Archive for the ‘Horror’ Category

So I’d been invited to be in this reading group discussion that brought up the possible influence of “classical” vampire movies on what a character would know about vampires, given the time the book takes place.  This brought up (on my part) some details about the Universal Pictures sequels to the Bela Lugosi version of DRACULA and how, wandering a bit off topic, I had been introduced to these myself via Saturday night horror movie shows on TV.  But checking some details brought me farther off topic to the shows themselves and their often iconic-in-their-own-right hosts.  Me, I liked “Zacherley” (a.k.a. John Zacherle) after he’d moved from Philadelphia to New York.  And from there I was brought, via LISTVERSE.COM, to “Top 10 TV Horror Hosts” by Dan Lepore, for which press here (and note as well, most come with with clips from the shows themselves, for which be especially sure to scroll down to number 4 to witness Maila Nurmi’s 1954 opening of THE VAMPIRA SHOW).  And not only that, but here’s an extra (more serendipity), Zacherleys 1958 performance of  the song “Dinner With Drac,” for which press here!

Then one more note, having recently pointed out discounts on B & N and Amazon for TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, for UK readers in particular (albeit I’m giving US prices here) it’s being offered at 29 percent off its $14.95 list price, at $10.52, on the Book Depository, for which press here.  At least for the time being.

One quick note and one just for fun.  The quickie, as of Sunday a new review is up on Amazon for TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, by Andrew Suhrer, a fellow author.  And it’s for five stars too!  In fact, all reviews both here and on B&N (three reviews there) are 5-star reviews, if I may so brag.  (Though to keep myself honest, there are two on Goodreads that aren’t quite as glowing.)  Nevertheless, for the ones on Amazon one may press here.

And then the fun part, fellow poet and Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association member (and one-time editor of the SFPA journal STAR*LINE) Marge Simon posted a challenge a little while back, to compose a poem of twenty lines or less using the words “Vermin,” “Theremin,” “Decision,” and “Vitamin,” for e-publication in SFPA’s newsletter.  The best, also, would get an ice cream prize.  A half dozen or so of us responded and while, no, the prize-winner wasn’t mine, it was one of two that got honorable mentions.

Alas, I don’t think there’s a link to see all the poems if you’re not a member, but for more on the SFPA (see also, March 29, 22, et al.) one may press here.  And to read at least my poem, it’s right below:

MUSICAL SUMMER

Vermin infested the theremin,
roaches by the look of them,
probably the same that invaded the drugstore’ s
vitamin counter
two weeks before.
So now these super bugs
bursting with good health and bad decisions,
operating the instrument from inside,
wailed their hatred of all that was human
out beyond the stars.

 

Enjoy, enjoy!

Though as it happens, I’ve seen most myself.  Nevertheless . . . SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE, THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE, DRACULA:  PAGES FROM A VIRGIN’S DIARY, PONTYPOOL, what do these titles all have in common?  They’re all on the list, courtesy of THE LINEUP (the-line-up.com), of 13 DISTURBINGLY UNDERRATED HORROR MOVIES OF THE 2000S THAT YOU NEED TO SEE by Catherine Phelan.  As Ms Phelan explains:  It’s hard to know when you’re living in the middle of a cultural hotspot.  Looking back at the first decade of this century, there waslg_f38df2c09b90-underratedmovies2000s_pagesfromavirginsdiary something brewing in the horror world.  From THE DESCENT and THE RING to LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, filmmakers of the 2000s took advantage of new special effects, quieter stories, and newly global anxieties to create some of the most terrifying horror movies ever.

But for all the films like DRAG ME TO HELL that received rave reviews and are still remembered fondly by horror fans, there are a number of movies that slipped through the cracks.  Let’s bring back some love to the underrated or underseen horror movies of the 2000s — we promise they’ll scare the pants off of you.

To be honest, I didn’t think all of them were that obscure, but then maybe that’s me — and certainly some, like the Dracula film noted above, a ballet version of the Stoker classic(!), have been a little bit out of the mainstream.  And also, technically, it’s not really a list of thirteen, but rather ten with three “Honorable Mentions” added after, but however you count them to see the list press here.

