Monday, February 25, 2008

Report from Texas Frightmare

Robert Taylor sent me this report from last weekend's Texas Frightmare:

"I would like to thank you for your book Gospel of the Living Dead. This Saturday I took the book to a film festival in hopes of getting Romero to sign it. When I made it through the line Mr. Romero seemed amazed to see the book. He said that he had heard of it and was very impressed that it was published by a university press. He thumbed through it and asked if it was in bookstores still I, really think he wanted his assistant to run next door to the mall and pick up a copy! I told him I got it from Amazon. He nodded pulled out a sheet of paper and copied down all the information from the title page. Your name, title, and publisher info. He was really cool and thanked me for, turning him on to the book. Everyone in line got a kick out of listening to our brief theological discussion about zombies and what not."

I've always hoped Romero would see it. We had sent an ARC to his agent at some point in the publishing process, but nothing had ever come of it. Perhaps now we'll hear something!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bumper Sticker

I've kept them off the PT Cruiser so far. And I've never felt very passionate about a candidate before, pretty much voting Democrat by default. (How passionate could one have gotten over Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton, Gore, or Kerry - all the Democrat choices during my voting life?)

But I finally took the step, got online, and ordered my Obama sticker. I'm feeling optimistic.

Oh, and since I just heard Nader might run (again) - what else is he but bat-shit insane? I've always had a weak spot for his brand of iconoclastic hijinks, since I played him in a fifth grade mock trial, but come on.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Upcoming Appearances are now WORLD TOUR

I think I have all the dates right now, and I have added the UK appearance (yes, it will be on zombies!).

LunaCon(Rye, New York) - March 14-15
International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts (Orlando, FL) - March 19-23
World Horror Convention (Salt Lake City, UT) - March 27-30
Religion and Literature Forum (Syracuse, NY) - April 4-5
EerieCon (Niagara Falls, NY) - April 18-20
The Grail (Cornwall, NY) - May 10
Mo*Con (Indianapolis, IN) - June 13-15
Fangoria Weekend (Secaucus, NJ) - June 20-22
Conference: Millenialism in the Contemporary World (Liverpool, UK) - July 7-9
NeCon (Bristol, RI) - July 17-20
St. John's College Homecoming (Annapolis, MD) - September 26-28
ZombieFest2008 (Monroeville, PA) - October 25-26 (CORRECTED DATE!!)
Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (Chicago, IL) - November 1-3

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Upcoming Review

Reviews in academic journals always take way longer than in popular print, and I just got an advance copy of the one that will appear in The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts (Winter 2008). Here is part of the second paragraph:

"Paffenroth's careful explication of each movie's the­matic sophistication is accessibly rendered, while his scholarship of Romero's films equals (and in some passages exceeds) Tony Williams's 2003 The Cinema of George A. Romero: Knight of the Living Dead. Paffenroth's endnotes, full of useful production information and insightful critical assessments, are, by themselves, worth the purchase price. The bibliography attests to the author's extensive reading in the subject, and should be the starting point for all seri­ous Romero scholars for years to come. The book, in sum, is a good primer for both lay and academic readers interested in exploring the deeper meaning of Romero's zombie pictures...."

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New Interview

My zombies and I and George get a nice nod in this online jounal:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

Not me, but a former student has made it to the semifinals. She sent me this and I pass it on to you, in case you'd help her out. She's swell and I always thought she'd make a great writer one day.

"I got some great news--my novel "Mile HIgh" is now a "Top 100Semifinalist" for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award! (Just rolls offthe tongue, doesn't it?) That means there are 100 left out of the original 5000 entrants.

"Thanks so much to all of you who posted reviews on my chapter (and those of you who attempted to but were foiled by computer glitches)! I couldn't have made it this far without you, and I am touched that you took the time out of your busy days to do this. I was so impressed by your literary efforts! I am lucky to have such smart friends.

"If you haven't yet done a review, I'm still need to drum some up, now through March 2, so I'd be much obliged if you'd check it out (and pass this info on to anyone who might be game):

"Editors at Penguin are reading the 100 manuscripts to pick 10 to compete in a customer vote. So send all your thought-influencing positive vibes toward Penguin headquarters in New York!

"Thank you all so much!

