Archive for the ‘Horror’ Category

This one’s a short note, a bit of an early taste of UNREAL (cf. March 22, 19, et al.), the The Great Void Books anthology that includes my novelette “The Garden.”  Quoth the blurb:  In these 20 short stories and novelettes, there’s magic, time travel, a gravity defying machine, resurrection, selkies, pirates, a talking monkey-god, aliens, vampires, unknown particle physics, AI and so much more!  Each story also comes with a brilliant illustration.  The special price is valid for only a limited time.  So get your copy now!

Intrigued?  Press here.

This goes back to Tuesday, March 24, and an email from Michelle McLachlin from Eerie River Publishing:  Thank you so much for your patience.  We really enjoyed the story and I would like to officially notify you that it has been accepted into the anthology IT CALLS FROM THE FOREST:  VOLUME 2. Congratulations!  The story was titled “The Calm,” a reprint originally published in NEW MYTHOS LEGENDS (Marietta Publishing, 1999) and also in my 2001 collection, STRANGE MISTRESSES.  But then, the next sentence:  Attached you will find the contract, please review, complete all the highlighted sections including your name and story title, sign, and return this as soon as possible.  You will be getting a full page after your story for your bio, so please also email me an updated bio with any social media links you would like included.  No problem, of course, to provide a bio, but the label on the attachment said “DOCX.”  The Cave Computer, the “older” machine the coronavirus lockdown makes me use (the local library being closed) does not like DOCX.

This is not the first time the balky laptop has stood between me and a story contract, see, e.g., March 24 below where “Midnight Dark” and SHALLOW WATERS involved PDF translations (after an RTF attempt had resulted in an over bulky, multi-megabyte attachment) and ultimately photographing a printed out version signed extra darkly with a felt tip pen.  So here again a PDF switch allowed the contract to be read — which in turn uncovered two clauses that needed reworking — but was ultimately solved with a dodge as old as the laptop itself:  a TXT file.  Ugly, but workable.  And, happy ending, the printed-in signature added with other fill-the-blank items, the contract went back about mid afternoon, roughly two days after the initial acceptance.

Oh, those pesky vampires, you can’t get away from them, you can’t keep your blood when they’re around.  This time it’s a poem, another three-liner about the overly-gluttonous mermaid vampiress who, this time, hasn’t gotten the word that people should not congregate at beaches — at least for the time being.  The title: “A Ray Of Sun,” and just now accepted by Editor Vince Gotera for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association’s magazine STAR*LINE, or to quote the source, I’d like to accept “A Ray of Sun.”  Could you please let me know . . . still available?

So I sent back my “yes” and will post more news as further details become available.

So today the governor of Indiana has ordered residents, with a few exceptions, to stay holed up at home until April 6.  That is, for two weeks (well actually thirteen days), with April 6 also the tentative date for the public library to reopen (see March 16, 14) — though when the time comes both closures could of course be extended.  Meanwhile the writing life, even if curtailed, continues.

Thus yesterday, from Crystal Lake Publishing Editor Joe Mynhardt, came the email:  I’d love to publish “Midnight Sun” in the next SHALLOW WATERS anthology, out around Mid-April. . . , but with one small catch.  We may recall that “Midnight Sun” scored last fall in a three-way tie for third place in Crystal Lake’s Flash Fiction Contest for “Travel Horror” (cf. October 15, 11, et al.), part of the prize being prospective future publication.  So the time has come, but the catch was an up-front request for possible editorial changes.

Well, that’s part of the writing life too and, as I looked the story over, I did see one thing that bothered me about it, a passage justifying the title that otherwise didn’t seem to make that much sense.  So I changed the passage — but also the title, the story of a Los Angeles vampire’s Christmas journey to the far north now renamed “Midnight Dark.”  Then a round of small changes from the publisher’s side, my okaying some, re-changing some others, all taking far longer than they otherwise might have due to the underpowered Cave Computer at this end.

But then nobody said it would be easy, right?  The changes went in Monday night, a contract came today (more problems for the Cave Computer), and a photograph of the signed contract plus an RTF copy of “Midnight Dark” with its final changes went back to Crystal Lake this evening.  The book, when it comes out, will be SHALLOW WATERS:  A FLASH FICTION ANTHOLOGY, VOL. 5, with more to come here as it becomes known.

The process continues, with UNREAL (see March 19, just below) and my story “The Garden” available now for pre-order on Kindle, for which one can press here.  Also the contents have been revealed, or as Amazon has it:

UNREAL is the inaugural anthology of The Great Void Books celebrating the sheer awesomeness of speculative fiction.

The twenty stories featured in this anthology have been selected after careful consideration.  Each story is set in its own independent world.  So this single book is your ticket to twenty diverse lands where mind-bending things happen.

Speculative Fiction is a vast genre, but we have got delicacies from almost every subgenre.  We have got AI, magic, talking monkeys, time travel, oppressive governments, ancient temples, weird futuristic tech . . . even aliens!*  These short stories (btw none of them are very short) are some really serious works of art.  And since this is an anthology, you’ll get to meet a bunch of some really terrific authors. . . .

