Archive for March, 2012

Hall Brothers Enterainment cancels Untold Tales of the Past

Posted in News on March 31, 2012 by Christian

The anthology in which my short story, “The Mettle of the South,” was scheduled to be published has been cancelled. Here is an excerpt of the email I received from the publishers this afternoon:

It’s with a lot of sadness that we send this email to inform you that our upcoming anthology Untold Tales of the Past has been cancelled. We’re extremely grateful for the story you sent, and we’re disappointed that we won’t be able to publish it in this anthology. Unfortunately, this book just got away from us for a number of reasons, and the rest of the company started to suffer while we tried to wrangle this anthology into shape. Eventually we felt the only choice was to cancel the anthology.

This is disappointing to me for a number of reasons. First, I fully expected that the publisher would put out a top-notch product, and I don’t say that just because they accepted my story. Hall Brothers Entertainment has a very slick website full of content presented in new and innovating ways. Second, I was looking forward to reading the other stories they selected to be in the volume, just on a personal level. And third, I was looking forward to seeing “The Mettle of the South” in print. I admit it, I’m a glory hound.

So it’s off to another slush pile, with no hard feelings toward a publisher you should definitely support.

“The Rights of the Infected” free this weekend as part of TPP: Murder

Posted in News on March 29, 2012 by Christian

Weston Kincade, editor of Thadd Presley Presents: Murder, has announced on his website that the anthology, including my contribution, “The Rights of the Infected,” will be available for free download at Amazon.com this April Fools’ weekend. It has nothing to do with April Fools’ Day (strictly coincidental), but I wanted to tell you up front that it was free this April Fools’ weekend so you would know it’s not an April Fools’ prank.

You can kinda tell it’s not an April Fools’ Day prank because it starts March 31st, and everybody knows you can’t pull a prank on March 31st. It’s a solemn day, being April Fools’ Eve. So this weekend, before you pop open those mixed nuts that turn out to be a can of those springy, fake snakes, download yourself a creepy read. No joke.

Another one for the fire #NOTLD

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on March 27, 2012 by Christian

Disappointed there won’t be more The Walking Dead episodes until October? Here’s some more undead goodness to look forward to. Read my short story, “Son of Anubis,” in the upcoming zombie-themed ebook anthology, Zombies Gone Wild (Vol. 2) due later this year from Collaboration of the Dead. The title of my story is an homage to Night of the Living Dead’s original title, Night of Anubis.

Both volumes of Zombies Gone Wild will contain dark, disturbing, suspensful, supernatural, gruesome, and gory stories about the dead shambling back to life. You will see the craziest, wackiest, most out-there living dead stories imaginable–think Dead Alive, Cemetery Man, Undead, Versus, Re-Animator, Evil Dead, the Return of the Living Dead franchise, and Planet Terror.

Each story will be a self-contained nugget you can read before bed, and then leave the lights on while you try to sleep. Tight. Exciting. Action-packed. You’ll get them all with Zombies Gone Wild, and you’ll have them in time to use them as stocking stuffers.

Details to come.

There Will Come Soft Rains

Posted in Observations & Musings on March 24, 2012 by Christian

So after nine days of summer weather in March (in Chicagoland!) we now have rain, which is fine, because my lawn knows I’m not going to water it this year. We have an understanding, me and my lawn. We’re good. The other good thing about this weather is it reminded me of one of my favorite poems, “There Will Come Soft Rains” (1920) by Sara Teasdale:

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

KA-POW! There’s poetry–IN YO FACE! A terrific poem, introduced to me by Ray Bradbury’s short story of the same name (which he so named as an homage to the poem).

Not to sound maudlin, because I don’t feel maudlin when I say this, but Teasdale’s poem would be a great one to read at a funeral. So it got me thinking: what other poems would make good funeral reads? How about “Ozymandias” (1818) by Percy Bysshe Shelley? If you’ve read/seen Watchmen, you’ll recognize that name.

