Just posted the above video review of a few funky science fictional things I’ve been up to lately: including a teeny tiny ebook device for microfiction, a new experimental (and free!) short-short anthology (#Citybots) and the awesome Fear the Abyss anthology from Post Mortem Press.
If you haven’t been listening to the 6′+ (‘six foot plus’) podcast, you’ve been missing out on some weird, strange and spooky music — from psychobilly to demented surf to horror spoken word. The latest episode (#45: “The Holidays are Horrible”) includes a track from my CD, Audiovile, called “Little Stocking Stuffers” — and it’s neat to hear how well it fits in with the rest of the battery of horrifying holiday beats. Stream it online, or subscribe via iTunes.
Last month, Diabolique (the magazine of “Horror for the Connoisseur”) included my short-short, “Convictions” (an excerpt from 100 Jolts), in their fabulous Christmas horror issue. The magazine looks fantastic on an ipad, and you could get your hands on it immediately if you have one of those — or you can also subscribe to the print version, which is a finely produced glossy mag out there. It’s as good as any Rue Morgue or Fangoria, only with it’s own editorial vision that seems to really emphasize the genre more broadly defined, including coverage of hidden gems in film and TV, with essays that seem really smartly written and sophisticated.
I’ll have an all new story in the upcoming “haunted” theme issue (Jan/Feb 2013, #14), called “With This Ring.” The tale is directly inspired by the artpiece above by Anisa Nin, which also will appear therein. This magazine knows what its doing. Check out their website or facebook page…and subscribe!
I’ve been pretty impressed with what Post-Mortem Press has been publishing this year, from Adam Nienaber’s Dexteresque novel, Truly Deeply Disturbed, to Jessica McHugh’s subversively funny bowling stripper story, Pins to Paul Anderson’s anthology, Uncanny Allegories. These are no-nonsense, entertaining books, edited with a gleeful love of the horror genre. So when I heard they were putting together a collection of science-fiction stories by writers primarily known for their horror fiction, I was very happy to join the party.
And what a grand party it is! Here’s the full Table of Contents. It’s a pretty impressive roster, and I trust you’ll recognize many of these writers — along with a cadre of relatively new authors making long strides in the genre…folks you’ll want to keep an eye on. Click on their names to learn more about their work:
• “Cutting the Cord” – Joseph Williams
• “Extraction” – Jessica McHugh
• “Amid the Walking Wounded” – Jack Ketchum
• “A Box of Candy” – Nelson W. Pyles
• “That Which Does Not Kill You” – Matt Moore
• “Human Caverns” – Lawrence C. Connolly
• “The American” – S.C. Hayden
• “What’s Left Behind” – C. Bryan Brown
• “Always Something There To Remind Me” – Gary Braunbeck
• “Neptune Dreams” – Rose Blackthorn
• “Broken Promises” – Jamie Lackey
• “The Great Ocean of Truth” – Tim Waggoner
• “Graphic Violence Equalizer” – Michael Arnzen
• “Parasite” – Kenneth W. Cain
• “If Thine Eye Offend Thee” – Thomas Malafarina
• “Seeing” – Harlan Ellison®
• “A Nice Town With Very Clean Streets” – Paul Anderson
• “The Nostalgiac” – Robert Essig
• “Life After Dead” – Jeyn Roberts
• “Andrew and the Better Mouse Trap” – KT Jayne
• “They Still Sing Beautifully” – Brad Carter
• “What We Found” – Andrew Nienaber
My story, “Graphic Violence Equalizer,” is a brand new story about a new “parental control” device for cable television, that pulls images off “the cloud” in order to creatively censor TV shows and “tame” them for family viewing. It allows parents to adjust various levels of sexual and violent content in their TV shows (sort of like how you can change the frequency levels using an audio EQ)…until things, as you might expect, go horribly wrong.
Where can you get a copy? On Tuesday 11/20, Post-Mortem Press will open up for pre-orders, with a targeted wide release date of November 27th, in ebook and paperback format.
Fear the Abyss — sounds like what I’ll be doing for Thanksgiving as I look deep into the emptied carcass on the dining room table.
If you’ve been reading my ebooks since the early days (e.g., pre-Kindle), then there’s a good chance you got them through Fictionwise.com — one of the first successful ebook distributors, known for offering a wide array of genre fiction — especially individual short stories — for a very affordable price. You may have already known that they were “bought out” by Barnes and Noble a few years ago, to help support B&N’s offerings for the Nook e-reader.
Yesterday I was informed that I should backup all my own purchases and get ready for the site to close down. They have posted a FAQ page with instructions for both downloading your bookshelf to archive copies and to also automatically transfer your ebooks over to B&N’s site, for your Nook library. I recommend doing both, if you can, as I’ve heard rumors that not all ebooks convert over to the Nook bookstore — and if you don’t have a Nook, you still might want to set up an account anyway, because you CAN read Nook books on some other devices, in aps, and on computers for free. Or in case you ever buy one.
Let me say it again:
Bookshelves on fictionwise.com will be unavailable after December 21, 2012. ACT SOON.
