Archive for March, 2016
Yes, another month of bargains through April 30 according to Editor/Publisher Jay Hartman last evening, as reported here February 28 with update March 1. But why not repeat the details from the latter? [T]he Untreed Reads Publishing 30-Percent Off March Sale . . . had its start today and will last through the whole month. Discounts apply to all Untreed Reads-published ebooks in addition to extra savings for some print editions, and now will be displayed with the titles themselves rather than only when checking out. Included are my electronic chapbooks PEDS, I’M DREAMNG OF A. . ., and VANITAS, which can be reached by clicking their pictures in the center column; the page you come to will display all three titles as well as the New Year’s Eve anthology YEAR’S END containing my story “Appointment in Time,” along with links to various other Untreed Reads offerings.
So now it’s extended for an extra month. Also other specials may come up too from time to time which, if they include any of my titles, will be reported here as well. Or as said above, you can check any time by pressing one of the three chapbooks’ pictures in the center column (all three lead to my combined Untreed Reads author page), and from which one can navigate to other Untreed Reads Publishing bargains as well.
Usually I don’t tout commercial products on these pages — that is, with the exception of books and magazines my stuff is in — but this one seemed too much fun to pass up. From RIOTDAILY.COM, courtesy of Scott M. Goriscak and THE HORROR SOCIETY: “24 Horror Inspired Shower Curtains to Creep Up Your Home.” My own faves, #14 and (especially) #18, with a tip of the classicist hat as well to #s 15 and 21. So see for yourself by pressing here.
Then for a bonus, for the ladies with summer coming: “Death Becomes You. 12 Skeleton Inspired Swimsuits” (or to quote from the blurb: Whether you’re on the beach or poolside, show everyone that you have quality taste in fashion and the macabre. When you’re wearing these swimsuits, you’ll definitely be turning a few heads . . . and possibly decapitating the rest) for which press here.
The Great Tome of Forgotten Relics and Artifacts, volume one of The Great Tome Series, presents fifteen tales of cursed relics, ancient artifacts, magical items, and alien devices. In this volume: The Candle Room by James S. Dorr The Heart of Irelda by Jeff Sullins Her Long Hair Shining by Simon Kewin Digging for Paradise by Ian Creasey Light Bringer by Deborah Walker The Nimrod Lexicon by Taylor Harbin Life Sentence by Miranda Stewart The Shepherd by CB Droege The Rightful Owner by Linda Tyler The Head of John the Baptist by G. Miki Hayden The Binding Agent by Douglas J. Ogurek Seamus Tripp and the Golden Plates byRichard Walsh and Jon Garrett Oracle at Delphi Street by Jon Etter Special Collections by Jon Etter The Djinn at the Wheel by Kathy L. Brown. So reads the blurb on Amazon for the print edition of THE GREAT TOME OF FORGOTTEN RELICS AND ARTIFACTS (see also March 16, et al.), available in trade paperback form for an official list price of $15.99, though slightly smaller prices may be available too. Not overly enlightening, perhaps, but the story titles may say it all. To see for oneself, mayhap to order one need but press here.
Meanwhile the mammoth royalties for the final 2015 winter quarter have begun to pile up. The take this time thus far: $2.84 as announced from two separate publishers. Checks are in the mail. Well, added all together they might pay for a nice hamburger, a couple of extra condiments perhaps, but every bit helps, yes? Anyway it’s part of the life of the writer.
Easter brought the Bloomington Writers Guild’s “Last Sunday Poetry Reading & Open Mic” for March, presented in conjunction with the Bloomington and Monroe County Convention Center. The featured poets were Jonathan Abraham Antelept, philosopher, poet, dreamer, and author of THE CRYSTAL IN THE BURNING GARDEN, who spoke about and read on topics related to resurrection, metamorphosis, change, rising, and overcoming; followed by Dr. Abegunde, who we’ve met before (cf. March 6, January 25, et al.), “an egungun (ancestral) priest in the Yoruba Orisa tradition, Reiki Master, and doula with a focus on the recovery of ancestral memory from the Earth and human body,” who read four poems on a recent trip she had taken to Sudan. While the overall turnout was good for a weekend when many would be home with their families, only three “old hands” read at the open mike session that followed, my presentation being in the middle with two recently or about-to-be published poems, both of which we’ve met before, “Plus-Size” (see February 28, et al.) and “On the Other Hand” (March 20, et al.).
