Posts Tagged ‘Monsters’

Strange are the ways of the poetry biz.  Or, April the twentieth warps to the nineteenth.  Or . . . anyhow just now the email came from Vince Gotera, coordinator of the SFPA blog-imageRhysling showcase blog feature (and also, one might add, recently appointed new editor of the SFPA journal STAR*LINE, though that’s a topic for a different venue).  Apparently the re-scheduled tomorrow posting of the capsule bios including mine was just re-re-scheduled, due to a timely sending of new information by . . . moi, to be back to today (cf. post just below).  Or, to quote in full:

James, got it. Just in time.  The date of 4/19 on your blog is correct.  Yours was the last schtuff I was waiting for.  The showcase just went live.

Your blog post and my showcase are a feedback loop!  Whee!

Confused yet?  I know I am.  But anyway here it is!

This first via Facebook from Smart Rhino Publications, an official announcement of the contents page for their upcoming ZIPPERED FLESH 3:  YET MORE TALES OF BODY ENHANCEMENTS GONE BAD (cf. February 21, 3, January 18, et al.).  Or, well, almost . . . or to put it in their words:  “We have a few other stories under consideration, and the submission period is now over.  But, as you can see, the line up is already impressive.”  And as it happens it is impressive, so here it is as a sort of preview:

Billie Sue Mosiman – Horns, Teeth, and Knobs
Shaun Meeks – Upgraded
Jeff Menapace – Worm
Adrian Ludens – Reduced to Tears
Christine Morgan – Going Green463_zippered_cvr_3
William F. Nolan – A New Man
Jason V. Brock – Transposition
Jack Ketchum – The Rose
Daniel I. Russell – Consume
Jezzy Wolfe – All Will Turn to Gray
E. A. Black – Invisible
L.l. Soares – And the Sky Was Full of Angels
Meghan Arcuri-Moran – Shopping Spree
Charles Colyott – Closer
Graham Masterton – Dog Days
Jasper Bark – Switch
Martin Zeigler – Hypochondria
Sandra R. Campbell – Gehenna Division–Case #609
James Dorr – Golden Age

Then in other news, readers may recall that the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) has been posting capsule features on Rhysling-nominated poets this month, six at a time, on their blog and that my turn was to be up today (cf. March 29).  Well . . . also, almost.  A bit of rescheduling has been going on (among other things, originally scheduled for a new “spotlight” every other day starting April first, some have been coming out on even-numbered days too) and, as it happens, mine will actually be out tomorrow.  But this gave some time for a bit of more up-to-date information than SFPA apparently had in its files, so it’s all for the best.

My poem, incidentally, nominated in the short poem division, is “Godzilla vs. King Kong,” a rare sports poem involving prize fighting originally published in DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES.  A sneak peek of it can also be found in my slightly obsolete “Spotlight” announcement on March 29.

It came down to this, finally,
the fight of all fights,
Godzilla against the King. . . .

So begins the poem as published in DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES for May 2016 (cf. August 6, et al.), “Godzilla vs. King Kong.”  Then, today, came another missive:  Congratulations on having been nominated as a candidate for the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s 2017 Rhysling Award, given by king_kong_vs_godzilla_1962member vote for the best speculative-genre poem first published in 2016.  While the award does not include a monetary prize, those included in the anthology receive a contributor’s copy, a 50% discount on further copies, and may join SFPA at half the normal rate.  The email went on to explain the details, the poem would be published in this year’s RHYSLING ANTHOLOGY, I would get a copy of it but no extra money for reprint rights, the anthology, in turn, would be distributed to SFPA members for use in voting.  And, one should add, even just being a nominee carries a certain amount of prestige so, the bottom line, I sent back my permission for the republication.

The Rhysling Award is actually two annual awards, one for shorter poems, one for those fifty lines long or more (at 26 lines, my poem will be in the short division).  These are voted on by SFPA members, by analogy to other genre awards like the Nebulas and Stokers(R), but with this one difference, that every nominee is distributed in the anthology, so every voter will have a chance to have read all the candidate poems.  More on the Rhyslings can be found on the SFPA site by pressing here.

As for who won the fight, however, Godzilla or King Kong, the answer will be in the poem itself and, even if not yourself a SFPA member, there will be a chance to buy the anthology when it comes out.

