Nanci at Horrorworld.org
gave me a brand
new message board, as the old one kept getting spammed.
Life is hard, but it's a lot harder if you're
If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate.
"Ode to a Grecian Urn" is worth any number of old ladies.
You can't teach an old dogma new tricks.
A bubba of mine, Joyce Tarpley, put together a fun book called
Life by Aphorisms and put it out through Publish
America. It's one of those things you keep on hand to
dip into whenever you need a smile, or an explanation.
I found the Redd Foxx quote above the very first time I cracked
the book open, and it seemed to me to pretty much deliver
the secret to life as we know it. You can pick it up
through BN or Amazon for yourself, or as fine fun gift for
someone who appreciates the fact that wisdom doesn't age,
even if it's often forgotten.
Tangentonline reviewed Cemetery Dance #49 and had
nice things to say about my piece, "Signal to Noise."
For the writers out there, and just plain curious, there's
a translation site that might prove useful if you have a need
for rough conversions from one language to another: http://babelfish.altavista.com.
Because you can't get enough monsters, here's a blog on
Marvel comic monsters—beware Fin Fang Foom! http://monsterblog.oneroom.org.
A sample teaser from my short
story, "Captivity," scheduled for Tales of the Unanticipated
26, is available at http://www.totu-ink.com/current.phtml,
where you can check out some of the other contributors, as
well! Order now right through the site.
Visit Wrath's blog at http://wordsofwrath.blogspot.com/
for a refreshing, uncompromisingly meaningful opinion
on life and horror.
Lost on the Darkside, edited by John Pelan, is available
at Amazon.com where at least one reviewer liked my contribution,
"The Crawl." With writers like Ramsey Campbell, David
D. Silva, Mike Laimo, Jessica Amanda Salmonson, Jeffrey Thomas,
David Niall Wilson and lots of others, how can you go wrong?
Speaking of available (and given that "Celebrant,"
another dark fantasy, didn't suck since it made the Year's
Best Honorable Mentions List) my collection of dark
fantasy stories set in a world out of time and space, Black
Orchids From Aum, is also still available in trade paperback
($13.95) or eBook ($5.00) at www.silverlakepublishing.com/catalog/aum.html.
Makes a great holiday present!
Speaking of holiday presents, don't forget:
Circles in the Hair, the anthology of the eponymous
writers' group to which I belong, is now available from Booklocker.com.
Terry Bisson, Nebula and Hugo Award-winning author and one
of our teachers, has said: “Open and read. Enjoy this
gourmet sampling of the boldest and most accomplished of today's
new voices in Fantasy, SF and Horror. CIRCLES IN THE HAIR
–– a delight to read.” Nancy Kress, another of our teachers
and also a Nebula and Hugo Award-winning author, has said:
"The greatest puzzle about CITH is not its name, or the group's
longevity or their willingness to navigate the wilds of New
York City in order to regularly meet and critique. The greatest
puzzle about CITH is something even more amazing: the quality
and variety of their output. Read all these stories and poems
and marvel at the puzzle that is CITH. You'll have plenty
of company... including me.”
CIRCLES IN THE HAIR, an anthology by the members of CITH,
features the work of Linda Addison, winner of the Bram Stoker
Award for Consumed Reduced to Beautiful Grey Ashes;
Keith R. A. DeCandido, author of The Brave and The Bold;
Gerard Houarner, author of Road to Hell; Gordon Linzner,
editor of Space and Time Magazine and contributor
to the World Fantasy Award-winning collection Museum of Horrors;
plus many more… http://www.booklocker.com/books/2235.html.
Dead Cat's Traveling Circus of Wonders and Miracle Medicine
Show, available for pre-order at Shocklines
Press. For samples of Gak art from the book, check out
For more (and immediate) Dead Cat goodness, try Dead
Cat, Bigger Than Jesus at Shocklines—paperback
Also available now is Shelf Life: Fantastic Stories
Celebrating Bookstores, edited by Greg Ketter, with stories
from Harlan Ellison, Ramsey Campbell, Gene Wolfe, Trish Cacek,
Melanie Tem, A. R. Morlan, Rick Hautala, and many others including
one from me. You can now order the unlimited hardcover trade
edition, much cheaper than the signed limited, at Shocklines.
In Delirium, edited by Brian Keene and published
by Delirium, will have my story, "Bringer of the Dead," as
well as pieces from many of the Delirium writers, and can
be pre-ordered at Shocklines.
The book is already out-of-print with the publisher, so if
you're interested in a piece of small press history and a
highly collectible collection of stories, hurry to the bookstores
that might still have copies available!
Best of Borderlands, edited by Elizabeth Monteleone,
is a Guaranteed Good Read at Shocklines
and includes my story, "Painted Faces," alongside an all-star
cast of writers, including Peter Straub, Stephen King, Ramsey
Campbell, and others published in the Borderlands series of
Dark Arts, the Horror Writers Association anthology,
which includes my story, "The Shape of the Empty Heart," as
well as stories from Tom Piccirilli, Michelle Scalise, Tim
Lebbon, John Rosenman, Charlee Jacob, Lucy Taylor, Brian Hodge,
Steve Tem, Jeff VanderMeer, can be pre-ordered at Shocklines.
Damned Nation, edited by Robert N. Lee and David
Wilbanks, will include my story, "The Alchemy From the Towers
of Silence," along with stories from Poppy Z. Brite, Tom Piccirilli,
Weston Ochse, Randy Chandler, Bev Vincent, and many others,
also available for pre-order at Shocklines.
Horrors Beyond, edited by William Jones, is available
right now, with my story, "The Blind," which has received
some kind words here and there, along with pieces from contributors
like Tim Curran, C.J. Henderson, Richard Lupoff, Cody Goodfellow,
Ann k. Shwader, and many others, available from Shocklines
and Elder Signs Press.
Best of Epitaphs, edited by Tom Piccirilli, features
many stories from the famed magazine Epitaphs, edited
by Tom Piccirilli, and features a few pieces from me, Natalia
Lincoln, Mike Laimo (his first Golden Eyes story!), Linda
Addison, and many others! Order from Shocklines.
The Last Pentacle of the Sun, Writings in Support of
the West Memphis Three, edited by M.W. Anderson and Brett
Alexander Savory, features "The Three Strangers" from me (Honorable
Mention in the latest St. Martins Year's Best Fantasy
and Horror, and once again is at Shocklines.
Dueling Minds, edited by Brian Freeman, from Endeavor
Press, featuring work from me, Tim Lebbon, Tom Piccirilli,
Brian Keene and Gary Braunbeck, inspired by the cover painting
by Alan Clark, available for pre-order at Shocklines.
for information on Breviaries 1, which will feature
a brand new Max story as well as a Brian Keene interview.
