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Arnzen's Weird Newsletter
+++ Vol. 5.03 | July 2, 2008 +++
A NEW WEBLOG!
The weblog edition of The Goreletter has moved to:
I'd like you to drop by and post a comment to help me warm up the new home. You'll find a “caption contest” there as part of the housewarming party (see below for more details). The blog now includes the ability to post comments on any department, share your creative “instigation” responses, and view exclusive online content. You can now subscribe to a host of different RSS feeds. In May, gorelets.com changed to a faster server and the photo gallery is also finally online.
I humbly ask you to help me spread the word, too, by posting links or mentions elsewhere online, so oddballs everywhere know where you go to get your weird on. If you want anything special on the site, now's the time let me know at email@example.com
Blather. Wince. Repeat.
Rejected Wack-ee Packages
PRODUCT NAME: Top Parts
ARTWORK: Toaster sizzling the ears and bleeding noses that spill out of the slots.
REASON FOR REJECTION: Close, but the crusty 'parts' aren't quite pastry-esque enough.\
PRODUCT NAME: Fearios Breakfast Feareal
ARTWORK: Eyeballs floating in a bowl of blood.
REASON FOR REJECTION: Two fears is one too many. Eyes too wet for dry cereal. Try again, maybe with screaming mouth Os?
PRODUCT NAME: Toast Tito's Corn Chips
ARTWORK: Corn Chip Bag brimming with crisped brown foot ailments.
REASON FOR REJECTION: Too sick, even for us. The pictured dip is…worse.
PRODUCT NAME: Axe Devitalizing Shower Gel
ARTWORK: “Psycho” shower scene with axe-wielding maniac in silhouette behind a curtain.
REASON FOR REJECTION: This is more an idea than a product parody.
Besides, Axe is for men, and the sudsy nude in the shower is clearly female.
PRODUCT NAME: BloodGeyser
ARTWORK: Brown bottle spraying blood from top.
REASON FOR REJECTION: Not bad, but pun is too easy.
It would help if the bottle wasn't jaggedly broken in half and embedded into Smokey the Bear's chest. (Huh? Yellowstone, maybe?)
PRODUCT NAME: Ball Park Frank
ARTWORK: Puffy male head, carrots, and bones bobbing in cannibal pot…along with hot dogs.
Caption reads “He plumps when you cook him.”
REASON FOR REJECTION: Getting close. But I see no reference to a “Ball Park”…wait, there's a baseball cap, filled with…scalp? Ugh. We can't print this.
PRODUCT NAME: Neumann's Own Dressing
ARTWORK: Soiled gauze. Literally. A used bandage.
REASON FOR REJECTION: This is biomedical waste, not art.
PRODUCT NAME: Killette! The Blood a Man Can Jet!
ARTWORK: Silver razor embedded in a blood-spraying throat.
REASON FOR REJECTION: Close again…but >another< blood spray?! Lame. Besides, everyone knows that disposable razors aren't straight razors.
PRODUCT NAME: Drunken Donuts
ARTWORK: Chubby mustachioed maniac pulls a hacksaw through a wino's leg. The oblivious wino drinks from paper bagged bottle. Caption reads: “Time to make the donuts, Daddy!”
REASON FOR REJECTION: We've done this one before (the lost 1992 series)…only in a much more palatable way.
PRODUCT NAME: Wonder Head
ARTWORK: Human head, pre-sliced, wrapped tight in white plastic. “Fortified with 666 essential sinerals.”
REASON FOR REJECTION: What the hell is this? “Sinerals?”
Is that the president's face behind the plastic?
Why the fake beard?
PRODUCT NAME: Wack-ee Package
ARTWORK: Square chrome object on shiny silver paper…a machete glinting in a mirror?
REASON FOR REJECTION: I don't get….
Note: My “Wack-ee” Packages are not to be confused with authentic Topps brand Wacky Packages. Visit their web site for fun online games and samples…and you'll even find a link to buy their awesome new coffee table art book (comes in waxed paper wrap!) http://entertainment.topps.com/shop-brands/wacky-packages.html
Also drop by http://wackypackages.org/ for more parody-loving bubble gum-smelling Wacky Fandom than you could possible handle.
