Archive for November, 2012

YEAR’S END:  14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR (October 19, 17), edited by J. Alan Hartman,  is now available in .pdf and epub formats from Untreed Reads Publishing (with link at the Untreed Reads site for Kindle), with a number of other e-vendors including Amazon (six countries), ImageBarnes and Noble, etc., either live as well or expected to follow soon.  To quote the YEAR’S END blurb:

“The countdown has begun, but the only thing striking at midnight will be terror…

“New Year’s Eve isn’t all champagne and confetti. For some, it’s filled with regrets, the changing of the day dragging them kicking and screaming into a year for which they aren’t prepared. This year, some people will be screaming, but they may not make it to the New Year at all.

“Join 14 horror authors as they reveal the dark side of our end-of-year celebrations. This anthology of a holiday gone horrifyingly wrong contains stories by James S. Dorr, Richard Godwin, Nicky Peacock, John Stewart Wynne, Steve Shrott, Leah Givens, George Seaton, Kathryn Ohnaka, Jeremy K. Tyler, Betsy Miller, Byron Barton, Steve Bartholomew, Ali Maloney and Foxglove Lee.”

In other words, just the thing to add a sour tinge to the year’s end eggnog — and, hey, they’ve given first billing to me!  For more information and/or ordering, just check the Untreed Reads site by pressing here.

In other news, Damnation Books has announced  as of late yesterday that they’re holding a 25 percent off sale for all electronic titles through December 31 when ordered directly from their website.  Needless to say, I’ve got an entry in this one too, the novelette THE GARDEN, a tale of cutting edge biotechnology in a Nathaniel Hawthorne-esque, neo-Gothic New England setting.  So what does that mean?  Buy the story and find out — by pressing its picture in the center column.  All that’s needed to get the discount is to enter the coupon code 12PE9NGO4MDS at checkout.

We were expecting it might take a little longer, but my guest blog with the Open Book Society (see November 13) is up on their site today.  Titled “To PEDS and Beyond:  Community and the Writer,” it talks about how every sale, every association, every positive contact a writer makes forges bonds between him or her and a wider community, that in turn becomes almost like part of a writer’s family.  As an example, I show how the publication of my e-novelette PEDS by Untreed Reads Publishing had its roots in a call for steampunk/mystery crossovers that I saw as a member of the Short Mystery  Fiction Society, leading to the publication of VANITAS by Untreed Reads.  That in turn led to my sending in the Christmas horror story I’M DREAMING OF A. . . ., also to answer a call by the publisher and subsequently published, then my unsolicited submission of PEDS and, from yet another call, my soon to be published “Appointment in Time” in Untreed Reads’s YEAR’S END New Year’s anthology (see October 19, 17).

Or, similarly, my story in Dark Moon Books’ ZOMBIE JESUS anthology (see November 9, 5, et al.), added to other stories I’d published with Dark Moon before, brought an invitation from Editor Max Booth III to submit to his own newly-minted Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, the result of which (so far) — a  new collection if all goes well, THE TEARS OF ISIS — can be read about just below in the post for November 24.

So, to see the Open Book Society blog for yourself, just press here, while information on PEDS and other Untreed Reads ebooks mentioned above can be found by clicking on their pictures in the center column.

 

I don’t usually do pure commercials, but I’ve got two books in this bag too, STRANGE MISTRESSES:  TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE and DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET, both of which are being offered at a 50 percent discount off listImage price as part of Dark Regions Press’s post Thanksgiving sale.  All in stock titles are included in the sale as well as some other items, although discounts will vary, some being at a full 50 percent, but with others at 15 or 25 percent.  To check it out at the Dark Regions site, press here, or, if you’ve a mind specifically to (ahem) buy one of my books, you can go directly by clicking its picture in the center column.  But best hurry because, according to the announcement, the sale ends at “midnight Monday morning.”

Then, speaking of collections, this afternoon I sent the MS for THE TEARS OF ISIS to Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing (see November 17, 9), along with ancillary materials like sample blurbs, biographical information, author photo, etc.  Tentatively we’re looking toward a publication date of May 2013 if all goes well, although, technically, this will be the first time the publisher will have had a chance to actually see the book.  (A funny story, incidentally:  Yesterday I had been busy working on the blurbs and was having trouble finding a two or three word gloss for one of the other stories in the collection and, apparently, that particular story remained stuck in my mind.  So, natch, in my subject line sending in the MS today, I accidentally typed in that story’s title rather than the one for the actual book title, THE TEARS OF ISIS.  Fortunately I caught it just after I’d emailad the stuff in and immediately sent in an apology/explanation along with forwarding the materials again under the proper subject line, but now that the editor has been convinced I’m an absolute fool. . . . :-))

So now we wait.

‘Tis the season.  Today brings the announcement of another year-end sale, of a number of titles by Post Mortem Press, with some books priced as low as $5.00.  Those with my work in them don’t come down quite that inexpensively, but even they offer a 25 percent discount.  Moreover, shipping is a flat rate of $3.50 for domestic (US) orders, regardless of how many books you order.  

And, yes, I do have two dogs in this fight, “Girls Gone Dead” in NEW DAWN FADES (cf. November 8, September 18 2011, et al.) and “The Calm” in TORN REALITIES (January 21 2012), the latter also featuring a reprint of Clive Barker’s novella “Rawhead Rex,” with sale prices of $12.00 and $13.50 respectively.  Orders before December 10 are suggested for worry-free delivery before Christmas.  

Those interested in ordering — or simply curious to see what’s offered — need only press here.  

It was another one of these last minute submission deals, something I don’t really recommend since anthologies sometimes get filled early, but there it was, a call for submissions from Kazka Press for AT YEAR’S END:  SFF HOLIDAY STORIES (not to be confused with Untreed Reads Publishing’s YEAR’S END anthology with “Appointment in Time,” for which see October 17, 19).  “500 word (or less) stories set against year-end holidays (Yule, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Samhain, Bodhi Day, New Year, Chinese New Year, Watch Night, Pancha Ganapati, Saturnalia, The Invincible Sun, etc.) . . . Science Fiction/Fantasy (SFF) themes. . . .”  Heck, I’d never even heard of half those holidays!   But I did have a 750-word story called “The Christmas Zombie,” actually written a few years ago from an illustration by Marge Simon for NITEBLADE depicting a fanged Santa and disreputable-looking elves stirring a cauldron which, when I sent it to that magazine, was quickly (and probably rightly) bounced.  The thing is, though, the story had poetry in it which could be cut out, and several details from the drawing that could be omitted too since it would not be published with the illustration now.

Anyway, why not?  After all, it was a Christmas story, the one holiday all the other submitters might be avoiding since it’s, well, so common.  Worth a try, yes?  Especially since the anthology offered “professional” rates (granted for a very short story, but still enough to buy several pizzas).   So I rewrote it to just under 500 words and the day before Halloween, three days before the anthology closed, off it went.

Today the contract came for “The Christmas Zombie” along with a note that “we cannot wait to share these wonderful stories (21 in all . . . out of 143 submissions),” planned to be published in ebook format on December 9.

Then, speaking of Untreed Reads Publishing, I just received a notice today that they plan a one-day-only CyberMonday sale, November 26, the Monday after Thanksgiving.  This is a yearly tradition for them and, unless other distributors wish to match the sale terms, it will amount to 50 percent of all Untreed Reads titles bought through the Untreed Reads store only.

Titles by me that will be included are steampunk/mystery VANITAS, Christmas horror tale I’M DREAMING OF A. . . ., and, as of last month, near-future science fiction novelette PEDS.  “Appointment In Time,” however, a steampunkish horror short to be in YEAR’S END (not to be confused with Kazka Press’s AT YEAR’S END:  SFF HOLIDAY STORIES 😉 ) will presumably not be out until the sale is over.