"Yours in eternal gratitude, Jenny"

Monday, February 18, 2008

Orpheus and the Penultimate Proofread

Going over it after Louise Bohmer's excellent copy-editing. It still makes me all sniffly in parts!

Still on schedule for it to have its debut at the World Horror Convention in March!

Also waiting for Dr. Phil Cary to tell me whether it really is a "Platonist horror/romance" as I tried to convince him it was. I'll let you know if he agrees.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

NYTimes Editorial Staff

They are one conflicted bunch. Krugman has been very critical of Obama, while Frank Rich continues to praise him and attack the Republicans who attack Obama. In today's paper, Nicholas Kristol has a column gushing about McCain, and Maureen Dowd mocks Hillary. One could hardly accuse the NYTimes of being a microcosm of America, but it makes you wonder.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Went into the city for the first time in a long time. Went to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Chinatown, and wow, that's fun! I try to be cynical, and there really are so many times when I'm down on our society, but seeing all those stories of immigrants and what they went through to get here, and how eloquently they spoke of freedom, it does make you proud and humbled by it all.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Diary of the Dead

A tremendous achievement. In some ways a return to NOTLD, as it's much bleaker on human nature, especially with the final shot; in some ways a great return to Dawn's trenchant social criticism, though this time the Internet and the media are the targets of Romero's disgust (and sometimes it's a bit overdone, esp in the old guy's speeches, which come across as histrionic, when his character overall is rather poignant and subdued). Not as conventionally exciting as Land, and not as bloody as any of the others. (The makeup effects are indeed very uneven - sometimes it just looks like the person's had chalk dust thrown in their face, and other shots are done with some gruesome, graphic CGI.) So, for a fan like me who's more interested in the ideas than the splatter, it was a great experience. Look for George's cameo!

But holy shit! You people who have to pay to see movies in major metro areas, I feel for you!

$11 movie ticket
$2 parking
$11 popcorn and soda

That's a pretty expensive date, flying solo.


That's right, gentle readers - two Paffenroth books on the preliminary ballot for the Stoker Award, no Paffenroth books on the final ballot. Unless they'd revoked my membership and sent me a dead cat in the mail, that's got to be considered the maximum ownage and denial possible.

My ego is bruised, but not crushed. I still have one of the bad boys on the shelf, and I have two books coming out this year that are better than either of the two that I had on this year's preliminary ballot. Setbacks keep you moving forward.

EDITED: Hold the phone. Having gotten over my own butt-hurt, I now see that Braunbeck's Mr. Hands didn't make the final ballot. Okay, now I can say, without it sounding like sour grapes, that there's something wrong with that list. I mean, Lisey's Story over The Road was going to be hard enough to live down.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Now on Facebook!

Another site for me to have to update constantly!!!

But the interface does seem infinitely cleaner and easier than MySpace, so perhaps it's all for the good.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

When Academics Go Bad

There is a group of academics who can't let the so-called Culture Wars go. They are angry, unsuccessful wannabes and they have their own little mouthpiece in a group called the National Association of Scholars. Usually they are harmless enough, bitching about some NEA grant or a Christmas creche, but this pushed my buttons:

(I'm embarrassed enough that I read the Daily News, but they have better funnies than the other NYC newspapers. I read the NYTimes online, if you must know.)

It truly was the most appalling thing I've read in a long time, and for it to have the patina of academic respectability made it that much worse.

But you know, sometimes I feel optimistic. I read all that spite and pettiness while eating in a Chinese restaurant where I was the only person who spoke English decently. The day before I'd eaten next door at a Kosher Glatt restaurant with some more people who don't think assimilating to white-bread American culture is the be all of their existence, and good for them. And I think, in those rare optimistic moments, that even the whitest and blandest of Americans appreciate, respect, and support their neighbors in all their rich, fascinating difference. Well, let's hope. And let's rein those academics in. Bunch of malcontents.

Book trailer

I will not be pursuing a career in graphic design or video marketing, but here it is, entirely homemade by moi:

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Three New Amazon Reviews

Of History Is Dead, all in the last couple days:

Can I say wow?, February 12, 2008
W. B. Scallions "Blue" (Louisiana) - See all my reviews My question above really explains it all. After reading this anthology, all I could think to myself was, wow. It was amazing overall. There were stories that annoyed me (by making me think about them in the middle of the day), and there were stories that were just fun as hell to read. All in all, KP did an excellent job of sorting and building a great book of great authors. Anything else to add? Yes! When is History is Dead 2 supposed to come out? Because I'll have that ready for preorder.

