Archive for November, 2017

A quick reminder from Editor/Publisher Weldon Burge that, while waiting for the Smart Rhino Publications “countdown sale” to begin (see just below, November 29) there’s still, as of this writing, a little over eleven hours left to enter a Goodreads drawing to get a free paperback copy of ZIPPERED FLESH 3: YET MORE TALES OF BODY ENHANCEMENTS GONE WRONG — including (ahem) my story in it, “Golden Age.”   Feeling lucky?  Press here.

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Also in the Smart Rhino sale, INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS, which has a story of mine in it, “The Labyrinth,” about myths and terror in modern-day Crete. In all, eight books will be included along with that and ZIPPERED FLESH 3 (with my “Golden Age” closing out the contents, see November 10, et al.), the others being the original ZIPPERED FLESH, THE BOX JUMPER, GREEN TSUNAMI, BROKEN: STORIES OF DAMAGED PSYCHES, and THE NEW ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER AND HUCK FINN (both Adult and YA editions).  This will be for Kindle editions only, starting at $0.99 each at midnight, Friday, December 1 and ending at midnight December 8.  But the thing is, the way these countdown sales work, the prices will gradually increase until they reach the original list price, so it’s best to buy early — again, starting midnight, Friday, December 1.

(For an early look at these, as well as some non-sale titles, one can press here.)

Then also this Friday, December 1, DEADMAN’S TOME CTHULHU CHRISTMAS SPECIAL AND OTHER LOVECRAFTIAN YULETIDE TALES (cf. November 26, et al.) will be officially released, to celebrate which . . . well, let’s let Editor Jesse Dedman explain in his own words:  This Friday Marchese and I will host a live drunk reading where I’ll consume a mass amount of shots.  The amount of shots I consume is totally up to the number of pre-orders we receive!  Can my liver take it?  Will I wake up with regret?  Will I wake up in the front yard completely naked, again?  Let’s find out.  He goes on to say you can listen to the reading yourself Friday night at 10 p.m. CST by using this link, or catch the recorded version of the show afterwards on Spreaker, iTunes, YouTube, and other podcast apps.  But to reiterate, the degree of drunkenness he plans to attain is dependent on how many pre-orders CTHULHU CHRISTMAS SPECIAL receives, for which (if one wishes to egg him on, or just order the book early for yourself) press here.

 

The first thing she decided was that the 15-foot long, garbage-eating steampunk river cleaner would have a cheesily well-developed sense of humor.

“As soon as I started making snake puns, you had 20 other followers that were making hilarious other snake jokes,” she explains.  “So it became really great that way.”

Stegman continues to infuse Mr. Trash Wheel with her own “nerdom and geekdom,” which has endeared him to fans around the city.  He loves “Star Wars.”  He makes “Lord of the Rings” fan art.  He writes “Choose Your Own Adventure” novels and has spent hours answering questions on Reddit.  Occasionally, he participates in local events.

The “she” is Robyn Stegman, the official voice of Baltimore’s “Mr Trash Wheel,” a fifteen-foot long solar-powered device built to help clean trash out of Baltimore’s Jones Falls River.  And snake puns refer to an incident involving an escaped ball python found, having climbed up its conveyor belt, wrapped around a control box on Mr. Trash Wheel.  Baltimoreans loved it (well, most of them anyway).

It is what it is.  The article’s full title, by Eric March, is “2 Googly Eyes and a Dream:  How Mr. Trash Wheel Went Viral and Conquered Baltimore” and can be found on UPWORTHY.COM.  But what a neat idea!  And a happy story for environmental protection mavens as November ebbs and we enter the season of coming Christmas.

To read it for yourself press here.

The email arrived today, along with a pre-publication electronic copy, to the effect that (to give it it’s full name) DEADMAN’S TOME CTHULHU CHRISTMAS SPECIAL AND OTHER LOVECRAFTIAN YULETIDE TALES is scheduled to be out December 1 in Kindle, with a print edition expected “soon after.”  My story in this is third in the lineup, “A Christmas Carnage” (see November 11; January 18 2016, et al.), originally published in IN THE BLOOD (Mocha Memoirs Press, 2013) as well as THE FIRST ANNUAL GEEKY KINK ANTHOLOGY (Riverdale Avenue Books, 2015).  And, yes, Santa’s elves under the age of 18 may not find this tale entirely appropriate.

Indeed others may find “A Christmas Carnage” inappropriate also, including lovers of Charles Dickens’s immortal A CHRISTMAS CAROL.  Or lovers of puns (the dead don’t approve of such things, you know).  It is the tale of a rather high strung young man (he keeps a chainsaw in his closet for personal protection) with a very specific Christmas wish, and an “umpty-umpth-great” aunt named Carol who might be in a position to grant it.  Or possibly not — but to find that out you’ll just have to read a copy yourself, available for pre-order by pressing here.

