Archive for January, 2011

FIGHT ON! magazine’s anthology ROLL THE BONES (noted below, Dec. 16) is finally being offered for sale.  Information on both .pdf and trade paperback editions as well as back issues of FIGHT ON! itself is available here.

My entry in this is “The Walking,” one in my TOMBS series set on a far-future dying Earth, and is also in my DARKER LOVES collection.  With ROLL THE BONES, however, you also get a number of  stories by other authors covering such grounds as (from the anthology’s initial call for submissions) heroic fantasy, S&S, dark fantasy, historical fantasy, sword & sandal, sword & planet, post-apoc, and old-school weird.  And with a lineup like that, how can one go wrong?

It was a little odd.  I was at a public library book sale today when I recognized a paperback in the “Free Books” bin.  I picked it up — it was BORDERLINES 2, edited by Tom Monteleone (the 1994 White Wolf edition for you bibliophiles out there), with my story “Romance Unlimited” in it.  But then I considered.  The price was right, but it’s not as though I haven’t read the book already, or have copies of all three editions it’s been published in to my knowledge.  So what should I do? 

I flipped it open to the appropriate page, autographed it, then replaced it in the bin.

Of other news du jour, I’ve received a pre-publication list of authors and story titles from Nightfall Publications for their upcoming horror anthology FROM SHADOWS AND NIGHTMARES, currently set to be published at the end of June.  Also published by Nightfall is the mystery antho THE WRONG SIDE OF THE LAW (noted below on Dec. 21) which thus far has proved to be an enjoyable read and, from the look of it, its horror sister could be even better.  Also planned by Nightfall is a science fiction anthology, as yet untitled, with submissions opening in June.

Then finally yesterday brought an acceptance from NIGHT TO DAWN for three vampire haiku, “Bloody Birthday,” “Dating Sometimes Opens Up Unexpected Horizons,” and “Dangerous Liaison,” for publication in issue 20 this October.

The snows have returned, forecast for all day, perhaps flurries continued throughout the night.  And neighboring states, according to the Weather Channel, are getting it worse.

As of yesterday a poem of mine, “The Edge of the World,” has been posted in Scott Green’s poetry column on the University of Kansas’s AboutSF website.  So let that be a lagniappe for today!  The poem was originally published in May 2006 in the BALTICON 40 PROGRAM BOOK as first place winner in that year’s Balticon Poetry Contest.  For it, and other poetry illustrating various science fiction/fantasy/horror themes, check and click “SF Poetry” under “Main Content” to the left (Scott has accepted another of my poems as well, “La Méduse,” for a future posting).  Or to go the poem directly,  click here.

(I should add that there are a few typos, most of which are minor enough.  For one that may be puzzling, in line 10 “and we pull sailing” should be “as we pull sail in,”  and at the end we “gird” [not “girt”] the moon.)

It’s a warm night, this night, for January with snow that had been on the ground mostly melted.  More snow — and cold — however is forecast for the end of the week.  For me, I’ve been wrestling over the details of a contract, to contact the publisher probably tomorrow with suggestions for one or two possible changes.  Otherwise tired, kind of mellow.

So I’d been cruising the internet to unwind a bit when I came across a publication I’d nearly forgotten.  MAGUSZINE and MAGUS PRESS were in operation from around 2006 to 2009, edited/published by David Montoya.  They were, among other things, going to publish an anthology of winter horror tales called WINTER FRIGHTS, of which I was going to have a story,  “I’m Dreaming Of A …. ,” but perhaps a victim of an already curdling economy, the project fell through as did the e-zine and the press.

May I bring back a small piece?  A lagniappe perhaps, but also a reminiscence of days gone by and publications started and ended.  The world on its axis.  I did have one story in MAGUSZINE too, published in the October 2007 issue, that still exists — for how long, who knows? — as an archived copy.  So, not for winter but for years gone past, here is a url for that story, “While the Waters Nearer Roll.”

Please enjoy — and feel free to comment.

Matthew Bey sent me an email Sunday asking about producing a story of mine, “In the Octopus’s Garden,” in audio format for a future issue of DRABBLECAST.  This story along with one of his appeared last year in THE BOOK OF TENTACLES, a rather neat anthology edited by Scott Virtes and Edward Cox, available from Sam’s Dot Publishing.  At Matthew’s request I sent, first, an electronic copy and then the other day signed the contract for reprint rights.  “In the Octopus’s Garden” was itself a reprint with Sam’s Dot, having initially been published in the March-April 1999 edition of 69 FLAVORS OF PARANOIA.

Scott also set up a website called TENTACLE POWER to promote the anthology so, for today’s lagniappe, herewith a poem I had reprinted there.  It originally appeared in PENNY DREADFUL for Midsummer 1998.


Water erupted beneath Pequod’s keel
as Ahab found, not the white hump he sought,
but tentacles, writhing, reeking with whale’s blood,
a great horned beak that snapped masts like matchsticks,
out of the ice-black depths of the sea
emerged the Kraken —
creature of Maelstrom —
still hungry for flesh and bone.

Amber Polo’s interview of me went up today at her Wordshaping blog, as previously announced below on Dec. 30.  Find out all my “secrets” (well maybe some of them) by just pressing here!

Also this weekend I’m finishing up a story I drafted Friday, “Free Brains.”  It’s another shortie, though still quite a bit longer than “The Glass Shoe” — so, okay, maybe a relative shortie — about (guess what!) zombies.

Jack-o’-Spec: Tales of Halloween and Fantasy is paperback anthology of speculative short stories, flash fiction, and poetry about Halloween and the traditions and legends surrounding it, according to editor Karen A. Romanko.  Scheduled for release in September 2011 by Raven Elecktrick Ink, the anthology “will feature the many faces of science fiction, fantasy, and horror Halloweens:  steampunk Halloweens, post-apocalyptic Halloweens, alternate history Halloweens, outer space Halloweens, and noir Halloweens, not to mention new speculative takes on Halloween perennials, such as haunted houses, witches, ghosts, vampires, and, of course, jack-o’-lanterns.”

My offering in this is a mood piece, “The Leaves,” with allusions to the Romantic poets Shelley and Keats.  For the just announced, complete “official” table of contents, press here.

Ringing out the old year as well, Dec. 31’s mail brought two copies of STAR*LINE, the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s newsletter, including my poem “Chagrin du Vampire” prominently on the back cover.  Coming with it was a copy of DWARF STARS 2010, a collection of some of the best short speculative poetry (10 lines or less) of the previous year.

I recommend the SFPA for any interested in reading or writing science fiction, fantasy, horror, or other related poetry.  Info can be found on their website,

I just finished downloading and signing a contract from Pink Narcissus Press for a story, “The Glass Shoe,” to be published in an anthology called RAPUNZEL’S DAUGHTERS.  It was one I had taken a sort of chance on, a deconstruction of sorts of “Cinderella,” for a book of stories that were to be sequels to traditional fairy tales.  It’s also a short tale, under 600 words, but one I’ll be paid a professional rate for — not overly much given the length, but still enough to underwrite last year’s Christmas chicken (so it’s a small family, we don’t get a turkey) as well as the ham for a Southern style New Year’s.

In all a good start.  I received the acceptance January 2, a nice ringing in of 2011, and I hope all who read this are starting their new year on a high note as well.

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