Archive for the ‘Horror’ Category

Roughly half the movies cited in “13 Best Horror Movies of 2017,” by Orrin Grey on THE-LINE-UP.COM, are also noted in July 5’s post, below, “Best 2017 Horror Films Thus Far” — which figures, if you think about it.  So, THE BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER (check), IT (check), THE GIRL WITH THE GIFTS (check), RAW (check), they’re all there.  THE DEVIL’S CANDY (check).  Six films in all, and now seven are added to represent the year’s second half, such as HAPPY DEATH DAY and BETTER WATCH OUT.  THE BELKO EXPERIMENT. . . .

It’s all just one person’s opinion, of course, but for a fear-filled Christmastide’s viewing it’s one place to start, for more on which press here.

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Last night brought 2017’s closing “Second Thursday Players Pub Spoken Word Series” (cf. October 13, et al.), co-sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild, and featuring three radio play presentations, Lucille Fletcher’s SORRY, WRONG NUMBER; Ray Bradbury’s IT BURNS ME UP!; and by William S. Burroiughs, THE JUNKY’S CHRISTMAS.  Added were musical performances by local group Urban Deer and an open mike session with six takers, in which I appeared fourth.  It was an interesting and exciting evening, a little bit out of the normal run, my part of which was a “First Sundays” reprise of my short short “The Worst Christmas Ever” (see December 4), this time to a largely different audience.  Also as an extra, cover charge proceeds were earmarked this time to the upcoming “Wounded Galaxies Festival 1968:  Paris, Prague, Chicago Festival and Symposium,” scheduled for February next year, more of which will most likely be covered here (and for which in the meantime, including schedules, one can press here).

Then speaking of Christmas, DEADMAN’S TOME CTHULHU CHRISTMAS SPECIAL (for which see December 12, et al.) has proposed a competition, or in Editor/Publisher Jesse Dedman’s words:  We’re approaching the end of 2017, and that means it’s time for a popularity contest.  Now, remember that this is all in good fun.  I personally will sit out on this vote as I enjoy every story in this collection, but please don’t follow my example.  Spread the link out to as many people as possible.  What does the winner get?  C’mon, shouldn’t the reception be the prize?  How about some beer money?  $20 bucks (PayPal) and a certificate.  The contest and voting is care of Patreon and can be reached here.

To remind, MY story (*ahem*) is third on the list, “A Christmas Carnage,” recently cited by “JME” in her review on Amazon (December 12).  And, technically, you don’t even have to have read the book to vote on the stories (though you really should — there’s a link on the voting page as well to where you can buy CTHULHU CHRISTMAS SPECIAL, in my opinion a great book for giving to one’s [twisted] friends too!).  So do consider, buy, and vote (again, that’s “A Christmas Carnage”), okay?

And speaking of things not overly jolly, let us hark back to November 26’s post (see also November 11; January 18 2016, et al.), “Cthulhu Christmas Special Cover Revealed, Publication Set for December 1,” and note that DEADMAN’S TOME CTHULHU CHRISTMAS SPECIAL AND OTHER LOVECRAFTIAN YULETIDE TALES is now out in both Kindle and print.  And it’s also already picked up a review, by “JME” who has noted four stories out of a total 11 for special mention.  AND the first of these mentioned is “A Christmas Carnage,” by meA favorite, this story is aptly named.  Lots of carnage, and in a sick way for a sick purpose.  Who comes up with this stuff?

(*A moment while I sit, quietly proud.*)

To see for oneself, one may press here.  And then click the book’s title above the review for more information, including ordering.  It’s a short book, listed as only 82 pages, but judging from the stories and poems I’ve read thus far, worth it!

The poem, that is, “Even Odds” was on a quietly apocalyptic theme, the end of the world and all.  Then Sunday night word came from Editor A.W. Gifford that we shall all have a chance to read it.  Thank you for submitting “Even Odds” to BÊTE NOIRE.  We are pleased to inform you that your work has been accepted for publication in our fall issue due out in October, 2018.  So it will be a while before it’s published, nearly a year, but hey, remember, it’s apocalyptic (though quietly so, one must emphasize) and we wouldn’t the world to end too soon, now would we?

