Monthly Archives: November 2013
Those fine, fine folks at Grey Matter Press (and they are fine, fine folks) just released the complete table of contents, story descriptions and release date for their next collection, Ominous Realities. If you’ve been keeping track, this is their 4th anthology this year–Dark Visions Vol. 1 (with “Show Me” by…ummm…me.), Splatterlands, Dark Visions Vol. 2, and now Ominous Realities, also featuring a story by me.
My story in Ominous Realities is called “Angie,” and its one of only two zombie stories I’ve written. It’s a little riff on the Rolling Stones song of the same name.
“We are very excited to see the release of Ominous Realities in time for the upcoming holiday season,” said co-editor Anthony Rivera. “This collection offers a number of truly fascinating stories that combine horrific themes within the genres of both science fiction and speculative fiction. As publishers of dark fiction, we honestly feel that futuristic, post-apocalyptic and otherworldly storylines lend themselves to the overall horror category. The wide variety of exceptional work contained in this volume is going to prove that dark fiction is not easily categorized and can span many genres.”
Ominous Realities will be available for purchase in ebook version for the Amazon Kindle on December 10. A trade paperback will released in the following weeks. Grey Matter hopes to have both versions available in time for holiday gift-giving.
Ominous Realities contains 16 dark tales that will take readers on a journey through both space and time. Included in the collection are stories from a number of award-winning established authors whose work has been appearing in respected science fiction, speculative fiction and horror anthologies for many years. The anthology also includes stunning new work from some of the freshest faces penning genre fiction today.
Contributors to Ominous Realities include William Meikle, Hugh A.D. Spencer, John F.D. Taff, Bracken MacLeod, Edward Morris, Paul Williams,Gregory L. Norris, Ken Altabef, T. Fox Dunham, Martin Rose, J. Daniel Stone, Eric Del Carlo, Jonathan Balog, Allen Griffin, Alice Goldfuss andEwan C. Forbes. The anthology is edited by Anthony Rivera and Sharon Lawson.
“There’s an exceptional amount of truly talented authors in this collection,” said Sharon Lawson. “Readers are going to be taken on a thrilling, dark and dangerous journey into alternative versions of reality without the limitations of time or gravitational pull. Ominous Realities explores post-Apocalyptic worlds, societies where corporations have run amok, situations wherein humanity must consider dangerous and frightening alternatives for the survival of mankind, as well as a number of horrifying scenarios that pose dire consequences to the consensus reality in which we currently live.”
TABLE OF CONTENTS and STORY SYNOPSES FOR OMINOUS REALITIES (in order of appearance)
“How to Make a Human” by Martin Rose
As the end times near, a scientist creates a race of intelligent robots, providing them the blueprint to resurrect humanity after the impending destruction of mankind. Proving far more difficult than planned, there’s finally a glimmer of hope, but it comes with dire ramifications.
“Angie” by John F.D. Taff
The apocalypse is at hand, and a divorced couple must join forces to ensure their mutual survival as society collapses. Navigating the dangerous back roads of rural America, they discover the meaning of true love, but it comes with horrifying implications.
“On the Threshold” by William Meikle
Mankind has forever been fascinated with its place in the universe. But just exactly how far is science willing to go to prove we are not alone? Two scientists aim to find out exactly what terrifying dangers exist beyond the threshold.
“Doyoshota” by Ken Altabef
Something terrifying is happening to the residents of Doyoshota, Nevada. One by one they are beginning to hear an onerous hum that has increasingly debilitating effects. Many believe it’s a government program, but there are others convinced of its far darker origins.
“Third Offense” by Gregory L. Norris
In an oppressive society where creativity is banned and advertising is all-pervasive, delivered directly into the optical implants of the citizenry, a young factory worker attempts to escape his governmental enslavement with horrifying results.
“Metamorphosis” by J. Daniel Stone
During an otherwise uneventful journey on a New York subway train, a brother and sister experience a series of chance encounters that reveal their unearthly destiny. Together they discover their twin bond has the ability to affect the world in a hauntingly dark way.
“We Are Hale, We Are Whole” by Eric Del Carlo
After global climate change has reformed the continents, multi-national corporations have stepped in to control every aspect of the survivors lives – especially healthcare. How far will man and corporation go in the struggle to sustain life and profit?
“Pure Blood and Evergreen” by Bracken MacLeod
Two young strangers from different towns, victims of ethnic cleansing, share a pained friendship while struggling to survive in a harsh internment camp. The boys’ actions start a chain of events that leave their lives, and those of their tribes, hanging in a dangerous balance.
“John, Paul, Xavier, Ironside and George (But Not Vincent)” by Hugh A.D. Spencer
The world is under attack from clouds of bio-mechanical destruction whose origins are unknown. With the end near, one man spends his last days taking care of an enigmatic client who seems to be of great importance to those in charge.
