Posts Tagged ‘H. P. Lovecraft’

Here’s one I blundered on via Facebook’s ELDER SIGNS PRESS site, dated March 9 and touting a two-week only sale on Amazon.  Today being the 16th, I think that would mean there’s a week to go, ending March 23.  So for a happy Saint Patrick’s Day Eve, check out these deals for DARK HORIZONS (Amazon’s price is 12.95, but individual new copy offers start at $9.67 as of this writing) and STREET MAGICK (Amazon price $9.21) and, as a bonus, give the figure on STREET MAGICK’s cover a green suit and hat, and it could look a little bit like a leprechaun.

To check it all out, press here for the ELDER SIGNS PRESS Facebook site, then scroll down just a tad for the sale

“. . . give the figure a green suit and hat, and it could look a bit like a leprechaun.”

announcement with links to Amazon for both books — just under the listing for early orders for TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, in fact, with its own link to Amazon should you wish to indulge while you’re at it!  My dogs in these donnybrooks are “Bottles” for STREET MAGICK, of vampiric doings in the late 1950s Boston area, complete with Cold War paranoia, and “Dark of the Moon” in DARK HORIZONS, of an international expedition to the Moon’s back side, combined with a dollop of H.P. Lovecraft and Russian myth to become dark indeed.  Also (ahem!) while the books haven’t gotten too many reviews on Amazon yet — and let this be a *hint* to readers, if you like a book you do your favorite authors a favor by sending reviews in — one review under each title (cf. “Mr. Vlesco” for the one for STREET MAGICK) singles my stories out for special mention.

This one is for another reprint, “The Candle Room,” a tale of magic and Lovecraftianish mystery from THE TEARS OF ISIS, originally published in TERMINAL FRIGHT for Summer 1995.  Candle magic, to be exact, centering around an odd candle that he had bought for his girlfriend Niki’s birthday.  Fortunately it had come with instructions, so when she was kidnapped by strange, bearded gray men. . . .

So here will be another chance to read it, the book to be called THE GREAT TOME OF FORGOTTEN RELICS AND ARTIFACTS (cf. October 21), the first in Bards and Sages Publishing’s “Great Tomes” series of themed anthologies, tentatively set for a March 2016 publication date.  The theme for this one:  “Plots revolving around magical items, cursed relics, ancient artifacts, or alien devices.  The device must be central to the plot.”  And so, on Wednesday*, the contract arrived to be signed and put in the mail today.

Also a fooling around on the Bards and Sages website revealed an “up-to-now” table of contents with the proviso that one or two more titles could conceivably be added to it.  More information on it and the Great Tomes series in general, the second book in which is open to submissions now, can be found by pressing here.  While here are the contents for Tome number one:

The Candle Room by James S. Dorr
The Heart of Irelda by Jeff Sullins
Her Long Hair Shining by Simon Kewin
Digging for Paradise by Ian Creasey
Light Bringer by Deborah Walker
The Nimrod Lexicon by Taylor Harbin
Life Sentence by Miranda Stewart
The Shepherd by CB Droege
The Rightful Owner by Linda Tyler
The Head of John the Baptist by G. Miki Hayden
The Binding Agent by Douglas J. Ogurek
Seamus Tripp and the Golden Plates by Richard Walsh and Jon Garett

*Not to be confused with the cave cat Wednesday (see October 30) who, having survived two trips to the vet and a course of antibiotics, seems now to be doing well.  : )=

“Ever have kinky thoughts about Spock and Kirk?  Princess Leia?  Ever wonder just what you could do with the light saber?”  Yes, THE FIRST ANNUAL GEEKY KINK ANTHOLOGY (cf. November 7 and chainsaw4) is now available in a (ahem) hard copy edition, complete with my own Yuletide-themed “A Christmas Carnage” detailing the adventures of a typical (which is to say, nerdish and virginal) Lovcraftien hero and his long-deceased umpty-umpth great aunt Carol.  And chainsaws.

Buy it, read it, consider reviewing it if you dare — the fun begins right here.

