Posts Tagged ‘Gothic Blue Book’

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.”
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.)
So I emailed back, “Yes.”

Might one note two reviews of THE TEARS OF ISIS, below, both from the other side of the Earth — from Australian author Natasha Ewendt and New Zealand artist William Cook (excerpt) respectively.  Both can be found on Amazon’s pages for THE TEARS OF ISIS as well, but better yet, if one acts quickly there’s still time to buy the book for yourself at a 20 percent discount direct from the publisher.  Just press here and add the code BLACK14 when you check out, but do it by midnight since (as also posted just below “Wednesday’s” Thanksgiving greeting) PMMP’s special Black Friday sale will be over tomorrow.

Is there anything better than a short story collection that pulls you in from the very first line? The Tears of Isis is intelligently written, evocative and engrossing.  James Dorr is a fabulous wordsmith who weaves words in such a way that you can’t help but be lulled into the story.  His ability to take on new perceptions and POVs and drag the reader inside them in such a short space of time is exceptional. All these unique, surprising stories are different to each other yet subtly threaded together.  I like a different spin on dark themes and mythology and every story has one.  Each tale has a killer twist, deep dark intrigue and/or something disturbing to make you shiver.  The Tears of Isis features inventively told modern takes on ancient myths and classic legends along with all-new original ideas.  Inspiring.

James Dorr’s third collection of short fiction, `The Tears of Isis,’ is a fantastically varied and eclectic selection of some of Dorr’s finest work.  His last collection, `Darker Loves: Tales of Mystery and Regret,’ was excellent also, although I do prefer `Tears . . .’ for its diversity and almost poetic use of prose.  The stories therein range from the grotesque, the Gothic, and the almost beautiful depiction of the dark and tragic soul of humanity.  This collection is rich with allusion and aestheticism at every corner; the astute reader will realize that Mr Dorr is taking us on a tour of his own labyrinthine gallery, with an emphasis on the Gothic and the moribund.  The homage to Edgar Allan Poe that precedes the first piece should give you fair indication that there will be darkness, requiring no less than a blood-red candle to GothicBkueBookIVlight your way.  . . . 

Then, speaking of Gothy stuff, today also brought two author’s copies of GOTHIC BLUE BOOK IV:  FOLKLORE EDITION to the postal mailbox here at the computer cave.  My offering in this is the flash story “School Nights” (cf. October 29, September 8), but there’s much, much more, including a mini-collection of appropriately autumnal verse by Bruce Boston.  So, even though Halloween may be over, you might want to take a look at this one by pressing here — an excellent companion volume for your discount copy of THE TEARS OF ISIS.

GOTHIC BLUE BOOK IV: THE FOLKLORE EDITION is out as of at least a couple of days, including my short-short “School Nights” (cf. September 16, 8) about a young girl who . . . learns. At least it’s out in a Kindle edition but, presumably, a print version should follow soon. And what’s this GOTHIC BLUE BOOK thing about? To quote Editors Cynthia (cina) and Gerardo Pelayo: “A collection of short stories and poems resurrect the spirit of the Gothic Blue Book. Gothic Blue Books were short fictions popular in the 18th and 19th GothicBkueBookIVcentury. They were descendants of the chap book trade. Burial Day Books presents its fourth Gothic Blue Book, The Folklore Edition.”

Below is a contents list for the volume while for additional information, including ordering (at least in Kindle) one may press here.

Aisha Abram – Friend Of The Family
Jay Bonansinga- Bivouac
Bruce Boston – Collected Poems
Chad P. Brown – Bones Chimes
Tara Cleves – The Butterfly Gardener
M. Frank Darbe – Parcel Post
Lance Davis – Spooklight
Nicole DeGennaro – Making Friends
James Dorr – School Nights
Christina Glenn – Down By The River
Agustin Guerrero – Hunting The Devil
Emma Hinge – Seaside Bound
Kelly Hoolihan – Bus Stop
K. Trap Jones – Where It All Started
Kerry G. S. Lipp – Fairborn, Ohio Where Trains And Ghosts Still Run
Sean Logan – The Crawling Man
David Massengill – Looking Glass
Edward J. McFadden III – Lost Days
Meredith Morgenstern – Atheists In The Cemetery
g. Elmer Munson – Family Business
Lawrence Salani – The Cursed
Cathy Smith – Gifts From A Grim Godfather

Gothic blue books were descendents of the chap-book, trade in which had nearly disappeared by 1800.[3]  They measured about three and a half to four inches wide and six to seven inches high.[1]  Many of the blue books contained outright plagiarism, being as they were merely plot summaries of full-length gothic novels.[4]  Almost all were abridgements of full-length gothic novels, usually without change of the title or characters’ names from the original.[5]  Gothic blue books were usually either thirty-six or seventy-two pages long, selling for either sixpence or a shilling respectively.[1]  It is from their price that they derived the nicknames, “Shilling Shockers” and “Sixpenny Shockers.” . . . These short forms of the Gothic were not popular with critics, with some deeming them as the toxic literary waste of their time period.[7]   

So says Wikipedia, but Burial Day Books has undertaken to revive the form with, thus far, three annual “Blue Book” anthologies already published.  These, mind you, are for original tales and poems, but ones told in condensed fashion as iGothicBlueBook1n the 18th and 19th century tradition.  Settings should also be traditional, in convents or monasteries or castles, or, allowing for some expansion, cemeteries, funeral homes, morgues, or haunted houses, and all to be at short story length or less.  So why not? thought I and off I sent a 300-word flash piece, “School Nights,” about little girl Marcie who grew quickly and the results of, shall one say, a bit of independent study – and which took place in an abandoned house reputed to be haunted.

Late last night the results came in:  “We would like to publish School Nights in GOTHIC BLUE BOOK 4.”  And thus September’s first story acceptance, planned to be out on Halloween, October 31, for more information on which one can press here.

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