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Firstly, this week marks the release of the first issue of FLAPPERHOUSE, a new magazine from editor Joe O’Brien. Joe is a long time visitor to the site, and I was honored that he asked me to submit. My story, “Axis Mundi”, (sample here!) is a sci-fi/horror story about derelict spaceships and divinity, is one of several new stories and poems to grace the pages of the first issue. It’s a terrific collection of varied voices, and the more I read, the more proud I am to be a part of it.
Secondly, I just finished True Detective last week. I wanted to hold off on the last episode for several years, just to inhabit the liminal space forever, but my wife demanded that we finish it. I’ve been enormously taken by the show, from the deliberate reference to the philosophy of Thomas Ligotti and other antinatalists in the first 15 minutes, to the series-wide use of weird fiction in general and Robert Chambers’ “The King in Yellow”in specific, the show was not only expertly written, shot and acted, it was also directly created to please me. Or, that’s how it felt across most of the 8 episodes. I’m fairly certain that this is, and will remain for some time, my favorite series on television, ever.
Since the show ended, I’ve been chewing on some things. One thing I’m maybe mildly disappointed with is that a lot of the intricacy of symbolism in set and costume design turned out to be coincidental more than intentional, but the show still has the feel of a puzzle box. And I adore puzzle boxes. With the writer mentioning that he’s a fan of some of my weird fiction authors (Ligotti, Barron, and Langan among them), and that he’s drawn direct inspiration from the genre (beyond the overarching King in Yellow references within the story), it had me on high alert for references, metaphors and symbolism. So, this is me pulling on threads and seeing what tumbles out.
I’ll try, Rust. Here’s my thoughts on one of the repeating images and concepts from the show: Black Stars…
So, here we are, 2013.
Sorry, yes, I am going to give away a copy of Jamais Vu Journal, Winter 2014, but at the end of this post (and one more on facebook, and one more on twitter), so feel free to scroll right past all this other hogwash.
Anyway, I didn’t quite hit my goals this year, but enough good was accomplished that I’m not going to lament about it too much.
I didn’t quite keep up a respectable output, still falling into the feast and famine patterns of writing a huge chunk and then not again for many days. Here’s the thing: I know “write every day” is the advice everyone gives writers, but… Sometimes that’s not possible. For me, with a demanding job and a family, it’s rarely possible, and just accepting that was a big step for me this year. It meant untangling a few threads of guilt at perceived failure from all thoughts of writing. If I found time, that became a good thing, not a reminder of yesterday’s failure . This translated into longer and longer stories, as I wrote four and five thousand words in a sitting. While I wrote two flash pieces this year for specific contests and calls, the other pieces I finished clocked in at 11k and 12k words, far longer than my old 2k word stories. I’m finding I quite like the wider canvas to work on, and that novelette and novella length stories are very difficult to find markets for… So, click through to see how this year stacked up:
Hello and welcome. It’s been a while since I had a formal update, but a lot of good things have happened. I’ve recently started a new job, as a narrative designer with Crystal Dynamics, which means that I now basically write and make things up for a full time living, and will be helping to tell stories in a franchise that I’ve loved for over a decade, Tomb Raider. I’m still a little starry-eyed about the whole affair. Additionally, I’ve completed a couple of longer pieces I’m quite proud of, one of which should see publication very soon. Here are some of the recent and upcoming releases I have planned in the next few months.
Miseria’s Chorale, a new horror anthology edited by David Nell, is now available from Amazon. Miseria’s Chorale contains my story “One”, as well as many many more stories from authors I have previously been honored to share pages with.
Click through for more recent releases and announcements.
You can look under Enter to Win on the Goodreads page to be entered into a drawing to win a free copy.
If you like free things, that is.
Cover by Justin T. Coons
After a bit of an unforeseen delay, the incredible Pseudopod podcast has just posted a reading of my story “The Blues”, read for you by Gabe Diani, writer and star of the fantastic horror-comedy “The Selling”.
