Posts Tagged ‘Dark Fantasy’

Now, about that interview (see May 18 two posts below, April 18) . . . it’s here!  Conducted by blogger Gwendolyn Kiste, this is a fairly straightforward one with mentions both of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH and my previous book THE TEARS OF ISIS.  And possibly one or two surprises too, like the place football takes in my writing routine.  Or music and differing narrative styles.  Other highlights:  My first ever official fiction sale, and how much did I get?  What are “honorary weekends”?  And, speaking of my writers group (cf. post just below), what of the time the Goth cat Triana added a comment of her own to a member’s story?*

See all this and more by pressing here.
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* And remember, Triana has not been here that long (cf. February 2).

And here it is, the third of my TOMBS-related essays in Heidi Angell’s AN ANGELL’S LIFE OF BOOKISH GOODNESS.  This one is titled “The Ghoul-Poet” and has to do in part with the division of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH into sections based on what’s sometimes called “Five-Act Dramatic Structure,” the structure of classical plays like those of Shakespeare.  Well, that sounds pretty fancy, but then what’s a ghoul doing being a poet?  “The Ghoul-Poet” joins my previous guest posts “It Began With a Map” on March 30 and “What’s a Novel-In-Stories?” on February 9, concerning, respectively, building the world of the “Tombs” and the reasons for choosing a mosaic, or novel-in-stories format for its presentation.

So, okay, then what is a ghoul doing being a poet?  To find out, press here.  Also there are links in the essay to my first guest post, on mosaic novels, and a month before that, on January 9, Heidi’s original interview of me, as well as to Amazon’s page on TOMBS where, at least as of this writing, a bargain $9.95 pre-order price is still being offered*.  (For the second essay, however, you’ll have to scroll down to March 30 and use the link there.)

Then a quick, somewhat related note:  TEARS, TOMBS, and contributions by the Goth cat Triana?  And what about the influence of music?  Yes, an all new interview of me is in the offing, this one conducted by Gwendolyn Kiste (cf. April 18), and has now been officially scheduled for this coming Monday, May 22.  This will be part of a series of interviews I’ve given this year (cf. April 7, March 13, January 10) leading up to next month and the June 1  release date for TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.  So, sure, the purpose is commercial too, but there still should lurk a few fun facts (or so one might hope) about me.

See you all Monday?

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*Or one can always just press TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH’s picture in the center column.

Dragons — bad-ass dragons.  Dragons that destroy things and eat people, and the people/robots/aliens/time lords that fight them or out-smart them — or get eaten by them.  No story book dragons that live in forests helping orphans or peddling psychedelics.  My dragons eat orphans for breakfast.  Timeline and setting is wide open.  Your dragons aren’t necessarily getting stabbed by swords — but swords are welcome too.  I want dragons — awe inspiring fear provoking monsters.  They can be mechanical, mystical, steam-powered, alien, aquatic, from another dimension, or from outer space — but they must be terrifying beasts of destruction.  Here be dragons.

Now who could resist that?  Moreover, while the money offered by publisher Digital Fiction may not have been much (though there may be a royalty involved as well), HIC SUNT DRACONES is to be a reprints only anthology and, as it happened. . . .  Well, as I told them with my submission, [h]ere is the bad-ass dragon tale of “The Bala Worm,” originally published in BLACK DRAGON, WHITE DRAGON (Ricasso Press, 2008), with reprint rights in my possession.  It also appears in my collection THE TEARS OF ISIS (Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, 2013).  

It had the makings of a marriage arranged in . . . well, wherever it is that dragons arrange such things.  And so, this afternoon, the word came back from Editor Michael Wills:  Thank you for sending us “The Bala Worm”.  We think it is a great fit and would like to publish it.

And then one more detail for fellow authors who might have a dragon or two in the closet, the guidelines say the anthology may be open until the end of the month, May 31, for details on which one may press here.  But best hurry because they’ll only want thirty stories or so for about 150,000 words total and some of them (mine included) may be long.

The first anthology of Gehenna & Hinnom will be published in late-September of 2017.  It will feature only the most disturbing and horrifying body horror tales readers have ever read.

The challenge is up to you, the authors. How strange is your narrative capable of being?  How morose is your prose?  How in touch are you with the macabre?

Tentatively titled YEAR’S BEST BODY HORROR in the guidelines, the call seemed tempting.  Pay was minimal but reprints along with original stories would be okay so, as has happened in the past, the muse on my shoulder whispered “Why not?”  That’s the submissions muse, mind you — the story idea muse is not nearly so gentle.  And why not indeed, I had a story originally published in MAELSTROM SPECULATIVE FICTION, in Spring 1999, and. . . .  The word came back from Editor C.P. Dunphey just four days later:  Thank you so much for considering Gehenna & Hinnom for your work, “Flesh.”  The story stands visceral and disturbing; the exact things we love in a work.  We’d love to have it included in our anthology.

