Dark Animus has announced the winners in their first annual “George” awards for the best horror fiction/poetry/art pieces in their magazine. My poem, “The Chandelier” — about an ornate dead body hanging from the ceiling — took 2nd place. The awesome statue for this award is a horrifying puppet skeleton custom sculpted by George Higham. Congrats to its first owners: Tim Curran, Flament Herve, Alec Kowalczyk, and Heesco Khosnaran.
Arnzen manages to entertain in dazzling fashion…This collection will take you to places you never saw coming. Will tantalize you with its sudden, sharp brevity….[100 Jolts is] a defibrillator sending its shock straight to the brain. CLEAR!
— Jimmy Z. Johnson reviews 100 Jolts for feoamante.com
Also: this just in from Hellnotes newsletter…
DARK DELICACIES BESTSELLER LIST (week of 5/3/04)
1. 100 Jolts – Michael A. Arnzen (Raw Dog Screaming)
2. A Killing Frost – Michael A. Black (Thomson Gale)
3. Heartlight – Marion Zimmer Bradley (Tor)
4. The Best of Ray Bradbury – Ray Bradbury (IBooks)
5. Science Fiction Worlds of Forrest J. Ackerman – Forrest J. Ackerman,
editor (Sense of Wonder Press)
6. Floater – Lucius Shepard (PS Publishing)
7. Psycho – Robert Bloch (IBooks)
8. Dante’s Inferno – Dante (Chronicle Books)
9. The Lurker at the Threshold – H. P. Lovecraft (Carroll & Graf)
10. Spookhouse – Scott Hampton (IDW)
Dark Delicacies is a horror-focused bookstore and “one stop fright shop” in Los Angeles/Burbank, CA, run by Del & Sue Howison. They host a lot of good signings, and carry all sorts of quirky cool things, so when you’re in LA, be sure to check it out.
Delirium Books reports that the hardcover edition of Grave Markings has shipped today, so if you ordered a copy, it’s on the way! The sold-out leatherbound edition will ship in about a month. I’m told there are only twelve hardcovers remaining, so if you had any inkling of getting your hands on this Stoker-award winning collectable directly from the publisher, act now! It may be difficult to get from distributors after this week.
Hint: the online bookseller Shocklines, by the way, offers a slight discount on this title if you subscribe to The Goreletter. Sign up and you’ll get the discount coupon.
In other news: 100 Jolts is now shipping from the publisher and various booksellers. It hit #3 on the shocklines bookstore bestseller list today!
I had a wonderful time at World Horror Convention 2004 in Phoenix last weekend. Above, is a photo taken during my fiction reading the first day of the con (see RDSP website for a few others), where I read a poem I wrote on the plane — “You Can Leave Her Head On” (a parody of a famous Joe Cocker song you might remember from The Full Monty) in addition to several shorts from 100 Jolts and Gorelets. If you look beside the corny plastic skull on the side table, you might even be able to spot the little canister of beef jerky that — as luck would have it — my old buddy Cary Heater of Borderlands Bookstore “threw onto the stage” during my reading of the latest “Blather” column from The Goreletter.
I sat on two panels during the conference. “Common Mistakes in Writing Horror” featured me, Ramsey Campbell, Stephen Jones, and Alan Beatts. On that panel, Beatts audaciously asked us to confess our very worst mistakes ever, and I had to report that I once wrote a vampire story where a vampire narcissistically sized himself up in a mirror before going off to hunt in the night. Ramsey talked about a telegram a narrator was writing while all along being attacked by Cthulhu…what a riot. And Jones discussed the many ways new writers shoot themselves in the foot when approaching established editors. On the panel “Short Dark Fiction” I discussed the marketplace and pros and cons of the short story genre along with Adam Golanski, Melinda Thielbar, Gene O’Niell and Nancy Kilpatrick. The highlight of this one was the talk about approaching anthology markets, which is difficult when you’re breaking in. Aside from a few bits of advice, I didn’t have too much to contribute to this panel, but I made heavy breathing noises over the microphone and cracked a couple of silly jokes (one writer in the audience talked about how an editor bought HIM a drink in order to talk about what he wanted to see in the submission pile…my reply: “How many ounces per word did ya charge him?”).
The conference was mostly spent catching up with WAY too many friends to list here, and doing too many things I can’t report here. Launching my book 100 Jolts through a debut signing and a conference suite party. The con even published an excerpt from Jolts in the program booklet. Since the stories in that book are so short, it was neat to get feedback from people who had read it just a few minutes after buying it. All in all, I returned home renewed and enthusiastic about the genre. My next one will likely be the HWA Weekend/Bram Stoker Award Banquet in early June. And definitely the Horrorfind Weekend in mid-August.
If you’re attending World Horror Convention in Phoenix this week (4/8-11), be sure to drop by my reading on Thursday at 3:30pm or the debut/signing of my short story collection, 100 Jolts: Shockingly Short Stories, outside the dealer’s room on Saturday at Noon. I’ll also be on two panels — “Common Mistakes in Writing Horror” and “Dark Short Fiction” (unrelated topics, I assure you) — and in the Mass Autograph gathering. Come on by.
Great news this morning.
I just learned that this newsletter, The Goreletter, is now a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Alternate Forms. My poetry collection — Gorelets: Unpleasant Poems — is also on the final ballot for the Stoker Award in poetry.
I’m speechless right now, but very honored that my fellow pro horror writers deemed these titles worthy. Thanks, HWA! And thanks to all of you reading this for your support over the years. Keep reading.
My short-short, “An Ounce of Brains” — which is about exactly that — is the cover story at The Dream People webzine, as part of their special “all flash fiction” issue.
The leatherbound edition of Grave Markings: Tenth Anniversary Edition has completely sold out from the publisher (but a copy may be available through one of their booksellers, if you’re lucky). There is probably a handful of signed limited hardcover editions left, however; so if you’re interested, you better get your order in to Delirium Books now.
Keep your eyes on The Dream People. The upcoming April issue will be an all-flash fiction edition, to celebrate the release of my collection of short-shorts, 100 JOLTS. At least one new flash story will be available on their site, too.
Also from the publisher of 100 Jolts: Bare Bone magazine, a fine anthology of horror fiction and poetry. I’m lucky enough to have a new poem, “The Ending of The Fly” on the back cover. Looking over the contents — and the way cool cover art — I think this is going to be an excellent issue! Recommended. Watch the Raw Dog Screaming Press home page for availability.
DRACO, AWARDED SHORTLY
Soon I’ll be finished adjudicating the Draco Awards for Excellence (Horror Category) sponsored by Double Dragon Press. I’ve been reading three finalist books and it’s a tough call. But if you’re curious, keep your eyes on DDP’s website. (DDP released the bonus e-book edition of Gorelets: Unpleasant Poems last October — 73 quirky little shockers for only $5.99. This one should be available on Fictionwise, eventually, too).