BÊTE NOIRE specializes in fiction and poems that are, to quote the guidelines, well written, character driven and have a dark bent to them.  We are open to most genres as long as they have a dark side.  This includes horror, dark sci-fi, dark fantasy, crime, mystery or dark humor.  So we might expect, even with Christmas fast approaching, “Even Odds” is unlikely to be exactly jolly.

But then if it were, it probably wouldn’t have been accepted.

Two quick Saturday items, the first of which is the receipt of a large paperback copy of THE SOCIETY OF MISFIT STORIES PRESENTS. . . , VOLUME ONE.  This is the hard copy version of Bards and Sages Publishing’s first year’s collection of longer stories, that is ones hard to place in most electronic magazines, etc., because of their length.  And mine, “By Force and Against the King’s Peace,” a magical courtroom drama originally published in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE, appears first in the book, a result of it winning a readers poll in its electronic version (cf. October 16, January 19, et al.).  For more, one may press here.

Then today also marked the Bloomington Writers Guild’s Year End Party and Annual General Business Meeting Plus Open Mic, for which I presented orange slices for the pitch-in refreshments, and eight very recent, very short, epigrammatic poems for the readings.  One of which, “Wet Work,” was my most recently published poem in the current STAR*LINE (see December 2, et al.), while the others, thus far unpublished, were “From the Zombie Hunters Field Guide:  Tracking the Zombie,” “The Young Transylvanian’s Guide to Dating:  Taking Your Date Home,” “Never Trust a Vampiress,” “What She Learned,” “Oh No She Didn’t?,” “City of Angels,” and “Land of Milk and Honey.”

We may recall from last Friday that voting had started for best story in Astounding Outpost’s NEURAL NETS, UPLINKS, AND WETWARE anthology, in which my story “No Place to Hide” appears (see December 1).  The “prize” for the three top vote-getters is a bit more pay for their stories, but last I looked my story was running in about eighth place.  Well, okay, so in a way it may really be more a popularity contest, at least in part, for Astounding Outpost “regulars” of which I’m not one, but still. . . .

Well, still, votes are nice, and in the words of the immortal Yogi Berra (I think) it ain’t over till it’s over, so herewith be reminded that voting was to be for one week only, making today the LAST DAY.  So, should one have the urge, one may read “No Place to Hide” by pressing here, or, more to the immediate point, the page for voting can be found here.

Also, just below (December 4) I noted that bargain prices for my novel-in-stories TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH were still available on Amazon, both in print and in Kindle (for which *ahem* one may press the book’s picture in the center column).  A quick check today shows that substantial discounts are also to be found from Barnes and Noble, at least in print (though NOOK copies are also available for $8.49, marked down from $8.99), notably one copy for as low as $8.98.  Perhaps your favorite book dealer has discounted copies too.  Or, in any event, to check out B & N’s prices (and check as well for special sales which may apply, one of which that ends December 10 may be good for an additional 25 percent off one item with the code GETGIFTING), though with fewer reviews on their site, one need but press here.

For those who may have a hankering to give a read to TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, the novel-in-stories of which you may have been seeing a bit about in some past posts, Amazon has been offering fairly substantial discounted prices for some while now.  A check today (lSunday), in fact, saw the print edition offered for only $9.36 (that’s compared to a cover price of $14.95) and the Kindle edition at $6.29 (compared to $8.99), though I have no idea how long these bargains may last.  I also don’t know how that will affect the royalty that comes to me, if at all, but — especially with Stoker voting season coming up soon, for those reading this who might be members of HWA — now might be a propitious time to buy.  And that goes double should you be searching for that perfect, but bizarre gift for a horror-loving (or dystopic science fiction, or dark romance, or far-future science fantasy) special friend.  Just click on its picture in the center column, or else press here.

