Posts Tagged ‘Splatterpunk’

It looked to me like a worthy cause, a charity anthology for “COVID 19 relief with UNICEF.”  Who are the Bloodsaints? the call had begun.  They are the authors and editors and anyone else who are involved with making any charity relief collaboration happen, and this would be, as it were, the first “volume.”  2,000-8,000 words max . . . must have elements of either:  Extreme Horror, Splatterpunk, Grindhouse, bizarro or extreme dark psychological thriller.  So what’s not to love?  And [r]eprints are cool if they are top notch.  So . . . I happened to have, I thought, just the right story, originally published in WICKED MYSTIC for Spring 1996, a 2700-word piece about a man not that long ago deceased titled “Mr. Happy Head.”

Also the deadline was July 1 (I sometimes come across these things a bit late) so, it being June 28 already, off it went.  A short trip, it turns out, as today, July 2, the reply came back from Dale Szewczyk:  I have ready your submission, congratulations, you have been accepted into the BLOODSAINTS ANTHOLOGY!  You’re a Bloodsaint now!

A few loose ends as the year winds down.  Proof sheets went back Friday to Editor Kara Landhuis for MEET CUTE (see December 11, November 26, 23), the illustrated anthology of eccentric meetings scheduled for early 20splatter217.  My part in this, “Butterfly,” is a rather gentle tale as stories by me go and will be, I understand, illustrated by Marge Simon.

Then later in the evening Grey Matter Press weighed in with an announcement that their nouveau splatterpunk anthology SPLATTERLANDS:  REAWAKENING THE SPLATTERPUNK REVOLUTION (cf. October 22 2015, et al.) can now be obtained free by both new and old e-readers with Kindle Unlimited.  My tale in this one is the far less gentle “The Artist,” for more on which, and the book in general, one may press here.

“Ever have kinky thoughts about Spock and Kirk?  Princess Leia?  Ever wonder just what you could do with the light saber?”  Yes, THE FIRST ANNUAL GEEKY KINK ANTHOLOGY (cf. November 7 and chainsaw4) is now available in a (ahem) hard copy edition, complete with my own Yuletide-themed “A Christmas Carnage” detailing the adventures of a typical (which is to say, nerdish and virginal) Lovcraftien hero and his long-deceased umpty-umpth great aunt Carol.  And chainsaws.

Buy it, read it, consider reviewing it if you dare — the fun begins right here.

So . . . as promised, the email came at exactly 11:02 Friday night.  The FIRST ANNUAL GEEKY KINK ANTHOLOGY!   And what might such an anthology contain?  To quote from the blurb:  “Inside these pages, you’ll find everything a geeky kinky reader could want — from alien anal probing to comic book super heroes and super GeekyKink300-200x300villains, and even such slightly obscure nerdishness as a new take on Jean Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear and all sorts of Elvin sex.

“And of course, there are ample references to Doctor Who, Star Trek, Harry Potter and Devo. . . .”  Not to mention my own story, “A Christmas Carnage,” jolly and gross, for more on which see just below, November 4.

Or to enter into, as it were, the horse’s mouth, one can press here for the publisher’s site with the rest of the blurb plus ordering info, while Amazon fans need but press here for the Kindle edition (though Editor Lori Perkins warns that the print edition there may take a few days longer).

In connection with Riverdale Avenue Books, we’re looking for new and/or previously published stories featuring geeky kinkiness.  Or kinky geekiness.  How does your inner geek get their rocks off?  Have you turned that amazing scene where you were Twilight Sparkle giving it to another bound pony right in the Pinkie Pie? Got a hot hunt short story about Boba and Han?  Maybe a story set AT the GKE?  Send it in!

