Archive for November, 2018

We surely remember “Crow and Rat,” the neer-do-wells from the New City who, after their role in HUMANAGERIE, went on to gain an honorable mention in MYTHIC BEAST’s “Icarus” stories competition (see November 11, et al.).  Word came yesterday afternoon from curator Leslie Marrick that our would-be heroes’ tale from the world of TOMBS will Icarus with broken wingsgo live on the MYTHIC BEAST (née MYTHRAEUM) site on December 3, for more on which — including the current contest for tales about Medusa — one may press here.  In all there were ten honorable mentions, seven of which plus the winner are to be displayed on a week to week basis, with three already there.  For those interested, here is the list, with all to be finally on the website on December 31.


ALEX SHVARTSMAN — “Icarus Falls” (winner)

CLARK ZLOTCHEW – “Aiming High”
Nov. 19 2018

Nov. 26 2018

JAMES DORR – “Crow and Rat”
Publishing Dec. 3 2018

ETHAN HEDMAN – “Impact Imminent”
Publishing Dec. 10 2018

AMY SAKOVICH – “Key of Flight”
Publishing Dec. 17 2018

ZOE BURNESS – “When the Ocean Boils”
Publishing Dec. 24 2018

TONY GROESCHEN – “The Charred Sheriff of Crete”
Publishing Dec. 31 2018

R.A. GOLI – “Scattered Feathers”
Roberta’s story won’t appear on Mythic Beast. But check out her website!

DIE BOOTH – “Stone Ghosts”
Die’s story will not appear on Mythic Beast. But check out his website!

SUZANNE SIMPSON – “Wax Melting into Water”
Suzanne’s Story will not appear on Mythic Beast.

It’s like a sale, sort of. That is, quoting Smart Rhino Publications Editor Weldon Burge, [w]e have a number of Kindle Countdowns starting today, running until next Monday.  The countdown starts at the lowest price and, over the course of the campaign, gradually increases to return to the original price.  So, today is the best day to get the best bargains.  And two of the books on sale have stories by me, INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS with “The Labyrinth” (the one in Crete, with Icarus, Ariadne, etc.; see January 2 2015, et al.) and ZIPPERED FLESH 3 with “Golden Age” as its closing tale (October 10 2017, et al.).  The idea is that the Kindle editions are priced their lowest, at $0.99, for today (Wednesday) only, will cost a little bit more on Thursday, and so on until they’re back to their normal prices after the sale ends Monday.  Other Smart Rhino books in the sale (though without work by me) are GREEN TSUNAMI, THE BOX JUMPER, and THE NEW ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER AND HUCK FINN.

For further information one must seek these titles out on Amazon, where one should find the price of the day (but check the small print, I just looked now and GREEN TSUNAMI had not yet posted the 99 cent amount).  And then one more thing, in checking INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS, the first of the reviews is by Paul Dale Anderson and contains this description:  Excellent anthology with stories by modern masters of the macabre.  Lansdale and Ketchum are worth the read, but so are Mosiman and Dorr and Mannetti.  These are my kind of stories, and I’m glad I bought this in hard copy. 

Alma shivered despite the warm night air.  She did not like spiders.  Where she had been brought up, on the high, dust-filled Castilian plateau, her father a soldier, they had a saying:  Kill a spider and it will bring rainstorms.  Her summers of girlhood, sweating — as she did now — in that land’s furnace heat, had been spent seeking and killing as many of the eight-legged creatures as she could find, yet never once did it bring the rain’s coolness.

So who is Alma?  She is the lead in my story “Dust,” originally published in my first collection STRANGE MISTRESSES: TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE (Dark Regions Press, 2001) and now reprinted in Pole to Pole Publishing’s RE-ENCHANT (see November 21, et al.), which just arrived in paperback form in the computer cave mailbox on Saturday past.  (So I’m a day or two late posting this.)  It’s a lovely book, but you’ve seen the cover.  So here’s a little extra as well.

“Dust” is the second tale in the contents so, should you go to RE-ENCHANT’s Amazon page and click on the cover picture there to open its contents, you’ll find not just front matter and the first story but the first six pages of “Dust” as well.  Try it:  Press here.  It’s a nice introduction to the story and if intrigued by what you read, well, you are on the Amazon page (or a click away to get out of the sample) where it can be ordered.  Or should you prefer to see “Dust” in its original home, while STRANGE MISTRESSES is technically out of print and with some copies going for premium prices, the last time I looked a few copies were still on its Amazon site at list price or less, which can be found here.

Strange on strange.  A completist, I checked out the DriveThruFiction site of yesterday’s post to see what other (if any) Untreed Reads titles of mine were available.  One can reach there from the link on that post or, a bit more directly, just press here.  Two of my chapbooks are indeed on sale as well, I’M DREAMING OF A. . . at $0.66 and PEDS at $1.01 on “pages” 5 and 7 respectively (scroll down to the end of the listed titles).  See for vanitas_SMyourself!  But, oddly, my third (and the first, I think, published with Untreed Reads), VANITAS, is not (I did look — it would have been on the last page, 12).

