Archive for April, 2013

“. . . And ye shall know them by their cosmic signs, etched in the path of elder stars. Be ever vigilant, for they will rise again in future centuries. Their father is Cthulhu, and their mother is Biotech.”

— So say the Techno-Goths


My entry, “Ghost Ship” (cf. April 24, 21, et al.), is set in my own far future “Tombs” universe (dying Earth, an expanding sun adding increasing, stifling heat to millennia of  pollution and mutation — what fun!), but direct ties to the Cthulhu Mythos or not, the feeling to me fitted in with Editor Mark Crittenden’s original call for “a very strong horror element and the concept of dystoopia. . . .  Your story may take place in any setting:  futuristic, post-apocalyptic, modern, old-world, parallel universe . . . the more boundless and strange the better.”  So will it pass muster?  Now you have the chance to find out.  Yesterday afternoon Red Skies Press’s latest anthology, TECHNO-GOTH CTHULHU, went up for sale officially on Createspace, with links added today for Amazon and Amazon UK.  Just click their names to see for yourself and, hopefully, buy a copy to read.

And, if you like “Ghost Ship,” three other “Tombs” stories are set to appear in THE TEARS OF ISIS (ha, thought I couldn’t sneak a commercial for this one in too?), out from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing in just over two weeks:  “Mara’s Room,” “River Red,” and, original to the collection, “The Ice Maiden.”  More information will appear here as it becomes available.

More good news!  Word has come from Editor Dora Badger of NIGHTFALL that they’ve accepted a reprint story, “Sunrise Revival,” for their September issue.  NIGHTFALL is one of several new print publications announced last year by White Cat Publications, specializing “primarily in good quality writing in the dark fiction genre. We will consider stories of most variants of this genre except stories involving excessive gore or erotica.”  It will be published semi-annually with issues in September and March.

Originally published in THE HAUNTED SUN in January 1991, “Sunrise Revival” is neither gore-filled nor erotic, but it does have pigs — at least by association — in that it has to do in part with a revival preacher’s sermon on the subject of the Gadarene swine (cf. Matthew, viii, 28-34).  As for the other part, i.e. the “the world is doomed” portion of it, well, you’ll just have to read it for yourself when the issue comes out!

Ever notice how one can go sometimes for nearly a week with nothing much happening, then, all of a sudden, new things are occurring all around, all at once?  Or almost all at once.

So it has been this week with today bringing, finally, the last page of proofreading for THE TEARS OF ISIS.  In general, Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing has done a tremendous job of setting it up almost error free.  But always there will be a few things that slip by — some even maybe (blush) errors that I hadn’t caught before on the MS when I turned it in — and there will be, no doubt, a few things missed this time.  But it’s worth the effort.  I’ve read, too many times, reviews that go out of their way to report a negative impression caused simply by mechanical errors in a book or story.  And I myself have sometimes been jolted out of a story by some egregious error in typesetting, no matter how good the writing itself may be.

So anyhow now it’s just gone back into the publisher’s hands.  And you who may end up yourselves reviewing THE TEARS OF ISIS, please realize that, if you do find something wrong, it’s not because either the editors or author didn’t do the best they could to make the book error free.

Then Thursday, as noted below on April 19, Upstart Poets went beck into business with an informal all-open mike session this time, allowing time for me to read four unpublished poems, tDarkMoonYAPremierehe one I alluded to last week about the fight of the century — Godzilla vs. King Kong, one about werewolves noting that it was a night with a full moon, and two of a burgeoning mini-series of poems I’ve been writing on vampire etiquette.  In all it was a good and a pleasant time, though a chilly snap in the last few days’ weather dictated that I bring a thermos of  hot coffee as my libation in the partly open-air People’s Bar.

Then finally Editor Stan Swanson has announced a tentative Table of Contents for the upcoming special Young Adult edition of DARK MOON DIGEST (see April 21). In all there are 15 stories right now — with the one in the alphabetized #4 position by me, to be sure — in what will apparently become a separate magazine and will officially debut at World Horror Convention in mid-June.

Among Men by Joe McKinney
Are the Stars Out Tonight? by Nancy Holder
Creepy Town by C. W. LaSart
Cyclops by James Dorr
Deadly Thin Ice by Dawn Napier
Franklinstein by John Peel
Lonely is the Mothman by Jg Faherty
Mounting Fairies for Display by Kevin David Anderson
Overdue Books by Jonathan Maberry
Rotten Inside by Kimberly Yerina
Scratch by Jeff Szpirglas
Smothered by Sarah Ahiers
Super by Max Booth III
The Nightmare Project by Stacey Turner
The Rainbow Coat by Paul Kane

For those who make it to WHC, I suspect there’ll be quite a few copies, as well as authors around for autographing.

The first of two interviews on THE TEARS OF ISIS (see below, April 19 and 17) has now been officially scheduled for May 7, a week and a day before the official publication date of May 15.  Hosted by Judy Thomas and Marianne Arkins for LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS, questions will be fielded on THE TEARS OF ISIS itself, as well as on me, my lifestyle, my writing, questions both straightforward and . . . well, weird, and with answers to match.  Also the chance to win a free copy is still being offered on the Goodreads page for THE TEARS OF ISIS, a link for which should appear with the interview (though those who don’t want to wait that long to sign up can always press here now).  Also, for an advance look at the LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS site you can press here.  A direct link to the interview will be provided on these pages, of course, on May 7 when it’s posted.

