Horror for Good: A Charitable Anthology

Horror For Good: A Charitable Anthology

Late last year I got a call from Boyd E. Harris at Cutting Block Press, asking if I’d be willing to contribute a story for an upcoming charitable anthology they were doing.  Now Boyd is a good friend of mine, and Cutting Block Press is one of the finest Indie publishers out there, so he pretty much had me at hello.  “Sounds great,” I said.  “What’s the charity?”

He explained that all revenues, less direct costs for production, marketing and distribution will be donated to amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research.

I was intrigued.  Won over is actually a better way to describe my reaction.  An anthology put together by one of my favorite publishers to benefit a great cause (you can learn more about amfAR here), it’s a win-win.

I agreed and sent him my story “Sky of Brass, Land of Iron.”  South Texas, where I make my home, is crowded with old Spanish ruins from the 1700s and early 1800s, theAlamobeing the most famous example.  I’ve always had a deep fascination with these ruins, and they’ve figured prominently in several of my stories.  But I’ve always suspected that there are ruins out there in the empty landscape ofSouth Texasthat haven’t been discovered.

Texas, with its vast, and sometimes inhospitable territory, was colonized slowly with lots of dead ends and false starts.  My story imagines one such dead end, and picks up the thread when two good friends fromSan Antoniouncover some old ruins on the land they are trying to develop.  What they find beneath the ruins of an abandoned church represents one of my rare forays into Lovecraftian horror.

Boyd then introduced me to three outstanding folks: Mark Scioneaux, Robert Shane Wilson and R.J. Cavender.  These gentlemen were the editors and visionaries behind the anthology, and unbeknownst to me, had managed to assemble an amazing list of contributors.  When I finally saw the table of contents, I was simply bowled over.  Check out this list of talent:

A Message from the HWA President ~ Rocky Wood 
The Journey of Horror For Good ~ Mark C. Scioneaux
Autumn as Metaphor ~ G.N. Braun
On a Dark October ~ Joe R. Lansdale
Mouth ~ Nate Southard 
Blood for the American People Reception ~ Ray Garton 
The Long Hunt ~ Ian Harding 
The Apocalypse Ain’t so Bad ~ Jeff Strand
The Gift ~ Monica O’Rourke
The Silent Ones ~ Taylor Grant 
Sky of Brass, Land of Iron ~ Joe McKinney
Consanguinity ~ Lorne Dixon 
Dead Letters ~ Ramsey Campbell 
The Monster in the Drawer ~ Wrath James White
Baptism ~ Tracie McBride 
Atlantis Purging ~ Boyd E. Harris
Returns ~ Jack Ketchum 
The Other Patrick ~ Brad C. Hodson 
A Question of Morality ~ Shaun Hutson
The Meat Man ~ Jonathan Templar
A Man in Shape Alone ~ Lee Thomas
Solution ~ Benjamin Kane Ethridge 
To and Fro ~ Richard Salter 
Please Don’t Hurt Me ~ F. Paul Wilson 
The Depravity of Inanimate Things ~ John F.D. Taff 
The Lift ~ G.R. Yeates 
The Eyes Have It ~ Rena Mason 
Road Flowers ~ Gary McMahon 
The Widows Laveau ~ Steven W. Booth & Norman L. Rubenstein 
This Thing That Clawed Itself Inside Me ~ John Mantooth 
Somewhere on Sebastian Street ~ Stephen Bacon 
June Decay ~ Danica Green 
Shiva, Open Your Eye ~ Laird Barron


I am incredibly excited about this project.  Pick up a copy of this book, please.  Not only is it a great collection of stories, but it’s for a good cause, a just cause, a necessary cause.

You can purchase the print edition here, and the Kindle version here

Hope you enjoy it!

Jack Ketchum Named 2011 Horror Grand Master

January 17, 2011

For immediate Release Contact: Lee Thomas
Info [at] whc2011.org
Nate Southard
Registration [at] whc2011.org

Fans name “The scariest guy in America” as convention Grand Master.

Austin – January 17: The registered members of the World Horror Convention 2011 have voted and named author Jack Ketchum as their Grand Master. The international conference of horror’s premier talents and their fans will take place in Austin, Texas from April 28th through May 1st, 2011.

