Originally to be called ANDROMEDA’S OFFSPRING (cf. October 17 2013, et al.) and to have been published a bit more than one and a half years ago, the book had its delays.  But that’s nothing new here.  However it’s not only back on track with the slightly updated title ANDROMEDA’S CHILDREN, it’s available now for the next few days at bargain basement prices on andromeda's childrenAmazon.   As spokesperson Adrian Middleton explains:  “After some considerable difficulties with a CreateSpace taking weeks to resolve a technical glitch, the price of ANDROMEDA’S CHILDREN has now been reduced to the bare minimum on Amazon for all territories where authors reside.”  But with that comes the warning, “the price should return to normal on Friday,” so one had best hurry.  My notch in this nursery, I should add, is a tale called “Golden Age” originally published in MINDSPARKS in Spring 1994, of an older woman in a future not exactly like that of the Sundance short film “World of Tomorrow” (see August 21, below), but which still attempts to put off aging — and death — in its own way.

For the anthology itself, to quote the Amazon blurb:  “Science fiction is a diverse playground and ANDROMEDA’S CHILDREN are a timeless mix of traditional, modern and comic visions that explore what makes us human — or not. For all their diversity, these adventures have one thing in common — strong women whose adventures reflect the spirit their namesake.”  But see for yourself by pressing here!

(Table of Contents)

Cover – Jim Burns
Introduction – Theresa Derwin
Desert Storm by Pauline E Dungate
Overview by Sean Chatterton
Cut and Run by David Perlmutter
Electric You by Damon Cavalchini
Being Ready by Lynn M Cochrane
Roses are #FF0000 by Stewart Hotston
A Quiet Run to Quintos by Caroline Cormack
Golden Age by James S Dorr
Quit by Jay Wilburn
Brodsky by Margaret Karmazin
To the Altar by Therese Arkenberg
The Enlightened Soldier by Matthew Sylvester
Shelved Desires by Damon Cavalchini

Today’s e-announcement of T. GENE DAVIS’S SPECULATIVE BLOG brought, along with a new story, several reruns as is its custom, including one by me.  “Flightless Rats” is one of several stories based on the New Orleanian urban legend of the “Casket Girls,” of which two, the eponymous “Casket Girls” and “Dead Lines,” have been published on DAILY SCIENCE FICVampiresMusidora6TION on April 10 2014 and April 21 this year, respectively.  “Flightless Rats” itself appeared only eight months ago (see January 12, et al.), so it’s not all that old, but in the meantime the link has changed as the SPECULATIVE BLOG transitions to a new name of FREESCIENCEFICTION.COM, so for those who may have missed it before, the all-new place to find “Flightless Rats” is here.

One might mention also that, like DAILY SCIENCE FICTION, one can subscribe for free for announcements and links when each new story is posted, for which press the same link for “Flightless Rats,” then scroll  down past the story and “Comments” section and fill in the blanks where it says “Subscribe Me.”  For DAILY SCIENCE FICTION, incidentally, one can press here (and then for my stories, including “Dead Lines” and “Casket Girls,” enter my last name only, Dorr, in the search box to the right).

Sunday I received the contract for Hydra Publications’ dystopian anthology (see May 30), along with the announcement from Editor Frank Hall that it now has at least a tentative name, DYSTOPIAN EXPRESS.  My story in this is “Invisible People,” itself a reprint originally published in the Winter 1992/93 edition of DARK INFINITY.  Monday the signed copy goes in the mail and, if all goes well, DYSTOPIAN EXPRESS is expected to leave the roundhouse by the end of the year, “sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.”

Other authors and stories are also listed in the May 30 post, below.  Mine is a bit of near-future science fiction where people who lose their place in society — as through loss of a job in this case — become truly invisible, but also able to see the real world including its defects, hidden by mass brainwashing techniques from the general populace.

