Archive for December, 2013
My first interview for 2014 has been set for next Monday, according to blogger Susan Whitfield this morning. Or, in her own words, “James, I have scheduled your blog interview for the week of January 6th. It’ll be up all week and then move to second position. At some point, it will be moved to the archives.” It won’t be the first one I’ve done with Susan, having been interviewed by her back in 2011 (see August 9 of that year or, to go to the post directly, click here and scroll way down to the second interview) on vampires and my then new book, VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE). This new one will cover my latest collection, THE TEARS OF ISIS, among other items so please come back next week for more information, including a link.
In the meantime, Teresa Schnellmann has announced that my guest blog with her last July, “The Marketing Game” (see July 10) is among the “Big Stories of 2013” on THE WRITERS’ LENS. For more on that, including links to the other stories on Teresa’s list, press here.
There’s a 50 percent off sale at Kobo for electronic books that includes several titles of mine, including two seasonal items, Christmas horror short story I’M DREAMING OF A. . . . and the New Year’s anthology YEAR’S END: 14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR with my lead story “Appointment in Time,” both published by Untreed Reads. Books purchased through Kobo are in EPUB format, good for virtually every electronic device including Nook, except for Kindle or the Kindle app. (Kobo also has its own free app — and readers throughout the world can buy books from Kobo.)
To take advantage of this sale, Kobo’s store can be reached by pressing here, then if interested in my titles, enter James Dorr in the search bar at the top (weirdly, you’ll find some titles not by me, too, generally on history topics, but you’ll be able to spot them). Then for the discount, use the coupon code 50DEC
Two items for Christmas week to report, both of them good. Nice, not naughty — though maybe the second is a little bit naughty as well. But in a good way.
The first: THE TEARS OF ISIS has garnered a new review on Amazon, the seventh I think, and this one by US author Rena Mason (THE EVOLUTIONIST, novella “East End Girls”) with five stars! “THE TEARS OF ISIS is a well-written collection of stories that transcend time, places, and events . . . dark fantasy/horror stories that are both intense and thought-provoking. . . .” To see for yourself, press here, but one word of warning. Not every review is necessarily as nice as this one.
Then for the second, word didn’t get to me until late Christmas Eve, but BIZARRO BIZARRO (cf. October 12, 7) is now available via Amazon in paperback form as of the beginning of this week. To quote from the guidelines from a while back, “Yup . . . it’s a bizarro anthology . . . but what the heck is bizarro? To us, it’s intellectual and poetic freedom. It’s about exploring the limits of literature and creativity. It can be argued that many classics are bizarro. George Orwall’s ANMAL FARM has talking animals that take over a farm, and Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis’ features a suffering protagonist who has spontaneously become a cockroach.” Be that as it may, my bug in this bughouse is called “Mr. Happy Head,” originally published in WICKED MYSTIC, and is about . . . well . . . it’s kind of bizarre. . . .
But to check BIZARRO BIZARRO out for yourself, press here.
THE TEARS OF ISIS is not a book of fairy tales, but fairy tales may have been the inspiration for some stories in it. One of these is “Cindy,” about you-know-who, and originally written for Dean Wesley Smith for an anthology to be called SPLATTERFAIRIES. The anthology never was published, but “Cindy” went on to FANTASTIC in Spring 2001, and possibly one or two places more (promiscuous, our Cindy is) before ending up as one of the offerings in THE TEARS OF ISIS.
So enjoy it now, courtesy of WILY WRITERS (cf. August 4, February 19 2012) as a dark-complexioned holiday e-story for reading or in audio form by pressing here. If you enjoy it, perhaps you’d like also to check out THE TEARS OF ISIS, available on Amazon, B&N, and Amazon UK, or directly orderable from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing by clicking its picture in the center column.