 

Some quick miscellanea to wind up the week.  To begin, I received an email from Chamberton Publishing announcing that POLUDNITSA (cf. September 13, 19) is now available as a stand-alone ebook on Kindle, with other outlets expected to come within the next few weeks.   This is a story originally published in Winter 1991-92 in THE SHORT STORY DIGEST (and has appeared in print as well in STRANGE MISTRESSES) in which, to quote the blurb on Amazon, “[w]hisked away from danger by a Poludnitsa — a mythical fairy — a young woman witnesses the horrors of war and discovers how she can help bring justice to the guilty. A new twist where revenge is replaced with something greater.”  And not only that, the cover on Chamberton’s CHIMERA SERIES edition is worth the price of the book itself!  For information or ordering press here.

Then earlier in the week ZOMBIE JESUS turned up in my mailbox.  To give it its full name, that’s ZOMBIE JESUS AND OTHER TRUE STORIES from Dark Moon Books, including my own entry, “Avoid Seeing a Mouse” (see November 5, 9).  Moreover, according to the ZOMBIE JESUS blog, there’s a chance to win one of two free copies between now and December 31 via Goodreads, for which press here.

Then finally re. my “Non-Announcement Announcement” of November 9, as of yesterday I’ve finished formatting the last of the stories of my hoped-to-be third fiction collection, with a tentative title THE TEARS OF ISIS.  Now I need to add such things as contents and acknowledgements pages as well as blurbs and biographical information for the publisher, plus check over the whole thing a few more times.  This getting books ready is not a trivial thing.  All in all, I seem to be holding to the schedule I’d initially proposed, to be pretty much finished by Thanksgiving and to have it on its way to Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing by the end of the month, at which point it will be up to the editor/publisher to decide whether he likes it or not.

Today has been a sort of “get miscellaneous things done” day:  two more stories put into shape for the “non-announced” new book (cf. November 9); go over a proof copy for “Appointment in Time” for Untreed Reads Publishing’s upcoming YEAR’S END New Year’s Eve anthology (see October 17, 19); submit a few poems. . . .  Speaking of Untreed Reads, however, a bit of news came in last night, that the Open Book Society has published a “Four Star” review of my novelette PEDS (cf. October 24, et al.).  The review is short but descriptive, by “OBS reviewer Caro,” and includes the book’s synopsis with it, the latter also available on Untreed Reads’s site, reachable by clicking on the PEDS cover picture in the center column.

Moreover, I’ve gotten an invitation to write a guest post for the Open Book Society’s “Author’s Corner,” a little something about the writing of PEDS perhaps, although I’m told it’s not likely to go up for some while.  As for the review itself, though, it’s available now and can be seen by pressing here.

With its strange black cover, the feel of which is a bit reminiscent of soft dry skin, ZOMBIES FOR A CURE (see also October 11) arrived in my mailbox yesterday afternoon.  Such was the day that I didn’t really get to the mail until after dark, but then there is an appropriateness to that when what I will find is a book of stories and poems about those who are dead but still move about.  However, ZOMBIES FOR A CURE is more than just that; profits made from sales are slated to be donated for cancer research.

But that isn’t all.  Backstories from some of the writers in ZOMBIES FOR A CURE (including moi), the origins of the tales and poems appear on Gregory L. Norris’s blog, GREGORY L. NORRIS, WRITER, for Tuesday November 8, to be found by pressing here.  My own contribution is a poem, “Should Zombies Really Crawl from Their Graves,” and, while not profound, the reason why I wrote the poem in the first place might be of mild interest (after which it had been submitted to PAPER CROW, but Editor Angela Charmaine Craig thought it a better fit for the anthology and, when she asked me, I agreed).  Or then again maybe not.

Nevertheless, the book itself is of interest and, judging from just glancing through, worth getting regardless of where the money goes.  More information on ZOMBIES FOR A CURE can be obtained by pressing here.

Now it can be revealed.  Last June I responded to a call for a new anthology, AFTER DEATH, to consist of “stories of Horror, Dark, and Speculative Fiction, including all associated sub-genres . . .  that explore this theme:  What may occur to someone AFTER they have died.”  In time I received an acceptance, but was asked to keep things under wraps until it was time for a public announcement of the anthology as a whole.  Acording to editor Eric J. Guignard, that time has come now.

