Archive for September, 2013

The Horror Writers Association “Halloween Haunts 2013” celebration begins tomorrow, October 1, on the HWA’s Dark Whispers blog.  A total of nearly fifty guest posts will appear on a schedule of one or two per day up through Halloween itself.  My own particular day on this is October 13 — my lucky number! — with a review of the film of the opera  DRACULA:  ENTRE L’AMOUR ET LA MORTE, complete with directions on how to find translations of the songs in English.  The film has been reviewed as well on this site on May 31 last year, but, for those who missed it then, October 13 may be just in time to order a DVD for yourself to enjoy with friends, along with candy and other appropriate refreshments, on Halloween night.

October, in fact, will be a big month for guest appearances for me as it’s shaping up.  Not only will that film be featured on the HWA blog on the 13th, another film review by me is scheduled to open this year’s WHERE THE DEAD FEAR TO TREAD (a.k.a. M.R. GOTT’S CUTIS ANSERINA) annual Halloween Celebration (cf. September 23).  Of which more, and a link, should appear tomorrow.  And then, on October 21, THE TEARS OF ISIS will be featured in Kate Hill’s HAUNTED LIBRARY — for more on Kate, who we’ve met before, see August 13 this year, as well as October 1 2011 on which the plug for the Halloween season was my poetry book VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE) — and, while the exact date hasn’t yet been set, yesterday I completed an interview with Cassie Carnage to appear in October on CASSIE’S HOUSE OF HORROR.

Back to the HWA’s Halloween Haunts, below is a messed up (that’s the way HWAHalloweenHaunts_1the internet works sometimes) but hopefully still readable schedule of events.  A facebook page has also been set up for late-breaking updates, including giveaways, which can be reached by pressing here, while for the blog itself, the HWA site can be found  by pressing here (of which I might add, scroll down to where it says “explore” on the right side, then click “Blog” to discover all sorts of other neat things as well).

1-Oct     Welcome to Halloween Haunts 2013     James Chambers     one print copy each of The Dead Bear Witness, Tears of Blood, Three Chords of Chaos
2-Oct     Personal Experience in Halloween Fiction     Lisa Morton     N/A
3-Oct     Stoker Spotlight Interview with     L.L. Soares     N/A
4-Oct     Ghost in My House     Cat Winters     one print copy of In the Shadow of Blackbirds
4-Oct     Thats My Boy     Matthew Warner     N/A
5-Oct     Anti Christ Devil Children     J. Thorn     one personalized e-book; winner’s choice of title and format
5-Oct     Why Do You Write That Stuff     Thomas Smith     one print copy of Something Stirs
6-Oct     More than Just Candy     David B. Riley     one print copy of Gunslingers & Ghost Stories; one print copy of Steampunk Trails
7-Oct     Candy Corn Memories     Amy Grech     N/A
7-Oct     Halloween in the Hudson Valley     J.G. Faherty     N/A
8-Oct     Stoker Spotlight Interview with     Gene O’Neill     N/A
9-Oct     Halloween Hootenanny     Greg McWhorter     N/A
10-Oct     Stoker Spotlight Interview with     Lucy Snyder     N/A
10-Oct     Why I Write Horror     Carl Alves     one signed copy of Blood Street
11-Oct     Beware Jersey Devil     Carol MacCallister     N/A
12-Oct     Stoker Spotlight Interview with     Marge Simon     N/A
12-Oct     Night Terrors     Heather L. Reid     one print copy of Pretty Dark Nothing
13-Oct     Dracula: Entre l’Amor et la Morte     James Dorr     N/A
14-Oct     Halloween Animated Specials     Ed Erdelac     N/A
15-Oct     Stoker Spotlight Interview with     Rocky Wood     N/A
16-Oct     Halloween-What First Comes to Your Mind at the Thought?     John G. Rees     one print copy each of anoxic zone, Halocline, Black Tide, and Out of Stone (separate winners)
16-Oct     Halloween as a Kid     Michael J. McCann     five digital Kindle copies of The Ghost Man
17-Oct     Stoker Spotlight Interview with     Lisa Morton     1/2 page ad in 1/31/13 issue of Dark Discoveries, medium sidebar ad on, two sets, courtesy Journalstone
18-Oct     Opening the Vein     John Palisano     one e-book copy of Nerves
19-Oct     Stoker Spotlight Interview with     Greg Chapman     N/A
19-Oct     Coming Home to Horror     Rena Mason     one print copy of The Evolutionist, one print copy of East End Girls
20-Oct     Sunglasses At Night     Julie Campbell     one print copy of Steampunk Trails, one e-book Sabaska’s Tale
20-Oct     Reclaiming Horror     Annie Neugebauer     N/A
21-Oct     Traditions     Marge Simon     N/A
21-Oct     Halloween Is Every Day     Johnny Worthen     N/A
22-Oct     Stoker Spotlight Interview with     Jerad Walters     N/A
22-Oct     EquineAnatomy     Kenneth W. Cain     one print copy of Fresh Cut Tales
23-Oct     Plastic Fangs and Cotton Fur     Mark Onspaugh     one Netgalley review copy of The Faceless One, one Hydra mug
24-Oct     Distances     Marty Young     one print copy of 809 Jacob Street
25-Oct     The Slumbering One     Jinx Strange     N/A
26-Oct     Halloween Should Be Banned     Mick Sims     one print copy of Stronghold, Shelter, Demon Eyes, Black Cathedral, and Night Souls
27-Oct     Halloween Stories     Steve Rasnic Tem     N/A
28-Oct     A Walk in the Mists     Keith Deininger     one print copy of The New Flesh
28-Oct     Autumn People     Loren Rhodes     one digital copy of Wish You Were Here
29-Oct     Stoker Spotlight Interview with     Mort Castle     N/A
30-Oct     Haunted Halloween Party     Joe Augustyn     N/A
30-Oct     That Restless Halloween Feeling     John Mantooth     N/A
31-Oct     My Personal Haunted House     John F.D. Taff     one print copy, one digital copy of The Bell Witch


