Posts Tagged ‘Smart Rhino Publications’

There is a peculiar allure of insidious characters — and especially assassins, hit men, and their ilk.  Perhaps we find their uncomplicated moral codes and brutal efficiency appealing.  These characters care little about ethics — and perhaps that alone, that freedom from guilt, is exactly why we love them.  Perhaps, deep down, we wish we could be like them.  And perhaps, by reading stories with such characters, we can vicariously experience that thrill.  With this fascination with evil characters in mind, Smart Rhino Publications decided to publish this anthology, INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS, a sequel to UNCOMMON ASSASSINS.  The book contains 24 stories by some of the best horror, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy authors writing today — including Jack Ketchum, Joe Lansdale, Billie Sue Mosiman, Lisa Mannetti, L.L. Soares, James Dorr, Shaun Meeks, and 17 others!  In these stories, you will meet some truly insidious characters — characters you may find yourself applauding when you know you shouldn’t.  Enjoy!

Thus Amazon’s blurb for INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS which, via Weldon Burge and THE SMART RHINO PUBLICATIONS MISCHIEF-MAKING SYNDICATE on Facebook and a quick scroll down to April 16, I discovered is on sale in paperback format on Amazon.  And by sale I mean really, really on sale, for $5.37 as of today with a list price cited at $18.95.  (And that’s going down — the Facebook note said it was $5.65.)  How long this will last I do not know, but to snap up a good deal I’d press here right now.  My cog in the kill-a-thon is a tale set in pre-Euro Crete, which is to say originally published in TOMORROW SF in March 1997*, “The Labyrinth” (cf. November 28 2018; January 23, 2 2015, et al.) for more on which — well, for scarcely over five dollars (granting that shipping and tax may add to that) perhaps one should just buy it and see for oneself.
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*Also reprinted in my collection, STRANGE MISTRESSES, in 2001, the year Greece itself adopted the Euro.

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It hasn’t been an exactly zippy last few days, but here’s something that has come a bit serendipitously, although with help from THE SMART RHINO PUBLICATIONS MISCHIEF-MAKING SYNDICATE (which has some books on the list as well) on Facebook, or, every little bit of notice counts no matter how second-hand.  The item:  Goodreads’ LISTOPIA BEST HORROR ANTHOLOGIES with, by their count, 384 multi-author collections of dark short fiction.  So 384 is a pretty big number, but I did skim through the first one hundred and, the news of the day, I have work in at least three titles, numbers 24, 50, and 97.  More specifically these are THE BEST OF CEMETERY DANCE VOLUME 1 & 2 OMNIBUS (CD Publications, 1998) with “A Christmas Story,” SLICES OF FLESH (Dark Moon Books, 2012) with “Bones, Bones, the Musical Fruit,” and AFTER DEATH (Dark Moon Books, 2013) with “Mall Rats,” the first two of these reprints and the third an original publication.  One may note also that the farther down on the list, the more recent the publication is, which may make some sense if the positions are based on Goodreads member recommendations, the oldest thus having been on the “ballot” longer.

But now, one extra:  the titles are “live” in that one can click them to go to their Goodreads pages (and thence to Amazon et al. should one wish to) and, checking to confirm their contents, I ran across a review of AFTER DEATH  with a flattering mention of my story, “Mall Rats,” that I hadn’t seen before.  Thus, from Goodreads reviewer Kenneth Cain (well, it is flattering):  After reading the anthology Guignard edited last year, I simply could not pass on this one.  And the theme for this one appealed to me, so much so that I wish I would have sent something in.  The stories are fantastic, a wide range of interpretations of death or what lies beyond or otherwise.  Fantastic stories that leave you wondering, which is why the theme alone is so wonderful.  The opening two stories pack a punch. “Someone to Remember” offers a beautiful detailing of love everlasting and “Boy 7” comes back at us with a brutal story of hope.  I’m also quite fond of “I Will Remain,” and especially “Mall Rats” which had a spooky feel throughout.  But all of the stories were good, and those fascinated with the after life will thoroughly enjoy this effort.

To check out the Goodreads list in its entirety, one can press here.  (“Bones, Bones, the Musical Fruit,” incidentally, is also reprinted in my own collection THE TEARS OF ISIS.)

It’s like a sale, sort of. That is, quoting Smart Rhino Publications Editor Weldon Burge, [w]e have a number of Kindle Countdowns starting today, running until next Monday.  The countdown starts at the lowest price and, over the course of the campaign, gradually increases to return to the original price.  So, today is the best day to get the best bargains.  And two of the books on sale have stories by me, INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS with “The Labyrinth” (the one in Crete, with Icarus, Ariadne, etc.; see January 2 2015, et al.) and ZIPPERED FLESH 3 with “Golden Age” as its closing tale (October 10 2017, et al.).  The idea is that the Kindle editions are priced their lowest, at $0.99, for today (Wednesday) only, will cost a little bit more on Thursday, and so on until they’re back to their normal prices after the sale ends Monday.  Other Smart Rhino books in the sale (though without work by me) are GREEN TSUNAMI, THE BOX JUMPER, and THE NEW ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER AND HUCK FINN.

