Archive for January, 2012

“Bast” needs your help!

Posted in News on January 7, 2012 by Christian

My short story, “Bast,” is in the running for the Preditors & Editors™ short story of the year award for horror. I am up against some stiff competition and need your help. Please visit here to vote before polling closes on Tuesday.

“Bast” is the second story on the ballot. Please click the bubble and scroll to the bottom of your screen. (You may also leave an editorial comment, but its not necessary.)

Your name and email address are required to vote, but they will be kept strictly confidential and not used for mailing lists, etc. This information is simply to discourage ballot-stuffing.

Then type the two word “captcha” in the red box at the bottom of the page.

An email to finalize your vote will be sent to you when you submit the form. Please add predpoll_noreply@critique.org to your approved senders list to receive the email.

Do not send email to this address; it is not read. You may only vote once in each category; a subsequent vote in the same category will override your prior vote.

There are many worthy stories on this year’s Preditors & Editors™ horror ballot. It would be an honor to win in this category and if you think that “Bast”  is deserving, I would appreciate your support!

White Cat Magazine reviews What Fears Become

Posted in Book Reviews, News on January 5, 2012 by Christian

Review by Charles P. Zaglanis

Editor Jeani Rector has stitched together a wonderfully terrifying creature for our enjoyment. Cobbled together from new and well-seasoned writers, artists, and poets; the book sprints off the slab and grabs you by the throat. What Fears Become is the latest anthology produced by The Horror Zine; an online venue for short fiction, poetry, art, and news. Owned and edited by Jeani Rector, and ably supported by Assistant Editor, Dean H. Wild, The Horror Zine is a mecca for anyone desiring quality horror entertainment…

Visually, the book is enticing. The cover depicts a ghoulish woman snarling as she peers from behind a headstone. Behind the lurking creature, we see a fog-enshrouded graveyard bathed in spectral…

Read the rest of the review here.

Movie review: Apollo 18

Posted in Movie Reviews on January 3, 2012 by Christian

When I first saw trailers for Gonzalo López-Gallego’s Apollo 18, I thought it looked like a pretty damned good movie. The premise is the officially cancelled Apollo 18 mission actually did go to the moon in December 1974, and what they found there is the reason we haven’t gone back since. Here’s the trailer, in case you missed it:

Pretty cool, no? And when it finally hit home video, I figured it was time I finally watched it, even though the distributor pushed back it’s theatrical release eight times and put a review embargo on it. Not good signs. But hey, one of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time, Danny Boyle’s Sunshine, did practically no business at all at the box office, so you can’t always tell by a a studio not backing its product or a weak box office performance.

Unfortunately, Apollo 18 was no Sunshine. Despite able performances from Warren Christie, Lloyd Owen, and Ryan Robbins, the narrative took forever to pick up momentum. Even at 86 minutes, it felt padded. Should’ve maybe been half that long. Also, the Blair Witch-style found-footage format was both implausible (I can’t tell you how many times I leaned over to my wife and asked: “Who’s filming this now?”) and distracting. I’m not sophisticated enough to tell you why The Blair Witch Project succeeded and Apollo 18 didn’t, but I suspect it had to do with the cinematography and editing. Let’s go with that.

The premise behind the movie is intriguing, though, and like Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, there’s probably a good movie in there somewhere. I just had a hard time finding it.

Read “His Splintery Smile” in Fear and Trembling

Posted in News on January 2, 2012 by Christian

Two ridiculous things really terrify me: zombies and ventriloquist dolls. Blame the zombies on my dad, who–on a night when my mom was out of town–let me watch Return of the Living Dead. I was eleven. Trash’s graveyard striptease aside, I couldn’t sleep for six months because of that movie. It was as scared as I’ve ever been, except for maybe once.

When I was seven or eight, someone gave my brother and me a couple of ventriloquist dummies. His was Charlie McCarthy and mine was W.C. Fields. We thought they were pretty cool, I guess, though I always thought Charlie was a little grotesque. A mockery of humanity in that face somewhere. W.C. was alright. It actually kinda looked like a human being.

Well, sometime shortly thereafter, I watched an episode of the Twilight Zone entitled, “The Dummy,” which is still my favorite episode of this all time great series. The dummy in the show, Willie, looked a little too much like Charlie McCarthy for my comfort, and what followed more or less became the basis for “His Splintery Smile,” which is now available in Fear and Trembling Magazine.

 

“Walking Away” now available through Midwestern Gothic

Posted in News on January 2, 2012 by Christian

My first published story without a lick of science-fiction or fantasy is now available through Midwestern Gothic (ISSN 2159-8827). It’s about a man who feels trapped by his own life, a life he isn’t even good at. Pick up a paper-and-ink copy here, or if you want an electronic copy (PDF, Kindle or Nook) click here.

Midwestern Gothic is a quarterly print literary journal out of Ann Arbor, Michigan that features the work of Midwestern writers–and let’s face it, there are a lot of us here. We don’t get the same kind of press as the East and West Coast, and even Southern writers have a higher profile, for some reason. Not that there’s anything wrong with literature coming out of those places–it’s just nice to have a magazine dedicated to giving the Midwest a voice.

Happy New Year, E’ybody!

Posted in News on January 1, 2012 by Christian

New year’s weekend was a pretty big deal for me. Not because I went out and got blotto. If you’re keeping score at home, my wife and I put the kids to bed about 9:00 after a screening of Rudolph’s Shiny New Year and then had drinks with a friend and watched the season finales of Weeds and Breaking Bad. (Can I just say that Hector Salamanca will always be the man?)

It was a great night, aided in part by a very positive piece of publishing news I received about 7:30 that, while it looks very likely, I can’t reveal yet because nothing’s been finalized. But it definitely added to the celebratory mood.

I also found out that “Bast” has been nominated for the Preditors & Editors 2011 Horror Short Story Award. Polling closes soon, but if you want to vote, click here.

Happy new year, friends and readers. Happy new year.