Good News About Dead Set: A Zombie Anthology

Earlier this year Michelle McCrary and I edited a charity zombie anthology for 23 House Publishing called Dead Set. It was my first ever stint as editor and I greatly enjoyed the process. And now, with the end of the year upon us and award season kicking up, all that hard work has started to get some positive critical attention. Dead Set, and several of the contributors to the anthology, have been nominated and/or recommeded for some major awards, something for which I am very excited.

First off is Dark Scribe Magazine’s Annual Black Quill Award. Dead Set has made the short list in the Best Dark Genre Fiction Collection category, which is a huge honor. Here’s the complete ballot:

And the Nominees Are…
DARK GENRE NOVEL OF THE YEAR:

Novel-length work of horror, suspense, or thriller from a mainstream publisher; awarded to the author

A Dark Matter by Peter Straub (Doubleday)
Kraken by China Miéville (Del Rey)
Sparrow Rock by Nate Kenyon (Leisure / Bad Moon Books)
The Caretaker of Lorne Field by David Zeltserman (Overlook Hardcover)
The Passage by Justin Cronin (Ballantine)
Under the Dome by Stephen King (Scribner)

BEST SMALL PRESS CHILL:

Novel or novella published by small press publisher; awarded to the author

A Book of Tongues by Gemma Files (ChiZine Publications)
Dreams in Black and White by John R. Little (Morning Star)
Invisible Fences by Norman Prentiss (Cemetery Dance)
The Castle of Los Angeles by Lisa Morton (Gray Friar Press)
The Wolf at the Door by Jameson Currier (Chelsea Street Editions)

BEST DARK GENRE FICTION COLLECTION:

Single author collection, any publisher; awarded to the author

Blood and Gristle by Michael Louis Calvillo (Bad Moon Books)
In the Mean Time by Paul Tremblay (ChiZine Publications)
Little Things by John R. Little (Bad Moon Books)
Occultation by Laird Barron (Night Shade Books)
Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse by Otsuichi (VIZ Media LLC)

BEST DARK GENRE ANTHOLOGY:

Multi-author collection, any publisher; awarded to the editor

Dark Faith Edited by Maurice Broaddus and Jerry Gordon (Apex Publications
Dead Set: A Zombie Anthology Edited by Michelle McCrary and Joe McKinney (23 House)
Haunted Legends Edited by Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas (Tor)
Horror Library IV Edited by RJ Cavender and Boyd E. Harris (Cutting Block Press)
When The Night Comes Down Edited by Bill Breedlove (Dark Arts Books)

BEST DARK GENRE BOOK OF NON-FICTION:

Any dark genre non-fiction subject, any publisher; awarded to the author[s] or editor[s]

Horrors: Great Stories of Fear and Their Creators by Rocky Wood (McFarland)
I Am Providence: The Life and Times of HP Lovecraft by S.T. Joshi (Hippocampus Press)
Night of the Living Dead: Behind the Scenes of the Most Terrifying Zombie Movie Ever by Joe Kane (Citadel)
The Conspiracy Against the Human Race by Thomas Ligotti (Hippocampus Press)
Thrillers: 100 Must Reads Edited by David Morrell and Hank Wagner (Oceanview Publishing)

BEST DARK SCRIBBLE:

Single work, non-anthology short fiction appearing in a print or virtual magazine; awarded to the author

“Bully” by Jack Ketchum (Postscripts 22/23)
“Goblin Boy” by Rick Hautula (Cemetery Dance #63)
“Secretario” by Catherynne M. Valente (Weird Tales, Summer 2010)
“The Things” by Peter Watts (Clarkesworld, January 2010)
“We” by Bentley Little (Cemetery Dance #64)

BEST DARK GENRE BOOK TRAILER:

Book video promoting any work of fiction or non-fiction; awarded to the video producer or publisher

Neverland / Produced by Circle of Seven Productions (for the book by Douglas Clegg)

Radiant Shadows / Produced by Circle of Seven Productions (for the book by Melissa Marr)

Specters in Coal Dust / Produced by Michael Knost & Black Water Films (for the anthology edited by Michael Knost)

Under the Dome / Produced by Scribner Marketing (for the book by Stephen King)

Unhappy Endings / Produced by Delirium Books (for the book by Brian Keene)

The following is taken directly from the Dark Scribe Magazine website and tells you a little about how the short list is established and how the voting process works. I encourage everybody to stop by and vote, even if it’s for something other than Dead Set.

Nominations for the Black Quills are editorial-based, with both the editors and active contributing writers submitting nominations in each of the (7) categories. Once nominations are announced, the readers of DSM have an opportunity to cast their votes for their picks in each category. In a unique spin intended to celebrate both critical and popular success, two winners are announced in each category – Reader’s Choice and Editor’s Choice.

All dark genre works published between November 1st, 2009 and October 31st, 2010 are eligible. DSM does not solicit nominations, nor are there any fees associated with the Black Quills.

Please note that only one ballot per email/IP address will be accepted. Multiple ballots received from the same email/IP address will be discarded.

