Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

It’s just a short post, but cruising the interwebs what should I find but, on SCREENJUNKIES.COM, “5 Best French Vampire Movies”?  In ways it’s a strangely limited list, all five films being made in the late 1960s/1970s and four of them being (including his first, in 1968) by Jean Rollin, for more on whom – in an amazing coincidence – see June 12, below.  But if you like your vamps to exude a dreamy erotica in mildly surrealistic settings, whether or not they’re the absolute best, in four out of five one could do a lot worse.  So with no guarantees*, and today is Bastille Day, for one apparently anonymous film critic’s selections press here.

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*Note that the one non-Rollin entry, Werner Herzog’s NOSFERATU THE VAMPYRE, was co-produced by the French film company Gaument (and does have some French actors, notably Isabelle Adjani as Lucy Harker), but that may be pushing things a little.

And so in the late afternoon hours of Monday, I returned to the Computer Cave to find 2017’s first mid-year royalty check in my mailbox.*  Yep, stories still selling — in this case with sales enough to provide, say, a bag of chips to go with a burger not yet earned.  But others should come in the next few

“Cutting the Check”

days for the just-completed first half of the year, so who knows?  In any event we will most likely have to wait till next week before the check can go to the bank to start collecting interest, since the banks will be closed Tuesday, though for reasons having nothing to do with my mammoth financial windfall, but rather because tomorrow is Independence Day.  Happy Fourth of July!

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*As is customary I am not saying exactly how much or who from, in that way to avoid embarrassment all around.

Today brought an announcement from Weldon Burge of Smart Rhino Publications, that ZIPPERED FLESH 3: YET MORE TALES OF BODY ENHANCEMENT GONE BAD (cf. April 27, 19, et al.) is headed toward a, hopefully, pre-Halloween release.  Just in time for costume suggestions, eh?  In this one my story is in final place, the thought to take with one to possibly a ZIPPERED FLESH 4 — or possibly just to hold in one’s own head — and a probably rather benign one at that, called “Golden Age.”  And with the announcement, here is the finalized table of contents:

Horns, Teeth, and Knobs–Billie Sue Mosiman
Upgraded–Shaun Meeks
Worm–Jeff Menapace
Reduced to Tears–Adrian Ludens
Going Green–Christine Morgan
A New Man–William F. Nolan
Transposition–Jason V Brock
The Rose–Jack Ketchum
Consume–Daniel I Russell
All Will Turn to Gray–Jezzy Wolfe
Invisible–E.A. Elizabeth Black
And the Sky was Full of Angels–L.L. Soares
Shopping Spree–Meghan Arcuri-Moran
Closer–Charles Colyott
Dog Days–Graham Masterton
Switch–Jasper Bark
Hypochondria–Martin Marty Zeigler
Gehenna Division, Case #609–Sandra R. Campbell
Golden Age–James Dorr

And, speaking of body enhancements gone bad, let us also recall the “other” anthology, YEAR’S BEST BODY HORROR 2017 (cf. May 8), due out tentatively in late September from Gehenna & Hinnom.  My story in this is called, simply, “Flesh,” one a bit on the surrealistic side concerning a wealthy man who decides to become fat.  More on this, as on ZIPPERED FLESH 3, will be revealed here as it becomes known.

The word from Jay Hartman of Untreed Reads Publishing:  May is National Short Story Month, so we’ll be featuring 30% off all short story collections and anthologies throughout the month of May.  This includes all ebooks, paperbacks, hardcovers and large print titles.  . . .  We will be redoing the homepage in the next day or two to reflect the sale.  Please note that this sale is only in The Untreed Reads Store . . .

and,

SUPER BONUS!  The short story collection that sells the most copies will earn a $50 bonus for the author.   The anthology that sells the most copies will earn a $10 bonus for each contributor.  There’s a minimum of ten copies to be sold to be eligible for the bonus.  This can be any combination of ebook or print.

