Monthly Archives: May 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron, Yay! Ex Machina, Meh…

So, saw a few movies lately and haven’t reported in.

Seen Avengers: Age of Ultron three times now.  Yes, three.  Dork.  Nerd.  Yes.  But it’s pretty good.  Darker than the first and bearing the weight of the, I dunno, 20 or so Marvel movies down the line that it apparently needs to set up.  Lots more character development of the secondaries, like Black Widow and Hawkeye, which is nice.  Action is packed, Ultron is a baddie with all of Tony Stark’s character flaws…and then there’s the motherfuckin’ Vision.  One of my favorite, esoteric characters from my comic book childhood.  And really, really well done.

So, yeah, Avengers 2 rocked it.  Not quite as fun as the first, but a solid summer movie nonetheless.  Can’t wait for the whole thing to fall apart, which Whedon sets up nicely, in Captain America: Civil War, next summer.  Looks pretty terrific.  And I, for one, can’t wait for the slate of Marvel movies:  Ant-Man, Dr. Strange, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, The Inhumans.  Jeez.  My inner 10-year-old is on a sugar high!

Next, Deb and I saw Ex Machina the other day at the Tivoli, a great olde tyme theater on The Loop in St. Louis.  Big screen.  REAL frakkin’ butter on the popcorn.  Anyway, I’ve been intrigued with the premise of this movie for  while.  Eccentric techno-billionaire brings an employee to his secret, isolated home/research center after the employee wins a lottery.  Ostensibly to hang out with said eccentric techno-billionaire.  Ahhh, but all is not as it seems (is it ever?).

Eccentric techno-billionaire is working on artificial intelligence in the form of a female android and needs an objective person to test the AI to see if it passes the Turing Test–the test designed to see if an AI can pass for a human.  Anyhoo, the movie starts with a pretty trite premise, but I hoped it would spin it off into something different and interesting.

Nope.  It pretty much unfolds exactly as you’d think, and you can sort of see the entire movie spread before you in the first 15 minutes or so.  At the very end, though, it veers off in a drastically different direction, not one that you’d have guessed, but not one that exactly feels right, either.

All I can say is that the point of the movie seems to be that 1) people suck, 2) people who make artificial people suck, and 3) the artificial people made by people who suck also, indeed, suck.

Disappointing.  Really the best thing about the movie was listening to the people approach the box office for tickets and mangle, hysterically, pronouncing “Machina.”  Oi vey!

Stuff and Such and UPDATES!

Hello to all of the six of you who actually read this.  Hi Mom!  (Well, actually, no.  That’s a lie.  My mother doesn’t even remember that I have a blog, doesn’t come here and probably could give a shit.  Oh well…)

Anyway, hello to the five of you…

Here’s an update on projects so far this year, projects coming up and some heartless, vague teasing about secret projects that I can say so little about.

 FINAL Cover

The Sunken Cathedral

Next up from the fine folks at Grey Matter Press is the novella we previewed down at the recent World Horror Con in Atlanta, The Sunken Cathedral.  Here’s the cover, doesn’t it look gorgeous? Wouldn’t you like a copy now?  Well, you’ll have to wait a bit longer.  Tony over at GMP will be doing a quick pre-sale of a very limited number of signed copies soon, and the book will go on general sale in July.  It’s a hard one, this story, more real-world horror than anything I’ve written.  And it has a wonderful introduction by the wonderful Josh Malerman.  More on this when it becomes available…


I Can Taste the Blood

Bought!  Snapped up by Grey Matter Press before we could even bring it around for submissions.  This one is a set of five novellas–by me, Joe Schwartz, Erik T. Johnson, J. Daniel Stone and Josh Malerman–all sharing the common title of I Can Taste the Blood.  This one rocks.  Each story is fantastic and so very, very different from the others.  This will be out in the fall, and I’ll have more info as things shape up.

Savage Beasts

This antho from Grey Matter will be out in July, I think… I have a disturbing little body horror piece entitled “That Song You Can’t Get Out of Your Head” in it.  Should be fun!

Super Secret Project # 1

Something novella-like from Farolight Publishing.  Perhaps later this year.  Perhaps…

Super Secret Project #2

Something awesome in a format I’ve never done before with a terrific publisher, probably for next year.  Something wonderful, as Dave Bowman says.


I’m not making this shit up.  At some point, sometime, probably as a complete surprise to me, this book will come out through Books of the Dead.  Really.  I am not joking.  Bother…

The Fearing

Also, I’m not joking about this.  This is THE work in progress now.  Fall finish, hopefully someone buys for 2016 publication.

Got a few other invitations to things I have to sort out (then write) but that’s the update so far! Hopefully some things for you to look forward to!

The Most Exuberant 5-Star Review of The End in All Beginnings EVAR!…Plus Offscreen Geese!