“And the Hunter, Home from the Hill” by Edward Morris
Superheroes are a mainstay of popular fiction. But could it be possible that accounts of their exploits are actually based in reality? It could be that the quiet old man living down the street is hiding his own dark secrets.
“Born Bad” by Jonathan Balog
Orphaned and raised by the church, Lucien wants nothing more in life than to become a priest like those that raised him. But constantly plagued by his concerns with Catholic doctrine and harboring a frightening secret, he finds his goal slipping from his grasp.
“The Last Bastion of Space” by Ewan C. Forbes
With privatization run amok, the simplest pleasures now come at a premium. For one young couple barely getting by on their meager incomes, they have no choice but to turn their minds over to corporate control.
“Every Soul is a Grimoire” by Allen Griffin
Harvey and Cameron are agents tasked with the well-being of a man who has a dangerous knowledge of the occult. Being near the man has resulted in new memories having been planted in Harvey’s mind, blurring his reality and opening the door to a terrifying evil.
“From the East” by Alice Goldfuss
Lost in a jungle after a global cataclysm, a scientist struggles to determine what may have caused the end of the world. Driven by her professional convictions, she finds herself in a struggle both for her own life and for the existence of humanity.
“Deciding Identity” by Paul Williams
Facing the dire consequences of a collision of two worlds, the citizens of each are given the choice of who shall live and who shall die. Will spending a day walking in the shoes of one’s counterpart in the other world make the horrifying decision easier?
“The Last Elf” by T. Fox Dunham
The fate of humanity depends upon the dark machinations of a sociopathic Nazi concentration camp commander. Having spent a lifetime chasing the enemies of Germany, the insane man finds himself on the verge of his crowning achievement – ultimate extermination.
Me again. A little editorial note here before I let you go. Go get Ominous Realities. Go get Dark Visions Vol. 1 & Vol. 2. Go get Splatterlands. Because Grey Matter Press knows what it’s doing. It’s attracting great writers and treating them right. It’s producing well-edited and well-designed books. It’s marketing them well and treating readers with respect. That’s worth supporting these days. I know Grey Matter has some exciting plans in store for 2014, and they’ve earned your support.
Noted genre editor and horror aficionado R.J. Cavender is interviewed by Fangoria in an online article up now. In it, R.J. talks about his recent Indiegogo campaign for a 2014 horror writers conference at The Stanley Hotel (inspiration for the hotel in which the shenanigans of S. King’s The Shining happened) and about the state of horror fiction these days.
I bring this up for two reasons. First, R.J. is a helluva guy. He’s one part of the team (along with Boyd Harris) who put together the Horror Library series of anthologies. I have a story, “The Immolation Scene,” in the recently released Horror Library V. Go get it.
Second, R.J. is working with me on a super-secret project that we hope to have ready to shop around by the first of the year or so. I should have the edited manuscript back next week, so I’ll be busy hammering it into shape between now and the rest of the year. I am super excited about this, and proud that R.J. chose to work with me on it.
Don’t want to say too much about it, but…wha…? A title? Hmmm…OK, sure I can share the working title.
The End in All Beginnings.
My friends at Grey Matter Press have announced that Dark Visions: A Collection of Modern Horror – Volume Two will be available for purchase in ebook version for the Amazon Kindle on December 17. A trade paperback will follow shortly thereafter. The company hopes to have both versions available in time for the upcoming holiday season. There’s no story from me in this volume, but there are plenty of people I know & like, such as J. Daniel Stone, Jane Brooks and Trent Zelazny.
Weighing in at more than 300 pages long, Dark Visions: A Collection of Modern Horror – Volume Two contains 14 exceptional tales of darkness from some of the most talented minds penning genre fiction today. Included in the collection is the work of John C. Foster, Carol Holland March, Chad McKee, J. Daniel Stone, David Blixt, David Siddall, C.M. Saunders, Jane Brooks, Peter Whitley, David Murphy, Kenneth Whitfield, A.A. Garrison, Rhesa Sealy, JC Hemphill, Edward Morris and Trent Zelazny. This second volume in the multi-volume anthology is, once again, edited by Anthony Rivera and Sharon Lawson.
“We believe very strongly in the talent included in both of these anthologies,” said Sharon Lawson. “But Dark Visions – Volume Two is going to be an even darker and more disturbing journey into the underbelly of our society. From supernatural thrillers, to deeply moving tales of frightening personal introspection, to an exploration of the truly monstrous in our world, there’s going to be something for everyone in its pages.”
