Overall, 2017 has been good to me personally (I successfully defended my master’s thesis, was lucky enough to land a good job and published my debut short story collection); but on a global scale, yes, this year was hell. Here’s hoping for (at the very least) Trump’s impeachment/resignation in 2018, or better yet, the beginnings of lasting reconstruction/systemic overhaul.
For me, horror fiction feels like the most sane way to depict the contemporary world. Here’s a list of all the fiction and non-fiction I published in 2017.
Darkest Hours (Unnerving)
In the bleak landscape of Darkest Hours, people make decisions that lead them into extreme scenarios – sometimes bizarre, often horrific, always unexpected. Between this book’s covers you will find academics in distress; monsters abused by people; people terrorized by demons; ghostly reminiscences; resurrected trauma; and occult filmmaking. Ranging from satirical to dreadful, these stories share a distinct voice: urgent, sardonic, brutal, but always empathetic.
Seven of the sixteen stories in Darkest Hours were original publications (“Mictian Diabolus”; “A New Kind of Drug”; “Party Time”; “Fear and Grace”; “Economy These Days”; “Satanic Panic”; and “Fusion”).
I’m seriously, indescribably humbled by the early reception, both from critics and authors I admire. Here are some excerpts from blurbs and reviews:
“Perfectly paced from the first sentence, these stories grab you by the collar with the urgency of mortal danger. Highly recommended.”
— S.P. Miskowski, author of Strange is the Night
“When you first encounter Thorn’s writing, a number of qualities impress themselves: the macabre intelligence (brutal really), the chilling wit, the naturalness of the dialogue. Plus there’s the skill and style of the prose. It may all play out like a nightmare, but a terrible logic remains inherent.”
— Robert Dunbar, author of The Pines and Willy
“Mike Thorn has delivered a promising debut with this collection showing off his commitment to stories of nuance, heart, and of course… darkness.”
— Daniel Braum, author of The Night Marchers and Other Strange Tales
“Terrifying and sly, Mike Thorn writes with refreshing originality and hides fangs behind a smile.”
— John C. Foster, author of Mister White
“Mike Thorn’s debut story collection is not to be missed by those who enjoy an academic intellect with a potent flair for fiction.”
— Dustin LaValley, author of A Soundless Dawn
“Mike Thorn is brilliant.”
— Waylon Jordan, iHorror
“…the most diverse selection of stories that I’ve ever read from a single author.”
— Lilyn G., Sci-Fi & Scary
“I’m reminded not only of some of the best Stephen King from Skeleton Crew or Night Shift, but also of some of the more bizarre stories from Clive Barker’s Books Of Blood.”
— Tim Murr, Biff Bam Pop
“The hallmark of great horror is that it […] surprises, scares, and most importantly, entertains. Darkest Hours succeeds on all these levels.”
— Brandon Wilson, The Weal
Five of my stories were included in other anthologies and magazines.
“Choo-Choo.” Polar Borealis Magazine, vol. 4, edited by R. Graeme Cameron (also in Darkest Hours).
“Sabbatical.” Dark Moon Digest, vol. 28, edited by Max Booth III & Lori Michelle (also in Darkest Hours).
“Entropy Major.” Unnerving Magazine, vol. 3, edited by Eddie Generous.
“Speaking of Ghosts.” Vague Visages, edited by Q.V. Hough (also in Darkest Hours).
“Lucio Schluter.” DarkFuse’s “Darkborne Muse” series, edited by Shane Staley (also in Darkest Hours).
This year I began a review column for Unnerving Magazine called “Thorn’s Thoughts,” in which I provide in-depth analyses of horror and dark fiction books. To date, I’ve provided eleven write-ups for that column.
2017 saw the beginning of another column: “Devious Dialogues,” a horror-themed series I co-author with A.M. Stanley. We have written nine entries so far.
Additionally, I wrote three more book reviews for Vague Visages and thirteen film reviews/articles for a number of other venues:
“Like Jagged Teeth – Betty Rocksteady’s Supernatural Bad Dream Novella.” Vague Visages.
“Gender and Genre in Aaron J. French’s Festival.” Vague Visages.
“Pain and Three Kinds of Death in Dustin LaValley’s A Soundless Dawn.” Vague Visages.
“Mike Thorn’s 10 favourite horror films from the 2010s.” Kendall Reviews.
“Underrated ’97 – Mike Thorn.” Rupert Pupkin Speaks.
“Andy Muschietti’s It Struggles with Adaptation.” Vague Visages.
“Hostel: Part II and the Monster of Neoliberal Late-Capitalism.” The Film Stage.
“The Aesthetic and Formal Challenges of Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt.” Vague Visages.
“Diary of the Dead and George A. Romero’s Formal Self-Awareness.” The Film Stage.
“The Many Peculiar Virtues of Wes Craven’s My Soul to Take.” Vague Visages.
“Moments of Revelation in Martin Scorsese’s Silence and Shutter Island.” Vague Visages.
“Genre Trauma in M. Night Shyamalan’s Split.” MUBI Notebook.
“What I Learned from Martin Scorsese’s Life Lessons.” Vague Visages.
Here’s to more exciting happenings in 2018…