Gabe, along with his partner-in-crime, Etta Devine, are the masterminds behind The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: The Robotic Edition, and are currently producing and gearing up for their next feature, Diani and Devine Meet the Apocalypse, a comedy road movie about two comedians caught unaware by the end of the world, or as they put it: “Like ‘The Road’…but funnier!”… which is perhaps the best tagline for a piece of art, ever. Check out their page, and when the Kickstarter is up, I’ll let you know.
Gabe and Etta are both old friends of mine, and I was honored that they volunteered to step in and read “The Blues” after the first reading suffered some issues. Their read turned out better than I could have hoped for, and I’m incredibly grateful to Shawn Garret, the editor of Psuedopod for all his help.
Having a story on Pseudopod is an enormous honor for me, as it was one of the reasons I started writing horror (4chan’s /x/ being my other big inspiration). I’m thrilled to have followed, at last in numerological sense, the incredible Thomas Ligotti, with episode 351 “The Bungalow House”, which was fantastic.
I am deeply appreciative to you all for your readership and support over the years, and thank you for being here with me. It would mean a great deal to me if you downloaded the show, left me feedback here, or at the Psuedopod Forums, and I would be especially grateful if you would share this episode with a friend if you liked it, or an enemy, if you didn’t.
Hit “Continue Reading” for some photographs of the locations in “The Blues”
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Jeff Clement and the good folks over at AuralStimulation have just sent me the following video, an awesome reading of “Dust” with music, stunning, eerie imagery, multiple actors and sound effects. Here it is, with my commentary, which is simply “wow”.
I’m a big fan of modern and old radio theater, and I think Jeff and company really nailed the aesthetic. There’s a lively community of people reading creepypastas on the YouTubes, and I’ve shared a handful before, but here’s a list I’ve compiled of all the ones I’ve found read from my stories. Hit “View Full Article” to see the rest.
It is my sincere pleasure to share with you Tom Festo’s film adaptation of “The Algorithm.”
For me, one of the many wonderful surprises was Zach Heyde’s creepy score. It reminds me in the best way of the “Session 9″ score. The original soundtrack is available on Zach’s bandcamp page, name your price. I’m listening to it, right now.
The latest anthology from Hazardous press is now available on Kindle or in Paperback. “Shifters: A Charity Anthology” includes a reworked version of my story “Collision”, which among other things, adresses the problem of conservation of mass among skinwalkers in the Arizona desert. Among other things. Shifters includes stories from Chris Larsen, Doug Murano, Rose Blackthorn, Jay Wilburn, and D. Alexander Ward, as well as David Wellington, Aaron Gudmunson, Dane Hatchell, Mandy DeGeit, Kris Freestone, Adam Millard, Brent Nichols, Terry Alexander, Steve Voelker, Max Booth III, Matthew Wilson, Beryl Knight, Lisamarie Lamb, Chantal Boudreau, Dana Wright, Lori Michelle, Rie Sheridan Rose, Dawn Napier, Jen White, Cameron Johnston, E.L. Kemper, Amanda Pillar, Jonah Buck, Emma Whitehall, Christine Morgan, Susannah Carlson, Robin Deffendall, Tracie McBride, and Erzabet Bishop. Cover art by Glenn Chadbourne, back cover art by Diana Whiley, interior illustrations by Kris Freestone and Leia Napier.
All proceeds from the sales of this anthology will go to the American Humane Association’s Red Star Rescue Team, providing disaster response services for pets and domestic animals.
Also newly released, “Another 100 Horrors” from Cruentus Libri Press. 100 stories from 100 writers, all exactly 100 words. My new (short) story “Shipwreck” is a part of this collection, and it’s available for both Kindle and paperback.
In future news, I am completing work on a historical horror story about the Siege of Constantinople and have completed a first draft of a very odd “Fields of Ur”. It’s still very very rough, but if you’re interested in seeing a completely unrevised initial draft, and would like to offer feedback, please send me an email and I would be happy to share it with you.
This autumn should see at least two more exciting releases: “The Blues” will be featured on the Psuedopod Podcast, and a version of “Before” will appear in Nightfall Magazine’s inaugural issue.
As always, if you’re so inclined to share your feedback, positive or negative, all us contributors would greatly appreciate it, either on Amazon or Goodreads.