Posts Tagged ‘Charles Dickens’

And speaking of things not overly jolly, let us hark back to November 26’s post (see also November 11; January 18 2016, et al.), “Cthulhu Christmas Special Cover Revealed, Publication Set for December 1,” and note that DEADMAN’S TOME CTHULHU CHRISTMAS SPECIAL AND OTHER LOVECRAFTIAN YULETIDE TALES is now out in both Kindle and print.  And it’s also already picked up a review, by “JME” who has noted four stories out of a total 11 for special mention.  AND the first of these mentioned is “A Christmas Carnage,” by meA favorite, this story is aptly named.  Lots of carnage, and in a sick way for a sick purpose.  Who comes up with this stuff?

(*A moment while I sit, quietly proud.*)

To see for oneself, one may press here.  And then click the book’s title above the review for more information, including ordering.  It’s a short book, listed as only 82 pages, but judging from the stories and poems I’ve read thus far, worth it!

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The email arrived today, along with a pre-publication electronic copy, to the effect that (to give it it’s full name) DEADMAN’S TOME CTHULHU CHRISTMAS SPECIAL AND OTHER LOVECRAFTIAN YULETIDE TALES is scheduled to be out December 1 in Kindle, with a print edition expected “soon after.”  My story in this is third in the lineup, “A Christmas Carnage” (see November 11; January 18 2016, et al.), originally published in IN THE BLOOD (Mocha Memoirs Press, 2013) as well as THE FIRST ANNUAL GEEKY KINK ANTHOLOGY (Riverdale Avenue Books, 2015).  And, yes, Santa’s elves under the age of 18 may not find this tale entirely appropriate.

Indeed others may find “A Christmas Carnage” inappropriate also, including lovers of Charles Dickens’s immortal A CHRISTMAS CAROL.  Or lovers of puns (the dead don’t approve of such things, you know).  It is the tale of a rather high strung young man (he keeps a chainsaw in his closet for personal protection) with a very specific Christmas wish, and an “umpty-umpth-great” aunt named Carol who might be in a position to grant it.  Or possibly not — but to find that out you’ll just have to read a copy yourself, available for pre-order by pressing here.

‘Tis the season to be jolly . . . in about a month and a half!  But starting the jollity, at least for now, has come this email from Jesse Dedman:  Your story, [A] Christmas Carnage, has been selected for DEADMAN’S TOME CTHULHU CHRISTMAS SPECIAL.  The issue should drop on December 1st and will be available through Amazon in ebook and paperback.  With the email came a contract which has been perused, agreed to, and sent back earlier this evening.

As the title may imply, “A Christmas Carnage” is based quite loosely on Charles Dickens’s immortal tale of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, and has a Carol in it, the narrator’s many-times great aunt Carol who has been dead, lo, these many years.  It is a reprint, having premiered in IN THE BLOODSTREAM (Mocha Memoirs Press, 2013) and also appeared in THE FIRST ANNUAL GEEKY KINK ANTHOLOGY (Riverdale Avenue Books, 2015, and, yes, it’s that kind of story).  Also, of course, it follows the DEADMAN’S TOME guidelines requirement of Genre:  Horror, Dark Fiction, Lovecraftian, including, if not a cameo by Cthulhu itself, a goodly dollop of Lovecraftian lore.  Also a chainsaw.

Need something to read on these long winter nights?  Perhaps a warm afterglow from the just-past Christmas holiday?  Mocha Memoirs has just announced that you’re in luck, that several of their collections, at only $2.99 as ebooks, are also on special sale in their print editions through Friday, January 29, but only if ordered directly from them.  Or, in their own words:

Just after the holidays and Mocha Memoirs Press is still giving away gifts!  Join us for our Warm Winter Collection sale and contest.  Join us as we’re celebrating Winter by curling up with one of our thrilling anthologies or collections.  E-book or print, you still save. Get more story for less money!

Save 30% off of print anthologies and collections purchased through our print store (not available Bloodstreamvia Amazon or BN).  Click the PRINT option below and use code: S9JNPK2Q

All digital collections and anthologies are $2.99 via Amazon or BN.com!

