Following the availability of its Kindle edition (see April 11), Horrified Press has announced today that its NIGHTMARE STALKERS & DREAM WALKERS anthology can also be purchased via Google Play for $3.00 — and, at least as of my check this afternoon, possibly at a markdown from that.  I would assume that the discount is temporary, but to check it out for yourself, press here.  My story in this one is the somewhat surrealistic “Flesh,” about a person whose dreams instruct him to get fat, and was originally published in the Spring 1999 issue of MAELSTROM SPECULATIVE FICTION.

Aimée et les filles à les caissettes, “Casket Girls” (cf. April 10), is now available to all readers in DAILY SCIENCE FICTION’s archives.  Just go to their main site at www.dailysciencefiction.com and press “Recent Stories” on the left to find it, or, alternatively, one can reach it directly by pressing here.  And while you’re at it, for those who don’t mind delving deep into the musty archives of years long past, two other ursuline1stories of mine dwell within: “Naughty or Nice,” the tale of a Parisian vampiress’s Christmas adventure, and “Killer Pot” about, um, skin treatments for the twenty-first century — but with Victorian roots as well.  Or, maybe the best thing to do is just read it. For these anyhow, go back to the DSF main page and this time put “Dorr” (or “dorr”) in the box on the right where it says “SEARCH.” (Hint: Don’t use “James Dorr” or “James S. Dorr” — through the magic of modern electronics you’ll get a scroll of every author with the name James, or in one case even just the initial J; similarly, while the titles of the stories will work, in the case of “Killer Pot,” you will first get a story called “Coffee Pot” — go figure).

Speaking of goofiness, it came to pass that after “Casket Girls” went to subscribers, fellow poet, artist, and sometime-commenter Marge Simon emailed me with the beginning lines of a poem honoring (in an admittedly silly, good-humored way) our Aimée, with an invitation for me, if I wished, to add a few more lines.  I did and sent it back, she added a few more, I added a few more and thus “Aimee, the Casket Girl” was written.  But that’s not all.  We tossed around a few places we might send it, I suggesting one that had published another sort of silly poem of mine with an illustration by Marge a while back (see “Well-Dressed Vampiress Finds a Home,” July 27 2012).  So it is that yesterday Barbara Custer of NIGHT TO DAWN e-mailed Marge back, “I’ve published James Dorr’s work before . . . [l]ove the one you did together and got a good laugh.  I’d like to publish it in NTD 27.”  And not only that, Marge may be supplying an illustration to go with this one too!

 

Mid-April, taxes paid, and today a new poem accepted.  It’s even sunny (if chilly) outside. Not a bad day at all.  Well, the taxes actually went in a few days early, but the poem acceptance was today, from STAR*LINE (see July 25 2013, et al.) Editor F .J. Bergmann for the October issue, for a haiku-styled horror called “Paranormal Botany.”  It even has a seasonal reference!

STAR*LINE is the official magazine of the Science Fiction Poetry Association and I understand will be having another short poem by me, “You Never Can Look Back,” in its upcoming issue.  More information on both the SFPA and STAR*LINE can be found here, as well as just below, April 12, on the SFPA’s annual Rhysling anthology and competition.

A new review by Casey Douglass of Grey Matter Press’s SPLATTERLANDS anthology (see December 4, November 23 2013, et al.) is up on DARK DISTRACTIONS. While my contribution, “The Artist,” is not specifically listed as one of the reviewer’s three or four favorites, all stories receive a mini-description which gives a good notion of what the anthology is about – as well as the sheer variety of the individual stories. Thought you’d read everything splatterpunk has to offer? Possibly not, as Casey points out, for more information on which press here.

More good news.  Yesterday I sent back the permission form for my poem “The Specialist,” originally published in the June issue of DISTURBED DIGEST (see June 20, 17 2013, et al.), to be reprinted in the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s RHYSLING ANTHOLOGY.  This is a compilation of nominees for the SFPA’s Rhysling Award, divided into two categories for short (under 50 lines) and long poetry.  “The Specialist” is one of two poems about vampires I had in that issue, both fairly gritty (albeit, perhaps, with a wink as well), the other one titled “It Would Be Wrong,” and will appear in the short poem division.  For more information about the Rhysling Award, one can press here, while for a list of this year’s nominees — and, hence, the contents of the anthology – press here.

“Welcome to the dreaded night realm . . . lingering just beneath your eyelids, where the hellish things borne of fear eagerly await your arrival. Prepare to be whiplashed to the darkest regions of 32 wicked minds, and forced to stare into their collective abyss.”  Yes, it’s NIGHTMARE NightmareStalkers4_11_14STALKERS & DREAM WALKERS (see February 13; October 23 2013, et al.) and, according to its publisher, it’s now available through Amazon as well as Lulu, including for Kindle.  And not only that, it now sports a slightly different cover commemorating a second place win in the Predators & Editors™ Readers Poll 2013 for best anthology.  Not bad for a book that purports to be about sleep.

Or maybe not sleep, exactly, but the stuff of dreams, both good ones and bad ones, including a story of mine called “Flesh” about a man who’s become convinced that he must get fat.  Say what?  Well, to check it yourself on Kindle press here — from which, if you wish, you can move to Amazon’s page for the print edition as well.

Yes, they have arrived, “Casket Girls” (cf. April 3) as they’ve been called in English, first in New Orleans in 1728 and now, if you subscribe to DAILY SCIENCE FICTION, in your own e-mailbox! What did they come for and at whose behest? What did they really bring with them from France? Find out all this and more and, should you not be a subscriber yourself, you can subscribe for free at their website, reachable by pressing here!

