Welcome to the Official Website of Scott Nicolay, winner of the 2015 World Fantasy Award for Best Short Fiction, author of the collections Ana Kai Tangata: Tales of the Outer the Other the Damned and the Doomed and And At My Back I Always Hear (Word Horde, April 2022), founder of The Outer Dark podcast/symposium, and English language translator of Jean Ray’s Weird fiction for Wakefield Press, including Whiskey Tales, Cruise of Shadows: Haunted Stories of Land and Sea, The Great Nocturnal: Tales of Dread, and Circles of Dread. Here you’ll find my latest news, reviews, Stories from the Borderland blog posts, and more.
I’m beyond excited that my second collection, And at My Back I Always Hear, is out from Word Horde as of April 2022! It features several previously published stories and novellas including “after,” “The Croaker,” “Tenebrionidae,” “The Green Eye” and “Noctuidae,” as well as a new story and two original novellas. Order it here and if you’re in California, please come to my Book Launch Party at the Word Horde Emporium of the Weird & Fantastic on Indie Book Store Day (April 30, 2022). I’ll be reading with Anya Martin at about 3 PM! Details are on the Facebook event page!
It’s been a mission of mine to bring the late John D. Keefauver‘s unique short stories to a wider audience. So it’s a joy to announce that Research into Marginal Living: The Selected Stories of John D. Keefauver, with an introduction by Joe Lansdale, is finally out from Lethe Press in August 2021. I selected the stories and wrote the afterword and story notes by Scott Nicolay. Please order it here and tell your friends!
I have completed the editing of Malpertuis, the great Weird novel by Jean Ray, for Wakefield Press and it was released in July 2021. In this case, Iain White‘s translation was so well done that I felt I couldn’t improve on it, but I wrote an afterword for this new edition which I hope will bring the novel to a wider Anglophone readership. Find more info and order it here.
I have a new Weird fiction/nonfiction story called “The Thing (in the Hole[in the Tree])” in Spoon Knife 5: Liminal, edited by Andrew M. Reichart, Dora M. Raymaker, and Nick Walker, and published by Neuroqueer Books in 2021. Order it here.
Circles of Dread, the fourth volume of Jean Ray translations from Wakefield Press, is out. I especially recommend “The Marlyweck Cemetery” to Weird fiction readers. Here me read it at The Outer Dark Virtual Symposium 2020 here. Order the book here.
The fourth annual The Outer Dark Symposium on The Greater Weird is going to be virtual this year on August 14-16, 2020. I’ll be reading from Jean Ray on Sun. Aug. 16 at 3:15 p.m. ET. Find out more and get tickets at www.theouterdark.org.
I always enjoy Des Lewis’s Gestalt Real-Time Reviews blog and was thrilled that he has picked up all three of my published volumes of Jean Ray translations. Read his always insightful takes on Whiskey Tales, Cruise of Shadows, and The Great Nocturnal. The Grand Nocturnal also caught the attention of Ginger Nuts of Horror.
LA Times Review of Books critic Leonid Bilmes also spoke favorably of Cruise of Shadows: Haunted Stories of Land and Sea. Read his detailed review here.
“Scott Nicolay has done an excellent job in conveying Ray’s conversational and highly idiomatic style into English,” says LA Times Review of Books critic Leonid Bilmes in “More Than the Belgian Poe: The Overdue Return of Jean Ray’s ‘Whiskey Tales.” (March 2, 2019). His passionately positive review covers a lot of ground and concludes “Like a whiskey which bears a grudge against its container, the fantastic in Ray is keen to evaporate off the page and into the ether of a sympathetic reader’s imagination — where weird things tend to congeal in corners, ‘like fantastic livid tumors,’ to borrow a phrase from the darkly funny ‘One Night in Camberwell’ (1923).” I
I’ll be co-hosting the third annual The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird, with Anya Martin, March 22-23, 2019 at Silver Scream FX Lab and Hotel Indigo-College Park in Atlanta, GA. This unique immersive one-day event features more than 40 program participants and approximately 16 hours of panels, readings, signings and social activities centered around contemporary Weird and speculative fiction. Buy your memberships here. Or support our Indiegogo campaign here.
Whiskey Tales (see below) is available for order at Amazon (trade paperback, $15.95) here.
My novella “Geschafte,” which originally appeared in Ana Kai Tangata, is my first story to appear in German translation in NightTrain: Next Weird, with some worthy company including Laird Barron, Richard Gavin, Timothy J. Jarvis, and Christopher Slatsky. The collection was published by WhiteTrain on October 1, 2018. More info can be found at their Website and on the Facebook event page for the release.