Also, once I’ve finished going over the proof sheets for THE TEARS OF ISIS (only four stories to go — maybe I can get through two more tonight!), I’ll be starting on questions for a third interview, tentatively scheduled to come in late May/early June, to fall between LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS’ May 7 pre-publication warm up and Sonnet O’Dell’s interview for DUSTY PAGES later this summer on July 29.  This new one will be by Teresa Schnellmann for THE WRITERS’ LENS to come shortly after the book has been published, and will be intended as a reminder in part for those going to World Horror Convention on June 13-16, to join both publisher Max Booth III and me in New Orleans.

Two quick notes.  Today’s email brought an announcement from Editor Mark Crittenden that TECHNO-GOTH CTHULHU (cf. April 21, et al.) is now officially aiming for a release by Red Skies Press at the end of this month.  These will be stories informed by “the Cthulhu mythos, with a Cyber-goth/Cyber-punk slant . . . futuristic, post-apocalyptic, modern, old-world, parallel universe . . . the more boundless and strange the better.”  My story in this is perhaps more associational than some, set in my own universe of the “Tombs,” a far-future dying Earth, but one upon which — who knows? — there may be some stain of Cthulhu as well.  But find out for yourself for updates if any within the remaining not-quite-a-week, as well as for links as soon as they go live to Amazon, Amazon UK, and Createspace, by pressing here.

Then the word has come out that Eric J. Guignard, who we’ve met before as the editor of AFTER DEATH (see April 17, et al.), has one of two reviews up at this time on Amazon for SO IT GOES (see also April 9, et al.).  Both give the book five stars out of five and Eric’s goes on to offer brief glosses on seven favorite stories, one of which (ahem) is my “Dead Girls, Dying Girls” (“. . . a bit absurd, but that is to be expected by the very theme of the book.”).  To see for yourself, with other info from Amazon, check here.

A quick one-day sale note.  Click on the pictures in the center column for PEDS, I’M DREAMING OF…, or VANITAS for bargain prices on Earth Day at the Untreed Reads store site.  “Effective immediately and running through 11pm PST on Monday, April 22nd, all titles published by Untreed Reads will be 40% off for Earth Day. This special is ONLY good at The Untreed Reads Store, and should make the EPUB and PDF pricing better than anywhere else anyone can buy the titles.”  So just remember, you heard it here!

Granted, there’s not lots of Earth Day left, but I understand that for the rest of April people who enter the words “APRIL SHOWERS” during checkout can also receive a discount, although not quite as much.  I also might add that the YEAR’S END New Year’s horror anthology, with lead story “Appointment in Time” by moi, is also available at these discount prices.

Excitement continues!  Last December the word had gone out that DARK MOON DIGEST planned a special issue,  one geared toward young adult readers.  “Ghosts?  Zombies?  Vampires?  Witches?  Werewolves?  Chupacabra?  It’s all up to you.  Just remember:  Keep it exciting and moving along.  Let’s give the younger generation a taste of horror and keep them reading.”

Sounded good to me at the time — and I’d had dealings with DARK MOON before (e.g, as a book publisher, cf. AFTER DEATH, ZOMBIE JESUS AND OTHER TRUE STORIES, November 9, 5 2012, et al.; for the DIGEST, April 27 2012, et al.), so why not?    So I sent off a 750-word or so short short called “The Cyclops,” noting that while the protagonist is actually younger than those in the intended audience, it was “on a theme of alienation and isolation brought through ‘differentness’ that might appeal to young adults.”

This afternoon Editor Stan Swanson emailed, “We would like to use ‘Cyclops’ in the special young adult issue of DARK MOON DIGEST.  Great story and it will be a good fit.”  SuggestedImage edits and a contract are to follow.

So, a good guess on my part, eh?  More details also will follow here.

Then, as proofing of THE TEARS OF ISIS ramps up into high gear, I’ve also received an email from Red Skies Press editor Mark Crittenden that proof sheets for TECHNO-GOTH CTHULHU (see September 8, August 20 2012, et al.) will be sent out soon, so, while delayed a bit from an originally hoped for publication date last Decenber, the anthology is getting back on the fast track.  My contribution in this is “Ghost Ship,” a story set in the far-future dying-Earth world of the “Tombs,” in this case on an  island  in the south seas for which its own future has come to a stop.

Again, more details will follow as they are known.

Three items today, all of them good (although two are really from yesterday):

First, THE TEARS OF ISIS has reached another milestone with the receipt yesterday afternoon of the proof copy from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing.  And the cave computer had no trouble opening the .pdf file (it’s sometimes temperamental that way)!  So all is on schedule for its publication date set for May 15 (see below, March 21, et al.).

