Posts Tagged ‘Horror’

This is one that can’t really be classified — is the story horror, romance, fantasy?  It doesn’t even have a title, though its protagonist’s name is Emily so probably that will have to do.  After all it was only allowed to be one sentence long.

So Emily (we’ll say) was published today as the “Winner of April 6th Story Prompt Challenge” on Carrie Ann Golden’s blog, A WRITER & HER SENTIMENTAL MUSE.  Full disclosure:  Emily may have had an advantage since she seems to have been the only entrant.  But technicalities, technicalities, what’s important was the story had to be based on the picture to the right, and be only a sentence long.  Or, from the official rules (in fact, the only official rule):  “Since this is a one-line story, there is no limit on the word count; however, be creative and use your words and punctuation wisely.”

To read it for yourself, press here.  And as for the competition, since she was an early entrant perhaps Emily (or her circumstances) frightened potential rival contestants away.

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It’s skinny and long (it’s a lot of poems) but here it is, the contents list for the current STAR*LINE (see March 29) with four, count ’em FOUR, poems by me.  Well, they’re very short poems (on a very long list) and spaced out through the issue, but see if you can find them all!  Hint:  The final two have VERY long titles, the fourth perhaps the longest of all (but the first two are shorter).

Departments

Dragons & Rayguns • Vince Gotera
President’s Message • Bryan Thao Worra
From the Small Press • Herb Kauderer
Stealth SF * Flying Blind * Denise Dumars
XenoPoetry: Japanese Scifaiku and Tanka • Shouko Izuo (translated by Natsumi Ando)

Poetry

[spewing] • Roxanne Barbour
[spray of rocks] • Roxanne Barbour
Workshop Exercise 21/08/2337: My Earliest Memories • David Jalajel
UFO • David Barber
[multiple moons] • David J Kelly
[life sentence] • David C. Kopaska-Merkel
[their drone ship came to Earth] • Lauren McBride
The Fallen Angel’s Ace of Wands • Mindy Watson
Why aliens shun India • Arjun Rajendran
[huckster moon] • Greer Woodward
Never Trust a Vampiress • James Dorr
[that] • David C. Kopaska-Merkel
It’s Universal • Marsheila Rockwell
Transported by Song • Herb Kauderer
[easy mole removal?] • F. J. Bergmann
A Cinephile Steps On-Screen • Alberto Sveum
Symbiosis • Chris Galford
[Striped gaiters, breather] • Denise Dumars
Stone Clutched to Chest • Laura Madeline Wiseman & Andrea Blythe
The Holy Firmament of Venus • Mary Soon Lee
Measure • Banks Miller
[alien worm—] • Susan Burch
Widening Gyroscope • F. J. Bergmann
[rising] • Roxanne Barbour
Cost-Benefits Analysis of Being a Zombie • James Reinebold
Till Death Do Us Part • Kathleen A. Lawrence
[a GoFundMe account] • Beth Cato
If Only I Could Sleep • G. O. Clark
Hermes • Jonel Abellanosa
Friends of Traitors • Matthew Wilson
[bottle trees on Mars] • Sandra J. Lindow
When Semi-Benevolent Aliens Conquer Earth • R. Mac Jones
Cosmic Roshambo • John Richard Trtek
[we’re leaving] • Robin Wyatt Dunn
Oh No She Didn’t? • James Dorr
[revealing] • Roxanne Barbour
Archaeopteryx • Robert Borski
[Terrans scooping gravel] • Lauren McBride
Wolf Moon • Susan McLean
[FTL propulsion achieved] • Lauren McBride & Jacob McBride
[cosmology] • Katrina Archer
Flight of Fantasy • crystalwizard
[no need] • Susan Burch
[we buried] • ayaz daryl nielsen
alien sea beams • David J Kelly
A Leaf Fairy Feels Under-Appreciated • Sharon Cote
The Return • Ken Poyner
The Cold Spot • Kimberly Nugent
From the Zombie Hunters Field Guide: Tracking the Zombie • James Dorr
[summer waits for him] • Holly Lyn Walrath
[vampire job fair] • William Landis
Data Value • Patricia Gomes
[close encounter] • Susan Burch
[Irresistible panhandling] • F. J. Bergmann
From Antartican Vibranium Tankas • Eileen R. Tabios
Ghazal • Joshua Gage
Elixir Stores Open for Business! • Ronald A. Busse
[the sound of black holes] • Alzo David-West
Lost in the House of Hair • John W. Sexton
[end of the road] • Greg Schwartz
The Music of the Spheres • Mikal Trimm
Come Embrace Space • Lauren McBride
E pur si muove • Deborah L. Davitt
[nothing’s so beautiful] • Alzo David-West
[red shift] • David J Kelly
[alien pool shark] • F. J. Bergmann
Second Life • Davian Aw
[eruption] • Roxanne Barbour
[for sale: sweet cottage] • F. J. Bergmann
Illiteracy • Scott E. Green & Herb Kauderer
[outside the greenhouse] • Greg Schwartz
The Young Transylvanian’s Guide to Dating: Taking Your Date Home • James Dorr
[alien teenagers] • Susan Burch
[prohibited] • Roxanne Barbour
The Ghost Diet • Robert Borski
Everything started with the Big Bang, they say • Juanjo Bazán
[held to my ear] • F. J. Bergmann
Red in the Morning • James B. Nicola
[the prospect recedes] • David C. Kopaska-Merkel
[heat death of a universe] • F. J. Bergmann
Missouri City, Texas, in a Far Tomorrow • José Chapa
Intruders • Cindy O’Quinn
[Looking at each star] • William Landis
The Plague • Matthew Wilson
Mermaid Warrior • Darrell Lindsey
[star party] • Lauren McBride
[Stiff with chill] • Denise Dumars
Exfil • WC Roberts
[class four body dies] • Holly Lyn Walrath
[guys on a float trip] • William Landis
Shapeshifter Taxonomy • A. C. Spahn

