Posts Tagged ‘Science Fantasy’

Two quick items, the first that Gehenna and Hinnom’s YEAR’S BEST BODY HORROR 2017 ANTHOLOGY (see September 25, et al.) arrived in yesterday’s street mail just in time for a glance through on Halloween, which seemed sort of proper.  It is a big book, as noted before just from the contents, with my story in it a reprint from some years back titled “Flesh,” about a man who wishes to gain weight.  For more on YEAR’S BEST BODY HORROR 2017 one can press here.

Then this morning I came across a short tale on Carrie Ann Golden’s A WRITER & HER ADOLESCENT MUSE blog, “A Halloween Haunt Story,” which is well in the spirit and can be read here.  But the thing is, then scroll down to the end and at the right is a link to “Author Interview:  James Dorr” — a rerun, as it were, of Carrie’s last year’s just-after-Halloween (cf. November 14 2016) interview of . . . moi.  So for still valid info on me, for those who may have missed it, on the not yet out TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH as well as THE TEARS OF ISIS, themes found in my writing, characterization, an excerpt from TOMBS, and other such lore, just give it a click as well.*

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*As now it happens (November 2) that the links below the story may change from day to day, mine no longer being in the slot.  So, if still interested in Carrie’s year ago interview of me, a direct link is here.

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Nine days to Halloween — how time does fly!  So to anticipate the upcoming holiday, THE HORROR TREE has just posted an interview of me, a long one by Ruschelle Dillon which even includes a question, with picture, about the Goth Cat Triana (with mention as well of dear departed Wednesday).  Did you know both of them have their own web pages (look for their names under “Pages” to the right)?  Captain Kirk or Jean Luc Picard?  (Yes, that’s one of the questions, but how do the “Casket Girls” fit in?)  Meldings of horror, science fiction, and romance.  Art and Death. Which TOMBS tale was “honorable mentioned” in Circlet Press’s BEST FANTASTIC EROTICA 2007?  Inspirational kitties.  Novels-in-stories.  And what does Poe’s “Poetic Principle” have to do with it all?

These and more — you know the routine!  Some things secret, some better well known, but all of them open for readers’ enjoyment by pressing here.

We may remember Heidi Angell.  To quote myself from June 9 this year, one of several posts linking to Heidi’s blog (cf. that date, et al.):  “It began innocently enough with a Meet the Author Interview.”  So begins Heidi Angell’s entry on her blog, AN ANGELL’S LIFE OF BOOKISH GOODNESS, complete with a link to the interview itself (cf., also, January 10), followed by a note and links for the three guest posts also published on TOMBS over the past several months (cf. May 18, et al.).  But that’s not all, even before that Heidi has posted a video of her first impressions which, by way of a preview, you can check out here (or, again, the link is there as well for you).  But then comes the main event, for which I can just say “Wow!”, Heidi Angell’s review of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, for which please press here.  There’s yet another item, though, in AN ANGELL’S LIFE, a reading of excerpts or stories from books to give would-be readers an even greater impression, under the aegis of STORY TIME.  An audio-visual lagniappe, if one will.  So Heidi and I selected one story that she might read from section III, “Intimations of Future Disaster,” a fairly short tale giving some of the TOMBS world’s background within the love story of Ipanema and Partimar, titled “Carnival of the Animals.”

“Carnival of the Animals” was first published as a stand-alone story in the literary ezine LENOX AVENUE for July-August 2005.  To quote its subtitle:  Two by two they passed through the New City, these the beasts of the Southern and Eastern wastes — and not just beasts only.  And as they went their way, there seemed so many that some questioned what was left.

For the story, press here.

Well, life in the far future as depicted in TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH is, to be sure, not exactly cheery.  And Amazon’s keywords do include the term “Dystopian,” as well as “Horror.”  But here’s a description from Erin Roberts’s “How to Tell If You’re Living in a Dystopia — And Why It Matters,” from TOR.COM:  Dystopian fiction, which comes from the Ancient Greek words “dys” (bad) and “topia” (place), lives up to its name by featuring worlds in which reality is cruel, suffering is extreme, and hope seems pointless.  But not every horrible place is a dystopia — the trope usually features a world in which society itself is the problem — and not every dystopia is horrible in the same way.  The social order is broken, but how?  The system has been corrupted, but by whom?  These futures may be bleak, but they are not interchangeable.  And so the question, are troubles in TOMBS primarily that of a social order (or orders) gone wrong, or is it more just a physically lousy place to live?  Or some kind of combination of both?

Ms. Roberts suggests four questions one could ask to determine whether one’s milieu is dystopic or not, mostly having to do with societal origins and hopes of relief, but as some of the comments after may suggest those might not be the only criteria.  But see for yourself by pressing here.  While as for TOMBS, for more information click on its picture in the center column, read the reviews, and perhaps buy a copy.

