Posts Tagged ‘Tombs: A Chronicle of Latter-Day Times of Earth’

A very, very quick bit of news. “Flute and Harp,” accepted as a reprint by HELIOS QUARTERLY on June 3 (see below), has now been scheduled for Volume 6, Issue 2, for June 2021.  Yes, that’s two years from now, Volume 5 having already been filled due to a greater than expected response to this year’s call for submissions.  The story itself, originally published in WHISPERS AND SHADOWS (Prime Books, 2001) concerns a pair of musicians on a dying world who like each other very much, but also share a fear of ghouls.  The story itself is a favorite of mine and, if I may say so, should be worth the wait, but for those who might be more impatient it also appears in my novel-in-stories, TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH (Elder Signs Press, 2017), for more on which one may press its picture in the center column.

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Some editors know what they like and don’t mind saying so very quickly.  To quote the announcement, SPECIAL CALL:  HELIOS QUARTERLY turns 5 in 2020!  Over the years, we’ve published less horror than science fiction & fantasy.  . . .  We want to change that.  For our upcoming call for submissions, we’re especially interested in horror short stories and poetry by Black, Indigenous, and other poets and authors of color.  So late Sunday night (the email auto-acknowledgement is stamped as 10:34 p.m.) I plunked the key that sent my submission of a 5500-word story, “Flute and Harp.”

Then just under twelve hours later, listed as at 10:32 a.m. Monday, the e-reply came:  Congratulations writer!  We would like to publish your submission “Flute and Harp”.  At this time we do not yet know the actual date of publication, but we will continue to keep you notified of what is happening as we move forward.  So while I don’t know if that’s a record, it is pretty swift.

“Flute and Harp” is a reprint, originally published in WHISPERS AND SHADOWS (Prime Books, 2001), and is a sort of personal favorite of mine.  It tells the tale of two doomed musician-lovers on a far-future dying planet and also appears as a story chapter in TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH (Elder Signs Press, 2017).  And I might also note that HELIOS QUARTERLY has a very narrow window for submissions (again to quote from their guidelines), from June 1-15 11:59 EST every year.  Or in other words, my two musicians (as might benefit musicians everywhere) had a very fine sense of timing!

But that also means there is at least a short time remaining for others who might have a yen to submit to HELIOS QUARTERLY (which though, in addition to quickness, seems also to be rather picky), for more on which one may press here.

I find that sometimes my best stories come from combining several different ideas.  Thus “The Sending” combines a detective/crime story with a ghost story, then with a romance, and brings in details both on lighthouses and on Depression-era Florida.  The details also required research (including touching on spiritualism as understood in the 1920s and ’30s, and references to Florida’s original colonization by Spain) which, as a one-time graduate student, I find adds to the fun, which I hope shows through in the finished product.

Details on this had been a little fuzzy, with an original call on December 6, re. LOVE BEYOND DEATH — An anthology of short creepy & emotional stories based around the idea of love evading the limitations of life & death.  For the anthology I am looking for around 20 short stories — (based on the overall word count of all accepted entries).  The genre will be a mix of ghost stories / horror / thriller and erotic fiction, cross genre stories are welcome.  Each story to be of approximately between 4,000 > 8,000 words in length.  So four days later I sent “The Sending” (aha, one that has absolutely nothing to do with my novel-in-stories, TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH!) a reprint originally published in the December 1997 ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE and also appearing in my first collection, STRANGE MISTRESSES:  TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE (for info on which, one may click its picture in the center column).  A reply came back on April 13:  The selection process for the deliberately ambiguously entitled anthology LOVE BEYOND DEATH has now concluded, and it gives me great pleasure to say that your story has been successful. . . .  The next step is to agree a few terms before I can make the announcement official.

So it goes, an acceptance I could not announce quite yet, from Beyond Death Publishing in the UK.  Until, that is, two days ago on Sunday when I received details and a questionnaire from Editor Dickon Springate, and a check on Facebook to make sure the news was, as it were, now in the public domain.  And thus my answer, above, to “Question 2” which went back yesterday afternoon, or, the publication machine grinds on with corrections (or not) to edited copy to come, along with details on a Kickstarter campaign, the latter one hopes to bring us authors more money, set for the future.  So please be generous.  Question 1, in fact, had to do with Paypal details while Question 3, on a brief plot description, may appear on these pages in the near future.  Or maybe not — after all, the best way to find out what a story will be about is to buy the book after it’s published.

Publication of LOVE BEYOND DEATH is tentatively set for 2020, on Valentine’s Day, if all goes well — and so the writing life continues — while above, to the right, is a tentative table of contents (and with, it would seem, a few more than the originally planned twenty stories).

