The House in Angell Street” by Rory O’Brien
23. “The Cabin in the Woods” by Bob Freeman
24. “Divine Providence” by Robert J. Santa
25. “The Adventure of the Moorland Monster” by Christian Bone
26. “Can You Hear Me, Dr. Galloway?” by D.H. Lewis
27. “Challenger Swift and the Case of Jack the Ripper” by Matthew Sylvester
28. “Supernatural Auto Repair” by Frank Larnerd
29. “Divide and Conquer” by Greg Mitchell
30. “A Peculiar Reading” by J. Matthew Saunders
31. “Due Diligence” by Scott Woodward
32. “Trace” by D.J. Tyrer
33. “The Vampire of Somerset” by Seth Skorkowsky
34. “The Knocking Below” by Marissa Priest
35. “The Falling Girl” by Russ Anderson Jr.
36. “A Measure of Air” by Doug Blakeslee
37. “The Sketch Artist” by Gerry Griffiths
38. “The Book Collector” by Meredith Torre
39. “Djinn and Toxic” by Jonathan Shipley
40. “Confession in the Garden” by Cullen Monk
41. “Disconnected” by Brian M. Sammons
42. “Memories of the Knackers Yard” by Ian Creasey
43. “Spectre of Death” by T.W. Garland
All notifications, both acceptances and rejections, have been sent. And, as always, declining stories is the hardest part of putting any anthology together. Miles and I want to express our sincere thanks to every author who submitted. Regarding those submissions, I liked almost every story we were sent. Those were some high quality submissions, and I want to personally thank each and every person who took the time to send one in.
That said, we had to turn away quite a few. If you were in the that group, your story didn’t make the cut for one of a number of possible reasons:
*It wasn’t an occult detective story. There was no investigation, no detective, no crime, etc. We got less of these than I feared, but more than I hoped. Monster-hunters and occult detectives aren’t interchangeable, though they share certain similarities, and characters can certainly be both. But we wanted some investigation, even if it was just as a prelude to violence. Offhand, I know of at least three awesome stories that I had to reject for this reason.
*It was too much like a story we’d already decided to accept, either in theme, setting or genre. For instance, a third of the stories we were sent were steampunk stories. A good number of the rest involved Scotland Yard detectives in Victorian London. They were all great. Unfortunately, it’s neither a steampunk nor a Victorian-themed anthology, so we had to make some hard choices.
*The ending. A significant number of the submissions ended in the same way…the protagonist(s) discover that a monster/cult/witch is behind the crime they are investigating, and are then killed/eaten by said monster/cult/witch. We decided early on to only accept a certain number of stories with this ending, because they tend to unfold along similar lines. After the tenth or eleventh one, the shock wears off, both for your humble editors and the reader.
All in all, however, as I stated above, Miles and I were quite pleased with the high quality of the submissions. There wasn’t a bad story in the bunch, and it took some agonizing and arguing to make the final round of picks. Speaking for myself, I learned quite a bit from the experience, and I hope folks enjoy the final line-up for both volumes of A GRIMOIRE OF ELDRITCH INQUESTS!