Come out to Weird Winnipeg where Daria Patrie and I will read IN A HAUNTED HOUSE to promote the horror anthology The Shadow Over Portage and Main!

Date: September 25, 2016
Time: 9:00 p.m.
Event: Reading at Thin Air: Winnipeg International Writers Festival
Sponsor: Thin Air: Winnipeg International Writers Festival
Venue: Dalnavert House
Location: 61 Carlton Street
Winnipeg, MB
Canada

Check out this amazing anthology of weird/horror fiction!

New Short Fiction in JOYLAND!

Joyland Magazine
5 May 2016

I have a new short story in Joyland! It contains the best sentence I ever wrote:

“Dudes are always fucking with other dudes in Shakespeare.”

Read it!

The Nightmare Ballad of the Drunken Brand Identity with a Cameo by Shakespeare and a Title that Cannot Get Worse

(Thanks to Kathryn Mockler, William Neil Scott, and Natalee Caple for their feedback on its drafts. And thanks to Jessie Taylor for her poem about King Lear, which inspired me to write this story in the first place.)

Here’s an excerpt for you:

“Gimme a gun, I need to kill myself quick.”

The clerk blinks and squints. “You can’t just walk into a gun store and say something like that and expect to get a gun quick.”

“Why the hell not?”

The man spits. “Permits.”

“Goddamn.”

“You don’t need to tell me, buddy.”

“Look, I gotta end this thing. Drinking yourself to death is too slow and requires too much storytelling. A gun would be nice and quick, you just need a motivation, and I’m the kind of character that pops his own head off with a gun so I don’t even really need much in the way of that.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, which is another reason I can’t sell you a gun today.”

“Shit. Well, I gotta go then.”

Frosty the Existentialist Snowman

Once upon a time some children were playing outside in the middle of the winter, near Christmastime. The day was warm, and the snow sticky, and so the children decided to build a snowman.

They rolled three balls of snow, each smaller than the other, and stacked them up. They found a carrot and placed it in the centre of the top ball, as a nose. Then, they used lumps of coal to suggest eyes and a wide smile. They found some leafless branches for arms, and wrapped a scarf around the snowman’s neck.

The children agreed that the snowman needed further decoration. On the street nearby, half-submerged in the snow, lay a discarded top hat. One child dug the hat out of the slush and, brushing it off, placed it upon the snowman’s head.

As soon as the hat had been laid on its head, the snowman began to stir as it came to life. The children were startled, but, as children do, they accepted the event without question or fear.

The snowman was disoriented. He looked around at the children gazing up at him, then down at his thin, fragile stick-hands.

“Who are you?” the snowman asked.

“We are the children of the neighbourhood,” answered the oldest, “and we have built you out of snow on this warm winter day.”

“Who am I?” the snowman asked.

“Your name is Frosty,” the child answered, “and you are our friend.”

“Then play with me,” said Frosty to the children, mouth frozen in a smile. “The day is warm. The sun is shining. Soon, I will melt. Play with me now, while I still live. Hurry.”

Lovecraftian Comedy at The Rusty Toque

The Rusty Toque
30 June 2015

The wonderful Kathryn Mockler over at The Rusty Toque has republished my Lovecraftian comedic short story, originally published in Matrix back in 2006. Everyone thinks the “Guy” in the story is Guy Maddin for some reason — but it’s not, sadly, just “some Guy.”

David Annandale writes Warhammer 40,000 and Horus Heresy fiction for the Black Library, including the recent novels Yarrick: The Pyres of Armageddon and The Damnation of Pythos. He is also the author of the horror novel Gethsemane Hall (Dundurn Press and Snowbooks). For Turnstone Press, he has written a series of thrillers featuring rogue warrior Jen Blaylock (Crown Fire, Kornukopia, and The Valedictorians). His short fiction has appeared in such anthologies as Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters and Occult Detective Monster Hunter: A Grimoire of Eldritch Inquests. David’s non-fiction has appeared in Black Treacle and such collections as Roman Catholicism in Fantastic Film: Essays on Belief, Spectacle, Ritual and Imagery and The Meaning and Culture of Grand Theft Auto. He writes film reviews for The Phantom of the Movies’ VideoScope. He teaches film, creative writing and literature at the University of Manitoba.

Follow David at his website, www.davidannandale.com, and on Twitter @David_Annandale.

My favourite of David’s novels is Gethsemane Hall (McNally | Amazon), followed closely by The Damnation of Pythos (McNally | Amazon).

David Annandale on Writing Tie-In Fiction (Interview)

A Warhammer 40,000 Author on Playing in the Coolest Sandbox

David Annandale writes Warhammer 40,000 and Horus Heresy fiction for the Black Library, including the recent novels Yarrick: The Pyres of Armageddon and The Damnation of Pythos. He is also the author of the horror novel Gethsemane Hall (Dundurn Press and Snowbooks). For Turnstone Press, he has written a series of thrillers featuring rogue warrior Jen Blaylock (Crown Fire, Kornukopia, and The Valedictorians). His short fiction has appeared in such anthologies as Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters and Occult Detective Monster Hunter: A Grimoire of Eldritch Inquests. David’s non-fiction has appeared in Black Treacle and such collections as Roman Catholicism in Fantastic Film: Essays on Belief, Spectacle, Ritual and Imagery and The Meaning and Culture of Grand Theft Auto. He writes film reviews for The Phantom of the Movies’ VideoScope. He teaches film, creative writing and literature at the University of Manitoba.

Follow David at his website, www.davidannandale.com, and on Twitter @David_Annandale.

My favourite of David’s novels is Gethsemane Hall (McNally | Amazon), followed closely by The Damnation of Pythos (McNally | Amazon).

Here’s the interview!

Daedalus

I wish that I was Daedalus. Traveling in Central America. All these people, the bars on their windows, the cages around their homes, barbed wire and broken glass. I would build them wings, so they might rise, but they would say, Are you crazy? The sun is too bright here, we would plummet, dripping wax.

The poor here, the poor on the streets of Winnipeg. Poor everywhere. I would build them wings, but they would say, Leave us, we are tired, we are hurting no one. What use are wings? Can we eat them? Sell them? We are tired, let us sleep. Can they clothe us, save our bones from the wind? We are clinging to the world, trying not to float away, and you bring us wings.

Later, swimming in the Caribbean, talking to fish. They tell me the seas are dying. I would build them wings, I say, but they laugh their bubbling laughs. You must be joking. Keep your wings, put them on planes, fly to Mars, pretend there is escape. You are always trying to change things. Are you never happy? Keep your unhappiness to yourself. Leave us, let us die in peace. Give us silence, show respect. You talk of wings.

I wish that I was Daedalus. Walking through ruins, civilizations gone, murdered, driven to suicide. I would build them wings, so they might fly from their graves, fill the sky. But they would say, Where are you, who is speaking? Who talks of wings? We cannot see them, we do not feel them, we have no bodies now, no way to hold them. We are dust and screams. Our dreams are gone now, our desires and our memories. What are wings?

Then, there are my words. I would build them wings, if I could, if I was Daedalus. Would they soar, say the things I want to say? No, they would fly away from me.

And my friends. I know that they cry sometimes, that they feel trapped, bound to earth. If only I was Daedalus. But I wish for so much, so many things.

All this time I’ve wasted. May it come flying back to me.