Thus, below,  the official table of contents for AFTER DEATH, chosen, in the editor’s words, from a total of “364 submissions. There were so many brilliant and well-written ideas that it was agonizing to only be able to select a handful. I wish I could include many more authors, but space was limited. As it is, I grew the project larger than originally planned. Of the afore-mentioned stories, six were by invitation and the remaining selected through open call. The book comes out to about 115,000 words of all new and original fiction!”  And not only that, each story will be illustrated by Audra Phillips, with publication currently scheduled for March or April 2013 by Dark Moon Books.

Andrew S. Williams – Someone to Remember
David Tallerman – Prisoner of Peace
Steve Rasnic Tem – The Last Moments Before Bed
Lisa Morton – The Resurrection Policy
John M. Floyd – High Places
Kelda Crich – Circling the Stones at Fulcrum’s Low
David Steffen – I Will Remain
Aaron J. French – Tree of Life
Sanford Allen & Josh Rountree – The Reckless Alternative
Brad C. Hodson – The Thousandth Hell
James S. Dorr – Mall Rats
Ray Cluley – Afterword
Jonathan Shipley – Like a Bat out of Hell
Edward M. Erdelac – Sea of Trees
Jacob Edwards – The Overlander
Bentley Little – My Father Knew Douglas MacArthur
Jamie Lackey – Robot Heaven
John Palisano – Forever
Robert B. Marcus, Jr. – Beyond the Veil
Alvaro Rodriguez – Boy, 7
William Meikle – Be Quiet At The Back
Christine Morgan – A Feast of Meat and Mead
Simon Clark – Hammerhead
Peter Giglio – Cages
Kelly Dunn – Marvel at the Face of Forever
Trevor Denyer – The Unfinished Lunch
Steve Cameron – I Was The Walrus
Larry Hodges – The Devil’s Backbone
Benjamin Kane Ethridge – The Death of E. Coli
Emily C. Skaftun – Final Testament of a Weapons Engineer
Joe McKinney – Acclimation Package
Josh Strnad – Hellevator
Allan Izen – In and Out the Window
John Langan – With Max Barry in the Nearer Precincts

My story, as can be seen, is called “Mall Rats” and is about, well, as also was noted “[t]he theme of this anthology is to imagine what may occur to someone AFTER they have died.”

Then, of books already published, Editor Max Booth III has announced that the first review of ZOMBIE JESUS AND OTHER TRUE STORIES (see post just below) is now available.  Not surprisingly it’s a positive one (cf. the reviewer’s explanation – it is at least one done by request) but it also offers a story by story rundown to give a better idea of what the anthology’s all about.   Interesting stuff for the most part, I think, even without my own story in it, “Avoid Seeing a Mouse” (though it, too, is mentioned in the review).  To see for yourself, press here.

 

“Non-Announcement” Announced

I might mention I’m working on a book myself, a collection of short fiction tentatively to be published by a new imprint, Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing — which means I’ve been stinting a bit on other activities this month as well as part of the last.  I think, however, it will be more than worth it.  When published it will join my two other fiction collections, STRANGE MISTRESSES:  TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE and DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET from Dark Regions Press, along with the other titles in the column to the right.  Check this bloggie for more information as it becomes known.

 

Well actually, unless the Supreme Court has extended the concept of “personhood” to book titles while I wasn’t looking, ZOMBIE JESUS AND OTHER TRUE STORIES (see October 20, et al.) will not be able to actually vote.  However, according to Dark Moon Books, it is available for ordering on Amazon now, including my story “Avoid Seeing a Mouse.”  For more information just press here.  Also the drawing to win a free copy is still going on until November 20, according to editor Max Booth III.  For more information or to enter (all one need do is leave a comment on any of the posts — these include, incidentally, interviews with a number of the authors including [ahem] me) just press here.

Me, I’m ineligible to enter the contest myself, but I’m still very much looking forward to getting my copy!

 




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