Thanks to Jeanette at Haunting TV for this great, energetic review!  She also loved The Bell Witch. See that review here.

Get your copy of my Stoker-Nominated (does it sound better to say Stoker Finalist?) The End in All Beginnings!

So this happened…


I guess it’s official!

World Horror Con 2015 Report! No, I Didn’t Win the Stoker. Stop @$%&ing Asking Already!

Me and the awesome Brian Kirk!

Me and the awesome Brian Kirk!

Me and the lovely Deborah!

Me and the lovely Deborah!

My name...on the Stoker ballot!

My name…on the Stoker ballot!

Me and the entirely too energetic Josh Malerman

Me and the entirely too energetic Josh Malerman

The amazing Jack Ketchum, Lifetime Achievement Winner

The amazing Jack Ketchum, Lifetime Achievement Winner

Helluva nice guy and helluva writer--and Stoker Award Winner!

Helluva nice guy and helluva writer–and Stoker Award Winner–Usman Malik!

The wonderful heart of Grey Matter Press--Tony Rivera and Sharon Lawson

The wonderful heart of Grey Matter Press–Tony Rivera and Sharon Lawson

Hmm...these look familiar...

Hmm…these look familiar…

So, I went down to the World Horror Con in Atlanta, trailed by a biblical plague of locust array of problems.  First, Deb’s car, which we were gonna drive down, died…permanently…before we left, necessitating a rental.  Second, I was plagued by a host of health problems, many of my own making.  Third, our house, which after 18 months, is FINALLY on the market, suffered a minor flooding in the basement, making us cut our trip short to keep the generally good showings going. And, oh yeah, I didn’t win the Stoker.  Oh well.  It was an honor, yadda-yadda-yadda.  Actually, I’m fine with it.  And I’m being honest here.  It is an honor. I had a reading where someone told me that a well-known editor told him over dinner that I was the best writer of novellas he knew of. I had a panel with Jack fucking Ketchum. I had 10 people who wanted to hear me ramble on about myself for an hour in a very successful (and sold out!) kaffeeklatsch. I got invited to a few big forthcoming anthos. We premiered, at the Grey Matter Press Booth, my latest, The Sunken Cathedral.  More on that soon.  We talked about the upcoming I Can Taste the Blood. More on that soon, too. I got to meet a shitload of great people (Should I use that term when describing people?  Probably not).  These include: Anthony Rivera and Sharon Lawson from Grey Matter Press.  Two of the best people ever from the best publisher ever.  Truly.  Tony and Sharon are every bit a part of my family as my family.  They are great editors, publishers, designers and people and I am humbled every single day that they continue to want to work with me.  I’d advise you to seek them out to work with them, but then I don’t need the competition. The lovely Jane Brooks, who doesn’t write nearly enough for my taste, and who we didn’t get to spend nearly enough time with. John Foster, who’s got some exciting news of his own coming soon! Big names like Jonathan Maberry (extremely gracious), Jack fucking Ketchum (an awesomely approachable guy), Joe McKinney, also uber down to earth, the always lovely Ellen Datlow, Armand Rosamilia, who I need to have a drink with, new author Brian Kirk, Brett Talley, Patrick Freivald, Patrick Beltran, Doug Murano, Usman Malik, Alec Shane, T. Fox Dunham, Stephen Graham Jones, Lisa Morton, my good friend R.J. Cavender, Rena Mason Twitter followers like Eddie Mercado and other people too awesome to name (or to remember…hey, I’m old.) And who was there the absolute minute I stepped from my car in the entrance to the Marriott Marquis?  The first person I met at the con? Josh Malerman.  Wow.  Was it great to finally meet him…and his de-lovely fiancee Allison.  Wish we’d had more time together.  You, sir, are da bomb.  When we move to Southern Illinois, you will have to come down for a weekend visit! Anyway, the con was delightful and it was great to meet new people and reacquaint myself with new people. Lots of new things, new ideas, new projects to share with you in the near future! And thanks, really, from the very bottom of my dark little heart to all of you for your support and well wishes!  It’s great to know that stuff I scribble down at my tiny little desk in the dead of night connects with someone out there! Now back to writing!

Best of Horror Library Out Now…Features a Story from Me!


So one more little bump of good news before I skedaddle down to the World Horror Convention in Atlanta.  Farolight Press (the new owners of Cutting Block Press) have just issued a Best of…volume of their hit series The Horror Library.  They’ve culled down five volumes and 150 shorts to the 30 best.  And my story, “The Immolation Scene,” which appeared in Horror Library V, was selected!

Go here to grab a paperback.  The digital copy will be out soon!  Pretty damn cool!

Now, it’s off to the con, where I will be on panels and do readings and even host my own kaffeeklatsch…and where I will, fingers crossed, accept a Stoker Award for The End in All Beginnings!  But whether I do or not, it will be a blast, with lots of cool stuff and BIG announcements.  Stay tuned!

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