Posts Tagged ‘Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine’

Let us recall for a moment a mystery solved on August 17, of the “mysterious” contract signed August 9:  The anthology title is MURDER AND MACHINERY, from European publisher Black Beacon Books, concerning (to quote from the guidelines) “machinery old or new used as a means of murder or menace.  We’re looking for suspense, technological horror, even a little sci-fi or steampunk.”  My part in this is a tale called “Vanitas,” an early favorite of mine first published in the January 1996 ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE, and is about a church choirmaster in its titular New England town, a one-time ship’s carpenter, and a tragically ill-fated traveling circus.  Well, more on this has just been revealed, the final, official Table of Contents.  Or, from Editor/Publisher Cameron Trost:  Here it is in a very orange meme!  Feel free to share the news. 

Expected publication date is still set for next year.

Let us hark back an item or two to August 9, regarding the contract signing for, well, an anthology story, but the publisher doesn’t want details reported until it’s ready for a general announcement.  As pointed out, this isn’t all that unusual, in this case hoping to add a completed table of contents to the official reveal.  But still, it’s nice sometimes for there to be a tease or two, a partial announcement perhaps or maybe some piecemeal glimpses to help pique potential readers’ interest.

So today, from Editor Cameron Trost:  Just a quick email and update.  We’ve received signed contracts from most of you (just awaiting two more).  Thanks for getting them back promptly.  Obviously, we won’t announce the table of contents until we’ve received all the contracts, but for those of you who have already returned them and are very eager (and thankfully and rightly so!) to make the announcement about your involvement in the anthology, please go ahead.  At this stage, feel free to share the proposed cover design (attached), and share details as previously announced regarding the theme (fairly obvious as the title is self-explanatory) and expected publication next year.

And so:  The anthology title is MURDER AND MACHINERY, from European publisher Black Beacon Books, concerning (to quote from the guidelines) machinery old or new used as a means of murder or menace.  We’re looking for suspense, technological horror, even a little sci-fi or steampunk.  My part in this is a tale called “Vanitas,” an early favorite of mine first published in the January 1996 ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE, and is about a church choirmaster in its titular New England town, a one-time ship’s carpenter, and a tragically ill-fated traveling circus.

There’s plenty of time left, however, to make a pledge in the DISCORDANT LOVE BEYOND DEATH:  DARK AFFECTION ANTHOLOGY kickstarter (to give it its full name; see also below, September 6, et al.), scheduled to end on October 6 at 7:59 a.m. EDT.  And the premiums include not only book deals, but there’s also a link to an assortment of related swag (scroll way, way down toward the end of the site), and even for those who don’t want to pledge yet there’s a series of mini-bios of the authors to check out, as well as their own brief comments about the stories.  In other words, a sort of sampler before jumping in.

The title kind of says what it’s about; the initial call was for [a]n anthology of short creepy & emotional stories based around the idea of love evading the limitations of life & death.  For the anthology I am looking for around 20 short stories — (based on the overall word count of all accepted entries).  The genre will be a mix of ghost stories / horror / thriller and erotic fiction, cross genre stories are welcome.  Each story to be of approximately between 4,000 > 8,000 words in length.  Mine in this was a non-TOMBS, more real world (though at the beginning of the 1930s Great Depression, in northern Florida) crime story, “The Sending,” originally published in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE and also reprinted in my first collection, STRANGE MISTRESSES:  TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE.  Which might kind of say it for the anthology:  wonder and romance, leavened with death, perhaps a murder or crime or two (though mine, a ghost story, begins with one partner already deceased).
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For more, though, the kickstarter’s author comments provide many clues, all of which may be seen by pressing here.  (And also [*ahem*] a timely pledge may mean more money in authors’ pockets.  Well, a little bit anyway.)

Word has come from Bards and Sages Publishing’s Julie Ann Dawson that THE SOCIETY OF MISFIT STORIES PRESENTS. . . VOLUME ONE (see December 9, October 16, et al.) has been nominated for Best Anthology in the 2017 Preditors and Editors Reader’s Poll.  Lead story in the volume happens to be by me, winning its spot as best of its year in THE SOCIETY OF MISFIT STORIES’ own poll, a fantasy mystery originally published in ALFRED HITCHCOCKS MYSTERY MAGAZINE titled “By Force and Against the King’s Peace.”  And so, if you voted for me or not, you can now vote for the entire anthology by pressing here.  (But beware if you do.  The announcement cautions that [u]nfortunately, the voting process is a little cumbersome.  Make sure to confirm your email address after voting so that the vote counts.  The good news is that you only need to confirm your address the first time.

