Posts Tagged ‘Lovecraftian’

The email came from Eerie River Publishing editors Michelle and Alanna with an edited copy of the story:  We request that you check that the title, your name and the content are all correct, though also bear in mind that edits may have been made to streamline reader comprehension and/or to correct grammar and punctuation errors.  The edits in fact were almost entirely stylistic and fairly extensive, but that can happen, with my corrected copy going back this evening, the relatively few changes I suggested being for content, mainly to clarify a few locational details.

The story is “The Calm,” originally published in NEW MYTHOS LEGENDS (Marietta Publishing, 1999), set in colonial New England about unfortunate — dare one say “eldritch”? — things in the mountains where Massachusetts, New York, and what would become Vermont converge.  The book itself is IT CALLS FROM THE FOREST VOLUME 2 (cf. May 9, et al.) with another milestone reached on its journey to publication, more news to appear here as it becomes known.

The email came five days ago, Monday, from Eerie River Publishing’s Michelle McLachlin:  Hi, I am in the planning stage for author interviews and story snippets for Volume Two authors.  If you are interested in having your profile highlighted please let me know.  If you would like the beginning of your story included in a snippet also let me know.  (You don’t have to say yes to either, no pressure!)  The story and book referred to are the French and Indian War set “The Calm” and IT CALLS FROM THE FOREST, VOLUME 2 respectively (cf. March 26), the story itself originally published in NEW MYTHOS LEGENDS in 1999 by Mariatta Publishing and which also appears in my 2001 collection, STRANGE MISTRESSES, from Dark Regions Press.  And so of this, its latest appearance-to-come, the email continues:  I haven’t set up a pre-order yet, but am planning that for mid June.  Until then, we will be doing some fun author highlights to get people excited.  More information of course to be here, with appropriate links, as it becomes known.

But first things first, I replied immediately:  Yes for both the profile and snippet, just send the details/information, followed with a reminder about the vintage computer I’m working with until COVID 19 required lockdowns loosen and I can get back on 21st century library machines.  No problem with that, though (we’d already worked basics out with the contract in March), and the next day saw the interview questions and other details (bio, picture, social media. . .) as a simple email which I then converted to RTF to move to the off-line computer, filled out, and — to get right to the punch line — all went back this afternoon.

This goes back to Tuesday, March 24, and an email from Michelle McLachlin from Eerie River Publishing:  Thank you so much for your patience.  We really enjoyed the story and I would like to officially notify you that it has been accepted into the anthology IT CALLS FROM THE FOREST:  VOLUME 2. Congratulations!  The story was titled “The Calm,” a reprint originally published in NEW MYTHOS LEGENDS (Marietta Publishing, 1999) and also in my 2001 collection, STRANGE MISTRESSES.  But then, the next sentence:  Attached you will find the contract, please review, complete all the highlighted sections including your name and story title, sign, and return this as soon as possible.  You will be getting a full page after your story for your bio, so please also email me an updated bio with any social media links you would like included.  No problem, of course, to provide a bio, but the label on the attachment said “DOCX.”  The Cave Computer, the “older” machine the coronavirus lockdown makes me use (the local library being closed) does not like DOCX.

This is not the first time the balky laptop has stood between me and a story contract, see, e.g., March 24 below where “Midnight Dark” and SHALLOW WATERS involved PDF translations (after an RTF attempt had resulted in an over bulky, multi-megabyte attachment) and ultimately photographing a printed out version signed extra darkly with a felt tip pen.  So here again a PDF switch allowed the contract to be read — which in turn uncovered two clauses that needed reworking — but was ultimately solved with a dodge as old as the laptop itself:  a TXT file.  Ugly, but workable.  And, happy ending, the printed-in signature added with other fill-the-blank items, the contract went back about mid afternoon, roughly two days after the initial acceptance.

The Great Tome of Forgotten Relics and Artifacts, volume one of The Great Tome Series, presents fifteen tales of cursed relics, ancient artifacts, magical items, and alien devices.  In this volume:  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 GTVol1.3385958_stdOwner 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 Garrett Oracle at Delphi Street by Jon Etter Special Collections by Jon Etter The Djinn at the Wheel by Kathy L. Brown.

