An author's Brag Shelf, for the uninitiated, is the particular bookcase where said author keeps copies of his or her own work, as opposed to the other bookcases -- sadly more numerous -- where he or she keeps the inferior rubbish produced by lesser talents.
Now, unless an author is an insufferable douchebag -- and you'd be surprised, my poppets, you'd be surprised -- the brag shelf, despite its name, should be stationed somewhere other than the living room or, indeed, anywhere else where the phrase this guy is so fucking into himself is likely to be triggered in the mind of a casual visitor.
My own brag shelf, for example, is at the far end of a narrow corridor in Castle Atkins and -- this is the important bit -- is past the door to the bathroom. Thus people who for the most part, let's face it, couldn't give a rat's arse about the Russian edition of Dark Delicacies II or the Italian Best New Horror 4 are spared any involuntary sightings of the fragments I shore against my ruin. Only upon request do I humbly point visitors at the bookcase in question while my foot accidentally presses the recessed floor-switch that triggers the spotlights and the audio-loops of Purcell's Trumpet Voluntary.
All of which is apropos of nothing other than to serve as an announcement that, later this year, two more items will be securing berths in the Atkins brag shelf:
The first actually arrives quite soon, and is the latest volume in the youngest-and-cutest of the three Year's Best anthologies. The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2014 is edited, as ever, by the exquisite Ms. Paula Guran, who's been kind enough to stick an extra stamp or two on my "Postcards from Abroad" and send it back out into the world.
"Postcards" first appeared in The Impostor's Monocle, last year's RDR chapbook from Earthling Publications, and I'm delighted to say that Paula's had the impeccable taste to also take Glen Hirshberg's "Pride" from the same source, thus giving our little chapbook a batting average of .500 which I'm assured by my sports-savvy friends is pretty damn good. The full splendor of YBDF&H's table of contents can be seen at www.prime-books.com
Later in the year (October in the UK, December in the US), the third volume in the 'mosaic novel' created by the great Steve Jones will be offending people of middle-class taste everywhere. Rejoicing in the title Zombie Apocalypse! Endgame, its cover should confirm that it doesn't give a shit what you think:
I'm thrilled to have been a contributor to all three brain-munching installments, and a quick click-through to www.stephenjoneseditor.com will reveal my illustrious co-conspirators (including two -- two! -- fellow Scousers. Take that, Manchester).