Thursday, July 30, 2009


Outlined enough to start. 44 chapters. I think I have everything the way I want it, though allowing for things to change as I go.


Gonna have a cute kid.

Gonna have some romance (but not too much, don't worry, mostly set up to create tension between characters).

Gonna have a death scene of a major character.

Gonna have zombies fighting other zombies. (Should be fun, since most of the damage they'd inflict on one another wouldn't do anything much to slow them down.)

Oops - had to add the torture scene!

Hmm, now just a matter of where to put the pregnant lady... Hmmm... Okay, got it! See ya!

And I see now my old jean shorts just tore all to heck. I guess that won't be so serious once the dead rise, but for now it's a little annoying.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Permuted's Excited!

And when they're excited, everybody's excited!

Permuted announces third novel set in the D2L universe!!

I'll start a thread on the Permuted board, but if you really want to follow the writing process, GOTLD is still the best place to check.

Right now - finishing the outline. Will start writing in earnest... next week? I hope!

Book Recommendation of the Week

How scholarship should be done! An important topic, an important thinker, analyzed in the context of his times, and presented in an accessible way! Check it out!
(Not enough zombies, though, I felt - but hey, that's where I come in!)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Permuted Presence at Comic Con

New Prisoner Trailer

And wow does it look good!

The Prisoner - coming November 2009.

I mean, look at it how well it reimagines the original. They've snuck in stuff you'd think they'd have to abandon (like Rover) as too hokey and dated. They've snuck in some scenes lifted directly from the original (the map scene and dialogue), but they look like they fit. They've reconfigured some things to look more normal (taxis instead of "mini-mokes"). Never mind how good Sir Ian looks as Number 2. I'm getting more and more hopeful.

Monday, July 27, 2009

New Interview

New interview at The Teeming Brain! Books! God! Zombies! Horror!

Many thanks again to MattC for his many insightful questions. The guy's always so on top of things!

Back from Philly!

What a great time with the lads!

Saw the Mutter Museum for the first time. Eeeewww! (Pretty gross stuff, really.)

Saw the Edgar Allan Poe house for the first time!

Saw the Liberty Bell.

Ate in Chinatown several times.

Saw Night of Champions. That Rey Mysterio is the man! And while the main event was pretty ho-hum to me (two "small" guys, both of whom look kinda young, punkish, and grungy? no thanks) and though I had no preference between the three dudes in the triple fight, that one did have a nice old school ending, with a technicality, then interference from a bevy of heels. The first Diva match I thought was good - Melina moves well, especially her kicks and aerial work. So pretty good stuff!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Off to PHILLY!

Come morning I fuel up the PTCruiser and drive to the City of Brotherly Love! Where I will first meet Master Thespian, Jared Delaney (formerly of Borders Books and Music, Bryn Mawr). I will then be joined by the world's SECOND biggest JUDAS PRIEST fan, Chris Iwane (formerly of Borders Books and Music, Bryn Mawr). Tickled and fed by these two lads and regaled with tales of Jara and Doug, I will patiently await the arrival of notoriously infrequent blogger but cool guy and great writer DOUGLAS WARRICK, accompanied by the quiet, dangerous, and hilariously great lampoonist KYLE JOHNSON!!

Because of, or in spite of, huge quantities of very expensive ABSINTHE, the cheap ass cigarettes those two miscreants haul everywhere (you tried booking hotel nights at a chain that has SMOKING rooms lately? I have!!), and Starbucks coffee ("Kyle, Kyle, I pulled you out of the puddle of vomit you were in - so THAT YOU COULD GET ME SOME MF'in COFFEEEE!!! Hack! Cough! Splutter!"), we will hopefully do some sightseeing in Philly, culminating in THE WWE NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS on Sunday evening.

I'll update you come Monday if I survive!!!


Thursday, July 23, 2009

If Flame Wars Are Your Thing

I guess you should check this one out. I mean, if you really have time to kill.

1) Silly looking cover is called silly (for reasons including "WTF were they thinking with ANOTHER big breasted cover?!")

