Posts Tagged ‘Dark Science Fiction’

Let’s give the piece its exact title, “The 100 best horror films,” subtitled “The best horror films and movies of all time, voted for by over 100 experts including Simon Pegg, Stephen King and Alice Cooper, and Time Out writers.”  The byline (that is to say, the TIME OUT writers themselves) is to Tom Huddleston, Cath Clarke, Dave Calhoun, Nigel Floyd, Alim Kheraj, and Phil de Semlyen and it was posted Friday April 13 2018 on the British site TIMEOUT.COM.  So how can you go wrong?  And, credit due, it comes to us courtesy of C.M. Saunders as mentioned in an interesting review on his blog of the Spanish film [REC] — one of the relatively few “found footage” films that really works — for which one can press here.

But to the main event, quoting the “Time Out writers” (as well, credit due, appropriating their title illustration):  For years, horror, unlike romance, action and science fiction, has been mistreated and subjected to vicious critical attacks.  For some, horror films are focused purely on provoking a reaction with little thought for ‘higher’ aspirations.  For others, they’re just a bit of fun.

Thankfully, it looks like the horror genre is finally getting the recognition it deserves, with recent releases getting Oscar buzz and proving to be box office hits.  To celebrate this often overlooked and thrilling genre, we approached horror experts, writers, directors and actors to help us chose the 100 best horror films.

Yes, I disagree with some, although if it is an endorsement of sorts I’ve seen or own well over half of these.  And everyone reading this will no doubt have their doubts about others, and possibly even criteria used to decide which is best.  And of course some favorites will fail to be there — we all have our tastes, yes?  But for me, also, part of the value of lists like these is finding the films I haven’t seen, but from the descriptions I might well want to.

So, giving a press here, shall we explore together?


So, okay, cutting to the chase I’m scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m for a half hour (well, 25 minutes anyway — cf. just below, August 26) reading, probably of stories from THE TEARS OF ISIS.  But here is the entire two-day schedule from the horse’s mouth, as it were, of readers and performers, poets and prose writers, some known to us from before, some unknown.  So if in the area this coming weekend do plan to stop by — isisnewit’s the FOURTH STREET ARTS FESTIVAL, with artists’ booths galore, but also the Writers Guild’s Spoken Word Stage on Dunn Street, just south of 4th.  While I, in the meantime, practice timed reads while making my final story selections.  (Hint: it’ll probably be a short curtain raiser followed by “River Red,” which I’d read once before a few years back and had gone over well then, set in the TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH universe although actually printed in TEARS.  Two birds with one stone, eh?)

So read, plan, enjoy:

September 1, 2018 @ 10:00 am – September 2, 2018 @ 6:00 pm

Spoken Word Stage at 4th Street Arts Festival

Presented by the Writers Guild at Bloomington
Supported in part by the Bloomington Arts Commission

Labor Day Weekend
Saturday, September 1: 10am – 6pm
Sunday, September 2: 10am – 5pm
Intersection of Dunn and Fourth Streets
Fourth Street Festival of the Arts and Crafts

Save the Date!

Now in its 8th year, the Spoken Word Stage at the 4th Street Arts Festival is one of the largest literary performance events in the Midwest, featuring storytelling, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, live radio theatre, and other unique collaborations.

And of course, the ever-popular Poetry on Demand table will be staffed with a fleet of poets armed with typewriters ready to deliver!


10:30 . 5 Women Poets (poetry)
11:00 . Patsy Rahn (poetry)
11:30 . Merry MAC Players (theatre)
12:30 . Shana Ritter (poetry)
1:00 . Maria Hamilton Abegunde (poetry)
1:30 . Fig Tree Fellowship Radio Players (audio theatre)
2:30 . Mary Pat Lynch (fiction)
3:00 . Juliana Ramos Crespo (fiction)
3:30 . James Dorr (horror fiction)
4:00 . Shakespeare’s Monkey (poetry band)
4:30 . Erin Livingston (poetry)
5:00 . Butch D’Ambrosio (sonnets)
5:30 . Stephen Vincent Giles (storytelling)

10:00 . Eric Rensberger (poetry)
10:30 . New Leaf-New Life (poetry and fiction)
11:00 . Adam Henze (poetry)
11:30 . Monroe County Civic Theater
12:00 . Joan Hawkins (fiction)
12:30 . Lisa Kwong (poetry)
1:00 . Jasper Wirtshafter (poetry)
1:30 . Arbutus Cunningham (storytelling)
2:00 . Richard Hague (poetry)
2:30 . Cricket’s Bone Caravan (audio theatre)
3:30 . Michael Brockley (poetry)
4:00 . Jeffrey Pearson (poetry)
4:30 . Bloomington Storytellers Guild 

