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)”

Why Do I Love this Ad So Much?

I dunno; I just do.  There’s something about it that makes it, in many ways, a more complete and superior horror story than any of the like-length CryptTV videos on YouTube.  I think the principal problem is that when a “horror film” goes below ~3mins, the filmmakers almost invariably seem to decide that all they can possibly do in that time is craft a jump scare.  As such, the piece is inherently callous (if not outright cruel) to the viewer.  It’s bullying art, art that has decided it needs (or should, or is right) to inflict itself on you.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t like art that confronts you with unpleasant realities—in fact, I sorta like that art best of all—but I want for us to go to that place together (both as a person making art and a person consuming it). 

But then we have something like this—or like the weird, wonderful [Adult Swim] videos I’ve linked in the past.  Because these things don’t think of themselves as horror, I feel like they’re more open to creating a more nuanced kind of horror, even in a much more compressed chunk of time.

The horror in this SNL skit is in what it implies about the universe that this family lives in, all the stuff that’s outside the frame (including that escaped almost-pizza beast).  And part of what makes that horror is the fact that the world we actually really live in—this world, where I am sitting and tying and you are sitting and reading—is outside that frame too, and thus is sharing space with the horrifying reality that put these characters in that room with that awful thing (brought to you by Pfizer).

Recommended Read (Listen): “Bring Rope” by Liam Hogan

An excellent little horror story; starts ~4min 30secs into this episode of Tales to TerrifyTales to Terrify 306 Liam Hogan Franz Kafka.  This podcast is usually pretty solid, if you like straight-up traditional audiobook-style readings of short horror fiction.  Puts me in the mind of Kathe Koja’s The Cipherbut more for art reasons than horror reasons.

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!