Posts Tagged ‘Dark Fantasy’

And here’s a tip:  try thinking like a comedian; some of their takes on ideas/events/people/things can often inspire/trigger your own weird, wild, BOULD creativity.  Some of my personal favorites are Steven Wright, the deadpan American comedian; Milton Jones, a Brit; and the “Scenes We’d Like to See” segments of a BBC show called “Mock the Week,” all available on YouTube.  (Just a suggestion.  If nothing else, you might have a good laugh or two . . . or ten.)

Say what?

So it was part of a call for the annual BOULD Awards competition, which actually does award smallish prizes as well as publication in an annual anthology.  The anthology, not surprisingly, would be titled BOULD AWARDS 2019 SHORT STORY ANTHOLOGY.  And the reading period was about a year long.

BOULD, by the way, stands for “Bizarre, Outrageous, Unfettered, Limitless, Daring” and, despite the above, does not necessarily have to be comic.  Up to three stories could be submitted, of 3000 words or less apiece, with the judging based on character, plot, writing style (“voice”), creativity and DARING/boldness/audacity (“pushing the envelope” or going beyond it).  So why not, thought I, and I sent in two on January 9, and then more or less forgot about it.

AND NOW IT CAN BE TOLD, word having been sent by Editor Jake Devlin Monday, November 4, with a request to wait on announcing it until the 8th (though due to an over-zealous spam filter, not actually received till yesterday, November 7):  both stories have been accepted for publication in the 2019 BOULD Awards Anthology, which will be published in early December 2019 or perhaps before.  Though no word yet about the money prizes, which range from $10 to $50 for the four top places, perhaps to be revealed to me later (or maybe the judges, while liking my work, didn’t like it that much).  But acceptances — in this case both for reprints — are still acceptances, yes?  More here as it becomes known.

And the stories themselves?  The first is “In the Octopus’s Garden,” originally published in 69 FLAVORS OF PARANOIA for March-April 1999 and also lead story in my 2013 collection, THE TEARS OF ISIS; the second “Mr. Happy Head” from WICKED MYSTIC for Spring 1996 (as yet uncollected).

Yes, it has come, the “Derelicts” edition of BLACK INFINITY (cf. October 28, et. al) arrived in my mailbox this afternoon, and a big book it is at just over two hundred 9 x 7 1/2 inch magazine-sized pages.  And it’s a handsome book as well, from its opening Carl Sagan quotation (There is a wide yawning black infinity.  In every direction the extension is endless, the sensation of depth is overwhelming.  And the darkness is immortal.) through fifteen stories, a poem, an editorial, and several additional departments and features.  My part in this, a potpourri of contemporary tales and revisitings of older masterworks, is the second to last of the stories, “Ghost Ship” (that is, which we met again in the post just below), directly following a reprint of “Mystery of the Derelict,” first published in 1907 by William Hope Hodgson!

So what can be said.  I recommend it.  It wasn’t quite in time as it happens for Halloween, which only made the anticipation keener, but now with it in my hands I look forward to a lot of good reading — beginning tonight!

The email was to the point:  Thanks so much for making Black Infinity a great reading experience.  All payments via PayPal or by check have been sent and Amazon will be shipping contributors copies soon.  So, Amazon not always being speed demons, the issue still should be here in, say, less than two weeks.  It’s one I’m really looking forward to, both for the concept and for the author lineup (see October 21, et al.), but also to help decide what I might send for considering for future issues.  Or, in short, I think this one will be a keeper.
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BLACK INFINITY 5, incidentally, was officially published just ten days ago, on October 18, and if interested can be ordered by pressing here.

Came the announcement and with it the link:  AURELIA LEO’s All Hallows’ Eve Sale is around the corner!  Horror, dark fantasy, and paranormal titles are up to 25% off from October 27-November 7th!  Grab a discounted haunting tale before it’s too late!  Pay using credit or debit, including your bank account, using PayPal, Square, or CCBill.  You can even mail a check!  And so there’s more to it than just one book, but that’s the one that interests us (i.e. me), the Saturnalia-themed anthology HYPERION & THEIA and in it my long poem, originally published in White Wolf’s 1994 DARK DESTINY (also a Rhysling Nominee that year), “Dreaming Saturn.”

