Posts Tagged ‘Ill-Considered Expeditions’

As all expeditions must come to an end, ILL-CONSIDERED EXPEDITIONS (see August 28, et al.) and, a few days ago, ANDROMEDA’S CHILDREN (August 25, et al.) arrived at my mailbox.  Rescued from its darkest interior, both have proved to be 1illCionsideredbeautiful books and, at least to the extent I’ve gotten into them, promising reads.  My stories are “Ice Vermin,” mapping never-before explored parts of early Twentieth Century Siberia, for the former and “Golden Age,” of preserving longevity in the near future, in the latter.

Both can be found on Amazon now, for which for EXPEDITIONS (“a voyage of discovery for all concerned as successive teams of hapless explorers fall foul of the elements and monstrosities lurking in shadowy caves, hidden temples, icy tombs and even alien planets”) click here, and for ANDROMEDA’S CHILDREN (“a timeless mix of traditional, modern and comic visions that explore what makes us human — or not”) here.


So this was my weekend.  Up till the wee hours of Saturday night/Sunday morning poring over changes to my ILL-CONCEIVED EXPEDITIONS story, “Ice Vermin” (cf. July 23, March 10, January 13), then sending the corrections back to Editor Neil Baker.  In most cases I was content to let things pass — after all it is a reprint, also available in my 2007 collection DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET for those who might wish to compare with the “author’s cut” for themselves — but there were about six items that needed either to be changed back or reworded for sake of consistency, character, or technicalities.  That said, however, from the contents it looks like a winner and, hopefully, still will be out on schedule by month’s end.

Then today brought the new “season’s” opening of the Bloomington Writers Guild/Boxcar Books sponsored First Sunday Prose Readings (cf. May 3, et al.).  Featured writers were Richard H. Durisen with an other-worldly science fiction piece, “The Long Cold” (Durisen also, I might add, has published poetry in several magazines we’ve seen mentioned here, notably DISTURBED DIGEST and ILLUMEN); Annette Oppenlander with an excerpt from her just-out second historical novel, ESCAPE FROM THE PAST — THE DUKE’S WRrapunzelATH, “about a nerdy teen who, trying out an experimental computer game, unwittingly time-travels to medieval Germany”; and Jim Stark with an excerpt from GREAT LAKES SKIPPER, also a historical novel in this case based on the life of his own great-great-great grandfather.  These were followed by five open-mike readers, of whom I took the number four spot with a deconstructed fairytale, “The Glass Shoe” on what really went on with Cinderella, originally published in 2011 in Pink Nacissus Press’s RAPUNZEL’S DAUGHTERS AND OTHER TALES (cf. July 3, January 5 2011).

There will not, however, be an official First Sunday reading for September this year, that also being the weekend for Bloomington’s Fourth Street Festival of the Arts and Crafts, with the Writers Guild presenting readings there on the Spoken Word Stage (see August 30 2014, et al.).  This was announced along with a preliminary schedule of half-hour readings, both poetry and prose, with mine being billed as “horror fiction” for 4 p.m. Sunday, September 6.  While I haven’t completely decided, I’m leaning toward a presentation entirely from THE TEARS OF ISIS (last year I featured one story, “River Red,” but with two others from other sources), possibly even including another tale of Cinderella.

These things sometimes come in clusters don’t they, or, another anthology has been updated including a hoped for end-of-August release.  Thus came the email Thursday evening from April Moon Books’s Neil Baker noting that, with tasks completed (or at least come to stopping places) for two other books, “I can now finish off the proofing for ILL-CONSIDERED EXPEDITIONS.

“I will be sending the contracts for the anthology along with galley proofs for your peruill-considered-expeditions88sal in the next few weeks or so — I’m aiming to get this book out by the end of August — sorry for the delay, and thanks for your patience.”

My trip in this tome is “Ice Vermin” (cf. March 10, January 13), originally published in EXTREMES 5 (Lone Wolf CD ROM, 2003; also reprinted in my collection DARKER LOVES: TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET), the tale of a pre-World War I trek through darkest Siberia — and, it might be mentioned, perhaps extra refreshing should we be into high 90s-plus temperatures by then (summer in these parts, at least, appearing to come late).  So here’s another to look for at the end of next month, more on which will be noted here as affairs progress.

Two bits of news to announce today, the first from Pig Pulp Publications Editor Bill Oliver on their upcoming BLACK CHAOS II:  MORE TALES OF THE ZOMBIE (cf. January 10; March 8 2014).  “Attached is a proof of ‘Cold, Lifeless Fingers’ for your review.  Please verify that the story title and your byline on the copyright page, table of contents, author’s biography, and in the story are correct.  If you wish to proofread your story, that is fine, but hopefully should be unnecessary.  We’ve proofed the story twice and will have at least one more read-through of the entire publication before we go to print.”  This is the tale of a traditional Haitian zombie who, all in innocence, comes across a yard sign indicating that, if one wants to have the homeowner’s gun, he’ll have to “pry it from my cold, lifeless fingers.”