Illustrations

Low Rounders • Denny E. Marshall
First Time on a Swing • Christina Sng
Squirm • Denny E. Marshall

And then a second very short item, the Goth cat Triana had her annual checkup yesterday at an all new vet’s, a bit closer than the one she went to last year, and (the triaba2b4001question local people who know her all asked) she conducted herself like a perfect, if apprehensive, lady.  Or more to the point, she didn’t bite either the vet or his assistant!  GOOD Triana.  (There had been some discussion when I had first gotten her of giving her a name with vampiric connotations, but the decision had been that that might be too much of a red flag — cf. February 12 2017.)  And, pending test results on certain, er, organic samples, her health is good.

Well, with one possible exception to the last, something I’d sort of noted myself as I took her in her carrier to the vet.  She may be getting a tiny bit chubby.

Or, in the words of Jamie Bogert in “The Disturbing Origins of 9 Beloved Fairy Tales,” on THE-LINE-UP.COM:  Bedtime is often sweetened by stories of handsome princes and beautiful princesses, comical witches and lovable forest dwellers.  But what happens when we follow the breadcrumb trail to a fairy tale’s gloomy origin?  From the Little Mermaid to Little Red Riding Hood, the sugarcoated renditions we know and love come from much darker places.  If a Disney-themed wedding is in your future, beware:  The disturbing origins of these classic stories are anything but sweet.

And so it goes, in some cases only that the Disney versions we may know and love often leave out the, um, interesting parts; in others perhaps that dark actual events may underlie what we read as children. In addation to the two already noted, the fairy tales discussed are Hansel and Gretel, Sleeping Beauty, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, The Frog Prince, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and Snow White, and the neat thing is that I’ve written my own versions of, or inspired by, every one of these (disclaimer: that doesn’t necessarily mean every one of these has sold), though Cinderella and Snow White are probably my favorites.  E.g., did you notice Sleeping Beauty in TOMBS?  But in any event, for a quick update on the lore of our youth, one need but press here.

Dracula does retain his name in the Turkish version of his movie (see March 26, including a link to the film itself), although spelled at least three different ways in the subtitles.  The other characters, however, are Turkish and the Mina Harker equivalent works as a showgirl (for convenience, let’s call her “Alt-Mina,” who’s also already married to Alt-Jonathan), allowing for two dance sequences which, among other things, neatly divide the 1953-made 94-minute film into three approximately half-hour segments.  And otherwise, while also set in the 1950s, it follows Lugosi’s 19-year earlier classic (and the novel) better than, say, the Hammer Films versions.  Also as it happens the dance sequences served as convenient markers for watching it on a library computer in three separate not-overly-lengthy segments.  And even if “Dracula” is balding and a little bit boorish, the movie is fun.

