Posts Tagged ‘Science Fantasy’

Well, it was actually just one of many readings on the Spoken Word Stage, and that just one facet of Bloomington’s annual Labor Day weekend 4th Street Festival of the Arts and Crafts (cf. August 27; September 23 2017, et al.), but one does what one does.  And mine was the only one touted as “horror fiction,” or as one person said afterward, welcome “chilling” on a hot, humid, hazy (with one smidge of light rain about 2 p.m., a safe hour and a half before show time for me, and anyway the readings were under a tent) late summer day.  Preceding me were two half hours of fiction, “audio theatre”, and more poets and theatre; just after a “poetry band” called SHAKESPEARE’S MONKEY (who we’ve met before, see March 10 2017, et al.), more poets, and a storyteller.  And that’s just today, with more poets and fiction, storytelling, and audio theatre scheduled for Sunday.

My reading featured two stories from my 2013 collection THE TEARS OF ISIS (press its picture in the center column for more information, reviews, and/or ordering), with the curtain raiser “Bones, Bones, The Musical Fruit,” a dystopian future (of sorts) fairytale about music and the making of performers’ instruments.  Then finishing off was “River Red,” a far-future variant of “Snow White” — with ghouls — preceded by reading part of the back cover blurb for TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, in which universe this story is set.

The audience wasn’t super large, but I kept everyone who showed up from the start (some of whom may have looked a bit nervous before it was over), and it was fun.  So, after, I treated myself to a bowl of “drunken” noodles from the Thai restaurant across Dunn Street from us, that had a stand set up at the corner.

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One for “the writing life,” the PDF proof received from Editor Allen Ashley for Eibonvale Press’s upcoming HUMANAGERIE, including my TOMBS universe-set story “Crow and Rat” (cf. August 11, July 29).  This is the one for tales and poems on the theme of animals, or perhaps more precisely connections symbolic or more concrete between humans and lower forms.  Thus “Crow and Rat,” beggars in the New City of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, and also the lowest of the low in their own story here with a hoped for October publication.  All seeming in order, the proof went back last night.

Here’s another list, this one rather long and special as well as one I’d like to save for myself:  “43 Underrated Films from the Darker Side of Cinema You’ve Probably Never Seen — A Gehenna Post Article” via GEHENNAANDHINNOM on WordPress.  Well, of course I’ve seen some, but I use these things to check out the ones I haven’t in case there might be something I’ve missed that I’d better look for at least on DVD.  One’s mileage varies, as the saying goes, but to see for yourself check here.  In addition, G & H’s editor, publisher, and now list maker C.P. Dunphey not only bought my story “Flesh” for YEAR’S BEST BODY HORROR 2017 ANTHOLOGY (see November 1 2017, et al.), but also ran an interview of me on the GEHENNA POST along with an extremely positive review of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH (cf. June 3 2017, and/or check it on Amazon et al.), which can be seen by pressing here.  Or in other words, we know already he has good taste.

Their setting is among the lowest of the low in New City, known to readers of TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.  They are of that world — or should one say “were” — but are not in the stories in that anthology.  The story title is “Crow and Rat,” set in the same universe as TOMBS, and now it has a first-time home in an anthology to be published in England.

The anthology, HUMANAGERIE, which (to quote from the guidelines) will showcase both poetry and short fiction on the theme of animals.  The book will not be about animals as such, but will instead be inspired by the characteristics that animals possess, and the points at which these intersect with — and manifest in — humanity. . . .  We are interested in shifting states, in scenarios that explore duality, hybridity, and liminality. We are asking writers to consider how animalistic attributes might manifest in the human psyche — or vice versa.  We want hints of scales, tails, fur and fins . . . gills, claws, paws and spines . . . glimpses of horns, tusks, teeth and tongues . . . stalking, slinking, slithering and stomping . . . roars, whimpers, howls and song.  We want breath, heat, musk.  We want landscapes ranging from urban wastelands to frozen tundra, from bedsits to coastlines, from suburbia to savannah — and the imagined worlds between.  We want water and we want fish out of water. We want the visceral and the vulnerable, the slippery and the synaesthetic, emergence and extinction.

Quite the roundup, if one might say so.  But the tragic would-be lovers, Rat and Crow, beggars and thieves who gained their names from the methods they used, were nothing if not willing to take their chances.  So three months and a week from their journey’s beginning, the word came from Editor Allen Ashley,  I am pleased to tell you that we would like to accept “Crow and Rat” for print publication in HUMANAGERIE, followed by (if I may say) some extremely flattering “Editors comments.”  For a pair of ruffians Crow and Rat, I expect, should be proud!  In any event, the acceptance came lateish Saturday evening with today spent earlier looking over some minor changes plus sending back an acceptance of terms.

If all goes as planned, HUMANAGERIE is aiming for an October release date by Eibonvale Press.  More will appear here as it becomes known.

“Writers & The Animals They Love” is the overarching theme of Heather Baker Weidner’s a bit off the beaten track PENS, PAWS, AND CLAWS blog, on which books take a back seat to the Goth Cat Triana.  Well, not entirely, TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH and THE TEARS OF ISIS do still get considerable mention, but their pictures are displayed well below that of you know who.  And subjects covered include not just such standards as the difference between horror and dark fantasy, but also the use of pets in stories and favorite movies/books with animals in them.  Angela Carter’s “The Company of Wolves” would be an example of the latter, while, in general, for a slightly different take on the usual “author interview” of yours truly, be welcome to press here.

