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short stories


January is over? Crap.

Okay then! Monthly blog right quick.

Along with Jonathan L. Howard, Nick Mamatas, Jesse Bullington, and Ekaterina Sedia, I’m in this good-looking anthology from Stone Skin, which just dropped:

41bkkvcWrBL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Nick described my story as being about “magical cowboy fights or something,” and while that’s not too far off the mark, it is actually it is about a scheme (see title/anthology theme) to steal the remains of Chinese immigrants who died working on the Transcontinental and, if they arise as jiang shi, use them for underground undead no-holds-barred boxing. There may be other schemes involved.

Jesse’s is about the devil, I think?

Anyways, if you’re into schemes, and who isn’t, consider it.

Also, I’m in this crazy project.

Conqueror Womb: Lusty Tales of Shub-Niggurath will be available on Feb. 10th. I… I don’t even know. It contains a reprint of mine, a companion piece to “Ho Pais Kalos,” which if you were one of the five people who managed to figure out how to buy Geek Love you hopefully enjoyed. Anyways, ““All conquerorThis For the Greater Glory of the 7th and 329th Children of the Black Goat of the Woods” is sort of my ode to Amicus/Hammer/other Brit horror films staring Ingrid Pitt and Peter Cushing, et al., and is about a sentient dildo.

SO! What else…

I’m blogging all year about trying to read everything Roald Dahl wrote. I’ve read a lot of his stuff, but never tied up those loose ends. The first installment just went up on Pornokitsch, huzzah huzzah, so check it out if you’re interested. This month was all about Dahl’s uncollected shorts, like “The Sword,” “In the Ruins,” and the uplifting “Measles: A Dangerous Illness.”

Oh, and happy new year! Last weekend was the first performance of the season for the lion dance troupe I volunteer for. Some kind mom was good enough to film our drunken routine! So, check it out. I’m in the tail of the red lion, center stage!

2013 was a strange year. I didn’t expect to have a book come out; instead, after being contacted by Egaeus Press, I wrote a weighty novella (“Rumbullion”) and subsequently held Rumbullion and Other Liminal Libations in my hands this last October.

I thought I hadn’t published much, but looking back over this year, I had a story in the Magazine of Bizarro Fiction, a porny piece in Geek Love, a great, raunchy anthology that seemed to go largely unnoticed for various unfortunate/silly reasons, a zombie story in Zombies: Shambling Through the Ages, a mummy story in the beautiful anthology The Book of the Dead, and a tale of Chinese vampires and illegal betting in Schemers, which is (apparently) out. Also, “Herbert West in Love” was reprinted in the last ever volume of Icarus. I already have a few pieces scheduled to come out next year, so all in all, I’m pleased.

I also began and have subsequently written a substantial chunk of a new novel, something I have not done since 2010. Over the last three years I wrote and published plenty of short stories, and two novellas around 45k (“A Pretty Mouth” in A Pretty Mouth, and “Rumbullion” in Rumbullion). But the last time I set out to write anything weightier was a long time ago. I’m very happy with it so far, and hope to continue to be so…

In terms of things I read, which is also something (writerly) I finally read Joe Abercrombie’s The First Law trilogy, and the subsequent volumes. Damn. So good! I think The Heroes was my favorite, but it’s difficult to pick. The First Law books were so smartly constructed, they really blew me away. In terms of other books I enjoyed, standouts ambling through a lot of Wodehouse, Astoria by S.P. Miskowski, both books out from Lemony Snicket’s latest series All The Wrong Questions, Diary of a Young Girl (which I’d never read), Showdown in Oakland, and the comics from Avatar: The Last Airbender, which were by and large better-paced and written than most of the third season. Oh, and  a friend got me American-Born Chinese by the same author (Gene Luen Yang) for Christmas, I devoured that already. It’s hard to remember everything I read… I need to get better about keeping track of such things. But I won’t.

Overall, I’d have to say that 2013 was a good year!

Hello all,

Rumbullion and Other Liminal Libations is now available for purchase from Egaeus Press. For those of you who pre-ordered, they’re already shipping! Anyways, I’ll have very few copies for sale at World Fantasy—like, maybe one—so your best bet will be to order through the Egaeus site even if you’re planning on coming to see me read Thursday the 31st. (Which you should still totally do.) That said, if you’d like a signed copy, let me know… I will have flyers for the book that I can sign, and then you can paste into your copy or tuck between the pages later.