So we’ve all met Krampus (cf December 4, et al.), but for real Christmas carnage, what about Krampie’s big brothers (and sisters)?  This comes to us via BLOODY-DISGUSTING.COM by Trace Thurman, “5 Absolutely Terrifying Christmas Legends!,” for which press here.

knecht-ruprecht
And to all a good night. . . .

Just a quick followup, THE GREAT TOME OF CRYPTIDS AND LEGENDARY CREATURES oozed into the computer cave’s physical mailbox yesterday afternoon (see just below, December 17, et al.).  Yes, the cover is that shade of purple.  Within are tales with (quoting their blurb) “[p]lots revolving around the folklore and legends of ‘real world’ cryptids.”  Or, to be more specific, here’s a table of contents:

The Voice of Thunder by Taylor Harbin
The Burryman by Vonnie Winslow Crist
Hunting a Legend by Derek Muk
Field Study by T.C. Powell
Cats in the Cradle by Matthew Smallwood
The Stalker by James Dorr
Shapes in the Water by Calvin Demmer
The Bad, Bad Luck of Judson Worley by Rob Munns
The Ghost of Arriscado Basin by Jon Michael Kelley
Sutan by Derek Muk
Hoofquake by CB Droege
Eleven Essential Items to Bring When Planning Selfies with Bigfoot by Sarina Dorie
Dark Fin by Mark Charke

Amazon, also, claims it’s ready for ordering now including in print, for which one can press here.

Bards and Sages Publishing’s THE GREAT TOME OF CRYPTIDS AND LEGENDARY CREATURES (cf. October 27, August 3, et al.) is now live, according to Editor Julie Ann Dawson.  This is Number Four in the GREAT TOMES greattome4series, joining with those of FORGOTTEN RELICS AND ARTIFACTS, DARKEST HORRORS AND UNSPEAKABLE EVILS, and FANTASTIC AND WONDROUS PLACES.  And I have stories in all four of these with “The Stalker,” in this one, the tale of a young college woman’s encounter with a Windigo and why one must always remember one’s BIBLE.  Also, the print edition has received a final approval and should be out within the next few days.

More information on THE GREAT TOME OF CRYPTIDS AND LEGENDARY CREATURES can be found from Bards and Sages, with table of contents, by pressing here.

That title may be a little misleading.  Okay, a lot?  But it occurred to me that, as a horror writer, cults and people’s joining of cults is an area that might be worth exploring whether for story ideas, or defining characters within already written (or read) stories.  Does DRACULA, for instance, with vampire-in-progress Mina psychically linked to the one who is “turning” her, actually describe a cult, with the ritual of driving a stake through the count’s heart representing an ultimate means of deprogramming?  I think, myself, of my New Orleans-based “Casket Girls” (cf. August 4, March 6 this year; April 28 2015; April 17 2014; et al.) as having formed a polyamorous society of ladies with similar dining habits, but to what extent might that be cult-like too?  Or, more generally thinking, how many horror tales might simply feature bands of non-supernatural zealots who, possibly, might stick together after some menace has been conquered — think torch-bearing mobs following a charismatic burgermeister to seek more Frankensteins’ castles to burn.

Then there are the real cults, as that of Charles Manson.  Or in Waco Texas.  But are all cults bad?   Which all comes down to that, via the magic of today’s email, I ran across an interesting piece, “How Do People Become Indoctrinated Into Cults” by Derek Beres, on BIGTHINK.COM for which one may press here.  Is the horror writing community in itself a cult (well, for this one no, because we all run in different directions — at least when we’re left alone — so we’re probably more unfinishedlike a hypothetical herd of cats.  All after the mouse, yes, but. . . .)?

So, changing the subject, last night I and four others met in an old house on darkest 6th Street for a ritual of our own, a rehearsal for a reading performance of a play, to be presented on October 28 at local Bloomington pub The Back Door.   Scenes from a grisly play in progress, “The Unfinished” by Donald Mabbott, will be read by Writers Guild members Shayne Laughter, Joan Hawkins, Tony Brewer, and James Dorr.   Just in time for Halloween!, to quote the blurb for it.  A horror-themed open mic will follow.  For more on this one, one may press here.