And then there’s also a bonus link between films 6 and 7, DARK WATER and THE WOODS, to Rob Fee’s 11 CRIMINALLY UNDERRATED HORROR MOVIES YOU SHOULD WATCH IMMEDIATELY — and with only one duplication, I think!  This one can be reached by pressing here.

It’s either going to be a big, big book or a lot of the stories will be rather short, but Gehenna & Hinnom’s upcoming YEAR’S BEST BODY HORROR (cf. May 8) looks like it’s going to be exciting reading.  Set for a publication date of September 30, here is the table of contents along with the cover, as released Wednesday evening by Editor C.P. Dunphey.

Table of Contents:

(Note:  We have decided to go by alphabetical order by author for the stories, since there are just so many high quality pieces.)

Foreword by C.P. Dunphey
Introduction by ?????

STORIES:
“SLOBBER” by Shaun Avery
“ERUPTION” by Charlotte Baker
“DEVIL’S TEARS” by Shadrick Beechem
“AN ANGEL AMONG US” by David Beers
“HUMAN-KINGS” by Austin Biela
“WRIGGLERS” by Chantal Boudreau*
“LITTLE MONSTERS” by Ed Burkley
“TOM’S THUMB” by K.M. Campbell
“FAMILY DINNER” by A. Collingwood
“THE ITCH” by Stuart Conover
“THE BLIND ASSASSIN” by Damien Donnelly
“FLESH” by James Dorr*
“A NORMAL SON” by Spinster Eskie
“GAS MASK BABY” by Santiago Eximeno
“HUMAN BODY” by Balázs Farkas*
“FRESH FACE” by Tarquin Ford
“MEET THE WIFE” by Kenneth C. Goldman*
“MADMAN ACROSS THE WATER” by James Harper
“MANTIS” by Kourtnea Hogan
“CICADA” by Carl R. Jennings
“TETANUS” by Christopher Vander Kaay
“GRUB” by Alexander Lloyd King
“MY LOVE BURNS WITH A GREEN FLAME” by Thomas C. Mavroudis
“THE FACE IN THE MIRROR” by Sean McCoy
“PORPHYRIA” by John S. McFarland
“THINGS” by Rick McQuiston
“THE FLESH GARDENER” by Jeremy Megargee
“EAR WAX” by G.A. Miller
“THE FACE” by Kurt Newton*
“BATTLEGROUND” by Drew Nicks
“WHIZZ-BANG ATTACK” by Sergio Palumbo
“THE ALWAYS WATCHING EYE” by Gary Power
“HOT FLASHES” by Jenya Joy Preece
“THE IMPLOSION OF A GASTROCRAT” by Frank Roger*
“NO STRINGS” by Josh Shiben*
“BABEL” by Ian Steadman
“A POUND OF FLESH” by Edmund Stone
“CONDITIONED APOCALYPSE” by Aric Sundquist
“LENGTH” by David Turton
“NATURAL GROWTH” by Mijat Vujačić*
“UTTER NO EVIL” by Joseph Watson
“DOWN WHERE HER NIGHTMARES DWELL” by Sheldon Woodbury

* means reprint

And in an ongoing news note, both Amazon and Barnes & Noble are back to offering pretty deep print copy discounts for TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, with the B&N price at $11.28 (compared to a full price of $14.95) and Amazon at $10.65, 25 and 29 percent off, respectively.  (For electronic prices, B&N’s Nook is at $8.49, Amazon’s Kindle $8.99.)  I don’t know if this is an August thing, or if it will even last through the month — or extend beyond.  However, if interested, Barnes & Noble can be checked out here and Amazon here.

On both sites there may be individual sellers as well with copies at even lower prices.  But if you find the bargain you want, and like the book too, please consider posting a review of TOMBS at both locations.

As posted just below there will not be a September “First Sunday Prose Readings” scheduled because the Bloomington Arts Fair, and with it the Writers Guild’s “Spoken Word Stage,” will be on that weekend.  And now a preliminary schedule has been released, with me slotted for a half hour of “horror fiction” at 3:30 Sunday, September 3.  The reading most likely will be from TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, probably the same program I offered at NASFiC last month (cf. July 13).  Then, as we already know from the post below, I will also be a featured reader when First Sunday Prose resumes on October 1, most likely again with a story-chapter from TOMBS, but a different one this time.