Or as Amazon has it, HYPERION & THEIA:  An Illustrated Anthology features otherworldly speculative poetry, stories, and art.  Gods and Goddesses of old prepare for destruction.  A demonic circus delivers a haunting finale.  The Shebeast lurks in the forest and pulls at heartstrings.  Alien diet supplements wreak havoc in near-future San Francisco.  Three women conspire to break an oath with a wicked witch.  The Herculaneum Scrolls reveal the role of ancient aliens.  A Roman warrior and a warrior turned slave venture into the territory of a Queen of ancient Egypt.  Two cowboys track dark magic in the Wild Wild West.  Ghosts stuck in the mortal realm high off drugs.  You are a lone radio jockey after the apocalypse.  Including, heading the contents, my multi-page poem “Dreaming Saturn.”

The sale, as said, covers other books as well and will run from October 27 through the first week of next month, ending November 7.  For more, press here.

It isn’t the first time for “Ghost Ship,” first published in TECHNO GOTH CTHULHU in 2013, but its latest incarnation can now be found in BLACK INFINITY (see October 13, August 11; also re. story April 28 2013, et al.) as of last Friday, according to Amazon’s dating.  Or, quoting the blurb, [the] Fifth issue of the magabook of creepy science fiction adventure, featuring fantastic tales of mysterious abandoned ships in space and on the high seas, with Gregory L. Norris, Douglas Smith, James Dorr, David VonAllmen and others; with classics by Philip K. Dick, Alan E. Nourse, Jack Williamson, Andre Norton and others.  Plus:  a tribute to Irwin Allen’s Lost in Space (1965), retro movie reviews, weird science fact, a comics story, and more.  Well, actually Amazon misspelled my name [blush] but it’s there correctly up at the top on the magazine’s cover!  (And, yes, I’ve corrected it in the quote above.)

More to the point, there’s a lot of other good stuff to be found including classics by Philip K. Dick, et al., as said above, with “Ghost Ship” second from the bottom in the story contents.  The magazine’s theme is “derelicts” with “Ghost Ship” being the tale of a Flying Dutchman sort of appearance on a far future sea in the universe of my mosaic novel, TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.  In fact, for those who may have read TOMBS, one might recall the fishermen at the end of the story-chapter “Miasma,” who make a second appearance here.

Be that as it may, for more on BLACK INFINITY one can press here.

Set in the “universe” of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, but an ancillary story not in that volume, “Ghost Ship” was first published in TECHNO-GOTH CTHULHU in 2013.  But again on the haunt, with Halloween coming, it has more recently been in the news with its acceptance, and then contract signing for a special “Derelicts” issue of science fiction journal BLACK ETERNITY (cf. September 15, August 11).  And so, again, it has materialized; from Editor Tom English:  Here’s “Ghost Ship” for review.  Please let me know if anything (text or formatting) needs adjusting.  If possible, please get back to me by Tuesday or sooner.  Thanks again!

So the writing life ticks on.  The issue will be BLACK INFINITY #5, set to be out later in October, in time for you-know-when.  And, the copy checked over and my reply sent, I’ll be looking forward to it in time for reading as ghosts and pirates and who knows what else flock to my door questing for Halloween candy.

Yes, the email said the final week but the site itself says only “five days,” though it also says Sunday, October 6, 7:59 AM EDT, perhaps as an allowance for London time?  But one way or another in just a few days the DISCORDANT LOVE BEYOND DEATH kickstarter (see September 12, et al.), and the opportunity to sign up for bargain copies and even swag, will be no more.   Love takes on many forms, as does death, and this anthology features twenty-two stories that dance the line between Dark Affection and Paranormal Romance, where death is not the end but merely the start of some truly original tragedies, tales that will often stop you dead in your tracks, challenging your preconceptions of what is right and wrong, before allowing you to return and continue reading.  DISCORDANT LOVE BEYOND DEATH offers up twenty-two fabulous inspired short stories, by a fresh line-up of authors from around the world, ensuring that there is something for everyone; and with many being on the macabre side, we believe that this anthology makes the perfect alternative gift for those who want something a little different come Valentine’s Day.

