The Quiltmaker by Mike Allen

The Quiltmaker by Mike Allen

A handbound, limited and numbered edition of 18 from Papaveria Press: The Quiltmaker, a short story by Mike Allen.

A quiet neighborhood seething with hidden sins.

A troubled son returned, consumed by an evil beyond human ken.

That will seek what his neighbors keep concealed, not just behind their doors, but inside their skins.

A force that will peel them open, and stitch them all together again.

This book is case bound with a black leather spine, printed paper cover, and black endbands. The endleaves are black and gold embossed paper in a quilted pattern, which carries over to the front and back to frame the print of Paula Arwen Owen’s illustration for the story. The book measures approximately 11cm (4.5 inches) wide by 14cm (5.5 inches) high.

The Quiltmaker

“The Quiltmaker” was first published in Mike Allen’s short story collection, Unseaming (Antimatter Press, 2014), a Shirley Jackson Award finalist, and is the sequel to his Nebula-nominated short story, “The Button Bin”.

“Allen’s stories deliver solid shivering terror tinged with melancholy sorrow over the fragility of humankind.” –Publishers Weekly

“A very original voice working at the top of his game.”–Locus

“Allen leaves readers with nerves jangling.”–Library Journal

“One of the most original practitioners of the body horror subgenre since Clive Barker’s Books of Blood.” –Rue Morgue

About the author:

On weekdays, Mike Allen writes the arts column for the daily newspaper in Roanoke, Va. Most of the rest of his time he devotes to writing, editing, and publishing. His first novel, a dark fantasy called The Black Fire Concerto, appeared in 2013, and he’s written a sequel, The Ghoulmaker’s Aria, that’s in the revision stage.

He raised more than $10,000 through a Kickstarter campaign to revive his anthology series dedicated to boundary-blurring work, Clockwork Phoenix. That Kickstarter funded Clockwork Phoenix 4, released in 2013 to much critical acclaim. He also edits and publishes Mythic Delirium, which began in 1998 as a poetry journal; a second Kickstarter campaign in 2013 rebooted it as a digital publication for poetry and fiction. 2014 saw the release the release of his sixth poetry collection, Hungry Constellations; his eighth anthology, Mythic Delirium, assembled from the pages of his magazine; and his first collection of short fiction, Unseaming, from which “The Quiltmaker” is drawn.

He receives a ton of help with all these projects from his wife, artist and horticulturalist Anita Allen. Their pets, Loki (canine) and Persephone and Pandora (feline) provide distractions. You can follow Mike’s exploits as a writer at, as an editor at, and all at once on Twitter at @mythicdelirium.

About the cover artist:

Paula Arwen Owen (formerly Paula Friedlander) is a native of Brooklyn, NY, now living upstate. She is a graduate of Parsons School of Design, with years of experience in Freelance Illustration, Graphic and Textile Design.

Her unique illustration style is created with hand cut paper silhouettes, collage, ink, and digital art. She is fascinated with the opposition of darkness and light, and the contrast of simple silhouettes against rich colors and textures. She is inspired by her surroundings, from the urban world to the natural beauty of the countryside. The subjects of her work range from serene fantasy and nature to dark, gothic themes, often inspired by stories, dreams, myths and legends.

Visit her website, Arwen Designs, or her Etsy shop for more examples of her work.

Innocence of Place by Paula Arwen Owen
Innocence of Place by Paula Arwen Owen. Illustration for Strange Horizons Magazine.

The Rose in Twelve Petals by Theodora Goss

In the Forest of Forgetting by Theodora GossThe recently re-released collection In the Forest of Forgetting begins with a lovely fairy tale called “The Rose in Twelve Petals”. It does, as you might guess, have something to do with a sleeping beauty, but it is not the “Sleeping Beauty” story you know. If you have never read any of the stories collected in In the Forest of Forgetting, this one sets the tone. It has not yet appeared online, so here it is, made freely available for you to experience a taste of this collection, which you can read more about right here.

The Rose in Twelve Petals
by Theodora Goss

I. The Witch

This rose has twelve petals. Let the first one fall: Madeleine taps the glass bottle, and out tumbles a bit of pink silk that clinks on the table–a chip of tinted glass–no, look closer, a crystallized rose petal. She lifts it into a saucer and crushes it with the back of a spoon until it is reduced to lumpy powder and a puff of fragrance.

She looks at the book again. “Petal of one rose crushed, dung of small bat soaked in vinegar.” Not enough light comes through the cottage’s small-paned windows, and besides she is growing nearsighted, although she is only thirty-two. She leans closer to the page. He should have given her spectacles rather than pearls. She wrinkles her forehead to focus her eyes, which
makes her look prematurely old, as in a few years she no doubt will be. Bat dung has a dank, uncomfortable smell, like earth in caves that has never seen sunlight.

Can she trust it, this book? Two pounds ten shillings it cost her, including postage. She remembers the notice in The Gentlewoman’s Companion: “Every lady her own magician. Confound your enemies, astonish your friends! As simple as a cookery manual.” It looks magical enough, with Compendium Magicarum stamped on its spine and gilt pentagrams on its red leather cover. But the back pages advertise “a most miraculous lotion, that will make any lady’s skin as smooth as an infant’s bottom” and the collected works of Scott.

Not easy to spare ten shillings, not to mention two pounds, now that the King has cut off her income. Rather lucky, this cottage coming so cheap, although it has no proper plumbing, just a privy out back among the honeysuckle…

Click here to read the rest of The Rose in Twelve Petals.

The Theodora Goss collection

Today is the day these two magnificent books are released into the world: In the Forest of Forgetting and Songs for Ophelia, prose and poetry by Theodora Goss.

Goss Collection

Purchase at one of these sellers:
Barnes & Noble
The Book Depository

Malcolm R. Campbell of Literary Aficionado says about Songs for Ophelia:

When you open this 146-page volume of eighty poems collected into songs for the seasons, the ethereal grace of Theodora Goss’ words and themes may attract your attention first. After all, the book begins with “Spring Songs,” and they are full of rebirth, promise and a garden of dazzling delights. Were you to begin at the ice and snow end of the book, the thorny longing would be more readily apparent, and you would know why Catherynne M. Valente named her introduction “A Weaponized Elegance.”

Elizabeth Hand, author of Mortal Love, has this to say about In the Forest of Forgetting:

In the tradition of great modern fantasists like Angela Carter and Marina Warner, Theodora Goss’s sublime tales are modern classics – beautiful, sly, sensual and deeply moving. In the Forest of Forgetting will be read and reread, savored and treasured for decades to come. I envy any reader encountering Goss’s work for the first time.

As a special treat, you can read the first story in this collection online: The Rose in Twelve Petals.

In the Forest of Forgetting, with an introduction by Terri Windling, was first published in 2006 by Prime Books. The Papaveria Press edition boasts the same cover art by the amazing Virginia Lee as appeared on the original edition, this time in its wonderful entirety. The table of contents has been slightly modified: “Phalaenopsis” has been replaced by “Her Mother’s Ghosts”, which first appeared in 2004 in The Rose and Twelve Petals and Other Stories, released by Small Beer Press. $15.95 (302 pages, paperback).

Songs for Ophelia, with an introduction by Catherynne M. Valente, is a new collection of eighty otherworldly poems which lead the reader, as though under a spell, through the unfolding of the seasons and into the realm of pure magic. Songs for Ophelia, also features cover art by Virgina Lee. $12.95 (146 pages, paperback).