Gerard Houarner, Writer
Stories you don't always take home to Mother...


News Archive...

December 2005

Nanci at 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 stupid.
Redd Foxx

If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate.  "Ode to a Grecian Urn" is worth any number of old ladies.
William Faulkner

You can't teach an old dogma new tricks.
Dorothy Parker

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 some 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:

Because you can't get enough monsters, here's a blog on Marvel comic monsters—beware Fin Fang Foom!

November 2005

A sample teaser from my short story, "Captivity," scheduled for Tales of the Unanticipated 26, is available at, where you can check out some of the other contributors, as well!  Order now right through the site.

Visit Wrath's blog at for a refreshing, uncompromisingly meaningful opinion on life and horror.

Lost on the Darkside, edited by John Pelan, is available at 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 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 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…

Dead Cat's Traveling Circus of Wonders and Miracle Medicine Show, available for pre-order at Shocklines or Bedlam Press. For samples of Gak art from the book, check out Gak's site.

For more (and immediate) Dead Cat goodness, try Dead Cat, Bigger Than Jesus at Shocklines—paperback or limited edition.

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 anthologies.

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. Contact for information on Breviaries 1, which will feature a brand new Max story as well as a Brian Keene interview.

September 2005

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 interest people.

In personal news:

"The Crawl" should be out in the mass paperback anthology Lost on the Darkside, edited by John Pelan, available everywhere.

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.

August 2005

"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

Breviaries 1, the chapbook from (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, is up 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 Cat!).

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!

July 2005

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 great site.

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 certainly check 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 Justice).

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 look.

June 2005

The New York Review of Science Fiction Readings

and the
South Street Seaport Museum


Linda Addison
Gerard Houarner

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 work:

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

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
As always, admission to the event is free, but we suggest a $5 donation.


Monday, 6/6/05
Doors open at 6:30

The South Street Seaport Museum's Melville Gallery
213 Water Street (near Beekman)

By Subway

Take 2, 3, 4, 5, J, Z, or M to Fulton Street; A and C to Broadway-Nassau. Walk east on Fulton Street to Water Street

By Bus
Take M15 (South Ferry-bound) down Second Ave. to Fulton Street

By Car
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 blocks.
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 the Web site!
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 sessions.

May 2005

The anthology Damned Nation, edited by Dave Wilbanks and Robert N. Lee, has an ordering page up at

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 (and while you're there, check out an interview they conducted with me a little while ago).

April 2005

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.

Another positive 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...

March 2005

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).

February 2005

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, as well.

January 2005


"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.

December 2004

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 shelves.

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, 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 my damnation.

I recently came across a fascinating website called 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!

November 2004

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 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 contribution.

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 site:, (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 site:

"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.

October 2004

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 BN.

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?)

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,

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."

September 2004

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 in public.

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. 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 ones.

Of course, as of this writing, our Floridian friends are again being assaulted by the weather, our good wishes go out to all.

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

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:

August 2004

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, or, 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 report:

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 series. Konrath's web site has, among other things, a ton of tips for new writers and teaches a writing course in Chicago.

July 2004

"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:

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 work.

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 sample.

Anyway, the project still lives. It's just going to be more beautiful than originally planned.

Sorry about that.

June 2004

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 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 HWA site.

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

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 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, 20% off at, 10% off at, and 10% off at B & N.

Here are the direct links:

May 2004

"How Do We Say Goodbye," first published on a few years ago, is going to be reprinted in a Best of 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!

April 2004

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 Edelman).

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 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 at

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 out car).

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 that.

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 Pulp Press.

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):

Peg Aloi
Clive Barker
Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky
Gary A. Braunbeck
Poppy Z. Brite & Caitlin R. Kiernan
Stephen Dedman
Adam Greene & David Niall Wilson
James Hetfield
Brian Hodge
Gerard Houarner
Philip Jenkins
Mara Leveritt
Bentley Little
Simon Logan
Michael Marano
Elizabeth Massie
James Morrow
Scott Nicholson
Mike Oliveri
Grove Pashley
John Pelan
Adam Roberts
Burk Sauls
Peter Straub
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.

March 2004

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 (

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, or simply go to

"Celebrant," a dark fantasy, has been accepted for publication by the anthology Cloaked in Shadow: Dark Tales of Elves.

February 2004

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:

January 2004

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 Damned.

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 knew?

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