Archive for August, 2018

One for “the writing life,” the PDF proof received from Editor Allen Ashley for Eibonvale Press’s upcoming HUMANAGERIE, including my TOMBS universe-set story “Crow and Rat” (cf. August 11, July 29).  This is the one for tales and poems on the theme of animals, or perhaps more precisely connections symbolic or more concrete between humans and lower forms.  Thus “Crow and Rat,” beggars in the New City of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, and also the lowest of the low in their own story here with a hoped for October publication.  All seeming in order, the proof went back last night.

Here’s another list, this one rather long and special as well as one I’d like to save for myself:  “43 Underrated Films from the Darker Side of Cinema You’ve Probably Never Seen — A Gehenna Post Article” via GEHENNAANDHINNOM on WordPress.  Well, of course I’ve seen some, but I use these things to check out the ones I haven’t in case there might be something I’ve missed that I’d better look for at least on DVD.  One’s mileage varies, as the saying goes, but to see for yourself check here.  In addition, G & H’s editor, publisher, and now list maker C.P. Dunphey not only bought my story “Flesh” for YEAR’S BEST BODY HORROR 2017 ANTHOLOGY (see November 1 2017, et al.), but also ran an interview of me on the GEHENNA POST along with an extremely positive review of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH (cf. June 3 2017, and/or check it on Amazon et al.), which can be seen by pressing here.  Or in other words, we know already he has good taste.

So, okay, cutting to the chase I’m scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m for a half hour (well, 25 minutes anyway — cf. just below, August 26) reading, probably of stories from THE TEARS OF ISIS.  But here is the entire two-day schedule from the horse’s mouth, as it were, of readers and performers, poets and prose writers, some known to us from before, some unknown.  So if in the area this coming weekend do plan to stop by — isisnewit’s the FOURTH STREET ARTS FESTIVAL, with artists’ booths galore, but also the Writers Guild’s Spoken Word Stage on Dunn Street, just south of 4th.  While I, in the meantime, practice timed reads while making my final story selections.  (Hint: it’ll probably be a short curtain raiser followed by “River Red,” which I’d read once before a few years back and had gone over well then, set in the TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH universe although actually printed in TEARS.  Two birds with one stone, eh?)

So read, plan, enjoy:

September 1, 2018 @ 10:00 am – September 2, 2018 @ 6:00 pm

Spoken Word Stage at 4th Street Arts Festival

Presented by the Writers Guild at Bloomington
Supported in part by the Bloomington Arts Commission

Labor Day Weekend
Saturday, September 1: 10am – 6pm
Sunday, September 2: 10am – 5pm
Intersection of Dunn and Fourth Streets
Fourth Street Festival of the Arts and Crafts

Save the Date!

Now in its 8th year, the Spoken Word Stage at the 4th Street Arts Festival is one of the largest literary performance events in the Midwest, featuring storytelling, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, live radio theatre, and other unique collaborations.

And of course, the ever-popular Poetry on Demand table will be staffed with a fleet of poets armed with typewriters ready to deliver!


10:30 . 5 Women Poets (poetry)
11:00 . Patsy Rahn (poetry)
11:30 . Merry MAC Players (theatre)
12:30 . Shana Ritter (poetry)
1:00 . Maria Hamilton Abegunde (poetry)
1:30 . Fig Tree Fellowship Radio Players (audio theatre)
2:30 . Mary Pat Lynch (fiction)
3:00 . Juliana Ramos Crespo (fiction)
3:30 . James Dorr (horror fiction)
4:00 . Shakespeare’s Monkey (poetry band)
4:30 . Erin Livingston (poetry)
5:00 . Butch D’Ambrosio (sonnets)
5:30 . Stephen Vincent Giles (storytelling)