The disaster along the Gulf Coast is unfolding as the time
of this posting. The images and real life consequences emerging
from the area speak for themselves.Ê People interested
in donating can go to the Red
Cross. AOL and Yahoo members might be familiar with network
for good—they seem to have a FEMA-endorsed array
of charities and volunteer opportunities which might also
In personal news:
"The Crawl" should be out in the mass paperback anthology
Lost on the Darkside, edited by John Pelan, available
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror from St. Martins
Press, edited by Ellen Datlow and Kelly Link, included the
following of my stories published last year on their Honorable
Mentions List: "Celebrant," Cloaked in Shadow, "Ash
Man," Flesh & Blood Issue 15, "Dead Cat's Lick,"
chapbook Bedlam Press (and soon to be included in Dead
Cat's Traveling Circus of Wonders and Miracle Medicine Show,
also available from Bedlam Press), "No We Love No One," Damned:
An Anthology of the Lost, and "The Three Strangers," The
Last Pentacle of the Sun: Writings in Support of the West
Memphis Three. All these are still available through their
publishers (just scroll down to last year's entries for original
purchasing information) or at Shocklines.
"Painted Faces," a story of mine from Borderlands
4, published in 1994, has been selected for Best of Borderlands
1-5, to be published by Borderlands
Press. This will be a massive trade paperback with fifty
stories (!) including some absolute classics—check out
the table of contents on the advance
order page at Shocklines and pick up this bargain! If
you're going to Horrorfind, look for the book at the Borderlands
table, as I understand they hope to have copies available
at the convention.
James Beach at the new quarterly magazine Dark
Discoveries has bought "Signs of Death," written in
the week following 9/11 and originally published in my collection,
Visions Through A Shattered Lens, now out of print.
I'm glad the piece is still in circulation. If you'd like
to purchase of copy of the current issue, with work by Alan
Clark, Jeffrey Thomas, Elizabeth Blue and others, or back
issues, featuring equally impressive line-ups, visit their
site or www.shocklines.com.
Breviaries 1, the chapbook from www.indiegods.com
(who are adapting Keene's The Rising and producing
Lost Souls Magazine, featuring new work from Clive
Barker), is progressing apace, so keep a look out for it on
the site ("Like Smoke Rising From The Burning Ghats" will
be one of the stories included—as close to a Max origin
story as I dare at this point, not the whole story, but certainly
more than has been shown so far....)
Brutarian has accepted my short story, "Sometimes They Talk
Back," for publication in their year-end issue.
Dark Arts, the Horror Writers Association anthology,
for advanced orders (a story from me, "The Shape of the
Empty Heart," is in the line-up).
NeCon 25 turned out to be quite a bash. Linda and I served
as "co-toastpersons" (so to speak), and our duties were thankfully
limited to reading the Great List of Attendees from the program
book (after making a concerted effort to learn how to pronounce
many of the names) and making a pathetic attempt to announce
that there would be no "roast" (the public humiliation of
one of the big-name attendees) at this particular Necon. I
made sure to thank the organizers for taking it easy on us.
We also co-moderated the convention's first panel, The
Road To Horror: Short stories? Novels? Poetry? What leads
to success? with Mike Arruda, Tracey Carbone, John Harvey,
Dan Keohane, Holly Newstein, Weston Ochse, and Jeff Strand.
Much merriment ensued as we all tried to define success, and
explain how we were trying to achieve it. I really enjoyed
this panel,everyone was open and honest and it was truly inspiring
to hear everyone's approach. Judging from reactions afterwards,
the audience also had a good time.
Lots of new faces at the convention this year, which was
loads of fun, and there didn't seem to be as many drunken
casualties as usual, though every night folks stayed up to
watch the sun rise. David Morrell was a gem, truly a kind
and wise man, who shared his early background and influences
through a showing of a Route 66 episode. This was actually
better than an interview, he really opened up and showed us
what he's made of in a very unique demonstration. The art
show was grand, with Alan Clark making his return and showing
some very interesting collaborations with Jill Bauman (he
also gave Linda and me a private reading of a new work he's
putting together, which was surreal, chilling, sad and funny).
Elizabeth Massie showed off her art work (Linda and I bought
a few pieces) as well as performed with her sister in the
"roast." I won't say what she and her sister performed as,
since what happens at NeCon stays at NeCon, but suffice it
to say she and her family are extraordinarily talented and
hysterically funny. Look for her fiction
and art (I, of course, bought a circus piece featuring
3-Eyed Devil Cat—maybe some day 3-Eyed will meet Dead
By the way, along with many other campers, I had a short
piece published in the program book celebrating the convention
experience, a brief NeCon camper ghost story.
So start saving your pennies for next year's NeCon!
Twilight Tales has reprinted "The Unborn," from the 2002
anthology Dreaming of Angels, at the magazine section
(May/June 2005 if you're coming to this from sometime in the
future and care to look it up in their archives) of their
The SF Review reading last month was a lot of fun, taking
place in a gorgeous and classy downtown gallery. Jim Freund,
who runs the series, taped Linda and me and said it would
be broadcast soon on his radio show, Hour of the Wolf, which
runs Saturday mornings 5-7 AM. If you're interested, you can
check out Jim's
site or contact him about when that might happen (you
can listen to the webcast if you're not in the NYC area).
The Wildwood Conference was also very enjoyable. Linda and
I had never been to the Jersey shoreline, so it was all news
to us. The Conference had about fifty people at various stages
of writing development, and I used my assigned subject of
"The Great American Novel" to talk about the realities of
writing, which seemed to be a theme for the event. Linda inspired
everyone with her talk on poetry and publishing. We spent
the rest of the week at Cape May, introduced to us by one
of the conference attendees who took us to her home on the
beach and showed us around, and we absolutely fell in love
with the area.
Coming up is NeCon, where Linda and I are Toastmasters.
I don't know if there are any memberships left, but you can
out the site. Many odd things are afoot, I understand.....
For those of you interested, there's a dictionary
in limerick form coming together (brought to my attention
by fellow CITHian and award winning historical novelist Faith
Wicked Carnival is an online magazine available in
PDF format featuring a very wide variety of horror-oriented
material, including interviews of horror folks you all know,
pieces on classic and modern horror movies, fiction and lot
of evil clown art. Give them a
Our final reading before we take our summer break will
be Monday, June 6th at 7:00 PM, in our usual venue at
the South Street Seaport Museum -- the Melville Gallery.
(Details and directions below.) To close out the season,
two veterans of the series return to grace us with their
The New York Review of Science Fiction Readings
South Street Seaport Museum
Linda Addison is the first African-American
to receive the HWA Bram Stoker award for her latest
collection of poetry, Consumed, Reduced To Beautiful
Grey Ashes, published by Space & Time. Catch
her work in Dark Dreams anthology (Kensington),
Dark Thirst (Pocket Book), Dead Cat Traveling
Circus of Wonders and Miracle Medicine Show (Bedlam
Press), Dark Matter (Warner Aspect), and Twilight
Tales Presents: SPOOKS and Fantastic Stories magazine.
Her poetry and stories have been listed on the Honorable
Mention list for the annual Year's Best Fantasy and
Horror and Year's Best Science-Fiction.
Linda was Poet Guest of Honor at the World Horror
Convention here in New York City this past April.
She is a member of CITH, SFWA, HWA and SFPA. Her site
is at http://www.cith.org/linda.