For further information one must seek these titles out on Amazon, where one should find the price of the day (but check the small print, I just looked now and GREEN TSUNAMI had not yet posted the 99 cent amount).  And then one more thing, in checking INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS, the first of the reviews is by Paul Dale Anderson and contains this description:  Excellent anthology with stories by modern masters of the macabre.  Lansdale and Ketchum are worth the read, but so are Mosiman and Dorr and Mannetti.  These are my kind of stories, and I’m glad I bought this in hard copy. 

Spring is upon us and, with it, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association’s annual “Year’s Best” anthology nears publication.  Or to cop the tip from the horse’s mouth:  Aside from STAR*LINE, the RHYSLING ANTHOLOGY is the SFPA’s single greatest contribution to the larger world of Speculative Poetry.  It is a platform where Speculative Poets are nominated and acknowledged by their peers for single works of exemplary poetry.  But there is a catch.  Although dues-paying members of SFPA receive the anthology as a perk (while those not members may buy it as well), it does cost money.  And so today’s email has brought a plea, that members — and non-members too! — may also contribute donations.

If interested, or for just more information on the Rhyslings and the anthology, one may press here.  And if willing to donate, look to the right for the drop box marked Rhysling Sponsorship and take it from there.

In somewhat related news, Smart Rhino Publications is sponsoring a kickstarter for its and the Written Remains Writers Guild’s upcoming anthology A PLAGUE OF SHADOWS, more on which can be found here.  This is a little unusual for me to report in that I don’t have a dog in this particular pack (though I don’t have a poem in this year’s Rhysling contention either, as it happens), but I have published with Smart Rhino before and, to quote their particular email this time, [o]ur main goals for this Kickstarter campaign are (1) to support the fruitful collaboration of amazing writers (regardless of their current stature in the publishing world), and (2) to bring the best horror and suspense fiction possible to you, the readers.  Smart Rhino takes great pride in publishing quality books for our supporters — and our writers take great pride in providing you with the best stories they have to offer.  My particular stories with them are in the anthologies UNCOMMON ASSASSINS, INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS, and ZIPPERED FLESH 3, and to help the cause one might buy one or more of those books as well.

Publisher/Editor Weldon Burge has noted that Smashwords has several Smart Rhino Publications titles on sale for the month of March.  Or, from the as it were horse’s mouth:  Smashwords is holding its annual sale of ebooks!  Now’s the time to get most of the Smart Rhino books at a 50% discount.  Browse the sale page or search for the specific titles.  Just use the following codes before checking out.  Look for the codes on the list below, but I’d also note that I’ve two specific hounds in this hunt (a third, ZIPPERED FLESH 3 with my “Golden Age,” seems not to be included, however), the “Assassins” books UNCOMMON ASSASSINS including my story “The Wellmaster’s Daughter” and INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS with “The Labyrinth,” for all of which on the Smashwords site one may press here.  And, for the list of all Smart Rhino sale offerings:

Promotional price: $1.50
Coupon Code: CY79N
Expires: April 5, 2018
Description: Get GREEN TSUNAMI, the horror/SF novella at a 50% discount!

Promotional price: $1.50
Coupon Code: MK84N
Expires: April 5, 2018
Description: Get THE BOX JUMPER by Lisa Mannetti at a 50% discount!

Promotional price: $2.00
Coupon Code: DT99X
Expires: April 5, 2018
Description: Get INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS at a 50% discount. Get it while the sale lasts!

Promotional price: $1.98
Coupon Code: JZ46D
Expires: April 5, 2018
Description: SOMEONE WICKED: A WRITTEN REMAINS ANTHOLOGY now 50% off!

Promotional price: $2.00
181_UncommonAssassinsChrome_smallCoupon Code: AE27W
Expires: April 5, 2018
Description: UNCOMMON ASSASSINS now at a 50% discount. Get it while the sale lasts!

Promotional price: $1.50
Coupon Code: JJ76E
Expires: April 5, 2018
Description: The first ZIPPERED FLESH is now at a 50% discount!

Promotional price: $2.00
Coupon Code: PB42R
Expires: April 5, 2018
Description: ZIPPERED FLESH 2 now discounted at 50%. Get it while you can!

Promotional price: $1.50
Coupon Code: FX52L
Expires: April 5, 2018
Description: Get Lisa Mannetti’s THE NEW ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER AND HUCK FINN at a 50% discount.

A quick reminder from Editor/Publisher Weldon Burge that, while waiting for the Smart Rhino Publications “countdown sale” to begin (see just below, November 29) there’s still, as of this writing, a little over eleven hours left to enter a Goodreads drawing to get a free paperback copy of ZIPPERED FLESH 3: YET MORE TALES OF BODY ENHANCEMENTS GONE WRONG — including (ahem) my story in it, “Golden Age.”   Feeling lucky?  Press here.