The word came today from Flame Tree Publisher Nick Wells, via Editor Gillian Whitaker, that CHILLING GHOST SHORT STORIES and its companion volumes (cf. August 7, July 31, et al.) will be delayed, in part simply due to the fact that it’s summer — and even printers can take vacations!  “As any Publisher will tell you, printing is easy until it goes wrong.  It’s the most expensive part of the process, and usually carried out in a remote location.  Many’s the time I’ve travelled to a lonely industrial estate, far outside the beautiful city my plane flew over (Hong Kong, Madrid, Seville, Venice) soon to find myself sitting in a windowless room checking proofs as they grind off the press.

“So, we’re told that the inside book blocks have been printed, but they await the return of the specialists from their quiet contemplations on some distant beach, to finish the covers to their and our satisfaction, after which the books can be bound, boxed, and transported across Europe to the UK, then off to the US. . . .”

Thus such things happen, as indeed we’ve seen more than once on these very pages.  In fact the delay here is relatively short with release now expected “in Europe on or around 10th September, with the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand following as quickly as we can despatch to the various distribution centres around the globe.  Author copies come from our office, and will be despatched as soon as we receive them.”

In other news, Thursday evening marked the Indiana University Cinema’s screening of six award-winning short films from this year’s Sundance Film Festival, two of which held special interest to horror/science fiction aficionados.  The first, from France, and winner of the Short Film Jury Prize:  Animation, was a sort of absurdist disaster movie, listed in the program as “Storm hits jacket.  Written and directed by PauSundancel Cabon.  2014, France, 13 minutes.  A storm reaches the shores of Brittany.  Nature goes crazy, and two young scientists get caught up in the chaos.   Espionage, romantic tension, and mysterious events clash with enthusiasm and randomness.”  Also included are a mad spy-master, a Vespa-riding femme fatale, a witchy mysterious elderly woman, and (to quote the subtitle as best I remember) a “tempest of cows.”

Then, last in the showing, was the Short Film Jury Award (Best of Fest) winner, “World of Tomorrow.  Written and directed by Don Hertzfeldt.  U.S.A., 17 minutes.  A little girl is taken on a mind-bending tour of the distant future.”  In this one, also an animation (and in a charmingly primitive style), a third-generation clone visits her “original.”  Too young to really comprehend, “Emily” is shown a future where human emotions are all but dead; the rich are immortal through successive cloning while those who can’t afford it are downloaded into memory cubes; robots instilled with a fear of death, which they’ve been taught to associate with darkness, endlessly march around the moon in order to always be on the sunlit side; but in which none of this really matters because the whole world is doomed anyway.  And throughout it all, with a deadpan exposition style that made the film screamingly funny.

In short, a good night, and a not-too-disappointing announcement to follow on Friday.

And here it is (see August 16), British writer Sonnet O’Dell’s interview of . . . me.  As implied below, I think it’s a fun one, but if interested check out as well some comments on the putting-together of THE TEARS OF ISIS, along with thoughts on writing in general.  Plus, of course, the sort of goofy ones – “A penguin walks through the door right now wearing a sombrero.  What does he say and why is he here?”

Curious?  Press here!

Another short note, that the anthology HOW TO TRICK THE DEVIL (see August 8) is on schedule, according to Editor Stephaine Buosi, and heading for publication at about the end of September.  My act in this artifice is a tale of Halloween chicanery and carnival wiles, of small crimes and horror called “Lobster Boy and the Hand of Satan.”

More to appear as it’s revealed to me.

What is it with all this about Britain lately?  Well, sometimes that’s just how things seem to work out.  And so I’m reminded I have an interview scheduled to post on Sonnet O’Dell’s DUSTY PAGES blog (cf. January 22; June 2 2014, et al) on Monday at 7 a.m. — and that’s British time too, which 1dustymeans maybe we’ll have it here closer to 2 or 3 in the morning.  If you could sing one song on Americcan Idol, what would you sing (and what would it have to do with, say, THE TEARS OF ISIS)?  Is it wrong for vegetarians to eat animal crackers?  What’s the best Halloween costume you’ve ever worn? And more. . . .

