Cliff Burns


I've been a professional writer for over thirty-five years and have 16 books and well over 100 published short stories to my credit (including 15 major anthology appearances).

In 2023, I wrote and produced "Standing At an Angle to the Universe", a ten-part podcast devoted to books, literature and the writing life (available on Spotify, Podbean, etc.).


Two of my books have been shortlisted for national independent press prizes and my work has earned praise from reviewers and readers around the world, including STRANGE ADVENTURES (U.K.) who wrote: "At last Canada has a literary equivalent of David Cronenberg!"

All of my novels and collections are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble...or (preferably) can be ordered through your favourite local independent book shop.

Smashwords Interview

What is your writing process?
Long, drawn out, self-destructively obsessive.

I love the actual act of putting words on paper but unfortunately this pleasant pastime is then followed by hours and days and weeks of editing, pondering and carefully selecting each word or punctuation point.

Taken to extremes (as is so often the case with my "process"), it can completely erase the sheer joy of creating something new and unique and unprecedented.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Perhaps not the first, but Ray Bradbury's THE GOLDEN APPLES OF THE SUN had a profound effect on my youthful mind and there was also a young adult version of Homer's ODYSSEY which instilled a lifelong love of historical fiction (I had the good fortune to visit the actual site of ancient Troy in 2016, an amazing experience I shall treasure to my dying day).

Other important literary influences: Hunter S. Thompson's FEAR & LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, the mind-blowing novels of Philip K. Dick and the brilliant, intimate short fiction of Richard Matheson and Charles Beaumont.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Cliff Burns online


Cliff Burns: Out Loud
From 2012: author Cliff Burns reads from two collections of prose and poetry before a live audience.


