The Madness of Dr. Caligari Taking Shape

The previously-announced anthology The Madness of Dr. Caligari now has a cover (by Harry O. Morris) and a table of contents. Edited by Joseph S. Pulver Sr. and to be published by Fedogan & Bremer, The Madness of Dr. Caligari should be one of the highlight anthologies of the year.

Caligari

THE MADNESS OF DR. CALIGARI table of contents:
Ramsey Campbell – The Words Between
Damien Angelica Walters – Take a Walk in the Night, My Love
Rhys Hughes – Confessions of a Medicated Lurker
Robert Levy – Conversion
Maura McHugh – A Rebellious House
David Nickle – The Long Dream
Janice Lee – Eyes Looking
Richard Gavin – Breathing Black Angles
S.P. Miskowski – Somnambule
Nathan Carson – The Projection Booth
Jeffrey Thomas – The Mayor of Elementa
Nadia Bulkin – Et Spiritus Sancti
Orrin Grey – Blackstone: A Hollywood Gothic
Reggie Oliver – The Ballet of Dr. Caligari
Cody Goodfellow – Bellmer’s Bride, or The Game of the Doll
Michael Griffin – The Insomniac Who Slept Forever
Paul Tremblay – Further Questions for the Somnambulist
Michael Cisco – The Righteousness of Conical Men
Molly Tanzer – That Nature Which Peers Out in Sleep
Daniel Mills – A Sleeping Life
John Langan – To See, To Be Seen
Gemma Files – Caligarism

That is one hell of a list of writers. I’m very proud to be included and excited to read the rest of the book!

Images From San Pedro HPLFF 2016

I was about to summarize my recent ReaderCon experience when I realized I have a folder of photos I meant to share, along with a summary of the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in San Pedro, California. It’s been over for about 2 1/2 months and I forgot to post, until now!

Many of these photos are borrowed, so I’ll give credit to the photographer where I can. If I’m sharing your photo and you’d prefer I take it down, please just let me know.

Cody Goodfellow was one of the primary organizers of the convention and was good enough to pick me up at the airport and drop me off at the end of the weekend. When I arrived at Cody’s house, I had to obtain a live photo to convince certain parties overseas who wanted reassurance that Joe Pulver had survived the trip intact. Here is “proof of life.”

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At the convention’s opening ceremony, Cody acted as emcee. Cody is one cool cat.

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Here I am behind the Word Horde table. My book’s official release date happened to fall on the weekend of the convention, which made it easy for me to decide to head down to LA for the long weekend. I believe Ross Lockhart took this photo.

WordHorde

Here I am outside the Warner Grand theater, the primary venue for the convention, in old downtown San Pedro. Photo is by Nick Gucker.

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Speaking of Nick Gucker, another book released at the convention was S.P. Miskowski’s excellent Stag in Flight, published by Dim Shores and illustrated by Nick. Dim Shores and Word Horde shared a dealer table so I was able to spend lots of time with Ross Lockhart, Sam Cowan, Nick Gucker and S.P. Miskowski.

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This was my first time meeting S.P. in person (along with her husband Cory), a real highlight for me. Here we are clowning for a selfie.

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I also picked up my copy of Michael Cisco’s The Knife Dance, another Dim Shores release. The hardcover is super beautiful! As I write this, they’re pretty nearly sold out, but you can still get the trade paperback. The Dim Shores store is HERE

Knife-Dance-one

Something I’ve experience at almost every convention I’ve attended is that there always seems to be one restaurant to which everyone returns at least once a day. Here’s a crowd gathered outside Happy Diner, where I ate breakfast four days in a row.

The photo by Mike Davis shows (L-R) Nick Gucker, Sam Cowan, Ross Lockhart, Kelly Young, me and Leeman Kessler. Excellent gentlemen, all but one.

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This is the kind of thing I ate every day, severed with a generous jar of fresh-made salsa.

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After this many of us were interviewed one at a time by Leeman, then we ended up at Sacred Grounds, a pretty cool coffee shop next door to the theater. This time Mike Davis included himself in the photo, and you can also see Leeman, me and Kelly Young. It’s got to be very, very early because Kelly and I have soft drinks.

sacred-grounds-by-MikeDavis

Soon after this, we migrated down to the “Annex,” a little theater down the block where author readings and panels took place Saturday. Here’s yet another Mike Davis photo of several of us preparing to read, namely (L-R) Cory Herndon, S.P. Miskowski, Joe Pulver and me.

annex-by-MikeDavis

Matt Carpenter very kindly brought a bottle of one of our favorite libations, which lubricated many of the readings, and later panel discussions. Several of us read, all in a row. Here’s S.P. reading from Stag in Flight.

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Here is the great Pulver reading!

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After the reading, I posed with the sole existing “proof” copy of Autumn Cthulhu. Everyone was trying to get a look at this book, which was set to be released a week after this event.

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The Cosmic Horror panel was a lot of fun, featuring Mike Davis, Leslie Klinger, S.P. Miskowski, Cody Goodfellow, me, Joe Pulver, Kat Rocha and Ross Lockhart.

