Posts Tagged ‘Charles Christian’

“Matches,” short, sweet, and by SFWA/HWA guidelines paid at a professional rate to boot, has just appeared on GRIEVOUS ANGEL, a part of the UK’s URBAN FANTASIST site.  As for what it’s about, let’s let Editor Charles Christian describe it:  It’s the start of a new year, a time when many of us start new jobs or pursue new ambitions — but what if you are a wannabe superhero with no special powers.  In this absurdist fantasy story Matches, James S. Dorr considers what happens when your dream is snuffed out like a candle (in the wind).

So here’s my welcome to 2018 in a manner of speaking, one that I’ll hope will be followed by many more stories and poems as the months progress, some reprints, some — like this one — to be published for the first time.  To read it, press here.

What is this about nine-day acceptances (see “Needle-Heat Gun,” July 29)?  We may recall England’s GRIEVOUS ANGEL, publisher among other things of my Rhysling-nominated poem “On the Other Hand,” on King Kong’s doomed romance with Fay Wray (cf. September 5, March 30 2015).  So on that same day, July 29, just nine days before today as it happens, I sent GRIEVOUS ANGEL a flash submission for which has just come from GA-White-Red copyeditor Charles Christian:  Another fantastic story — love it & will use it.  Has that wonderful mix of quirky with a human touch.  And so for the first acceptance for August, a new story, “Matches,” the 650-word “slightly absurdist” tale of a frustrated young man who hopes to set the world on fire.

Then yesterday brought the coming fall’s opening “First Sunday Prose Reading & Open Mic” (cf. May 7, et al.), co-sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild and local bookstore Boxcar Books, with featured readers Dennis McCarty reading reflections on the Little Bighorn/”Custer’s Last Stand” battle site from his upcoming book, tentatively scheduled for early 2018, MONUMENTS:  ONE ATHEIST’S TOUR THROUGH TIME, CULTURE, AND MEANING; Wendy Teller with opening excerpts from her novel-in-progress BECOMING MIA BROWER; and novelist Annette Oppenlander, who noted that her first ever public reading had been at a Writers Guild First Sunday and, scheduled to leave Bloomington later this month, this will be her last reading here, an excerpt set in Germany in the final days of World War II from her fact-based SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND.  All were interesting and well received, though the presentations for the open mike session after the break were a bit skimpy.  Mine, third of only three on a rather gloomy afternoon outside, added perhaps to the ambience with a tale of New Orleanian vampiress Aimée, “Flightless Rats,” on a date gone bad, one that’s been around the block a few times already and is soon to be reprinted next month in FANTASIA DIVINITY (see below, July 16 and 7, et al.).

And two announcements regarding First Sundays:  Next month will be skipped insofar as September’s first weekend will also bring the Bloomington Arts Fair with the Writers Guild-sponsored Spoken Word Stage.  Then for the month after, on October 1, I have been asked to be one of the featured readers.

Saturday was writers group day (in which yet another “Casket Girls” story was on the griddle) after which, lurking in my mailbox back home, what should I find but the Winter 2015-16 issue of FOCUS (see February 7)?  This is the British Science Fiction Association magazine oriented toward writers, but which also contains, on page 34 as an on-board sticky note alerted me, Poetry Editor Charles Christian’s column “Poetry From the Stars” in which is, as first of seven poems and a sixteen entry “Scifaiku” section, my poem “On the Other Hand.”  “On the Other Hand” is my take on why fay1a marriage between King Kong and femme fatale Fay Wray could never have lasted, and was first published by the BSFA in the August 2015 GRIEVOUS ANGEL.

“On the Other Hand,” incidentally, is also a finalist in this year’s Rhysling Poetry Competition, sponsored by the (US-based) Science Fiction Poetry Association in the “short poems” division (see March 17,  just below), of which more here as it becomes known.  And, as for FOCUS — a nicely put together issue and one I look forward to reading more thoroughly —  as the editors have explained, an actual appearance a month or so after the date on the cover is not that rare a thing.

