Instigation: Creative Prompts on the Dark Side is a treasury of twisted tips, strange scenarios and disturbing sparks to help ignite the fuel in your creative furnace. Its aim? To push you into the danger zone of your imagination, by thinking in unconventional ways and trying things you never thought — or dared — to try before in your writing, art, or dreams.
See the catalog page for more information.
DIRECT PURCHASE FROM MASTICATION for $3.99:
NOTE: This book is currently only available in .mobi, .epub, and .pdf formats, which are readable in most ebook devices and computers. It will soon also be available directly from more ebook distributors like amazon and Barnes and Noble. A print edition is not currently available (though you can get a large sampler in the hardcover only edition of The Gorelets Omnibus published by Raw Dog Screaming Press).
I’m pleased to formally announce the resurrection of my old indie press imprint, Mastication Publications! While we’ve existed since 1991, and printed a number of chapbooks and ephemera over the past twenty years, this really marks a new phase in the press’ development, as we will be more aggressively entering the ebook market and developing new projects. Our tagline is “Unusual Ideas to Chew On”. Here’s a snippet from the mission statement on our “About Us” page which elaborates:
We see this press as more of a creative laboratory than some vain enterprise in self-publishing. It is a venue for trying new things and archiving things that may have otherwise been lost and forgotten. We’ve always been a small press interested in exploring new territory for genre fiction and poetry, liberated from the norms of mainstream publishing and unbound by the usual commercial demands.
Visit the new page at http://masticationpublications.com
Lots of creative things are in development, from a new logo, to re-released ebooks from my backlist, to the new Instigation ebook (which you can get for as little as a buck if you pledge to The Fridge of the Damned kickstarter before Feb 1st!).
But first up is a free chapbook, available NOW, called MEAT SHOTS!
Want a freebie? All you need to do is sign up for the press’ new newsletter and you will receive a free electronic chapbook (adobe format) called “Meat Shots” that collects some of my best microhorror in a beautifully colorful and playfully organized little package, designed by Nathan Rosen. Read all about it on the Mastication Publications website or see the TOC and excerpt on the book’s page.
For the month of January, Raw Dog Screaming Press, Microhorror.com and Gorelets.com are joining forces to campaign on Kickstarter to make The Fridge of the Damned: a twisted poetry word tile set (based on something that old fans of this site will be familiar with) that will make any sticky metal surface even stickier!
We need your help. Kick in a few bucks and if our dreams become a reality, you can use these demented fridge magnets however you please… in fact, with a little creative play, they might “instigate” you to come up with poetry, stories, art or even novels all your own!
But even better: by funding the project at ANY level (even just a buck!), you’ll automatically reserve a free copy of Instigation: Creative Prompts on the Dark Side! This new ebook is NOT just a scraping together of all the “twisted prompts for sicko writers” you already find here at gorelets… it includes the entire collection from the infamous weekly column that ran in Hellnotes newsletter from many years ago, dozens and dozens of strange prompts from Michael Arnzen’s horror writing classes at Seton Hill University, and a battery of original material only available in this ebook: from new prompts “too hot for gorelets,” to activities intended specifically for writers in the muddlesome middle of their novels, to articles about writer’s block, advice for staying focused, and more. And all of it, intended to navigate you into the dark side, where the interesting stuff awaits. If you’re a writer, you’ll definitely want this.
The book is being published this March by my own imprint, Mastication Publications. Sign up for the Mastication newsletter, and you’ll get ANOTHER free ebook — “Meat Shots” — a collection of short shorts of terror — with design by our kickstarter campaign director Nate Rosen, in .pdf format.
It’s raining free books! Soak them up and get inspired to death.
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.
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.
I’m proud of the alumni, students, and faculty in Seton Hill U’s Writing Popular Fiction graduate program for putting this new book together, with profits going to assist Donna Munro, a great writer and fellow member of our community who shocked us all by being diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year.
The kindle edition of the book was just released today on amazon for just $9.99. Totally worth it, given that it’s got over 700 pages of genre stories in it. I wrote one them (first appearance of my story “The Scraper”) as well as the introduction. There are a lot of folks you’ll recognize in the table of contents… in fact, a large number of them appeared in the textbook I co-edited last year, Many Genres, One Craft.
Please help us help Donna by picking up a copy for your Kindle reader. Here’s the official press release…
Giant multi-author anthology on sale Tuesday, August 7 to benefit cancer fighter.