I’m behind on blog updates/posts, as I leave for England in a few hours. But, I very much appreciate all the wonderful attention the book has already received from friends, readers, and admirers of Egaeus Press’s beautiful editions.

Thank you again, and please, order your copies sooner rather than later if you want one! There are only 250 in the world…

7

From Egaeus Press:

Discerning readers,

 

On the 28th of this month of October 2013, Egaeus Press will publish a new volume by British Fantasy Society best newcomer nominee

M O L L Y   T A N Z E R

entitled

R U M B U L L I O N

  A N D   O T H E R   L I M I N A L   L I B A T I O N S.

It will incorporate a brand new novella,

along with a number of previously uncollected stories,

each in turn presented with a recommended imbibation from Molly’s repertoire,

verily in praise of the great god Bacchus.

The book will be a 256 page lithographically printed, sewn hardback with colour endpapers, limited to 250 copies.

It will be priced at £30 (British pounds) worldwide.

ISBN 978-0-957160644

More details will follow in the next week.

Pre-orders will be available though the website (www.egaeuspress.com) on or close to the 21st October.

William_Hogarth_-_A_Midnight_Modern_Conversation

BoD - Mysterium_Tremendum“The Book of the Dead addresses the most fascinating of all the undead: the mummy. The mummy can be a figure of imperial dignity or one of shambling terror, at home in pulp adventure, contemporary drama, or apocalyptic horror…”

I’m excited to say that the Jurassic London anthology The Book of the Dead, ed. Jared Shurin, is now available for pre-order. This anthology… it’s going to be stunning. Not only does it have a ton of awesome stories (I have a piece in there along with Gail Carriger, Jesse Bullington, Maurice Broaddus, Glen Mehn, and many other fine writers), but it’s also gorgeously illustrated by Garen Ewing (see the amazing illustration for my piece, “Mysterium Tremendum,” at the left), and if you spring for the limited edition hardback… well, here:

Right now, we’re taking orders for copies of the limited edition. This is an edition of 100 hand-numbered hardcover copies – with gold-embossed titles, midnight blue buckram covers and dark cream endpapers. Sultry, eh? Plus, The Book of the Dead is bound in cloth… literally. We then seal each copy in wax and impress it with the cartouche of the Egypt Exploration Society. Because of its unique construction, purchasers of the limited edition will also receive a copy of the ebook for free. (That way they can leave it sealed… forever.)

The book is a friggin mummy!

Oh, and:

This edition also contains an exclusive illustration by Garen Ewing that will not appear in any other edition. Because of its unique construction, purchasers of the limited edition will also receive a copy of the ebook for free.

That’s so awesome. The book has a secret mummified with it. I mean, come on.

But if you’re not down with a mummified book for some reason, there will also be paperback and (obviously) ebook editions.

My story is vaguely Lovecraftian, as is my wont, and is sort-of about how like, maybe Lovecraft had been reading about Tesla when he wrote “Nyarlathotep.” And, cats.

Oh! Oh! And it’s being released on my birthday, October 29th. And there will be a release party, in London, at the Phoenix Art Club, which I will be attending, because I will be in London before heading down to Brighton for World Fantasy. Details here!

 

Tuesday, I was very pleased to hear that A Pretty Mouth has made it on to the final ballot for the Wonderland Book Award! I’m up against some stiff competition, including my own publisher Cameron Pierce’s collection, and another put out by my cover designer, Matthew Revert. Whew! It’s great: I’ll be happy pretty much no matter who wins!

I know it’s the standard line, but with this Wonderland Book Award nod and with the earlier news of my British Fantasy Award nomination, it really is an honor just to be on the list. Really, I can’t express how thrilled I am that A Pretty Mouth has received so much positive attention. Thank you to everyone who voted for me for both awards; your enthusiasm is appreciated!

That said, A Pretty Mouth could use some fresh reviews on Amazon or Goodreads. If you’ve read it, I’d love if you could take the time to say something about it, whether you enjoyed it, were meh on it, or even hated it. (I’m a writer—I thrive on any kind of attention.) I’d especially like to have a few more review over on Amazon.co.uk. Thanks so much!

