Two Strong Reviews for Little Black Spots

LITTLE BLACK SPOTS continues to garner praise, which is very fulfilling since I think the book contains some of my best short work.

First up, the venerable speculative fiction review site Tangent Online issued a strong review for the book on its site today.  I was even told that two of the new stories featured in it made it to the site’s recommended reading list for 2018.  I don’t know which stories these are.  We’ll all find out when it publishes its annual list, sometime in December.

Go here to read the Tangent review.

Second, noted critic and WHC Horror Grandmaster Michael Collings published his review of LITTLE BLACK SPOTS today, too.  In a perfect, positive example of when it rains, it pours, he seems to quite like the book as well.

“Taff is capable of direct storytelling, but his greatest strength lies in his poeticism, his ability to transform the gristle and bone of horror into something that passes through the visceral and approaches the transcendent.”


Go here to read all of Michael’s review.

Interested in reading it?  Go here to get your copy.

And thanks for giving it a read.




Great video review for Little Black Spots!

Great review.  Stick with it, even with the helium-tainted narration.

Great Reviews Coming in for LITTLE BLACK SPOTS

Little Black Spots, my latest collection, won’t be out from Grey Matter Press until next Tuesday, Sept. 18, but already great reviews are coming in.

Here’s what people are already saying:

“John Taff has been writing—and publishing—for a long time, and it shows. He’s a first-class storyteller with a brilliant imagination.”—Richard Chizmar, publisher of Cemetery Dance magazine and author of Gwendy’s Button Box (with Stephen King) and Widow’s Point (with Billy Chizmar).

“John F. D. Taff has rapidly become one of my favorite writers in the horror genre. His horror is grounded in our day-to-day lives, in our families, our work, our most private thoughts. His stories vibrate with emotion and life and his prose is cathartic, deeply satisfying, like popping the bubbles in bubble wrap. And it’s just as addictive. Taff is not a genre star yet, but I predict he will be. He’s that good.”— Ray Garton, Horror Grandmaster and author of Live Girls and Ravenous.

“John F.D. Taff is a master storyteller. There are few who excel so brilliantly at the short story form in particular as he does. I’ve read and reviewed John’s work for the past several years, and each time he impresses me more than the last. He’s the real deal, folks.” A.E. Siraki, Author and Reviewer.

“Often times with collections, I read them in spurts and take breaks in between. That wasn’t the case with Little Black Spots. This collection grabbed me right away and I found myself unable to put it down for long. The one thing that remains constant is Taff’s powerful and unique voice. All of these stories bear his signature style, but it finds him exploring that style and applying it in new and exciting ways. Taff strikes the perfect balance between genre fiction and literary and it makes for a haunting and intoxicating combination. Grab a copy of Little Black Spots and treat yourself to one of the year’s best horror collections.”—Rich Duncan, Reviewer with Ink Heist.

Little Black Spots features 15 short horror stories, author notes, a terrific introduction by Bram Stoker Award-Winner Doug Murano (he of Gutted and Behold! fame), as well as a sneak preview of my upcoming epic novel The Fearing, out next spring from Grey Matter Press.

Pre-order Little Black Spots here.  Out in all formats worldwide Sept. 18

Humanity is tarnished.

I Wanted to Keep Up with My Blog & I Just Noticed It’s Been 2 Months Since I Last Posted…

Ugh.  That’s a long headline.  So, sorry for that.

And I wanted to keep up with my blog better, but then realized it’s been two months since I triumphantly announced that I’d updated it.  Double ugh.

So, let’s try this again.  I’ll attempt to do better.  Promise.

Ahem.  So some stuff to report.

This little beauty is up for pre-order RIGHT NOW.  Shhhh…it wasn’t supposed to be up until the 11th, but it’s up right now.  Paperback will be up for sale Sept. 18.

Little Black Spots is a collection of 15 short horror stories, some of my best work, at least I think so.  But, meh, I’m biased.  Introduced by Stoker-Winning Editor Doug Murano, a swell guy and editor of such critically acclaimed anthos as Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories (with my story “Cards for His Spokes, Coins for His Fare”), Behold: Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders (with my story “A Ware That Will Not Keep”), and Shadows Over Main Street 2 (with my story “Shug”).  Plus author notes and stuff.  Plus Plus an excerpt from my epic horror novel The Fearing, which will be out next Spring. Both from Grey Matter Press.

Want to know what others are saying about Little Black Spots?

“John F. D. Taff has rapidly become one of my favorite writers in the horror genre. His horror is grounded in our day-to-day lives, in our families, our work, our most private thoughts. His stories vibrate with emotion and life and his prose is cathartic, deeply satisfying, like popping the bubbles in bubble wrap.” – Ray Garton, Grand Master of Horror and author of Live Girls and Ravenous.

