Archive for November, 2014

Two quick items for a Sunday morning:  first, Saturday’s doings included electronically signing the contract for T. GENE DAVIS’S SPECULATIVE BLOG (see November 26), followed shortly by payment via PayPal, recently raised from a $50.00 to $75.00 flat rate per story.  Mine, a vampiric romance gone sour titled “Flightless Rats,” shakes out at a tad less that 1000 words which makes that a handsome amount indeed in terms of a word rate.  More important for readers, though, I also received an email saying it’s scheduled for posting Monday January 12, at which point look here for a link as well.

Then in the non-electronic realm, my mailbox groaned under Saturday’s long-awaited receipt of two author’s copies of FANTASTIC STORIES PRESENTS SCIENCE Fantastic-Stories-Presents_-Science-Fiction-Super-Pack-1-Various-236x300FICTION SUPER PACK #1 from Positronic Publishing (originally Wilder Publications, cf. August 22, et al.)  At 784 pages per book, my slightly less than 2000 word story, “No Place to Hide,” is pretty well buried on pages 497-502  amongst authors the likes of, to quote from the cover, “Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, Harry Harrison, Ray Bradbury. Theodore Sturgeon, R. A. Lafferty, and much, much more!”   “No Place to Hide,” a tale of space battles between the stars, was originally published in the Summer 1991 SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW and was one of my first professional sales.

I make no pretense that one would wish to pay the nearly $20.00 price (for the paperback, much less for Kindle) just for my story, but what company it keeps!  Alfred Bester, Frederik Pohl, Leigh Brackett, Edmond Hamilton, Philip José Farmer, Poul Anderson. . . .

To see the whole list, and more, press here.

I don’t know if too many people bought books, or not enough, but Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing liked its Black Friday sale so much (cf. just beloIsisNeww) that it’s been extended through Monday, the first of December.  To hear Publisher Max tell it like it is:  “Good morning, everybody.  We hope you had a great Thanksgiving.  And if you don’t live in the US, we hope your Thursday went as well as Thursdays go.  But now it’s Saturday.  And we have a bunch of books we no longer have room to hold.  Seriously, our house is bursting of books.  We need your help.  Starting a few days ago and ending this Monday night, we’ll be giving every book in our webstore a 20% discount.  That includes both paperbacks and ebooks.


So if you’re a book lover, you know what you have to do.  Give these orphaned books a good home!  For Wednesday’s sake, cf. two posts down — and Wednesday, a shelter cat, in her time needed a good home too.  (So she ended up here in the computer Wendy3cave, but you know what I mean.)  And what better place to start than by buying the 2013 Bram Stoker Award(R) Fiction Collection finalist THE TEARS OF ISIS — at twenty percent off — by pressing here?

(Well, this seems to be getting a little commercial!  Seriously, though, books make good Christmas presents, as well as good reading any time of the year.)

Might one note two reviews of THE TEARS OF ISIS, below, both from the other side of the Earth — from Australian author Natasha Ewendt and New Zealand artist William Cook (excerpt) respectively.  Both can be found on Amazon’s pages for THE TEARS OF ISIS as well, but better yet, if one acts quickly there’s still time to buy the book for yourself at a 20 percent discount direct from the publisher.  Just press here and add the code BLACK14 when you check out, but do it by midnight since (as also posted just below “Wednesday’s” Thanksgiving greeting) PMMP’s special Black Friday sale will be over tomorrow.

Is there anything better than a short story collection that pulls you in from the very first line? The Tears of Isis is intelligently written, evocative and engrossing.  James Dorr is a fabulous wordsmith who weaves words in such a way that you can’t help but be lulled into the story.  His ability to take on new perceptions and POVs and drag the reader inside them in such a short space of time is exceptional. All these unique, surprising stories are different to each other yet subtly threaded together.  I like a different spin on dark themes and mythology and every story has one.  Each tale has a killer twist, deep dark intrigue and/or something disturbing to make you shiver.  The Tears of Isis features inventively told modern takes on ancient myths and classic legends along with all-new original ideas.  Inspiring.

James Dorr’s third collection of short fiction, `The Tears of Isis,’ is a fantastically varied and eclectic selection of some of Dorr’s finest work.  His last collection, `Darker Loves: Tales of Mystery and Regret,’ was excellent also, although I do prefer `Tears . . .’ for its diversity and almost poetic use of prose.  The stories therein range from the grotesque, the Gothic, and the almost beautiful depiction of the dark and tragic soul of humanity.  This collection is rich with allusion and aestheticism at every corner; the astute reader will realize that Mr Dorr is taking us on a tour of his own labyrinthine gallery, with an emphasis on the Gothic and the moribund.  The homage to Edgar Allan Poe that precedes the first piece should give you fair indication that there will be darkness, requiring no less than a blood-red candle to GothicBkueBookIVlight your way.  . . . 

