Posts Tagged ‘Zombies’

And here it is, the DAILY SCIENCE FICTION contract for “Steel Slats” (see August 17) arrived and has been signed (or more precisely, my agreement assented) and returned.  As requested I also included an about 150 word biographical note and, as DAILY SCIENCE FICTION will sometimes have, a few remarks concerning the story’s writing — the latter in this case including the words “the devil made me do it.”  “Steel Slats,” that is, is a sort of reaction to troubles at the US southern border, and celebrates the *President’s Dream* of a “beautiful wall” to be paid for by Mexico to solve all problems.  But might it possibly lead to some new ones?

Exactly when we’ll find out I don’t know, DAILY SCIENCE FICTION usually having a robust lead time before stories are published (though not as bad as some recent examples, including the one that won’t appear until 2021).  In this case it should be within a year, though, and possibly sooner than later, exact information to be shared as soon as I find out.

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A busy Saturday!  First there was my writing group’s monthly critique session; then a Bloomington Writers Guild meeting.  If that weren’t enough, the Goth Cat Triana reminds us that August 17 is “Black Cat Appreciation Day” (so, she’s mostly black).  But added to all that is one thing more.

Saturday’s email brought a new story acceptance and not just by any market either, but DAILY SCIENCE FICTION, a story-a-day free website with professional rates for tales of less than 1500 words, plus an amount of prestige.  Not to mention a pretty wide circulation to boot.  And it’s been a while, though I have been in DSF before (cf. April 21 2015, et al.), five times in fact including two starring our New Orleanian vampiress acquaintances, Aimée et les filles à les caissettes, one of which being their “origin story” (for which see also April 17 2014, et al.).  Today’s new, non-vampiric story is called “Steel Slats” and the really neat thing is I hadn’t had overly high hopes for it, it having been written originally for a satirical near-future anthology which, it turned out, decided it could get along with apocalypses that did not include walking dead, and, well, some of the background may be just a tiny bit politically tinged.  That is, in the case of high-circulation magazines, with a possible risk of irritating some of the readers.

As for what exactly “Steel Slats” is about, perhaps I’ll say more in a future post, but for now there may be some hints in such things as the “Tags” above.  And as for why it was accepted despite my misgivings, I’d like to think it’s because it’s a good story.

To end the month, how about a bit more of the life of the writer, this time in the form of another contract, received, elctro-signed, and sent back to the publisher just now.  The story is called “Beefcake and the Vamp” and the venue MONSTERTHOLOGY 2 (see February 12), an anthology of, to quote from the guidelines, short stories that involve classic movie monsters (Dracula, the Wolfman, Frankenstein, you know classics).  So the monsters in this one include the vamp Guillemette, once known as “Mina,” threatened by (as it turns out) a descendant of the Van Helsing family, who seeks the help of an all-night New Orleans detective agency.  And one of the agency’s finest (or only) employees is a hunky zombie named Beefcake — a match made in Heaven, yes?

Guillemette, I might add, is not one of the vampiresses in the “Casket Girls” canon, actually predating them in my writing, but she’s kind of fun too.  And way back when there had also been a MONSTERTHOLOGY 1 which had a story of mine called “Stink Man” (see February 19; July 2 2012, et al.), a cryptozoological tale of a man combined with the parts of cows.  As far as I know, though, a release date has not yet been set for Volume 2 — the publication schedule in general seems to be on the leisurely side — but the news will be here as soon as it’s known.

So we’ve all seen the movie SHAUN OF THE DEAD, yes?  It’ll be number 1 on the list that follows.  But what about LESBIAN VAMPIRE KILLERS (I have)?  Or, number 10, I BOUGHT A VAMPIRE MOTORCYCLE?  Or in other words, how many have you (or I) actually seen of “The Top 10 British Comedy Horror Films!” by fellow blogger cmsaunders, courtesy of CMSAUNDERS.WORDPRESS.COM?

From, as it were, the horse’s mouth:  Everyone does lists of their Top 10 Horror films. I wanted to do something special for you instead.  How about a Top 10 BRITISH Horror Film List?  Not special enough?  Well, taking it to the next level, you know how us Brits are renowned for our unique, irreverent, occasionally wacky yet sophisticated sense of humour?  No?  Well, we are.  Sometimes it can be as subtle as an autumn breeze.  Other times it can be fast, bloody, and brutal.  Like a good bout of period sex.  So . . . how about a Top 10 British COMEDY Horror Film List?  Yeah, let’s do that.

So let’s do.  Or for the record, re. the last sentence in paragraph one, I’ve only seen four but some that I haven’t seem worth looking into.  And there’s at least one other you may have seen too, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON.  For all, then, press here.

Ah, the things publishers may fail to tell us.  So Many details, so many little things to be completed, can one be surprised if some fall through the cracks?  Hark us now back to June 27 (which cf., below), where ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE, the anthology of one hundred flash stories by one hundred writers (more or less) was about to be published.  Or let the pu41yTGgYfGgL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_blisher’s own blurb tell us:  So many stories!  ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE is the third volume in the Flash in a Flash series of crowdfunded celebrations of short-short fiction.  104 Authors.  101 Stories.  No Holds Barred. Inside you’ll find brief but stirring explorations of every kind of story you care to imagine.  From debut authors to celebrated veterans, this book’s writers bring you short glimpses into their imaginations.  It’s like speed-dating to find your new favorite authors.  Dip in and enjoy!  Then, though not reported here, another email on July 5 with mention of payment and/or author’s copies, but that we should stand by for more details.

