Might one note two reviews of THE TEARS OF ISIS, below, both from the other side of the Earth — from Australian author Natasha Ewendt and New Zealand artist William Cook (excerpt) respectively. Both can be found on Amazon’s pages for THE TEARS OF ISIS as well, but better yet, if one acts quickly there’s still time to buy the book for yourself at a 20 percent discount direct from the publisher. Just press here and add the code BLACK14 when you check out, but do it by midnight since (as also posted just below “Wednesday’s” Thanksgiving greeting) PMMP’s special Black Friday sale will be over tomorrow.
Is there anything better than a short story collection that pulls you in from the very first line? The Tears of Isis is intelligently written, evocative and engrossing. James Dorr is a fabulous wordsmith who weaves words in such a way that you can’t help but be lulled into the story. His ability to take on new perceptions and POVs and drag the reader inside them in such a short space of time is exceptional. All these unique, surprising stories are different to each other yet subtly threaded together. I like a different spin on dark themes and mythology and every story has one. Each tale has a killer twist, deep dark intrigue and/or something disturbing to make you shiver. The Tears of Isis features inventively told modern takes on ancient myths and classic legends along with all-new original ideas. Inspiring.
James Dorr’s third collection of short fiction, `The Tears of Isis,’ is a fantastically varied and eclectic selection of some of Dorr’s finest work. His last collection, `Darker Loves: Tales of Mystery and Regret,’ was excellent also, although I do prefer `Tears . . .’ for its diversity and almost poetic use of prose. The stories therein range from the grotesque, the Gothic, and the almost beautiful depiction of the dark and tragic soul of humanity. This collection is rich with allusion and aestheticism at every corner; the astute reader will realize that Mr Dorr is taking us on a tour of his own labyrinthine gallery, with an emphasis on the Gothic and the moribund. The homage to Edgar Allan Poe that precedes the first piece should give you fair indication that there will be darkness, requiring no less than a blood-red candle to light your way. . . .
Then, speaking of Gothy stuff, today also brought two author’s copies of GOTHIC BLUE BOOK IV: FOLKLORE EDITION to the postal mailbox here at the computer cave. My offering in this is the flash story “School Nights” (cf. October 29, September 8), but there’s much, much more, including a mini-collection of appropriately autumnal verse by Bruce Boston. So, even though Halloween may be over, you might want to take a look at this one by pressing here — an excellent companion volume for your discount copy of THE TEARS OF ISIS.
Wednesday the Cave Cat, Once Upon a Time (Wednesday’s webpage can be found here)
This one’s hot off the griddle, from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing’s Max Booth III:
Starting now until Saturday we will be having a Black Friday sale on our web store. So, if you have a book with us or you’re in one of our anthologies, some promo is in order.
20% off all titles, paperback and ebook
Promo code: BLACK14
This means THE TEARS OF ISIS (“named for the goddess, no relation to current Mideastern news events”) will be on sale at a twenty percent off discount for the next two days. Plenty of time for Christmas gifting — or for one’s self if you don’t have it already. And plenty of time for delivery too! To take advantage, just click on the book’s picture in the center column, or go directly to the THE TEARS OF ISIS’s page on the PMMP site by pressing here, then add the promotion code, BLACK14, when you check out.
Of course when you’ve done that (are you sure you don’t want a second copy while you’re at it, perhaps for some special relative or friend?) you might want to browse the PMMP store for other titles. These can be reached from the page for THE TEARS OF ISIS or, to go directly to the general PMMP store page, by pressing here, where you might also check out the Kurt Vonnegut tribute anthology SO IT GOES with my story of modern mores, “Dead Girls, Dying Girls.”
Also just in, one site to watch out for is T. GENE DAVIS’S SPECULATIVE BLOG, which “releases a family-friendly speculative story every Monday, mostly by guest authors.” Rather like DAILY SCIENCE FICTION it can be subscribed to for free and, offering a flat rate of $50.00 per story, the quality is generally high. So, literally less than an hour ago as I write this, came the word on a story I’d sent earlier in the month, “Congratulations! I love your story, ‘Flightless Rats’, and want to publish it on my blog and in the annual anthology.”
“Flightless Rats” is a tale of the vampiress Aimée (who we’ve met before in “Casket Girls,” cf. April 17, et al.), a night in 19th century New Orleans, and a bit of Biblical apocrypha. More will be reported as it becomes known, but in the meantime those who wish to can check out what will become her new home, and maybe sign up to follow it as well, by pressing here.
