Posts Tagged ‘Airships and Automatons’

We are screening 3 films at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater: Arsenic and Old Lace, The Exorcist and The Wailing.  Frank Capra’s Halloween comedy Arsenic and Old Lace stars Cary Grant as a man learns that his eccentric but sweet aunts have been seeking out lonely, elderly men, poisoning them, and burying them in the basement.  Controversial from the day it opened in 1973, The Exorcist is now recognized as a defining classic of the genre.  Our third film, The Wailing, is a 2016 release.  A foreigner’s mysterious appwebart-bct-oct23earance in a quiet, rural village causes suspicion among the locals in The Wailing.  Released in June of this year, The Wailing  has garnered enthusiastic reviews  on the film festival circuit and is currently the highest rated film on Rotten Tomatoes.  You can read more detailed descriptions of these below.

The Halloween Fest will also include spine-tingling live performances in between films by James Dorr and by Cricket’s Bone Caravan, so come early and stay late.

So begins Bloomington’s local Ryder Film Series announcement of the coming weekend’s special showing, from 2:15 p.m. to 10:45 p.m., “Halloween Fest:  Sunday, Oct 23 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.”  That’s right here, downtown on Kirkwood Avenue for those unfamiliar with the venue, with my part scheduled for the intermission between THE EXORCIST and THE WAILING.  And for what I’ll read (hint:  it’s the same tale I read for the 4th Street Arts Festival in September, cf. September 4), let us let the Ryder explain:  [DorTombs Final copyr] will be reading a selection from his newest book, TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, a novel-in-stories scheduled for release by Elder Signs Press in spring-summer 2017.  Set on a far-future dying Earth in and around a vast necropolis known as the “Tombs,” “Raising the Dead” is about a young woman who seeks to restore the soul of her newly deceased husband to his body; a tale of necromancy, dark fantasy, airships, and doomed love.  “Raising the Dead,” I should add, has also been published in White Cat Publications’s 2015 steampunk anthology AIRSHIPS & AUTOMATONS (cf. May 27, April 7 2015, et al.).

Schedules, ticket prices.and more can be found on the Ryder’s own site by pressing here.  And, if all the above weren’t enough, they also add:  Wait, there’s a fourth film.  On Sunday, October 30th we will screen the 1958 classic, Horror of Dracula, at Bear’s Place.  If you purchase a movie pass for the films at the BCT on Oct 23rd, you can use it for Horror of Dracula as well.

Advertisements

A couple of snippets today in an otherwise quiet week.  The first, the official schedule for the Bloomington Writers Guild’s Spoken Word Stage (cf. just below, August 14) has been announced on Facebook.  So far I’m still at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, September 4, for a half hour of horror — for which, and more, one can find the full schedule here.  For my slot I’ll most likely be reading my story “Raising the Dead,” originally published in AIRSHIPS AND AUTOMATONS (White Cat Publications, 2015) and set for release space-shuttle-atlantis-station-undocking-071911in spring-summer next year from Elder Signs Press as an independent chapter in TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH (see also, below).

And then, as an extra, I ran across an interesting item for space shuttle buffs, “NASA’s Space Shuttle By the Numbers:  30 Years of a Spaceflight Icon” by Tariq Malik on SPACE.COM, for which one can press here.  Finder’s credit this time goes to Steph P. Bianchini and THE EARTHIAN HIVEMIND in an entry interesting in its own right which can be found here.

So it’s a guilty pleasure too (Aimée, e.g., of the “casket girls” is herself bi), but for those interested, this weekend’s DIRGEMAG.COM offers “Red Lips, Black Heart:  The Allure of the Predatory LesbianMV5BMTY2Mjg4MzMyN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTQ0OTcxMQ@@._V1_ Vampire in Film,” by Annie Rose.  While not exhaustive, it provides a fair, more or less chronological view of the hungry for you-know-what vampiress in European and Hollywood movies, some a bit on the subtle side to get past the censors, of course.  And with pictures too (but these, as well, tasteful).  How many have you seen?  For DIRGEMAG’s scorecard, one may press here.

Then in more local news, Sunday brings the schedule for this year’s Labor Day weekend Fourth Street Art Festival’s Spoken Word Stage.  This is a series of half-hour readings of poetry and prose, with a little drama perhaps here and there as well, sponsored by the Writers Guild at Bloomington with partial support from the Bloomington (Indiana) Arts Commission.  And in which, Sunday, September 4 at 3:30 p.m., is featured “horror fiction” by me.  My most likely reading for this will be “Raising the Dead,” originally published in White Cat Publications’s AIRSHIPS AND AUTOMATIONS (see May 27 2015, et al.), which will also be part of my novel-in-stories due out in the first half of next year from Elder Signs Press, TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH (cf. July 24, 15 et al.).

It’s been a long time coming all around, but late Tuesday afternoon White Cat Publications’s  steampunk anthology AIRSHIPS & AUTOMATONS (see April 7, March 31, et al.) landed on my front porch, via FedEx, completing a voyage lasting nearly two and three-quarter years.  As was reported here at the start of this year (cf. January 3)A_and_A, after a September 4 2012 acceptance of a story by me and adding that mine would be last in the contents of stories to be set in chronological order, “. . .  then it disappeared.  As an airship drifting behind a cloud, the anthology . . . was gone!