It’s hot. Really hot. A week ago today, I got back from a two-week stay in Florida, and I don’t think it was this hot down South. More humid, sure, and therefore grosser … but ugh, it’s hot.

I’ve been feeling a little drained, perhaps due to the heat, and likely in part due to some sort of mystery-problem with my right hand that has me wearing a brace for a few weeks. And yet, I have a lot of things to be excited about/working on, so I type, with this brace, an update to this blog:

I have a new story coming out! The fine people at Pornokitsch/Jurassic London are putting out a mummies anthology, called The Book of the Dead. It sounds awesome!

The Book of the Dead will be published in collaboration with the Egypt Exploration Society, the UK’s oldest independent funder of archaeological fieldwork and research in Egypt, dedicated to the promotion and understanding of ancient Egyptian history and culture.

Full ToC here. My story is called “Mysterium Tremendum” and is sort-of about Tesla, maybe, and definitely about why you shouldn’t trust cute boys.

Next, my forthcoming Egaeus Press collection doesn’t have a title yet, but I’m hard at work on the all-new novella. Here’s the unofficial ToC for that, in no particular order:

Herbert West in Love
Go, Go, Go, Said the Byakhee
In Sheep’s Clothing
Damnatio Memoriae
Tubby McMungus, Fat From Fungus
The Middle Passage (some all-new cosmic horror!)
How John Wilmot Contracted Syphilis
The Poison-Well
Rhum Deal (the aforementioned new novella!)

Very exciting! I wanted this collection to be a best-of-my-best, and so far I’m more than happy with how it’s shaping up. The new novella is causing me to tear my hair out at the moment, but that’s okay. I think it’ll all work out. Any troubles I’m having I lay at the feet of Nick Mamatas, who I heard one too many times mocking stories where “people do too much with their eyes, like raising their eyebrow while looking at someone over a glass of wine.” So here I am, writing about an 18th century dinner party full of fops, avoiding that. But how does one write about white-people angst without eyebrow-raising? I guess you’ll have to read it to find out.

Also, I don’t think I mentioned it here, but I was nominated for the British Fantasy Award, in the Best Newcomer Category (the Sydney J. Bounds Award), for A Pretty Mouth. Holy shit! The fact that I spaced on blogging has everything to do with the nomination coming two days before my Florida trip, because I am so stoked to be nominated for this. I decided to make good on that membership I bought to WFC in Brighton and go, because damn. So, see you in October, Brighton!

Oh, and speaking of A Pretty Mouth, there might be a hardcover edition at some point. Woah!

It’s a new year! I intended to do one of those wrap-up posts that everyone does, but it’s already January 2nd so no one cares anymore. Suffice it to say that 2012 was a year of some pretty major ups and downs. On the ups, I published some stuff, including my first book, got an amazing agent which means my novel is now in excellent hands, and became involved with an extremely rewarding (and time-consuming) martial and cultural arts community. On the flip side of things, I lost a beloved parent, and as nothing else even comes close to that in terms of sadness, so that’s all I’ll say on the matter.

In re resolutions, one thing I’ve decided to do in this new year is blog more—but less about myself. To that end I’m going to start both posting my ongoing experiments with mixology, and also review kung fu movies. There’s nothing particularly thematic there, except that I like to mix cocktails and I watch a lot of kung fu movies. I’d love to inspire others to do more of both, so … okay!

But first, some (mildly hypocritical) housekeeping.

First! The Next Best Book Blog is hosting a giveaway plus an author/reader discussion of A Pretty Mouth. Basically you put your name into a hat for a free .mobi copy, then if you win it you read it and all through February I’ll be engaging in discussions/answering questions about the material. So pop on over and see what’s up! This reminds me to remind you that yes, the kindle edition of A Pretty Mouth is available, so tell any of your friends who mentioned being given Amazon gift cards for the holidays!

Next! “Herbert West In Love” is, as I mentioned, available for free along with the entire December edition of the Lovecraft eZine. But! You can also support the amazing work done by the eZine by either purchasing the podcast version of the issue or buying the ebook. I listened to the podcast of my story and it was an interesting experience! I’ve never heard anyone else read my work before.

Finally, I sold a story! “Tantivy” will be appearing in Steve Berman’s anthology Zombies: Shambling Through the Ages, out in 2013 from Prime Books. Mine’s about devious 18th century fops eschewing fox-hunting for hunting zombies. Well, of course it is!

