Tales of the Undead-Hell Whore is the first in a series of anthologies, with this one specifically having as its theme devilish women. The overall title “Tales of the Undead” is perhaps a bit inaccurate, since many of these stories have nothing to do with the undead, but the subtitle is certainly more of a description of what is included within its pages. In some stories, this association is obvious, while in others that association to evil women is a lot more subtle.
It is often difficult to provide a review of an anthology because almost without fail, they are a mixed bag. A consistent theme often allows for a more comprehensive overview-each author provides a story to the mix that sticks to a sometimes loose, but understood guideline. TotU-HW does have a theme, but it runs the gambit with stories of vampires, ghosts, demons, witches, Satan, human-animal hybrids, werewolves, ancient gods, sexually voracious women, and even more of a mix of swirling horrors. And that isn’t even mentioning the poems, which are as diverse a lot as the short stories.
There were some gems in this book from my perspective, including “Entre of the Damned” and “Girls are Icky”, both appreciated for entirely different reasons, and of course some stories that did not click, which I will admit is more due to personal preference rather than the quality of the work, at least in most cases. The writing styles here are quite diverse, with everything from the delicately subtle to in your face. I enjoyed “Who F&*ked Up Kelly Yesterday?” because I have a taste for bizarro horror, while I know that there will be plenty of folks who would be repulsed by this story’s audacity. There were a few stories that I felt that the writing was a bit rough, with both the story itself and the way the author telling it making it feel forced and hard to get through, but there those were only a select few out of this bunch. There were some sagas that felt incomplete to me-either telling instead of showing and letting the tale reveal itself, or in one case where the writing style seemed a bit forced and awkward- like the author was providing a summary rather than providing the reader with the story itself.
Anthologies are journeys where the road is both smooth and bumpy at different times. Rarely do you find a short story compendium where every story hits the mark. But finding a short story or poem you really enjoy and that will stick with you makes the journey through the good, the great, and the bad worthwhile. Tales of the Undead-Hell Whore is such an anthology.
Tales of the Undead: Hello Whore can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BLR40A2/ref=cm_cr_thx_view
Yep, I did it again. I’ve returned to the bizarro world with my offering to the folks over at Rooster Republic Press…which is their new name. It’s their new name, because they had a different name when I was in Tall Tales with Short Cocks Volume 2, not so very long ago. But I’m happy they accepted my humble little tale about family dysfunction “Hell in the Family” that appears in Tall Tales with Short Cocks Volume 3, regardless of their name. It should be available for mass consumption on February 26th, right around the time Comes The Dark reveals itself in paperback and in audio book format. So it is a great double whammy for me.
I’m looking forward to being apart of another wild and raunchy compendium of screwed up stories about screwed up things. While I can’t speak to what the other authors have contributed and what strange topics they have dived into, my story is my own take on the ever popular nerdy vampire sub genre. Well, just because you haven’t heard of this sub genre doesn’t mean it isn’t popular. Well, it might still be a bit of an underground revolution in the making, but I swear it’s gonna be huge someday!
So I’ll be sure to add links once the book is available for purchase, but for now, feast your eyes on the very shiny, purty cover of this latest edition of Tall Tales with Short Cocks.
Spooky Showcase offers the reader a return to Alan Draven’s world of the supernatural and surreal. Bitternest is a city in Louisiana where ghosts, vampires, and other creatures exist and terrorize the inhabitants in pretty much all of the author’s novels and short stories. All but one of the tales in this book take place in Bitternest, including a novella entitled “The Paradigm” which is noir-ish detective tale that takes place back in the 80s and starts out like all the classic detective tales you’ve ever seen with the gruff private eye and the sultry dame in trouble, but dives into the deeply supernatural from there. Three short stories follow, two of which involve children and the real terrors that haunt them in Bitternest, before the reader is treated to a re-imagining of the classic Jack the Ripper saga with “Vengeance is Mine”.
I’ve been impressed with Alan’s ability to craft a real, vibrant city filled with all kinds of spooky and scary monsters since I read his first book about the strange place near New Orleans. While he does hint at future tales with Jim Coffin, the detective in his first story here, I felt that there was something missing from this particular story-a more fleshed explanation of what was happening to him was desired, though I’m sure more will be divulged in the future. Despite the desire for more, I thoroughly enjoyed the flavor of the piece. Future installments should be interesting, and I could see something along the lines of Glenn Cook’s “The Garrett Files” or Simon Green’s John Taylor series if Alan puts a bit more spit and polish on his next few Jim Coffin stories.
