Archive for October, 2013

I had had a vampire story in DAILY SCIENCE FICTION, “Naughty or Nice” on December 21, 2011 (cf. December 28 and 21 2011, et al.; also for a review, May 5 2012), but it was more a tale for Christmas.  So this is the one that preceded that one, a story of body modification — well, in a sense anyway — and the dangers of smokinLucyg marijuana, especially good stuff.  Yet it is also a story of a woman, Drusilla, who shies away from the sun.  As she says herself, “We used to laugh that I might be a vampire.”  So one can’t get away from them entirely.

But this is a tale of other things too, such as what cheeses go best with amontillado and why Victorians sometimes bronzed babies, called “Killer Pot” (cf. August 16, 9 2011), a tale of a couple who once were lovers and still are good friends, first presented on DAILY SCIENCE FICTION on August 9 two years ago.  A story for summer as much as fall, and not so much a horror story as such unless in a bizarro sort of fashion.  Be that as it may, Halloween is a magical time and chills will occur in any season, and whatever events might come today in terms of sales or publications, or contracts or editorial requests, or whatever else can wait for tomorrow.  For today a gift for the reader — a lagniappe for Halloween for those with a taste for the outre.  And so, to read “Killer Pot” please press here.

And so another major book is out in time for Halloween!  BLOOD TYPE:  AN ANTHOLOGY OF VAMPIRE SF ON THE CUTTING EDGE (cf. September 7, July 23, 18) has been released in a Kindle edition, with the print version to follow shortly according to Nightscape Press editor Robert Shane Wilson.  Promised to be out on Devil’s Night, the BloodTypeSpacesuitEve of Halloween (thus the eve of an eve, but let’s not get technical), it can be obtained — as well as more information found — by pressing here.  Moreover, profits earned by BLOOD TYPE will be donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, for more information on which one can press here.

So science fiction, horror, vampires, together in one book, with stories by such folk as Peter Watts, Mike Resnick, William F. Nolan, Laird Barron, Tim Waggoner, Stephen Graham Jones, Benjamin Kane Ethridge, Jason V Brock, John Palisano, Taylor Grant — 29 stories in all for more than 130,000 words — and even (ahem!) a short piece by me, what more could one want?  In my case, it’s the tale of a young woman, “Eudora,” who as a child was into worms, but now is into men — or is it the other way around?  “It is not just an anthology of hard science fiction,” so says the blurb.  “This book also contains examples of science fantasy as well as some classic vampire stories including an updated reprint from William F. Nolan.”

“What do you think makes a character a compelling villain or hero?”  “What did you learn from writing your book that you think would help other writers out there with their craft?”  “While this may seem like a given to some people, others may be wondering, why write horror?”  Mysteries all, as posed by Cassie Carnage in the latest installment of her special countdown to All Hallows “20 Questions for Horror Authors” in CASSIE’S HOUSE OF HORROR.  “What is one thing that you’d like people to know about horror writers?”  (See how deftly I slip in three.)  And, might one add (yes, and indeed Cassie does), “Tell us about your most recent or current book that you’ve had published.”

See it all by pressing here:  the latest of course on THE TEARS OF ISIS, but also a note on my most recent story as well as things I may have planned for the future.  And questions, more questions, and the answers to them.  Candy for the mind, as it may be, revealed for you in these final few days before Thursday and Halloween.

Then, moving to Christmas, this year’s second Christmas tale taken by a non-holiday themed anthology (for the first, “The Match Story” in Third Flatiron Publishing’s PLAYING WITH FIRE, see June 2, et al.) has just been published in IN THE BLOODSTREAM by Mocha Memoirs Press.   “In fiction,” In_the_Bloodstream_Cover_for_Kindleto quote from Compiler Eden Royce’s introduction, “the writer is faced with a challenge of how to create chills and disturbia without special effects.  Here [as opposed to in film] there is no visual shorthand to rely on.  Whether the author intends to install fear, revulsion, or awe, they must do so with the proper choice of words, crafting the scenes they’ve chosen into clear pictures for the reader.

“Nowhere is this truer than in short fiction.  Less space means more decision, more honing, more editing down to the bare essence of what must be kept to tell the story best.  What doesn’t add to the story is struck down, ruthlessly cut out.  Only keep what cuts closest to the bone.

“This anthology is our homage to the short horror form. . . .”

Be that as it may, my own contribution is an original piece of Lovecraftiana — crossed with Charles Dickens’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL — called “A Christmas Carnage” (cf. September 23), in which we learn among other things why a scholar might keep a chainsaw in his closet, and what not to ask The Ghost of Christmas Present.  More information can be found on the Mocha Memoirs site by clicking here, but one word of warning.  You may be requested to verify that you’re over 18 years of age.

