Posts Tagged ‘UFOs’

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.”

FAKE NEWS, don’t we just love it!  I don’t mean the term the President uses when he means “real news,” but really fake fake news.  Conspiracy theories, that sort of thing, though it may seem real to those that believe it.  But now it’s time for a trip into history.

Hie us back to the year 2018, to June 13 to be exact.  A call from “a (very) small publishing cooperative” called Old Sins:  Let’s write about conspiracies that have been debunked thoroughly but do so through the lens of Alternate History, where they have actually happened.  Let’s write about the second shooter, chemtrails, the Illuminati, Lizard People, Greys, the Loch Ness Monster, Pope Joan, Templars worshipping Satan, and so many other rumored conspiracies throughout history as if they were real.  As it so happened, I had such a tale, called “Country Doctor,” a reprint first published in BOOK OF DARK WISDOM for Summer 2005, one of UFOs and a strange humanoid creature being held by the military and needing medical attention.  And so off it went.

The above itself was reported here about a year later (cf. June 20, 2019), along with more news.  On August 27 2018 an email had come from Old Sins Editor Joseph Cadotte concerning possible minor changes, and that he liked it and “Country Doctor” was being forwarded to “his partner.”  Not an acceptance but, what the heck, I sent some changes plus reasons for keeping some other things the same.  Another exchange on October 25 about “Pending Acceptance,” and then on January 27 2019 an email titled “Re. Pending acceptance to FAKE NEWS” that said in part:  We have a preliminary layout, and, if you are included in this message, you are on it.  An acceptance then, yes?  But it didn’t really, exactly say.  But then on June 19, and hence the day the June 20 2019 post referred to, came an announcement explaining delays and concluding I will try to send you a contract soonish (which, by the way, I don’t recall subsequently receiving, but you get the idea — the wheels of artistry grind slowly as well as, sometimes, quite casually too) so, what the heck, let’s assume by now that it’s all official.

And then again silence until yesterday an email arrived, “FAKE NEWS News and Request,” and later that afternoon “FAKE NEWS News and request, part 2,” to send in a bio, etc., plus a small questionnaire about original inspirations (“which conspiracy,” e.g.), plus an announcement that “the whole text is going to our design person” (that is, if there are any story changes, to get them in quickly).  So it seems, despite delays, the anthology finally is on its way!

Unless, of course, it’s all fake news.

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!

Strange are the tales told of the Internet.  Of stories presumed rejected that weren’t; of acceptances disguised as things they might not be.  A magical, mystical place it is, of shadows and mysteries.  And here is one such strange telling now.

Let us go first to June 13 2018, and a call for submissions from Old Sins, “a (very) small publishing cooperative.”  Let’s write about conspiracies that have been debunked thoroughly but do so through the lens of Alternate History, where they have actually happened.  Let’s write about the second shooter, chemtrails, the Illuminati, Lizard People, Greys, the Loch Ness Monster, Pope Joan, Templars worshipping Satan, and so many other rumored conspiracies throughout history as if they were real.  So okay, let’s do.  As it happened I had such a tale already, of UFOs on the road to Roswell or, at least, an odd wounded humanoid creature who may have come from a UFO, originally published in BOOK OF DARK WISDOM in Summer 2005, called “The Country Doctor.”*

So off it went, until on October 25 an email came from Editor Joseph Cadotte asking about some possible small editorial changes, and allowing that he had liked the story and was sending it along to his partner.  Okay, so not an acceptance quite, but I sent a reply addressing the suggested changes (most of them having to do with italicization) and so time went on.  But then a new email came on January 27 this year with the subject title “Pending acceptance to FAKE NEWS,” stating in part:  We have a preliminary layout, and, if you are included in this message, you are on it.   So that’s positive mostly, sort of, yes?  Maybe a clearer confirmation (that is, not just “pending”) would be coming soon.

Which brings us to Wednesday afternoon, yesterday, not quite six months later, repeating the January 27 message, and with the same heading, but with an explanation above of how things are being delayed.  The wheels grind slowly, but grind they still do, and concluding:  I will try to send you a contract soonish.

So I’m going to call this an acceptance now of “The Country Doctor” for FAKE NEWS (or a similar title), and if perhaps still not 100 percent sure, we’ll find out together.

*”The Country Doctor” has also been reprinted in the anthology AMERICA THE HORRIFIC (Bards and Sages, 2011), for which one can see below, October 29, 19 2011, et al.

