The Midnight Collection Lives!

My man Joseph Kelly has finally published the first volume of The Midnight Collection, a compilation of dark fiction I’ve previously mentioned. He was originally intent on it being sold at zero profit, but in order to get an ISBN there was a minimum price that results in some amount of profit. Fear not, Mr. Kelly will surely not even make minimum wage on the effort it took to make this happen. You have a few options on how to read it – and one is completely gratis. I’ll explain that later.

The Midnight Collection is aiming to go quarterly – the next volume already in progress – and this first installment is themed “Feast & Famine.” I’m pimping this because I’m a contributor, and I’d love to hear what you think of my stories. Although I am really curious what reviewers, casual or serious, will think of all the stories. I have a personal opinion about which story is the best, and wonder how well that lines up with the consensus view.

This is a truly unusual collection. Despite the uniting theme, it’s as diverse as the members of our secret cabal of writers. There’s poetry, comedy, LGBT+ representation, and dark fiction ranging from traditional ’80s style horror to fantasy and sci-fi. Some of the writers are more conventional, some quite avant garde or ferocious. A little tour of the table of contents:

PEOPLE POT PIES – Brett Elijah Shelton
This short horror poem was written by my brother a very long time ago. Should it have been published? Is the world ready? You decide.

SATURNALIA – Lydia Moody
The first proper story in the book is a murder mystery featuring a nonbinary protagonist, in a style the author aptly dubbed “cozy splatterpunk.”

A GRIMM MARKET – Kirsten Aucoin
A modern take on Hansel and Gretel, of course, and as a child of poverty, I found something to relate to in the motives and experiences of these H&Gs.

BUTTERCREAM – Joseph Kelly
Like People Pot Pies to my brother, this is an older story by my lovin’ man, published here for the first time. A young character has been rousted into service at a child’s birthday party. Naturally the festivities take an ill turn. I find it very artistic. This might be the closest entry in the book to the genre of Literary Fiction.

ORTOLAN – Sascha Masoch
Another poem, this one penned specifically for the collection, and it couldn’t be more different from my brother’s opening act. The title refers to the ortolan bunting, a songbird most famed for being subject to very French cruelty.

The book’s dark fantasy tale. A fancy queen is harried by a demonic figure. This story brings the color – especially the red.

LOCUSTS – Bébé Mélange
My first entry, under my main nom de plume! I tried my hand at sci-fi poetry. I wonder what FtB’s own T.D. Walker would think. This is not my area of expertise as a writer, but I like to think the concept carries it – mad science used to resurrect capitalism in a world that had somehow killed it and moved on.

SAPSUCKER – Joseph Kelly
Another by my boyfriend, this one in a genre and style that compares well to Clive Barker – while still being its own gay thing. An artist has rented a cabin to get some paintings done, but a very sticky horror calls to him from the woods.

It’s me again! Don’t worry. We have more contributors lined up for volume two, so it’ll have less of me. Here I try my hand at a kind of gentle dark comedy. A post-apocalypse scenario is gradually revealed, with roots in our present day lives.

EZEKIEL DRIFT – Damian Golfinopolous
Snowy weather for your late summer / early fall, Damian is a multi-talented artist from New Zealand, bringing post-apocalyptic sci-fi to the collection. Or is it supernatural? What’s really going on here?

FOUR – Christopher Scott Shelton
You might recognize this author’s name from the corners of these artworks. Possibly the most pretentious work in the collection, this one is a vaguely Napoleonic period piece about the horrors of war.

FRESSEN – Caesar Train Magenta
You might recognize this author’s name from here, or an early version of this short essay from here. The volume is brought to a close in a Rod Serling style monologue.

“Partie de Plaisirs” (detail) – Pierre Etienne Moitte (after Nicolas Lancret)


The way that results in the most direct support for future volumes is through Ko-fi. For a minimum three dollar donation, you can download the e-book in formats that work with most e-readers. The best way to view the interior illustrations, and have a nice artifact for your bookshelf, is by purchasing the paperback through Lulu. You may be able to purchase it through other sites soon, but it’s nice to not give Bezuggs a cut, and purchase on Lulu gives more money to the cause. And lastly, as promised, you can just read it for free at the Collection’s website.

There are a few original works by authors (nice!) but most of the illustrations are lovingly curated from public domain resources, like the picture to the right here – one of my faves. Some version of some of the illustrations are available on the website, more in the e-book, but yes, the best way to appreciate them is a hard copy.

I’d love to see reviews, either of the whole package or individual stories. For lowest effort you can drop some general thoughts in the comments below this article. You can also leave comments on the individual stories at the Midnight Collection’s site. And of course, you can review it wherever it is available for purchase. Thanks!

EDIT TO ADD:  Somebody international couldn’t use a card to purchase it through ko-fi so begrudgingly there is now an e-book on Amazon as well. Purchase your e-book there if you must, but know that if you do it on ko-fi, the format should work on any modern kindle as well.


PS: I mentioned before I’m going to release my first novel soon, keep your eyes open for that as well…


  1. says

    I love your descriptions of all the stories and can’t wait to read everyone else’s work when my print copy arrives! Also wanted to mention that it’s up on The StoryGraph (which is like goodreads but not gross Amazon) for reviews as well if anyone is keen to go there.

  2. says

    everyone who commented was involved with the group or did submissions. methinks we shall, for now, continue to go unloved or unnoticed by the world at large. well, world at large, DON’T SAY YOU WEREN’T WARNED.

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