What does 1960s iconic cartoonist Robert Crumb have to do with success in writing? Fame, fortune, or respect — which is best? That’s right, it’s interview time again, this time courtesy of Jim Mcleod and his GINGER NUTS OF HORROR. It’s a pretty short one this time as some go, self-styled as “Five Minutes of Questions,” but it’s the questions themselves (and the answers) that hold the interest, yes? What book was I reading when I did the interview (hint: one that I didn’t have a story in myself)? Will the cave cat Wednesday find a way to get herself mentioned too?
Answers to these and more can be found here.
Also, the mail has just arrived and, with it, my copy of RADICAL DISLOCATIONS (cf. September 1, July 17 and 28), Chupa Cabra House’s limited edition volume of “weird poems by the best unbderground poets.” Who can say whether every poet is the best or not, much matters perhaps best left to taste, but three of the offerings at least are mine: “Last Rides” (what happens when a coffin is kicked during the graveside service — hint: it doesn’t involve zombies or anything similar), “Book Fair Buzz Is Not Contained Between 2 Covers” (killer bees at the annual Book Fair), and “Why He Ate His Hat” (the thwarting of an alien invasion). Edited by Timm Tayshun, the book itself is somewhat rough and ready — my middle initial on the contents page, for insstance, has wandered a few spots down in the alphabet from where it is on the poems themselves — but, from a preliminary dipping inside, looks to be a lot of fun.
Unfortunately RADICAL DISLOCATIONS is already out of print, but it does have a page on Amazon, here, where used copies could conceivably come up.
The word came today from National Space Society of North Texas Contest Coordinator Patricia Ferguson: “I am very pleased to announce that MARS: THE NEXT FRONTIER is available on Amazon. Finally! I am very sorry that it took so long, but it is done, and I hope you will be pleased with it. I am working on putting out a Kindle edition as well.” It has been a while, going back to July 23 when I announced on these pages the return of the contract for “three haiku-styled poems, ‘Outward Bound’ (also a contest Honorable Mention), ‘Red Sky,’ and ’4th Planet Excursion,’ to be published in a chapbook anthology MARS, THE NEXT FRONTIER (cf. September 26, September 22 2012),” adding that “[w]e have met the National Space Society of North Texas before, incidentally, on February 11 2012 and September 15 2011 with a previous anthology, MOON: THE EIGHTH CONTINENT, including my poem ‘Landing.’” I might add now, too, that we’ve met again more recently on October 6 with two entries on the results of their latest contest on “Space Exploration, Development, and Settlement,” this year administered in conjunction with the Fort Worth Haiku Society, along with announcing its Grand Winner — me.
There will be a book of winners, honorable mentions, et al. for this contest too called THE ZEN OF SPACE (I like to think it appropriate, especially, that the poem I won with is a limrick ) which Coordinator/Editor Ferguson adds is in preparation with a hoped for publication date early in 2014. As for MARS: THE NEXT FRONTIER, its print edition can be ordered now by pressing here.
Also, speaking of print editions, my paperback copies of SPLATTERLANDS (see November 22, et al.) arrived this week from Grey Matter Press. Edited by Anthony Rivera and Sharon Lawson, its just over 275 pages include thirteen stories — mine, “The Artist,” is third from the end — complete with interior illustrations by Carrion House and is, in general, a good looking book that’s been well received as both a look back and an extension of the idea of splatterpunk.
Now, if I weren’t still so busy reading BLEED (cf. November 24, et al.) . . .
Technically this arrived last night, so, closing out the month of November, David Nell emailed: “Thank you for your submission to COSMIC VEGETABLE. We are pleased to confirm that your story has been chosen for the remaining 16 spots and will appear in the anthology’s final lineup.” To be published by Dreamscale Press, COSMIC VEGETABLE: ANTHOLOGY OF HUMOROUS SF* will be coming out with my even longer-titled “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Procyon VII Slime Dancers’ Beaux,” a tale of intrigue and interstellar love originally published in March 1996 in the magazine ZONE 9 — and, the acceptance letter goes on, to be out as early as later this week in this new venue. And, yes, we’ve met David Nell before as editor as well of MISERIA’S CHORALE for Forgotten Tomb Press (see November 26, et al.)