In other news, PayPal has apparently adopted a policy this year of refusing to tell people when they’ve received payments, one would like to presume for good purpose.  Keeping us on our toes, for instance, or maybe trying to discourage small businesses from reporting earnings to the IRS.  I’ve asked (well . . . complained to) PayPal about this for which they’ve responded thus far by not bothering to get back to me on it.  Be that as it may, today I’ve discovered — only four days late! — that another mammoth royalty payment has been received by me, of nearly a whopping three times as much as the amount the PayPal folk skimmed off for themselves (to cover, presumably, the cost of providing such services as not emailing me that I’d received it).

For how much?  From whom?  For what story and where?  Well, as is my custom, let’s let that be secret to prevent embarrassment on all sides, but this is for an anthology that’s been in print for a few years now, and for which the initial payment had been refreshingly substantial (well, for an individual story, shall we say in a highish two figures?).

What is this about nine-day acceptances (see “Needle-Heat Gun,” July 29)?  We may recall England’s GRIEVOUS ANGEL, publisher among other things of my Rhysling-nominated poem “On the Other Hand,” on King Kong’s doomed romance with Fay Wray (cf. September 5, March 30 2015).  So on that same day, July 29, just nine days before today as it happens, I sent GRIEVOUS ANGEL a flash submission for which has just come from GA-White-Red copyeditor Charles Christian:  Another fantastic story — love it & will use it.  Has that wonderful mix of quirky with a human touch.  And so for the first acceptance for August, a new story, “Matches,” the 650-word “slightly absurdist” tale of a frustrated young man who hopes to set the world on fire.

Then yesterday brought the coming fall’s opening “First Sunday Prose Reading & Open Mic” (cf. May 7, et al.), co-sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild and local bookstore Boxcar Books, with featured readers Dennis McCarty reading reflections on the Little Bighorn/”Custer’s Last Stand” battle site from his upcoming book, tentatively scheduled for early 2018, MONUMENTS:  ONE ATHEIST’S TOUR THROUGH TIME, CULTURE, AND MEANING; Wendy Teller with opening excerpts from her novel-in-progress BECOMING MIA BROWER; and novelist Annette Oppenlander, who noted that her first ever public reading had been at a Writers Guild First Sunday and, scheduled to leave Bloomington later this month, this will be her last reading here, an excerpt set in Germany in the final days of World War II from her fact-based SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND.  All were interesting and well received, though the presentations for the open mike session after the break were a bit skimpy.  Mine, third of only three on a rather gloomy afternoon outside, added perhaps to the ambience with a tale of New Orleanian vampiress Aimée, “Flightless Rats,” on a date gone bad, one that’s been around the block a few times already and is soon to be reprinted next month in FANTASIA DIVINITY (see below, July 16 and 7, et al.).

And two announcements regarding First Sundays:  Next month will be skipped insofar as September’s first weekend will also bring the Bloomington Arts Fair with the Writers Guild-sponsored Spoken Word Stage.  Then for the month after, on October 1, I have been asked to be one of the featured readers.

It’s coming!  It’s coming!  It’s ZIPPERED FLESH 3: YET MORE TALES OF BODY ENHANCEMENT GONE BAD (see July 18, June 19, et al.) and the book itself is scheduled for release by Smart Rhino Publications this October.  But now, for a sneak peek, Paul Dale Anderson has published an early review, including brief appetite whetting descriptions of all the stories.  Mine, “Golden Age,” is the one at the very, very end, a sort of look at the past and the future and perhaps more leisurely than some of the others, science-fictiony, maybe, more than horror, but stories for all tastes appear to be therein.  For more, one may press here.

And lest we forget, another tale of mine, “Flesh,” will be coming out in YEAR’S BEST BODY HORROR 2017 (cf. June 19, May 8), tentatively in late September from Gehenna & Hinnom, this one perhaps a little bit more on the surreal side.  Both stories, I should add, are reprints, with “Golden Age” originally published in MINDSPARKS for Spring 1994 and “Flesh” in MAELSTROM SPECULATIVE FICTION, Spring 1999.