And (now for the plug!) among the on-sale books is IN THE BLOODSTREAM, featuring my “A Christmas Carnage” (see October 28, September 23 2013), the same story also more recently featured in the FIRST ANNUAL GEEKY KINK ANTHOLOGY (that is, sexy too — cf. November 4 2015), the Dickensian/Lovecraftian tale of a lonely Miskatonic U. graduate and his special gift from his “umpty-ump great” aunt Carol.  For which, for more (including link for print order), one need but press here.

But even that’s not all.  They’re also having a special Facebook celebration this Thursday, January 21, as well as a contest to win a $10 Amazon gift card to help buy more books.  For more information on these, as well perhaps more on the sale, press here.

What shall we call it?  Another pre-Christmas literary treat, this one especially for pet lovers perhaps?  Be that as it may, “Did You Know Charles Dickens’ Pet Raven Inspired Edgar Allan Poe?” by Julia Mason on HISTORYBUFF.COM, brought to us via Joel Eisenberg and Lisa Morton on the HWA’s Facebook page, lays out the skinny:  “We recently discovered that Charles Dickens had a pet raven named Grip. The illustrious avian appeared as a minor character in the author’s 1841 serialized mystery novel, BARNABY RUDGE.  This is, in and of itself, the best news ever.  Then we found out that Dickens’ pet inspired Edgar Allan Poe to write ‘The Raven.’  Which basically makes Grip a literary god.”

Grip, it seems, was bought by Dickens as, essentially, research material for BARNABY RUDGE.  Thus, Mason tells us, “[o]n 28 January 1841, Dickens wrote to his friend George Cattermole: ‘My notion is to have [Barnaby] always in company with a pet raven, Dickens-Raven-Barnaby-Rudgewho is immeasurably more knowing than himself.  To this end I have been studying my bird, and think I could make a very queer character of him.’”  While of Poe, while Grip may not deserve all the credit, “most scholars agree that the feisty bird helped inspire his 1845 poem ‘The Raven.’  Poe wrote a review of BARNABY RUDGE for GRAHAM’s MAGAZINE in Philadelphia in 1842.  Although Poe praised the book, he thought Dickens should have given Grip a starring role:  ‘The raven, too, intensely amusing as it is, might have been . . . prophetically heard in the course of the drama.’”

And so it goes.  The “feisty bird” — and Grip apparently was, having eventually been exiled from Dickens’s home to the carriage house — alas died young, most likely of lead poisoning.  The author’s children, it is reported, were glad to see him go.  However, by a concatenation of fate, his stuffed form may still be found today in Philadelphia USA in the Free Library’s Rare Book Department.

For more details, to return to Mason, “Here’s a primer on the coolest pet in avian history” — and for which, press here.

Then for a short note, Saturday’s email also brought PDFs of the corrected pages for “Bubba Claus Conquers the Martians” from Joanne Merriam of Upper Rubber Boot Books, to be published in THE MUSEUM OF ALL THINGS AWESOME AND THAT GO BOOM in, if all goes well, earlyish 2016 (cf. December 1, September 3, et al.).  Thus, even though not a Christmas anthology itself, it will have a Christmas story by me, and be out as well not all that far from Christmas.

“Ever have kinky thoughts about Spock and Kirk?  Princess Leia?  Ever wonder just what you could do with the light saber?”  Yes, THE FIRST ANNUAL GEEKY KINK ANTHOLOGY (cf. November 7 and chainsaw4) is now available in a (ahem) hard copy edition, complete with my own Yuletide-themed “A Christmas Carnage” detailing the adventures of a typical (which is to say, nerdish and virginal) Lovcraftien hero and his long-deceased umpty-umpth great aunt Carol.  And chainsaws.

Buy it, read it, consider reviewing it if you dare — the fun begins right here.

So . . . as promised, the email came at exactly 11:02 Friday night.  The FIRST ANNUAL GEEKY KINK ANTHOLOGY!   And what might such an anthology contain?  To quote from the blurb:  “Inside these pages, you’ll find everything a geeky kinky reader could want — from alien anal probing to comic book super heroes and super GeekyKink300-200x300villains, and even such slightly obscure nerdishness as a new take on Jean Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear and all sorts of Elvin sex.

“And of course, there are ample references to Doctor Who, Star Trek, Harry Potter and Devo. . . .”  Not to mention my own story, “A Christmas Carnage,” jolly and gross, for more on which see just below, November 4.