Stephen King once commented, “Who’s the scariest guy in America? Probably Jack Ketchum.” Many of Ketchum’s fans would agree, as his work often foregoes supernatural trappings and explores real-world terrors with human beings as his monsters-of-choice.

“There’s no one like Ketchum,” said convention co-chair Lee Thomas. “His work is brilliantly crafted, always relevant, and disturbing as hell. Plus, he’s one of the nicest guys you’re ever going to meet.”

“Ketchum’s work was some of the first to really capture my imagination and inspire me as a writer,” said Nate Southard, convention co-chair. “His prose is among the best I’ve ever read, and he’s a master of voice, theme, and character. It’s an honor to have him attend our convention.”

The Grand Master Award is presented to an outstanding contributor to the horror genre by election. Only registered members of the World Horror Convention are eligible to vote, and recipients must be alive at the time of voting. Former Grand Masters include Ray Bradbury, Ramsey Campbell, Peter Straub, Dean Koontz, Clive Barker, Anne Rice, and Stephen King.

Jack Ketchum is the pseudonym for a former actor, singer, teacher, literary agent, lumber salesman, and soda jerk — a former flower child and baby boomer who figures that in 1956 Elvis, dinosaurs and horror probably saved his life. His first novel, Off Season, prompted the Village Voice to publicly scold its publisher in print for publishing violent pornography. He personally disagrees but is perfectly happy to let you decide for yourself. His short story The Box won a 1994 Bram Stoker Award from the HWA, his story Gone won again in 2000 — and in 2003 he won Stokers for both best collection for Peaceable Kingdom and best long fiction for Closing Time. He has written eleven novels, arguably twelve, four of which have been filmed — The Lost, The Girl Next Door, Red, and Offspring. The Woman, his film collaboration with Lucky McGee (May) will be screened at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. His stories are collected in The Exit At Toledo Blade Boulevard, Broken on the Wheel of Sex, Peaceable Kingdom, Sleep Disorder (with Edward Lee), and Closing Time and Other Stories. His novella The Crossings was cited by Stephen King in his speech at the 2003 National Book Awards.

The World Horror Convention is an annual gathering of professionals in the horror industry: publishers, authors, artists, musicians, filmmakers, dealers and, of course, horror fans. WHC serves as both an industry insider’s networking event and a chance for fans of the genre to get together, meet some of the creative talents in the field, and generally spend a weekend celebrating All Things Scary.

Visit our guests at:
Steve Niles: http://www.steveniles.com
Joe Hill: http://www.joehillfiction.com
Sarah Langan: http://www.sarahlangan.com
Joe R. Lansdale: http://www.joerlansdale.com
Brett Savory: http://chizine.com/chizinepub
Sandra Kasturi: http://chizine.com/chizinepub
Vincent Chong: http://www.vincentchong-art.co.uk
Brian Keene: http://www.briankeene.com
Del Howison: http://www.darkdel.com/
Jack Ketchum: http://www.jackketchum.net

For more information please contact Nate Southard at registration [at] whc2011.org or Lee Thomas at info [at] whc2011.org.

What I’m reading now

It’s official.  My “To Be Read…” pile of books has grown so large that I’ve had to move it from the bedside table to its own bedroom.  I sometimes look at the stack and think to myself, Let’s see, at the pace of a book every other day, I could finish this stack in about a hundred and twenty years…

So why is it, with that much new reading to do, that I find myself rereading Jack Ketchum’s collection of stories Peaceable Kingdom?  Well, it could be that the stories in there are absolutely amazing.  Yeah, that has to be it.  Last night, I opened my worn and well-loved copy and glanced at the first line of the lead off story “The Rifle.”

I read:

“She found the rifle standing on its stock in the back of his cluttered closet.

“Unexpected as a snake in there.”

and I was hooked.  Ketchum will do that to you.  His prose is so smooth, so straightforward and immediate, that you find yourself unable to look away from the page.  One hour, and five stories later, I found myself unaware of where the time had gone, my skin damp with sweat.

And then I remembered…that’s why I read Jack Ketchum.

%d bloggers like this: