Redrum Horror Unleashes The Thing in the Mist

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 | Posted by John ONeill

the-thing-in-the-mistI’m a fan of dark fantasy and horror, and pay attention to most of the major writers — especially those of the pulp era (1930 to about 1960). But I’m woefully ignorant of British horror, especially of the same period.

Fortunately, there are publishers working hard to correct that. And it’s always a delight to discover a major retrospective of a British pulp horror writer I’m not familiar with. That’s the case with John S. Glasby, who wrote around 25 SF and fantasy novels for Badger Books, most under pseudonyms such as “A. J Merak” and the Badger house names “Karl Zeigfreid,” “John E. Muller,” and “Victor LaSalle.”

Now Redrum Horror has published The Thing in the Mist: Selected Stories by John S. Glasby, a tantalizing collection of some of his best short fiction from the heyday of British pulp horror:

Between 1954 and 1967, British publisher Badger Books released over one hundred issues of the horror pulp digest Supernatural Stories, nearly half of which were written by one of the most prolific genre writers of his time, John S. Glasby.

Here, collected for the first time, are eleven of Glasby’s finest contributions to Supernatural Stories, tales of otherworldly terror and ancient evil in the Lovecraftian tradition. Guaranteed to chill and delight, The Thing in the Mist is a must-read for any fan of classic pulp horror.

This edition also includes an introduction by the late Glasby’s son, Edmund Glasby, and an informative afterword by longtime colleague, Philip Harbottle.

The Thing in the Mist: Selected Stories by John S. Glasby is Redrum Horror #6, and was published on September 15. It is 380 pages in trade paperback for $13.99, or just $3.99 in digital format. Get more details at the Redrum Horror website.


New Treasures: City Under the Moon by Hugh Sterbakov

Monday, September 17th, 2012 | Posted by John ONeill

city-under-the-moonConfession time.

I love a good book. I also love a well-marketed book. As someone who’s been a publisher in this industry for over a decade, it gives me real pleasure to see someone bring a new title to market with genuine energy, enthusiasm, and inventiveness. It’s even better — and frankly, much rarer — to see a small press or self-published book get anything like a real marketing campaign.

Hugh Sterbakov’s City Under the Moon may be the best marketed self-published book I’ve ever seen. Anyone trying to publish a fantasy novel in America could learn from this man.

Now, I’m not 100% certain it’s self-published. But when the publisher (Ben & Derek Ink Inc.) neglects to have a website, publish other books, mention their address, or even put their name on the cover, that’s frequently a big clue.

Admittedly, Mr. Sterbakov has resources most aspiring self-publishers don’t. He’s a writer for Marvel Comics and Seth Green’s Robot Chicken, and in the latter capacity he’s been nominated for two Emmys. His animated comedy script Hell & Back is now in production, staring Mila Kunis and Susan Sarandon.

How does any of this help him? Here are just a sample of the blurbs for his novel:

Bioweapon catastrophes, government conspiracies, military sieges, historical revelations, psychological warfare and werewolves. You want more thrill from a thriller? — Seth Green

Fast-paced, action packed and terrifying. — Mila Kunis

Superpowered teens, angst, action and comedy… I don’t get it. –– Joss Whedon

When you get blurbs from Joss Whedon, Mila Kunis and Seth Green on your self-published novel, you’re doing something right.

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Genre 2012: the Ghetto Remains the Same?

Monday, September 17th, 2012 | Posted by markrigney

new-yorker-coverPssst.  Hey, buddy.  Yeah, you.  Come over here a sec.  Listen.  Did you know that by virtue of reading this, by virtue of even cruising this site, you live in a ghetto?

It’s true.

Let me explain.

Once upon a distressingly long time ago, when I worked in retail bookstores, life was peaceful.  Organized.  Every book had its place.  Each, by its nature, described in advance its own prized spot on the shelf.  Controversy in the rarefied field of what we bibliophiles archly referred to as Incoming Tome Location had been all but eradicated.

