Archive for May, 2014
It took its time, but this afternoon’s mail brought my author’s copy of TRUE DARK (cf. October 25 2013, February 21 2012) from 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.” Technically the book was actually published back in October (and even then perhaps delayed — the colophon page says September 2013). But you’ve got to admit, it should be worth the wait.
My story here is called “Gas,” a zombiesque tale of college and science and why not to visit the basement of the Chemistry Building after dark. By an odd sort of coincidence, October 25, cited above for the official publication announcement of TRUE DARK, was also the acceptance date for my zombiesque (sort of) “The Borrowed Man” for the apocalyptic THE GIRL AT THE END OF THE WORLD by British publisher Fox Spirit (see also May 18, below), another anthology hindered by delays, but seemingly back on track. So good things, apparently, do come to we who wait.
TRUE DARK is billed as an unthemed anthology, “quite simply an anthology of the best of the best horror,” but if Red Skies Press should seem familiar, I’ve had a couple of other stories in themed books there too, “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.). As for TRUE DARK, more information on it can be found by pressing here.
As a quick update on A ROBOT, A CYBORG, AND A MARTIAN WALK INTO A SPACE BAR. . . (see Monday’s post, two down), with my story “Toast” one of the morsels of humor therein — peanuts as it were in the taproom of mirth, the anthology has now been filled and is closed as of today. Also a release date of November 1 has been announced.
Then routine, routine. . . . Two contracts came in today to be signed, the first, to be returned with accompanying blurb and bio, from DAILY SCIENCE FICTION for my bizarro-ish short-short “Rocky Road” (see May 18). Things are moving fast, at least at the front end. Then in a somewhat more leisurely manner (the original submission was in last September, though with its acceptance procedures have picked up), the contract for THE PUN BOOK OF HORROR STORIES arrived from the UK for “Olé Bubba and the Forty Steves” (cf. March 8), a tale of zombies and the running of the bulls in Pamplona Spain, originally published in 2005 in Yard Dog Press’s INTERNATIONAL HOUSE OF BUBBAS. This one also is to be returned with an up-to-date bio.
And so the writer’s life continues on a lovely, sun-drenched late May evening.
We’ve got a double header for Tuesday, one a fantasy story accepted (albeit maybe a bit on the dark side), the other psychological horror. The first is from Editor Sarah Newton of the BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY JOURNAL who had put out a special call for “some of the material in [issue]#12 to reflect the theme ‘LGBT & fantasy.’ This could be fiction or poetry featuring LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) characters, or non-fiction concerning LGBT authors or writing. Submissions of material not relating to this theme are also welcome.”
So it’s not an entirely LGBT edition, but as it happens I had a story called “Flute and Harp,” originally published in WHISPERS & SHADOWS (Prime Books, 2001) and set in my far-future “Tombs” universe, that seemed like it might fit the bill. The British fantasists apparently thought so too as Editor Newton replied, in part, “I enjoyed it very much, and would like to publish it in our upcoming LGBT-themed issue 12.”
For more information on the BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY JOURNAL, including guidelines for publication (including articles, etc., too), press here.
Then the other’s a little more complicated but, in essence, VOLUTED TALES puts out periodic special editions, with one coming up this year from Guest Editor Christopher Nadeau to be called THE DARKNESS INTERNAL. But let’s let him explain it in his own words:
“THE DARKNESS INTERNALl”– Looking for stories that are outside the norm. They can be horror, dark fantasy, science fiction or even mainstream lit as long they meet the following criteria: Tales of inner darkness. Think Kafka or Phillip K Dick or any U.S. Congressional hearing. Stories should focus on an internal struggle or occurrence. Not looking for genre staples such as vampires, werewolves, and especially not zombies. More interested in tales of torment and struggle as defined by the classic “Man Versus Himself” approach to writing. Still, if you can find a fresh and exciting way to tell the story following the criteria and using those fabled beings, knock us out!
So this one’s not about digestion, or even “the darkness eternal” as I finger-fumbled on the subject line of my submission, but what I sent was another reprint, “Extinctions,” originally published in THE BLUE LADY in Autumn 1996, having to do with a man who thinks he’s seen a comet scheduled to collide with the Earth on New Year’s Eve 1999. But has he really? Well . . . he does seem to be a little unstable, so maybe it’s psychological horror. But much has to do with actual news headlines in the year the story was published, so maybe it’s alternate history instead.