(Photo and caption courtesy of The Bram Stoker Estate, via Facebook)

Sometimes they fall like apples from trees.  Yeah, if it were only so!  But this time, at least, in the past three days I have had three (count ‘em!) story acceptances.

So let us treasure it.  Late Sunday evening saw IN THE BLOODSTREAM take the Lovecraftian Christmas tale “A Christmas Carnage,” Monday brought Chupa Cabra’s acceptance of  “Invisible People” for WE WALK INVISIBLE, and then today, Tuesday, came this word from Diabolic Publications (cf. September 21, et al.):  “After reviewing your short story we would like the opportunity to include it in our upcoming anthology ETHER WORLD.”

The story in question is called “Jeremy’s Woman” and, as for ETHER WORLD, the call was for “original science fiction in which some facet of future science or technology is integral to the plot. The science needs to be physical, sociological, or psychological.  The technology can be any form such as electronic engineering, biogenetic engineering, and so forth.  All stories must be strong and realistic, with believable characters that may or may not be human.”

Thus “Jeremy’s Woman” who, herself, may or may not be human but also may be more than Jeremy and his team of space explorers expect.  And as for science fiction, it may add a tinge of horror as well.

Currently plans for ETHER WORLD are for a release date in January 2014.

Lots of small bits, with one not all that small.  Editor Timm Tayshun of Chupa Cabra House emailed today to say they’re accepting  my story “Invisible People,” originally published in the Winter 1992-93 DARK INFINITY, as a reprint for their anthology WE WALK INVISIBLE.  “Invisible People” is a symbolic (if one will) near-future dystopia based on the idea that as one becomes alienated by a society, he or she becomes no-longer-noticed by those still in that society’s mainstream.  The point is made, for instance (and to sneak in a plug 😉 ) in the story “Bottles” in THE TEARS OF ISIS where the maid Maria can walk unmolested as long as she’s wearing her maid’s uniform, but on her days off if she wears her own clothes she’s whistled at by the college boys at neighboring Harvard.  And as for the world in “Invisible People,” suppose one literally becomes invisible when those in the mainstream have been conditioned to only believe — and, hence, only to “see” — what society has told them is reality.

