The BBZ Ist Quarterly Report: Publishing News, Nick Mamatas’ LAST WEEKEND, & more!

Welp, so it’s May, huh? I haven’t posted much here, other than maybe to don a mustache for a bit of fun tribute. So, that can mean one thing, and one thing only:  MASSIVE UPDATES!

Ah, but updates on what? For the most part, existence at the Bas Bleu Zombie headquarters has been like this:

IMG_3371

Despite 2016 trying to be more of a royal fucker than 2015, or 2013, I have been writing like a fiend. A lot of it has been freelance stuff to supplement my Lush Bath Bomb habit, most of it has been for STEAMPUNK PARIS, and the rest of it is miscellany slowly trickling into the world.

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New Release: Dunhams Manor Press Presents: The Last Session

Last Session
Contributor copies of The Last Session, now available for purchase at Dynatox Ministries.

I am very happy to announce that my new novelette, The Last Session: or, The Facts in the Case of Clarissa Collyer, is now out and available for purchase. This is my fourth project with Jordan Krall, Dunhams Manor Press, and Dynatox Ministries, and it has been every bit an awesome experience as the last three. As with all DMP chapbooks, this is a limited run, so when they are gone, they’re gone.

A few readers have been posting pics of their copies on Facebook, and that has really been making my days. Thank you so much, and I hope you all enjoy.

Synopsis:

Clarissa Collyer is having problems growing up. Among the usual teenage problems of identity and independence, she also has to care for her mother, whose soul is stuck in her cancer-ridden body. A modern riffing on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar,” this weird bildungsroman tale from Selena Chambers frays the threads between cutting the mortal coil and the umbilical cord.

Purchasing details:

$8 + S & H.

Copies can be ordered from:  http://dynatox.storenvy.com/products/15651756-the-last-session-by-selena-chambers-dunhams-manor-weird-fiction.

 

 

Story Published: “The Neurastheniac” in CASSILDA’S SONG

Awesome cover for CASSILDA'S SONG designed by Steve Santiago.
Awesome cover for CASSILDA’S SONG designed by Steve Santiago.

Joe Pulver’s long-awaited anthology, CASSILDA’S SONG, is finally in the world! This collection looks at the more feminine-side of Robert Chambers’ THE KING IN YELLOW, and I am honored to share a TOC with some of the awesomest ladies writing today. You can find the full Table of Contents at the end of this post.

Not only am I proud to be in this antho for the TOC, but also because I think my story “The Neurastheniac” may be one of my favorite things I’ve written to date. Joe is a really great editor to work with. Not only is his enthusiasm in the project infectious, but he goes the extra mile to encourage you in your vision, even when you are working within someone else’s sandbox. What has resulted is probably a story that is more Selena biz than anything published so far, with the exception of my piece in Starry Wisdom Library.

“The Neurastheniac” is about Helen Heck, a failed beat/confessional poet/junky, and what she uncovers from a series of trespasses through the abandoned suicide chambers in the 60s. It gets weird.

Reviews for CASSILDA’S SONG have begun popping up, and I am happy to say people have been enjoying my weird Poetess as much as I enjoyed writing her. Here are a few highlights:

For Laird Barron’s “Five for 2015”, he wrote on his blog: “Cassilda’s Song, edited by Joseph Pulver. An anthology dedicated to the King in Yellow. Pulver’s third major tribute anthology in recent days and probably the best. Selena Chambers, Maura McHugh, and S.P. Miskowski set the pace for a sleeper anthology of 2015.”

Des Lewis is live-reading the collection, reviewing each story blow-by-blow and having a lot of fun. Of “The Neurastheniac,” he compares her notebooks to Ferlinghetti and Ligotti, but also the Decadents. “That contemporaneous example of her Ferlinghetti-like poetry (poetry that sometimes in this work approaches, to my eye, fin de siecle decadence) is a section of this delightful patchwork quilt of impressions and examples of the work of Helena Heck (1937-1968) whom KiY’s surnamesake surconscious author Selena jams for us like jazz. ”

Many thanks to Messrs. Barron and Lewis!

Speaking of jazz, there are a lot of musical references in the story, from the suicide songs of the 20s and 30s through the ironic melancholy of the 90s. So, to celebrate the release of the collection, I created a playlist of all the songs that either inspired or are featured in the tale. You can tune in here.

CASSILDA’S SONG is published by Chaosium Inc. and is available for Kindle, and forthcoming for print.