As for the story, “Flesh” is a surrealistic sort of a tale in which, in that the guidelines asked for a synopsis, “a wealthy businessman has a series of bizarre dreams as a result of which he decides he should gain weight.  As he grows fatter his wealth grows as well but at the same time he withdraws progressively from ordinary society until one night his dreams come true.”  Also the anthology is listed as open until August 15 so, if interested in submitting yourself, more information can be found here.

Then one other item this afternoon via  POPULARMECHANICS.COM, or, it starts with a wedge-tailed eagle taking down a drone.  And it only gets worse from there in John Wenz’s “7 Robot Beatdowns the Machines Will Definitely Remember When They Rise Up” — would you believe roboticide in the City of Brotherly Love?  Or underage playground bullies?  Anyway, science fiction fans and writers, to better prepare for the Robot Apocalypse, please to press here.

The word from Jay Hartman of Untreed Reads Publishing:  May is National Short Story Month, so we’ll be featuring 30% off all short story collections and anthologies throughout the month of May.  This includes all ebooks, paperbacks, hardcovers and large print titles.  . . .  We will be redoing the homepage in the next day or two to reflect the sale.  Please note that this sale is only in The Untreed Reads Store . . .

and,

SUPER BONUS!  The short story collection that sells the most copies will earn a $50 bonus for the author.   The anthology that sells the most copies will earn a $10 bonus for each contributor.  There’s a minimum of ten copies to be sold to be eligible for the bonus.  This can be any combination of ebook or print.

So the moral is:  There is one book on the list with a story by me — the lead story, in fact, “Appointment in Time” — the anthology YEAR’S END:  14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR.  So if you’ve had a hankering to read dark stories set on New Year’s Eve (or maybe have been looking for inexpensive early Christmas gifts) this is as good a chance to buy it as any.  Just press here (and scroll way, way down to the last title on the list)

OR,

And here’s A LAST-MINUTE BONUS, click on any of the three pictures of Untreed Reads chapbooks by me in the center column, PEDS, I’M DREAMING OF A. . . , or VANITAS, to go to a page with YEAR’S END on it as well.  But also single story chapbooks, it turns out, are on sale too!  This includes a $10 bonus as well for the author of the best seller (hint!), so, if clicking on pictures is inconvenient, just go to my own Untreeds Reads page by pressing here.

IndieWire describes THE LURE as “the best goth musical about man-eating mermaids ever made.”  Not sure there is much more to say.  Agnieszka Smoczyńska’s fiendishly dark and sly modern fairytale is set in Communist-era Poland and highlights the havoc wreaked by two vampire mermaid sisters intertwined in love triangle.  In Polish with English subtitles.  Contains mature content, including violence and nudity.  (Indiana University Cinema blurb)

So what’s not to love?  Perhaps “Golden” and “Silver” aren’t precisely classical vampires, preferring to subsist on human hearts, but they do get at them by biting through people’s throats.  At least Golden does, the one truer to her roots and, as one critic notes, the seemingly smarter of the two sisters.  But LurImage220Silver’s mistake is in taking it figuratively as well, falling in love with a dance club bass guitarist, and even enduring an operation to transplant a human lower body in place of her fish tail.  In spite of the fact that Golden warns her, should the fickle musician marry another, she has to “eat him” before the next sunrise lest she turn into sea foam.
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It doesn’t end well.
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One reason:  the film is actually a version of Hans Christian’s Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” which means part of the deal is she loses her singing voice too, and she and Golden are actually sirens of the lure-sailors-to-their-destruction kind.  And as Golden explains, she doesn’t sing solo.  In fact they’ve become a striptease act of sorts at a 1980s Warsaw night club (“Want to hang out here for awhile before swimming to America?” as Golden asks Silver early on), at one point billed as Corki Dancingu, the Polish title of the film, which I understand translates to “Daughters of the Dance Club.”  Another, perhaps, that it’s really a coming of age film about two young women, but without her sister, can Golden ever get to America by herself?
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On the down side, parts of THE LURE are a little confusing and, from a bit of a conversation I overheard outside the theater, the subtitled translations may miss some beats — but then, songs are a big part of the film too (remember:  Silver and Golden are sirens).  According to the docent before the screening, the 1980s are also important, including a sort of dance hall kitsch, as reminiscent of the director’s own childhood.  Also the music, channeling such films as ALL THAT JAZZ and CABARET, or at least a little, as well as Bjork — and the music is good!  And, the docent added, the mer-sisters do NOT wear seashell bras, but that’s not the only reason for not bringing children to this one as some of the violence does turn toward the graphic (something about “strong stomachs,” I think he said).
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So . . . maybe not the best movie ever made, but a weirdly good one.  I recommend it.

