Posts Tagged ‘The Tears of Isis’

Potential reviewers, there’s plenty of time.  Although TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH has been out for a bit more than a year, that doesn’t mean reviews aren’t still sought and appreciated!  In fact, just this month, a new review by “Malkinius” has been posted on Amazon under the title “Very Dark, But in a Good Way.”  Dystopian, end of the world, gothic, romance, philosophical and just quirky enough in the setting and characters to keep you wanting more, to quote just a bit, including what I’d call a positive hint:  If he puts out more books I will be buying them.

Well [*ahem*] yes.  Should you be interested in buying TOMBS, or just for more information including the latest reviews, please press here.  And when/if you’ve read it if you should think it might be worth sharing, if only for a line or two, please consider reviewing it yourself on your blog (if relevant), Amazon, Goodreads, anywhere else — it would be a great help!  (And, well, should you have read/consider reading my 2013 collection THE TEARS OF ISIS, info on which can be found here, please consider reviewing it too.)

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Yes it was, the Bloomington Writers Guild “Second Thursday Player’s Pub Spoken Word Series” (see October 9; October 13 2017, et al.) with a special early Halloween lineup to honor October.  How special?  Even the five open mike readers at the end chose at least some poems, etc. specifically for spookyness while featured musical guest Travis Puntarelli also went out of his way to play and sing numbers with, let us say, Gothic overtones.  Then of the headlined readers, the first one was . . . moi.  Or to read from the blurb, JAMES DORR is a short story writer and poet, working primarily in dark fantasy and horror with some forays into science fiction and mystery.  . . .  The story he’ll be reading tonight is called “River Red,” and appears in THE TEARS OF ISIS.  It is set on a far-future dying Earth, populated by various creatures including ghouls — eaters of the dead — and is in the same universe as his latest novel-in-stories, TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, out from Elder Signs Press.  This was followed by another musical interlude, then by the main event, a dramatic reading by Writers Guild members of . . . well, to quote again from the blurb, DRACULA is a screenplay for a never-made film by the late, notorious Ken Russell, Britain’s cinematic sultan of excess and outrage whose films include TOMMY, ALTERED STATES, LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM, and GOTHIC.*  The script was written in the late 1970s and published in 2009.  The film came close to being made only to be abandoned when Universal put its Frank Langella headlined version of DRACULA into production.  Russell’s script, however, allegedly formed the impetus for Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 version, whose screenwriter James V. Hart was directly involved in the inception of Russell’s interpretation.

In a departure from usual practice, the evening ended shortly after 8 as opposed to a more normal 9 p.m., to allow for an additional band Players Pub had scheduled for the night.  This specifically cut down the amount of time set aside for the play, allowing for only two or three scenes, but enough to give an idea of its flavor, set in the 1920s, that of a vampire motivated by a love of music and on a quest to confer immortality on dying artists.  However, the Writers Guild also announced plans to present the play in its entirety at some time in 2019.
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*Re. GOTHIC, cf. October 5, September 30.  But readers may recall having met Mr. Russell before as creator of THE FALL OF THE LOUSE OF USHER (July 17 2015, “E. A. Poe Meets Alice in Wonderland”), described as a buggy interpretation “for the 21st century” of not just Poe’s “House” (which possibly more deflates than falls at the end of the picture) but almost everything else Poesque beginning with a wink of the eye to “The Tell-Tale Heart.”

Two quickies for Monday, the first a YouTube followup on Sunday’s post on LOVING VINCENT.  For an 8 minute, 21 second peek into “The Making Of. . . .” via the BBC, with an starrynightrhonevinterview of one of the artists, Sarah Wimperis, please to press here.

