49001f02e8a30eb28f2cf4429b4b855c1aaeca08Welcome to the world of John McIlveen. Enter, please, but be warned… here you will find tales that blur the lines of horror, vengeance, humor, sorrow, and humanity. You will encounter broken people with dark secrets and darker desires. Meet Justice, whose art exposes your soul. Ride along as a man’s search for his daughter reveals that sometimes the best way to heal old scars is to make new ones. Go on vacation with the Seth’s, who are forced to play a game that is every parent’s nightmare. Play a Sunday game of softball with the most unusual team imaginable. You will experience the foulest parts of humanity, as well as the funniest and sweetest. Some of these stories will make you laugh, some will anger or shock you, but all of them will affect you. You will love, hate, and sympathize with the characters, possibly at the same time.

“McIlveen paints with a broad palette of colors, and he blends them and highlights them with a master’s touch. Tragedy and comedy, vengeance and salvation, hope and horror, the absurd and the sublime, all skillfully worked into the same pages and presented here for our enjoyment.” – James A. Moore, Author of The Seven Forges series

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Coming soon! INFLICTIONS: 24 stories by John McIlveen (that’s me!)

Inflictions cover

Coming soon! INFLICTIONS: 23 stories by John McIlveen (that’s me!) Details also coming soon! With an introduction by the incomparable and fuzzy Christopher Golden and an afterword by the talented and even fuzzier James A. Moore…it will be colossal!

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Free e-copy of Jerks: and Other Tales from a Perfect Man


In trade for a review on Amazon.com or Goodreads, I will give you a free e-copy of my humorous five story collection JERKS. Message me at mcilveen@comcast.net with your preference of .epub, .mobi, or .pdf. Yeah, I’m groveling…



“With one book, John McIlveen has reversed the intellectual growth I’ve acquired from every classic work of literature I’ve ever read. In fact, even everyday tasks like tying my shoes have become a challenge, thanks to my newly eroded brain. Oh, sure, JERKS is funny as hell, but it has ruined my life. Screw you, McIlveen.”

— Jeff Strand, author of WOLF HUNT

* * *

“McIlveen’s writing is always dark and wicked. Now, in JERKS, he shows off his wickedly dark sense of humor, a love of human absurdity, and a keen eye for the bizarre details of life. The man has a twisted mind, which is perfect for our twisted world.”

— Christopher Golden

* * *

“There’s dark fiction. There’s dark humor. And then there’s John McIlveen, who combines the two in the mirthfully macabre JERKS. Funny as hell!”

— Brian Keene


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Photos from out Italy trip

Photos from out Italy trip



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Devils & Deviants

Of Devils & Deviants -HB CoverDevils & Deviants

It’s the official release day for OF DEVILS AND DEVIANTS. Click the link and find out who all showed up to the party in a kimono and a cocktail.

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THE LES DANIELS BLOG TOUR: A Short Blog: The Under-Appreciated Short Fiction of Les Daniels

Guest Blog by Matt Bechtel of Necon E-Books

As promised in the title, this is going to be a short blog.

Per the bibliography on his official web site, Les Daniels only published eleven short stories throughout his career (and one of them really shouldn’t count, but I’ll get back to that).  That’s right, eleven; not even enough to fill a standard egg carton. Running with that analogy, with so few stories scattered amongst some hard to locate anthologies, appreciating the short fiction of Les Daniels is something akin to a literary Easter egg hunt (and I’d be lying if I claimed to have found all the eggs yet myself).

Naturally, I have my personal favorite of Les’ stories, and in the interest of full disclosure I’ll admit that I’m probably biased towards it because it appears in two of Bob Booth’s anthologies that also featured a work of my own (2000’s Necon XX and 2009’s The Big Book of Necon). Regardless, “Loser” is an amazingly powerful piece which flips the reader’s expectations numerous times over the course of its relatively few pages and then culminates in a horrific, disgusting twist which is utterly shocking … and even more impressive because, in hindsight, you can see that Les told you what was coming halfway through. Originally published in Dark Voices 5 in 1993 (edited by Stephen Jones and David Sutton), “Loser” is, in the simplest of terms, the story of a young woman with an eating disorder. Of course, as any fan of Les’ work will attest, nothing he wrote was ever simple, as even the most basic elements of his work were nuanced and layered. Take the story’s title, for example — is it a reference to the weight the main character has purged, or a commentary upon her lonely life portrayed? Not to mention, the pearls of poetry nestled amongst Les’ prose tend to jump out more in such a short piece, especially when juxtaposed by disturbingly frank language. “If you stuck your head inside the refrigerator, you had to stick it down the toilet,” he bluntly declares, only to then describe “the white of plate and bones and toilet and refrigerator blending in her brain” as an “alabaster blur” a few paragraphs later.

