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!

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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.

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.

Report from ArmadilloCon 2009

ArmadilloCon 2009 has come and gone…and what a time it was! The folks at ArmadilloCon have really figured out how to do it right. The hotel was great (love those DoubleTree chocolate chip cookies!), the guests were fantastic, and the panels were top notch. Plus, I got the added thrill of introducing my wife to her first convention and I think ArmadilloCon sold her on how much fun they are.

Here were some of the highlights:

The Meet the Pros party opening night. I got to hang out with John Picacio, Sanford Allen, Lee Thomas, Gabrielle Faust, Matt Cardin, Scott Cupp, Chris Roberson, Mario Acevedo, Jeanne Stein, A. Lee Martinez, and a host of others. We got a surprise visit from Michael Moorcock, who presented the Jack Trevor Prize to Howard Waldrop. Good times and good booze all around!

Later I went to hear Matt Cardin read his short story “The Devil and One Lump” and was blown away. I’m now a fan.

I closed out opening night with a panel called “What Happened to the Monsters?” Jeanne Stein did a great job moderating this one. And, as usual, Lee Thomas and Matt Cardin brought some intellectual heavy lumber to this one. The conversation ranged from Aztec snake demons to zombies and we had some great audience participation.

Saturday morning started with Lee Thomas reading his short story “I Am Your Violence.” If you’ve never had the pleasure of reading a Lee Thomas short story you need to stop reading this and get busy. The guy is absolutely brilliant! Go out and get a copy of Unspeakable Horrors or Inferno or, better yet, his upcoming collection Out of the Closet, Under the Bed.

After lunch I sat on a panel called “Zombies!” moderated by A. Lee Martinez. Lee Thomas was on that one as well. A. Lee Martinez and Lee Thomas basically had me bookended on the critical side, leaving me in the middle to defend my beloved walking dead. Luckily, I had some timely help from the audience in the form of Rhiannon Frater. This was probably the highlight of the convention events for me. A. Lee Martinez and Lee Thomas brought up some really great points and kept me on my toes. I think the audience enjoyed this one as well. For the rest of the convention people kept telling me how much they enjoyed it.

Later that night I made the rounds to all the parties up on the sixth floor. I got to hang out with Mario Acevedo and John Picacio and Sanford Allen. I have no idea what time I finally turned in, but I think the sun was coming up.

The next morning I got some breakfast and then headed over to hear Jeanne Stein read from her latest book. Damn, that woman can write. Great plotting, great characters, great all the way around.

After that, it was my turn to read. I did a selection from Quarantined and had a pretty good crowd. I don’t think I put anybody to sleep.

A. Lee Martinez got up to read next. He gave us a selection from his new book Monster, which caused me to laugh away my hangover. I know a lot of funny people, but A. Lee Martinez just takes the cake. I can’t recommend him enough.

I finished off the convention with a long stay in the dealer’s room, where I signed a bunch of books and bought even more. I picked up a copy of Terry Bisson’s Planet of Mystery, Joe Hill’s Gunpowder, and Jeff VanderMeer’s The Situation. But the real find was a hardback first edition of Joe R. Lansdale’s God of the Razor. And I even got him to sign it! Very cool!

Thanks ArmadilloCon for showing me a great time!

New Guests Announced for WHC 2011

My good friend Lee Thomas just sent me the following bit of good news. Here it is, folks. World Horror 2011 is going to be a blast.

June 22, 2009

For immediate Release
Contact: Lee Thomas
leethomas1@aol.com
Nate Southard
natesouthard@gmail.com

WORLD HORROR CONVENTION ANNOUNCES
TWO NEW GUESTS
Award Winning and Critically Acclaimed Authors
Joe R. Lansdale and Brian Keene Join WHC 2011

Austin – June 22 The World Horror Convention Austin is proud to announce the additions of legendary author Joe R. Lansdale and bestselling author Brian Keene to the lineup for its 2011 convention. Lansdale, the master of mojo storytelling, will be taking on the mantle of Toastmaster for the event, while Keene will be in attendance to run an intensive workshop on the business of writing.

“You can’t have a spec-fic convention in Texas without Joe,” said Convention Co-Chair, Lee Thomas. “Well, you could but it would be just plain wrong. He’s iconic. With superlative works in the suspense, science fiction, Western and horror genres, he is a versatile and exceptional craftsman, and we’re honored he’ll be attending.”

