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Arnzen's Weird Newsletter
+++ Vol. 7.2 | July 5, 2013 +++
Consult the Horracle
+ PLAY DEAD – NOW IN PAPERBACK
I'm excited to report that my novel, Play Dead, is being re-released in paperback this month from Raw Dog Screaming Press. If you pre-order directly from the publisher (just $15.95), you might still have a chance to win a rare, priceless copy of the sculpture-bound hardcover edition (complete with signed custom-designed playing card), but you have to act NOW because the raffle is ending any moment. Go to: http://www.rawdogscreaming.com/books/play-dead.html
Scroll below for a few other contests I'm sponsoring with some sweet prizes to celebrate the release of Play Dead!
For more information about this novel or any of my books, visit: http://www.gorelets.com/books/
+ FRIDGE OF THE DAMNED
Last issue (back in January), I shared news about a Kickstarter campaign hosted by myself, Raw Dog Screaming Press and Nathan Rosen to bring The Fridge of the Damned to reality. I have a lot of you to thank! This horror poetry magnet set using words entirely extracted from my poetry collection, The Gorelets Omnibus, was not only successfully funded, but we received twice the amount needed to produce them, which allowed us to put them inside a tin case. The response to this novelty project continues to be amazing, as people keep posting and sending me photos of their crazy fridge poems, which I have been tweeting (hashtag #TFOTD) and posting on a dedicated gallery on flickr.
Buy your own Fridge of the Damned for just $12: http://www.rawdogscreaming.com/books/magnets.html
See poems made with The Fridge of the Damned: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gorelets/sets/72157632386748387/
Review the history of the campaign: http://www.gorelets.com/blog/arnzen-news/the-fridge-of-the-damned-a-raging-success/
If you create a weird poem with the set, let me know about it (email me or tweet a photo with #TFOTD) and I'll share in the showcase online!
+ INSTIGATION: CREATIVE PROMPTS ON THE DARK SIDE
The ebook inspired by a column from this newsletter, Instigation: Creative Prompts on the Dark Side, is now available from wherever ebooks are sold (Amazon, B&N, Nook, Kobo and iBooks). Or you can order direct from me. In fact, subscribe to the Mastication Publications newsletter and you'll get a free copy of my Meat Shots mini-chapbook for Adobe Reader as well as a dollar off Instigation! http://masticationpublications.com
+ THE INSTIGATION SHOWCASE
I also have established a new “showcase” page to share links to anyone who has produced and made public work inspired by my Instigation. It includes a rotating “Featured Writer” (our first is the fabulous James S. Dorr – a new one will be selected in the month ahead), and even random prompts extracted from twitter that you won't find on the regular gorelets blog. Visit the Instigation Showcase and you'll discover some great writers…and maybe your next new premise: http://www.gorelets.com/showcase/
All of the above could REALLY use your support. Please post reviews or spread the word on your favorite websites and news forums. Also please get the covers tattooed on everyone's face at your next family reunion, crash award ceremonies crying out for a ballot recount while waving a copy in one hand and an AK-47 in the other, and write your congressman about enacting laws that require all citizens to purchase a copy with heretics who do not obey risking execution by a guillotine lubricated with the blood of a kitten.
Consult the Horracle
Try turning up an ichor-laden card from the Lovecraft Tarot, and read your fate. Don't be shy about browsing around: the Facade.com website offers numerous quirky decks and lots of spiritual information…and even runs automated tarot readings for “celebrities,” like Charles Manson.
Rethinking the Holy Water Squirt Gun
In a few of our greatest vampire films
like The Lost Boys and From Dusk Till Dawn
a group of human survivors
get the crazy idea
to fill squirt guns with holy water.
It makes for good action sequences
rife with outrageous gore
so it looks like it'd be fun to kill them,
but it's not very sensible
to combat the undead with plastic toys.
I say that if you're going
to weaponize holy water
you should at least make
holy water cannons
to spray down the shambling neck-biters
like unruly protesters
and watch them swimming in puddles
sizzling like salted snails.
And let's put the prisoners
of the vampire war
in our own holy water park
set on an island called Aquanomo
and bless the bay so they
could never escape,
holy waterboarding them all
till they taught us their
occult secrets and deadly plans
for world domination.
