Posts Tagged ‘Gothic’

Well, it’s on THE-LINE-UP.COM and it’s actually titled “10 Romantic Horror Movies To Watch on Valentine’s Day,” by MacKenzie Stuart, but I didn’t run across it until today.  And anyway, really, ten movies on one day?  To quote the author:  Does the word rom-com send chills down your spine?  If you’re a true horror flick aficionado, you’re likely to dread md_e4939c90cafa-auditionventuring outside of your comfort zone of zombies and psychopaths.  However, horror and romance don’t have to be mutually exclusive.  You can enjoy the best of both worlds with a romantic horror movie that seamlessly weaves touching love stories into your favorite gory films.

And indeed, what films are being suggested, something for everyone starting with SWEENY TODD:  THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET all the way down to ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE (these two movies, by the way, with a strong musical interest too).  With, in between, WARM BODIES, HELLRAISER, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES . . . and five in addition, all to be checked out by pressing here.  So break out the amaretto along with the popcorn, snuggle up with your significant other (and/or the family cat — yes, Triana, you’re invited too) and enjoy, enjoy!

The word is out that Flame Tree Publishing’s upcoming CHILLING GHOST SHORT STORIES anthology (see  July 6, June 21) is at the printer, along with two companion volumes, CHILLING HORROR SHORT STORIES and SCIENCE FICTION  SHORT STORIES.  The printer, in turn, is located near Venice Italy with delivery expected in the UK by 1104.0mid-August, and from there to the US distributor by, hopefully, that month’s end.

My part in the potpourri is called “Victorians,” originally published in GOTHIC GHOSTS (Tor Books, 1997; also reprinted in my 2001 collection STRANGE MISTRESSES:  TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE), a story of architecture and awakening memories, and will rub shoulders with offerings by other current writers as well as such past giants as Willkie Collins, Washington Irving, Algeron Blackwood, and Sheridan Le Fanu.   More information, including ordering when the time comes, will be passed on as it becomes known.

“With a new foreword by Dr Dale Townsend, this is a chilling selection of brand new stories, and essential ghostly shorts from the infamous pens of Charles Dickens, Henry James, Wilkie Collins, Washington Irving (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow), Algernon Blackwood, Elizabeth Gaskell, William Hope Hodgson (The Gateway of the Monster), M.R. James, Sheridan Le Fanu, Oscar Wilde (The Canterville Ghost), and other phantasmagoric authors. . .  This powerful new book is a dazzling collection of the most gripping tales, vividly told.”  So says UK art and music and art calendar, as well as illustrated Gothic and fantasy book publisher, Flame Tree Publishing’s blog, but that’s not all.  From a shortened version received in middish-May, concerning perhaps those “other phantasmagoric authors,” came the call, but with a deadline of May 25:   1104.0“We need new, or recent short stories.  We do not require exclusivity.  You retain copyright.  We don’t mind if the story has been published online or in magazines before.  As long as you have the right to license your story for an anthology, then we’re happy to read it.”

Such is the exciting life of a writer.  “Stories between 2000 and 4000 words are the perfect pitch.  Anything outside this range will be considered, but will be disadvantaged,” the call went on, and with a SFWA-defined pro pay rate to boot.  But less than a week to decide and submit!

So submit I did, with a 4000-word tale originally published in Charlie Grant and Wendy Webb’s GOTHIC GHOSTS (Tor Books, 1997; also reprinted in 2001 in my first prose collection, STRANGE MISTRESSES:  TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE), “Victorians,” a psychological examination of memories repressed and Queen Anne mansions.  And Thursday the word came back, but with this proviso, that “[w]e ask for your confidentiality on this matter for the next two days because we have to disappoint many other authors this time.  We wanted to inform you first though.”  But now the two days is up, and more, so at last it can be told:  “Victorians” has been accepted for the above-described deluxe anthology (“. . . covers will be embossed, gold foiled and printed on silver, a sumptuous offer in a crowded marketplace.  The current print run is set at a minimum of 3000 copies”), CHILLING GHOST SHORT STORIES.

Thus Friday the contract was signed, with an invoice, and both put into the mail to England, with publication set if all goes well for August 15.

In fact, I wish this had been out before the voting, not that one review, even on Amazon, likely would have made that much difference, but this one’s a keeper.  It appeared Sunday — just in time for me not to see it until latish Tuesday, since much of Monday was taken up by the trip home from Portland — but, in itself, it is worth the waiting.

