Posts Tagged ‘Ecology’

I’ve been missing out on conventions of late, partly because of the StokerCon split from World Horror Convention (but still in the space of about a month, making it difficult to schedule both), partly for costs, but now with a new book, TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, just out I will be going to NASFiC next month.  This is the North American Science Fiction Convention, held in years when WorldCon will be overseas, and not a convention I’m entirely a stranger to having attended the one in Detroit in 2014 (cf. July 23 et al. that year).  This year’s will be in a possibly more exotic setting, San Juan Puerto Rico (well, yes, that’s a little bit “over sea” too, but it’s still in the US), Thursday through Sunday July 6-9, and late Saturday I received a list of panels I’m scheduled to be on.  So for those who’ll be there too, or are just interested, here’s the scoop:

Thursday – 7 p.m. – Bahia 1 – Reading from TOMBS
Friday – 10 a.m. – San Geronimo – Genre Blending
Friday – 4 p.m. – San Geronimo – The Critical Eye (moderating)
Saturday – 11 a.m. – San Cristobal – Writing Diverse Characters of Impact
Saturday – 3 p.m. – San Cristobal – World Building as More than Background
Sunday – 11 a.m. – San Cristobal – Zombies Over Time and Space

As it happens, most of these have a specific relevance to TOMBS — the idea for me is I hope to have a good time too, but technically I am to be there on business, to help put the word out.  TOMBS is a multi-genre work (Horror, Dystopian SF, Dark Romance); individual chapters include female and/or LGBTQ characters in prominent positions; world building suffuses the whole work.  (Though zombies, on the other hand, are only mentioned in passing in one of the story-chapters, and in a subsidiary role.)  Also, slightly related as of today all three reviews received thus far are up on Barnes & Noble and Goodreads, and two on Amazon, so it’s spreading.  If any out there are reviewers as well, and would be interested in a look yourself, please get in touch with me (a comment below with info on how to get back to you would work fine).  Or, if interested in getting to NASFiC yourself (I understand convention rates for hotel rooms end this weekend, but there are other hotels in the area too), for information press here.

Also received Saturday:  an email from Cin Ferguson of Scary Dairy Press that MOTHER’S REVENGE:  A DARK AND BIZARRE ANTHOLOGY OF GLOBAL PROPORTIONS, to give it its full title, has finally seen publication.  This was the “eco-anthology” originally planned to be out on Earth Day this year, April 22, but delayed (see April 24, 11, et al.).  My story in this is a reprint called “Swarms,” first published in Lone Wolf’s CD ROM anthology, BLOODTYPE, in 2001 as well as my 2007 print collection DARKER LOVES.  For information/ordering MOTHER’S REVENGE in paperback press here, with a Kindle edition also expected to be out in the next few days.

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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.

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.

MEET CUTE (cf. November 23), the flash fiction anthology of unexpected, eccentric, or just unusual meetings of couples, has had a few changes in scope, according to Editor Kara Landhuis.  An immediate one is a change in pre-publication funding from Kickstarter to Indiegogo, deemed a better fit for a smaller publication’s actual needs.  For other news, publication is tentatively planned for January for distribution in February; the funding project itself will close December 31.  meetcute

As Ms. Landhuis explains, MEET CUTE was born out of a love for several things, most notably:  Storytelling and connection.  I wanted to create a book that celebrates human connection, and I thought there was no better way than to invite writers and illustrators to collaborate.  MEET CUTE will include around 20 short stories (very short — fewer than 1000 words each) written by writers from around the world.  There will also be 10-15 black and white illustrations that enrich the stories.  My own entry in this is “Butterfly,” a saga of forests and fairytales — or was that insects and axes?  To find out more, one will just have to buy the book, or for an inside track, check out the Indygogo crowdfunder by clicking here.

In other action, The Bloomington Writers Guild’s December business meeting and end-of-year party was Saturday afternoon.  As in previous years, it ended with an open reading for about a dozen participants, my contribution (in lieu of a story which I suggested I’d save for February’s First Sunday Prose, as being perhaps a bit long for this session) was three Santa Claus poems, posing the question — especially in the case of the first two, which also appear in my collection VAMPS — do we really need Krampus?

