Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Zombonauts Lives ... FTA Anthologies, Less So

I discovered a couple of days ago that the Zombonauts anthology from Library of the Dead Press, which includes a reprint of my Fear of a Blue Goo Planet (podcast what seems an eon ago by Chaos Theory: Tales Askew) is now out to buy from Amazon.com. This unquestionably good bit of news was slightly spoiled by the fact that I found out not by my contributor copy turning up, or my payment for that matter, but because I happened to search for it in a moment of boredom. In fact it's been out since the back end of October, although apparently those early copies were plagued with a few (possibly undead-related) problems, hence the delay in contributor copies, etc. And hey, it's a neat-looking book. I realise this fact doesn't really come over from the miniaturised version here, so have a look on Amazon and appreciate it in all its gory glory. And check out the equally neat back cover while you're there. And, y'know, consider buying a copy.

I won't do any more plugging until I've actually seen it myself. But come on ... Zombies. In space. You know it makes sense.

A somewhat less cheering bit of news arrived the day after, when Kate Sanger e-mailed to let me know that the final two From the Asylum anthologies will not be seeing the light of day. Apparently spiralling costs got the better of the projects, and they will never be more than TOCs and a pair of awesome covers. This is particularly sucky news for me because I was in both of them. Still, you win some, you lose some, and what comes around gathers no moss, or some such philosphicalness.

No, it's still really sucky news.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Friendly out in Theakers # 31

A few snippets of news as the year grinds to a close. First up, the new issue of the ever-wondrous Theaker's Quarterly Fiction is available for free download or purchase from Lulu. Not only does it contain my story Friendly - a wildly batshit tale of interplanetary relations and disturbing alien sportsmanship - but one can also find a tale by Alison J. Littlewood, going by the name of Day of the Bromeliads. I was introduced to Alison through the oft-mentioned-here Mr Rafe McGregor, and have since had the pleasure of catching up on a lot of her previous work - which is uniformerly great and well worth tracking down, perhaps via her website. I can't say much else about the issue, since I'm waiting for my dead tree copies to arrive from Lulu, but the cover is tremendous and TQF is never ever less than entertaining.

Not really news as such, but I finished my copy of The Death Panel, as published by Comet Press and containing my Rindelstein's Monsters, and by heck it's a good collection. Of thirteen stories, five knocked my socks off, and of the rest only one failed to float my boat, (not my own, I hasten to add). In fact, hey, I'm just going to come out and say it: David James Keaton's Nine Cops Killed for a Goldfish Cracker is the best short story I've read in ages, Keaton's the next damn Charlie Huston, and - if you have the faintest liking for hard-boiled crime or horror - you'll be screwing yourself if you don't pick this one up.

Now, since I'd like to actually get in a little writing while I'm here, the other news'll have to wait a day or two...

Friday, 11 December 2009

The Death Panel Open For Business

That other bit of news referred to in the last post is that The Death Panel - containing my Rindelstein's Monsters - is now out to buy from the publisher, Comet Press, and all good internet book retailers. Or at least Amazon and Barnes and Noble, (I haven't researched this very thoroughly!).

Truth be told, it's been out since the back end of last month, but I don't like to plug things unless I can hold them in my hands and behold their glory with mine own eyes. Perhaps the wait was unnecessary in this case, because right from the off I had a feeling that The Death Panel was going to be awesome. And lo and behold, it really is. It's a beautifully put together little tome, and you'd be hard pressed to guess it's come from a small press with only two previous titles behind them.

I can't honestly claim to have read the whole thing cover to cover since it arrived on my doorstep yesterday, but I've done some serious flicking, and I can say with confidence that Rindelstein's Monsters - my possibly bestest ever story - is in damn fine company.

And that 'Murder, Mayhem and Madness' tagline? That isn't just for show.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Second Try for The Burning Room

A couple of bits of news this week, I'll get to the other one over the weekend. First up, I'm immensely pleased to announce that new professional-rate market Bull Spec have picked up my ghost story The Burning Room, which has been languishing ever since short-lived magazine The Willows accepted it and then promptly expired.

Harking back to my last post, the version that finally got okayed is some 500 words longer than the one that would have appeared back then. Editor Sam Montgomery-Blinn felt that the end was lacking a certain something and asked for a couple more lines, and me being me, I got a little carried away. It's easily done when there's the promise of being paid by the word, and it's a lucky coincidence that the new ending is a huge improvement.

I guess it's always a gamble staking work on a new publisher, but I've been hugely impressed by the passion and enthusiasm Sam's shown, both in regards to my own tale and on the Bull Spec blog. So while it would be kind of appropriate that The Burning Room should be cursed to never see the light of day, I'm hoping it's going to have a bit more luck this second time out.

Lastly, here's yet another glowing review of The Living Dead that picks out Stockholm Syndrome for special comment. Cheers to The Cimmerian for the thumbs up.