Archive for January, 2013

Here’s a submission that wasn’t quite at the last minute this time — it went in with a good five days left before deadline — but “Stealing Candy” has still been accepted by SNM HORROR MAGAZINE for its “February Free-for-all” issue.  This was an open ended topic, but confined to those who had been published by SNM in the past (for my credentials, cf. August 1 last year, December 31 2011, et al.), so I decided, what the heck, why not try a reprint from way back, but one with a sort of special meaning.  In this case the story was my first publication in GOTHIC.NET in January 1998, back in the old days under Darren McKeeman when it was a soon-to-pay-professional-rates pioneer e-horror magazine, and a harbinger of successes to come.  Ah, the memories, although the story itself is a nasty one, about a young man and his misadventures with the denizen of a runaway baby carriage.

But, hey, this is horror and nasty is nasty, and so today the acceptance came.  “Interesting bizarro erotica piece,” is the way Senior Editor/Moderator  Steven Nicholas Marshall put it.  From there things move fast with SNM as, with the story, I also received an .rtf of the edited copy to which I sent back a few corrections to the corrections, and now we wait — for probably less than a week — until it is officially published.

This will be the third story accepted this month, joining new stories “Dead Girls, Dying Girls” and “The Reading” slated to appear in SO IT GOES:  A TRIBUTE TO KURT VONNEGUT and UNIVERSE HORRIBILIS, respectively (cf. just below for January 25, et al.; January 5), which isn’t a bad start for 2013!

More “official” announcements — what is it about January for these things? — this time of the table of contents for Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing’s first anthology, SO IT GOES:  A TRIBUTE TO KURT VONNEGUT (cf. January 3 regarding the acceptance of my story, “Dead Girls, Dying Girls,” exactly thirteen places down in the list below), which is also announced as coming this spring.  This should precede my own book — and also, I believe, PMMP’s first  single-author collection — THE TEARS OF ISIS, due out in May, by perhaps a month.  But one word of warning:  The stories in SO IT GOES, like those of Kurt Vonnegut, are for the most part supposed to be funny.  Those coming up in THE TEARS OF ISIS (well, maybe with one or two exceptions) for the most part aren’t.  

The Grand Tour by Frank RogerImage
Saving God by Jay Wilburn
How to Succeed in Academia by K. A. Laity
Critical Thinking Skills by James W. Hritz
The Unhappy Accident or Feelin’ Fine by T. Fox Dunham
The Truth by Jonathan Balog
You’re Toast by E.E. King
The Joke’s on You by Philip Simondet
It Takes Four to Tango by Mike Sheedy
The Policy by Thomas Messina
Riding by Aric Zair
Corrective Action (or Illegal Discharge Legally Charged) by Tony Wayne Brown
Dead Girls, Dying Girls by James Dorr
Modern Science Has Yet to Find a Cure by Michael Lee Smith
The Fountain of Relative Youth by Christian A. Larsen
My Best Friend is a Robot by Brady Gerber
Fido by James Wymore
Megastar Hopper by Sue Lange
Dog. Girl. Armless Karaoke Maniac. by Joseph McKinley
Nedserd by Eli Wilde
A Tribute to Ernest Glipp by C. M. Chapman

The anthology AFTER DEATH. . . (see November 9) is now scheduled for release in mid-to-late April by Dark Moon Books, according to Editor Eric J. Guignard.  “Who has not considered their own mortality,” the original guidelines asked, “and wondered at what awaits, once our frail human shell expires?  What occurs after the heart stops beating, after the last breath is drawn, after life as we know it terminates?”  Now we may find out in only about three months, or at least have an insight into the thoughts of some 34 authors into this very subject.

And, yes, I’m there too with the story, “Mall Rats,” of three young people who dwell in a shopping mall after something or other happened and somehow or other they never went back home.  Memories are foggy, even from just one day to another — but now they have homes here, one in the basement, another beneath the roof over the false ceiling. . . .

More will be forthcoming as it becomes known.

Another funny story.  A couple of days ago I sent something to THE JOURNAL OF COMPRESSED CREATIVE ARTS which is asking this year that those submitting “[p]lease include as part of cover letter a top five list of anything related to writing.”  So, okay, I cobbled up what seemed to me a silly enough list of “The Top Five Editorial Conveniences to Include When Submitting” to fit the bill and off it went with the rest of the stuff.  Then, about a day later (these compressed creative arts types are not the sort to let much grass grow under their editorial feet), a rejection came for my actual submission but, in a separate email, was added “We loved your top five list and would like to publish it on our blog, along with a picture and a link to your website, author’s page, book, or whatever you prefer.”  So, what the heck, an acceptance is an acceptance, no?

