Archive for the ‘ Novellas ’ Category

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

 

BONES WILL BREAK THIS FALL

This fall, Written Backwards will release its first fiction collection: Bones Are Made to Be Broken, by Paul Michael Anderson. Here’s why…

A while back, Anderson, a regular to Written Backwards anthologies, responded to a mock book cover created by artist/author extraordinaire Pat R. Steiner (who sometimes creates book covers just for fun, and has a short story called “Kilroy Wasn’t There” in Qualia Nous). Steiner created a mock book cover with a title of Bones Are Made to Be Broken, Stories by Paul Michael Anderson, featuring an image of a woman falling against a wall of water.

I responded with “I’d publish that,” because, well, I have enjoyed every story I’ve read by Paul Michael Anderson. In fact, I’ve published three of his stories to date. His work appears in Qualia Nous, Chiral Mad 3, and the upcoming You, Human I’m putting together for Dark Regions Press later this year. Anderson’s overly-long titles include “In the Nothing-Space, I Am What You Made Me,” and “The Agonizing Guilt of Relief (Last Days of a Ready-Made Victim)” and a not-so-long “The Universe is Dying.” His stories are dark, emotional, highly-literary (in my opinion), and incredibly enjoyable.

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A few private messages and emails went back and forth between us, and we somehow found ourselves talking ideas for such a book collection, which had to be called Bones Are Made to Be Broken. “Feel like writing a longer piece to be included in the collection?” I asked. Apparently Anderson already had a story in mind, a novella that needed to be written called, aptly, “Bones Are Made to Be Broken.”

While discussing the book deal with Anderson, I simultaneously discussed cover ideas with Pat R. Steiner (who was more than happy to create more book cover concepts, a few dozen if I remember correctly). While I loved the original mock cover that sparked all this magic to happen, I was looking for a cover that spoke more of the stories to be included in the collection. Bridges often appear in the stories, so a bridge had to be in there somewhere; water had to be in there as well; and a woman. I’m not sure why, but I wanted a mostly black-and-white cover with some red in the text and a delicate feel to match the delicate stories within. After much fun, we created the following, currently used with the Advanced Reading Copies:

Bones Are Made to Be Broken ARC

As you can see, Pat R. Steiner did a tremendous job capturing the essence of Bones Are Made to Be Broken. Now, here’s something else that happened… because strange things happen sometimes when strange people with strange ideas toss those strange ideas back and forth… the magic happens.

While Qualia Nous was in full swing, Steiner (again, just for fun), created illustrations for each of the stories for the that anthology, which he later put together as a hardbound book called Qualia Nous Illustrated. I have a copy of that beautiful work on my shelves. So, I sent Pat an email out of the blue: “Remember what you did with Qualia Nous? Want to do something similar for Bones Are Made to Be Broken?” More ideas, tossed back and forth. He immediately started with the illustrations, and within a matter of weeks, a simple idea turned into some incredible illustrations for each story in Anderson’s collection. Steiner’s unique style matched the book perfectly. Here are a few:

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Did I mention this book is going to be absolutely gorgeous? Over 440 pages of fiction, 14 illustrations, blurbs by people I can’t yet talk about, an introduction by someone I can’t yet talk about… Okay, I can share a few:

“What a pleasure to read these fresh and darksome tales! Anderson’s style is tensely exciting. His are stories never quite what you think they are going to be about and his endings resonate with fear. He gives us new horizons in horror that are futuristic and psychical. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but “Baby Grows a Conscience” is simply brilliant! You’ll have to read them all. This collection is a treasure for any horror or dark sf fan’s library.”  – Marge Simon, Bram Stoker Award winner, Vectors: A Week in the Death of a Planet.

“Paul Michael Anderson writes like no other writer in dark fiction. His premises, plots, and story structure are unique. Every story in Bones Are Made to Be Broken follows this pattern, and are intriguing and very good. Simply, he writes a Paul Michael Anderson story – the highest compliment any serious writer can hope to achieve. Highly recommended.” – Gene O’Neill, The Cal Wild Chronicles

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Later this fall, the combined efforts of Written Backwards and Dark Regions Press will release Paul Michael Anderson’s Bones Are Made to Be Broken in trade paperback and eBook, which will feature the illustrations by Steiner in black-and-white. Full-color illustrations of each are also prepared for the deluxe signed edition to be released at a later date.