So part of today’s activity included reading over, electro-signing, and sending back the contract for COSMIC VEGETABLE, using a public library computer downtown, then walking about two blocks on a remarkably pleasant first day of December to local bookstore Boxcar Books for December’s Bloomington Writers Guild “First Sundays Reading and Open-Mic” (cf. October 6, et al.) at which, for the “open-mic” part, I offered my short short “The Christmas Zombie” from Kazak Press’s last year’s anthology AT YEAR’S END: HOLIDAY SFF STORIES (cf. November 19 2012).
Then, once I returned home, it was time to check over proof sheets and send back corrections (only one small one!) to Nathan J. D. L. Rowark of Horrified Press for my story “Tunnels” (cf. August 15, also September 6 2011, et al.), to be in their rather less jolly, post-apocalypse anthology UNTIL THE END. Mine is a horror tale of familial love and childhood wonder under not-the-best-of-circumstances, with UNTIL THE END tentatively scheduled for release December 20th.
Then, finally, Untreed Reads Publishing has announced a fifty percent off sale for all titles all day Cyber Monday, tomorrow as I post this, including my PEDS, VANITAS, and Christmas short “I’M DREAMING OF A. . . .,” all reachable by clicking their pictures in the center column, as well as last year’s New Year’s anthology YEAR’S END: 14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR with my lead story “Appointment in Time.” Other partial-day specials will be available too, starting at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST if I’m counting the hours right). For more information check out the Untreed Reads store by pressing here.
*Not to be confused with the “Eco-Horror Veggie Anthology” GROWING CONCERNS (of November 18 et al.), with my story “Seeds.”
Today, “Black Friday,” Dark Regions Press has announced its own post-Thanksgiving sale, this one lasting through Sunday, December 1. Two offers may be of interest for those who don’t yet have my first two mostly-prose collections, STRANGE MISTRESSES: TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE and DARKER LOVES: TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET, but might be tempted to get one or both at a bargain price. Any one paperback is being offered for only $9.00, the buyer’s choice, which amounts to a savings for DARKER LOVES, although the older and lower-priced STRANGE MISTRESSES might cost less at what seems to be a continuing offer (that is, regardless of this special sale) of 50 percent off of all backstock titles. Then, for the second, Dark Regions is also offering one limited edition, hardcover, deluxe copy of ten pictured titles for just $25, which includes the deluxe edition of DARKER LOVES, although this appears to be more like a grab bag rather than letting you choose your title. There are other offers in this sale too, though, some involving multiple titles, with information on all of these available by pressing here.
In other dark news, the premiere issue of BLOODBOND (see May 16) arrived today and the opening item in this first issue is a poem by me! Published by Alban Lake Publishing, BLOODBOND is a semi-annual print “digest of Vampires, Werewolves, and Shapeshifters” with the current November issue edited by Terrie Leigh Relf. And so, along those lines, my poem is “In the Company of Wolves” about what happens in present-day America when werewolves grow up. Other authors and poets in this issue include Sandy DeLuca, John Grey, Tyree Campbell, and Marge Simon.
For more information, guidelines, and ordering information on BLOODBOND and its sister publications, including DISTURBED (see June 20, et al.), check out the Alban Lake website by clicking here. Also, just following “In the Company of Wolves” is a two-page spread on my poetry book VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE), for more information on which click its picture in the center column.
I don’t know if it’s for just one day only, but this just came in from Max Booth III for Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing and, if in doubt, one should probably act fast. Titles include THE TEARS OF ISIS as well as some others mentioned on these pages, along with yet others that have not. To quote the announcement:
“Our Black Friday sale begins… NOW!
“Buy any PAPERBACK on our library page, and receive a free 1 year subscription to our One-Night Stands stories! That’s a short story every month for one year (value: $10).
“Spread the word and buy some books!”
For more, go to Perpetual Publishing’s site by pressing here.
“MISERIA’S CHORALE, edited by David Nell, is nearly complete, and so is the cover art — front and back,” came the announcement today via Facebook. It went on to say, “Nell has included a diversity of voices in the upcoming Forgotten Tomb Press title, boasting authors from countries such as the United States, Canada, Brazil, Great Britain, Italy, South Africa, the Philippines, and Australia.” My story in this one is “The Cherry Tree” (cf. November 8, et al.), a ghost story with roots in the Civil War but with tendrils that reach into present day Vicksburg.