There was, of course, one pesky exception.  Genre.  Or, to be exact, Genre Fiction.  The breakouts for Romance and Mystery/Suspense were generally simple enough, a Maginot Line easily upheld, but woe betided Fantasy and Science Fiction (not to mention everyone’s favorite red-headed stepchild, Horror, the shelves for which invariably faced into an out-of-the-way corner, as if they attracted only trench-coated perverts and budding psychopaths).  Garcia Marquez and Italo Calvino were literature, and clearly so, by virtue of being international in stature.  But then, what of Stanislaw Lem?  How had he become marooned in Sci-Fi?  Maybe, we clerks said, speaking in clandestine whispers lest our overlords hear us, Lem’s titles could be cross-shelved.  Shelved, God forbid, in more than one place.

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Gustav Meyrink’s Golem

Sunday, September 16th, 2012 | Posted by Matthew David Surridge

The GolemThe first thing I feel I have to say about Gustav Meyrink’s novel, The Golem, is that it’s intensely, thrillingly strange. Dreamlike, elliptical, informed by theosophical and occult symbols, it wrong-foots you; nothing in it develops the way you’d expect, not in terms of character or plot or imagery. And yet that strangeness feels almost like a side-effect, a byproduct of its insistence on its themes, on its vision, on its focus on the reality of Prague and on whatever it is that lies beyond that reality. Perhaps the strangest thing about the book, published in installments in 1913 and 14 and published as a whole in 1915, was that this odd esoteric horror story was also tremendously popular in its day.

It was Meyrink’s first novel. A banker with an interest in theosophy and the occult, apparently for a time a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, he turned to writing after being thrown in jail for using spiritual guidance for his investments. He published a number of short satirical fictions, and then The Golem, which made his fortune. More novels followed, dealing with similar metaphysical themes. He died in 1932. The Golem remains his best-known work, certainly in the English-speaking world (though often cited as the inspiration for Paul Wegener’s multiple Golem movies, there seems to be no direct conection between films and book). It’s been translated several times; I have the 1995 version by Mike Mitchell.

Written in the first person, the book follows a gem-engraver named Athanasius Pernath who lives in the Jewish Ghetto in Prague (but is apparently not himself Jewish). Pernath is suffering from a strange loss of memory; a woman who knows him begs him to hide her in his lodging, but he cannot recall who she is. Then a strange man presents him with an ancient book of Jewish mysticism, whose elaborate first letter needs to be repaired. Pernath accepts the task; but this is only a sub-plot, and much of the action involves following Pernath through interactions with an odd set of characters around him — a sinister junk-dealer named Wassertrum; his bitter enemy, the medical student Charousek; the saintly archivist of the Jewish Town Hall, Shemaiah Hillel; and Hillel’s lovely but unworldly daughter, Miriam. We follow Pernath also through dreams and visions, through his life among puppeteers and whores and slumming aristocrats and deaf-mutes.

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Fall 2012 issue of Subterranean Magazine now Available

Sunday, September 16th, 2012 | Posted by John ONeill

subterranean-magazine-fall-2012One of my favorite online magazines, Subterranean, has just released its 24th issue. Before issue 23, it was presented in a rolling format, with new fiction and articles available every week; but they’ve now switched to posting the complete contents all at once. That means you can now enjoy new novellas by Nnedi Okorafor and Kealan Patrick Burke, and novelettes by Maria Dahvana Headley and Brian Lumley.

The fiction this issue runs the gamut from apocalyptic horror to the mysteries of deepest Africa. Here’s the complete table of contents:

  • “African Sunrise,” by Nnedi Okorafor (31,000 word novella)
  • “Game,” by Maria Dahvana Headley (11,000 word novelette)
  • “Two-Stone Tom’s Big T.O.E.,” by Brian Lumley (14,000 word novelette)
  • “When the Shadows are Hungry and Cold (A Milestone Story),” by Kealan Patrick Burke (18,000 word novella)

Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death won the 2011 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, and was nominated for the 2010 Nebula Award. Maria Dahvana Headley’s memoir, The Year of Yes, an account of the year she spent saying yes to anyone who asked her out, has been optioned for the screen by Paramount Pictures; her debut novel, Queen of Kings, was published in 2010. Brian Lumley is the author of the Necroscope novels; he received a World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2010. Kealan Patrick Burke’s novel, The Hides, was a Bram Stoker Award nominee, and his novella, “The Turtle Boy,” was a Stoker Award Winner in 2004.

Subterranean has just announced that in the next couple of weeks, they’ll offer an electronic edition of the current issue for just $2.99 for those who prefer to read it on ereaders. Watch the website for availability information.