Be that as it may it’s been accepted too, according to this afternoon’s email, for “our Winter issue.” And for more information on VOLUTED TALES and THE DARKNESS INTERNAL, press here.
So actually that’s the name of the book. To let them explain it: “As you might be able to guess, or at least we hope you can guess, this is an anthology of comedic science fiction. So, if you think you can tickle our funny bone with your SF story, we want to see it. . . We will also consider fantasy humor, but we would prefer SF.”
They also are willing to consider reprints, though “preference will be given to non-reprints,” so why not, thought I. The Saturday before last, I sent them a story titled “Toast,” originally published in ABORIGINAL SCIENCE FICTION in Fall 1996, about a sentient robot toaster that has a crush on his human owner. Then yesterday evening, just eight days later, an acceptance came.
It doesn’t pay much — $10.00 advance and a possible royalty later for stories of 1500 words or more — but that’s still enough to buy a modest pizza. Also while there’s no definite deadline (“[w]e’re shooting for a mid-2014 release date, but if the anthology fills up fast enough, we’ll release the book earlier”) apparently, at least as of last night, they were still buying. But “mid-2014” being something like a month away, it might be wise to send them stuff fast.
For those interested, more information on A ROBOT, A CYBORG, AND A MARTIAN WALK INTO A SPACE BAR. . . can be found here. Also the publisher, Nomadic Delirium Press, appears to have picked up some of the old Sam’s Dot Publishing titles including THE MARTIAN WAVE and THE FIFTH DI. . . , so anyone who may have been looking for those (also SPACEPORTS & SPIDERSILK for younger readers) can find current guidelines by pressing here.
That’s the Bloomington Writers Guild’s Last Sunday Poetry Reading program which, once again, came on the same day as an Art Museum program about Matisse (see April 27; also March 30, et al.). But this time I went to the poetry offering, in part because the Writers Guild goes on a summer vacation of sorts at the end of May, and this will be the last one until August. There are two other events to be sure, one in June and one latish July, but it looks right now like I’ll miss them both, so this, in a sense, was my last hurrah. At least for the moment.
Featured readers this time were local poets Michelle Fay Deschenes and Eric Rensberger and after came the open mike session at which I read two poems from DARKER LOVES: TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET (it and STRANGE MISTRESSES, while primarily short fiction, both have poetry sections at the end), “Dig We Must” and “Summer Cancellations,” concerning graves and deaths peculiar to summer, respectively.
Then — sorry, but I can’t help being flattered — I was greeted earlier this afternoon by an email reference to being tagged on Facebook, plus several comments . . . well, for the page they referred to press here. The praise is really for Lori Michelle’s charity cancer anthology BLEED, but Facebooker Todd Nelson started it off with a reference to my offering in it, “King Rat” (cf. November 24, September 6, August 27 2013, et al.), then Vincenzo Bilof also noted “a very good story in BIZARRO BIZARRO” (in this case, “Mr. Happy Head,” cf. January 30 2014; December 27, October 12 and 7 2013). And there’s even a mention by Vincenzo of THE TEARS OF ISIS (for which Isis is flattered too 🙂 )!
“City on Fire,” originally published in the premiere April-May 2005 issue of SHADOWS OF SATURN, has scored another first, accepted today for Nocturnal Press Publications’s initial anthology TORCHED. Non-surprisingly TORCHED is a themed anthology, the theme being “fire” — but “City on Fire” is also a story set in my far-future, dying-Earth universe of the “Tombs,” about a dozen of which have been published in various venues including three, “The Ice Maiden,” “Mara’s Room,” and “River Red,” in THE TEARS OF ISIS. (Yes, even if she didn’t quite bag the Stoker®, Isis basks in any attention she can muster.) In this case, “bought” may be a little bit of a misnomer as TORCHED is a non-paying startup project, but the premise seemed interesting enough to give it a go and, who knows, if this one succeeds, hopefully future books will be more lucrative.
Hoped for publication for TORCHED will be July this year.
