Archive for August, 2012

“Paradoxically, war is both a rite of passage and the bane of human existence.  Third Flatiron Publishing presents A HIGH SHRILL THUMP, a new anthology of science fiction stories by an international group of award-winning and emerging writers, who offer their visionary takes on the theme of war.”  So begins the blurb from Third Flatiron Publishing for their latest anthology, originally set for September 1 and already out on Smashwords and Amazon five days early!   For more information both on the publisher (another title, on “Origins,” is open for submissions through the end of September) and the book press here or, for ordering from either of the two vendors noted above, just click on their names.

And who might be in this “international group of award-winning and emerging writers,” one might ask.  For one, me, with a story called “Refugees” (cf. July 8).  But here’s the official table of contents:

The Man Who Couldn’t Die by David L. Felts
Comrade at Arms by Gustavo Bondoni
Angel by K. R. Cairns
Grins and Gurgles (Flash Fiction): The Rocketeer by John Harrower
Refugees by James S. Dorr
The Home Front by David Turner
The Fixer by Jack Skelter
A Childproof War by Lon Prater
The Frontline Is Everywhere by Michael Trudeau
Half a Century Later at a Mid-Earth Pub by Tom Sheehan
Homeland Security by Brenda Kezar
In the Blink of an Eye by Nick Johnson
I Think I Won by David J. Williams
Photo and Art Credits

“These gritty storytellers charge through the gauntlet of war, past, future, and unimagined,” so the blurb cited above concludes.  Or, as editor Juliana Rew put it in her acceptance of my story, “Who can resist a trebouchet?  Not me!”

Just a quick note that the Prime Books mass market edition of FUTURE LOVECRAFT has arrived, including my story “Dark of the Moon” (cf. July 15, May 8, et al.), with an “official” release date of July 31.  Available in its new edition from Amazon and Barnes and Noble (and possibly elsewhere), FUTURE LOVECRAFT’s original publication by Innsmouth Free Press was in December 2011.  “Dark of the Moon,” a tale of multinational lunar exploration and Russian mythology and how the twain meet, was itself originally published in THE CHILDREN OF CTHULHU by Del Rey in 2002.

No offense, or, okay so I’m a sucker [sic] for pictures of vampires, but this is one I couldn’t resist.  Courtesy of Art of the Beautiful~Grotesque via Victorian Vampire Society UK through the magic of Facebook, the painting is by the French artist Albert-Joseph Pénot (1862-1930) who is probably best known today for a series of figure studies, often dark both in color and mood as well as at times in a somewhat occult context.

Otherwise it’s been a rather sunny day today, pleasant and not too hot, scarcely the gloomy, windy, damp weather one might expect on, as it happens, the 122nd  birthday of  H. P. Lovecraft (August 20 1890, d. March 15 1937).  While the following has been available through Red Skies Press, and in that sense isn’t a new announcement, it seemed perhaps appropriate today to list the final lineup for their upcoming anthology TECHNO-GOTH CTHULHU (cf. March 3), including my story “Ghost Ship,” one in my “Tombs” series of tales of life and love on a far future, dying Earth.   The order of titles is by date of acceptance of the various stories, and not an official table of contents.


1. Whispers of The Ruling Class- Louis Baum
2. Little Earthquakes- Nickolas Cook
3. Looking for Joey Shoggoth- Peter Rawlik
4. Meditation on a Dead World- Dave Fragments
5. The 88th Floor- Benjamin Sperduto
6. Ghost Ship- James Dorr, SFWA and HWA Member
7. Carriage Thirteen (a novelette)- Nathan J.D.L. Rowark
8. The Avenue of Blades- Richard Godwin
9. Stark Raving Mad- Mae Empson, HWA Member
10. Anthropomorphic Eons- Mark Anthony Crittenden
11. The Dark Net- Wednesday Silverwood
12. Project Keziah- Donald Jacob Uitvlught

Editor Mark Crittenden is, as of my latest information, aiming for a December release date for TECHNO-GOTH CTHULHU.  Hopefully that will mean it will be out in time for Christmas giving.

