This blog chronicles the triumphs and trials of fiction writer Darius Jones.
I write literary speculative fiction and historical fiction. I think the division between “literary fiction,” on the one hand, and “speculative fiction” on the other, is false, misleading, and damaging. Fiction is one. So, I group them together. Besides, isn’t any decent work of speculative fiction also literary?
If I had to answer the question: “But what sort of speculative fiction do you write?” I would answer: Cosmic Horror, Weird Fiction, or Dark Fantasy. My favorite label for what I write is “Transcendental Horror.” That is, it’s usually set in a world like ours, but on closer examination, that world is a little “off.” Think: The Twilight Zone or Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return.
My intent in all of this is not to provide a refuge from the world or escapism. It’s not to take people out of this world. Rather, it’s to drive them deeper into it. To change the frequency on their personal receiver just so…To show them a glimpse of something more real than they ever imagined or thought possible. Because that’s the strangest thing of all…Don’t you think?
When it comes to historical fiction, there are certain places and times I feel drawn to again and again. Those include medieval Muslim Spain (al-Andalus) and the ancient Middle East. I also have a keen interest in all things Russian (long, long story).
For a flavor of what I write, here’s a list of works I have published:
- The Darkness, a short (32-line) poem about the cosmological light and dark within and without, appeared in Volume 45, Issue 4 (Fall 2022) of Star*Line Magazine.
- In the Dose, a short poem about radiation, evolution and consciousness appeared in Issue 2 of Radon Journal in Sept. 2022.
- The King Becomes a Star or Pharaoh Unas’ Journey Through the Night Sky, a narrative poem in 24 related haiku, about King Unas’s perilous journey through the night sky from dusk to dawn, from death to life, came out in Strange Horizons in February 2022.
- The Number Thief, a historical fiction novella featuring Yusuf ibn Yaqzan (hero of The Ghul of Yazd) was published by The Magazine of History and Fiction in July 2020.
- Pacha-Mama, a horror-fantasy story set in modern day Peru, came out in Scarlet Leaf Review in February 2020.
- Breakpoint, a science fiction short story with a cyberpunk flavor, was published in Kyanite Press Volume I, Issue 2 in November 2018.
- So, You Found Me, a fantasy flash fiction piece, was published in issue 3 of Between Worlds Magazine in January 2017.
- Barabanchik, a story set in a Moscow train station in the 1990s, was published in Issue 4 of Sobotka Literary Magazine in July 2016.
- The Ghul of Yazd, an Orientalist horror novella was published in Issue 0 of Strangelet Journal in September 2014. I tracked the story’s rejections and final acceptance in the UnRejectionable Ghul section on this blog.
- The Hatchlings, a dark science fiction piece, was first published on Fiction Vortex in August 2013. This was my first “traditionally” published story. It also won 3rd place in FV’s Readers’ Choice Award that month. Addendum: The Hatchlings got the Horror Podcast treatment on The No Sleep Podcast, Season 17, Episode 18. Check it out here!
- The Man Who Ran from God, a historical fiction novella, came out in 2013.
- The Library of Lost Books, a fantasy-surrealist novel, was self-published in 2012.
For what I’m working on now, see my Works in Progress.
Also, I’d like to note that I’m an Affiliate Member of the Horror Writers Association, an Associate Member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and the Science Fiction Poetry Association. These organizations do a great job of representing and supporting writers. I highly recommend memberships in them if you yourself are getting serious about this writing thing!
As for me, there’s not much to tell…Let’s just say I write fiction whenever I get a chance.
PS: That photo on the blog header is from the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness in New Mexico.
[UPDATED: Oct. 2022]