Posts Tagged ‘Adventure’

The Indiana University Cinema is dark for the summer, but other film outlets exist on the campus and so, Friday night, I paid a visit to the Indiana Memorial Union and a special screening of KONG:  SKULL ISLAND.  Long story short, it is a good movie, action/adventure more than science fiction/horror, but it isn’t really a remake of the original KING KONG, nor does it pretend to be.  Therein lies its power, it is its own movie, yet using the major tropes of the original – just in its own way.  It takes place in the early 1970s, the Vietnam war just ended, a perpetually fog-enshrouded island just discovered through satellite photos, and, hey, let’s give it an exploration!  The photography of the movie though is more reminiscent of APOCALYPSE NOW, very striking for those who remember it, and it even has an ultimately antagonistic Colonel Kurtz character, this one in charge of a helicopter squadron to ferry the explorers in and who, losing too many of his men to Kong, not-unreasonably wishes to bring the big lug down.

And Kong is big, with biplanes replaced by helicopters and that fight practically the opening round.  So the survivors are on the ground now, meeting other monsters plus local natives, and with the latter a World War II Navy pilot shot down some 28 years before.  Yes, it’s a bit corny, but KONG:  SKULL ISLAND is not ashamed to have fun with itself, and anyway now he can act as a guide, to get everyone to their pickup point where the ship that brought them and the ‘copters in will expect to meet them just three days later.  For details, the Amazon site has plenty of good reviews, most of them quite favorable, which I recommend to those interested.

But, some of the Amazon reviews notwithstanding, the King does get sweet on the Ann Darrow (that is to say, Fay Wray) character, here a photographer fresh away from the fighting in Vietnam herself.  But only a little — no climbs up skyscrapers this time out (and the “biplanes” dispatched before they even meet, though “Ann” does climb a very high rock), and Kong, no fool, knows when to let impossible loves go.  The climax, rather — the third trope from the original, displaced — is the one-time fight between Kong and the T-Rex, here a giant lizard that lives with its fellows beneath the ground (there are intimations of Hollow Earth Theory — JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH anybody?) and Kong, in fact, is the one who protects the natives from these far nastier beasties.

The anti-“political correctness” crowd may not like this, the dog whistles tend more lefty than righty, but KONG:  SKULL ISLAND isn’t a political film either, nor should it be looked at that way.  No, Kong isn’t even registered to vote; all he wants is a chance to beat on his chest in peace and another outing on the Big Screen which, even if not his original 1933 triumph, is still a lot of fun to watch.

Then, back to the writing business, about four hours after yesterday’s post, Heidi Angell’s review popped up on Amazon. This the third of the three presumably sent there, but perhaps that’s the charm and others will follow.  In the meantime though, while the Goodreads link I gave will connect to both Heidi’s and Christine Rains’s, for the second review from C.P. Dunphey on GEHENNA POST (to give all equal time) press here.  (And one thing more, to all, while thinking of Amazon let us not forget rival Barnes & Noble.  Heidi’s review is there as well — perhaps others will join it here?)


A short note this time of a discovery no more distant than my street mail mailbox, the receipt of Volume 3 in Bards and Sages GREAT TOMES series, THE GREAT TOME OF greattomev3-125102232_stdFANTASTIC AND WONDROUS PLACES (see September 21, et al.).  My story in this is of an early 20th century expedition into the Wild Wild East — which is to say Russia’s Siberian wasteland — and what was there found.  Presented in the form of a scholarly journal article, a slightly differently formatted version was published in EXTREMES 5 (Lone Wolf Publications, 2003) as well as reprinted in my second collection, DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET (Dark Regions Press, 2007).  Or, for more on this current version, one may press here.

This is another of those periods where there seems to be something new happening every day.  And let us be thankful while it lasts!  For today it’s a notice from Julie Ann Dawson of Bards and Sages Publishing that the third volume in their GREAT TOMES series, THE GREAT TOME OF GreatTomeV3.125102232_stdFANTASTIC AND WONDROUS PLACES (see August 29, June 23, et al.) has been released.  Available both in print and Kindle, this one has my story “Ice Vermin,” originally published in EXTREMES 5 (Lone Wolf Publications, 2003; also reprinted in DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET for which one may press its picture in the center column), here reformatted into a new edition, describing the travails of an early 20th century Russian expedition into Siberia — and what they found there.  For more information and possible ordering one may press here.

