Archive for the ‘ Illustrations ’ Category

YEAR OF THE DRAKEIN

Year of the Dragon will not return until 2024, but next year, 2018, will hopefully be the year I unleash Drakein upon the world, a project I’ve been working on for over ten years. Drakein-5 is a hallucinatory street drug taken in the form of eye drops, and the fuel behind Psychotropic Dragon, the composite novel / meta-novel I’m co-writing with _________________ (name withheld).

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Basically, it’s a novelette wrapped around a novella wrapped around a short novel, illustrated throughout by the likes of Daniele Serra, Glenn Chadbourne, L.A. Spooner, and Ty Schuerman. This book is going to be completely insane. One of the darkest projects I’ve ever attempted. Currently there are over 50 illustrations: some full-page, some half-page, some swimming on and off the page.

The novelette is 10,000 words, the novella will be 20,000, and the short novel portion is around 45,000. Here’s a snip-it from the novel:

 

She remembered holding the syringe that first time, hands trembling. Such a small thing—a third the size of your typical medicinal syringe, the needle a quarter-inch long. Smaller than a cigarette. “Looks like water,” she had said to Chase. The clear liquid inside appeared iridescent under direct sunlight, as if having an oily consistency. She heard it turned bluish-green under black lights. “What happens if I take more than two drops?” Chase had looked away, then, smiling out of the corner of his mouth. “It’s like any drug. Affects each differently. Two drops, no more. It’ll last a couple hours max, and then it’s back to earth. After you level, you can take more.

 

What’s a composite novel? “A composite novel is a literary work composed of shorter texts that—though individually complete and autonomous—are interrelated in a coherent whole according to one or more organizing principles.”

Who is my collaborator? Well, that has to be kept a secret for now, but know that it is someone well-loved in the writing community. Perhaps someone you might not expect.

Some of you have been waiting a long time for this book, so I’m going into overdrive to finally make it happen. Here’s a snip-it of the novelette, in case you can’t wait that long.

 

Somnambulism. That’s what my psychiatrist calls it. Differentiating between dream state and reality is often difficult, which is probably part of the reason for the sleep deprivation. A fear of falling asleep. What if I don’t wake up? What if I can’t wake up? What if the reality I think I know is the dream, or vice versa?

What can you expect out of this book? Expect the unexpected. Expect to be knocked completely out of your socks. Expect to become part of the book, hallucinating from your own dose of Drakein. This book is a trip.

Psychotropic Dragon is a unique collaboration. Along with the writing, this strange book has had many assists along the way. Jack Ketchum, John Skipp, Gary A Braunbeck, Douglas E. Winter, Thomas F. Monteleone, F. Paul Wilson … all have helped this book become something special.

That’s all I can reveal for now, along with Ketchum’s full blurb:

 

Psychotropic Dragon is addictive, scary, and at times, mind-blowing. But it’s the human element that keeps you turning the pages, the wounds to the psyche which we recognize immediately. The human element … and a fierce narrative style. – Jack Ketchum

THE FAR FUTURE – NOW AVAILABLE!

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The Cal Wild Chronicles is complete! This magnum opus by Gene O’Neill (illustrated throughout by Orion Zangara) concludes with The Far Future, the fourth and final book in the series. Science Fiction, Horror, Fantasy … Gene blends them all.

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Each book features a separate introduction: John R. Little for The Confessions of St. Zach (Volume #1), Lisa Morton for The Burden of Indigo (Volume #2), Meghan Arcuri for The Near Future (Volume #3), and Scott Edelman for The Far Future (Volume #4).

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Book #4 will make its official debut at StokerCon 2017 at the end of this month, and the entire series will be available so you can complete your set. And did I mention the entire set looks gorgeous on bookshelves with its 4-part spine image?

The Cal Wild Chronicles

This four book series was a joint effort by Written Backwards and Dark Regions Press. Look below for the cover images for each book in the series. Clicking each will bring you directly to their Amazon.com pages for purchasing so you can collect the whole set in affordable trade paperback.

THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. ZACHTHE BURDEN OF INDIGOTHE NEAR FUTURETHE FAR FUTURE

LIARS, FAKERS, AND THE DEAD WHO EAT THEM – NOW AVAILABLE!

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“Had it not been for Scott Edelman and the other comic book storytellers of that time, I would have never wanted to become a writer, I would have never persisted until I actually became a writer, and I would certainly have never written The Rising, which means that zombie literature might not have enjoyed this new heyday.”

So says Brian Keene in his introduction to Liars, Fakers, and the Dead Who Eat Them, a collection of zombie novelettes by seven-time Bram Stoker Award nominee Scott Edelman, which includes “Only Humans Can Lie” and “Faking It Until Forever Comes.