The short stories are all enjoyable, each with a surprise attached-that quick rabbit punch that often makes a short piece all the more enjoyable. I especially liked “The Rattling Man” with its Halloween ambiance.
While “Vengeance is Mine” is perhaps more of a homage than anything-a variation the Jack the Ripper mystery with the author’s embellishments, I did enjoy his take on what might have been with good ol’ Jack. Plenty of gore for those hungry for it, and the author used the historical elements so that they fit around the story he created quite nicely.
Overall, this was a fun read that went by fast. I look forward to more of the author’s Bitternest sagas, and will be curious to see where he takes Jim Coffin from here.
Spooky Showcase can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0981021336/ref=cm_cr_thx_view
Arthur Graham, fellow author and editor for Tall Tales with Short Cocks Volume 2, for which I wrote a science fiction comedy story called “The Interstellar Quest for Snack Cakes”, took the time out to interview me about my story, about zombies, and about all sorts of strange things. Okay, I admit it-his questions weren’t all that strange, just my answers. But please check it out at: http://bizarropress.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/patrick-dorazio/
I announced about a week ago that No More Heroes, an anthology filled with all new superheroes and villains, was available over at Creatspace. I’m thrilled that it is now on Amazon as well. While it appears only in paperback at this time, I’m sure that it will be available in e-book format very soon as well. This project was a labor of love, as my past posts have explained. A fully developed and detailed world of new good guys and bad guys with all new super powers and abilities to cause mayhem and destruction. Definitely worth checking out for those who are looking for something new and different. You can read my tale of bad guys and good guys: “Slow Goth and St. North” there, along with a great lineup of other stories about plenty of other baddies and do gooders.
Check it out by clicking on the image of below.
As you should know, the anthology Zombies Gone Wild has been released. Why should you know? Well, let me tell ya. Because it includes one of my short stories, “What’s Eating You?” which is one twisted, messed up tale of zombie therapy. It also includes stories from a slew of great indy authors who loves them some zombies. Out on the kindle, very soon to be available in paperback as well.
You should also know because great and wonderful fellow author Rebecca Besser, who also has a story included in this wondrous tome, has created “Wild Week!” over on her blog, where she is doing interviews of many of the authors involved in this killer project. So please stop on over and check out the interview Rebecca did with yours truly as a part of Wild Week…and check out the other interviews she’s doing to support the book’s release as well.
This one has been years in the making. I held on to the hope that this one would come out, sooner or later, even though the original publisher let it languish for quite a time, then promised to release it, but let the contracts lapse. Then one of the editors, Wayne Goodchild, did his absolute best to find this book a new home. But it was a rather unique concept, one which bound all the authors together under the same umbrella, but also meant that a new publisher had to buy into the concept of a whole new realm of superheroes and villains being created. Yep, this alternate universe has an entirely new set of good guys and bad guys, and a very intriguing concept behind it. A cataclysmic event causes most of the superheroes on the planet to get evaporated, allowing the villains to take over…but a new group of superheroes have revealed themselves, ready to provide the resistance the world needs to save itself.
Fortunately, Matt Nord, who had a personal investment in this project, wanted this book to be released as badly as Wayne did, and thus, like a Phoenix, it has risen from the ashes. Now all we can ask is that you check it out…on createspace, and when it becomes available on Amazon and elsewhere.
The editors crafted a back story that was tremendous and should be included within the book. Dozens and dozens of evil villains and superheroes, ready for their stories to be told. My tale provides the origin of a angst ridden teen known as “Slow Goth” and his superhero mentor, “St. North”. Naturally, the story is called “Slow Goth and St. North”. I was pretty thrilled when my tale was accepted into the book, and fought along with Wayne and Matt to see this project to completion. The original vision was to not only see this project to its conclusion, but to hold out hope that it would be successful enough that we could craft more tales in future volumes…giving this world a real complexity, with as many of the bad guys and good guys used and involved in an ongoing saga. It remains to be seen whether or not that will happen, but for now, I hope you have the chance to check out No More Heroes! Just click on the cover to get sent over to Createspace.
On November 20th, 2009, a catastrophic event dubbed The Cataclysm wiped the world’s greatest heroes and villains off the face of the planet and created a death toll stretching into the millions.