TABLE OF CONTENTS and STORY SYNOPSES FOR DARK VISIONS VOLUME TWO (in order of appearance)
Mister White by John C. Foster
Abel is a master spy who’s turned espionage into a thrill-ride of a career. That is until a meeting one fateful night in a snow-covered Austrian cemetery goes horribly awry. Paranoid and hunted by a sadistic, supernatural evil, he finds himself on the run in a frightening battle for his life.
Dreaming In and Out by Carol Holland March
Imprisoned in a world of personal isolation, there seems to be no escape for the wife of an abusive husband until she begins dreaming of an enigmatic woman in white. With each recurring nightmare, she’s drawn into an ever-darkening world where the true horror that is her life is ultimately revealed.
Moonlighting by Chad McKee
On the streets of New York there is a secret darkness hiding around every corner, even in the daytime. Two stockbrokers, looking to add excitement to their boring lives, are quickly drawn into a horrifying world they never knew existed when they get caught up in a terrifying game that exposes how truly evil the heart of man can be.
Wormhole by J. Daniel Stone
The only surviving son of an alcoholic, Jason is obsessed with the concept of death and aches to understand the reasons for his mother’s suicide. With the assistance of a friend and paranormal researcher, the two seek to capture on film the last horrifying moments of life. Will they be satisfied with the terrifying results?
Remember Me by David Blixt
A confused young man who’s lost his memory is walking a dark and lonely road when he’s offered a ride from the strange driver of a horse-drawn carriage. What seems to be his good fortune becomes a hellish journey of torment when he’s presented with a horrifying offer that he can’t refuse.
The First Years by David Siddall
Every society is rife with monsters. Some live down the street, disguised as menacing teens. Others wrap themselves in secrets and are the neighbors next door. But the source of true evil, is far more common than we’d like to believe.
The Elementals and I by C.M. Saunders
Big pharma is big business. And fierce competition demands extreme methods in order to develop the next wonder drug. To what horrifying lengths will a greedy corporation go to market their frightening, mind-altering drugs to unwary consumers? They’ll do whatever they need, no matter the ominous consequences.
Inside a house on the last cul-de-sac at the end of world a young couple is coming to grips with the nightmarish horror that’s devastated their suburban community. It soon becomes frighteningly clear that there are many terrible things in life that yearn for release.
Water, Some of it Deep by David Murphy
Sometimes the darkest places on Earth are those with the shiniest veneer. And often, the darkest of souls hide in plain sight behind the smiles on the most innocent of faces. What terrible force is it that attracts the like-minded to a quaint seaside resort in the Irish countryside, turning it into a home for unspeakable evil?
Acceptance by Kenneth Whitfield
What should have been a relaxing cruise for an alcoholic husband and his nagging wife quickly becomes a nightmarish journey through personal introspection as a series of horrifying events break out on the ship, rocking both the boat and the couple to their core. Sometimes, there’s just nowhere to run from your own demons.
Variations of Soullessness by A.A. Garrison
Born into the world without a soul, Easter is terrifyingly large man who was put on this Earth to carry out the horrible work of a cruel God. And one nocturnal visit to the home of an author famous for his gut-wrenching prose puts the gruesome plan into action.
Chapelston by Rhesa Sealy
For the last twenty years, a series of unsolved murders have haunted ex-cop Connor Mason. He now finds himself back at the scene of the crime attending the funeral of his dead partner. Soon he is drawn back into the web of unspeakable evil by the dangerous forces that refuse to release their grip on his soul.
Last Call by JC Hemphill
Newscaster Maurice Townsend was at the top of his game until he lost is all in spectacular fashion. Drowning his sorrows on the shoulder of another patron in an Atlanta dive bar, the two men spend a night of commiseration that sets in motion a chain of terrifying events that have an everlasting effect on both their lives.
Throughout the world there are populations of forgotten people. They are cast-offs, rarely seen, and thrive together on the periphery of societal perception. They live according to their own dangerous rules and code of conduct. If not for one member this group of Portland homeless, they would meet the most horrible end.
Horror Library V, another in the series of fine horror anthos by editors Boyd Harris an R.J. Cavender, is now out! You can pick up your copy at Createspace here or on Amazon in a few days. Kindle copies to come soon.
If you know anything about horror, you know that the Horror Library has become synonymous with cutting-edge, quality horror from big names. Volume 5 is filled with names like Bentley Little, Ray Garton, Jeff Strand, and Benjamin Kane Ethridge…and me! My contribution is called “The Immolation Scene,” and it’s well…weird.
Anyway, it’s out, yippee, and I’ll have more news when it hits Amazon.
Remember Ain’t It Cool News? Remember that curse-filled, exciting post I posted several posts ago? Well, they’re mentioning me again, because they chose the winners to the contest they conducted for copies of The Bell Witch and Little Deaths.
Basically, contestants were asked to finish the sentence, “I’m afraid to read because…” The winners were selected by their awesomeness, and they were pretty good. Go here to read them.