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

“Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” is perhaps the coolest (albeit arrogant) epitaph ever. A little wordy, maybe, but it might make a nice title for a story–if it hasn’t been used already. And all this musing brought on by a little rainy weather. I was tempted to include some Emily Dickinson in this post, but … no I wasn’t.

Updated cover for A FEAST OF FRIGHTS

Posted in News on March 23, 2012 by Christian

A Feast of Frights from The Horror Zine is in its final stages of layout and design, and will be going to the printer soon, but there was one small tweak to the cover to give proper credit to Ramsey Campbell, who wrote our foreword:

Campbell, for those of you who don’t know, is a horror fiction author, editor and critic. He penned the novelizations of the Universal horror classics The Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula’s Daughter, and The Wolf Man (all as Carl Dreadstone) and dozens of original works, including The Face That Must Die, Incarnate, Midnight Sun, The Count of Eleven, Silent Children, The Darkest Part of the Woods, The Overnight, Secret Story, The Grin of the Dark, Thieving Fear, Creatures of the Pool, The Seven Days of Cain and Ghosts Know. His latest, The Kind Folk, is due out later this year.

His introduction to A Feast of Frights, as well as the rest of the anthology (including my short story, “Clawed Sod”), is scheduled for this spring from The Horror Zine Press, and will be available wherever ebooks and paperbacks are sold.

Tom Piccirilli part of A Feast of Frights

Posted in News on March 21, 2012 by Christian

A Feast of Frights contributor Tom Piccirilli has had quite a writing career, with the best yet to come. And he pretty much does it all but julienne fries: mystery, thriller, horror, erotica, and science fiction. His first novel, Dark Father, was published in 1990 but written four years earlier, back when, in Piccirilli’s own words, he thought he “was William S. Burroughs, Kurt Vonnegut, Peter Straub, Dennis Etchison, Skipp & Spector, and Ramsey Campbell rolled into one. No grounding, lots …of literary fireworks and flamboyance, and the worldview of a kid who hadn’t experienced much life yet.”

Harsh and (I’m sure you’ll find) undeserved, but I love that kind of self-effacing criticism. As writers, we should all be able to destroy our babies like that, while also enjoying our creations. I mean, what’s the good of writing if its not fun? And Tom Piccirilli’s writing is fun. Here’s the best part: I’m going to be in a book with him. Yes, the two-time International Thriller Writers Award winner, and four-time Bram Stoker Award winner contributes his short story, “Husks and Formless Ruins,” to the forthcoming anthology A Feast of Frights from the Horror Zine, in which my own story, “Clawed Sod,” makes its humble debut.

A Feast of Frights features poetry, essays, artwork and short stories from a dizzying array of talent, including Susie Moloney, Earl Hamner, Graham Masterton, Ed Gorman, Ramsey Campbell, Joe R. Lansdale, Simon Clark and many, many others, available this spring in print and ebook formats.

News about Thadd Presley Presents: Murder

Posted in News on March 20, 2012 by Christian

Regarding Murder, from publisher Thadd Presley:

Murder is available in print and Kindle. The Extended Reach program is working and will take a bit of time, but the books will be available in many locations online and in stores. Readers can order it at their favorite brick and mortar shop, and the book is available even to libraries if they are requested. It will take a bit for everything to get in the databases. But other than the wait, all is taken care of.

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781105555770
  • Copyright: Thadd Presley Presents (Standard Copyright License)
  • Edition: First Edition 2012
  • Publisher: Thadd Presley Presents
  • Published March 17, 2012
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 280
  • Binding: Perfect-bound Paperback
  • Interior Ink: Black & white
  • Weight: 1.06 lbs.
  • Dimensions (inches): 5.83 wide x 8.26 tall

Read “The Dying Drones” in Ray Gun Revival @rgrzine

Posted in News on March 19, 2012 by Christian

Look for my short story, “The Dying Drones,” in Ray Gun Revival. Not right now. It’s just been accepted and will be published later. This is pretty cool for me. Ray Gun Revival is, in its own words, “all about space opera and golden age science fiction.” And I love me some golden age science fiction. Got the bug bad when I discovered the last of the great old time radio shows, X Minus One.

