Novelette “Mr. Lupus” makes Honorable Mention list in THE BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR VOLUME 83
August 1, 2016 by T.E. Grau
I’m delighted to share the news that my novelette “Mr. Lupus,” which was published in the long-gestating anthology Mark of the Beast: A Collection of Werewolf Stories (Chaosium, 2016) and my collection, is included on Ellen Datlow‘s Honorable Mention list for Best Horror of the Year Volume 8, in which The Nameless Dark: A Collection was also singled out for mention in the Summation 2015 segment to open the book.
This is such an honor to be listed among so many other notable authors and stories, singled out for recognition by unquestionably the most respected editor and expert working in the horror genre, who brings to bear her nearly 40 years of experience in speculative fiction on her Best Of books, yearly summations, and annual lists. I’ve had a few other stories listed as Honorable Mentions (including “The Truffle Pig” in 2013), and each and every time I feel a sense of pride and satisfaction.
On a more personal note, I have always had a soft spot for “Mr. Lupus,” which started out as a period piece screenplay well over a decade ago, acting as a slightly warped love letter to fairy tales and to Christmas, as well as to my ill-informed vision of a Dickensian universe. Over time, it evolved to include a bit of Steampunk into the atmospherics, but lay mostly dormant as a partial script. A holiday-themed anthology invitation (Horror for the Holidays, for which I ended up writing “Free Fireworks”) moved me to adapt it into a piece of fiction, but even from the start, I knew it would never be short enough for inclusion in an anthology, and set it aside again for several more years, with only the first third of the story written. Finally, another invitation, this one to a werewolf-themed project (that ended up being Mark of the Beast), finally motivated me to finish the story, which grew into a 14,500 word proper novelette upon completion. It’s now available in both the anthology and my collection, and marks a bit of a departure for me in terms of my earlier writing 4-5 years ago, showing a somewhat different expression of pessimism and the darkness that lies waiting beneath most things. I like the characters, particularly Calliope, Ms. Talmidge, and Mr. Barrows, and many of the locations (the cottage, Leopold’s Curios & Novelties, the Towers, the Fenris Mountains, etc.) have stayed with me many years later. Several readers have asked if and suggested that it could be turned into a full novel. The thought of that intrigues me, and might a possibility further down the line. But, for right now, I’m glad that people have responded to the story, including the esteemed Ms. Datlow.
So, congrats to all those mentioned with “Mr. Lupus,” and especially those included in the book itself, which includes the following listed in the impressive ToC:
Summation 2015 – Ellen Datlow
We Are All Monsters Here – Kelley Armstrong
Universal Horror – Stephen Graham Jones
Slaughtered Lamb – Tom Johnstone
In a Cavern, In a Canyon – Laird Barron
Between the Pilings – Steve Rasnic Tem
Snow – Dale Bailey
Indian Giver – Ray Cluley
My Boy Builds Coffins – Gary McMahon
The Woman in the Hill – Tamsyn Muir
Underground Economy – John Langan
The Rooms Are High – Reggie Oliver
All the Day You’ll Have Good Luck – Kate Jonez
Lord of the Sand – Stephen Bacon
Wilderness – Letitia Trent
Fabulous Beasts – Priya Sharma
Descent – Carmen Maria Machado
Hippocampus – Adam Nevill
Black Dog – Neil Gaiman
The 21st Century Shadow – Stephanie M. Wytovich
This Stagnant Breath of Change – Brian Hodge
I loved “Mr. Lupus” unconditionally, and I’m happy it made the list. Congrats, Ted!
Also, I’d read anything else like this you’ve got up your sleeve. The fantasy mash-up was wonderfully unexpected in your collection, and I raved about it for days to my wife!
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Man, thanks so much, Jake. That makes me happy.
I don’t have anything that deals with fantasy/fairy tales currently in the pipeline, although a story I co-wrote titled “Ignis Fatuus” for the PS anthology Dark Fusions: Where Monsters Lurk! has a few similarities, dealing with ol’ Stingy Jack.
Good to know! I hadn’t heard of that one yet. I’ll check it out!
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