At last word, MISERIA’S CHORALE was supposed to be out by the end of this month and whether this indicates a delay or not, it still seems to be on track for a release in time for Christmas. And, glancing at the table of contents (a possibly not-yet-complete listing is posted below for October 14), it looks to be an anthology worth waiting a few days — or few weeks — more for.
And in the meantime, to whet appetites, the Facebook announcement also includes the current cover art, front and back, for which see right here.
Also Untreed Reads Publishing announced today that they’ve opened a special page for people looking for winter holiday books, including titles for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s. I have two hounds in this hunt myself, the Christmas short story chapbook I’M DREAMING OF A. . . . and the lead story, “Appointment in Time,” in the Untreed Reads New Year’s anthology YEAR’S END: FOURTEEN TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR. Those interested can check out these and other titles by pressing here, or to go directly to I’M DREAMING OF A. . . . by clicking on its picture in the center column.
An extremely comprehensive review by Heather Landry of BLEED (see September 6, August 27, et al.) is currently up on THE HORROR ZINE. This is Editor Lori Michelle’s 45-author anthology of short fiction, essays, and poetry with profits dedicated to the National Children’s Cancer Society, released at the end of this summer by Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing. And (may I brag?), the reviewer says of my offering, originally published in GOTHIC.NET in March 2002 and also reprinted in my 2007 Dark Regions collection DARKER LOVES: TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET, “. . . and I consider ‘King Rat’ to be another one of this book’s little masterpieces.” To see for yourself, check out THE HORROR ZINE’s review by pressing here, or, better yet, for the publisher’s site to order the book — available now in both print and electronic formats — press here.
In other news to round out the weekend, the contract for “Casket Girls” (see November 19, below) arrived this morning from DAILY SCIENCE FICTION. Blurb copy and bio are also requested which may keep me up for a bit tonight, but it’s all worth the effort. Part of “the writing life,” one might call it. More to the point, things are moving along and, while past experience with DAILY SF has involved a three to four month period between acceptance and publication, wouldn’t it be neat if this one came out by the end of the year?
Already available electronically the week before Halloween, SPLATTERLANDS (see November 13, October 22, et al.) is now being offered in print form as well. “SPLATTERLANDS reawakens and reimagines the hyperintensive writing style and controversial themes indicative of the original Splatterpunk movement,” to quote their ad copy. “Containing the work of some of the freshest voices of our modern time, it is an anthology of deeply intelligent short stories whose extreme themes and graphic depictions of violence and terror are intended to have a lasting effect for years to come.” My own piece in this is an original blue-collar noir story titled “The Artist,” while other contributors include Michael Laimo, Gregory Norris, Jack Maddox, Ray Garton, A.A. Garrison, Michele Garber, Paul Collrin, Chad Stroup, Allen Griffin, Christine Morgan, J Michael Major, Eric Del Carlo and Luke Spooner.
To check SPLATTERLANDS out on Amazon in its paperback newness press here. Or if one is feeling lucky, publisher Grey Matter Press also reminds us they’re running a giveaway on Goodreads for three more weeks, until December’s Friday the 13th, for more on which click here.
So what did I do on my summer vacation? For one thing, I went to World Horror Convention in New Orleans (cf. June 19) and, while there, I went on a walking tour that included the Old Ursuline Convent in the French Quarter and a recounting of legends of the “Casket Girls.” Interesting stuff, this, that “les filles à les casquettes” have been accused of smuggling vampires to America in their luggage — though all they really were were young women sent from France, of generally good character, to be wives for the men who had founded New Orleans in the hopes of starting families and making Louisiana a lasting colony. For those with an interest in musical theatre, Victor Herbert’s 1910 operetta NAUGHTY MARIETTA offers a more romantic view. For me, though, the bloodier version seemed nicest and, with a bit of research on my own, I finally came up with a story, itself titled “Casket Girls,” of the coquettish Aimée, forced from her home, and what “really happened.”
Today the word came from Editors Jonathan and Michele of DAILY SCIENCE FICTION (see, e.g., May 5 2012; December 28, 21 2011, et al.): the peripatetic Casket Girls have found a new home. “A sample email, including any edits to your story that may be necessary, will come later.” This will be the third story I’ll have had published in DAILY SF, one of the top markets for speculative flash and near-flash fiction, the previous two being “Naughty or Nice” and “Killer Pot” (the latter of which followers may recall was linked to on October 31, below, as a lagniappe for this year’s Halloween).
As for this one, more news will appear here as soon it comes to me.