My short story, “She Screech Like Me,” will be appearing in the upcoming book, He Is Legend: An Anthology Celebrating Richard Matheson (Gauntlet Press, 2009). This anthology features new sequels, prequels, and variations on Matheson's stories by a wide cast of popular authors. “Screech” is my sequel to Matheson's classic tale, “Born of Man and Woman.” Other contributors to the book include Joe Hill & Stephen King (the first collaboration between father and son, riffing on Matheson's “Duel”), along with Gary Braunbeck, William Nolan, Joe Lansdale, and a host of others you'll recognize, extending the worlds of classic stories like I Am Legend, The Shrinking Man, Hell House, and more. Gauntlet Press publishes a great number of Matheson-related titles, in addition to an amazing assortment of collector's items by living legends of fantasy and science fiction. Drop by their catalog page to learn more about He is Legend, which is selling out quickly (and also just went up for sale at Cemetery Dance publications, as well). http://www.gauntletpress.com http://www.cemeterydance.com
I'll also have stories soon in Horror Library vol. III (Cutting Block Press, Fall 08), Winter Frights (Fall/Winter 08), and the exciting Bruce Springsteen-inspired anthology, Darkness on the Edge (PS Publishing, Winter 09). These fantastic books will include a host of great writers like: Bentley Little, Elizabeth Massie, Gary Braunbeck, TM Wright, Jeff Strand, Kealan Patrick Burke, Cullen Bunn, Mark Justice, Michael McBride, Lawrence C. Connolly, Lisa Morton, and – whew, I'm out of breath. Links to all of these projects and more are listed here:
Pittsburgh Professional Magazine recently ran a feature on my career, “Ghoulish Goals,” with some great creepy photographs by Jim Judkis: http://gorelets.com/demos/Arnzen-PPM-spreads.pdf
FearZone's interview with me about my crazy novella, “The B*tchfight,” is online at:
Gail Z. Martin, author of the Chronicles of the Necromancer series, recently interviewed me for her ongoing series of podcasts with dark fantasy, paranormal and science fiction writers. Our funny and chatty conversation about gore, humor, death and the attraction of horror stories should be online in a podcast circa July 15th. Gail's podcast page presently features an all-star roster of writers, including Jeffery Thomas, Tony Ruggiero, Justin Gustainis, Alethea Kontis, and Mark Chadbourn. Gail's latest book is The Blood King, available now from amazon.com, and her new book, Dark Haven is due soon from Solaris Books.
I'VE GOT A RABID SHIH TZU FOR YOU
My latest novella, The B*tchfight (Bad Moon Books, 2008) has been getting great reviews. In the May issue of Horror World, Ron Dickie compares it to “a rabid Shih Tzu” which “quickly drags you in and goes for your throat…Not since Jack Ketchum's The Girl Next Door has a story been as equally repellent and captivating as this.” Horror Web gives it 4-1/2 stars. And Dark Scribe magazine's review begins, “I'm not sure whether to fall over in a fit of giggles or sit crying in the shower after reading The B*tchfight.” Grab a bar of soap and then pick up your copy from the Horror-Mall, or directly from publisher Bad Moon Books, before the limited run sells out:
[And if you want to drool over the leather lettered edition, drop by the Bad Moon Books gallery in the “Extra Extra” section at Awful Books and get a peek: http://www.awfulbooks.com ]
WORLDS OF HORROR
“How aware are you about the horror coming out of countries foreign to you? Are you aware how freaking WEIRD that stuff is? How bizarre and scary? Horror is ALL ABOUT the foreign, alien, and altogether OTHER, and I bet that if you haven’t read a lot of 'multicultural' horror, you haven’t really seen just how weird and different tales from foreign lands can be.”
The above is taken from my lengthy guest blog post at Horror Library's “Horror Blog-o-Rama” called “Worlds of Horror,” where I issue horror fans a challenge to read more international horror writers and break out of their “literary isolationism.” I offer some titles to help you get started on a tour of scary world literature.