So . . . as promised, the email came at exactly 11:02 Friday night.  The FIRST ANNUAL GEEKY KINK ANTHOLOGY!   And what might such an anthology contain?  To quote from the blurb:  “Inside these pages, you’ll find everything a geeky kinky reader could want — from alien anal probing to comic book super heroes and super GeekyKink300-200x300villains, and even such slightly obscure nerdishness as a new take on Jean Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear and all sorts of Elvin sex.

“And of course, there are ample references to Doctor Who, Star Trek, Harry Potter and Devo. . . .”  Not to mention my own story, “A Christmas Carnage,” jolly and gross, for more on which see just below, November 4.

Or to enter into, as it were, the horse’s mouth, one can press here for the publisher’s site with the rest of the blurb plus ordering info, while Amazon fans need but press here for the Kindle edition (though Editor Lori Perkins warns that the print edition there may take a few days longer).

In connection with Riverdale Avenue Books, we’re looking for new and/or previously published stories featuring geeky kinkiness.  Or kinky geekiness.  How does your inner geek get their rocks off?  Have you turned that amazing scene where you were Twilight Sparkle giving it to another bound pony right in the Pinkie Pie? Got a hot hunt short story about Boba and Han?  Maybe a story set AT the GKE?  Send it in!

Such was the call for the FIRST ANNUAL GEEKY KINK ANTHOLOGY and, believe it or not, I happened to have something that just might fill the bill.  Originally published in IN THE BLOODSTREAM from Mocha Memoirs Press in 2013 (see October 28, September 23 of that year), “A Christmas Carnage” is a Dickensian (based, that is a little, on A CHRISTMAS CAROL), Lovecraftian (sort of), splatterpunky eroticish tale of a young Miskatonic U. grad who has a chainsaw in his closet (a nervous sort, he keeps it for personal protection), and a more than family interest in his long-defunct umpity-umpth-great aunt Carol 3frenchwho had once been an artist’s model in Paris.  So when she makes an appearance as, he would like to think, his Christmas Present . . . well, there is a price, of course, as well as a hint that those in the World of Spirits don’t appreciate puns.

Today the word came:  “Congratulations!  You are in the First Annual Geeky Kink Anthology WHICH WILL BE PUBLISHED THIS FRIDAY, so we need you to sign and return this contract asap.  Please let us know if you will be attending GKE this coming weekend, so you can read your work?”  Proof sheets are to be expected in 12 to 24 hours.  The GKE, or Geeky Kink Event, which alas I had to apologize I would not be getting to, is (to quote their site), “a three-day kink event in New Jersey featuring a full dungeon, classes and workshops, vendors, and plenty of social activities.”  There’s no word, however, as to whether NJ Governor Chris Christie is expected to be a guest.

But I did sign and send back the contract this p.m.

Then for a brief news flash, the previous evening CHILLING GHOST SHORT STORIES (cf. August 21, et al.) my groaning overstuffed mailbox.  From Flame Tree Publishing, this is a chunky, nicely made nearly 500-page book containing ghost tales both old and new.  Mine, a reprint from GOTHIC GHOSTS (Tor Books, 1997), is titled “Victorians” and can be found between Charles Dickens’s (ahem!) “The Signal-Man” and “The New Catacomb” by Arthur Conan Doyle.

As far as social behavior, most octopuses appear limited to “copulation or cannibalism,” says Janet Voight, a cephalopod expert and associate curator at the Field Museum in Chicago, who wasn’t involved in the study. “And after copulation, cannibalism is back on the table.”