In the meantime, following the updated links for Untreed Reads books pictured in this page’s center column (see just below), I’ve also updated the one for perhaps the prettiest cover in the lot, POLUDNITSA. This is one in a series of stand-alone short fantasies from Chamberton Publishing (cf. November 17 2012, et al.), with the link now leading more directly to its Amazon Kindle edition.
If you’ve recently received error messages clicking the pictures of three books in the center column, PEDS, VANITAS, and I’M DREAMING OF A. . . , this is because of a change in the set up of the publisher’s store back to its original, and superior version. Among other things, you can now receive books in all three formats, Kindle, Nook, and PDF, without having to choose between them, send books as gifts, read excerpts before you buy and, in some cases, even reviews. Basically what happened is they tried out a new web provider, but it didn’t work well.
So I’ve changed the addresses on the pictures to take you to the “new” original page with my Untreed Reads titles (plus a fourth title, YEAR’S END: 14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR in which I have the first story, “Appointment in Time”) or, if you prefer, you can get there directly by pressing here. Alternatively, to get to the Untreed Read Store itself, perhaps to explore around for a bit, for the opening page press here.
To quote from the webpage for GOREYESQUE: “Edward Gorey (1925-2000) was an American writer and illustrator, noted for his unsettling narratives and pen-and-ink drawings. He was the creator of THE GASHLYCRUMB TINIES, a gruesomely comic alphabet, as well as several other independent illustrated books such as THE DOUBTFUL GUEST, THE HAPLESS CHILD, and THE UNSTRUNG HARP. He is noted for illustrating numerous works by other writers — HG Wells, T.S Eliot, Lewis Carroll — as well as his work on THE NEW YORKER. He won a Tony Award for costume design in 1978.
“He is a native of Chicago, where he attended The School of the Art Institute for one semester in 1943 before joining the Army. ELEGANT ENIGMAS: THE ART OF EDWARD GOREY will be the first major Chicago exhibition of his artwork.”
GOREYESQUE (cf. March 11) was itself born in conjunction with the exhibition, “an online literary journal featuring work inspired by the spirit and aesthetic of Edward Gorey.” A rather more scholarly venue than one such as I might submit to, but submit I did. It seemed like fun. And so one of two poems that they accepted has appeared in its second issue, available here, titled “New Arrival” concerning the telltale signs of a vampiress new, as it were, to the business of undeath.
The poem itself, alone as a lagniappe (although the whole issue is well worth reading, as well as clicking on the “menu” at upper right and exploring the other parts of GOREYESQUE), can also be reached directly by pressing here. While the other, self-explanatorily named “The Short, Tragic Love of the Lobster and the Crab,” will hopefully be in a future issue.
Two items to note on a sunny May Sunday. The first is that my absurdist short short “Rocky Road,” which we’ve met briefly before (cf. April 6, March 2), about how one’s diet might affect dating patterns has been accepted by DAILY SCIENCE FICTION. More on this as more is known, but judging from previous publications there, most likely it will appear sometime around earlyish fall. For more on DAILY SCIENCE FICTION now, though, including archive access to my earlier stories “Casket Girls,” “Naughty or Nice,” and “Killer Pot” press here (for best results use just my last name, Dorr, in the search box in the right hand column).
Then, speaking of romance, “It’s the end of days. The sky is falling, the seas are burning and your neighbour is a zombie. It’s brutal out there. It’s every man for himself and these heels are going to have to go; you simply can’t run in them!
“Across two volumes, THE GIRL AT THE END OF THE WORLD offers forty-one striking visions of the apocalypse and the women and girls dealing with it. From gods to zombies, from epic to deeply personal, from the moment of impact to a future where life is long forgotten; bestselling authors and exciting new writers deliver tales you’ll still remember when holed up in a fallout shelter with one remaining bullet and a best friend with a suspicious bite mark on their neck.”
So says the blurb, and my story “The Borrowed Man” (see January 11 this year, October 25 2013) is third in the lineup for volume one, according to proof sheets received late last night. This is a British anthology long in the coming, originally projected for January-February this year, then sometime in March, with corrections and/or comments now due by the end of May. But it’s a big book with lots of stories, volume 1 taking in apocalypse-related, pre-, and during-apocalypse tales; volume 2 those of what comes after, and I expect it should be worth the wait.