A short note this time of a discovery no more distant than my street mail mailbox, the receipt of Volume 3 in Bards and Sages GREAT TOMES series, THE GREAT TOME OF greattomev3-125102232_stdFANTASTIC AND WONDROUS PLACES (see September 21, et al.).  My story in this is of an early 20th century expedition into the Wild Wild East — which is to say Russia’s Siberian wasteland — and what was there found.  Presented in the form of a scholarly journal article, a slightly differently formatted version was published in EXTREMES 5 (Lone Wolf Publications, 2003) as well as reprinted in my second collection, DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET (Dark Regions Press, 2007).  Or, for more on this current version, one may press here.

Jesus Franco’s VAMPYROS LESBOS is yet another horror film that doesn’t quite qualify as scary. More erotica than anything else, the film follows a vixen vampiress that, as the title would suggest, targets female victims. While a lesbian vampire is certainly a creative, albeit odd, character choice, that doesn’t mean that the idea should result in the film.

Unfortunately for us, it did.  And as you could probably guess, scares are in short supply while the sexualization of women is at the forefront of the entire film.  Of course, there are many that would disagree — in many circles, this film is considered brilliant, even one of Franco’s best works.  However, no matter the opinion on the film’s success, vampyroslesboscoverit’s very clear that sexuality is valued over the its “scary” qualities.

We may recall VAMPYROS LESBOS from last month’s post on “Sweet Lesbian Vampire Love” (August 14).  And so it is, um, covered again as #7 in Victoria Robertson’s “10 Trashy Horror Movies With More Skin then Scares” on SCREENRANT.COM, as pointed out in today’s e-mailbox by Scott M. Godiscak via Facebook and THE HORROR SOCIETY.  The list is not to condemn the sexy, at least not per se, but to lament the lack of actual horror when pushed too far aside by skin and/or blood.  The point is well enough taken (VAMPYROS LESBOS for example is actually a retelling of DRACULA from a more CARMILLA-like point of view, but is washed in sun — literally — rather than shadows) although, in some cases, we might still make room for guilty pleasures.  And as Robertson points out herself, for at least a few of these there are contradictory opinions.  Number 1 on her list, starring Robert Englund, is, for instance, filled with sly references to existentialism, albeit perhaps more superficial than profound.  Or are they?

More profound are ten different movies, courtesy of Robert Dunbar via Gerald Houarner on Facebook’s LITERARY DARKNESS, as brought to us by Rebekah McKendry in “10 Terrifying Science Fiction Films You May Have Missed” via BLUMHOUSE.COM.  Some of these are a bit obscure, the list itself sometimes suggesting sources, and I have to confess I’ve only seen four myself (although of the guilty pleasures above, I’ve only seen three as far as I know, but in this case it may be that some are overly forgettable).  Still some should be worth searching for, for a start on which one may press here — while for guilty pleasures press here.

Another month, another last Sunday, which brought today the Bloomington Writers Guild’s “Last Sunday Poetry Reading and Open Mic,” presented in conjunction with the Bloomington and Monroe County Convention Center (cf. August 28, et al.).  The opening reading this time was by Jordan Zandi, a Boston University MFA, who read from his recent Kathryn A. Morton Prize winning collection, SOLARIUM, then ended with one or two new poems slated for his next publishing project.  He was followed by Indianapolis born and bred, and lately Bloomington resident Jason Ammerman, a lively and experienced reader and also co-founder of the Indiana poetry troupe The Reservoir Dogwoods, with his most recent collection, BATTLE SCARRED, published by Chatter House Press in 2012.  He also has a forthcoming collection, WAYLON JENNINGS NEVER SLEPT HERE.

When “Open Mic” time came there were nine readers signed up, a larger than normal group, of which I came last with three recent and as yet unpublished poems.  The first of these, “Some Assembly Required,” was a three-line not-really-haiku about the travails of an undertaker, following the night of the full moon, collecting body parts left by the local werewolves for proper burial.  This was followed by bambitwo longer poems, the first of which, “Escalations,” references a very short movie I saw years ago, BAMBI MEETS GODZILLA, describing how after the movie the Japanese monster, washing festering deer body parts off his foot in Tokyo Bay, inadvertently starts a worldwide athletes foot epidemic; the second, involving a prompt to write an uplifting poem (I explained to the audience I generally don’t do uplifting) is called simply “Uplifting,” and describes a woman wearing a wide-brimmed, but overly tight-fitting hat who is caught in a wind storm and blown to the moon.  (This last one also included vampires.)




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