“Hired killers.  Vigilantes.  Executioners.  Paid killers or assassins working from a moral or political motivation.  You’ll find them all in this thrilling anthology.  But these are not ordinary killers, not your run-of-the-mill hitmen.  The emphasis is on the ‘uncommon’ here — unusual characters, usual situations, and especially unusual means of killing.”  So goes the blurb.  “Here are tales by some of the best suspense/thriller writers today, [ranging from] historical fiction to science fiction to political thriller — there’s even an alternate history story in the mix.”  Published by Smart Rhino Publications, UNCOMMON ASSASSINS was originally planned for this fall (see April 17), but, at least on Amazon, has come out early with their release date listed as August 14.

And do I have a shot in this shebang?  You just bet I do, “The Wellmaster’s Daughter,” originally published in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE on November 1991 — my first ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S appearance as a matter of fact (for another tale of mine originally published in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’s, incidentally, click on the picture of VANITAS in the center column).  As for other non-run-of-the-mill malefactors to be found in UNCOMMON ASSASSINS’s pages, here is a partial table of contents (or, put another way, the latest interim one I could find).

Stories aleady accepted for this anthology include:
Stephen England, Nightshade
J. Gregory Smith, The Pepper Tyrant
Lisa Mannetti, Everybody Wins
Ken Goldman Fat Larry’s Night With the Alligators
Christine Morgan, Thyf’s Tale
Matt Hilton, Misconceptions
Billie Sue Mosiman, Second Amendment Solution
Ken Bruen, Killer
Rob M. Miller For the Love of Boys
Monica O’Rourke, Bloodshed Fred
F. Paul Wilson, Slasher
Joseph Badal, Fire & Ice
Doug Blakeslee, Madame
Elliott Capon, The Man Who Shot Hitler
Laura DiSilverio, Mercy Killing
Michael Bailey, Scrub
James Dorr, The Wellmaster’s Daughter
Jonathan Templar, Wish I’d Never Met You
J. Carson Black, The Bluelight Special
Weldon Burge, Welcome to the Food Chain
Al Boudreau, Inside Out
Charles Colyott, Katakiuchi
Lynn Mann, Taking Care of Business

So if you’ve a mind to, check it out here, and enjoy, enjoy!

“Scavenger,” my  post-apocalyptic robot noir story recently sold to an at the time unnamed science fiction/fantasy anthology to be published by Chamberton Publishing (see June 19), now has a home with a name, LIMELIGHT:  A GOLDEN LIGHT ANTHOLOGY.  A list of authors has also been released, to wit, Edward W. Robertson, James S. Dorr, Ela Lond, John Grover, Sergio Palumbo, Larissa Hinton, Jessica B. Zeidler, Katy Huth Jones, Bill Blume, Alexandra Baker, Catriel Ceballos, and Domyelle Rhyse, with author bios available on the Chamberton Publishing site.  Also released is the cover design, while more information on LIMELIGHT and several companion volumes can be found here.

“Scavenger” was first published in FANTASTIC COLLECTIBLES in November 1994.  Under its new manifestation, it’s scheduled to hit Amazon, Barnes & Noble, et al., in both print and electronic editions sometime this October.

Two quick poetic items, the first being that THE MAGAZINE OF SPECULATIVE POETRY (see August 1) arrived yesterday afternoon.  This is a nicely printed  but otherwise no frills 32-page magazine with nothing but poetry.  Well, okay, a cover and a contents page too, but otherwise just poetry from front to back.  No editorials, no ads, no reviews, but what poetry!  It’s well worth a look.

Then for those who read yesterday’s “Blog Train” blog but declined to click through the gauntlet of “PAGES” and “Poetry (Essays)” and scrolling down to “Edgar Allan and Allen Ginsberg,” etc. (you know who you are ;-)), here’s a second chance to read “Metal Vamp” as presented by NITEBLADE in its premiere issue by just pressing here.  Call it an extra lagniappe if you will (gee, we’ve been giving out lots of free samples lately!  But, hey, that’s the game), so don’t forget to keep coming back from time to time for more.  And as for now, enjoy!


<<Niteblade News  

What is it about jazz and vampires?  They’re constrained by rules — the exact ones depending on the folklore you follow, but in all cases they seem not to be at their best in daylight — but within those rules they do their utmost to twist and break them, to improvise as it were, just like jazz music which also often seems at its best at night.  Both are a bit shady, a bit disreputable, yet when confronted demand respect.  Both are parasitic, the jazz taking from the melody it improvises on.  Both, under the right conditions, are sexy.