So that’s one more than the games needed to win the World Series, but it was an almost last-minute thing — and this in spite of a guidelines admonition that it would be a good thing to submit early.  But that’s how it goes.  And none of the poems were haiku either (there was one shadorma), but they don’t have to be, the constraint being only that Cthulhu-Haiju-II-coversubmissions be short poems or prose less than 1000 words.  And for more than that, well, check out posts here for the original CTHULHU HAIKU with my story “The Farmer in the Well” (cf. December 4, October 7 2012).

So anyhow Popcorn Press has decided to do it again and, at the last minute (procrastination, procrastination), I got together seven poems and sent them in and, just the day after, Editor/Publisher Lester Smith accepted four — and asked if I might rewrite the last line of a fifth and send it back in!  The fifth was the shadorma, a six-line, syllable-counted form somewhat like a lune smushed into a haiku, titled “Bad Vacation,” and this afternoon (deadline day) it was accepted too.  The other four are all free verse of varying lengths, two of which are reprints from PROSPECTIVE JOURNAL’s CTHULHU A LOVE STORY titled “Slow-Motion” and “It Must Have Been that New Fish Food” (see January 10 2013, September 21 2012), and two new poems, “The Vampiress Dreams of an Evening in Innsmouth” and “With the Economy What It Is, Maybe We’ll Take Any Job We Can Get.”

Popcorn Press is a fun little outfit that’s used work of mine in two other books too, HALLOWEEN HAIKU (see November 22 2011) and THE HUNGRY DEAD (December 30 2010), and I fully expect CTHULHU HAIKU II will be fun as well — regardless of whether the final line in “Bad Vacation (A Shadorma)” works for you or not.  More information will be found here as soon as I get it.

It took a while for the news to come out, but Thursday evening’s email brought word from Editor Mark Crittenden that TRUE DARK (cf. February 21 2012) has been published by Red Skies Press.  “Journey into nightmarish landscapes, into the blackest midnight of your fear . . . into the TRUE DARK, 17 tales guaranteed to make you sleep with the light on.”  My story here is a kind of dark scTrueDarkSmallience fiction, zombie-esque tale called “Gas,” and, if Red Skies Press should sound familiar to long-time readers, I’ve had a couple of previous publications there, “Jessie” in DREAMS OF DUALITY (see February 13 2012, et al.) and “Ghost Ship” in TECHNO-GOTH CTHULHU (May 2, April 28 2013, et al.).

TRUE DARK, originally billed as “quite simply an anthology of the best of the best horror (open-themed),” is currently available from Createspace, Amazon, and Amazon UK, for which press herehere, or here respectively.

And speaking of the UK, Adele of British start-up publisher Fox Spirit also emailed “I am pleased to say that your submission has been accepted for the anthology.  Due to the high number of excellent stories we will be publishing two volumes early in 2014 (Jan/Feb).”  Not a woman of many words is Adele, but the anthology in question is THE GIRL AT THE END OF THE WORLD and, to quote the guidelines, “What we want:  pre, during, post, and not remotely related to apocalyptic stories, in the SF, Fantasy, Horror, and Crime genres.  Clearly female lead characters who pack a punch.  Roughly speaking 5,000-10,000 words per story.”  The money offered wasn’t huge, but I’ve been trying to build presence in the United Kingdom (by the way, have I mentioned THE TEARS OF ISIS is also available on Amazon UK?  Just click here for a look) and, moreover, it seemed to me I had just the story, a 6500-word tale set in the far-future, dying Earth world of the “Tombs,” called “The Borrowed Man.”

Adele apparently has agreed:  it’s a match made in heaven.

One week and counting ‘til Halloween and Untreed Reads Publishing has announced a celebratory sale through the end of October, including selected full-length titles for $2.99.  My bird in this bush is a story, “Appointment in Time,” which is the lead-off selection in YEAR’S END:  14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR.  “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.”  Granted it’s aimed toward the end of the year, but the chills are good for the entire Halloween to New Year’s Day holiday season.  Moreover, while it can be ordered through Untreed Reads’s store, the sale price is offered at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple’s iBookstore as well.  For more information, press the link here.

Also, though exclusively at the Untreed Reads site, all stand-alone short story titles are being offered at $0.50 each, including two by me, I’M DREAMING OF A. . ., an also holiday-themed chiller but this time for Christmas, and VANITAS (a third Untreed Reads title by me, the novelette PEDS, remains priced at $1.50).  For more info or ordering on these, press here.  (Hint:  once there, don’t look for books through categories, but enter “James Dorr,” or other author or title of choice, directly in the “Enter keyword here” box on the upper left).

“And here is a read for you just in time for Halloween.”  So begins Christine Rains’s blog for today which is featuring THE TEARS OF ISIS, including a blurb, a bio of me, and a very nice review by Christine.  “A well written collection of short stories to chill you to your core.“  To read the whole review click here, but a word in the interest of full disclosure.  Christine is a member of my writer’s group and a personal friend and, just to be completely honest, in the review which also appears on Amazon’s page for THE TEARS OF ISIS she gives it only 4 stars out of 5 ;-).