Date August 2, 2012 Contact: Natalie Duvall email@example.com
Seventy-six writers connected to the Seton Hill University Writing Popular Fiction program have created a multi-genre charity anthology entitled Hazard Yet Forward. All proceeds from this project will benefit Donna Munro, a 2004 graduate of the program. Munro, a teacher living in St. Louis, Missouri, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. An active member of the SHU WPF alumni committee, Munro helps organize the school’s annual writing conference, the In Your Write Mind Workshop.
To aid Munro and her family, faculty members, alumni, students and friends of the Writing Popular Fiction program quickly responded to compile this massive anthology. The book features flash fiction, short stories and even a full-length novella. In total, there are 75 works from various genres, which makes this anthology one that features something for everyone.
Genres represented in the book range from horror to romance to mystery – and everything in between. Some of the notable writers in the anthology are World Fantasy Award winner Nalo Hopkinson, Bram Stoker winners Michael A. Arnzen and Michael Knost, Bram Stoker nominee Lawrence C. Connolly, ALA/YALSA Best Book for Young Adults winner Jessica Warman, Rita finalist Dana Marton, Spur winner Meg Mims, Asimov’s Readers’ Award winner Timons Esaias and WV Arts and Humanities literary fellowships winner Geoffrey Cameron Fuller.
About Hazard Yet Forward, co-compiler Matt Duvall says, “It’s an unprecedented collection of stories from every genre imaginable.” This large volume is an electronic book for the popular Kindle platform and is available for purchase through Amazon starting August 7. It’s also reasonably priced. The book will be on sale for $9.99.
More information about the anthology can be found at http://hazardyetforward.wordpress.com. To learn about the unique and exciting Writing Popular Fiction program, please visit http://www.setonhill.edu/academics/fiction/.
If you want to contribute more than just the $9.99, then visit this page from Michael Knost.
Postscript… The book is doing well. Right now, it’s #3 in the amazon bestseller list for short story anthos, right under the works of Poe and the Norton Anthology!
At the fun “Raw Dog Screaming Press Book Party” at the Morgantown Poets group in West Virginia last month, I opened my reading by sharing a piece I’d written for Locus Magazine, a poem about why I write poetry, which I contributed to their running Roundtable series on speculative poetry. Here’s my recitation of “On the Irrelevance of Genre Poetry,” recorded during the reading. I don’t often write things like this — an opinion essay told in the form of a poem — but the audience really seemed to laugh and also get charged up by the poem.
Press the play button below to listen, or the link below it to download the file for your own devices.
Open Locus Magazine’s page in a new window if you’d like to read along. Please also consider leaving a comment on their site or below.
Locus Magazine is a long-running trade magazine for publishers, writers and dedicated fans in the genre, featuring reviews and coverage of trends in science-fiction, fantasy and horror publishing. While you’re there, read the other great articles on the Roundtable by Marge Simon, Robert Frazier, David Kopaska-Merkel, Denise Dumars, F.J. Bergmann and plenty of other great practicing sf/f/h poets on the Locus Roundtable Blog.
If you’re a genre poet, be sure to check out the Science Fiction Poetry Association and join the community. I’ve been a member since something like 1988, and their annual Rhysling Award anthology and journal (Star*Line) alone are worth the dues. Plus they do lots of fun things, like post audio readings of horror poetry every Halloween — check it out.
Earlier this year, the first people who kindly pre-ordered the hardcover edition of The Gorelets Omnibus after it was initially announced by the publisher were promised a free exclusive broadside as a bonus. If that’s you, let me assure you the delay was entirely my fault — the poem that I wrote for this cause just wasn’t quite right, and I try to treat these things special. But now I’ve got something done that I’m proud of and it is heading out in the mail to you. Enjoy!
Here’s a purposely-blurry preview, so you can see what’s to come.
The broadside poem is entitled “Anonymous” and is limited to twenty-five signed, numbered copies, uncannily dated 6/6/12. Some of these will go to lucky subscribers of The Goreletter newsletter, so if you haven’t signed up for that yet, there’s still time and please do (or please make sure your email address is correct by signing up again — the server will tell you if you’re good to go).
I like doing quirky and creative things like this when I can. You can get a whiff of some other broadsides I’ve done in the past on scribd.com — and they sometimes are reprinted in collections, like my book awhile back from Dark Regions Press, called Proverbs for Monsters.
