Posts Tagged ‘Cthulhu’

A humble serving of completely irreverent Cthulhu and Lovecraftian inspired stories.  This assortment of horror short stories and flash fiction takes Cthulhu and other elements of Lovecraftian mythos and tells them in a comedic tone.

Yep, so says the blurb on Amazon.  DEEP FRIED HORROR:  CTHULHU CHEESE BURGER (cf. January 16, 4) is up and available both on Kindle and in print.  It is a smallish book as such things go, only about sixty pages, but not overly expensive either.  To see for yourself and/or order, press here (for print) or for Kindle press here.

My part in this porridge is called “The Reading,” first published in UNIVERSE HORRIBILIS (Third Flatiron Publishing, 2013), a literary tale of poets and poetry, and trepidation when reading in public . . . or something like that.  It doesn’t end well.

To quote from the advertising copy:   CTHULHU CHEESE BURGER comes with four juicy patties, layers of melted cheese, and fresh baked buns.  A very delicious combination of savory flavors, which is good.  You’ll need something to distract from the full-body possession that occurs later.  You might experience vomiting, seizing on the floor, and risk biting your tongue, but you’ll then be enslaved by Cthulhu’s powerful mind-magic.

Why not give it a try?

Looking to January 4 and the first story acceptance for 2020, last night the contract arrived from Deadman’s Tome and DEEP FRIED HORROR:  CTHULHU CHEESE BURGER and, less than an hour ago as I write this, I e-mailed back my agreement to the terms.  This was the one for Horror, campy horror, schlock, and dark fiction about Cthulhu and other lovecraftian influences.  Think off-beat Cthulhu stories. . , with my entry in it a flash piece called “The Reading,” about a poet who writes on dark subjects.  The greatest horror of all, however, is that which he faces in reading his poems. . . .

Thus the writing life continues — with more details to be revealed as they become known.

Genre and theme:  Horror and dark fiction involving greasy Lovecraftian influenced stories.  Think unconventional stories with Cthulhu such as Cthulhu pokemon, Cthulhu trying to get a date, stories like that.

Deadline:  OPEN  Close Jan 15th 2020

It seems Deadman’s Tome is at it again (cf. MONSTER PARTY, December 27, et al.).  The anthology to be called DEEP FRIED HORROR:  CTHULHU CHEESE BURGER.  And note, fellow writers, that “Mr. Deadman” is still reading for it.  But I, I bit early, sending a short piece about a poet and a reading gone wrong — horribly wrong! — on December 28.  This a reprint, to keep myself honest (and, well, the pay isn’t all that huge either, but, hey, this one’s fun!), originally published in UNIVERSE HORRIBILIS by Third Flatiron Publishing in 2013.  So, anyhow, came the answer today, short and sweet, the first story acceptance of 2020:  You got the theme down!  Off-beat Lovecraftian stories.  I’ll send a contract soon.

And there you have it.

Stranded on an off-world base, a tech specialist seeks to outwit a confused AI before it kills him.  In the depths of space, a mining ship finds a vein of ore that will make everyone aboard rich — if they figure out what happened to the crew of the ship that was here before them.  Waiting for the unwary reader of this book are stories of madmen playing with science beyond their control, and alien creatures with malign intent.  Welcome to Dark Horizons, where the future is lost.  Featuring fiction by Jay Caselberg, Eric Del Carlo, Aaron J. French, and Christopher Fulbright.  And also me, which the Amazon text doesn’t state specifically, but you can’t fit everyone in a blurb.  And Dark_Horizonssomewhat hilariously when you check out the”About the Authors” section in the book itself, is that the one that’s under my name (“. . . a mysterious recluse from the wild mountains of Pennsylvania . . .”) is not about me!  If anyone knows who it is about, I would be curious too.

But that’s not important.  What is are the stories, of which mine is the first in the book, “Dark of the Moon” (cf. September 18, 15, January 22, et al.), one of three that are reprints, originally published in CHILDREN OF CTHULHU (Del Rey, 2002) and later reprinted in FUTURE LOVECRAFT (Innsmouth Free Press, 2011; Prime Books, 2012).  “Dark of the Moon” is a tale of a lunar landing gone bad (they all go bad in a book like this, don’t they?), this one the first on the moon’s back side, the side we never see that always faces away from the Earth.  In addition are eighteen other stories, all of which look like potential winners.

