Archive for April, 2017

A quick follow up to April 27th’s post just below (paragraph two).  Later that p.m. what should e-appear in ye olde electronic mailbox but the promised contract from Third Flatiron Publishing for “Dead Girls, Dying Girls” to appear in CAT’S BREAKFAST, this being the title for their Kurt Vonnegut inspired summer anthology.  As opposed, that is, to the Goth cat Triana’s morning kibble.  So this afternoon I emailed back my agreement plus some extra requested information on form of payment, current address, etc.  And again, more to be told here as it becomes known.

(Meanwhile as I write this the Goth cat Triana, who is experiencing the first spring ever in her young life, has captured either a small spider or a member of the cricket colony that inhabits my basement briefly in fall and spring, on an all too tragic visit upstairs.  After some play, she has apparently eaten it, so I can’t say for sure which it is [I suspect the spider].  She does appear to have enjoyed it, though.)

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The writing life, the writing life.  Last night the proof copy came for “Golden Age,” the closing story for Smart Rhino’s upcoming anthology ZIPPERED FLESH 3:  YET MORE TALES OF BODY ENHANCEMENTS GONE BAD (see April 19, et al.).  The changes suggested were unobtrusive, so back it has been sent today with my okay, plus one small correction.  “Golden Age” itself is a reprint, originally appearing in the science fiction magazine MINDSPARKS for  Spring 1994, and probably will be a bit more “gentle” than much of the content of the finished anthology.  Maybe a lot more gentle, in fact, but also in Editor Weldon Burge’s opinion with a sense of finality that may make it perfect to be the closer.

In other news, we may remember Third Flatiron Publishing which we last met in conjunction with my short short “Chocolat” in their IT HAS COME TO OUR ATTENTION anthology (cf. March 23, February 21).  They do these themed anthologies quarterly and, concerning their latest, the word came earlier this week from Editor/Publisher Juliana Rew:  We’d be pleased to accept the story, “Dead Girls, Dying Girls,” for inclusion in Third Flatiron Publishing’s Summer 2017 anthology, with the theme, “Cat’s Breakfast.”  This is to be a Kurt Vonnegut inspired collection, inspired itself somewhat by Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing’s 2013 SO IT GOES:  A TRIBUTE TO KURT VONNEGUT.  And so a couple of us writers who both had stories in that one (aha!  so see January 3 2013, below) and have been at least occasionally part of Third Flatiron’s stable were invited to send our work in for possible reprint consideration.  The email added that it would receive a reprint rate, which had been understood, and that a contract should be along soon.  Thus “Dead Girls, Dying Girls,” the tale of an up-and-coming modern American young lady — and dancing bears — has earned a new home, more of which to be revealed here as it becomes known.

So it goes.

IndieWire describes THE LURE as “the best goth musical about man-eating mermaids ever made.”  Not sure there is much more to say.  Agnieszka Smoczyńska’s fiendishly dark and sly modern fairytale is set in Communist-era Poland and highlights the havoc wreaked by two vampire mermaid sisters intertwined in love triangle.  In Polish with English subtitles.  Contains mature content, including violence and nudity.  (Indiana University Cinema blurb)

So what’s not to love?  Perhaps “Golden” and “Silver” aren’t precisely classical vampires, preferring to subsist on human hearts, but they do get at them by biting through people’s throats.  At least Golden does, the one truer to her roots and, as one critic notes, the seemingly smarter of the two sisters.  But LurImage220Silver’s mistake is in taking it figuratively as well, falling in love with a dance club bass guitarist, and even enduring an operation to transplant a human lower body in place of her fish tail.  In spite of the fact that Golden warns her, should the fickle musician marry another, she has to “eat him” before the next sunrise lest she turn into sea foam.
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It doesn’t end well.
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One reason:  the film is actually a version of Hans Christian’s Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” which means part of the deal is she loses her singing voice too, and she and Golden are actually sirens of the lure-sailors-to-their-destruction kind.  And as Golden explains, she doesn’t sing solo.  In fact they’ve become a striptease act of sorts at a 1980s Warsaw night club (“Want to hang out here for awhile before swimming to America?” as Golden asks Silver early on), at one point billed as Corki Dancingu, the Polish title of the film, which I understand translates to “Daughters of the Dance Club.”  Another, perhaps, that it’s really a coming of age film about two young women, but without her sister, can Golden ever get to America by herself?
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On the down side, parts of THE LURE are a little confusing and, from a bit of a conversation I overheard outside the theater, the subtitled translations may miss some beats — but then, songs are a big part of the film too (remember:  Silver and Golden are sirens).  According to the docent before the screening, the 1980s are also important, including a sort of dance hall kitsch, as reminiscent of the director’s own childhood.  Also the music, channeling such films as ALL THAT JAZZ and CABARET, or at least a little, as well as Bjork — and the music is good!  And, the docent added, the mer-sisters do NOT wear seashell bras, but that’s not the only reason for not bringing children to this one as some of the violence does turn toward the graphic (something about “strong stomachs,” I think he said).
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So . . . maybe not the best movie ever made, but a weirdly good one.  I recommend it.