The beat goes on, or, you get acceptances, then comes the scut work.  The little tasks that must be done to get a story into actual print.  Thus it was this weekend, when PDFs came for not one, but two stories from different publishers — and both of these also second-round proof copies, ones where preliminary proofreading had been done before.

But it’s one more step closer to seeing a book in print.  Or two, in this case.  Saturday brought line edited copy from Upper Rubber Boot Books for “Bubba Claus Conquers the Martians” (cf. December 1 2015, et al.), a tale of Christmas and sorta-like zombies and a trip to Mars for THE MUSEUM OF ALL THINGS AWESOME AND THAT GO BOOM, with corrections on the corrections at this end returned Sunday evening at just about the time the Arizona-Carolina NFC championship football game ended.  So in about two weeks the Superbowl comes, yes?  Then a few hours before, on Sunday afternoon, the other had come, a “cleaned up” galley from Bards and Sages Publishing for “The Candle Room” (see January 7 this year, et al.), a less comedic, more Lovecraftian excursion to Saturn — but an other-dimensional version of sorts — for THE GREAT TOME OF FORGOTTEN RELICS AND ARTIFACTS.

That one, however, will wait till tomorrow.

Well, the idea is, we probably know most of them already or, with a little thought, at least can guess.  However, here it is now on the internet (which means, of course, that it must be true — otherwise saucer1it wouldn’t be allowed on the internet, right?) courtesy of UPWORTHY.COM, “4 Fascinating Things We Already Know about Area 51, and 1 Thing We Don’t.”  As author Jon Comulada puts it, “What many people don’t realize, however, is that thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, over the past few years, not only has Area 51 been officially recognized by the United States government, but a lot of information about it has already been revealed.”  In fact he even has a picture (via Google Maps), though which unsurprisingly shows rather little (to quote again:  “yes, I’ll admit it’d be cool to see inside those hangars.  But … even if you did, all saucer3 you’d probably see are a couple classified airplanes and helicopters alongside some government R&D contractors”).  But we still do know some things, for which press here.

Then back to the posh life of the writer, Tuesday brought another mammoth royalty payment — that makes two for the new year so far (cf. January 2), while a third is asking its writers to wait until returns come in from Amazon or someplace.  The total for this one is $0.35, but I elected to take the option of having it rolled over with payments from previous quarters (that is spring, summer, and fall of last year plus any prior to that) until it amounts to more than the publisher can stand to handle.

And here it is!  See November 26 for the first, in this case editor interview of the creators of BLURRING THE LINE, the anthology that explores the line between fictional and real life horror.  It has been published, at least electronically with print to follow, and so too the parade oblurringf daily (excepting weekends) author interviews has commenced.  And Friday, December 4, to end the first full week, the interviewee in the spotlight . . . c’est moi!

So check it out here for what I have to say about inspiration for my tale “The Good Work,” on Dickensian urchins hunting for witches; the meaning of horror; the number one best horror story and novel; and . . . UFOs?  Well, it seemed to make sense when I answered the question.  But remember, the page won’t go live until 10 a.m. Friday — and that will be Australian time (which, actually, should make it a lot earlier than where I’m writing from . . . but I could be wrong).

And should what you read pique interest a bit one can find out more about the anthology, or even buy it, by checking here (be sure to scroll down its first review to get a blow-by-blow look at the stories).

I just went through the galley proof for my story “The Country Doctor” from the editors of AMERICA THE HORRIFIC (see May 24, below) and was able to email back that I could find no errors at all. Good show! Not so fortunate was a mock-up of the book’s cover on which the gimlet-eyed may have already noticed a certain oddness to my name. And so another email to the editors. Then — busy, busy, busy! — it’s back to work to send them a current biography as well as doing a mini-interview which will be used for pre-publication PR. So hopefully by its announced release date of October 15 AMERICA THE HORRIFIC should be set to go off with a bang. (And in time for Halloween gifting too!)

Elsewhere on the PR front, Untreed Reads Publishing has announced the launch of “Take-A-Chance Tuesdays,” involving sale prices on a selected title every Tuesday. Mine, VANITAS (cf. Aug. 2), isn’t this week’s selection, but it can still be purchased at its regular price, which is pretty much a bargain already, so in the hours that are left of today — and presumably on successive Tuesdays too — why not give their website a look for that and for other specials?

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