Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Good news for dark science fiction fans — or at least for me and 30 or so fellow writers.  And a thank you as well to those who contributed.  SINS AND OTHER WORLDS (see August 11, July 28, et al. — early table of contents July 19) has met its primary goal and img_1110will (a) be published and (b) its authors be paid!  According to Editor Eric Fomley:  SINS AND OTHER WORLDS is a dark Science Fiction short story anthology comprised of reprint stories from 30 talented authors.  The stories range from deep space, alien planets, alternate realities and beyond.  Most stories within are flash fiction interspersed with several longer works from both emerging authors and titans in the field.  The anthology collects some of the best dark sci-fi in recent memory.  And moreover, sufficient readers have pledged support that two or three bonus stories may be added to the contents.

My story in this is called “The Cyclops,” about an unnaturally intelligent but physically challenged baby, originally published in DARK MOON DIGEST YOUNG ADULT HORROR, June 2013.  More on it and its new companions will be reported here as it becomes revealed.

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A quick miscellany to round out Saturday (Sunday I hope I’ll maybe just rest):  SINS AND OTHER WORLDS (see July 28, et al.) has sent a reminder its Kickstarter campaign has less than two days to go, ending 1:27 p.m. (EST) Monday.  This is an all-reprint dark science fiction anthology with a couple of big names in its contents along with the rest of us, and includes my story “The Cyclops.”  It’s still a bit over $100 short as of this writing and, if any reading this should feel the urge, the place to check it out is here.

Then amongst the Forbiddens and the Alternatives, word came today that ALTERED AMERICA (see March 28 2014, et al.), Martinus Press’s alternate history anthology with my “Avoid Seeing a Mouse” is still making sales, though whether enough to amount to a decent royalty split between the authors remains to be seen.  Martinus, however, us also the publisher for FORBIDDEN (yes, that one, with my “The Wind” and “Fetuscam,” cf. August 10, et al.) which one may hope will follow its predecessor’s lead.

Then finally HUMANAGERIE’s release time has been narrowed to “late October 2018,” announced with a request for biographical and other author information.  My story in this one is “Crow and Rat” (see July 29), set in a less-desirable sector of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH’S New City.

One gets used to visual media, reading on book pages, movies, even public readings as a sort of live play (see just below, August 5, et al.).  But what about only the words themselves, through the medium of sound?  And hence, in a sort of message tag known only to Facebook, a few weeks ago I received an invitation from LuAnn Johnson of WFIU, the Indiana University Public Broadcasting Station, dating back to about early spring.  Ms. Johnson runs a program called THE POETS WEAVE in which local poets read short groupings of their work on the air. Or more specifically:  Prepare to read one or more groups of POEMS.  Each group should be approximately 4 minutes in length.  Selections should be acceptable for broadcast, (i.e., non-sexually explicit, non-scatological, and expletive free), per FCC restrictions.  It’s best to time yourself reading aloud, and please bring a couple of shorter poems in case we have to exchange a longer one for time.

I’m not entirely new to this, actually, having done a few similar types of readings some years in the past, though the programs here are perhaps a little more complex, involving not only a host-read introduction of the poet, etc., but also from the poet one or more BRIEF QUOTES — anything relating to the poetry you’ll be reading (or poetry in general), or writing, reading, and life.  It can be your own words or from another writer/poet you admire.  You’ll read one quote for each show set, so do bring a copy of the quotes with you; the host will read your bio when she introduces the show.  And also there is that idea of more than just one performance, but perhaps several groups on successive programs.

Anyhow while it took some time (as well as some emails back and forth) to consider quotes, select and time groups of poems, and figure a structure for multiple readings, this afternoon I sent back a proposal for three groupings of poems on the overall topic of Vampires and Things Vampiric, divided loosely into “the Who” (to meet some vampires), “the Where” (on where they might hang out), and “the Attraction,” all from my collection VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE).  And graced with suitable quotations from Rudyard Kipling, Bram Stoker, and Sheridan Le Fanu respectively.

More as it develops.

