Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mini Review

One by Nick Cato:

Thanks Nick!

Monday, April 28, 2008

New Book Trailer!!

Thanks David, for putting it together!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Funhouse (1981)

Since Vince over at Slasher Speak asked for votes for favorite slasher flick, I thought I'd defend my off-the-cuff and oddball choice of The Funhouse (1981) - which I did not know until just now was a Tobe Hooper film.

First, let me say I'm not a fan of slasher films at all. Freddy and Michael and Jason do nothing for me. I find the violence nihilistic, trite, and boring.

That being said, I could see the lasting impact and appreciate the jump scares and chase scenes of the original Halloween (1978). But instead, I picked this little oddity for two reasons:

1) I like monster movies, because they evoke sympathy for both the victims, and (if they're really done well) for the monster, whose monstrosity is not of its own choosing and not under its control (and may even be questionable whether it's a "monstrosity" at all). For this, Funhouse stands out. The teens aren't obnoxious as in many other entries in the slasher genre, and by the end, I really felt sorry for the inbred mutant monster (especially when he got caught in the big gears, I was really crying for him to get out and get free from all the shit that had been dumped on him his whole life).

2)This movie really reminisces about old fashioned carnivals and freak shows, rather than all the plastic, Disney/Sony/Viacom crap our kids are now enthralled by. I'm not going to get too misty eyed over them, but I do think our kids are missing something natural and normal (ironically) in that all they see is antiseptic, safe entertainment, and are kept from seeing bearded ladies, lobster boys, 1000 lb hogs, and dead babies in gallon mason jars. An old fashioned carnival was sexual, dirty, forbidden, mysterious, dangerous - and this film brings that out well, with poignancy as well as disgust. I applaud it for that.

Harold and Kumar

Not horror, but at the price movies are charging, I think we all need every warning/recommendation we can get.

It was definitely funny. I haven't laughed so much in a long time. But it relied WAY too much on just saying "dick," "douchebag" or making farting noises. It's an extremely vulgar film, with way too many shots of genitals (male, female, real, and imagined) and jokes related to them. And having white people be the brunt of every joke didn't offend me, but it just got predictable after a while. I'd say the highlights were the Neil Patrick Harris segment, and the way Harold can look when something unbelievable is happening around/to him.

Orpheus and the Pearl

Production was delayed. Shipping was delayed. But now I can finally say that some people have emailed me and they've actually received their copies, so Orpheus and the Pearl is definitely out there and being sent to people!

It is available as a trade paperback at Amazon for $10

It is available as a limited edition, signed copy at Magus Press for $13

Joe McKinney posted the first Amazon review
and noted some of the features he liked. (Thanks, Joe!)

I can say that the scene to which he refers, though I certainly intended it to be creepy, really didn't affect me as much when I was writing it, as opposed to the profound effect several readers have noted. For the climactic scene, I pulled out all the stops, but that one I thought was fairly subdued. Just goes to show you don't know what's going to draw people in or make a permanent impression.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Summer/Fall Appearances

The spring spate has passed and now I'm planning on Summer and Fall and even into 2009. I'm also already getting confused with conflicts, so I better put these down where I can find them! (The UK conference fell through; maybe next year.)

Mo*Con (Indianapolis, IN) - June 13-15
Fangoria Weekend (Secaucus, NJ) - June 20-22
NeCon (Bristol, RI) - July 17-20
Horrorfind (Adelphi, MD) - August 15-17
Festival of Fear (Toronto, Canada) - August 22-24
St. John's College Homecoming (Annapolis, MD) - September 26-28
Albacon (Albany, NY) - October 10-12
ZombieFest2008 (Monroeville, PA) - October 25-26
Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (Chicago, IL) - November 1-3
Arisia (Cambridge, MA) - January 16-19

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Kim and the Platonist

Had a great email exchange with Dr Cary about Orpheus and the Pearl, and he agreed to let it be published here on my humble blog, in case anyone else might find Platonist philosophy as interesting as zombies. (Well, I clearly do, and it's my blog!) The entry does contain SPOILERS!

