Friday, April 30, 2010

Mo*Con V

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New Survival of the Dead Trailer

Monday, April 26, 2010

Gary Klar = Great Guy!

I met him a couple weeks ago at the con in Jersey City. He was so enthusiastic about Gospel of the Living Dead - really wanted to chat about it and seemed so excited. But you never know with people, whether they'll follow up, or whether they're just being nice at the con. But he called today and we had a long chat on the phone about the book, which he'd obviously read! Way to go! He says he never uses the Internet, so I guess he won't see this, but if you see his name as a guest at a con, make sure to go up and talk to him, and trust that he's a really sincere guy who's actually listening to what you're saying and if he says you'll hear from him later via phone or mail - you will!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Final Days!

For the VALLEY OF THE DEAD contest!

Buy VALLEY OF THE DEAD in the month of April: here's the B&N link

Buy VALLEY OF THE DEAD in the month of April: here's the Kindle link

Buy VALLEY OF THE DEAD in the month of April: here's the Smashwords link for all Ebook versions

Buy VALLEY OF THE DEAD in the month of April: here's the regular Amazon link

Send proof of purchase to

At the end of the month, one lucky winner will get the complete Kim Paffenroth zombie miscellany collection:

SHROUD magazine #5 with my story, "Buddha in the Box" (signed or personalized)
THIN THEM OUT - chapbook co-authored with Julia and RJ Sevin (signed by all three of us)
ORPHEUS AND THE PEARL - original edition (signed or personalized)

Good luck and thanks for supporting the classics!

Friday, April 23, 2010

New Interview

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

All Kinds of Announcements!

Saturday, April 17, 2010


From the phenomenal meeting of the Association for Core Texts and Courses. Great people, including many of my former colleagues from Villanova, and some former classmates from St John's College.

The German edition of D2L seems to be selling well, as does the newest Paffenroth zombie extravaganza, VALLEY OF THE DEAD. For the latter, be sure to enter the contest when you buy your copy!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Honorable Mention

In Ellen Datlow's Best Horror of the Year (2009)! Thanks!

Oh, and then it occurred to me to check to see if any stories from The World Is Dead made it - a whopping SIX! They're listed on the same page, or on this one if their authors' names come before "K." So big congratulations to

Gary Braunbeck
Carole Lanham
Dave Wellington
Ralph Robert Moore
William Bolen
Jack Ketchum

Congratulations and thanks!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

In Today's Mail!

Author and contributor copies of Augustine and Philosophy! Check it out! (Personally, I didn't think it had enough zombies, but hey - Eric Gregory of Princeton raves on the back cover that it is a "welcome addition" and a "needed corrective"!)
Speaking of correctives - you may notice the misspelling of Dr Cary's first name in the picture of the cover. I did catch that in time, so the real books are okay!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Great Interview

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Mining Accidents

Or, how Science Fiction lied to us.

Isn't there something ... creepy about how technologically advanced we are, yet we still send people down deep into the earth to get the fuel to power all our cool stuff? I thought that by now, it was supposed to be robots and stuff doing that work, or that'd we would've built devices that run on water or air. If there's something that suggests to me that there's a problem with our technological advances, and that such thinkers as Tolkien and Berry are on to something with their ruminations on how we should return to an agrarian, local, rural society, it's this recurring image played every few months on television, of people waiting for news of their husbands, sons, and brothers who are trapped underground (and watching this image on a television powered by electricity generated by the coal they dug up). No, I'm not ready to go off the grid yet, anymore than I'm ready to go barefoot, because any shoes I buy at the store are made by people in inhuman working conditions, so I guess you'll have to call me a hypocrite, but I can't help feeling uneasy and sickened by where we're at right now, and that so long as there's no economic incentive to change (i.e. the shoes and coal are cheap, so of course we'll keep buying them), we won't.

That World Domination Plan?

More of a suggested, possible, potential increase in global influence, let's say!

But here's where it's at for 2010:

APRIL 2010 - The German edition of D2L is available from Festa Verlag! Who knows if the Germans like zombies as much as they do David Hasselhoff, or as much as the French love Jerry Lewis? Maybe. (I got my first German fan on Facebook today, so that's a good sign!) Who knows what this'll mean to Kim World Domination?