And what better thing for an extended holiday weekend than to wallow in horror movies you may not have seen yet?  So for tonight, from THE-LINE-UP.COM, “15 Brilliant and Creepy Horror Movies You May Not Know About but Need to See” by Abbey White.  “Goodnight Mommy,” “We Are What We Are” (“Somos Lo Sue Hay”), “I Saw the Devil,” “The Void,” “The Loved Ones,” more, for all of which press here.  Then read and enjoy.

(Triana plans to eat herself senseless. . . .)

Yes indeed!  Through a chain of e-jumps, what should I run across quite accidentally but ARTLARK.ORG with today’s topic, “Voltaire:  The Father of Sci-Fi?”  And why today?  On the 21st of November 1694, François-Marie Arouet, known under the pen name Voltaire, was born in Paris. This French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher, who was also a great enthusiast of science and empirical knowledge, was probably one of the most prolific authors of all times.

That’s why.

As for the father of sci-fi, though, had not Cyrano de Bergerac already written of a voyage to the moon, published posthumously in 1657?*  Well, yes, but Voltaire perhaps wrote the first ever book of actual interplanetary travel (and, presumably, interstellar) in his philosophical tale of MICROMÉGAS [who] is 20,000 feet tall and comes from a planet 21.6 million times larger than Earth.  After a short visit to Saturn, where he acquaints his slightly smaller in size (only 6,000 feet tall) future travel companion, he finally lands on Earth.  . . .  At first sight, the planet seems uninhabited.  However, once standing ankle-deep in the Baltic Sea they spot small specks of life below them, which at closer inspection turn out to be a whale and a boat full of philosophers returning from an Arctic expedition. . . .   So that is a first, surely.

In any event, for more on MICROMÉGAS and Voltaire, press here.  Also for Voltaire, a happy 323rd birthday!

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*THE OTHER WORLD: COMICAL HISTORY OF THE STATES AND EMPIRES OF THE MOON (French: L’AUTRE MONDE OU LES ÉTATS ET EMPIRES DE LA LUNE) was the first of three satirical novels written by Cyrano de Bergerac, that are considered among the first science fiction stories.  Arthur C Clarke credited this book with being the first example of a rocket-powered space flight, and for inventing the ramjet.  It was published after the author’s death, in 1657.  (Wikipedia)

Sometimes it’s best just to quote the source:  Fashion and the macabre unite in the delicate ink drawings of Finnish artist Mira Johanna Väänänen.  Lace gowns and ornate crowns adorn these lovely dames and femme fatales who all appear ready for the red carpet with Death on their arm.  These nibbed pen and ink drawings combine bold silhouettes alongside hair-thin lines and pointillism, illustrating the decadent details of perfectly coiffed tresses, flower petals, snake scales, and dewy spider webs.  Thus “Death and the Maiden:  The Art of Mira Johanna Väänänen,” by Janae Corrado courtesy of DEARDARKLING.COM, sometimes reminiscent of Aubrey Beardsley, sometimes unique to itself, and in this case especially inspired by a theme as old as the Middle Ages and before, and best to be simply enjoyed on its own by pressing here.  Though if you like it, within you may find a link to more, so read, gaze, and enjoy.

It’s “Our Favorite Fictionalized Scientists, Methematicians, and Inventors in SFF” on TOR.COM by Stubby the Rocket.  It starts like this:  Sci-fi and fantasy writers love populating their stories with towering geniuses.  After all, nothing lends credence to a work of SFF like a brilliant mathematician or an ahead-of-their time scientist.  But as fun as it is to see characters inspired by historical figures, it’s even more fascinating when authors take the real person and reimagine them within the context of SFF.  Recasting mathematicians as demon hunters, analysts as steampunk spies, and even Greek scholars as superheroes. . . .  Hypatia, Mandelbrot, Newton, Tesla. Einstein (sort of).  But what’s neat here is not just the article itself but some of the links, as with my favorite, fifth on the roster, the team up of “crime fighters” Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage.

For all, click here — if you’re anything like me you won’t regret it.  And be sure to scroll down to the very bottom with its link to Kate Beaton’s “Hark! A Vagrant” archives.

And now, as promised (see November 9), Lindsey Goddard’s interview for DIRTY LITTLE HORROR is here!  As some may have noticed, these interviews have been sort of frequent of late, as if there’s almost been one every month, and, while I can’t guarantee when the next one might be, there is a reason.  The hope is the word may spread not so much about me but that there’s a new book lurking in wherever it is one goes to find new books:  my novel-in-stories TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.  And thus some may read it and, if so moved, will hopefully think it worth reviewing on their own blogs, Amazon, Goodreads, et al., and so spread the word further.
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Of course, someone could just find it interesting too.  So for the latest, including the dirt on not just TOMBS but THE TEARS OF ISIS as well, on the lure of dark fiction, on writing styles and whether I have one (or at least can describe it), on creating collections, and more . . . press here.



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