You should also check out the Horror Library anthology series, published by Cutting Block Press. I'll have a story about the horror of going through those frustrating airport security checkpoints in the upcoming volume later this fall, called “Guarded.” Learn more here: http://www.cuttingblock.net/
LISTS OF THE DEAD!
“The Book of Lists: Horror” will be published by Harper this September, and it promises to be an awesome contribution to the horror genre. Editors Scott Bradley, Del Howison, and Amy Wallace have gathered together numerous thematic clusters that reveal just how multi-faceted and multi-fascinating this genre really is. Along with Stephen King, Eli Roth, Ray Bradbury, Gahan Wilson and many more, I'll have a few lists of my own in there. Pre-order it now at Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Book-Lists-Collection-Featuring-Introduction/dp/0061537268/
My wacky novella about a boy with an hallucinogenic tongue, Licker, has sold out from Novello Publishing and is now officially out-of-print. You might still find a copy at the Horror Mall, but it's getting scarce.
The mounted head begins to speak:
you know, I like it better this way,
I feel more like myself,
no body to worry about anymore,
just me alone with my thoughts,
and there's time to talk to you
without the distractions of
yada yada yada
I know dear and I prefer it, too,
I say, putting on my
Now remind me,
where did you store
If you'll indulge me for a moment: please pick up your wine glass, water bottle or coffee mug. I want to raise a high toast to a great publisher.
This year marks Raw Dog Screaming Press' fifth anniversary. Anyone who knows the independent press, knows that simply surviving that long – especially in today's publishing economy – is a true milestone of success. I'm proud to be one of their authors, an early runt of their raw puppy litter – and when I think about how far they've gone to support my experiments in horror, I am not only humbled, but also proud to be a part of their efforts to push the envelope of the genre, if not literature itself. Not only do they persistently take risks on some very edgy work (“A Child's Guide to Death” anyone?), but they also go out of their way to promote their titles and support their authors in creative ways.
“What we wanted to do was publish the unpublishable, put out books that other publishers wouldn't touch because they cross genres, mix conventions or just don’t play by the rules,” co-publisher Jen Barnes writes about their origins, in a retrospection on their livejournal. Now, almost five years later, Raw Dog Screaming has published 18 novels, 14 collections (including 2 books of poetry), 10 anthologies and one CD/audiobook.
I've been very lucky to have them as a literary partner over these five years. Two of our books together were Stoker award finalists and the one that remains in print – 100 Jolts – continues to be a very popular book. My second novel, Play Dead, was too experimental for the mainstream press, but Raw Dog grabbed it in its feral jaws and ran with it: they not only printed Play Dead in both a fine limited hardcover and an amazingly sculpted “Grim Grimoire” edition, but also created a deck of custom-illustrated playing cards (highly collectible now) to go along with it – AND they hosted a charity poker game party at World Horror Convention to debut the book! The fact that this novel sold out its complete run in hardcover says a lot about the commitment that John Lawson and Jen Barnes at RDSP have to their authors.
If you haven't been reading their books, you should give their catalog a look-see. They relish the experimental – from Harold Jaffe's “docufictions” to D. Harlan Wilson's outrageously funny brand of the bizarro. My 100-story collection, 100 Jolts, is another great example of books that other publishers probably would be too afraid to touch. A single-author collection, filled with short-shorts, some no longer than a paragraph? Unheard of. But creative risks like these pay off, because readers are actually hungry for fresh angles and tired of the same old story. Jolts was successful enough to recently be re-released in a hardcover edition with bonus material – and if that wasn't enough, they went beyond the pale to supplement it with a CD of musically-enhanced readings, in Audiovile! This indulgence of my musical and oratorical performances is quite remarkable, I think, and it says a lot that the Raw Dog is willing to sniff its gory nose around diverse new media territories, hungry for blood. Seriously: how many publishers really cultivate the artistic side of their writers in such unique ways? I can think of…none. Raw Dog isn't just printing books, they really care about the Arts – just look at their wild covers, or their recent reaches into children's picture books, and it quickly becomes self-evident: they're twisted, but they care about creativity.
So John and Jen (and Ripley) at Raw Dog Screaming Press: here's to you!