Ms. Weidner also mentions that her readers like to leave comments, so feel free to join them with your own.  I’ll make an effort to stop by to answer them two or three times later today, before getting ready to leave for StokerCon Thursday morning.

So in one respect the second part of this saves some worry, plus lets me get to StokerCon without likely to be unrealized expectations.  Still TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH having missed the final ballot (cf. January 25, et al.) is a disappointment.  So how about watching a movie instead, maybe one not seen before, as listed in “11 Severely Underrated Horror Movies You Should Watch Tonight” via THE-LINE-UP.COM?  The fourth on the list, in fact, has been reviewed here (cf. “With Snow on the Ground Casey Surely Was Freezing in that Miniskirt, Though,” December 27 2015).  For the others, press here.

And for me, one thing that might cheer me up:  If you’ve read TOMBS and feel, at least, it did deserve being on the preliminary ballot, perhaps you could post a review of it on Amazon, Goodreads, B&N, et al.

Thanks.

2018 may be an unusual year.  One might recall the CAMPFIRE TALES windfall only a few days ago (see January 19, below), of more than ten dollars — this for a single anthology story.  A second royalty has just arrived in Wednesday’s mail from Elder Signs Press for more than six times that amount!  And while one may also recall last July 23 and a check that would cover a decent romantic dinner (although without drinks) for two, for two separate stories in two separate books aided perhaps by the fact they’d both received a brief showing on actual bookstore shelves, today’s check is for considerably more than that amount too.  And here’s the thing:  This one does not include the anthology stories (which happened to have no payout this period due to returns) but, also published by Elder Signs Press, covers only the first sales for TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.  I’ll also add that if you might be interested in buying TOMBS, you can click its picture in the center column; or if you’d just like to read some reviews for 8451b32b-e3c4-41cb-8f3e-7c6834708f13now, press here.

Then, speaking of TOMBS, voting also started Wednesday to pick the official 2017 Horror Writers Association Stoker(R) nominees.  Five can be voted for in each division with, I believe, eleven titles in all in “Fiction Collections” with TOMBS.  And one more item going back to the notice above, with Amazon and Barnes & Noble both still offering substantial print copy discounts which may be a factor, print sales for TOMBS in the previous six months appear to have outstripped electronic copies by more than ten to one!

Which is to say, despite yesterday’s “oopsie” at HWA Central, publicity continues on TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH having made the preliminary Stoker(R) ballot.  For example, for publisher Elder Signs Press’s Facebook page press here (where, if you then scroll down and down, you’ll also find other posts about TOMBS, including one with a link to an interview by Heidi Angell).  For HWA Active and Lifetime members voting will start tomorrow, I think (with a hopefully corrected list of ballot candidates’ links/contact information), with an announcement of the final ballot early next month.  And for everyone, if you like TOMBS please consider giving it a review for Amazon, Goodreads, and other such fiction lovers’ gathering places.

Some days just aren’t one’s day.  Voting members of the Horror Writers Association will have just received, as of about the last hour, a “Special Internet Preliminary Ballot Mailer with Links” listing all books and authors in the various Stoker categories, with direct links or instructions for obtaining reading copies of the works.  As readers may know, one of these in the Fiction Collection category is my mosaic novel TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH (cf. January 18, below — why a Fiction Collection and not a novel?  That’s how the categories work).  But, oops, one little problem on the links part of this.  When I looked up TOMBS, the link under it is for a different book altogether, Michael Hanson’s poetry collection WHEN THE NIGHT OWL SCREAMS.

So it goes.  I’m assured, however, that an updated list, to be sent Tuesday night after the actual ballots have been sent out, will have the correct information — so any HWA members reading this blog need not despair yet.  Or, better, to run around the system, if you’re a HWA voting member and wish to obtain a PDF copy of TOMBS to read, drop me a note to that effect with an email address to send it to under “comments” here.

Hark us back a moment to December 26, below, and the revelation that SOCIETY FOR MISFIT STORIES PRESENTS. . . , VOLUME 1, starring my story “By Force and Against the King’s Peace,” was a nominee for best anthology in the Preditors and Editors 2017 Readers Poll.  Well, yesterday afternoon the news came that those wily pollsters are at it again, with another nominee being the Third Flatiron Publishing anthology CAT’S BREAKFAST:  KURT VONNEGUT TRIBUTE, also with a story by — you guessed it! — moi, “Dead Girls, Dying Girls,” a tale of school science fairs, dancing, and . . . bears (see July 11, et al.).*  Music and education together.  Either nominee may be voted on by pressing here, but I don’t know whether one can vote for both (not that I might not have tried it myself, not that I would suggest. . . .).  But either way, Third Flatiron Editor Juliana Rew points out that votes are due before January 14 and, as she adds, [f]eel free to enter other work if you wish, too.  It offers good exposure to us in the small press field.
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*Should the Third Flatiron name seem familiar, by the way, they are also publishers of the upcoming MONSTROSITIES, among others, which has just accepted my story “Got Them Wash Day Blues” (cf. December 28).



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