Perpetual Motion Machine Publications has announced a Friday the Thirteenth sale, to be in effect the entire Friday the Thirteenth Holiday Weekend.  To quote their email:  We’re also celebrating this special day by marking all of our books in our webstore off by 13%.  Simply visit our webstore and enter code PMMP13 upon checkout.  We have . . . a lot of books available.  Please consider picking up one or two or twelve.  The discount code expires on Sunday.

That’s thirteen percent off today through Sunday by using the code PMMP13 when checking out, but more to the point one of the books you can get discounted is my Stoker Award(R) nominated collection THE TEARS OF ISIS.  To go to the PMMP site press here.  And, after you’ve added TEARS to your shopping “cart,” to order two or a dozen other titles click “SHOP” at the top which will bring you to a page for browsing through additional selections.

A time of revelry and reversal, Saturnalia represents the breakdown of what has been deemed the natural order.  HYPERION AND THEIA’s inaugural volume wants stories and poetry that runs the gamut of genres and turns expectations on their heads.  Submit a fantastical murder-mystery set in the biggest carnival in Atlantis.  Wow us with a sweeping romance in space where gods and goddesses serve their creations after a bloody war. . . .

Such had been the call some months ago and, last December, came the acceptance (cf. December 9 2016).  My “epic” poem DREAMING SATURN, originally published in the anthology DARK DESTINY (White Wolf, 1994) would not only be in the inaugural volume, but tentatively would be set as the opening item.  A contract would follow.

So you know how it is.  Life intrudes, delays happen.  But then, yesterday:  Sorry for the long wait!  I have attached the final contract for you to sign.  I will contact you again on the 27th of October with the cover and other promotional material.  Suffice to say, the signed 8451b32b-e3c4-41cb-8f3e-7c6834708f13contract went back in the email this afternoon.

In other news, a run through the e-bookstores this morning unearthed a 33-percent discount for TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH on Barnes and Noble, at $9.99 — and that’s just the “official” price, with individual sellers’ new copies as inexpensive as $8.98.  There’s no indication how long these prices may last, so best take advantage soon!  Amazon, also, while listing the full price of $14.95 on its site, has several individual listings in the $10 to $11 range.  If interested, check out Barnes and Noble by pressing here; while Amazon can continue to be found, including several substantive reviews, by clicking TOMBS’ picture in the center column.

The crowd wasn’t the hugest, even including the homeless guy asleep in the back row, but was gratifyingly enthusiastic for this month’s “First Sunday Prose Reading and Open Mic”(cf. August 7, et al.), co-sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild and Boxcar Books, and anyway it had to compete with a lovely late-summerish afternoon outside.  And, yes, this was October.  Be that as it may, it was also our starting-the-buildup-to-Halloween special, with featured readings beginning with Frida Westford and two short shorts, “That Which Remains” about a displaced bog spirit paired with a fairy tale brought up to date in “The Eve of All Hallows,” and ending with Joan Hawkins and Tony Brewer performing brief excerpts from the screenplay for Ken Russell’s never-produced film version of DRACULA, with the title character an aesthete who specializes in biting artists about to die in order to give them eternal life to continue producing.

My reading came in between these two with a presentation from TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH somewhat paralleling that of the previous month at the Bloomington Arts Festival “Spoken Word Stage” (see September 3), this time with the book’s back-cover blurb plus the ghoul-poet’s tale from Section III to introduce the chapter-story “Carnival of the Animals,” and seemed to me to be well received (snoring homeless guy in the back notwithstanding).

Then after the break, with banana bread and ginger cookies, four readers, all of whom we’ve met before, offered open microphone presentations to cap the afternoon:  Tonia Matthews, Shayne Laughter, and (this time separately) Tony Brewer and MC Joan Hawkins.

The gravitational assist trajectories at Jupiter were successfully carried out by both Voyagers, and the two spacecraft went on to visit Saturn and its system of moons and rings.  Voyager 1 encountered Saturn in November 1980, with the closest approach on November 12, 1980, when the space probe came within 124,000 kilometers (77,000 mi) of Saturn’s cloud-tops.  The space probe’s cameras detected complex structures in the rings of Saturn, and its remote sensing instruments studied the atmospheres of Saturn and its giant moon Titan.  (Wikipedia, “Voyager 1”)

Two items occurred to me to close out the weekend, the first that there were space probes prior to Cassini (cf. September 17, 11, 7), including Voyagers 1 and 2 which also paid a visit to Saturn.  Launched 16 days apart in 1972, Voyager 1 was actually the second, but was on a trajectory that had it reaching Saturn first, performing flybys of not just Saturn and Titan, but also the moons Tethys, Mimas, Enceladus, Rhea, and Hyperion.  And while Voyager 2 also went on to Uranus and Neptune, on August 12 2012 Voyager 1 became the first human-made object to enter interstellar space.  Also, unlike Cassini, both Voyagers continue to journey outward.

