Posts Tagged ‘Monsters’

Saturday brought my author’s e-copy from Editor Eric S. Fomley of SINS AND OTHER WORLDS (see August 13, et al.), with the added note that both electronic and print versions of the book will be able to be released “in the next couple of weeks.”  Or, if all goes well, the book should be out just in time for Halloween.  And it’s filled with stories, with authors well known as well those less so — my own, for instance, is in the contents just below a story by Mike Resnick and Lezli Robyn.  To quote from the Editor’s introduction:  Within these pages are thirty-five dark tales of science fiction brought to you by thirty very talented authors.  I’ve always had a love for the darker side of the genre, though I’ve found there are few anthologies that collect dark science fiction in one tome.  So I’ve created one, put together with some of the biggest names writing short sci-fi right now.  I hope you enjoy this anthology of the best short dark science fiction in recent memory.

And so it goes.  My own part in the potpourri is a tale of “The Cyclops,” originally published in DARK MOON DIGEST YOUNG ADULT HORROR in June 2013, about a very, very young man whose own mother thinks he might be a zombie.  Say what?  Well it actually may be worse than that, but for more, including info on ordering SINS AND OTHER WORLDS when it’s ready, keep watching these pages.

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Let’s give the piece its exact title, “The 100 best horror films,” subtitled “The best horror films and movies of all time, voted for by over 100 experts including Simon Pegg, Stephen King and Alice Cooper, and Time Out writers.”  The byline (that is to say, the TIME OUT writers themselves) is to Tom Huddleston, Cath Clarke, Dave Calhoun, Nigel Floyd, Alim Kheraj, and Phil de Semlyen and it was posted Friday April 13 2018 on the British site TIMEOUT.COM.  So how can you go wrong?  And, credit due, it comes to us courtesy of C.M. Saunders as mentioned in an interesting review on his blog of the Spanish film [REC] — one of the relatively few “found footage” films that really works — for which one can press here.

But to the main event, quoting the “Time Out writers” (as well, credit due, appropriating their title illustration):  For years, horror, unlike romance, action and science fiction, has been mistreated and subjected to vicious critical attacks.  For some, horror films are focused purely on provoking a reaction with little thought for ‘higher’ aspirations.  For others, they’re just a bit of fun.

Thankfully, it looks like the horror genre is finally getting the recognition it deserves, with recent releases getting Oscar buzz and proving to be box office hits.  To celebrate this often overlooked and thrilling genre, we approached horror experts, writers, directors and actors to help us chose the 100 best horror films.

Yes, I disagree with some, although if it is an endorsement of sorts I’ve seen or own well over half of these.  And everyone reading this will no doubt have their doubts about others, and possibly even criteria used to decide which is best.  And of course some favorites will fail to be there — we all have our tastes, yes?  But for me, also, part of the value of lists like these is finding the films I haven’t seen, but from the descriptions I might well want to.

So, giving a press here, shall we explore together?

Good news for dark science fiction fans — or at least for me and 30 or so fellow writers.  And a thank you as well to those who contributed.  SINS AND OTHER WORLDS (see August 11, July 28, et al. — early table of contents July 19) has met its primary goal and img_1110will (a) be published and (b) its authors be paid!  According to Editor Eric Fomley:  SINS AND OTHER WORLDS is a dark Science Fiction short story anthology comprised of reprint stories from 30 talented authors.  The stories range from deep space, alien planets, alternate realities and beyond.  Most stories within are flash fiction interspersed with several longer works from both emerging authors and titans in the field.  The anthology collects some of the best dark sci-fi in recent memory.  And moreover, sufficient readers have pledged support that two or three bonus stories may be added to the contents.

My story in this is called “The Cyclops,” about an unnaturally intelligent but physically challenged baby, originally published in DARK MOON DIGEST YOUNG ADULT HORROR, June 2013.  More on it and its new companions will be reported here as it becomes revealed.

It’s a reprint anthology with lots of stories; of science fiction-horror; of many writers including some names you’ll probably know, some newer to the game.  For a table of contents see below, July 19.  To quote the blurb:  SINS AND OTHER WORLDS is a dark Science Fiction short story anthology comprised of reprint stories from 28 talented authors.  The stories range from deep space, alien planets, alternate realities and beyond.  Most stories within are flash fiction interspersed with several longer works from both emerging authors and titans in the field.  The anthology collects some of the best dark sci-fi in recent memory. . . .  One story in particular, mine, is about a baby whose mother half-believes he’s a zombie — and who’s beginning to understand why — titled “The Cyclops.”  It’s an anthology I’d like to read.