But the headline event for the day for me was a new fiction sale, albeit a small one, for a story written last October called “Killer Kudzu.” It was a silly bit, perhaps, of science fiction/biological horror, but answered the call, at 1100 words, for short humor pieces from Yard Dog Press. The occasion is a second volume of FLUSH FICTION, the first published just ten years ago in April 2006 with a slightly shortened story of mine, “The Dragon Tattoo.” The idea was a volume of mostly amusing flash fiction suitable to keep in the bathroom for those in need of a brief sit-down and read. Volume 2, however, will be using slightly longer stories and with an eye for readings/performances at conventions on the editors/publishers’ circuit to help advertise the Yard Dog line (including, I might add, a five-volume series, BUBBAS OF THE APOCALYPSE, of which I have stories in the first four from 2001 to 2007, an oblique reference to which also appears below for March 17, et al., re. “Bubba Claus Conquers the Martians”). But also for its original purpose.
Time travel maybe, a “slip” in time, or demonic possession, or simply a certified non-reliable narrator? Donnie, after all, not only has problems getting along with his family, not to mention school, but is seeing a psychiatrist on a regular basis. What’s a teen to do? He does have a girlfriend or, rather, gets one as the film progresses, but one who has problems of her own. And what does all that have to do with Easter?
Well, Donnie also has an imaginary friend named Frank who appears and advises him from time to time. An ordinary fellow teenager in a way, except that Frank’s head is the head of a hideous silver bunny.
And then there’s ex-nun Roberta Sparrow’s THE PHILOSOPHY OF TIME TRAVEL which states that when a “Tangent Universe” has occurred — a temporary vortex connecting the one we live in with an alternate timeline — the first sign may be an Artifact which will be formed of metal. But one that others will see, or even be killed by, as well, historically often attributed to Divine Intervention — examples include a legend of a Mayan killed by an arrowhead that fell from a cliff, but with no enemy around, or a medieval knight “impaled by the sword he had not yet built.”* The extras with the DVD, by the way, include selected pages of Sparrow’s book (which Donnie has gotten a copy of too from his school’s science teacher about halfway through) which is worth looking at in trying to figure out What’s Going On?!??
But let the blurb on the DVD case attempt. DONNIE DARKO is an edgy psychological thriller about a suburban teen coming face-to-face with his dark destiny . . . a delusional high school student visited by a demonic rabbit with eerie visions of the past and deadly predictions for the future. I myself might call it surrealism, at least in part, with possible intimations of God, if there is a God, and supernatural/natural relations. It’s well done, in my opinion, and the kind of movie that I enjoy. The kind that is worth looking through the “extras,” and looking at itself at least a second time.
But with the understanding that, even then, the question of “What’s Going On” may still not be completely answered.
*No mere silvery bunny-mask in this case, or even an arrow or not-yet-forged sword, the Artifact here will most definitely be noticed by practically the whole town. Just watch the film — I guarantee it!
Well, it’s partly tongue in cheek, but there is that go-playing program, and we humans gave up our mastery in chess decades ago. But serving up hamburgers — what will become of the US economy? Or, as Jon Comulada puts it in his introduction to “5 Robots You Should Be Keeping Your Eye On. For the Sake of Humanity,” on UPWORTHY.COM:
Every movie about a robot uprising has the same scene: You know, the one where someone explains that it didn’t start out ALL bad.
It’s usually followed by a flashback where we’re shown that human technology was progressing, we were building better and smarter machines and sitting back to marvel at our technological advances.
Then, before anyone knew what hit them, humanity became slaves to our new robot overlords.
Is that warning enough? To see more, press here.
