Archive for the ‘Horror’ Category

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 tomorrow 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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Once upon a time, a long time ago, I wrote a story called “The Plant-Sitter.”  The sitter in question, hired to take care of an exotic plant while its owner attends a horror convention, in part was a homage to the 1960 Roger Corman film LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, specifically when at the end, the hiree apparently now deceased, the hirer tries to remember her name.  “Audrey something?”  The story was published in the Fall 2004 BOOK OF DARK WISDOM by William Jones, who later founded Elder Signs Press, and who I subsequently worked with on an idea I had for a novel-in-stories about a far-future world of the “Tombs.”  For various reasons that project got delayed, but eventually under new editor/publisher Chuck Zaglanis, thirteen years later, the book was published as TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.

So these things are connected.  The Corman movie begat a 1960s retro rock musical in 1982, and that in turn was made into a movie four years after, in 1986, which I also have seen.  And now — one of the perks of living in a university town, where slightly off the beaten track films and theatre are nurtured — I had a chance to see the play on stage last night in an Indiana University Summer Theatre production.

For local readers the play can be seen on various dates through July 28.  For those who like horror in urban settings (a flower shop in New York’s “skid row”?) and dark, dark humor, all I can say is that it’s a delight.  It does have, yes, a carnivorous plant as well as, like most musicals, innocent lovers — or those at least who start off with some innocence.  Also it adds a sadistic dentist, and a Greek chorus-like trio of girl pop singers (early 1960s style, remember) who’re not averse to demanding tips to give strangers directions — to get to the flower shop, that is — although greed and materialism infect most of the other players as well.  Or in the plant’s case (named “Audrey II,” after the not quite entirely guileless ingenue) perhaps it’s more properly gluttony.

Anyhow I greatly recommend it.

Then a quick note on yesterday afternoon’s post on “11 Space Movies for Apollo 11,” it turns out that the wily SHORT LIST may have sent that particular feature as, apparently, a special treat for its newsletter subscribers — which means that the link may not have worked for all who tried it.  There doesn’t seem to be much I can do about that, but I can give a list of the movies alone.  Thus, from number one to eleven:  2001:  A SPACE ODYSSEY, APOLLO 13, INTERSTELLAR, FIRST MAN, HIDDEN FIGURES, CAPRICORN ONE, THE RIGHT STUFF, GRAVITY, THE MARTIAN, MOON, SPACE CAMP.

Don’t be shy!  The kickstarter for DISCORDANT LOVE BEYOND DEATH continues apace (see July 5, et al.), albeit a bit slowly.  Such is life, is it not?  But swag awaits, as well as good reading.  Beer mats and ball caps, plus digital copies of the book as well as in paper, plus special editions with two bonus stories for those who act quickly.  But act one must, this special promotion ends July 31!

A thought provoking dark fantasy anthology where Love follows Death, in the words of the publisher, and where that’s not always a bad thing.  The blurb continues:  Twenty Two fabulous inspired short stories, from a fresh line-up of authors, ensure that there will be something for everyone, and with many being on the macabre side of things, this anthology makes the perfect counter-programming read for those who want something a little different come Valentines Day.  A full contents page can be found on the kickstarter site by pressing here.  Other information as well includes associated merchandise — bookmarks, T-shirts — along with more literary rewards for various levels of support, plus pictures and short bios of the authors.

And may one remind, a good part of what’s pledged goes into the payment of us, the authors, for tales including my ghost story/mystery “The Sending,” of hurricanes, crime, lighthouses, and abandoned Spanish forts on the Florida coast in the 1930s.