In brief, the first half hour takes us through Alt-Jonathan’s meeting in Dracula’s castle, ending with him shooting Dracula (or so he thinks) in one of several coffins being readied for shipping to Istanbul.  Then fast forward to Istanbul and Alt-Mina’s club with a reasonably sexy dance sequence, after which she receives a message in her dressing room that Alt-Jonathan’s doing fine (one of the fake letters that Drac had made him write in advance), followed by a phone call that her “sister” Alt-Lucy is ailing and she should pay her a visit.  Thus segment two gives us Dracula’s attacks on Alt-Lucy, her getting “sicker” (one symptom being sleepwalking into the garden where . . . well, you know), doctors being called for, one opining that while surely she’ll get better soon there is this specialist he knows. . . .  And Alt-Mina gets a phone call that there’s a charity show in town that night and could she, maybe, do a dance number for it?

Thus another “Bollywood” moment, after which she receives a message in her dressing room that Alt-Jonathan was discovered having escaped from Drac’s castle and is now in a hospital on the Hungarian(?) border.  This leads to a series of short scenes in which (1) she drives to join hubby who must remain in the hospital three more days, (2) the “specialist,” Alt-Van Helsing, receives a message requesting he consult on the Alt-Lucy case, (3) he does, prescribes transfusions and garlic but she dies anyway with Alt-Mina and hubby arriving back just in time to say goodbye, (4) newspaper articles highlight a strange woman luring children into the cemetery and leaving them with neck-scars whereupon Alt-Van H. drafts Alt-Lucy’s erstwhile fiance plus Alt-Jonathan on a staking (or as the subtitles have it, “poking”) expedition, (5) Alt-Mina’s charity gig is continuing and, while having been talked into always wearing a garlic neclace, she has to take it off when she’s in costume, leading to (6) a visit from Dracula in her dressing room after, moments before hubby arrives to pick her up (while the others await in the last of Dracula’s lairs — real estate agent Alt-Jonathan having pass keys, you see [the subtitles use the term “kiosk” for these properties, a word derived from Turkish, but I assume with more a British than American meaning]), a chase ensues, and (7) a final fight scene and subsequent happy reunion.

Well, you knew how it would end anyway, but go ahead and give DRACULA IN ISTANBUL a look, if only for its curiosity value (remember? March 26th’s post has a link — way, way down at the very very end [and the reason the desk clerk crosses herself is she’s Romanian]).  And as I say, it holds up well enough as a movie (despite sometimes injudicious subtitles) as well as being fun.

Ahhh, the first story acceptance for spring, via Sirens Call Publications Editor Lee A. Forman, along with co-editors Julianne Snow and Nina D’Arcangela:  We’re delighted to let you know that we are accepting your submission of Casket Girls (with one time publication rights) for this issue.
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We’re sending you suggested edits in the document attached to this email.  Please review the document and return it within one week with your acceptance or decline for each suggestion. 
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Short and sweet.  “Casket Girls” is the original tale of Aimée and the coming of vampires to New Orleans, originally published in DAILY SCIENCE FICTION on April 10 2014, as well as in several other places (see February 6, January 23 2018; October 30 2017, et al.).  She does get around.  And with a magazine title like THE SIRENS CALL, how could she refuse the lure of yet another outing.  This will be the April 2018 issue of SIRENS CALL eZine, so look for it soon (the email, in fact, asked for any changes to be sent back in a week; the only ones here though seemed to be regarding house style, so back it went with my “OK” the same afternoon).
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More on THE SIRENS CALL, and Aimée, here as it becomes known.

This is another announcement I’ve missed by a few days (so it goes, cf. March 26) but DIGITAL HORROR FICTION ANTHOLOGY is now available on Amazon in print as well as Kindle.  Also the Kindle sale is over, with the price there gone up to $4.99, while the paperback price is $12.99.  My story in this, as noted before, is “The Borrowed Man,” a TOMBS world story but one that does not appear in the novel TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH itself.  Originally published in THE GIRL AT THE END OF THE WORLD, BOOK 1 (Fox Spirit Books, 2014), “The Borrowed Man” tells of a women who hires the help of a corpse-train master to build a man out of selected parts — legs for dancing, lips for kissing, etc. — from the recently dead in order to construct a perfect lover.  But a question remains:   What of this man’s soul?

