Posts Tagged ‘Ghosts’

And speaking of things not overly jolly, let us hark back to November 26’s post (see also November 11; January 18 2016, et al.), “Cthulhu Christmas Special Cover Revealed, Publication Set for December 1,” and note that DEADMAN’S TOME CTHULHU CHRISTMAS SPECIAL AND OTHER LOVECRAFTIAN YULETIDE TALES is now out in both Kindle and print.  And it’s also already picked up a review, by “JME” who has noted four stories out of a total 11 for special mention.  AND the first of these mentioned is “A Christmas Carnage,” by meA favorite, this story is aptly named.  Lots of carnage, and in a sick way for a sick purpose.  Who comes up with this stuff?

(*A moment while I sit, quietly proud.*)

To see for oneself, one may press here.  And then click the book’s title above the review for more information, including ordering.  It’s a short book, listed as only 82 pages, but judging from the stories and poems I’ve read thus far, worth it!

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The email arrived today, along with a pre-publication electronic copy, to the effect that (to give it it’s full name) DEADMAN’S TOME CTHULHU CHRISTMAS SPECIAL AND OTHER LOVECRAFTIAN YULETIDE TALES is scheduled to be out December 1 in Kindle, with a print edition expected “soon after.”  My story in this is third in the lineup, “A Christmas Carnage” (see November 11; January 18 2016, et al.), originally published in IN THE BLOOD (Mocha Memoirs Press, 2013) as well as THE FIRST ANNUAL GEEKY KINK ANTHOLOGY (Riverdale Avenue Books, 2015).  And, yes, Santa’s elves under the age of 18 may not find this tale entirely appropriate.

Indeed others may find “A Christmas Carnage” inappropriate also, including lovers of Charles Dickens’s immortal A CHRISTMAS CAROL.  Or lovers of puns (the dead don’t approve of such things, you know).  It is the tale of a rather high strung young man (he keeps a chainsaw in his closet for personal protection) with a very specific Christmas wish, and an “umpty-umpth-great” aunt named Carol who might be in a position to grant it.  Or possibly not — but to find that out you’ll just have to read a copy yourself, available for pre-order by pressing here.

‘Tis the season to be jolly . . . in about a month and a half!  But starting the jollity, at least for now, has come this email from Jesse Dedman:  Your story, [A] Christmas Carnage, has been selected for DEADMAN’S TOME CTHULHU CHRISTMAS SPECIAL.  The issue should drop on December 1st and will be available through Amazon in ebook and paperback.  With the email came a contract which has been perused, agreed to, and sent back earlier this evening.

As the title may imply, “A Christmas Carnage” is based quite loosely on Charles Dickens’s immortal tale of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, and has a Carol in it, the narrator’s many-times great aunt Carol who has been dead, lo, these many years.  It is a reprint, having premiered in IN THE BLOODSTREAM (Mocha Memoirs Press, 2013) and also appeared in THE FIRST ANNUAL GEEKY KINK ANTHOLOGY (Riverdale Avenue Books, 2015, and, yes, it’s that kind of story).  Also, of course, it follows the DEADMAN’S TOME guidelines requirement of Genre:  Horror, Dark Fiction, Lovecraftian, including, if not a cameo by Cthulhu itself, a goodly dollop of Lovecraftian lore.  Also a chainsaw.

July seems to be the month for sending a thing to one place, seeing it come back accepted by another.  One example, “Flightless Rats” (see July 7), the tale of an innocent vampire maid and a bounder’s attempt on her virtue in 19th century New Orleans.  For today, the call had been in April.  It took some time, but the time has come:  we’re putting together an anthology of  poetry and flash fiction about spirits, ghosts, seances, Ouija boards, famous hauntings, not-so-famous hauntings, possessions, and anything else relating to supernatural bumps in the night (or day, we aren’t fussy).  And there it was.  Reprints being okay, I responded with the 300-word saga of a young lady with an interest in witches, but, if these weren’t available, other bump-in-the-nightly creatures would do, and lessons she learned in a house she was told was haunted.  Originally published in GOTHIC BLUE BOOK IV:  THE FOLKLORE EDITION (Burial Day Books, 2014), the title was “School Nights.”
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Today the word came back from Managing Editor Kate Garrett, not for the anthology, WHITE NOISE & OUIJA BOARDS, but for the publisher’s seasonal magazine THREE DROPS FROM A CAULDRON.  I really enjoyed this story, and though it isn’t quite right for the ghosts anthology, I wondered if it would be okay for me to publish it in the Samhain 2017 edition?  I like spookier, horror-tinged work for that one, and would love to include your story.  The Samhain special will be published online and in print on 13th October.  (And it isn’t technically open for submissions until 21st August, but I really like this.)
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So I emailed back, “Yes.”