To celebrate, RDSP is hosting a 5 year anniversary party at HorrorFind Weekend in the Baltimore area this coming August. I'm going to be there, along with several other members of the Raw Dog pack: presently, D. Harlan Wilson, Adam Golaski, John Edward Lawson, Donna Lynch, Ronald Damien Malfi, and Matthew Warner are all scheduled to appear, with readings, parties, and other fun events. To quote the evil dead: “Join ussss!”
To pop the champagne early, they are offering Goreletter readers an exclusive discount on Audiovile – their first audiobook, by yours truly. You can get a copy directly from Raw Dog Screaming for just $7.95, ppd! That's $5 off! Click here to order:
Visit Raw Dog Screaming Press: http://www.rawdogscreaming.com/
Read the editor's retrospective: http://raw-dog.livejournal.com/132175.html
Come to Horrorfind: http://www.horrorfindweekend.com/
Learn About Audiovile: http://www.gorelets.com/books/Audiovile
Dead Cat Bounce
If shooting a frail little kittie out of a high-powered cannon is your idea of fun, then just wait until you try Dan Fleming's “Kitten Cannon” game – where the aim is not only to watch the fuzzball fly, but to make that feline soar as far as possible by ricocheting its body off of trampolines, bombs, and TNT stockpiles…but look out for the Venus Fly Traps and metal spike pits!
I'm a cat lover and I can't seem to stop playing this game long enough to finish my letter to the ASPCA. Ah well, maybe it isn't so bad: this tortured tabby has wayyyy more than nine lives.
My best distance to date: 1182 ft.
“Notes from Horror 101”
Most readers know I also teach college at Seton Hill U, where we have a top-notch Master's degree program in Writing Popular Fiction. Last month, I wrapped up teaching a once-in-a-blue-moon undergraduate course we also offer in “Horror & Suspense Writing.” Shortly after I turned in grades, I found a slip of paper under my office door from an anonymous student, who unbeknown to me had been taking notes a little too carefully – writing down the weirdest of the wacky things that came out of my mouth during lectures and discussions. Here's a select few snippets of profound wisdom which, in my defense, are lifted completely out of context but which I assure you would be pedagogically justified if that context were provided. A-hem. Here goes…
On point-of view in horror fiction:
“You shouldn't be writing in First Person Singular all the time…try writing in First Monster Singular, instead.”
Responding to a question about sexual perversion in horror fiction:
“What do you mean? Necrophilia is the safest of sexes.”
On ghosts and the supernatural:
“There are no friendly ghosts in horror. Try running off with Casper to his friendly place and it won't be long before he turns around and eats you.”
When arriving late during a snowy day:
“I had so much snow in my shoes today, I almost fell down three flights of stairs, which would have been bad for the metal plate in my head.”
“Horror and fantasy have a lot in common, but you know horror when you see it. If your story starts out with unicorns and fairies having sex, that's not horror…even if it's still pretty scary.”
“Characters shouldn't just whine, 'oh, wah, I hate my life.' Try 'I hate my job, I hate my mother, and, oh yeah, I have a knife in my belly, too.' Your protagonist needs to be in agony.”
On word roots:
“Agony and aggravate have nothing to do with agriculture.”
On the psychology of horror:
“Horror fiction is about looking at yourself after you hack a person to pieces…and your brain is thinking 'Gee, I still want that pickle.'”
This class was a lot of fun. At the end of the term, we had a writing contest with the grand prize of a piñata that my wife made in homage to Edvard Munch's “The Scream.” You can find a photo of this in the brand spanking new online gallery at gorelets.com. Drop by and leave a comment!
It starts with fun, so it can't be bad, right? Wrong. That would be like sticking your head in a raging furnace, hoping to see a fern.
Chances are 80-20 that if something is “-icular” it is going to be nasty. You know what I mean: cancerous prefixes like “test-” or “mast-” – and manslaughtery ones like “vehi-” or “curr-” – all leap immediately to mind.
But to be “funicular,” in particular, is to be ropey and nasty.
The root of the word is “funicle,” which in botany is a term that refers to the stalk of an ovule or seed. In anatomy, it's any corded tissue, like a bundle of nerves, or that weird stuff that connects back to a placenta. Thus “funiculus” is a synonym for an umbilicus, only less umbly.
