Archive for August, 2015

In fact, “Godzilla vs. King Kong” is currently being looked at by another publication, but it is not known whether or not it will be accepted and, whatever the result, it is likely to be a bit longer before the results of the fight will be known.  (Thus was my entry for May 25 apologizing for my mix-up of poems bought by GRIEVOUS ANGEL [see May 11, March 30].  “On the Other Hand” was the poem I had meant.  But fast forward now to the real-time present. . . . )

Perhaps it was an omen.  Friday night I had watched the Gareth Edwards version of GODZILLA, one I had seen before in 3-D but seemed worth a revisit.  And then the word came in Saturday’s email (albeit Sunday morning already by the time I1godzilla write this) from David Kopaska-Merkel:  “Godzilla vs. King Kong” would be bought by DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES.  The fight of the century had found a home.

Not only that, but DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES would take another poem as well of the five I had sent, “Plus-Size” about the biggest Egyptian who had ever been in Pharaoh’s army and how, his still-growing mummy awakened, he was to fare in a steampunk London.  A different take, if one will, of the movie THE MUMMY (of which I will say I think the 1932 version is the better).

So for those making book, “Plus-Size” is tentatively to come out in issue 102 in September, Godzilla and Kong to duke it out in 103 for January 2016.

The word came late Thursday evening.  Harking back to the guidelines for ILL-CONSIDERED EXPEDITIONS (cf. August 2, July 23, et al.), stories accepted would, among other considerations, “be in the running for one of five Editor’s Choice Awards,” small money prizes in addition to anything else received.  Hey, money’s money and, if not enough for a filet mignon at a five-star restaurant (at least with wine added), these would be more than enough to invest in a couple of pizzas.  And that’s not so bad, is it?

So Thursday’s email brought the missive from April Moon Books editor Neil Baker to the effect that proofs were just back from the printer and, if all looks well, “you can expect to see the paperback available for sale very soon, first via Createspace, and then Amazon.  Kindle will follow in a month’s time.”  And, “[i]n the meantime, the editor choice awards have been decided.”

Feeling the tension?  It then was explained that these were not chosen by only one person, “but involves two other close friends who are also writers and excellent critics, and who read everything I send them, plus my wife who has extraordinary instincts.”  And so (drum roll, please) the five authors chosen were:  Jess Landry, Josh Reynolds, DJ Tyrer, Paul Feeney, and . . . me!

My story, a reprint that first appeared in CD-ROM form in EXTREMES 5 (Lone Wolf, 2003) and is also featured in my own DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET, is “Ice Vermin,” the saga of an early 1900s exploration of Siberian wastelands.  As for the others, for appetite whetting their titles at least can be found in the list of contents below.

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ILL-CONSIDERED EXPEDITIONS

Pete Mesling – In the Chillest Land
Matthew Barron – Hell Island
James Dorr – Ice Vermin
John McCormack – Mother’s Grasp
Steve Foreman – The Strange Affair of Bunny Fosdyke
Ahmed A. Khan – The Pulsar and the Planet
Gerry Griffiths – Jonathon Stone’s Swansong
Nicholas Nicario – Povo de Ossos
Rick Leider – The Secret of Bumare-Moto
Jess Landry – The Root
Franklin Marsh – The Wood
Josh Reynolds – An Incident at the Plateau of Tsang
DJ Tyrer – The White Goddess
Stanley Webb – Captain Baxter’s Journal
Patrick Loveland – Ghosts of the Spires
Paul M. Feeney – The Room at the Top of the House

The anthology’s name is CEMETERY RIOTS, though, ghostlike, it seemed to lurk in shadows.  There has been a note and cover picture on Editor Chris (“T.C.”) Bennett’s Facebook wall since about the second week of June and a web page probably in the near future.  Yet there was an air of mystery when I recei11401216_108575572813296_1964991277105814082_nved a “request to moderate” from WordPress concerning a comment on one of last week’s posts.  It turned out not to actually be a comment as such, but rather means of contacting me with an invitation to submit.

There was a note concerning the Facebook page and a tentative publication date for early to mid 2016, plus word count limitations and info on payment.  And there was an email for further contact.