One might argue, in fact, that DAILY SCIENCE FICTION is worth a look even without my story — my third for them actually, two having appeared in 2011 and still available in the DSF archives. The first, Ursuline_Convent_New_Orleans_1733“Killer Pot,” was in August that year and the second, the vampiric Christmas tale “Naughty or Nice,” in December (cf. August 16, 9 and December 28, 21, et al.). But more than that, as a subscriber you’ll receive another free story every day except on weekends.

And even if you don’t subscribe, “Casket Girls” will go into the archives itself next Thursday, April 17, a week from today, where it can be read by anyone on the internet. So I’m calling it a lagniappe as well, as a free gift for reading this blog, even though it’s technically courtesy of DSF Editors Michele Barasso and Jonathan Laden.

Busy, busy, busy.  On an otherwise nondescript Tuesday, the peak activity of which was to be a reading of the first week’s worth of “Poem-A-Day” poetry (see April 1), what should e-appear in my computer mailbox but a contract for a book to be called OMNIBUS:  MONK PUNK/SHADOW OF THE UNKNOWN from Aaron French.  Now there’s something that needs to be known about contracts, at least for anthologies, and that’s that the name of the actual story it’s for is usually not included, but rather is represented by a blank line for the author to fill in.  And, perhaps because it’s been a busy year so far with THE TEARS OF ISIS related stuff (you know what I mean ;-) ) and all, I had no memory of having even sent, much less having had accepted a story for something called OMNIBUS etc. (though I did have a memory of an anthology to be called MONK PUNK a few years back, mainly that I had not submitted a story to it).  Mystery, mystery!  Research, however, uncovered that I had had a story in a different anthology, THE SHADOW OF THE UNKNOWN, published in summer 2011 (cf. August 29 that year), and from there came the solution:  a combined reissue of these two anthologies is in the offing, from a new publisher, in which my THE SHADOW OF THE UNKNOWN story “The Festering,” itself a reprint originally published in the magazine BARE BONE, was to appear.

Who knew?  (Well, me now.)

So I signed that one and emailed it back at about the time another one came, this one from British Editor Theresa Derwin with the subject line “Zombie Anthology.”  It’s always nice to narrow these things down.  The cover letter, however, made reference to ZOMBIES GONE WILD and a relatively easy look-up revealed that the story in question was “The Dripping Nose that Wouldn’t Wipe” (cf. March 27 2012 — this story also a reprint, first published in the half-vampire/half-zombie anthology TOOTH DECAY), originally accepted for an  as yet untitled followup volume.  So that, too, was signed and sent back yesterday evening just in time for. . . .

A late Tuesday email from Editor Warren Lapine with a contract for “No Place to Hide” (yet another reprint, originally appearing in SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW) to be in his new FANTASTIC STORIES PRESENTS anthology.  This one is easy, the acceptance having come mere days ago (see March 31), but, weary from reading and signing things by now, I’m going to let it wait until later on Wednesday.

(And, just to be a completest, I also wrote and received emails Tuesday from Nicole Benz of Dark Regions Press, which could lead to updated, um, contracts for my collections STRANGE MISTRESSES:  TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE and DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET.)

So what do writers do when they’re not writing?  Well, this is one answer.

Today was a big day for literature, consisting not only of the Bloomington Writers Guild First Sunday Readings (cf. March 2, February 2, et al.) but, one hour before, a discussion on “Embrace the New:  21st Century Poetry” at the county library.  Presented by Dory Lynch, the hour touched on trends such as prose poems and haibun, “New Formalism,” postmodernism and language poetry, and use of political themes.  Examples were given in a handout “Poetry Sampler” as well as readings of favorite poems by some of those present.   And then for First Sunday at Boxcar Books (roughly a block from the library making for an easy commute), the featured readers were Richard Durisen with flash fiction as well as some poetry, Michelle Hartz with short zombie fiction, and Alisa Alering with an excerpt from her YA novel-in-progress PONYPOCALYPSE, with about five more of us aftrward for the open mike session.  My offering for the latter was a brief  introduction to “bizarro” fiction in the form of  an as yet unpublished short short, “Rocky Road,” about ice cream, cannibalism, and hair styles.

And then, for an abrupt change of topic, perusing my email at the library prior to “21st Century Poetry,” I found a note by HWA President Rocky Wood.  To quote directly:  “A couple of months ago there was a discussion on various FB pages about what HWA does/achieves.  At that time we committed to compile a list and publicise [it] widely.”  The compilation now exists and serves, I think, as a reminder for all similar groups (another list I’m in, for instance, suggested  questions about SFWA, and there’s also the MWA, RWA, etc. — if you’re a member of any of these you know what the letters mean).  Dues cost money which, at times, can be short.  So what do the dues I might pay help accomplish?

In the case of the Horror Writers Association, to find out press here.

Good news for those who still like to browse through bookstores!  Hooray for the printed books that they sell!  An interesting topic on the “imminent death” of brick-and-mortar bookstores being perhaps prematurely reported is currently available on Salon.com.  And not only that, the bookstore revival seems to be primarily among smaller, independent bookstores — your friendly neighborhood book nook, as it were.  While the article doesn’t address it, that would seem to include specialty bookstores, such as those for horror and other genres like mystery or science fiction.

Kudos go to Lisa Morton for pointing this one out via Facebook.  To read it for yourself, press here.

 

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