Also in the Smart Rhino sale, INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS, which has a story of mine in it, “The Labyrinth,” about myths and terror in modern-day Crete. In all, eight books will be included along with that and ZIPPERED FLESH 3 (with my “Golden Age” closing out the contents, see November 10, et al.), the others being the original ZIPPERED FLESH, THE BOX JUMPER, GREEN TSUNAMI, BROKEN: STORIES OF DAMAGED PSYCHES, and THE NEW ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER AND HUCK FINN (both Adult and YA editions).  This will be for Kindle editions only, starting at $0.99 each at midnight, Friday, December 1 and ending at midnight December 8.  But the thing is, the way these countdown sales work, the prices will gradually increase until they reach the original list price, so it’s best to buy early — again, starting midnight, Friday, December 1.

(For an early look at these, as well as some non-sale titles, one can press here.)

Then also this Friday, December 1, DEADMAN’S TOME CTHULHU CHRISTMAS SPECIAL AND OTHER LOVECRAFTIAN YULETIDE TALES (cf. November 26, et al.) will be officially released, to celebrate which . . . well, let’s let Editor Jesse Dedman explain in his own words:  This Friday Marchese and I will host a live drunk reading where I’ll consume a mass amount of shots.  The amount of shots I consume is totally up to the number of pre-orders we receive!  Can my liver take it?  Will I wake up with regret?  Will I wake up in the front yard completely naked, again?  Let’s find out.  He goes on to say you can listen to the reading yourself Friday night at 10 p.m. CST by using this link, or catch the recorded version of the show afterwards on Spreaker, iTunes, YouTube, and other podcast apps.  But to reiterate, the degree of drunkenness he plans to attain is dependent on how many pre-orders CTHULHU CHRISTMAS SPECIAL receives, for which (if one wishes to egg him on, or just order the book early for yourself) press here.

 

What horror anthology on body enhancements wouldn’t include gross-out fiction?  This book has it in spades.  But, this collection of stories goes far beyond that.  Here you will also find science fiction, surreal fiction, fantasy, and even a full serving of dark humor.  Disturbing, perverse, often gut-wrenching stories.

Nineteen chilling tales by some of the best horror and suspense writers today, including Graham Masterton, Jack Ketchum, William Nolan, Billies Sue Mosiman, James Dorr, and Jeff Menapace.  Definitely not for the squeamish!

It’s ZIPPERED FLESH 3 (see October 10, et al.) and two paperback copies are being offered for free in a Goodreads drawing!  The giveaway is open for the rest of November, till November 30, for readers in the US, Canada, and Great Britain according to the Goodreads site.  So here’s a chance, if you haven’t bought it already, to maybe cop a copy of ZIPPERED FLESH 3:  YET MORE STORIES OF BODY ENHANCEMENTS GONE BAD for nothing.  Interested?  Press here.

It is here!  ZIPPERED FLESH 3:  YET MORE TALES OF BODY ENHANCEMENTS GONE BAD (see September 26, et al.) arrived this evening, all 371 pages of it, and a handsome book it is too.  Or, to quote three opinions from the back cover:   In Zippered Flesh 3, Editor Weldon Burge has done a masterful job of combining work from well-known masters like Jack Ketchum and Graham Masterton with newer writers.  But it is the original work by newcomers like L.L. Soares and Meghan Acuri that stands out for me. …  Highly recommended. — Gene O’Neill, author of The Hitchhiking Effect:  A Retrospective Collection

“Closer” by Charles Colyott is a wonderfully poignant and romantic story. …  “Going Green” by Christine Morgan is so original, timely, and well-written it deserves special mention. …  Kudos to Burge for putting together another fine anthology of cutting-edge fiction. — Paul Dale Anderson, author of The Instruments of Death series

Hardcore horror that ranges from the socially relevant to the scatologically repulsive — the shock here is like “The Scream’ made flesh.” — Mort Castle, editor of On Writing Horror:  A Handbook by the Horror Writers Association

Mine in fact is one of the gentler pieces, “Golden Age,” a reflective science fiction tale originally published in MINDSPARKS in Spring 1994, one of seven reprints by authors such as Billie Sue Mosiman and William Nolan out of a total of nineteen stories, to end the collection.  But see for yourself — if you dare — by checking it out on Amazon here.

What horror anthology on body enhancements wouldn’t include gross-out fiction?  This book has it in spades.  But, this collection of stories goes far beyond that.  Here you will also find science fiction, surreal fiction, fantasy, and even a full serving of dark humor.  Disturbing, perverse, often gut-wrenching (pun intended) stories — all between the covers of this anthology!

Nineteen chilling tales by some of the best horror and suspense writers today.  Definitely not for the squeamish!

What anthology is it?  It’s ZIPPERED FLESH 3:  YET MORE TALES OF BODY ENHANCEMENTS GONE BAD (see September 19, August 5, et al.) which, according to Weldon Burge of Smart Rhino Publications, has now been published as of September 22 in paperback format.  For more information/ ordering press here.  ZIPPERED FLESH 3 is the “other” body horror anthology (cf. just below) and, at 388 pages, also a hefty book my part of which is the final story, “Golden Age,” a less “gut-wrenching” than some SF story of reasoned reflection, but possibly just right to cap the anthology.




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