Archive for January, 2016

It also brought some serious poetry too, but, yes, it was that time again for the Bloomington Writers Guild’s “Last Sunday Poetry Reading & Open Mic,” presented in conjunction with the Bloomington and Monroe County Convention Center.  The featured poets were Hilda Davis, a graduate student in Indiana University’s Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies — and also a seasoned poetry slammer — and Jonathan Holland, a graduate of Ivy Tech as well as a student at Indiana University.  Both presented rhythmic, sonorous works, both personal to them as well as connected to the world about them, ending up almost surprisingly complimenting each other.  This was followed by the open mike session where I had the number four spot in a field of ten, about as many as I’ve seen read from the audience at these events.  I read two poems, one about werewolves and loss of habitat originally published in STAR*LINE, “No One Wants to Run Through the Woods Naked Under a Full Moon Anymore” (see January 27 2012, July 11 2011), and the other as yet unpublished, “Don’t Always Believe Everything You Read,” in which a zombie explains why the New Hampshire motto Live Free or Die fails to reflect reality (“. . . being dead’s cheap enough — / but living free, sorry, / that’s bucks on the barrelhead . . . ”).

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Here’s one of those lists where I’m not sure I’ve run across many (or any) of the items on it.  How about you?  But it does seem interesting, “10 Films You Need to See Before You Die . . . Literally! bStarLine39.1smy Howard Gorman on SHOCK TILL YOU DROP, brought to me courtesy of Mike Olson via Facebook’s ON THE EDGE CINEMA.  To check it out for yourself press here.

Meanwhile in today’s physical mail STAR*LINE 39.1 arrived, for Winter 2016, with my mermaid poem in it (cf. January 8, November 28).  This is an untitled three-line, haiku-styled piece about . . . well . . . a mermaid, but one perhaps with a special talent.  STAR*LINE is the official publication of the Science Fiction Poetry Association.

The poem can be found tucked demurely in the lower right corner of page 13, while more on the SFPA can be found by pressing here.

Arrived the missive Monday morning:  “Coming February 20, 2016! IT’S COME TO OUR ATTENTION from Third Flatiron Anthologies contains fourteen imaginative speculative fiction short stories about things that could be happening quietly, without a lot of fanfare, but which could still be extremely significant or make a big difference.”  And while the contents page as such wasn’t reproduced, there was an authors’ list, some names on which may be faattnpreview250-Chocolatmiliar.  “Contributors include Pauline J. Alama, James H. Zorn, Wendy Nikel, Philip Brian Hall, Hunter Liguore, Nyki Blatchley, James Dorr, Greg Beatty, Terri Bruce, Joel Richards, Marie DesJardin, Arthur M. Doweyko, E. M. Eastick, and Lisa Timpf.”  That’s one more part of the life of the writer, a fun part, I think, especially the cover preview giving a notion of what an artist in a different medium thinks of it all.

It’s nice to have an exact date too, and while we may not have titles yet for all the stories, we do know one.  Mine, that is, “Chocolat” (see January 2, December 11; also November 3 2014 for an earlier mention), the tale of a Frenchman and his love for candy.  But only that made of the finest chocolate or, at the least, that concocted from pure cocoa butter.

Why?  In less than a month we can all find out!

The beat goes on, or, you get acceptances, then comes the scut work.  The little tasks that must be done to get a story into actual print.  Thus it was this weekend, when PDFs came for not one, but two stories from different publishers — and both of these also second-round proof copies, ones where preliminary proofreading had been done before.

But it’s one more step closer to seeing a book in print.  Or two, in this case.  Saturday brought line edited copy from Upper Rubber Boot Books for “Bubba Claus Conquers the Martians” (cf. December 1 2015, et al.), a tale of Christmas and sorta-like zombies and a trip to Mars for THE MUSEUM OF ALL THINGS AWESOME AND THAT GO BOOM, with corrections on the corrections at this end returned Sunday evening at just about the time the Arizona-Carolina NFC championship football game ended.  So in about two weeks the Superbowl comes, yes?  Then a few hours before, on Sunday afternoon, the other had come, a “cleaned up” galley from Bards and Sages Publishing for “The Candle Room” (see January 7 this year, et al.), a less comedic, more Lovecraftian excursion to Saturn — but an other-dimensional version of sorts — for THE GREAT TOME OF FORGOTTEN RELICS AND ARTIFACTS.

That one, however, will wait till tomorrow.

It could be worse, the blizzard in parts of the US today (see also post below).  How?  Check out my short story chapbook I’M DREAMING OF A. . .  by clicking on its picture in the center column, or just press here.  For less than a buck it will tell you one way!  And best of all, 2940013874367_p0_v1_s118x184you can get it right now with an extra discount of twenty-five percent from Untreed Reads Publishing.

Or to hear it from the horse’s mouth, metaphorically speaking:  With so many people snowed in for the next few days, many of them are looking for something new to read.