So the moral is:  There is one book on the list with a story by me — the lead story, in fact, “Appointment in Time” — the anthology YEAR’S END:  14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR.  So if you’ve had a hankering to read dark stories set on New Year’s Eve (or maybe have been looking for inexpensive early Christmas gifts) this is as good a chance to buy it as any.  Just press here (and scroll way, way down to the last title on the list)

OR,

And here’s A LAST-MINUTE BONUS, click on any of the three pictures of Untreed Reads chapbooks by me in the center column, PEDS, I’M DREAMING OF A. . . , or VANITAS, to go to a page with YEAR’S END on it as well.  But also single story chapbooks, it turns out, are on sale too!  This includes a $10 bonus as well for the author of the best seller (hint!), so, if clicking on pictures is inconvenient, just go to my own Untreeds Reads page by pressing here.

Another triple play starts the week (we seem to have had a lot of these this month).  So beginning last Saturday. . . .

1.  As we already know, eco-anthology MOTHER’S REVENGE was not to be out in time for Earth Day as originally planned (see April 11, et al.).  However I did receive payment Saturday, April 22, so things are in process —  and one might add it made for a pleasant Earth Day surprise;

2.  Also in process, CREEPY CAMPFIRE QUARTERLY plans to publish instead with DEADMAN’S TOME continue apace (cf. post just below), with a new revised contract received, signed, and returned today;

3.  And, as part of the daredevil life of the writer, much of last week for me was taken up with a second, meticulous (hopefully) proofreading of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH (for information on which, plus pre-order, see its picture in the center column).  Bleary-eyed, I sent in the final corrections today, only three that I could find and all very minor, so a tip of the hat this afternoon to publisher Elder Signs Press for a job well done so far!  If all else goes well, the novel should be out in paperback form on June 1, with a Kindle edition to come sometime later.

Yes, a lovely spring afternoon, the eve of Easter, and one’s thoughts turn naturally to gentle bunnies.  Candy, jelly beans, chocolate eggs.  But not all that gentle according to watershipdown_violencePhil Brown on CGMAGONLINE.COM!  Yes, from Jan Svankmajer’s ALICE to DONNY DARKO bunnies have their own dark side as well, and let us not forget WATERSHIP DOWN or NIGHT OF THE LEPUS!  Or in short, for one’s Easter viewing enjoyment, please to peruse Mr. Brown’s selections for  “Top 10 Most Frightening Bunnies in Film History” by pressing here.  Which one will you find in your basket this Sunday?

(And a happy Easter to all as well!)

Well, yes, that’s not really what “trifecta” means, not exactly, but here’s another group of three things all bunched up in one post:

1.  THE BOOK OF BLASPHEMOUS WORDS, a prose anthology for which I sent a poem, er, “story in verse” instead (cf. February 4, January 27, et al.) has appeared in my mailbox.  Not surprisingly, my “Tit for Tat,” originally published in James Ward Kirk’s 2015 anthology GHOSTS:  REVENGE, is the only actual poem in the book, but the editors agreed with me that it seemed a perfect fit.  Further info can be found here.

2.  MOTHER’S REVENGE, briefly noted below in Saturday’s triplet re. my story “Swarms” (see April 8, et al.), looks now as though it will slip past its previously announced April 22, Earth Day release, but hopefully will be at least available for pre-order then.  More on this as it develops.

3.  To quote Editor Jay Hartman of Untreed Reads Publishing:  You may have heard that Microsoft is launching a new ebookstore.  This will be part of an upcoming Windows 10 update, and folks will be able to purchase from the MS Digital Bookstore to read on their PC, laptop or tablet devices (like the Microsoft Surface).  I’m pleased to say that thanks to some of the distribution partnerships we have in place, all Untreed Reads titles and those of our distribution clients will be available on the Microsoft platform at launch.  My books in this batch are short story chapbooks I’M DREAMING OF A. . . and VANITAS and the novelette PEDS, all three of which (along with the anthology YEAR’S END:  14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR, with my lead story “Appointment in Time”) can be found/ordered right now by pressing any one of their pictures in the center column, while more background on the new Windows 10 outlet can be found here.

