Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Get Your Chills This Wintertime with Summer of Lovecraft

From the editors of World War Cthulhu: A Collection of Lovecraftian War Stories...

 in this weird, wild, trippy, far-out, cosmic, and horrific anthology. Summer of Lovecraft - Cosmic Horror in the 1960s, edited by Brian M. Sammons & Glynn Owen Barrass, published by Dark Regions Press. For my part, I consider Short Wave to be one of my most eerie and disturbing tales.

The ebook edition is set to be release in the next few weeks. Summer of Lovecraft features the following stories and authors:

Night Trippers by Lois H. Gresh
“Operation Alice” by Pete Rawlik
“The Summer of Love” by C.J. Henderson
“Being for the Benefit of Mr. Sullivan” by Lee Clark Zumpe
“Dreamland” by David Dunwoody
“Lost In the Poppy-Fields of Flesh” by Konstantine Paradias
“Five To One” by Edward M. Erdelac
“Keeping the Faith” by Samantha Stone
“Mud Men” by Sean Hoade
“Misconception” by Jamie D. Jenkins
“No Colors Anymore” by Joe L. Murr
“Shimmer and Sway” by Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
“Short Wave” by Stephen Mark Rainey
“The Song that Crystal Sang” by Tom Lynch
“Through a Looking Glass Darkly” by Glynn Owen Barrass and Brian M. Sammons
“The Color from the Deep” by William Meikle
“The Long Fine Flash” by Edward Morris
“Just Another Afternoon in Arkham, Brought to You in Living Color” by Mark McLaughlin and Michael Sheehan, Jr.
“Crystal Blue Persuasion” by Jeffrey Thomas

Initially, Summer of Lovecraft is being released as ebook. The paperback release will follow shortly.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Happy Horrordays! Nightmares in Yellow

Nightmares in Yellow is a new anthology from Oxygen Man Books, edited by Duane Pesice, featuring tales of The King in Yellow, based on the works of John W. Chambers. Proceeds from the book will benefit author and longtime friend Joe Pulver and his wife Katrin, who have both suffered catastrophic health issues in the past couple of years. Joe is well known for his numerous works of fiction and anthologies involving The King in Yellow — a play that drives anyone who reads it mad. My contribution is "Masque of the Queen," which originally appeared in The Court of the Yellow Queen, edited by Glynn Owen Barrass, a couple of years back. Have a look at the table of contents below. As you may see, this is a massive project. It's due in the next few weeks, possibly by Christmas.

Nightmares in Yellow, edited by Duane Pesice
"Introductions — Four-Part Harmony"
John Linwood Grant
Edward Morris
Duane Pesice
Jeffrey Thomas

Mark McLaughlin & Michael Sheehan, Jr. — "The Gateway to Carcosa"
David Barker — "Chamber of Shards"
Joseph Bouthiette Jr. — "Oedipus at Carcosa"
Don Webb — "The Fourth Man"
Kenneth W. Cain — "An Unfortunate Night at the Oakwood Theater"
Mike Davis — "Tales of the King in Yellow"
Edward Morris and Joe Pulver — "The Resplendent Troswoman Below"
Mike Griffin — "No Mask to Conceal Her Voice"
David Hoenig — "Last Dance for the Ancient Gods"
Erica Ruppert — "The Traveller"
Donald Armfield — "BEing"
Scott Thomas — "The Sea Might Yet Be Weeping"
DJ Tyrer — "Beautiful Dreams"
Richard Writhen — "What You Wish For"
Peter Rawlik — "The Imperial Dynasty of America"
John Claude Smith — "The Yellow Hour"
Sean M. Thompson — "Songs of EyEs"
Sarah Walker — "The Keening of a Yellow Star"
Maxwell Ian Gold — "naigoth.carcosa.exe"
David Hoenig — "Of Kings, Queens, and Knaves"
Ashley Dioses — "Even Madness Cannot Hide"
Frank Coffman — "Warnings to the Curious"
David B. Busboom — "From the Dusty Mesa"
Shayne Keen — "Yellow Work"
Bruce Boston — "Exiled to Hastur"
Renee Mulhare — "Paper Masks"
Eduardo Peret — "The Next Emperor"
Curtis M. Lawson — "Pinocchio and the Black Pantheon"
Douglas Draa — "Neighbors Good and Fair"
John Paul Fitch — "Faces"
Ross E. Lockhart — "Shrubberies"
Rebecca J. Allred — "Lambda 580"
Can Wiggins — "The Queen in Yellow"
KA Opperman — "Cassilda Dons the Pallid Mask"
Stephen Mark Rainey — "Masque of the Queen"
Bruce Boston — "Exiled to Hastur"
Andrew Reichart — "A Sign of Pure Gold"
Kaaron Warren — "The Naked Man"
Michael Wehunt — "numbers of the bEast"
Jeffrey Thomas — "The Seed"
DJ Tyrer — "Beautiful Dreams"
Duane Pesice — "Sunshine and Scarlet"
Drew Nicks — "Opening Night"
David Hoenig — "Last Dance for the Ancient Gods"
Scott Couturier — "We Are the Sacrifice"
John Linwood Grant — "Mr Bubbles and the Jaundiced Stranger"
Frank Coffman — "Audience With the Last King"
Manuel Paul Arenas — "The Yellow Tale"
Matthew R. Davis — "IL Re Giallo"
Adam Bolivar — "The Door to Nod"
Donald Armfield — "End is Nigh"
Edward Morris — "Beast: A Fable For Children"