2) Dude responds

3) Original blogger responds

4) Dude responds

5) Original blogger responds

6) Harlan Ellison responds (I don't think I can link to the particular entry, but the thread)

I ignored 1) as it seemed self-evident to me, skimmed 3) and 4), then lost interest.

New Harry Potter

Very good. Hard to evaluate w/o considering the book (to which it's pretty faithful) and the effect that the ending would have on first time reader/viewers, vs the intrinsic "value" of the events and their effects on the narrative. In other words - this is close to the book, which was pretty shocking and suspenseful when I first read it, but now seeing it unfold (and also in light of the last book) it looks more ho-hum.

I still say there's something deeply wrong about the sexual/romantic relations. (This really struck me in the final book.) Luna (esp as she is cast in the films as a pretty eroticized-looking character), with a porn star name, and bubbling around in what seems a druggy haze, troubles me a lot. At the other extreme, having Hermione and Harry always act 100% platonic w/ no tension or anxiety, does not ring true to me. Hound dog Ron seems more believable (though his never getting jealous or suspicious of Harry/Hermione seems farfetched).

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Fiddling with D2L3 title - what do you guys think of

Darkness in the City of Light ?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Augustine and Philosophy

The essay collection I've been editing on this topic has finally been sent to the publisher's. It's several months late and three essays short, but it's done and sent and for all you clamoring for essays on Augustine and Philosophy, you'll see it in 2010 I'd imagine.

Interview on the Graveyard

One of my rare audio interviews will air in two parts - Thursday, July 23rd & 30th on The Graveyard Show.
The Graveyard Show Podcast is available on Thursday nights, Midnight
EST/9PM Pacific. You can hear the show on the website
(, iTunes, and Podcast Alley.

Thanks, Caretaker!!

Amazon Impulse Purchase of the Week

I really don't like fundies. They make the rest of us look bad. And I have had many more respectful, enlightening conversations with atheists than I could ever have with a fundie. If someone is that certain, and that completely closed off to being persuaded or changing his/her mind - then what would be the point of discussion or debate? It's all settled before the conversation begins, and no matter how hard I try, and how much I marshal evidence and make compromises or suggest other positions or ideas, the fundie can just go "Nuh-uh!" or "The Bible says this!" (when I would never base an argument on "Socrates says this!" or "Aristotle says this!" w/o making some further argument to show why that might be persuasive). I believe we approach truth little by little, in dialogue and exchange with other people, none of us ever possessing the full version of "truth," so the fundie position is much more antithetical to me than an atheist one (atheists can be very arrogant and self-assured, of course, but even the most obnoxious have always seemed more open to considering evidence and argumentation, in my experience).
But, anyway, I'll probably read this book (recommended by the love of my life, Rachel Maddow) and get scared all over again at the prospects for sane, peaceful human life on this planet.

Zombie Science and Zombieland

Back from Vacation

A whirlwind tour. We had a great time in Newport, RI, and I took a day to spend with my NECON pals. Now back to catching up on some work here at home.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Off to NECON!

Really. Any minute now we're gonna leave. (The last push to get out the door is always agony.)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Contest Reminder

We are down to just a few copies of Valley of the Dead at Horror-Mall, so I thought it was time to remind people that if they purchase one, they should either enter the contest at Horror World, or mine.

The rules for mine are simple.

Buy any of my books between now and AUGUST 31. My Permuted titles are available online at any retailer, as is the Stoker Award-winning
Gospel of the Living Dead. VALLEY OF THE DEAD is available at

Send proof of purchase to

On AUGUST 31 I'll draw a winner who can choose -

A copy of Dying to Live, or Dying to Live: Life Sentence



Have fun! Good luck!

Interior and Cover Art!

I've seen the interior and cover art for VALLEY OF THE DEAD

And I can't show them to you. Sorry.

The color picture you've seen is the frontispiece art. The cover will feature a simple outline, almost cameo, type drawing of the poet. It looks like traditional drawings of the poet, but the changes the artist put in it make all the difference in creating a gritty, realistic look.

The interiors will be these dark, smoky, swirly woodcuts. One person described them as "moody," but I think "brutal" or "scary" would be better. They grab you and jerk you around a little bit, and make your stomach churn and your head spin. Really icky but cool.

