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19 February 2013

Something Interesting (to me at any rate)

I know this is pretty dumb, but I just got totally jazzed when I discovered that my story from ARCANE II is one of three featured as representative of the anthology's weirdness at Cold Fusion Media's website. It has probably been there for weeks, but while searching for clues to when the print edition might be coming out, I happened to notice it. That's a thumbnail synopsis of "The Dubious Apotheosis of Baskin Gough" highlighted in blue in the screenshot. Part of what is exciting is that a lot of emphasis is placed on one-sentence summaries as both a test of story structure and a marketing tool, and having the editor choose mine to summarize makes me think that I did something right in that sprawling tangle of a story.

On a somewhat related note, I am currently working at getting some of my previously published stories whipped into shape for individual release in ebook format. The biggest challenge (and, I have to admit, the fun part) is putting together a professional-looking cover for each. Here is a mock-up of a cover for "Hard Winter," which I mentioned in my previous post. Any comments would be warmly appreciated.

18 February 2013

Paradigm: Volume One is a Nook Book!

Just a quick note to say that an anthology containing one of my older (but still a favorite) stories  is now available as an e-book, exclusively (as far as I can tell) from Barnes & Noble. It is "Hard Winter," a darkly comedic Beaver Island story with only a couple of survivors. All characters are wholly invented, and any resemblance to actual persons is purely coincidental, just so you know.

23 January 2013

It's here! My story, "The Dubious Apotheosis of Baskin Gough," along with 20 other great stories are available in one creepy package known as ARCANE II.. Check out the e-book at Amazon,Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. The Print edition will be out soon for those of you who, like me, prefer that inky pulpy smell to the ambient glow of a screen. Help spread the word to anyone who you think might dig it. Cheers!

04 January 2013

One of my favorite sources for what's weird in real life, Boing Boing, features an article that resonates with me. According to Smithsonian Magazine smuggling of narwhal tusks has landed a couple of Americans in hot water.
The scene that was the inspiration for my most recent story, "The Dubious Apotheosis of Baskin Gough," centers around a narwhal in the foyer of a grand home. After Keith Grassmick, the artist behind Aqua Dementia (shown below), gave me his blessing to base a story on his painting, it took me over two years to come up with a story in which that scene could occur. At one point I did a heap of research on narwhals since research is more interesting than actual writing sometimes.

Anyway, I just returned the edited proofs of that story to Cold Fusion Media for the forthcoming ARCANE II anthology, and seeing narwhals in the news seemed serendipitous, except that the ones in the story were dead.

Oh, and as there is some discussion in the story about eating the flesh of the elusive unicorn of the sea, here is another article about eating narwhal "meat."

10 December 2012

Cover Art for Arcane II Revealed!

Take a look at this amazing image by French artist, Nihil.
Look closely. Blow it up to full size. Soak it in. 
“Le grand ordonnateur”
Let it inhabit your brain a bit.

But not too much--it's pretty damn creepy.

I am thrilled to say that this fine image will reportedly be gracing the cover of Arcane II, the much anticipated second volume in the Arcane Anthology series, edited by Nathan Shumate and published by Cold Fusion Media. “Le grand ordonnateur” apparently translates to "the great architect," or "the main organizer." Both evocative, though I prefer the former. Props to Nathan for his impeccable taste, and to the artist for his unique vision.

Of course, my story "The Dubious Apotheosis of Baskin Gough" will be appearing in Arcane II, so I have particular reason to be excited.

I have always been of the firm opinion that, even when readers know better, cover art can have a huge impact on sales. How many good books have I passed on again and again because of the cover art, only to be surprised when I actually did pick them up at the quality to be found between the covers? Likewise, I've bought more books than I can recall that were great right up until I actually got down to the reading. But not to worry. With all due modesty, I have complete faith that the stories in Arcane II will live up to such a wickedly alluring cover.

On a related note, here is a complete list of the
stories that will be appearing in Arcane II:

Jean Graham, “Nightcrawlers”
Nicole M. Taylor, “The Pianist’s Wife”
Suzanne Sykora, “Palace of Rats”
Michael R. Fletcher, “Fire and Flesh”
Steve Toase, “Fate’s Mask”
Miranda Ciccone, “Orpheus and Eurydice”
Joanna Parypinski, “Lakeshore Drive”
Harry Markov, “Hurricane Drunk”
Brooke Miller, “The Last Laugh”
Gef Fox, “Tree Hugger”
Philip Roberts, “90 Day Notice”
Libby Cudmore and Matthew Quinn Martin, “Convention of Ekphrasis”
Michael Haynes, “In the Paint”
Milo James Fowler, “Beneath the Surface”
Andrew Bourelle, “What It Means to Love”
Priya Sharma, “The Beatification of Thomas Small”
Craig Pay, “His City”
Patrick McGinnity, “The Dubious Apotheosis of Baskin Gough
Adele Gardner, “Triptych”
Eric Dimbleby, “The House That Wept Puddin’”

Be on the lookout for the e-book in Mid-January, and the print version not long after. Of course, I'll keep you updated, so check back often.

01 December 2012

Weird Scholar charts...well, the weird

Something interesting from the Weird Fiction Review, Ann and Jeff Vandermeer's site dedicated to the celebration and exploration of The Weird. Stephen Graham Jones, author and associate professor of English at the University of Colorado, Boulder, has shared a flow chart that attempts to pin down the notoriously squirmy and tentacular genre of weird fiction.

I have to admit to having developed a special affinity for weird fiction of late, especially since the story I have forthcoming in Volume II of the Arcane anthology fits squarely into the genre. I didn't intend that at the start, but the final product was certifiably weird (and this chart only confirms my original assessment).

One of the Vandermeers' most recent projects (to tell the truth, it is hard to keep up with these two) is the World Fantasy Award winning The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories. They've also complied a pair of fine anthologies of New Weird writing, but don't let the idea of "newness" confuse you. The "Old" Weird is still very much alive and undulating.

30 November 2012

New(ish) Story Finds a Home

Well, it has been a while, but at last, I have a sale to announce. One of my newer stories, "The Dubious Apotheosis of Baskin Gough," will be appearing in the second volume of Cold Fusion Media's fine Arcane anthology series in early 2013 (assuming the Mayan calendar is wrong and we're all still here). It will be coming out in both e-book and print formats, and I will, of course, post details here as soon as I know more.
--The first Arcane Anthology--

I have to say, I'm really excited to see this piece in print, as it took more than two years of working on and off before it was done. In the end I was really happy with how it turned out, though it was a bit long for a lot of the markets I could imagine it in.

Aqua Dementia, by Keith Grassmick
The story was inspired by the painting "Aqua Dementia" by the ever-so-talented artist Keith Grassmick. I've always loved that image not only for its artistic merits, but also for the narrative it implies. My challenge was to write a story in which this scene could appear, and I'm glad to say the scene did make it through all the revisions and ended up being one of the best in the story.

You owe it to yourself to head on over to Cold Fusion's website and check out some of their other offerings, including Arcane Volume I, The Arcane Sampler, Arkham Tales, and all of Nathan Shumate's other exciting projects.