People who’ve recently clicked on some of the book covers toward the bottom of the center column may have been receiving error messages. This was due to a redesign of the Untreed Reads Publishing store website, including pages for the electronic chapbooks PEDS, I’M DREAMING OF A . . ., and VANITAS, along with similar changes by Chamberton Books affecting the chapbook POLUDNITSA. So, in a pre-Christmas cleanup, I’ve made appropriate changes at this end — including adding the title CHAPBOOKS to separate those titles from the four full length collections that are displayed above them.
Now pressing either PEDS, I’M DREAMING OF A . . ., or VANITAS will take you to the Untreed Reads “Author Page” for James S. Dorr which lists all three displayed short story/novelette chapbooks plus the 2012 anthology YEAR’S END: 14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR that includes my lead story “Appointment in Time.” Thus you can click again on the title you were originally looking for as well as, if interested, browsing one or more of the other titles – noting, for instance, that YEAR’S END may be of special interest at this time of year with Christmas and New Year’s nearly on us. And noting also that I’M DREAMING OF A . . . is a Christmas story, its title referring to the Irving Berlin song “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” Of course, like the New Year’s “Appointment in Time,” its interpretation is one of horror.
And then, finally, POLUDNITSA will take you to Chamberton’s newly revamped page for ordering it as an electronic chapbook, along with a listing of five other titles by different authors in Chamberton’s “Chimera” short fantasy series.
As promised, in time for Christmas (see post just below): “On the last day of planet Earth, a love-struck couple cling to each other as the world burns. They survive only to greet a new dawn — one filled with violent mutations and terrifying consequences — conceived from the ashes of humanity’s defeat. Can our heartfelt protagonists stay together UNTIL THE END, or will the harsh realities of a new world tear them apart? Join over 20 authors from around the world as they lay down for us a truly frightening universe — one that, after reading, Romeo could end up eating Juliette’s heart out over instead of his own.” So goes the blurb, and there’s sure to be a zombie or two there, although my story, “Tunnels,” depicts a world in which perhaps even zombies have perished. But then there will always be some people left, yes?
Be that as it may, UNTIL THE END is available in print from Lulu, for which press here.
As the holidays approach, another anthology is due to be released, UNTIL THE END (see August 15), only two days from now on December 20. This is a jolly (well . . . it is almost Christmas) after-the-apocalypse book with a difference, that the emphasis is to be on love and, even in the worst of times, its power to endure. Or not. And to help whet appetites, British publisher Horrified Press has announced the lineup of authors and titles, including my own tale, “Tunnels,” of how families will stick together and children, especially, adapt to the new life that they’ve been born into.
A Valentine for Kathy – By Ken L. Jones
No Fear, My Dear – By Mathias Jansson
Till Death Do Us Part – By Mathias Jansson
Fresh Start Fumes – By David S. Pointer
12:12 December 12 – By Changming Yuan
End of the World – By Mark Slade
Three Little Words – By Adam Millard
Lessons to be Learned From the End of the World – By Shaun Avery
The Watchers in the Park – By Matthew Wilson
The Power – By David Perlmutter
A Small Sacrifice – By Todd Nelsen
Ironsky – By Mark F. Bailey
Rollup – By Thomas J. Keller
Cornucopia – By Edward Ahern
One Last Question – By J.J. Steinfeld
Before the End – By Jane Hertenstein
Tunnels – By James S. Dorr
The End of a Thing is Better – By Eric Keys
The Red Queen Makes Her Excuses – By Mercedes Webb-Pullman
In Fables – By Gary Murphy
Time Catcher – By Denny E. Marshall
Via Di Porta Angelica – By Jason Bougger
Zombie Heartbreak – By Lauren Hudgins
After It All – By Stephanie Buosi
Outer Reach – By Hanson Hovell Holladay
“BLOOD REIGN LITERARY MAGAZINE is a new digital magazine that caters to lovers of the horror genre,” was the lead in examiner.com’s November 4th announcement. “Its premier issue comes out on Friday the 13th. December 13th is the last Friday the 13th for this year. The launch on such a bizarre day is to pay homage to the movie franchise and will set a precursor for the parent company, Thrillerz 13 Entertainment as it releases special items on the 13th. The annual anthology will debut in 2014 will also release on a Friday 13th, this one in June 2014, the only ‘Freaky Friday’ for 2014.