Though most of the world survived, it is now in the grip of the super villains who avoided The Cataclysm. It may not have been quite the victory they expected, but it is the outcome they wanted: all the heroes are dead and the world is theirs…
Or so they believe…
I’m proud to announce that Zombie’s Gone Wild, an anthology of wild and crazy zombie tales, including “What’s Eating You?” which is my twisted and disturbing saga of zombie comedy, is included within its pages. It hit the Kindle today, and will be available in paperback soon. Stay tuned-I’ll definitely keep everyone posted on that front. Just click on the cover below to be taken to where you can purchase this masterpiece of modern zombie horror and comedy.
Death is not the end…
“Zombies Gone Wild!” is a chilling collection of twenty-six stories from established authors as well as up-and-coming writers in the genre, with an opening poem from everyone’s favorite zombie. This anthology includes tales where the undead stand as a symbol of unification for a desperate world, where friends really are what you make them, and where new beginnings aren’t always a good thing.
The end is only the beginning…
Bizarre, humorous, and terrifying, “Zombies Gone Wild!” will satiate your hunger for zombie goodness.
Okay, so I wrote this science fiction comedy story quite some time back for an anthology that never came out. It was, without a doubt, a strange piece of fiction. Perhaps not as strange as the piece I wrote for Houdini Gut Punch, a bizarro anthology, which is called “Consumer’s Paradise”, but then again, I wasn’t writing this piece in an attempt at something bizarro, just something wild, fun, and perhaps a bit…off. Which is what I came up with. And now it will be available via a new bizarro anthology that has been released entitled Tall Tales with Short Cocks, Volume 2 from Bizarro Press.
Okay, I get it. I read the first volume of this anthology series and the comments in many of the reviews said that there were very few…um, er, well, you know…naughty male bits…in any of the stories. And I was thinking that my particular story, which is entitled “The Interstellar Quest for Snack Cakes” has none of them in it either. But perhaps I shouldn’t speak so fast. There is a bit of untamed lasciviousness in my tale, primarily with a wide assortment of alien creatures. Nothing described in too much graphic detail, mind you, but it is there. Of course, if I thought I could sell a few more books by making it a bit more racy, I might have considered doing so. But hey, mixing comedy, science fiction, and erotica might just make a few folks heads explode, so I’ll keep things just where they are, with just the comedy and science fiction. Otherwise I might have been forced to call my story Barbarella.
Suffice it to say, this anthology will have some pretty weird tales in it. I read the first volume and there was plenty of horror, comedy, and some stuff that was just plane surreal, so my guess is that if you check this one out, you’ll get a nice assortment of whacked out crazy stuff mixed with some chills, thrills, and head scratches. And including in this bevy of the odd is my story, which the editor said was ‘not strictly not bizarro, but pretty f$%king bizarre’ which I take as a tremendous compliment and makes for a great tag line.
Click on the cover below to head to Amazon to purchase the kindle version of this book. Stay tuned for updates on the paperback version, coming soon!
I’m pleased to announce that Tough As Nails, the swords and sorcery fantasy anthology that my novella, “The Sunken Lands” has been released over on Amazon. Fantasy was my first genre and I love it today as much as I ever have. The opportunity to write what was supposed to be a short story but still have it accepted as a much more sizable novella was a great treat for me. This anthology is all about the classic slash and hack throwback to Conan the Barbarian type tales. Epic fantasy with the tagline: Murder! Madness! Mayhem!
And a further description: Murder! Madness! Mayhem! These are just a few of the delicious things you can hope to enjoy in this tome full of savage barbarians, long-forgotten magic, and vicious monsters. Strap on your battleaxe and broadsword and enjoy!
You’ve got to love it! Pick up your copy today-hit the link by clicking on the cover art below.
Ravenous: Through the Eyes of Bigfoot is a short story that gives us a brief insight into what the life of a Bigfoot creature may be like. Terrill goes by that name only because it is the sound his mother made before abandoning him. He is a lone hunter, wandering the wilderness facing off again bears and smaller prey, but has crossed paths with men before. He does not fear them-he does not fear anything. They appear to be weak and like him, are not animals. Terrill has created his own goes in lieu of having any guidance from any other Bigfoots, and sacrifices to them.
The story covers his experience with mankind, learning that while they are weaker in many ways, being much smaller and soft, but have weapons and don’t act like the animals, who flee and never return when one of them gets attacked. Humans are willing to hunt him and try to destroy him before he wipes them all out.