But then, speaking of exploration, and once again through the sheer wonder of serendipity, have you yourself ever wanted to know what and where is the most remote place on Earth?  Courtesy of BIGTHINK.COM one may wonder no more, via “Solitude, Space Junk and Sea Monsters:  the Eeriness of Point Nemo,” by Frank Jacobs.  The question posed, in Jacobs’s words, is “What do sci fi pioneer Jules Verne, horror writer H.P. Lovecraft and the Russian space programme have in common?”  The answer is a point in the South Pacific Ocean located at 48°52.6’S 123°23.6’W.

For more, press here.

Just a quick note, that Volume 3 in Bards and Sages GREAT TOMES series, THE GREAT TOME OF FANTASTIC AND WONDROUS PLACES has been posted by Amazon for pre-order in its Kindle edition.  Print, presumably, will follow.  My journey in this juxtaposition is a dark Russian fantasGreatTomeV3.125102232_stdy set in the early Twentieth Century, “Ice Vermin,” originally published in CD ROM in EXTREMES 5 (Lone Wolf Publications, 2003) and in print in my second collection, DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET (Dark Regions Press, 2007).  Ah, but with one difference, this being the “scholarly edition” where editor’s notes within the text in the original version have been replaced by end notes, thus separating, in a sense, the narrative into two separate stories.

So you, the reader, thus have a choice — you can look up the end notes as you come to them, thus replicating the original version, or wait until you get to the end and read them in one lump, solving perhaps some mysteries that came up along the way.  In either case, though, for more information, one may press here.

Two items to post for Bastille Day, the first that Alessandro Manzetti’s THE BEAUTY OF DEATH anthology (cf.  June 25, et al.) has now been officially published.  My story in this, we may remember, is “Gold,” a tale of greed, adventure, and . . . well, gold.  Learn of its mining, its smelting, its spending, a Greedy-Gus guy you’ll love to hate, available only in Kindle, however.  For more, press here.

Then added to that, and also in Kindle, Editor/Publisher Joanne Merriam has announced that Upper Rubber Boot Books’s THE MUSEUM OF ALL THINGS AWESOME AND THAT GO BOOM (see March 17, et al.), “. . . an 13522019_1212828662069675_1084416840149191457_nanthology of science fiction featuring blunt force trauma, explosions, adventure, derring-do, tigers, Martians, zombies, fanged monsters, dinosaurs (alien and domestic), ray guns, rocket ships, and anthropomorphized marshmallows” according to the blurb, is now available for pre-order.  Official publication date will be July 26, in just shy of two weeks.  My tale in this is “Bubba Claus Conquers the Martians,” a jolly Christmas accounting of down home values, interplanetary space adventure, and . . . zombies!  To latch onto this one, press here.  Or as an extra, and a fun one at that, to learn more about it from its Facebook page, one can also press here.

Wow!  A whole week of daily postings, with so much activity that half these cover more than just one announcement.  Busy, busy — as one imagines that during the hot, lazy days of July there’ll be weeks on end when I’ll be hard put to find one thing to post.  So, always, it goes.

But just a little announcement this time, THE BEAUTY OF DEATH including the premiere of my story “Gold” (see June 6, May 28, et al.) is now up for pre-order on BeautyOfDeath2Kindle . . . including a brief misspelling of my name on Amazon’s blurb, but since corrected (the curse of having a name that can be confused with a common object).  Ah, proofreading, proofreading.  According to Amazon, copies should be “auto-delivered” on Bastille Day, July 14.  Unfortunately there seem to be no plans at this time for a print edition (author’s contracts, in fact, were for electronic rights only), but some of the authors themselves, me included, have expressed a hope that this might change.

Be that as it may, for more information or ordering press here.

I know, I know.  “Gold” is the story’s title, slated for publication in Alessandro Manzetti’s anthology THE BEAUTY OF DEATH (see May 28, April 19, January 23) later on this month.  A story of greed and too great a love for the yellow metal, but is it death this H. Rider Haggardish tale will bring, or a kind of godhood, of immortality in its way?  And to keep it on schedule, yesterday brought the proof copy with final editorial changes, in this case mostly tiny grammatical touchings up; tonight will send the email back with perhaps one change plus one additional tweak my reading discovered as well.