Gerard Houarner fell to Earth the year the
Brooklyn Dodgers won the World Series. He is a product
of the NYC school system and the City College of New
York, where he studied writing under Joseph Heller and
Joel Oppenheimer while crashing hallucinogenic William
Burroughs seminars back in the day, and earned a couple
of Masters degrees in psychology from Columbia University
so he could make a living. After having over two hundred
short stories, four collections, three novels, two anthologies,
and some questionable material about a character named
Dead Cat published in the past thirty years, he must
occasionally remind people he only works for, and does
not actually reside in, a psychiatric center. Look for
the latest in Surreal Magazine; The Last Pentacle
of the Sun: Writings in Support of the West Memphis
Three; Damned, An Anthology of the Lost (reviewed
in May Locus); Dead Cat's Circus of Wonders
and Miracle Medicine Show, co-edited with GAK, coming
out in August. Or check out http://www.cith.org/gerard.
As always, admission to the event is free, but we suggest
a $5 donation.
Doors open at 6:30
The South Street Seaport Museum's Melville Gallery
213 Water Street (near Beekman)
Take 2, 3, 4, 5, J, Z, or M to Fulton Street; A and
C to Broadway-Nassau. Walk east on Fulton Street to
Take M15 (South Ferry-bound) down Second Ave. to Fulton
From the West Side: take West Street southbound. Follow
signs to FDR Drive Take underpass, keep right; use Exit
1 at end of underpass. Turn right on South Street, six
From the East Side, take FDR Drive south to Exit 3 onto
South Street Proceed about 1 mile.
The New York Review of Science Fiction
is celebrating its 16th Year.
Subscribe or submit articles to the magazine! Check
New York Review of Science Fiction
PO. Box 78, Pleasantville, NY, 10570
Linda and I will be appearing as speakers at the North Wildwood
Beach Writers Conference which takes place on June 7,8 and
9 at the Wildwoods Convention Center in Wildwood and the Montego
Bay Hotel in North Wildwood.
The conference will cover writing subjects including playwriting,
poetry, journalism, novels, short stories and literary agents.
All of the seminars on June 7 and 8 are free. A welcome reception
with hors d'oeuvres on Tuesday night at the Montego Bay will
afford attendees an opportunity to meet the writers and network
with them. Admission is $10. On Wednesday night, June 8, author
and literary agent Darrell Schweitzer will be the keynote
speaker on the subject of literary agents at the Montego.
Admission is $20. And on Thursday morning, a panel discussion
on "Writing For A Living" will take place at a "Breakfast
With The Writers" session at which the guests will be able
to ask questions about what they have learned at the conference.
Admission is $7. The breakfast will be served at the Montego.
For further conference information and to make reservations,
call 522-7722 or 1-800-882-7787 from out of town. The public
has the option of attending individual events or all of the
The anthology Damned Nation, edited by Dave Wilbanks
and Robert N. Lee, has an ordering page up at http://www.hellboundbooks.com/damnednation.html
The Dead Cat Poet Cabal, written by me and the Poet
Cabal, was released in the freebie bags at WHC 2005. 370 copies
were offered. If you threw yours away, you should have tried
to score a couple of bucks for it on eBay. Hell, I would have
bought if off you. In fact, I bought the cover, by GAK (see
it at Rain's
site, from his exhibit at the con. For the record, the
chapbook is a Dead Cat short story with the voices of the
dreaded Poet Cabal provided, in poetry form of course, by
Michelle Scalise, Tom Piccirilli, Linda Addison, Rain Graves,
Charlee Jacob, Jill Bauman, Mark McLaughlin, David Niall Wilson,
William P. Simmons, John Lawson, Kurt Newton, GAK, Michael
Arnzen, Marge Simon, Darrell Schweitzer, Corrine DeWinter.
So all you bibliographers now have to contend with a dead
cat on your lists.
I had the pleasure of sitting, quite by accident, next to
William Jones, the editor of Horrors Beyond, which
just happens to include my story, "The Blind." He also runs
Elder Signs Press, which had produced an impressive
array of publications.
WHC was a blur this year, I was simultaneously helping prepare
the hospital I work for to get through a massive survey, and
I also had ongoing family issues, so I couldn't take time
off and was distracted. GAK and I did get some of the Dead
Cat Circus of Wonders and Miracle Medicine Show contributors
to put their paw prints on the signature sheets, though Wrath
did his best to elude us, and Gary Braunbeck actually did.
Tim Lebbon was excused because he had so much business to
take care of and his lovely wife and daughter were accompanying
him (they also made the New York Post!).
Highlights of the con included some good conversations with
the expected, and a few unexpected, fellow attendees (I never
know who'll actually talk to me and who'll blow me off), a
nice mass signing in which I spent most of the time away from
my allotted space (as if anybody might be looking for me)
and had some more great conversations, and Poetry Guest of
Honor Linda Addison's Poetry Jam on Saturday night, in which
15 poets read/performed for three rounds and an hour and a
half to an audience at peak of about 40 folks. On Sunday afternoon,
Linda and I, Tom Piccirilli and Michelle Scalise, Adam Meyer,
and Monica from Rue Morgue (knock out poetry performer) took
in a bit of the town and spent some time in MOMA, which was
a lot of fun. I hardly went to any parties, since most days
I had to run home to go to work the next day.
The Cloaked in Shadow anthology from Fantasist Enterprises
has a new
link. My story from the book, "Celebrant," will apparently
be listed under Honorable Mentions in the upcoming Year's
Best Fantasy and Horror from St. Martin's Press.
Tales of the Unanticipated has accepted "Captivity,"
scheduled for publication in issue 26, due out August 2005.
Indie Gods has accepted a new Max novelette, "Like Smoke
Rising From the Burning Ghats," for a promotional chap book
which also feature work by other writers. The story will explore
Max's earliest years in Calcutta, as well as some of the Painfreak
mythology. To find out how to get one, go to www.indiegods.com
(and while you're there, check out an interview they conducted
with me a little while ago).
Congratulations to bubbas Tom Piccirilli, Michael Laimo,
Lee Thomas, Brian Freeman, Trish Cacek, John Everson, Doug
Clegg, Tim Lebbon, Michael Arnzen, Peter Straub, Nick Mamatas,
Tom Monteleone, Charlee Jacob, Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link, Gavin
Grant, Mark McLaughlin, Corinne DeWinter (whose nominated
poetry collection was published by Space and Time),
Brett Savory, Jack Fisher, and Judi Rohrig, who've all been
nominated for at least one, in some cases two Stoker Awards
in various categories by the Horror Writers Association! And
congratulations as well to the handful of other nominees I
either never met or haven't really hung out with. Best of
luck to all.
From April 1 to 15, WKCR in NYC is running a Billie Holiday
marathon—everything she ever recorded, apparently, including
entire recording sessions, with all the side conversations,
stories, carrying-on, gossip, and multiple takes. You can
pick it up at 89.9FM in NY/NJ and online.
This is the stuff.
review of Last Pentacle is up at the Ultraverse
site. Also, there's an interview
with the editors as well as a very sympathetic look at the
book over at the popmatters site.