So what does this have to do with NITEBLADE, this being part of a blog train celebrating that electronic magazine’s fifth anniversary?  And what’s a blog train?  For the latter I quote NITEBLADE editor Rhonda Parrish:  “What we’ll do is take the number of people who agree to participate and subtract that many days from Septamber 1st.  Then I’ll start things off with an opening blog from the Niteblade News site [see link at the very, very top of this post].  I’ll talk about Niteblade and our blog train and link to every participating blog.  The next day someone else will blog on their personal blog [me, right here, on Thursday August 9 2012], and the next day another person [see link at the very, very bottom, beneath the poem and its attribution — but not until tomorrow].”

Okay, so I added the stuff in []s.

“Each blog can be about whatever you want, as long as it somehow connects to Niteblade, however obscurely.  You could talk about a story or poem we’ve published. . . .”  Well that’s the idea.

So, as for the former — what does this have to do with NITEBLADE? — well, my connection is that over the past five years I’ve had poetry published there.  And also an interview in NITEBLADE NEWS, for which see below for September 5 2011 or, if luck is with us, press here.  Two poems are mentioned in the interview, “Winter  Wonder(2)” which is not a vampire poem (it’s a killer snowman poem) and “Second Chance” which is, but isn’t about jazz.

But ah, two before them, two that go back to NITEBLADE’s first year, to September 2007, issue #1, on pages 16 and 47.  In her cover email for my copy Rhonda took time to say, “I’m so excited.  I really feel like this is the start of something awesome. . . .”  And these poems are jazzy.

I’ll quote just one here, at the end of the post, the one called “High-Flying” — it’s also the one NITEBLADE poem that is reprinted in my book VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE).  But the other, “Metal Vamp,” can be read on this blog by going to the far right hand column and, under “PAGES,” click on “Poetry (Essays).”  Then scroll down to the third essay, on “Edgar Allan, Allen Ginsberg, & All That Jazz,” and, well, read the whole essay while you’re at it.  But after a quotation from Ginsberg’s “Howl” and mentions of Poe’s “The Raven” and “The Bells” (“the poet as carillonneur!”) I quote a review by Daniel C. Smith from the March/April 2008 issue of STAR*LINE discussing “Metal Vamp” (“The sudden start/stop stop/start feel to the minimalist lines and the way the imagery punctuates the rhythm serve the poem well while providing both a chilling and an arousing effect.  Dorr reminds us that even in death there is an undercurrent of sexuality”), followed by the poem itself — the epitome, perhaps, of the vampire and jazz, first  published in this case in the November/December 2004 STAR*LINE, but reprinted in NITEBLADE’s premiere issue.



Be-bop baby, she
slides to the brasses’ strain,
red gown too-tight
taut-fleshed legs dancing.
She smiles, dark eyes flashing,
teeth white, laughing in the night,
moonlight enhancing pale
skin in the shadows.
She smiles, she entices
collecting her trophies,
in flight she, an aeronaut,
lifts her prey with her,
in ecstasy rising.
In blood-crimson crashing.

First published NITEBLADE, September 2007; reprinted in VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE), August 2011  


            And now, back on the blog train to J. E. Taylor >> 

Another missive arrived today from Chicon7, a.k.a. the 2012 World Science Fiction Convention, noting that zombies will be represented on the list of panels after all despite earlier beliefs (see comments on “Gripey Vampire,” just below).  And not only will I be on it too, I may be moderator.  So I’m listed for three panels for those who might be in Chicago as well, to wit:

The Best Vampire Novel of the Century
The Horror Writers Association on the 100-year anniversary of Bram Stoker’s death in 1912 has overseen the nomination of six finalists from which will be selected the one novel they believe has had the greatest impact on the horror genre since the 1897 publication of Dracula. This panel discusses the finalists and the reasons for their selection as well as the (yet to be decided) winner.

The Walking Dead: Zombies in Folklore, Science, and Popular Culture
Contrasting the original Haitian Vodoun concept of zombieism with scientific explanations involving poisons that mimic suspended animation (e.g. Wade Davis ‘The Serpent and the Rainbow’) and with current George Romero and post-Romero depictions in fiction and film.