Some fungi, viruses and bacteria have evolved a spine-chilling way of being transmitted from one host to another. They turn their hosts into witless zombies.  Say what?  But this is the subtitle of a decidedly non-fictional article,”Real-Life Zombies that Are Stranger than Fiction” by Chris Baraniuk, published earlier this week on BBC.COM.  To quote Baraniuk further:  The zombies we know from fiction are ferocious, flesh-eating post-humans.  And while such stories have never come true, nature is full of disturbingly similar cases of zombification among plants and animals.  Sometimes the parallels are striking.  And moreover this isn’t something new.  While the “victims” thus far seem to be confined to such lower life forms as insects and spiders, at least one zombie-inducing parasite will attack frogs.

So are humans next?  I have a story, “Swarms,” coming out on Earth Day, April 22, in MOTHER’S REVENGE (Scary Dairy Press, see March 8, et al.), that takes a similar spin from possibly mutated ichneumon wasps — another insect of interest in itself.  But according to Baraniuk, some ants, at least, have been so affected for 48 million years.

Interest whetted?  Then gird your stomach and take another big swig of green beer, then check it out by pressing here.  But do so at your own risk as, to quote its author once more, [t]here is something particularly disconcerting about the idea that an animal’s behaviour could be drastically changed by an infection or parasite, but it is a phenomenon well-established in nature.

Here’s one I blundered on via Facebook’s ELDER SIGNS PRESS site, dated March 9 and touting a two-week only sale on Amazon.  Today being the 16th, I think that would mean there’s a week to go, ending March 23.  So for a happy Saint Patrick’s Day Eve, check out these deals for DARK HORIZONS (Amazon’s price is 12.95, but individual new copy offers start at $9.67 as of this writing) and STREET MAGICK (Amazon price $9.21) and, as a bonus, give the figure on STREET MAGICK’s cover a green suit and hat, and it could look a little bit like a leprechaun.

To check it all out, press here for the ELDER SIGNS PRESS Facebook site, then scroll down just a tad for the sale

“. . . give the figure a green suit and hat, and it could look a bit like a leprechaun.”

announcement with links to Amazon for both books — just under the listing for early orders for TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, in fact, with its own link to Amazon should you wish to indulge while you’re at it!  My dogs in these donnybrooks are “Bottles” for STREET MAGICK, of vampiric doings in the late 1950s Boston area, complete with Cold War paranoia, and “Dark of the Moon” in DARK HORIZONS, of an international expedition to the Moon’s back side, combined with a dollop of H.P. Lovecraft and Russian myth to become dark indeed.  Also (ahem!) while the books haven’t gotten too many reviews on Amazon yet — and let this be a *hint* to readers, if you like a book you do your favorite authors a favor by sending reviews in — one review under each title (cf. “Mr. Vlesco” for the one for STREET MAGICK) singles my stories out for special mention.

Swinging into the life of the writer, two days ago the contract arrived from the “Scary Dairy Press Team” for their eco-horror anthology MOTHER’S REVENGE (see February 12, et al.).  My offering in this is a story I’m fond of, “Swarms,” originally published in Lone Wolf’s 2001 CD ROM anthology BLOODTYPE (and listed in Datlow/Windling’s THE YEAR’S BEST FANTASY AND HORROR — ah, those were the years!) and also in my collection DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET.  A reprint in the recycling bin, as one might have it.  But MOTHER’S REVENGE is mostly to be original fiction, as most anthologies tend to be these days, making my little tale an exception but, if I may say so, a good enough fit for the theme for (my having explained the story’s status in my cover letter) the editors to have accepted it anyway.  Only problem, the contract that came was one designed for original fiction.

What one does then, though, is fairly standard.  This was one I was to print out and send back as hard copy, so what one does is to pen in corrections, initialing each as well as signing the contract as a whole at the bottom (thus, in effect, signing the contract “as corrected,” in theory allowing the publisher then to correct the corrections if need be, then send it back, and so it goes. . . ).  In this, changing a reference from “first rights” to “one-time rights” and lining out wording having to do with no “prior publication” (since for reprints there is, by definition).  And thus yesterday it went into the mail while I emailed the publisher telling them that it was on the way as well as explaining the changes I’d made in case they might cause any problem at their end.  Then, later that evening I got an email back, Wonderful!  Thanks so much!, so apparently we’re still on the path for a hoped-for Earth Day, April 22, release.




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