But, and isn’t this the case with so many projects, if it’s published at all it will be on a shoestring and it needs potential readers’ help.  Editor Eric Fomley has pledged that he’ll pay the writers, at least a little or else end the project, and yes that gives me a dog in the fight too, but right now the kickstarter he’s set up seems to be running short with only a bit more than two weeks to go (if my arithmetic’s right it will end about midday EDT, August 13).  But don’t trust me with numbers.

For more, please press here.

That is, if the kickstarter is successful.  To quote the blurb, SINS AND OTHER WORLDS is a dark Science Fiction short story anthology comprised of reprint stories from 28 talented authors.  The stories range from deep space, alien planets, alternate realities and beyond.  Most stories within are flash fiction interspersed with several longer works from both emerging authors and titans in the field.  The anthology collects some of the best dark sci-fi in recent memory.  But (*ahem*) the authors need to be paid, the paper purchased, the publication costs reimbursed, all of which takes money.  My part in this, I should add, is a story titled “The Cyclops,” originally published in DARK MOON DIGEST YOUNG ADULT HORROR, June 2013 (see July 18 , June 17).

Or, to quote once more:  We have 25 days to raise enough funds for this project to get off the ground. Please let your social circles know of our reprint project.  And needless to say, if you can contribute something yourself, please be more than welcome.  More information including special prizes for pledges can be found here.

Then, for a sneak preview, if funding comes through here’s a table of contents:

Alex Shvartsman – The Far Side of the Wilderness
Christi Nogle – A Fully Chameleonic Foil
Dennis Mombauer – The Dust Bathynaut
Douglas Smith – Nothing
Ed Ahern – The Service Call
Eric Choi – Most Valuable Player
George Nikolopoulos – The Sin of Envy
Gerri Leen – Floating in My Tin Can
Gregg Chamberlain – Apocalypse Beta Test Survey
Henry Szabranski – In The Maze Of His Infinities
Holly Schofield – Tough Crowd
James Dorr – The Cyclops
Jeremy Szal – When There’s Only Dust Left
Jez Patterson – Between Two Distant Shores There Lies Space For an Ocean of Troubles
John Dromey – Death, Where Is Thy Sting
Ken Liu – The Plague
Kevin J. Anderson – Job Qualifications
Laird Long – The Last Racist
Liam Hogan – Remembrance Day
Lina Rather – Last Long Night
Michelle Ann King – God State
Mike Murphy – About Time
Mike Resnick & Lezli Robyn – Benchwarmer
Rhonda Eikamp – Angels Behaving Badly
Robert Silverberg – Flies
Russell Hemmell – Tugship
Vaughan Stanger – The Eye Patch Protocol
Wendy Nikel – Memory Ward

The life goes on.  Amidst contests and interviews, Wednesday’s email brought a contract from Shacklebound books for my story “The Cyclops,” set to appear in the reprint flash anthology SINS AND OTHER WORLDS (cf. June 17).  Originally published in DARK MOON DIGEST YOUNG ADULT HORROR for June 2013, “The Cyclops” is told from the point of view of a fast-growing baby with physical problems, but with an advanced enough intelligence that he’s beginning to figure things out.  Say what?  Well, the contract went back to Editor Eric Fomley later this afternoon as requested, so watch here for further information on when SINS is published and ready for purchase to see for yourself.

Talk about fast!  Thursday, June 14, I submitted a story to a reprint anthology for short (1500 words or less), dark science fiction, SINS AND OTHER WORLDS.  As it happened I had a story I rather liked at about half that length,”The Cyclops,” about a deformed but hyper intelligent baby first published in DARK MOON DIGEST YOUNG ADULT HORROR in June 2013.  And in fairness, the call for submissions did say responses could come in less than two weeks.

But in only two days?  Sent late yesterday came the reply from Editor Eric Fomley:  Thank you for sending me this.  I would like to use “Cyclops” in the SINS AND OTHER WORLDS anthology.  I’ll keep you in the loop as the project progresses.  So, technically it was three hours and some minutes over two days if one reads the time stamps (assuming, that is, they’re for the same time zone), but that’s still pretty quick!