So then I tried the Untreed Reads site and not only is VANITAS listed there, but at its own price of $0.50, making it the best bargain of all.  Doubt me?  Press here.  So how’s that for weird (for all my chapbook titles, incidentally, as well as YEAR’S END on the Utreed Reads site, one can press any of the three chapbooks’ pictures in the center column)?

Jay Hartman of Untreed Reads Publishing has announced an all-weekend sale through Monday via DriveThruFiction, including, with other anthologies and story collections, YEAR’S END:  14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR (cf. November 29 2012, et al.).  New Year’s Eve isn’t all champagne and confetti.  For some, it’s filled with regrets, the changing of the day dragging them kicking and screaming into a year for which they aren’t prepared.  This year, some people will be screaming, but they may not make it to the New Year at all.

So goes the blurb.  And opening with my own story “An Appointment in Time,” a fantasy-steampunk saga of one-time colonialism and ancient myths gone live, YEAR’S END is now reduced from a normal price of $4.99 to a bargain $3.34, in EPUB, MOBI (for Kindle), and PDF formats.  But, again, for the extended weekend only, for information on which one may press here.

So it might have been more a celebration for Halloween, first published on FILMSCHOOLREJECTS.COM on October 18, but even if just for the first three-quarters of the year (January 2018 through September), Rob Hunter’s “The Best Horror Movies of 2018 So Far” offers goodies worth a look any time of the year. And,  especially, for Thanksgiving weekend if sometimes the football games don’t thrill enough.

Well, see for yourself by pressing here!


(Triana, on the other hand, thinks she’ll just eat and eat. . . .)

Sometimes we authors stand towards the end of the line, which is okay — the paying customers must be served first.  It’s sort of like musicians at a banquet, that you yourselves get fed in the kitchen, but the food’s still good and unlike the guests, when you’re in the hall you get paid for the gig.  So too with books, while copies have been available for buyers on Amazon and elsewhere since middish October, today the word came from Pole to Pole Publishing that authors’ copies of RE-ENCHANT (see October 18, et al.) should be received in print form by the end of the month, along with a link to the e-book edition to download right now.

RE-ENCHANT is the second of four books (so far?) in Pole to Pole’s “Re-Imagined” reprint series to be published, the first of which, RE-LAUNCH (cf. October 16, et al.), also has a story of mine, “The Game,” in it.  Both books can be ordered from Amazon or, for links to other vendors as well, those interested in RE-ENCHANT may also press here.  My tale in this one is second on the contents list (generally considered a prized position), titled “Dust,” and takes place in Spain, about two maidens at a party, one of whom loves gambling while the other hates spiders.

Details, details.  It’s another “The Writing Life” adventure, a tiny one this time yet oh, so important.  It happens I needed to check a review of one of my books on Amazon and my eye happened to spot my biography on the site.  It was out of date — and had been so for at least about two years!  And so, set right again, the updated version now also includes an important name:  The Goth Cat Triana.  (Well, it’s important to her.)  It can now be checked out by clicking on the picture of TOMBS in the center column, along with the prose collections below it.

Well, the bio to be of me as author, of course, with the story in question “Holly Jolly,” a saga of cosplay and STAR TREK and Christmastide elves (cf. November 6, September 27).  Not to mention the big guy himself, Santa.  But, of me, the request came today from PLANET SCUMM editor Tyler Wonanin:  Could I get your author bio? Something written in third person between 80 and 150 words would work best.  And so back it has gone at something just under 135 words.

PLANET SCUMM, incidentally, is now open for post-Christmas issue submissions for those interested.  It’s semi-pro, paying $30 plus some profit sharing for up to 3000 words — not riches, but it looks kind of fun — with guidelines available by pressing here.

Let us recall our friends “Crow and Rat,” the lowest of the low, thieves and rascals of the New City as limned in, in this case, the British anthology HUMANAGERIE (see October 28, 3, et al.).  Born in the world of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.  But they have been up to other capers as well, behind our backs as it were, notably (they being good at sneaking into places where they might be thought to be not wanted) “The Icarus Contest.”  This was a call for stories concerning the Icarus myth, Daedalus and the Labyrinth and Crete and all that, a serious one run by MYTHRAEUM (recently renamed MYTHIC BEAST) and not one where riffraff would be expected — except that, like Icarus, Crow was said to be able to fly, and that for a few moments Rat actually did!  So why not try?
The word came back late Saturday evening from contest curator Leslie Marrick, and, no, they didn’t win.  But they did receive an Honorable Mention!  How about that?  And with it came an offer that their tale be retold on the pages (or pixels) of MYTHIC BEAST, which — with a request that HUMANAGERIE be credited as the first to take them in — I accepted this afternoon.

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