Bones Are Made to Be Broken will include the following:

  1. Crawling Back to You
  2. Survivor’s Debt
  3. Baby Grows a Conscience
  4. A Nice Town with Very Clean Streets
  5. The Doorway Man
  6. Love Song for the Rejected
  7. Surviving the River Styx
  8. The Agonizing Guilt of Relief (Last Days of a Ready-Made Victim)
  9. The Universe is Dying
  10. Reflecting the Heart’s Desire
  11. To Touch the Dead
  12. In the Nothing-Space, I Am What You Made Me
  13. All That You Leave Behind
  14. Bones Are Made to Be Broken (title novella).

On August 23rd, Dark Regions Press will begin a multi-book campaign, which will include You, Human (the first science fiction anthology I’m editing for DRP, which is fully illustrated by L.A. Spooner and Orion Zangara and includes an introduction on humanism by New York Times Bestselling Author F. Paul Wilson), Other Music by Marc Levinthal (the first science fiction novel I’m editing for DRP, which features an introduction by John Skipp), and a few other books in the works by Dark Regions Press, such as Return of the Old Ones, Children of Gla’akiThe Eighth (the debut novel by Stephanie M. Wytovich), and this wonderful book, Bones Are Made to Be Broken by Paul Michael Anderson.

Information on this multi-book campaign can be found here!

 

Bones Are Made to Be Broken

WILL THERE BE A CHIRAL MAD 4?

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I have been thinking about CHIRAL MAD 4 for quite some time, and have decided that if CHIRAL MAD 4 were to happen, the entire book would spawn from the number 4 … because it’s the 4th volume in a series that may either end at 4, or continue onward indefinitely. But, in order to understand where this fourth volume would be coming from, you have to wade through some history on the series, and some other Written Backwards projects, because it’s all connected in one way or another …

cm_accoladesThe first Chiral Mad (yes, you can click that link to directly buy a copy from Amazon, or the book cover to the left) was a charity anthology. Not a single author was offered payment, other than a contributor copy. Everyone involved donated their work to help create a rather awesome anthology that ended up raising over $6,000 for various Down syndrome charities, the biggest chunk of that being a $3,000 donation to the Down Syndrome Information Alliance. Thomas F. Monteleone wrote an awesome introduction, various stories made various best-of lists, such as Gary McMahon’s “Some Pictures in an Album,” and so on. Lots of famous names, lots of new names now becoming more famous. The book was well-received critically, won some awards, and, well, sparked a series of anthologies.

CHIRAL MAD 2 - COVERChiral Mad 2 quickly followed (yes, feel free to click that link or the book image to purchase), but something new happened with this anthology. Knowing how well the first volume did monetarily, this second volume allowed Written Backwards (a newish small publisher at the time) to pay writers for their work at professional rates ($0.05 per word at the time). That doesn’t seem like a lot of money, but multiply $0.05 by 120,000 words, and you get $6,000, which was paid to the contributors, upfront, out of pocket. Long story short, the anthology did about as well as the first volume (broke about even, and also helped spark further sales of the first Chiral Mad), won some awards, and even won Gary A. Braunbeck one of his twenty-thousand Bram Stoker Awards for his long fiction piece, “The Great Pity.” John Palisano was also nominated for his short story “The Geminis.” The book did well, in terms of an anthology, which means it basically broke even and eventually the $6,000 was recuperated, and everything over that amount also went (and still goes) to charity. Anthologies are expensive, so remember that the next time you hound small publishers for “what’s next, what’s next, when can I submit to the next one” and so on.

Qualia NousChiral Mad 2 had an open call for submissions, and over 550 submissions were received, along with the 20 stories from invited writers. Now, 570 submissions may not sound like a lot, but multiply 570 by the average 5850 words (I did the math), and you get 3,217,500 words, which is approximately 50 or more novel-length works to sort through to find the perfect table of contents. Many rejections were sent, which is never fun. But, having so many submissions resulted in a great number of fiction stories that were a little too sci-fi for CHIRAL MAD, which sparked an entirely new idea: a science fiction anthology, Qualia Nous. How did this anthology do? Well, it was much longer, contributors were paid professional rates, and was much more expensive ($7,500 or so) to put together. It did well, critically, won the Benjamin Franklin Award, was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award, resulted in two stories winning the Bram Stoker Award for short fiction (Usman T. Malik and Rena Mason), as well as a Nebula nomination for Malik, and an award for the single poem in the anthology by Marge Simon. And some other awards. The CHIRAL MAD anthologies went on hiatus for a while to promote Qualia Nous. The book has made back about 1/2 of what it cost to put together, despite how well it’s done critically. That’s anthologies for you: everyone wants to be in one; no one wants to buy one.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00094]And then an idea for a new ALLEVON series of illustrated books popped into mind (the word “novella” backward), and thus a new series of physically smaller, illustrated trade paperback books began, starting with a novella called At the Lazy K by Gene O’Neill (feel free to purchase that one, too), which was illustrated throughout by L.A. Spooner. Later this year (next month perhaps), the second book in the ALLEVON series will be published, a collection by Scott Edelman called Liars, Fakers, and the Dead Who Eat Them, which is set of zombie novelettes: “Only Humans Lie” and “Faking It Until Forever Comes,” which features a cover and interior illustrations by Daniele Serra. This series will continue through the Written Backwards imprint, as there are already 4 or 5 future volumes already set in motion.