Also according to Editor Fomley there should be a crowdfunding campaign in the near future, for which expect news here as soon as it’s known.  More money raised, after all, means more money in authors’ pockets (the project will be called off, in fact, if we can’t be paid at least an advance of $0.01 a word).  Also they’re still open for new submissions, to close only when the anthology’s full — but at this rate of speed that might not be too long.  So if interested in submitting yourself, details can be found here.

Wherever you are. . .  Wherever you go. . .  They’re coming to get you. . .  You cannot escape them. . . .  Well, yes, there are airline screw-ups too, the expected hazards of vacation travel, but what about something out of the ordinary?  Horrors to seek of your own free will?

Welcome, courtesy of Robert Dunbar via Facebook’s LITERARY DARKNESS, to Dennis Cooper’s “Halloween for Keeps:  25 Year-Round Worldwide slide_10Haunted and Horror Attractions” on DENNISCOOPERBLOG.COM.  You can’t even wait out the summer to dodge them!

They speak for themselves, in myriad countries, myriad cities, myriad fairs and amusement parks the whole world over, the U.S., Canada, China, Finland, Italy, Spain, England and Japan . . . but also accompanied by brief 7537233328_d6ec934ed2descriptions by author Cooper, plus clickable previews, some long, some short. . . .

Some tacky, some terror-filled. . . .

If you dare . . . press here!

Mileage may definitely vary on this one.  Some find “found footage” movies realistic and scary, others complain about headaches induced by shaky hand-held camerawork, while I’m probably somewhere in the middle.  THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, granted an excellent pre-release public relations buildup, ultimately suffered from (in my opinion) a danger inherent in the sub-genre:  a genuinely, promisingly scary buildup dissipated by the end “reveal” — or lack thereof.  Was that all it was?  In the case of THE BLAIR WITCH . . . well, I shouldn’t reveal it, but it was disappointing to me.  Or in the wonderfully, terrifyingly built-up Spanish film [REC], well what was it after all — could anyone actually see?  Or is that just me?

Then there are ones where there’s just too much waiting (realistic, I suppose in fairness) for, again to me, too little payoff even in the buildup.  PARANORMAL ACTIVITY anyone? — spooky to some perhaps, but to me, well, I have a cat.  Bang!  Too many “special effects” just found a, to me, too easily found possible explanation.  But also there are ones that I think work well.  CLOVERFIELD for instance starts perhaps too slowly, but when it gets going it becomes genuinely scary and, granted one does have to suspend disbelief, it’s fast enough that the ending packs a genuine punch!  And for one that both packs a genuine punch, and builds up horrifyingly along the way — and is all too believable (especially if one is into conspiracy theories) — may I suggest THE BAY?  Granted there may be a little cheating, the film presumably composed and edited “after the fact,” but I recommend it as possibly the best of the genre so far.*  And also, in this case maybe a sort of “hybrid,” but partially “found footage,” Norway’s TROLL HUNTER is funny as well, though perhaps more fantasy than actual horror.

So that’s my opinion.  Others may differ.  But for a rundown on these and five more, to decide for oneself, please to peruse “11 Seriously Scary Found Footage Horror Movies ” by THE-LINE-UP.COM staff by pressing here.

 

*Reviewed here, I might add, on these very pages, see June 8 2015.

Quoting the blurb:  Third Flatiron’s new speculative fiction anthology, MONSTROSITIES, contains 20 short stories about things that are disturbingly large or outrageous.  A flash humor section, “Grins and Gurgles,” is also featured.

An international group of new and established contributors to “Monstrosites” makes this an original and varied collection that is sure to please fans of science fiction/fantasy, humor, and horror.  Writers include Keyan Bowes, Larry Hodges, Carl R. Jennings, Mark Pantoja, Ray Daley, Brian Trent, James Dorr, Liam Hogan, Salinda Tyson, Jennifer R. Povey, Ville Merilainen, Sita C. Romero, Martin M. Clark, Sharon Diane King, Julia August, Robert Bagnall, Barry Charman, Russell Hemmell, and Joseph Sidari.  With a special reprint from Edward Bryant.  Edited by Juliana Rew.

Yes, MONSTROSITIES is out on schedule including my story, “Got Them Wash Day Blues” (cf. February 24; December 28 2017), in Kindle format.  A print edition should follow as well in about a week, but for now for stories of things more enormous than they ought to be — including my own of laundry gone wild — one may check what Amazon has to offer by pressing here.




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