We’ve put out coupon code SNOWEDIN across our social media networks.  It’ll give folks 25% off their order when they purchase through store.untreedreads.com.  No limit on titles and good on both ebook and paperback.  They just enter the code during the checkout process exactly the way it appears here.   

All titles apparently will get the discount, which one can reach from the I’M DREAMING OF A. . . page or, if one insists, by pressing here.  But best act swiftly in any event since the notice I have gives no closing date.

Independent Legions Publishing is seeking original horror stories in English language for the new eBook Anthology THE BEAUTY OF DEATH, edited by Alessandro Manzetti, to be published in April, BeautyofDeath2016.  Special Guests: Ramsey Campbell, Peter Straub and Poppy Z. Brite.

All types of horror are welcome.  Sex or violence in a story should be justified; no excessive gore.  We welcome all subgenres and forms of speculative fiction.

The call came at the end of December, for new stories from 4500 to 7500 words for what would amount to semi-pro rates, but oh! what “special guest” company they’d keep.  And as it happened, I had an older tale that I’d been neglecting marketing of late, one from my “H. Rider Haggard period” of adventure and exploration and lost South American native tribes guarding a mountain of . . . Gold.  And at about 6200 words, so what the heck, on January 9 I sent it in.  So Friday afternoon, just under two weeks later, the word came back with contract attached.  “I’m pleased to inform you that your story ‘Gold’ has been accepted to be part of the Anthology THE BEAUTY OF DEATH, to be published by Independent Legions Publishing in April/May 2016, in eBook Edition.”

Then one more report, to quote verbatim, from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing late Friday evening:  We’ve decided to take advantage of the BLIZZARD OF DEATH* and offer our catalog at 25% off for the weekend. Now listen, we live in Texas. Obviously we have no idea what you’re going through (okay, I was raised in Indiana, so I have some idea). But that doesn’t mean we can’t feel bad for y’all. So why not buy some kickass books on the cheap? Sure, you might freeze to death this weekend, but at least you would have bought some cool books before doing it.

Also – if you buy a paperback of any title, you will be emailed the ebook files as well. That way, you at least have something to keep you company over the weekend.

Coupon Code: HOLYFUCKITSCOLD

My pup in this polar tempest is, for those who haven’t guessed yet, my Stoker(R) nominated short story collection THE TEARS OF ISIS, for more of which one can click on its picture in the center column.  Or, to see more from PMMP, one can also press here.

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*No relation, other than being in the same post, to THE BEAUTY OF DEATH for more information on which, including guidelines, one can press here.   (Also so far here in Indiana the storm has missed us — though it is cold.)

A somewhat major announcement for me came today via Facebook, listings of the tables of contents for not one, but two anthologies I’ll be in this fall, DARK HORIZONS (cf. December 26 2015) and STREET MAGICK (cf. December 5) .  The stories are “Dark of the Moon” for the first and “Bottles” (also reprinted in THE TEARS OF ISIS) for the latter, both of these reprints but worthy, at least in my opinion, of finding new readers.  The proof of the pudding, as it were, will of course be in the consumption of the books as a whole, both edited by Charles P. Zaglanis and published by Elder Signs Press, which I might also note published, under previous Editor William Jones, HORRORS BEYOND in 2007 with another story of mine, “The Candle Room” (and also since reprinted in THE TEARS OF ISIS — yes, this is a plug for both).  And for a sample of Zaglanis’s work, he’s also editor of White Cat Publications’ steampunkish AIRSHIPS & AUTOMATONS which ended with an original story of mine, “Raising the Dead” (see May 27 2015, et al.).

Dark Horizons final table of contents:
Dark of the Moon by James Dorr
Gospel of the Ascended Machines by Aaron J. French
Demon on His Shoulder by Eric Del CarloDark_Horizons
The Fall of Strongholds by Joshua Steely
Digital Edition by L.Chan
A Small Plot of Land by Benjamin Sperduto
The Glass Plague by Costi Gurgu
Circular Argument by Darin Kennedy
Drifting Into the Black by Timothy G. Huguenin
The Damascus Code by Lee Zumpe
Ice Cream by Jay Caselberg
Last Contact by Stewart Sternberg
Making the Rounds by Adrian Ludens
Mother Lode by David Hoenig
The Psychic Battery by E. Dane Anderson
The Shipment by Kevin Bannigan Jr.
The Yellow Planet by Eric Blair
We Have Rules Here by Madison McSweeney
Deeper by Christopher Fulbright

Street Magick table of contents:
The Occasional Beast That is Her Soul by John Claude Smith
Bottles by James Dorr
Branded For Hell by James C. Simpson
Grounding a Mockingbird by D.H. AireStreet-Magick2-194x300
Codex Veritas by Darrin Darin Kennedy
How to Beat a Haunting by Evan Osborne
Whatever the Moon Decides by Sherry Decker
Come Mr. Tally-man.by Eric Del Carlo
Death’s Harvest by Nicole Givens Kurtz
Children of God by Costi Gurgu
Valkyrie’s Quest by Josh Brown
Dragonfound by Steve Lewis
Miracle Worker by L. Chan
The Gift by Charles P. Zaglanis
Choose Your Own Excuse by Christine Daigle
Thy Soul to Him Thou Servest by Lee Zumpe
In a Witching Minute by Tara Moeller

More information on Elder Signs Press can be found by clicking here.

