I am getting back into book reviewing, starting with Adrian Van Young’s debut weird historical novel Shadows in Summerland (ChiZine) for Strange Horizons.. It’s an intimate look at the Spiritualism movement and the Spiritualist photographer William H. Mumler. I really enjoyed it, and found within it something of a mini-manifesto for how we go about recreating history in our pages. Please check it out here.
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:
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.
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.
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.
$8 + S & H.
Copies can be ordered from: http://dynatox.storenvy.com/products/15651756-the-last-session-by-selena-chambers-dunhams-manor-weird-fiction.
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
I just turned in proofs for THE TEMPORARY TOMB OF VIRGINIA POE, and here is a sneak peak of the cover.
If you missed the Poe Perk as part of the Dunhams Manor Press Indiegogo campaign, it is now available as a donation incentive at the Dynatox Ministries store.
All proceeds go solely to funding the next few years of Dunhams Manor Press awesomeness, which means writers get paid, artists get paid, and strange and bizarre content is made.
This is an unpublished poem about the weird circumstances of Virginia Poe’s current grave. It is the predecessor of “Of Parallel and Parcel,” and was “typeset” by my Lamy Safari Fountain Pen and Selectric II. It was a fun process, and I hope to share some behind-the-scenes of that down the road. But for now, I hope those who receive it enjoy it.
Just like the campaign, the number of issues as well as availability time are limited, so buy now or never. I hope you’ll buy now (please!).
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
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
Lisa A. Grabenstetter
Alliteration Ink’s Steven Saus has put together a charity anthology for Greg Campbell, author and veteran, whose family has lost everything to a devastating house fire. There is a crowdfunding effort over at Tilt, and for backers who donate $25, they will receive this exclusive collection. My story “Vintage Scenes #3: Morellino di Scansano, 2011 Vendemmia” will be among the 50 or more works by premier authors such as Nisi Shawl, Lucy A. Snyder, Gary Braunbeck, Tobias Buckell, Laura Resnick, and many more.
You can find the crowdfunding campaign on Tilt.com at http://bit.ly/helpVetandKids.
For more information, please read the official press release below:
BOOK CREATED TO HELP FAMILY OF A NAVY VET AFTER A FIRE
(16 January 2015 – DAYTON, OHIO – ) An award-winning lineup of over fifty authors are collecting stories to help raise money to help the family of a Navy veteran and fellow author recover after a home-destroying fire. The anthology, entitled Life After Ashes will only be available as a reward to those donating money through a crowdfunding campaign to aid the family before 2 February 2015.
Earlier this month the home of writer, Navy veteran, and single father Greg Campbell burned down. Campbell and his two children, Isaac and Scarlett, lost everything, including childhood mementos, keepsakes and photos of his recently deceased wife, and family pets. To help the family recover, Tia Fix Rumbaugh, Isaac’s stepmother, started a crowdfunding campaign to help the family get back on their feet.
“I started the crowdfunder in a panic,” Rumbaugh said. “My stepson’s house had burned. They were homeless, with only the clothes on their back, and this after my stepson had lost his mother de facto when his Aunt Pam died unexpectedly.”
The anthology started to take shape when author and publisher Steven Saus first offered digital copies of his own books as rewards for backers. “I’d just met Isaac, one of the children who lost their home. Not only is his father an author, but Isaac is an aspiring writer himself and an avid reader. It just seemed natural. Then when other authors asked if they could contribute stories as backer rewards, I knew we had the start of something special.”
Rumbaugh says that this has a great impact for the family. “This anthology isn’t just about raising funds to help the Campbell’s and give people an amazing read from award-winning authors – it’s a cause, it’s a quest, it’s an idea turned into physical hope; hope for Greg, hope for Isaac, hope for Scarlett. Life isn’t all about loss. Life can raise up from the ashes.”
Life After Ashes will have over fifty authors, including Nisi Shawl, Lucy A. Snyder, Gary Braunbeck, Tobias Buckell, Laura Resnick, and many more. It will be available in ePub, Kindle, and PDF formats to anyone who contributes $25 or more to the crowdfunding campaign raising money for the family.
You can find the crowdfunding campaign on Tilt.com at http://bit.ly/helpVetandKids.
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.