History may be dead but the zombie genre is not!, February 8, 2008
Michelle McCrary (Louisiana) - See all my reviews I am usually not too keen on short stories; they tend to leave me feeling unsatisfied. But, after reading "Dying to Live" by Kim Paffenroth, I had to get my hands on "history is Dead"! The first story starts out with prehistoric man and the zombie influence. The stories just travel through time from there. From Vikings, Jack the Ripper, the great Plague, the Chicago fire, and so many more creative twists and turns, you just don't have a chance to get bored by this book! I love apocalyptic/end of the world stories, and naturally zombies would fall into that category. If you like zombie stories, you can't go wrong with this book. It is so well put together, with a funny little "About the Authors" at the end. The cover is so creepy, I had to put it face down on my bookshelf at night!

A Rare Feast , February 7, 2008
Mike Norris - See all my reviews A remarkable study of the zombie-condition traced back to its original vector, an infected mammoth, that unwittingly shambled across the primeval hunting grounds of our ancient ancestors and into infamy, History is Dead tracks mankind's most gruesome affliction as it spreads, raising our dead across the continents, bridging cultures, and shedding light on ancient mysteries, like the Celtic peat bog-mummies in "The Gingerbread Man", and crossing paths with iconic greatness, in "The Loaned Ranger" and "The Summer of 1816". The zombie proves itself to be an effective weapon of war, in "The Barrow Maid", as well as a lover worth dying for, in Carole Lanham's wonderfully necrotic zombie-romance, "The Moribund Room". A brilliant theme and an outstanding collection, History is Dead may arguably be one of the most noteworthy horror anthologies of 2007, and surely a contender for this year's Stoker Award nominations.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Orpheus and the Pearl - Synopsis

Someone asked for one. I don't want to give away too much, so this seems about right:

In 1920 Massachusetts, Catherine MacGuire journeys to the estate of Dr. Wallston, world-famous neurologist and notorious philanderer, to help him with a most unusual patient. The results are not what any of them expect, but bring them a deeper understanding of love, death, and forgiveness.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Orpheus and the Pearl - Now Available for Preorder!

Orpheus and the Pearl, my Gothic romantic/horror novelette, is now available for preorder at

The book is published by Magus Press, with stunning B&W cover art by Bob Freeman.

Thanks to all who have made this book a reality, especially Bob, David, Louise, Marylu, and Robert.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Reader's Poll - TOP TEN

The contest is a bit of a joke (each contestant gets his/her online "friends" to vote for him/her as much as possible). And here's the so-called "prize," won by History Is Dead - ! -

Oooohh - impressive!

Stoker Voting Ends Tomorrow!

Honest - I didn't think of it till last night. It's nice not to have as much pressure as last year. I can kind of just enjoy the good news, if it should come. Still, once I think of it, it does make me a little excited and nervous.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


A nice write up by Rusty Nail!

Taking time off from his/her busy schedule as chronicler of the Legion of Nitwits!

Updated Appearances

I think I have all the dates right now.

LunaCon(Rye, New York) - March 14-15
International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts (Orlando, FL) - March 19-23
World Horror Convention (Salt Lake City, UT) - March 27-30
Religion and Literature Forum (Syracuse, NY) - April 4-5
EerieCon (Niagara Falls, NY) - April 18-20
Mo*Con (Indianapolis, IN) - June 13-15
Fangoria Weekend (Secaucus, NJ) - June 20-22
NeCon (Bristol, RI) - July 17-20
St. John's College Homecoming (Annapolis, MD) - September 26-28
ZombieFest2008 (Monroeville, PA) - October 25-26 (CORRECTED DATE!!)
Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (Chicago, IL) - November 1-3

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Kim's Plans for the Super Bowl!!

I didn't know which two teams were playing until yesterday.

Though I'll give you this: a French relative of my wife was visiting in the summer of '06 and soccer was on the TV constantly during his visit. Now THAT was less interesting to me than the Super Bowl.

I'm off to read Augustine's Confessions for class tomorrow.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

GREAT Review of History on Monster Librarian!


Triumph of The Walking Dead