Well, the idea is, we probably know most of them already or, with a little thought, at least can guess.  However, here it is now on the internet (which means, of course, that it must be true — otherwise saucer1it wouldn’t be allowed on the internet, right?) courtesy of UPWORTHY.COM, “4 Fascinating Things We Already Know about Area 51, and 1 Thing We Don’t.”  As author Jon Comulada puts it, “What many people don’t realize, however, is that thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, over the past few years, not only has Area 51 been officially recognized by the United States government, but a lot of information about it has already been revealed.”  In fact he even has a picture (via Google Maps), though which unsurprisingly shows rather little (to quote again:  “yes, I’ll admit it’d be cool to see inside those hangars.  But … even if you did, all saucer3 you’d probably see are a couple classified airplanes and helicopters alongside some government R&D contractors”).  But we still do know some things, for which press here.

Then back to the posh life of the writer, Tuesday brought another mammoth royalty payment — that makes two for the new year so far (cf. January 2), while a third is asking its writers to wait until returns come in from Amazon or someplace.  The total for this one is $0.35, but I elected to take the option of having it rolled over with payments from previous quarters (that is spring, summer, and fall of last year plus any prior to that) until it amounts to more than the publisher can stand to handle.

Need something to read on these long winter nights?  Perhaps a warm afterglow from the just-past Christmas holiday?  Mocha Memoirs has just announced that you’re in luck, that several of their collections, at only $2.99 as ebooks, are also on special sale in their print editions through Friday, January 29, but only if ordered directly from them.  Or, in their own words:

Just after the holidays and Mocha Memoirs Press is still giving away gifts!  Join us for our Warm Winter Collection sale and contest.  Join us as we’re celebrating Winter by curling up with one of our thrilling anthologies or collections.  E-book or print, you still save. Get more story for less money!

Save 30% off of print anthologies and collections purchased through our print store (not available Bloodstreamvia Amazon or BN).  Click the PRINT option below and use code: S9JNPK2Q

All digital collections and anthologies are $2.99 via Amazon or BN.com!

And (now for the plug!) among the on-sale books is IN THE BLOODSTREAM, featuring my “A Christmas Carnage” (see October 28, September 23 2013), the same story also more recently featured in the FIRST ANNUAL GEEKY KINK ANTHOLOGY (that is, sexy too — cf. November 4 2015), the Dickensian/Lovecraftian tale of a lonely Miskatonic U. graduate and his special gift from his “umpty-ump great” aunt Carol.  For which, for more (including link for print order), one need but press here.

But even that’s not all.  They’re also having a special Facebook celebration this Thursday, January 21, as well as a contest to win a $10 Amazon gift card to help buy more books.  For more information on these, as well perhaps more on the sale, press here.

Fairy Tale Fashion is a unique and imaginative exhibition that examines fairy tales through the lens of high fashion.  In versions of numerous fairy tales by authors such as Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm, and Hans Christian Andersen, it is evident that dress is often used to symbolize a character’s transformation, vanity, power, or privilege.  The importance of Cinderella’s glass slippers is widely known, for example, yet these shoes represent only a fraction of the many threferences to clothing in fairy tales.

Organized by associate curator Colleen Hill, Fairy Tale Fashion features more than 80 objects placed within dramatic, fantasy-like settings designed by architect Kim Ackert.  Since fairy tales are not often set in a specific time period, Fairy Tale Fashion includes garments and accessories dating from the 18th century to the present.  There is a particular emphasis on extraordinary 21st-century fashions by designers such as Thom Browne, Dolce and Gabbana, Tom Ford, Giles, Mary Katrantzou, Marchesa, Alexander McQueen, Rick Owens, Prada, Rodarte, and Walter Van Beirendonck, among others.

Thus says the announcement from The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology for their current display on “Fairy Tale Fashion” through April 16, as brought to my attention via ENCHANTED CONVERSATION:  A FAIRY TALE MAGAZINE, which adds that “[p]acked with clothes and accessories both traditional and at the cutting edge outre fashion, this exhibition looks worth taking in.”  Or as they also say, “Fairy tales inform virtually every aspect of art and culture.”  So it still comes under the aegis of fantasy (light or dark), right?

Should you be in New York City this spring, the place to look is on 7th Avenue at 27th Street, in the Special Exhibitions Gallery.  Or for those who can’t make the event — or those who can! — more information can be found here.




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