Then, speaking of Gothy stuff, today also brought two author’s copies of GOTHIC BLUE BOOK IV:  FOLKLORE EDITION to the postal mailbox here at the computer cave.  My offering in this is the flash story “School Nights” (cf. October 29, September 8), but there’s much, much more, including a mini-collection of appropriately autumnal verse by Bruce Boston.  So, even though Halloween may be over, you might want to take a look at this one by pressing here — an excellent companion volume for your discount copy of THE TEARS OF ISIS.


Wednesday the Cave Cat, Once Upon a Time (Wednesday’s webpage can be found here)

This one’s hot off the griddle, from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing’s Max Booth III:

Starting now until Saturday we will be having a Black Friday sale on our web store. So, if you have a book with us or you’re in one of our anthologies, some promo is in order.

20% off all titles, paperback and ebook
Promo code: BLACK14

This means THE TEARS OF ISIS (“named for the goddess, no relation to current Mideastern news events”) will be on sale at a twenty percent off discount for9780988748842_p0_v2_s260x420 the next two days.  Plenty of time for Christmas gifting — or for one’s self if you don’t have it already.  And plenty of time for delivery too!  To take advantage, just click on the book’s picture in the center column, or go directly to the THE TEARS OF ISIS’s page on the PMMP site by pressing here, then add the promotion code, BLACK14, when you check out.

Of course when you’ve done that (are you sure you don’t want a second copy while you’re at it, perhaps for some special relative or friend?) you might want to browse the PMMP store for other titles.  These can be reached from the page for THE TEARS OF ISIS or, to go directly to the general PMMP store page, by pressing here, where you might also check out the Kurt Vonnegut tribute anthology SO IT GOES with my story of modern mores, “Dead Girls, Dying Girls.”

Also just in, one site to watch out for is T. GENE DAVIS’S SPECULATIVE BLOG, which “releases a family-friendly speculative story every Monday, mostly by guest authors.”  Rather like DAILY SCIENCE FICTION it can be subscribed to for free and, offering a flat rate of $50.00 per story, the quality is generally high.  So, literally less than an hour ago as I write this, came the word on a story I’d sent earlier in the month, “Congratulations! I love your story, ‘Flightless Rats’, and want to publish it on my blog and in the annual anthology.”

“Flightless Rats” is a tale of the vampiress Aimée (who we’ve met before in “Casket Girls,” cf. April 17, et al.), a night in 19th century New Orleans, and a bit of Biblical apocrypha.  More will be reported as it becomes known, but in the meantime those who wish to can check out what will become her new home, and maybe sign up to follow it as well, by pressing here.

But night is the best time to be awake, or, depending on one’s day job, perhaps the only time to be awake.  (Full disclosure:  I’m doing a first draft of this about six hours after returning from a checkup at the clinic I used to have a day job at — so maybe I’m still a bit dotty myself?)   Anyhow, this is a site my middle niece Jodie put me on to Tuesday evening and, as to the insomniac part of it, I make no guarantees either way.  But some of the videos are horrible fun!

So at your own risk, if you’d like to see in lieu of reviews a mini-film festival of your own (and then if you’d like to, send me a review of your favorite as a comment), please to press here.  (Listing is courtesy of Chris Tanner, originally posted on Listverse April 29 2014.)

The question mark is because I’m unsure whether my specific titles, PEDS, VANITAS, I’M DREAMING OF A. . . ., and the YEAR’S END New Year’s Eve horror anthology with my lead story “Appointment in Time” are to be included in the “nearly 1000 titles” announced in Untreed Reads Publishing’s CYearsEndCover-Updatedyber Monday sale.  Here’s what they say about it:  “We’re giving you something to look forward to.  Survive the holiday and spend CyberMonday, December 1st shopping The Untreed Reads Store.  You’ll find 40% off nearly 1,000 titles from 17 great publishers.  Keep ’em all for yourself or gift some to others. And remember: you get all ebook versions, Kindle, PDF and EPUB on your bookshelf to download whenever you want.”  They also say they’ll take 25 percent off all paperbacks (and throw in an ecopy free as well), but I think those are mostly more recent titles than any of mine.

However, on Monday, December 1 only, one way to find out is to click on any of the pictures in the center column of the three stand-alone titles noted above (which will bring you to the anthology too) — or if you’d rather, just press here.  And if it happens they’re not on the discount list, there’s a way to get from there to the Untreed Reads Store to see which titles are, or, better yet, just consider that even at the full price they’re still a bargain.