ENSŌSo, here I am, getting distracted by new projects, talking with Dark Regions Press about a possible merger, taking on project after project after project, and then I decide to write a children’s book called Enso to take my mind out of horror and sci-fi for a while (it’s a dark, dark place; a place I nearly left completely). I wanted to write something my kids (okay, not my kids, but my wife’s kids) could read, something other parent’s kids could read, something dark, but less dark. The book was illustrated beautifully by L.A. Spooner, who also illustrated At the Lazy K . I decided to do a signed/limited print run for these, so only 100 were ever made. I still have a dozen or so if you want a copy, but they are mostly gone. I tend to give these out to families with small children. It’s basically four children’s fables about the circle of life, but with my nonlinear spin.

Inkblots and Blood SpotsI keep telling myself that someday I’ll return to my own writing. I have two published novels under my name: Palindrome Hannahand Phoenix Rose, as well as two short story and poetry collections, Scales and Petals, (you can find all of these on the tabs at the top of the main www.nettirw.com page), and most recently Inkblots and Blood Spots (pictured), which hold some of my best work (and yes, you can purchase a copy if you want to make me happy). I don’t write a lot (maybe two or three stories per year on a good year), but people seem to like my writing when I decide to use my brain to craft something of my own, books that are mine. Inkblots was illustrated throughout by Daniele Serra, featured an introduction by Douglas E. Winter, and had some nice blurbs by some pretty awesome individuals. Villipede Publications did a great job putting this together. When I get around to it, I’ll finish novel #3, Psychotropic Dragon (which I’ve been working on for over 10 years), as well as a new mainstream novel I’ve started called Seen in Distant Stars. Other than that, I’m only writing short fiction when invited into certain anthologies, and only by certain people. I just don’t have the time otherwise …

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00009]And then The Library of the Dead fell into my lap. This project was originally conceived by Gene O’Neill and Gord Rollo. I was brought on as a co-editor, and then the publisher asked if I’d be the sole editor, and then later asked if I’d take on the project entirely, which of course I did. So, I put everything I had into this thing. I visited the real library of the dead, a place called Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland, California, took a photo-shoot of the place (see that awesome cover?), forked out just about all the money I had left in my bank account, worked with some amazing contributors, worked with GAK, who illustrated the entire book based on my photography, included some of that photography throughout the book, wrote a tie-in piece called “The Librarian” to guide the reader through the labyrinth … and then something terrible happened. J.F. Gonzalez died, one of the book’s contributors, and so we dedicated the book to him, added additional artwork, and an afterword by Mary SanGiovanni. The anthology won the Bram Stoker Award, and a few others. I’m damn proud of this book, and damn proud of everyone who helped bring this book together. It’s recouped about half of what it cost to build, but I think it’s worth it. Dark Regions Press has recently re-released the book in trade paperback, with a limited deluxe hardbound (illustrations in color) in the works, which sold out basically over night.