Such was the call for the FIRST ANNUAL GEEKY KINK ANTHOLOGY and, believe it or not, I happened to have something that just might fill the bill.  Originally published in IN THE BLOODSTREAM from Mocha Memoirs Press in 2013 (see October 28, September 23 of that year), “A Christmas Carnage” is a Dickensian (based, that is a little, on A CHRISTMAS CAROL), Lovecraftian (sort of), splatterpunky eroticish tale of a young Miskatonic U. grad who has a chainsaw in his closet (a nervous sort, he keeps it for personal protection), and a more than family interest in his long-defunct umpity-umpth-great aunt Carol 3frenchwho had once been an artist’s model in Paris.  So when she makes an appearance as, he would like to think, his Christmas Present . . . well, there is a price, of course, as well as a hint that those in the World of Spirits don’t appreciate puns.

Today the word came:  “Congratulations!  You are in the First Annual Geeky Kink Anthology WHICH WILL BE PUBLISHED THIS FRIDAY, so we need you to sign and return this contract asap.  Please let us know if you will be attending GKE this coming weekend, so you can read your work?”  Proof sheets are to be expected in 12 to 24 hours.  The GKE, or Geeky Kink Event, which alas I had to apologize I would not be getting to, is (to quote their site), “a three-day kink event in New Jersey featuring a full dungeon, classes and workshops, vendors, and plenty of social activities.”  There’s no word, however, as to whether NJ Governor Chris Christie is expected to be a guest.

But I did sign and send back the contract this p.m.

Then for a brief news flash, the previous evening CHILLING GHOST SHORT STORIES (cf. August 21, et al.) my groaning overstuffed mailbox.  From Flame Tree Publishing, this is a chunky, nicely made nearly 500-page book containing ghost tales both old and new.  Mine, a reprint from GOTHIC GHOSTS (Tor Books, 1997), is titled “Victorians” and can be found between Charles Dickens’s (ahem!) “The Signal-Man” and “The New Catacomb” by Arthur Conan Doyle.

“Edited by Joanne Merriam,” the blurb begins, “THE MUSEUM OF ALL THINGS AWESOME AND THAT GO BOOM is an anthology of science fiction featuring blunt force trauma, explosions, adventure, derring-do, tigers, Martians, zombies, fanged monsters, dinosaurs (alien and domestic), ray guns, rocket ships, and anthropomorphized marshmallows.”  Or see below, this year, May 5 and February  16.  So late yesterday the announcement came, that the table of contents has been set, including my story at number 6 in the lineup, “Bubba Claus Conquers the Martians,” a homage to perennial 10 All-Time Worst Movies listee SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS (as set in the “Bubbas of the Apocalypse” universe) originally published by Yard Dog Press in HOUSTON, WE’VE GOT BUBBAS in 2007.  And one more thing, a tentative publication time has been set for spring 2016.

    Khadija Anderson, “Observational Couplets upon returning to Los Angeles from Outer Space”
    Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, “Photograph of a Secret”
    Kristin Bock, “I Wish I Could Write a Poem about Pole-Vaulting Robots”
    Alicia Cole, “Asteroid Orphan”
    Jim Comer, “Soldier’s Coat”
    James Dorr, “Bubba Claus Conquers the Martians”
    Aidan Doyle, “Mr. Nine and the Gentleman Ghost”
    Tom Doyle, “Crossing Borders”
    Estíbaliz Espinosa, “Dissidence” (translated by Neil Anderson)
    Kendra Fortmeyer, “Squaline”
    Miriam Bird Greenberg, “Brazilian Telephone”
    Benjamin Grossberg, “The Space Traveler and Runaway Stars”
    Julie Bloss Kelsey, two scifaiku
    Nick Kocz, “The Last American Tiger”
    David Kopaska-Merkel, “Captain Marshmallow”
    Ken Liu, “Nova Verba, Mundus Novus”
    Kelly Luce, “Ideal Head of a Woman”
    Tim Major, “Read/Write Head”
    Katie Manning, “Baba Yaga’s Answer”
    Laurent McAllister, “Kapuzine and the Wolf: A Hortatory Tale”
    Martha McCollough, “valley of the talking dolls” and “adventures of cartoon bee”
    Marc McKee, “A Moment in Fill-In-The-Blank City”
    Sequoia Nagamatsu, “Headwater LLC”
    Jerry Oltion, “A Star Is Born”
    Richard King Perkins II, “The Sleeper’s Requiem”
    Ursula Pflug, “Airport Shoes”
    Leonard Richardson, “Let Us Now Praise Awesome Dinosaurs”
    Erica L. Satifka, “Thirty-Six Questions Propounded by the Human-Powered Plasma Bomb in the Moments Before Her Imminent Detonation”
    G. A. Semones, “Never Forget Some Things”
    Matthew Sanborn Smith, “The Empire State Building Strikes Back!”
    Christina Sng, “Medusa in LA”
    J. J. Steinfeld, “The Loudest Sound Imaginable”12LesPantins
    Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, “The Wanderers”
    Lucy Sussex, “A Sentimental, Sordid Education”
    Sonya Taaffe, “And Black Unfathomable Lakes”
    Mary Turzillo, “Pride”
    Deborah Walker, “Sea Monkey Mermaid”
    Nick Wood, “The Girl Who Called the World”
    K. Ceres Wright, “The Haunting of M117”
    Ali Znaidi, “A Dolphin Scene” and “Australian Horoscope”