But wait, what of the book?  Have we missed a notice that publication has actually happened?  And where did that blurb I just found to quote above come from?  Well . . . what one might think of as a missing detail, but yes, ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE has indeed been published, dated by Amazon as on June 24, that is three days before it was on the verge of. . . .

So a slip on the date of a few days happens, a date is given but physical copies are not quite there yet, things of that sort are common.  But as one of the authors, my story in it as we might remember being “The Junkie,” a saga of cruel streets and drugs and one city’s solving of its zombie problem, I would have been curious to know.  Availability is only in paperback, at least for now, but for those interested and/or possible purchase (or just to see that, yes, it is there!) one may press here.

We may recall that things were an itty bitty (sorry) bit behind for ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE (see May 30, 14, et al.). This is (to quote myself from the 30th) the compendium of “100 Stories by 100 Authors,” each story no more than 1000 words long, edited by Dani J. Caili and Jason Brick and with my story in it a 750-word epic, “The Junkie,” about current day medico-sociological problems . . . and zombies.  Originally planned to ship in June, there had been delays necessitating a speed-up in authors’ receiving and correcting proofs in a hope to catch up.  In other words, “the writing life” as we know it and love it.

But then, today, from Co-Editor/ Publisher Jason Brick, I’m putting the final files to the publisher today and should begin shipping this weekend.  YAY!  I’ll also be paying contributors beginning early next week.  YAY!  So technically, Sunday being the last day of June, by golly it is (sort of) shipping in June . . . albeit the first day a shipper might come to pick packages up would be July 1.  But still that’s not bad and I know I’ll be anxious to see a copy — as well as get paid!  So to others who’re waiting on copies too, it shouldn’t be long now.

More to appear here as it becomes known. . .

Well, not just a “sheet” but a whole 256 page book, ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE (see May 14, March 27, et al.), or at least a Word DOCX copy thereof.  The challenge:  The stragglers are in.  What’s attached is the manuscript proof for our book.  Here’s your assignment.

Step One:  Read your entry carefully (including your listing in the table of contents).
Step Two:  Email me here with either an indication that all is well or exact specifications of changes you want.  This is emergencies only.  Misspellings.  Typos.  Using your real name instead of your pen name.  The time for stylistic “improvements” is long past.
Step Three:  Read the entries immediately before or after yours, checking for typos and similar errors.  If you have the last entry, read the one before and the first.  If you have the first entry, read the one after and the last.
Step Four:  Include suggested changes in the email.

This is the compendium of “100 Stories by 100 Authors,” each story no more than 1000 words long, edited by Dani J. Caili and Jason Brick and with my story in it a 750-word epic, “The Junkie,” about current day medico-socialogical problems . . . and zombies.  And, the challenge further to be getting corrections in by the middle of next week, I made a point of returning mine (just one minor change needed) this evening.  Or as co-editor Brick expressed it, [i]f you can get this done by mid next week, that would be amazing. We’re still on track to ship in June, but we’ll have to hustle a wee bit. 

Two quick bits of news arrived late yesterday and today, the first from Editor Andrea Dawn that payment (ahem!) for my story “The Bala Worm” (cf. April 26, 6) will be coming in less than a week, with the Tell-Tale Press anthology CREATURES on schedule to appear on Kindle on May 23 with stories also available then on the publisher’s website.   “The Bala Worm,” a novelette of dragon hunting in modern Wales, is itself a reprint, originally published in BLACK DRAGON, WHITE DRAGON (Ricasso Press, 2008) and also appears in my collection THE TEARS OF ISIS.

Then today’s note comes from Editor/Publisher Jason Brick that things had gotten a wee bit behind for ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE (see March 27, et al.), so to catch up we’re going to . . . skip the step where everybody gets a pdf proof of the copy of their story individually, and roll right on to sending out a pdf proof of the book itself.  Which I’m hoping we’ll send out late next week.  This is an anthology of 100 stories of 1000 or fewer words apiece, “any genre, any style,” including my original flash piece,”The Junkie,” with publication still expected for June.

This afternoon brought the Bloomington Writers Guild’s last “First Sunday Prose and Open Mic” readings at Bears Place (cf. April 8, et al.) for spring, the series going on summer hiatus for June and July.  There were two featured readers:  novelist and essayist Dennis McCarty, whose latest book, THOUGHTS FROM A GENTLE ATHEIST, is expected to be available on Amazon later this month, read parts of three chapters from his REFLECTIONS:  ON TIME, CULTURE, AND SPIRITS IN AMERICA about Idaho’s Minidoka War Relocation Center and the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II; and mystery novelist and DJ/host of local WFHB radio’s weekly show “All That Jazz” Ray Zdonek read two short chapters from DIANA OF THE DUNES, the latest in his multi-volume Lee Kosac detective series.  Then, following a short break, there were five walk-on readers of which I was first with a holdover from last month, “Che,” originally published in the Summer 2006 BLEEDING QUILL, a flash fiction satire about the George W. Bush administration and how it defeated a terrorist Cuban zombie invasion of the moon.

It was the first new story acceptance for 2019, “The Junkie” (see January 21, 19), a 750 word epic of mean streets, addiction, and urban zombies.  Skid Row with a bite!  And, contracts all worked out, an edited proof copy came back yesterday from Editor Jason Brick for ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE with a request to get it back “by the first week of April.”  The book:  an anthology of 100 stories, each 1000 words or fewer, in any genre and/or any style.

So today I opened the attachment up and found few changes, mostly technical (e.g., changes in the form of dashes), checked them off, and back it went with a note that I had no quarrels.  Thus one more step taken toward publication, with more to be here as it becomes known.




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