CHIRAL MAD 3 - DRP EditionThen came Chiral Mad 3, which was the first book released by Written Backwards as an imprint of Dark Regions Press. Yes, we joined forces, and it was a wonderful collaboration (I’ll get back to collaborations later …) And yes, please click the link and purchase a copy to support us. You will not be disappointed. I pulled every string I could find for this book, and it stands as the most expensive book I have ever made to date, by far. Like, lots of money. I used all my super powers to make this one happen. The entire anthology is illustrated by the legendary Glenn Chadbourne, features an introduction by the one and only Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club), with stories by some of the best in the business, including Jack Ketchum, Stephen King, and, as with all my anthologies, it’s filled with a diverse group of both established, semi-established, and never-before-established writers. But I had to do something different with this book. Yes, there are 45 illustrations. Yes, these books keep getting bigger and bigger. But this time around, I needed more poetry. Lots of poetry. The book is structured chirally, story-poem-story-poem-story, all the way through. It’s a beautiful book. And I keep telling myself, as I do with all of these books, that there’s nothing I can improve upon. Nothing I can do differ–wait …

full coverYou, Human. That’s right, as part of Dark Regions Press’ return to science fiction, I’ve taken on two additional projects. One of these is Other Music, the debut novel by Marc Levinthal, which features an introduction by John Skipp and will be released sometime in August. The other is You, Human, the first science fiction anthology by Dark Regions Press in who knows how long. I pulled out all the tricks for this one as well, playing off Asimov’s I, Robot, but with a human twist, and three new Laws of Humanity. In fact, the anthology features an introduction on humanism by F. Paul Wilson, as well as dark science fiction and poetry by some of the best in the business. This will be released either late this summer or early this fall by Dark Regions Press.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00074]And I can’t forget Paul Michael Anderson’s first fiction collection, a beautiful book called Bones Are Made to be Broken, which will be released in trade paperback, ebook, and signed limited/deluxe hardback this fall by Dark Regions Press. I’ve published Paul in nearly every one of my anthologies, because he’s that damn good. And now all of his best short fiction (as well as a new novella written specifically for this book) come together in Bones Are Made to Be Broken. You do not want to miss this collection. As always, I am putting everything I have behind this book, because the spine of this book is made to be broken, by you, reading every story over and over again.

The Cal Wild ChroniclesAnd of course there’s the 4-book magnum opus by the legendary, genre-bending master of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. The Cal Wild Chronicles is a 4-book series of trade paperbacks I’m putting together for the one and only Gene O’Neill, which includes The Confessions of St. Zach (with an introduction by John R. Little), The Burden of Indigo (with an introduction by Lisa Morton), The Near Future (with an introduction by Meghan Arcuri), and The Far Future (with an introduction by Scott Edelman). Each book is beautifully illustrated by Orion Zangara, and each book, when put together completes the wonderful puzzle that is Cal Wild. In fact, when you put the spines together, they create the Rainbow Man from the series, and when you place either the fronts or backs of these books side-by-side-by-side-by-side, you complete yet another puzzle. Later this year, Dark Regions Press will publish the entire series within a single volume, which you can pre-order at darkregions.com.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00094]And before we get to Chiral Mad 4, I should mention the anthology that started it all, Pellucid Lunacy. This was the first anthology ever published by Written Backwards, and the cover featured a painting of the arachnid/human skeleton from my dreams that originally spawned the idea for the novel Psychotropic Dragon. Well, enough time has gone by, that the series deserves a reboot. So, as soon as thing slow down a bit (if they ever do), we will re-release this title through the Written Backwards imprint of Dark Regions Press to give this thing more legs. The cover will be getting a reboot as well, as you can tell from this new cover.

But what about Chiral Mad 4. Everyone wants there to be a Chiral Mad 4!

So here’s the deal. The entire writing community has been at war with one another for far too long. Finger-pointing, harassment, racism, bigotry, accusations (both false and allegedly true), people talking about people killing people, politicking, all that social justice bulls**t that seems to be tearing this writing community apart one writer at a time, senseless/endless arguing, blocking, unfriending, blah blah blah … It’s a mess. So here’s what we do … This is how we can (strike that), this is how you can make Chiral Mad 4 happen:

If, and this is a big if, you want CHIRAL MAD to continue, this is how it’s going to happen for a fourth volume. This is not a call for submissions at this time. This is simply an idea. This has the potential of either ending something that was once great (in a big fiery ball of flame), or continuing the evolution of something much greater.

You have to collaborate. You have to work together.

These would be the rules for Chiral Mad 4 (if the anthology were to happen):

  1. Each work has to be a collaboration by more than one individual.
  2. More than two collaborators may be part of the same collaboration (3 or 4 authors writing a story, for example, or more than 2 collaborators working on the same graphic/comic piece)
  3. The more unique the collaboration, the better. (Have someone in mind you’ve always wanted to work with but were too afraid to ask, then that’s most likely the person with whom you should collaborate)
  4. Unique collaborations will go to the top of the reading pile.
  5. Diverse collaborations will go to the top of the top of the reading pile.
  6. No pseudonyms (unless you publish under that pseudonym regularly), and no collaborating with your own pseudonym.
  7. Absolutely no gratuitous sex, violence, abuse, rape …
  8. Play nice.

