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Issue 3 of DARK YONDER includes a cocktail recipe recipe named after an American literary icon, commentary by editors Eryk Pruitt and Katy Munger, plus ten short stories by some of the best neo-noir authors writing today:

  • How to Teach Yourself to Swim by Fleur Bradley

  • Barroom Hero by Jay Butkowski

  • Surety by Sarah Courteau

  • Once Again in the Meeting by Tony Gentry

  • Scorpions by Nick Kolakowski

  • An Evening with Arlo by Mike McCrary

  • Big Jim Booker by Marc Phillips

  • Where the Bodies Are Buried by Todd Robinson

  • Crispy Skin by Anthony Neil Smith

  • Sam Pays His Dues by Casey Stegman








Fleur Bradley: How to Teach Yourself to Swim is inspired by the vintage Little Blue Book Number 1206 of the same title. Many of her short stories have appeared online and in print, in places like The Thrilling Detective and Versal. She also writes mysteries for kids, including Daybreak on Raven Island and Midnight at the Barclay Hotel (Viking/Penguin Random House), which have been nominated for both an Agatha and Anthony Award. She’s an active member of MWA and Sisters in Crime, and has judged and chaired for the Edgar Awards. Originally from the Netherlands, Fleur now lives in Colorado, where she’s working on her next story. You can find her at, or follow her on Twitter: @FTBradleyAuthor and Instagram: @fleurbradley.


Jay Butkowski: Jay Butkowski is a writer of fiction, eater of tacos, and amateur pizzaiolo living and working in New Jersey. He founded and serves as managing editor at Rock and a Hard Place Press, an independent publisher of crime and dark fiction. His own writing has appeared online and in print, in Shotgun Honey, Vautrin, All Due Respect, Yellow Mama, and other venues for noir and crime fiction.​ He’s also a father of twins, a doting newlywed husband, and a middling pancake chef. You can find him on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter: @jtbutkowski, or on the web at

Sarah Courteau was born in the Ozark Mountains. No matter how far away she wanders, they will always be home. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Oxford American, Witness, Belmont Story Review, and numerous other publications. She has received generous support from the Elizabeth George Foundation and Wildacres, and is the current Writing Fellow at Pen Parentis, an organization for writers who are parents. She attended Yale University and earned an MFA in Nonfiction Writing at the University of Iowa. A proud resident of the Bronx, she lives with her husband and daughter, a cat, a dog, and a lot of half-finished stories. Sometimes, one of them gets an ending.


Tony Gentry is the author of a novel The Coal Tower, a collection of stories Last Rites, and a book of poems, Yearnful Raves, along  with five young adult biographies  (Paul Laurence Dunbar, Jesse Owens, Dizzy Gillespie, Alice Walker, and Elvis Presley). Look for his novel The Night Doctor of Richmond, about that city’s notorious 19th Century grave robber Chris Baker, due out in time for Halloween. A recently retired professor of occupational therapy at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he specialized in assistive technology for cognition, Tony lives in Richmond with his wife Chris and their pup Buddy. He blogs at​


Nick Kolakowski's recent novels include Hell of a Mess (Shotgun Honey) and Absolute Unit (Crystal Lake Publishing). His short fiction has appeared in Thuglit, Shotgun Honey, Dark Moon Digest, and various anthologies. He lives and writes in New York. You can find him on Twitter (@nkolakowski) as well as at


Mike McCrary is the author of the Remo Cobb series, Someone Savage, and Table 13. In addition to writing, Mike has been a waiter, a dishwasher, an investment analyst, a bartender, and an unpaid Hollywood intern. He's quit corporate America, come back, been fired, been promoted, and fired again. Currently, he writes stories about questionable people who make questionable decisions from his home in Texas. Learn more about the author at


Marc Phillips is a private security contractor from Texas. His stories and verse have been in print for nearly 30 years. Marc’s debut novel, The Legend of Sander Grant, was published by Telegram Books in 2009.


Todd Robinson is an internationally award-winning author of three novels and a couple dozen short stories, give or take.


Anthony Neil Smith is a novelist (Slow Bear, Slower Bear, Yellow Medicine, many more), short story writer (Tough, Reckon Review, Cowboy Jamboree, many more), and professor (Southwest Minnesota State University). One of his stories was chosen for the Best American Mystery & Suspense 2023 anthology. He likes Mexican food, California wine, and Italian exploitation flicks.

Casey Stegman lives in North Carolina. His work has been previously published by Mystery Tribune. He’s currently in the process of writing his first novel. When he’s not typing up stories about miscreants and malefactors, he rescues and rehabilitates dogs with his wife. So if you’re looking to adopt a pup, hit him up. He can be found posting about his love for fiction and obscure movies from the 1980s and ‘90s on Twitter: @cstegman.

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