Dr. Cary:

Yep, it's Neoplatonist. At least the implicit view of embodiment is: what living human beings really are is corpses moved and governed by souls, so it's sort of accidental whether we breathe, metabolize, and reproduce. By contrast, in an Aristotelian view of embodiment, the soul is the form of a living body, so a body without a metabolism will necessarily be soulless. If it is moved, it will be moved only by external forces like a puppet, and it will not have any sensation, memory, thought or imagination.

Most people, when they first start theorizing about soul and body, come up with some crude form of Platonism, because that's what's built into our inherited soul-body language ever since Plato, including most of mainstream Christianity. But I think the Aristotelian theory, though subtler, actually captures our gut level intuitions better--which explains why the revivified Mrs. Wallston is very creepy indeed.

My problem with the book is that I can't see how any amount of psychotherapy could cure that. So for me the most hideous moment in the book was the conclusion. Dr. Wallston seems to me much more like Dr. Frankenstein than like Orpheus. How do you renew your love life with an animated corpse? I shudder to think.

You can't have the dead back. That's the lesson of the Orpheus myth, as well as of Stephen King's Pet Sematary, one of the few horror novels I've ever read. I don't think fiction gets to cross that line and be convincing. I suppose what this means is: human storytelling has an innate fascination with what it would be like if there was a Gospel of resurrection and eternal life. But the only such story that could carry conviction would be one you could seriously believe is not fiction at all.

Dr. Paffenroth:

Interesting. Perhaps I am more platonist than I let on, because part of the point of the book was that revivification (though the grossly physical Dr Wallston ASSUMES that's where the problem's coming from) really is more incidental to their problems than it turns out. Of course, he's partly and ironically right, in that all their problems stem from some misunderstanding or misuse of physicality - the repeated sexual misconduct of the men in her life. But even that, I would argue, is not finally physical, but about power and trust, so it's not just a matter of him controlling his base urges, it's a matter of him submitting to her and making himself vulnerable to her.

Now, as for having her around at the end, again, maybe it's my own warped outlook, but I don't see their problems as qualitatively different than what any couple faces. Bodies let us touch and be intimate, but they just as often seem to keep us apart. Or so I have felt, once the overwhelming tide of puberty subsided and I stopped thinking all satisfaction could be found with the body.

Now, if I were to brag about the subtlety, I'd say it's between the two women (and odd you've focused on the man, who almost disappears from the story halfway through - I've noticed male readers [including the cover artist] tend to do that, while women readers focus on Catherine): their relationship, and the healing that can come from it, is much more balanced. It seems totally cerebral (reading books all the time), until the very end, when the final encounter between them is very tactile and erotic. Perhaps it's just vestigial embodiment (I like that phrase!), but I don't see the very sexualized motions of Mrs Wallston and the very maternal response of Catherine as false or empty or as lacking something that the "real" touches between "real" people have. Or so I intended it, at least.

Dr. Cary:

Well, yes--isn't that the switch you mentioned in the preface? You start by creeping us out with this reanimated corpse, and then you switch to a narrative of psychotherapeutic healing. And the Platonist part is really the first, not the second.

To go beyond the Platonist stuff is to ask about psychic healing, and what role the body plays in that. And this is indeed a particularly interesting question for women, who are the big advocates and practitioners of what, in evangelical circles, is called "inner healing."

So the body through which everything is seen and experienced and narrated is a live female body that is uncomfortable to be in because men have been such jerks. You establish that about Catherine before she even meets Victoria, and reinforce it in the scene where Dr. Wallston is dressing her in her armor. And both in her relation to Mrs. Wallston and in Mrs. Wallston's own traumatic past, the key transition for the better is when women no longer fear and loathe women's bodies (Catherine no longer has to fear attack by Victoria, and Victoria learns she no longer need to direct her anger toward the warm women of her childhood).