Surreal Magazine #1 has been published (though I
haven't seen it yet) with my story, "Chimera." I know it was
published because Tangentonline already has a review of the
issue up, though, alas, my piece did not completely please
the reviewer, who found
it an "excellent" approach to an old idea but lacking only
a "crisp" ending. He must have thought the story was REALLY
too long, since he lists it as a novelette and it's well within
the short story range. Suggestions for a crispier ending welcome
(and no, I won't leave it in the fryer another ten minutes,
and no, I won't put it in the bottom refrigerator drawer).
I know, I know, you didn't think it was coming, but it did.
It's here. The latest Space and Time, #99. And "they"
said it wouldn't happen!
Red Scream, a new magazine with its first issue scheduled
to come out mid-April, has accepted "The Other Box" for their
second issue. The first issue will feature fiction by Tom
Piccirilli, John Everson and Wrath James White, so look out
for that one!
Because you never have enough of this...
In a creatively quiet month due to circumstance beyond the
muse's control, I did manage to place a piece, "The Blind,"
in an anthology from Elder Signs Press called Horrors Beyond.
I'm told the book will be available at WHC in NYC, so look
for it there. (Along with the Dead Cat chap, Dead Cat and
the Poet Cabal).
Dead Cat's Traveling Circus of Wonders and Miracle Medicine
Show is heading your way. Slowly, but surely.
Originally scheduled for Horrorfind 2004, then WHC 2005,
looks like we'll finally be releasing it for Horrorfind 2005.
I can't imagine how much GAK art will be in there, or how
high the quality of the book will be, and I'm GAK's co-editor.
But it's going to be awesome. Those of you who attended Horrorfind
last year got a little taste of it from Dave's promotional
chapbook featuring one of my stories from the book, Dead
Cat's Lick, illustrated by GAK. Dave is getting ready
to send out the signature sheets, and signings have been arranged
with contributors attending WHC in April.
To give folks a taste of the Dead Cat for WHC, I've collaborated
on a piece called Dead Cat and the Poet Cabal with,
of course, the Poet Cabal. (I'd tell you who they are, but
then they'd kill me. Names will be named in the book, however.)
The chapbook will be a promotional giveaway at WHC, probably
for the first two or so hundred registrants, and hopefully
at NeCon this year. The cover will be done by GAK. So if you're
planning to come to WHC, register early Ð don't forget
there's going to be a Jack Ketchum story chapbook for the
first two hundred registrants, so that will REALLY be a nice
collectible. Hopefully some of you will be into Dead Cat,
For the latest review of THE LAST PENTACLE OF THE SUN: WRITING
IN SUPPORT OF THE WEST MEMPHIS THREE, go here: http://www.eye.net/eye/issue/issue_12.02.04/arts/books.html.
"Skins" has been accepted for the 2006 edition of John Pelan's
Darkside anthology series, Alone on the Darkside.
"Bringer of the Dead," a science fiction horror story featuring
aliens, zombies, and some other stuff, was presented to Shane
Raley as part of a Brian Keene assembled and edited anthology
as a holiday gift.
The reading at the Bluestockings book store was a blast:
it was quite something to hear the passion with which filmmakers
Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsy have pursued the cause The
Last Pentacle of the Sun: Writings in Support of the West
Memphis Three was created to support. Contributors Mike
Marano, Peg Aloi, Jenn Onofrio and myself also read from the
book, and the crowd packed the store, and books flew off the
Linda and I also attended the annual SFWA mill and swill
at the Society of Illustrators brownstone on the East side
of Manhattan, the most amazing venue I've ever seen. The walls
are covered with popular art history. It's like having a party
at a museum. And being in the presence of all that wonderful
imagery makes being ignored by NYC editors, publishers and
agents so much more tolerable (sometimes one has to check
the name tag to make sure "I don't matter" hasn't been printed
in place of one's name).
The Damned Nation anthology (as opposed to The Damned
anthology, in which I was recently published with the likes
of Charlee Jacob, Gary Braunbeck, Brian Hodge, Jack Ketchum,
and Tom Piccirilli, available at www.shocklines.com,
no, really, check it out) edited by David Wilbanks and Robert
N. Lee have bought a story from me called "The Alchemy of
the Towers of Silence." It's nice to know I'm consistent in
I recently came across a fascinating website called http://lostpages.net.
Run by literary jack-of-all-trades Claude Lalumière,
it features essays, reviews and fiction by a number of fascinating
people. I was drawn to the website by its special on Richard
Calder, a phenomenal and hallucinogenic sf/dark fantasy/whatever
writer whose main contribution to his issue is a series of
essays and reviews on the feminine daemonic in books, music
and film, which include an extraordinary summary and analysis
of Sax Rohmer's Sumuru series (a kind of feminine answer to
Fu Manchu) that starts and ends by toying with the collector's
fetish, and takes the reader on a ride through gender politics,
philosophy, mythology, anthropology, history, and MORE. Amazing
stuff, provocative and inspirational. There's also a Halloween
Special and a D.F. Lewis special up for this year, and more
material from 2003 in their archives.
In time for the holidays, artist Colleen Crary is running
a great studio auction showcasing some very cool and beautiful
pieces. Make sure you check out her
store as part of your holiday shopping!
The Last Pentacle of the Sun: Writings in Support of
the West Memphis Three, edited by M.W. Anderson and Brett
Alexander Savory, has been released! It's available at (wait,
let me think, it's at the tip of my tongue) SHOCKLINES!
as well as fine bookstores everywhere.
If you're interested in finding out more about the book
and the cause it supports, visit www.arsenalpulp.com.
The filmmakers who created the original documentary bringing
this event to light will be at the Nov. 5th NYC book launch
at Bluestockings, 172 Allen Street, 7PM, along with some of
the contributors, including me, so come on down to support
this book. If you can't come down, order in.
A review of Cemetery Dance 49 was published on Tangentonline,
and the reviewer had some nice things to say about the issue's
fiction in general, as well as my
As a fiction writer interested in the confluence of the
fantastic and the human, I don't always think about the impact
of a story beyond sparking a sense of wonder and terror in
myself and, hopefully, a reader. But it is interesting to
think of story in broader terms, and there's an interesting
(particularly the article under Resources about the 6 stories
you need to know how to tell), which reminded me of the different
functions story performs. I found it useful in terms of reading
to an audience, writing introductions and non-fiction, and
even as another technique to bring characters to life (stories
they might tell each other about themselves). Another interesting
"The Wound of Her Making," originally published in the Delirium
2002 anthology Dark Testament, was reprinted in Anthologie
Emblemythiques 5/Mythophages. It was quite cool seeing
(and reading) the story in French.
I'll be reading from my story in the benefit anthology,
Last Pentacle of the Sun: Writings in Support of the West
Memphis 3, on Friday, November 5th at the Bluestockings
Bookstore located at 172 Allen Street, between Stanton
and Rivington, at 7PM. There will be other contributors at
the reading, though I can't tell you who because I don't know
yet. The book was reviewed favorably in Rue Morgue,
and my story, along with Elizabeth Massie's, even got mentioned.
Come by, buy a book, say hi. Or, buy a copy from Amazon or
Dave Barnett's The Damned anthology has received
some good reviews in both Paula Guran's Darkecho
newsletter and in Fangoria, and my story, "No We
Love No One," has been well received. So what are you waiting
for? Jacob, Piccirilli, Hodge, Lee, Ketchum, are you kidding
me? Pick this anthology up before it sells out. It's a classic.