Subterranean is edited by William Schafer and published quarterly. The Fall 2012 issue is completely free and available here; see their complete back issue catalog here. We last covered Subterranean magazine with their previous issue, Summer 2012.


Mars: A Planetary Star

Sunday, September 16th, 2012 | Posted by Barbara Barrett

fourth-planet-from-the-sunJohn O’Neill’s August 5th blog article,  “All Eyes on Mars as Curiosity Prepares to Land,” focused on the suspense of waiting for the rover to land safely on Mars. The two-thousand pound (900 kg) rolling geology lab did in fact make a flawless landing on August 6th and with its touchdown, it revived interest in the Red Planet. From the description of Curiosity given on Jet Propulsion Lab’s website, the rover truly belongs in a science fiction tale.

  • body: a structure that protects the rover’s “vital organs”
  • brains: computers to process information
  • temperature controls: internal heaters, a layer of insulation, and more
  • “neck and head”: a mast for the cameras to give the rover a human-scale view
  • eyes and other “senses”: cameras and instruments that give the rover information about its environment
  • arm and “hand”: a way to extend its reach and collect rock samples for study
  • wheels and “legs”: parts for mobility
  • energy: batteries and power
  • communications: antennas for “speaking” and “listening”

The size of a small SUV, the rover has already begun its mission to “search areas of Mars for past or present conditions favorable for life, and conditions capable of preserving a record of life.” It is equipped to gather data, take photographs and then send the information back to JPL. In other words, Curiosity is our roving reporter on Mars. Kind of gives a whole new concept to being a “foreign” correspondent, doesn’t it?

With Curiosity running around on Mars, what better time is there to combine science with fiction and review some of the stories written about the Red Planet? A good start is Gordon Van Gelder’s anthology, Fourth Planet From The Sun. It was published by Thunder’s Mouth Press in 2005, about a year after the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity started to send back their photos of Mars. It is fitting that with the successful landing of Curiosity, we take another look at it.

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New Treasures: Tim Waggoner’s The Nekropolis Archives

Sunday, September 16th, 2012 | Posted by John ONeill

the-nekropolis-archivesOn Tuesday I wrote about Dead Mann Running, the second volume of Stefan Petrucha’s zombie detective series. As I mentioned at the time, it wasn’t the only zombie detective novel I was going to cover this week. For those of you I’ve kept in suspense all week, I can finally reveal that Tim Waggoner’s The Nekropolis Archives is the second.

I was pretty busy manning the Black Gate booth at Worldcon two weeks ago, and didn’t have much time to venture forth and explore the rest of the cavernous dealers’ room. But when I learned that Angry Robot had a booth, I left Tina Jens and S. Hutson Blount in charge of my stack of magazines and went in search of it. Angry Robot has published some of the most exciting new SF and fantasy in the past two years, and best of all, they’ve been doing it in attractive and inexpensive paperbacks.

Their booth did not disappoint. Not only did I get to meet North American Sales Manager Michael R. Underwood, whose debut novel Geekomancy was a highlight of my Wiscon reading circuit, but — just as I expected — I discovered a fabulous array of exciting new fantasy titles. I was especially taken with their omnibus editions: fat, 900+page trade paperbacks collecting Andy Remic’s The Clockwork Vampire Chronicles, Aliette de Bodard’s three-volume Aztec Mystery series Obsidian and Blood, and Tim Waggoner’s The Nekropolis Archives.

Priced at just $15.99 each, all three are terrific bargains. But it was Tim Waggoner’s The Nekropolis Archives that drew my eye first:

Meet Matt Richter. Private Eye. Zombie.

His mean streets are the city of the dead, the shadowy realm known as Nekropolis. You’ve got to keep your head in Nekropolis. But when you’re a zombie attempting to battle the vampire lords, that’s not as easy as it seems…

This massive omnibus edition collects all three Matt Richter novels – Nekropolis, Dead Streets and Dark War – plus a swathe of short stories too.

Sounds like exactly what I’ve been looking for to cuddle up with under my blanket on windy autumn nights in Chicago. The Nekropolis Archives is $15.99 for a handsome 907-page trade paperback, or just $6.99 for the Kindle version. It was published by Angry Robot on April 24, 2012.


Electric Velocipede Kickstarter Funded! Started First Stretch Goal!

