Can’t help but notice that I haven’t posted in a century or so. Sorry much. Am trying.
Lots of things going on, this side of the screen. I’ve undertaken to produce a new anthology, to benefit author/editor Joe Pulver and his wife, who are having a tough time of things due to illnesses, and that’s going great guns, with a ToC to die for and early days still. We have about 90K of material on hand and every indication that there will be twice that at least.
Nightmares in Yellow, it’s called. The cover will be decorated with work by artist Derek Pegritz, and it should be out in time for Christmas.
The three chapbooks are soon to debut. All three are set in the CRAZYTOWN universe… two of them are part of the book, and one takes place shortly before the events in the book and the short novel THE FORGOTTEN GOD, which is set to appear next spring.
GREEN will be first,
Bone Sequence second,
and the former Pizza story NARANJA SOUL should be out by Hallowe’en.
Posted in altuniverse, altworld, lovecraft, moderan, weird fiction, writing
Tagged Arts, cthulhu mythos, dark fantasy, horror, moderan, science fiction, self-publishing, weird fiction, writing
I got a little bit exercised today by this article, about the “8 Tribes of Sci Fi.”
Rubbish, absolute rubbish. An ill-considered word salad.
To start with, it considers “sci-fi” which I consider to be the z-movie mentality that pervades tv and pop movies. And it calls the wrong things “sci-fi”. The article might fare better if it were said to be talking about “fantasy”, the umbrella term for science fiction and other related imaginative fields, or about “speculative fiction”, a higher-brow way of saying the same thing.
Read the thing for yourself. Feel free to regale me with your version. Or not. Continue reading →
Posted in altuniverse, altworld, lovecraftian, miscellaneous, moderan, music, science fiction, stupid, weird fiction, writing
Tagged Arts, cthulhu, cthulhu mythos, dark fantasy, lovecraftian, moderan, music, Reading, science fiction, self-publishing, weird fiction, writing
I’ve been fighting the system, the powers-that-be that govern the issuance of devices like the one to the left, for four years.
Yesterday, I was victorious, and the device was delivered to my home. It comes with one rechargeable battery, an adapter to charge via home electric current, and an adapter to charge via dashboard cigarette lighter.
In order to accomplish all of the tasks that make such a device necessary, I need at least one, and preferably two, additional battery(ies). The insurance company won’t spring for them. It would cost $258.00 apiece to rent them from the agency, or $450.00 to buy them from Amazon.
The latter seems preferable.
So I’ve enacted a GoFundMe campaign to finance the acquisition of two batteries, so that I may go back to school, attend/vend through weird fiction conventions, hold book-signings, and travel more freely in general.
There are several levels of rewards, including such things as free ebooks, custom dedications, and even an opportunity to be written into a novel or short story. Words don’t suffice to express my gratitude to anyone who would contribute to the cause, but words are what I have.
The ultimate goal is to attend the Necronomicon, in 2017, and to take a vendor’s table at the convention, stocked (at least) with the six books that are already planned. This is but a step, albeit a giant one, on the way to that goal.
Thanks for reading, and many thanks for contributing.
Riding the Centipede by John Claude Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Terrance Blake is the best man in his world and would be a good man in most worlds. Rudolf is a mutant villain without a shred of decency, but still disciplined and purposeful. They are on a collision course, and don’t know it. Jane and Marlon Teagarden are only the twin rails that the story rolls along on, and only one of them is Riding the Centipede.
I get the sense that a lot of the actual journey was cut. The scenes of experience don’t seem as protracted as they might be. And that may be for the best.
The setting and denouement are determinedly Burroughsian, though there’s not as much of the old up and out and more of the Burgessian ultraviolence as Chernobyl performs his version of art. Though Jane Teagarden could use a little more fleshing-out of character, that would probably detract from the hold-your-breath movement of the narrative, which comes to an explosive climax.
Background-5;plotting-5;characters-4;style-5. Round up to 5.
View all my reviews
One of my very favorite things in the world of fiction is that cosmic force, the presence that is imposing just because of its size, the very Big Dumb Object itself. An example, seen below, adds consciousness to the mix. The presentation is excellent. I love the image. But not enough was done with it, plotwise, back in the day.