Table of Contents:

Black Stars on Canvas, a Reproduction in Acrylic … Damien Angelica Walters
She Will Be Raised a Queen … E. Catherine Tobler
Yella … Nicole Cushing
Yellow Bird … Lynda E. Rucker
Exposure … Helen Marshall
Just Beyond Her Dreaming … Mercedes M. Yardley
In the Quad of Project 327 … Chesya Burke
Stones, Maybe … Ursula Pflug
Les Fleurs Du Mal … Allyson Bird
While The Black Stars Burn … Lucy A. Snyder
Old Tsah-Hov … Anya Martin
The Neurastheniac … Selena Chambers
Dancing The Mask … Ann K. Schwader
Family  … Maura McHugh
Pro Patria! … Nadia Bulkin
Her Beginning is Her End is Her Beginning … E. Catherine Tobler & Damien Angelica Walters
Grave-Worms … Molly Tanzer
Strange is the Night … S.P. Miskowski

STEAMPUNK WORLD nominated for a STEAMPUNK CHRONICLE Reader’s Choice Award.

THE STEAMPUNK CHRONICLE’s Annual Reader’s Choice Award (what I call the Steampunk Hugo) is now open for voting. I am pleased to see that Sarah Hans’ awesome STEAMPUNK WORLD anthology, which I’ve discussed quite a bit in this space is nominated for excellence in Fiction. A thousand congrats to Sarah, Alliteration Ink, James Ng who illustrated all of the stories, and to all my fellow contributors in the book.

If you enjoyed STEAMPUNK WORLD, please take a moment to vote for it here:  http://www.steampunkchronicle.com/SPCAwards/Voting/tabid/513/Default.aspx

Story Sold: SHE WALKS IN SHADOWS

SHE WALKS IN SHADOWS, edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia & Paula R. Stiles. Innsmouth Free Press. October 2015.
SHE WALKS IN SHADOWS, edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia & Paula R. Stiles. Innsmouth Free Press. October 2015.

 

Pleased as punch that my story “Body to Body to Body” will be part of Innsmouth Free Press’ SHE WALKS IN SHADOWS, the first all-ladies writing about Lovecraft’s ladies anthology. Each author was assigned a specific character to treat, and my challenge was extracting 4000 words out of Eunice Babson, who exists on the pages of “The Thing on the Doorstep” in only three sentences, all involving the word “wench.” Many thanks to editors Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles for having me and throwing me the challenge.

As per usual with Innsmouth Free Press, the cover (by Sarah K. Diesel) is stunning, and the roster dazzling. Behold!

Table of Contents

“Bitter Perfume” Laura Blackwell
“Violet is the Color of Your Energy” Nadia Bulkin
“Body to Body to Body” S. J. Chambers
“De Deabus Minoribus Exterioris Theomagicae” Jilly Dreadful
“Hairwork” Gemma Files
“The Head of T’la-yub” Nelly Geraldine García-Rosas (translated by Silvia Moreno-Garcia)
“Bring the Moon to Me” Amelia Gorman
“Chosen” Lyndsey Holder
“Eight Seconds” Pandora Hope
“Cthulhu of the Dead Sea” Inkeri Kontro
“Turn out the Lights” Penelope Love
“The Adventurer’s Wife” Premee Mohamed
“Notes Found in a Decommissioned Asylum, December 1961″ Sharon Mock
“The Eye of Jupiter” Eugenie Mora
“Ammutseba Rising” Ann Schwader
“Cypress God” Rodopi Sisamis
“Lavinia’s Wood” Angela Slatter
“The Opera Singer” Priya Sridhar
“Provenance” Benjanun Sriduangkaew
“The Thing in The Cheerleading Squad” Molly Tanzer
“Lockbox” Elise Tobler
“When She Quickens” Mary Turzillo
“Shub-Niggurath’s Witnesses” Valerie Valdes
“Queen of a New America” Wendy Wagner

Interior artwork by

Sara Bardi
Shelby Denham
Lisa A. Grabenstetter
Karen Hollingsworth
Liv Rainey-Smith
Pia Ravenari
Diana Thung
Kathryn Weaver

 

Steampunk Hands Around the World 2015

Kevin D. Steil’s brilliant Valentine initiative to Steampunk’s legacy and future rides again. I will be participating–still brainstorming on the how there–so I will blog more about this as it gets underway. Meanwhile, for details on what you can expect and how you can participate in this year’s STEAMPUNK HANDS AROUND THE WORLD, check out the deets at Kevin’s awesome blog, AIRSHIP AMBASSADOR, here.

https://airshipambassador.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/announce-hands-2015/

2015 Blast-Off!: Stories Sold and Sold-Out

Joan
Joan Vollmer, Beat Queen, outlaw, and literary legend.

Happy New Year, everyone!

So, it’s what, 14 days into the New Year, and I’m already pretty stoked about it. Maybe it has something to do with Gävle making it all the way to Christmas, but I am not going to question the positive forces too much just now.

I have had two great pieces of news.

First, I sold my story, “The Neurastheniac,” to Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.’s upcoming anthology CASSILDA’S SONG, an all-women King In Yellow exploration. It’s about a failed beat/confessional poet/junky Helen Heck, and what she uncovers from a series of trespasses through the abandoned suicide chambers. It gets weird.

I really love Helen Heck, who I somewhat imagine as Joan Vollmer meets Sylvia Plath, and I would like to do more with her down the line.

