Posts Tagged ‘Tom English’

Speaking of BLACK INFINITY (cf. just below, July 9, et al.), Thursday’s email had also included an early announcement for the edition to follow the one with “Waxworms.”  The next issue will be Renegade Robots, with a broad interpretation of “renegade”:  a deserter from one faith, cause, or allegiance to another; an individual who rejects lawful or conventional behavior or tradition.  Since all robots, by their very nature, are unconventional, the robot(s) in your story can be good, bad, or indifferent; protagonist, villain, or innocent bystander.  . . .  I’m looking for stories with a classic, traditional, or retro feel, 3000 to 10000 words, new or reprint.  While an open call wouldn’t be until later, early submission was being invited with this extra note:  Atmospheric, creepy, and/or suspenseful stories are a big plus.

Atmospheric?  Creepy?  You probably know the drill.  Anyway, Saturday I sent back a story, “Scavenger,” originally from the November 1994 FANTASTIC COLLECTIBLES about robots in an abandoned dying city with, I suggested, an appropriately “noir” tone, though at 2200-words maybe a bit short.  And so, this morning, the answer awaited:  Despite the shorter length it’s a well-developed tale, atmospheric, moving, and memorable. I’d like to include it in the next issue.

A quick double-header today as the week’s end approaches.  The first from Tom English and BLACK INFINITY was a proof copy of my story, “Waxworms” (cf. April 4, November 13), slated for issue 6, “Insidious Insects,” hopefully to be out later this month.  As it happens the proof of the story itself was perfect as I so informed Editor English about two hours ago.

Then, second, a note from Aditya Deshmukh with more news about UNREAL (see July 8 just below, et al.) along with a request for a short blurb on my story “The Garden.”  That, too, went back this afternoon.

Life continues, the good with the bad.  As I write this, Triana has just had her supper.  Outside there’s still coronavirus, but as one unexpected local spinoff, at least for now one can ride city buses for free (albeit on a somewhat reduced schedule, and there may be fewer places or events to ride them to).  And then — the Writing Life — today brought the contract from BLACK INFINITY for “Waxworms” (cf. April 4, et al.), my story of insects and flying saucers and strange goings on in the West Virginia hills:  Please find attached the contract for “Waxworms”.  I’m sending these contracts as word documents, which should make signing easier for contributors, I hope.  Please sign and return at your earliest convenience during the next two weeks.

The document format was easy to handle, even for The Second Slowest Computer In The World (the slowest is being used exclusively these days for off-line work), and it went back about an hour ago to BLACK INFINITY Editor Tom English.  The theme this time out is “Insidious Insects,” with the issue expected to be published around early June.

A little bit roundabout in its coming, via Facebook, from BLACK INFINITY Editor Tom English (cf. November 13, October 28, 21, et al.):  A sneak peek at the cover (barring any last-minute tweaking) of upcoming issue 6 for spring.  And nestled among (or [blush] actually at the top of) such names as Murray Leinster, Philip K. Dick, and Robert Sheckley is . . . mine.  Well, actually my name is the shortest which makes a top placement convenient for design purposes, but why not bask in it?  More to the point, the issue theme this time is “Insidious Insects,” along with a factual portion on the earlyish TV series THE OUTER LIMITS.

An exciting combination, I think.  My part of the brew is a story first published in CHIZINE for July-September 2003 and also appearing in my collection THE TEARS OF ISIS, “Waxworms,” a tale of the days of UFO reports, and probable landings, spiced in this case by a series of insect infestations that seemingly almost follow the story’s narrator.  This also will mark my second appearance in BLACK INFINITY, an extremely well put together semi-annual with a classic 1950s/’60s science fiction flavor, my first being with “Ghost Ship,” set in the universe of TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH and first published in TECHNO-GOTH CTHULHU (Red Skies Press, 2013), in issue 5 on the theme of “Derelicts.”

A quick, quick note.  While I’m still reading — and enjoying — my authors copy of BLACK INFINITY 5 (see November 6, et al.) I also received a note from Editor Tom English inviting me to send something early to the not quite yet open for submissions BLACK INFINITY 6.  Theme for the issue: “Insidious Insects.”  And as it just happens I do have a story I’m rather fond of, originally published in CHIZINE for July-September 2003 and reprinted in THE TEARS OF ISIS, a tale of insect infestations . . . and possible alien action in a sort of surrealistic way (to quote myself from the pitch I sent with it), called “Waxworms.”  And one with flying saucers to boot!

So — long story short — I sent it in and yesterday evening received the reply:  I enjoyed reading “Waxworms” and would like to publish it in BLACK INFINITY:  Insidious Insects (issue #6), adding that I should expect a contract a bit after Christmas.  And thus, you’ve read it here first!

