Category Archives: Short stories

More 2014 Happenings

Maybe the biggest 2014 happening is this: my name in a Table of Contents with Dennis Lehane, in a book of stories inspired by the Boss:

trouble in the heartland

Not on the cover, but I’m right there in the ToC, I promise! My story is a bit of country noir based (very, very loosely) on “The Promised Land.”

(Not my story.)

Here, I’ll let the anthology’s editor, Joe Clifford, wax poetic about the awesomeness of this anthology.

I also contributed a couple items to hot-shot lit site Electric Literature. First was an essay on the “new genre” of country noir.

el cn

Also at Electric Lit, I interviewed Benjamin Whitmer, who wrote one of 2014’s best books, Cry Father:

el bw

 

New stuff that happened in 2014

Wow, haven’t posted here in a while – all the action’s over on Twitter and FB, when there is action, which is irregular.

Which is not to say nothing has been going on. To wit:

My story “Bad Brother” went up at the always bad-ass Plots With Guns.

PWG-Winter2013-home

My story “The Cloud Factory” was translated into German. How cool is that????

pulpcore

The ever-cool Amanda Gowin interviewed me at Curiouser & Curiouser – coolest thing about the interview is we spend not one word talking about writing.

c&c

I also had a story called “A Straight Face” go up at the Chaing Mai City News site – for all I’ve written and am writing about Thailand, kinda crazy this is my first actual in-Thailand publication.

chiang mai cn

Finally, Liam Sweeny reviewed Moondog. In his words:

Most of the stories take place in Thailand, Laos, and other places in East Asia, while some are set in America. Thailand, specifically Bangkok, was a place that, before I read Moondog, was a place that seemed too chaotic and jumbled for me to hold it in my mind. When I realized the stories took place there, I was afraid I wasn’t going to like the collection. But Merrigan was able to capture the essence of it, to lift the veil of the Eastern world and show the grit and the grime, the hopes and crimes of a place that has a culture very different than mine, but nonetheless had the same heart. Merrigan was a perfect tour guide here.

md review

… and let’s hope there’s more, lots more, to come in 2015.

Sockpuppet caught ON CAMERA pimping Thuglit using other writer’s identities!

Including mine. I am shocked, SHOCKED.

Only fitting that the world’s most badass crime mag would get caught engaging in literary crime, too.

I liked hearing my name pronounced in a French accent, even a faux French accent, even by a sock.

Hey – go pick up a copy of THUGLIT Number One, wouldja? $0.99 at a computer screen near you.

Sockpuppet caught ON CAMERA pimping Thuglit using other writer's identities!

Including mine. I am shocked, SHOCKED.

Only fitting that the world’s most badass crime mag would get caught engaging in literary crime, too.

I liked hearing my name pronounced in a French accent, even a faux French accent, even by a sock.

Hey – go pick up a copy of THUGLIT Number One, wouldja? $0.99 at a computer screen near you.

Noir Nation #2 cover

You’re staring at this. Of course you want to pick it up. Me, too. Your chance is coming soon: Noir Nation will hit the ecosystem later this summer:

My story “Slog On,” a bit of World War II noir, is behind those cat-like eyes, along with top-notch noir from Les Edgerton, Thomas Pluck, Ray Banks, Paul D Brazill, Andrew Nette, & others. Edited by Eddie Vega & Cort Mcmeel.

Noir Nation highlights the best of international crime fiction and I’m damn proud to get to rub shoulder with these folks.

“Gun In Your Mouth And All” & “The Order of Things”

Two pieces up in two days at two separate places. So I’m going to break the pattern by not doing double posts.

Gun In Your Mouth And All” is another excerpt from an unpublished novel manuscript and it’s in Yellow Mama. (Yellow Mama was the nickname for a famous electric chair in Alabama.) It’s a nasty piece, full of venomous vim and vigor. You’ll love it. Cindy Rosmus, the editor, said, “Court Merrigan’s ‘Gun in Your Mouth and All’ tells of a guy who’s fed up with hearing about his dead daddy’s cowardice. That about covers it.

This story includes some original artwork (shown at left) by Steve Cartwright. It’s not every day you get your story illustrated and I think he did a fine job of capturing Rhonda’s particular brand of slatternly slouch.

I’d like to thank Cindy for some very helpful editorial suggestions that really improved the flow and the ending – especially the ending – of this little ditty.

Other excerpts from this novel have appeared in Fried Chicken & Coffee, Midwestern Gothic, and decomP (linkys up in the Writing page). With a bit of luck, this novel may someday see the light of day. It’s good to go now, if, you know, you’re and agent and / or editor and / or publisher reading this.