So yesterday DARK HORIZONS arrived with “Dark of the Moon” in the computer cave mailbox, sent in the dark, end days of October (the 29th by postmark to be exact, and never mind Amazon’s November 15 publication listing).  For more, press here.

Does Cthulhu slither? Whatever it does, CTHULHU HAIKU II AND MORE MYTHOS MADNESS, to give it its full name, officially published by Popcorn Press in January (cf. January 7, October 25) but with various delays bedeviling its actual appearance in the, um, flesh, was seen today in my very own mailbox.  Sitting now on the table, Cthulhu-Haiju-II-coverpreparatory to more dipping into, ultimately to find its home on a shelf of books in the shade of such titles as BIZARRO BIZARRO, UNTIL THE END, WE WALK INVISIBLE, MISERIA’S CHORALE, and DAILY SCIENCE FICTION, is that a faint pulsing one sees in its pages?  An unhealthy sheen to its garish cover?  But never mind — at last it has appeared. And details on how it can be yours too can be discovered by pressing here.

My slime in this sea-spume consists of five poems, titled (in order of their appearance) “Slow-Motion,” “The Vampiress Dreams of an Evening in Innsmouth,” “Bad Vacation,” “With the Economy What It Is, Maybe We’ll Take Any Job We Can Get,” and “It Must Have Been That New Fish Food.”  The first and last of these are reprints, having had the poor taste to originally appear in CTHULHU A LOVE STORY (PROSPECTIVE: A JOURNAL OF SPECULATION, October 2012), while the remaining three are original to CTHULHU HAIKU II.

Editor Maria Kelly writes:  “Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19th, 1809.  His short stories and poetry have been an influence on this author/editor since she was a child and read her first Poe story, ‘The Tell-Tale Heart.’  My love for all things creepy and weird grew from reading Edgar’s stories, and later I discovered the bizarre terror that is H.P. Lovecraft.  These two authors are must-reads for fans of horror fiction.  H.P. Lovecraft was himself a fan of Poe and was greatly influenced by his work, which can be seen in his poems ‘The Poe-et’s Nightmare’ and ‘In a Sequester’d Providence Churchyard Where Once Poe Walk’d.’  Lovecraft called Poe his ‘God of fiction.’

“I got a ton of submissions for this issue.  Some you can tell in just a few lines are undeniably Poe/Lovecraft fandom, while others are a bit more subtle and some blend elements of Poe and Lovecraft together.  New Mythos abominations have been born.  There is even a poem.  And a creepy new Dupin story with a horror twist.  Monsters coming out of every shadow.

“CAUTION:  Don’t read before bedtime . . . unless nightmares are your thing.”

And so, today, THE WERE-TRAVELER Lovecraft/Poe homage issue is up, with my micro-addition, “The Farmer in the Well” (see post just below), available in it by pressing here.  But once you’ve read it (it’s very short), be sure to press the Home button to see the whole issue with many, many more delights — even including links to the poems by GrowingConcernsH.P.Lovecraft cited in the first paragraph quoted above!

In other news, Editor Alex Hurst announces that the Chupa Cabra House eco-horror anthology GROWING CONCERNS (see January 9, et al.) has received its first review, a full five stars on Amazon.  My weed in this woodpatch is “Seeds,” concerning a link between flowers and Chicago baseball, and a not-quite-average garden supplies store, and it gets a mention along with the rest.  To see all for yourself, press here.

So, shortly after I posted my birthday remembrance for Edgar Allan Poe, below, what should appear in the ol’ electronic in-box but this, from Editor Maria Kelly:  “Thank you for submitting your story ‘The Farmer in the Well’ to THE WERE-TRAVELER for The Shadows Only Hide the Monsters issue.  I am accepting it for the issue.  I like that it blends both Poe and Lovecraft elements.”  This was another one of those “at the last minute” submissions, sent just last Tuesday for a Wednesday deadline for THE WERE-TRAVELER’s “Tribute to H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe” themed January issue in the Micro Fiction (100 to 500 words) category.  “The Farmer in the Well” is itself a reprint, having first appeared in the original CTHULHU HAIKU (Popcorn Press, 2012 — cf. December 4 2012, et al.).