Ho-kay! Now on to stuff not about me!

For Christmas I asked for a bunch of ridiculous wuxia/kung fu DVD sets, and my girl Raechel got me one that includes Vengeance is a Golden Blade, Have Sword Will Travel, The Water Margin, and The Wandering Swordsman.

I began last night with Vengeance is a Golden Blade, because great title. Too bad the title turns out to be misleading, just a bit. The golden blade is actually the MacGuffin of the film, and less the instrument of vengeance. Ah, whatever.

It begins with a bunch of shady fuckers, aka The Vicious Long Brothers, who are pissed at a marginally less-shady fucker and want to ambush/murder him because the Long Brothers provide “protection” for traveling merchants, but they rob their clients. The marginally less-shady fucker also provides protection but, you know, doesn’t rob his clients, so he’s gotten all their business. They are many but he is few, but he has the Golden Dragon Sword so he fights them and they lose and just get more pissed off.

This situation is exacerbated by the fact that the Lead Shady Fucker of the Vicious Long Brothers has been carrying on a longtime affair with the wife of Marginally Less Shady. When Marginally Less Shady finds out about the affair, he tells his wife that because of her philandering she must kill herself. She doesn’t really think this is a particularly great idea (go figure) so instead she poisons Marginally’s eyeballs, temporarily, and he is forced to flee with his toddler-aged daughter Xiaolang. They take refuge with a crazy old herbalist and his son.

Fast forward to 18 years later, Marginally Less Shady is crippled and can’t do kung fu anymore so he has trained Xiaolang in swordplay and taught her that one day she must avenge him with the Hanglong Blade he’s been forging for 18 years, coincidentally. But he won’t tell her who will be the object of said avenging so she mostly hangs out practicing and flirting with the herbalist’s son in the bucolic Chinese countryside.

Then one day she begs to go to town and is allowed to for the first time, whereupon, because of course, she falls unwittingly into her now-a-Madam-of-a-whorehouse mother’s hands. But Madam Mother doesn’t know who Xiaolang is, so she tries to sell her body to a foppish magistrate who saw her doing kung fu against some dudes and was “impressed.” After a narrow escape from worse than death and learning that her mom’s a bitch, Xiaolang is pretty eager to wreak some goddamn havoc, and it’s a good thing too because Mom has realized that Xiaolang is her daughter, Marginally Less Shady is still alive and conveniently close-by, and her lover is still pissed about that shit way back when (even though he is in possession of the Golden Dragon Sword, quizzically). In the end, things get really real in the form of Xiaolang murdering improbable numbers of brigands with a sword, so basically my bread and butter.

I enjoyed the film, but I can’t give Vengeance is a Golden Blade more than 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. The herbalist motif is awesome, and Daughter Avenges Father is a favorite theme of mine … but the film is a bit slower than it needs to be, even for a Shaw Brothers kung fu epic, and the girl who plays Xiaolang isn’t all that great of a martial artist. Like, distractingly not that great. Still, definitely worthwhile!

Happy new year, everyone!

I had a great Christmas with the family! We did the big dinner and presents on Christmas Eve (I got a Tofu Xpress!!), then a low-key Christmas Day with just my mom and John. I made cinnamon rolls and Gardein sausage for breakfast and then we took a few walks in the nice weather, relaxed, and gobbled up leftovers for dinner which was fine by me. I’m exhausted after a week of partying with John’s family (not one, but two pallet-based bonfires in the back yard!), a trip to Busch Gardens for their Christmas Extravaganza, and everything else. Also, John got me the Blu-Ray of Re-Animator which I’m too excited about. Deleted scenes! Jeffrey Combs’ winsome faun-like face in high definition!

But! Christmas was also awesome for other reasons: A Pretty Mouth now has a brand-new Kindle edition that’s for sale on Amazon for the low, low price of $6.95. I’m really excited, as folks have been asking and asking about an ebook, and now there is one for purchase! Indeed, several friends were kind enough to let me know they bought it last night, so a big thank-you to those people. You know who you are!