Then the second, just out of curiosity, I’ve noted several times that while paperback copies of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH often seem on sale, I seldom see bargains on THE TEARS OF ISIS.  So (why not?  thought I) this morning I made a comparison, at least on Amazon, and came across what seemed to me a curious counterpoint, that THE TEARS OF ISIS is the bargain if you like electronic copies, but TOMBS is still king for print on paper.  Thus THE TEARS OF ISIS Kindle edition is priced (today, at least) at $2.99 compared with TOMBS at $8.99; for print editions, however, TEARS has one used “good” copy at $12.94 with free shipping but everything else at full price or higher, while TOMBS bargains abound with one new copy at $10.02 (plus shipping) and a number of others for $14.02 and $14.07 with shipping free.  What is to be made of this I know not myself, other than that strange are the ways of book pricing on Amazon (or, if you haven’t already, treat yourself to a Kindle copy of THE TEARS OF ISIS for which I should get at least a small royalty while, for TOMBS, snap up those new copies in print if you will, or even Kindle for which the royalty is a bit better — that is, I do have a dog in this fight myself).

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.

So, okay, cutting to the chase I’m scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m for a half hour (well, 25 minutes anyway — cf. just below, August 26) reading, probably of stories from THE TEARS OF ISIS.  But here is the entire two-day schedule from the horse’s mouth, as it were, of readers and performers, poets and prose writers, some known to us from before, some unknown.  So if in the area this coming weekend do plan to stop by — isisnewit’s the FOURTH STREET ARTS FESTIVAL, with artists’ booths galore, but also the Writers Guild’s Spoken Word Stage on Dunn Street, just south of 4th.  While I, in the meantime, practice timed reads while making my final story selections.  (Hint: it’ll probably be a short curtain raiser followed by “River Red,” which I’d read once before a few years back and had gone over well then, set in the TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH universe although actually printed in TEARS.  Two birds with one stone, eh?)

So read, plan, enjoy:

When:
September 1, 2018 @ 10:00 am – September 2, 2018 @ 6:00 pm

Spoken Word Stage at 4th Street Arts Festival

Presented by the Writers Guild at Bloomington
Supported in part by the Bloomington Arts Commission

Labor Day Weekend
Saturday, September 1: 10am – 6pm
Sunday, September 2: 10am – 5pm
Intersection of Dunn and Fourth Streets
Fourth Street Festival of the Arts and Crafts
http://www.4thstreet.org

Save the Date!

Now in its 8th year, the Spoken Word Stage at the 4th Street Arts Festival is one of the largest literary performance events in the Midwest, featuring storytelling, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, live radio theatre, and other unique collaborations.

And of course, the ever-popular Poetry on Demand table will be staffed with a fleet of poets armed with typewriters ready to deliver!

SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE!
CHECK BACK FOR UPDATES!

SATURDAY SEP 1
10:30 . 5 Women Poets (poetry)
11:00 . Patsy Rahn (poetry)
11:30 . Merry MAC Players (theatre)
12:30 . Shana Ritter (poetry)
1:00 . Maria Hamilton Abegunde (poetry)
1:30 . Fig Tree Fellowship Radio Players (audio theatre)
2:30 . Mary Pat Lynch (fiction)
3:00 . Juliana Ramos Crespo (fiction)
3:30 . James Dorr (horror fiction)
4:00 . Shakespeare’s Monkey (poetry band)
4:30 . Erin Livingston (poetry)
5:00 . Butch D’Ambrosio (sonnets)
5:30 . Stephen Vincent Giles (storytelling)

SUNDAY SEP 2
10:00 . Eric Rensberger (poetry)
10:30 . New Leaf-New Life (poetry and fiction)
11:00 . Adam Henze (poetry)
11:30 . Monroe County Civic Theater
12:00 . Joan Hawkins (fiction)
12:30 . Lisa Kwong (poetry)
1:00 . Jasper Wirtshafter (poetry)
1:30 . Arbutus Cunningham (storytelling)
2:00 . Richard Hague (poetry)
2:30 . Cricket’s Bone Caravan (audio theatre)
3:30 . Michael Brockley (poetry)
4:00 . Jeffrey Pearson (poetry)
4:30 . Bloomington Storytellers Guild 