Good news for dark science fiction fans — or at least for me and 30 or so fellow writers.  And a thank you as well to those who contributed.  SINS AND OTHER WORLDS (see August 11, July 28, et al. — early table of contents July 19) has met its primary goal and img_1110will (a) be published and (b) its authors be paid!  According to Editor Eric Fomley:  SINS AND OTHER WORLDS is a dark Science Fiction short story anthology comprised of reprint stories from 30 talented authors.  The stories range from deep space, alien planets, alternate realities and beyond.  Most stories within are flash fiction interspersed with several longer works from both emerging authors and titans in the field.  The anthology collects some of the best dark sci-fi in recent memory.  And moreover, sufficient readers have pledged support that two or three bonus stories may be added to the contents.

My story in this is called “The Cyclops,” about an unnaturally intelligent but physically challenged baby, originally published in DARK MOON DIGEST YOUNG ADULT HORROR, June 2013.  More on it and its new companions will be reported here as it becomes revealed.

A quick miscellany to round out Saturday (Sunday I hope I’ll maybe just rest):  SINS AND OTHER WORLDS (see July 28, et al.) has sent a reminder its Kickstarter campaign has less than two days to go, ending 1:27 p.m. (EST) Monday.  This is an all-reprint dark science fiction anthology with a couple of big names in its contents along with the rest of us, and includes my story “The Cyclops.”  It’s still a bit over $100 short as of this writing and, if any reading this should feel the urge, the place to check it out is here.

Then amongst the Forbiddens and the Alternatives, word came today that ALTERED AMERICA (see March 28 2014, et al.), Martinus Press’s alternate history anthology with my “Avoid Seeing a Mouse” is still making sales, though whether enough to amount to a decent royalty split between the authors remains to be seen.  Martinus, however, us also the publisher for FORBIDDEN (yes, that one, with my “The Wind” and “Fetuscam,” cf. August 10, et al.) which one may hope will follow its predecessor’s lead.

Then finally HUMANAGERIE’s release time has been narrowed to “late October 2018,” announced with a request for biographical and other author information.  My story in this one is “Crow and Rat” (see July 29), set in a less-desirable sector of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH’S New City.

It’s a reprint anthology with lots of stories; of science fiction-horror; of many writers including some names you’ll probably know, some newer to the game.  For a table of contents see below, July 19.  To quote the blurb:  SINS AND OTHER WORLDS is a dark Science Fiction short story anthology comprised of reprint stories from 28 talented authors.  The stories range from deep space, alien planets, alternate realities and beyond.  Most stories within are flash fiction interspersed with several longer works from both emerging authors and titans in the field.  The anthology collects some of the best dark sci-fi in recent memory. . . .  One story in particular, mine, is about a baby whose mother half-believes he’s a zombie — and who’s beginning to understand why — titled “The Cyclops.”  It’s an anthology I’d like to read.

But, and isn’t this the case with so many projects, if it’s published at all it will be on a shoestring and it needs potential readers’ help.  Editor Eric Fomley has pledged that he’ll pay the writers, at least a little or else end the project, and yes that gives me a dog in the fight too, but right now the kickstarter he’s set up seems to be running short with only a bit more than two weeks to go (if my arithmetic’s right it will end about midday EDT, August 13).  But don’t trust me with numbers.

For more, please press here.

Two (not one, but two!) contracts came today craving to be signed.  So back they went this afternoon, the first to Pole to Pole Publishing for their RE-TERRIFY anthology with the story “Gas” (see July 10), and the second to B Cubed Press for ALTERNATIVE THEOLOGIES and the poem “Tit for Tat” (July 23, 22, 7, et al.).  Then if that weren’t enough, just moments before as this is written, a second contract came from Pole to Pole for RE-ENCHANT and the story “Dust” (July 8) for a total of three, but being away from the speedy library computer by now, signing/returning that one will have to wait until tomorrow.

That is, if the kickstarter is successful.  To quote the blurb, SINS AND OTHER WORLDS is a dark Science Fiction short story anthology comprised of reprint stories from 28 talented authors.  The stories range from deep space, alien planets, alternate realities and beyond.  Most stories within are flash fiction interspersed with several longer works from both emerging authors and titans in the field.  The anthology collects some of the best dark sci-fi in recent memory.  But (*ahem*) the authors need to be paid, the paper purchased, the publication costs reimbursed, all of which takes money.  My part in this, I should add, is a story titled “The Cyclops,” originally published in DARK MOON DIGEST YOUNG ADULT HORROR, June 2013 (see July 18 , June 17).

