Archive for the ‘Zombies’ Category

Thursday, while warm, was gloomy and threatening-rainy all day long, though the rain itself held off.  Nor did it disturb this month’s Bloomington Writers Guild-sponsored Second Thursdays Players Pub Spoken Word Series(cf. March 10, February 10), featuring four Indiana readers (though one will be leaving for Germany soon) along with singer-guitarist Brandon Pfeiffer.  The readers were poet Patsy Rahn (who we’ve met before) and story writer Brian Leung and, following a musical interlude, Josh Brewer (no relation, as Writers Guild Chair Tony Brewer emphasized) and, in her last local Guild-sponsored reading, novelist Annette Oppenlander (who we’ve also met before, this time reading from her recently published SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND, based on her own parents’ experience growing up during World War II).  Then when open mike time came, no less than nine writers and poets took their turns on the stage — with mine being fifth with a tale for May of enduring love, and zombies, “His Dead Ex-Girlfriend” — which I think may be a record for audience participation.  Also, unlike other Writers Guild readings, Second Thursdays will persist during the summer, so the next few months may also pick up some Last Sunday Poetry and First Sunday Prose regulars too.

Then a week ago Thursday, May 4th, I noted that both Amazon and Barnes & Noble were offering pre-order discounts for TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, with the B&N price being actually twenty-some cents lower at $9.95.  This is for paperback copies, of course — I understand there will be an electronic edition but it won’t be out until a little late8451b32b-e3c4-41cb-8f3e-7c6834708f13r.  But now serendipity strikes again, with my having somewhat accidentally discovered that Amazon’s price has been lowered to $9.95 too, to match B&N’s!  To see for yourself, press here.  (And not only that, but Amazon promises all pre-publication orders will be billed at the lowest price on June 1, when the book is officially published, so if you’d pre-ordered at a higher price, you’ll still get the full discount.)

So, hey, what the heck, just for a lark I moseyed over to B&N too, just to see, you know, if they still were at $9.95 too, and . . . the Barnes and Noble price has been lowered as well, this time to a mere $9.75!  Exciting times these — and to see for oneself one need but to press here (although to my best knowledge B&N may not have a similar promise, that already pre-ordered books will have their prices lowered too).  But the moral in any event is, with less than twenty days remaining until TOMBS is released, check out the bookseller of your choice for some hefty discounts before it’s too late.*

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*How hefty?  Barnes & Noble says you’ll save 35 percent off a listed full price of $14.95, while Amazon’s discount is an only slightly smaller 33 percent, or one third off.

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“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“Do a loony-goony dance
‘Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain’t been there before.” – Shel Silverstein

(The above quotations courtesy of blogger Lindsey Goddard who adds, I offer you my Top Twelve Weirdest and Creepiest Horror Movie Dances.  They are all listed here for different reasons . . .  but all of them possess a certain WTF factor.   Like seriously . . . WTF?)

So “Tiptoe Through the Tulips,” in fact, from INSIDIOUS (“even ghost boys like to dance) is #2 on “The Dirty Dozen:   Top 12 Weirdest and Creepiest Horror Movie Dances,” by Lindsey Goddard on DIRTYLITTLEHORROR.COM, which appeared on my computer screen today and which I absolutely cannot resist sharing.  The weirdest (or possibly just most insane) is the zombie line dance (with music and lyrics) from DEAD AND BREAKFAST, #4 on the dance card.  That’s counting from the top down, so what will be #12, the last on the list, the weirdest, creepiest horror dance ever?  Hint:  think Linnea Quigley, and it’s not HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS.  Not enough?  How about not California but Louisville, Kentucky, or . . . well, all right, it’s the cemetery striptease performed by punk girl Trash (“Let’s get some light over here.  Trash is taking off her clothes again!”) from 1985’s RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, the movie which also brought us the idea of zombies craving brains.  To see, wallow, enjoy all twelve for oneself press here.

