Posts Tagged ‘Dystopian Science Fiction’

While Saturday started off a bit cool and clouded for my taste, the sun had established itself by a little past noon and Sunday followed sunny and warm too, a beautiful weekend for this year’s Bloomington 4th Street Festival of Arts & Crafts and, with it, the Bloomington Writers Guild’s Spoken Word Stage (cf. below, August 30).  Along with a number of poets both days, Saturday also brought Bloomington High School South’s Poetry Out Loud (getting the new generation on our side), children’s theater with the Merry Mac Players, FRANKENSTEIN as presented by the Fig Tree Fellowship Radio Players, and poetry “band” Shakespeare’s Monkey.  Then Sunday introduced more prose fiction readers, including Joan Hawkins and Shayne Laughter who we’ve met before (cf., e.g., various First Sundays Prose readings, for which in a way today’s Spoken Word session was a substitute), and . . . somewhat late in the day at 3:30 p.m., me.  In my case, I read three excerpts from TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, the back cover blurb and the introduction to Section II — by way of a sort of introduction — followed by the Section II story-chapter “The Last Dance.”  This was the same as the reading I presented last July at NASFiC in Puerto Rico (see July 13) and it seemed to go over well to an audience that started out on the small side, but grew as I continued, a good sign as these things go.  Next month, also, I’ll probably read the same first two parts but a slightly shorter story-chapter for October’s First Sunday.

Then speaking of TOMBS, Saturday’s email brought an “eligibility check” from the Horror Writers Association for works submitted to the Bram Stoker Award(R) Jury.  This consisted of questions concerning publication date, length and content, and prior publication (if any) of parts of the contents, all of which I was able to answer in the affirmative and send right back.  While this will be checked by the Jury people, with an official “acceptance” probably not for two weeks, one possibly ambiguous thing has been decided.  Although TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH is a novel-in-stories, akin to Ray Bradbury’s THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES or Amy Tan’s THE JOY LUCK CLUB, under the technicalities of the Stoker rules, it will be voted on in the Fiction Collection category.

So what that means in the here and now:  If you’re a HWA member and have read TOMBS, and have a hankering to recommend it for a Stoker, please do it for “Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection.”  But even if you’re not a HWA member, while/if the spirit moves please also consider reviewing it for Amazon and Barnes & Noble (both of which are offering wildly discounted prices on TOMBS, by the way, while they last), as well as on Goodreads.

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“Now in its 7th 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,” the announcement tells us (see also, below, August 9 and 7).  As in years past, I will have a slot too, billed as “horror fiction” from 3:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon, September 3rd.  The event itself, arts fair, music, local displays, and the Bloomington Writers Guild-sponsored “Poetry on Demand” booth and Spoken Word Stage, spans the Labor Day weekend, Saturday and Sunday September 2 and 3, arrayed along 4th Street in Bloomington, Indiana.  Or more to the point for the Spoken Word Stage, just off 4th on Dunn Street.

Here is the schedule, as of today, noting again that I’ll be on Sunday with excerpts from my novel-in-stories, TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, from 3:30 to 4.  And if you like it, I’ll be up again with an excerpt from a different section the following month, in a featured spot at the Writers Guild’s First Sunday Prose Reading, on which more later.

SATURDAY Sep 2
10:30 Shana Ritter (poetry)
11:00 5 Women Poets (poetry)
11:30 Merry MAC Players (theatre)
12:00 Merry MAC cont’d
12:30 Butch D’Ambrisio (sonnets)
1:00 Alex Hollett (poetry)
1:30 Abegunde (poetry)
2:00 Matt Hart (poetry)
2:30 Wil Gibson
3:00 PrideSlam Showcase (poetry)
3:30 Bloomington High School South Poetry Out Loud (poetry)
4:00 Fig Tree Fellowship Radio Players (audio theatre)
4:30 Fig Tree cont’d
5:00 Steve Henn (poetry)
5:30 Shakespeare’s Monkey (poetry band)

SUNDAY Sep 3
10:00 Tony Brewer (poetry)
10:30 Eric Rensberger (poetry)
11:00 Joan Hawkins (fiction)
11:30 New Leaf New Life volunteers (poetry and fiction)
12:00 Adam Henze (poetry)
12:30 Shayne Laughter (fiction)
1:00 Jack Ramey (poetry)
1:30 Jasper Wirtshafter (poetry)
2:00 Wil Gibson
2:30 Arbutus Cunningham (storytelling)
3:00 Cricket’s Bone Caravan (audio theatre)
3:30 James Dorr (horror fiction)
4:00 Lisa Kwong (poetry/personal essay)
4:30 Bloomington Storytellers Guild (storytelling)

In other news, today brought proof sheets for “Flightless Rats” from FANTASIA DIVINITY (cf. July 7, et al.) which, with one correction noted, went back this afternoon.  To be published in the September issue, “Flightless Rats” is the tale of New Orleanian “Casket Girl” Aimée a-prowl for a new husband, but how some prospects may not make the grade.  It is a reprint, originally published in T. GENE DAVIS’S SPECULATIVE BLOG, January 12 2015, and has also appeared in the flash fiction anthology MOCHA’S DARK BREW: 10 TALES OF HORROR (Mocha Memoirs Press, 2016).