Another “story” of Les’ which frankly stuns me, and which I’m (again) honestly the wrong person to judge, is “The Dead Man.” “The Dead Man” was published in the premiere issue of Tekeli-li!: Journal of Terror in 1991; in fact, a link to the complete magazine, which also features articles about and an interview with Les, can be found on Les’ official web site here. However, most of Les’ fans (myself included) will more commonly recognize this “short story” as Chapter Four of No Blood Spilled, his fifth novel of The Don Sebastian Chronicles! That’s why I have such a damnable time judging it; on one hand, I find it impossible to consider it as a stand alone piece, while on the other, I’m utterly amazed at just HOW WELL it stands alone as its own story, taken not only out of context of its novel but of the entire series. In this way, “The Dead Man” is reminiscent of the short story “Battle Royal” … a.k.a. Chapter One of Ralph Waldo Ellison’s masterpiece, Invisible Man. Of course, Ellison’s “story” was the opening scene of his novel; if one considers The Chronicles as one continuous tale, “The Dead Man” would be scene number eighty-nine! Impressive as “Battle Royal” is, it’s much easier to separate the beginning of a long work than to pluck out a passage that’s been preceded by over four novels and have it work as its own piece. As such, since my eyes were obviously colored by having read Les’ novels, I humbly request any reader who has yet to read The Chronicles to please follow the link above, read “The Dead Man” first, and report back to us in the comments section on how you feel it stands alone. And then by all means, please go buy The Complete Don Sebastian Chronicles; you owe it to yourself!

When studying Les’ short fiction bibliography, two things stood out to me the most. The first was how, in typical Les Daniels fashion, his career didn’t follow the conventional path. As most writers (including this article’s host) will attest, writers typically begin their careers with short stories. You make a few sales, start to establish a name for yourself, and then graduate to novels. In fact, Bob Booth (who adored the short form) used to refer to short stories as “AAA ball” (i.e. where top prospects hone the craft of their trade before hitting the big leagues). Les’ first published short story was “They’re Coming For You” in Cutting Edge … in 1986. That was fifteen years after Comix and eight years after his first novel, The Black Castle. Heck, Les had edited three anthologies himself in the late ‘70s nearly ten years before his own fiction would ever appear in one (but we’ll get to Les’ anthologies in a future article).

Which brings me to the other aspect of Les’ short fiction bibliography that jumped off the page to me — the editors who bought his work. Even holding republications out for the moment, the list of names who published short stories from Les isn’t a who’s who of the best editors of the genre … it’s a who’s who of the genre’s best WRITERS. Cutting Edge, the anthology I previously mentioned as the first to ever feature a Les short? Edited by Dennis Etchison. Les’ story “The Man in the Mirror?” Published by Ramsey Campbell in his 1993 anthology Deathport. “The Good Parts?” John Skipp and Craig Spector’s The Book of the Dead in 1989. “By the Light of the Silvery Moon?” Thomas F. Montleone’s Borderlands (1990). His story “Room Service?” Yeah, that would be at The SeaHarp Hotel, which just so happens to be located in Greystone Bay (i.e. the third anthology of the shared world series edited by the venerable Charles L. Grant). It’s a shame that Les didn’t even publish a dozen short stories in his career, and it’s a DAMN shame that many of them are difficult to get your hands on nowadays, but should you find one of his short works in your hands, please don’t let go; a simple glance at the name who published it should tell you all you need to know.

Just a friendly reminder — The Complete Don Sebastian Chronicles are now available as e-books at http://neconebooks.com, so please order your copies today!

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My story DESOLATION in Dark Eclipse #31 and more for only $1.99


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Coming soon — Of Devils and Deviants!

537356_10152073290264365_562817091_nComing soon!

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EULOGIES II with my story THE BORE — FREE! – Dec 31 – Jan 4

EULOGIES II with my story THE BORE -- FREE! - Dec 31 - Jan 4

From December 31st through January 4th Eulogies II will be free for the Kindle. Additionally, if you purchase the physical copy, the Kindle version is also free.

If you just want a physical copy of the book, we’re discounting it 20% and you can purchase it at this link: https://www.createspace.com/4353647 please use promotional code: HQBEKX43.

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