Then also an oddity of sorts for today, behold “The Paris Horror Show” by Messy Nessy at MESSYNESSYCHIC.COM, courtesy of Joan Hawkins, Jenn Newman, and Julie Ahasay via Facebook.  The wonders!  The art!  The gore!  For which, to see for yourself, press here (and, if desired, see as well on these pages December 9 2014; also for my poem “Animal Eyes,” based on Paris’s Grand Guignol, May 26 this year with ancillary material May 31, 28, and 23).

“Art: that which is raised to more than ordinary importance; that which, even if temporary, is forever after etched in the collective being of man.” ~James S. Dorr

The next story is “THE ARTIST ” by James S. Dorr.  This brilliantly written tale is about a man who loves his art and his wife, but his wife, unable to comprehend the beauty of art starts to drift away and into another man’s arms. . . .  (SPLATTER CAFÉ)

Editor (with Sharon Lawson) Anthony Rivera has posted a second review of the 2013 anthology SPLATTERLANDS (cf. January 28, et al.) in the last five days, noting of this one from SPLATTER CAFÉ, “[w]e freely admit that the work in SPLATTERLANDS is not for everyone, but it is for those who appreciate their horror extreme yet still intelligent and with (*gasp*) a PLOT!  (And if that type of horror isn’t for you, we have plenty more volumes that are.) Apparently, this is exactly the type of horror that Splatter Cafe is looking for.  😉

“Splatter Cafe:  ‘[Splatterpunk], the beast of revolutionary horror, has definitely been reawakened and it’s ready to ravage your psyche long after the last words have been consumed.  [The] Bram Stoker Award-nominated editors at Grey Matter Press have created something special with this 52581dff3b861f4b7da08878773490b3anthology.  SPLATTERLANDS: REAWAKENING THE SPLATTERPUNK REVOLUTION is 13 deliciously horrific stories of serial murder, vengeance, religious fanaticism, sexual assault and so much more.  SPLATTERLANDS will tear into your flesh, shredding chunks of your own morality, leaving you bloodied, violated and dismembered.’

“Splatter Cafe pays special tribute to illustrator Luke Spooner of Carrion House and authors Jack Maddox, Christine Morgan, Ray Garton, James Dorr, and J Michael Major. . . .”

And so, for a Super Sunday brag (to be read as one will) I’ve already quoted above part of what SPLATTER CAFÉ reviewer L. D. Johnson says about . . . moi.  And there is a bit more, as well as a lot of perceptive words about SPLATTERLANDS and publisher Grey Matter Press in general, which all can be found here.

I read this review at the public library less than an hour before 2015’s second Bloomington Writers Guild sponsored First Sunday Prose Reading at Boxcar Books, just a block east.  The featured readers for February were Stephanie Haines who read humorous essays from a newspaper column she writes on topics such as dating at 40, ice cream, cheapskates, and Jane Austen, followed by Communications and Culture PhD student Eric Zobel who, with the assistance of three other readers, presented “Adventures in Indifference,” described as “a prose piece for multiple voices.”

