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Arnzen's Weird Newsletter

+++ Vol 1.2, Oct. 17, 2002 +++



Blather. Wince. Repeat.

“Ways in Which Moving is Like Death”

+ Good friends do heavy lifting. They probably will drink and eat afterwards.
+ Your apartment is up for grabs.
+ Sadly, you will leave things behind. But more of it will end up in the trash than you imagined possible.
+ On the day of departure, you won't be able to say goodbye to everyone you'd hoped to.
+ Some of your friends will have trouble saying goodbye for the first time since you've known them.
+ Your past becomes legend far too quickly. Even the secret stuff. + You can't take it with you. I'm referring, of course, to that thing some jerk borrowed and never returned. Now it's really gone.
+ Your eating and showering habits are altered and you will resent this.
+ Your new address is uncertain.
+ Your neighbors stink.

“To part is to die a little…” – Edmond Haraucourt, “Chanson de l'Adieu”


Short story writers are at their “prime” from age 29 to 38; novelists from 39 to 47.

Age at which Stephen King declared his retirement: 54.

%age of men between 40 and 70 who experience impotence: 52

Age at which menopause typically sets in: between 45 and 54

Age at which the “Bloody Countess” Elizabeth Báthory died: 54.

Number of young virgins slaughtered to create Ms. Báthory's “blood bath” complexion formula: 650

*** Sources: 1 Feb 2002;, 1998;, 2001; Passell, How To, 1976;, 1997.


“Crusty Old Age”: A Microfiction

Before dawn, an old woman forks holes into a flaky piecrust, cooling down the steaming tin on her windowsill.

Outside, a lurking vampire responds. In a burst of blackened dust, he transforms into a cloud of fruit flies and drifts into her opened window. Absent- mindedly, she swats as he reassumes shape.

She tastes of lilac as he bites a frail freckled shoulder, but her runny tissue is warm over his tongue like baked fruit.

She too will develop a taste for human pie, baked by time. Brittle bones and dentures won't prevent her; she knows how to use her fork.


“Slow-but-Loveable Killers”

For your next movie night, rent:


“You may be wondering how meat creates air pollution. After all, cows, hogs, and chickens don't have smokestacks, and the process of chopping them up shouldn't have any nefarious effect on our air.” – paragraph randomly spotted in Howard Lyman's MAD COWBOY

“Botulism. E Coli. Salmonella. Irrelevant. These diseases/organisms have virtually NOTHING to do with the topic, unless we are eating dogs and their faeces contaminate the meat.” – found in usenet newsgroup “talk.politics.animals” (9/22/97)

“Dead animals, whom you have devoured like a ghoul, will haunt you unto death.” – found in usenet group “soc.culture.czecho-slovak” (7/31/99)


“Memento Morty”

Post a little notice of your own life expectancy on your web site so you never forget how much time you're wasting online. Or post the death date of your most hated enemy. Brought to you by those brilliantly bizarre boys at The Brunching Shuttlecocks:


There's nothing hollow about WICKED HOLLOW magazine. WH is made to fit into your back pocket, but it's overspilling with good reads. As the title indicates, its focus is horror fiction, art and poetry. But what distinguishes WH from others in the small press is its distinctive character.

Because of its pocket-sized design, the mag is a delight to carry around and read whenever a dark mood strikes. Unlike so many other sloppily Xeroxed mini-mags, WICKED HOLLOW's production has real personality. Every issue has a trademark earth-toned, rib- textured card stock cover. Each edition uses a flair of red ink sparsely throughout the magazine (though one wonders if the color is used TOO economically…as most of it appears only on the cover and in the page headings). The mag regularly uses great b/w art in a smart way to accompany both stories and poems. And though I feel the magazine's edges could benefit from a printer's trimming machine, the general layout of this periodical is remarkable enough to make it uniquely fit for its contents.

In the October issue of WH (#4), a LOT of good stuff is crammed into 85 pages. The stories range from one- page flashes (like Kendall Evan's “Jack's Masterpiece” – a unique pumpkin-carving tale) to just-right short stories (like Darren Speegle's bizarre opening number, “Dance Therapeutic,” which involves viscera dangling by strings from a ceiling). There is a balance between gore and soft horror. Other good writers in this issue include Kealan-Patrick Burke, Stephen Rogers, Christina Sng, and William P. Robertson. (I've got a poem in #4 called “tortuous aorta” …but that doesn't bias me, I swear!).

