Speaking of BLACK INFINITY (cf. just below, July 9, et al.), Thursday’s email had also included an early announcement for the edition to follow the one with “Waxworms.”  The next issue will be Renegade Robots, with a broad interpretation of “renegade”:  a deserter from one faith, cause, or allegiance to another; an individual who rejects lawful or conventional behavior or tradition.  Since all robots, by their very nature, are unconventional, the robot(s) in your story can be good, bad, or indifferent; protagonist, villain, or innocent bystander.  . . .  I’m looking for stories with a classic, traditional, or retro feel, 3000 to 10000 words, new or reprint.  While an open call wouldn’t be until later, early submission was being invited with this extra note:  Atmospheric, creepy, and/or suspenseful stories are a big plus.

Atmospheric?  Creepy?  You probably know the drill.  Anyway, Saturday I sent back a story, “Scavenger,” originally from the November 1994 FANTASTIC COLLECTIBLES about robots in an abandoned dying city with, I suggested, an appropriately “noir” tone, though at 2200-words maybe a bit short.  And so, this morning, the answer awaited:  Despite the shorter length it’s a well-developed tale, atmospheric, moving, and memorable. I’d like to include it in the next issue.

A quick double-header today as the week’s end approaches.  The first from Tom English and BLACK INFINITY was a proof copy of my story, “Waxworms” (cf. April 4, November 13), slated for issue 6, “Insidious Insects,” hopefully to be out later this month.  As it happens the proof of the story itself was perfect as I so informed Editor English about two hours ago.

Then, second, a note from Aditya Deshmukh with more news about UNREAL (see July 8 just below, et al.) along with a request for a short blurb on my story “The Garden.”  That, too, went back this afternoon.

Quoth the blurb:  UNREAL celebrates the sheer awesomeness of Speculative Fiction!  Each of the twenty stories is set in its own independent world.  So this single book is your ticket to twenty diverse lands where mind-bending things happen!  The book is the start-up anthology UNREAL (see March 28, 22, et al.) from The Great Void Books and, albeit with some delay, is finally out on Amazon in both kindle and print forms.  To continue the publisher’s description:  Speculative Fiction is a vast genre, but we have got delicacies from almost every subgenre.  There’s AI, magic, monkey gods, time travel, vampires, scary organisms, strange hidden-dimension particles, pirates, oppressive governments, ancient temples, weird futuristic tech . . . and of course aliens!

These short stories (by the way, none of these are very short) are some really serious works of art.  And since this is an anthology, you’ll get to meet a bunch of some really terrific authors.  Also, lest one forget, included is my novelette “The Garden,” originally published in 2009 as an edited chapbook by Damnation Books, a tale of cutting-edge biochemistry in, for the first time here, its “author’s cut” form.

Appetites whetted?  For more information, ordering press here.

First of all a late happy Fourth of July, mine having been happy enough with a new CASKET GIRLS acceptance!  On Sunday night the publisher sent a contract, but it was for a new story, not a reprint — this is something that happens fairly often, actually, usually just needing a few words to be changed — but it meant I had to send back a request for a corrected copy.  While in the meantime I ran across a new movie list to keep us all busy, perhaps, for July — and in fact I’ve already found one, SESSION 9, that I may re-watch tonight.

The list is “19 Underrated Horror Movies That You Need to See, According to Reddit” by Audrey Webster, courtesy of THE-LINE-UP.COM, and may be checked out for oneself by clicking here.  To quote Ms. Webster:  We all remember our first horror film.  That bone-chilling sensation, the knowledge that nothing had ever been like this before.  If you’re anything like us, that first glimpse turned you into a lifelong seeker of cinematic fear. 

And clearly we’re not alone.  There are hundreds of threads on Reddit that compile the scariest films people have ever seen.  We’ve gone through all of the (thousands) of suggestions to find the best of the brutal bunch.  If you’re a horror film fanatic and haven’t yet seen these pulse-pounding, edge-of-your-seat flicks, it’s time to add them to your list.