“And so it goes.

“Two long years passed, even rumors fading away like wisps of mist before an autumn dawn. . . .

“But then — actually on December 30 but due to a hiatus at this end not opened until January 2 — came an email from Editor [Charles P.] Zaglanis with a contract attached!  With it was a request to copy, sign, and return two copies ‘so I can cut you a check.  Feel free to revise your bio if you wish.  Thank you for your patience and the wonderful story.’”

And then, more waiting, but not so much this time.  The Kindle copy was published first, but a bit of minor last minute editing was required before it went to print.  Then it was at the printers.  Then up on Amazon, where it can be found by pressing here. . . .

And now in my hands!  A delightful volume of “[t]ales from a world that should have been. . .  Fifteen stories spanning the ages from ancient Greece to a far-flung dying future” — from “A Courtly Diversion” by Gary Cuba to my own offering, “Raising the Dead,” one in my series of tales set in the “Tombs,“ a vast necropolis and its environs in the latter days of a ghoul-ridden, dying Earth.

From just a brief dipping in thus far, it has been worth the wait.

As promised (cf. March 31, 19, et al.), the word has come from Chuck Zaglanis of White Cat Publications that the steampunk anthology AIRSHIPS & AUTOMATONS is now out in paperback as well as electronically.  This is the one with my “Tombs” story “Raising the Dead,” about chasing souls in a clockwork-driven aerial balloon.  The anthology, in fact, follows aeronautics (as well as robotics) throughout the centuries, starting in ancient Greece and ending in . . . well . . . the aforementioned far-future, dying Earth of the Tombs.

More information on AIRSHIPS & AUTOMATIONS, including ordering via Amazon, can be found here.

Also in today’s email, this arrived from  CHIZINE:  Happy April Fool’s Day everyone!

But now, the real news!

It’s April and that means it’s National Poetry Month!  Except at ChiZine.  Here, it’s . . . yes . . . Shitty Poetry Month!  Back by popular demand!  You could be the winner of the Shitty Poetry Belt (TM)*!  Can you take it away from the current title holder. . . ?

Yes, it’s, um, that time for poetry of all shapes and flavors and — after all, why not? — this year I have an entry myself in the first round.  Called “The Vampire’s Soliloquy” and with a special tip of the chapeau to William Shakespeare, it and five others can be found here.  And voted on too (note, polls close on Sunday for Round 1 poems).  Dare I ask?

Or, to go back to the words of CHIZINE:  Vote for your favourite poem in week one.  Voting ends Sunday at midnight.  Winner of this round goes on to compete with the final round poems!

A week and a half short of one year ago, on April 10 2014, my New Orleans-based vampire tale “Casket Girls” went out to subscribers of DAILY SCIENCE FICTION.  One week later on the 17th it went into the archives where it can be seen by subscribers and non-subscribers alike.   Then today I received via SFSIGNAL.COM a preview copy of April’s DAILY SF story roster (probably available on DSF’s own Facebook page by tomorrow morlogo-e-mailning since then of course it’ll be April, but for the scoop, for what it’s worth) announcing that in just about three weeks, April 21, a year and eleven days after Aimeé the vampiress made her debut, my next story “Dead Lines” (see January 1; December 23 2014) is set to appear.

“Dead Lines” is a Poesque mystery of sorts, of the disappearance of one Mr. Valdemar and the gracious New Orleanian grande dame “Lo” who may know more about it, as well as the original casket girls, than she lets on.  It will be my fifth story for DAILY SF.

Then a second quick note, while it’s unofficial I understand that following some last minute edits the paperback version of White Cat’s AIRSHIPS & AUTOMATONS (see March 19, et al.) has gone to the printer, to become available hopefully in two weeks or less.

Just hours ago the word came from Editor Chuck Zaglanis, the long awaited AIRSHIPS & AUTOMATONS (see February 5, et al.) is out on Kindle.  Hopefully the print edition will be quick to follow.  Published by White Cat, the book is blurbed as “Tales from a world that should have been. . .  Fifteen stories spanning the ages from ancient Greece to a far-flung dying future,” and now can be obtained in the here and present by pressing here.

For a broader description from the original guidelines, “[w]e seek steampunk stories featuring strong characters, exciting plotlines, and automatons and/or airships.  We don’t want the latter to be mentioned in passing; they should be central to the plot.  We aren’t shooting for any particular mood with this book.  Dystopian, humorous, pulp, Lovecraftian, upbeat or dark — all have a place here.”

My own piece in this is of the airship persuasion and, set in my far-future dying-Earth universe of the “Tombs” (more than a dozen tales of which have been published in various magazines and books including my current collection, THE TEARS OF ISIS), marks the “far-flung future” that ends the anthology.  Titled “Raising the Dead,” along with airships (and tombs) it touches on souls and love, mourning and ghouls, corpse-gas and ballonnets, and Necromancers.