Yes, I am of course one of them, but one must scroll down and down past the other five, to just before the ending blurb for the ZIPPERED FLESH series plus PLAGUE OF SHADOWS.  Not surprisingly, the books featured for all six of us writers include ones by Smart Rhino Publications, including the upcoming ZIPPERED FLESH 3 (cf. June 19, et al.), in my case also covering the two “assassins” anthologies, UNCOMMON ASSASSINS and INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS.  But there are others too.  Also for all six of us there are interviews featured on Editor/Publisher Weldon Burge’s blog, BULLETS AND BUTTERFLIES (see, for me, also January 18).

All told, these are storytellers worth looking into, I think, with information on all of them — including . . . moiavailable here.

How about we get in the mood with a horror poem by Rick Powell, then I’ll share a SUPER EASY pumpkin cookie recipe you can make last minute to enjoy this evening, and to top it off… How about sex in a haunted house? Haha. That is, how about we watch the short horror film ‘Sex in a Haunted House’?😛

But let us start Thursday with something I was not in, but attended.  Thursday night offered an, as it were, otherworldly start to the Halloween weekend with a 100-year commemoration of Cabaret Voltaire.  Say what?  In the sponsors’ words:  On 5 February 1916, in the back room of a small bar in Zurich, a group of artists launched a nightclub which changed the course of modern art.  Cabaret Voltaire was the home of Dada, a movement that revolutionized European culture and led to seismic global shifts in art, literature, music, film.  Like Punk, Dada survives as an attitude, a rejection of aesthetic convention and authority.  A hundred years later, The Burroughs Century Ltd. and the Wounded Galaxies Festival are creating a dracula1958-melissastriblingandchristopherlee-50one-night-only homage:  a feast of the senseless.  This was at a local Bloomington nightclub and included, yes, movies as a sort of background/ accompaniment, some old, some just filmed,  but all experimental.  Added were musical and spoken word performances, as well as costumes — some quite creative — worn by onlookers (mine, less creative, was of a Zurich bourgeois who has come for an evening of entertainment).  Odd and fun, the event was also a fundraiser for Wounded Galaxies Festival to help with more presentations in the future.

Then Friday came the reading performance of Act I of D. L. Mabbott’s play THE UNFINISHED (cf. October 19), with two readers who also performed the night before, Joan Hawkins and Anthony Brewer, and two who didn’t, Shayne Laughter and me.   Or, quoting Shayne, [f]ree, tonight, at The Back Door!  I’m reading with Joan Hawkins — we are two lovely ladies in the organ harvesting biz, Tony Brewer is the burglar who sees too much, and James Dorr is the Inspector who . . .  well.  We could call this a 21st-century “Arsenic and Old Lace,” with more sex and stabbing.  This also was at a local nightclub, sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild, and while underattended (in this case perhaps because it was early, before many patrons had arrived, but more to the point before we’d be displaced by the night’s headlined band*), quite a bit of fun.

Then, Saturday having been a day off of sorts, Sunday night brought back the Ryder Film Festival (see October 27, 24, 17), this time with two films at local tavern Bear’s Place, 1958’s Hammer production HORROR OF DRACULA and new Korean ghost movie THE WAILING (the latter also screened tombs-final-copylast Sunday at the Buskirk-Chumley theatre), including my rescheduled reading of “Raising the Dead.”  As originally planned for last week, it preceded THE WAILING, scheduled at 7:30 but, because that’s the way things seem to work, actually starting about ten minutes late.   Like Friday’s play-reading the “crowd” was sparse (maybe the big kids were out trick-or-treating too) although at all times it outnumbered the players (me), even picking up a bit about half-way through.  Such is the way of the oral presenter.  “Raising the Dead,” billed by the Ryder as a tale of necromancy, dark fantasy, airships, and doomed love, is a story/chapter to be included in my forthcoming novel TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, due out from Elder Signs Press in spring-summer next year, and concerns an attempt to reunite a deceased man’s soul to his body by raising the latter up into the air, where souls congregate, during an impending storm.