Ah, the things publishers may fail to tell us.  So Many details, so many little things to be completed, can one be surprised if some fall through the cracks?  Hark us now back to June 27 (which cf., below), where ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE, the anthology of one hundred flash stories by one hundred writers (more or less) was about to be published.  Or let the pu41yTGgYfGgL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_blisher’s own blurb tell us:  So many stories!  ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE is the third volume in the Flash in a Flash series of crowdfunded celebrations of short-short fiction.  104 Authors.  101 Stories.  No Holds Barred. Inside you’ll find brief but stirring explorations of every kind of story you care to imagine.  From debut authors to celebrated veterans, this book’s writers bring you short glimpses into their imaginations.  It’s like speed-dating to find your new favorite authors.  Dip in and enjoy!  Then, though not reported here, another email on July 5 with mention of payment and/or author’s copies, but that we should stand by for more details.

But wait, what of the book?  Have we missed a notice that publication has actually happened?  And where did that blurb I just found to quote above come from?  Well . . . what one might think of as a missing detail, but yes, ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE has indeed been published, dated by Amazon as on June 24, that is three days before it was on the verge of. . . .

So a slip on the date of a few days happens, a date is given but physical copies are not quite there yet, things of that sort are common.  But as one of the authors, my story in it as we might remember being “The Junkie,” a saga of cruel streets and drugs and one city’s solving of its zombie problem, I would have been curious to know.  Availability is only in paperback, at least for now, but for those interested and/or possible purchase (or just to see that, yes, it is there!) one may press here.

We were told to watch for it on June 21 and now it is here, the kickstarter for DISCORDANT LOVE BEYOND DEATH (see also, with table of contents, April 30), the book itself to be published on Valentine’s Day 2020.  This is the one for, to go back to the original call, short creepy & emotional stories based around the idea of love evading the limitations of life & death.  . . .  The genre will be a mix of ghost stories / horror / thriller and erotic fiction, cross genre stories are welcome.  In my case the story is a reprint originally published in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE in December 1997, about gangsters and a ghost-inhabited lighthouse in early 1930s Florida (also reprinted in my first collection, STRANGE MISTRESSES, which one may click on in the center column).  But more to the point, the kickstarter itself offers as prizes not just the book itself but a rather extensive selection of swag.

For example (and note, the money is British although I’m sure there’s a way to covert it if needed), for £89 : Full Monty backers package, comes with everything in the Essential Merchandise Collection, plus a baseball cap, second glow-in-the-dark T-Shirt, engraved shot glass, engraved whisky tumbler, 8 bookmarks and heat reactive magic Mug. Also comes with a standard paperback edition of the finished anthology and digital versions of other two back catalogue books. Group discounted at 10% of regular price.  Other choices include such things as a numbered, signed by the authors edition; your name inserted in one of the stories; a full-page ad at the end of the book  . . .  or to see for oneself, check it out here.

And remember, if contemplating an offer, the money pledged will also help (ahem!) pay the authors!

Vampire movies might feel a little overplayed in our post-Twilight era — but in all honesty who doesn’t love a good vampire flick?  There’s just something so cool and thrilling about an immortal blood-sucking creature prowling through the night.  The folklore surrounding these supernatural terrors has been around for centuries, so you know the ghoulish bloodsuckers aren’t going away anytime soon.

And that’s what we’re here to talk about — the scary kind of vampires.  So if you’re looking for some Twilight-y melodrama, I’m sorry to say you’ve come to the wrong place.  But if you’re willing to stay, we invite you to check out these 19 spooky vampire movies that will make your blood run cold.  Grab the garlic and start watching.

So I have an especially soft spot for these, a couple maybe not really on my must re-watch list, but most I think should not be missed.  A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT, reviewed here below (see January 11, also January 15 2015), or ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE (see June 26 2014), for instance.  Or how about the original versions of NOSFERATU (1922) or DRACULA (1931), or to be a bit funky the meta-“the-making-of” film SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE?  Or possibly CRONOS (1993), Guillermo del Toro’s first full-length movie?

The list goes on, the Swedish LET THE RIGHT ONE IN as well as its (not as good, in my opinion, but still worth a look) American remake.  BYZANTIUM.  THIRST. . .  But see the rest for yourself by checking out “19 Vampire Movies that will Make Your Blood Run Cold,” by Aliza Polkes & Xavier Piedra on THE-LINE-UP.COM, by pressing here.

