Tag Archives: Exegesis of the Insecta Apocrypha

Writing: And the Little Monkey

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News has just come out about the winners of Dark Scribe Magazine’s Black Quill award. Horror Library Vol. IV, which features my story “Exegesis of the Insecta Apocrypha” received the Reader’s Choice award for anthology. ChiZine Publications scored, with author Gemma Files getting the Reader’s and Editor’s choice awards for her A Book of Tongues in the best small press chills. http://www.darkscribemagazine.com/winners-of-the-4th-annual-blac/

As well the long list for the Stoker Awards, the internationally recognized award for dark fiction, has also just come out. ChiZine Publications showed up through nominees in two areas: Gemma Files again for First Novel, Nicholas Kaufman for “Chasing the Dragon” in long fiction. Congratulations to both of them. That’s not bad for a press that’s only been bopping two years. The dark fiction anthologies I was in last year, Evolve and Horror Library Vol. IV, have made the long list. My stories  have made no such lists but then I’m still a little monkey. What this means is that in the club of dark fiction I’m not that well known. One can say, well come on, it’s the merit of the work but that’s not completely the truth. Evolve is Canadian and though it got some distribution to the US that was new. Though I’ve been in other dark fiction mags before like Shroud I’m not prolifically published. This is evidenced by the fact that I was invited by the Horror Writer’s Association (HWA) to be an affiliate member (not full fledged by pay rates) because of the Horror Library though in fact Evolve was out earlier and that story received many many reviews in comparison.

I’ve never paid much attention overall to the awards but I was told by one HWA member that other members who can nominate for a Stoker will make deals: you vote for mine and I’ll vote for yours. So it’s a surprise that I even got any nominations (which I was told I had) but not enough for the long list. Little monkeys must peel enough bananas and swing through the right number of trees before they’re noticed in the jungle.

I’ve been writing for years. I’m not unknown but I’m still just one monkey in a very big jungle. Chizine is a monkey that’s grown bigger with enough clout to be noticed, and head editors Brett and Sandra will be editor guests of honor at this year’s World Horror Convention. Some day I might be that monkey and it’s enough that I was thrown a few bananas with the reviews I received last year. They’re almost better than receiving an award. Here’s to all those monkeys who made it to the list. Good luck to them.

Superior Achievement in a NOVEL
VIPERS by Lawrence C. Connolly (Fantasist Enterprises)
SIREN by John Everson (Leisure)
HORNS by Joe Hill (William Morrow)
IT CAME FROM DEL RIO by Stephen Graham Jones (Trapdoor Books)
SPARROW ROCK by Nate Kenyon (Leisure Books)
DESPERATE SOULS by Gregory Lamberson (Medallion Press)
THE FRENZY WAY by Gregory Lamberson (Medallion Press)
ROT AND RUIN by Jonathan Maberry (Simon & Schuster)
APOCALYPSE OF THE DEAD by Joe McKinney (Pinnacle)
EMPIRE OF SALT by Weston Ochse (Abaddon)
DWELLER by Jeff Strand (Leisure/Dark Regions Press)
A DARK MATTER by Peter Straub (DoubleDay)

Superior Achievement in a FIRST NOVEL
MR. SHIVERS by Robert Jackson Bennett (Orbit)
FREEK CAMP by Steve Burt (Steve Burt Creations)
THE MAN OF MYSTERY HILL by Tracy L. Carbone (Echelon Quake)
BLACK AND ORANGE by Benjamin Kane Ethridge (Bad Moon Books)
CARNIVAL OF FEAR by J.G. Faherty (Graveside Tales)
A BOOK OF TONGUES by Gemma Files (Chizine Publications)
AT THE END OF CHURCH STREET by Gregory Hall (Belfire Press)
MADIGAN MINE by Kirstyn McDermott (Picador Australia)
CASTLE OF LOS ANGELES by Lisa Morton (Gray Friar Press)
SPELLBENT by Lucy Snyder (Del Rey)