They're right out of the story and are exactly what I had in mind for interior art. Thanks Alex!

In Between Vacation Round Up!!

Random things that would've each gotten their own entries if I hadn't been away from the computer!

Dark Scribe Interview!

Nick Mamatas is "interested" in the Permuted / Pocket Books deal.

The zombie / Lego movie!!

ZOMG - I had to clean up the tipped-over trash cans when I got home, and I assumed it was raccoons. But now that my eyeballs are burning from what's wafting through the open window, I realize it was a skunk.

See you next week if I don't update tomorrow!!

Lettered Edition

If the numbered edition isn't deluxe enough for you, the lettered edition of VALLEY OF THE DEAD has just been announced and is now available for preorder!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Big Announcement!

Finally came! While I was on vacation! (Still am!) So you probably did not hear it here first, but here it is!!!


New York, New York (July 1, 2009) – Anthony Ziccardi, Vice President and Associate Publisher of Pocket Books, has announced a new co-publishing venture with Permuted Press, best known for horror, dark fantasy and science fiction novels . The seven book deal was brokered by Marc Gerald at the Agency Group. The books will be Zombie focused, with the first release DAY TO DAY ARMAGEDDON by J.L. Bourne, slated for October 2009.“I am excited to be the pioneer author for the Pocket Books and Permuted Press joint publishing venture. Horror fans are in for an absolute thrill and can expect to enjoy bold, fresh and riveting fiction as a result of this project. The journey with Permuted Press has been a great success and I know that success will be further enhanced as we shift gears into a new and exciting relationship with Pocket Books. Keep your doors locked!” --J.L. Bourne

Permuted Press began its publishing program in 2004 and quickly became noted in the horror fiction genre.Jacob Kier, Publisher, Permuted Press, said “I couldn't be more excited about teaming up with Pocket Books to bring some of Permuted's most exciting and thought-provoking tales of the end of the world to a larger audience.”“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Permuted Press and expand their very successful brand.” Said Anthony Ziccardi. “We feel the horror genre and zombies in particular, will be a growing category at retail. Even Hollywood seems to be focused on zombie tales and we feel that we are well positioned to capitalize on this trend.”

Titles to be included in the joint venture are:
* Day by Day Armageddon and sequel by J.L. Bourne
* Plague of the Dead by Z.A. Recht
* Dying to Live by Kim Paffenroth
* Down the Road by Bowie Ibarra
* Empire by David Dunwoody
* The Zombie Chronicles: Escape by James Melzer

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Long Interview

The bright Caretaker at the Graveyard Show podcast did a long interview with me about GOTLD.

It's not up yet, but it was a really nice conversation. Lots of detail and good thoughts about the Romero films and what they mean to us.

Check out the podcast and I'll remind you all when the interview is live.

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Guy Might Be Legit

But his Billy Mays style website of "You too can make $$$!!!" is at least a turn off.

Also, I see no published novels by him available on the US version of Amazon. His writing handbook is listed on Amazon, but only available from a Lulu storefront.

I see no published novels by any of the people writing "testimonials" on the US version of Amazon.

So color me skeptical. Though I'd have to say his price tag of $47 makes him one of the least greedy of the bunch (though paying him that might well lead to further requests of money).

The Bashers from Birmingham!

Rocked the house! Rocked it HARD!

Might've been their best set that I've seen. They played all of British Steel (the ostensible reason for the tour is the 30th anniversary), plus some of their usuals - Victim of Changes, Ripper, Diamonds and Rust, and You've Got Another Thing Coming - one from Nostradamus, and a surpising two from Defenders of the Faith (Freewheel Burning and Rock Hard Ride Free). It was a little hard to leave w/o Painkiller and Green Manalishi, but it was extra nice to see You Don't Have to Be Old to Be Wise.

And Rob must've been jogging around London Bridge this year - the man was moving around the stage like a man... um... two-thirds his age. (Does he still live in Havasu City? I know I heard that years and years ago.) He looked great, though he should've struck the three person pose up front, bracketed by Glenn and KK. That always looks soooo cool.

