Upcoming Events: Horror Reading and Good Noise Making Next Weekend!

Just a quick heads-up for folks in Michigan: I have two events next weekend! Please spread the word, cuckoo bird!

 

1. Horror Reading!

I’ll be reading from my book There Was a Crooked Man, He Flipped a Crooked House at the Grey Wolfe Scriptorium bookshop in Clawson, MI on October 27. Details:

I’ll level with you: This is going to be a hoot. It’s a good book, it reads well, and I’m moderately hilarious.  I’ll bring snackies of some sort.

Nonetheless, I’m totally dubious about my capacity to draw an audience.  Therefore, I’m running two contests(!!!) associated with this event:

  1. CONTEST: If you are the one and only person who shows up you get a free book, a personal reading, and a free drink at the nearest bar!
  2. BONUS CONTEST: If the number of attendees exceeds the number of fingers I have (total), I will additionally read from the novel of y’all’s choosing. No reasonable request refused!

 

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2. Good Noise in the Loud Lab!

On October 28 I’ll be the featured artist in the Sonic Workshop at the Ann Arbor Hands on Museum from noon until 4pm . I’ll be running my “Loud Lab,” which includes a special installation of the Slinky Sound Forest, weird homebrew instruments and freak-out noisetoys you can rock out on, and an opportunity to craft your own weird noise-music-thingies under my dubious tutelage.  Details:

Hope to see you next weekend!

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Dave-o showing of his “non-violins

 

Thank You, Toledo!

Had a blast at the Toledo Mini Maker Faire this past weekend; met tons of great folks—many of whom will be swinging by this space looking for the following links:

Thanks! Don’t stop the rocking, Toledo!

On Newstands Now: The Sept/Oct ASIMOV’S with “In the Sharing Place”

The annual “spooky” issue of ASIMOV’S Science Fiction (Sept/Oct 2918) has hit newstands, and includes my apocalyptic sf/horror story “In the Sharing Place.” Enjoy!

 

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Recommended Read: Dale Bailey’s “The End of the End of Everything”

In many ways, this story is the exact opposite of the last Dale Bailey story I recommended—which, in a way, almost makes them philosophical book ends.  That said, the real philosophical counterpart (counterpoint?) to Bailey’s “The End of the End of Everything” is Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death“; please read them back to back and decide where you stand. That’s what stories are for.

eBooks! eBooks! FreeBooks!!! New horror and sci-fi from Dave-o!

Three offerings today—and you can get ’em all for less than a Subway sub:

  1. My most recent novella, There Was a Crooked Man, He Flipped a Crooked House is now available as a standalone ebook. Read the horror tinged “Non-Euclidian architectural petty-crime adventure” that’s racking up kudos and five-star reviews at a humbling clip.  (If you want backstory on the story, here’s an interview I did with F&SF about it.)
  2. Price drop on my novelette “The Traveling Salesman Solution.” A time portal story, and also a grim moral koan. If I’ve ever written a story I think everyone in America should read, it’s this one. For a limited time this lil fella—my first sale to The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and only true hard-SF tale—is just 99-cents!
  3. FREEBIE ALERT!!! From now until Monday my time-travel novelette “There Was No Sound of Thunder” is free on Amazon! This is the story that introduced the Parable of Too Many Hitlers. Read the story Locus magazine’s Lois Tilton called “Stoopid” (although, in all fairness, it was also a finalist for that year’s Asimov’s Award so maybe check it out and make the call for yourself?)

I know a goodly portion of you have already read one or more of these stories; all are woeful shy on Amazon/Goodread reviews.  If you wanted to swing by and leave your thoughts, it’d be much appreciated. Thanks in advance for helping nudge the wheel!

Goodreads links:

  1. There Was a Crooked Man, He Flipped a Crooked House (coming soon?!)
  2. The Traveling Salesman Solution
  3. There Was No Sound of Thunder

  

I’m the YEAR’S BEST, mofos!

(Probably more accurate to say “I’m [the author of one of several works counted among] the YEAR’S BEST [stories within the horror genre], [my esteemed] mofos!“, but, whatevs, right?)

YearsBestHorror10-cover-llciikicdniigigoI keep forgetting to crow about this: The last story I sold to The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction–“Whatever Comes After Calcutta” (link to my interview about it)–has been selected for Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year (Vol. 10).