This was also the second in which a few open mike readers were allowed more time than the “standard” three to five minutes (cf. last month, January 5).  I took advantage by reading a personal favorite of mine, “Casket Girls,” originally published in DAILY SCIENCE FICTION last April.  If interested, those who haven’t read it (or wish a refresher) can go to the DAILY SF site and enter “Dorr” in the search box on the right for it and, at present, three more stories (with a fifth, “Dead Lines,” to come, probably this spring) that I’ve had there.

Word came today that a new review of SPLATTERLANDS (see October 14 2014, et al.) by Matthew Andrew has been posted on Amazon.  Or, as Editor Anthony Rivera put it, “A full 67 weeks after its release (that’s almost 16 months!), the Grey Matter Press anthology SPLATTERLANDS splatterlands2_smallhas been an almost 60-week bestseller, today remains in the Top 10% of all Kindle sales at Amazon and is still receiving 5-Star reviews from readers.  We never imagined this little-book-that-could with its selection of very nasty short horror stories with a point, would’ve been this successful. With an overall Amazon Rating of 4.6 out of 5.0, SPLATTERLANDS yesterday was called:

“’A Home Run of Splatterpunk’
5.0 out of 5.0 Stars”

The interesting thing, it occurred to me, is my story in this one is called “The Artist” and, while it didn’t make the contents of my collection — cited for its own new review just two posts down, January  25 — THE TEARS OF ISIS for various reasons (or really just one, it didn’t fit in with the specific multiple-story arcs that began to emerge as I was planning the contents out), it is an illustration of TEARS’s overall theme, the relationship between beauty and art vs. death and destruction.  None of which, really, may mean all that much other than that particular theme may run through even more of my work than that cited — or may be so common a theme as to be trite.  That’s for readers and critics to discuss.  Or, more mundanely, maybe it’s just an excuse to suggest readers buy both books.

Be that all as it may, readers can find the new SPLATTERLANDS review by pressing here (and, as for THE TEARS OF ISIS, just scroll Blight-Digest-Cover-187x300down to January 25 and press the link there).

In other news, relatively new magazine (their first issue was October 2014) BLIGHT DIGEST’s Managing Editor/Publisher Ron Earl Phillips emailed an acceptance of my story “Strawberry Fields,” originally published in Winter 2007-08 in BLACK INK HORROR.  To quote their guidelines from last fall, what they seek are “[w]ell written stories that play out the human experience against unimaginable and terrifying odds.  Dark fiction that’s defined more by the story than the splatter.  We are open to supernatural, psychological, and physical fear.”

“Strawberry Fields,” about a house with a . . . well . . . unfortunate back yard, probably actually may contain a blood-drop or two of splatter — so I play both ends of the game, eh? — but tastefully muted.  In any event, it is tentatively slated for issue 3 or 4 (issue 2 is just finishing up production, according to Phillips), for June or October of this year.

The books are out!  After some past delays, the word came via Facebook from editor Aaron French:  “Pleased to officially announce the release of MONK PUNK and THE SHADOW OF THE UNKNOWN in OMINBUS edition [cf. January 2, et al.] from Hazardous Press!  504 pages of Lovecraftian goodness!  Featuring all of the original stories as well as 11 that are brand new to this edition, each centered MonkPunk2around the theme of monks and/or the surreal aspect of the unknown in weird fiction.*  Available in paperback and on Kindle. Stories from Gary A. Braunbeck, Stephen Mark Rainey, Richard Gavin, Willie Meikle, John R. Fultz, Joshua M. Reynolds, Gene O’Neill, James Dorr, Erik T. Johnson, Michael Bailey, Mike Lester, Glynn Owen Barrass, David West, Adrian Chamberlin, Jay Wilburn, K Trap Jones, PS Gifford, RB Payne, John Claude Smith, and much more!”  Available from Amazon in both print and Kindle editions and Amazon UK, more info can be found by pressing here, here, or here.

