My short story “Lemmings” has just been published in Weird Horror Issue 5 – which has a truly spectacular cover! The magazine is put out by Undertow Publications who are offering up some of the most unsettling and innovative fiction in the genre right now. Seriously worth a look if you haven’t come across them yet. I can highly recommend Helpmeet by Naben Ruthnum, I Would Haunt You if I Could by Seán Padraic Birnie and The Ghost Sequences by A.C. Wise, or any the volumes of Year’s Best Weird Fiction just for starters. And, of course, Weird Horror itself. You might like to begin with, ahem, Issue 5.
“Lemmings” is, and will possibly remain, the only piece of short fiction I have written that is set within the COVID-19 pandemic. Certainly the only one actually written from within the pandemic. It’s not about the pandemic as such, or perhaps it is, but it’s also about a lot more besides. I started writing it in a cold mountain cabin at the end of 2020 during a brief respite from the rolling lockdowns, then set it aside shortly after I returned home. Because of COVID, and all that went along with that, I wrote very, very little throughout 2020-21. Almost a year later, I was back at that same cabin with some friends and not only was I able to pick up with “Lemmings” right where I left off, but I managed to finish the damn thing up there on the mountain. It’s a strange story, and I wondered if it wasn’t too much. Too bleak. Too awful. But really, what else was I going to be writing in the middle of a pandemic, in the middle of a climate crisis, in the middle of whatever slow apocalypse it is we’re fundamentally failing to ride out. Oh look, there’s all that bleak again. Sorry not sorry.
I’m not sure anyone will enjoy reading “Lemmings”. (I might be a bit worried if they do.) But I’m still very proud of it.