Saturday was writers group day (in which yet another “Casket Girls” story was on the griddle) after which, lurking in my mailbox back home, what should I find but the Winter 2015-16 issue of FOCUS (see February 7)? This is the British Science Fiction Association magazine oriented toward writers, but which also contains, on page 34 as an on-board sticky note alerted me, Poetry Editor Charles Christian’s column “Poetry From the Stars” in which is, as first of seven poems and a sixteen entry “Scifaiku” section, my poem “On the Other Hand.” “On the Other Hand” is my take on why a marriage between King Kong and femme fatale Fay Wray could never have lasted, and was first published by the BSFA in the August 2015 GRIEVOUS ANGEL.
“On the Other Hand,” incidentally, is also a finalist in this year’s Rhysling Poetry Competition, sponsored by the (US-based) Science Fiction Poetry Association in the “short poems” division (see March 17, just below), of which more here as it becomes known. And, as for FOCUS — a nicely put together issue and one I look forward to reading more thoroughly — as the editors have explained, an actual appearance a month or so after the date on the cover is not that rare a thing.
Another list but this one’s a nice one — with even a couple of lady vampires! For “The Scariest Monsters and Demons from Celtic Mythology” by Jane Walsh, courtesy of Scott M. Goriscak on THE HORROR SOCIETY, please to peruse IRISHCENTRAL.COM here.
Then a bit of business to round out the day, yesterday brought a proof copy of 2016’s RHYSLING ANTHOLOGY, the collection of finalists for this year’s Science Fiction Poetry Association long and short poetry competition. My entry here is about a different monster, King Kong, and why his tragic romance with Fay Wray was doomed to failure, originally published in August in GRIEVOUS ANGEL (cf. February 7 2016, September 5 2015, et al.). Happily I have just reported back that I found no errors.
The dawning of Saint Patrick’s Day brings news from Publisher Joanne Merriam of Upper Rubber Boot Books. But let her tell us first via Facebook:
I am the proudest of this book launch website that I’ve ever been about any promotional idea ever. Go check it out! I’ll be keeping the blog updated with alien art, actual historical artifacts which had to be smuggled off Earth when Timeline B invaded, creative weaponry, and more!
MATAGB (the book) contains work by Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, Kristin Bock, Alicia Cole, Jim Comer, James Dorr, Aidan Doyle, Tom Doyle, Estíbaliz Espinosa, Kendra Fortmeyer, Miriam Bird Greenberg, Benjamin Grossberg, Julie Kelsey, Nick Kocz, David C. Kopaska-Merkel, Ken Liu, Kelly Luce, Tim Major, Katie Manning, Martha Mccollough, Marc McKee, Sequoia Nagamatsu, Ursula Pflug, Erica Satifka, Matthew Sanborn Smith, Christina Sng, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, Lucy Sussex, Sonya Taaffe, Mary A. Turzillo, Deborah Walker, Nick Wood, K. Ceres Wright, and Ali Znaidi and the book can be pre-ordered in the gift shop by people in Canada and the USA (and the ebook by people everywhere) — will be adding countries as I can figure out shipping etc.
And so, no, the Irish can’t pre-order their print copies yet, but the ebook will be available to all (and the print, one hopes, soon). But happy St. Patrick’s Day anyhow! My corned beef in this cauldron (with cabbage, natch), I might add, is an out-of-place Christmas tale titled “Bubba Claus Conquers the Martians,” reprinted from Yard Dog Press’s 2007 HOUSTON, WE’VE GOT BUBBAS. With zombies. But information on all can be found here, of which, to quote just a little bit:
Articles in the MATAGB Collection include artifacts, equipment, weapons, clothing, disguises, letters, taxidermied kills, holodeck simulators based on actual memories in amber, exotic life forms, artwork, vehicles, technologies, listening devices, and memorabilia and insignia designed, manufactured, or used by swashbucklers, pirates, ninjas, adventurers, privateers, spaceship commandos, illuminati, and intelligence organizations now and in the past.