I am excited to announce that Whiskey Tales, the first in a series of my translations of the works of Jean Ray, came out from Wakefield Press in early 2019. I wrote the introduction. From Wakefield Press’s Website: “The first collection of stories, originally published in French in 1925, from the Belgian master of the weird, whose writings charted out a meeting ground between H.P. Lovecraft and Charles Dickens. This first complete translation includes 11 additional stories not found in the original edition, and will be the first in many volumes of Jean Ray’s books that Wakefield Press will be bringing out over the coming seasons.”
The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird is a unique immersive one-day event hosted by The Outer Dark podcast and featuring approximately 12 hours of panels, readings, signings and social activities centered around contemporary Weird and speculative fiction. The second annual event will be held Saturday March 24, 2018 at the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, CA, one of the Weirdest Places in the U.S. Limited to 75 attendees. Buy your memberships here.
Both Stories from the Borderland and The Outer Dark podcast will have special live presentations at NecronomiCon August 17-20, 2017 in Providence, RI. First, on Fri. Aug. 17 at 1:30 p.m., join me, artists Michael Bukowski and Jeanne D’Angelo and series editor/researcher Anya Martin for the debut of a brand-new Stories from the Borderland, the debut of a new series called Stories from the Crossroads and a behind-the-scenes look at the search for mysterious Weird Tales author Jean Milligan , aka Allison V. Harding (Renaissance Room, Biltmore, 17th Floor). Then on Sat. Aug 18 at noon, I’ll be hosting a live presentation of The Outer Dark podcast (special guests TBA) (L’Apogee, Biltmore, 17th Floor). Also look for The Outer Dark banner in the dealers’ room at the Dim Shores table where we’ll have T-shirts and perhaps other Weird items available to support the podcast and the 2018 Symposium.
My first and only flash fiction story “When the Blue Sky Breaks” will be included in Looming Low, Volume 1, edited by Justin Steele and Sam Cowan, the first short fiction anthology by Dim Shores Press. It will be available in both trade paperback and deluxe hardcover and debuts at NecronomiCon August 17-20, 2017 in Providence, RI, where there will also be a mass reading by attending contributors including me on Sat. Aug. 19 at 6 p.m. (location TBA). Order here.
I’ll be at The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird on March 25 in Atlanta. This immersive one-day event will feature 17 top writers of weird and speculative fiction participating in eight hours of panels, readings and signings. Admission is limited to 50 attendees, but all programming will be featured on The Outer Dark podcast which airs on This Is Horror. Purchase memberships and support the Indiegogo campaign to make it happen.
I am honored that “Noctuidae” has been nominated for “Best Novella” in THIS IS HORROR AWARDS 2016. Anyone can vote by email, so should you wish to, you can find the instructions here
I am pleased to announce that my short story, “The Green Eye,” has been accepted for publication in the January 2017 issue of Black Static, the UK’s premier horror and dark fantasy magazine, and has been illustrated by Ben Baldwin. Des Lewis gives the entire issue, including “The Green Eye,” one of his wonderful real-time reviews here. Order here.
“Scott Nicolay’s lean, pitiless horror novella is the kind of narrative that feels slight initially, but ends up staying with you long after you’ve finished it,” says Dimitris Kontogiannis about Noctuidae in Crows n’ Bones (December 13, 2016). Read his full book review here.
“Distrust is a serious issue, especially when it is based on someone’s actions, but when you mix it with physical and psychological fear, uncertainty, and the possibility of death, the result is an explosive novella that’s full of classic elements while also pushing into new territory,” says Gabino Iglesias about Noctuidae in HorrorTalk. Read his full book review here.
“Do You Like to Look at Monsters” has been translated into Italian and appeared in Hypnos magazine, issue #6. Order info here.
LitReactor interviewed me, Stephen Graham-Jones, Livia Llewellyn, Damien Angela Walters and Richard Thomas about “Weird as F@#K Horror.” Read it here.
The Outer Dark has moved to This Is Horror! Listen to the first episode, another Outer Double, Alyssa Wong: A Shitstorm in Flavortown and Marc Laidlaw: Swimming Upstream to Spawn here. I’m gradually remixing and reposting all archival episodes as well. Visit The Outer Dark page at this Website to keep up with the latest episodes and news!
My “Stories from the Borderland” blog post on “Horror Howce” by Margaret St. Clair has been picked by Weird Fiction Review here. Read the rest of the series, a collaborative project with artist Michael Bukowski, at the blog link on this Website.
I was interviewed by This Is Horror podcast. Hear the April 26 broadcast here and the second May 16 installment, which includes a major announcement about a new home for The Outer Dark, here.
Noctuidae is alive! Order it from Amazon here or directly from King Shot Press here. This is Horror gets excited about it here. Also, Vol. 1 Brooklyn was haunted by Matthew Revert‘s cover, David Bowles reviews it in The Monitor here, and Benoit Lelievre reviews it for Dead End Follies here.