July seems to be the month for sending a thing to one place, seeing it come back accepted by another.  One example, “Flightless Rats” (see July 7), the tale of an innocent vampire maid and a bounder’s attempt on her virtue in 19th century New Orleans.  For today, the call had been in April.  It took some time, but the time has come:  we’re putting together an anthology of  poetry and flash fiction about spirits, ghosts, seances, Ouija boards, famous hauntings, not-so-famous hauntings, possessions, and anything else relating to supernatural bumps in the night (or day, we aren’t fussy).  And there it was.  Reprints being okay, I responded with the 300-word saga of a young lady with an interest in witches, but, if these weren’t available, other bump-in-the-nightly creatures would do, and lessons she learned in a house she was told was haunted.  Originally published in GOTHIC BLUE BOOK IV:  THE FOLKLORE EDITION (Burial Day Books, 2014), the title was “School Nights.”
 .
Today the word came back from Managing Editor Kate Garrett, not for the anthology, WHITE NOISE & OUIJA BOARDS, but for the publisher’s seasonal magazine THREE DROPS FROM A CAULDRON.  I really enjoyed this story, and though it isn’t quite right for the ghosts anthology, I wondered if it would be okay for me to publish it in the Samhain 2017 edition?  I like spookier, horror-tinged work for that one, and would love to include your story.  The Samhain special will be published online and in print on 13th October.  (And it isn’t technically open for submissions until 21st August, but I really like this.)
 .
So I emailed back, “Yes.”

From C IS FOR CTHULHU to Clive Barker’s THE THIEF OF ALWAYS?  Indeed, there are books for the younger set, first readings for our tots of terror (while me, I was raised on THE STORY ABOUT PING, “[t]he tale of a little duck alone on the Yangtze River”).  And so for today, courtesy of DIRGEMAG.COM, hark to “10 Beginner’s Horror Books for Your Little Darkling” by Marni Molina.  Or to let her explain, . . . you can’t seem to shake this tiny human relying on you to not only love them and feed them and keep them safe, but to educate them, teach them right from wrong, and expose them to art and culture.  While it’s clearly our responsibility as breeders to raise our little darklings right, I believe it is our right as humans to enjoy the process.  One of the best ways I’ve found to connect with and delight my little monster while finding genuine joy in the process is to consume stories together.

To share for yourself, you and your moppets of madness need but press here.  But Ms. Molina does add this caution:

In preparing these suggestions for you, I tried to stick with a few basic guidelines.

1. No scarring the kids!  The goal is to spark their love of storytelling in the horror genre.
2. No scarring the adults!  The goal is to enjoy these stories with your spawnlings.
3. No obvious answers!  I kept my focus on lesser known titles, when I could.
4. No Halloween veneers over mainstream children’s lit standbys!  I endeavored to single out titles that are wholly dark-themed, horror-lite, or horror.

Enjoy, enjoy!

In Saturday’s mail, but no, it wasn’t concerned with TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH which, after all, was only published at the beginning of last month.  No, this was a 6-month-plus check for stories in two Elder Signs anthologies, DARK HORIZONS and STREET MAGICK (see March 16; November 27, 4 2016, et al.), that came out in October and November last year, respectively.  The stories in these were both reprints, “Dark of the Moon” in DARK HORIZONS, of lunar exploration and . . . monsters originally published in THE CHILDREN OF CTHULHU (Del Rey, 2002), and STREET MAGICK’s “Bottles,” from CROSSINGS (Double Dragon, 2004)*, of Cold War paranoia and vampires.  And best of all, even though anthologies rarely bring in BIG bucks (the royalty having to be divided among, say, twenty or so different authors, plus editors, et al.), the check for these books is for a respectable two-figure sum.

So no need in this case to keep things anonymous — both books, in fact, were on the shelves briefly in Barnes & Noble’s brick and mortar stores (though not, alas, TOMBS, though I understand it was considered) — as has been the case for most royalties periodically received, in order to avoid embarrassment all around.  Indeed the amount here, put into edible terms, would easily have been enough for a decent dinner for two back in the days when I was courting the woman who was to become my ex-wife.  (Though perhaps it wouldn’t go quite that far now.)  That is, to cover both nourishment and love, which is not a bad deal at all.

 

*And also reprinted in THE TEARS OF ISIS.




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