Cover art by Derek Pegritz. Cover design by Dan Sauer.

Visit Nightmares in Yellow on Facebook here.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Another Haw River Hoedown

A handful of The Usual SuspectsDiefenbaker (a.k.a. Scott), Fishdownthestair (a.k.a. Natalie), and an old dude (a.k.a. an old dude) — badly needed to hike and seek some geocaches today. So off we rode to the Haw River down near Pittsboro. We've cached that area numerous times, though just north of US 64, there is a trail along the river with a number of nice caches we had yet to conquer. That we did, but for one very old cache "Craggy Haw" GC1JCRP, placed in 2008), which is most likley missing. Otherwise, the hike proved scenic, occasionally rugged, and altogether satisfying.
I wonder what might be lurking in that big old
column of stone way back in the woods....

After the river hike, we landed ourselves at Carolina Brewery in Pittsboro where, unbeknownst to us, a gaggle of local geocachers had also landed following a nearby CITO (Cache-In, Trash-Out) event. We arrived right at the tail end of the event, but we did see quite a few familiar faces (and in a few cases, entire bodies). We exchanged a round of greetings before most of them departed and then proceeded to procure ourselves some vittles and liquid refreshment. Nice!

On the way home, we stopped for another handful of caches. And we got run off from a stand of woods where a cache apparently used to be but that now belongs to some nearby property owners who were unaware of such wondrous things as geocaches. Alas.

All in all, though, a satisfying day of exercise, good company, and decent refreshment.
Islands in the stream
A sunny day at the river

Saturday, December 7, 2019

The Parkway Pilgrimage: Better Late Than Never

Not that I'm complaining — not even a little bit — but since Kimberly and I were otherwise engaged conquering several countries in the Mediterranean during the month of October, we missed our traditional pre-Halloween vittles-and-vino pilgrimage to Mabry Mill, Villa Appalaccia, and Chateau Morrisette on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. Then November turned out to be a whirlwind of both happy and sad personal obligations. Thus, we resolved to undertake a make-up pilgrimage at the earliest possible opportunity. That meant today.

Last night, Ms. B. and I left work, bound for the old homestead in Martinsville, where we took care of some necessary business, then enjoyed dinner and a movie. This morning, unfortunately, our favorite slapjack breakfast was right out, as Mabry Mill closes for the season at the end of October. Regardless, we made do at home and then set out for the mountains. I stopped for a fun, aptly named geocache near the Blue Ridge Parkway ("Is It Really Possum?" GC88JWD), and then drove up to the site of Floyd Fest, where, some months ago, a couple of caches had been placed. The Virginia geocache reviewer subsequently archived them for not conforming to geocaching standards, but I had a sneaking suspicion the containers might still be in place. So, playing against the odds, I set out on the hunt. Not altogether unexpectedly, I came up empty-handed. Well, drat! At least it was a worthy attempt, and I got in some strenuous exercise going up and down (mostly up) the mountainous terrain.

From there, Brugger and I made the very short hop over to Villa Appalaccia, which is under relatively new ownership. Their wine, as always, proved itself exceptional. The dry reds — a delicious Sangiovese, a refreshing blend called Rustico, and our perennial favorite, the Aglianico — all put to shame the multitudes of wines we've sampled in Virginia and North Carolina. That said, once we headed over to Chateau Morrisette, where we had lunch reservations, we found that their 2017 Petit Verdot, a varietal I've always appreciated, rivaled Villa Appalaccia's best. Chateau Morrisette typically makes decent if unexceptional wine, but this one — bold, full-bodied, and aromatic — did not taste like "Virginia wine," which, much like wine from North Carolina, tends to have a distinctive, young, juice-like flavor and thin mouth feel. We've generally gone to Chateau Morrisette more for the food than the wine, but today we found the best of both. Lunch consisted of a delicious Cobb Salad for Ms. B. and a perfectly done medium-rare house specialty burger for the old feller. Excellent service topped off a most satisfying meal.