“The Croaker” was released in April 2016 as a limited edition chapbook from Sidecar Preservation Society. Pre-order it here. Limited to 170 copies including hand-bound hardcovers and chapbooks.
The Outer Dark has been named “Best Podcast” in the 2015 This Is Horror Awards.
I have been invited to write the introduction to Lost Signals, an anthology edited by Max Booth III and Lori Michelle, to be released by Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing in June 2016. Pre-order it here.
“Do You Like to Look At Monsters?” received the 2015 World Fantasy Award for Best Short Fiction, on Sunday November 8 at the World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs, NY. The story was published exclusively as a chapbook with the deluxe limited edition of Ana Kai Tangata, but now is also available on its own as a Kindle eBook.
The Outer Dark, my Weird Fiction podcast on Project iRadio, was named #4 on Max Booth III‘s list of 8 Great Podcasts for Writers at LitReactor.com. “Scott Nicolay analyzes horror like no one else out there. Give his show a listen, I guarantee you won’t regret it.” With just six shows aired, that’s high praise. Thanks, Max!
Superstorm Sandy washes up both memories and a monster in “after,” a new weird horror novella written by Scott Nicolay, with cover art and illustrations by Michael Bukowski, published in a limited edition chapbook by Dim Shores in August. The official release took place at NecronomiCon, August 20-23, in Providence, RI, and both I and Bukowski were in attendance and signed copies of “after.” Read the full press release here.
I am excited to announce that I am now hosting THE OUTER DARK, a weekly interview podcast series on Project IRadio posting on Tuesdays. I’ll be interviewing authors, artists, and other voices from the dark end of the spectrum, with an emphasis on what’s happening NEXT in the Weird Renaissance. Big thanks to Jess Roberts, Jim Adams, and the Project iRadio team, and to artist Nick Gucker, who created the stunning logo for The Outer Dark! T-shirts with that logo are available from SkurvyInk.com here.
King Shot Press will be releasing my novella, “Noctuidae,” in spring 2016. In a sentence: “An impromptu hike through an Arizona canyon leads a young woman into the paths of monsters both human and otherworldly.” Listen to a follow-up interview by Project iRadio about this and other projects here.
Project iRadio interviewed me at the 25th annual World Horror Convention. Listen to the broadcast here.
The Children of Old Leech, which includes my novella “Tenebrionidae,” was nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Anthology of 2014, presented at Readercon. Congratulations to my editors Ross Lockhart and Justin Steele!
Ana Kai Tangata is now available as an eBook! Order it here for just $5.99!
Rue Morgue Magazine named Ana Kai Tangata as “Best Fiction Book” of 2014! Catch its complete “R.I.P. 2014: The Year in Review” in Issue #152, January 2015.
“Eyes Exchange Bank” (Ana Kai Tangata, The Grimscribe’s Puppets) was selected for inclusion in the inaugural edition of Year’s Best Weird Fiction (Undertow Publications, 2014).
My essay, “The Expanding Borders of Area X: Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach in the Context of a Weird Renaissance,” appeared in Weird Fiction Review on November 21, 2014.
Praise for Ana Kai Tangata:
“Scott Nicolay is as good a debut author as I’ve ever read. This collection of weird and horrific tales would be a significant accomplishment for a tenured master of the black arts. That it has been created and put forth by an author in his third or fourth year on the scene is extraordinary . . . We are not in the presence of a callow and bullish youth, but a man of erudition and experience. Nicolay is one who has seen much, endured much, has undergone prolonged pressure and the result is a diamond among stones.”
—Laird Barron, author of The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All
“What you have here is indeed something special: a debut collection that shows none of weaknesses one might expect from a new writer…I’d have assumed thsis was the fourth or fifth collection by a seasoned pro at the top of his game.”
—John Pelan, author, editor and publisher
“The stories in Scott Nicolay’s excellent debut collection unite a lean, elegant prose style with meticulously-observed characters moving through landscapes rendered with painterly precision. Rooted in but not confined to the body, the terrors Nicolay’s characters confront pay subtle homage to the traditions and practitioners of weird fiction who have gone before, even as his willingness to develop his narratives at length moves them into a territory that is uniquely his own. With this book, Scott Nicolay lays claim to the attention of everyone interested in the future of weird fiction, and his claim is a strong one indeed.”
—John Langan, author of The Wide Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies
“Leave safety at the door…shaped by this weatherman of a wounded humanity, Nicolay’s punch is grim and honest, his horizons vast, alluring, and keenly attuned to what unfurls in our darkest dreams. This explorer’s debut is a collection of strange…living inside some wonderful reading.”