(Douglas Main, “Bizarrely Social and Crafty Octopus Stuns Scientists,” NEWSWEEK.COM, August 12 2015)

Nevertheless, and I only e-discovered it myself this afternoon, there is a day specially set aside to celebrate our eight-tentacled oceanic friends who, one might add, have other hobbies than just the two noted above.  In addition, asks octo2NEWSWEEK writer Douglas Main, “What other animal has three hearts, a brain-like set of nerves in each leg and blue blood?  What other 50-pound beast could fit through a two-inch hole?” in the opening of his piece today, “It’s World Octopus Day!  Here Are Eight Awesome Octopodes” via NEWSWEEK.COM, the rest of which can be seen by pressing here.  Or, to read the article quoted at the top, specifically on the Larger Pacific Striped Octopus (a.k.a. Awesome Octopode number eight), press here.  And while celebrating, while Earthly octopodes might not necessarily be exactly the same thing as Cthulhu, one might set aside an extra glass for H.P. Lovecraft.

The books are out!  After some past delays, the word came via Facebook from editor Aaron French:  “Pleased to officially announce the release of MONK PUNK and THE SHADOW OF THE UNKNOWN in OMINBUS edition [cf. January 2, et al.] from Hazardous Press!  504 pages of Lovecraftian goodness!  Featuring all of the original stories as well as 11 that are brand new to this edition, each centered MonkPunk2around the theme of monks and/or the surreal aspect of the unknown in weird fiction.*  Available in paperback and on Kindle. Stories from Gary A. Braunbeck, Stephen Mark Rainey, Richard Gavin, Willie Meikle, John R. Fultz, Joshua M. Reynolds, Gene O’Neill, James Dorr, Erik T. Johnson, Michael Bailey, Mike Lester, Glynn Owen Barrass, David West, Adrian Chamberlin, Jay Wilburn, K Trap Jones, PS Gifford, RB Payne, John Claude Smith, and much more!”  Available from Amazon in both print and Kindle editions and Amazon UK, more info can be found by pressing here, here, or here.

Then moving on to a different publisher, in today’s mailbox the year’s first mammoth payment has appeared — ah, the riches, the riches! — a royalty check for $2.56.  So maybe more like a very small mammoth, one that local cave cat Wednesday might mistake for a mouse, but it’s the principle (and other payments had been received from various publishers at the tail end of December, so it all adds up to at least the price of a reasonably loaded pizza**).  And it is nice that, even if only a few people buy a particular book in a particular quarter- or half-year, it does add up.  Readers tell other readers.  Books get lent.  More stories and poems get sold and the word gets out so, even if for most of us it doesn’t mean we’re quitting our day jobs, it does seem to me to be worth the effort!


*Or, as Amazon adds, “In the tradition of Steampunk, Cyberpunk, and Splatterpunk comes this new sub-strain of speculative fiction — MONK PUNK.  Twenty-three hard-hitting Monkpunk tales of fantasy, science fiction, and Lovecraftian horror.  Madness and the Mythos, the Surreal and the Sinister.  THE SHADOW OF THE UNKNOWN collects twenty-nine tales of horror inspired by H. P. Lovecraft and the element of the unknown in supernatural fiction.  Think your sanity can withstand the assault?”


**Or about one-third of a large bag of Cave Cat Chow.

I had originally considered “The First Hundred Years,” a pre-Romero zombie tale based on a Jamaican legend and originally published in my second prose collection, DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET.  But, as I thought further, I asked myself if a tropical setting would really be best for a story specifically read in October to help build a mood for the StrangeMissDRegionsupcoming Halloween season.  Instead, thought I, how about New York state in the Taconic Mountains, perhaps in Colonial times, in a town that’s not found on any maps and with — dare one suggest it — perhaps a Lovecraftian atmosphere to it?  And thus the story I finally chose for this month’s “First Sundays Prose Reading & Open Mic” (cf August 14, 3, et al.) was “The Calm,” originally published in NEW MYTHOS LEGENDS in 1999 and later reprinted in my first prose collection, STRANGE MISTRESSES:  TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE.