Superior Achievement in LONG FICTION
THE DOCTOR, THE KID, AND THE GHOSTS IN THE LAKE by Mort Castle (F Magazine)
REQUIEM FOR THE BURNING GOD by Shane Jiraiya Cummings (Cthulhu’s Dark Cults)
THE PAINTED DARKNESS by Brian James Freeman (Cemetery Dance)
CHASING THE DRAGON by Nicholas Kaufmann (Chizine)
DREAMS IN BLACK AND WHITE by John R. Little (Morning Star)
DISSOLUTION by Lisa Mannetti (Deathwatch)
BLEMISH by Joe McKinney (Dark Recesses #1)
THE SAMHANACH by Lisa Morton (Bad Moon Books)
JADE by Gene O’Neill (Bad Moon Books)
INVISIBLE FENCES by Norman Prentiss (Cemetery Dance)

Superior Achievement in SHORT FICTION
THE BEHELD by Paul Bens (Dark Discoveries #160)
RETURN TO MARIABRONN by Gary Braunbeck (Haunted Legends)
SURPRISE! by G.O. Clark (Dark Valentine 2)
SEMINAR Z by J. Comeau (Dead Set: A Zombie Anthology)
THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS by Brock Cooper (The New Bedlam Project)
THE FOLDING MAN by Joe R. Lansdale (Haunted Legends)
1925: A FALL RIVER HALLOWEEN by Lisa Mannetti (Shroud Magazine #10)
SURVIVORS by Joe McKinney (Dead Set: A Zombie Anthology)
BIG ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN by Weston Ochse (Dark Discoveries #16)
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE by David Sakmyster (Horror World)
TROOT by Margaret B. Simon (Null Immortalis)
THE DAYS OF FLAMING MOTORCYCLES by Catherynne Valente (Dark Faith)
FINAL DRAFT by Mark W. Worthen (Horror Library IV)

Superior Achievement in an ANTHOLOGY
DARK FAITH edited by Maurice Broaddus and Jerry Gordon (Apex Publications)
HORROR LIBRARY IV edited by R.J. Cavender and, Boyd E. Harris (Cutting Block Press)
CTHULHU’S DARK CULTS edited by David Conyers (Chaosium)
HAUNTED LEGENDS edited by Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas (Tor)
THE NEW DEAD edited by Christopher Golden (St. Martin’s Griffin)
BLACK WINGS edited S.T. Joshi (PS Publishing)
EVOLVE: VAMPIRE STORIES OF THE NEW UNDEAD edited by Nancy Kilpatrick (Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing)
NULL IMMORTALIS edited by D.F. Lewis (Megazanthus Press)
DEAD SET: A ZOMBIE ANTHOLOGY edited by Michelle McCrary and Joe McKinney (23 House Publishing)
SCENES FROM THE SECOND STOREY by Amanda Pillar and Pete Kempshall (Morrigan Books)

Superior Achievement in a COLLECTION
OCCULTATION by Laird Barron (Night Shade Books)
BLOOD AND GRISTLE by Michael Louis Calvillo (Bad Moon Books)
THIS WAY TO EGRESS by Lawrence C. Connolly (Ash-Tree Press)
WHAT WILL COME AFTER by Scott Edelman (PS Publishing)
FULL DARK, NO STARS by Stephen King (Simon and Schuster)
LITTLE THINGS by John R. Little (Bad Moon Books)
A HELL OF A JOB by Michael McCarty (Damnation Books)
A HOST OF SHADOWS by Harry Shannon (Dark Regions Press)
FUNGUS OF THE HEART by Jeremy Shipp (Raw Dog (Screaming Press)
HELLFIRE AND DAMNATION by Connie Corcoran Wilson (Sam’s Dot)

Superior Achievement in NONFICTION
WEIRD ENCOUNTERS by Joanne M. Austin (Sterling Publishing)
TO EACH THEIR DARKNESS by Gary A. Braunbeck (Apex Publications)
SHADOWS OVER FLORIDA by David Goudsward and Scott T. Goudsward (Bear Manor Media)
THE CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE HUMAN RACE by Thomas Ligotti (Hippocampus Press)
WANTED UNDEAD OR ALIVE by Jonathan Maberry and Janice Gable Bashman (Citadel)
MASTERS OF IMAGINATION by Michael McCarty (Bear Manor Media)
LISTEN TO THE ECHOES: THE RAY BRADBURY INTERVIEWS by Sam Weller (Melville House Publications)