Or, to quote once more:  We have 25 days to raise enough funds for this project to get off the ground. Please let your social circles know of our reprint project.  And needless to say, if you can contribute something yourself, please be more than welcome.  More information including special prizes for pledges can be found here.

Then, for a sneak preview, if funding comes through here’s a table of contents:

Alex Shvartsman – The Far Side of the Wilderness
Christi Nogle – A Fully Chameleonic Foil
Dennis Mombauer – The Dust Bathynaut
Douglas Smith – Nothing
Ed Ahern – The Service Call
Eric Choi – Most Valuable Player
George Nikolopoulos – The Sin of Envy
Gerri Leen – Floating in My Tin Can
Gregg Chamberlain – Apocalypse Beta Test Survey
Henry Szabranski – In The Maze Of His Infinities
Holly Schofield – Tough Crowd
James Dorr – The Cyclops
Jeremy Szal – When There’s Only Dust Left
Jez Patterson – Between Two Distant Shores There Lies Space For an Ocean of Troubles
John Dromey – Death, Where Is Thy Sting
Ken Liu – The Plague
Kevin J. Anderson – Job Qualifications
Laird Long – The Last Racist
Liam Hogan – Remembrance Day
Lina Rather – Last Long Night
Michelle Ann King – God State
Mike Murphy – About Time
Mike Resnick & Lezli Robyn – Benchwarmer
Rhonda Eikamp – Angels Behaving Badly
Robert Silverberg – Flies
Russell Hemmell – Tugship
Vaughan Stanger – The Eye Patch Protocol
Wendy Nikel – Memory Ward

The life goes on.  Amidst contests and interviews, Wednesday’s email brought a contract from Shacklebound books for my story “The Cyclops,” set to appear in the reprint flash anthology SINS AND OTHER WORLDS (cf. June 17).  Originally published in DARK MOON DIGEST YOUNG ADULT HORROR for June 2013, “The Cyclops” is told from the point of view of a fast-growing baby with physical problems, but with an advanced enough intelligence that he’s beginning to figure things out.  Say what?  Well, the contract went back to Editor Eric Fomley later this afternoon as requested, so watch here for further information on when SINS is published and ready for purchase to see for yourself.

A quick note today from Pole to Pole Publishing to announce the impending publication of their reprint science fiction and fantasy anthologies RE-LAUNCH and RE-QUEST (cf. February 6, et al.).  And, yes, I have a piece of the pie(s) with a story of a washed-up spaceman’s redemption, “The Game,” originally published in HUB in November 2007 in the former and “The Blade of Gudrin,” about a plucky heroine vs. a tricky goddess originally in the Spring 1993 SPACE AND TIME, in the latter.  Thus, according to Editors Kelly A. Harmon and Vonnie Winslow Crist, RE-LAUNCH is being moved up from an originally planned October release to “late June/early July” with RE-QUEST to follow after.  More on which as it becomes known will be announced here.

Okay, so I lied.  Last December 18, that is (cf. which, at al., below), in announcing ASTOUNDING OUTPOST’s awarding my story “No Place to Hide,” originally published in in the Summer 1991 edition of SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW, the “Editors Choice” prize in their anthology/contest for “Neural Nets, Uplinks, and Wetware” stories, I told a fib or, more precisely, was misinformed.  Said I at the time, [a]s it happens, in addition to first, second, and third places, there was one other award to be given.  Or, to quote from the guidelines:  In addition, one story picked by the editors, not voters, will receive 15 dollars via Paypal and a custom T-shirt from the Astounding Outpost.  This is the equivalent of the second voted-on prize in terms of loot received (in more recent anthologies, a print copy will replace the T-shirt, but NEURAL NETS is the last that’s available in Kindle form only). . . .  Well, I haven’t seen the $15 or T-shirt either, but that’s not the point here*.  Rather, a serendipitous tiptoe through Amazon today has revealed that a print edition of NEURAL NETS, UPLINKS, AND WETWARE:  THE COMPLETE SET, with “No Place to Hide” number three in the contents, can now be found as well — and in fact may have been there since January!

The moral:  Many are the surprises we get in the publishing biz, or, to see (and perchance to buy?) for yourself press here.


*Also, as far as I know, there have been no subsequent anthologies either.

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