Reader voting closes at midnight EST on Friday, January 21st, 2011.

Winners will be announced on Tuesday, February 1st, 2011.

On behalf of myself, Michelle McCrary, Dead Set’s contributors, and everyone at 23 House Publishing, I’d just like to say that it is a huge honor to be recognized in this way by Dark Scribe Magazine.

My second piece of great news comes from the Horror Writers Association, where Dead Set has done quite well in the Bram Stoker Awards recommendations phase. The Stokers work quite differently from the Black Quill Awards. Dark Scribe’s staff and contributors nominate the shortlist for the Black Quill Awards, but in the HWA, the membership at large has an entire year to recommend various works. Each recommendation gets tallied together, and at the end of the year, the top recommended works in each category get forwarded to the Preliminary Ballot. After that, the Active Members of HWA vote on the Preliminary Ballot and the five or six works receiving the top votes go on to the Final Ballot. Right now, we are still in the recommendation phase, so Dead Set hasn’t earned the right to carry any sort of Stoker Award tags, but I thought it important to mention the attention that several of the work’s contributors have been getting.

Judy Comeau’s story “Seminar Z,” Lee Thomas’ “Inside Where It’s Warm,” and Nate Southard’s “In the Middle of Poplar Street” have all received several mentions, and I’m proud to have had the opportunity to publish their work. In addition, the book itself has received several recommendations in the anthology category, which is a reflection on the hard work of each of the contributors.

My best to everyone involved in this fantastic book. Here’s hoping 2011 brings you all great success and joy.

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Questions about Dead City?

Quite a few readers have written to me with questions about my novels Dead City and Apocalypse of the Dead, so I thought it would be helpful to write a reader’s guide to the whole Dead World series. You can find it in the headings listed across the top of this webpage under “A Reader’s Guide to Dead World.”

I’ve tried to avoid spoilers, while at the same time providing some useful information. Of course, I can’t anticipate every question, so if there’s something special you want to know, just ask it in the comments section on that page. I won’t worry about spoilers in my answers back to you.

Enjoy!

Joe McKinney’s DEAD CITY is one of those rare books that starts fast and never EVER lets up. From page one to the stunning climax this book is a rollercoaster ride of action, violence and zombie horror. McKinney understands the genre and relies on its strongest conventions while at the same time adding new twists that make this book a thoroughly enjoyable read. Highly recommended!
–Jonathan Maberry, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Ghost Road Blues and Dead Man’s Song

I enjoyed Dead City. It was a quick, fun read. I also thought McKinney did a fine job of realistically portraying the police officers and keeping their world accessible to “civilians”. Not always an easy balance, but he pulled it off.
–Brian Keene, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rising, City of the Dead, and Dead Sea

Dead City is a real thrill for the reader, jam-packed with fast driving, shooting, desperate stand-offs and lots of blood. McKinney, a San Antonio homicide detective by trade, writes with an authenticity that brings the events of “Dead City” to bloody, grasping life.
–Matt Staggs, Editor of Skullring.org

Tight writing…is what makes Dead City seem frighteningly possible. I like to have chills race up and down my spine, and I like to have to look over my shoulder to make sure I’m safe, and his writing had me feeling this way the entire time I was reading … and even after I’d finished the book!
–Phillip Tomasso III for In the Library Reviews

From the very first page of this urban thriller, Joe McKinney puts the cuffs on his readers and throws away the key. Gritty suspense, great characters, and very real cops. You’re gonna like this guy.
–Tom Monteleone, author of The Blood of the Lamb and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing a Novel

Dead Set: A Zombie Anthology

Dead Set: A Zombie Anthology is now available for pre-order through the 23 House Publishing website. My co-editor, Michelle McCrary, and I went through hundreds of stories to get the twenty final selections, and I couldn’t be happier with the final results.

Here’s a sneak peek at the table of contents.

“Resurgam” by Lisa Mannetti
“Jailbreak” by Steven W. Booth and Harry Shannon
“Recess” by Rob Fox
“Biting the Hand that Feeds You” by Calie Voorhis
“Judgment” by Stephanie Kincaid
“Hatfield the Usurper” by Matt Louis
“Ruminations from Tri-Omega House” by David Dunwoody
“Zombies on a Plane” by Bev Vincent
“Category Five” by Richard Jeter
“Survivors” by Joe McKinney
“Pierre and Remy Hatch a Plan” by Michelle McCrary
“Recovery” by Boyd E. Harris
“In the Middle of Poplar Street” by Nate Southard
“Seminar Z” by J.L. Comeau
“Only Nibble” by Bob Nailor
“Inside Where It’s Warm” by Lee Thomas
“Survivor Talk” by Mitchel Whitington
“The Zombie Whisperer” by Steven Wedel
“Good Neighbor Sam” by Mark Onspaugh
“That Which Survives” by Morgan Ashe

Michelle and I looked for stories that did something new with the zombie genre, and I think readers are going to be pleasantly surprised.

For now, you can pre-order the book from 23 House Publishing at a reduced price. When the book drops in April, 2010, it’ll be available through Amazon and most chain book stores.

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