—Joseph S. Pulver, Sr, author of Blood Will Have Its Season
“With extraordinary precision and a profound understanding of the power of language, Scott Nicolay examines the nuances of modern discontent. In his fiction you will find no refuge from the grime and dust, marrow and sinew of human experience. His characters are damaged by their efforts in a world that thrives on brutality and greed. Many of these characters can’t be redeemed through heroism. Yet they grapple, tooth and claw, with the truly horrific aspects of life: guilt, regret, and despair. And in their struggle we glimpse the last hope for ourselves, to climb over the rubble of so-called civilization and make our way toward compassion, with all odds against us.”
—S.P. Miskowski, author of The Skillute Cycle
“Nicolay’s writing is clean-limbed, not a shred of rococco excess on it. Poetry and the demotic mix well in his prose. He expertly delivers clues and foreshadowings and backstory tidbits attendant upon his enigmas and frights without hammering the reader over the head with gore or hyperbole. His characters are engrossing, if often repellant, his plotting assured, and his venues enticingly nasty. This book marks the start of a fine career, I am sure.”
–Paul Di Filippo, Locus
“Scott Nicolay is a writer in the tradition of modern practitioners of the weird such as Mark Samuels, Terry Lamsley, and Laird Barron. He gives us the unease of Ligotti with the fluid prose of Clark Ashton Smith. Ana Kai Tangata is a serious contender for best collection of the year.”
–John Llewellyn Probert, This Is Horror
“This is a tremendous and important debut, and one which firmly places Scott Nicolay into the upper echelon of writers currently operating in the field of weird fiction.”
–C.M. Muller, Cosmic-Chthonicon
“Remember when you first read the stories of Clive Barker, or T.E.D. Klein, or Thomas Ligotti, or John Shirley, or Dennis Etchison, or David J. Schow or Lucy Taylor, or Caitlin Keirnan, or Michael Shea, or Melanie Tem, and realized you were in the presence of a major talent in modern horror? I got the same feeling reading Nicolay. He steers clear of stock monsters and tropes of the horror genre. His fiction is clear-sighted, hard-edged, realistic, Raymond Carver-like…”
–Leigh Blackmore, Dead Reckonings 15
“Ana Kai Tangata is a bizarre, unsettling book of Weird fiction with some very urban and very bleak settings. It’s a book in which the mundane transforms into something toxic. So, an empty mall becomes a source of evil (“Eyes Exchange Bank”), a rundown apartment plays tricks with your mind (“Geschafte”), and what should be some sort of island paradise melts into a nightmare (“Ana Kai Tangata”).”
–Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Innsmouth Free Press
“Eight of the best weird fiction stories that I have ever had the pleasure of reading, all paired perfectly with shudder-inducing art from David Verba, make this a landmark collection. Publisher Fedogan & Bremer have struck gold with Nicolay, and further refined the presentation with the amazing artwork from David Verba, and introduction from Laird Barron, and an afterword from John Pelan.”
–Justin Steele, Arkham Digest
“Ana Kai Tangata by Scott Nicolay is a truly important collection…to this reader, the supernatural aspects aren’t what give these stories their great power. No, this is what I think Nicolay should be praised for, and what I hope he has more venues to exercise his talents in: human relationships.”
—Anna Tambour, author of Crandolin
“The first thing that hits you while reading Scott Nicolay’s short story collection is a familiar feeling: That old black magic that comes with encountering great weird fiction for the first time. These tales convey dread and fun, often at the same time.”
–Dimitris Kontogiannis, Crows N’ Bones
“Ana Kai Tangata [is] a truly stupendous work of modern horror. The shape of each story plays out like a familiar yet horribly catchy murder ballad–beautiful layering of character detail and an excruciating evocation of foretold doom make us care deeply for his protagonists, after which we’re forced to watch the worst possible outcome for their given situation unfold.”
–Gemma Files, author of the Hexslinger series.
“The eight mostly long tales in Ana Kai Tangata posit a densely woven exploration of the exterior and interior landscapes to create a concise, hyper-realistic picture. Layer upon layer, a CT scan delineated with words. In every story, the psychological terrain is not only expressed by the motivation of characters, the terrain they are immersed in is paramount to the whole picture, bleeding into the character’s mindsets…or vice versa. There’s deep knowledge and understanding of Weird fiction, but the tales are firmly set in the here and now, utterly distinct and uncompromising. Nicolay has vision and sets forth with unwavering determination to convey this vision to the utmost of his immense talent. He succeeds on every count.”
—Jean Claude-Smith, author of Autumn in the Abyss
“I stumbled upon Ana Kai Tangata by Scott Nicolay purely by chance and I only had to read a couple of pages before I knew that he was a real find. Nicolay’s writing is original, acerbic, witty and energetic, and full of depth and grit, [or bone and gristle].”
–Rebecca Lloyd, British Fantasy Society and author of View From Endless Street
“I was expecting a very good book. What I read ended up being one of the best single author collections I came across all year…”
–Sam Cowan, Nothing Is Imminent