By William Cook, the review is titled “Beautiful depiction of the dark and tragic soul of humanity” and even covers the dedication (“The homage to Edgar Allan Poe that precedes the first piece should give you a fair indication that there will be darkness, requiring no less than a blood-red candle to light the way”) along with discussions of the golden-isisfirst and last stories, the opening poem, and bits and pieces on two or three of the other tales.  The thing that especially pleases me too, though, is Cook’s close attention to the literary aspects of THE TEARS OF ISIS:  language, allusions, imagery, myth – as well as modernism and contemporary references.  Parable and psychological horror.  And if I may say it myself, I think a number of Cook’s observations are quite astute.

In full disclosure, it should be added that Cook is a book cover artist which he mentions too, including for the present edition, to which he adds “[t]hat is not to say I feel compelled to review those works but in this case I had to write this review upon reading Mr Dorr’s book as it left such an impression on me.”

To read William Cook’s review of THE TEARS OF ISIS, along with eleven other reviews (so far, and nine of which are nice ones 😉 ), along with [ahem] a chance to buy . . . press here.


Still sifting through things not quite done while I was away, of which two items (well, actually three):  Mark Crittenden, editor of TECHNO-GOTH CTHULHU (see August 20, March 3), has put out a call for artists for interior illustrations.  To quote from the horse’s mouth, “Hello artists of the world. I am looking for black and white illustration images that you think would be suitable for TECHNO-GOTH CTHULHU.  We are looking for haunting images representational of a dark future where technology looms as a threatening power.  Traditional Lovecraft-inspired images are fine as well, but something with a hint of futuristic horror stands a better chance.  There is no payment, but we offer exposure of your art in an attractive horror volume that will appear on Amazon and Amazon UK.  We ask for first print rights, all rights thereafter revert to the artist.  Please get your images to me by December 1st, 2012. Submit images in jpg. format in 300 dpi resolution to  Thank you!“

Judging from the editor’s previous DREAMS OF DUALITY (April 10, et al.), I think this will be a memorable volume.  General information on TECHNO-GOTH CTHULHU, which will include my own offering “Ghost Ship,” is on the publisher’s website, for which press here.   Mark also notes that there is one update to the contents list, a change of title for his own story to “False Awakenings,” as well as that he’s currently aiming for a mid-December release date.

Then I received a note from Editor Paul Anderson to the effect that the anthology TORN REALITIES (cf. July 19, et al.) is now available at a 15-percent discounted price from Amazon.  Ordering/more information is available here.  My story in this one is “The Calm,” the tale of a lost village in the Taconic Mountains and why the wind is sometimes one’s friend.

Funny thing about March.  For the past four years, from 2008 through 2011, for whatever reason, I’ve had no story sales during the month of March.  Coincidence?  Maybe.  Or is there a rational explanation — editors possibly are still recovering from excess Valentine’s Day candy purchases before they can commit to buying more writing?  At least from me?  Be that as it may, I am happy to announce that in the very wee hours of this morning an email arrived from Red Skies Press accepting my story “Ghost Ship” for their upcoming anthology TECHNO-GOTH CTHULHU!

“Ghost Ship” is set in my own “Tombs” universe of stories set in a far-future, dying Earth under an expanding sun that has made even ordinary daylight dangerous to go out in unprotected.  But direct ties to the Cthulhu Mythos or not, the feeling fits into editor Mark Crittenden’s call for “a very strong horror element and the concept of dystoopia. . . .”  To quote his acceptance letter to me, “I wanted the theme to be openly interpreted, and the absence of technology could fit the theme by paradox,” or (quoting the guidelines again) “Your story may take place in any setting:  futuristic, post-apocalyptic, modern, old-world, parallel universe . . . the more boundless and strange the better.”  Other “Tombs” stories, incidentally, appear in my Dark Regions Press collections, one in STRANGE MISTRESSES:  TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE and three in DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET.

For other writers of a dark bent, I might add that there are still spaces open in TECHNO-GOTH CTHULHU.  This is an anthology for new stories only – no reprints or simultaneous submissions – with a submissions period from  last October through April 2012.  This is subject to extensions if needed, but in that it’s already March, it probably would be a good idea not to delay too long.  For submission guidelines/more information, just press here.

It took some doing, but a release date of January 19 has been announced for the anthology IN THE SPIRIT OF POE (see  Oct. 21, 13, et al.).  My contribution in this is a 53-line poem, “The White Worm:  On the Death of Virginia Poe, By Consumption.”

In the editors’ own words:

“It’s been a long and difficult process.  Understandable and completely unavoidable issues kept the introduction from arriving when we would have liked, and as we rushed headlong to get the anthology out, we decided a quality anthology was more important than making a deadline.

“We think the quality will speak for itself.  Our stories represent the best in psychological, visceral, and supernatural horror.  We’re excited about what we’ve put together and what we’ll end up doing for the Baltimore Poe House and Museum.