So, better late than never for a Parkway Pilgrimage, though I did really did miss the slapjack breakfast at Mabry Mill. The mill and restaurant reopen in the spring, so I reckon the nice lady and I will have to add another required pilgrimage to our schedule. I reckon I can deal with that.
A couple of happy folk with happy wine at Villa Appalaccia
Our lunchtime view at Chateau Morrisette

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Another Commute, Another Adventure

This morning's going-to-work adventure:

Dude in a pickup truck driving down the highway in the left lane at about 30 mph, forcing people to go around him on the right. I notice that he flips the bird to everyone who goes around him. Then he speeds up to about 80, thrusts his entire upper body out the window, and starts flipping off the world. Weaves back and forth across lanes since he has no hands on the steering wheel. Comes perilously close to decapitating himself on the center barrier. Slides back into driver's seat, sticks both hands out the window to flip off the world. Then accelerates to tailgate the drivers in front of him for a while before passing them and flipping them the bird.

Last I saw of him, he was hauling away at what had to be 100-plus mph.

I don't know what this cretinous yahoo's problem was, but at least he didn't take someone else out — including me — at the time. Should karma have bitten him somewhere down the road... well, thank you, karma.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Lights, Please

It is now after Thanksgiving, which means I can legitimately put up some Christmas decorations at Casa di Rodan. Now, my decorating is never elaborate. Going elaborate means a massive taking-it-all-down-after-Christmas effort, which is so very displeasing. Still, I do enjoy getting some purty lights burning around the house. Way back when — mid 1990s, I think — there was a house up the street from ours in Martinsville where the property owners literally filled the woods with those tube-light snowflakes, and it was gorgeous... almost surreal (I wish to god I had some photos from back then). That spectacle inspired grandiose dreams that I might similarly fill the woods around our Martinsville place with such lights. So, in the late 1990s, I think it was, Mrs. Death and I invested in a bunch of them, but the whole filling the woods thing never really came about. Nowadays, though, every year, I at least put a bunch of the thingummies in the trees around my house here in Greensboro.

I had set up my wee little fiber optic tree in the living room last week — a couple of days before Thanksgiving actually. Yeah, I know, this is wrong, but since Thanksgiving was so late this year, I wanted to make sure I at least got in most of a month of Christmas tree time — not to mention Halloween-skull-what-lives-here-full-time time (see photo). Upstairs, I have a tiny little pre-lit tree, about two feet tall, that burns in the office window, just for good measure. Again, no great shakes, but you put all this stuff together, and you might think the old feller living here has at least a smidgen of the Christmas spirit. I don't know if that's what you call it, necessarily, but whatever it is, I got a little of it.

Given the complications that have arisen with my surviving family members, it's going to be a very different holiday season this year. Early on, I was afraid Thanksgiving might end up an emotional bust, but — thankfully — it turned out quite the opposite. It was the most relaxing, satisfying, invigorating Thanksgiving holiday I've had in years. Brugger and I managed to find some much-needed quality time like we haven't had in ages, so I really have to say that this year's Day of the Dead Bird earned high marks in my personal history book.

Now, due to complications arising from the already established complications (which discretion dictates I refrain from relating in detail), I have fallen way, way behind on my current Ameri-Scares novel. Happily, over the four-day weekend, I was able to make up for a good bit of lost time, but there is still more to compose than I am even a little bit comfortable with. (Yeah, yeah, pardon the dangling preposition.) I still have a bunch of short fiction on the burner, not to mention a couple of more Ameri-Scares entries down the line. Still and all, I find that composing these blogs is not only emotionally therapeutic, it galvanizes the old writing spirit, which — much to my dismay — I have found flagging as so many issues not of my own making weigh heavier and heavier each and every day. I tell you, mortality can be a monster, especially when it's not your own but your loved ones'. Aging has certainly brought with it a measure of wisdom I no doubt needed. On the other hand, gaining such wisdom is really a fucking pain in the ass, not to mention the heart, and I could sure do with a little break from this living in the land of the wise. Alas. There is no such box to check on survey form you get for Living Life in General.

All righty then. I have had my say for the evening. I've got Christmas lights, and I've got a martini. And I'm diving into Ameri-Scares Ohio: Fear the Grassman! It's scaring the pants off me as I'm writing it, I can tell you.

You, keep your pants on. This book, and more, are well on the way.