Posts Tagged ‘Horror’

Sometimes it’s best just to quote the source:  Fashion and the macabre unite in the delicate ink drawings of Finnish artist Mira Johanna Väänänen.  Lace gowns and ornate crowns adorn these lovely dames and femme fatales who all appear ready for the red carpet with Death on their arm.  These nibbed pen and ink drawings combine bold silhouettes alongside hair-thin lines and pointillism, illustrating the decadent details of perfectly coiffed tresses, flower petals, snake scales, and dewy spider webs.  Thus “Death and the Maiden:  The Art of Mira Johanna Väänänen,” by Janae Corrado courtesy of DEARDARKLING.COM, sometimes reminiscent of Aubrey Beardsley, sometimes unique to itself, and in this case especially inspired by a theme as old as the Middle Ages and before, and best to be simply enjoyed on its own by pressing here.  Though if you like it, within you may find a link to more, so read, gaze, and enjoy.

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We live in an amazing time, technology and humans are coexisting in a way we’ve never seen before. It also can be a terrifying time. What if humans and technology can’t coexist? What if the A.I. take over, or the computer viruses jump off of the net and into our biology? What if we’re just all living in a matrix? These are just some of the questions and ideas that have shaped science fiction and this call. Give us your visions of how it all plays out.

Send us your best 7500 word or less story that relates to Neural Nets, Uplinks, and Wetware. . . .

Such was the call (cf. November 2) and my response was to send them a rather short story, “No Place to Hide,” a tale of interstellar war and the horrifying fates of some who fight it.  Space opera, maybe, but also a tale that fit the bill as described above — or at least so was the decision of the ASTOUNDING OUTPOST editors!  But there was a catch concerning payment, that all dogs in this fight would not be equal.  Or as the acceptance email put it:  The voting to determine prizes will occur during the first week of December.  Be sure to let your friends and family know so they can vote for your story.

That’s right:  Vox populi est vox pecuniae.  Or, the tale with the most votes will get the most cash.  And now “No Place to Hide” has been published, and may be read by pressing here!

(So the moral is:  Read and enjoy.  Then on December 1 and for six days after please read it again and vote, vote vote!  Heck, this is America, have your friends vote too for “No Place to Hide.”  Your parents, your children.  Significant others.  Family pets. . . !

(And in the meantime, if you enjoy it scroll down to the end and please also consider leaving a comment.)

‘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.

This is sort of in the category of “The Devil made me do it,” but after running across the picture of “Struts” (number 7, think about it awhile) or, perhaps especially, “The Face Bank” (number 2), I couldn’t resist sharing it:  “7 Scary Toys That Still Freak Us Out as Adults” by Diana Vilibert, via THE-LINE-UP.COM.  Dolls are there, to be sure, but unlike “Chucky” these are ones that are not quite human.  Or not quite horses.  Or . . . well, look for the not quite Mr. Potato Head — these are all toys to be sure that came after my own childhood, spent more prosaically amongst electric trains and model airplanes.  Who among us fondly remembers Erector Sets?  But these little items are something else, for more on which press here.

Sometimes this writing business plays out like a detective story.  A mysterious tag on an unknown Facebook page, or more properly speaking just a notice that there was a tag.  You follow it down.  An Amazon link.  And then it begins to come together. . . .

The inaugural volume of the HYPERION & THEIA anthology series features stories, poetry, and art that encapsulate festive revelry and otherworldly reversal:  Gods and Goddesses of old prepare for destruction.  A demonic circus delivers a haunting finale.  The Shebeast lurks in the forest and pulls at heartstrings.  Alien diet supplements wreak havoc in near-future San Francisco.  Three women conspire to break an oath with a wicked witch.  The Herculaneum Scrolls reveal the role of ancient aliens.  A Roman warrior and a warrior turned slave venture into the territory of a Queen of ancient Egypt.  Two cowboys track dark magic in the Wild Wild West.  Ghosts stuck in the mortal realm high off drugs.  You are a lone radio jockey after the apocalypse.