And speaking of 1979: I saw Dawn of the Dead, bought British Steel, and my mother died, all w/in a year of each other. The die was cast for me that year, for good and ill.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

There's Crazy, and Then There's....

Well, we all know what the Nazi leadership thought of world history, right?

It was run by Freemason, Marxists, and Catholics.

Who were the secret dupes of...

The Jews!

But one of them, Erich Ludendorff, thought that the Jews were really under the control of...

Are you ready?


Rosenberg (who dreamed up all the "Blood and soil" pagan revival) thought he was a crank, and Hitler had him run out of the party for being too extreme.

Now THAT'S crazy!!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Declare Your Independence!

From bad zombie fiction!

The tree of freedom has been refreshed with the blood of tyrants and patriots, so that it could bear the fruit of -

The most awesome collaboration in the history of zombie literature!

The greatest tale of community and love triumphing over zombie hunger!

The best smart zombie since Bub!

Go to it! March forth, brave, freedom-loving zombie hordes!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Public Enemies

This is the most savagely beautiful thing you'll see this year. I'd compare it to Bonnie and Clyde, since it's that good, but I almost wonder if that's not quite saying enough. The visuals are better in this film. The reliance on slow motion isn't as heavy handed. The characters, while still presented as larger-than-life caricatures, are somehow less sentimental and shallow - they seem more real, in a way. Purvis is cruel in the name of righteousness. Hoover is sadistic in the name of... well in the name of his own vanity and perversion. Billie is not just a bored hick, but exudes something more like Depression-era despair. Dillinger has some fierce loyalty that's gotten him through everything so far - until he encounters the demoralizing, desensitizing modern world of Big Crime and Big Government and Big Everything. He's too small for that, like a lone cowboy in a western that's set after the closing of the frontier. Please go see this instead of Transformers, so maybe Hollywood will make some more good movies.

"Biblical" Faiths/Beliefs (?)

I’m continuing to try to articulate the problems I have with people who insist that their religion is “Biblically based” (and therefore, I take it, right). I think I’ve got it down to the simplest statement I can give (though it’s still a Matt Cardin-worthy wall o’ text).

There are two claims, I think, behind this overall claim.

First, that every word of the bible is true (this is called “inerrancy”) and should be taken as normative for followers.

Given the disparate material in the bible, often with more than trivial disagreement on details of fact or belief; given its haphazard composition over centuries; given that many of its injunctions (esp. as to the treatment of women and non-believers) are utterly inhumane and barbaric; given how selectively this is applied by most people who claim to follow this hermeneutic – given all that, I don’t see any way that such a belief is sensible or helpful. Indeed, when I found out all the stuff I DIDN’T have to believe in order to be a Christian, it was like the scales falling from my eyes and I could finally believe. I understand that there are lots of people for whom the opposite is true – if they thought one word of the bible WASN’T true, it would destroy their faith. I try to respect their belief, but it seems so absurd and fragile and useless in the modern world, that I find it a very difficult proposition. But I’ll continue to try.

The second claim is that the speaker’s beliefs (but not mine, and I’d assume not the beliefs of other Christian denominations, never mind Jews or Mormons or anyone else) are ONLY from the bible. Everyone else’s beliefs are based on interpretation and tradition, but the follower of a “biblically based” religion has only 100% biblical beliefs and practices.

The problems with this are almost more insurmountable to me. It’s bad enough that it makes any real discussion or respect impossible between Christian denominations (never mind with people of other faiths) as setting them up as irrevocably and irredeemably “wrong” and the other person’s beliefs as unassailably “right.” But it stumbles on the fact that “biblical” was a category that evolved over time – the list of books that we think of as the New Testament wasn’t accepted as canonical until 200 CE, and several books had significant opposition. So from the beginning, “biblical” can’t really be contrasted with “tradition” – it was tradition that determined what became biblical. And finally, there really is no Christian doctrine you can think of that isn’t based (to some extent) on post-biblical interpretation and tradition – not the virgin birth, not original sin, not the incarnation, not substitutionary atonement (or any other attempt to articulate what it means for someone to die “for” someone else’s sins, since the NT is rather coy and ambiguous on anything as systematic as that). All of those were being debated among Church fathers and so-called “heretics” into the fifth century and beyond, all of them marshalling biblical texts in their support. Again, when I could see that I didn’t have to recover some apostolic faith and try to follow it in order to be a Christian, when I could acknowledge that beliefs are being negotiated and debated and evolving over time – that was not a stumbling block to me, but the removal of one. And on this point, I can’t really see how it wouldn’t help all Christians if they removed this strange, self-justifying belief from their thought world and tried to live more humbly in the light of uncertainty, but also with mutual respect and learning from others.