In less scientific – but no less geeky – parlance, “funicular” is simply an adjective pertaining to a rope, a cord, or its tension. “Funiculus” is Latin for “slender rope.” Thus we have “funicular railways” that run cable cars. But to me, “funicular” still sounds like a “funny collar,” and I don't know many of those made of rope, except when you're hanging a clown.
This looks academicular:
This looks funicular:
And this is just a funny collar:
The winners of last issue's witty “photo caption” contest are Dean M. Watts and Jason Jack Miller. Both have received prize copies of the Exquisite Corpse DVD – congratulations! You can see their hilarious captions for James Newman's awesome photo at: http://www.gorelets.com/blog/dataerrata/contest-winners/
As I mentioned at the top of the newsletter, this issue's contest is a housewarming party for my new weblog. Matt Schuster (artist from Proverbs for Monsters) has provided us with a new, original, biZARRO piece of art. All you need to do is post the best caption you can come up with in a blog comment, and you could be one of two people who will win one of the following prize sets:
An almost-impossible-to-find signed Advanced Review Copy of The B*tchfight by Arnzen + the first four issues of Jai Nitz's horror comic series, Heaven's Devils (Image).
A signed copy of Arnzen's novella, Licker + the first four issues of Army of Darkness vs. Reanimator (Dynamite Comics).
BONUS THIRD PRIZE:
Artist Matt Schuster himself will judge his favorite caption and the winner will get the original sketch used for this contest!
The deadline is July 6th. Entries have already come pouring in from web visitors, so don't miss your chance. Full rules, details, and entry forms are here: http://www.gorelets.com/blog/weblog-exclusive/enter-a-caption-and-win/
Learn more about Matt Schuster's art at:
“The Frolic” by Thomas Ligotti
Late last year, Wonder Entertainment released a special collector's edition of Thomas Ligotti's short story “The Frolic” in a book that comes bundled with a DVD – a 24 minute adaptation of that story directed by Jacob Cooney. Get it soon, because this product is limited to 1000 copies, and there are signed editions available. Remarkably, this is the very first cinematic adaptation of Ligotti's work – and I must say, it's an excellent treatment, co-scripted by Ligotti himself, intensely directed, and well-acted.
In my Goreletter reviews, I try to shine light on (mostly independent) “print” books because I feel that other media already get plenty of press and attention. At first I didn't want to review The Frolic here because it is a new film, but the truth is this edition is more of a multimedia “story event” than your usual DVD release. Here you'll get a full-blown celebration of the short story in a perfect-bound paperback which features not only a “newly revised version” of “The Frolic” (which originally appeared in Ligotti's first collection, Songs of a Dead Dreamer), but also an eyebrow-raising introduction by the author, the complete screenplay for the adaptation by Ligotti and his screenwriting partner Brandon Trenz, and also enlightening interviews with everyone involved with the production of the film. Indeed, the book is everything that would normally appear on a “special features” section of an ordinary DVD, but here the printed word is so well-respected that it truly celebrates Ligotti's mastery as a storyteller above all.
In a nutshell, the short story itself is about the chilling effect a child killer named “John Doe” has had on his prison house psychologist, David Munck. The killer, who justifies his actions by claiming he steals children away to some unearthly place so they can “frolic” together, disturbs Munck at the core, chipping away at his “objective” scientific worldview and replacing it with the supernatural. This foments into sheer terror when Doe refers to a “Colleen” during an interview – a name that sounds a lot like his own daughter's, “Noreen,” a name Doe couldn't possibly know. Ligotti does a masterful job of fracturing Munck's world, from his faith in science and his career to his family relations, and much of the horror of the story comes from its inevitable, unstoppable conclusion.