Thus saith the blurb found.  The plot revealed:  HYPERION & THEIA, VOLUME ONE:  SATURNALIA (cf. October 2, et al.), edited by Leah T. Brown and Elizabeth O. Smith and illustrated by Marga Biazzi, has as of October 18 (or 17, according to Amazon) been published — at least in electronic format, but with indication that a print edition should follow.  And, just as my “Golden Age” was the closing tale in ZIPPERED FLESH 3 (see October 10, et al.), a long poem of mine originally published in DARK DESTINY (White Wolf, 1994), “Dreaming Saturn,” is the opening entry in this book.  For more on which (including links to Amazon and others) press here.

More will be revealed as it becomes known.

Remember Aimée and the Casket Girls?  My original story (cf. April 7 2014, et al.) was based on a New Orleanian urban legend which, bursting with ideas, has resulted in several additional stories (March 6 2016, April 28 2015, . . .) the last of which probably has not yet been written.  But there are many urban legends, some familiar, some possibly less so, so for our run-up to Halloween (having skipped a day Sunday — well, so it goes) herewith, by Steven Casale on THE-LINE-UP.COM, “Trick or Treat: 6 Creepy Halloween Urban Legends.”  But the thing is it doesn’t end there.  Four of the six in fact include links to related topics — for instance, number four with “The Origins Behind 9 Terrifying American Urban Legends” — and for click bait diehards some of these may in turn contain links of their own!

Therefore if you dare (or have time on your hands for some exploration), for six urban legends . . . and more press here.

No need for a picture here on the posting, plenty are waiting for those who click the link.  And so for Saturday, three-days to go before Halloween, we have “Inside Germany’s Creepy American-Inspired Halloween Parks” by Nick Kirkpartick with photographs by Tomasz Lazar, on WASHINGTONPOST.COM.  And if that weren’t enough, watch for the links within to other Halloween-themed features.  For more, for the brave, your journey starts here.

Then also a quick reminder:  For those who receive THE HORROR TREE’s “Weekly Posts From the Horror Tree” roundup, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of today’s edition where their interviewee this time is . . . me.  Or scroll down here to October 22 where you’ll find the link when it first came out.

It’s Halloween, so let’s celebrate by reading some spooky stories available online for free.  You have no excuse not to take a look at every single one of these.  And hey, maybe buy a couple of the books linked below each entry.  You can’t go wrong with any of them.

Thus begins “The 20 Best Horror Stories Available Online for Free” via LITREACTOR.COM (as is also the illustration), by Max Booth III, and note please his mention that every entry also links to a book you can buy.  Max may be better known for Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, his company, and bringer among other things of (*ahem*) my collection THE TEARS OF ISIS.  For the latter, one can click on its picture in the center column, but back to the point, Max has listed a number of stories, some of which I’ve read, some of which not (but am likely to soon for my own Halloween pleasure), and all of which you might find worthwhile as well.

For more, press here.

Lish McBride on TOR.COM, began it this way:  At first I thought, I’m not going to do a Halloween post.  After all, what can be more terrifying than this year?

Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  2017 jumped the shark a long time ago in regards to how mind-numbingly horrifying it has been.  I can’t think of a worse time.  (Except maybe high school.)

But then she recalled that horror sometimes helps in forgetting, if for a moment, one’s own aversions — and humor, most definitely, can as well.  Thus another list was born, to be reported here — “Necessary Whimsy:  Vampire Bunnies and Other Weird-But-Fun Halloween Reads,” with one caveat, perhaps, that some (most?) are geared to young adult readers or even children.  But does not Halloween bring out the inner child in us too?

Let all be revealed by pressing here.

Today brings an email plus PDF proof from Editor Vince Gotera of the latest STAR*LINE for Fall 2017.  Please proof your piece(s) . . . as well as your listing(s) in the table of contents.  Could you please get back to me with any corrections ASAP?  In my case the page of interest is the twelfth with, sharing poems by Christine Sng and by R. Mac Jones, tucked neatly in at the bottom right my three-liner “Wet Work” (cf. October 13).  And this time, aha!, there was an error, one of the sort that would sneak past a computer spell-checker (whereas, ironically, the correct word might not).

So not to worry, I’ve sent back the change along with mailing and payment details.  More to come when the published issue arrives.




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