“The debut edition is shaping up to be an amazing smash! Even though its primary focus is to offer a voice to new or relatively unknown authors occasionally better known, active members of the Horror Writers Association have given it notice. James S. Dorr offers us a view of the macabre with a reprint of his short, ‘The First Hundred Years,’ and L. Andrew Cooper’s anthology submission, ‘Silence.’
“Submissions for the December issue closed officially on November 1st allowing writers to have most of October to offer their morbid best. . . .”
And now here it is, available and on time from Editor Kristina Stancil. For my submission (cf. November 1), “The First Hundred Years” is a zombie story but of the traditional, pre-Romero sort, about Haitian folk-beliefs and magic — and why you don’t want to mess with someone who knows how to use it. But other types of horror abound as well, including vampires, ghosts, and the paranormal according to the blurb on Smashwords, which adds, however, this word of warning. “Adult-content rating: This book contains content considered unsuitable for young readers 17 and under, and which may be offensive to some readers of all ages.”
But also, last night (after midnight so it was the 13th too) I watched a film that only about five minutes in I realized I’d seen on TV before. Many years before — but that I still remembered enough to be glad I’d now found at a library sale and could watch again. THE GRAVE is a surprisingly well acted Southern Gothic, scary as needed and peppered with dark humor. And in that first five minutes, just the music accompanying the credits also reminded me of the Stephen King/John Mellencamp musical GHOST BROTHERS OF DARKLAND COUNTY (see October 11), reinforced in the opening scene in a prison cell, dark, with two people seen in silhouette, one speaking in a hoarse, raspy voice as a narrator-guide, complete with homey aphorisms here and again as the film played out, reminiscent of (and even sounding like) GHOST BROTHERS’ “Zydeco Cowboy.”
The premise, as others have said, may not be new — the somewhat chance joining of disparate people in a treasure hunt, in this case for a fortune left by the region’s richest man, that no one could find a trace of when he died. So, getting a clue from one of their fellows, two prisoners escape from the state farm with one of the guards’ help and start the search, bringing in an ex-girlfriend, and a parolee now employed as a mortician, and friends of his, one a good ol’ boy as dumb as a post, and. . . . Well, the common bond between them is greed, to which add no sense of honor among thieves, and you just know it’s not going to end well. There’s even one small scene that reminded me of the first SAW movie, which, however, THE GRAVE preceded by some eight years.
And yes, the treasure is found in a grave, or rather beneath one — and not the grave of the rich man himself — in a cemetery out in the swamp, remote and eerie, and excellently suited for double crosses.
THE GRAVE is available on VHS (though not on DVD that I could find) and, apparently sort of a minor cult classic, may cost a few dollars. It’s worth the price.
The paperback version of BLOOD TYPE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF VAMPIRE SF ON THE CUTTING EDGE (see October 30, et al.) will not, alas, be out in time for Christmas, but has been scheduled by Nightscape Press for an official January 2014 release, according to Editor Robert S. Wilson. To quote their advrtising blurb, BLOOD TYPE “is predominately a collection of stories that represent the most cutting edge science fiction-based vampire fiction. Think SF-based vampire fiction like I AM LEGEND and NECROSCOPE and how they affected the vampire genre when they were first released. Dark Vampire SF that goes where the genre hasn’t before.” And I might add, I’m proud to be in it myself, albeit with one of the shorter stories, “Eudora,” the tale of a woman who had this thing about worms. . . .
The Kindle edition has been available since the end of October, however, so those who can’t wait can still get it by clicking here. In fact, for this week, Editor Wilson has announced all Nightscape titles are on a 25-percent-off sale, making this one a special bargain for yourself or as a gift for a special friend (though, for me, I’m going to look forward to getting my paperback copy anyway).
And one more thing, finally, all proceeds from BLOOD TYPE, paper or Kindle, will be donated to The Cystic Fibrosis Trust.