In the email station even as I write, a pdf copy of the Hydra Publications anthology DYSTOPIAN EXPRESS, with my story “Invisible People” (see October 30, et al.), has been received.  And with it has come a table of contents in story order, subject to only last-minute corrections, with mine the third to last car on the train.  “Invisible People” is an early story, first published in the Winter 1992-93 issue of DARK INFINITY, ycover artet one that may still be pertinent today, of what happens when people are so disaffected that society has forgotten about them.  But in this case it’s society itself that has forced them out in the first place.

“Occupy,” anyone?  Well not exactly, but certainly not the movements still within politics either, no matter how loudly they may claim to be excluded.  Nor terrorists either, at least not exactly — for these are people who, if not wishing to be entirely unseen, had found that blending in with the crowd, to not be too noticed, could work as a kind of survival technique.

At least up to now.

And these are the problems of just one world as depicted aboard the DYSTOPIAN EXPRESS.  There are eighteen other worlds that appear with it, as we can see here:

.
Table of Contents

Friending, Gregory L. Norris — 1
Republic of Masks, Josh Brown — 4
Greater Good, Jeff Provine — 8
An Unfettered Life, C. Bryan Brown — 17
Surrender, Bob Brown — 32
The Hating, Nigel Anthony Sellars — 39
The Unbinding, M. P. Neal — 59
Cohort 17, Val Muller — 67
Data Crabs, Deborah Walker — 86
The First Price, Benjamin Sperduto — 94
Jötnar, Colonel D. R. Acula — 110
Fudgesickles, Brick Marlin — 122
Scarecrow, Scarecrow on the Hill, Tracy Fahey — 130
The Unnaturals, Michael J. Epstein — 138
Fit to Rule, Stephanie Neilan — 142
When the Wind Blows, Pam Farley — 146
Invisible People, James Dorr — 149
Twenty-One Seconds, Ian Neack — 161
Finding Chidera, Dave Creek — 169

Did someone say the Invisible Man?  Not quite, but I’ve just returned the proof sheets for a story, “Invisible People,” to Frank Hall for DYSTOPIAN EXPRESS (cf. August 23, May 30).  To be 2ae02e6ff992b2e0837892af56eaaa41published by Hydra Publications, “Invisible People” has to do with lots of invisible men, and some women too, and a near future society that likes them fine just that way.  Of course, it being a dystopian society, things may not remain exactly that way forever. . . .

“Invisible People” is a reprint, I should add, having originally appeared in the Winter 1992/93 edition of DARK INFINITY.

Then in other news, the local cave cat Wednesday (for more on whom press “Wednesday” in the column to the far right) celebrates her 11th anniversary of arriving here tomorrow, on Halloween.  All has not been completely well for her, however.  A shelter cat, she’s led a placid enough life once she came here, but this summer — a strange one for insects in general, including the Invasion of the Tiny Ants — she was apparently bitten by a mutant, flea-treatment resistant flea which in turn may have given her a tapeworm or other internal vampiric parasite, in turn afflicting her with anemia.  So last month she went to the vet, has been given meds in her food each day since, and today, Halloween Eve, she went back again for more tests.

The bottom line: she’s getting well!  But there’s still the problem of the possibly mutant fleas, so she is now wearing a modest but elegant, muted gray expensive flea collar of a veterinarian-recommended sort to deter even the most voracious of insects.

I asked, but alas, she couldn’t get it with imitation rhinestones.

Jay Hartman of Untreed Reads Publishing sent this along, that OmniLit is holding a “Welcome To Summer” sale for this Saturday only, offering all titles they sell at 25 percent off.  These include all four of my titles from Untreed Reads as well as one from Northern Frights Publishing.  Three are chapbooks, the stand-alone short stories VANITAS and I’M DREAMING OF A. . . . and the dystopian science fiction novelette PEDS, to which are added the Untreed Reads New Year’s Eve anthology YEAR’S END:  14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR, with my lead-off story “Appointment in Time,” and Northern Frights’s WAR OF THE WORLDS:  FRONTLINES with my dimensional fantasy “The Candle Room.”  Books are available in PDF, EPUB, and Kindle versions unless otherwise noted.