Then moving on to a different publisher, in today’s mailbox the year’s first mammoth payment has appeared — ah, the riches, the riches! — a royalty check for $2.56.  So maybe more like a very small mammoth, one that local cave cat Wednesday might mistake for a mouse, but it’s the principle (and other payments had been received from various publishers at the tail end of December, so it all adds up to at least the price of a reasonably loaded pizza**).  And it is nice that, even if only a few people buy a particular book in a particular quarter- or half-year, it does add up.  Readers tell other readers.  Books get lent.  More stories and poems get sold and the word gets out so, even if for most of us it doesn’t mean we’re quitting our day jobs, it does seem to me to be worth the effort!


*Or, as Amazon adds, “In the tradition of Steampunk, Cyberpunk, and Splatterpunk comes this new sub-strain of speculative fiction — MONK PUNK.  Twenty-three hard-hitting Monkpunk tales of fantasy, science fiction, and Lovecraftian horror.  Madness and the Mythos, the Surreal and the Sinister.  THE SHADOW OF THE UNKNOWN collects twenty-nine tales of horror inspired by H. P. Lovecraft and the element of the unknown in supernatural fiction.  Think your sanity can withstand the assault?”


**Or about one-third of a large bag of Cave Cat Chow.

“Inside this issue of the BFS Journal, then, you will find fiction, poetry, and features showcasing the fact that fantasy, perhaps more than any other literary form, can and should be open to all forms of LGBTQ expression.  From trans-forest dwellers lusting after a sultry demigod in Sarah Newton’s ‘The Treeleaper’, to gender-preferences being thrown out of the window in between some classic sword-and-sorcery in Lea Fletcher’s ‘The Last Man of Rowandale’, fantasy’s secondary world structure allows for the examination of alternate norms in a unique way.  Further, it reminds us that no matter how we identify we are all people, and we can all understand each other in that way.  After all, what is fantasy for if not to look at reality in a different way?”

So says BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY JOURNAL #12 Editor Max Edwards, the call having gone out a half year before for “some of the material in #12 to reflect the theme ‘LGBT & Fantasy’.  This could be fiction or poetry featuring LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) characters or non-fiction concerning LGBT authors or writing.”

On Monday the issue arrived in my mailbox with, sandwiched among the stories cited above, my tale of “Flute and Harp” (cf. May 27), about two doomed musicians and their mutual love.  Originally published in the anthology WHISPERS & SHADOWS (Prime Books, 2001), “Flute and Harp” is set in my far-future, dying-Earth universe of the “Tombs” where love, above most things and regardless of details, is highly valued .*

And then for something a fair bit different.  A few days ago, with a tip of the hat to Joan Hawkins (cf. post just below) via Nate Carroll on Facebook, I, Francophilehrrrgrndggnl2GrandGuignol (and theatre maven — well, sort of) that I am, came across a piece on an interesting phase of theatrical history.  I speak of Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol, Paris’s infamous precursor of splatterpunk from 1897 to a little bit after World War II, as described briefly — but with pictures — in a post on by Paul Gallagher, for which press here.

Or for more on le Grand Guignol, since I wasn’t going to let it go at only that, a more complete history by Agnes Peirron (translated from French by Deborah Treisman) can be found here.  Other links can be found on this page too, along with this description of the almost sad ending of live theatre’s possibly most outré era. “In an interview conducted immediately after the Grand-Guignol closed in 1962, Charles Nonon, its last director, explained:  ‘We could never compete with Buchenwald. Before the war, everyone believed that what happened on stage was purely imaginary; now we know that these things — and worse — are possible.’”


*For a special “Flute and Harp” fun fact, the story had also been accepted in 2003 by Laurajean Ermayne for the late Forrest J. Ackerman’s upcoming SCIFI LESBIANTHOLOGY, as by Jamie Dorr.  However, to my knowledge, the anthology has never been published.

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