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A Vegan chef believes meat is murder. A determined waitress longs for stardom. He hopes to convince the world to abandon killing animals. She hopes to convince a director to make her a star. Both of those hopes are challenged when a zombie apocalypse traps them in small towns where their dreams might come true—or else be crushed under the weight of an invading undead horde. Join Tim and Shelley as they struggle to survive—and retain their sanity—in a world where death suddenly holds no dominion.

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Both novelettes are illustrated throughout by Italian artist Daniele Serra with half-page, full-page, and page-spanning artwork.  Check out some of these killer illustrations! Serra also designed the artwork used on the cover.

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Liars, Fakers, and the Dead Who Eat Them is the second book in the Allevon series by Written Backwards, following Gene O’Neill’s At the Lazy K (pictured below, and now only $8.95), which was illustrated by L.A. Spooner, and featured an introduction by Rena Mason.

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These specialty numbered books are a smaller 8″x5″ trade paperback size, each illustrated by a different artist, and the designed for those who enjoy literary/speculative fiction, as well as for book collectors looking for something unique to add to their libraries.

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Liars, Fakers, and the Dead Who Eat Them is available now at Amazon.com for the low price of $8.95, and will be celebrated with an official launch at StokerCon 2017 in Long Beach, California at the end of April, with author Scott Edelman.

THE NEAR FUTURE – AVAILABLE NOW!

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Gene O’Neill covers an immense spectrum of color in a post-apocalyptic vision of California in The Near Future, the third book in The Cal Wild Chronicles. Book 3 is illustrated throughout by the wonderful Orion Zangara (illustrator for the entire series), and features an introduction by rising star Meghan Arcuri, whose short fiction can be found in various publications, including the first and third volumes of Chiral Mad.

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A meta-novel of sorts, part three of The Cal Wild Chronicles collects some of Gene’s most memorable fiction, cohesively connecting stories such as “The Armless Conductor,” which was published over thirty years ago in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, to Doc Good’s Travelling Show, a Bram Stoker Award nominated novella, and “Coyote Gambit.”
Tying these stories together are completely new chapters of Cal Wild, such as a new short story, “Return of the Ice Man,” as well as a new novelette, Mohave Transfer, and a new novella, The Scarlet Man, in which the lives of colorful DP’s, or Dyed People, cross paths as they try to survive a world left in ruin.
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Gene O’Neill masterfully blends decades of literary creation in this penultimate book of a genre-building series that may one day be called his magnum opus of his speculative work. Horror, fantasy, and science fiction collide with unforgiving, unflinching abandon as The Near Future of Cal Wild draws closer to The Far Future.
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So pick up a copy of The Near Future to help complete your set. If you need to catch up, feel free to order a copy of the first book in the series, The Confessions of St. Zach, or the second, The Burden of Indigo, and stay tuned for the final book in this epic series, The Far Future … in the not so distant future.

CHIRAL MAD 4 – OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS UNTIL 05/31/17

Updated (01/23/17):

Lucy A. Snyder has been chosen to co-edit Chiral Mad 4!

More than twenty requests were received over the last few days to co-edit the anthology (from writers and editors around the world), and after careful consideration, series creator/editor Michael Bailey has chosen to work with Lucy to bring you something entirely new with Chiral Mad 4, an entirely-collaborative anthology.

While previous volumes of Chiral Mad focused more on psychological horror, with most stories having some sort of chiral aspect in plot or character development or structure, Chiral Mad 4 will be open to just about anything, as long as the story has some sort of dark or speculative element. The only required chirality is with the collaboration itself … multiple minds working as one, in other words, to create something entirely new. We want this anthology to be as diverse as humanly possible, and will be looking for stories that bend and blend genres, stories that experiment with structure, and most importantly, stories that are not dependent upon common tropes.


CHIRAL MAD 4

Chiral Mad 4 is officially open for submissions! The anthology is scheduled for publication in the first or second quarter of 2018 by Written Backwards, an imprint of Dark Regions Press, to be co-edited by Bram Stoker Award winning editor Michael Bailey and multi Bram Stoker Award winning (and ever-so-talented) Lucy A. Snyder. Much like Chiral Mad 3 and The Library of the Dead, this latest installment will be published in trade paperback, eBook, and hardback editions.

Unlike past Written Backwards projects, this fourth volume in the critically-acclaimed series of anthologies will be a completely collaborative effort of originality, collecting 4 short stories, 4 novelettes, 4 novellas, and 4 graphic adaptations (to celebrate this 4th book), all co-authored and/or co-created. And the anthology itself will also be co-edited!