Adding to its unique character, the magazine features a fun column on the back cover, “The Coma-Induced Top Five,” which features a notable genre writer each issue. These guests offer a Lettermanesque list of humorous choices related to horror each issue. In #4, Mark McLaughlin explains his five favourite low budget horror flicks; in issue #2, Bruce Boston listed his hilarious “Top 5 Things Not to Say When Being Tortured to Death.” And in a productive use of New Media, readers are invited each quarter to post their own “top 5” on the magazine's excellent web site.

WICKED HOLLOW is cheaper than a bag of Halloween candy at $3 a pop (or $12/year for 4 quarterly issues). Visit their home page for ordering information and hollow out some space in your back pocket for issue #4 this “Holloween.” And while you're there, browse around “Project Pulp”…you'll be pleasantly surprised:


The Gashlycrumb Tinies Live!:

Very Odd Auctions:

Rude Voyeurism: [deleted]


Craft a piece whose theme is captured by this anonymous quotation from the world of zoology: “An effective way to deal with predators is to taste terrible.”

Hitchcock's famous shower scene from Psycho never actually shows the blade penetrating flesh. Emulate this: write a highly disturbing scene without actually showing gore. If this is too difficult for you gorehounds, try to use the viewpoint of a blind killer.

“Satan0666” instant messages you. Script the conversation. Be sure to have the unwelcome prince of darkness utilize emoticons and chat room shorthand. As in: ]:-← (a sad li'l devil with blood dribbling from his right fang)


NEW E-BOOKS AVAILABLE AT 30% OFF!!! has released my Bram Stoker-awarded work in e- book format. “An Eye for an Eye” – an excerpt from GRAVE MARKINGS that made an appearance in Karl Wagner's THE YEAR'S BEST HORROR STORIES – is available for 50 cents or less! They've also released an e-book version of my bizarrely funny Stoker finalist in poetry, PARATABLOIDS, for an insanely cheap price. This week it's on sale for an extra 15% off. There's a 30% Halloween Season rebate on ALL horror e-books!!! WOW! There's no better time to try 'em out. Go to:

I'll have all the following new work online and in print just in time for your Halloween displeasure:

Vestal Review's cast THE CURSE OF FAT FACE here:

FlashShot Daily will have a little something of mine one day this month:

Sidereality's featuring an EYELESS alien encounter here:

The Dream People are holding down THE ONE WHOSE EYES WOULD NOT CLOSE here:

Soon, Rogue Worlds will be serving HALLOWEEN PIE here:

Insolent Rudder has been mucking IN THE MIDDLE for awhile now here:

Dust Devil is spinning three dangerous Arnzen poems for Halloween here (print):

Macabre magazine will heave a handful of my horror poetry here (print):

Lunatic Chameleon is blushing madly with a poem or two here (print):

Paradoxa will release my academic review of Bill Sheehan's study of Peter Straub, AT THE FOOT OF THE STORY TREE (print):


QUICK FICTIONS's price was raised to two issues for $9 right after I delivered last month's issue. That's still cheap. See for details.

The Arnzen lot in the HWA/ProLiteracy auction went for a whopping $28.99. Not bad! reports that the auction raised over $7,000 total in the name of promoting literacy. All right! Now people will be able to read those warning labels on antifreeze and so forth.

If you didn't get the premiere issue of this newsletter, I've posted it online as a sample here:


+ The animated “horror handheld” graphic on the front page has been updated for lots of clicky fun. Did you know it features a new Gorelet poem irregularly? Click on the “skull” button to read the latest one.

+ Writer Hertzan Chimera is among the many authors who have posted poetry on “The Refrigerator of the Damned” recently. It's still plugged in and buzzing. Give it a try!


It pays to scroll this far down.

WILDSIDE PRESS – publisher of my collection, FLUID MOSAIC – kindly and exclusively offers Goreletter subscribers a 10% discount coupon on your next order! Enter the coupon code ARNZEN when you check out at their web store and save on some great titles you can't find anywhere else. Hey babe, take a walk on it here:

FICTIONWISE offers “15% off” discounts on a special list of e-books for subscribers to The Goreletter: The list of these discounts is updated WEEKLY so revisit it time and again. THEY'RE ALSO RUNNING A 30% REBATE OFFER ON ALL HORROR TITLES THROUGH HALLOWEEN! AN UNBELIEVABLE BARGAIN!


All material in The Goreletter is: © 2002 Michael A. Arnzen, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward the entire contents as a whole, without alterations. For reprint permissions, please contact

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“Those who welcome death have only tried it from the ears up.” – Wilson Mizner (died 1933)

* 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
* Arnzen's blog is now located at Visit it for breaking news and extras not appearing in The Goreletter.

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goreletter/u-hell.txt · Last modified: 2013/11/29 12:07 by marnzen

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