(And you know where to pick it up, dontcha?) www.shocklines.com.
Cloaked in Shadows, edited by W.H. Homer, 22 dark
tales of elves, including stories by Tim Curran, Angeline
Hawkes-Craig, K. D. Wentworth and many others, including myself,
is available from Fantasist Enterprises, retail $16.00, order
direct for $12.80 from their site, www.fantasistent.com.
Dueling Minds, an anthology edited by Brian Freeman
announced a while back, has regained its small press legs
at Endeavor Press. Look for more news soon on the book, which
will feature fiction from Tim Lebbon, Tom Piccirilli, Brian
Keene, Gary Braunbeck, and myself, based on a cover painting
by Alan Clark.
Inhuman Magazine, which is published, edited and
fully and profusely illustrated by the legendary Allen Koszowski,
has accepted the short story, "The Chrysalis King."
Indie Gods Publishing is a funky little place just starting
out, covering music, publishing and independent arts and artists
in general. There are reviews, links, interviews (Doug Clegg,
Robert Englund and Doug Bradley, and a new
one with me as well as others), some samples of works
in progress, and a message board. Those of you with eclectic
tastes might find this one interesting. Bill did get me talking
about music, which is something I don't think I've ever done
The NYC launch for The Last Pentacle of the Sun: Writings
in Support of the West Memphis Three, edited by M. W.
Anderson and Brett Alexander Savory, will take place Friday,
November 5th at 7 PM at the Bluestockings
Bookstore, located at 172 Allen Street, between Rivington
and Stanton. There's no final lost of participants yet, but
I'll be there.
A review of The Last Pentacle of the Sun will be
appearing in the October (Halloween) issue of Rue Morgue.
I have no idea what they're going to say, or what stories
they're going to mention (okay, looking at the TOC, I have
a pretty good idea which stories are going to be mentioned),
but keep an eye out for the issue and see what they say.
Pentacle of the Last Sun merchandise:
Horrorfind, Baltimore: We made the trek down to Maryland
for the annual Horrorfind, this time with David Sparks riding
along with us. Friday night was Linda's signing at a Baltimore
bookstore owned by the legendary Zane, an African-American female
writer who has "come out" recently in the pages of Time
Magazine and other places (pictures of her had not been published
and she was a mystery to her fans). The signing was for Brandon
Massey's anthology, Dark Dreamers, and 13 out of the
20 authors in the book made an appearance. HUNDREDS of books
were sold as African-American women packed the store for HOURS
buying copies, none of us had ever seen such a thing before.
An amazing sight. I opened the book to the page for Linda's
story so she could sign quickly, and quite a few of the other
writers were jealous, get your own assistants, kids! We all
went out to dinner, afterwards, and it was quite an evening.
The next day, Linda held her poetry jam with John Lawson, which
rocked, and attended the first-ever African-American horror
writer panel, which was also packed. I did a reading of "Dead
Cat's Lick," a story from the upcoming Dead Cat's Traveling
Circus of Wonders and Miracle Medicine Show. Dave from Necro/Bedlam
produced a stunning little freebie chap of the story with art
by GAK to publicize the collection. We gave away a bunch at
Dave's table to customers and friends who dropped by. Shocklines.com
has the remaining few, which are going to anyone who buys one
of GAK's GAK-o-lanterns, so if you're interested check out Shocklines
(and how could you NOT be interested in GAK art?). We did the
usual party thing, though not with as much abandon as in our
(apparently) recently mis-spent youth, and got home safe, though
it was harrowing to hear Floridian tales of fleeing the hurricane,
or folks from there not being able to get in touch with loved
Of course, as of this writing, our Floridian friends are
again being assaulted by the weather, our good wishes go out
I recently ran into a file conversion problem with an old
word processing program and couldn't get a copy of an old
story from the Leading Edge Model D days. If you've ever had
a similar problem (I guess it's a problem unique to us old-timers),
I found a service that's pretty cheap and which you may find
helpful at http://www.acii.com/online.htm.
Another valuable resource for writers is the Sacred Texts
site, which collects out of copyright books on myth and religion
from a wide range of cultures. Great stuff: http://www.sacred-texts.com/
Flesh and Blood 15 is now available with my story
"Ash Man." Other contributors include Doug Clegg, with a piece
about The Dark Game, as well as K.D. Wentworth, Dennis Sjolie,
Paul A. Toth, Andrew Baumann, and Nathan Tyree, as well as
a passel of poets: Bruce Boston, Richard SanFilippo, Chad
Hensley, Jacie Ragan, Marge Simon, Paul Whyte, Harrison Howe,
Daniel Arenson, John Hayes, and an uncredited Steve Rasnic
Tem (thought I'd miss that one, eh?). There's also an interview
with China Mieville and book reviews, all for six bucks from
the usual sources, www.shocklines.com
or look for it at your local BN or Borders, since Flesh
and Blood now has national distribution.
Cemetery Dance 49 is now available with my story
"Signal to Noise." Also included are three (!) interviews
(Holder, Matheson and Morrell), and stories by Nancy Holder,
Lawrence C. Connolly, bubba Sherry Decker, Clifford V. Brooks,
Tony Richards, as well as non-fiction contributions from the
"usual suspects." Available in the same places as above.
The short story "Chimera" has been sold to Surreal Magazine.
Apparently, I am also to be included, in the form of a Dead
Cat story illustrated by GAK, in an anthology
dedicated to the theme of cockroach suckers, to be published
by Catalyst Press, proceeds to benefit the charity Pro-Literacy
Worldwide in the name of the late Richard Laymon. There is
just no way you can miss this.
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 17th edition is
out. Three stories published last year were on the Honorable
Mention List: "Eight Dead Shrimp," from Tales of the Unanticipated
24; "She Who Speaks for the Dead," from John Urbancik's website
Dark Fluidity; and "The Road's Mobius Smile," from Bare Bones
4. A couple of stories from Space and Time magazine
also made the list: Jeff Carlson's "Monsters" and Jennifer
Crow's "Star-Blind." A poem from the same issue, 97, also
made it: Corinne DeWinter's "Moon in the Long Night." So go
order that issue 97 of Space and Time!
NeCon 24 was a special one for us this year because our
friend and bubba, Tom Piccirilli, was Guest of Honor. Linda
and I appointed ourselves his "handlers" and made sure he
got to his appointed panels and events on time, straightened
his collar (because Michelle wasn't around to do that stuff),
and otherwise did our best to orient him to the wild and funky
ways of NeCon. This year, the convention was also held at
a college at Newport, right by the Cliff Walk, where you can
walk for miles and look at the sea to one side, and an endless
row of palatial "summer cottages" for the rich on the other.
Next year will be NeCon's 25th anniversary, with special guests
and plans afoot, and a strict attendance limit (I believe
200), so if you'd like to attend make sure to visit their
site and keep track of their opening registration next year.
For a picture collection that truly captures the spirit,
the essence, the high intellectual standard and literary pedigree
of this convention, check out Jack
Fisher's site. Truly, images for the ages....