The goal of Chiral Mad 4 is to help bring our creative community together, to make us stronger, to strengthen relationships already in place, and to help create new relationships entirely. It’s time for all of us to play nice, to get along, and to do what we do best: create somethings out of nothings… and we’re going to create these beautiful somethings together. Have a specific writer/artist you’ve always admired? Well, now’s your chance. Reach out. Ask! That’s all it takes to get started. Find a partner, or two, or three, and start collaborating! The more unique the collaboration, the better the chances you have of making it into Chiral Mad 4. The more diverse the collaborations, the better the chances you have of making it into Chiral Mad 4. Now, here’s the hard part: knowing whether or not someone is already collaborating… Email CM4@nettirw.com if you have any questions or concerns about this, or to simply email your submission.

While half the anthology will be filled with commissioned works (the book is nearly half-filled already, with a few of the early acceptances announced below), the rest of the anthology is open for submissions for a short period of time. The submission window for non-commissioned contributors closes May 31st, 2017. So get to it! This is a very short window of opportunity.

Acceptances for non-commissioned work will not be announced until after June 30th, 2017, so we ask that we hold onto your work exclusively until then, as each submission will be carefully considered and agreed upon by both editors of this anthology. No simultaneous submissions, please.

What are we looking for?

  • 4 short stories (5,000 words max)
  • 4 novelettes (10,000 words max)
  • 4 novellas (20,000 words max)
  • 4 graphic adaptations (1,500 words max, or 10 pages)

Payment will be $.06 per word, capped at the max word counts listed above, split evenly between contributors. Two contributors writing a 5,000-word short story, for example, would split $300, or $150 each. Contributors writing a 10,000-word novelette would evenly split $600. Contributors writing a 20,000-word novella would evenly split $1,200. Graphic adaptations will be determined by the publisher/creators prior to acceptance; these are unique collaborations and payments for such are not as simple to calculate. In fact, 3 of the 4 slots for graphic adaptations are already filled, so please query CM4@nettirw.com before submitting. And, as always, contributor copies of each edition are part of the deal. Written Backwards has worked with many illustrators and artists in the past, so if you have a script but not an illustrator/artist lined-up, please let us know and we can arrange one for your story if we fall in love with your script.

CHIRAL MAD 4 - Graphic Adapations

That said, the first acceptances for Chiral Mad 4 include the following:

  • Elizabeth Massie & Marge Simon have joined forces with a new short story called “The Substance of Belief” or “At the Crest of the Mountain.”
  • Glenn Chadbourne and Jack Ketchum have been commissioned to adapt “Firedance.”
  • James Chambers, Jason Whitley, and Christopher Mills have collaborated on “The Ghost of the Bayout Piténn,” a sample of which is pictured above.

Other commissioned works include a novelette co-authored by a foursome of writers, and even a collaboration between a contemporary writer and a writer no longer with us.

So, hopefully all of this gets you excited, gets you eager to reach out to others in our creative community. Chiral Mad 4 is the most ambitious project ever imagined by Written Backwards. Please, be a part of it. Send your work to CM4@nettirw.com.

4 short stories / 4 novelettes / 4 novellas / 4 graphic adaptations

4 short stories / 4 novelettes / 4 novellas / 4 graphic adaptations

 

THE CAL WILD CHRONICLES

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All four books Gene O’Neill’s The Cal Wild Chronicles will be available soon in trade paperback from Written Backwards! The series that started with The Confessions of St. Zach (March 2016), and The Burden of Indigo (June 2016), continues with The Near Future (available January 2017), and lastly The Far Future (available March 2017). Need to catch up before the next two books are released? Simply click the links above, the book covers below, or search for their titles at either amazon.com or darkregions.com.

The series is illustrated throughout by Orion Zangara, with introductions by John R. Little (book #1), Lisa Morton (book #2), Meghan Arcuri (book #3), and Scott Edelman (book #4), collecting over thirty years of genre-bending fiction.

The four-book series cohesively connects past and present literary works by Mr. O’Neill in a fluid blend of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. With The Cal Wild Chronicles, Gene has created a world in which DP’s (or Dyed People), permanently dyed for their crimes (reds for violent crimes, blues for sex crime, greens for money crimes, and many more), do what they must in order to survive a post-apocalyptic vision of California, or “Cal Wild.”

All four front covers of this special collection symbolically fit together to represent California tilted on its side and void of color; the back covers combine to reveal a more colorful but upturned version of California with blending/smoking swirls of color, like the characters found within the series; and the spine creates a Rainbow Man, or sorts, one who holds a special place in Cal Wild.

THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. ZACH

“Gene transports his readers, taking them inside his imagination and not letting them escape until he is ready to let them go. Anyone who likes Bradbury (and really, is there anybody who doesn’t) will feel right at home in Gene’s world.” – John R. Little

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THE BURDEN OF INDIGO

“Even in a place reduced to little more than ash and dust, even when we are always pursued and nearly consumed by our own tension, we will still find moments of pleasure, of amusement, of wonder.” – Lisa Morton

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THE NEAR FUTURE

“Gene paints a picture of a post-apocalyptic world so complete, so compelling, it nestles into your subconscious and lives there for a while. He creates a world at once frightening and fascinating, desolate and colorful, but, above all, utterly believable.” – Meghan Arcuri

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THE FAR FUTURE

“Gene has always tried to speak truth for those who have no voice, and nowhere is that more present than in the stories contained in The Cal Wild Chronicles” – Scott Edelman

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Look for both The Near Future and The Far Future in trade paperback very soon, and collect the whole set so your bookshelves can adorn some awesome spine artwork!

The Cal Wild Chronicles

 

YOU, HUMAN – NOW AVAILABLE!

YOU, HUMAN

You, Human is finally here!

What does it mean to be alive? What does it mean to be real? What does it mean to exist? And most importantly, what does it mean to be human? Twenty-four mind-bending works by some of the best in the business explore humanism through science fiction’s various sub-genres, split into three sections by poetic law. Now available in trade paperback and eBook at darkregions.com, with a deluxe hardback available for pre-order (although as of writing this, there was only one remaining).

Click the cover to order online at Dark Regions Press, or you can order a copy at Amazon.com.

I Am the Doorway - Stephen King

Bram Stoker Award winning editor Michael Bailey brings sci-fi back to Dark Regions Press with heart in this genre-bending anthology of dark science fiction and poetry. With fiction illustrated beautifully throughout by world-renowned artist L.A. Spooner, with poetry and spot illustrations supplied by the always-impressive Orion Zangara, and with an incredible introduction on humanism by New York Times bestselling author F. Paul Wilson (Panacea, the Repairman Jack series), Asimov’s three laws of robotics are re-evaluated and revised to help define humanity.

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“I think we can all agree that consciousness, self-awareness, and sentience – the capacity for subjective feelings and perceptions – are indispensable to humanness. The comingling and interaction of all three lead to sapience – the capacity to act with reason and judgment. Apes and dolphins are considered sentient, but not sapient.  Sapience builds civilizations.” – from Wilson’s introduction to You, Human.

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Dark Regions Press makes a return to dark science fiction in this latest of illustrated anthologies by Michael Bailey, the person behind Pellucid Lunacy, the first three volumes of Chiral Mad (1, 2the Benjamin Franklin Award winning Qualia Nous, the Bram Stoker Award winning The Library of the Dead, and most recently, Chiral Mad 3, which was illustrated throughout by legendary artist Glenn Chadbourne and which featured an introduction by Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club, Lullaby, Choke).

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You, Human contains the following works of fiction, split into three sections (one for each of the three laws) by poetry. Here’s what the book has to offer:

  1. “In Accordance With the Laws” (poem) – Marge Simon
  2. “Robot” – Mort Castle
  3. “It Can Walk and Talk, and You’ll Never Have to Worry About Housework Again” – Dyer Wilk
  4. “Keepsakes” – Hal Bodner
  5. “Cosmic Fair” – Darren Speegle
  6. “Unity of Affect” – Jason V Brock
  7. “101 Things to Do Before You’re Downloaded” – Scott Edelman
  8. “The Star-Filled Sea is Smooth Tonight” – Thomas F. Monteleone
  9. “Hopium Den” – John Skipp
  10. “Less Than Human” (poem) – Marge Simon
  11. “Dog at the Look” – B.E. Scully
  12. “Executive Functions” – Lucy A. Snyder
  13. “Pink Crane Girls” – Autumn Christian
  14. “The Cause” – Laura Lee Bahr
  15. “Ditch Treasures” – Richard Chizmar
  16. “I Am the Doorway” – Stephen King
  17. “The Immigrants” – Erik T. Johnson
  18. “Key to the City” – Cody Goodfellow
  19. “Future Imperfect: Broken Laws” (poem) – Marge Simon
  20. “The Pretty Puppets” – Marc Levinthal
  21. “The Goldilocks Zone” – John R. Little
  22. “The Jupiter Drop” – Josh Malerman
  23. “The Universe is Dying” – Paul Michael Anderson
  24. “Fallen Faces by the Wayside” – Gary A. Braunbeck
  25. “What Goes Up Must Come Down” – Janet Harriett
  26. “Gumi-Bear” – Erinn L. Kemper
  27. “The Fourth Law” – Marge Simon

The images above are some of the 24 illustrations created by L.A. Spooner for the fiction in You, Human.  And below are a few of the 10 illustrations created by Orion Zangara for the poetry.

Fans of dark science fiction, fans of genre-bending horror, fans of all things weird… this is your anthology.

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