Then Upstart Poets (cf. October 31, 26, September 27 2012, et al.) is back with us again!  It had been on a hiatus the last few months and, as has been known, the facilitator will be leaving the area sometime this fall, but we have it back now at least for (hopefully) summer.  Next meeting is next week, on Thursday evening, with an all “open mike” format this time out for everyone to get reacquainted.  Shall I plan to read my latest epic, “Godzilla vs. King Kong” (well actually a rather short epic at 26 lines, but one has to admit it’s a big subject)?

And finally, of which see just below, Sonnet O’Dell of DUSTY PAGES has confirmed July 29 at the date for my interview with her. More information on this and my earlier (hopefully May) interview, also noted below, will be forthcoming.

Huzzah!  The last few days I’ve been reading delighted readers’ Facebook reports and the like about how they’ve received their copies of AFTER DEATH (see April 3, et al.) and how great the book is.  This is Eric J. Guignard’s anthology from Dark Moon Books about “what awaits” (hey, that’s what it says on the back cover) “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?”  Thirty-four authors give their answers, including me with a tale of suburban shopping mall woe called “Mall Rats,” and, by accounts that I’ve read thus far, don’t do a bad job of speculating.

And so today, in the afternoon mail, I got mine.  Shiny and dark (both the cover and, according to at least one review, a goodly portion of the contents), and complete with interior illustrations by Audra Phillips.  And so tonight, after I’m done posting this, it looks like I’m going to be doing some reading.

Then also today I finished (almost) the second of two questionnaires for blog interviews I’ve been working on this week and last to help publicize THE TEARS OF ISIS.  These tend to be rather long affairs sometimes as both of these were, with lots of questions, although interviewees are not obligated to answer them all — just fifteen or twenty or maybe a few more.  But that’s okay and these are fun too — I tend to go more for longer answers than just “yes” or “no” or just the bare facts — but if I end up being too much of a wise ass on some (and yes, I’m sure it may sometimes happen), the interviewer can simply skip those replies and use some of the others.

The first of these, that I sent in Sunday to LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS, will, hopefully, be published in the first week of May, a week before the official release of THE TEARS OF ISIS.  Then a month later there’s World Horror Convention where you can ask me about it yourself.  Then if all goes well, the second interview — which needs some photos added to it but which I should get turned in tomorrow– will come out in the British blog, DUSTY PAGES, around the end of July as a reminder for those of you who haven’t gotten your copies yet.  (Remember also you have a chance of winning a free copy just by signing up before May 15 on Goodreads’ page for THE TEARS OF ISIS, cf. March 21.)  More information on the exact dates, plus links to the interviews when appropriate, will be forthcoming.

For those going to World Horror Convention this year, June 13-16 in New Orleans, the veil of secrecy has at last been officially lifted.  My scheduled whereabouts during the convention can now be revealed.  Well . . . almost.  But almost is good.  It’s better than nothing.  It’s better than not knowing at all, right?

So here’s the skinny.

Thursday I’m not likely to be in till late, so I’ll try to be at the Opening Ceremonies, but maybe not.  Friday, however, I will be at Dark Poets Face to Face, in the Orleans Room at 1 p.m.  “Leading poets in the field of dark literature read and discuss their favorite poems by other members on the panel.  Audience participation is encouraged.”  Moderator is Bruce Boston and other panelists are Chad Hensley, Linda Addison, Marge Simon, and Norman Prentiss.  Also Friday will see 7-9 p.m.’s Mass Signing in the Royal Room, open to non-convention members as well as members.  Chances are I may not have copies of my THE TEARS OF ISIS available myself (at least not many) since it will just be out, but “[a] bookshop is tentatively in attendance with copies of Guests’ and other authors’ books where available.  You can also find many books by those who will be signing in the Dealers Room.”  So look for Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing’s Max Booth III who, to my knowledge, won’t have an official table in the Dealer’s Room, but should have books himself or possibly have some copies of  THE TEARS OF ISIS placed with other dealers like Hazardous Press or Dark Moon Books (Max will also be signing some of his own books, I understand, at the Dark Moon table Friday from 12-1 p.m., just before the Dark Poets panel).

Don’t party too much on Friday night though because you’ll want to be up for my 9:30 a.m. Reading in the Orleans Room, A Half Hour of Vampires (Poetry and Prose) on Saturday morning.  Questions, etc., will be taken afterward in the hall outside, most likely on the way to the Iberville Room Con Suite in hopes of coffee (French roast, natch) and a beignet or two for a leisurely breakfast.  Then for vampire diehards (hmmm), I’ll be in the Royal Room at 3 p.m. Saturday for Reclaiming the Vampire, Nancy Kilpatrick moderating, with fellow panelists Les Klinger, Carl Alves, and Jim Gavin.  “This panel examines the shifts in the vampire over time, where the creature began, where it is at now, and what to expect of future blood-drinkers.  And most importantly, what this means for writers who adore this subject, which some believe has already bled out.  Can the nosferatu be saved or has it died the true death?”

Then Sunday is a free day for me for lounging, eating, sightseeing, maybe a panel or two, con suite schmoozing.  But also, before that, there is one thing more, a surprise if you will. . . .

But that’s one I’ve promised must remain a secret.

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