The Midnight Collection, Volume Two!

Already?  Yeah, we meant for these to be kinda quarterly and it’s been less than three months.  But if you’re doing dark fiction, you gotta have a Halloween issue.  And xmas is in the works as we speak, haha.  So.  What the hell am I talking about?  My man Joseph Kelly has published the second volume of The Midnight Collection, a compilation of dark fiction I’ve previously mentioned.  You have a few options on how to read it – and one is completely gratis. I’ll explain that later.

This second installment is themed “Dark Harvest.”  This is basically done without profit at this point.  I’m just pimping it because I’m a contributor, and I’d love to hear what you think of my writing.  Although I am really curious what reviewers, casual or serious, will think of all the stories.

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, gay representation, and dark fiction ranging from traditional ’80s style horror to fantasy to sci-fi.  Overall this volume leans toward standard horror, as befits the season.  Some of the writers are more conventional, some rather unusual.  A little tour of the table of contents:

THE LITTLE LAMB – Kate Bledsoe
A new author for this collection, with big heart.  Also, a grisly monster.  So grisly.  The editor chose the order for the stories and there’s a reason this one leads off.  A good energy for getting into the horror zone.

As I said, this volume leans more to standard style horror fiction, and this is a stalwart entry.  Film is a very powerful medium for horror, but there are at least a few advantages to the written word.  The subject is much like a horror TV show, but you can feel the experience here in a different way.  Another new author for us.

The treacherous vegetable from Belgium has its day.  The author is a personal friend of mine.

A fellow they/them goes off with three poems in the Dark Harvest.  A bumper crop, if you will.

So far every author in the book is new to the Collection, and mostly new to publishing.  The brisk pace of the stories slows to illustrate a deep and bitter feeling.  Emotional, dark, and amusingly blasé about its core horror conceit.

My lovin’ man has a more low key story here than previously.  This world has a lived-in feeling.  No detail is unrealized.  But what story does this prose serve?  Might not be what you expect going in.  That’s all in Rootbound; Harvest Time shows up much later in the book with a jovial contemporary tone.  Or is it retro?  Depends on how old you are.  It’s a good time.

NOST’S SONG – Damian Golfinopoulos
Mr. Golfinopoulos is back with another troubled heroine facing rugged elements and rugged humanity.  But this story has a different sort of depth from his last one.  And a different element.  Ezekiel Drift was cold as hell, this one has intense wet heat.

LA ISLA DE LAS MUÑECAS, MAIZE – Saoirse Aimhirghin
Another new author for us, with two entries that couldn’t be more different – much like how I did in the first volume.  La Isla is nonfiction about an interesting place in Ciudad de México, and Maize has a hazy dream devolve into splatterpunk doom.  With cornpone corn puns.

Didn’t like Diana’s job interview in Supply Chain Banditos?  Neither did the employer, so she’s back for another interview.  I think I did a better job this time, but we’ll see.

SHEEPDOG – B.M. Kerchner
This starts in a similar territory to The Little Lamb, but quickly lets you know this is an even crueler universe.  Remember what death smells like.

POTATOES O’BRIEN – Brett Elijah Shelton
My brother is back to fuck shit up.  Remember to chew your food, bitches.

BE STILL, MY HEART – Lydia Moody
Lydia Moody returns with splatterpunk, this one much less cozy than the last.  But if you ever wanted to read a story with the spirit of Peter Jackson’s Braindead (Dead Alive to us yanks), this is your dog.

SAMHAIN WALTZ – Dominique Palma
We had an Alaskan with an Irish handle writing about Mexico City, now an author from the place itself.  Palma’s subject matter is, I think, inspired by the horror writing of Southern Europe, and the story is set in Spain.  I’m really glad we had her in the mix, bringing a different perspective.  The story is fun, too.

The last proper entry of the book brings back the big heart.  Set in a fictionalized and magical Japan, this one struck me more than once with its spirit.  Hard to say what I mean without spoiling it, so I won’t.

EASY GO – Caesar Train Magenta
You might recognize this author’s name from here.  This volume, like the first, is brought to a close in Rod Serling style monologue.

“Garden of Youth” (detail) – Charles Dana Gibson, 1897


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 might be able to purchase it through other sites soon, but I’m a little unclear on how or if that’s going to happen.  And lastly, as promised, you can just read it for free at the Collection’s website.

There are a few original works of art by the authors (nice!) but most of the illustrations are lovingly curated from public domain resources, like the picture to the right here.  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!

Note:  I’m given to understand some non-USA people can’t use a card to purchase it through ko-fi, but if somebody specifically requests to make it available through Amazon, we’ll look into it.

PS:  I mentioned before I’m going to release my first novel soon.  Plans fell through, as they will, but if you follow this blog, you’ll be the first to know when my own long form stuff goes live.

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