This collection was just released today.
Interestingly, I sat on the release of this collection for three years.
First, most of my readers know me as a writer of fantasies that are driven by plot and atmosphere or humor that is deliberately sophomoric at best. This collection of dark fantasy is going to catch a number of readers by surprise as some of these tales are truly, truly dark.
Secondly, some of these tales dance close to the definition of horror, but I avoid that genre distinction as most horror today relies on the gross out. There is a body count in this collection, but the violence takes place mostly off screen and my corpses are bloodless. But there are a few passages ...
Finally, twice in this collection I use strong language and I have debated its use in those two instances for years. Ultimately, I have decided to retain its use simply because there are times one's literary characters are going to say something much stronger than 'Gee willikers!' Anyway, in The Pig, I use the word 'damn' in its accurate definition as referring to the title creature as accursed. In The Pond, I use a stronger version invoking the Deity because I wanted to strongly convey the personality and attitude of one of my characters and give another reason for her fate (one of the darkest pieces I have ever written). In an age where the F-bomb is used as a verb, noun, pronoun, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection some will think me too scrupulous, but I do not use strong language in real life and as a writer and public speaker, to me words are building blocks. I try to use them with some care.
Nonetheless, if your tastes run to the dark side, these ten tales may tickle your fancy. However, be warned that they also bite.