Superior Achievement in a POETRY Collection
DARK MATTERS by Bruce Boston (Bad Moon Books)
LOVE CRAFT by Bryan Dietrich (Finishing Line Press)
CHEMICKAL REACTIONS by Karen L. Newman (Naked Snake Press)
WOOD LIFE by Rich Ristow (Snuff Books)
WILD HUNT OF THE STARS by Ann K. Schwader (Sam’s Dot)
DIARY OF A GENTLEMAN DIABOLIST by Robin Spriggs (Anomalous Books)
SAVAGE MENACE AND OTHER POEMS OF HORROR by Richard L. Tierney (P’rea Press)
VICIOUS ROMANTIC by Wrath James White (Bandersnatch Books)

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Writing: How to Make a Canadian a Star

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Okay, this might really be a small star but in Canada there are a few awards that recognize speculative writing. There is the juried Sunburst Award http://www.sunburstaward.org/, the Endeavour Award http://www.osfci.org/endeavour/index.php, which recognizes a book from the Pacific Northwest, either US or Canada (which is also juried), and the Prix Aurora Awards http://www.prix-aurora-awards.ca/wordpress/, which is voted on by readers and fans. The Auroras recognize professional and fan achievement and anyone who is a Canadian can nominate anyone who is a Canadian (even if living abroad) or a landed immigrant for the awards.

A book or magazine published in the US or any other country cannot be nominated for an Aurora but a Canadian who has a piece in it or has written the book can be. Canadian publishers can be nominated. And you, if you’re Canadian can nominate anyone who is eligible. There  is a list thought it may not be a complete list of eligible works by Canadians listed here: http://canadiansf.com/node/122.

I have four works that are eligible in two categories this year and the Aurora nominations are open until April 30th. Anyone can recommend a piece and the more recommendations, then the better the chance of ending up on the final ballot. To vote on the final ballot you do have to pay a nominal fee I believe and all the info can be found at the Aurora site.

My eligible works are:

Short Stories:

  • “An Ember Amongst the Fallen,” Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead, Edited by Nancy Kilpatrick, EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, March 2010.
  • “A Taste For Treasure,” Alison’s Wonderland, Edited by Alison Tyler, Harlequin Spice, July 2010.
  • “Exegesis of the Insecta Apocrypha,” Horror Library Vol. 4, Edited by R.J. Cavender, Cutting Block Press, October 2010.

So far, I know that “An Ember” has received very good reviews and was called a “visionary masterpiece” by the Barnes & Noble reviewer, and  “Exegesis” has received several recommendations for a Stoker. It may not go farther than that but that’s a good start. The Horror Library anthology has also been nominated for a Black Quill award.

Poem:

  • “Of the Corn: Kore’s Innocence” Witches & Pagans #21, Edited by Anne Newkirk-Niven, BBI Media, Summer 2010.

The Evolve anthology would also be eligible under Best Related Work, or Best Novel. The categories are somewhat unclear still. But presumably the Aurora committee will sort that out. Of course anyone can nominate any of the works. I’ll be sending in recommendations in the next month, once I’ve had a chance to read some of the pieces. Below is the information from the Aurora site and the site can be accessed by the URL listed above.

THE CANADIAN SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY ASSOCIATION IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE:

The 2011 Prix Aurora Award Nominations will open Jan. 8th, 2011
Final nominations must be received no later than Midnight PST on Sunday, April 30th, 2011

[The French-language Auroras have been combined with the Prix Boréal with the new name – Prix Aurora Boréal and will be administered on behalf of CSFFA by SFSF Boréal through the Congres Boréal]

THREE STEPS TO NOMINATE :

  1. Register for membership [One-time, free, CSFFA registration on the Aurora site will enable nomination and voting for the Auroras for this and future years.]
  2. Verify your registration
  3. Use your new membership id# to Nominate

You may nominate via our easy to use online system or by manually filling in our downloadable nomination form and mailing it in to us.

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The End is Only Just Beginning

I haven’t written in the last week, not so much because I was on holidays and gorging myself as I was busy. In fact, I didn’t gorge myself except for some wine imbibition. Otherwise, I was finishing up the rewrite of my novel The Fool’s Game. It’s languished for a long time and I always meant to rewrite it…again.

Then I read about the Terry Pratchett prize by the famous humor fantasy author in England. The contest was free to enter and it was for a manuscript that takes place on Earth in some way. My novel fit the bill and I’m of a Commonwealth country, one of the rules for entering. The prize is a publishing contract and 20,000 pounds. That would be lovely to get.