But if we really are going
to weaponize holy water
we better only use it
covertly and in ambushes,
because we don't want
to give them any ideas.
They'd win the war
if they weaponized their own venom
or fashioned their fangs
into bullets that bite or bombs
that detonate their disease
sending us to our undeath.
The above poem was one of thirty new pieces I published each day last April in celebration of National Poetry Month. I included an array of approaches, from Lovecraftian cut-ups to live audio recordings to short dark cinquain. You can read the entire collection on the calendar at this page:
To celebrate the re-release of Play Dead, I've launched a new blog on tumblr related to horror games, dark playing cards, and more: http://playfuldead.tumblr.com/
The Gorelets Omnibus is a finalist for the first Elgin Award for full-length speculative poetry! Visit the Science Fiction Poetry Association for a list of the nominees (if you're a member you can request a free copy of these titles to vote by July 15th): http://www.sfpoetry.com/elgin.html
Arnzen's lecture on The Popular Uncanny at Neumann University last October…captured on video: http://youtu.be/m2iJhJiExtk
Aug 2-3, 2013 | Columbus, OH
Arnzen will be attending “DogCon 2” – Raw Dog Screaming Press' new annual gathering of like-minded fans and authors who associated with the press. This event will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the press and the launch of their new science-fiction imprint, Dog Star Books. Arnzen will be reading Friday night at Kafe Kerouac in Columbus, and hosting a workshop at the Thurber House on Saturday afternoon. See: http://rawdogscreaming.com/events/DogCon-2/
Sept. 19-22, 2013 | Las Vegas, NV
Arnzen will be attending KillerCon V to be held at the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Sept. 19-22nd, 2013. Readings, book signings and panel appearances are expected.
WORLD HORROR CONVENTION 2014
May 8-11, 2014 | Portland, OR
Arnzen is attending WHC2014 in Portland next year from May 8th-11th. A book signing/reading and panel events are expected. Register early and you get a steep discount. http://www.worldhorror2014.org/
I now maintain an updated list of readings, signings and convention appearances online here: http://www.gorelets.com/blog/calendar/arnzen-appearances/
Once upon a time, I thought the term “malignant” was synonymous with “mis-alignment” – that is, bent, or in serious need of adjustment, like wheels on a car. With the exception of Stephen King's Christine, I was wrong.
Malignant derives its darkness from the “mal-” prefix – meaning evil, wrong, ill-intended. It's sisters are malicious and malodorous. The word is most commonly associated with tumors (and surgeons like to use it to distinguish its opposite, “benign” – though if a doctor looked over my lumps and said “they're benign tumors,” I'd be quick to ask “Did you count them right? I only found eight”).
The term is a damning one. In the early Catholic church, referred to followers of the anti-christ (and then later, Protestants) as “the malignant.” In its original Latin, it really means “badly born” (mal- + -gnus). Thus, etymologically, the phrase “malignant evil” is a redundant one, as all evil things are inherently malignant, unless, well, they're benign.
Here's twenty weird horror films and strange interactive fictions, all produced by students enrolled in my college horror writing class at Seton Hill University last semester!
Ronald Reagan Masks of Terror
For your next movie night, rent:
The Tripper (Arquette, 2006)
Buried Alive (Kikoine, 1990)
Blood Diner (Kong, 1987)
+ PICK A CARD, ANY CARD!
I just pulled a random card from a deck of cards. Have a look:
Can you guess what the card is? Respond with a comment at the link above, with your guess of both pip (#) + suit.
Guess well. You only get one guess. But several chances to win!
On July 20th, I will reveal a photo with the actual card above turned-over.
If you guessed the correct suit, you are entered in a random draw for a signed copy of THE BLEU MAN GROUP cd single and a free ebook of Instigation: Creative Prompts on the Dark Side.
If you guessed the right pip (face/number), you are entered in a random draw for a signed FRIDGE OF THE DAMNED poetry magnet kit plus a signed AUDIOVILE cd and Instigation ebook.
If you guessed the exact card, you are entered in a random draw for a SIGNED HARDCOVER copy of PLAY DEAD, a signed copy of the THOU SHALT NOT anthology, a signed/lettered ARNZENSONGS & POEDOWN Double-Live CD and Instigation ebook. If you are the only one to guess the card, you instantly win.