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Pulver at the Skinner mural in downtown San Pedro.

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Leeman Kessler in the lobby of the Warner Grand…

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… and later gazing into Lovecraft’s eyes.

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One of the best fun parts of every convention is the night everyone stays up way too late, talking and laughing and drinking and who knows what else. I’m pretty sure the next 3 photos are by Sam Cowan. Here we have John Skipp, Ross Lockhart, me and Pulver out on the patio outside the hotel very, very late at night.

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Nick Nacario, Nick Gucker and Leeman Kessler.

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And me, Joe Pulver and Kelly Young.

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Ross on the left, Sam on the right. The final day’s events were off-site, in this big warehouse down by the water. Everyone was exhausted, as is usually the case by the end of a long convention weekend.

Ross-and-Sam-vending

Being driven back to the airport by Cody Goodfellow was an experience I will never forget. The important thing to understand is that this is a convertible and we’re driving something like 95 miles per hour. The wind knocked me around so much, I think I lost consciousness.

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I had a great time, signed many books, met a lot of cool people and spent time with great friends. Convention success!

The Best Place for a Book is a Reader’s Hand

It’s been a while since I shared pictures of people showing off their copy of The Lure of Devouring Light. Here are a few more.

Kristi Demeester with reading materials for a summer road trip:

Lure-Demeester

Brian Evenson:

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Christopher Ropes, who found copies for sale at the Barnes & Noble store at Union Station:

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Thanks to Kristi, Brian and Chrisopher for sharing pictures.

Words In: Zero Saints by Gabino Iglesias

Zero Saints by Gabino Iglesias was published by Broken River Books late in 2015. A quick, propulsive tale packed with violence and threat, in which a gang-connected drug dealer on the dark side of Austin, Texas receives a warning from a group of rivals, who might also be demons. Fernando tries to find the right path through a dangerous milieu that stretches across the border into Mexico, venturing there and back again.

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I don’t know who came up with the phrase “Barrio noir,” but it fits. Some readers have complained about the amount of Spanish or “Spanglish” mixed into the text, but I found this helped create a sense of atmosphere, of partial foreignness or at least separateness from the dominant American culture more familiar to many of us. It allowed me to believe I was seeing through Fernando’s eyes, and let me feel privy to his thoughts.

Visceral and tough, poetic and beautiful yet oh-so-dark. Zero Saints is a highly recommended thrill ride, artfully told, and sets Gabino Iglesias apart from the bulk of his neo-noir contemporaries. I can’t wait to see what this guy does next!

Zero Saints on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27230788-zero-saints

Zero Saints on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Zero-Saints-Gabino-Iglesias/dp/1940885337

An October Festival and Book Release

I’ve just been confirmed as a guest for the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon coming up October 7-9 here in Portland. The Facebook event page is here, and I’m sure there will be a Kickstarter before long.

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This is always one of my favorite events of the year, not only because it’s local. The HPLFF always manages to be one of the biggest and best gatherings of cool and interesting writers, editors, publishers, artists, filmmakers and enthusiasts of Cosmic Horror and the Weird. The event is not just Lovecraft-related, so if you’ve ever thought “Sounds fun, but I’m not super-Lovecrafty, myself,” you’d probably enjoy attending for the readings, panels, films and especially the people. At least a partial guest list should be available soon.

EternalFrankenstein

Also happening at this event will be the release of the next Word Horde anthology, Eternal Frankenstein. My own novelette “The Human Alchemy” will appear alongside works by a really interesting selection of writers, many of whom will be at the convention and ready to sign your books! I imagine there will be some kind of reading event associated with the book release, and/or possibly a group signing.

You can preorder Eternal Frankenstein now from Word Horde and later this summer from the usual outlets. Here’s what’s inside:

Table of Contents
Amber-Rose Reed – Torso Heart Head
Siobhan Carroll – Thermidor
Autumn Christian – Sewn Into Her Fingers
Rios de la Luz – Orchids by the Sea
Edward Morris – Frankenstein Triptych
Michael Griffin – The Human Alchemy
Betty Rocksteady – Postpartum
Scott R. Jones – Living
Tiffany Scandal – They Call Me Monster
Damien Angelica Walters – Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice
Orrin Grey – Baron von Werewolf Presents: Frankenstein Against the Phantom Planet
Nathan Carson – Wither on the Vine, or Strickfadden’s Monster
Anya Martin – The Un-Bride, or No Gods and Marxists
G. D. Falksen – The New Soviet Man
Kristi DeMeester – The Beautiful Thing We Will Become
David Templeton – Mary Shelley’s Body

Review and Interview on Smash Dragons

Matthew Summers has just posted both a lengthy interview with me and a very flattering review of The Lure of Devouring Light on his blog, Smash Dragons.

The review uses terms like “tour de force” and ends with “Quiet horror told with the loudest of voices, this collection is a must read for anyone with even a remote interest in genre fiction.” I think it’s safe to say Matthew liked the book very much!