The stories featured:

A Door For Miriam by Jeff Sullins
The Hidden Entity by John Campbell
Monaro Goes On A Walkabout by Steve Carr
The Runners by Lorenzo Crescentini
Blood Of The Swan by Vonnie Winslow Crist
The Wizards Of Snails And Woodlice by David Donachie
The Garden by James Dorr
Camp Napanoo by Angelique Fawns
Checkpoint by Elana Gomel
Undo by John Haas
The Monkey’s Tale by Carlton Herzog
Dark Wings by Tom Jolly
The Alien Emissary by Shawn Klimek
Dottie by W. T. Paterson
Full Integration by Sophie Jupillat Posey
Beyond The Spires by Frank Sawielijew
Abrama’s End Game by David Shultz
Sunbringer by Abiran Raveenthiran
The Gale At Quiet Cove by Austen Worley
Food For The Moon by Todd Zack

And  finally a new request came today for a biographical statement and picture, items not expected to be needed quite so soon.  Or as Editor Aditya Deshmukh emailed:  Please send me your bio and author photo ASAP (like today, if possible).  Sorry for such a short deadline.  I was thinking of putting together a Who’s Who booklet of accepted authors, but found a better way to do this within the anthology.

So, not to worry, these things were on hand and off they went this afternoon, with more to come here as it becomes known.
.

*Also, not to forget, cutting edge invertebrate biochemistry.

A short note on the Writing Life, and a “cave computer” coda.  The first is a new update on The Great Void Books UNREAL anthology, featuring my biochemical horror novelette “The Garden” (cf. March 7, et al.).  To quote Editor/Publisher Aditya Deshmukh, I’m currently formatting the first edition.  Will send it in a day or two.  Amazon listing has also been made.  It’s currently under review and should go online in next 72 hours.  (I will email again when it’s up.)  So new news should come around the weekend and, internet connections (and the struggling cave computer) holding up, will be reported here.

Then a second note, while I now have to cut and paste blog reports onto Facebook myself, they still presumably go automatically to my LinkedIn page.  I say “presumably” because, through the mysteries of technology and “older” computers, I’m unable to get onto LinkedIn myself and most likely won’t until the public library, with its current century computing equipment, reopens.  So those who may be reading this on LinkedIn, and others, an apology.  I’ve received several requests lately to join my network, but I’m unable to act on them, so if you’ve been trying to do so and I haven’t responded that’s why.  But once post-coronavirus conditions have hopefully normalized somewhat, please just send LinkedIn a new request then.

(Triana plans to sleep through the day herself)

The full title actually is TWISTED FATE VOL. I:  APPLES RED AS BLOOD (cf. January 6), to be published by Fantasia Divinity, whose magazine of the same title we’ve met before.  The call had been for retellings and retakes on the fairy tale “Snow White,” with no nods to Walt Disney (at least ones that might cause copyright problems).  We want you to elaborate on the original short tale, give depth and feeling to the characters, motivations, desires, hope, and despair.  The stories can be told from the POV of any character, not just Snow White.  Reprints being okay, I sent a tale from the “Tombs” far future, dying Earth universe called “River Red,” originally published in the anthology ESCAPE CLAUSE (Ink Oink Art, Inc., 2009) and also appearing in my collection THE TEARS OF ISIS.

That was last September with the acceptance coming in January this year.  And so the wheels turned deliberately, slowly, the myriad details of publication each in its own time being addressed until, at last, today, the contract arrived, was read by me, electronically signed, and sent back this afternoon to Editor/Publisher Madeline Stout.  As for “River Red,” the names have been changed along with the setting and a ghoul added as well as, maybe, a sort of zombie, the ending cribbed from (I admit it!) the Greek tragedian Euripides (well out of copyright by now), but there is still a magic mirror.  Or a mirror, anyway.  So while maybe not obvious, the roots of Snow White are there.

Or more to the point, the Writing Life continues.  An edited copy will come next for my approval or possible re-tweaking, maybe an updated bio sent. . . .  A date for publication set?  More to be here as it becomes known.

The best laid plans, and all that.  Right?  We know by now that stuff happens, books are projected for certain release dates, but. . . .  So the email came from Aditya Deshmukh of The Great Void Books Saturday, about their upcoming anthology UNREAL (see February 6, December 17).  Publication had been expected in a week, on March 14, but . . . therefore we are postponing the schedule . . . and ask for your understanding.

So that’s the bad news, but the good news is this.  It’s for only two weeks, with pre-ordering still coming on the 14th and the book itself to be out March 28.  And looking to the near future beyond that, I’ll also be running a series of interviews to feature our authors.  I’ll send you the interview questions soon.

So my part in this is a 10,000-word novelette, “The Garden,” first published in an edited version in chapbook form by Damnation Books in 2009, more about which — plus interview info — as it becomes known.

Humor pervaded the featured portion of this evening’s Writers Guild “First Wednesday Spoken Word Series” at local tavern Bears Place (cf. February 5, et al.) with storyteller Nell Weatherwax opening with two pieces on her first amateur comedy club presentation and an up-coming radio gig morphing into the eccentricities of her father; stand-up comedian Shanda Sung on the everyday challenges of being a 35-year-old woman and mother of three kids; and Mary Armstrong-Smith with “I Teach at the Walgreen’s” and “Watering the Flower,” the latter concerning a childhood memory about family relations and an incident with her mother and grandmother and a pet puppy, all presentations extremely funny but with their serious sides as well.  Then, along with musical guest Trillium, a well-populated open mike portion brought nine readers, with me number four with another in my “Casket Girls” series, “Fit for a King,” with the irrepressible Claudette and more poetically-minded Yvonne discussing the pre-Mardi Gras carnaval tradition of sharing a king cake.




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