This is what will be ultimately accepted for Chiral Mad 4 (if the anthology were to happen):

  1. 4 collaborative novellas (15,000 – 20,000 words)
  2. 4 collaborative novelettes (8,000 – 10,000 words)
  3. 4 collaborative short stories (3,000 – 5,000 words)
  4. 4 collaborative short stories adapted to graphic/comic format (1,000-1,500 words, 10-12 pages max)

That’s 16 projects total, and yes, that’s a hefty word count when you add the numbers. This could turn into a part 1 / part 2, depending on word count. There will most likely be a Kickstarter or Indigogo campaign to help fund this project if there is enough demand, and payment would be made close to publication date, most likely late 2017, because:

Payment would be as follows (if the anthology were to happen):

  1. novellas – $0.05 per word, $1,000 max (split between collaborators)
  2. novelettes – $0.05 per word, $500 max (split between collaborators)
  3. short stories – $0.05 per word, $250 max (split between collaborators)
  4. graphic/comic stories – $50 per page, $500 max (split between collaborators)

Play nice.

Collaborate.

Make something beautiful.

Email cm4@nettirw.com for more information, questions about collaborations, etc.

And if you want to keep seeing volumes of CHIRAL MAD year after year, please purchase a copy of volumes 1, 2, and 3. Tell our friends. Tell your family. Help spread the word about these anthologies (as well as other Written Backwards / Dark Regions Press anthologies), because that’s how we stay in business and keep producing such fine books.

Coming soon, a collaboration with L.A. Spooner to adapt my short story “Plasty” from Scales and Petals.

CM4 - teaser

LIARS, FAKERS, AND THE DEAD WHO EAT THEM – ALLEVON #2

I have been holding onto this announcement for a while now, and I know some of you have been waiting ever so patiently, but I can finally announce the next book in the ALLEVON series by Written Backwards. If you’re not familiar with ALLEVON, these are smaller, illustrated, trade paperbacks from some of the best writers of speculative fiction working today. The name of the series is “novella” in reverse (What else would you expect from a imprint of Dark Regions Press called Written Backwards?), and focuses on original fiction under 40,000 words.  The first book in the series, At the Lazy K, by Gene O’Neill (an award-winning writer of science fiction, fantasy, and horror), was a novella published in May 2015, and featured illustrations by L.A. Spooner, as well as an introduction by Rena Mason.

So, how do you follow a book that is part western, part ghost story, part drug-rehabilitation, and a literary, multi-genre exploration into the rich cultural history of northern California?

With something unexpected.

Zombies.

Liars, Fakers, and the Dead Who Eat Them by Scott Edelman is officially the next book in the ALLEVON series! Liars, Fakers, and the Dead Who Eat Them is a collection of two zombie novelettes that dance together in a wonderfully-horrific, undead embrace. This second book in the series will be illustrated throughout by British Fantasy Award winning artist Daniele Serra, who is responsible for creating the incredible cover below. And, of course, Scott Edelman is a gem. The book will collect two original novelettes: “Only Humans Can Lie” and “Faking It Until Forever Comes.”

Since I’ve been holding onto this announcement for a while, this also means I’ve been working on this book for a while, and so it’s nearly finished. Yes, if everything goes well, expect a mid- to late-August release date!

More information coming soon!

Allevon #2

 

 

2015 BRAM STOKER AWARDS® PRELIMINARY BALLOT

The Horror Writers Association recently announced the Preliminary Ballot for the 2015 Bram Stoker Awards®, and I am proud to announce that I have a few things that made the list this year, and have a bunch of friends whose work made the list as well.

The Library of the DeadThe Library of the Dead, by Written Backwards (now an imprint of Dark Regions Press), made the preliminary ballot this year. Many fingers are crossed that it finds its way onto the final ballot. Qualia Nous was officially nominated last year for Superior Achievement in an Anthology (although it bowed to Ellen Datlow’s Beyond Symmetry), and two short stories from the anthology took home statues for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction (Usman T. Malik’s “The Vaporization Enthalpy of a Peculiar Pakistani Family” and Rena Mason’s “Ruminations”).

Norman Partridge’s “Special Collections” from The Library of the Dead made the preliminary ballot as well for Superior Achievement in Long Fiction. His introduction/story starts off the anthology, and apparently impressed the HWA’s long fiction jury.