“Welcome to the dreaded night realm . . . lingering just beneath your eyelids, where the hellish things borne of fear eagerly await your arrival.  Prepare to be whiplashed to the darkest regions of 32 wicked minds, and forced to stare into their collective abyss.  This world is chock-full of the stuff dreams are made of, but more than likely, if you find yourself in the minds of one of these authors, you’ll awaken to a nightmare.  This fear you’re experiencing is like a virus, it will spread to every inch of your body, sending not only a chill down your spine but reaching into the very depths of your soul. . . .  You’ll journey to the darkest corners of these author’s minds, as you confront the living, breathing entity that is fear.”

So reads the rollout of Horrified Press’s NIGHTMARE STALKERS & DREAM WALKERS (cf. September 23, 20, et al.) on Lulu, edited by Suzie Lockhart and Bruce Lockhart 2nd.  What more can one say?  My dozer in this dormitory is a tale called “Flesh,” about . . . well . . . flesh and why, in a dream, a man is told that he needs to have more of it.  On his body, that is — he needs to get fat.

To find out more, a print copy of  NIGHTMARE STALKERS & DREAM WALKERS can be obtained by clicking here while, for an electronic edition, click here.

Walking home from the library across a wooded part of the university campus I found myself greeted by the cawing of crows which, hereabouts, is a true sign of fall.  Crisp air.  Football.  And Halloween coming!  So it’s an appropriate thing as well that various horror books are being released these next few weeks.

The one today is Grey Matter Press’s anthology SPLATTERLANDS (cf. October 12, September 17, et al.), but only exclusively on Kindle on Amazon for the time being.  “After many long months, our collection of personal, intelligent and subversive horror with a point that seeks to return to the essence of the original Splatterpunk movement has arrived.  Going beyond simply gore for the sake of gore, we introduce to you, SPLATTERLANDS.”  It is my understanding that a print edition will be out at a later date, for which keep posted.

My tale in this is called “The Artist” and is what I would consider a noir crime story.  For more detail, including a table of contents with story-by-story synopses and information on Grey Matter Press’s special “Read ‘Til You Drop Sweepstakes,” readers can press here, or to order the book directly press here.  Grey Matter Press also invites people to check out its Facebook page by pressing here.

Also today, there’s a new 5-star review of  THE TEARS OF ISIS on Amazon, courtesy of horror writer Dustin LaValley, for which I have the deepest appreciation.  Praise by one’s peers is always the greatest!  To see for oneself one need only click here.

Today is the day for our visitor’s pass to Kate Hill’s HAUNTED LIBRARY, a collection of profiles of books each day of October until Halloween.  Once in the door, we can peruse all the authors in the Paranormal Section by clicking here or, cutting specifically to not just THE TEARS OF ISIS but my recommendations for the best classic horror novel and movie here — aside, of course, from the stories in my own book.  And while we’re about it, we can also visit librarian Kate’s blog, specific for today, the 21st, by pressing here.  Find out “what’s the sexiest paranormal creature” — as if you don’t already know what I’ll say.  But as if even that weren’t enough, there’s also Kate’s original interview of me on August 13, still findable by pressing here.

For a second item, we may remember DARK BITS (cf. September 20, et al.) the 52 story plus one extra flash horror fiction anthology from  Now in addition to paperback, hardback, and various electronic editions, Lulu is offering it as a spiral bound weekly planner for 2014.  “Each story now fits on one page, with the facing page being the week planner. The Lulu preview lets you see the first few stories and calendar layout.”  Or as the announcement further states, “52 weeks, 52 tales.  Short, but not sweet, they move quick to grab you.”  And, need I add, I have an offering in this oubliette too, a tale of intrigue and those perhaps not dead enough called “The Third Prisoner.”

So how will your New Year be?  To help plan it out now, check Lulu by pressing here or, to compare that with other formats, Apokrupha’s site for DARK BITS is here.

“SURRENDER THE SASQUATCH AND NO ONE GETS HURT is the seventh installment of PROSPECTIVE,” the back cover blurb begins.  “Continuing the tradition of blending poetry and fiction with cryptozoology, many of the pieces explore the animalistic traits of man, and a return to the freedom of nature, whether it is retreating to the woods or accepting one’s true SASQUATCH_THUMBNAIL_IMAGEself.”   And there it was, adventuring itself to my mailbox this morning, the latest issue of  PROSPECTIVE:  A JOURNAL OF SPECULATION (see August 22, et al.), noted for its quirky past issues on Angels and Sirens and Cthulhu Love Stories, and other such exotic fare.  This issue has one poem of mine called “A Slice of Cheese,” having to do with a family picnic in the forest — and what was found afterward.

Edited by Lauren Stone, PROSPECTIVE:  A JOURNAL OF SPECULATION is published by Loyal Stone Press and sometimes issues seem hard to find.  For this one, however, as well as guidelines for their winter issue (on the subject of “A Tradition as Old as Kwanzaa”), one need but press here.

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