So, intrigued, I checked out the picture and some other info, then emailed with some content-related questions.  The answer to that, in effect, was pretty general “as long as it’s horror,” as well as some details on formats and files. Also there might be more anthologies coming in the future.  So why not, thought I?  A few days later I emailed a tale called “The Re-Possessed” about, keeping the CEMETERY RIOTS title and cover in mind, an undertaker’s arrangements gone wrong in Victorian London.

Then this afternoon the answer came:  “I received your story.  Love it.  Sending out contract and payment.”  So the moral, I suppose, is it’s always a good idea to follow up on mysterious emails.

Originally to be called ANDROMEDA’S OFFSPRING (cf. October 17 2013, et al.) and to have been published a bit more than one and a half years ago, the book had its delays.  But that’s nothing new here.  However it’s not only back on track with the slightly updated title ANDROMEDA’S CHILDREN, it’s available now for the next few days at bargain basement prices on andromeda's childrenAmazon.   As spokesperson Adrian Middleton explains:  “After some considerable difficulties with a CreateSpace taking weeks to resolve a technical glitch, the price of ANDROMEDA’S CHILDREN has now been reduced to the bare minimum on Amazon for all territories where authors reside.”  But with that comes the warning, “the price should return to normal on Friday,” so one had best hurry.  My notch in this nursery, I should add, is a tale called “Golden Age” originally published in MINDSPARKS in Spring 1994, of an older woman in a future not exactly like that of the Sundance short film “World of Tomorrow” (see August 21, below), but which still attempts to put off aging — and death — in its own way.

For the anthology itself, to quote the Amazon blurb:  “Science fiction is a diverse playground and ANDROMEDA’S CHILDREN are a timeless mix of traditional, modern and comic visions that explore what makes us human — or not. For all their diversity, these adventures have one thing in common — strong women whose adventures reflect the spirit their namesake.”  But see for yourself by pressing here!

(Table of Contents)

Cover – Jim Burns
Introduction – Theresa Derwin
Desert Storm by Pauline E Dungate
Overview by Sean Chatterton
Cut and Run by David Perlmutter
Electric You by Damon Cavalchini
Being Ready by Lynn M Cochrane
Roses are #FF0000 by Stewart Hotston
A Quiet Run to Quintos by Caroline Cormack
Golden Age by James S Dorr
Quit by Jay Wilburn
Brodsky by Margaret Karmazin
To the Altar by Therese Arkenberg
The Enlightened Soldier by Matthew Sylvester
Shelved Desires by Damon Cavalchini

Today’s e-announcement of T. GENE DAVIS’S SPECULATIVE BLOG brought, along with a new story, several reruns as is its custom, including one by me.  “Flightless Rats” is one of several stories based on the New Orleanian urban legend of the “Casket Girls,” of which two, the eponymous “Casket Girls” and “Dead Lines,” have been published on DAILY SCIENCE FICVampiresMusidora6TION on April 10 2014 and April 21 this year, respectively.  “Flightless Rats” itself appeared only eight months ago (see January 12, et al.), so it’s not all that old, but in the meantime the link has changed as the SPECULATIVE BLOG transitions to a new name of FREESCIENCEFICTION.COM, so for those who may have missed it before, the all-new place to find “Flightless Rats” is here.

One might mention also that, like DAILY SCIENCE FICTION, one can subscribe for free for announcements and links when each new story is posted, for which press the same link for “Flightless Rats,” then scroll  down past the story and “Comments” section and fill in the blanks where it says “Subscribe Me.”  For DAILY SCIENCE FICTION, incidentally, one can press here (and then for my stories, including “Dead Lines” and “Casket Girls,” enter my last name only, Dorr, in the search box to the right).

Sunday I received the contract for Hydra Publications’ dystopian anthology (see May 30), along with the announcement from Editor Frank Hall that it now has at least a tentative name, DYSTOPIAN EXPRESS.  My story in this is “Invisible People,” itself a reprint originally published in the Winter 1992/93 edition of DARK INFINITY.  Monday the signed copy goes in the mail and, if all goes well, DYSTOPIAN EXPRESS is expected to leave the roundhouse by the end of the year, “sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.”

Other authors and stories are also listed in the May 30 post, below.  Mine is a bit of near-future science fiction where people who lose their place in society — as through loss of a job in this case — become truly invisible, but also able to see the real world including its defects, hidden by mass brainwashing techniques from the general populace.