But are not zombies’ fingers cold and dead too?

The answer, apparently, is on schedule for publication by the end of April and, if my story is an example, the proofreading should be quite good.  So, for a little bit of a preview, here’s a copy of the table of contents as it appears on the proof:



1 We Always Get Our Man by R.A. Williamson
12 Shackles of Death by Thomas Canfield
16 When It’s Not Love, It’s Hate by Dawn Wilson
25 Sweet Bird of Death by Gary Ives
30 Cold, Lifeless Fingers by James Dorr
34 Dave Vs. the Zombie Apocalypse by Angel Luis Colón
43 Zombees by Gabriel Valjan
53 In the Storm They Came by Sean Ealy
65 The Zombie’s Lament by Steven Belanger
72 Daddy’s Home by Bo Balder
75 The Dead of Summer by Wayne Laufert
80 White Light, White Heat by William Johnson
92 My Mother-in-Law is a Zombie by Anna Sykora
95 Memories by Nu Yang
100 Lucky 43 by Joriah Wood
108 In Reynolds by J. Boone Dryden
115 American Refugees by D. Jason Cooper
121 The Not Tom by Ian Welke
126 Inhuman Resources by Brenda Kezar
136 The Zombie Mike Christmas Special by Terry Alexander
149 Bitter Inheritance by Jason Ridler
157 The Last Circus by DeAnna Knippling
166 In the Age of Resurrection by Deborah Walker
171 Dead Moon by Jim Cort
181 Newsfeed Zombies by Aislinn Batstone


Then shortly before, I received a note from Neil Baker of April Moon Books to the effect that their upcoming ILL-CONSIDERED EXPEDITIONS (see January 13) is currently running about a month late, but is still on its way.  My story in this one is “Ice Vermin,” about a Russian expedition into Siberia at the beginning of the last century — and what it discovered!  “Ice Vermin” is a reprint which also appears in my collection DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET (Dark Regions, 2007) and was first published on CD-ROM in EXTREMES 5 (Lone Wolf, 2003), while “Cold, Lifeless Fingers” first appeared in the Halloween issue of GC MAGAZINE, October 1999.

The call from April Moon Books was out last October: “We want stories in the grand style of Burroughs, Doyle, and Verne.  Spiffing adventures that plummet our heroes into disagreeable environments to face the wrath of unfriendly natives and questionable beasts.  Your story can be set in the past, present, or future, it can be earthbound or take place among the stars, the tale can unfold at the summit of a mountain, deep in the jungle, or beneath the waves.“  The book would be titled ILL-CONSIDERill-considered-expeditions88ED EXPEDITIONS and, taking a detail from Shackelton’s own to the South Pole, it happened I had written a story, “Ice Vermin,” in edited journal form of a heretofore unknown, pre-World War I exploration of eastern Siberia.

The story in fact had been published in CD-ROM form in 2003 in Lone Wolf Publications’s EXTREMES 5 as well as in print in my Dark Regions Press DARKER LOVES collection in 2007.  And now it will rear its ice-rimed head again — the first story sale for 2015! — in, according to this afternoon’s email from April Moon,  (reasonably enough) April if all goes on schedule.

The acceptance went on to say “I am currently in the throes of formatting two other books, so don’t be surprised if it all goes quiet for a month or so.  However, I will be in touch again with contracts and possible revisions for your approval at the beginning of March.”  And as a sort of preview added, “You are in good company — here is the complete ToC (in no particular order), and I will be announcing this on social media shortly — feel free to crow about it 🙂 ”

And so I will.



Pete Mesling – In the Chillest Land

Matthew Barron – Hell Island

James Dorr – Ice Vermin

John McCormack – Mother’s Grasp

Steve Foreman – The Strange Affair of Bunny Fosdyke

Ahmed A. Khan – The Pulsar and the Planet

Gerry Griffiths – Jonathon Stone’s Swansong

Nicholas Nicario – Povo de Ossos

Rick Leider – The Secret of Bumare-Moto

Jess Landry – The Root

Franklin Marsh – The Wood

Josh Reynolds – An Incident at the Plateau of Tsang

DJ Tyrer – The White Goddess

Stanley Webb – Captain Baxter’s Journal

Patrick Loveland – Ghosts of the Spires

Paul M. Feeney – The Room at the Top of the House

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