I probably shouldn’t single out any of the stories, because all of them are excellent, but I have to mention that “Aquarium Dreams” by Gary Budgen, “Crow and Rat” by James Dorr, “Rut” by Ian Steadman, “Dewclaw” by Ian Kappos, “Her Audience Shall Stand in Ovation” by Jason Gould are among the best stories I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.  I also greatly enjoyed “Susheela” by Bindia Persaud, because it reads like a fairy tale for adults, and I loved “Ouroboros” by Douglas Thompson, because it’s something mesmerisingly different.  These stories alone make this anthology worth owning and reading.

So begins the conclusion of a review from March 29 in RISING SHADOW, e-pointed out to me by HUMANAGERIE Editor (with Sarah Doyle) Allen Ashley:  Just in case you haven’t seen this on Facebook, we have had another fabulous review, this time by the respected review website RISING SHADOW.  I am attaching a copy for you.  Everybody gets a positive mention.  And positive these mentions are indeed!  Earlier, reviewer Seregil of Rhiminee comments on each item in the contents, saying this of lowest-of-low ne’er-do-wells Crow and Rat (cf. January 13, et al.):

Crow and Rat – James Dorr:

– An excellent story about Crow and Rat who are beggars in the New City.
– The author’s vision of the world where the sun has become hotter is fascinating and satisfyingly dark.
– This is a bit different kind of a love story, because it has a dark and epic feel to it.  It’s almost like a dark and romantic fairy tale for adults.
– I consider James Dorr to be an author to watch, because this story is amazing.  (When I read this story, I said to myself that I must read more stories by the author, because what I’ve just read is something special.)

The New City, I should point out, is one of the settings in my mosaic novel TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, although Crow and Rat’s story itself doesn’t appear in it.  But let it not go to these miscreants’ heads, but they seem to be doing quite well enough just from their appearance in HUMANAGERIE.  While as for RISING SHADOW’s review, to read it in full for yourself press here.

Or at least sometimes their stories do as blogger Carrie Ann Golden points out in “10 Films Based on Short Stories, on A WRITER & HER SENTIMENTAL MUSE, who asks [a]re all movies produced from screenplays only?  Her answer:  Nope. Many have been inspired by novels.  Think Harry Potter and Twilight.  But, did you know that there are a large number inspired by short stories?  She then proceeds to list ten as examples, starting with two that may be obvious, SLEEPY HOLLOW and THE BIRDS, followed by some that might less quickly come to mind like THE CANDYMAN (based on a series of stories by Clive Barker) or DARK WATER, SCREAMERS, and THE THING, with titles that differ from those of the original stories.  If interested one may press here, or simply take heart that there may be more to short story writing than occasional one dollar (or one cent) royalties.

But also an extra! Scroll down beyond the tenth movie title, beyond the article itself, and one of two links to other blog topics includes an interview, going back all the way to November 14 2016, of . . . me (see also post on the same date, below).  Herewith, for the curious, added to comments on characterization and theme are two questions on a then not-quite-yet-published work in progress, TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.

Many of these stories and poems are metaphors for the human world and how we behave, how we show tolerance (questionable often) and understanding.  There is much to reflect on in this book, to help us begin to understand ourselves.  The poems and stories demonstrate the power of the animal world over the human world.  We are challenged throughout this book to question power and where it lies.  (Wendy French)

Say what?

The above is from a review of the anthology HUMANAGERIE (cf. January 13, October 28, et al.), brought to my attention by co-editor Allen Ashley in yesterday afternoon’s email, and while my TOMBS-set story in it, “Crow and Rat,” is not specifically mentioned, the comments in general strike me as worth reading.  The review itself is in the British poetry magazine LONDON GRIP and may be read in its entirety by pressing here.  And that’s not all.  While it’s not a review as such, HUMANAGERIE is also the featured publication for March in ATRIUM, with five poems quoted as well as a link to HUMANAGERIE publisher’s Eibonvale Press site for more information and possible ordering, all of which may be seen by pressing here.

Then finally, if one wishes to go to the publisher’s site directly, just press here.

Say what?  Yes, the Itty Kickstarter (see February 3, January 31, et al.) for funding ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE — as well as its authors! — will end at midnight EST tonight.  That’s the book of one hundred flash fiction stories, by one hundred authors, all genres, all styles, including my epic “The Junkie” of (un)life as a zombie on the mean streets of the city.  And Editor/Publisher Jason Brick has added a new reward, an “Ebook Extravaganza” (also included in the “Book Me + Ebook Bundle” option, plus two at the $60 level and one at $85), to wit:  You get everything in “I Love Living In The Future” PLUS a collection of 12 full-length ebooks by our authors!  How cool is that?  It’s like getting a book for a buck twelve times!  How cool indeed!