It's just a shame that these lessons only come when Victoria no longer has a warm female body of her own. The opposite side of the creepiness of our initial encounter with her (arising like a hideous pearl out of the tub) is the creepy question: what must it like to BE Victoria, a soul inhabiting her own corpse? What does that feel like?

My own intuitions are: she must surely continue hating her husband for bringing her to this state. And that is hardly conducive to a healing of their relationship. So I'm not convinced that inner healing can happen without restoring a humane relationship with one's own living body. In fact I do worry about the gnostic overtones of the way evangelical Christian women talk about "inner healing," as if their embodiedness and its discomforts (including all those which stem from their fraught relationships with the opposite sex) could be bypassed by a true inward reconciliation.

So the opposite side of the question, "How do you renew your love life with an animated corpse?" is "How can you be healed as an animated corpse?" It seems to me that it's Catherine, not Victoria, who convincingly comes to a healthy relationship with her own embodiment at the end--not by undergoing therapy but by practicing it, and thereby reclaiming her own competence as the active subject of her own body rather than the object of inappropriate male attention. I wonder how much of the attraction of the inner healing movement is for women who, because of their religoius affiliation and its required denials, are not in a good position to honestly reclaim themselves as embodied, competent agents in their own story.

Dr. Paffenroth:

What does it mean to be an animated corpse? Well, from a Buddhist perspective, the first step to enlightenment is realizing that's a fair description of ALL of us. And I don't think I have to endorse that extreme of a statement to understand that realizing that one is not (just) one's body is a big step, an important one.

On the other hand, as you say for these evangelical women, I do worry, lest it lapse into gnosticism, not because I don't like gnosticism, but because it just seems another denial and embarrassment - you've had problems (brought on you by men) with your body? Then just deny that, deep down, you have anything to do with your body! I'd think it preferable to come to a healthy relationship with one's embodied self (and, to be fair, I think that's what Buddhism shoots for, even if some of the beginner's meditations are pretty mortifying).

As for Victoria, I wanted there to be some small collateral upside to being a corpse: she can be as violent as she wants, she can eat and drink all those naughty things, she can finally sit and read. Of course, except maybe for the reading (which she shares with Catherine), all of that probably is just another kind of indulgence. But it does feel good for her, finally, to have some control and not have to be the prim and proper, self-denying wife. My favorite line I've probably ever written is when she says later, however, "It's funny, the things you miss when you're dead." And she's not referring to sexuality (as a man surely would in the same situation, to be honest), but to the ability to weep -- the ability to feel emotions in one's body as well as in one's mind, to let the sobs just hurt one physically, so one can get rid of that pain. And the flipside of that is that she finally learns to laugh again - physically, literally relearning the action of her muscles and breathing, but obviously metaphorically and inwardly as well.

Orpheus and the Platonist

Dr Phil Cary of Eastern University, a noted expert on Augustine and Neo-Platonist philosophy (and all-around great guy), has decided that Orpheus and the Pearl is, indeed, Neo-Platonist. He doesn't buy the ending, however (which I can't give away, of course).

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Too much. It's the Metalocalypse.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Histoire est Morte!

And he killed it!

Let us not forget, however, that the French LOVE Jerry Lewis. 'Nuf said.

Back from Eeriecon

Got back last night. Back to the old grind today.

Con was really small, and people were a tad on the irascible side. I mean, most were friendly, but there were a couple definite Ausburger types, even noticeable to their fellow SF people. Two panels resulted in angry outbursts (not from me, but SF on SF anger). But you sure couldn't fault the location: the falls were incredible, perfect 75 degree weather and I spent all day on Saturday walking around them. I'd always been amazed by the place when I was little.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Off to Eeriecon!

Driving to Niagara Falls on this great spring day! Looking forward to it!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Rites of Spring

No maypole, but lots of fun stuff:

- Cashed both federal and state tax refund checks.

- Washed the car, including shining the dashboard with this Minwax stuff that makes it look like melting tar.

- Replaced the wiper blades and the air filter, which is the only car maintenance I know how to do.

- Filled the bird bath and took a drink from the garden hose while doing so.