APRIL 2010 - VALLEY OF THE DEAD TPB available! Who knows? It's my favorite thing I've done, I think it's the kind of book that would have Dante scholars interested in zombies and zombie fans interested in Dante, but who knows how successful it'll be?

SEPTEMBER 2010 - THE LIVING DEAD II is released, including one story co-authored by me, thereby exposing me and my smart zombie to tens of thousands of people who've never heard of me before. Can't be a bad thing, I'm thinking, and maybe a very good thing!

September 2010 - The new edition of ORPHEUS AND THE PEARL from Belfire Books (to be published with a novella from Dave Dunwoody!). Gonna give that tale a wider audience, which I'll very much appreciate!

OCTOBER 2010 - The Simon and Schuster / Permuted edition of D2L comes out. I shudder to look back on prose I wrote in 2006, but it's been such a solid, consistent seller for three years, what do I know? It has stuff to satisfy every craving, it seems - gore, some characters people like, some grim humor. It's an old standby in a way, and I think it'll find a larger audience.

NOVEMBER 2010 - D2L3 comes out. This is one wild follow up. I can honestly say it's not like either of the first two, but OTOH, everything that happens makes a kind of sense, and "fits" if you've read the first two. It's more violent and gory than D2L2, so overall I'm pretty confident this'll have the zombie "base" satisfied.

So, the pattern I'm sensing is that release dates as they get closer make me increasingly nervous and unsure of what's going to happen! But it's a fun filled year and I think overall, if it's not world domination, I'll still spread the Good News of the undead to a larger audience, and that's all I can ask!

Monday, April 05, 2010

Relations Between Christian Denominations

A thorny issue, often times. (I usually get along better with atheists than with fundies, as I said somewhere else.) Today I was thinking of Catholic / Protestant relations and the possibilities for dialogue or community, and being more optimistic than usual.

When I go to church with my wife, who is Catholic, I can't take communion. Most of the time, this just aggravates me, to be frank. (But, if communion meant that much to me, I guess I ought to find a church I feel comfortable in attending regularly and go there, so I'm as much to blame for my aggravation as anyone else is!) Now, part of the aggravation isn't just in not receiving the sacrament (since, after all, from a Protestant perspective, that's really not that big of a deal), but just from the physical awkwardness of having to step aside and let a whole row of people climb over you to get to the front, then letting half of them climb back over you again to get to their seats. It just makes you feel like you have a big sign that says "Hi! I'm an outsider! Not from around here! Pagan, heathen, heretic, schismatic up in the house!" (The Obama sticker on my car in the lot gave me a similar feeling, next to all the minivans with "Protect the Unborn" stickers on them, but on that point, I actually felt a little more confident - plus the fact that you can get away from your car, but you can't get away from people having to climb over you.) But yesterday, the people in the row seemed much more gracious and polite (not that people were rude before, but these people seemed to go out of their way to make me feel more comfortable). They seemed welcoming and hospitable, like having a guest and not an intruder. Now, maybe it was a matter of perception; maybe it's just a matter of manners and not religious, interfaith goodwill; maybe they were trying to butter me up to try and convert me later (that was my reaction when I was a youth and my girlfriend dragged me to her Mormon church - that all those smiling, polite people wanted to sign me up - and they did! - not that that makes their niceness insincere, but it changes the motive behind it from mutual respect for my difference, to subtle disapproval and a desire to change that difference into sameness). All likely interpretations.

BUT - if I were to give a more positive, hopeful spin to it: we always interact with individuals, not institutions or hierarchies or bureaucracies. So if individuals treat us with respect and kindness, that's what matters most. (I don't think that's ALL THAT matters, since I believe individuals are responsible for the institutions and groups they join and support, so I won't go that far.) Maybe hospitality is the better analogy than mere acceptance: that we wish to show outsiders generosity - even impress them with our generosity - while they are w/in our group, even though we'll send them back to theirs after a short time. And, we'd like similar hospitality when we go visit their church or community.