On this second point, I remember when a very earnest student asked me if the Christian Scriptures could be proven right, and the scriptures of other religions proven wrong, so that we could hurry up and evangelize and convert all those millions of people so they’d be saved (like us, I suppose). In her defense, I really don't think she meant it as any disrespect, but really felt sad that all those people were going to hell. And way back then, I was much quicker on my feet and I said, “Why in the world would I want to do that? As it stands now, I can learn from other people’s religions and expand and grow my own faith and knowledge. Why would I want them to be wrong, and lose all those opportunities for learning?” Maybe that’s what it comes down to: if you think your faith is “biblically based,” then you’re done learning and you can discount everything else out there, or even try to beat it over the head with your book until it submits. But if you think your faith is not a static artifact, but a work in progress, then you can seek out new dialogue partners and work on your faith and understanding together with them.

But, what do I know? “Dialoguing” probably isn’t as deeply a part of our human nature as “beating over the head,” so I assume the latter will be going on long after my dialogue has come to whatever conclusion it’s going to come to.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

I Feel Inspired!

To make the debate public!

So here's my "creed" (as it were):

I believe that there is a perfect Creator of the universe. (Belief, not fact, and really not affecting any public policy decisions that I know of, since that's always the first thing people fret about: belief in a Creator is not tantamount to study of "creation science" and does not need to be discussed in presentations of "science.")

This Being is guided only by perfect love for the Creation S/he has made. (A harder one to swallow, I think, but one that is heavily reinforced by the point following the next one.)

I fall so short of this Being that I can never return to Him/Her on my own. (I don't see too much argument with this one, given my own behavior, or a more general theory of human nature. And I only make this assertion for myself. Other people may, indeed, be perfect, for all I know - though the ones who claim to be automatically fall way down on the list of the elect, as far as I'm concerned)

Yet, because I'm made in this Being's image, and live in His/Her love, I can't help but want to be with Him/Her; it's a part of me I can't deny. (A lot of people attest to a similar compulsion, and I feel it very strongly, even in my most skeptical moments, though I have to trust people who deny ever having these feelings, that they are telling me the truth, even if I can't fully sympathize with them.)

But because of this Being's Love for me, S/he will provide some means for me to return to Him/Her; this means will be so mysterious that it will not really make sense to human minds, but I have trust that such a means is available and my Creator would never abandon me. (This to me is the real content of "faith," not some adherence to a particular scripture or church - the trust in one's Creator as ultimately being able and willing to save one, despite all seeming impossibility.)

And although I find this creed compatible with Christianity, I don't think anything in it is exclusive or unique to that religion.

Can I get a "Whoa, Bundy!" ?

Oh my!

Fundie lady politician from Oklahoma acting up!

Nothing says "epic fail" like an attempt to blame our economic woes on all the godless heathen and abortion doctors and pornographers!

Wait, I've been inspired to dig up another link. Give me a sec!

Meh, I can't find a readable pic of a poster for a Mary Daly rally. I used to see them once/month in Cambridge. They expressed the same idea as the Oklahoma lady (i.e., "people I disagree with should be punished by GOD(DESS)!!!"), with even some overlaps on the list of villains: "Come join theologian Mary Daly as she casts a spell against the patriarchal oppressors WOMBYN - especially the Catholic church, US Government, and pornographers!!"

New Interview

It's a long one. We must've had a dozen emails back and forth over a couple months.

Interview with author and artist AP Fuchs.

And check out his Undead World Trilogy while you're at it!!


Triumph of The Walking Dead