Today I played hooky from the Writers Guild’s Last Sunday Poetry Readings (cf. September 29, et al. — and apologies to this month’s featured poets Tony Brewer and Erin Livingston) in part for poor weather, the end of a warm spell but with lots of rain and my feeling a possible touch of a cold, but in larger part to complete a story I’d been working on.  However, perusing my email afterward, I ran across an article from ELECTRIC LITERATURE, courtesy of Tim Waggoner via the Horror Writers Association Facebook page, that in its own way could be just as much fun.  Erudite, fascinating, the piece by J. W. McCormack, originally published on October 30, is titled “31 Fairly Obscure Literary Monsters.”  It can be found (albeit with a slightly, in my opinion, overly long introduction, but scroll down, scroll down!) by pressing here.

Try it, it’s worth reading (and the introduction, if longish, is fun in itself too).

This comes a bit circuitously via the Science Fiction Poetry Society from a few days ago, but Ray Bradbury is one of four writers I routinely claim as important influences on my own writing (the others:  Edgar Allan Poe, Allen Ginsberg, Bertolt Brecht), not to mention that it’s practically local news, so I think it worth sharing for those who might wonder.

As of last year, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis became the new home for a large portion of Bradbury’s papers and office library.  To quote from the announcement:  “Mr. Bradbury, who passed away in June 2012, left his manuscripts and author’s copies of his books to his long-time friend and principal bibliographer, Professor Donn Albright of the Pratt Institute.  Albright, a native Hoosier, has graciously donated most of these books and papers to the Bradbury Center.  The Bradbury-Albright Collection will be the centerpiece of the Center’s Bradbury Memorial Archive, a simultaneous gift from the Bradbury family that includes the furnishings, correspondence, awards and mementoes from Mr. Bradbury’s home office.  Both gifts arrived at IUPUI on October 23 [2013], almost exactly sixty years after the publication of Bradbury’s classic novel, FAHRENHEIT 451.”  For those who wish, the entire announcement can be found by pressing here.

A more complete press release, dated October 30 2013, can also be found here, adding that “’[t]he Ray Bradbury items are a tremendous addition to the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies, one of five scholarly editions that are part of the Institute for American Thought at IUPUI,’ IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz said.  ‘Recently named an IUPUI Signature Center, the Institute for American Thought is internationally recognized for the work of the faculty and staff to preserve, research and publish authoritative texts by important American writers.  Being able to display the Ray Bradbury artifacts from his office library will present Bradbury in a compelling way for countless readers and students of his work.’

“The IU School of Liberal Arts will catalog and store most of the items until the Bradbury center is able to expand its space to accommodate the new holdings.  A few items will be on display in the center offices until then.”

For those across the border in Illinois, Bradbury’s birthplace on August 22 1920 and where he grew up, the latter release also notes that “[s]hipment of the Bradbury items to the IUPUI campus this month coincided with a shipment of Bradbury’s home library and related materials to the Waukegan Public Library in Illinois, a donation representing the author’s wish to leave his hometown with a significant portion of his literary legacy.  Waukegan Library staff and the IUPUI center worked closely throughout the summer to coordinate the shipments from Bradbury’s Los Angeles home.”

For those interested, there is also an unrelated official Ray Bradbury website that can be found here.

Speaking of Eldritch Press, which we met in the post just below as sponsor of the HWA’s new Dark Poetry scholarship, they also, of course, publish books themselves.  One of which has been mentioned just yesterday on their Facebook site via press owner Michael Randolph:  “Update to OUR WORLD OF HORROR Anthology.  All submissions have been answered.  If you have an outstanding response from us, check your bulk folders, 10500300_1450045741918910_1992919603849645277_nyour Email accounts that no longer exist, behind your ears and let us know if we have not gotten back to you.

”Final tally was 1374 submissions with 31 (roughly, we’re all tired) submissions being chosen, plus poetry.  Final word count should be roughly 100,000. . . .

”We had enough to fill a few anthos and passed over seasoned pro’s simply because we liked a different story better or the theme fit perfectly.

”We will be releasing a final TOC next week, minus the solicited stories we are waiting on.”

Well, the whole statement can be found by pressing here.  But to the point, yesterday evening my email was graced by Chief Editor Kevin Knowles:  “James, we are inquiring if your story ‘Spider Heat’ is available, if so we’d love to include it in OUR WORLD OF HORROR anthology.”  So it’s been five months, but they’d said their response times might be slow (and this is one where I’d sent the submission well before deadline).  And, as I sent back in the wee hours of a mildly snowy morning (first real snow of the coming winter, though we’d had some flurries around Halloween!), you bet “Spider Heat” — a summer story itself, set in Memphis Tennessee — is available and, at a good pay rate to boot, happy and anxious to be in its new home.

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