Also Horrified Press has announced the official release date for NIGHTMARE STALKERS & DREAM WALKERS (cf. September 20, June 28) as October 23, “just in time for the holiday season. . . .”  “The highly awaited horror anthology NIGHTMARE STALKERS & DREAM WALKERS edited by Suzie Lockhart & Bruce Lockhart 2nd dares you to confront the dark behind your eyelids, as no-one is safe to dream in this collection of  frightening tales from some of the biggest names in horror. NIGHTMARE STALKERS & DREAM WALKERS will be available in both digital and print formats.”  Speculation aside as to whether I qualify as one of “the biggest names,” etc., my story in this is one called “Flesh,” about a man who, because of a dream, has decided to get fat.

So, okay, you’ve just got to read it to see why.

And, speaking of the highly absurd, today’s third announcement is that my review of the Japanese film VAMPIRE GIRL VS. FRANKENSTEIN GIRL, originally presented here last October 28 (“Recommended for Halloween Fun”), has been selected by M.R. Gott to appear as a guest blog on October 1, opening 2013’s WHERE THE DEAD FEAR TO TREAD, a.k.a. M.R. GOTT’S CUTIS ANSERINA, annual Halloween Celebration.  Thus far eleven more guest spots have been chosen stretching from mine on the first to October 29 and, while the real fun may not start for eight more days, for a sample of what WHERE THE DEAD FEAR TO TREAD is all about, one need but click here.

What a Sunday!  A mellow party/poetry reading followed by email including my second Christmas story acceptance for 2013.  The first was for “The Match Story,” a Hans Christian Andersen tale retold in Third Flatiron Publishing’s having-not-a-bit-to-do-with-the-holidays summer anthology PLAYING WITH FIRE (cf. June 2, April 8), while this one will be for the Mocha Memoirs Press non-Christmas anthology IN THE BLOODSTREAM.  “Your submission must contain elements of dark fantasy or horror to be considered.  The subject matter is up to you.  We want beautiful prose and originality wrapped up in the darkest, creepiest story you’ve ever conceived.”  Sound like Christmas to you?

It did to me.  And so my offering in this outing is a modest Lovecraftian variant on a beloved Charles Dickens classic, here titled “A Christmas Carnage.”  It has to do with a recent graduate from Miskatonic U. who happens to have a midnight visit from . . . well let us just say a Christmas Present.  According to the original guidelines, the hope is to publish IN THE BLOODSTREAM in October.

And then the party, bittersweet in its way, was a farewell to Upstart Poets coordinator Joel Barker (see July 25, April 16, et al.) who leaves with his wife for New York on Friday.  Onward and upward.  It may also be a farewell to the People’s Bar, though there is some talk of a possible revival of some poetry program in this venue, though probably under a different name and with different ground rules.  But we shall see.

At least for this evening we had snacks and drinks and music and poems — one poem each from those who chose to read, several with a theme of farewell.  Thus it was that I, called second somewhat to my surprise, read an ultimate “farewell” offering, “Sestina for Death,” but asking Joel also to make like a zombie and come back to see us from time to time.

As for the poem, originally published in STRANGE HORIZONS on August 30 2010, it’s been here once before as a lagniappe (cf. March  6 2011), so why not again?  For those who may have missed it on its first go-round, just press here.

It’s really not all that big a deal — someone’s name has got to be first — and the only “news” is that Diabolic Publications LLC’s  “no sparklers, please” vampire anthology DYING TO LIVE Image(cf. July 24, March 9) is still scheduled for a Halloween release.  But I ran across their ad blurb on Facebook today and, well, I hope no one minds.

My story in this is called “The Preacher,” inspired in part by a late 19th century spate of suspected vampire cases in Connecticut and Rhode Island  — yes, right here in the US of A — the last of which concerning a woman named Mercy Brown may also have been, in part, an inspiration for Bram Stoker’s iconic novel DRACULA.  Who’d have thought?

But the important thing is, in Mercy Brown’s and  in other contemporary New England cases, none of these vampires sparkled either.

A couple of quick updates, the first being that Horrified Press has announced a complete lineup of authors for  their upcoming NIGHTMARE STALKERS & DREAM WALKERS anthology (see June 28), although it’s not clear if this the actual table of contents that is, the order in which the stories will appear in the book) or perhaps the order in which they were accepted.  Either way, though, it looks like an intriguing list..

