New short story published in Vastarien— available now

I’m proud to announce that "Music for a Peripheral Companion" has just been published in Vastarien: A Literary Journal Volume 3 Issue 2.

Vastarien: A Literary Journal – Vol. 3 Iss. 2, published by Grimscribe Press

This double-issue of Vastarien contains more than 110,000 words of strange nightmares, including works by Cody Goodfellow, Kurt Fawver, Sarah L. Johnson, Matthew M. Bartlett, Casilda Ferrante, the list goes on… And with full color illustrations by contemporary surrealist artist Harry O. Morris. You can click the cover above to see the full Table of Contents and order this pound of flesh (1.39 lbs., according to Amazon!) straight from Grimscribe Press. You can also order it from Amazon by clicking here. Either way, we all win, right?

There was music…

"Music for a Peripheral Companion" was my first attempt at pure cosmic horror. As well as the cosmic angle, I was also working with an idea I had that the dread and terror horror writers often seek to evoke in readers are experienced similarly to the mental anguish associated with great loss.

I wrote this story back in the spring of 2016 and thought it turned out rather well, but for a couple years it seemed to have bad luck catching any interest of editors I sent it to. At last, Vastarien opened for submissions and I sent it in immediately, thinking maybe they would like it—but probably not, since nobody else wanted it, right?

Well, they snatched it right up. My patience and belief in my story in the face of continuous rejection finally paid off! And in one of my bucket list markets, the award-winning Vastarien. I’m immensely pleased to share a TOC with all of these writers, but especially Goodfellow, Bartlett, and Fawver, whose work I greatly admire and is far superior to my own. Never thought I would say it, but I’m glad nobody else wanted this story.

About Vastarien: A Literary Journal

Vastarien was started in 2018 by Jon Padgett, author of the highly acclaimed The Secret of Ventriloquism, and founder of the Thomas Ligotti Online community. From the website, they describe the journal as follows:

A source of critical study and creative response to the corpus of Thomas Ligotti as well as associated authors and ideas . . . Our name is drawn from Thomas Ligotti’s classic story of the same title . . . which S. T. Joshi has characterized as “Ligotti’s most searching exploration of the forbidden book theme.”

Padgett is now the Co-Editor-in-Chief, a responsibility he shares with Matt Cardin. Michael Cisco is the Associate Editor. You can find out more about Grimscribe Press and Vastarien by visiting You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

#cosmichorror #weirdfiction #weirdhorror #ligotti #horror #vastarien #grimscribepress #jonpadgett #music #wvwriters #literary

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