Again, this is a short story, but it still provides the reader with a good understanding of both the violent and somewhat sad existence of this solitary hunter. The best story I’ve read from Keith so far, and this certainly has the potential to be expanding into a larger tale.
Raveous: Through The Eyes of Bigfoot can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Ravenous-Through-Keith-Adam-Luethke/dp/1475221681/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1342284182&sr=1-1&keywords=ravenous%3A+through
Tall Tales With Small Cocks is an anthology from Bizarro Press. It is a series of short stories (along with one poem) that range from bizarro to straight up horror tales. A brief overview of the tales in this compendium:
In The Flesh by John McNee is a mix of steampunk and bizarro, with a mechanical detective on the hunt for a flesh covered woman hiding out at a living, breathing flesh hotel.
Help! My Ass Has Rabies! By Adam Millard tells the story of a fast food employee and an attack of a virus with some teeth to it that rampages through the restaurant where he works.
Zeitgeist by Arthur Graham gives us a parody of the trials and tribulations that come along with trying to get a new TV show produced.
The Zombies of Killimanjaro by Jon Konrath is about a man waiting for the zombie infection to take hold of him after he’s scratch while he sits on Killimanjaro reflecting on his past.
I am a Whale by Robin Wyatt Dunn is a brash poem about the grandeur of a whale and how humans suck by comparison.
Yappy the Happy Squirrel by Dominic O’Reilly regales us with a battle between man and squirrel kind and the god-like melon that would save us all.
MouseTrap by Wol-vriey reads like a bizarro fairy tale with a wind up mouse, an obese house wife and the ungrateful men in her life.
Regressive by Nathan J.D.L. Rowark is a horror story about the elderly taking a miracle drug that ends up turning them into monsters.
The Night of the Walrus by Gabino Inglesias dives into a seedy underworld filled with desperate Walruses, midget gangsters and toasters possessed by the elder gods.
Someone who enjoys both horror and bizarro should find something to enjoy among these tales, though as is the case with every anthology, not all tales resonate equally. Special mention go to In The Flesh, Zeitgeist, and MouseTrap, all three of these stories had their own distinct bizarro flare that brought a twisted smile to my face as I read them. A couple of stories didn’t have any bizarro elements to them and were more pure horror, but that was okay for me as a fan of both genres. There weren’t any duds here, though a couple of the stories didn’t leave me with any lasting memory of them. A few others did leave an aftertaste…and that to me is what is best about short stories-if they have the power to stick with you long after you read them. You’ll get a few of those here.
Tall Tales with Small Cocks can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Tall-Tales-Short-Cocks-Anthology/dp/0615635474/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1341170946&sr=1-1&keywords=tall+tales+and+short+cocks
The 5000 Fingers of Bob is a strange and creepy tale set in south during the Great Depression and tells the story of five men plotting the death of a local man they’ve dubbed Bob, even though they don’t know his real name. They call him Bob because that’s what he calls everyone around town. He is a man-child, a mentally handicapped man who is huge, eerie, but appears to be harmless on the surface. But when one of the men finds him leaning over his daughter’s bed one night and throws Bob outside, only to find giant back inside, he suggests to his friends that they kill Bob, or do something else to (at the very least) dissuade him from doing any other disturbing things. There are other rumors of Bob showing up in one place and then disappearing, and of things happening around him that are horrific, like the death of someone’s dog that is graphic and grotesque.
Things go wrong as the men continue to hatch their plot to put a stop to Bob and as they carry it out. While the truth is somewhat muddled, it is clear that there is more to Bob than meets the eye. This is a short story, and as such the author leaves out details that might reveal more about the nature of Bob and the supernatural shadowing effect that seems to surround him. That serves the purpose of keeping things a mystery, even as more is revealed about the man who seems to be everywhere and nowhere at once.
A good, creative short story. I do wish there were more details laid out there, but the author’s ability to set a scene and pull you into it as a reader gives this little tale a potent punch.
The 5000 Fingers of Bob can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/The-5000-Fingers-Bob-ebook/dp/B007FYBBQG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340113984&sr=8-1&keywords=the+5000+fingers+of+bob
I’ve wanted to show off this wacky cover for some time, but it just became official. I don’t really have a good explanation for this anthology, as far as all the types of stories it includes, but I know that my story, “What’s Eating You?” is a pretty twisted and darkly comedic zombie tale not for the faint of heart or squeamish. So my guess is that since the publisher indicated that my tale was just the type they were looking for that this book is filled with a plethora of twisted and darkly comedic zombie tales. Well, you can look at the cover and see that much, right?