Second, all copies of my limited edition micro-chapbook “Of Parallel and Parcel,” out from Dunhams Manor Press/Dynatox Ministiries, has SOLD OUT. That’s it, folks. There’s no more. There were 50 copies, and frankly I am stunned they went so fast. Thank you to everyone who cheered me on and supported me and Jordan Krall’s press by buying the story. And while “Of Parallel and Parcel” is gone, there are still a lot of great titles in limited editions like “Weird Tales of A Bangalorean,” so if you waited too late, make no mistake now and grab some great and transgressive work.

I also want to give a big giant thank you to author Scott Nicolay, a Dunhams Manor Press alum, who saw the weird in me, has understood it, and encouraged it by introducing Jordan and I to each other.  Scott has a great collection out, Ana Kai Tangata, that is full of a unique glow and strangeness that makes it a must read.

OF PARALLEL AND PARCEL, now available for Pre-Order from Dunhams Manor Press

OF PARALLEL __ 4My short story “Of Parallel and Parcel” is available as a limited-edition chapbook from Dunhams Manor Press. Limited to 50 copies, it is now available for pre-order at $6.50 here at the Dynatox Ministries store. It will ship out in December, just in time to make a good Winter Holiday gift for the Poepathist dearest to you.

Synopsis:

It is only until we are on our deathbeds that all of our various fates are laid out before us. We can finally see where among our probable parallel lives the compass was pointing. The Grand Design of our individual lives, and how they intertwine with others, all becomes clear. This is the last will and testament of Virginia Clemm, who married her cousin Eddy Poe as a tween, and sealed her fate by taking it, and the purloined parcel it arrives in, into her own hands.

About the Publisher:

Dunhams Manor Press is the weird fiction imprint of Jordan Krall’s Dynatox Ministries and has published such illustrious weirdies such as Nicole Cushing, Scott Nicolay, Mike Griffin, and Joe Pulver (just to name a few). It is an honor to be part of this catalogue, and part of this publisher, as he is one of the few publishing a vast array of writers that work within not only the weird and bizarro, but in traditions such as dada and surrealism, including Jordan’s own endeavors in those modernist milieus.

Author’s Notes:

I began writing this story in 2006, while I was working as a newspaper reporter for a weekly newspaper in South Florida. At that point, I began working on this thinking it’d be a novel, but I kept writing off and on, and realized a year later that all I had were scraps. And, that isn’t surprising, because all that survives of Virginia Poe are scraps, which may be why I am so fascinated by her. She is heralded in many circles as Poe’s ultimate muse–the paragon of Poe’s Poetic Principle–and  yet, no correspondence of hers survives, and all we truly know of her are here-says of the Poe family’s friends and contemporaries. Within some of these accounts are hints that Virginia was immensely smart and perhaps a bit conniving, and those minces paired with a quote I found from Marie Louise Shew pointed the way to at least trying to tell the tale of the Virginia I imagined. So, by 2008, “Of Parallel and Parcel” came into being, and it wouldn’t see the light of day until 2010, when it was published in Mungbeing Magazine’s Secrets issue, where editor Mark Givens nominated it for a Pushcart prize. I am delighted that this story is getting a second wind with Dunhams Manor Press, and my Virginia will get to speak again.

STEAMPUNK WORLD is In The Haus, and in EW.com

STEAMPUNK WORLD, the Kickstarter Exclusive is on right, the trade is on the left. Both covers by James Ng. Edited by Sarah Hans. Published by Alliteration Ink.
STEAMPUNK WORLD, the Kickstarter Exclusive is on right, the trade is on the left. Both covers by James Ng. Edited by Sarah Hans. Published by Alliteration Ink.

The long-awaited Kickstarter success, Sarah Han’s STEAMPUNK WORLD (Alliteration Ink), was released last August. It contains my Orientalism tourism story “”The Şehrazatın Diyoraması Tour.” I received my contributor copies last Thursday, and I am very impressed.

Featuring illustrations by James Ng, an excellent introduction by Beyond Victoriana’s Diana Pho, and stories by Nisi Shawl, Ken Liu, Jay Lake (whom the tome is dedicated too), Jaymee Goh, Balogun Ojetade, Pip Ballantine. and Rochita Loenen-Ruiz (to name a few!), this collection aims to illustrate that Steampunk’s legacy lies outside of its common, mainstream Western trappings.

Sarah did a fine job, and I am not the only one who thinks so. Writing for EW.com, Jason Heller  included STEAMPUNK WORLD in his overview of Steampunk slipping into the mainstream, and in doing so is garnering a broader appeal. One happy conclusion he draws is that the mainstream wants to see a multicultural steampunk: “Clearly, there’s a hunger for steampunk literature that looks through a different pair of goggles; Steampunk World is a strong step in the right direction.”

If you did not back the anthology, you can order copies directly from the publisher  or from Amazon.