The story artfully juxtaposes the doctor's job in the adult world against the killer's “work” in the world of children – and the characters lives intersect in artfully frightening ways. The film version does a great job capturing the creepy tension between the doctor and the killer by focusing on their parallels, without ever directly depicting any violence or gore, and the film changes the storyline just enough to make it stand strongly on its own two feet as a distinctive tale. The film, like the story, is dialogue-heavy, but it puts more focus on John Doe than it does the doctor and his family. However, the acting is so good (especially by John Doe played by Maury Sterling) that the tension between the characters mounts in a way that is highly reminiscent of the scenes in Silence of the Lambs, where Clarice Starling interviews Hannibal Lector: we can feel the prisoner's great power despite his physical restraint, and we recognize his potential for evil in the glint of his knowing smile.
The bundled book gives excellent insight into Ligotti's process. In his introduction, the author discusses the history of the story in a way that makes him sound almost embarrassed about its creation in 1982, yet proud of this cinematic treatment of it twenty five years later. He writes about his aversion to using “normal characters” as protagonists, which is the stock approach of contemporary domestic horror. Horror cinema, he argues, is inherently told from the viewpoint of normalcy, under some kind of threat by the abnormal, and this is how it engenders chills in the “normal” audience who are forced by films to confront it – but from a safe distance. In his fiction, Ligotti prefers to distort reality and present an abnormal worldview, tapping into the Weird with a capital W. But, in the 80s, Ligotti wanted to try his hand at one of these “normal” kinds of horror stories, just to see what it would happen if he sifted his proclivity for the aberrant through his abnormal lens. “The Frolic” was the result…and, he implies, the fact that he wrote a moderately “normal” horror story is precisely what makes it more adaptable to cinema than his other work.
In other words, “The Frolic” is Ligotti at his most conventional, if not accessible. It's a great choice for the first adaptation of his work – but the story is no less disturbing because of it. Ligotti is very much a literary horror writer, if only in that he writes stories that are meant to be read and thought about in a way that cinema – which imagines the visual FOR us – does not allow. His stories are very much psychodramas of the dark fantastic, and since much the “psychodrama” is in the reader's mind, the gaps and limits of language are imperative to staging it. The film version of The Frolic succeeds because it keeps the camera movement and other direction relatively low key, letting the dialogue of the actors and the written script drive the story. Anyone expecting the rapid editing and riotous gore of films like Hostel will be let down by this story, which is very “talky” – but since most of the story is a conversation between a mystified psychologist and an imprisoned child murderer, its tension and intrigue are high.
The film version differs just enough from the fiction version to make the set worth your while. Read the story first. Then watch the movie. Then read the screenplay and watch the special features. While the interview with Ligotti appears in the book, you won't get any special appearances in the shape of cameos or interviews from the man (who seems to be so reclusive that he might well be the Thomas Pynchon of horror). If you like to see Ligotti's imagination transformed into a visual medium, you might also be interested in the wonderful comic anthology from Fox Atomic, The Nightmare Factory; the first volume is excellent (and a second volume is coming soon).
The Frolic ($45) signed collector's edition: http://www.filmbaby.com/films/2713
Thomas Ligotti Online: http://www.ligotti.net/
The Call-In Radio Horror Show
For your next movie night, rent:
American Nightmare (Keeyes, 2003)
Psycho IV: The Beginning (Garris, 1990)
Busu (aka The Booth) (Nakamura, 2005)
July 16-25 | Alpha SF/F/H Workshop for Young Writers | Univ of Pittsburgh-Greensburg, PA
I'll be a guest lecturer at this year's Alpha writer's workshop in speculative fiction for young writers of talent (ages 14-19), along with Chris McKitterick, Timothy Zahn, and Tamora Pierce. http://alpha.spellcaster.org/index.html
July 19, 7pm | Barnes and Noble Bookstore | Greensburg, PA
Reading and book signing, along with sci-fi writer Timothy Zahn, at Barnes and Noble Bookstore, to celebrate Alpha. Open to the public
Aug 15-16 | HorrorFind | Adelphi, MD
Join us at Horrorfind for the FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY for Raw Dog Screaming Press! I'll be there, in addition to reading at this HUGE annual convention of horror film and fiction fans in the Baltimore region. Party details will follow; watch the Raw Dog Screaming page for updates. http://horrorfindweekend.com/ http://www.rawdogscreamingpress.com
Sept 26-28 | Context-21 | Columbus, OH
I'll be running a workshop on flash fiction writing and more at this excellent literary convention in Ohio. I was Horror Guest of Honor last year at Context and loved every minute of it. Other horror fiction notables in attendance this coming year include Guest of Honor Brian Keene, Gary Braunbeck, Mike Laimo, Tim Waggoner, Paula Guran, Maurice Broaddus, Fran Friel, and Lucy Snyder. (Alert: Only one seat remains for my workshop as of this posting…better sign up soon!) http://www.contextsf.org/
Oct 25-26th | Zombiefest 2008 | Monroeville Mall Expo Mart, Pittsburgh, PA
It returns! And like the living dead, I, too, will be crawling back to the mall. It's still too early to know details, but save the date, which will coincide with World Zombie Day! http://www.theitsaliveshow.com/zombiefest2008/home.htm
+ Write about a woman-eating plant (as opposed to just a man-eater).