So, why my interest?  Thirteen years after Voyager 1 and Saturn, a story of mine, one marking a breakthrough in my writing in my opinion, appeared in the July 1993 edition of Algys Budrys’s short-lived magazine TOMORROW.  Titled “Moons of Saturn,” it told of a couple watching a detailed series of news items on TV of the Voyager mission as it might have been, bringing in also the mythical origins of the moons’ names.  Added to this are fancied adventures on, e.g., the “jewel mines of Rhea,” these conducted through dreams or, possibly, astral projection, all through which the woman, Phoebe, 518B8qShonL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_named for one of the moons herself, grows progressively weaker as the man (“Enceladus,” as named by Phoebe) attempts to find a cure.  This latter possibly with tones of vampirism. . . .

And the thing is (or, here comes the plug!), while TOMORROW and its electronic successor TOMORROW SF are now long gone, “Moons of Saturn” has been reprinted in my collection THE TEARS OF ISIS.  For more information, or possible purchase, just press its picture in the center column.

Then one more item in the life of the writer:  Gehenna and Hinnom Editor/Publisher C.P. Dunphey emailed that the payment for my story in THE YEAR’S BEST BODY HORROR 2017 ANTHOLOGY (see September 13, August 10, May 8) has been sent to Paypal — a thing good to know since Paypal seems no longer to bother to tell people themselves when they’ve received money.  The story in question here is called “Flesh” — and like “Moons of Saturn” may be a little on the surreal side although with a more domestic setting — and also a reprint originally published in Spring 1999 in MAELSTROM SPECULATIVE FICTION.  THE YEAR’S BEST BODY HORROR can be pre-ordered now, by pressing here, in anticipation of a September 30 publication date.

 

Labor Day, the “official” ending of the summer season, no wearing of white till the next Memorial Day, the beginning of work through fall and winter, and . . . what’s that about a connection between Edgar Allan Poe and Winnie the Pooh?  For that last, welcome to the first interview for Fall 2018, courtesy of THE TATTOOED BOOK GEEK (cf. August 20), coming to us from across the Atlantic.  The answers to questions which sometimes boil down to “I don’t know either” — and some where I do!  The origins of ideas?  Writers of influence?  What can a reader do (other than buying his or her books, of course) to best help an author?

And what of connections not just between Poe and Pooh, but art and death?  Revealed perhaps in a peek at the Stoker(R)-nominated THE TEARS OF ISIS.  And “mosaic” novels?  The hint’s in a note and a blurb for my latest book, TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.  Again to find out, some things possibly already known, other things all new, one need but click on the books’ own pictures in the center column, and also for British blogger Drew Weldon’s THE TATTOOED BOOK GEEK interview, press here.

While Saturday started off a bit cool and clouded for my taste, the sun had established itself by a little past noon and Sunday followed sunny and warm too, a beautiful weekend for this year’s Bloomington 4th Street Festival of Arts & Crafts and, with it, the Bloomington Writers Guild’s Spoken Word Stage (cf. below, August 30).  Along with a number of poets both days, Saturday also brought Bloomington High School South’s Poetry Out Loud (getting the new generation on our side), children’s theater with the Merry Mac Players, FRANKENSTEIN as presented by the Fig Tree Fellowship Radio Players, and poetry “band” Shakespeare’s Monkey.  Then Sunday introduced more prose fiction readers, including Joan Hawkins and Shayne Laughter who we’ve met before (cf., e.g., various First Sundays Prose readings, for which in a way today’s Spoken Word session was a substitute), and . . . somewhat late in the day at 3:30 p.m., me.  In my case, I read three excerpts from TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, the back cover blurb and the introduction to Section II — by way of a sort of introduction — followed by the Section II story-chapter “The Last Dance.”  This was the same as the reading I presented last July at NASFiC in Puerto Rico (see July 13) and it seemed to go over well to an audience that started out on the small side, but grew as I continued, a good sign as these things go.  Next month, also, I’ll probably read the same first two parts but a slightly shorter story-chapter for October’s First Sunday.

Then speaking of TOMBS, Saturday’s email brought an “eligibility check” from the Horror Writers Association for works submitted to the Bram Stoker Award(R) Jury.  This consisted of questions concerning publication date, length and content, and prior publication (if any) of parts of the contents, all of which I was able to answer in the affirmative and send right back.  While this will be checked by the Jury people, with an official “acceptance” probably not for two weeks, one possibly ambiguous thing has been decided.  Although TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH is a novel-in-stories, akin to Ray Bradbury’s THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES or Amy Tan’s THE JOY LUCK CLUB, under the technicalities of the Stoker rules, it will be voted on in the Fiction Collection category.

So what that means in the here and now:  If you’re a HWA member and have read TOMBS, and have a hankering to recommend it for a Stoker, please do it for “Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection.”  But even if you’re not a HWA member, while/if the spirit moves please also consider reviewing it for Amazon and Barnes & Noble (both of which are offering wildly discounted prices on TOMBS, by the way, while they last), as well as on Goodreads.




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