2013, the year that brought us the films GRAVITY and DESPICABLE ME 2, as well as in which my collection THE TEARS OF ISIS was published. And what should I run across this afternoon, through sheer serendipity, but an interview of me dated May 7 that year on LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS (“Reviewing Fiction One Happy Ever After at a Time”)?  At that time THE TEARS OF ISIS was about to be published in roughly a week by Isis4_2Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing — pre-orders on Amazon were being taken and five free copies being raffled on Goodreads — although the cover was not the one shown in the center column. The cover change only came a year after, acknowledging TEARS having won a Stoker(R) nomination. While other concerns were about a book that was already planned, but had suffered some setbacks in terms of finding a publisher for it:  James has a series of short stories he’s been writing set on a far future, dying Earth in and around a vast necropolis called The Tombs.  Something more than a dozen of these have been published in various places, including three (two reprints and one for the first time) in THE TEARS OF ISIS, “The Ice Maiden,” “Mara’s Room,” and “River Red” (another new one, “Raising the Dead,” is also scheduled for later this year in the White Cat Publications steampunk anthology AIRSHIPS AND AUTOMATONS). . . .

So it’s not that long a time really, is it?  Other “standard” topics are covered too:  How did you first become a writer?  Advice for new writers?  If interested in how the writing life looked at least for a moment back then, the interview as a whole can be read here.

We may recall that things were an itty bitty (sorry) bit behind for ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE (see May 30, 14, et al.). This is (to quote myself from the 30th) the compendium of “100 Stories by 100 Authors,” each story no more than 1000 words long, edited by Dani J. Caili and Jason Brick and with my story in it a 750-word epic, “The Junkie,” about current day medico-sociological problems . . . and zombies.  Originally planned to ship in June, there had been delays necessitating a speed-up in authors’ receiving and correcting proofs in a hope to catch up.  In other words, “the writing life” as we know it and love it.

But then, today, from Co-Editor/ Publisher Jason Brick, I’m putting the final files to the publisher today and should begin shipping this weekend.  YAY!  I’ll also be paying contributors beginning early next week.  YAY!  So technically, Sunday being the last day of June, by golly it is (sort of) shipping in June . . . albeit the first day a shipper might come to pick packages up would be July 1.  But still that’s not bad and I know I’ll be anxious to see a copy — as well as get paid!  So to others who’re waiting on copies too, it shouldn’t be long now.

More to appear here as it becomes known. . .

‘Tis the season.  We’ve one kickstarter to start in just a few days for DISCORDANT LOVE BEYOND DEATH, with my story, “The Sending” (cf. June 21, April 30).  More on this one as soon as it’s live.  But then in a few more weeks, in mid July, according to Editor/Publisher Jaleta Clegg there’ll be another for BEER-BATTERED SHRIMP FOR COGNITIVE RUMINATIONS (a.k.a. THE SOUL?), with my story in that one a 75-word micro, “As Fine as Frogs’ Hair” (see June 14).  Both anthologies should be fun so please be generous; we the authors who fill up those pages hope some of the largess will end up in our pay.  For updates on both, keep watching these pages.

This time I’ve swiped the headline from the label over the video itself, encased in an article by Sara Chodosh on POPSCI.COM, “We Finally Have Footage of a Giant Squid in U.S. Waters.”  The waters themselves are the Gulf of Mexico and the squid in question far from fully grown.  This squid comes at the camera head-on, so it’s difficult to tell exactly SQUIDDOhow large it is.  The NOAA researchers think it’s around 10 to 12 feet long, which would make it but a wee juvenile in the giant squid world — adults can grow to staggering lengths of 43 feet.  That’s like stacking more than seven average adult American men on top of one another.  And there are hopes that further attempts might snag pictures of some of the really big ones, but as monsters go (see post just below) it’s still worth a glance, for which press here.
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(Incidentally for giant squid fans see also, below, January 6 2016 and December 17 2015, the latter of these with some interesting links too.)



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