Lansdale is the author of more than a dozen novels, including Lost Echoes and Leather Maiden. He has received the British Fantasy Award, the American Mystery Award, the Edgar Award, the Grinzane Cavour Prize for literature, and seven Bram Stoker Awards.

Lansdale joins award-winning authors Sarah Langan and Brian Keene on the WHC 2011 guest list. Special guest Keene’s workshop on the business of writing will be a unique WHC presentation.

“Attendees are going to have their eyes opened,” Nate Southard, Co-Chair of the convention, said. “Brian has always dedicated himself to helping aspiring writers, and his presentation will carry on this commitment. His distinguished career has given him insights into the realities of publishing – the good, the bad, and the grotesque – and he’s going to share them with a roomful of his colleagues.”

Keene, who came to prominence in 2003 with the release of his debut novel The Rising and has since published over 20 books, in addition to his work with Marvel Comics, will be presenting Business Unusual: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About The Business Of Writing But Were Afraid To Ask. Seating for this informational seminar will be limited and pre-registration required. Details are forthcoming.

This international conference of horror’s brightest talents and their fans will take place in Austin, Texas from April 28th through May 1st, 2011. Additional Guests of Honor, registration information, and hotel information will be forthcoming. A website featuring convention information is currently in development.

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:
Sarah Langan: http://www.sarahlangan.com
Joe R. Lansdale: http://www.joerlansdale.com
Brian Keene: http://www.briankeene.com

For more information please contact Nate Southard at natesouthard@gmail.com or Lee Thomas at leethomas1@aol.com.

The World Horror Convention 2011 in Austin!!!

June 15, 2009

For immediate Release
Contact: Lee Thomas
leethomas1@aol.com
Nate Southard
natesouthard@gmail.com

WORLD HORROR CONVENTION 2011 IN AUSTIN, TX
Award Winning and Critically Acclaimed Author
Sarah Langan confirmed as Guest of Honor

Austin – June 15 The World Horror Society has named Austin, Texas as the location for the 2011 World Horror Convention (WHC). The international gathering of horror’s brightest talents and their fans will take place from April 28th through May 1st, 2011.

Austin, Texas was chosen for its unique style and rich genre history. The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre was filmed near the city, and the remakes of both Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th were filmed in town. Austin also serves as home to the largest urban bat colony in North America, and at sunset 1.5 million bats fly over the city, truly marking it as a horror locale. (There’s a reason the city’s motto is “Keep Austin Weird.”)

“Texas has a long history of strange fiction, serving as home to such luminaries as Robert E. Howard, Michael Moorcock, and Joe R. Lansdale,” says Convention Co-Chair, Nate Southard. “Bringing the World Horror Convention to Austin is a natural. It’s a vibrant city with a taste for the eccentric and a love of the arts. Further, its central, southern location makes it convenient for travelers throughout the US, and visitors from abroad will have no trouble reaching us either.”

Known as both the Capital of Texas and the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin provides the entertainment and cultural draws of a large city with the intimacy of a small town. This smaller size translates to ease of transportation in and around the city with many opportunities for convention attendees to absorb what Austin has to offer.

Convention Chairs, Southard and Lee Thomas, promise to bring the convention back to the US in style. Focusing on literary horror’s newest stars, WHC 2011 has already confirmed author Sarah Langan as its first Guest of Honor.

“We couldn’t be more pleased,” Lee Thomas, Co-Chair of the event, said. “Sarah was at the top of our list, and her enthusiastic agreement to attend really set the tone for what we hope to achieve with this convention. We’ll be inviting additional industry luminaries, and we’ll make announcements when those folks are confirmed.”

Ms. Langan’s first novel, The Keeper, was named a New York Times editor’s choice. Her second novel, The Missing, won the Bram Stoker Award for outstanding novel and earned an American Library Association Award. Her third novel, Audrey’s Door, will be released in late 2009 and has already been optioned by the Weinstein Company for film.

Additional Guests of Honor, registration information, and hotel information will be forthcoming. A website featuring convention information is currently in development.

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.

For more information please contact Nate Southard at natesouthard@gmail.com or Lee Thomas at leethomas1@aol.com.

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