Archive for February, 2022

Hark us back to December 23 last year (cf. also, December 16, et al.) and the publication of my new year’s opus, “Appointment in Time,” in CURIOSITIES. It was a reprint, having debuted in YEAR’S END: 14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR by Untreed Reads in 2012. But that’s not the whole story.

Flash forward to now, and an email from CURIOSITIES Editor Kevin Frost: It’s really late, but it’s up!

Hope you like it.

Because, you see, there was more to the deal than just reprinting “Appointment” in the magazine. There was also the podcast, under the aegis of GALLERY OF CURIOSITIES, and that, as of Saturday February 12, has come to fruition.

You can hear it for yourself by pressing here.

But best to listen to it after dark. It’s that kind of story — not a nice story with flowers and unicorns and sunshine. Rather a story of dark of night and the old year’s turning, of modern nations and old ex-colonial customs that still must be obeyed. Of the old and the new.

But wait for darkness, or at least close your eyes as you listen to narrator Alasdair Stuart’s reading — and listen, especially, for sounds in the background as it nears the end. As the great clock chimes. . . .

I think you’ll like it too.


Speaking of snow . . . and surprises! DAILY SCIENCE FICTION, a much-esteemed market for flash length speculative fiction, has usually given its authors a few weeks notice on dates when stories are set to appear. But customs change, or perhaps the Internet Monster swallowed it up this time, but the notice I got that my story “The Seven” (cf. July 25) is up came from fellow author RJ Sullivan on Facebook this morning! But hey, that’s okay — publication is publication — and, yep, it’s been published! Coincidentally, my seventh for them.

To see for yourself, simply press here. (Then if curious about the other six, just enter my last name only, “Dorr,” in the search box and — voila! — they will appear too.)

“The Seven” is a riff on fairy tales, notably “Snow White,” but from the point of view of the seven small people whose names may not quite be what you remember. But then some of their stories may be different too. And the tale itself may be open to several interpretations: Existentialist fiction or satire? A comment on modern times and/or mores or metafiction? Folklore or horror? And, written from a sort of communal point of view, is there even a meaning to truth itself?

As my Author Comments appearing with “The Seven” imply, it’s not the first thing I’ve written inspired by fairy tales either. Or even by “Snow White,” my all time favorite there, perhaps, being one called “River Red,” second-to-last story in my collection THE TEARS OF ISIS, which translates it into the world of my mosaic novel TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH (for descriptions of both books click on their pictures in the center column).

But this is the one we have today and it can be read for free on DAILY SCIENCE FICTION, so why not give it a try (and if you should like it, perhaps give a comment)?

Wednesday and Thursday brought our first winter storm of the season. Rain followed by snow — fortunately it was light on the ice that was predicted with it — then ending on Friday, leaving Sunday afternoon with lots of white still on the ground.

So it was for February’s Bloomington Writers Guild “First Sunday Prose Reading and Open Mic,” with clear, even sunny, skies, but cold and to some extent getting sloppy, meaning a walk both a little difficult but also pretty to Morgenstern Books. This possibly led to a little bit sparser than usual turnout this time for featured readers Alan Balkema and Jane Goodman, with well-published Balkema leading off with the beginning scenes of his novel, LIGHTNING ROD, detailing a dysfunctional family. This was followed by IU cultural anthropology professor Goodman with a personal essay, “Apple, Table, Penny: A Meditation on Word and Verse,” based on a Women Writing for Change workshop project.

After the break, the second “Open Mic” part brought a surprise of sorts. Even though the turnout wasn’t that low (about nine or ten although, with spillover from Morgenstern’s coffee bar, it’s often hard to tell exactly), there was only one reader. Me. So I read an unpublished tale called “The Softening,” science-fantasy sort of with a shade of horror, on weather, winter, shoveling sidewalks, a leveling off of seasonal differences as well as a generally wetter climate, and . . . snow.

The announcement came yesterday afternoon from Jay Hartman of Untreed Reads Publishing (cf. December 1, et al.): In celebration of my 50th birthday on February 10th, we’re running a 50% off sale on all ebook titles between now and February 11th at both Smashwords and DriveThruFiction. This includes several titles by me, mostly in electronic chapbook format.

The announcement continues, [f]or DriveThruFiction, there’s nothing special that anyone needs to do to receive the discount, and all titles (including short stories) are included. That is, one just need go to the site and enter author and title for the book(s) desired, to find it/them listed with discount applied — no coupons, no special procedures needed. So for mine, the chapbooks are one novelette, “Peds,” and two stand-alone stories, “Vanitas” and “I’m Dreaming of A. . . ,”plus one more story “Appointment in Time” in YEAR’S END: 14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR. Then added to these are two multi-book specials, both also including the YEAR’S END anthology.

To check it out for yourself, just press here, and of course, if interested in other titles from other authors one can take that as a starting point, and continue to DriveThru’s other offerings from Untreed Reads or from other publishers as well (though the latter, of course, are not part of the sale). Or alternatively, click on the pictures of any of the chapbooks noted in the center column to go to Untreed Reads’s own listings, although, depending on where one goes from there, discounts may or may not be applied.

But remember, the sale will end February 11.

And . . . just in time for closing the ledger on January 31, Aimée and les filles came through once again, this time via PayPal with the receipt of first prize for the 2022 Defenestrationism.Net Flash Suite Contest (see January 17, et al.).

So ends the first month of 2022, on its final day. This was for my entry “Casket Suite,” an approximately 3300-word story in five parts, each of these a complete flash fiction tale on its own (yes, even including number four, “Shades of Difference,” at only 120 words), together forming a portrait of the New Orleanian sorority of “casket girls” who arrived from France in 1728, and their founder/leader the aforementioned Aimée. Based on an actual New Orleanian urban legend, the Casket Girls were the New World’s first vampires, but more than that became a group of closely-knit friends and, in their own way, pioneers as well.

Then to start a new month, yesterday, Tuesday, the contract for my “mystery” new acceptance arrived (cf. January 30) and, signed, went back later that afternoon. A mystery in that the story in question is to be in a new magazine, details on which are not yet available to the public, but with a hoped for publication date in late spring.

More to be revealed here as it becomes known.

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