No, this isn’t the one I mentioned June 16 as having received the questions for (though I’ve since sent the answers back); nor is it the one previewed on June 3, published in England on the 6th.  No, this is the interview mentioned May 8 for Grim and Grimmer Books’s DEADSTEAM anthology, conducted by Editor-Publisher Bryce Raffle, on such subjects as dreadpunk, historic fiction, Victorian funeral directors, and . . . well, you know.  If I’ve done it right, there’ll be mentions as well of THE TEARS OF ISIS and TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, the books I’m flogging for myself.  But the major point of this one is DEADSTEAM, the anthology due out later this fall in which my entry is “The Re-Possessed,” a saga of the funeral profession in 19th Century England (originally published in CEMETERY RIOTS by Elysium Press in 2016) and inspired by thoughts during a real-life memorial service.

This will be the fourth interview Editor Raffle has done of DEADSTEAM authors, previous ones having appeared on June 8, May 11, and February 25, and can be read by pressing here.  Or if you would like to read some of the others (presumably after mine, of course) the blog main page can be reached here.  Or, for mini-biographies of all DEADSTEAM authors, one can indulge by pressing here.

And here it is, as promised (June 3), UK writer and blogger Jacky Dahlhaus’s Wednesday MEET THE AUTHOR with the interviewee for the start of June, me.  Find out the answers:  What do I like to do in my free time (excepting reading)?  Favorite authors, and how they’ve influenced me?  Pen or typewriter or computer?  My favorite genre (well, you probably know that) but also why?  Pseudonyms, writing styles, the moral of TOMBS?  And more on both TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH and THE TEARS OF ISIS — for these and more, along with a “thank you” to Jacky from me, press here!

Comes June and with it a bright sunny afternoon, breezy and in the lower 80s and, with that, the start of the Summer Reading Season.  What better way to celebrate, then, than with a new interview of . . . me, this one by UK author and blogger Jacky Dahlhaus, tentatively to go live Wednesday morning?  So three days from now be prepared for more dish on TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, a mention or two (it mustn’t feel left out!) of THE TEARS OF ISIS, the importance of (*ahem*) reviews to all authors, plus details on the inspiration and influence of Poe and Bradbury (with mentions here of Ginsberg and Brecht), whether I start writing with a pen or on the computer . . . well, you may have seen interviews by me before, but maybe this one will have new stuff to say too.  You can’t really tell until you read it, coming up Wednesday.

And a quick second note, Ms. Dahlhaus is looking for a few more interviewees for the summer, if any other writers out there might be interested in some free publicity.  But there are a few qualifications in terms of work already published, more on which can be found at her website by pressing here.

Hark, the call:  It seems like everything’s finally settled down, fifty years into the twentieth century.  War is over.  The economy’s booming.  People are on a long exodus from the city.  It’s all settling.

But the occult lurks everywhere…

In sleepovers, as teenagers intone, “Light as a feather, stiff as a board.”  Or stare into the mirror, calling upon Mary.  They scream, convinced something looks back from inside the glass.

New music dominates the airwaves, discordant and wild.  They say it’s the devil’s music.

Strange lights dominate the sky.  Are they Russians?  Little Green Men?  Or something altogether stranger?

Perhaps things are not as settled as they feel. . .

So the job was to recall the 1950s with an occult flavor, the anthology to be called SOCKHOPS AND SEANCES.  Reprints would be okay.  It just so happened I had a story, “Bottles,” originally published in CROSSINGS (Double Dragon 2004; also reprinted in THE TEARS OF ISIS), set in 1958 Cambridge Massachusetts.  Historical accuracy would be insisted on (I lived in Cambridge from late 1959 to mid-1964).  But also with vampires, perhaps a bit chancy, or at least someone who believed in vampires combined with a period fear of Communism.  Still, why not, thought I?

And so today, May 1, International Labor Day, the reply came back from Editor Nicole Petit of publisher 18th Wall Productions:  Thank you so much for your submission and your patience as I deliberated on the stories sent in for SOCKHOPS AND SEANCES.  I am excited to tell you that we will be accepting “Bottles” into the anthology.

More to 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.




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