I am tremendously pleased to announce two of my stories, previously published in 2013, have been picked up for inclusion in a pair of important collections this year. First up, my crime/noir tale “The Trick,” which appeared in Needle no. 8, will be in Best Gay Stories 2014 from Lethe Press (ed. by Steve Berman). This collection will be available in June and is up for pre-order now.
Also I’ve learned that my story “A Good Marriage,” originally in Thuglit no. 5, has been selected for Best American Mystery Stories 2014 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and series editor Otto Penzler (ed. by NYT bestselling author Laura Lippman, no less!). This is of course an astounding honor and I couldn’t be happier to share the news. BAMS will be out in the Fall and available everywhere.
Nightscape Press has released my sci-fi/horror novel CONTROL with a brand new cover by artist George C. Contronis. Now in ebook for the first time (with paperback just around the corner), this novel was previously issued in a limited edition hardcover by Thunderstorm Books. That edition sold out very quickly, so I’m over the moon that CONTROL is now available to a wider audience. I hope you’ll check it out, and I hope even more that you enjoy it.
Leon Weissmann is an introverted loner with no control over his life. His only joy is the menagerie of insects, spiders, and scorpions he tends to in his garage. When he acquires an illegally poached rainforest spider, he unknowingly contracts a rare strain of fungus that enables him to control people, to make them do anything he wants. As his power grows, Leon begins to abuse it until there are bodies in his wake and a coterie of brainwashed disciples under his influence. But soon Leon suspects that the thing growing inside his head may be the one with the power…
It wants to come out. To reproduce. It wants to control everyone.
Available now from Snubnose Press!
“For A Wind of Knives, Kurtz will garner well-deserved attention for addressing homosexuality in a hetero-centric genre. He tackles the issue with a deft hand and deep empathy for his characters but beyond the social issues inherent in A Wind of Knives, people should also take note of his exciting prose, his well-developed characters, attention to historic accuracy, his perfect ear for dialogue, and inexorable pacing. Kurtz is a tremendous talent. Highly recommended.” —John Hornor Jacobs, author of Southern Gods and The Twelve-Fingered Boy
“A Wind of Knives dusts off the classic western’s most enduring motifs and gives them a shine. With no lack of gunplay and bloodshed, the book also has heart and intelligence. In short, Kurtz delivers an intense, gritty, and moving story that takes a new look at the Old West.” —Lee Thomas, Bram Stoker Award and Lambda Literary Award-winning author of The German and Ash Street
“Many Westerns have explored the theme of revenge, but few have done so as provocatively as Ed Kurtz’s A Wind of Knives. And certainly none have approached it in quite the same way. On its surface, this is a familiar story: after his lover is brutally murdered, farmer Daniel Hays seeks revenge. The difference, from the start, is Daniel’s lover is… was… a man. And in Texas during the Civil War, justice for the slaying of a ‘sodomite’ is not a priority for the law.
“But if switching up gender roles in an otherwise traditional Western was all A Wind of Knives offered, it would be thin gruel. Kurtz gives us much more than that—sympathetic characters skillful plotting, and most notably a moving and insightful meditation on love and loyalty.” —Heath Lowrance, author of City of Heretics
“A western must be gritty and raw. The story must embrace not only the manifest destiny of the frontier but the loneliness of the land. Ed Kurtz does all this and more with A Wind of Knives. His rancher possesses a spirit for vengeance (if not justice) that drag readers deeper into the tale while the pages smell of gunsmoke.” —Steve Berman, editor of the Wilde Stories annual series
“Daniel Hays is one of the most interesting characters to cross the western terrain.” —Edward A. Grainger, author of Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles
“Simply put, Ed Kurtz is a master storyteller. I’ve now read his work in three genres: Crime, Horror, and now Western. And each time, he ranks at the absolute top of the class. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re not reading him. Right. Now.” —Todd Robinson, editor of Thuglit and author of The Hard Bounce
Available in trade paperback April 22!