“John Taff has been writing — and publishing — for a long time, and it shows. He’s a first-class storyteller with a brilliant imagination.” — Richard Chizmar, publisher of Cemetery Dance magazine, author of Gwendy’s Button Box and Widow’s Point.

So, that will have to hold you until the Spring, when The Fearing will publish.




Ugh, So I’ve Updated My Blog Already…

From time to time, I remember that I do, indeed, have a blog that I’m supposed to maintain, that the six of you who follow my career–such as it is–actually consult from time to time to see what I’m up to.  Generally, when I remember this, I go through several Kubler-Ross-type stages.  First is denial.  That usually doesn’t work.  Then comes anger at the idea of having to update it.  Then comes…well, frankly other stuff that I’m too lazy to keep this idea going…Blah, blah, blah.

So since I’m here already, I might as well actually update you as what I’m actually doing.

So, definites first.  My new collection LITTLE BLACK SPOTS will be out from Grey Matter Press in probably September or October.  We’re waiting for a really swell Horror Biggie to write a really swell introduction for it.  (I actually know who this is, I just can’t tell you.  Yet.)  This one features 16 stories, half of them unseen by any save me and a ridiculously few other lucky souls, half of them reprinted.  I think some of these stories are my best work, while others of them are my work.

Then, in the spring of next year, my epic novel, THE FEARING, is out from Grey Matter.  It’s a huge, door-stoppery kind of book of which plenty of BIG AUTHORS have great things to say.  You’ll hear more on this one later, but I’m really proud of this work.  If you love grand, apocalyptic tales with multiple groups of characters coming together to DO THE THING, you will love this book.  At least I think so.

I’ve got stories appearing in a few places that you should know about.  I have a story that will be in I CAN HEAR THE SHADOWS, my group project with The 5ive–Joe Schwartz, Erik T. Johnson, J. Daniel Stone and Josh Malerman.  We’re finishing this up right now, and we’ll be looking for a publisher for what we plan as a series of books.  I’ve read all of them except for Josh’s at the moment, and they’re FANTASTIC.

I’ve also got a story called “All You Care to Eat” in a secret project I’ve concocted that does have a publisher, whom I can’t mention yet because they haven’t announced it, for release in probably 2019 sometime.

Also got a secret collaborative project with Brian Kirk, which I will begin soon.

I’m finishing up a tight little 1970s nostalgic coming-of-age horror story called HE LEFT.  No publisher as of yet, but I’ll be shopping it around soon.

Got another story for another secret project with some fantastic, award-winning editor that I can’t yet mention.

Collaborating with another effin’ great author with the initials of J.Malerman, which I can’t say too much about.  Oh, and another secret project with Josh M. that I can’t talk about.

Anything else?  Um, yeah, I have the follow-up to THE END IN ALL BEGINNINGS simmering away, five or six novellas on a theme I don’t want to throw out there just yet.  But I have the title ready.  ALL WE LEAVE BEHIND.

There.  That’s about it.  Blog update until I remember it next.

My First Audiobook, The Bell Witch!


I’ve taken my first steps into a larger world.

Audiobooks are something I’ve been into ever since I was actually working in an actual office and actually having to drive back and forth each day.  My commute was about an hour each way, so it was nice to have something to pass the time, rather than annoying, abrasive, semi-funny morning/afternoon DJs.

Enter audiobooks.

Sometimes it’s nice to have someone read you a story.  As long as the narrator doesn’t rub me the wrong way–which is a purely personal thing–audiobooks can be a pleasant way to absorb a book.  Not every book, mind you, and not all the time.  But I love books so much, it doesn’t really matter to me, paperback or hardcover, ebook or audio.  Whatever.  Give me books.

Matt Godfrey, a noted audiobook…narrator isn’t the right word.  More of a performer, really, as the best in this business are.  Matt approached me about The Bell Witch.  Why wasn’t there an audiobook for it?

Good question, since friend and fellow author Mark Matthews had been urging me on for years.  His forays into this were very successful, and he assured me it was an easy thing.

Now, most authors own the audio rights to their works, unless they’ve signed them away.  I own mine, so I could do whatever I wished.  That also meant, of course, that I would be financially fronting the cost of doing this all by myself.  And to do it right, which I always strive for, was, while not super costly, at least a few bills.

But Matt convinced me, and we were off to the races.  And what Matt came up with is just…well…brilliant.  Perfect.  Couldn’t have captured the spirit of the book–both literally and figuratively–better.

Check it out for yourself.  It’s up at Amazon and at ITunes right now, if you’d like someone to read you a good, proper American ghost story–eleven hours of it!

I’m so happy with the results, that I’ll be working with Matt again shortly to produce an audiobook of my upcoming collection LITTLE BLACK SPOTS, which will be out in August. Should be fun!  Until then…



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