- Ate jello with fresh strawberries in it.

- Opened the bedroom windows and took a nap.


My copies of Orpheus and the Pearl arrived!!

So, a pretty good day! And all editors and agents should take note of my horoscope: "A business partnership will result in greater prosperity and a brighter future."

First Mini Review

Of Orpheus and the Pearl, over at the Rusty Nail:

When you consider how much time it must take to chronicle the antics of the Legion of Nitwits, it was very nice of Rusty to take the time! Thanks!!

Oh - and I still don't have MY copies!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

And Then I was REALLY Awake!

When I paid someone $50 to shove a pipe up my ass.

No, wait, that wasn't it. It was when I paid someone $50 so I could stick a pipe in my car for a few seconds. That's what did it. Opened my eyes right up and made me squeal "OWWWWW!!" even more than I imagine the other experience could.

It is distressing how similar those two experiences are becoming nowadays.

Once I was Fully Awake

Here's what I thought, reflecting back on the last couple weeks and the attempts to stir up some opposition to Obama:

How many times are white Americans going to fake disbelief and hurt that a black man might, like the Rev. Wright, express outrage and anger at how black people have been (and to some extent, still are) treated in this country? You all haven't noticed that yet? Never heard such sentiments? You thought everything was peachy and "those people" should be congratulating you on your open-minded fairness?

And how many times are white Americans going to fake umbrage at the idea that some of them might vote against a black man - BECAUSE he's black? Again, that idea seems so absurd and out-of-touch that you can't acknowledge that it just might be true in some cases? I'm thrilled that the black man in the race has gotten as many white votes as he has, and I hope and expect it'll continue. But my God, the idea that there are some white people who couldn't bring themselves to vote for a black man does not strike me as intrinsically unbelievable, or something that I should feel slighted by someone pointing out. If anything, it's been the elephant in the room this whole election. Obama has wisely skirted the issue thusfar, but that doesn't make it any less true.

Okay, one more, and this is probably the biggest one. How many times are we going to elect the candidate who seems like a "nice guy," a "regular" guy, an avuncular (or this time, grandfatherly) guy, a guy we could have a beer with? I don't want to have beer with the president! And even if I did, I doubt any of them, even the "nice" ones, ever would have one with me, unless I lived in Iowa or New Hampshire (before s/he was president)! So it is NOT a criterion for being leader of the Free World!

The Comic Grotesquery of Fecundity

I had to type that phrase down before it slipped away. It's one of those that'd fit so well into an academic essay, but I don't know if I'll be able to fit it into a zombie novel. Oh, what the hell! Why not?!

It came to me as I was half-awake this morning. I had been having a dream that I was showing my students slides of ancient Greco-Roman religion, and we had come to the famous slide of Artemis of the Ephesians (Acts 19:28) pictured here. And in the dream and in real life, I once again giggled, because the thing is just so darned funny. I know I'm supposed to take a detached perspective and analyze it, but come on - it's always looked to me like some mutant Michelin Man, covered in bumps, lumps, and rolls. No, wait - the grape Fruit of the Loom guy - that's what she looks like!! (Thanks, Matt!) People went into a religious frenzy over THAT?! And they call me weird.
So, still half asleep, I tried to analyze it, and I thought maybe it's just that the statue was carved by men, and we just don't quite "get" female fecundity, so when we try to visually represent it, it comes out all weird and funny. But then I thought of Flannery O'Connor's short story "Greenleaf," in which the title character is pretty funny, too, and is clearly meant as some symbol of out-of-control, ecstatic fertility - an Earth Mother, if you will - rolling in the dirt and wailing, ending up face down, butt up, hugging the earth like she's mating with it or giving birth to it. (The scene cracks me up every time, and I'd give anything to be able to hear Flannery read it, as she's supposed to have gone into fits of laughter when reading her own stories.) So maybe it's not just us guys. Maybe there's just something simultaneously funny and ugly about life, and the giving and producing of life. I'm pretty sure there is, now that I think about it.
That's the kind of thing I think when half-awake.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Stoker Award Banquet 2009