The authors included are Ahmed A. Khan, Craig English, Randy Attwood, Cathy Smith, Halli Lilburn, Jean Harkin, Ian Jedlica, Karen Eisenbrey, Russell Nohelty, James Dorr, Ali Lauderdale, Melissa Dull, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Lisa Love, plus Jason Brick according to a recent email, actually a few more than

“At midnight it all turns back into a pumpkin.”

12 if I have it right, but there is one disclaimer.  My entry, anyway, is in the just over 30,000-word range which is a bit short of novel-length by most standards, so if it counts as a “full-length ebook” may be in the eye of the beholder.  The title is A JAMES DORR SAMPLER:  SEVEN STORIES OF FANTASY, SCIENCE FICTION, AND HORROR, and it consists of one story each from my early collections STRANGE MISTRESSES and DARKER LOVES (for more on all of these click the book’s picture in the center column), two from my Stoker(R) nominated THE TEARS OF ISIS, two from my novel-in-stories TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, and one uncollected extra, all in a somewhat “rough and ready” PDF format.

Seems like a pretty good deal to me, bit then I do have a rat in the race.  But check out the kickstarter for yourself by pressing here — and remember to hurry, it all ends at midnight!

And now for something completely different.  Or, well, different at least, a recasting of an interview of . . . *moi* . . . by Rushelle Dillon (cf. October 22 2017) in a video format, or part of it anyway.  The title is “Video Refresh:  James Dorr Interview” by Stuart Conover and it’s on HORRORTREE.COM.  Or, to let the poster speak for himself:  A Sample of our interview with James Dorr by Ruschelle Dillon.  In the interview, he has a lot of fun details on his take on the writing process.  If you delve into the full interview there are a lot of playful details on his life on top of that!  . . .  This is a new format that we’re playing around with for articles, interviews, and potentially Trembling With Fear.  Please let us know if this is something that you’d like to see more of!

For more, press here (yes, it is kind of fun)!  And there’s also a link if you wish to read the whole interview as it had been originally posted.

Then a quick word on the two Kickstarters we followed earlier this month.  The ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE one (see February 3, January 29) will be over this Thursday, February 21, so there’s not much time left if you’re tempted to participate.  The other for Gehenna and Hinnom Books (see February 1), with as of now a few extra rewards added, will end just past the close of the month, on Saturday March 2.  Links to both can be found in their posts on the dates just noted.

Though dated Wednesday February 6, today, writer/blogger Carl Alves’s interview of me, “10 Questions With James Dorr” (see February 1), actually went live Tuesday evening on THIS IS CARL’S BRAIN (a.k.a. CARLALVES.COM), shortly followed by a link via Facebook on DIGITAL FICTION PUBLISHING LEAGUE.  What questions, one asks?  Well, ones concerning such matters as differences in writing poetry vs. writing prose, overall themes, the desire to write horror, and which is best:  short stories, novelettes, or novels?  Also, in lieu of my normal mug shot are portraits of Bram Stoker and Edgar Allan Poe.

And why those, you ask? — for answers press here.

We may remember, on August 29, a thoughtful and interesting review list of “43 Underrated Films from the Darker Side of Cinema You’ve Probably Never Seen — A Gehenna Post Article” by C.P. Dunphey* via GEHENNAANDHINNOM, his blog on WordPress.  Now five months later comes another feature, this one even more ambitious, the opener of a four-part “Top 100 Films & Television Series You Didn’t Know Were Lovecraftian.”  Or to introduce it in his own words, [a]s the first part of our “Lovecraft in Film” series, we will be exploring 25 films that, while not direct adaptations, are inspired either partially or greatly by Lovecraft’s fiction.  Prepare for madness as we embark into the unknown.  These films are in NO PARTICULAR ORDER.  And beyond which there may not be too much to say:  the degree of influence will sometimes be obvious, sometimes more subtle, the films themselves ranging from the Japanese UZUMAKI (SPIRAL) to THE HAUNTED PALACE, with stops in between for CABIN IN THE WOODS, THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS, even UNDER THE SKIN in a negative way . . . but Dunphey himself will explain the connections, which may be seen by pressing here.

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*Not to mention C.P. Dunphey himself for YEAR’S BEST BODY HORROR 2017 ANTHOLOGY, with my story “Flesh,” as well as much support for my novel-in-stories TOMBS (cf. July 22, et al.).




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