This time around I’ve seen maybe about a third of them myself and, to my own taste, they’re sort of a mixed bag.  A lot are worth seeing (e.g. SESSION 9, already mentioned above; others like MARTYRS; AS ABOVE, SO BELOW; THE EYES OF MY MOTHER), but not all necessarily favorites — although, of course, mileage may differ for others (as the saying goes:  for example I’m not fond of most “found footage” movies but this list, to me, seemed a bit heavy with them).  Other entries, somewhat at random, are PYEWACKIT, DEAD SILENCE, THE HOUSES OCTOBER BUILT, THE WOMAN, THE HILLS RUN RED, you get the idea, likely something for everyone.  And, beyond the ones I’ve already cited, plenty to choose from.

Sometimes you send a story out Sunday, an acceptance comes back that Thursday (cf. July 2, below).  Sometimes it doesn’t.  In this case the story was “Casket Girls,” the saga of vampiress Mille. Aimée and companions’ 1728 arrival in New Orleans.  Originally published in DAILY SCIENCE FICTION on April 10 2014, as well as in several other places (see April 3, February 6, January 23 2018; October 30 2017, et al.), it went out this time on January 25, and yesterday evening, Friday July 3, saw its return.  Congratulations!  Your story has been accepted for publication in our upcoming anthology, HORROR USA:  LOUISIANA.  . . .  The publication date is set for Saturday, September 19th.  I’m finalizing the contract and I’ll be sending it out next weekend.  An apology was included by Editor Rachele Bowman for the nearly half-year wait, with an understanding if I wished now to withdraw the story (I emailed back that, no, I was still good with the sale), plus some information on payments, etc., with more to be coming.

So it isn’t a record in terms of wait time, just another small blip in the writing life, though it is a bit longer than one usually plans for.   But on the other hand, if they make good on that September 19 date for publication, it will be a quicker than average move from acceptance to print.  So you lose one, you win one, yes?

After all, Aimée doesn’t mind too much either — she’s a vampire!  That is, she’s already (un)lived some hundreds of years, so what’s a few months, more or less, added to it?

A quick note from the wee hours of Friday morning.  Thursday brought a copy of the final edits of my story “The Re-Possessed” (cf. June 14, May 12) from Editor/Publisher R.L. Burwick.  This is the copy, still in manuscript format, but with all agreed to changes — in this case very few, mostly having to do with the occasional use of italics for emphasis and/or foreign words and phrases — set out in their final form.  In this case due to a busy, busy Thursday I didn’t get to it until a little past midnight, but thus at about 2:15 this morning I sent the edited copy back with a note saying no changes were needed.  The anthology-to-come is tentatively titled 25 GATES OF HELL and will be a continuation in spirit of the 2018 anthology 19 GATES OF HELL.

“The Re-Possessed” itself has been around a bit, originally published by Elisium Press in 2016’s CEMETERY RIOTS, and is a paean to the undertaking trade as practiced in nineteenth century London, especially prior to the Warburton Act of 1832.  And what’s the Warburton Act, you may ask?

Well, you’ll just have to read the story then when it comes out, won’t you?

It looked to me like a worthy cause, a charity anthology for “COVID 19 relief with UNICEF.”  Who are the Bloodsaints? the call had begun.  They are the authors and editors and anyone else who are involved with making any charity relief collaboration happen, and this would be, as it were, the first “volume.”  2,000-8,000 words max . . . must have elements of either:  Extreme Horror, Splatterpunk, Grindhouse, bizarro or extreme dark psychological thriller.  So what’s not to love?  And [r]eprints are cool if they are top notch.  So . . . I happened to have, I thought, just the right story, originally published in WICKED MYSTIC for Spring 1996, a 2700-word piece about a man not that long ago deceased titled “Mr. Happy Head.”