Another triple play starts the week (we seem to have had a lot of these this month).  So beginning last Saturday. . . .

1.  As we already know, eco-anthology MOTHER’S REVENGE was not to be out in time for Earth Day as originally planned (see April 11, et al.).  However I did receive payment Saturday, April 22, so things are in process —  and one might add it made for a pleasant Earth Day surprise;

2.  Also in process, CREEPY CAMPFIRE QUARTERLY plans to publish instead with DEADMAN’S TOME continue apace (cf. post just below), with a new revised contract received, signed, and returned today;

3.  And, as part of the daredevil life of the writer, much of last week for me was taken up with a second, meticulous (hopefully) proofreading of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH (for information on which, plus pre-order, see its picture in the center column).  Bleary-eyed, I sent in the final corrections today, only three that I could find and all very minor, so a tip of the hat this afternoon to publisher Elder Signs Press for a job well done so far!  If all else goes well, the novel should be out in paperback form on June 1, with a Kindle edition to come sometime later.

Well, sort of.  Kind of.  Hark us back to April 1 this year, where we may recall that CREEPY CAMPFIRE QUARTERLY, scheduled later this year to reprint my story “In the Octopus’s Garden” (originally published in 69 FLAVORS OF PARANOIA, March-April 1999, as well as lead story in my 2013 collection THE TEARS OF ISIS), was not going to be coming out after all.  And so that was that.  Such things do happen.

But now it seems there may be a spark in the old campfire yet.  Through the efforts of fellow CREEPY QUARTERLY author-to-be Leo X. Robertson, CREEPY CAMPFIRE, zombie-like, is once again stirring out of its grave as a possible special adoptee,  possibly in two volumes, via Jesse Dedman of DEADMAN’S TOME.  And best of all, this won’t interfere with the TALES TO TERRIFY acceptance of “In the Octopus’s Garden” also announced in April 1’s post, to publish in the latter part of 2017, since that involves audio rights alone which CREEPY CAMPFIRE will not include.

More to be announced as it becomes known, but for now a special tip of the hat to Leo and Jesse for showing that, sometimes, you can’t keep a good CREEPY project down!

Strange are the ways of the poetry biz.  Or, April the twentieth warps to the nineteenth.  Or . . . anyhow just now the email came from Vince Gotera, coordinator of the SFPA blog-imageRhysling showcase blog feature (and also, one might add, recently appointed new editor of the SFPA journal STAR*LINE, though that’s a topic for a different venue).  Apparently the re-scheduled tomorrow posting of the capsule bios including mine was just re-re-scheduled, due to a timely sending of new information by . . . moi, to be back to today (cf. post just below).  Or, to quote in full:

James, got it. Just in time.  The date of 4/19 on your blog is correct.  Yours was the last schtuff I was waiting for.  The showcase just went live.

Your blog post and my showcase are a feedback loop!  Whee!

Confused yet?  I know I am.  But anyway here it is!

This first via Facebook from Smart Rhino Publications, an official announcement of the contents page for their upcoming ZIPPERED FLESH 3:  YET MORE TALES OF BODY ENHANCEMENTS GONE BAD (cf. February 21, 3, January 18, et al.).  Or, well, almost . . . or to put it in their words:  “We have a few other stories under consideration, and the submission period is now over.  But, as you can see, the line up is already impressive.”  And as it happens it is impressive, so here it is as a sort of preview:

Billie Sue Mosiman – Horns, Teeth, and Knobs
Shaun Meeks – Upgraded
Jeff Menapace – Worm
Adrian Ludens – Reduced to Tears
Christine Morgan – Going Green463_zippered_cvr_3
William F. Nolan – A New Man
Jason V. Brock – Transposition
Jack Ketchum – The Rose
Daniel I. Russell – Consume
Jezzy Wolfe – All Will Turn to Gray
E. A. Black – Invisible
L.l. Soares – And the Sky Was Full of Angels
Meghan Arcuri-Moran – Shopping Spree
Charles Colyott – Closer
Graham Masterton – Dog Days
Jasper Bark – Switch
Martin Zeigler – Hypochondria
Sandra R. Campbell – Gehenna Division–Case #609
James Dorr – Golden Age

