Posts Tagged ‘Weldon Burge’

The writing life, the writing life.  Last night the proof copy came for “Golden Age,” the closing story for Smart Rhino’s upcoming anthology ZIPPERED FLESH 3:  YET MORE TALES OF BODY ENHANCEMENTS GONE BAD (see April 19, et al.).  The changes suggested were unobtrusive, so back it has been sent today with my okay, plus one small correction.  “Golden Age” itself is a reprint, originally appearing in the science fiction magazine MINDSPARKS for  Spring 1994, and probably will be a bit more “gentle” than much of the content of the finished anthology.  Maybe a lot more gentle, in fact, but also in Editor Weldon Burge’s opinion with a sense of finality that may make it perfect to be the closer.

In other news, we may remember Third Flatiron Publishing which we last met in conjunction with my short short “Chocolat” in their IT HAS COME TO OUR ATTENTION anthology (cf. March 23, February 21).  They do these themed anthologies quarterly and, concerning their latest, the word came earlier this week from Editor/Publisher Juliana Rew:  We’d be pleased to accept the story, “Dead Girls, Dying Girls,” for inclusion in Third Flatiron Publishing’s Summer 2017 anthology, with the theme, “Cat’s Breakfast.”  This is to be a Kurt Vonnegut inspired collection, inspired itself somewhat by Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing’s 2013 SO IT GOES:  A TRIBUTE TO KURT VONNEGUT.  And so a couple of us writers who both had stories in that one (aha!  so see January 3 2013, below) and have been at least occasionally part of Third Flatiron’s stable were invited to send our work in for possible reprint consideration.  The email added that it would receive a reprint rate, which had been understood, and that a contract should be along soon.  Thus “Dead Girls, Dying Girls,” the tale of an up-and-coming modern American young lady — and dancing bears — has earned a new home, more of which to be revealed here as it becomes known.

So it goes.

If you’re familiar with Smart Rhino’s anthologies (and we certainly hope you are!), you may remember his stories “The Wellmaster’s Daughter” in UNCOMMON ASSASSINS, and “Labyrinth” in INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS.  His story “Golden Age” will be published in ZIPPERED FLESH 3, now in production.  So marks the start of Monday’s outing of Smart Rhino Press Editor/Publisher Weldon Burge’s blog, BULLETS AND BUTTERFLIES.  Here you will find things concerning my collection THE TEARS OF ISIS and the lure of short stories, as well as my upcoming novel TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, though of the latter the publication date is now set for June (i.e. rather than “spring,” which only means things sometimes get out of date; also the poet Allan Poe may be better known as Edgar Allan, but typos can happen too).  Also the blog itself  may seem familiar, having also been published in Smart Rhino Publications’s own January NEWSLETTER (see January 18).  But as Weldon himself says on his Facebook page:  Just posted my interview with Bram Stoker nominee (and frequent writer for Smart Rhino Publications) James Dorr.  His story “Golden Age,” will appear in the upcoming ZIPPERED FLESH 3.  He has some great advice for writers from his own experience.  So maybe it will be worth reading anew.

Or in any event for those new to this blog it can be found here.

The announcement, from Editor/Publisher Weldon Burge, was brief:  All of the Smart Rhino books are currently on sale at Smashwords, most at 50% off.  The sale is until March 11, so grab them while you can.  Just search for the individual titles.  But the finding them may possibly not be quite so simple as it may seem (hint:  for some, you may have to toggle the “adult” switch ON).  For mine, press here, but — remember — then toggle the words “Adult Content” at the top right to be sure it’s on (a check mark is good, circle with a slash through it is bad).  Then scroll down past THE GOOD FIGHT 3:  SIDEKICKS for the ones I’insidiousassassinsm in, and ignore PRESIDENTIAL PULP plus the history one at the very end.  These are all anthologies or magazines with stories by me in them, whether or not they may be on sale, with the Smart Rhino ones being INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS and UNCOMMON ASSASSINS (this latter, I think, toward the very end).  But linger a bit, perhaps there are others that you may like too.  Or  if in a hurry, UNCOMMON ASSASSINS can be found here and INSIDIOUS here (the “Adult” switch pre-set), with my stories in each being “The Wellmasters Daughter” (see August 16 2012, et al.) and “Labyrinth (see January 23 2015, et al.) respectively.