After concerns were expressed about the remote location of the 2009 World Horror Convention (Winnipeg, Manitoba), the Horror Writers Association has decided to hold the 2009 Stoker Award banquet separately from the WHC. It will be in Los Angeles. The exact date has not been announced yet.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Curious about Online Marketing Techniques

I go around pimping my stuff all the time. Post on message boards. Anyone who wants to do an interview will get detailed answers from me. Most anyone who'll post a review will get a free copy of the book they're reviewing. I try not to overdo it, as I think sometimes it can backfire, as you appear to be a little too eager and venal. But never have I gone on to a message board and posted something along the lines of, "Hey, nancy boy, you suck! I'm going to destroy you!" or "I'm going to sue you for libel!" The past week has seen an astonishing increase in this form of "marketing" or "promotion" and I'd like to try to understand it and its effectiveness. Anyone who could post a story about how such a strategy has helped his/her career, I'll be happy to let it go through moderation on the "comments" section (so long as it's not obscene). It can be anonymous. Thanks for your help, and for the information you're providing noob authors such as myself.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tropes of the Trade

I saw this over on Julia Sevin's blog ( and liked it, so I did my own.

Top Ten Ways to Know You're Reading a Story by Kim

1. The protagonist, while possibly being female, undead, or a child, is always a bookish loner who feels excluded by others, but nonetheless feels an overwhelming responsibility to his/her community and family.

2. People's hair and eyes are always described in great detail.

3. What people eat is always described in detail, including its taste, texture, and its associations for the characters.

4. People's clothes are almost never described; if they are described at all, it is a perfunctory note when they first appear and it's never part of the action.

5. The story includes marital infidelity and/or the death of a close family member (spouse, child, or parent).

6. The protagonist has one close friend, but no others.

7. Every character is either an only child, or has one sibling; even if they do have one sibling, it is just to avoid the unlikely scenario of a world populated solely by only children, and the sibling has no active role in the story.

8. The color of things has been fit into some kind of iconography for this one story, based on characters' associations with the color.

9. Everyone's name is symbolic - either onomatopoeic, from the Bible, or from George Romero's films.

10. There are zombies. Slow ones.

In other words, Kim needs to expand his repertoire.

Why Manuscripts Are Rejected

I've seen this guide to the perplexed various places before and always meant to post it here, as it's an interesting peek into the lift of an editor or slush-reader. In this form it is taken from

Manuscripts are unwieldy, but the real reason for that time ratio is that most of them are a fast reject. Herewith, the rough breakdown of manuscript characteristics, from most to least obvious rejections:

1 Author is functionally illiterate.

2 Author has submitted some variety of literature we don't publish: poetry, religious revelation, political rant, illustrated fanfic, etc.

3 Author has a serious neurochemical disorder, puts all important words into capital letters, and would type out to the margins if MSWord would let him.

4 Author is on bad terms with the Muse of Language. Parts of speech are not what they should be. Confusion-of-motion problems inadvertently generate hideous images. Words are supplanted by their similar-sounding cousins: towed the line, deep-seeded, dire straights, nearly penultimate, incentiary, reeking havoc, hare's breath escape, plaintiff melody, viscous/vicious, causal/casual, clamoured to her feet, a shutter went through her body, his body went ridged, empirical storm troopers, ex-patriot Englishmen, et cetera.

5 Author can write basic sentences, but not string them together in any way that adds up to paragraphs.

6 Author has a moderate neurochemical disorder and can't tell when he or she has changed the subject. This greatly facilitates composition, but is hard on comprehension.

7 Author can write passable paragraphs, and has a sufficiently functional plot that readers would notice if you shuffled the chapters into a different order. However, the story and the manner of its telling are alike hackneyed, dull, and pointless.

(At this point, you have eliminated 60-75% of your submissions. Almost all the reading-and-thinking time will be spent on the remaining fraction.)

8 It's nice that the author is working on his/her problems, but the process would be better served by seeing a shrink than by writing novels.

