Posts Tagged ‘Darker Loves: Tales of Mystery and Regret’

This anthology may include one or more genres such as:  horror, dark fiction, dark fantasy, speculative fiction, or bizarro.  Your story may occur in any time, place or space.  Mix it up, but make it thought provoking and disturbing to the human conscience.  It’s up to you whether you 16683838_930076053794765_573496424401927699_noffer the world hope, provide an answer to survival, or predict final death and destruction on the very last page.  Such was the call for MOTHER’S REVENGE, with a following acceptance from publisher Scary Dairy Press my first for this year (for prose fiction, that is, cf. January 21).  This was the one about man’s mistreatment of the environment, with possibly not so nice consequences.  And now word has come that a publication date has been set, for Earth Day 2017, April 22.

My part in the party is a tale called “Swarms,” originally published in CD ROM form in BLOODTYPE (Lone Wolf Publications, 2001) and later in print in my DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET collection, on the aftermath of the first Iraq war and some curious things that were found in the desert.  More on MOTHER’S REVENGE will be here when it becomes known.


And it’s the first for a story in story form (as opposed to a story in verse form, cf. January 16 below) for 2017!  The story is “Swarms,” also a reprint originally seen in Lone Wolf’s CD ROM anthology, BLOODTYPE, in 2001 as well as my 2007 print collection DARKER LOVES.  The acceptance is for MOTHER’S REVENGE, . . . a passionate anthology about Mother Earth taking her world back from the humans and teaching us a lesson.  . . .  Any aspect of an ecological disaster or climate change mothersrevenge1problem can be created or considered.  And so, on the day that Donald Trump was officially sworn in as the next US President, publisher Scary Dairy Press e-replied:  It’s with great pleasure that we notify you that your story “Swarms” has been accepted for the MOTHER’S REVENGE anthology.  Our readers enjoyed your tale and thought it fit perfectly with the anthology theme!

As it happens, “Swarms” in a way has its own political component, in this case beginning with the first action against Iraq under President George H.W. Bush (that is, the father, not the son), where at least one side, and probably both, had chemical weapons whether or not used.  But spent, leaking chemicals from a bombed-out convoy could be worse than those that were used and at least dispersed, having who knows what effect on local fauna, especially of the smaller varieties like certain insects.

And so it goes, with more on MOTHER’S REVENGE to be reported here as facts become known.

A short note this time of a discovery no more distant than my street mail mailbox, the receipt of Volume 3 in Bards and Sages GREAT TOMES series, THE GREAT TOME OF greattomev3-125102232_stdFANTASTIC AND WONDROUS PLACES (see September 21, et al.).  My story in this is of an early 20th century expedition into the Wild Wild East — which is to say Russia’s Siberian wasteland — and what was there found.  Presented in the form of a scholarly journal article, a slightly differently formatted version was published in EXTREMES 5 (Lone Wolf Publications, 2003) as well as reprinted in my second collection, DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET (Dark Regions Press, 2007).  Or, for more on this current version, one may press here.

This is another of those periods where there seems to be something new happening every day.  And let us be thankful while it lasts!  For today it’s a notice from Julie Ann Dawson of Bards and Sages Publishing that the third volume in their GREAT TOMES series, THE GREAT TOME OF GreatTomeV3.125102232_stdFANTASTIC AND WONDROUS PLACES (see August 29, June 23, et al.) has been released.  Available both in print and Kindle, this one has my story “Ice Vermin,” originally published in EXTREMES 5 (Lone Wolf Publications, 2003; also reprinted in DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET for which one may press its picture in the center column), here reformatted into a new edition, describing the travails of an early 20th century Russian expedition into Siberia — and what they found there.  For more information and possible ordering one may press here.

But then, speaking of exploration, and once again through the sheer wonder of serendipity, have you yourself ever wanted to know what and where is the most remote place on Earth?  Courtesy of BIGTHINK.COM one may wonder no more, via “Solitude, Space Junk and Sea Monsters:  the Eeriness of Point Nemo,” by Frank Jacobs.  The question posed, in Jacobs’s words, is “What do sci fi pioneer Jules Verne, horror writer H.P. Lovecraft and the Russian space programme have in common?”  The answer is a point in the South Pacific Ocean located at 48°52.6’S 123°23.6’W.