All three winners will receive a Play Dead hat – a collectible “Ace of Spades” black ballcap!
Let the game begin at: http://www.gorelets.com/blog/dataerrata/the-play-dead-pick-a-card-contest/
Are you on goodreads? If so, I'm running a giveaway for signed copies of Play Dead in paperback (enter by 7/8/13): http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/58075-play-dead
+ BOOK HAIKU CONTEST WINNERS
Last time around, I invited readers to post a “book haiku” related to one of my titles to LibraryThing.com, for a chance to win free books and cds. Below I present the winners, with their poems:
psychopath of art:
i color my brain in ink –
your death comes to me
one hundred stories
needle-sharp, potent, sudden
snakebite in book form
nothing is as it appears –
read between the lines
THE GORELETS OMNIBUS
meaty lumps with bite
slice brain and grateful gullet –
+ Something surreal fires out of a gun.
+ Something surreal is discovered inside the lumpy pillowcase.
+ Something surreal seduces an artist.
+ Something surreal floats in a cereal bowl.
+ Something surreal surprises with its violence.
+ A ghost tells its own story through something surreal.
Respond to any prompt in print or online, and get listed in the Instigation Showcase! http://www.gorelets.com/showcase/
If you liked THE GORELETS OMNIBUS …
you'll like DEATH POEMS by Thomas Ligotti
If you liked THE B*TCHFIGHT …
you'll like CHILDREN OF LOT by Vic Kerry
If you liked PROVERBS FOR MONSTERS …
you'll like BONE WHISPERS by Tim Waggoner
If you liked RIGORMAROLE …
you'll like ODD MEN OUT by Matt Betts
If you liked THE FRIDGE OF THE DAMNED …
you'll like HORROR BLACKOUT GAMES by Adams Media
If you are curious about any of the Arnzen books that I mention above, just visit the handy-dandy bibliography page at gorelets.com (which includes cover art, contents lists, reviews, excerpts, ordering info, and more): http://www.gorelets.com/books/
I usually offer some kind of coupon from a publisher I work with in this department. But this time around I just want to offer you a deal on a unique remainder from the Kickstarter prize pack earlier this year: the 2-CD Arnzen Live set (“Poedown with Stephanie Wytovich” and “Arnzensongs”). This double-live cd set is a signed, lettered run entirely produced by me and my partner, Renate, via Mastication Publications. They look great and Wytovich recently signed the remainders, making them very special. Goreletter subscribers can now buy one of these audio treats only from me directly for $22, and this offer ends with the publication of the next issue of The Goreletter. While supplies last. Paypal me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email me about ordering by check through the mail.
All material in The Goreletter is © 2013 Michael A. Arnzen, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward the entire contents of this newsletter as a whole, without alterations or excisions. Direct links to articles in the archives or the weblog are permitted and encouraged, so long as credit is given to Michael Arnzen or gorelets.com. For permission to reprint individual pieces, please contact email@example.com.
Delivered free since Sept. 2002. Issues to date: 44. Published: intermittently. This newsletter is a past recipient of the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Alternative Forms from the Horror Writers Association: http://www.horror.org/stokers.htm
Our surrealist product endorsement: http://thesurrealist.co.uk/priorart.cgi?ref=The+Goreletter
With apologies to latitude 53,41667, longitude 27,91667.
Probably Why We Watch TV
“Just imagine a number of men in chains, and all condemned to die, some of whom each day have their throats cut before the eyes of others. Those who remain see their own condition in that of their fellows and, observing one another with grief and without hope, await their turn. That is the image of the human condition.” – Blaise Pascal (died 1662)
* Due to the temporary nature of internet URLs, some websites mentioned in back issues of the Goreletter may no longer be live, or may also point to unscrupulous web servers. I will denote these with overstrikes as I discover them, but if you encounter a dead, changed or unscrupulous link, please feel free to inform me.
* “Boo Coupons” are expired in all but the current issue.
* If you are seeking a particular book by Arnzen mentioned in The Goreletter, try http://gorelets.com/books/
* Arnzen's blog is now located at http://gorelets.com/blog/ Visit it for breaking news and extras not appearing in The Goreletter.
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