Or to enter into, as it were, the horse’s mouth, one can press here for the publisher’s site with the rest of the blurb plus ordering info, while Amazon fans need but press here for the Kindle edition (though Editor Lori Perkins warns that the print edition there may take a few days longer).

In connection with Riverdale Avenue Books, we’re looking for new and/or previously published stories featuring geeky kinkiness.  Or kinky geekiness.  How does your inner geek get their rocks off?  Have you turned that amazing scene where you were Twilight Sparkle giving it to another bound pony right in the Pinkie Pie? Got a hot hunt short story about Boba and Han?  Maybe a story set AT the GKE?  Send it in!

Such was the call for the FIRST ANNUAL GEEKY KINK ANTHOLOGY and, believe it or not, I happened to have something that just might fill the bill.  Originally published in IN THE BLOODSTREAM from Mocha Memoirs Press in 2013 (see October 28, September 23 of that year), “A Christmas Carnage” is a Dickensian (based, that is a little, on A CHRISTMAS CAROL), Lovecraftian (sort of), splatterpunky eroticish tale of a young Miskatonic U. grad who has a chainsaw in his closet (a nervous sort, he keeps it for personal protection), and a more than family interest in his long-defunct umpity-umpth-great aunt Carol 3frenchwho had once been an artist’s model in Paris.  So when she makes an appearance as, he would like to think, his Christmas Present . . . well, there is a price, of course, as well as a hint that those in the World of Spirits don’t appreciate puns.

Today the word came:  “Congratulations!  You are in the First Annual Geeky Kink Anthology WHICH WILL BE PUBLISHED THIS FRIDAY, so we need you to sign and return this contract asap.  Please let us know if you will be attending GKE this coming weekend, so you can read your work?”  Proof sheets are to be expected in 12 to 24 hours.  The GKE, or Geeky Kink Event, which alas I had to apologize I would not be getting to, is (to quote their site), “a three-day kink event in New Jersey featuring a full dungeon, classes and workshops, vendors, and plenty of social activities.”  There’s no word, however, as to whether NJ Governor Chris Christie is expected to be a guest.

But I did sign and send back the contract this p.m.

Then for a brief news flash, the previous evening CHILLING GHOST SHORT STORIES (cf. August 21, et al.) arrived.in my groaning overstuffed mailbox.  From Flame Tree Publishing, this is a chunky, nicely made nearly 500-page book containing ghost tales both old and new.  Mine, a reprint from GOTHIC GHOSTS (Tor Books, 1997), is titled “Victorians” and can be found between Charles Dickens’s (ahem!) “The Signal-Man” and “The New Catacomb” by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Among other activities on Halloween, I sent back an interview plus pictures, etc., to Alan Baxter for publicizing Cohesion Press’s upcoming anthology, BLURRING THE LINE, including my Victorian-set tale “The Good Work” (see July 13, March 23, February 7).  Now word has come back:  “Thanks to you all for getting the author interviews back to me so promptly  — we’re all in and well ahead of schedule. I have plenty of time now to create each post.  BLURRING THE LINE is due for release on 26th November, and I’ll be posting your interviews in the same order as the Table of Contents of the book, with Marty blurringYoung’s interview as editor going up first.”  These, Alan goes on to say, will appear one by one each weekday following the 26th, hopefully with subjects and friends helping to pass the word around, or, in Alan‘s own words, “[l]et’s hope this series of posts gives the book some extra exposure.”

This is the one that asks, “Do you really know what’s real and what isn’t?

“What we’re looking for:  BLURRING THE LINE . . . is seeking to blur the line between what is fiction and what is non-fiction.  We want horror stories, tales that are serious and frightening, hard-hitting and imaginative.  We want monsters; vampires and zombies and werewolves and the mummy and creatures from the Black Lagoon and giant killer plants and mutated ants and demons and devils and Mothmen and everything else you can think of or that hasn’t been thought of yet.  But we also want your serial killers and demented and depraved humanity. We want it all. Push your imagination and take us into the far reaches of your darkness, without letting go of reality.  Make us believe.”

And so “The Good Work” informs us of urchins in a Dickensian London with Christmas coming, which means that one must work extra hard to combat the witches — or what are believed to be witches — lest the season’s holiness be corrupted.  But did they really?

Watch this space and, with luck, by the end of the month there should be some links to help one find out.




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