After the convention, we stayed at Lizzie Borden's house,
now a bed and breakfast, for a night with a group of other
horror writers, there's just no other way to experience a
haunted house than with horror writers. Visit Lisa Mannetti's
site for some
pictures of the Lizzie Borden house experience.
If all the above has inspired you to attend conventions,
definitely start tracking NeCon 25 for advanced registration.
And while you're at it, think about World
Horror in 2005, in NYC.
HWA NYC meeting report: A half dozen of us gathered at the
last meeting at a very cool tavern, Druids, including guest
J.A. Konrath, who's hit it big with his new Jack Daniels mystery
web site has, among other things, a ton of tips for new
writers and teaches a writing course in Chicago.
"The Crawl" has been accepted to the John Pelan's Lost
on the Darkside anthology, scheduled for a September 2005
release from ROC.
Bubba Michael McCarty, whose interviews of genre favorites
were compiled in Giants of the Genre, and who also
has an upcoming collection coming out from Wildside Press
called Dark Duets (collaborations with Charlee Jacob,
Mack McLaughlin, Jeff Thomas and many others), has a new site
up at: www.geocities.com/mccartyzone.
Dead Cat's Traveling Circus of Wonders and Miracle Medicine
Show has hit a patch of rough road.
The original plan was to have the book ready for Horrorfind.
However, the task of illustrating 31 stories and "bits," many
of which either require or have inspired more than one illustration,
all apparently in color, has proven a tad monumental. Progress
continues on what will be GAK's artistic magnum opus, with
quality and design trumping an arbitrary deadline. On the
positive side, GAK reports he's having a great time doing
The new target is to have the book out by WHC in NYC next
year, possibly earlier to get some "buzz" going for the convention.
We're planning to release a little freebie flyer/chap/sample
to Dave's customers and interested parties at Horrorfind,
a writing sample, an illo, maybe some of GAK's DC sketches,
just to remind people the book is coming. Stop by Dave's Necro
table, maybe buy his mammoth The Damned anthology with
that killer line-up I've been talking about, or the latest
Lee, or Mehitobel Wilson, or Jeffrey Thomas, and get your
Anyway, the project still lives. It's just going to be more
beautiful than originally planned.
Sorry about that.
The Damned, Dave Barnett's Necro Publications ten
year anniversary anthology, has been released and it is a
thing of beauty, as usual from Necro Publications. Jack Ketchum,
Brian Hodge, Ed Lee and Tom Piccirilli are the guys on the
cover, to give you an idea of what's in store. I have a piece
in it, too, as well as Charlee Jacob, Gary Braunbeck, John
Benson, Jeffrey Thomas, Mehitobel Wilson, Patrick Lestweka
and Doc Sollamen, all stories illustrated by Erik Wilson.
Check this book out at www.shocklines.com
or at Necro
Publications, the publisher's site.
Linda and I were at the HWA Stoker weekend in NYC June 4-6
(Linda was the "Vanna" award and award-recipient handler at
the banquet, in her purty wedding dress). Monica and her assistants
did a spectacular job organizing the event, and the banquet
was beautiful (hint to other writer-oriented events: buffet
dinners work, especially if you throw in a wide variety of
food). Too many people and conversations to single-out, though
at one point Tim Lebbon did become intimate with our quesadilla
at the after-party (note to Anglophiles: the stuff has interesting,
even alarming, effects on the English). After Chris Golden
hoisted Jack Ketchum across his shoulders and spun and carried
him around a bit (and, unlike 11 years ago, did not get himself
thrown out of the bar), Linda and I bracketed Tim between
us and lifted him in a fit of (perhaps misguided) inspiration.
Ole Jack liked what he saw and picked up his feet and we did
a mini-Lebbon parade. Tim liked this so much, when Linda and
I simultaneously (and chastely) kissed him goodnight on the
cheeks, he fell into our arms and we had to lift the guy up
again. He threw his feet around someone and very nearly was
kidnapped to the Bronx, where perhaps we might have convinced
him to ghost write for us for quesadillas (lots of Mexican
immigrants in our neighborhood, and we have at least one nice
restaurant that also serves potent margaritas). ANYWAY, much
fun was had by all, and you're welcome to check out the award
winners and all that official stuff at the
The upcoming anthology I've been talking about, The Last
Pentacle of the Sun: Writings in Support of the West Memphis
Three, has their
promotional site up. For further information on the case,
please visit http://www.wm3.org/.
A further note from Brett, one of the editors:
Just a quick note to let you know that all three
Amazons (UK, USA, and CAN), as well as B & N, now have THE
LAST PENTACLE OF THE SUN available for pre-order. Matt Schwartz
at Shocklines.com said he'd get the book listed there today,
too. So go tell friends, family, fans, and colleagues they
can pre-order their copies now. It's currently 30% off at
Amazon.com, 20% off at Amazon.ca, 10% off at Amazon.co.uk,
and 10% off at B & N.
Here are the direct links:
"How Do We Say Goodbye," first published
a few years ago, is going to be reprinted in a Best of Gothic.net
anthology coming to you soon.
"Deep Down Under Where the Doggies Don't Go," a satirical
science fiction novella, has sold to Fantastic Magazine
for publication in 2006. (For all you Space and Time
contributors who've patiently accepted the magazine's long
publication wait, here's the turn of the karmic wheel you've
been waiting for, I hear you laughing!)
News out of the blue: According to Silver Lake Publishing,
my collection, Black Orchids From Aum (which SLP published,
of course), made the Fictionwise Dark Fantasy Best Selling
list in April. Who knew? Thanks to whoever's buying the book,
hope you enjoyed it!
The latest issue of Space and Time (#98) is finally
out this month featuring stories and poems by M.Christian,
Darrell Schweitzer, Natalia Lincoln, Sherry Decker, Christina
Sng, and others (we've already received raves about the cover,
by Katherine Hasell, and stories like "The Zeus Affliction"
by William J. Gagnon and "Scarlet Ribbons" by Tess Collins).
Send Gordon ten bucks for this and the next issue of the oldest
small press genre magazine still publishing (38 years and
counting), where you can catch tomorrow's stars (as Gordon
did when he published folks like Orson Scott Card and Scott
Alan Zimmerman, owner of the late, lamented Science Fiction,
Mysteries and More bookstore in NYC is holding an auction
to move his inventory. You can visit the site and perhaps
score a deal at www.lotauctions.com.
For those of you who tried to find Lord Chaz's site for New
Orleans tour information, he's apparently moved. Information
onÊhis excellent and entertaining tours can now be found
Linda and I attended ICON 23 and once again had a great
time, though not without the usual Long Island car trauma
(wrong turns that lead into inescapable mazes of death, directions
that said "3 miles" to a turn but actually meant "9," and
the juice running out of remote alarm keys leading to a stalled
Highlights included hanging out with Scott Edelman, Terry
McGarry, Gordon Linzner, CITHians Nancy and Katherine (who
did the cover of the latest Space and Time Ð check that
out!!!!), as well as your webmistress and mine, Natalia Lincoln;
a couple of fun late-night horror panels, one very well attended,
with folks like Amy Grech, Nick Mamatas, Paul DiFilippo (just
meeting this guy, who's been promoting the small press and
quirky books in the pages of Asimov's SF magazine for years,
and was one of my heroes long before he said a few kind words
about my stuff in those columns, was a thrill), and a gentleman
I can only remember as Spoor.