Then, speaking of greed, today brought news from Editor Kimber Grey that the kickstarter for SINGULAR IRREGULARITY, “An Anthology About Time Travel Gone Terribly Wrong” (cf. May 23timetravel1, et al.), has reached its first goal more than a day before its Wednesday morning close.  Thus authors will be paid, at least semi-pro wages, and all appears to be still on schedule for an early August GenCon premiere.  But that isn’t all — there are still “stretch goals,” with more money raised to help raise author rates, and the initial run doesn’t end itself until, officially, June 8 at 7:37 a.m. PDT.  And that’s even later, at 10:37 a.m., here in Indiana with our “double daylight” Eastern (New York) time.

To check out the details and perhaps pre-order, the kickstarter page can be reached here.  My story in this by the way is “The Master of Time,” a clockworkpunk musing, if one will, in which time itself is in danger of stopping.

And if one is interested also in a link to THE BEAUTY OF DEATH, well, it all seems to be a deep, dark secret — which may be appropriate given the subject — until the official announcement comes out.  But when that happens, look for more here.

Independent Legions Publishing is seeking original horror stories in English language for the new eBook Anthology THE BEAUTY OF DEATH, edited by Alessandro Manzetti, to be published in April, BeautyofDeath2016.  Special Guests: Ramsey Campbell, Peter Straub and Poppy Z. Brite.

All types of horror are welcome.  Sex or violence in a story should be justified; no excessive gore.  We welcome all subgenres and forms of speculative fiction.

The call came at the end of December, for new stories from 4500 to 7500 words for what would amount to semi-pro rates, but oh! what “special guest” company they’d keep.  And as it happened, I had an older tale that I’d been neglecting marketing of late, one from my “H. Rider Haggard period” of adventure and exploration and lost South American native tribes guarding a mountain of . . . Gold.  And at about 6200 words, so what the heck, on January 9 I sent it in.  So Friday afternoon, just under two weeks later, the word came back with contract attached.  “I’m pleased to inform you that your story ‘Gold’ has been accepted to be part of the Anthology THE BEAUTY OF DEATH, to be published by Independent Legions Publishing in April/May 2016, in eBook Edition.”

Then one more report, to quote verbatim, from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing late Friday evening:  We’ve decided to take advantage of the BLIZZARD OF DEATH* and offer our catalog at 25% off for the weekend. Now listen, we live in Texas. Obviously we have no idea what you’re going through (okay, I was raised in Indiana, so I have some idea). But that doesn’t mean we can’t feel bad for y’all. So why not buy some kickass books on the cheap? Sure, you might freeze to death this weekend, but at least you would have bought some cool books before doing it.

Also – if you buy a paperback of any title, you will be emailed the ebook files as well. That way, you at least have something to keep you company over the weekend.


My pup in this polar tempest is, for those who haven’t guessed yet, my Stoker(R) nominated short story collection THE TEARS OF ISIS, for more of which one can click on its picture in the center column.  Or, to see more from PMMP, one can also press here.

*No relation, other than being in the same post, to THE BEAUTY OF DEATH for more information on which, including guidelines, one can press here.   (Also so far here in Indiana the storm has missed us — though it is cold.)

These things sometimes come in clusters don’t they, or, another anthology has been updated including a hoped for end-of-August release.  Thus came the email Thursday evening from April Moon Books’s Neil Baker noting that, with tasks completed (or at least come to stopping places) for two other books, “I can now finish off the proofing for ILL-CONSIDERED EXPEDITIONS.

“I will be sending the contracts for the anthology along with galley proofs for your peruill-considered-expeditions88sal in the next few weeks or so — I’m aiming to get this book out by the end of August — sorry for the delay, and thanks for your patience.”

My trip in this tome is “Ice Vermin” (cf. March 10, January 13), originally published in EXTREMES 5 (Lone Wolf CD ROM, 2003; also reprinted in my collection DARKER LOVES: TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET), the tale of a pre-World War I trek through darkest Siberia — and, it might be mentioned, perhaps extra refreshing should we be into high 90s-plus temperatures by then (summer in these parts, at least, appearing to come late).  So here’s another to look for at the end of next month, more on which will be noted here as affairs progress.

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