In other news, we had another pleasant, sunny afternoon for this month’s “First Sunday Prose Reading & Open Mic,” co-sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild and Boxcar Books.  And for two hours, we had a good crowd as these things go, with about eighteen people (fourteen of who persisted through open mike afterward) for featured readers Eric Rensberger, with a contemplative essay on books and dust; Joan Hawkins, standing in for advertised reader Jenny Kander who couldn’t make it due to illness, with a memoir of 1974 Prague under Soviet occupation; and bestselling “rural noir” fiction writer Bonnie Jo Campbell with two short shorts from her MOTHERS, TELL YOUR DAUGHTERS collection, an excerpt from the title story, and the opening paragraph of her novel ONCE UPON A RIVER.  Then after the break (with lovely cookies), mindful of Mardi Gras having been less than a week before, I ended a walk-on session of some five readers with a New Orleans set “Casket Girls” story, “Death and the Vampire,” in which the flavor of Death is found to be, if not the best, at least not bad.

If at first one should fail to succeed, as the saying goes. . . .  The ZIPPERED FLESH 3:  YET MORE TALES OF BODY ENHANCEMENTS GONE BAD Kickstarter campaign (see February 3, et al.) having fallen a bit short, word is out from Smart Rhino Editor/Publisher Weldon Burge that a new campaign has been started on Indiegogo, to be up fordpytvjudfckqmkp3hfws the next month.  As we might recall, part of the effort is to secure enough for professional pay for the authors included, which is to say (among others) me, so please to consider checking it out by pressing here.  (My story in this, again see February 3 et al., is “Golden Age,” a surprisingly non-painful SF tale of a future pioneer and is last in the book, but for the gore-hounds among us as well there’s horror enough in the other offerings, so [as we say] give until it hurts!)

In other news, welcome the new goth cat Triana’s very own web page that went up today.  To see it, check under “PAGES” in the far right column, and click on her name.  Wednesday’s is there as well, with the entrance to it just beneath Triana’s.

Word came yesterday from Smart Rhino Publications that my story, “Golden Age,” has been chosen for final position in ZIPPERED FLESH 3.  This is an honor — just as the first two or three stories in an anthology are meant to hook the reader, so the last one is to provide the memory of what the book was about, as well as to prime the reader should a subsequent volume be published later.  Or, as Editor/Publisher Weldon Burge explains:  I’ve decided to end ZIPPERED FLESH 3 with “Golden Age.”  It’s a “quieter” story than others in the anthology, and a perfect denouement for the book.  I think, when you read the story, you folks will understand my decision.  Also, to whet appetites a bit more, Smart Rhino has offered a list of all authors selected thus far to be in the book, with more to be announced, to be sure, as they’re added to it:

Billie Sue Mosiman
Graham Masterton
Shaun Meeks463_zippered_cvr_3
William F. Nolan
Jack Ketchum
Jeff Menapace
James Dorr
Meghan Arcuri-Moran
Jason V Brock
L.L. Soares
E.A. Elizabeth Black
Sandra Rutherford Webster Campbell
Adrian Ludens
Christine Morgan

And then a reminder:  Smart Rhino has also been running a Kickstarter campaign to, among other things, provide the ZIPPERED FLESH 3 writers professional-level payment.  Need I add that that includes me?  But there’s only a dozen days left to give, including reserving some rather nice premiums, so best take a look while there’s still time left by pressing here.

So the first answer starts with a citation to “Allan Poe.”  That’s Edgar Allan Poe, of course, but what’s in a word — I still stand by the answer.  And thus the promised interview by Weldon Burge for Smart Rhino Publications (cf. January 11, 8), in conjunction with a Kickstarter campaign for their upcoming ZIPPERED FLESH 3 anthology, is now live.  A mention is made at the very beginning about my Smart Rhino story appearances, “The Wellmaster’s Daughter” in UNCOMMON ASSASSINS, “Labyrinth” in INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS, and “Golden Age” in the upcomi8451b32b-e3c4-41cb-8f3e-7c6834708f13ng ZIPPERED FLESH volume, but that’s not what the interview is about.  Rather, with reference to Poe as well as my Stoker(R) nominated collection THE TEARS OF ISIS, we talk about short story writing in general and why, as a writer, I find short forms more interesting than novels.  But then novels come up too with reference to TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH (expected in June this year, not really “spring,” but that’s because of a change in schedule after my original biographical notes were in) and what is, exactly, a novel-in-stories, also known as a “mosaic novel”?  And, more importantly, why TOMBS is put together in that style.

The Poe citation, incidentally, is to his essay “The Poetic Principle,” which I believe he meant to apply to prose fiction as well.  But to read the whole interview, including some things on the challenges and joys of writing, and what to expect once one has written, why not press here?

The promised Kickstarter campaign for Smart Rhino Publications’s ZIPPERED FLESH 3:  YET MORE TALES OF BODY ENHANCEMENTS GONE BAD (cf. January 11, et al.) is now up and running.  The idea is to raise enough money to, among other things, pay its authors (that is to say, one of which is . . . me!) a professional rate.  I can stand 3cd4144d486be1e6dbbe46ca792d3588_originalbehind that!  So, if not to donate, at least to see what the fuss is about, please to press here.