First Sundays Prose is a monthly feature sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild and host venue Boxcar Books and includes three featured readers for about fifteen minutes each, followed by a chance for audience members to read.  In fact this was the second time I was a featured reader, the first being at the second “First Sundays” ever in February last year (cf. February 4 2013) where I read THE TEARS OF ISIS’s “River Red” (first published in the 2009 Canadian anthology ESCAPE CLAUSE).  This month the other readers were Michael Manis, a visiting lecturer at Indiana University where he teaches creative writing and composition, with excerpts from a novel he’s currently working on set in 1870s Kansas, and Bloomington poet, prose writer, Writers Guild founding member, and chairperson emerita Patsy Rahn who read a scene from what will be a radio drama series based on the legend of Psyche and Eros.

More on the Writers Guild, including upcoming scheduled activities, can be found here.

Once upon a time (well, about a year ago less a couple of weeks — see October 25 2013; also this year May 5 and January 7) I sent some poems to Popcorn Press’s CTHULHU HAIKU II, AND MORE MYTHOS MADNESS, and five were accepted and subsequently published early this year.  None of these were actually haiku, but Popcorn Press is generous with its definitions as long as the work is short, including accepting flash fiction at up to 1000 words.  Of mine, one, “Bad Vacation,” was a shadorma, a six-line form somewhat like a lune and a haiku smushed together (cf. August 5 2013), while the others were free verse, “Slow-Motion,” “It Must Have Been That New Fish Food,” “The Vampiress Dreams of an Evening in Innsmouth” (my personal favorite!), and “With the Economy What It Is, Maybe We’ll Take Any Job We Can Get.”

Meanwhile life goes on, new books get published (right now they’ve been reading for a second HALLOWEEN HAIKU volume, for more information on which press here; for the original volume see November 2 2011).  But you can’t keep a Mythos monster down forever either.  Thus in today’s email came the notice with permission request to use my poems for a limited audio edition of CTHULHU HAIKU II.  As Popcorn Press’s Diane Severson Mori put it:  “Last year about this time you had some of your work publishecthulhu-haiju-ii-coverd in Lester Smith’s antho CTHULHU HAIKU II.  As part of the effort to drum up more support for the Kickstarter I offered to do an audiobook version if the amount reached a certain level.  It did and so I really should do the audiobook.  However, due to many extenuating circumstances I haven’t done it yet. Mostly, though, it’s because Lester didn’t get permission from all contributors right away. You are one of the contributors that he never heard from. So, it’s my turn to contact you.  I bet it just got lost in the shuffle!”  [note from me:  it apparently did, which unfortunately sometimes isn’t all that hard with email these days]

She went on to explain that it would be produced under a Creative Commons license and distributed only to the contributors and the backers of the Kickstarter.  Also that it would not be sold commercially, although some individual re-distribution might be permitted under CC rules.  I emailed back that I thought it would be fine and she had my permission to record my poems (there was an option for me to do a recording myself, but I declined — “Caveman of Computing” and all that, you know), so we shall see what the future will bring.

In the meantime, however, should any be interested in reading CTHULHU HAIKU II now in the original print or Kindle edition, more information can be had by pressing here.

Be the first on your block — or at least this blog – to check out the missive from Editor Aaron J. French:  “Announcing the release of MONK PUNK and THE SHADOW OF THE UNKNOWN in OMINBUS edition from Hazardous Press!  679 pages of Lovecraftian goodness!  Featuring all of the original stories as well as 11 that are brand new to this edition.  Available in the next few weeks in trade paperback and a Kindle edition.”  The announcement, on Facebook, also includes a table of contents not surprisingly rather too long for me to append below, but you MonkPunk_ShadowOfUnknowncan get it from, as it were, the horse’s mouth by pressing here.

MONK PUNK & THE SHADOW OF THE UNKNOWN, to give the exact wording from its cover, contains over 60 stories in all, of which about a dozen were written especially for this combined edition.  Mine, however, was in the original THE SHADOW OF THE UNKNOWN published in summer 2011 by Static Movement (see August 29 2011, et al.; for the omnibus edition April 9 2014), and first appeared in the Spring 2004 issue of  BARE BONE.  Titled “The Festering,” it’s more or less about what it sounds like, involving bad plumbing, ancient (and not so ancient) cities, and “What Lies Below.”

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