Here’s more from the Ray Gun editorial staff:

Ray Gun Revival (RGR) publishes four original short stories each month of up to 4,000 words each. RGR also features compelling book reviews, occasional movie reviews, our own columns related to the genre, and, as always, some of the best cover art in the business by artists from all over the world.

The cover art is really good, too.

“The Dying Drones” hearkens back to the wonder and supposition that writers conjured before humankind first ventured into space. For them, there was a real fear of sinking into the moon, quicksand-style. For us, what happens when we venture out to the far reaches of our solar system? Might there be something we haven’t taken into account? Something on which our very survival depends? Find out what humanity encounters in the outer rim of our very own solar system in “The Dying Drones,” coming soon to Ray Gun Revival.

A Feast of Frights spotlight on Susie Moloney

Posted in News on March 18, 2012 by Christian

One of the great things about being a short story writer in an anthology is being able to share pages with some truly great authors. In the forthcoming A Feast of Frights from The Horror Zine, my short story, “Clawed Sod,” gets between the covers with the work of dozens of talented, successful writers, poets, and artists.

Susie Moloney’s “The Audit” is one of these. Horror great Ramsey Campbell, who wrote the foreword, says of her contribution: “Moloney reminds us that menaces surround us, as banal as they are all-powerful, and then she turns them into nightmare and indeed a comedy of paranoia.”

Moloney has written a number of terrific (by which I mean both superb and terrifying) novels, including: Bastion Falls, A Dry Spell, and The Dwelling. A Dry Spell was even optioned for a major motion picture a few years ago, but unfortunately, there’s a reason they call it development hell.

Her latest novel, The Thirteen, is due March 27 and available for preorder at Amazon.com. Publisher’s Weekly says its “sure to evoke comparisons to Fritz Leiber’s Conjure Wife.” And if you know anything about Fritz Leiber, you know how awesome its going to be.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Murder

Posted in News on March 17, 2012 by Christian

Murder, now available as an ebook and paperback, is the newest book in the Thadd Presley Presents collection. It features twenty-three stabby, bloody, stories, including my own “The Rights of the Infected,” which takes a new tack on a potential zombie pandemic.

It’s 280 pages of perfect-bound paperback murderousness, including (and I’m stealing my own line here from this post because I’m perhaps a little too in love with my own turn of a phrase) twenty-three tales of murder and mayhem, some with fantastical or science-fiction bents, and some with terror as straight as a razor.

And here’s another look at the table of contents:

  • “A Million Pieces” by Peggy McFarland
  • “The Colour of Murder” by Dorothy Davies
  • “Helping Out Away From Home” by David S. Pointer
  • “Dinner is in the Dog” by Simon Critchell
  • “Lydia’s Ride” by Sirena M. Gibson
  • “Top of the Heap” by Nathan Robinson
  • “The Birthday Party” by Matthew C. Funk
  • “Without a Witness” by W.C. Sowder
  • “Justifiable Homicide” by Janett L. Grady
  • “Deathbed” by Bruce Memblatt
  • “Prison Torment” by Weston Kincade
  • “Bonsai” by Nate D. Burleigh
  • “Cannibal” by Simon Critchell
  • “No Fear” by Efraim Z. Graves
  • “It Was Dark” by Matt Hatfield
  • “Requiem in a Messy Room” by Bruce Memblatt
  • “The Garden of Eden” by Salena Casha
  • “Miggs” by Simon Critchell
  • “Rubbish Day” by Thadd Presley
  • “Moss Covered Baby Doll” by Thadd Presley
  • “The Rights of the Infected” by Christian A. Larsen
  • “The Fish” by David Perlmutter
  • “Children of Mislaid Hope” by Jason Hughes
  • “Dumped” by Nate D. Burleigh
  • “Lollipop” by Keith G. Laufenberg

Thadd Presley Presents: Murder was edited by Weston Kincade and the cover was designed by Simon Critchell. Pick up a copy today and enjoy St. Paddy’s Day for a whole ‘nother reason. Murder!