More details to come, as the table of contents should be released fairly soon for Zombies Gone Wild.
Dean Giles has crafted what amounts to a serial production of an alien invasion, releasing it as short stories with two installations thus far, along with a brief prequel that is included with Alien Apocalypse: Genesis. The story is about Leon, a father imprisoned for manslaughter after he kills his wife’s murderer, and Elliot, his son, who has to live with his aunt and uncle on their farm until his father’s four year sentence is complete. Nearing the end of his term of imprisonment, Leon has to deal with a comet that is passing close to Earth’s atmosphere and the fact that an alien presence that has hitched a ride on the comet has invaded earth, devouring virtually everything in its path and wiping out everyone in his prison except for him and a couple of other people. The first short story, Alien Apocalypse: The Storm, tells the tale of his efforts to find Elliot and figure out how they can escape the encroaching alien growth, which has the ability to transform itself into a wide array of genetic hybrids that are capable of tearing apart just about anything to get to the human flesh it craves. Leon and Elliot discover that the only thing that seems able to stop the alien assault is oil, which keeps the alien growth at bay. In this chapter of the saga, Leon and his son make their way to an oil refinery, which seems like the safest place given the alien’s weakness and might provide them with a weapon to fight back. Upon arrival at the refinery, they discover other survivors who have taken over and have enslaved several other people. Leon and Elliot work to free these prisoners but only manage to provide an escape for one of them, a woman who has lost her memory who they dub Isabella until she can tell them her real name. The author also shares insights into the alien hive mind and how it thinks throughout the story, letting the reader know what its plans are for the human race.
Alien Apocalypse is an entertaining sci fi outing that, so far, has me intrigued. I am interested in where things go from here, with genetic replicas being created of human beings that, when separated from the hive mind, seem to have desires and yearnings of their own that tend to contradict the ancient alien they came from. I for one am very interested in seeing where this story leads and look forward to the next chapter.
Alien Apocalypse: Genesis can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Alien-Apocalypse-Genesis-ebook/dp/B007EG96WQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1338336404&sr=1-1
She Makes Me Smile has gotten a lot of press based on what a particular publisher did under the guise of editing this work, which originally appeared in an anthology. I won’t get into details of this here, because there are plenty of explanations out there, including one from the author included with this story. Suffice it to say, I am happy that the author has had the chance to reveal her story to the public without the adornments installed by others who sought to change her work into something completely different.
She Makes Me Smile is a story told in first person about two people, one of which is bound and gagged and sitting on a couch while the other puzzles over why they have done this horrible act to their one and only friend. There is confusion on their part, though emotions in general are something they don’t really experience…at least not until the urge to tie up their friend and do even worse things to them occurs. That is where the title of the story comes in to play.
This is a simple story, unencumbered by complex details. While the past of the character who narrates is touched upon, no depth of detail yields explanation as to why they’ve crossed the line. And while their victim is definitely female, we don’t know if the main character is a man or a woman, so it is also impossible for us to interpret things based on perceived gender roles. The simple elements of this story make it work, and made me curious. We readers tend to want to fill in the blanks on a tale-anything an author leaves out. Mandy DeGeit has given us a very sparsely drawn on canvas here, which allowed the dark avenues of my own mind to fill in all the gaps. Simple, sparse, and yet effectively disturbing.
You can find She Makes Me Smile here: http://www.amazon.com/She-Makes-Me-Smile-ebook/dp/B0085KMVAO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338051843&sr=8-1
Were-Wolves, Apocalypses, and Genetic Mutations, Oh My! is a trilogy of short stories by Suzanne Robb, author of Z-Boat, a zombie novel set in the dark depths of the ocean, as well as a wide array of strange and twisty short stories with a horror and fantasy bent to them. These three stories fit right in with what the fan’s of Robb has come to expect. In “Welcome To The Future” she explores a near future filled with disastrous attempts at genetic manipulations to the human body. We get to see plenty of failings and know why the whole idea of mutation is abhorred. Along comes a teenage boy whose parents and teachers have given up on him. He has even given up on himself until a doctor provides him with a solution to all his problems that promises to make him the smartest man in the world. Naturally, things don’t go quite as planned, and all hell breaks loose. In “The Moonlight Killer” we are given a story that turns the traditional werewolf tale on its ear with man-bites-wolf repercussions. A really twisty, humorous tale with plenty of darkness to it. Finally, in “B.I.T.E.” the reader is introduced to world on the very brink of Apocalypse, with strange beasties boiling up through the ground including massive man-eating squirrels, cobra-men, and minions…lots of minions. That plus a mother and daughter who are bound and determined to stop the end of the world, no matter how dysfunctional they appear to be.