Then in other news, readers may recall that the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) has been posting capsule features on Rhysling-nominated poets this month, six at a time, on their blog and that my turn was to be up today (cf. March 29).  Well . . . also, almost.  A bit of rescheduling has been going on (among other things, originally scheduled for a new “spotlight” every other day starting April first, some have been coming out on even-numbered days too) and, as it happens, mine will actually be out tomorrow.  But this gave some time for a bit of more up-to-date information than SFPA apparently had in its files, so it’s all for the best.

My poem, incidentally, nominated in the short poem division, is “Godzilla vs. King Kong,” a rare sports poem involving prize fighting originally published in DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES.  A sneak peek of it can also be found in my slightly obsolete “Spotlight” announcement on March 29.

Another month, another interview, so it may seem.  See, e.g., April 7, March 13, January 10 . . . and that’s just this year!   But come June 1, TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER DAY TIMES OF EARTH is expected to be published and it’s all a part of getting the word out.  Besides, interviews can be interesting both to reader and interviewee if one puts one’s mind to it.  And even fun.

So word came today from blogger Gwendolyn Kiste who interviews quite a number of writers, samples of which can be found by pressing hereThank you so much for your responses!  At this point, it appears that the interview should go live on my website in mid-May.  I will definitely send you an email when I post it.  

And there we have it.  More secrets bared:  My writing habits (some of them quite bad).  The influence of music.  Contributions by the goth cat Triana.  And with this the latest on THE TEARS OF ISIS and, lest we forget, TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.  One of the fun things, in fact, is that each interviewer is different as well, not just in their questions (some of these, of course, may be common to more than one interview) but also in their approaches to questioning.  Matter of fact?  Interested in detail?  Fun-loving?  Quirky?

Search on “Interview” in the “search here” box at the upper right for a tour of the dates I’ve listed above — a possible project for an otherwise dull rainy day?  And check here in May for a link to the newest by Gwendolyn Kiste as soon as I have it!

Yes, a lovely spring afternoon, the eve of Easter, and one’s thoughts turn naturally to gentle bunnies.  Candy, jelly beans, chocolate eggs.  But not all that gentle according to watershipdown_violencePhil Brown on CGMAGONLINE.COM!  Yes, from Jan Svankmajer’s ALICE to DONNY DARKO bunnies have their own dark side as well, and let us not forget WATERSHIP DOWN or NIGHT OF THE LEPUS!  Or in short, for one’s Easter viewing enjoyment, please to peruse Mr. Brown’s selections for  “Top 10 Most Frightening Bunnies in Film History” by pressing here.  Which one will you find in your basket this Sunday?

(And a happy Easter to all as well!)

Well, yes, that’s not really what “trifecta” means, not exactly, but here’s another group of three things all bunched up in one post:

1.  THE BOOK OF BLASPHEMOUS WORDS, a prose anthology for which I sent a poem, er, “story in verse” instead (cf. February 4, January 27, et al.) has appeared in my mailbox.  Not surprisingly, my “Tit for Tat,” originally published in James Ward Kirk’s 2015 anthology GHOSTS:  REVENGE, is the only actual poem in the book, but the editors agreed with me that it seemed a perfect fit.  Further info can be found here.

2.  MOTHER’S REVENGE, briefly noted below in Saturday’s triplet re. my story “Swarms” (see April 8, et al.), looks now as though it will slip past its previously announced April 22, Earth Day release, but hopefully will be at least available for pre-order then.  More on this as it develops.

3.  To quote Editor Jay Hartman of Untreed Reads Publishing:  You may have heard that Microsoft is launching a new ebookstore.  This will be part of an upcoming Windows 10 update, and folks will be able to purchase from the MS Digital Bookstore to read on their PC, laptop or tablet devices (like the Microsoft Surface).  I’m pleased to say that thanks to some of the distribution partnerships we have in place, all Untreed Reads titles and those of our distribution clients will be available on the Microsoft platform at launch.  My books in this batch are short story chapbooks I’M DREAMING OF A. . . and VANITAS and the novelette PEDS, all three of which (along with the anthology YEAR’S END:  14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR, with my lead story “Appointment in Time”) can be found/ordered right now by pressing any one of their pictures in the center column, while more background on the new Windows 10 outlet can be found here.




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