10:00 . Eric Rensberger (poetry)
10:30 . New Leaf-New Life (poetry and fiction)
11:00 . Adam Henze (poetry)
11:30 . Monroe County Civic Theater
12:00 . Joan Hawkins (fiction)
12:30 . Lisa Kwong (poetry)
1:00 . Jasper Wirtshafter (poetry)
1:30 . Arbutus Cunningham (storytelling)
2:00 . Richard Hague (poetry)
2:30 . Cricket’s Bone Caravan (audio theatre)
3:30 . Michael Brockley (poetry)
4:00 . Jeffrey Pearson (poetry)
4:30 . Bloomington Storytellers Guild 

Well, it’s been rather longer for my attendance it would seem, but this fall’s edition of “Last Sunday Poetry Reading and Open Mic” (cf. September 24 2017, et al.), co-sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild and the Monroe County Convention Center, came back from its summer break this afternoon.  Featured were Lisa Kwong who we’ve met before (see July 17 2016, et al.) reading selections from a new chapbook MS-in-progress, and PDVNCH who we’ve also just met (see August 5) with work from several poetry books he’s had published.  After the break, when “Open Mic” time came I was third of five, reading the first of three four-minute sets I’d recorded for local radio station WFIU’s “The Poets Weave” (see August 8) from my VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE) collection, the poems themselves being “La Méduse,” “Vampire Thoughts,” “Daylight Savings,” and “Night Child.”

With the city’s “4th Street Arts Festival” coming up in just under a week plus “Frankenfest,” celebrating the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN (cf. August 21, 5), coming up in October, this fall is shaping up as an especially busy one locally for the written and spoken arts.  To help keep on top of things, one may want to check out the Bloomington Writers Guild’s website (as well as these pages) by pressing here.

Just a quick note, another list but one I want to save for myself courtesy of WordPress’s blog feed, “The Top 10 British Comedy Horror Films,” by C.M. Saunders.  I’m embarrassed to say I’ve only seen three of them myself (and maybe one of the Honorable Mentions), number one SHAUN OF THE DEAD, of course, and LESBIAN VAMPIRE KILLERS, plus AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON which almost doesn’t count as it pops up on TV from time to time on this side of the pond too.  But see for yourself by pressing here, and CARRY ON SCREAMING (number seven on the list and one of a series of British “CARRY ON” outings, this one parodying Hammer films).

Adding to yesterday’s post, I’ve discovered another recent (August 15) 5-Star TOMBS review on Goodreads, this one citing TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH in conjunction with Jack Vance’s THE DYING EARTH.  Says reviewer John Rennie, in part, . . . this is a good, no excellent, example of a book inspired by Jack Vance’s work.  It paints a wonderfully weird and colourful picture of an Earth lapsed into a rather Byzantine senescence.  There is more, to be sure, for which one may press here, while for all seven reviews of TOMBS that currently appear on its Goodreads page, press here.  One warning, however, not all of the Goodreads reviews are “5-Star,” TOMBS perhaps not being aimed for all people, but as Mr. Rennie himself concludes, [a]ll I can say is that I loved it and if this sort of rather quirky writing appeals to you then you will love it too.

With the skill of a nineteenth century storyteller, James Dorr weaves tales that would impress Mary Shelley.  Say what?  Well, 2018 is the 200th anniversary of the first edition of FRANKENSTEIN (for a mention, cf. August 5 at the very bottom), although the third, published in 1831, may be more familiar to most readers.  (Though actually there isn’t all that much difference.)  But literary trivia aside, August 17 2018 (yes, I’m four days late, oops) marks the appearance of the sixth review of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH on Amazon, in which reviewer S. Ramey continues:  He pulls you into a world of gothic darkness, challenging your conceptions of life, death and love.  Some stories may shock the reader, but in the time of the Tombs, the Old City, and ghouls, life is very different.  Or why not read the review for yourself, as “A future apocalyptic world that will challenge your world views,” by pressing here?

