Tuesday, November 26, 2013

'Ominous Realities' Release Date

On December 10th, Grey Matter Press will be releasing a new anthology of horror, sci-fi, and speculative fiction called Ominous Realities.  It'll feature my story 'Born Bad,' which I just realized was written a year ago almost to the day.

As usual, the e-book will be available first, and hopefully the trade paperback will be out in time for Christmas.  If there's someone in your life who enjoys weird fiction, grab a copy for a stocking-stuffer.  Also, if you have an obnoxious conservative relative, get one for them too.  You probably won't have to deal with them again next year.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

...our lady's selling tissues for the tears, for all the years of blessed rape in the name of our sweet lord...


There was a two year period during college when I was completely obsessed with The Legendary Pink Dots.  I devoured every single album of theirs I could get my hands on, and even once took a road-trip to DC to interview them for a Canadian music magazine.  On a certain kind of day and in a certain state of mind, they still do something really good for me.

This has always been one of my favorite Dots songs.  I have no idea how Edward Ka-spel interprets it, but to me it's always felt like a hymn sung by a space cult.  Also, it's about five times heavier live.

Friday, November 15, 2013


ARES is a new sci-fi and fantasy magazine due to launch sometime early next year.  The print edition is going to contain 96 pages of fiction and such, and each issue will come with a stand-alone board game.  My surreal psi-fi story 'The Secret Life of the Goldleaf Hotel' has been accepted, but they're not yet sure if it'll be featured in the first or second issue.  This is shaping up to look like one of the cooler projects I've been involved in.  Further details as they come.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Dark Visions vol. 1 Out in Paperback!!!!

I'm very happy to announce that Dark Visions vol. 1 is finally out in paperback!  Ignore the notice that they're "temporarily out of stock," because that's a total lie.  They're there, and waiting to be read.

DV1 contains my story 'The Troll,' which is sort of a mash-up of Donnie Darko, Stephen King's IT, and Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes.  The idea for it came to me last year while I was walking my dog along the Tiber river.  As we passed under a bridge, I had an image of a young boy sitting under a bridge, having a conversation with a strange magician with malicious intentions.  I went home and started writing.  A year later, here we are.

Go grab a copy, and if you're so inclined, drop by here and tell me what you think.

BTW, if for some reason you don't want to shop at Amazon, it's also available at Barnes & Noble.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Born Bad

My story 'Born Bad' will soon be released as part of a speculative fiction anthology called Ominous Realities.  Last night I sent the edited manuscript to the publisher.  They'd sent me a few notes, most of which concerned areas they thought could deal with a little expansion.  As a result it's now a tighter piece with a firm resolution.

I'm really looking forward to hearing everyone's reactions to this one.  If all goes well, the book will be out in December.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Dark Visions Giveaway

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Grey Matter Press has launched a giveaway on Goodreads!  If YOU'D like a chance to win one of five copies of the new horror and dark fantasy collection Dark Visions (which contains my story The Troll), click here and enter!  BTW, when I say "copies," I mean ACTUAL TRADE PAPERBACKS.  It'll not only keep you up well past your bedtime, but make your coffee table look cool as hell.  Good luck!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

"I said to Hank Williams, how lonely does it get? Hank Williams hasn't answered yet."

Leonard Cohen is my favorite song-writer of all time.  I could talk about him for hours, but one aspect of his career that I've always found wonderfully defiant is that he didn't release an album until he was thirty-five years old.  That's an anomaly in a culture that only lends its ears to musicians when they're barely pubescent, then sneers at any of them who labor on past early adulthood.  It should be the other way around.

The songs on Cohen's first album demonstrate a lyrical maturity that would, with a few peaks and valleys, remain consistent throughout his entire career.  One of the reasons for this is that when he wrote them, he'd already seen enough of life to know what he was talking about.  The majority of recording artists cut their first record in their early 20's, and what the hell do you know about life by then?  Looking back, I was barely aware of a world that existed outside of my own raging hormones until I was at least twenty-five.  As I get older, I'm increasingly glad that that wasn't the hour when I produced my life's great work.

Cohen has spoken at length about his admiration for Hank Williams, Sr.  Notwithstanding my respect for Hank, one part of his body of work that's always rubbed me the wrong way is his breakup songs.  While Cohen revels in the complexity of relationships, Hank's tragic love stories are invariably one-sided: he gave his heart to some merciless ice-queen, and she tore it to shreds.  That kind of narrative would have appealed to me ten years ago.  These days, I'd wager the ice-queen was probably a decent girl who saw that the relationship wasn't working, and had the presence of mind to break it off.  One indicator of maturity is a willingness to accept responsibility for your life rather than point the finger.  Hank died at the age of twenty-nine.  In this regard, he never had the chance to grow up.

We like our rock stars young.  That's understandable, because youth lends an energy and fresh perspective to music.  Also, when you're twenty, it's good to hear from others who know what you're going through.  But it's also good to hear from someone who's a little further down the road.  They can let you know what's coming, and on occasion, they can help you put your breakup-of-the-week in context.  At its best, music is a form of moral guidance.  By continuing to assign the very important job of song-writer exclusively to people who are just out of adolescence, we're keeping our culture developmentally stunted.