Julie Schwartz, Living Legend and yearly guest at this convention
who just recently passed away, was sorely missed. Diane Brown,
the Writers Track coordinator, received an autographed picture
with Julie, David Kyle, Ray Bradbury (who also drew a halo
over his own head) and Forry Ackerman from the con committee
and was understandably thrilled. Another legend, David Kyle,
was in attendance in his trademark red jacket (noting he was
the eldest of the remaining survivors of those good old days),
and was his usual impressive self: a kind, energetic gentleman
(he was actually helping a younger Daniel Keyes, who had injured
himself at the hotel, off the stage at one point) of the old
school, keen on the details of civility, with a sophisticated
eye on the social dynamics going on around him. Like Julie,
he helped shape the genre world we live in with his Gnome
Press, and was as always amusing and pointed, as when he talked
about publishing Asimov, Heinlein, and Clarke without ever
finding anything to edit in their work, and publishing Robert
Howard and finding his work just too complicated to edit.
His son is apparently starting a small press called Red Jacket,
to reissue old Gnome Press editions, so keep an eye out for
As the weekend went on, Linda and I were serenaded by Vaughn
Armstrong, multiple-alien actor from Star Trek, singing his
Star Trek blues. At a music and sf panel, we listened to Carl
Frederick playing a recordings of music he "found" by assigning
tonal values to the genetic code of a fruit fly (in "classical"
and "jazz" styles). One of the latest Dead Cat stories (a
Lord Buckley interpretation of Dead Cat and Cthulu) from the
upcoming Dead Cat's Traveling Circus of Wonders and Miracle
Medicine Show went over well at a reading shared with
Linda Addison. Gordon Linzner, publisher of Space and Time,
scored a badass cane with a skull and bone handle, inspiring
me to score my own damn badass skull-handle cane. We then
carried our badass canes to the masquerade (we just posed,
we didn't parade). The scoring prize, however, went to a limited
edition Nightmare Before Christmas Jack figure with multiple
faces at half-price, which we discovered, after purchase,
also contained a dozen character figurines inserted into the
packaging along the outside border. Yee-hah!
There was even an hour of peace and quiet in the warm Saturday
sun watching clouds, the moon, folks in costume parade around,
and armored men fight to figurative death.
From Brett Savory:
Mine and M. W. Anderson's West Memphis Three anthology will
be published in early October by Arsenal
The anthology is called "Last Pentacle of the Sun: Writings
in Support of the West Memphis Three." Sales of the book will
raise money for the defense of the "West Memphis Three," young
men tried and found guilty of a murder through a disturbing
pattern of public hysterics, official misconduct, and completely
illogical judicial conclusions. These young men were convenient
suspects not because of evidence, but because they wore black,
listened to heavy metal music, and liked horror fiction. It
is a very disturbing situation. Check out the site created
to raise awareness of the case:
The book will be made up of 13 works of fiction and 8 works
of non-fiction, plus one set of lyrics, some black-and-white
photos, and several black-and-white illustrations, which,
when all is said and done, comes out to about 70,000 words.
Contributors are (in alphabetical order):
Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky
Gary A. Braunbeck
Poppy Z. Brite & Caitlin R. Kiernan
Adam Greene & David Niall Wilson
Paul G. Tremblay
The more people know about this book, the better, because
time really is running out. And with two films about the case
coming out later this year, a feature film, West
Memphis Three and Devil's
Knot, based on Mara Leveritt's book, the timing of
this anthology's release couldn't be better.
Please take some time to look into this case, and help us
reverse this horrendous injustice.
Okay. Here's the news.
Linda and I did indeed "run off" (after 4-5 months planning)
to Mardi Gras New Orleans to get married. The ceremony took
place after Mardi Gras in the Voodoo Spiritual Temple on Thursday
evening with Priestess Miriam presiding, to the accompaniment
of a drummer and in the company of some folks who were friends
of the people we traveled with. I should add we were whisked
to the Temple and to the restaurant NOLA afterwards by horse-drawn
carriage. The temple itself was a candle-lit, incense filled
space packed with incredible altars to various voudon spirits.
We danced in to the accompaniment of a drummer and were carefully
aligned with various altars. The service included rattle-shaking,
song-chanting, more drumming, and the obligatory "do you guys
want to talk about anything before marrying" moment (uh, after
ten years, we pretty much know where we're going here). We
were circled while dancing by the Priestess holding a pan
of burning incense, clanging swords around us, sprinkling
water on us from feathers. Tribute was paid to the Great Mother.
We were fed honey and bread, and fed the same as well as cake
and wine to our witnesses and the folks who dropped by to
watch the ceremony. Damballah made an appearance, in the form
of a 2-3 foot python who tongue-kissed the groom and squeezed
the bride, though he wasn't the one who signed and sealed
the official papers, afterwards.
It was quite a thrilling, joyful experience, and though
we are not practitioners of this faith, we found the ceremony
both beautiful and meaningful. When chanting, dancing, and
performing the rituals, Priestess Miriam seemed quite immersed
in the sacred and reflected our passion for each other and
what we do.
As for bachelor/bachelorette parties (an issue of concern
for some, apparently), hey, the first half of the week was
Mardi Gras celebration! All I can say is what happens in New
Orleans stays in New Orleans....
Why a voodoo ceremony? Linda and I have been together for
quite some time, and for good reason we held off getting officially
married (those of you with kids going to or in college and
juggling incomes and financial aid forms should be able to
figure it out). We always wanted to get married someplace
special and were actually thinking about Paris. But then Linda
began talking to one of her co-workers, who makes an annual
pilgrimage to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. She was married on
a river boat and has been partying down there with friends
for years. Going to Mardi Gras under the guidance of experienced
hands was an irresistible temptation. (I've been a fan of
the Professor Longhair, the Neville Brothers, Doctor John,
and New Orleans music for over thirty years.) As we were getting
used to the idea and talking it up with our buddies Gina Klein
and Jane Osnovich one day, they produced a flyer on the Voodoo
Spiritual Temple in New Orleans and said we should visit it.
We noticed the Temple performed marriage ceremonies and suddenly
everything clicked into place: special city, time, and place.
Okay! Let's get married! (The "spirits" blessed our decision
Ð we had smooth flights coming and going, we spent a lot
of time walking and standing and never had reason to complain,
the music Ð especially the Neville Brothers (see below)
Ð was hot, and we sat through a Louisiana downpour waiting
for a parade, so we felt blessed by air, earth, fire and water.
What more could we ask?)
For those of you who asked, Linda Addison will be keeping
her name. As Rain Graves said, why would she want to lose
her prime place in alphabetical roll calls and be stuck with
an unpronounceable last name?