Saturday afternoon word came that B Cubed Press’s ALTERNATIVE THEOLOGIES (see July 30, 27, et al.) is scheduled to be out in just over a week, on August 14.  With it are a collection of personalized advertising banners, including one for me that features my poem “Tit for Tat.”  Incredible it is (I didn’t say that), and now you’ll be able to see for yourself while, as for the banners, to view the whole collection one can press here.

Then today brought this year’s Bloomington Writers Guild’s first (almost) autumn “First Sunday Prose Reading & Open Mic” (see May 6, April 1, et al.) at the local Monroe County Library.  Featured readers were Juliana Crespo, an Indiana University MFA in fiction and University of Nevada Reno MA in fiction, with three flash pieces from LITERARY ORPHANS and other journals; Denise Breeden-Ost, a writer of “fiction, creative nonfiction, and occasional poetry,” with a memoir from her growing up years; and PDNVCH presenting two rap pieces “from a project called CHAOS THEORY.”  After intermission, I was number three of six walk-ups from an audience of about twenty people, reading an unpublished story, “SMILE!,” of what happened when a billboard saying just that appeared on the outskirts of a small town.

While this begins the new fall semester, MC Joan Hawkins announced that as in past years there will be no September meeting due to Bloomington’s annual Labor Day weekend 4th Street Arts Festival.  Also this year the October First Sunday will give way to events surrounding FRANKENFEST, a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the first printing of FRANKENSTEIN, so the next time we meet won’t be until November 4.  For more on the Writers Guild, including upcoming events, press here.

Their setting is among the lowest of the low in New City, known to readers of TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.  They are of that world — or should one say “were” — but are not in the stories in that anthology.  The story title is “Crow and Rat,” set in the same universe as TOMBS, and now it has a first-time home in an anthology to be published in England.

The anthology, HUMANAGERIE, which (to quote from the guidelines) will showcase both poetry and short fiction on the theme of animals.  The book will not be about animals as such, but will instead be inspired by the characteristics that animals possess, and the points at which these intersect with — and manifest in — humanity. . . .  We are interested in shifting states, in scenarios that explore duality, hybridity, and liminality. We are asking writers to consider how animalistic attributes might manifest in the human psyche — or vice versa.  We want hints of scales, tails, fur and fins . . . gills, claws, paws and spines . . . glimpses of horns, tusks, teeth and tongues . . . stalking, slinking, slithering and stomping . . . roars, whimpers, howls and song.  We want breath, heat, musk.  We want landscapes ranging from urban wastelands to frozen tundra, from bedsits to coastlines, from suburbia to savannah — and the imagined worlds between.  We want water and we want fish out of water. We want the visceral and the vulnerable, the slippery and the synaesthetic, emergence and extinction.

Quite the roundup, if one might say so.  But the tragic would-be lovers, Rat and Crow, beggars and thieves who gained their names from the methods they used, were nothing if not willing to take their chances.  So three months and a week from their journey’s beginning, the word came from Editor Allen Ashley,  I am pleased to tell you that we would like to accept “Crow and Rat” for print publication in HUMANAGERIE, followed by (if I may say) some extremely flattering “Editors comments.”  For a pair of ruffians Crow and Rat, I expect, should be proud!  In any event, the acceptance came lateish Saturday evening with today spent earlier looking over some minor changes plus sending back an acceptance of terms.

If all goes as planned, HUMANAGERIE is aiming for an October release date by Eibonvale Press.  More will appear here as it becomes known.

It’s a reprint anthology with lots of stories; of science fiction-horror; of many writers including some names you’ll probably know, some newer to the game.  For a table of contents see below, July 19.  To quote the blurb:  SINS AND OTHER WORLDS is a dark Science Fiction short story anthology comprised of reprint stories from 28 talented authors.  The stories range from deep space, alien planets, alternate realities and beyond.  Most stories within are flash fiction interspersed with several longer works from both emerging authors and titans in the field.  The anthology collects some of the best dark sci-fi in recent memory. . . .  One story in particular, mine, is about a baby whose mother half-believes he’s a zombie — and who’s beginning to understand why — titled “The Cyclops.”  It’s an anthology I’d like to read.

But, and isn’t this the case with so many projects, if it’s published at all it will be on a shoestring and it needs potential readers’ help.  Editor Eric Fomley has pledged that he’ll pay the writers, at least a little or else end the project, and yes that gives me a dog in the fight too, but right now the kickstarter he’s set up seems to be running short with only a bit more than two weeks to go (if my arithmetic’s right it will end about midday EDT, August 13).  But don’t trust me with numbers.