Also, if you’d like to know more about THE SOCIETY OF MISFIT STORIES itself (or even possibly buy a copy of Volume 1 — just scroll on down the page until you come to a link), press here.

Two quick Saturday items, the first of which is the receipt of a large paperback copy of THE SOCIETY OF MISFIT STORIES PRESENTS. . . , VOLUME ONE.  This is the hard copy version of Bards and Sages Publishing’s first year’s collection of longer stories, that is ones hard to place in most electronic magazines, etc., because of their length.  And mine, “By Force and Against the King’s Peace,” a magical courtroom drama originally published in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE, appears first in the book, a result of it winning a readers poll in its electronic version (cf. October 16, January 19, et al.).  For more, one may press here.

Then today also marked the Bloomington Writers Guild’s Year End Party and Annual General Business Meeting Plus Open Mic, for which I presented orange slices for the pitch-in refreshments, and eight very recent, very short, epigrammatic poems for the readings.  One of which, “Wet Work,” was my most recently published poem in the current STAR*LINE (see December 2, et al.), while the others, thus far unpublished, were “From the Zombie Hunters Field Guide:  Tracking the Zombie,” “The Young Transylvanian’s Guide to Dating:  Taking Your Date Home,” “Never Trust a Vampiress,” “What She Learned,” “Oh No She Didn’t?,” “City of Angels,” and “Land of Milk and Honey.”

This just in from Editor Cliff Gerstang, that EVERYWHERE STORIES:  SHORT FICTION FROM A SMALL PLANET, VOLUME II (cf. November 27, September 29, et al.) can now be obtained in a Kindle edition.  One need but press here.  But for those new to this blog (or perhaps short of memory), let us now take a trip on the Wayback Machine to July 25 2016everywhere-stories-vol-ii, quoting from publisher Press 53:  With a theme of “It’s a Mysterious World,” this exciting addition to the EVERYWHERE STORIES series, edited by award-winning author Clifford Garstang, takes readers on a journey around the globe:  to a wrestling match in Turkey, to a mysterious eye doctor in Guatelmala, to a homeless man wandering the streets of Chicago, to a religious school in Samoa, to a drowning in Mexico, to a fortune-telling monk in Korea, to a miraculous hotel in Egypt, and to more stories in countries on every continent.

Yes, that EVERYWHERE STORIES, VOLUME II, originally published in good ol’ print in the days of yore on September 26.  So these things take time, sometimes.  My tale in this one is “The Wellmaster’s Daughter,” of crime and family life gone sour in the Sahara Desert, originally told in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE, November 1991, and also reprinted in my collection STRANGE MISTRESSES:  TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE (for more information, click its pic in the center column).  Or for the print version of EVERYWHERE STORIES, VOL II, us dead tree buffs can still press here.

This year, we launched a new initiative called The Society of Misfit Stories.  To celebrate we’re adding the “Misfits” to our Reader’s Choice poll.  Let us know which story you have enjoyed the most so far.  Each story is only 99 cents and they are also available as part of your KindleUnlimited subscription.  This was the announcement from Bards and Sages Publishing as part of their annual Reader”s Choice poll.  This year, however, we are changing things up.  You will still select your favorite stories from each issue, but now the Author of the Year selections also include authors published in our GREAT TOMES series and THE SOCIETY OF MISFIT STORIES!  You can also vote for your favorite “Misfit” that we have published so far!  But the thing was, while I’m not sure they follo51hxoyeaatlwed through on the others, a quick check of the “Misfit” voting showed that my entry in the stand-alone electronic chapbook series, BY FORCE AND AGAINST THE KING’S PEACE (see October 3, et al.), was running in first place!

And now polls have closed and, while I’ve not received an official announcement yet, the totals on the voting pages show BY FORCE to have won in the “Misfits Division,” if one may call it that, with 56 percent of the final vote!  Or, to see for yourself, press here.