Well, sort of.  Kind of.  Hark us back to April 1 this year, where we may recall that CREEPY CAMPFIRE QUARTERLY, scheduled later this year to reprint my story “In the Octopus’s Garden” (originally published in 69 FLAVORS OF PARANOIA, March-April 1999, as well as lead story in my 2013 collection THE TEARS OF ISIS), was not going to be coming out after all.  And so that was that.  Such things do happen.

But now it seems there may be a spark in the old campfire yet.  Through the efforts of fellow CREEPY QUARTERLY author-to-be Leo X. Robertson, CREEPY CAMPFIRE, zombie-like, is once again stirring out of its grave as a possible special adoptee,  possibly in two volumes, via Jesse Dedman of DEADMAN’S TOME.  And best of all, this won’t interfere with the TALES TO TERRIFY acceptance of “In the Octopus’s Garden” also announced in April 1’s post, to publish in the latter part of 2017, since that involves audio rights alone which CREEPY CAMPFIRE will not include.

More to be announced as it becomes known, but for now a special tip of the hat to Leo and Jesse for showing that, sometimes, you can’t keep a good CREEPY project down!

Another month, another interview, so it may seem.  See, e.g., April 7, March 13, January 10 . . . and that’s just this year!   But come June 1, TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER DAY TIMES OF EARTH is expected to be published and it’s all a part of getting the word out.  Besides, interviews can be interesting both to reader and interviewee if one puts one’s mind to it.  And even fun.

So word came today from blogger Gwendolyn Kiste who interviews quite a number of writers, samples of which can be found by pressing hereThank you so much for your responses!  At this point, it appears that the interview should go live on my website in mid-May.  I will definitely send you an email when I post it.  

And there we have it.  More secrets bared:  My writing habits (some of them quite bad).  The influence of music.  Contributions by the goth cat Triana.  And with this the latest on THE TEARS OF ISIS and, lest we forget, TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.  One of the fun things, in fact, is that each interviewer is different as well, not just in their questions (some of these, of course, may be common to more than one interview) but also in their approaches to questioning.  Matter of fact?  Interested in detail?  Fun-loving?  Quirky?

Search on “Interview” in the “search here” box at the upper right for a tour of the dates I’ve listed above — a possible project for an otherwise dull rainy day?  And check here in May for a link to the newest by Gwendolyn Kiste as soon as I have it!

Yes, a lovely spring afternoon, the eve of Easter, and one’s thoughts turn naturally to gentle bunnies.  Candy, jelly beans, chocolate eggs.  But not all that gentle according to watershipdown_violencePhil Brown on CGMAGONLINE.COM!  Yes, from Jan Svankmajer’s ALICE to DONNY DARKO bunnies have their own dark side as well, and let us not forget WATERSHIP DOWN or NIGHT OF THE LEPUS!  Or in short, for one’s Easter viewing enjoyment, please to peruse Mr. Brown’s selections for  “Top 10 Most Frightening Bunnies in Film History” by pressing here.  Which one will you find in your basket this Sunday?

(And a happy Easter to all as well!)

Well, yes, that’s not really what “trifecta” means, not exactly, but here’s another group of three things all bunched up in one post:

1.  THE BOOK OF BLASPHEMOUS WORDS, a prose anthology for which I sent a poem, er, “story in verse” instead (cf. February 4, January 27, et al.) has appeared in my mailbox.  Not surprisingly, my “Tit for Tat,” originally published in James Ward Kirk’s 2015 anthology GHOSTS:  REVENGE, is the only actual poem in the book, but the editors agreed with me that it seemed a perfect fit.  Further info can be found here.

2.  MOTHER’S REVENGE, briefly noted below in Saturday’s triplet re. my story “Swarms” (see April 8, et al.), looks now as though it will slip past its previously announced April 22, Earth Day release, but hopefully will be at least available for pre-order then.  More on this as it develops.

3.  To quote Editor Jay Hartman of Untreed Reads Publishing:  You may have heard that Microsoft is launching a new ebookstore.  This will be part of an upcoming Windows 10 update, and folks will be able to purchase from the MS Digital Bookstore to read on their PC, laptop or tablet devices (like the Microsoft Surface).  I’m pleased to say that thanks to some of the distribution partnerships we have in place, all Untreed Reads titles and those of our distribution clients will be available on the Microsoft platform at launch.  My books in this batch are short story chapbooks I’M DREAMING OF A. . . and VANITAS and the novelette PEDS, all three of which (along with the anthology YEAR’S END:  14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR, with my lead story “Appointment in Time”) can be found/ordered right now by pressing any one of their pictures in the center column, while more background on the new Windows 10 outlet can be found here.




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