One of the things that makes me create is the desire to see a better version of things, at least in my eyes. My first writing was done in response to a comic-book villain I thought terrible (the Stilt-Man, as in DD#48). So I come by it naturally. My art is, at least initially, imitative. It always has been. I like a certain amount of structure, a framework to stand on, before taking the great leap into the unknowable seas of imagination. My first drafts, first versions of things, almost always have a large portion of synthesis, of combining previously-known ingredients into a new stew, stirring it up, and then improvising over the changes. Continue reading →
Posted in altuniverse, altworld, lovecraftian, miscellaneous, moderan, music, science fiction, weird fiction, writing
Tagged Arts, big dumb object, cthulhu, cthulhu mythos, dark fantasy, hippie speedballs, influences, moderan, Patience, Reading, science fiction, self-publishing, writing
Photo by Ian Sidlow
Monday. Edit/rewrite sorta day. The NIGHTMARE GROVE collection opens with the story “Ink,” which was cribbed from the CRAZYTOWN collection since it was originally set in Oak Grove and only recently moved to Tuxtown.
So I have to fix the references (for the most part-there are connections between the two collections) and there are a couple of scenes that could work more smoothly.
“Ink” is based on one of my more successful stories, “Parchment” in its original incarnation. It was published in three languages, and in seven separate magazines/ezines, and also kindled a fabulous audio reading by the redoubtable Morgan Scorpion (Parchment).
“Ink” makes the process of transposition clearer and ramps up the body-horror and psych-horror.
There is a sequel, which will be part of CRAZYTOWN, perhaps with some input from the inestimable Frederick J. Mayer. That’s getting processed after “Ink” and “stars” Nate Jenkins, who had previously appeared in the BROWN JENKINS series of stories and in “Pnakotic Reaction”.
Art by Candra Hope
I’m reworking the text for the CRAZYTOWN cover. It looks like there may be a few things to add. Maybe a blurb or two, and the ToC has been monkeyed with. This is a copy of the original art, which is just beautiful, with the rot beneath the surface admirably depicted. Also in the current pipeline are the novella Fear and Loathing in Innsmouth, which is as gonzo as gonzo gets, a weird/bizarro treatment of the themes of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth and the preoccupations and subtext of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I do plan to run that one by Nick Mamatas and Brian Keene before it hits the stacks. They should be amused, as the authors of The Damned Highway, which has some of those ideas embedded within its pages.
Art by Will Jacques
Unfortunately, the graphic novel version of this story never got off the ground. But this version should knock everyone’s socks off.
Also in the 2016 pipeline is BETROTHED TO YOG-SOTHOTH, a Barbara Cartland meets Tom Tryon sorta version of the Dunwich Horror, with a lot of Lavinia’s biography filled in. The novel was inspired by a piece of art from someone at deviantart that doesn’t answer their email, and so that picture won’t be on the front cover. Instead, I have this evocative art:
Art by JB Lee
Those are the four books I have planned for this year. They’re all in the finalizing stages — the i’s have been crossed and the tees dotted. Walpurgisnacht and the 4th of July, All-Hallow’s Eve, and Xmas are the projected release dates.
They’ll all be under my Planet Moderan imprint, and will be available in both ebook and treebook incarnations. I’m going to revive BEFORE CRAZYTOWN instead of sticking its stories into NIGHTMARE GROVE. That’s getting done this week too.
Posted in altuniverse, altworld, lovecraft, lovecraftian, miscellaneous, science fiction, webcomic, weird fiction, writing
Tagged Arts, cthulhu, cthulhu mythos, dark fantasy, indie publishing, Reading, science fiction, self-publishing, weird fiction, writing
As usual, we’ll cover a lot of subjects with a too-small, too-thin blanket. But cover them we will.
Firstly…Saturday night, for a little while, my one-man internet band moderan was the #1 band in Tucson/Rock, according to data from music-posting site Reverbnation. I’m sitting at #2 right now.