For more, press here.

Just a quick note, that Volume 3 in Bards and Sages GREAT TOMES series, THE GREAT TOME OF FANTASTIC AND WONDROUS PLACES has been posted by Amazon for pre-order in its Kindle edition.  Print, presumably, will follow.  My journey in this juxtaposition is a dark Russian fantasGreatTomeV3.125102232_stdy set in the early Twentieth Century, “Ice Vermin,” originally published in CD ROM in EXTREMES 5 (Lone Wolf Publications, 2003) and in print in my second collection, DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET (Dark Regions Press, 2007).  Ah, but with one difference, this being the “scholarly edition” where editor’s notes within the text in the original version have been replaced by end notes, thus separating, in a sense, the narrative into two separate stories.

So you, the reader, thus have a choice — you can look up the end notes as you come to them, thus replicating the original version, or wait until you get to the end and read them in one lump, solving perhaps some mysteries that came up along the way.  In either case, though, for more information, one may press here.

And so, having received the first GREAT TOME volume (see just below), what should come in Tuesday’s email but an acceptance and contract for my story “Ice Vermin” for Volume 3, THE GREAT TOME OF FANTASTIC AND WONDROUS PLACES.  Theme:  Plots revolving around the exploration of fantasy or alien locales in which the acts of exploration and adventure are central to the plot.  It is a reprint (the GREAT TOME series does not pay much, but it is a kind of neat venue to be in nonetheless), initially published in CD ROM form in EXTREMES 5 (Lone Wolf Publications, 2003) as well as in GreatTomeV3.125102232_stdprint in my second collection, DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET (Dark Regions Press, 2007).

The acceptance was not entirely unexpected, however, as I had been asked about making a possible change to the MS which I then sent back, having eliminated interspersed “editor’s notes” ( the story is actually two separate narratives, the first excerpts from the journal of an early 20th century Russian explorer, the second comments the greater part of a century later explaining, with hindsight, portions of the original text) and replaced them with numbered end notes.  Thus, as emailed to me, “I like this much better.  Particularly because I can play with the actual formatting to give it the ‘look’ of an academic publication a little.”  This fits in with the idea of the GREAT TOMES in general, not an annotated excerpt in the “Notes” section of a relatively ephemeral geological journal, but a more full-blown scholarly treatise preserved many hundreds of years in the future, collected thus with other material into a  “Great Tome.”  And, also to the point, it’s a change in form only, not in content, thus telling the same story and in the same way, but just in a slightly different package.

The first GREAT TOME was published in March, as we might remember, even if actually just now received; the second, THE GREAT TOME OF DARKEST HORRORS AND UNSPEAKABLE EVIL with my story “Pavlov’s Dogs” (see April 27, March 4) due, if all goes on schedule, in June.  And so this third volume is tentatively set to be out in September.

Yesterday saw proof sheets for my story “Bubba Claus Conquers the Martians” (cf. September 3, et al.) from Joanne Merriam of Upper Rubber Boot Books for the anthology THE MUSEUM OF ALL THINGS AWESOME AND THAT GO BOOM, which in turn were returned by me in the wee hours of this morning with two very minor corrections noted.  This will be the third Christmas story of mine this year that came out, or will come out (THE MUSEUM appears to be on track to be published the first thing in 2016) a month more or less from or after the darker_love1Yuletide, in anthologies which themselves have nothing to do with Christmas.  The others are ”A Christmas Carnage” published November 13 in THE FIRST ANNUAL GEEKY KINK ANTHOLOGY (see November 18 et al.) and “The Good Work” published on Kindle November 26 with print to be out soon in BLURRING THE LINE (see November 22 et al.), with “Bubba Claus” a tale tipping its hat to perennial “Top Ten Worst Movies” listee SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS, originally published in HOUSTON:  WE’VE GOT BUBBAS (Yard Dog Press, 2007).