I’ll try to keep the books page on gorelets.com updated to help fans of ebooks find my work. Not all of my titles are in ebook form (and I like that, because I think avid readers SHOULD have special and exclusive — if not collectable — versions of stories). But in the years ahead, you’ll be seeing a growing number of e-titles from me, like the re-release of my second novel, Play Dead in ebook form from Raw Dog Screaming Press in late 2013, and a project I am developing for my own line (Mastication Publications) that takes the “Instigation” section of this website to a new level.
Although the death of fictionwise.com is not a major travesty to literature — since most of the titles are really just moving over to the Nook — I’m a little saddened by this turn of events. I’m a “Kindle person” for the most part, but I liked being able to read fictionwise titles on the Kindle. But thinking more broadly, this is another sign of the volatility of the ebook publishing economy, which constantly seems to shake things up and disorient readers, while struggling to evolve into something stable. The thing I liked most about fictionwise was its short story offerings — you could easily build your own “anthology” (or mixed tape) of fiction, and find good short-shorts by your favorite authors that might have appeared in magazines and anthologies you missed. It allowed writers who had a modicum of success to self-publish, and it offered a distribution for indie publishers to sell their wares outside of the dominant agency model that circulates mass market books. I also wonder if this is a sign of the waning of interest in the short-story form. As people can buy complete novels for a mere .99 cents, it seems hard to suggest they pay that much for a short story. Fictionwise had a micropayment system that seemed to solve that issue, and provided a really good niche market to find new genre fiction outside of the mainstream, but now we’ll likely have fewer options, as the dominant corporations have more control the e-publishing economy.
On a related note, Heidi Ruby Miller recently posted a video of our talk at the Western Maryland Indie Lit Book Festival back in 2011, that reveals some of my thoughts about how e-publishing is changing the way readers find books, and how publishers need to brand their lines as a signpost for navigating the disorienting, uncharted waters of electronic books.
If you live in the Pittsburgh/Greensburg area, join me for a horror poetry reading alongside writer Stephanie Wytovich at DV8 Espresso Gallery and Cafe in Downtown Greensburg, 7pm, on Nov 10th. We’re informally calling it “Halloween Resurrection.” Come on by; it’s free and freaky. I’ll have my latest books in hand if you’d like to pick up a signed copy, too.
UPDATE: Stephanie has posted a fun Facebook Event page that will be useful for those of you with faces.
— Michael Arnzen (@MikeArnzen) October 31, 2012
I enjoyed the Zombie Haiku tweet marathon on Halloween last year (which later was printed in The Gorelets Omnibus) so much that I am doing it again — but it will be a little more somber and diverse this time with short free verse pieces about disease, deformity, body horror and medical freakitude, all inspired by my recent trip to the Mutter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia (and based on photographs in former curator Gretchen Worden’s phenomenal book by the same title). These poems will be live tweeted throughout the day with the hashtag #MUTTERVERSE on twitter.
Here’s a quick roundup of recently shared Halloween tricks and treats for you, all waiting in the bottom of your goodie bag:
- If you’re not following me on Twitter, you can track the #MUTTERVERSE in the archive here on gorelets.com, called The Nest.
- You can download “scatterscream” — the latest entry in my annual free exclusive Halloween Desktop Background art series, posted to my flickr gallery.
- Drop by the Halloween Poetry Readings at the Science Fiction Poetry Association website, where you can hear a live recording of my poem, Attack of the Bleu Man Group (here’s the original studio recording with musical enhancement, ala Audiovile, if you prefer that). The poem appears in The Gorelets Omnibus (which the SFPA recently gave an excellent review).
- I’ll also be featured as part of a marathon Halloween session on Inveterate Media Junkies related to the Hazard Yet Forward charity anthology. Look for it as part of Jason Jack Miller‘s SOUND CHECK column.
- I’m also bound to do a giveaway of some kind during the day via @MikeArnzen on twitter. So do pop by — you might luckily stumble on a prize opportunity!
If you live in the Pittsburgh/Greensburg area, don’t forget that I’ll be doing a horror poetry reading alongside Stephanie Wytovich at DV8 Espresso Gallery and Cafe in Downtown Greensburg, 7pm, on Nov 10th. We’re calling it “Halloween Resurrection.” Come on by; it’s free and freaky. (More about DV8 on Facebook).
The good folks at Raw Dog Screaming Press hosted a semi-private party-slash-convention to launch the celebration of their ten year anniversary, and from all reports, the festivities were nothing short of transformational. The press is renewed, launching a brand new science fiction imprint called Dog Star Books — with Heidi Ruby Miller (co-editor of Many Genres One Craft) at the editorial helm. There will be a new website, a new focus on community, and pack of new books to come in the years ahead. In fact, I think this is going to be the Year of the Dog and I’m proud to be a part of the year-long ten year anniversary party.
For full coverage of the event, drop by the Raw Dog Screaming Dog Con report on livejournal or facebook. The real gem of it all is editor/publisher/designer Jennifer Barnes’ “State of the Dog” Speech, which can be seen on YouTube.