I thought so too and sent the things in as requested — no money, but fame, yes? — and was informed Sunday that it will be posted on May 7, using the several-months-before-being-“live” link  So hopefully I’ll remember in May to repeat the link then, but if I shouldn’t, you’ve seen it here first.

Then to continue the eternal quest for fame, I’ve just sent an interview to new electronic magazine MYSTIC NEBULA which had put out a call for submissions, etc., a few weeks ago via the Science Fiction Poetry Association.   If editor Chris Vera likes what I sent and at such time as a date is set for publication, I’ll let folks know here, as well as posting a link when the appropriate time comes.  In the meantime, the first issue is out already with some pretty classy poetry among other things, including their premiere interview with painter/dancer/performer Adelaide Marcus.  The way MYSTIC NEBULA is set up is more like a blog than a magazine proper, where you keep scrolling down from one thing to another which gives it an element of surprise — next may come poetry, or prose, or who knows what?  It’s all rather neat.  To see for yourself (and when the time comes, it’s possibly all the link you’ll need then too), just press here.

If you’ve never bought a book from Dark Regions Press via their website before, they have a deal for you this weekend — and for me too!  Their offer:  “During this weekend, any first-time customer to the website can receive a free trade paperback book of their choice with their order by indicating their selection in the Order Comments in the final stage of checkout.  . . .  [The] free trade paperback must be equal or lesser value than purchased title and must be in stock.  Only valid for customers who have never ordered through”  They go on to say that this offer is good only until Monday, Jamuary 21st, so one must buy quickly.  But the thing is, I (ahem) happen to have exactly two books available as trade paprbacks from Dark Regions Press myself — so if you’ve a mind to, here’s your chance to buy my second collection, DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET, at full price and get my first, STRANGE MISTRESSES:  TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE, thrown into the deal free.

For more information or to order either collection (DARKER LOVES is the more expensive so, if buying, it’s the one to go to first) you can click on their pictures in the center column just to the right, or go directly to my little section of Dark Regions’s website (and see a not too out-of-date biography of me there to boot) with both books conveniently listed with their prices by just pressing here.

And then of course, pimpage being pimpage, if you should buy them and like what you read, my newest collection, THE TEARS OF ISIS, should be coming out from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing just a few months from now in May.

In another short note, my e-novelette PEDS (cf. October 24 et al.) has been given a 4-star rating by Long and Short Reviews, a fiction review site established August 27 2007.  A dystopian story set in a not-too-distant future America, PEDS is a tale of a society divided between those who have and drive cars and those who don’t, a world which, according to the review, “on one page seems so foreign and on another seems all too real.”  PEDS was published by Untreed Reads Publishing last October, “a short but enjoyable story that leaves you with something to think about,” to quote again from the review summation.

More information on PEDS can be found by clicking on its picture in the center column while to read the review itself just press here.   PEDS has also been reviewed by the Open Book Society, details on which, including a link to the review, are in the post below for November 13 2012.

It took its time, ostensibly having been published as the “third volume” of  PROSPECTIVE: A JOURNAL OF SPECULATION last October, but one thing or another prevented the print issuImagee of CTHULHU A LOVE STORY (see September 21) from actually being received until now.  And quite the volume it is, however, handsomely put together by Editor Lauren Stone and filled with interesting and offbeat flash prose and poetry.  Copies should be available in the “usual places,” CreateSpace, Amazon, et al., while for more information on this volume and others, one can check here.

To quote from the back cover, CTHULHU A LOVE STORY “is focused on science fiction, romance, and Lovecraftian odes” and “hopes to provide an eclectic and more humorous insight into the nature of love and horror.”  My contributions to this are two poems, “Slow-Motion” (would you believe Killer Snails?) and “It Must Have Been that New Fish Food” (on the horrors of goldfish husbandry).  Also, interestingly, given its technical October publication, it fits on my bookshelf just after the Popcorn Press anthology CTHULHU HAIKU (cf. December 4, et al.).