Now, even if this worked as a good model for interfaith dialogue and interaction, it'd still stumble (only a little, I hope) in our pluralistic society, where we're not just visiting groups outside our own - but all our groups are somehow included w/in the larger community of which we're all a part, and no one of our individual groups is privileged as "The American Way of Life" or "The American Religion," and likewise none are disadvantaged with the label "Non-American, But We Put Up with It Because We're So Tolerant." That does complicate things, even as it makes the necessity for some model of positive interaction between groups all the more desirable (or even necessary).

Re-Enchantment of Education

I'm still enchanted with this book - Beauty for Truth's Sake: On the Re-Enchantment of Education (though readers beware - it is VERY Catholic! His favorite people to quote so far are Newman, Benedict XVI, and Balthasar - all fine choices [though I've been linking on Facebook to more questionable activities and ideas of the second one on that list], but they do give the book a certain... parochial, narrow kind of tone. I'll be curious if that is overcome in the course of the presentation, as I'm underlining lots of his passages, and they're all resonating with my non-Catholic, inclusive, cosmopolitan view of education and faith. For me, education comes down to my personal experience of sometimes gradual, sometimes sudden, but alwyas unexpected transformations - the sense that the world is "enchanted" and the numinous and transcendent can break in and turn things inside out and upside down at any moment. For a poignantly ironic example, I think of my whole educational journey, and how my atheist father insisted (or at least, strongly encouraged) that I go to St John's College, where I found Christ and began my journey to become a professor and teach religious studies, which after I did for a while, I found my greatest satisfaction in writing zombie novels (that very much incorporate a lot of the ideas I learned in college, plus a bunch more stuff). Now, whatever you think of that, it wasn't how things were "suposed" to go - it was unpredictable and fulfilling (partly) because of its serendipity.

For a more light-hearted example, I got to the section in the book on teaching the choral arts as part of any education worthy of the name (this right after reading the hilarious article on GLEE in Rolling Stone!) and I was taken back to freshman chorus, where we belted out inept versions of such classics as "Hail to Mighty Pasha!" (I still have no idea to what that refers) and "Summer is a comin' in - [something, something, something] Cuckoo!" (ditto, no idea what that was about) and "Lo, How a Rose ere Blooming" (something about Jesus, I think). Now, Caldecott's a good enough writer that for a minute I thought "Wow, maybe that was a valuable experience and not just a bunch of young people wailing like cats in heat." Then I thought "Nah!"

But, yes, I do appreciate his analysis, even if I sometimes step back and remember the particular, flawed instantiation of it. Because, after all - I do remember that experience, 26 years later. I remember some of the songs. I keep in touch with some of the people I "sang" with. It did do something transformative, important, and liberating to me, even (or especially) if that wasn't exactly "training" in music, and none of us went on to become musicians.

Sunday, April 04, 2010


Now up for preorder at Barnes and! Buy early, buy often! Too late to put it in some lucky person's Easter basket, but in plenty of time for summer reading! Enjoy! Let me know what you think!

As I said a couple days ago - here's the new contest!

Buy VALLEY OF THE DEAD in the month of April: here's the B&N link

Buy VALLEY OF THE DEAD in the month of April: here's the Kindle link

Buy VALLEY OF THE DEAD in the month of April: here's the Smashwords link for all Ebook versions

Buy VALLEY OF THE DEAD in the month of April: here's the regular Amazon link

Send proof of purchase to

At the end of the month, one lucky winner will get the complete Kim Paffenroth zombie miscellany collection:

SHROUD magazine #5 with my story, "Buddha in the Box" (signed or personalized)
THIN THEM OUT - chapbook co-authored with Julia and RJ Sevin (signed by all three of us)
ORPHEUS AND THE PEARL - original edition (signed or personalized)

Good luck and thanks for supporting the classics!

John 20:2

I got interested in the study of the New Testament because of the Synoptic Gospels, so I'm usually rather dismissive of John's version. But it was the reading for today and I was struck by this verse (mostly because I'm so used to the synoptic version of the empty tomb):

"They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him."

Past the end of today's reading, I see the phrase is repeated at John 20:13:

"They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him."