For myself, my thanks to reviewer Ramey and I am humbled by the mention of Mary Shelley.  But to the point also, reviews like this are a life blood for authors to help spread the word to new potential readers, so a special thank you for making my day!  For others who see this, if you’d like to look into TOMBS itself, you can also get to Amazon’s main page by clicking its picture in the center column.  To quote a final time from the review:  If you like horror, zombies, Gothic romance, or apocalyptic science fiction, this is a story collection for you.

And, should you read it and enjoy it, you might consider reviewing it as well.

Yesterday saw the arrival of STAR*LINE 41.3, for summer, in the computer cave’s postal mailbox.  My entry in this is “What She Learned” (cf. July 15), on page 22, a humorous poem of a novice vampiress and how she was warming to her new career.  STAR*LINE is the quarterly publication of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association and with it came their annual DWARF STARS anthology of poems of ten lines or less, the best of which will be voted on by the SFPA membership.  More on it as well as STAR*LINE can be found on the SFPA website, for which one may press here.

Then speaking of vampires, this afternoon I read poetry at the Indiana University Radio-TV building for “The Poets Weave,” a series of five-minute poetry segments presented on WFIU, the University public radio station (see August 8).  I ended up reading three groups of four, three, and four poems each on the “who,” the “where,” and the “attraction” of vampirism, all from my 2011 collection VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE), preceded by brief quotations from Rudyard Kipling, Bram Stoker, and Sheridan Le Fanu, respectively.  According to coordinator LuAnn Johnson, these probably won’t be aired until fall, as the season of Halloween approaches, with more exact dates as they’re known to be reported here.

(Quoth the Press Release)  This is Book Four in the Alternatives Series of anthologies.

The Alternatives series looks at the social and political questions of the day with a mix of story, poetry, essay and, above all, a healthy bite of humor.

ALTERNATIVE THEOLOGIES takes its turn with a gentle look at religion.

A sensitive topic.

Henry Frederic Amiel said:  “Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are travelling the dark journey with us.  Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind.”

And while this book explores theology and beliefs, it is written to be kind, thoughtful, and at times funny.

It will make you laugh, and it will make you think, but it will also give you an understanding of how diverse people see belief.

And so it goes, Tuesday, August 14.  This is the official release date for B Cubed Press’s ALTERNATIVE THEOLOGIES:  PARABLES FOR THE MODERN WORLD (cf. August 11, 10, et al.), and now with a newly integrated Amazon page where both Kindle and print copies can be obtained!  But is it Book Four or only Book Three?  One has seen it both ways.  The answer, I think, is there are two other books with the actual word “Alternative” in their titles, ALTERNATIVE TRUTHS and MORE ALTERNATIVE TRUTHS:  STORIES FROM THE RESISTANCE, both of tales of America in a post-Trump world.  But there is one other, AFTER THE ORANGE:  RUIN AND RECOVERY, so that can be counted as Volume three — or not, depending on how you see it.

In any event, all three — or four! — have now been officially published by B Cubed Press.  And to check out the latest (in print OR Kindle, both choices are offered, and both with my poem “Tit for Tat” because, yes, I have a kit in this kaboodle too) one need but press here.

Good news for dark science fiction fans — or at least for me and 30 or so fellow writers.  And a thank you as well to those who contributed.  SINS AND OTHER WORLDS (see August 11, July 28, et al. — early table of contents July 19) has met its primary goal and img_1110will (a) be published and (b) its authors be paid!  According to Editor Eric Fomley:  SINS AND OTHER WORLDS is a dark Science Fiction short story anthology comprised of reprint stories from 30 talented authors.  The stories range from deep space, alien planets, alternate realities and beyond.  Most stories within are flash fiction interspersed with several longer works from both emerging authors and titans in the field.  The anthology collects some of the best dark sci-fi in recent memory.  And moreover, sufficient readers have pledged support that two or three bonus stories may be added to the contents.

My story in this is called “The Cyclops,” about an unnaturally intelligent but physically challenged baby, originally published in DARK MOON DIGEST YOUNG ADULT HORROR, June 2013.  More on it and its new companions will be reported here as it becomes revealed.

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