Two short notes.  First the print edition of TELLING TALES OF TERROR:  ESSAYS ON WRITING HORROR & DARK FICTION (cf. December 13, et al.) arrived today from Damnation Books, accompanied by swag in the form of a nifty pen and the fanciest silvery metal bookmark (book bling?) I’ve seen in some time.  The book is, as its title suggests, a series of essays rather than a step by step “how to write” book and therefore aimed perhaps more at the person who knows the bare basics already but wants advice in how to improve his or her writing to bring it up to a professional level.  As such I think it has good information, but then, in the spirit of full disclosure, I do have an ulterior motive:  I’m the writer of the book’s Introduction (find out why it’s not a good idea to kiss the vampire).  For more information, including ordering — it also comes in electronic editions — you can check the Damnation Books site by pressing here.

Then in the entry just below I mentioned being interviewed at yesterday’s  First Sundays Reading Series for the local university student newspaper.  I probably should say that my open mike reading of “Undying Love” was well received by audience members in general, and reporter Jessica Campbell seems to have been no exception.   Her article appeared today in the Arts section of the INDIANA DAILY STUDENT, citing me as “[p]leasing the audience with a little light horror,” and quoting me (as James Dorr, published writer) along with Writers Guild Chairperson Patsy Rahn and event organizer Nancy Chen Long, and in effect giving me with my three-minute reading more attention than even the featured writers Patricia Krahnke, Eric Rensberger, and Frida Westford.

As for why “Undying Love” went over well, remember the post below has a  link to UNTIED SHOELACES OF THE MIND where you can read it for yourself.

Then as one more followup to the event, organizer Long sent an email this morning saying there had been some problems with timing, yesterday’s being after all the series’s maiden outing, which meant they would try cutting the featured readers next month from 20 to 15 minutes each.  This actually works out okay for me, as I emailed her back saying I’d drop the “curtain raiser” I’d planned and for her to just change the announcement on me to cite the main story only (hint:  one from my upcoming THE TEARS OF ISIS — oh, did I already mention that below?  Well, pimpage is pimpage) , but adding a little bit more detail.


Saturday’s post alluded to my being scheduled for a short story reading in “about a month.”  This will be at the Bloomington Writers Guild’s (cf. December 9, et al.) new First Sundays Reading Series which had its premiere this afternoon.  And while I do have to wait for February for my “featured” presentation — two to three prose writers are given twenty minute slots each month — the program ended with an open mike session in which non-scheduled writers had three minutes each for whatever they wanted, prose or poetry or anything else.

Today offered a variety of styles, beginning with a scene from a play, followed by a grouping of prose poems, followed by an actual short story.  In my case, next month, I will have two short stories, a flash “curtain raiser” followed by a still relatively short piece which will also be in THE TEARS OF ISIS when it comes out in May.  Yep, advertising the book even includes a local campaign ;-).  For this month, however, I signed up as number six of seven open mike writers, reading a flash story, “Undying Love,” concerning the trials of dating for zombies that originally appeared in issue #1 of the e-zine UNTIED SHOELACES OF THE MIND (for which, in general, see September 10 2011, et al.).

“Undying Love” is listed as humor by UNTIED SHOELACES — dark humor, surely — though as I advised a reporter covering the event for the local college newspaper, my selections for February will be “more harsh.”  But, heck, it’s a new year so let’s at least begin with a smile, eh?

And so, for a lagniappe, an extra small treat (I did say it was flash fiction, didn’t I?), to read “Undying Love” for yourself, just press here.

A horrible reading?  Well, I do have a Writers Guild fiction reading scheduled in about a month, but this is different.  This is a story called “The Reading” about a reading by a horror poet.  Oh, and Cthulhu’s there too.  And, for better or worse, “The Reading” has just been accepted by Third Flatiron Publishing, publishers also of the war story anthology A HIGH SHRILL THUMP last summer with my story “Refugees” (see August 27, et al.).

The anthology with “The Reading” is on an “Uncaring or Hostile Universe” theme as announced in the guidelines.  “This can be Cthulhu mythos, cosmic irony, Nature abhors intelligence, etc. You tell us.”  As already noted, my story covers the first of these bases (well, sort of), but may encroach upon the other two as well — or at least so I think.

The title of the anthology will be UNIVERSE HORRIBILIS according to the acceptance email and it should be out in e-form on March 1.

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