Then, speaking of Christmas, while I missed November’s Bloomington Writers Guild “First Sunday Prose Reading & Open Mic,” Sunday afternoon brought the December edition and, unfortunately, last to be hosted by Boxcar Books (or, capitalism strikes again and small bookstores tend not to last forever, though part of their mission may be revived at a new location).  Be that as it may, the featured readers were Shana Ritter who read from a just completed novel about the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in the late 15th century, this part told from the point of view of a teen-age girl in one of the affected families, and Writers Guild founding member and prior chairperson Patsy Rahn with a portion of a short fantasy called “The Reality Game.”  Snacks were served, then following custom it was time for walk-on readers of which I was third of four with a seasonal story originally published in DARK JESTERS (Novello Publishers, 2006), “The Worst Christmas Ever,” from the point of view of a not-too-competent Santa’s elf about . . . well . . . a pretty bad Christmas.

Two items today, the first that the current issue of STAR*LINE arrived Friday afternoon with a three-line mermaid-vampiress poem, “Wet Work,” by me on page 12.  Hidden, where one would not expect her, look for her down in the depths on the right.  STAR*LINE is the publication of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) which also runs an annual Rhysling competition for speculative poetry.  More information on that and STAR*LINE can be found on their website by pressing here.

Then ASTOUNDING OUTPOST (for more on which see just below, December 1) announces that a Kindle edition of NEURAL NETS, UPLINKS, AND WETWARE is now up and on sale for 99 cents for a limited time.  They don’t say for how long the sale will last, so to take advantage one should press here now.  Also don’t forget you can vote for my story, “No Place to Hide,” by using the link in the post below and, as a bonus, as it’s third in the contents in the Kindle edition one can read it in its entirety in the sample pages at the Amazon site (much more readable there than in the original web publication, which one can also find linked to at the end of the post just below).

“No Place to Hide,” a tale of interstellar war and the horrifying fates of some who fight it.  Space opera, maybe, but also a tale that fit the bill as described above — or at least so was the decision of the ASTOUNDING OUTPOST editors!  But there was a catch concerning payment, that all dogs in this fight would not be equal.  Or as the acceptance email put it:  “The voting to determine prizes will occur during the first week of December.  Be sure to let your friends and family know so they can vote for your story.”

Such was the post here November 13.  My story, “No Place to Hide,” originally published in SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW dated Summer 1991, had been reprinted in ASTOUNDING OUTPOST’s “Neural Nets, Uplinks, and Wetware” issue.  And now it is time for readers and fans to vote for their favorite story in the issue (e.g., *hint* “No Place to Hide”) because, to quote the publisher: Remember the top three fan favorites win cash and treasure.

What does that mean [to continue the quote]?  If you’re a fan pick your favorite story.  IF YOU’RE AN AUTHOR LET YOUR FANS KNOW ABOUT THE POLL.  Share it on social media, harass your neighbors, and beg your family to vote for your story.  We’re all family here, aren’t we?  But do not tarry, voting is only open for one week, ending next Thursday December 7.

So to vote for “No Place to Hide,” one need but press here, scroll down until you find the title, and vote, vote, vote (actually I don’t know what happens if someone tries to vote more than once, so why take a chance, ask your friends to vote too instead).  Remember . . . sufficient votes mean “cash and treasure,” pour moi!  (Not a lot of cash and treasure, maybe, but easily outstripping the average mammoth royalty individual stories of mine in other publications tend to receive.  And anyway every bit counts.)

Also, if you haven’t yet, to read “No Place to Hide” yourself press here.

A quick reminder from Editor/Publisher Weldon Burge that, while waiting for the Smart Rhino Publications “countdown sale” to begin (see just below, November 29) there’s still, as of this writing, a little over eleven hours left to enter a Goodreads drawing to get a free paperback copy of ZIPPERED FLESH 3: YET MORE TALES OF BODY ENHANCEMENTS GONE WRONG — including (ahem) my story in it, “Golden Age.”   Feeling lucky?  Press here.




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