But of course, if things all worked as planned, it wouldn’t very well be horror, would it?
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* The walk over, in fact, included fording a river of Halloween-costumed children and parents.

Is the cusp of autumn on us already?  Tuesday, ending music practice, we noticed that it was already twilight — how many more weeks until twilight comes at the beginning of practice?  Then today at the market, after the first Writers Guild meeting following its annual summer hiatus, I saw — and bought — a half gallon of “Pumpkin Pie” ice cream, a specialty flavor not usually available until close to Thanksgiving.  And this, on Facebook this afternoon via Robert Dunbar and LITERARY DARKNESS, in turn via HORROR NOVEL REVIEWS, a link to THEWEEK.COM and “9 Classic Horror Stories You Can Read Right Now” by Scott Meslow, “[f]rom Washington Irving to H.P. Lovecraft, a collection of terrifying tales to get you into the Halloween spirit.”  This, yes, another list, but with each description and opening sample a separate link to read the whole story there on the spot.  Long ones such as “Carmilla” and “The Turn of the Screw,” and shorter ones by Lovecaft as well, and Blackwood and Poe, and maybe even a surprise or two.

To see — and read — for yourself, press here.

This comes courtesy of ON THE EDGE Edge CINEMA on Facebook for those of us anticipating Guillermo del Toro’s (of PAN’S 333f27b1-8afd-351c-a85b-657bc6bf5933LABYRINTH fame) latest movie, CRIMSON PEAK, but perhaps feel weak on its genre background.  Please note however that in some ways it’s not a horror movie, or as author Evry puts it, “[a]lthough the advertising emphasizes the supernatural apparitions, audiences may be surprised in how foregrounded the love story is over the ghosts.  As they say in the film, it’s not a ghost story, but rather a story with ghosts in it.”  Thus forewarned, behold, via SHOCKTILLYOUDROP.COM, Max Evry’s “12 Gothic Horror Films to Watch Before You See CRIMSON PEAK” (even though the film itself, I understand, opened yesterday) by pressing here.

Flame Tree Publishing Editor Gillian Whitaker has officially announced the contents of their upcoming anthology CHILLING GHOST SHORT STORIES (cf. July 22, 6, June 21).  One of three, to quote their blurb, “collectable Gothic Fantasy anthologies, deluxe hardcover editions on Horror, Ghosts and Science fiction, each carry a potent mix of classic tales and new fiction, tracing the path of the thrilling tale from the early gothic to the modern fantastic.”  The book itself is expected to be available in the US by about the end of August.

So to cut to the chase, the chilling ghost stories selected are:

“Mourners by Kurt Bachard
Stay Away from the Accordion Girl by Jonathan Balog
Audio Tour by Trevor Boelter
Ghost Farm by Zach Chapman
The Return of Gunnar Kettilson by Vonnie Winslow Crist
Flaming Fuses by Donna Cuttress
The House, the Garden, and Occupants by Amanda C. Davis
Victorians by James Dorr
The Figure on the Sidewalk by Tim FoleyGothic Fantasy
The Waiting Room by Philip Brian Hall
An Englishman in St. Louis by Raymond Little
Death and Champagne by Luke Murphy
Lost Souls by Jeff Parsons
The Skeleton Crew by Michael Penkas
Songs for the Lost by Brian Rappatta
An Unquiet Slumber by Rhiannon Rasmussen
Almost by M. Regan
The Bulge in the Wall by Annette Siketa
The Psychic Fair by Cathy Smith
Unclaimed by Lesa Pascavis Smith

“These new authors will sit alongside the great and intriguing classic stories of E.F. Benson, Robert W. Chambers, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman, Nikolai Gogol, Washington Irving, W.W. Jacobs, Henry James, M.R. James, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Edith Nesbit, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edith Wharton, Oscar Wilde.”

More information including lineups for Flame Tree’s companion volumes CHILLING HORROR SHORT STORIES and SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORIES can be found here, with a more detailed peek into the editorial process available here.




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