Friday, May 29, 2009

The Inevitability of Earth

... for your listening pleasure, is live now right here, over at Pseudopod, the weekly horror podcast. It's read with wit and panache, by horror writer / reader Bob Eccles.

The story originally appeared in On Spec Magazine under the title "Ground Bound," and is also part of my collection Monstrous Affections - which, by startling coincidence, is now available for pre-order here.

Okay, it's not actually a startling co-incidence. The good folk at Pseudopod were good enough folk to co-ordinate the publication of the podcast with the launch of pre-orders for the collection -- and for that, a yard shout-out is in order. If you haven't checked 'em out yet, and think you might enjoy the discovery of new horror voices through, well, voices, you owe it to yourself. And if you don't want to do that without a couple of solid recommendations, I understand completely. Here are four.

Furnace-Room Lullaby by Leah Bobbet


Jihad over Innsmouth by Edward Morris


The Music of Erich Zann by Howard Phillips Lovecraft

and

The Sloan Men by David Nickle (me!)

That last one appeared exactly a year ago, read with gusto and nuance by podcaster Cunning Minx. It also appears in Monstrous Affections. It kicks it off, in fact, and might have something to do with the cover illustration.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hey look! The dude that filched my hell-skull...


... is on the cover of my collection!

Actually, I have no firm evidence that the strange monster that artist Erik Mohr found to model for Monstrous Affections filched my hell skull (see previous post). But I'm hoping he'll scare a couple of you into considering adding my first-ever horror collection to your shopping cart at the Horror Mall. It's just gone live for pre-order (the estimated shipping date is October 2009). This one's the collector's edition - with a print-run based on the number of those pre-orders. So please - go check it out. And then, if you're still intrigued and like what you see - well, check it out.

And if you're not sure if you'll like it... well, you can at no charge read three of the stories in the collection over at The Devil's Exercise Yard. Here, here, and here. And there's a fourth one (over at ChiZine, who is also the publisher of Monstrous Affections), here.

Later in the week, you'll be able to listen to one of the stories, "The Inevitability of Earth," in podcast form at pseudopod.org, purveyor of fine spoken horror since 2005 (or so).

In the meantime, may I offer a sincere yard-ape shout out to Erik, who has come up with the scariest iteration of the dude who filched my hell-skull that I could imagine. Scarier, actually.

* * *

And speaking of my collection... here's a message from the publisher, about a 15-per-cent-off sale you should know about.

Friday, May 22, 2009

This is why we can't have nice things...

... because even the evil things get filched. Case in point, this wonderful piece of yard art that was among the first things I purchased (from Ancient Excavations, a shop run by artist/artizan Goran on Queen Street East) to adorn our back deck in the then-new house in Leslieville:

As I am sure you will all agree, it is quite lovely. I positioned it on the dividing wall of our back-yard deck, to provide it with a good view of the notably gargoyle-free church next door.

And there it hung, my one-or-two-of-a-kind piece of plaster yard art, for ten years, nearly -- dissolving oh-so-slowly in the elements and soaking up the unambiguous glares of the faithful across the alley-way, as it glared back.

Ten years it took, to find a creature more evil than my yard art.

But find one we did. One night recently (maybe the night before last), some drooling slope-browed troll stole onto our back deck, and... well, stole Goran's magnificent hell skull.

Leaving only this:


Now, when I say drooling slope-browed troll, I do not do so affectionately. Oh no, little son/daughter/spawn of Leslieville, wherever you and my yard art are squatting, you are not the kind of spittle-chinned, chair-humping bridge-ape we'll throw some old meat to every equinox because we understand you to be harmless and endearing. There is no love between you and us.

You see, as rents went up on Queen Street East, Goran and his magnificent shop of plaster art vanished into the night, and Goran's fine hell-skull crafting hands are nowhere to be found in Leslieville. So while I don't think we paid more than $50 for the magnificent, notably missing yard art, I suspect we won't be able to replace it with any ease.

And what yard art it was. We will miss it -- in the way that it has, I hope, informed the dreams and nightmares of our pious neighbours --



-- and in the manner in which it has inspired some of the most energetically awful H.P. Lovecraft fan art that I've ever set to hard drive.


So, troll boy (or girl -- dribbling, crook-toothed bog-dwellers don't just come in boy), enjoy Goran's hell skull.

And don't mind the curse. It can't make your dating prospects any worse than they undoubtedly are right now.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Representational news...

... or better, a happy announcement.

After many years in the authorial wilderness and a few weeks of talking and reading and negotiating, looks like I've got myself a literary agent: specifically, Monica Pacheco with Anne McDermid & Associates.

To say I'm delighted would be... well, an entirely accurate thing to say.

Here's looking forward to a long and fruitful relationship.