Desperate Dreams – By Chantal Boudreau
Dose – By Jay Wilburn
Chosen – By Rebecca Besser
Virtual Black – By Todd Nelsen
Dreamer – By Ben Pienaar
Silent Scream – By Scarlet Norton-Duperre
MacKenzie’s Rose – By Rie Sheridan Rose
If You Should Die Before I Wake – By Josh Strnad
Flesh – By James S. Dorr
Dialogues with the Dead – By Kate Monroe
Seven Snowy Deaths – By K. Trap Jones
Nightmare – By Rick McQuiston
Shadow – By Mathias Jansson
Knock Knock – By Joel M. Kremer
7 Hours – By Max Booth III
Whispers – By Mark Slade
Gateway Drug – By Lindsey Beth Goddard
Rêve Noir –  By Eli Wilde
A Daffodil or Tulip Shan’t Compare – By Justin Tate
Phantom Flirts – By Justin Tate
The House on Cedar Street – By Sean Farren
The Twenty – By Ray J. Robbio
The Boy Who Usually Wasn’t There – By Allan Izen
The Patrol – By Kenneth W. Cain
Arcticus – By Greg McWhorter
The New Gaoler – By Konstantine Paradias
Special Delivery – By Wiiliam Holden
Oh Baby! – By Patrick O’ Scheen
Apep – By Joseph A. Pinto
Daydream – By Nathan J.D.L. Rowark
The Ferryman – By Suzie Lockhart & Bruce Lockhart 2nd
Mr Creator – By Joe McKinney

People might recall as well that the anthology was originally to be open until early next year so, with this great and quick a response, the editors have also announced a Volume 2, currently open for new submissions.  For more on that, as well as the original guidelines and concept, check it out here.  While, as for the when and where Volume 1 will be published, information will be on these pages as soon as I know too.

Then for the second update, the DARK BITS flash horror anthology (cf. September 3, June 30, et al.) is now available in hard copy, both in softcover and hardback editions via CreateSpace and, respectively.  These join existing ebook versions via Kindle and Smashwords, between them in pretty well all ebook formats.  Links for ordering can be found at publisher Apokrupha’s site by pressing here.

The news in a way isn’t even that new.  SPLATTERLANDS:  REAWAKENING THE SPLATTERPUNK REVOLUTION (cf. July 18, February 9) is still scheduled by Grey Matter Press to be out this fall.  And July’s post even had a link to see the contents, but, Grey Matter having emailed about something else today, I thought it might be time for a reminder — as well as actually publishing the contents here, even if alphabetized by title rather than being the final order.  Also, I did run across a picture of the cover.

To quote the editors, “SPLATTERLANDS seeks to reawaken the hyperintensive writing style and disturbing themes that were indicative of the original Splatterpunk authors whose work Imageand graphic depictions of the true effects of violence and terror has fundamentally changed the way both horror and entertainment media is approached today.  The new anthology will be published as a single bone-crunching volume that includes stories of personal, intelligent and subversive horror intended to evoke the original 1986 movement.

“The term ‘Splatterpunk’ was originally coined in an effort to categorize a wave within horror fiction that sought to address what many authors at that time felt was the general homogenization and highly diluted nature of horror being produced in the mid-80s.

“The original Splatterpunks included some of the most brilliant writers of all time, with many of their pieces containing some of the most graphic, most visceral and darkly violent stories ever penned. Considered both disturbing and thought-provoking, this truly ground-breaking work now influences almost every aspect of modern crime, thriller, horror and general entertainment media.

“The Splatterpunks were honestly literary revolutionaries, and we intend to honor their achievements with SPLATTERLANDS.”



“Amputations in the Key of D” by Jack Maddox
“The Artist” by James S. Dorr
“The Defiled” by Christine Morgan
“Devil Rides Shotgun” by Eric Del Carlo
“Dis” by Michele Garber
“Dwellers” by Paul S. Collrin
“Empty” by A.A. Garrison
“Heirloom” by Michael Laimo
“Housesitting” by Ray Garton
“Letter to My Ex” by J. Michael Major
“Party Guests” by Chad Stroup
“Violence for Fun and Profit” by Gregory L. Norris
“The Viscera of Worship” by Allen Griffin

And then (why not?) a brief description by the editors of my story in this:  “Dorr’s disturbing tale, ‘The Artist,’ is a tale of a sculptor plagued with emotional burdens that ultimately affect his work. ‘The Artist’ appears in SPLATTERLANDS from Grey Matter Press.”  Ah, that “art thing” from me again, as in all those blurbs on THE TEARS OF ISIS.  Brave words, these, but are they accurate?