The word came Friday even though it had been up for a couple of days: “On the Other Hand” (cf. July 26, March 30), my poem30AugGrievousAngel on why the tragic romance between King Kong and Ann Darrow, a.k.a. Fay Wray, could never have worked out, is up and alive with three other poems by poets Annie Neugebauer, John Reinhart, and Miki Dare on GRIEVOUS ANGEL.  GRIEVOUS ANGEL is the poetry and flash fiction division of British editor Charles Christian’s URBAN FANTASIST, for which this week’s manifestation can be found by clicking here.  Also the poem’s title, “On the Other Hand,” is a tip of the hat to actress Wray who made that the title of her autobiography which, in turn, begins with a letter of forgiveness addressed to Kong.

Perhaps what you keyed in was the British site SCI-FI-AND-FANTASY.LAND, but what you now see says CHARLES CHRISTIAN’S URBAN FANTASIST, FEATURING THE GRIEVOUS ANGEL WEBZINE.  It doesn’t matter.  What does for this blog is that yesterday evening, for possibly the last March gasp for poetry acceptances, GRIEVOUS ANGEL editor Christian sent me this email:  “Good to hear from you again – all good pieces but the standout for me – and on a theme I haven’t seen before – is On the Other Hand.  Love it – and will definitely use it.”

GRIEVOUS ANGEL may be recalled as having published my now Rhysling-nominated “Beware of the Dog” (cf. March 16; September 11, June 30 2014), a study of werewolves in modern times.  “On the Other Hand,” however, is set in the past, in 1933 to be precise, and has to do with the doomed love affair between KING KONG anfay4d Ann Darrow, as played by Fay Wray.  In short, it suggests that it may have been just as well that, in the end, it didn’t work out.

One can see from the illustration at right the seeds of disaster, his having left Fay to her own devices on the building’s ledge while he plays with biplanes.  And Fay Wray’s autobiography with its own opening letter to Kong is titled, itself, ON THE OTHER HAND.

But for the full story check GRIEVOUS ANGEL in perhaps a few months.

So is it GRIEVOUS ANGEL or URBAN FANTASIST or . . . SCIFI-AND-FANTASY.LAND?  Actually it’s the last one now to mark an expansion of the British site.  As Editor Charles Christian explains:  “Why?  Because we now cover so much more than urban fantasy, 11SeptAngelincluding science fiction, dark fantasy, steampunk, horror, the paranormal — in fact any weird stuff, news, images, video, fiction or poetry we like and think you would too.  We have more plans for the future . . .  bookmark this site and we’ll keep you updated.”  However, GRIEVOUS ANGEL (cf. June 30) is still a part of it.

And so today, published under the rubric “New Poetry” are two pieces, the second of which is “Beware of the Dog” by me.

Thus enjoy as a lagniappe — a little extra at no extra cost — what the editor bills “an interesting take on modern-day werewolves”  by pressing here.  Along with, on this post, a portrait of the Grievous Angel herself.

This year’s June 1 post was headlined “May Ends With Lupine DWARF STARS Poetry Acceptance,” concerning my two-line “The Werewolf Explains,” soon to appear in the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s annual “year’s best” short poetry anthology.  And so to end June a new werewolf poem, “Beware of the Dog,” has just been accepted for the “Grievous Angel:  Flash Fiction & Poetry” section of British editor/publisher/writer Charles Christian’s URBAN FANTASIST.  “Beware of the Dog” is a sort of working-class werewolf poem, gritty around the edges, which tries to put lycanthropy into a proper perspective.  In short, I hope an appropriate fit for the URBAN FANTASIST.

Some of us may recall meeting Charles before as poetry editor of FOCUS, THE BRITISH SCIENCE FICTION ASSOCIATION’S MAGAZINE FOR WRITERS when he reprinted “California Vamp” — one of five vamps to make the Atlantic crossing at that time — in its winter 2012-13 issue (cf. March 26 2013, July 5 2012).  Also in 2012 he had accepted my flash fiction piece “The Dragon Tattoo” for an earlier issue of URBAN FANTASIST (cf. June 30 2012).

According to Charles, he’ll get back to me when he has a date for “Beware of the Dog” to be published.  In the meantime, more on URBAN FANTASIST can be found by pressing here; on DWARF STARS and the SFPA by pressing here.

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