So Amazon tells us, dating the book’s publication as March 15.  But for eldritch reasons, unfathomable to ordinary mortals (but having to do with mysterious returns through the postal system), some authors never received their copies, I among them.  To the publishers’ credit, however, they got on top of it and finally, with special shipping via Federal Express, THE GREAT TOME OF FORGOTTEN RELICS AND ARTIFACTS bounced onto my front porch yesterday afternoon.  My story in it (see March 28, 16 et al.), originally published in TERMINAL FRIGHT as well as in THE TEARS OF ISIS, is already noted in the quotation above.  Suffice to say I checked it out first, fourth in the lineup on page 107 — while the book itself can be ordered from Amazon by pressing here.  (Also as a preview, Amazon tells us the second GREAT TOME is expected, on Kindle at least, to be available June 24.)

Then also on Monday afternoon an email came from Editor Cliff Gerstang to the effect that EVERYWHERE STORIES, VOLUME 2 (cf. April 1, February 29), reprinting my tale of “The Wellmaster’s Daughter,” is coming along ahead of schedule — at least so far!  Such is the biz, some things get delayed, others pop up unexpectedly early.  In any event other items were listed, cover design, galley proofs, possible launch events, leading to a hoped for release ahead of its current October target.

Word came today from Julie Hedge of Bards and Sages Publishing that the final files for Volume 1 in the “Great Tomes” series, THE GREAT TOME OF FORGOTTEN RELICS AND ARTIFACTS (cf. February 3, January 7, et al.), have been completed and sent to the printer and various digital outlets.  In fact, it’s already available for pre-order at Amazon at $4.99 and should start appearing for GTVol1.3385958_stdpre-order at other sites within the next week.  At that point the print edition will undergo a final proofreading with everything on track for an announced March 31 release date, with a trade paperback price set at $15.99

As noted in the headline above, my entry into this eldritch ediface is a tale of candle magic and playing with fire called “The Candle Room.”  Of troll-shaped tapers and unearthly entities.  It is a reprint that first appeared in the Summer 1995 issue of TERMINAL FRIGHT and can also be found in THE TEARS OF ISIS.

For those who wish, for the Kindle page and pre-order information for THE GREAT TOME OF FORGOTTEN RELICS AND ARTIFACTS press here, with, again, other electronic versions and the print edition available over the next few weeks.

Well, maybe not strictly Cthulhuesque.  The guidelines read, “Technology gone wrong.  Madmen  playing with science beyond their control.  Alien creatures with malign intent.  Welcome to DARK HORIZONS, where the future is lost.”  And the story I sent, “Dark of the Moon,” was a reprint originally published in THE CHILDREN OF CTHULHU (Del Rey, 2002), so maybe it’s not too far from that either.  Be that as it may, the word came back from editor/publisherDark_Horizons Charles P. Zaglanis at 7:09 p.m. (EST?  PST?  does it matter?) on Christmas Day.  “Loved the story, please fill out and email the contract back to me.”

So Saturday, later today, I’ll see to the contract — and, gee, it’s like a Christmas present!  But then why not, I did get a rejection from someone else the day before, on Christmas Eve, which I suppose means that art knows no strict calendar-based boundaries.  Or is that commerce?

Be that as it may, DARK HORIZONS is to be published by Elder Signs Press and is currently scheduled for Fall 2016.  As such, it will be a companion volume to STREET MAGICK:  TALES OF URBAN FANTASY (cf. December 5), also due out in Fall 2016 and with my story “Bottles,” a vampire tale of late 1950s Cambridge Massachusetts (originally published in 2004 in CROSSINGS, by Double Dragon; appearing as well in THE TEARS OF ISIS).  Oddly, both stories also have something to do with Russia, “Bottles” with fear of the USSR in a Cold War setting and “Dark of the Moon” about a multi-national near-future lunar expedition told from the point of view of a female Russian crewmember.

And of “Dark of the Moon,” an even worse fear.

“. . . And ye shall know them by their cosmic signs, etched in the path of elder stars. Be ever vigilant, for they will rise again in future centuries. Their father is Cthulhu, and their mother is Biotech.”