Another thing coming (cf. January 3, below; also September 4 2012), its engines a-roar!  First via the U.S. mail today in form of a counter-signed contract and check.  Then through a “tagged” message on Facebook. Described in its blurb as “Spanning the ages between ancient Greece and a far flung and dying future,”dumont6 itself, by some, feared to be perhaps dead.  After a voyage of nearly two and a half years from its first acceptance of my own story, “Raising the Dead”  . . .  now appears in the distance the steampunk-through-the-ages anthology AIRSHIPS & AUTOMATONS!

But shall we let Editor Charles P. Zaglanis say it in his own words?

After much too long a time, here is the final ToC for my first anthology.  I ‘ve personally sent out the checks to the authors and the book should be out in March.  Thank you one and all for your incredible patience:

A COURTLY DIVERSION by Gary Cuba
THE DOG-FACED CANNIBAL by Christine Purcell
ALL THE KING’S MONSTERS by Megan Arkenberg
THE THING WITH FEATHERS by Cora Pop
MEMPHIS BBQ by Cat Rambo
A HORRIFIED MIND by Ferrel D. Ferrel Rick Moore
IN CHAINS LIGHTER THAN AIR by Nghi Vo
THE UNICYCLIST’S FATE by Michael J DeLuca
IRON & BRASS, BLOOD & BONE by Alma Alexander
THE TROUBLE WITH BOMBS by Jay Caselberg
TAKING FLIGHT by E.G. Gaddess
AN URCHIN, AN ADVENTREMAN by Eric Del Carlo
FLIGHT OF THE PEGASUS by Darin Kennedy
GRINDSTONE by Jay Lake
RAISING THE DEAD by James Dorr

My story in this, as may be gleaned from the “through the ages” passage above, represents the far-flung dying-Earth future as one in a series of tales set in the “Tombs,” a vast necropolis and its surrounds where people still strive to live and love, as they do today.  For those familiar with my 2013 collection, THE TEARS OF ISIS,* think of “The Ice Maiden,” “Mara’s Room,” and “River Red,” also in the Tombs universe.

While as for AIRSHIPS & AUTOMATONS, adding what I’ve heard thus far of the other 14 stories in its contents, the wait should be worth it.

 

*And, if not familiar, one may press its picture in the center column.

Speaking of “long delayed” anthologies (as we have just below) let us now take a trip in the wayback machine to the year 2012, in the month of September.  Here we find news of such things as a story, ”Avoid Seeing a Mouse,” to be published in the anthology ZOMBIE JESUS AND OTHER TRUE STORIES as edited by one Max Booth III; local group Upstart Poets continues to hold monthly readings; a poem called “California Vamp” has been selected for inclusion in the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s annual DWARF STARS anthology; DAILY SCIENCE FICTION’s first-year print collection has just been received; and then this item from September 4th:

But what about new work?  Well, yesterday’s walkthrough of mounting up email revealed a quick and at first slightly cryptic, more probably from my still starry-eyed condition from Worldcon than any real failing in its wording, message from Chuck Zaglanis . . . the import [of which] is that a hitherto unpublished story, “Raising the Dead,” has been accepted for the upcoming anthology AIRSHIPS & AUTOMATONS.  “We seek steampunk stories featuring strong characters, exciting plotlines, and automatons airships-final-front-cover1-224x300and/or airships.  . . .  Dystopian, humorous, pulp, Lovecraftian, upbeat or dark — all have a place here.  Please don’t feel constrained to write in a Victorian setting.  It’s steampunk, push the boundaries.  We’re looking for that certain flavor of writing that’s hard to explain, but obvious when it’s present.”   

“Raising the Dead” is at heart a love story with curators, ghouls, Necromancers, graves . . . and an airship.  It’s one of my “Tombs” stories set on a far-future dying Earth and, as I noted in my cover letter, “dystopic but with a sort of transcendent hope.”

I went on to say that “[a]s I understand it, the stories in AIRSHIPS & AUTOMATONS will follow a chronological order, beginning with one set in ancient Greece, and progressing to . . . maybe the world of the Tombs?  In other words, as in the guidelines quoted in part above, to take it away from the run of the mill of exclusively Victorian settings and add, I think, an extra level of novelty and excitement.”

And then it disappeared.  As an airship drifting behind a cloud, the anthology . . . was gone!

And so it goes.

Two long years passed, even rumors fading away like wisps of mist before an autumn dawn. . . .

But then — actually on December 30 but due to a hiatus at this end not opened until January 2 — came an email from Editor Zaglanis with a contract attached!  With it was a request to copy, sign, and return two copies “so I can cut you a check.  Feel free to revise your bio if you wish.  Thank you for your patience and the wonderful story.”

So it is back — or at least one hopes.  More will be reported here as it is revealed.  For now at least, the contracts went into the mail this morning; an updated bio was emailed last night (a major addition:  that the collection THE TEARS OF ISIS, then awaiting a hoped for May publication, has since become a 2014 Bram Stoker Award(R) nominee); and, if all goes well, I think AIRSHIPS & AUTOMATONS may become a major addition to the steampunk genre — and one that will have been worth the wait!




  • My Books

    (Click on image for more information)
  • Chapbooks

  • Poetry

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,532 other followers