My canine in the charnel house, this time, is actually a rather sedate science fiction story, “Golden Age,” originally published in MINDSPARKS in Spring 1994 and about an elderly person’s reflection, a pioneer in the trade as it were, on replacement of body parts damaged by accidents or disease.  But, gore hounds delight, it’s my understanding that other tales, in keeping with the volume’s subtitle, could be a bit more, um, visceral.

So give till it hurts, right? — and afterwards don’t forget to buy a copy when it comes out, details on which will also be found here as they become known.

Editor Weldon Burge has announced a preliminary table of contents for the upcoming INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS anthology (cf. November 7, September 9) from Smart Rhino Publications.  But let’s let him put it into his own words:

“The Table of Contents of the INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS anthology is now complete!  I accepted ‘The Absinthe Assassin’ by JM Reinbold earlier this week, and just accepted ‘Tantse So Smert’Yu (Dancing With Death)’ by Ernestus Jiminy Chald . . .  The antho will include 24 stories (with a mix of suspense, thriller, horror, fantasy, science fiction) and will be more than 400 pages!

“Here’s the current TOC . . . we may shuffle things around before the book goes to press.”

Those Rockports Won’t Get You Into Heaven — Jack Ketchum
Dead Bill — Shaun Meeks
Worse Ways — Meghan Arcuri
No One of Consequence — Christine Morgan
And the Hits Just Keep On Comin’ — Doug Rinaldi15790_822232577838686_5631501463275173563_n
The Night Gordon Was Set Free — Billie Sue Mosiman
Almost Everybody Wins — Lisa Mannetti
Friends From Way Back — Dennis Lawson
The Repo Girl — Patrick Derrickson
Letter for You — Carson Buckingham
The Rock — Joseph Badal
The Handmaiden’s Touch — Doug Blakeslee
The Bitter and the Sweet — D.B. Corey
Influence — Martin Zeigler
Agnus Dei — Jezzy Wolfe
Labyrinth — James Dorr
Blenders — J. Gregory Smith
One of Us — Austin S. Camacho
The Absinthe Assassin — JM Reinbold
Slay It Forward — Adrian Ludens
Tantse So Smert’Yu (Dancing With Death) — Ernestus Jiminy Chald
What the Blender Saw — L.L. Soares
Code Name Trine — Martin Rose
Bestsellers Guaranteed — Joe Lansdale

My outing here, “Labyrinth,” takes place on the island of Crete and melds modern-day politics with the myths of the Ancient Greeks.  And for you hard-core assassination fans, there’s also a previous Smart Rhino anthology, UNCOMMON ASSASSINS, available, more on which can be found here.  My story in this one, “The Wellmaster’s Daughter,” is set a bit farther south in the Sahara Desert and has to do with family relations (see also August 16 2012, et al.).

We may recall UNCOMMON ASSASSINS from 2012 (cf., most recently, February 7, et al.) with my Saharan story of “The Wellmaster’s Daughter,” originally published in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE — my first story there! — in November 1991 as well as reprinted in my first collection, STRANGE MISTRESSES.  So publisher Smart Rhino insidious_assassins_frontcvr_small_mockupPublications is doing it again, this time with INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS, “stories in which an insidious character/villain intends to kill someone,” with an accent on stealth, treachery, or deceit in varying genres — as long as the end game is focused on murder.

As a veteran, as it were, of the earlier book I received an invitation to submit before it opened to the general public, and while the premium is on original stories (though with some exceptions for “established writers”) I had a reprint which I thought might work.  Originally published in A. J. Budrys’s TOMORROW SF in its first electronic edition in March 1997 (and also STRANGE MISTRESSES four years later), “Labyrinth” is a fantasy of romance and ghosts and betrayal set on the island of Crete.

Thus two tales with exotic locales and nasty deeds, and the gamble paid off:  the word came yesterday afternoon from Editor Weldon Burge.  “I love the intrigue and mythic elements in this story, and it’s a perfect fit for the anthology!  I’d love to accept it for INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS.”  Tentative publication will be in early 2015 with general submissions being read until October 30 “or until the antho is full,” for more information on which one may press here.

Then, also yesterday afternoon, the contract came for my story “Extinctions” from Australian publisher Voluted Tales for its special edition, THE DARKNESS INTERNAL (see May 27).  This one will be another reprint, originally published in THE BLUE LADY in Autumn 1996, an apocalyptic tale of sorts — or is it all only in the narrator’s imagination?  As of now the issue is set for release in “late September/early October” so we’ll find out then.




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