Saturday, September 15th, 2012 | Posted by John Klima

Less than a week ago, we posted here to talk about the Kickstarter campaign we launched to fund next year’s Electric Velocipede issues. We hit our $5,000 goal with two weeks to go.

Wow.

I guess people want to see more Electric Velocipede! Once you hit your goal on Kickstarter, in a lot of ways you’re done. However, since people can cancel their pledge at any time before your campaign ends, you want to keep talking it up so that more people pledge to cover the chance that a few might drop out. Also, with so much time left, it felt wasteful to just do nothing.

A lot of Kickstarter campaigns will run stretch goals once they reach their initial funding request. That way, there’s a reason for people who want to give to keep giving (you’d hate for someone who wanted to donate to feel like they missed their chance).

With that in mind, we’ve started our first stretch goal: we want to digitize all of Electric Velocipede‘s back issues (you can see the glorious cover to issue #1 on the right) and make them available as epubs, mobi files, and PDFs so that people can read them on whatever device they want to. We’ve had a number of people asking about it, often international backers, and we think it’s a good idea. We’ll need about $2,500 to do this, and we’re already more than $1,o00 of the way there!

It will take some doing for this; we need to get electronic rights from the first thirteen/fourteen issues’ worth of authors and then we need to convert the files. Neither of which is terribly complicated, but it is time-consuming. But it will be worth the effort. We’ve got a lot of fans that have come to us recently who have never been able to read copies of older issues since we always really small print runs.

We have a bunch of different things in mind for stretch goals, but this felt the most important, given how much it will benefit our readers. If we achieve this stretch goal, anyone who’s backed at $25 or more will receive electronic copies of all back issues of Electric Velocipede. That’ll be issues #1 – #21/22. That’s almost $1 an issue! Plus, at $25 you’ll get a print copy of a back issue, and a electronic four-issue subscription starting with issue #25. You’ll get almost the entire issue run for your $25 investment. You won’t regret it.


Apex Magazine #40

Saturday, September 15th, 2012 | Posted by Soyka

apexmagissue40Apex Magazine turns 40 with its September issue, featuring  “During the Pause” by Adam-Troy Castro (who is interviewed by Maggie Slater), “Sexagesimal” by Katherine E. K. Duckett, “Sacrifice” by Jennifer Pelland, and “Sonny Liston Takes the Fall” by Elizabeth Bear (reprinted from The Del Ray Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy, a review of which you can read here) . Cover art by Julia Dillon. Nonfiction by Peter M. Ball and editor Lynne M. Thomas.

Apex is published on the first Tuesday of every month.  While each issue is available free online from the magazine’s website, it can also be downloaded to your e-reader from there for $2.99.  Individual issues are also available at  Amazon, Nook, and Weightless.

Twelve-issue (one year) subscriptions can be ordered at Apex and Weightless for $19.95Kindle subscriptions are available for $1.99 a month.


This Week’s Bargain SF & Fantasy Books at Amazon.com

Friday, September 14th, 2012 | Posted by John ONeill

swords-dark-magic-256I need a better system for tracking these discount books at Amazon. Way I do it now, I just add candidates to my cart whenever I find them. Which means my cart fills up pretty quick, and I have to keep emptying it.

Don’t tell me I should create a wishlist. I already have over a dozen wishlists. Compulsive people shouldn’t be allowed to use Amazon.

Anyway, what do we have in the bag for you this week? Swords & Dark Magic: The New Sword and Sorcery, the excellent anthology edited by Jonathan Strahan and Lou Anders, has been marked down from $15.99 to just $6.40; David Weber’s new standalone SF novel, Out of the Dark, is just $2.98 in hardcover; and Tanya Huff’s latest hardcover, The Truth of Valor, is just $2.54. All that, plus two novels by Charles de Lint, Spirits in the Wires and Spiritwalk, for roughly six bucks; three Hawkmoon novels by Michael Moorcock for six bucks or less: The Mad God’s Amulet, The Jewel in the Skull, and The Sword of the Dawn; The New Space Opera, volumes One and Two, edited by Gardner Dozois for under 7 bucks; Gene Wolfe’s latest novel, Home Fires, in hardcover for $10; and over a dozen more.

Crux – Albert E. Cowdrey$9.98 (was $24.95)

The New Space Opera – Gardner Dozois; Paperback – $6.38 (was $15.95)

The New Space Opera 2 – Gardner Dozois; $6.40, (was $15.99)

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