My tale in this tangle is one of hauntings, and gangsters in Depression era Florida, and of a young woman whose life is in danger titled “The Sending,” a slightly longer description of which can be found on the kickstarter site itself, along with descriptions and mini-biographies of all the writers.  And, as said above, many prizes including publisher-related cups and T-shirts and other such merch, but one still must act fast.  (And may one remind, from the authors’ point of view, last minute pledges may mean higher pay?)  So for information and possible action — the book itself is slated to be out on Valentine’s Day 2020, so why not reserve your copy today? — one need but press here.

Well, at the top of the list of names at the lower right, but you get the idea.  And . . . appearing just above Philip K. Dick?  Not shabby at all (and look farther down on the list as well)!  The magazine is DARK INFINITY #5 (see September 15, August 11), the “Derelict” issue, and my story is a reprint too, “Ghost Ship,” harking back to TECHNO-GOTH CTHULHU (Red Skies Press, 2013) and set in the universe of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.

But as for the magazine itself, let’s let Editor Tom English do the honors:  Cover of BLACK INFINITY #5, (the DERELICTS issue) out in early October.  Stories by Gregory Norris, David VonAllmen, Douglas Smith, James Dorr, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Stewart C Baker, Jason J. McCuiston, Philip K. Dick, Andre Norton, Jack Williamson, Alan E. Nourse and others, with art by Allen Koszowski and others.  Plus:  retro movie reviews by Matt Cowan; weird science by Todd Treichel; a classic SF comics story from the 50s; a special tribute section to the original Lost in Space series; a brief survey of derelict spaceships in SF; and a free music download (details inside the mag) created especially for BLACK INFINITY by Mac of BIOnighT.  — with Jason Krueger.

And out well in time for Halloween — I’m looking forward!

These aren’t your run-of-the-mill fairy tales.  The stories in this anthology are all about conniving creatures.  We didn’t limit the genre, so expect humor, horror, romance, and tragedy.
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Really, we hope, by reading these stories, you will avoid making the mistake of trusting any type of Fair Folk.  Still, if you do make that mistake, we’d sure love to include your future unfortunate story in volume two of this anthology.
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So the full title of the anthology was GRIFTY SHADES OF FEY, and the story I’d sent was called “The Kerry Pipers,” an original tale but with perhaps fey folk a little bit nastier than the guidelines suggested.  That is, these weren’t exactly into just fun tricks and jokes.  Then came the email today from Fiction Vortex Editor/Publisher Mike Cluff:  Thank you for your submission!  I really love the story.  However, I have decided to not include it in this first GSOF anthology where it would not get enough deserved attention. So that’s not so good, though perhaps not entirely unexpected.
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But the email continued:  I do want to include it in the next anthology as one of the primary stories.  GRIFTY SHADES DARKER is set to hit Kickstarter in Spring 2020.  The theme will be horror and the much darker side of the Fey.  If you are interested, and willing to keep the story out of the market until then, I would list you as one of the authors on the Kickstarter campaign page and the re-designed Fiction Vortex homepage.
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So, long story short, this afternoon I sent back my “yes.”

The story is called “Ghost Ship” and it’s for a special “Derelicts” issue of BLACK INFINITY.  The magazine’s subtitle:  “Strange Science, Weird Worlds, Hostile Aliens, Renegade Robots  . . .  and the Cold Vacuum of Space.”  And so, “Ghost Ship” having been accepted (see August 11), this morning the contract arrived and, signed later today, has gone back to Editor/Publisher Tom English.  Another small part of the writing life.

The call had been for tales of [a]bandoned space ships, alien ships, lost ships on the high seas, as long as they had some science fiction element, and added that reprints would be welcome too.  “Ghost Ship” itself was originally published in TECHNO-GOTH CTHULHU in 2013 (cf. May 2 2013, et al.), and is set in the universe of my novel-in-stories TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.  It is a sea story about the origins of a “Flying Dutchman”-like apparition, as told to the crew of fishing boat hurrying back to land just before a new sunrise.

So then the next step, receipt of a PDF file of the story for proofing should come, according to the email, in a week or so and, when all else is ready, is set to appear in BLACK INFINITY #5.




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