If interested, for more on the print edition press here, while a link to the Kindle version can be found in the post for March 26, below.

Ah, back to the routine of the writing life, or . . . maybe not quite so routine in this instance.  One may recall that the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association’s magazine STAR*LINE had accepted five poems from me last month (see February 25), to be spaced out over the coming year’s issues.  Today, wasting no time, the proof sheets for the coming Spring issue arrived with four (count ’em) poems of the five included!  A trifecta plus one, or, how’s that for dominating an issue?  (Well, given the poems are all very short, perhaps not exactly domination, but still. . . .).

So the poems are “Never Trust a Vampiress,” “Oh No She Didn’t?'” “From the Zombie Hunters Field Guide:  Tracking the Zombie,” and “The Young Transylvanian’s Guide to Dating:  Taking Your Date Home,” leaving the longest of the original five (by a whopping one line) to stand alone in a future issue.  I like the choices and the order — scarcely ten pages of the coming STAR*LINE can be read without coming across my name!  But more to the point, except for one minor note, all in the issue looked fine to me and so it went back this afternoon.

This is sort of a stealth announcement, the publication of one of my stories that I only found out about today, obliquely, via another author’s tag on Facebook.  So it goes.  The anthology is DIGITAL HORROR FICTION ANTHOLOGY:  VOLUME 1, by Digital Fiction Publishing Corp., and the story, sixth on the contents list, “The Borrowed Man” originally published by Fox Spirit Books in 2014 in THE GIRL AT THE END OF THE WORLD, BOOK 1 (cf. August 30 2017; August 8 2014, et al.).  “The Borrowed Man,” incidentally, is set in the world of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH although not a part of the novel-in-stories itself, and concerns a wealthy New City woman who wishes to possess a perfect man.

In all, DIGITAL FICTION HORROR ANTHOLOGY contains 25 stories, and looks at least to cover a variety of types and topics.  For more one may peruse the table of contents, below, or check it out on Amazon here where, at least for the moment, the Kindle edition can be obtained for just 99 cents!

2:51, Behind the Caterpillar — Gregory L. Norris
A Dream for Sugar — Bruce Memblatt
A Pocket of Madness — Samuel Marzioli
Aces and Kings — David M. Hoenig
The Animals — Aaron Gudmunson
The Borrowed Man — James Dorr
His Own Personal Golgotha — Geoff Brown
Building Condemned (Seeking Asylum) — Adrian Ludens
Compartmental — Jay Caselberg
Democracy — Larry Hinkle
Demon Driver — Adrian Cole
Late for Eisheth — Tracie McBride
Giving at the Office — Geoff Gander
Shadows of the Darkest Jade — Sarah Hans
Intermediary — Jason A. Wyckoff
Ark of the Lonesome — Jenner Michaud
SdroW — Bruce Lockhart 2nd & Suzie Lockhart
Roadkill — C.M. Saunders
Sapphire Eyes Shining — Rie Sheridan Rose
Suggestive Thoughts — H.L. Fullerton
Symeon — Bill Zaget
The Good Life — Michelle Mellon
The Great White Bed — Don Webb
The River Slurry — Rue Karney
Where There Is Life — Renee Miller

I might mention, also, that I have a story due to come out in DIGITAL SCIENCE FICTION, a companion volume of sorts, or maybe even out by now.  More tags via Facebook, perhaps, will tell.

Drakula Istanbul’da (Dracula in Istanbul) is a Turkish horror film from 1953.  The screenplay was based on a 1928 novel by Ali Riza Seyfi called Kazikli Voyvoda (“Impaler Voivode”), and is more or less a translation of Stoker’s novel, but there is no Renfield character and Guzin, the “Mina” character, is a showgirl given to performing in revealing outfits.  Drakula/Dracula is played by balding Atif Kaptan.  Long believed lost, Drakula Istanbul’da is considered the first non-western film version of the Dracula story, and oddly, one of most faithful to the Bram Stoker original.  With Dracula scaling the castle walls, implied infanticide, and the ceremonious end of the vampire, with first a staking, then a beheading, then stuffing the mouth with garlic (as per the instructions in the novel), this movie adaption contains more of the creepier elements of the book than many higher-budgeted and more pedigreed productions.  Perhaps it’s the proximity of Turkey to the Eastern European setting of the novel, or perhaps shared similar legends and folklore, but Drakula Istanbul’da, in all its threadbare grace, seems to have an authentic and maybe innate feel for the myths of the region that cannot be found in any Hollywood back lot.