“The release date for the Anthology will be January 19th, 2012.  It’s a fitting date, Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday.”

Copies can be ordered directly from Literary Landmark Press with, as said, profits being donated to help save the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum at 203 Amity Street (originally 3 Amity Street during Poe’s residence) in Baltimore.

First of all, my wish to everyone for the happiest, most prosperous New Year possible.  For me, though it technically went up around mid-afternoon on the 31st, my new year has started with my appearance with “Vamps:  The Beginning” (cf. Dec 2, Oct 27) concerning the origins among other things, including some samples, about VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE) in Marge Simon’s BLOOD & SPADES:  POETS OF THE DARK SIDE column in  the January HWA NEWSLETTER.  You have to be a member of the Horror Writers of America, to be sure,  to get their newsletter so, acting on a suggestion by Marge,  I’m also adding a new page to the selection on the right, “Poetry (Essays),” just beneath the three Bibliography items.  As of today it contains two essays, both by me from BLOOD & SPADES (sans Marge’s introductions), the current “Vamps:  The Beginning” and, from June 2010, “Edgar Allan, Allen Ginsberg, & All That Jazz.”  As for “Vamps,” some may recall the essay was originally scheduled for December — hence its ending concerning (ahem) the poetry collection’s ideal qualities for Christmas gift giving — to which I might now point out that many, many  opportunities for presents to loved ones occur throughout the year (Valentines Day being perhaps a particularly appropriate one considering the romantic allure of some of the Vamps within the book’s pages).

Those in HWA, incidentally, who may be interested in seeing a complete copy of VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE) for possible recommendation for a 2011 Stoker in the “Poetry Collection” category are invited to email me at and, if they would like one, to ask for a proof copy of the collection.  The only differences with the final printed book involve a few indentation issues in some of the longer poems plus a change of color from red to blue of the narrator’s dress in the poem “Why She Started Writing Poetry.”  Other reviewers for relevant magazines or blogs, please feel free to contact me too.

Things happen in twos.  Yesterday brought the arrival of LORE:  A QUAINT AND CURIOUS VOLUME OF SELECTED STORIES, with my 19th century zombiesque science fiction offering “The Galvanic” (see Nov. 18, et al.), a tasty anthology from sampling thus far intended to herald the revival of the 1990s LORE Magazine.  But let’s let editors Rod Heather and Sean O’Leary speak for themselves:  “This collection will serve as our introduction to the new readership that has emerged over the course of the last twelve years.  We were quite something and the tales contained herein will bear this out.  The stories we’ve selected to appear in this volume will serve as deft ambassadors for the work we intend to start publishing again through the months to come.”  It looks like a good start, if I may say so (I have a new submission being reviewed by them now); for more information — and possible ordering — check them out by pressing here

Then in other of yesterday’s news, Writers Digest’s poetry-prompt-per-day November challenge has ended (cf. Nov. 4) but, until next April when poetry editor Robert Brewer does it again for National Poetry Month, there will be weekly prompts every Wednesday.  Yesterday’s was to write a poem based on the phrase “While you were gone.”  For more information and new ideas each week, check here.  (For a sort of endorsement, I might add that my recently sold poem “The Last Typewriter” [see below, Dec. 2] was inspired in part by one of November’s prompts.)

NEW DAWN FADES has arrived, perhaps a bit earlier in fact than expected from Post Mortem Press (cf. Nov. 8, et al.).  This is the one with zombie stories unlike the ones loved by our moms and dads, the ones with a difference.  The introduction is by Joe Schreiber, with more information at their website.  For a sample, here’s an excerpt from my corpse in this charnel  house, “Girls Gone Dead”:

He smiled at Amelia, than panned to Clarisse’s chest, closing in tightly, then, widening, up to her face.  “Yes, go on,” he said in an interested sounding voice. 

“It was Yvonne who ‘rescued’ me,” Clarisse said.  Yvonne looked up, her mouth dripping with red sauce, leaning to be sure she got in the shot too.  He lingered, then swung wide to return to Clarisse’s breast. 

“You see, it’s still not entirely back in shape. . . .” 

Then also for Thanksgiving, or close enough to it (Wednesday and I are tentatively planning on turkey pizza tomorrow,), Innsmouth Free Press has announced that FUTURE LOVECRAFT (cf. Nov. 12, Sept. 7, et al.) is now available for pre-sale with a 20 percent discount for those who act quickly.  How quickly? — check out their website here.  My story in this one is “Dark of the Moon,” originally published in THE CHILDREN OF CTHULHU (Del Rey, 2002), about a bad day in America’s space program.  The official release date is December 3 with orders shipping out on the 6th, but for those who can’t wait, I understand that FUTURE LOVECRAFT is already available for sale on Kindle.

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