I used the deadline, today, to work on the novel over the past few months, getting down to the wire and the nitty gritty today. I had to rewrite and shorten the synopsis as well and that was a good thing. I also added nine thousand words to the novel, changed a few things and gave more description. Will I win? That would be nice but there could be hundreds, even thousands of entries. I’m a competent writer or understands the techniques of writing. That will give me a better chance than probably half of the entries, but then it will depend on the uniqueness of the story and how well it’s told. I won’t know until March so no point worrying about it now. It’s winging its way across the ether to the other side of the pond.

Other writing news includes that the Evolve anthology http://www.vampires-evolve.com/with my well-received story “An Ember Amongst the Fallen” is number five on the Barnes and Noble list of the top vampire books of the year. That’s great news. http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Explorations-The-BN-SciFi-and/The-Best-Vampire-Releases-of-2010/ba-p/767920

The Horror Library Vol. 4 story has not been receiving any reviews yet. I’ve only found two and “Exegesis of the Insecta Apocrypha” isn’t even mentioned which is disappointing. I’ve always said I’d prefer a bad review than no review so not being noticed sucks. The editors also had great hopes for this disturbing story, but the book hasn’t been out long so there is still hope for it. And the story did get good comments when I read it at Orycon. Besides those two stories, “A Taste For Treasure” also came out this year in Alison’s Wonderland, as well as two poems, “Of the Corn” in Witches & Pagans #21, and “Bones of the Earth” in the summer edition of Country Connection magazine. Not a bad year and “Lover’s Triangle” should have been out by December but should be out soon in New Vampire Tales.

That wraps up the writing year, but we’re only as good as our last written story. I will now have to catch up on some slush reading for ChiZine Publications, getting ready to judge poetry for the Rannu competition which closes as the end of January I believe, and then of course write other stories. I can now write the steampunk story placed just before the US Civil War and which is already plotted out. I just didn’t have time.

Then I have another dark story to write about skin and power, and there is a backburnered sci-tech story waiting to be pushed along. And now that I’ve rewritten that novel it’s time to get going on the other novel which is under construction. I hope this coming year will be even more stellar for writing.

And to all of you who read my blog, may you have a fantastic year, achieve your goals and have fun and love. Happy New Year to all.

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Writing: Black Quill Nominees

Dark Scribe Magazine, a nonfiction magazine highlighting dark fiction started doing the Black Quill awards three years ago. As I talked about earlier this week in “What is Horror?” small presses especially are doing very well with the dark speculative fiction market. The Black Quills look at all presses, whether large or small. This resurrection of dark fiction, after the large publishing houses pooh-poohed “horror” had as much to do with dedicated small presses as it did with the growing trend of print-on-demand publishing, allowing presses without millions of dollars to put out quality fiction in a professional capacity.

And the Black Quills are an award looked at with respect and probably opens the gate to a few more choices, besides the Stoker awards, given by the Horror Writers Association at the World Horror Convention every year, and named suitably after Bram Stoker.

This year, the fourth annual Black Quill Awards, to be given out in February, have the following categories: Dark Genre Novel, Small Press Chill, Dark Genre Fiction Collection, Dark Genre Anthology, Dark Genre Book of Non-Fiction, Dark Scribble (stories in a magazine–paper or virtual), and Dark Genre Book Trailer. Why they limit the short fiction to magazines only and do not allow short stories in an anthology is beyond me. It seems an odd arbitrary choice. A collection is a selection of stories by one author and an anthology is a collection of stories by different authors. The collection award is given to the author and the anthology one to the editor. So the writers in an anthology are effectively barred from being nominated. Very odd. As well, there is no cover art award. Perhaps the trailer is seen as more effective because there is a script and that art really isn’t writing and belongs to someone else.

Several Chizine books authors have been nominated, specifically Gemma Files’ A Book of Tongues for Best Small Press Chill and Paul Tremblay’s In the Mean Time for Best Dark Genre Collection. That’s pretty good for a press that’s been going for about two years. The Horror Library Vol. IV anthology where my story “Exegesis of the Insecta Apocrypha” resides, is also nominated in the Dark Genre Anthology category. Without further ado, here is the full list.