Next time you see her, ask Linda about the experience of
shopping for her dress at Saks Fifth Avenue. Us poor folks
just ain't used to that kind of treatment. She'll tell you
about the quest for the One Ring, too. And then there was
my interest in trying to spiff myself up with a hat and the
both us deciding we should avoid a certain kind of Southern
hat associated with traditions we'd rather avoid. So we walked
into a New Orleans hat store and discovered wide brims were
best for me, then found out at the cash register that we had
picked out that damned style. Fortunately, I spied a drawing
of a Panama hat on a display case and asked the clerk if he
had any of those, and even he seemed relieved I'd changed
my look from "Gone With The Wind" to "Casablanca."
Other New Orleans memories: We stayed at the Hotel St. Marie,
on Toulouse off Bourbon, and stayed on a ground floor room
before moving to a balcony room after Mardi Gras. The rooms
were great, particularly the ground floor suite, and the hotel
staff supremely helpful, providing advice and timely services,
and the restaurant served a delectable breakfast specialty,
Eggs St. Marie, as well as a bread pudding to die for.
There was a cool zydeco style band doing 9 hour gigs at
the Opera House which we dug, and the incomparable Big Al
Carson (look him up) at the Funky Pirate was not only great
to listen to but funny as hell with the crowd. Then there
was the Neville Brothers at the House of Blues on Lundi Gras,
it don't get better than that in New Orleans, sure you right!
And there were too many bluesmen in too many bars to mention,
or more particularly remember, who deserve props and tips
and more folks listening to them after Mardi Gras.
Beads are a big thing during Mardi Gras. I won't say what
was done for some, including Linda's Big Balls, but we did
get a bunch. One mind-blowing episode on Mardi Gras was looking
up at the balcony over the Cat's Meow to see if anyone had
any beads worth having and seeing Anthony and Zaneta Beale
(Anthony is an HWA member, NYC chapter meeting attendee, giver
with Zaneta of cool parties, and publisher and editor of Scared
Naked). Even stranger was Anthony recognizing me in my red
leather demon mask, Nightmare Before Christmas dog hat, and
fallen angel wings (Linda's friend had us dressed as the Krewe
of Fallen Angels). We also bought some very cool voodoo and
skull and sf style beads that very few stores sold and almost
no one wore (Sponge Bob was big yawn).
A high point for me was going to the Zulu parade (that's
what the song says Ð you go to New Orleans and you see
the Zulu king): we bought grandstand tickets and sat next
to a former Zulu Queen and her family. I grabbed an extra
Zulu warrior set of beads and gave it to one of her entourage
who didn't have one; she later retrieved and gave me a hand-painted
Zulu shaker, yee-hah! The Queen was so impressed with Linda
she gave her the white and yellow "Former Zulu Queen" umbrella
she was carrying, mo' yee-hah!
Another high point were the Cemetery and the Vampire/Ghost
walking tours. The first took us to St. Louis #2 (#1 being
closed for renovation), conducted by an Englishman who used
to do the Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes tours in London.
Our security for the tour was a 6'5" gentleman in black with
two inch nails who later turned out to be the guide for the
vampire/ghost tour (what a surprise). Lord Chaz, a former
heavy metal rocker and man of many talents, was quite the
story-teller and street performer, with a pack of tricks that
included stopping his pulse, turning a "crypt key" on his
palm without touching it, and puncturing his arm with his
nails and bandaging his wounds while telling a horrific story
about blood-drinking murderers, and then revealing (after
eating some of the bloody bandages) a completely unmarked
arm. No wonder carriage drivers shouted out to us "he's not
human" as they passed. The guy was quite the showman, and
we couldn't go a block without someone shouting out hello
to him. This New Orleans legend will apparently be on the
SciFi Channel in some capacity soon, so look for him. And
definitely check out any tours he's conducting (www.lordchaz.com).
We didn't get a chance to explore as much of New Orleans'
culinary treasures as we liked, but we did taste alligator
and liked it. We dug the Hurricanes from Pat O'Brien's, too.
We had our wedding feast at NOLA, which even with reservations
took half an hour to get to a table. But the food was grand,
I had the crab cake, blackened salmon and a bread pudding
that was fine but not as good as St. Marie's, believe it or
not, accompanied by drunken monkey ice cream with pralines,
pecans, french vanilla and I believe bourbon. We wanted to
go back out to the Funky Pirate that night, but got drunk
on the food and we couldn't drag ourselves out of the room.
Other news, blah blah blah:
City Slab 4 has been published, with a story from
me called "The Pain Killer." Also on board are PD Cacek, Patricia
Russo, Robert Dunbar, Brandon Alspaugh, and Angel Horlick,
with an interview with Ellen Datlow, intense full-page illustrations
by Russell Morgan, and lots of pictures of a performance artist
and model, Lydia McClane, (advertised within these pages as
a "professional sadist"), and an interview and cover featuring
another model, Morrigan-Hel. Let me assure potential readers
a session with either of these young ladies is not a requirement
for reading/enjoying my story. You can check out the issue
as well as ordering information at cityslab.com,
or simply go to www.shocklines.com.
"Celebrant," a dark fantasy, has been accepted for publication
by the anthology Cloaked in Shadow: Dark Tales of Elves.
The Best of Epitaph, stories from the legendary small
press magazine edited by Tom Piccirilli some years ago, will
be coming out from Padwolf Publishing. The book will include
three of my stories, "Twelve Nights," "The Oddist," and "Our
Lady of the Jars," as well as a pair of poems from Linda Addison,
"Rebirth" and "Dark Vows," PLUS a story from my web mistress,
Natalia Lincoln, called "King Laugh," and another from my
horror bubba Mike Laimo, "Within The Darkness, Golden Eyes,"
which is a classic and signature piece from him (he's gone
on to write an entire novel from this piece, Deep in the
Darkness, available from Flesh
and Blood Press. Look for publication/ordering news at
"The Three Strangers," a horrific fantasy, or dark fantasy,
or something (whatever it is, I like it), has been accepted
for the anthology, The Last Pentacle of the Sun: Writings
in Support of the West Memphis Three.
Another interesting blog to check out: "Ed's Place" from
Ed Gorman at his site: http://www.edgorman.com/
Happy New Year!
A fine way to start: Cemetery Dance magazine has
accepted a short story called "Signal to Noise."
Dave has the cover
and ordering information up for the Necro anthology, The
Horror bubba John Everson has written an
article on cult movies available on DVD,. Check for his
2002 movie list, as well.
Linda and I had the pleasure of seeing Return of the
King the first time around with Gollum and his son. No,
really. A father and his 8-9 year old son who talked to each
other on and off through the movie as if they were in their
living room. Obviously raised by wolves, abandoned by their
wife/mother (and who could blame her), the pair had absolutely
no social awareness or even elementary politeness. The pair
talked incessantly, mostly describing what was happening on
the screen (see? see? That's Gollum, when he was Smeagel!
or, they're going to fight now, or, that's not the one with
the ring). Requests to shut up and cold stares only slowed
them down for an instant, at best. The son was boldly following
in his father's self-absorbed steps, and one can only imagine
them morphing into Gollum-like hideousness in time. They got
the obnoxiousness down pat. I can tell you we didn't see the
movie in the Bronx, or even 42nd Street, where beat-downs
would have been the order of the day. This was at the Yonkers
mall, a couples of miles up the road, where people are apparently
much more civilized. They let the movie talkers live. Who
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