Posts Tagged ‘Earth Day’

Some fungi, viruses and bacteria have evolved a spine-chilling way of being transmitted from one host to another. They turn their hosts into witless zombies.  Say what?  But this is the subtitle of a decidedly non-fictional article,”Real-Life Zombies that Are Stranger than Fiction” by Chris Baraniuk, published earlier this week on BBC.COM.  To quote Baraniuk further:  The zombies we know from fiction are ferocious, flesh-eating post-humans.  And while such stories have never come true, nature is full of disturbingly similar cases of zombification among plants and animals.  Sometimes the parallels are striking.  And moreover this isn’t something new.  While the “victims” thus far seem to be confined to such lower life forms as insects and spiders, at least one zombie-inducing parasite will attack frogs.

So are humans next?  I have a story, “Swarms,” coming out on Earth Day, April 22, in MOTHER’S REVENGE (Scary Dairy Press, see March 8, et al.), that takes a similar spin from possibly mutated ichneumon wasps — another insect of interest in itself.  But according to Baraniuk, some ants, at least, have been so affected for 48 million years.

Interest whetted?  Then gird your stomach and take another big swig of green beer, then check it out by pressing here.  But do so at your own risk as, to quote its author once more, [t]here is something particularly disconcerting about the idea that an animal’s behaviour could be drastically changed by an infection or parasite, but it is a phenomenon well-established in nature.

Swinging into the life of the writer, two days ago the contract arrived from the “Scary Dairy Press Team” for their eco-horror anthology MOTHER’S REVENGE (see February 12, et al.).  My offering in this is a story I’m fond of, “Swarms,” originally published in Lone Wolf’s 2001 CD ROM anthology BLOODTYPE (and listed in Datlow/Windling’s THE YEAR’S BEST FANTASY AND HORROR — ah, those were the years!) and also in my collection DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET.  A reprint in the recycling bin, as one might have it.  But MOTHER’S REVENGE is mostly to be original fiction, as most anthologies tend to be these days, making my little tale an exception but, if I may say so, a good enough fit for the theme for (my having explained the story’s status in my cover letter) the editors to have accepted it anyway.  Only problem, the contract that came was one designed for original fiction.

What one does then, though, is fairly standard.  This was one I was to print out and send back as hard copy, so what one does is to pen in corrections, initialing each as well as signing the contract as a whole at the bottom (thus, in effect, signing the contract “as corrected,” in theory allowing the publisher then to correct the corrections if need be, then send it back, and so it goes. . . ).  In this, changing a reference from “first rights” to “one-time rights” and lining out wording having to do with no “prior publication” (since for reprints there is, by definition).  And thus yesterday it went into the mail while I emailed the publisher telling them that it was on the way as well as explaining the changes I’d made in case they might cause any problem at their end.  Then, later that evening I got an email back, Wonderful!  Thanks so much!, so apparently we’re still on the path for a hoped-for Earth Day, April 22, release.

To help save the trees, Jay Hartman of Untreed Reads Publishing has announced “[o]n Wednesday, April 22nd, we’ll be offering 50% off all of our ebook titles for the day in honor of Earth Day.”  The discount will be good both at the Untreed Reads Store and DriveThruFiction, but again for only one day.  They further 9781611874822_SMannounce that several of their other distribution partners may also participate, “so be on the lookout for those promos as well.”

My titles at Untreed Reads are the chapbooks VANITAS, I’M DREAMING OF A. . . , and the novelette PEDS, all of which can be ordered by clicking their pictures in the center column, plus the lead story, “Appointment in Time,” in the New Year’s Eve anthology YEAR’S END:  14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR which can be reached by pressing here.

This is good only for orders today as I understand it.  Nor do I think my titles are even sold by AllRomanceEbooks (but they are by OmniLit — I checked), but here’s the skinny as emailed to me by Untreed Reads Publishing late last night:  “Beginning at midnight CST, OmniLit.com and AllRomanceEbooks.com will be offering a 50% rebate to anyone who purchases titles through them on April 22nd.  This will be handled as a credit to the customer’s account to be used on a future purchase.”  My Untreed Reads titles are VANITAS (a steampunk/mystery originally published in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE), I’M DREAMING OF A. . . (a short sf/horror tale for Christmas), PEDS (a near-future novelette), and the leadoff story in YEAR’S END: FOURTEEN TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR (New Year’s Eve gone bad), and both sites offer books in PDF, Kindle, and EPUB formats.  If interested, OmniLit can be reached by pressing here, and AllRomance here — but best hurry because the sale ends at midnight tonight (also Central Time).




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