The word came today from Flame Tree Publisher Nick Wells, via Editor Gillian Whitaker, that CHILLING GHOST SHORT STORIES and its companion volumes (cf. August 7, July 31, et al.) will be delayed, in part simply due to the fact that it’s summer — and even printers can take vacations!  “As any Publisher will tell you, printing is easy until it goes wrong.  It’s the most expensive part of the process, and usually carried out in a remote location.  Many’s the time I’ve travelled to a lonely industrial estate, far outside the beautiful city my plane flew over (Hong Kong, Madrid, Seville, Venice) soon to find myself sitting in a windowless room checking proofs as they grind off the press.

“So, we’re told that the inside book blocks have been printed, but they await the return of the specialists from their quiet contemplations on some distant beach, to finish the covers to their and our satisfaction, after which the books can be bound, boxed, and transported across Europe to the UK, then off to the US. . . .”

Thus such things happen, as indeed we’ve seen more than once on these very pages.  In fact the delay here is relatively short with release now expected “in Europe on or around 10th September, with the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand following as quickly as we can despatch to the various distribution centres around the globe.  Author copies come from our office, and will be despatched as soon as we receive them.”

In other news, Thursday evening marked the Indiana University Cinema’s screening of six award-winning short films from this year’s Sundance Film Festival, two of which held special interest to horror/science fiction aficionados.  The first, from France, and winner of the Short Film Jury Prize:  Animation, was a sort of absurdist disaster movie, listed in the program as “Storm hits jacket.  Written and directed by PauSundancel Cabon.  2014, France, 13 minutes.  A storm reaches the shores of Brittany.  Nature goes crazy, and two young scientists get caught up in the chaos.   Espionage, romantic tension, and mysterious events clash with enthusiasm and randomness.”  Also included are a mad spy-master, a Vespa-riding femme fatale, a witchy mysterious elderly woman, and (to quote the subtitle as best I remember) a “tempest of cows.”

Then, last in the showing, was the Short Film Jury Award (Best of Fest) winner, “World of Tomorrow.  Written and directed by Don Hertzfeldt.  U.S.A., 17 minutes.  A little girl is taken on a mind-bending tour of the distant future.”  In this one, also an animation (and in a charmingly primitive style), a third-generation clone visits her “original.”  Too young to really comprehend, “Emily” is shown a future where human emotions are all but dead; the rich are immortal through successive cloning while those who can’t afford it are downloaded into memory cubes; robots instilled with a fear of death, which they’ve been taught to associate with darkness, endlessly march around the moon in order to always be on the sunlit side; but in which none of this really matters because the whole world is doomed anyway.  And throughout it all, with a deadpan exposition style that made the film screamingly funny.

In short, a good night, and a not-too-disappointing announcement to follow on Friday.

And here it is (see August 16), British writer Sonnet O’Dell’s interview of . . . me.  As implied below, I think it’s a fun one, but if interested check out as well some comments on the putting-together of THE TEARS OF ISIS, along with thoughts on writing in general.  Plus, of course, the sort of goofy ones – “A penguin walks through the door right now wearing a sombrero.  What does he say and why is he here?”

Curious?  Press here!

Another short note, that the anthology HOW TO TRICK THE DEVIL (see August 8) is on schedule, according to Editor Stephaine Buosi, and heading for publication at about the end of September.  My act in this artifice is a tale of Halloween chicanery and carnival wiles, of small crimes and horror called “Lobster Boy and the Hand of Satan.”

More to appear as it’s revealed to me.

What is it with all this about Britain lately?  Well, sometimes that’s just how things seem to work out.  And so I’m reminded I have an interview scheduled to post on Sonnet O’Dell’s DUSTY PAGES blog (cf. January 22; June 2 2014, et al) on Monday at 7 a.m. — and that’s British time too, which 1dustymeans maybe we’ll have it here closer to 2 or 3 in the morning.  If you could sing one song on Americcan Idol, what would you sing (and what would it have to do with, say, THE TEARS OF ISIS)?  Is it wrong for vegetarians to eat animal crackers?  What’s the best Halloween costume you’ve ever worn? And more. . . .

Since I don’t have new book coming out this year, I’ve scarcely been doing any interviews at all compared to some past years, but Sonnet’s have always struck me as fun.  And so for this one, press the link here — but remember, it won’t be live until Monday.




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