This comes to us today via Nathan Rowark on Facebook, a sale through June 30 from Horrified Press to include all e-titles.  Other than that I know no details, nor does the publisher’s Facebook page provide any more, except that all anthology titles are thus priced at $3.00 or less.  And, as it happens, I have several stories published by them although one, “Lobster Boy and the Hand of Satan” in HOW TO TRICK THE DEVIL (cf. October 14 2015, et al.) appears to be available in print only, at least on Amazon, and hence doesn’t count. Two others, though, do:  “Tunnels,” concerning familial love in an underground post-apocalyptic world, in UNTIL THE END (see June 15 2014, et al.) on sale for $2.99; and “Flesh,” of a man who strives to get fat (but, when all is said and done, perhaps not enough), in NIGHTMARE STALKERS & DREAM WALKERS (see October 14 2015, December 21 2014, et al.) for an even $3.00.  For more, for UNTIL THE END press here; and for NIGHTMARE STALKERS here.

Some fungi, viruses and bacteria have evolved a spine-chilling way of being transmitted from one host to another. They turn their hosts into witless zombies.  Say what?  But this is the subtitle of a decidedly non-fictional article,”Real-Life Zombies that Are Stranger than Fiction” by Chris Baraniuk, published earlier this week on BBC.COM.  To quote Baraniuk further:  The zombies we know from fiction are ferocious, flesh-eating post-humans.  And while such stories have never come true, nature is full of disturbingly similar cases of zombification among plants and animals.  Sometimes the parallels are striking.  And moreover this isn’t something new.  While the “victims” thus far seem to be confined to such lower life forms as insects and spiders, at least one zombie-inducing parasite will attack frogs.

So are humans next?  I have a story, “Swarms,” coming out on Earth Day, April 22, in MOTHER’S REVENGE (Scary Dairy Press, see March 8, et al.), that takes a similar spin from possibly mutated ichneumon wasps — another insect of interest in itself.  But according to Baraniuk, some ants, at least, have been so affected for 48 million years.

Interest whetted?  Then gird your stomach and take another big swig of green beer, then check it out by pressing here.  But do so at your own risk as, to quote its author once more, [t]here is something particularly disconcerting about the idea that an animal’s behaviour could be drastically changed by an infection or parasite, but it is a phenomenon well-established in nature.

One final note for 2016, DISTURBED DIGEST (see December 6) arrived New Year’s Eve with my poem “Zombie Trouyearsedd2ble?” in it.  Also Jay Hartman of Untreed Reads Publishing has announced a special sale through Saturday, January 7, via DriveThruFiction for their New Year’s Eve-themed anthology, YEAR’S END:  14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR (cf. March 19, et al.), with my lead-off story “Appointment in Time.”  The sale, which reduces the price from $4.99 to $2.99, is only available on DriveThruFiction and must be reached through a special, one-week-only link, for which press here.

This, a bit of news from late Monday via Facebook, the December issue of Alban Lake Publishing’s DISTURBED DIGEST is ready for purchase.  Also included, the table of contents with, natch, one from me, this time a poem about zombies and how the undead can only be eradicated by hiring a competent pest control service, thus asking the question “Zombie Trouble?”  DISTURBED DIGEST is a companion magazine to Alban Lake’s BLOODBOND (cf. November 7) which came out last month with my vampire poem, “Her First Time,” bought in the same bundle as “Zombie Trouble?” (see June 22).

More on DISTURBED DIGEST, plus purchasing info can be found here; a sneak peek at the contents directly below:

Stories
Alone in the Cataloochee Valley by Lee Clark Zumpe
The Closet by James A. Miller
Two Drops of Blood by Sandy DeLucadisturbeddigest
I’ll Always Hear You by Kelly McCrady
Three Coins by Lorraine Pinelli Brown
Remote by Kendall Evans
The Holy Computer by Glen R. Stripling
Ghosts in the Gaslight by Andrew Knighton
Backwater Saints by Elise Forier Edie

Flash Fiction
The Chopping Block by Matthew Wilson

Poetry
Zombie Trouble? By James S. Dorr
Fly Movie Rationalization by Herb Kauderer
Sounds on a Lover’s Night by Guy Belleranti
Extremist by Herb Kauderer
Cosmic Blues by Russ Paladin

