Posts Tagged ‘Monsters’

The marvelously named Snallygaster is first:  Dating back before the Declaration of Independence, snallygasters were rumored to have terrorized the surrounding hills of Washington, D.C. and Frederick County, Maryland.  German settlers in the 1730s first described the Schneller Geist (“quick spirit”) as a metal-beaked, half-bird, half-reptile that soared through the air and swooped down without a sound to capture its prey.  When it did utter a noise, the snallygaster let out a blood-curdling screech.  Seven-pointed stars were painted on barns to ward off the creature, though sightings continued into the 1900s.  The Smithsonian Institution once offered a reward for the Snallygaster and President Roosevelt is rumored to have delayed an African safari to hunt the beast on American soil.

The heck of it is, it’s native born so walls or better border enforcement won’t keep it away (current Presidents take note).  But there are six more listed in today’s email offering from THE-LINE-UP.COM, “7 Creepy Folklore Creatures from Around the World” by Stephanie Almazan.  For instance the original “Night Mare,” from Northern Europe, doing its best to disturb one’s sleep or, if that doesn’t work, going out to the stable and riding the horses until they’re exhausted.  Or China’s famous (at least if you watch certain Hong Kong movies) Jiang Shi, or hopping vampires.

And south of the border there’s Argentina’s own will-o’-the-wisp, a.k.a. La Luz Mala, or if one should visit the Dominican Republic . . . well, beware of wild women who wear their feet backward, more on whom along with the ones described above, plus one or two others, can be discovered by pressing here.

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One of many exciting developments in the horror genre during the 2000s has been the emergence of so many films coming out of Ireland.  Rather than yet another ranking of the Leprechaun franchise (I’ll save you the trouble – ORIGINS is still the worst), this St. Patrick’s Day holiday seems like a good time to celebrate some of the really cool Irish horror films of the last 15 years.  So the feature began, “10 of the Best Irish Horror Films to Watch on St. Patrick’s Day (Or Any Other Day!)” by Patrick Bromley, on BLOODY-DISGUSTING.COM with a note that it had been originally published “one week ago” on hallow-2March 14.  So two days after that it has come to my attention and, as an antidote maybe to the aforementioned “Leprechaun” films (which the SYFY channel actually had on TV on Saint Patrick’s Day itself, but then no-one’s accused them of having taste), here are some Irish films that are good, listed chronologically from 2005 and BOY EATS GIRL to 2019’s THE HOLE IN THE GROUND.

I have to admit I haven’t seen most of these myself (the one pictured is somewhat in the middle, from 2015’s THE HALLOW, picked I confess in part because it’s green) but from the descriptions Bromley offers all of them seem at least worth a look.  For more (better late than never) press here.

This is a quick addendum to February 12’s post on the acceptance of “Beefcaake and the Vamp” for MONSTERTHOLOGY 2.  What, one may ask, of the original MONSTERTHOLOGY — to confess, I thought I’d probably remember if I’d had work there, so I thought I hadn’t.  But this afternoon, quite serendipitously, I ran across evidence to the contrary.  I’d just misremembered how much time there’d been.

Let us go back then to July 2 2012 and a similar call which brought my response:  “For all the ‘creature features’ you’ve seen, from The Fly to the Swamp Creature to Sasquatch, I offer you ‘Stink Man’ which, if not a homage to any one particular movie, might stand in for a whole herd of related part man, part [you name it] pictures.”  And so, that day, Editor Alan Russo agreed, and “Stink Man” came forth in the first MONSTERTHOLOGY (cf. September 12, July 18, 2 2012).

Better late than never, eh?  Let us hark back to October last year and an announcement that SINS AND OTHER WORLDS (cf. October 14, August 11, et al.) was due for release in “a couple of weeks” — possibly even by Halloween!  Well, as we know sometimes these things get delayed.  But at last today the email came from Editor Eric Fomely that [t]he eBook edition of SINS AND OTHER WORLDS is now available on Amazon.  . . .  The PoD edition is under review and I expect Amazon to publish within a day or two.  And why should we care?  To quote the blurb from a few months back:  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.

My part in this is a tale called “The Cyclops,” originally published in DARK MOON DIGEST YOUNG ADULT HORROR in June 2013, concerning a very young man with a problem, but possibly advanced intelligence as a sort of compensation.  But can he be accepted by others — including his own family?  More can now be found by pressing here.

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.

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.




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