I said “I didn’t go but I still went” to DogCon. This was because I performed a reading over the internet airwaves (via “FaceTime”) which was projected on a TV at DogCon, and which involved all sorts of funky interactive hijinx (even prizes!). Here’s a cool photo from the other side of the TV, from Mike “Tricky” Mehalek, taken during my reading:
And the hosts even posted a videotape of my reading over the television on youtube:
And if you want more video action, take a look at this video — they’ve also shared snippets of my dramatic reading of the original source material from which the publishers drew the name for their press, “Raw Dog Screaming.” If stick around till the end, you’ll see a funny snippet of the quiz show I ran over the air, with rare prizes involved. (“Winners have to have courage.”) I’m sure there will be more videos to come on the RDSP YouTube Channel.
I saved a high quality audio file of the reading, which you can listen to or even download below. It includes a few new and unpublished poems (as heard on the video), followed by a recitation of my flash fiction piece from the Hazard Yet Forward charity anthology, called “The Scraper” (not on the video).
Keep your eyes on Raw Dog Screaming Press as their website evolves in the year ahead. There are a ton of great books to come from RDSP, including — drum roll — the re-release of my novel, Play Dead, in 2013.
While a new edition of an old book might not seem like much to those of you who already read it, it’s a little shocking to realize that this novel is currently only available in a long out-of-print and sold out fine hardcover or sculpture-bound edition. SO a far more accessible paperback and ebook edition will be published by Raw Dog in the year to come. Woot! Perhaps it will even feature a new cover and other fun elements. In fact, I’m working with Raw Dog on a couple of other fun things, which I know will surprise some of you. I look forward to announcing these in the year to come, too. The horror never ends here on gorelets.com. Thanks for sticking with me, and for supporting the indie publishers I’ve worked with over the years like Raw Dog Screaming Press. Here’s to their next ten years!
Raw Dog Screaming Press – longtime publisher of many of my books — like 100 Jolts, Play Dead, Audiovile and The Gorelets Omnibus — are preparing for the launch of their — gasp! — TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY, by hosting an exclusive (invite-only), limited engagement called “DogCon” in Bowie, MD. I won’t be able to attend it this year (maybe next!), but I will be there in cyberspace for a reading over the internet on Saturday at 4 p.m. via FaceTime (followed by a reading by the great bizarro D. Harlan Wilson).
The DogCon group will be hosting a Google+ Hangout for those who can’t attend the event. For more info on DogCon — or to watch the web for news of next year’s event — be sure to follow Raw Dog Screaming Press on Facebook or watch their website.
[As announced on The Popular Uncanny webpage:]
I will be giving a talk about “The Popular Uncanny”, free and open to the public, at Neumann University (near Philadelphia, PA) on Oct 26th. Come join us at 4:30 p.m. in the Bruder Life Center. In the spirit of Halloween, there will be weirdness, laughter, and intriguing conversation, followed by a book signing for my new, massive poetry collection, The Gorelets Omnibus and other Arnzen titles.
Or check the event information on Facebook.
OCT 13 11a-4p | Frostburg, MD
Western Maryland Indie Lit Festival
Arnzen will attend with several Raw Dog Screaming Press authors, including Jennifer Barnes, John Edward Lawson, Heidi Ruby Miller, Jason Jack Miller, and K. Ceres Wright. The event, sponsored by the Frostburg State University Center for Creative Writing, brings together editors and publishers with writers and educators of the local community, and features panel discussions on various creative genres, DIY publishing, self-publishing, promotion and marketing, writing local, and reading and writing online. The event is free and open to the public, with sessions and book sales available throughout buildings in downtown Frostburg. Just follow the signs.
OCT 20 | Bowie, MD / Online
DogCon, Online Reading
Arnzen will make a ghostly appearance (via FaceTime streaming) at this exclusive party hosted by Raw Dog Screaming Press in launching their 10th Anniversary as a publisher. Some online access to the event will be available via Google+ hangouts. Details.
OCT 26, 4:30pm | Philadelphia, PA
Bruder Life Center, Neumann University, Guest Lecture on “The Popular Uncanny”,
Michael Arnzen visits the campus of Neumann University to host a discussion of his work on The Popular Uncanny. FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Books will be available for a signing after the event. Details.
Nov 10, 7pm | Greensburg, PA
DV8 Gallery and Cafe, 208 S. Pennsylvania Avenue, Greensburg, PA
Horror poetry reading with Arnzen and Stephanie Wytovich. Musical interludes expected. Details forthcoming.
The following is an excerpt from the front page of my Fiction Writing syllabus at SHU, which I posted to scribd and soundcloud as part of the course. I was surprised to find out tonight that it was highlighted as a “Featured Document” by scribd.com! Neat.
Here’s the audio version, recorded for the students in the class to respond to.
Teaching does take time away from my writing, but it’s just as rewarding to me, and it’s fun to share in the students’ creative spirits. Our class is going to be doing a lot of experiments with social networks, ipad apps, and more. Readers who have an interest in fiction writing might want to follow my academic twitter feed, where I’ll likely share the results.