Then in other news, I discovered today that clicking the center column picture for DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET led to a no longer open web page.  That has been corrected as of this afternoon, with a new link that should take readers to the book’s listing on Amazon.

So this was my weekend.  Up till the wee hours of Saturday night/Sunday morning poring over changes to my ILL-CONCEIVED EXPEDITIONS story, “Ice Vermin” (cf. July 23, March 10, January 13), then sending the corrections back to Editor Neil Baker.  In most cases I was content to let things pass — after all it is a reprint, also available in my 2007 collection DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET for those who might wish to compare with the “author’s cut” for themselves — but there were about six items that needed either to be changed back or reworded for sake of consistency, character, or technicalities.  That said, however, from the contents it looks like a winner and, hopefully, still will be out on schedule by month’s end.

Then today brought the new “season’s” opening of the Bloomington Writers Guild/Boxcar Books sponsored First Sunday Prose Readings (cf. May 3, et al.).  Featured writers were Richard H. Durisen with an other-worldly science fiction piece, “The Long Cold” (Durisen also, I might add, has published poetry in several magazines we’ve seen mentioned here, notably DISTURBED DIGEST and ILLUMEN); Annette Oppenlander with an excerpt from her just-out second historical novel, ESCAPE FROM THE PAST — THE DUKE’S WRrapunzelATH, “about a nerdy teen who, trying out an experimental computer game, unwittingly time-travels to medieval Germany”; and Jim Stark with an excerpt from GREAT LAKES SKIPPER, also a historical novel in this case based on the life of his own great-great-great grandfather.  These were followed by five open-mike readers, of whom I took the number four spot with a deconstructed fairytale, “The Glass Shoe” on what really went on with Cinderella, originally published in 2011 in Pink Nacissus Press’s RAPUNZEL’S DAUGHTERS AND OTHER TALES (cf. July 3, January 5 2011).

There will not, however, be an official First Sunday reading for September this year, that also being the weekend for Bloomington’s Fourth Street Festival of the Arts and Crafts, with the Writers Guild presenting readings there on the Spoken Word Stage (see August 30 2014, et al.).  This was announced along with a preliminary schedule of half-hour readings, both poetry and prose, with mine being billed as “horror fiction” for 4 p.m. Sunday, September 6.  While I haven’t completely decided, I’m leaning toward a presentation entirely from THE TEARS OF ISIS (last year I featured one story, “River Red,” but with two others from other sources), possibly even including another tale of Cinderella.

I had originally considered “The First Hundred Years,” a pre-Romero zombie tale based on a Jamaican legend and originally published in my second prose collection, DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET.  But, as I thought further, I asked myself if a tropical setting would really be best for a story specifically read in October to help build a mood for the StrangeMissDRegionsupcoming Halloween season.  Instead, thought I, how about New York state in the Taconic Mountains, perhaps in Colonial times, in a town that’s not found on any maps and with — dare one suggest it — perhaps a Lovecraftian atmosphere to it?  And thus the story I finally chose for this month’s “First Sundays Prose Reading & Open Mic” (cf August 14, 3, et al.) was “The Calm,” originally published in NEW MYTHOS LEGENDS in 1999 and later reprinted in my first prose collection, STRANGE MISTRESSES:  TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE.

First Sundays Prose is a monthly feature sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild and host venue Boxcar Books and includes three featured readers for about fifteen minutes each, followed by a chance for audience members to read.  In fact this was the second time I was a featured reader, the first being at the second “First Sundays” ever in February last year (cf. February 4 2013) where I read THE TEARS OF ISIS’s “River Red” (first published in the 2009 Canadian anthology ESCAPE CLAUSE).  This month the other readers were Michael Manis, a visiting lecturer at Indiana University where he teaches creative writing and composition, with excerpts from a novel he’s currently working on set in 1870s Kansas, and Bloomington poet, prose writer, Writers Guild founding member, and chairperson emerita Patsy Rahn who read a scene from what will be a radio drama series based on the legend of Psyche and Eros.

More on the Writers Guild, including upcoming scheduled activities, can be found here.

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