Later this fall when the book is released, check here for information on how to find out.

Harken we back to the entry of April 5 2012 where we find a very, very short story, “The Cage,” that’s been posted in MISCELLANEA:  A TRANSDIMENSIONAL LIBRARY (cf. also February 25 2012), a quirky foreshadowing of a library of the future of “books that have never existed and that haven’t been written yet,” as represented by excerpts from such tomes.  Limited to 300 words, these are not entire stories, but the game is to suggest the greater tales that lie behind them — that is, not to tell them, but to invite the reader to imagine what they may or may not be.  Then with a fast forward to August 15 of this year, we discover a new, even shorter story has been accepted for MISCELLANEA.

And now we discover this story, “As Fine as Frogs’ Hair,” a 75-word saga concerning witches and princes and frogs and maids and hair extensions . . . and, oh, all sorts of things, is officially scheduled for publication in MISCELLANEA:  A TRANSDIMENSIONAL LIBRARY on November 14, two weeks after Halloween.  What fantasies may this excerpt evoke?

To find out, one must wait till then.  But for a taste of what MISCELLANEA is like one need only press here.

Also today has come an announcement that Untreed Reads Publications’s weekend sale on short stories, noted immediately below,  has been extended until the end of the month.  “Again, all short stories are on sale for just 50 cents each through September 30th, AND discount coupons that folks might have DO apply. This sale is only through The Untreed Reads Store.”  I have two titles in this sale, VANITAS and I’M DREAMING OF A. . ., which can be reached by pressing their pictures in the column just to the right or else via Untreed Reads own store site.

Also for another reminder, this one two posts down, Kobo’s half-off sale on electronic books is still on till the end of the month too, featuring the two above Untreed Reads stories plus a few others, also by me, from Untreed Reads and other publishers (notably PEDS, POLUDNITSA, and I believe THE GARDEN in the near-right column, as well as Damnation Books’s TELLING TALES OF TERROR (where I wrote the introduction) and the Untreed Reads anthology YEAR’S END:  14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR.

Wednesday’s half-price sale is still on at Kobo (cf. just below) but, for those who prefer their fiction on Kindle — at least for short stories — Untreed Reads’s own store is offering them this weekend in multiple formats for fifty cents each.  Kobo, on the other hand, while at the same price for stories listing at $0.99, offers EPUB format but doesn’t have Kindle.

As for Untreed reads, let Editor/Publisher Jay Hartman explain:  “Just a heads-up that all short stories in all categories have been marked down to $0.50 for this weekend . . . Untreed Reads is transitioning away from stand-alone short stories, but we do want to make the ones we have right now more attractive to buyers.

“The sale is scheduled to end at 11:30 pm on Sunday, September 15th. HOWEVER, more than likely, we will be putting the distribution titles back to their regular price and leaving the Untreed Reads short stories at $0.50 for a while longer. We want to see if we can get more movement out of these titles.”

So some sale prices may actually be available after Sunday, but, again, only for short stories and, for this sale, only at the Untreed Reads Store — while the Kobo sale will continue all month for all lengths of story, but excludes Kindle format.

Confused?  I know I am.  But the bottom line, at least for my work:  If you’d like to get my Christmas horror tale I’M DREAMING OF A. . . or my steampunk/mystery VANITAS for just fifty cents each and in Kindle format, just click their pictures in the center column of this page, but best do it by 11:30 p.m. tomorrow just in case.  If you prefer EPUB (including Nook, etc.) you have a choice of clicking the picture to purchase directly from Untreed Reads or going to the URL at the bottom of Wednesday’s post for Kobo.  But if you’d like a bargain price for my near-future SF story PEDS, you’ll have to go to Kobo for that because it’s priced as a novelette, not a short story, and hence isn’t part of the Untreed Reads sale (and, as a reminder, the Kobo sale may also include other titles by me, or with work of mine in them, like POLUDNITSA or TELLING TALES OF TERROR or even Untreed Reads’s own New Year’s anthology YEAR’S END:  14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR).

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