BY FORCE AND AGAINST THE KING’S PEACE, incidentally, is a reprint, originally published in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE in December 1999, a tale of mystery and courtroom drama concerning a peasant’s plea for redress against a wayward wizard.  As for THE SOCIETY OF MISFIT STORIES (cf. July 6, June 23), the general idea is to provide a place for longer stories, from about 5,000 to 20,000 words (BY FORCE is about 9800 words), to provide a loving home for those misfit tales that are too long for most periodicals but too short for print.  So it looks like it may be printed yet again, or at least so has said the polling information, that [w]inning stories and authors will be invited to have their work republished in next year’s BARDIC TALES AND SAGE ADVICE anthology.  But if you want to read it right away, you can also press here.

In a slightly belated announcement  (I just got the news yesterday myself), EVERYWHERE STORIES, VOLUME II (cf. September 18, 6, et al.) was officially published Monday this week, September 26.  This means it can be ordered on Amazon, B&L, etc., as well as directly from publieverywhere-stories-vol-iisher Press 53, this last by pressing here.  Edited by Clifford Gerstang, and not necessarily genre bound, the book contains tales set in various countries the world over, no two repeated.  Mine for instance, originally published in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE (also in my collection, STRANGE MISTRESSES:  TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE), is “The Wellmaster’s Daughter,” set in Mali, a horrorish crime tale of family relations gone bad in the Sahara Desert.

For those in the Washington DC/Virginia/North Carolina area, several signings for EVERYWHERE STORIES have been planned, for updates on which one can check out their Facebook page here.  Also for a bit more information, an article on the launch appeared in the AUGUSTA (Virginia) FREE PRESS, and can be found here.

“Can a poor farmer get justice in a court of law when an errant wizard destroys his crops?  And even if the crime can be proven and restitution ordered, how does one compel a wizard to comply?”  This the blurb, or at least a preliminary version, by Bards and Sages Publishing for my story “By Force and Against the King’s Peace,” currently scheduled for September 9 for THE SOCIETY OF MISFIT STORIES (see July 6, June 23).  This is a new electronic-only publication, tailored for stories from about 5,000 to 20,000 words, “to provide a loving home for those misfit tales that are too long for most periodicals but too short for print.”  And so today the galley proof came with a request for it to be returned by the weekend with any changes.  Yes, the life of the writer continues.sorceress1

“By Force and Against the King’s Peace” has been published before, in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE in December 1999, and, yes, partly because of its relatively long length (about 9800 words), it has not been reprinted since.  Also it is a story of crime, though speculative too as defined by Bards and Sages’s guidelines (“horror, science fiction, slipstream, steampunk, magical realism, etc.”), a sort of fantasy courtroom drama involving a young, new-minted wizard just starting her practice and an experienced, older — but not too old — King’s Justice of the Peace.

And, of course, magic.

“Imagine yourself in a cemetery.  Void of all light at the base of a tree.  But it’s no ordinary tree.  This tree abounds with the dead.  Now envision that each tree limb is a short story with its own vision, its own length of words, and its own insanity. . . .”

So begins the description on Amazon of CEMETERY RIOTS (cf. May 5; September 2, August 27 2015), dated the last day of June, the 30th, by Editors T.C. Bennett and Tracy L. Carbone with stories by such as Richard Christian Matheson, Hal Bodner, Cemetery RiotEric J. Guignard, John Palisano, William F. Nolan, and, um, me.  A “new collection of dark cautionary tales” in which mine, “The Re-Possessed,” might be seen as a warning to never stiff (yes, pun intended) the funeral director.

But hey, this is one we’ve been waiting for, so without, as they say, further ado, for more information/ordering press here.

Then, received this afternoon, my fantasy/mystery courtroom novelette “By Force and Against the King’s Peace” has received a publication date for Bards and Sages Publishing’s THE SOCIETY OF MISFIT STORIES (cf. June 23), a new electronic-only series tailored for science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories from 5,000 to 20,000 words that may find themselves at an awkward length for submission elsewhere.  “By Force. . . ,” at a tad less than 10,000 words, is itself a reprint (which is okay, though it’s expected that most “Society” members will probably be new) originally published in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE in December 1999, and is being tagged here to appear on September 9.




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