To learn more about The Gorelets Omnibus, see posts tagged Omnibus on this site. To order, visit Raw Dog Screaming Press. The book is also available in ebook and other editions on amazon.com and all the usual booksellers.
You can now get the Gorelets Omnibus as an e-book for the Kindle along with all the other editions, from amazon.com.
I think this is very cool, because gorelets — which, a decade ago, were originally a series of poems that were written for PDAs, the first handheld e-readers — are now available in ebook format for your cell phone (if you have the Kindle app). This feels like coming full circle.
Just so you’re aware: the Kindle edition is an electronic adaptation of the paperback edition. Remember that the Hardcover is substantially expanded, with bonus poetry galore and it even features a “Poetry Writing Workshop” that includes craft articles and more Instigation than you can even find here on this website).
The print edition is also available through your favorite bookseller, or directly from the publisher, as well. Visit those scoundrels at Raw Dog Screaming Press (publisher of my earlier titles, 100 Jolts and Play Dead) today for more information.
Just shared this Chicago publisher’s catalog on my scribd.com page – go there if your browser can’t load it below.
AMAZING COVER ART on this publisher’s catalog (art: “Poe Rendering” by J.M. Demetrius, copyright 2011)! Includes good overview in the front pages for the upcoming reprint of POE’S LIGHTHOUSE, edited by Christopher Conlon — due in paperback soon — which includes one of my short stories. The book is a collection of stories that complete an unfinished fragment of fiction by Edgar Allan Poe…with amazing results.
My latest book is now available for pre-order. And I’m very proud to share it with you, because it’s the result of a decade of work right here on gorelets.com. It’s a big honking book of dreadful little things called THE GORELETS OMNIBUS.
I’ll paste the publisher’s description below, but if you want to jump right to their catalog, Raw Dog Screaming Press (publisher of my other books, 100 Jolts and Play Dead) are now accepting pre-orders on their website.
PREORDERS WILL GET A FREE SIGNED BROADSIDE AS A COLLECTIBLE BONUS.
The book will likely ship in late January 2012. I’ll keep posting news and info as it breaks. You might even get sick of hearing about it. But I won’t. I hope you’ll buy a copy and enjoy the look back over a decade of decay.
THE GORELETS OMNIBUS
Collected Poems, 2001-2011
by Michael A. Arnzen
ISBN 978-1-935738-20-6 (hc)
ISBN 978-1-935738-21-3 (pbk)
$29.95 Hardcover | $13.95 Paperback
TERRIFYINGLY TINY. DEVILISHLY DEEP.
The Gorelets Omnibus collects all the bloody little bits of Michael Arnzen’s poetry written in the past 10 years into one big volume. From the contents of the original Gorelets chapbook and his classic “refrigerator of the damned” online fridge poem experiment, to Arnzen’s latest flash fiction and brand new Zombie Haikruel series, this collection chronicles his revolutionary vision for the horror short form. He even received a Bram Stoker Award for Alternative Forms for some of the work included in this book. As one of the first writers to recognize the creative capacity of handheld devices, Arnzen’s pioneering work to deliver gory entertainment in as few characters as possible is still eminently relevant today. Thus, a “casebook of criticism”—a collection of scholarly analyses of Arnzen’s unique approach to the genre—is included alongside the poetry.
While The Gorelets Omnibus is available in both paperback and hardcover versions, the hardcover edition contains more than 50 pages of must-have bonus material, including: the hard-to-find Martha Stewart parody, “Michael Arnzen Dying,” additional haikruel you won’t find elsewhere, unfinished poems and pieces no longer available on his website, the “Borelets” parody, and an impressive “horror poetry workshop” of instructional essays by Arnzen on crafting terrifying verse, alongside over 300 “twisted” writing prompts specifically intended to instigate weirdness.
Arnzen’s other books with Raw Dog Screaming include 100 Jolts and Play Dead—soon to be rereleased in paperback and ebook format.