It was pretty easy to get there, and the maneuver was mostly pre-planned. I embarked on a series of cover tunes, some of which I’ve actually registered. Eventually I’ll register them all, but they’re about 20 bucks each, and I plan to do a LOT of them. Cuz they’re fun. I have a system for producing them quickly, based on midi drums and the forty or so years I’ve spent playing those songs, off and on. The music ranges from pop tunes like Killing Me Softly through progrock epics such as Dance On a Volcano.
I sing, play all of the guitars and basses (with a couple of notable exceptions for collaborators), most of the keyboards, some of the strings, and arrange and produce the tracks. The drums are fashioned from midi tracks, which means faithful timing. I seldom monkey with the structures, though I add or change instrumentation.
You can listen here: Continue reading →
Posted in lovecraftian, miscellaneous, moderan, music, science fiction, weird fiction, writing
Tagged Arts, baseball, BleedCubbieBlue, cthulhu, cthulhu mythos, Cubs, cubs baseball, dark fantasy, guitar rock, moderan, music, Publishing, Reading, rock music, science fiction, self-publishing, weird, weird fiction, writing
In book news, I entered into what may be the last phase of edits for the collection NIGHTMARE GROVE. This book compiles material from my ebook Before Crazytown and several newer stories, three of which were written especially for the collection. Here’s a look at the table of contents (the asterisked are new):
The Forgotten God*
The Whispering Trees
Frieze in Blue and White*
Waiting for the Sun (both the story and as a title for a flash fiction section)
E-versions (“Eebs”) and ARCs will be made available for review purposes, upon request, from moderanathotmaildotcom, shortly after the first of the month. Continue reading →
Posted in altuniverse, altworld, flash fiction, lovecraft, lovecraftian, miscellaneous, moderan, science fiction, weird fiction, writing
Tagged anthologies, Arts, collections, cthulhu, cthulhu mythos, dark fantasy, moderan, Mythos fiction, science fiction, self-publishing, short fiction, singe author collections, weird fiction, writing
Shit. I forgot to talk about the King in Yellow stuff. I’ll get back to it by and by. I WILL BLOG EVERY DAY. I WILL BLOG EVERY DAY. I WILL BLOG EVERY DAY.I promise. Or something like that.
It’s effectively New Year’s Day. let’s just go with that polite fiction, and on to the content…
Continue reading →
Posted in altuniverse, altworld, miscellaneous, moderan, music, politics, science fiction, stupid, Uncategorized, writing
Tagged androids, Arts, book reviews, cthulhu, cthulhu mythos, dark fantasy, Humanoids, King in Yellow, music, singularity, writing
I know, deep subject, joke too-often told. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Last time, I reported that I was going to try to blog on the off-days from creating Cub Tracks. I just skipped a couple of days.
They’ve been busy days. I’m amid one of those spells of productivity that I seem to be cursed with and I’m generating new copy and riffs in bulk. Some of it is even worth keeping.
Here’s todays Cub Tracks (Masters Reality) – link – with the fabulous image:
Ozzy and Sharon “sing” the seventh inning stretch.
I build these articles as little stories. First I prospect for links, in mostly predetermined places, and see what kind of narrative can either be gleaned or imposed on that collection of webpages.
I’m looking for things that either can create discussion by themselves, or that augment previous discussion on other pages on the site, or that continue the prevailing narrative of the fanbase in general.
Right now, the Cubs are the top of the heap. They’ve conquered as much of the baseball world as you can without actually playing the games. So I’m playing off of that.
The rest I pack with in-jokes, subreferences, links to videos, links to sarcastic commentary, whatever works to further the entertainment value of the piece, or to educate and inform. Just discovering how much I can do with the form.
It takes a couple or three hours three days a week to accomplish this all. The process is pretty involved, but I think it’s worth doing things right. Continue reading →
Posted in altuniverse, altworld, fallen earring, jimi hendrix, lovecraft, miscellaneous, moderan, music, science fiction, writing
Tagged Arts, book reviews, cthulhu, cthulhu mythos, dark fantasy, moderan, science fiction, writing