And the table of contents (albeit perhaps not in final order):
Khadija Anderson, “Observational Couplets upon returning to Los Angeles from Outer Space”
Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, “Photograph of a Secret”
Kristin Bock, “I Wish I Could Write a Poem about Pole-Vaulting Robots”
Alicia Cole, “Asteroid Orphan”
Jim Comer, “Soldier’s Coat”
James Dorr, “Bubba Claus Conquers the Martians”
Aidan Doyle, “Mr. Nine and the Gentleman Ghost”
Tom Doyle, “Crossing Borders”
Estíbaliz Espinosa, “Dissidence” (translated by Neil Anderson)
Kendra Fortmeyer, “Squaline”
Miriam Bird Greenberg, “Brazilian Telephone”
Benjamin Grossberg, “The Space Traveler and Runaway Stars”
Julie Bloss Kelsey, two scifaiku
Nick Kocz, “The Last American Tiger”
David Kopaska-Merkel, “Captain Marshmallow”
Ken Liu, “Nova Verba, Mundus Novus”
Kelly Luce, “Ideal Head of a Woman”
Tim Major, “Read/Write Head”
Katie Manning, “Baba Yaga’s Answer”
Laurent McAllister, “Kapuzine and the Wolf: A Hortatory Tale”
Martha McCollough, “valley of the talking dolls” and “adventures of cartoon bee”
Marc McKee, “A Moment in Fill-In-The-Blank City”
Sequoia Nagamatsu, “Headwater LLC”
Jerry Oltion, “A Star Is Born”
Richard King Perkins II, “The Sleeper’s Requiem”
Ursula Pflug, “Airport Shoes”
Leonard Richardson, “Let Us Now Praise Awesome Dinosaurs”
Erica L. Satifka, “Thirty-Six Questions Propounded by the Human-Powered Plasma Bomb in the Moments Before Her Imminent Detonation”
G. A. Semones, “Never Forget Some Things”
Matthew Sanborn Smith, “The Empire State Building Strikes Back!”
Christina Sng, “Medusa in LA”
J. J. Steinfeld, “The Loudest Sound Imaginable”
Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, “The Wanderers”
Lucy Sussex, “A Sentimental, Sordid Education”
Sonya Taaffe, “And Black Unfathomable Lakes”
Mary Turzillo, “Pride”
Deborah Walker, “Sea Monkey Mermaid”
Nick Wood, “The Girl Who Called the World”
K. Ceres Wright, “The Haunting of M117”
Ali Znaidi, “A Dolphin Scene” and “Australian Horoscope”
Yesterday brought an update from Bards and Sages Publishing to the effect that the first of the “Great Tomes” books, THE GREAT TOME OF FORGOTTEN RELICS AND ARTIFACTS is proceeding on schedule and should be available at most locations before the end of the month (cf. March 4, February 27, et al.). Also, while first announced last January, to pique readers’ interest here is an up to date table of contents. For the moment, pre-orders can be made at Createspace here or, for the Kindle edition, at Amazon here.
The Candle Room by James S. Dorr
The Heart of Irelda by Jeff Sullins
Her Long Hair Shining by Simon Kewin
Digging for Paradise by Ian Creasey
Light Bringer by Deborah Walker
The Nimrod Lexicon by Taylor Harbin
Life Sentence by Miranda Stewart
The Shepherd by CB Droege
The Rightful Owner by Linda Tyler
The Head of John the Baptist by G. Miki Hayden
The Binding Agent by Douglas J. Ogurek
Seamus Tripp and the Golden Plates byRichard Walsh and Jon Garrett
Oracle at Delphi Street by Jon Etter
Special Collections by Jon Etter
The Djinn at the Wheel by Kathy L. Brown
For a second item, some may have noticed the orange cover of the poetry book VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE) has been missing from the center column of late. This is in part because a new edition is in the works from White Cat Publications, complete with a new cover and slightly altered table of contents (the latter primarily consisting of some tweaks in the order of the poems to bring it closer to the original MS, but also the addition of a new poem, “Metal Vamp,” which had been inadvertently left out [my fault, not the original publisher’s] of the first edition). Prior posts on VAMPS include September 8 and March 12 2013, July 10 2012, et al.; also an essay on VAMPS, with sample poems, can be found by clicking “Poetry (Essays)” under PAGES in the right-hand column and scrolling down one entry (to where it says “From BLOOD & SPADES. . . .”). More details will appear on these pages as they are announced.