Say what?  And yet it’s true, the above from CREATIVECOMMONS.COM, with the information brought to us via E. K. Leimkuhler in “Dracula Retold:  Early Variations on a Gothic Classic” in DEARDARKLING.COM.  This, in fact, is the film version of KAZIKLI VOYVODA, a Turkish “translation” of DRACULA by Ali Riza Seyfi that follows the main plot points pretty well, albeit with Turkish characters substituted for the English originals and other changes (e.g. Dracula fears not the cross, but the Quran) to make it more relatable to a Turkish 1920s audience.  Also, unlike the “real” DRACULA, there’s an actual direct connection to “Vlad the Impaler,” the Harker character prior to meeting the Count in fact wondering if he could possibly be a descendant of the historical Vlad.

The DEAR DARKLINGS article covers four variations in all, the Turkish book being the third.  First is “Dracula’s Guest,” originally a part of Stoker’s novel but left out of the final version, published separately in 1914, two years after Bram’s death, by his widow Florence.  Then in second place is another “translation,” MAKT MYRKANNA (a.k.a. POWERS OF DARKNESS), a 1900 Icelandic version published “by” Bram Stoker and Valdimar Asmundsson.  After the start, however, this one varies considerably from the original (e.g., [a]mong other misadventures, Harker finds multiple rotting corpses [which don’t disturb him nearly as much as the Count’s lewd banter], encounters an allegedly insane Dracula cousin, and witnesses the Count leading a Black Mass a la Hammer.  Additionally, the Count’s machinations involve a somewhat convoluted international political conspiracy) although, according to Leimkuhler, there’s some indication Stoker may have at least shared unused parts of his notes with Asmundsson.  Both this and the Turkish book version have since been translated into English, with links provided (a third variant in Swedish has yet to be translated, however).  Then, finally, Universal’s Spanish language film of DRACULA, made concurrently with the Bela Lugosi version in 1931, is cited, again with a link, this one to an omnibus edition of all six Universal “Dracula” films (i.e., up to and including 1948’s ABBOT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN) which includes the Spanish version as an “extra.”

And so, to see for yourself, check here.  But also a bonus, linked to as well in the DEAR DARKLINGS piece but deserving a special place here as well, what of that Turkish Dracula movie?  To see it for yourself, with English subtitles (at least of a sort — and with the desk clerk at the inn early on, despite its reimaging into Islam, still crossing herself when Dracula is named), press here.

First, don’t go toe-to-toe with them on the ground.  Infantry should be reserved for evacuations, crowd control and to preserve civil order.  Once it’s been shown that the animal’s hide is too thick for bullets and shoulder-fired rockets to have any effect (and this always proves to be the case), withdraw the soldiers and Marines from the front lines.  But we knew that anyway from back in the WAR OF THE WORLDS days, didn’t we, not to mention the numerous attacks on Japan by prehistoric reptiles.  But then 264569-giant-monster-movies-all-monsters-attack-wallpaperwhat can we do the next time Godzilla rises with less than honorable intentions?  Not to mention his many companions.
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Well, first, heed the above, from “How the Pentagon Could Destroy All Monsters” by Joe Pappalardo on POPULARMECHANICS.COM, delivered to us via Friday’s email.  The secret it turns out is in use of air power.  But know what’s in the arsenal first, and how best to employ it — even biplane pilots have learned from their experience with King Kong that it’s better to attack from above , not at chest level, and stay out of reach of those monstrous paws.  And if tank shells bounce off a dinosaur’s flanks, don’t expect airborne cannon fire to do much better.
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In other words the time has come to ignore the movies which always seem to get the details wrong anyway.  Instead, let author Pappalardo explain in detail, by pressing here.



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