— So say the Techno-Goths


My entry, “Ghost Ship” (cf. April 24, 21, et al.), is set in my own far future “Tombs” universe (dying Earth, an expanding sun adding increasing, stifling heat to millennia of  pollution and mutation — what fun!), but direct ties to the Cthulhu Mythos or not, the feeling to me fitted in with Editor Mark Crittenden’s original call for “a very strong horror element and the concept of dystoopia. . . .  Your story may take place in any setting:  futuristic, post-apocalyptic, modern, old-world, parallel universe . . . the more boundless and strange the better.”  So will it pass muster?  Now you have the chance to find out.  Yesterday afternoon Red Skies Press’s latest anthology, TECHNO-GOTH CTHULHU, went up for sale officially on Createspace, with links added today for Amazon and Amazon UK.  Just click their names to see for yourself and, hopefully, buy a copy to read.

And, if you like “Ghost Ship,” three other “Tombs” stories are set to appear in THE TEARS OF ISIS (ha, thought I couldn’t sneak a commercial for this one in too?), out from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing in just over two weeks:  “Mara’s Room,” “River Red,” and, original to the collection, “The Ice Maiden.”  More information will appear here as it becomes available.

Two quick notes.  Today’s email brought an announcement from Editor Mark Crittenden that TECHNO-GOTH CTHULHU (cf. April 21, et al.) is now officially aiming for a release by Red Skies Press at the end of this month.  These will be stories informed by “the Cthulhu mythos, with a Cyber-goth/Cyber-punk slant . . . futuristic, post-apocalyptic, modern, old-world, parallel universe . . . the more boundless and strange the better.”  My story in this is perhaps more associational than some, set in my own universe of the “Tombs,” a far-future dying Earth, but one upon which — who knows? — there may be some stain of Cthulhu as well.  But find out for yourself for updates if any within the remaining not-quite-a-week, as well as for links as soon as they go live to Amazon, Amazon UK, and Createspace, by pressing here.

Then the word has come out that Eric J. Guignard, who we’ve met before as the editor of AFTER DEATH (see April 17, et al.), has one of two reviews up at this time on Amazon for SO IT GOES (see also April 9, et al.).  Both give the book five stars out of five and Eric’s goes on to offer brief glosses on seven favorite stories, one of which (ahem) is my “Dead Girls, Dying Girls” (“. . . a bit absurd, but that is to be expected by the very theme of the book.”).  To see for yourself, with other info from Amazon, check here.

Excitement continues!  Last December the word had gone out that DARK MOON DIGEST planned a special issue,  one geared toward young adult readers.  “Ghosts?  Zombies?  Vampires?  Witches?  Werewolves?  Chupacabra?  It’s all up to you.  Just remember:  Keep it exciting and moving along.  Let’s give the younger generation a taste of horror and keep them reading.”

Sounded good to me at the time — and I’d had dealings with DARK MOON before (e.g, as a book publisher, cf. AFTER DEATH, ZOMBIE JESUS AND OTHER TRUE STORIES, November 9, 5 2012, et al.; for the DIGEST, April 27 2012, et al.), so why not?    So I sent off a 750-word or so short short called “The Cyclops,” noting that while the protagonist is actually younger than those in the intended audience, it was “on a theme of alienation and isolation brought through ‘differentness’ that might appeal to young adults.”

This afternoon Editor Stan Swanson emailed, “We would like to use ‘Cyclops’ in the special young adult issue of DARK MOON DIGEST.  Great story and it will be a good fit.”  SuggestedImage edits and a contract are to follow.

So, a good guess on my part, eh?  More details also will follow here.

Then, as proofing of THE TEARS OF ISIS ramps up into high gear, I’ve also received an email from Red Skies Press editor Mark Crittenden that proof sheets for TECHNO-GOTH CTHULHU (see September 8, August 20 2012, et al.) will be sent out soon, so, while delayed a bit from an originally hoped for publication date last Decenber, the anthology is getting back on the fast track.  My contribution in this is “Ghost Ship,” a story set in the far-future dying-Earth world of the “Tombs,” in this case on an  island  in the south seas for which its own future has come to a stop.

Again, more details will follow as they are known.

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