REVIEW

The interview was an enjoyable and interesting one for me, with some good questions. It’s mostly serious, but probably most people will be interested in seeing who I choose for my zombie apocalypse survival team, when limited to choosing only from weird/horror writers.

INTERVIEW

My sincere thanks to Matthew Summers for his efforts assembling the interview, and his kind and flattering appraisal of The Lure of Devouring Light.

Words In: Stag in Flight by S.P. Miskowski

S.P. Miskowski’s Stag in Flight is the latest from Dim Shores, the excellent boutique press operated by Sam Cowan.

A story of twisted psychology, in which a lonely and depressed unemployed library, Benny, finds his way into therapy, which seems less designed to heal his pain or grant him relief than for his weirdly self-focused therapist Dot to tell stories about her own excellent life, her history and her family, accentuating all the many ways in which Benny’s weakness, inferiority, pain and loneliness stand in opposition to her success, her bright creativity and fulfilling relationships. In one such therapy session, Benny encounters a stag beetle, and in his surprise, has a reaction to it that he then questions. Later, alone in his apartment again, he begins to feel connected to the image of the beetle, and even strengthened by emulation of its example.

Wonderfully dark, strangely moody and sad, rich with the anguish of unwanted solitude and fear a life of no possibilities or outlets available. S.P. Miskowski was already one of my favorite writers on the strength of her Skillute Cycle (the novel Knock Knock and the trio of connected novellas), and Stag in Flight certainly at least matches her earlier work in quality.

staginflight

It remains available for purchase (see link to Dim Shores below), though there aren’t many left, and when they’re gone, they’re gone!

Stag in Flight on Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29904180-stag-in-flight

Stag in Flight on Dim Shores:
http://dimshores.storenvy.com/products/16500057-stag-in-flight

Words In (and Out): Cthulhu Fhtagn! Edited by Ross E. Lockhart

One of my favorite anthologies of 2015 was Cthulhu Fhtagn!, edited by Ross E. Lockhart and published by Word Horde. The one requires a disclaimer, as my story “Delirium Sings at the Maelstrom Window” appears, but I’m talking about the rest of the book. Let’s pretend my own story isn’t involved.

Many different styles and moods are in the mix here, in a great cross-section of weird, horrific, funny and dark. My own personal favorites were the last two stories in the book: the aggressively strange and sublime insanity of Cody Goodfellow’s “Green Revolution,” a story of ecology and science gone wrong, and Laird Barron’s “Don’t Make Me Assume My Ultimate Form,” in which the incredible Jessica Mace makes another appearance, and we meet a most interesting cast of characters, including Mrs. Shrike.

If you’re interested in a free sample of one of the stories included, Scott R. Jones made an audio reading of his story “Assemblage Point,” available HERE.

And if you’d like another taste, I’m almost finished editing an audio reading of my own story, which should be available soon. When it’s ready, I’ll post a link here, of course, and you might also find it via Word Horde.

Overall, Cthulhu Fhtagn! is an enjoyable and varied book, and really deserved more attention than it’s received so far. In my opinion, it’s one of the overlooked anthologies of last year (though it did win “Anthology of the Year” in the latest This is Horror Awards). I hope more people will check it out.

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Cthulhu Fhtagn! on Goodreads

Cthulhu Fhtagn! on Amazon

Cthulhu Fhtagn! on Wordhorde.com

Autumn Cthulhu Reviewed by This is Horror

Bob Pastorella has just posted a nice, in-depth review of Autumn Cthulhu, edited by Mike Davis and published by Lovecraft eZine Press, at This is Horror.

REVIEW LINK.

Autumn Cthulhu cover

Bob singles out four stories for mention: “The Night is a Sea” by Scott Thomas, “Memories of the Fall” by Pete Rawlik, “Andy Kaufman Creeping Through the Trees” by Laird Barron and my own “The Smoke Lodge.” Thanks for the great review!

I myself found Autumn Cthulhu to be a most worthwhile read, full of enjoyable and varied approaches to the subject. I hope more readers will check out the book.

Buy Autumn Cthulhu from Amazon

2015 Favorite Reads – The Last Horror Novel in the History of the World by Brian Allen Carr

I just realized I never finished posting my “2015 Favorite Reads” series, with this “favorite things from prior years I only just read in 2015” lingering in the queue. Better to post this relatively late, as we approach the 2016 mid-year mark, than not at all. So then…

One of my favorite reads of 2015 in the “books published in previous years but first read in 2015” category was The Last Horror Novel in the History of the World by Brian Allen Carr. This one came out in 2014 from Lazy Fascist Press, but I was slightly late to the party. This is a brief but very unusual and disturbing book, which is also at times funny. I think more people should check this out.

On Goodreads I wrote:
Wonderful and strange sort-of-apocalypse story set on the Texas border, brief and powerful and so very well written. Brian Allen Carr is someone I need to watch.

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The Last Horror Novel in the History of the World on GoodReads

The Last Horror Novel in the History of the World on Amazon

The Last Horror Novel in the History of the World at Lazy Fascist