Since I don’t have new book coming out this year, I’ve scarcely been doing any interviews at all compared to some past years, but Sonnet’s have always struck me as fun.  And so for this one, press the link here — but remember, it won’t be live until Monday.

Well it’s actually been out for some time as we know (cf. just below, August 11, 10), I’ve even received a .PDF copy through Editor Steve Lewis’s kindness, but for those who’d enjoy a virtual party, the ONCE BITTEN Book Launch Facebook gala proceeds as we speak. To join in the fun, one need but press here. But best be quick about it, it probably will end at midnight or so, and 1ceBittenthat’s British time which will make it even earlier here!

One will probably even have to supply one’s own ice cream and cake, but for one small surprise, herewith repeated a “sample” post I dropped off at the party, a micro-excerpt from my story “Bernice” (cf. below, August 11, 10):

The sun suddenly shone, peeping out between clouds. The autumns, and late summers too, had been damp of late, the winters snowy, which Bernice would say was a side effect of global warming. He would nod at her those times. “Perhaps,” he would tell her.

He heard the minister clear his throat again, thought better of the kiss, and started to lift himself when something gleamed. Just for a moment, some motion, some thing in the shadowed space between the white, ruffled satin pillow and Bernice’s shoulder.

A mouse in the coffin?

Interested? For more information (and, perchance, to buy?), one may check here.

Kudos to Steve Lewis (see just below) who, at my request, has just sent Kindle-less me a .pdf for my author’s copy of the electronic version of ONCE BITTEN.  Many thanks!  But also it occurred to me that I hadn’t mentioned yesterday that my story “Bernice” was a reprint, as noted in the earlier of the prior posts I cited, nor that there was another, yet older post about the story in its initial incarnation.  Plus a bit more about Poe as a muse — at least sometimes for me!

So, once again to the wayback machine to December 27 2011. . . .

Once upon a time I wrote two stories inspired by works of Edgar Allan Poe.  The first, “Merryl,” which tips its hat to “Ligeia” has just been published in the anthology IN POE’S SHADOW (see Oct. 29, et al.).  Today the second, “Bernice,” which mixes the teeth of Poe’s “Berenice” (note European spelling) with swarms of rodents and a cat named Cher (“a black, sleek, slinky cat — next year he thought he might get a tom so she could have kittens”), arrived in my mailbox in the Fall issue of INHUMAN.  INHUMAN, a.k.a. ALLEN K’S INHUMAN, is edited and illustrated by Allen Koszowski, an artist of surreal and horror subjects for about as many years as I’ve been writing.  In fact we first met when we were paired as author and illustrator in WRITERS OF THE FUTURE, VOL. VIII, way back in 1992 with a story of mine called “Subterranean Pests.”  The illustration he did for that was of zombie moles; the one for “Bernice” is of killer mice.

“And the beat goes on.”

And thus a bit more about “Bernice” as well, to perhaps whet appetites?

Ah, those British!  The acceptance for this one came late on Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday and was announced here the morning after — or at least the day after:  My story “Bernice” was to be published in KnightWatch Press’s anthology ONCE1ceBitten BITTEN (see February 3, January 20).  “Think of love turned sour, or love that works well in extraordinary circumstances,” said the guidelines.  “As long as it combines a thematic element of love in a horror story, that’s all we ask.”  And hence my tale, itself very loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe’s (aha!) “Berenice” (the old-timey, sometime English spelling, with an extra “e”), of lost love and non-vampire women . . . and teeth.

Today’s email brought word from Editor Steve Lewis that ONCE BITTEN is now available on Amazon in print and Kindle. To sample the blurb:  “While the bright light of day banishes lesser horrors, it only makes love gone wrong stand out all the more. When that love is driven by the demented, the unnatural and the straight-out evil, the bright light of day might be the last thing you need.  Or see.  In Once Bitten, 15 authors show us that the sweetest of emotions, mixed with a touch of darkness and more than a hint of the supernatural, can be a bitter, bitter cup from which to drink.”

To see for yourself, or perchance to order, one need but press here.

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