DARK GENRE NOVEL OF THE YEAR:

(Novel-length work of horror, suspense, or thriller from a mainstream publisher; awarded to the author)
  • A Dark Matter by Peter Straub (Doubleday)
  • Kraken by China Miéville (Del Rey)
  • Sparrow Rock by Nate Kenyon (Leisure / Bad Moon Books)
  • The Caretaker of Lorne Field by David Zeltserman (Overlook Hardcover)
  • The Passage by Justin Cronin (Ballantine)
  • Under the Dome by Stephen King (Scribner)

BEST SMALL PRESS CHILL:

(Novel or novella published by small press publisher; awarded to the author)
  • A Book of Tongues by Gemma Files (ChiZine Publications)
  • Dreams in Black and White by John R. Little (Morning Star)
  • Invisible Fences by Norman Prentiss (Cemetery Dance)
  • The Castle of Los Angeles by Lisa Morton (Gray Friar Press)
  • The Wolf at the Door by Jameson Currier (Chelsea Street Editions)

BEST DARK GENRE FICTION COLLECTION:

(Single author collection, any publisher; awarded to the author)
  • Blood and Gristle by Michael Louis Calvillo (Bad Moon Books)
  • In the Mean Time by Paul Tremblay (ChiZine Publications)
  • Little Things by John R. Little (Bad Moon Books)
  • Occultation by Laird Barron (Night Shade Books)
  • Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse by Otsuichi (VIZ Media LLC)

BEST DARK GENRE ANTHOLOGY:

(Multi-author collection, any publisher; awarded to the editor)
  • Dark Faith Edited by Maurice Broaddus and Jerry Gordon (Apex Publications)
  • Dead Set: A Zombie Anthology Edited by Michelle McCrary and Joe McKinney (23 House)
  • Haunted Legends Edited by Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas (Tor)
  • Horror Library IV Edited by RJ Cavender and Boyd E. Harris (Cutting Block Press)
  • When The Night Comes Down Edited by Bill Breedlove (Dark Arts Books)

BEST DARK GENRE BOOK OF NON-FICTION:

(Any dark genre non-fiction subject, any publisher; awarded to the author[s] or editor[s])
  • Horrors: Great Stories of Fear and Their Creators by Rocky Wood (McFarland)
  • I Am Providence: The Life and Times of HP Lovecraft by S.T. Joshi (Hippocampus Press)
  • Night of the Living Dead: Behind the Scenes of the Most Terrifying Zombie Movie Ever by Joe Kane (Citadel)
  • The Conspiracy Against the Human Race by Thomas Ligotti (Hippocampus Press)
  • Thrillers: 100 Must Reads Edited by David Morrell and Hank Wagner (Oceanview Publishing)

BEST DARK SCRIBBLE:

(Single work, non-anthology short fiction appearing in a print or virtual magazine; awarded to the author)
  • “Bully” by Jack Ketchum (Postscripts 22/23)
  • “Goblin Boy” by Rick Hautula (Cemetery Dance #63)
  • “Secretario” by Catherynne M. Valente (Weird Tales, Summer 2010)
  • “The Things” by Peter Watts (Clarkesworld, January 2010)
  • “We” by Bentley Little (Cemetery Dance #64)

BEST DARK GENRE BOOK TRAILER:

(Book video promoting any work of fiction or non-fiction; awarded to the video producer or publisher)

You can go to Dark Scribe’s site to view these trailers: http://www.darkscribemagazine.com/4th-annual-bqa-nominees/

  • Neverland / Produced by Circle of Seven Productions (for the book by Douglas Clegg)
  • Radiant Shadows / Produced by Circle of Seven Productions (for the book by Melissa Marr)
  • Specters in Coal Dust / Produced by Michael Knost & Black Water Films (for the anthology edited by Michael Knost)
  • Under the Dome / Produced by Scribner Marketing (for the book by Stephen King)
  • Unhappy Endings / Produced by Delirium Books (for the book by Brian Keene)

Nominations for the Black Quills are editorial-based, with both the editors and active contributing writers submitting nominations in each of the (7) categories. Once nominations are announced, the readers of DSM have an opportunity to cast their votes for their picks in each category. In a unique spin intended to celebrate both critical and popular success, two winners are announced in each category – Reader’s Choice and Editor’s Choice.

All dark genre works published between November 1st, 2009 and October 31st, 2010 are eligible. DSM does not solicit nominations, nor are there any fees associated with the Black Quills.

Please note that only one ballot per email/IP address will be accepted. Multiple ballots received from the same email/IP address will be discarded.

Reader voting closes at midnight EST on Friday, January 21st, 2011.

Winners will be announced on Tuesday, February 1st, 2011.

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