The question mark is because I’m unsure whether my specific titles, PEDS, VANITAS, I’M DREAMING OF A. . . ., and the YEAR’S END New Year’s Eve horror anthology with my lead story “Appointment in Time” are to be included in the “nearly 1000 titles” announced in Untreed Reads Publishing’s Cyber Monday sale. Here’s what they say about it: “We’re giving you something to look forward to. Survive the holiday and spend CyberMonday, December 1st shopping The Untreed Reads Store. You’ll find 40% off nearly 1,000 titles from 17 great publishers. Keep ‘em all for yourself or gift some to others. And remember: you get all ebook versions, Kindle, PDF and EPUB on your bookshelf to download whenever you want.” They also say they’ll take 25 percent off all paperbacks (and throw in an ecopy free as well), but I think those are mostly more recent titles than any of mine.
However, on Monday, December 1 only, one way to find out is to click on any of the pictures in the center column of the three stand-alone titles noted above (which will bring you to the anthology too) — or if you’d rather, just press here. And if it happens they’re not on the discount list, there’s a way to get from there to the Untreed Reads Store to see which titles are, or, better yet, just consider that even at the full price they’re still a bargain.
Today I played hooky from the Writers Guild’s Last Sunday Poetry Readings (cf. September 29, et al. — and apologies to this month’s featured poets Tony Brewer and Erin Livingston) in part for poor weather, the end of a warm spell but with lots of rain and my feeling a possible touch of a cold, but in larger part to complete a story I’d been working on. However, perusing my email afterward, I ran across an article from ELECTRIC LITERATURE, courtesy of Tim Waggoner via the Horror Writers Association Facebook page, that in its own way could be just as much fun. Erudite, fascinating, the piece by J. W. McCormack, originally published on October 30, is titled “31 Fairly Obscure Literary Monsters.” It can be found (albeit with a slightly, in my opinion, overly long introduction, but scroll down, scroll down!) by pressing here.
Try it, it’s worth reading (and the introduction, if longish, is fun in itself too).
Speaking of Eldritch Press, which we met in the post just below as sponsor of the HWA’s new Dark Poetry scholarship, they also, of course, publish books themselves. One of which has been mentioned just yesterday on their Facebook site via press owner Michael Randolph: “Update to OUR WORLD OF HORROR Anthology. All submissions have been answered. If you have an outstanding response from us, check your bulk folders, your Email accounts that no longer exist, behind your ears and let us know if we have not gotten back to you.
”Final tally was 1374 submissions with 31 (roughly, we’re all tired) submissions being chosen, plus poetry. Final word count should be roughly 100,000. . . .
”We had enough to fill a few anthos and passed over seasoned pro’s simply because we liked a different story better or the theme fit perfectly.
”We will be releasing a final TOC next week, minus the solicited stories we are waiting on.”
Well, the whole statement can be found by pressing here. But to the point, yesterday evening my email was graced by Chief Editor Kevin Knowles: “James, we are inquiring if your story ‘Spider Heat’ is available, if so we’d love to include it in OUR WORLD OF HORROR anthology.” So it’s been five months, but they’d said their response times might be slow (and this is one where I’d sent the submission well before deadline). And, as I sent back in the wee hours of a mildly snowy morning (first real snow of the coming winter, though we’d had some flurries around Halloween!), you bet “Spider Heat” — a summer story itself, set in Memphis Tennessee — is available and, at a good pay rate to boot, happy and anxious to be in its new home.
A short bit to note that the Horror Writers Association has announced its establishment of a Dark Poetry Scholarship program for member-poets. Sponsored by Eldritch Press, this is intended as a supplement to its already existing Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and Horror Writers Association Scholarships.
To quote their announcement: “The first Dark Poetry Scholarship will be awarded in 2015. Thereafter, the scholarship is given annually. The scholarship is designed to assist in the professional development of our members writing Horror and/or Dark Fiction Poetry
“HWA President Rocky Wood explained that the intent of the Dark Poetry Scholarship is to bring into prominence the very real importance and influence Dark Poetry has had on the Horror genre, ‘It is very clear to the HWA that there are real barriers limiting the amount of Dark Poetry being published. At the same time the HWA exists to extend the horror genre in all its aspects, so we are establishing the Dark Poetry Scholarship, which is open to all our members.’”
More information on the new scholarship, including a link to the rules for those interested in applying, can be found by pressing here.
It was a year ago when they first set out, five vampire poems off into the world, brave and hopeful, and today they finally returned to my mailbox, resplendent in their new home. Or, more to the point, the November issue of BLOODBOND arrived from Alban Lake Publishing (cf. September 3, June 25), with all five poems in it. The poems themselves are offered in two groups: “Section I” presenting ”Entertain the Concept, or, A Vampire’s Dilemma,” “The Vampire’s Suggestion (Don’t Forget Breath Mints),” and “The Vampire Muses,” and “Section II” with “Valentine Vamp (‘And So to Bed’)” and “Sinister,” the first three addressed to the vamp herself offering philosophy and advice, and the latter two more objective in describing her methodology and practice. More information, including a listing of other stories and poems in the issue, can be found here.