These stories have an interesting flavor that I would call Robb-ish, in that they not only give you some good scares, they also have some wicked dark humor to them that make you snicker while feeling a bit uncomfortable with the circumstances the characters are going through. These are quick, entertaining reads for those of you looking for a tidy little dose of scary fun from an up and coming author.
You can find Were-Wolves, Apocalypses, and Genetic Mutations, Oh My! here: http://www.amazon.com/Were-wolves-Apocalypses-Genetic-Mutation-ebook/dp/B006SBC2UQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1336948427&sr=1-1
Well, I’ve been doing my best to expand my writing horizons with the stories I choose to write, though many of them have been zombie tales, just like my novels. Still, I have managed to produce other types of horror, comedy, bizarro, science fiction, western, spy/action-adventure…so it was only a matter of time before I got back to my roots and decided to dive into the realm of fantasy once again. When I would write as a youngster, that was the type of stories I wrote: fantasy tales that transformed into fantasy adventures during my days of role playing. It was rough stuff that I didn’t want to share with anyone else, which was okay, because publishing was not on my mind back then-it was for the pure joy of writing. I still have some of the dust covered stories buried in a paper file, because back in those days I was using a typewriter. Yep, in the days of yore we didn’t have the arcane sorcery of computers to save our work, we got a paper copy of it and that was pretty much the best you could do. Fortunately, that means that none of my more atrocious early attempts at writing are circulating around on the internet. Now as for my more recent atrocious attempts at writing…that is a different story.
Anyway, I digress. I saw a posting perhaps six months ago calling for traditional tales of swords and sorcery in the style of the classic Conan the Barbarian stories and that potential authors should draw inspiration from paintings of Frank Frazetta, among others. In other words, plenty of pounding base lines, thunderous orchestras, spurting blood, voluptuous maidens, heroes NOT with six packs, but with eight or ten packs at a minimum. We were to have fun with it and flavor our tales with plenty of fearless, steely-eyed warriors who fight nasty monsters and perhaps a dark god or two, thrown in for good measure. It was to be entitled, appropriately, Tough As Nails.
I didn’t start out with a plan to write for this anthology. I loved the idea, and thought it would be great to dive back into the fantasy pool, as it were, but I was focused on some other projects at the time, and this one had a due date that was out past the horizon, in the new year. So I put it at the back of my mind and as time has a tendency to do, it sped up and flew past me to where this submission call had perhaps a month left before the deadline. I still was hesitant until the editor, someone who I have worked with before, started asking me if I planned on submitting something for the anthology. He wanted me to do so, because he knew I loved the concept and for some odd reason he’d liked my work in the past. So there I was, scrambling to come up with an idea. I initially crafted the first scene, which takes place in a tavern (the classic locale for the start of many an adventure tale), and gave my story a name, just because I liked how it sounded: “The Sunken Lands.” It sounded cool, and I knew I could wrap a quest around the idea of my hero/anti-hero needing to get to such an ominous place.
So I kept on writing, adding one scene after another, and introducing my different characters, putting them in harms way, etc. It occurred to me about five or six thousand words into this thing that there was no way this story was going to qualify as a short that would fit within the word count guidelines set up by the editor. At that point, I was in too deep, and told him that I planned on writing this tale whether it was acceptable for the anthology or not, since I was back in the mode of writing fantasy, with all the intricacies that go along with that, including all the behind the scenes “stuff” (that is the technical term) you have to put together to make the world you have crafted in any way believable. This stuff usually starts with a map, then you add history, cultures, alliances and enemies, the habitats of strange creatures, what those strange creatures are, etc. etc. And believe me, there is a lot more than that to it, but you get the idea. Fortune smiled upon me, and the editor, Matt Nord, encouraged me to write the story to its completion and he would look at it regardless of whether it fit the size limitations he had put forth (8,000 words) or it went significantly beyond that, because he wanted to see what I had come up with.