AND … omg so yeah, just look at this:

150689_568947613131789_1330616282_nHOLY SHIT YOU GUYS. Just behold the awesome that is “Herbert West in Love,” (the illustration) by Miko. Apparently my Blu-Ray was some sort of trumpeting angel of amazing Re-Animator stuff. Re-Animatormas. I couldn’t be happier—indeed, as I had no idea my story would be illustrated, I am doubly happy. The skull in the lamplight! The crotch bulge! The lace-up club shirt! Oh, Herbert.

Oh, and duh, I should mention that this illustration means “Herbert West in Love” is now available for your reading pleasure over at The Lovecraft eZinePeople seem to be enjoying it so far, which is exciting! Thanks to Mike Davis for selecting it for the 20th issue. You can read it for free, which rules! And/or you could wait for the Kindle/Nook edition in a few days and support the eZine which would be awesome of you, as just look at the work they’re doing. It’s awesome. I also hear there will be a podcast edition of the eZine, including “Herbert,” which I plan on downloading and listening to on the plane when I fly back to Colorado. This marks my very first audio edition of anything I’ve published, which is … anyways, yeah, I’m a little emotional. I love this story—it’s about Herbert West kissing boys, of course it’s a favored child—so the fact it’s receiving the deluxe treatment is pretty goddamn awesome.

SO! Merry fucking Christmas to me, me me me me me. But so as not to be totally selfish, here’s something for you, dear readers: A Re-Animatormas cocktail. Top shelf shit, this. Sweet, herbal, nutty, citrusy, and boozy enough to lower your inhibitions when it comes to reaching out and inappropriately touching that special dead someone . It’s a Christmas miracle!

Revivification

2 oz Armagnac
1 oz Green Chartreuse
1 tsp Disaronno

Pour all ingredients into a mixing pitcher. Stir vigorously with lots of ice until cold, then strain into a small snifter. Float a lemon wheel on top. Inhale. Sip.

51CIyiuS0kL._SS500_So! Jesse tried all the cocktails that weren’t actually poisonous, and has decided that while he would like to send everyone a book, he must stick by the rules of the contest as stated and pick some winners. So he did. See below.

Jesse’s going to go to the post office on Wednesday, so before Wednesday morning you should email him your mailing address at Jesse(dot)Bullington[nospam]@gmail.com (remove the nospam; put in a dot for the dot, of course). Latecomers will probably be tolerated by him way more than they would if I was in charge, but I’m headed out of town so he has to do all the work.

So here’s what you’ve all been waiting for: Jesse’s “tasting notes,” plus acknowledgment of the winners! Read on….

The Enterprise of Death by Paracelsus: “This is poisonous, so I didn’t try it!”

Will Sherman’s Two Entries: “I didn’t have a dog skull, gay or otherwise (?), so I just didn’t try these. The Grossbart is pretty funny though.”

Awa’s Lament by Bryan Brunner: “This will put hair on the inside of your chest.”

The Soldier and the Witch by Selena Chambers: “My teeth! They might fall out from the sweet, but it’s soooo sweet.”

A Fool’s Gold by Andy R.: “The Herbsaint tames this Yellow Parrot admirably, and the gold dust classes it up!” RUNNER UP!

The Little Death by Matthew C.: “This is pretty good!”  RUNNER UP! 

The Hegel and the Manfried by John Gove: “Nicsh joerb, friend.” Then he fell over.

Crotch Rot by Kirsten Alene and Cameron Pierce: “GRAND PRIZE! Points awarded for filthiness of name, filthiness of color, and the fact that this one was the best tasting drink.”

The Bloody Necromancer by Gina G.: “Grape party! Pretty good.” RUNNER UP! 

The Damned Sailor by Aaron Z.: “Another good cocktail with beer! This one didn’t punk me by exploding when I shook it either; I’m looking at YOU Kirsten Alene and Cameron.” RUNNER UP!

De Bloedig Biesbosch by Raechel D.: “My wife made a cocktail!”

So there you have it. Them. Whatever! I’m literally packing while writing this so Jesse will do a more gracious send-off to this contest later this week. Check his blog for followups. I’ll miss all of you, but keep your eyes peeled—I might pop in as I think the ebook of A Pretty Mouth is imminent (save some dollars, holiday shoppers!) and the Lovecraft eZine people tell me the December issue, featuring my tale “Herbert West in Love” is out on the 21st. Huzzah! Oh god I have so much to do I have to get off the internet.

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