Of the Night
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 42,150. Language: English. Published: August 27, 2023. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Horror » Occult
A followup novel to SO DARK THE NIGHT, incorporating the same setting, the mysterious city of Ilium, but featuring a new cast of characters intent on preventing an attack on our realm by creatures from another dimension. A mix of magic and noir, an irresistible and compellng fusion of genres.
The Definition of Melancholy
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 3,800. Language: English. Published: May 3, 2022. Categories: Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
Cliff Burns' 16th book, and first volume of poetry in nearly five years.
Notebooks: 2010 - 2020
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 14,520. Language: English. Published: April 3, 2021. Categories: Nonfiction » Inspiration » Personal inspiration, Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir
For ten years, author Cliff Burns scribbled notes and reflections in two Moleskine notebooks. This book is a distillation of those entries, short snippets and wry takes on the undeniably scary present and uncertain future, end notes for End Times.
Electric Castles: A Book of Urban Legends
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 65,690. Language: English. Published: September 21, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
Employing a variety of genres, including dark fantasy, magic realism and crime fiction, author Cliff Burns takes readers on a guided tour through the fierce, pulsating heart of contemporary society.
The Algebra of Inequality
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 4,410. Language: English. Published: May 25, 2019. Categories: Poetry » Contemporary Poetry, Poetry » Spiritual
2018 collection of poetry by Canadian author Cliff Burns. The themes vary from the spiritual to the anxieties and terrors associated with life in the 21st Century.
The Last Hunt
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 56,660. Language: English. Published: May 25, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Western, Fiction » Adventure » Action
A novel set in the dying days of the Old West. Frank Seaver is a relic of bygone days, when a fast gun and killer instinct meant the difference between life and death. But now a more modern era is dawning and men like Seaver are obsolete, hunted to extinction.
So Dark the Night
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 122,820. Language: English. Published: May 25, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Occult, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural
An occult thriller, a mystery featuring two detectives who only work at night...and the case that nearly costs them everything.
Righteous Blood
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 53,530. Language: English. Published: May 25, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction, Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
Two novellas on the theme of evil--graphic and disturbing dark fantasy/horror.
Sex and Other Acts of the Imagination
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 35,520. Language: English. Published: May 25, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction, Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
A cult classic, back in print and ready to rock your world. Stories of the macabre and surreal, plausible and terrifying.
Exceptions and Deceptions
Price: $2.99 USD. Language: English. Published: May 25, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller, Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
Short stories that defy easy categorization, tales of intimate horror and psychological torment.
Mouth: Rants and Routines
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 43,480. Language: English. Published: May 22, 2019. Categories: Essay » Sociology, Nonfiction » Politics & Current Affairs » Civil & human rights
A collection of rants and diatribes on hot button issues like political correctness, identity politics and the narcissism endemic in contemporary society.
"The Hibakusha"
Price: Free! Words: 4,000. Language: English. Published: March 5, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead
(3.00 from 1 review)
A post-apocalyptic horror story, creatures surviving in the ruins of a blasted city and a woman desperate enough to make contact with them...
New World Man
Price: Free! Words: 7,110. Language: English. Published: January 12, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Cyberpunk, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
A tale included in Jonathan Gates' anthology of THE 20 ALL TIME BEST SCIENCE FICTION STORIES. A cyberpunk gem, set in the near future and all too believable and authentic...
Also Starring
Price: Free! Words: 530. Language: English. Published: January 12, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
Someone impersonating famous character actors is on a crime spree--who's behind this nefarious scheme and what is their motivation? One of my most popular stories.
In Dreams, Awake
Price: Free! Words: 2,920. Language: English. Published: January 12, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
What would happen if the end of the world came...and everyone slept right through it? A speculative fiction short story that is all too plausible--a killing plague that leaves no marks...
While You Were Away
Price: Free! Words: 1,310. Language: English. Published: January 12, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Urban, Fiction » Romance » Short stories
A short story about isolation--loneliness is the ultimate mind-altering substance...
Price: Free! Words: 1,310. Language: English. Published: January 12, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
A short story from my 1997 collection THE REALITY MACHINE. An absolutely bizarre creation, a funny and ghastly tale.
The Goblins
Price: Free! Words: 1,040. Language: English. Published: January 12, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction, Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
(4.00 from 1 review)
A short story about things that go bump in the night, despite what your parents might have told you.
Teenage Wasteland
Price: Free! Words: 4,070. Language: English. Published: January 12, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller, Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
Jamie just wants to buy a little dope, make some money before his dad finds out. Unfortunately, that means he has to deal with freaks like Lyle...
The Strange Music
Price: Free! Words: 660. Language: English. Published: January 12, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
(3.00 from 1 review)
A short story that takes place during a car ride home, after an "incident" at a party. Gripping and authentic, one of the best of my early tales.
Price: Free! Words: 1,470. Language: English. Published: January 11, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Urban, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Welcome to "Restitution", a new reality TV show that allows you to make amends to the people you've wronged...
The Cattletruck
Price: Free! Words: 1,270. Language: English. Published: January 11, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction, Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
A post-apocalyptic tale, set in a blasted landscape: a train load of people, heading to their doom...
Invisible Boy
Price: Free! Words: 2,320. Language: English. Published: January 11, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Dark, Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
A frightening and all too believable account of a child in peril...and a grim reminder that a story doesn't have to have monsters in it to be scary.
Eyes in the Sky
Price: Free! Words: 4,080. Language: English. Published: January 11, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Literature » Literary
An alternative history where the Space Age never happened and less conventional types of espionage and surveillance are being employed...
Disloyal Son
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 60,310. Language: English. Published: January 11, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
An author seeks to explore his family's past and discovers it's far darker than he ever imagined. A richly imagined and suspenseful story, based on real life events.

Cliff Burns' tag cloud

abandonment    adventure    alternative history    amusing rants    apocalypse    autobiography    big game hunting    censorship    child abuse    children    contemporary poetry    cosmology    creepy    crime    crime fiction    current events    cyberpunk    dark fantasy    dark romance    detective fiction    drugs    end of the world    entertainment    environment    erotica    esp    extrasensory    failed romance    family    family secret    fantasy    fear    goblins    hollywood    horror    humor    humor black    isolation    journal    literary fiction    literature    loneliness    love    lovecraft    lovecraftian    magic realism    making amends    marijuana    marriage    meditations    mental illness    montana setting    mystery    noir    nonfiction    novellas    nuclear war    occult    old west    organized crime    pandemic    philosophy    plague    poetry    political correctness    post apocalypse    psychological suspense    psychological thriller    quotes    reflections    relationship    relationships    religion    remote viewing    revolution    satire    satire comedy    science fiction    short shories    short stories    short story    slipstream    space age    spirituality    supernatural    surreal    suspense    thriller    urban fantasy    vampire    virtual reality    western novel    young adult    zombie