Well, as fantasy tales have a tendency to get expansive (as anyone who has read any of the more involved fantasy series out there can testify to) and it was fast becoming clear to me that this story was in no way, shape, or form going to end up being considered a short story. The only thing short about it would be the fact that it would be shorter than a novel by a good stretch. But at approximately 23,000 words, this was definitely in novella territory. Having that high a word count was the only way to effectively tell the tale in my humble opinion (for better or for worse) and also presented me with a cast of characters who could carry on in more tales of this world I had created, if I so chose. Matt did take a look at it and I think the fact that I broke the story into two parts gave him the flexibility he needed to fit it into the book. So despite the fact that I crafted something almost three times as long as what the editor wanted, he somehow liked what he saw and took it anyway. Actually, he really liked it, which was great, because I wasn’t so sure, which is pretty normal for me as a writer. I tend to never be all that sure whether what I have written is worth a damn. I had other folks read my story before Matt ever got a look at it, naturally, and got some good constructive criticism from them, which helped shape and transform it into a sharper story than the original. They liked it to, so I am hopeful others will as well.
Below is the cover of the book, and while I have absolutely LOVED the covers of my novels and most of the anthologies I’ve been in, the idea of something I’ve written being in a book with fantasy cover art makes me as giddy as a child.
More details to come as the book is released. I hope some of you fantasy lovers out there will check this one out when it hits the shelves.
Another project I worked on and am very excited about has come to fruition and is now available over on Amazon. Read The End First has the unique premise of showcasing 24 different tales of the end of the world, each based in a different time zone. Because of the nature of the project, this was an invite only anthology, and each author had to pick a particular time zone and write a story that would make sense given their location on the globe. My particular story takes place in Bethlehem and is entitled “What Rough Beast.” You’ll just have to guess at what the story is all about.
So check this one out, there is a great list of authors involved, including Stephen North, Suzanne Robb (who edited it), Michael S. Gardner, Rebecca Snow, A.J. French, Craig Saunders, John McCuaig, David Dunwoody, Wayne Goodchild, Adrian Chamberlain, D.A. Chaney, Hollie Snider, William Todd Rose, and many more that I apologize I can’t remember right off the top of my head.
So click on the cover and head on over to Amazon to check out your very own copy of Read The End First.
Well, it didn’t take long for this one to make its way over from Createspace over to Amazon. Since Amazon is easier to deal with as far as ordering is concerned, please check this book out there. As I have mentioned before, it contains one of my favorite short stories I have ever written, Cicada. It is a story about generations that live before, during, and after the zombie apocalypse, told in relation to the appearance of Cicadas-a particular species that comes about every 17 years. It is a tale that speaks of generations-fathers to sons, and how life begins anew, even when there is death all around you.
So please check out Zombie: The Other Fright Meat, which also contains stories from a great list of other authors who love to write traditional tales of zombies, when so many other monsters are “selling out” and going out and doing teen romances and such. Just click on the cover image to head on over to Amazon. Thanks!
Norgus Press has released an anthology that I have been anticipating for quite some time now, because it contains one of my favorite tales of the undead that I’ve ever written. Zombie: The Other Fright Meat contains a wide assortment of tradition zombie tales…mainly in response to other well known monster types going all Hollywood.
Here is the description:
You can’t live with ‘em…
At least not without getting a chunk bitten out of ya.
But we here at NorGus can’t live without ‘em!
And who’d want to?
In a world where vampires sparkle in the sun instead of roasting like pigs at a barbeque
and werewolves run around with capri pants and washboard abs,
It’s nice that we can fall back on zombies to actually be monsters!
I am happy that my story, Cicada, has found a home in this anthology. I wrote this tale with no plans for it to get published originally. It was one I wrote as one of my first short stories about zombies that stood separate from my novels, and it was one I felt compelled to write. The basic gist of my tale is that the world-and life-runs in cycles, and cicadas, as insects that come up out of the ground on a specific schedule with numerous years between each visit, would serve as a way to ‘check in’ on the world alongside them. The particular Cicada’s that I write about are the ones that appear where I live, in Southwest Ohio, and they appear once very seventeen years. With that in mind, I thought it would be interesting to show how the human race goes from living in normal times to living at the very dawn of the zombie apocalypse, to years later, when much of the human race has been wiped out, and then again, when the human race is fighting its way back to dominance over the dead. The story shows brief moments in time, and tracks different generations of the same family, fathers to sons, and how they cope with death, life, and rebirth, just as the cicadas do, time after time.
Again, this story has always been one I have been very fond of, and am proud that it resides in this anthology. So please check it out…either over on Createspace or when it hits Amazon here in the next couple of weeks. Just click on the cover art to head on over to Createspace to order your copy. Thanks!
