Sunday, February 11, 2018

174. The “crumbling portacabins” ) of Annual zero.

Mapped SHARKPACK Annual #0 from Fathom Books. Ethan Hon (p 2) & Julian Mithra (p 5) = blood; Owen Vince (p 10) & Mark Stevick (p 12) = horses; Jade Graddy (p 14) & Daniel Bosch (p. 16) = “the wind called me” / “I am called” & rivers; John Stupp (p 21) & Julian Mithra (p 23) = boats; Scherezade Siobhan = Fathom / “of this fathoming”; Ethan Hon (p 29) & Mark Stevick (p 33) = trees & Christianity & houses, respectively; Gemma Cooper-Novack (p 38) & Nels Hanson (p 40) = birds; Andrew Wells (p 42), Joel Netsky (p 43), & Laura Goode (p 45) = the women Leonard Cohen includes on his album covers; Robert D. Kirvel (p 54) & Melissa Wiley (p 56) = luggage & fabric; Michelle Chen (p 67) & John Stupp (p 69) = sea; Edwin Evans-Thirwell (p 83) & Eric Westerlind (p 85) = space; & Sean Mahoney (p 89) & Joseph Spece (p 36) = Lou Reed & Patti Smith.

Stephanie Adam-Santos’ “The Poet’s House” imagines a poet’s house is bare.

Andrew Saavendra’s rope “From the Temple Priapus” hockles.

Included (p 70 – 82) is my OUTLAND 1 – 6. It looks great in print & compliments its online incarnation.

SHARKPACK Annual #0 can be found & purchased here for $18.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday, November 17, 2017

171. Nightscript no. } III.

Jessica Phelps’ second effort in my fiction workshop was a draft of “The Witch House”—I knew, with little work, her story was publishable. Phelps’ voice is full of wit—“My aunt is a witch. Well, she was. Now she’s just dead.” What’s wholly unexpected is just how upsetting the story becomes.

Read it in Nightscript, the journal that proved me right. “The Witch House” is the second short story Phelps ever wrote and the first she’s published. I hope best ofs take note, and editors, too—she’s working on stories three, four, and etc.—call for them now! I only hope to ride the coattails of my protégé. And, indeed—

a story of mine, “The Beasts Are Sleep,” appears in the same issue. My story introduces a character, Laura, who features in the novel I’m currently—slowly—writing. The story’s a slasher—teenagers, woods, ridiculous amounts of murder. I’m not sure how it fits in with the issue, but I’m glad editor C. M. Muller found a place for it.

Nightscript no. 3—or III, as it’s styled—includes a bunch of authors who’ve written stories I like. Clint Smith, John Howard, and David Surface; there’s quite a few authors I didn’t know. I’m impressed with Rebecca J. Allred’s tale “When Dark-Eyed Ophelia Sings.” It’s fantasy (a romance), and I don’t particularly like fantasy, but it’s really good. Vivid. Unresolved. I dig it.

Okay. So. Nightscript is a great looking annual journal with a Munch fetish “featuring tales by some of the finest contemporary scribes.” What’s not to like?

Thursday, October 26, 2017

169. Ever dream of a life } of romantic adventure?

With a tiny brush, I am filling in every dimple on the office wall with black paint. And I’m listening to Escape, a CBS radio drama broadcast between 1947 – ‘54. Among the episodes are weird gems. 

This Halloween, when you come home from work, take off your hat, step out of your loafers, mix yourself a dark and stormy and listen to the following until you either a) are eaten by piranha, b) asphyxiated by a boa constrictor, or c) swarmed over by thousands of rats:

“Pollock and the Porroh Man”; based on the story by H.G. Wells, about a cursed racist.

“Casting the Runes”; based on the story by M. R. James. About the importance of properly filing your paperwork.

“How Love Came to Professor Guilda”; based on the story by Robert Hitchens. If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with. A Catholic priest and an atheist become fast friends—a story set-up I love. The horror in the tale reminds me slightly of “The Thing On the Fourble Board”—maybe the greatest episode of Quiet, Please, a series broadcast on the Mutual Broadcasting System from ’47 – ’49. But it’s quite different. Vanishing Point, a Canadian radio series, also did an excellent production of “How Love Came…” in 1984.

“The Grove of Ashtaroth”; based on a story by John Buchan. An ancient goddess meets proper Scottish Christians in an Edenic, South American grove.

“Three Skeleton Key”; based on a story by George G. Toudouze. Lighthouse keeping is not easy. First adapted for Escape, then for the radio series Suspense.

“Evening Primrose”; based on a story by John Collier. There’s a terrific New York Review of Books edition of Collier’s stories I’d recommend—Fancies and Goodnights (although the glue that bound my copy failed, the stories hold up).

“Blood Bath”; written by David Poe for the series. It is what it is, man—everybody gets eaten alive.

“The Dark Wall”; written by Katherine Hite. The titular wall as a structure in the mind—a house in the middle of nowhere.

“The Birds”; based on a story by Daphne Du Murier. Maybe you know this one. But maybe not. Du Murier’s story is very different from Hitchcock’s (wonderful) film; Escape’s production hews close to the original.

Once I finish painting the office wall black, I intend to step through it. Anywhere but here, friend.

Monday, October 16, 2017

168. Bunny & } Bear.

Bunny: Why are you not talking to me?
Bear: Baby sisters.
Bunny: Look, they’re [inaudible].
Bear: She’s yelling for her baby sisters!
Bunny: Sisters! Come back here!
Bear: I’m holding them for a very long time.
Bunny: That’s my cat!
Bear: Maybe you should [inaudible].
Bunny: I want to have a toy. I want to hug you.
Bear: No. That’s Bear’s.
Bunny: I see my bunny rabbits! Come here! on the slide!

[ composed circa Feb. 2010 w/ the eldest. ]