Now, IF I were to preach a sermon on it (and I'm just not the preaching sort, hence why I never thought of the ministry as a calling, but I do feel a hint of an echo of the calling from time to time), I'd reflect on this as the pain of the absence of God (since, after all, the main referent for "Lord" in the Bible isn't Jesus, but the God of Israel) - the second verse says Mary of Magdala was weeping as she said this. And interesting that she doesn't just say "The Lord's gone!" or "Where'd he go?" or "Didn't he say something about this before?" but "They've taken away my Lord." They? Who? Well, here's where you could get creative in a sermon: Everyone who's done something to me to make me think God's a bastard, or that He's gone and never coming back - they've taken him from me and made me sad and hurt and alone and weak (like Mary). And of course, unless this is just going to be an exercise in blaming others, I'd have to turn it back around: every time I've been careless and heartless and cruel to another person, and made him/her fee like shit - well, I'm the one who's taken the Lord away from him/her, effaced God's image in the universe, blasphemed, desecrated, and injured the brother or sister for whom Christ died. Then of course, you'd have to go for the money shot at the end of the sermon, because it turns out no, no one's taken the Lord from the tomb, no one can take him away from Mary (or us): he's as powerful and loving as he said he was - powerful enough to conquer sin and death, powerful enough to overcome our weakness, virtuous enough to cure our disease.

Yeah, that's how I'd preach it, if I were into that sort of thing.

Easter Menu

To be followed later today with the Easter Menu Scorecard on how everything went.

First, we went to Rhinebeck yesterday (my wife and I love it as one of those towns around here that's a blend of countrified, old stuff, and a lot of very high end, boutiquey stuff - nice for looking at things and at least getting ideas for decorating or gift-giving, even if you don't buy there). We ate at Gigi Trattoria. Nice on the pasta and cheese, though, as usual, the dish my wife ordered was weird - the sauce on the lamb was too smoky and overpowering. Then we strolled over to Bread Alone Bakery. Took care of today's dessert needs with a walnut/pistachio/pecan torte. Thinking that's going to be pretty good. (I'm not nearly as good a baker as I am a cook.)

Ok, so dessert's covered. The missus went and got our free ham from ShopRite. I'd been thinking of a turkey with it, but that's just too much food leftover, so I asked for a small roast. Haven't decided yet whether to do it in the oven or the stove. Relish dish. Leftover slaw from Friday. Boiled potatoes and carrots. Mashed potatoes. Brussel sprouts. Since we've been watching CHOPPED a lot lately, she brought home a mystery ingredient - anise root. Thinking a salad with that, though I'll check online if there's some way to make cooked anise that I need to try.

EDIT: Oh , almost forgot my scorecard! Pickled garlic is just awesome that I put down last fall. The potatoes that had roasted in the juices of the beef were amazing. I usually hesitate to do them that way but they were perfect - had absored the flavor and were done just right. The beef they were roasted with - moist, tender, glad I did it in the oven. Gave it a good rub with lots of spices and really burnt it first. The ham (I can take no credit - you stick it in the oven) - wow! Moist, not salty, sweet, with a dark streak at the bottom that was dryer and more crumbly like bacon. Couldn't stop eating it. Mashed potatoes were... fine. (The kids love them but they're pretty plain, comfort food.) Maybe a little runny. Brussel sprouts good - the lemon butter was nice and they were very crunchy. The anise root (which I now think is interchangeably called fennel - I thought they were two separate things!) - wow. weird, but good. Can't say I'd want it every day, but the cooked version (with olive oil and lemon juice) had a nice, rooty, nutty flavor, while the raw salad I made was complimented by the sweetness of the apples I chopped in, and the tang of the vinaigrette. probably the most complex thing on a plate of big, bold, greasy things.That nut torte: barely a dessert, it was so not sweet - but a strong, satisfying flavor. So crunchy your jaw got tired eating it so I'd recommend small slices.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Not A Single Entry!

Embarrassingly, not a single entry in the inbox for my Dying to Live March Madness Contest. Though D2L sold plenty in March - so I'm not bummed about that. But it clearly wasn't due to the contest.

But fear not! I'll just roll over the prizes into a contest that'll open here in a few days. Stay tuned!


Triumph of The Walking Dead