I’m proud to announce that Before Plan 9: Plans 1-8 From Outer Space has been released and is available over on Amazon. This book details those first plans where the aliens tried to prevent humanity from destroying the universe before their infamous raising of the dead experiment documented in the movie from Ed Wood Jr., Plan 9 From Outer Space. Tony Schaab has brought together a bunch of fantastic authors to tell the tales that record our interactions with the alien beings who are fearful we will invent the substance that has the power to ignite the sun and destroy us all. Certainly, their efforts with Plan 9 were a miserable failure, but what came before? What attempts did they make in our past to try and curb our lust for violence and destruction?
Check out Before Plan 9, which includes my retelling of the Odyssey, aka Plan 1. Just click on the book cover to be directed over to Amazon to get your copy today. Oh, and make sure you keep watching the skies, because the aliens are sure to return!
Here is the table of contents of this very fun and exciting new book:
Plan Zero from the Mesozoic Era by Tony Schaab
Plan 1 from the Lesser-Heralded Parts of The Odyssey by Patrick D’Orazio
Plan 2 from Ancient Egypt by D.A. Chaney
Plan 3 from the Middle Ages of Hamelin by Greg Carter
Plan 4 from the Clockwork Country by Tonia Brown
Plan 5 from the Depressing Depression by David Dunwoody
Plan 6 from the Nazi Regime by Rob Silvera
Plan 7 from Sin City by Jonathan Maberry
Plan 8 from the Fantastic Fifties, Phase 1 by Craig DiLouie
Plan 8 from the Fantastic Fifties, Phase 2 by Joe McKinney and Michael McCarty
Alien Apocalypse-The Storm is a short story that takes place just as a comet is cutting a close path near the earth. Something has been hanging out on the comet, and comes down to earth, covering everything with a green mold like growth that devours everything living in its path. The story splits perspectives between Leon, a father imprisoned for manslaughter and just about to fulfill his term, and his son, Elliot, who is living with his aunt and uncle, waiting for his dad to be released. Leon is stuck in solitary confinement during the initial landing of the green growth that carves a swath of destruction through the prison. Only the prison guard who comes into his cell and a woman who is a clerk at the prison who hid in locker manage to avoid the mayhem. Elliot, living on a remote farm, also escapes the first wave of destruction, and the hunt is on for Leon, now freed from prison, to get to his son in time before everything is destroyed.
This is a fast paced, nicely done apocalyptic short story, with a promise for more to come from the author. For a brief tale, Leon, the father, is developed nicely as a character you can appreciate and the author tosses some nice twists into a tale whose main villain is a moss-like substance. Overall, plenty of fun, and I will be interested to see where Dean Giles takes things from here.
Alien Apocalypse-The Storm can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Alien-Apocalypse-The-Storm-ebook/dp/B005JE2W7Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1331961140&sr=1-1
I’m pretty excited about a newly release anthology that one of my short stories appears in. I had the opportunity to write a story that was a bit different for me, though at the same time, still shared a bit of DNA with many of the other stories I’ve written over the years. This particular one was originally intended for another anthology, and fit the it to a T. Unfortunately, before that particular anthology got very far, it was cancelled by the publisher. I was ‘stuck’ with this story at that point, which was unfortunate, because I thought it was one of my better tales. It was my effort at writing a war story set in the future, but having some very traditional horror elements to it-a particular menace that I had never written a story about before, and was a new challenge for me. So when I heard about Static Movement producing an anthology entitled Dark Dispatches, which wanted tales of war, real or imagined, here on Earth or elsewhere, in any time period–past, present or future, I knew my story might have a second life. So I submitted my tale, entitled “One Shot, One Kill”, and George Wilhite, the editor, responded within a couple of days, snatching it up.
And now this tale has been released to Amazon, and I am asking you to check it out. I’m not sure how Static Movement works on ebooks, but the paperback version is now available. Keep an eye on the link for further information on the kindle release, and probably over on smashwords for other ebook releases.
I would ask that you consider getting a copy of this book in paperback-a slew of war stories that contain supernatural, alien, and plain old human warriors-all with compelling story lines. I have had the privilege of reading one of the other tales in this book already, by Richard Marsden, and I can tell you that it is excellent. Well worth the price of admission for these two tales alone…but there are many, many more!
So go ahead: click the picture, and head on over to Amazon to pick up your copy of Dark Dispatches. Thanks!