Illustrations by Sandy DeLuca
It Happens When You’re Dead
Two Drops of Blood
Conjurer

How about we get in the mood with a horror poem by Rick Powell, then I’ll share a SUPER EASY pumpkin cookie recipe you can make last minute to enjoy this evening, and to top it off… How about sex in a haunted house? Haha. That is, how about we watch the short horror film ‘Sex in a Haunted House’?😛

It was delayed a couple of months, but, originally listed as published in June, CEMETERY RIOTS (see July 6, et al.) has made its mailbox debut today.  It looks worth the wait too, a handsome volume and with an A-list of writers adorning the contents — among whom, it would appear, is me.  The cover’s subtitle is “A Collection of Dark CemeRiotsCautionary Tales” and, true to this promise, my entry is “The Re-Possessed” in which it is found it is not a good thing to stiff (to pardon the expression) an undertaker with friends in the right places.  If you haven’t gotten a copy of CEMETERY RIOTS already, more information can be found here.

Today was also the first day of the weekend’s local arts fair, of which the Bloomington Writers Guild’s Spoken Word Stage is a part, and in which I will have a reading Sunday, but more on that later.  For today’s, or more properly late yesterday’s contribution to The Writing Life we will go instead to Main Street Rag Publishing which, after a brief false start (an attachment sent for a different book), has sent galleys to proofread for IT’S ABOUT TIME (cf. August 12, June 29, et al.), though I may not get to them till Monday, Labor Day.  My story in this one is a reprint, originally published in THE FICTION PRIMER, December 1988, about a man who discovers his true love in (ahem!) a timely fashion.  For more information on this one press here.

Is the cusp of autumn on us already?  Tuesday, ending music practice, we noticed that it was already twilight — how many more weeks until twilight comes at the beginning of practice?  Then today at the market, after the first Writers Guild meeting following its annual summer hiatus, I saw — and bought — a half gallon of “Pumpkin Pie” ice cream, a specialty flavor not usually available until close to Thanksgiving.  And this, on Facebook this afternoon via Robert Dunbar and LITERARY DARKNESS, in turn via HORROR NOVEL REVIEWS, a link to THEWEEK.COM and “9 Classic Horror Stories You Can Read Right Now” by Scott Meslow, “[f]rom Washington Irving to H.P. Lovecraft, a collection of terrifying tales to get you into the Halloween spirit.”  This, yes, another list, but with each description and opening sample a separate link to read the whole story there on the spot.  Long ones such as “Carmilla” and “The Turn of the Screw,” and shorter ones by Lovecaft as well, and Blackwood and Poe, and maybe even a surprise or two.

To see — and read — for yourself, press here.

Street mail this time, not email, two items found in the mailbox this evening from Mocha Memoirs Press and Upper Rubber Boot Books.  The first is a slim volume containing ten stories — and these flash fiction to boot — MOCHA’S DARK BREW (see July 2, et al.), the top ten finalists in a contest last February by Mocha Memoirs to honor Women in Horror Month.   Men could enter too (and several others also made the top ten, although the majority are still women), but THUMBNAIL_IMAGEall entries had to have female protagonists as well as come under a maximum word limit.  So, reprints being okay as well, mine in the mix is one that stars Aimée of “Casket Girls” fame (who else?), “Flightless Rats,” originally published in T. GENE DAVIS’S SPECULATIVE BLOG in January 2015 and concerning a date that went bad in Nineteenth Century New Orleans.  It’s also an inexpensive book, given its size, ideal for, say, gifts for Halloween and other occasions – and for more on which one may press here.

Then the second is the much-anticipated THE MUSEUM OF ALL THINGS AWESOME AND THAT GO BOOM (cf. July 26, 14, et al.) with another reprint, “Bubba Claus Conquers the Martians,” originally published in HOUSTON, WE’VE GOT BUBBAS (Yard Dog Press, 2007), and starring Santa Claus, bubbas, and . . . zombies.  And, one might add, quite a few other stories and poems that I’m looking forward to getting into tonight myself.  For more information on this one press here.




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