The full table of contents is good company, and the cover art kicks ass! Keep an eye peeled in your local bookstore this summer.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Better You Believe                              Carole Johnstone       
  • Liquid Air                                           Inna Effress                
  • Holiday Romance                               Mark Morris                         
  • Furtherest                                           Kaaron Warren                      
  • Where’s the Harm?                             Rebecca Lloyd                     
  • Whatever Comes After Calcutta        David Erik Nelson           
  • A Human Stain                                   Kelly Robson                         
  • The Stories We Tell about Ghosts     A. C. Wise                            
  • Endosketal                                         Sarah Read                              
  • West of Matamoros, North of Hell    Brian Hodge                      
  • Alligator Point                                   S. P. Miskowski                     
  • Dark Warm Heart                               Rich Larson
  • There and Back Again                       Carmen Machado               
  • Shepherd’s Business                           Stephen Gallagher             
  • You Can Stay All Day                        Mira Grant                             
  • Harvest Song, Gathering Song            A. C. Wise
  • The Granfalloon                                  Orrin Grey                             
  • Fail-Safe                                              Philip Fracassi                       
  • The Starry Crown                               Marc E. Fitch                         
  • Eqalussuaq                                          Tim Major                 
  • Lost in the Dark                                  John Langan                         

Incidentally, I immediately spent the money I got for this reprint on a bunch of “folk metal” and “hauntology” music.  The former is probably self-explanatory (metal music heavily influenced by folk music of various regions—this article is a good place to start, if you’re curious).  The latter is apparently a British thing, where folks make fake soundtracks to non-existent low-budget 1980s horror films and British paranormal TV series.  My current heavy rotation faves are:

  • Blood of the Black Owl (Pacific Northwest folk metal—big Americana and Native American influences, neat soundscapes)
  • Zuriaake (Chinese folk metal)
  • Klaus Morlock/The Unseen (pretty straight hauntology—i.e., fake soundtracks for non-existent 1980s horror films/paranormal UK TV shows)
  • Thorsten Schmidt (more hauntology)   
  • Nubiferous (I’m not sure what this is–it’s like folk metal without the metal, or hauntology without the pretense.  It’s from Russia)

Recommended Read: “The Donner Party” in @FandSF (updated)

“The Donner Party” is mos def my fave story in the last issue of F&SF. It seems like an obvious gag straight through to the untangle—at which time it becomes bone chilling. Downright perfect dismount, in my humble. Recommended.

See also: Interview: Dale Bailey on “The Donner Party” : The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction

UPDATE: If you’re look to read something by Bailey right this second, he has a story up at Tor.com: “The Ghoul Heads West

Continue reading “Recommended Read: “The Donner Party” in @FandSF (updated)”

F&SF Interviews Dave-o about Witches, Guns, Lawyers, Ohio Militias, etc.

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction interviewed me about my latest horror story, “Whatever Comes After Calcutta.”F&SFNov-Dec2017small

…when I go to sum up the story in a Big Picture way, I end up saying the same thing that I said about that election:

I totally hear where folks—angry, aggrieved, not-gonna-take-it-anymore folks—are coming from, because I totally agree with them:  They are getting screwed.  We just totally disagree on who is screwing them, or what is a sensible way to address that.

This story is about that, in a fundamental way.

I also tell an anecdote about seeing a homeless guy get ejected from a Coney in the mid-1990s, and make mention of Michigan trespassing laws, the sovereign citizen movement, my neighbors from Chennai, and Dave-o’s patented “magpie and junk drawer” speculative-fiction drafting strategy.

The Nov/Dec issue of F&SF is still on newsstands—but only for a few more days. Nab your copy soon!

Dave-o’s patented “magpie and junk drawer” speculative-fiction drafting strategy @fandsf

If you write fiction long enough, interviewers will start to ask you “Where do you get your ideas?”

Readers love this question (it’s also a dreaded chestnut of con Q&A panels). Writers hate it.  It’s like asking “Where do you get the time to write?” Every one of us gets the same 24 hours each day; doctors spend some of those doctoring; drug addicts spend some of that getting high; writers spend part of one of those hours writing stories.  One person can be any or all of those, and more.

Likewise, we all see/hear/mis-hear/read/misread/imagine all sorts of crazy crap every day.  Those are ideas. That’s where ideas come from.

But that’s maybe a cheap answer, because it takes the question too literally.  I think maybe what folks are asking when they ask “Where do you get your ideas?” is “How do you store/catalogue all the weird shit you see every day so that it’s useful to you later?”

And to that, my answer is this:

My brain locks on to odd shiny things and hordes them.

Most of the fiction I write comes out of a collision: I’ll stumble across some interesting fact or idea or snatch of plot or dialogue, but won’t really have any use for it, and so it just sorta bobs around in my head. Sooner or later, as other shiny ideas catch my notice and get tossed into that cranial junk drawer, several will bang together and stick in some interesting way. When ideas stick together they make a distinctive POP!ing sound. I listen for the pop, then start writing.

This is the essence of the “magpie and junk drawer” approach to research and writing. I stumbled into it as a kid having to do research papers, and it’s served me well ever since. Go forth, apply this in your life, and sin no more.

Amen.

SPOILER ALERT: Today is a *really* good day to read my novella “Expiration Date”

Or, if not today, then certainly by, I dunno, let’s say Tuesday, October 10, around 8am.  No reason.  Just … sayin’

EXPIRATION DATE by David Erik Nelson

I’m not saying the End Is Near or nuthin’… just, well, you know. Whatever. Whatever, right?

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