+ Everyone says they're afraid of clowns. What are clowns scared of? Depict their worst nightmare.
+ Ever heard the expression, “Let your freak flag fly”? Write a story or poem about a freak nation and its hallowed flag. (Option: try drawing or describing the iconography of the flag before you begin).
Visit the new Goreletter weblog where you can post your writing!
Here's a department where I recommend titles that have a similar appeal to my own work. (Oh, okay, I stole the idea from amazon.com, but why let a profit-based computer code decide what you read? Here you've at least got an egocentric writer doing the job!)
If you liked PLAY DEAD …
you'll like VEINS by Lawrence C. Connolly
If you liked LICKER …
you'll like SKULL CATHEDRAL by Tim Waggoner
If you liked FREAKCIDENTS …
you'll like THE NIGHTMARE COLLECTION by Bruce Boston
If you liked GRAVE MARKINGS …
you'll like HAWG by Steven Shrewsbury
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 include cover art, contents lists, reviews, excerpts, ordering info, and more): http://www.gorelets.com/books/
Here's some exclusive coupons and discounts on horror-related merchandise – your reward for scrolling down!
A PROVERBIALLY MONSTROUS BARGAIN
Dark Regions Press and the Horror Mall are offering Goreletter readers an exclusive discount on the limited edition hardcover of my recent Stoker award-winning collection, Proverbs for Monsters! Enter the code PROVERBGORE10 on checkout, and you'll get 10% off the book. Limited to one per person; expires July 24th or while supplies last, at:
ENTER THE ZOMBIE MALL
There's another mall down the street, teeming with terror: the Zombie Mall! You won't believe the weirdness they have in store for you – from “infant zombie creepers” to “hot dog zombie pillows”. And they're currently running a cool promotion where if you purchase an item from their online store, pose in a photo “playing” with it somehow, and then send the picture back to them, you can get 15% off any item. Visit
zombiemall.com/ to make your purchase
then send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
RAW DOG SCREAMING PRESS
Read my tribute to RDSP's five year anniversary elsewhere in this newsletter for a $5 break on my cd, Audiovile!
LibraryThing.com is STILL graciously offering up a “one year unlimited” free membership to Goreletter subscribers. See my profile at http://www.librarything.com/profile/arnzen and snoop around in my personal library, to learn more about this great site for book hoarders. To get your free unlimited account, all you have to do is go to http://www.librarything.com/ and sign in to create a new FREE (200 book limit) account. Then simply e-mail me the link to your new profile at email@example.com and I'll let them know to upgrade you to the ONE YEAR membership (unlimited books) for free! First come, first served (and limited to new LT memberships only).
Are You FICTIONWISE?
Fictionwise.com – the web's best sci-fi and horror e-book seller – maintains a special 15% off page for Goreletter subscribers, which is updated weekly. THIS WEEK'S SPECIALS include titles by Kim Harrison, Jeffery Deaver, Joyce Carol Oates, and Joshua Reyolds. Fictionwise is also currently the only way to get some of my out-of-print books, like Paratabloids.
All material in The Goreletter is © 2008 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Delivered free since Sept. 2002. Issues to date: 39. This newsletter is a recipient of the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Alternative Forms from the Horror Writers Association: http://www.horror.org/stokers.htm
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