Yes, it has come, the “Derelicts” edition of BLACK INFINITY (cf. October 28, et. al) arrived in my mailbox this afternoon, and a big book it is at just over two hundred 9 x 7 1/2 inch magazine-sized pages.  And it’s a handsome book as well, from its opening Carl Sagan quotation (There is a wide yawning black infinity.  In every direction the extension is endless, the sensation of depth is overwhelming.  And the darkness is immortal.) through fifteen stories, a poem, an editorial, and several additional departments and features.  My part in this, a potpourri of contemporary tales and revisitings of older masterworks, is the second to last of the stories, “Ghost Ship” (that is, which we met again in the post just below), directly following a reprint of “Mystery of the Derelict,” first published in 1907 by William Hope Hodgson!

So what can be said.  I recommend it.  It wasn’t quite in time as it happens for Halloween, which only made the anticipation keener, but now with it in my hands I look forward to a lot of good reading — beginning tonight!

The email was to the point:  Thanks so much for making Black Infinity a great reading experience.  All payments via PayPal or by check have been sent and Amazon will be shipping contributors copies soon.  So, Amazon not always being speed demons, the issue still should be here in, say, less than two weeks.  It’s one I’m really looking forward to, both for the concept and for the author lineup (see October 21, et al.), but also to help decide what I might send for considering for future issues.  Or, in short, I think this one will be a keeper.
BLACK INFINITY 5, incidentally, was officially published just ten days ago, on October 18, and if interested can be ordered by pressing here.

It isn’t the first time for “Ghost Ship,” first published in TECHNO GOTH CTHULHU in 2013, but its latest incarnation can now be found in BLACK INFINITY (see October 13, August 11; also re. story April 28 2013, et al.) as of last Friday, according to Amazon’s dating.  Or, quoting the blurb, [the] Fifth issue of the magabook of creepy science fiction adventure, featuring fantastic tales of mysterious abandoned ships in space and on the high seas, with Gregory L. Norris, Douglas Smith, James Dorr, David VonAllmen and others; with classics by Philip K. Dick, Alan E. Nourse, Jack Williamson, Andre Norton and others.  Plus:  a tribute to Irwin Allen’s Lost in Space (1965), retro movie reviews, weird science fact, a comics story, and more.  Well, actually Amazon misspelled my name [blush] but it’s there correctly up at the top on the magazine’s cover!  (And, yes, I’ve corrected it in the quote above.)

More to the point, there’s a lot of other good stuff to be found including classics by Philip K. Dick, et al., as said above, with “Ghost Ship” second from the bottom in the story contents.  The magazine’s theme is “derelicts” with “Ghost Ship” being the tale of a Flying Dutchman sort of appearance on a far future sea in the universe of my mosaic novel, TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.  In fact, for those who may have read TOMBS, one might recall the fishermen at the end of the story-chapter “Miasma,” who make a second appearance here.

Be that as it may, for more on BLACK INFINITY one can press here.

Set in the “universe” of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, but an ancillary story not in that volume, “Ghost Ship” was first published in TECHNO-GOTH CTHULHU in 2013.  But again on the haunt, with Halloween coming, it has more recently been in the news with its acceptance, and then contract signing for a special “Derelicts” issue of science fiction journal BLACK ETERNITY (cf. September 15, August 11).  And so, again, it has materialized; from Editor Tom English:  Here’s “Ghost Ship” for review.  Please let me know if anything (text or formatting) needs adjusting.  If possible, please get back to me by Tuesday or sooner.  Thanks again!

So the writing life ticks on.  The issue will be BLACK INFINITY #5, set to be out later in October, in time for you-know-when.  And, the copy checked over and my reply sent, I’ll be looking forward to it in time for reading as ghosts and pirates and who knows what else flock to my door questing for Halloween candy.

Well, at the top of the list of names at the lower right, but you get the idea.  And . . . appearing just above Philip K. Dick?  Not shabby at all (and look farther down on the list as well)!  The magazine is BLACK INFINITY #5 (see September 15, August 11), the “Derelict” issue, and my story is a reprint too, “Ghost Ship,” harking back to TECHNO-GOTH CTHULHU (Red Skies Press, 2013) and set in the universe of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.

But as for the magazine itself, let’s let Editor Tom English do the honors:  Cover of BLACK INFINITY #5, (the DERELICTS issue) out in early October.  Stories by Gregory Norris, David VonAllmen, Douglas Smith, James Dorr, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Stewart C Baker, Jason J. McCuiston, Philip K. Dick, Andre Norton, Jack Williamson, Alan E. Nourse and others, with art by Allen Koszowski and others.  Plus:  retro movie reviews by Matt Cowan; weird science by Todd Treichel; a classic SF comics story from the 50s; a special tribute section to the original Lost in Space series; a brief survey of derelict spaceships in SF; and a free music download (details inside the mag) created especially for BLACK INFINITY by Mac of BIOnighT.  — with Jason Krueger.

And out well in time for Halloween — I’m looking forward!

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