Also the deadline was July 1 (I sometimes come across these things a bit late) so, it being June 28 already, off it went.  A short trip, it turns out, as today, July 2, the reply came back from Dale Szewczyk:  I have ready your submission, congratulations, you have been accepted into the BLOODSAINTS ANTHOLOGY!  You’re a Bloodsaint now!

This will be another quickie, just a fun sort of pastime I ran across this afternoon, “37 Fascinating Horror Movie Facts That You Probably Didn’t Know” by Elias Garfinkel, via our old aquaintence THE-LINE-UP.COM.  To wit:  Movie trivia is always fun, but there’s something about horror films that bring out the most absurd facts.  There’s always the stories of extreme budgetary restrictions that result in now-iconic moments, or hidden meanings in details that were assumed mundane, or directors withholding information from the stars of the film to get more genuine reactions.  All of those and more are on this list of 37 lesser-known horror movie facts about your favorite scary flicks.  So to find out the skinny (entries also will have one or more links embedded for extra detail) about such items as the name of Carrie’s high school, the Bates Motel’s plumbing, Jack Nicholson as a one-time volunteer firefighter, STAR TREK’s contribution to HALLOWEEN, and thirty-three others, press here.  And enjoy, enjoy.

Then, changing gears, opening Facebook is always a little bit of a struggle for the Cave Computer and today it has been particularly sluggish.  But worse, when it finally appeared, the top of the page displayed this chilling message:  “The new Facebook is coming to this browser soon”.  Users of vintage equipment will know that “new” often means “with extra bells and whistles that will make it even more difficult, if not impossible, for you to download,” which may mean, with the public library computer still off limits, that my use of Facebook could come to an unwanted stop.

So if need be, my apologies in advance.  The blog will go on (jamesdorrwriter[dot]wordpress[dot]com) but entries might no longer be displayed on the page there.  Also for new Facebook friends (remember as well that Facebook messaging doesn’t normally get through to me even now) it may become impossible to respond to “friendings.”  So if/when it may seem you’re being ignored, please bear with me and try again when (if?) the pandemic is ended (and/or at least the local library reopens for using the computers there).

This is a short take, really a footnote, as the publication was primarily electronic and, I believe, even at that pretty much out of print now.  But paperback copies of some volumes had been made, for the authors if for nobody else, and mine with my story “The Bala Worm” (see May 23 2019, et al.), THE BLOOD TOMES, VOLUME TWO, CREATURES, NOVELETTE EDITION, arrived in my mailbox Monday afternoon.  The story itself was originally published in BLACK DRAGON, WHITE DRAGON (Ricasso Press, 2008; also reprinted in THE TEARS OF ISIS), and appears with four other “monster” novelettes to add to my reading while semi-sequestered by pandemic lockdowns.

I hope this email finds you well.  It is finally here, or at least the first draft is!  Wahoo.  So began the email received this afternoon.  I have attached the MOBI and EPUB for your review.  Please take some time over the next few days to review your story, your author bio and anything you see.  If you notice an error or something that needs to be corrected please let me know as soon as possible.  Side note* I haven’t updated the EPUB with the title graphic or departing words as of yet, but just want to make sure your stories and bio are approved.  One problem, the antique computer used here would download neither file so, as is becoming a practice during these COVID19 stay-in-place days, I emailed back to see if a PDF could be sent instead, receiving instead not that, but . . . the print PDF isn’t quite ready.  Here is the copy paste of the document itself.  I hope this is ok­­­­­­­­.

It was, and my okay of the text (albeit with some publisher’s edits, but not disturbing the gist of the story) plus bio went back tonight.  The story: “The Calm,” tentatively to be out this August in IT CALLS FROM THE FOREST, VOLUME 2 (see June 6, et al.) from Eerie River Publishing, thus now one step closer to its appearance.

Next Page »


  • My Books

    (Click on image for more information)
  • Chapbooks

  • Poetry

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,577 other followers