There’s a thing about Norwegian Fjords, highly scenic narrow inlets surrounded by tall, steep mountains.  If a mountainside should collapse — which they sometimes do — there will be a tsunami which will cross that fjord as a possibly eighty-meter high wave in a very short time.   Thus tonight at the Indiana University cinema the screening was the Norwegian film THE WAVE, in which geologist-hero Kristin who works for the local resort community’s warning center is getting ready, with his family, to move on to a new, cushy job with an oil company.  Indeed, they’re packed up and will move tomorrow except that Kristin, who has trouble leaving his old gig behind, notices something funny on the sensors that measure the local mountain’s activity.  It’s all a bit odd, though — nothing to TheWaveworry about most likely, except the family is delayed one more night and Mom, in the meantime, what with the tourist season just starting, decides to help out in her just-resigned head night clerk role at the local hotel.

Well, you can probably see what’s coming.  These types of movies do have a pattern, but nevertheless it’s well done, especially in the movie’s first half as more anomalous signals come in, geologists in the field gather more data, and one sees the big one gathering steam with the same never-quite-complete vision the characters themselves would have.  Until, that is . . . well, the movie has been praised for beautiful mountain photography and, when it starts to let loose. . . .

The family dynamic works nicely in THE WAVE too.  The acting is good, though as a writer I did have one qualm.  One of the characters acts irresponsibly, although in innocence, but in a way that later may have caused a number of deaths and which therefore gave me trouble rooting for the character to survive.  But it brings up a moral question as well which is worth considering:  to what extent might one risk other people’s lives in order to try to save one he or she loves?

I don’t think it’s easy, and in this I found THE WAVE more thought provoking than the average disaster flick.  Add to that the first part’s suspense as the disaster approaches, plus nice photography in general, plus, when it happens with a warning time of only ten minutes for a whole town to be evacuated, a realization of how many dumb things can just go wrong, and I found it an interesting evening’s viewing.

Who could resist a call like this, for “any kind of story related to plants, forests, gardens, or anything scary/dark/bizarre in relation to vegetable matter.”  Certainly not I.  So off I sent a 3500-word story, another reprint this time (but what the heck, if you got ‘em, flaunt ‘em) originally published in the February 1997 KEEN SCIENCE FICTION titled “Seeds,” a tale of old love possibly being supplanted by new, backyard flowerbeds, and the Chicago Cubs.  No, they still lost ChupaCabraHousegames back then as well.  But then today came the accepting email:  “This is Alex Hurst from Chupa Cabra House Publishing. I’d like to thank you again for your submission to our eco-horror anthology GROWING CONCERNS and am quite pleased to inform you that your story has been accepted for inclusion.  I loved the dark humor of this story, and the circular nature of the plot’s various tendrils, and hope our readers will enjoy it just as much.

“Please expect further correspondence from our Chief Editor, Timm Tayshun, regarding rights and contracts, and feel free to contact me with any more questions.”

And so, “The First Hundred Years” (see below, November 1) actually having being officially accepted October 31, here is the first sale of the new month only four days in.  Publisher Chupa Cabra House has been on these pages before, however, with another reprint story, “Invisible People,” set to be published in WE WALK INVISIBLE (cf. September 23) and three poems presumably already out in RADICAL DISLOCATIONS (cf. September 1, et al. — my author’s copy actiually hasn’t arrived yet so I can’t comment on it, but hopefully it will be along soon).

In the meantime, Weldon Burge of Smart Rhino Publications has just announced a special sale on their anthology UNCOMMON ASSASSINS on Kindle starting tomorrow,  November 5, at 6:00 PM PST.  To quote further from their Facebbook ad:

“Here’s how it breaks down:

“Nov. 5 at 6:00 PM = $0.99 (76% discount)

“Nov. 7 at 6:00 PM = $1.99 (51% discount)

“Nov. 9 at 6:00 PM = $2.99 (26% discount)

“Nov. 11 at 6:00 PM = Original list price $3.99

“Hired killers.  Vigilantes.  Executioners.  Paid killers or assassins working from a moral or political motivation.  You’ll find them all in this thrilling anthology.  But these are not ordinary killers, not your run-of-the-mill hitmen.  The emphasis is on the ‘uncommon’ here — unusual characters, usual situations, and especially unusual means of killing.”

My pony in this paddock is called “The Wellmaster’s Daughter,” of which, if interested in buying it and its companions at a possibly very deep discount, or just for more information, press here.




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