Posts Tagged ‘Steampunk’
DARKFUSE MAGAZINE Managing Publisher Shane Staley announced today that the print edition of DARKFUSE 6, including my steampunkish tale “The Candle and the Flame” (cf. January 13, et al.), has been given a May 30 publication date. Information and advance ordering can be found here. “The Candle and the Flame” is a variation of sorts of Hans Christian Andersen’s story of “The Little Match Girl,” sans angels conveying one’s soul to Heaven. Because there are other uses for souls, more practical ones as one might say for those who can afford it — or maybe not. With eight stories in all, DARKFUSE 6 is planned as a “mini-hardcover” collectors edition, including several signing options, and the following contents:
“Mommy’s Little Man” by Brian Hodge
“The Friday Special” by Renée Miller
“Dare To” by Bruce Golden
“Night of the Dog” by Brian Knight
“The Candle and the Flame” by James Dorr
“Fear” by Ben Pienaar
“Where They Belong” by Aeryn Rudel
“Instant Swimmers” by Ronald Malfi
A bad omen? Maybe. But through the a combination of possible server slowdowns and a misread password, I haven’t been able to see it myself. Nevertheless the word came through from DARKFUSE MAGAZINE Managing Publisher Shane Staley: Story is now live. Just sent payment via Paypal and created your subscription to the magazine, both with details in separate e-mails.
Well, word from PayPal hasn’t come yet either (which actually isn’t unusual though, they do take their time, which, with money at stake, is probably not a bad idea), and at this point I may have to change the password*, but anyhow the word is “official.” My steampunky, wintery, Hans Christian Anderseny (but with class conflict, and robots) story “The Candle and the Flame” (see December 8, November 28), of a low-level businesswoman with spunk, has now been published by DARKFUSE MAGAZINE. More on DARKFUSE can be found here, but to see the story for yourself you’ll have to be a subscriber with, no doubt, a password of your own.
Working fast! Just nine days after returning the contract, yesterday saw the receipt of the proof copy for “The Candle and the Flame,” set to be published next month at 3 p.m. EST on the thirteenth by DARKFUSE MAGAZINE (cf. November 28). After a bit of a bobble due to a bad attachment (nine blank pages, no typos there!), the real stuff came and later last night I sent it back with only two corrections at my end. “The Candle and the Flame” is a steampunk tale of capitalist economics partially based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Match Girl” — not my first foray into that particular story — but of a seller of candles, not matches. “The Candle and the Flame,” also, is set in a universe where there are no angelic grandmas to convey little girls’ souls up to Heaven, not exactly. But if its “Candle Girl” should come to an unlucky end consider this: the announced January 13 2017 publication date falls on a Friday.
Aha! It has come to pass! Click on the center column’s picture of TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH (cf. December 1, et al.), scroll down to the author’s mini-biography and find these words: Indiana writer James Dorr‘s The Tears of Isis was a 2014 Bram Stoker Award® nominee for Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection. Other books include Strange Mistresses: Tales of Wonder and Romance, Darker Loves: Tales of Mystery and Regret, and his all-poetry Vamps (A Restrospective). An Active Member of HWA and SFWA with nearly 400 individual appearances from Airships & Automatons and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine to Xenophilia and Yellow Bat Review, Dorr invites readers to visit his blog. Who’s he, you may wonder? “He,” here, is . . . me!
Yes, no more of the wilds of Pennsylvania, the arcane titles of works actually written by one James C. Simpson. Just weeping goddesses and wonder and mystery, but, hey, it’s all mine! And note while we’re there my sneaky product placement of AIRSHIPS & AUTOMATONS, also published (with TOMBS) by Elder Signs Press. (And, seriously, also my thanks to the publisher for getting the error corrected quickly.)
Then finally, remember that TOMBS is available for pre-order — just press its picture in the center column (or if you’d rather, click here) and take it from there. The official publication date, so says Amazon, will be June 1 2017, but why not slip in now ahead of the crowd, eh?
The end of November is getting exciting! Books received, TOMBS early-listed on Amazon, freebies for EVERYDAY STORIES II, a new story accepted, and now another. And this by a higher paying market! The word came Sunday morning, sneaking vampire-like in with the mist at 12:17 a.m., “Thanks for sending ‘The Candle and the Flame’ to DARKFUSE. I have finished my review and have decided to accept it and offer you a contract.” In fact the contract had arrived a few minutes before Editor Shane Staley’s email, but that’s the way the internet goes sometimes. Suffice to say I opened the contract later that day, signed it, and now it is back in DARKFUSE MAGAZINE’s clutches.