9 Nobody but the author is ever going to care about this dull, flaccid, underperforming book.

10 The book has an engaging plot. Trouble is, it's not the author's, and everybody's already seen that movie/read that book/collected that comic.

(You have now eliminated 95-99% of the submissions.)

11 Someone could publish this book, but we don't see why it should be us.

12 Author is talented, but has written the wrong book.

13 It's a good book, but the house isn't going to get behind it, so if you buy it, it'll just get lost in the shuffle.

14 Buy this book.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Visa - Always Looking Out for Me (NOT!)

After years wandering in the wilderness, I finally have great credit and a huge credit line, but everytime I make a big purchase online (usually airline tickets), VISA has to refuse the payment till I call them up and clear it with them. Of course, since I'm not liable for fraudulent charges, all their talk about protecting my credit is bullshit: they're only protecting themselves, so the whole thing does nothing but inconvenience me.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Zombie Truck!

Got this great email from a friend I knew back in elementary school. Quoting him:

"So, as the boys and I are getting in the van to leave, the UPS man shows up with my package containing History is Dead. Of course, I couldn't wait, so I ripped into the package as I sat in the front seat. As I showed them the book, the kids were intrigued by the cover. I showed them the book and told them that a friend of mine had written the book. Naturally, they were MAJORLY intrigued by the fact that I was friends with some sort of zombie creature and was immediately inundated with a barrage of questions about whether my friend was dead and if he was a zombie, etc. I told them that the cover picture was not a real person, but that the author was. Later in the day, as we're driving down the road, we saw another UPS delivery van, and my 5 year old pointed to it and exclaimed, 'Look, daddy, the zombie truck.'"

A new fan!!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Permuted Sale at Amazon!

For a limited time (how limited? no idea!) is discounting a handful of Permuted Press titles. It would be a great time to pick one (or more) of these books up!

Empire by David Dunwoody - $13.18 (12% discount)
History Is Dead edited by Kim Paffenroth - $13.46 (10% discount)
The Undead: Skin and Bones edited by D.L. Snell & Travis Adkins - $13.46 (10% discount)
The Undead: Flesh Feast edited by D.L. Snell & Travis Adkins - $13.46 (10% discount)
Down the Road: On the Last Day by Bowie Ibarra - $13.46 (10% discount)
Roses of Blood on Barbwire Vines by D.L. Snell - $11.66 (10% discount)
Twilight of the Dead by Travis Adkins - $13.46 (10% discount)
Every Sigh, The End by Jason S. Hornsby - $14.36 (10% discount)

All books are eligible for free shipping on orders over $25!

Cthulhu Unbound

An upcoming anthology from our friends at Permuted Press ( It will be published in two volumes, the first of which includes a tale by me. Here's the table of contents for that volume, with synopses where avaialble.

1) "Noir-lathotep" by Linda Donahue
Nyarlathotep, the Outer God of 1000 aspects, known as the Crawling Chaos, the Black Man, or sometimes just Devil. Woken from his slumbers in the chaotic ether surrounding Azathoth, the Idiot God, Nyarlathotep feels the death of one of his aspects. In Film Noir style, complete with black & white setting, he solves his own murder. . . .

2) "The Invasion Out of Time" by Trent Roman
In the distant future, fighter pilots wage an unceassing battle against ancient, powerful alien creatures for the fate of planet. Now, a risky stratagem could finally see the elder things defeated... or spell disaster for humanity's defendors.

3) "James and the Dark Grimoire" by Kevin Lauderdale
Think H.P. Lovecraft by way of P.G. Wodehouse. Young man-about-town Reggie Brubaker is spending the weekend at a country estate when his aunt dragoons him into stealing a rare and ancient book. . . It's up to his trusty valet James to save the day.

4) "Hellstone and Brimfire" by John Goodman

5) "Star Crossed" by Bennet Reilly
Shub-Niggurath, Outer Goddess and estranged wife of the Not-to-be-Named-One, is feeling her biological clock starting to tick. After eons of waiting the stars are finally right for her and Hastur to try to work out their marital troubles. Can these two former lovers reignite the flames of their lost love, or will Shub-Niggurath be forever unfulfilled in her role as the Dark Mother?