Dark Fairy Tales
Move away from the general discussions of the Disney-ization of fairy tales and talk about how to reinvent fairy tales into dark fiction. The themes of metamorphosis and transition are prevalent in fairy tales, and sometimes where one story ends, another begins. What are some ways to reinvent fairy tales without retelling the same story?

Readers may note an error in the description on the Vampire panel in that the special Bram Stoker Vampire Novel of the Century Award(TM) has already been presented at World Horror Con this spring (see April 2 and 3) and I’ve already contacted Chicon’s programming chair suggesting an appropriate change of verb tense.  The six books in question are still well worth discussing, of course, and were at least in five fairly knowledgeable people’s opinions the six most important vampire novels of the past century, plus, for those who don’t know the winner, you can find out there.  Also find out if I’m moderator of not just one but all three of these panels (I’ve also suggested that if someone else might have had their heart set on moderating the Fairy Tale one, I would not weep were I asked to defer) — in the case of the zombies and the vampires I should mention though that the topics came from suggestions I’d made myself some months ago.

My panels aside, Chicon7 looks like it’s shaping up to be a real ball.  If interested, but not yet a member, more information can be found here.

Today’s street mail brought the July-September issue of the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s STAR*LINE (see July 15, et al.) filled with news, reviews, and poetry, including the winners of this year’s Rhyslings and a special memorial section for Ray Bradbury.  And how many individual poets?  Too many to count, and that’s even with me being barefoot!  And of this all, I have three lines (plus title, “Proper Perspective”) about a vampire with a gripe.

STAR*LINE comes with membership in the Science Fiction Poetry Association, but single issues are also available as well as discounts for library subscriptions.  More information both on the magazine and SFPA — including what “Rhyslings” are, for those who might wonder — can be found here.

Then in the electronic world my story “Cindy,” originally published in FANTASTIC in Spring 2001, is now available in electronic and podcast versions on WILY WRITERS (cf. February 19).  Call it a lagniappe if you will — the tale of a princess-to-be and the troubles her fairy godmother must go through to make sure everything turns out just right.  But nothing comes free, and of course the godmom may have her own agenda.  Also — is serendipity at play? — I got my preliminary schedule for Chicon 7, a.k.a. World Science Fiction Convention 2012, just a few days ago and one of my panels is “Dark Fairy Tales.”  “Move away from the general discussions of the Disney-ization of fairy tales and talk about how to reinvent fairy tales into dark fiction.”  So one thing that is free as well as what could be a preview of what I’ll talk about there can be found both at once by pressing here.

Roger Dutcher’s THE MAGAZINE OF SPECULATIVE POETRY (originally co-edited with Mark Rich, then later a solo operation) has been considered a yardstick of excellence in genre poetry for almost longer than can be remembered.  Highly irregular, sometimes more than a year may pass before the next issue, but always a treat when it finally comes out, the latest issue has been announced as at the printer with issues to subscribers and contributors starting going out this week and throughout the weekend.  And, yes, I’ve a joker in this jambalaya, a tale (I think — it has been a while since it was accepted 🙂 ) of zombism in the pre-Romero, Haitian tradition titled “Souvenir.”

The complete lineup for Issue 9.2 includes Dave Perry, Sankar Roy, F. J. Bergmann, Ed Gavin, Mark Rich, G. O.Clark, Paul Renault, Phil Emery, Kurt MacPhearson & Rick Yennik, Sandra J. Lindow, James S. Dorr, Alan Catlin, Brock Marie Moore, John Grey, Ed Gavin, Sarah Monette, Robert Borski, Shannon Connor, and Helen Ehrlich, plus a cover by Laurel Winter.  Single issues cost $ 5.00 in the US or $19.00 for the next four (outside the US it’s $6.50 and $25.00 respectively) including postage,  to

Roger Dutcher
Editor, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry
PO Box 564
Beloit WI 53512

(Sorry, no email — we’re talking classics here.)

Meanwhile, however, in the world of electronics, the “August Augmentations” issue of SNM HORROR MAGAZINE (see July  25, et al.) is now alive on the Internet.  My story in it, “Waste Not, Want Not,” can be read by clicking here, then press “SNM AUG/SEP ISSUE 1” in the column on the left, then scroll a lo-o-o-ong way down.  Call it an extra lagniappe, if you will — it’s free along with seven other stories of delightfully malpracticed medicine (for the other four, press “SNM AUG/SEP ISSUE 2”).

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