I’ve long wanted to place a piece in 3:AM. Besides the effortlessly cool moniker, everything they publish gleams with cerebral appeal. I got my chance, finally, when Editor Susan Tomaselli took up my story “The Order of Things.”

This story is a definite departure from my recent blood- and whisky-soaked pulp salvos. A trickster story couched in some musings on the nature of the Hand of God in some nameless American (yep, American) place three generations after the Crisis. The ancient antimonies do not depart regardless of the age or its barbarity.

I wrote this story shortly after reading A Canticle for Leibowitz and I was, at the time, also knee-deep in Nabokov. Both those hifalutin influences left their palm prints all over “The Order of Things.” To its great benefit, no doubt but yeah, no explosions or shootings or anything. Don’t worry, though – plenty more of that coming down the pike.

Thanks for reading! Neither site has a comment form, so if you want to leave some comments here, I’ll be happy to cuss and discuss with you.

"Gun In Your Mouth And All" & "The Order of Things"

Two pieces up in two days at two separate places. So I’m going to break the pattern by not doing double posts.

Gun In Your Mouth And All” is another excerpt from an unpublished novel manuscript and it’s in Yellow Mama. (Yellow Mama was the nickname for a famous electric chair in Alabama.) It’s a nasty piece, full of venomous vim and vigor. You’ll love it. Cindy Rosmus, the editor, said, “Court Merrigan’s ‘Gun in Your Mouth and All’ tells of a guy who’s fed up with hearing about his dead daddy’s cowardice. That about covers it.

This story includes some original artwork (shown at left) by Steve Cartwright. It’s not every day you get your story illustrated and I think he did a fine job of capturing Rhonda’s particular brand of slatternly slouch.

I’d like to thank Cindy for some very helpful editorial suggestions that really improved the flow and the ending – especially the ending – of this little ditty.

Other excerpts from this novel have appeared in Fried Chicken & Coffee, Midwestern Gothic, and decomP (linkys up in the Writing page). With a bit of luck, this novel may someday see the light of day. It’s good to go now, if, you know, you’re and agent and / or editor and / or publisher reading this.

I’ve long wanted to place a piece in 3:AM. Besides the effortlessly cool moniker, everything they publish gleams with cerebral appeal. I got my chance, finally, when Editor Susan Tomaselli took up my story “The Order of Things.”

This story is a definite departure from my recent blood- and whisky-soaked pulp salvos. A trickster story couched in some musings on the nature of the Hand of God in some nameless American (yep, American) place three generations after the Crisis. The ancient antimonies do not depart regardless of the age or its barbarity.

I wrote this story shortly after reading A Canticle for Leibowitz and I was, at the time, also knee-deep in Nabokov. Both those hifalutin influences left their palm prints all over “The Order of Things.” To its great benefit, no doubt but yeah, no explosions or shootings or anything. Don’t worry, though – plenty more of that coming down the pike.

Thanks for reading! Neither site has a comment form, so if you want to leave some comments here, I’ll be happy to cuss and discuss with you.

Border Noir cover by Noe Vela

First peek at the cover of Border Noir, edited by Alvaro Rodriguez (co-writer of Machete), attacking your eyeballs later this summer:

“St. Teresa of Avila’s Day” is tucked away behind that cover. Noe Vela is the cover artist and Vao Publishing is putting this out. David Bowles  runs the show over there. Thanks very much to all of them for the opportunity to thrust more noir out into the world. Thanks also to Shotgun Honey for first taking this hardnosed ditty.

"The Cloud Factory" gets nominated for a Spinetingler Award

I didn’t even know I was in the running, but “The Cloud Factory,” has been nominated for a Spinetingler Award for Best Story on the Web. To say I’m bowled over by this would maybe start to begin to describe the feeling.

“The Cloud Factory” first appeared in PANK in September 2011 – you can read it here.

The award is decided democratically. So, here are the stories to read. Then go cast your vote for the best one. If that happens to be “The Cloud Factory,” I wouldn’t be displeased.

These guys know who you should vote for.

So does she.

Don't make Sparkle Girl angry. Do like she says. (Click for sparkles.)

I’m honored to be mentioned among the likes of the incomparable Stephen Graham Jones, Hilary Davidson, Matthew C. Funk, Peter Farris, Nigel Bird, William Dylan Powell, David James Keaton (hey buddy!), Atul Sabharwal, and William Dylan Powell.

Vote here. Thank you much.