Archive for July, 2019

To end the month, how about a bit more of the life of the writer, this time in the form of another contract, received, elctro-signed, and sent back to the publisher just now.  The story is called “Beefcake and the Vamp” and the venue MONSTERTHOLOGY 2 (see February 12), an anthology of, to quote from the guidelines, short stories that involve classic movie monsters (Dracula, the Wolfman, Frankenstein, you know classics).  So the monsters in this one include the vamp Guillemette, once known as “Mina,” threatened by (as it turns out) a descendant of the Van Helsing family, who seeks the help of an all-night New Orleans detective agency.  And one of the agency’s finest (or only) employees is a hunky zombie named Beefcake — a match made in Heaven, yes?

Guillemette, I might add, is not one of the vampiresses in the “Casket Girls” canon, actually predating them in my writing, but she’s kind of fun too.  And way back when there had also been a MONSTERTHOLOGY 1 which had a story of mine called “Stink Man” (see February 19; July 2 2012, et al.), a cryptozoological tale of a man combined with the parts of cows.  As far as I know, though, a release date has not yet been set for Volume 2 — the publication schedule in general seems to be on the leisurely side — but the news will be here as soon as it’s known.

So we’ve all seen the movie SHAUN OF THE DEAD, yes?  It’ll be number 1 on the list that follows.  But what about LESBIAN VAMPIRE KILLERS (I have)?  Or, number 10, I BOUGHT A VAMPIRE MOTORCYCLE?  Or in other words, how many have you (or I) actually seen of “The Top 10 British Comedy Horror Films!” by fellow blogger cmsaunders, courtesy of CMSAUNDERS.WORDPRESS.COM?

From, as it were, the horse’s mouth:  Everyone does lists of their Top 10 Horror films. I wanted to do something special for you instead.  How about a Top 10 BRITISH Horror Film List?  Not special enough?  Well, taking it to the next level, you know how us Brits are renowned for our unique, irreverent, occasionally wacky yet sophisticated sense of humour?  No?  Well, we are.  Sometimes it can be as subtle as an autumn breeze.  Other times it can be fast, bloody, and brutal.  Like a good bout of period sex.  So . . . how about a Top 10 British COMEDY Horror Film List?  Yeah, let’s do that.

So let’s do.  Or for the record, re. the last sentence in paragraph one, I’ve only seen four but some that I haven’t seem worth looking into.  And there’s at least one other you may have seen too, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON.  For all, then, press here.

The wheels of time progress.  Today’s email brought a PDF proof copy of STAR*LINE 42.3, for Summer 2019, with two poems by me in it (cf. May 7, 1).  The poems, “Enemy Action” and “Roadkill Doll,” located at the upper right corners of pages 14 and 18 appeared to be okay, my name spelled correctly there and in the contents as well as in a “Congratulations” box for STAR*LINE poets in the upcoming DWARF STARS contest anthology (cf. May 29), so about an hour ago I sent an “all’s fine” email back.  STAR*LINE as we may recall is the magazine of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association, currently edited by Vince Gotera, while the two poems cited are about a mermaid vampiress (who we along with readers of STAR*LINE have met before) and about the cruel fates of two iconic American toys.

Remember those ne’er-do-wells “Crow and Rat,” and how they slinked into England to be in the book HUMANAGERIE (cf. April 3, March 21, et al. )?  So wouldn’t you know, they’ve gotten themselves in the news again, or at least the book that accepted them has.  According to Co-Editor Allen Ashley:  I just wanted to let you know that HUMANAGERIE has been shortlisted for the British Fantasy Award in the “Best Anthology” category.  Sarah and I are absolutely thrilled.  And of course, we could not have done this without the superb writing that we received from all of you.  . . .  The British Fantasy Award shortlist of five titles — including an anthology edited by our very own Dan Coxon (AKA Ian Steadman) — now goes to a select jury for final decision, to be announced at FantasyCon in Glasgow on 20 October.  The British Fantasy Award, I might add, is not a small thing; sponsored by the British Fantasy Society it’s the UK equivalent of, on this side of the ocean, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s Nebula or the Horror Writer Association’s Stoker Awards(R), rather rarefied company for such as Rat and Crow!

“Crow and Rat,” one might remember, were beggars and thieves in the far future world of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, albeit not in that book itself, whose unwise (and probably one-sided) love simply led them into even more trouble.  To quote from their own story, [h]is name was Crow, and she was called Rat.  Both of them were beggars in the New City, not the creative kind, jongleurs or tale-tellers, gossip-mongers or criers or news-spreaders, but rather the shabbier, desperate grubbers of others’ detritus — ghouls as it were of the wealthier precincts’ trashheaps and middens.  Petty thieves, sometimes, when courage and opportunity blessed them.  In other words, common enough to be unnoticed.

However the book they are in has been noticed.  For a complete list of British Fantasy Award finalists in all categories one can press here — while for background information on the world Crow and Rat came from, the world of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH (which disdains to give rascals such as them even a mention), one can click its picture in the center column.

For those who might wonder whatever happened to the kickstarter for DISCORDANT LOVE BEYOND DEATH (cf. July 10, et al.), there is now an answer.  Visitors may have noticed it’s been closed, but now the official word, that the closure is temporary — after a fashion.  That is, there will be a new kickstarter, most likely in September or October (authors [*ahem*] meanwhile will be paid), closer to an intended Valentine’s Day 2020 date for publication.  Also, according to Editor/Publisher Dickon Springate, it will be simpler that the aborted one, and noting the romantic aspect to the anthology’s contents, perhaps more inclusive to women readers.