The acceptance email went on to say that the issue, with story, “should go live within the next 1-4 days.”  For information, and link, check back here.

Life still goes on.   And so a cold Monday late afternoon was brightened by an email from Lester Smith of Popcorn Press that, although delayed by unforeseen circumstances, CTHULHU HAIKU II (cf. October 25) has now been published on Kindle and, in print, via Createspace, with a print edition expected on Amazon as well in the next few days.  I have Cthulhu-Haiju-II-coverfive poems in all in this extravaganza, none of them haiku exactly (but actually short poems of any sort were game, as well as flash fiction):  “Bad Vacation (A Shadorma),” “The Vampiress Dreams of an Evening in Innsmouth,” “With the economy What It Is, Maybe We’ll Take Any Job We Can Get,” “Slow-Motion,” and “It Must Have Been That New Fish Food.”  The latter two are reprints from CTHULHU A LOVE STORY (Prospective:  A Journal of Speculation, Oct. 2012) while the first three are original to CTHULHU HAIKU II.

So these are my first publications for 2014, for those keeping count, with the kindle version available by pressing here, and in print from Createspace by pressing here.

So that’s one more than the games needed to win the World Series, but it was an almost last-minute thing — and this in spite of a guidelines admonition that it would be a good thing to submit early.  But that’s how it goes.  And none of the poems were haiku either (there was one shadorma), but they don’t have to be, the constraint being only that Cthulhu-Haiju-II-coversubmissions be short poems or prose less than 1000 words.  And for more than that, well, check out posts here for the original CTHULHU HAIKU with my story “The Farmer in the Well” (cf. December 4, October 7 2012).

So anyhow Popcorn Press has decided to do it again and, at the last minute (procrastination, procrastination), I got together seven poems and sent them in and, just the day after, Editor/Publisher Lester Smith accepted four — and asked if I might rewrite the last line of a fifth and send it back in!  The fifth was the shadorma, a six-line, syllable-counted form somewhat like a lune smushed into a haiku, titled “Bad Vacation,” and this afternoon (deadline day) it was accepted too.  The other four are all free verse of varying lengths, two of which are reprints from PROSPECTIVE JOURNAL’s CTHULHU A LOVE STORY titled “Slow-Motion” and “It Must Have Been that New Fish Food” (see January 10 2013, September 21 2012), and two new poems, “The Vampiress Dreams of an Evening in Innsmouth” and “With the Economy What It Is, Maybe We’ll Take Any Job We Can Get.”

Popcorn Press is a fun little outfit that’s used work of mine in two other books too, HALLOWEEN HAIKU (see November 22 2011) and THE HUNGRY DEAD (December 30 2010), and I fully expect CTHULHU HAIKU II will be fun as well — regardless of whether the final line in “Bad Vacation (A Shadorma)” works for you or not.  More information will be found here as soon as I get it.

Perhaps we remember PROSPECTIVE:  A JOURNAL OF SPECULATION with its intriguingly  themed anthology issues such as CTHULHU:  A LOVE STORY (cf. January 10 2013, September 21 2012) and WHEN SIRENS CALL (May 11, February 21 2013), for which I sold, respectively, the poems “Slow-Motion” and “It  Must Have Been that New Fishfood,” and “Terpsichore’s Daughter” and “Medusa’s Daughter.”  This latest time out the announced theme was AFTER THE FALL, ANGELS ARE KIND OF DICKS and, in an only semi-last-minute way this time (a full ten days before deadline!), I decided to try a piece of flash fiction on them.  So Monday afternoon the word came back, that Editor/Publisher Lauren Stone has accepted my “The Left Behinds,” a riff on the Book of Revelation concerning three who had missed the Rapture (and not surprisingly since, as one of the three explains, it’s a made up conceit that’s not in the Bible), one who thought he should have been taken, one who was no better than she ought to be, and one who had frittered away his life watching horror movies.  Or so the first, Mr. Holier than Thou, proclaimed.

“The Left Behinds” will be appearing in the Summer issue, with the fall issue open for submissions on July 5 through Aug 15 on the theme SURRENDER THE SASQUATCH AND NO ONE GETS HURT.  More information can be found here.

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