For more, please press here.

Exciting time.  ALTERNATIVE THEOLOGIES, PARABLES FOR A MODERN WORLD, is approaching ready to proof and do final formatting.

This is where I ask you to look at your work and ensure we used the correct file, spelled your name correctly, and this is the LAST opportunity to make significant changes, because the page numbers impact the cover.  All of you except Adam-Troy, he can change what ever he wants since he hasn’t actually seen his piece since he posted it on Facebook.

As soon as we get it, we’ll send you the cover to look at your name as well.

This the latest from ALTERNATIVE THEOLOGIES Editor Bob Brown (cf. July 23, et al.), and so it progresses. After a little frustration downloading the proof (a glitch with the server, it turned out, which they finally fixed) I was able to proofread and get suggestions back. So next stop, hopefully, a look at the cover and maybe a table of contents, all to be reported here when I have it.

Two (not one, but two!) contracts came today craving to be signed.  So back they went this afternoon, the first to Pole to Pole Publishing for their RE-TERRIFY anthology with the story “Gas” (see July 10), and the second to B Cubed Press for ALTERNATIVE THEOLOGIES and the poem “Tit for Tat” (July 23, 22, 7, et al.).  Then if that weren’t enough, just moments before as this is written, a second contract came from Pole to Pole for RE-ENCHANT and the story “Dust” (July 8) for a total of three, but being away from the speedy library computer by now, signing/returning that one will have to wait until tomorrow.

‘Tis the season, time for the annual Bloomington Writers Guild summer “Potluck Social” and open reading (cf. July 16 2017, et al.).  As if to underscore that in only a few more weeks the fall season will start with August 5’s resumed First Sunday readings and, a month later, September 1 and 2 and the Spoken Word Stage at the yearly fall Bloomington Arts Festival, the weather was a bit cooler than it had been most of the week before, with sun alternating with off-and-on rain that was sometimes heavy.  But the company was warm and the site included a shelter to make for a pleasant Sunday afternoon picnic followed by an informal reading in which I offered “Tit for Tat,” a “Little Willie” warning preachers to be not too hasty in saying who’s bound for Hell, to celebrate its having been chosen for reprinting in B Cubed Press’s upcoming ALTERNATE THEOLOGIES:  PARABLES FOR THE MODERN WORLD (see July 7, 2, 1).  Also, if interested, more on the Bloomington Writers Guild can be found by pressing here.

Then also, from about 10 p.m. Saturday night, a huge “thank you” from me to Charles P. Dunphey, Editor/Publisher of Gehenna & Hinnom Books (cf. two posts below for a sale on titles this week through Friday, July 27) who published on FaceBook:  I’m going to try and post about more indie authors in our field, to help them find new readers.  James Dorr is one of the most talented writers I’ve read, and his novel-in-stories TOMBS is a journey into an imagination unlike any other.  If you love great prose and world-building, pick up a copy of this book.  I semi-immediately posted my thanks, adding that (in my opinion) [i]t’s this kind of passing the word among friends that can be a terrific help to an author.

C.P. Dunphey also reviewed TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH at some depth on his GHENNA POST shortly after it was published (cf. June 3 2017) for which I am also extremely grateful.  The review itself can be found on Amazon, et al. (just press the picture of TOMBS at the top of the center column) or via GEHENNA POST including a link to an interview of me as well by pressing here, while C.P.’s Facebook entry plus comments can be found here.

The life goes on.  Amidst contests and interviews, Wednesday’s email brought a contract from Shacklebound books for my story “The Cyclops,” set to appear in the reprint flash anthology SINS AND OTHER WORLDS (cf. June 17).  Originally published in DARK MOON DIGEST YOUNG ADULT HORROR for June 2013, “The Cyclops” is told from the point of view of a fast-growing baby with physical problems, but with an advanced enough intelligence that he’s beginning to figure things out.  Say what?  Well, the contract went back to Editor Eric Fomley later this afternoon as requested, so watch here for further information on when SINS is published and ready for purchase to see for yourself.




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