“The Candle and the Flame” is a steampunky, fairytaleish story of a little girl at Christmas time selling not matches, but candles. But nevertheless coming to grief in a friendless, ultra-capitalistic Victorian England. As for DARKFUSE, to go to the guidelines: Here’s what we’re looking for . . . Horror, thriller, suspense, crime, sci-fi, bizarre — anything with a dark slant. 500-2K words paid. They go on to say they will take longer stories, but the emphasis in on the short, with “The Candle and the Flame,” for instance, coming in at about 1700 words. And one more note, publication is scheduled for January 13 2017 to help start off a happy new year!
Then Sunday afternoon brought the Bloomington Writers Guild’s “Last Sunday Poetry Reading & Open Mic” (cf. September 25 et al.), co-sponsored by the Monroe County Convention Center. Featured poets were Indiana University Education PhD candidate Julia Heimer Dadds with, to paraphrase, perilous poems for perilous times among others, followed by first generation Sierra Leonean-American poet and MFA candidate Yalie Kamara. No, neither read poems about vampires, and in fact the only such ones were read by me, one of eight walk-ons at open mike time in a well-attended session. But both that I read were about vampires: “Her First Time” from BLOODBOND, which we just met (see November 27, 7, et al.), and a just-written poem for the coming season, “The Vampire Before Christmas.”
We are screening 3 films at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater: Arsenic and Old Lace, The Exorcist and The Wailing. Frank Capra’s Halloween comedy Arsenic and Old Lace stars Cary Grant as a man learns that his eccentric but sweet aunts have been seeking out lonely, elderly men, poisoning them, and burying them in the basement. Controversial from the day it opened in 1973, The Exorcist is now recognized as a defining classic of the genre. Our third film, The Wailing, is a 2016 release. A foreigner’s mysterious appearance in a quiet, rural village causes suspicion among the locals in The Wailing. Released in June of this year, The Wailing has garnered enthusiastic reviews on the film festival circuit and is currently the highest rated film on Rotten Tomatoes. You can read more detailed descriptions of these below.
The Halloween Fest will also include spine-tingling live performances in between films by James Dorr and by Cricket’s Bone Caravan, so come early and stay late.
So begins Bloomington’s local Ryder Film Series announcement of the coming weekend’s special showing, from 2:15 p.m. to 10:45 p.m., “Halloween Fest: Sunday, Oct 23 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.” That’s right here, downtown on Kirkwood Avenue for those unfamiliar with the venue, with my part scheduled for the intermission between THE EXORCIST and THE WAILING. And for what I’ll read (hint: it’s the same tale I read for the 4th Street Arts Festival in September, cf. September 4), let us let the Ryder explain: [Dorr] will be reading a selection from his newest book, TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, a novel-in-stories scheduled for release by Elder Signs Press in spring-summer 2017. Set on a far-future dying Earth in and around a vast necropolis known as the “Tombs,” “Raising the Dead” is about a young woman who seeks to restore the soul of her newly deceased husband to his body; a tale of necromancy, dark fantasy, airships, and doomed love. “Raising the Dead,” I should add, has also been published in White Cat Publications’s 2015 steampunk anthology AIRSHIPS & AUTOMATONS (cf. May 27, April 7 2015, et al.).
Schedules, ticket prices.and more can be found on the Ryder’s own site by pressing here. And, if all the above weren’t enough, they also add: Wait, there’s a fourth film. On Sunday, October 30th we will screen the 1958 classic, Horror of Dracula, at Bear’s Place. If you purchase a movie pass for the films at the BCT on Oct 23rd, you can use it for Horror of Dracula as well.
From the essay on poetry I mentioned writing two posts below: . . . when I was much younger, poets sometimes read poems with jazz in the background. A muted piano, stand-up bass, a drummer for accents with cymbals and brush, an alto sax, maybe, while the poet recited the words over it, not as lyrics, but for their own sake, the musicians having the job to make sure their own sounds worked with them. So Saturday showed the art may not be lost completely. Saturday I had other work downtown as well (well, on Sunday too) but, when I had a chance, I kept coming back to the Spoken Word Stage. And one half hour slot had been taken by a group called “Shakespeare’s Monkey,” billed as a “poetry band,” and, yes, there was a poet reading and accompanied by music. The mix was different — two guitars and percussion, the last sometimes switching off to kazoo-like muted horn sounds, even “echos” of parts of one poem’s words, the modes were different, traditional jazz-like for one poem about “surrealism,” more strictly rhythmic for a poem that had come before, but the principle was the same, and the sound of the poems with musicians sharing them was delightful.