More can be found on the OmniLit site (if you wish to look for me in the search box at the upper right, use “James S. Dorr” in the “Author” category — they refuse to recognize me without my middle initial).  But remember the sale is for Saturday only, June 20, ending at midnight Central Time.

MISERIA’S CHORALE (cf. October 14, June 11), according to today’s announcement from Editor David Nell, “is past the editing phase and I want to thank you all for your patience as it’s been a long wait for some of you.  We’re almost ready for release, but before we do that, I’d like everyone to please preview the book attached and make sure you are happy with the final product.”  With this came a proof copy of the entire anthology,  and a whale of a book it is at more than 600 pages as the “finalized table of contents,” below, would suggest — with my contribution, “The Cherry Tree,” a story of ghosts and memories in Vicksburg Mississippi going back to the Civil War, manifesting itself as 14th in the lineup on page 167.  Publisher Forgotten Tomb Press has set the publication date for sometime before the end of November, so with luck there should be a followup announcement here soon.

Finalized Table of Contents:

In Green Remembered by Christopher Nadeau
Worm Garden by Patrick Lacey
Becoming The Beast by Christian A. Larsen
Sowing The Seeds by Bear Weiter
Hiding by Pete Aldin
Happy Thoughts by Nick Kimbro
When Karen Met Her Mountain by Todd Keisling
One by Cameron Suey
Asrai by Carmen Tudor
Ripped From Heaven by Patrick Tumblety
The Eye That Ate The Sky by Alexandre Mandarino
The Catacomb Enigma by Jon Michael Kelley
From Suicide Station by Adam Millard
The Cherry Tree by James S. Dorr
Because The Night Is Dark And Full Of Monsters by Sergio Palumbo
The Story by Aurelio Rico Lopez III
Choosing My Confession by Meghan Arcuri
Visit by Richard Godwin
Bedfordshire by Peter Crowther
The Face Of Death by Paul Kane
The Wind by Ryan Neil Falcone
Tomb Of The Initiate by Aaron J. French
Thrall by Richard Farren Barber
Evacuation by Jay Wilburn
The Gatehouse by Anna Taborska
Exit To Dove’s Tail by Ken Goldman
Motel Impression by Michael Thomas-Knight
Kicks by Carl Barker
Cracks by Jon Ingold
Give Me Convenience by Shaun Meeks
Red Harvest by K. Trap Jones
King Of A Distant Star by Tim Jeffreys
Trauma Children by Lucy Taylor
Cicada by Caren Gussoff
A Feeble Gleam Of Stars by R.W.W. Greene
Letters by Christina Murphy
The Watching Room by Glen Damien Campbell
Destruction: A Plague Story by Bruce Memblatt
What Lurks Below by Peter Baltensperger
The Shadow On The Hill by Peter Mark May
That Sinking Feeling by Lance Manion
Tug by Douglas J. Ogurek
The Banquet by Fred Skolnik
Formaldehyde Fairies by Alana I. Capria
Lily In The Ether by Christopher Hivner
The Girl Beneath by Dy Loveday
Extremity by B.T. Joy
Instantaneous by Christopher David Rosales

Then also today I signed and sent back the contract for my story “Invisible People” to Editor/Publisher Timm Tayshun for the Chupa Cabra House anthology WE WALK INVISIBLE (see September 23).  Gee, Chupa Cabra House gets around!  My story in this is a  near-future dystopia called “Invisible People” and, as with MISERIA’S CHORALE, more will be reported here as soon as it’s known.

Today has been a sort of “get miscellaneous things done” day:  two more stories put into shape for the “non-announced” new book (cf. November 9); go over a proof copy for “Appointment in Time” for Untreed Reads Publishing’s upcoming YEAR’S END New Year’s Eve anthology (see October 17, 19); submit a few poems. . . .  Speaking of Untreed Reads, however, a bit of news came in last night, that the Open Book Society has published a “Four Star” review of my novelette PEDS (cf. October 24, et al.).  The review is short but descriptive, by “OBS reviewer Caro,” and includes the book’s synopsis with it, the latter also available on Untreed Reads’s site, reachable by clicking on the PEDS cover picture in the center column.

Moreover, I’ve gotten an invitation to write a guest post for the Open Book Society’s “Author’s Corner,” a little something about the writing of PEDS perhaps, although I’m told it’s not likely to go up for some while.  As for the review itself, though, it’s available now and can be seen by pressing here.




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