And be sure to visit the website responsible for it all at http://gorelets.com
Praise for Arnzen’s Poetry
“Bored with sleeping? Read this book at night. Michael Arnzen’s poems are absolutely terrifying. His writing makes me uncomfortable for all the right reasons. If you enjoy the things that go bump in the night, Arnzen’s poems might change your mind. Arnzen is disturbingly, madly, brilliant and I pray for those close to him.” —Ryan Mecum, author of Zombie Haiku and Dawn of Zombie Haiku
“Horror and poetry very rarely mix well—if at all—but with Gorelets, Michael Arnzen has produced something of minor miracle; not only does every piece in this marvelous collection stand up to the rules applicable to poetry, but each piece—like the best horror story—provides the reader with chills—no small feat. If, on occasion, Mr. Arnzen’s tongue is obviously pushed toward his cheek, it’s all in fun—albeit intelligent, well-crafted fun. These pieces, and this collection, will not disappoint.” —Gary A. Braunbeck
“SCARY. Achieves in your face, punching rhythmical effects. Coupled with Arnzen’s vivid visuals…these rhythms are confrontational, leaving readers no place to run and hide.” —Sidereality
“Tight and succinct…visionary fragments, sharp little pictures that make your stomach squirm…in regular English, avoiding the pretense that consume so many other poets.” —Feomante.com
“Like one of those stubborn and painful scabs, only Arnzen could pull this one off. Served up with humor both vitreous and gut-wrenching, Gorelets delivers its tasty mind-morsels in palatable portions both raw and rare. If you haven’t tried one yet, grab a plate and dig in.” —Kurt Newton
“…the cumulative effect of the entire book of gory horrific teeny poems is a lot of fun.” —Ellen Datlow, Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror
“It’s no wonder Arnzen has built up such a cult following with his Gorelets.com website—read one thing by him and you’re hooked.” —Matt Schwartz, Shocklines.com
“Gorelets is an example of horror’s rebirth.” —Pittsburgh City Paper
“Scary, gory, horrifying little demons that float around in the sinister mind of a very talented writer…these teensy poems are larger-than-life! Arnzen’s technique is brutally artistic with a blood-streaked flair.” —Brutal Dreamer Reviews
“wild…the product of Arnzen’s fevered and inventive brain.” —alt.press
“Gorelets doesn’t read like a bunch of tiny poems were quickly trotted off on a PDA. They are tiny experiments as to what a poet can do with a minuscule amount of space, and even with only a tiny amount of space, Arnzen’s possibilities are limitless.” —Damned Critic
“Michael A. Arnzen has a knack for balancing dark themes with wit and surprise. By mastering short, thought-provoking poetry, Arnzen creates works that are perfect for a quick fix of horror during the day or to be read from the screen of my Blackberry.” —Heidi Ruby Miller, author of Ambasadora
“In a little over a decade, Michael A. Arnzen has achieved what few writers manage in a lifetime. He has become the master of a brand of literature that is uniquely his own, and I do not doubt that his approach to horror will soon (if not already) be referred to as ‘Arnzenian’… Horrifying, captivating, ironic—Arnzenian!—the works of Michael A. Arnzen are in a class all their own. Fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride!” — Lawrence C. Connolly, author of Veins
Preorder today from Raw Dog Screaming Press to be the first to read it and get your hands on the collectible free signed broadside.
Readers of this blog who have the writing bug might want to hop on over to Amazon.com and put in an order for my latest book (co-edited with Heidi Ruby Miller), called Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction.
Modeled after the graduate program where I teach — the MFA in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University — Many Genres is a thick hardcover collection of over sixty essays by prominent writers who look under the hood of both the craft of writing for a genre audience and the business of penning novels in today’s publishing world. There are several essays focused on horror and suspense fiction, including chapters by Gary Braunbeck, David Morrell, Lawrence C. Connolly, Mary SanGiovanni, Tom Monteleone, Tim Waggoner, Tess Gerritsen, and, so many more. I contributed six pieces, covering everything from “the art of surprise” in horror to how to make writing workshops work best. I think this book is really something unique.
Many Genres will be in print in May! You might as well preorder it today if you want to get yours hot off the press, and get started on a book this summer. Here’s the introduction and complete table of contents for your previewing pleasure (visit scribd.com, if for some reason you can’t read the window below):
We are keeping an active weblog about the book, featuring contributor profiles, bonus articles, and book news. I also hope to have guests appear on the “Instigation” department of The Goreletter as part of the title’s Virtual Book Tour soon.
Better yet, please ask your bookseller to stock it! Here are the key specs:
Title: Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction
Author: Edited by Michael A. Arnzen and Heidi Ruby Miller
Publisher: Headline Books Date: May 2011
Hardcover. 384 pages. List Price: $29.99 (US)