The event is Bloomington’s annual Fourth Street Festival of the Arts and Crafts (to give it its full, official name), with artists’ booths up and down 4th Street and parts of the cross streets, drawing in artists across the Midwest and beyond. In conjunction with this, the Spoken Word Stage is co-sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild, taking up Dunn Street south of 4th, with an information and “Poetry on Demand” booth (the latter where people can have personal poems written for them by Guild members, in exchange for hoped for donations) as well as the stage. And, while most of Saturday’s readers were poets, there was a children’s theater and, later, a radio theater group too. As well, of the poets, both the present and a past Indiana Poet Laureate.
Sunday, by contrast, brought fiction too, two slots billed as “fiction,” three “storytelling,” and one “horror fiction.” Guess which one was mine! These in all cases were half-hour readings, with eight more (one billed as including “personal essay”) taken up by poets. Mine was relatively late in the day, from 3:30 to 4 p.m., out of prime time but not so late that, on a beautiful sunny day, people would have been leaving already. The piece I read was a story called “Raising the Dead,” originally published in AIRSHIPS & AUTOMATONS (White Cat Publications, 2015 — cf. May 27 2015, et al.) and to be in the final section, of five and an entr’acte, in TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, to be published next year.
All in all a good time, for more of which (the Writers Guild part anyway) one may press here.
I know, I know. “Gold” is the story’s title, slated for publication in Alessandro Manzetti’s anthology THE BEAUTY OF DEATH (see May 28, April 19, January 23) later on this month. A story of greed and too great a love for the yellow metal, but is it death this H. Rider Haggardish tale will bring, or a kind of godhood, of immortality in its way? And to keep it on schedule, yesterday brought the proof copy with final editorial changes, in this case mostly tiny grammatical touchings up; tonight will send the email back with perhaps one change plus one additional tweak my reading discovered as well.
Then, speaking of greed, today brought news from Editor Kimber Grey that the kickstarter for SINGULAR IRREGULARITY, “An Anthology About Time Travel Gone Terribly Wrong” (cf. May 23, et al.), has reached its first goal more than a day before its Wednesday morning close. Thus authors will be paid, at least semi-pro wages, and all appears to be still on schedule for an early August GenCon premiere. But that isn’t all — there are still “stretch goals,” with more money raised to help raise author rates, and the initial run doesn’t end itself until, officially, June 8 at 7:37 a.m. PDT. And that’s even later, at 10:37 a.m., here in Indiana with our “double daylight” Eastern (New York) time.
To check out the details and perhaps pre-order, the kickstarter page can be reached here. My story in this by the way is “The Master of Time,” a clockworkpunk musing, if one will, in which time itself is in danger of stopping.
And if one is interested also in a link to THE BEAUTY OF DEATH, well, it all seems to be a deep, dark secret — which may be appropriate given the subject — until the official announcement comes out. But when that happens, look for more here.
The target is GenCon in Indianapolis for its coming out party, August 4-7 2016. The item, the upcoming “time travel gone terribly wrong” anthology SINGULAR IRREGULARITY, from GrayWhisper Graphics Productions (see April 27). The story by me, “The Master of Time,” originally published in FANTASTIC STORIES for Summer 2002 as well as in my second collection DARKER LOVES: TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET, a magical steampunkish tale of how time nearly came to a stop. But this is an anthology chock full of time-based stories — if you like one, you should like ’em all! — and now there’s a chance to get in on the ground floor.
It’s kickstarter time, with more information about the book including mini author biographies as well as teasers for all the stories and, to the point, with opportunities for loot and prizes for those who pledge to purchase early. And for a good cause, to wit, for paying the authors (such as *ahem* me) all the more the more support is gained. To see for oneself one need but press here.
To give Editor Kimber Grey the last word, “The bottom line: this book is more than just one person’s dream, it’s a collaborative effort of more than twenty talented writers, and it is something I feel the world needs. It is hard science, soft fiction, humor, and horror all folded into one masterpiece. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with these authors and reading their stories, and I’m sure you will, too.”