To remind, DISCORDANT LOVE BEYOND DEATH is an anthology of short creepy & emotional stories based around the idea of love evading the limitations of life & death . . . a mix of ghost stories / horror / thriller and erotic fiction [including] cross genre stories, with my part in it “The Sending,” originally published in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE, a ghost story/mystery set in an early-1930s Florida lighthouse.  (“The Sending” also has been reprinted in my first collection, STRANGE MISTRESSES: TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE, for more information on which one may click on its picture in the center column.)

More information will be reported here as it becomes known.

Walt who?  You know, the American poet and possible father of modern poetry, that Walt Whitman, who, born on May 31 1819, is celebrating in absentia a slightly late 200th birthday this summer and autumn.  As for the picnic, that’s a Bloomington Writers Guild summer tradition (see July 22 2018, et al.), a relaxed potluck lunch with perhaps some readings — as well as a reminder that, with a resumed “First Sunday Prose” at the start of August (August 4, I believe, but I don’t have a calendar with me, followed only three days later by another “Spoken Word Wednesday at Bears Place” reading), plus the Spoken Word On Stage extravaganza at the Labor Day Weekendish, early September Bloomington Arts Fair, a busy fall season is not far ahead.

But as for Walt Whitman?  Well, after the eating part of the picnic came a mike-less “open mic” session, featuring a crowd somewhat smaller than usual possibly due to *very* hot weather (heat index, I think, in the low 100s though threatening thunderstorms which did not come) plus area road construction making the site somewhat hard to get to.  Part of the idea was to read bits of Whitman’s work should the spirit so move, which was taken up on by four or five people (I not among them as, by sheer coincidence, a short piece from SONG OF MYSELF that I’d brought with me proved also to have been chosen by another), along with some discussion of the poet’s life which I did join in briefly.  Then two or three people followed with bits of their own or others’ work, for which I had also brought a short poem but, seeing the drift of most present, kept in my pocket in favor of just leaning back and listening to what others offered.

In short a pleasant but lazy, if sweaty, Sunday afternoon shared among writer friends.

Who can resist this one, courtesy of SNOPES.COM:  “Can a Bug Crawl in Your Ear and into Your Brain?” by David Mikkelson?  Subtitled “Bugs do wander into people’s ears sometimes.  But where can they go from there?” the article is admittedly a rerun from December 5 1998, but a possible menace of this sort deserves renewed attention, don’t you agree?  Or in any event, for horror writers and readers out there, for the full monty (as it were) press here.
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And while we’re at it, let’s not neglect earwigs.

Book bargains galore (well, sort of), or a very quick update, Amazon’s price for TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH (see July 15) is still holding good, though one never knows when such things may change.  But here is some new news, a recheck on THE TEARS OF ISIS now has listings for three used copies in “very good” condition, and with shipping FREE, at $9.98.  That is, under ten dollars (though, since Amazon now adds on sales tax for at least some states, the actual cost may be a little bit more).  And there’s also a fourth copy at $6.03 with a shipping cost of $3.95 which comes to . . . also $9.98!  For more (and maybe to buy one?) press here.

Best hurry though, if you want a bargain — the next least expensive used copy of TEARS is for $22.98 (with shipping still free, but in just “good” condition).  While for a new copy, Amazon still lists the paperback at the cover price of $12.95.

It’s already been an exciting year for horror movies, with chilling flicks that tap into just about every kind of nightmare.  Thus far, we’ve seen sophomore efforts by up-and-coming horror masters (Jordan Peele’s US; Ari Aster’s MIDSOMMAR), franchise entries like ANNABELLE COMES HOME and HAPPY DEATH DAY 2 U, the CHILD’S PLAY remake, James Gunn’s superhero horror flick BRIGHTBURN, and more.  And the year is only half over!

So what silver screen terrors await you in the second half of 2019?  We’ve got you covered.  From voracious alligators and haunted houses to everyone’s favorite dancing clown, here are the upcoming horror movies we’re dying to see before 2019 draws to a close.

So, yes, it’s already past mid-July and it’s time to look out for movies to come as 2019 winds down to fall and winter.  The feature:  “16 Upcoming Horror Movies We’re Dying to See in the Second Half of 2019” by Orrin Grey on THE-LINE-UP.COM.  Two or three of these remakes, most not, but all sound interesting (me, I’ve got a special eye out for number 5, THE BANANA SPLITS MOVIE, expected out on or about August 13 ).  So to see more, press here.

Yes, this is new, though the catch is that, unless you’re on Prime or buy at least three copies, you will have to pay shipping costs as well.  The book:  TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, and it’s still a bargain at $9.31, under $10.00, or 38 percent off its list price of $14.95.  For more click its picture in the center column or, going directly to the chase, press here.  But one would best hurry, Amazon is also doing “Prime Days” just for today and 8451b32b-e3c4-41cb-8f3e-7c6834708f13tomorrow and, while this one’s for non-Prime customers too, it may not be offered for very long.
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The above is something I found out more or less accidentally and seemed worth sharing.  I then checked out THE TEARS OF ISIS (as is my wont) but, alas, at least on Amazon one must pay its full $12.95 price.  That is for a new copy (which, I admit, I’d prefer you buy because I get a royalty on them — these are all for paperbacks I should add, with Kindle prices somewhat less), but for a less expensive read three vendors have used copies listed at $10.44, with condition rated as “Very Good,” and with shipping free.  These can be found by clicking TEARS’ picture or pressing here and, hey, if you like it, perhaps you’ll be moved to send Amazon and/or Goodreads a review.



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