6) "The Covenant" by Kim Paffenroth
Presented here for the first time is a lost chapter of Herman Melville's classic novel Moby-Dick. The piece offers shocking substantiation of Melville's claim that he had "written a wicked book."

7) "The Hindenburg Manifesto" by Lee Clark Zumpe

8) "In Our Darkest Hour" by Steven Graham

9) "Blood Bags and Tentacles" by DL Snell
Strange creatures have overrun Earth, and in Portland, Oregon, the survivors have holed up in a hotel. When Shaun Adams banishes himself, his brother Ryan must brave Portland's Shanghai Tunnels to bring him back. But something prowls the underground passageways, something with tentacles, and now Shaun's life isn't the only one at stake.

10) "Bubba Cthulhu's Last Stand" by Lisa Hilton
A bitter unicorn must face his own darkness in order to defeat the beer-swilling Bubba Cthulhu and his clan.

11) "Turf" by Richard D. Moore

12) "The Menagerie" by Ben Thomas

13) "The Patriot" by John Goodrich

14) "The Shadow over Las Vegas" by John Kiel Alexander
A savage journey into the heart of Lovecraftian terror; a drug-fueled, gonzo journalistic joyride into the blackened soul of Las Vegas....

15) "Locked Room" by CJ Henderson
Master sorcerer Anton Zarnak goes into his office, locking the door behind himself. Later, when his servant knocks to announce dinner, he finds his master has vanished. Can two ordinary cops puzzle out what happened? In a room where any object can be a clue or a magical timebomb, NYPD lieutenant Mark Thorner and New Orleans Inspector of Police John Raymond Legrasse must solve the disappearance of a wizard before time runs out on a clock they don't even know is ticking.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Dunkin' Donuts? Devil Donuts, is more like it!

I admit to having become a big fan in the last couple years, almost exclusively for the coffee (buy it 3-4x per week), less so for the breakfast sandwiches (1-2x per week), almost never for the donuts (3-4x per year). But man, they've been slipping the last week!

First, tried the flatbread thing. It's like a tiny bit of cheese between two matzos for $3.50. Disappointing.

Then, they switched cash registers at my local branch. When my order rang at the wrong amount, they blinked uncomprehendingly and asked if I wanted a manager. No, I wanted them to ring it right. If that involved a manager (it shouldn't) then so be it. I mean, they said it like it was really a matter of discussion and inconvenience, and I should just pay the wrong amount. And no, the 30 cents is not the point (it just comes out of their tip anyway) - it's just common sense that one needs to work the registers correctly at one's place of employment.

Then I ordered a coffee at a drive thru when on the road. The person on the loudspeaker repeated my order back to me correctly (large coffee, cream only). The person at the window repeated it back to me, correctly again. I drive off, get on the highway, driving 75mph, I take a sip, and it's got sugar in it! I suppose I should be glad it wasn't Splenda, as it was still drinkable.

Of course, now that I'm hooked, what can I do? There are no Starbucks here yet, and going to McDonald's is an idle threat. There are two local places that are passable the times I've been there. Maybe that's an option.

Now Shipping!

Orpheus and the Pearl is now, finally, officially, shipping from the warehouse. I hope you all get your copies soon, I apologize for the delay, and I certainly hope you like this little tale as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Perhaps with a hard copy in hand, we can finally coax Dr. Phil Cary out to offer his pronouncement on whether the tale is as Platonist as I think it is.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Shipping Date

The official (and, I hope, final and accurate) date for Orpheus and the Pearl shipping out is "early next week." I'm so psyched about this one and I hope everyone likes it as much as I liked writing it.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

From Beyond the Grave!!

Not quite, but a slick endorsement for GOTLD a year and a half after it was first released:

They've earned themselves an entry in my most excellent links section!


Triumph of The Walking Dead