Below is the complete table of contents for The Library of the Dead, which is illustrated throughout by GAK, and concludes with a tribute/dedication to J.F. Gonzalez by Mary SanGiovanni. I’m a bit bummed not to see some of the short fiction on the preliminary ballot, but seeing Norman’s introduction/story on the ballot brought a smile. The other stories within received over 40 recommendations collectively, which is saying something…

  • Norman Partridge – “Special Collections” (long fiction)
  • Yvonne Navarro – “Those Who Shall Never Be Named”
  • Mary SanGiovanni & Brian Keene – “The Last Things to Go”
  • Roberta Lannes – “A Raven in the Dove’s Nest”
  • Kealan Patrick Burke – “I’m Not There”
  • Chris Marrs – “A Chimera’s Tale”
  • J.F. Gonzalez – “I’m Getting Closer”
  • Weston Ochse – “Reliving Through Better Chemistry”
  • Lucy A. Snyder – “Cthylla”
  • Christopher Golden & Tim Lebbon – “Fault Lines” (long fiction)
  • Rena Mason – “Jaded Winds”
  • Michael McBride – “Tears of the Dragon”
  • Erinn L. Kemper – “Phantom on the Ice”
  • Sydney Leigh – “Night Soliloquy”
  • Gene O’Neill – “Broken Lady”
  • Gary A. Braunbeck – “Tales the Ashes Tell”

At the Lazy KAlso making the preliminary ballot in the long fiction category is the first book in the Allevon series of illustrated novellas by Written Backwards: At the Lazy K by Gene O’Neill. This small book, illustrated by L.A. Spooner and introduced by Rena Mason, is causing quite the buzz, which means the Allevon series will continue. More news on the next title soon. I would also like to note that along with At the Lazy K making the preliminary ballot, and Gene having a story in The Library of the Dead (an idea conceived by the awesome duo that is Gene O’Neill and Gord Rollo), Gene O’Neill is on the preliminary ballot for Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection for the wonderful The Hitchhiking Effect by Dark Renaissance Books, as well as for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction for his recently released chapbook for his story “The Algernon Effect.”

If you are a voting member of the Horror Writers Association, you can email written@nettirw.com to request either a digital copy or a trade paperback of the following:

1. The Library of the Dead – Superior Achievement in an Anthology.

2. At the Lazy K by Gene O’Neill – Superior Achievement in Long Fiction

3. “Special Collections” by Norman Partridge – Superior Achievement in Long Fiction

I hope to see The Library of the Dead on the final ballot alongside those I admire in the world of anthologies: Ellen Datlow (The Doll Collection), Christopher Golden (Seize the Night, which has an incredible long fiction piece called “Paper Cuts” by Gary A. Braunbeck, which also made the preliminary ballot for long fiction), Stephen Jones (Horrorology), Jonathan Maberry (X-Files: Trust No One), and Richard Thomas (Exigencies). See below for the complete list.

The long fiction category is always one of my favorites. Along with rooting for Gene O’Neill for At the Lazy K, the long fiction category this year includes Norman Partridge’s “Special Collections” from The Library of the Dead… as well as an incredible story by Scott Edelman called “Becoming Invisible, Becoming Seen” and Gary A. Braunbeck’s “Paper Cuts” and Mercedes M. Yardley’s “Little Dead Red” and other fine stories.

I’m also excited to see that Shadow Show: Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury made the preliminary ballot for Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel, which Mort kindly gave me a copy of when I made a surprise visit in Chicago last October.

Who else am I going to name-drop here? Let’s see: how about Clive Barker, whose novel The Scarlet Gospels made the list, or Patrick Freivald for his novel Black Tide, or Paul Tremblay’s A Head Full of Ghosts. There’s also John Palisano’s “Happy Joe’s Rest Stop” and Damien Angelica Walters’ “Sing Me Your Scars” for short fiction. And of course fiction collections, another favorite category: along with The Hitchhiking Effect by Gene O’Neill, we have Gary A. Braunbeck’s Halfway Down the Stairs, which I’ll be reading later this week, and Lucy A. Snyder’s While the Black Stars Burn, which I’ll also be reading later this week. And of course some wonderful poetry from Bruce Boston’s Resonance Dark and Light, and Marge Simon’s Naughty Ladies, and Stephanie M. Wytovich’s An Exorcism of Angels. So much to read… so much to read…

As previously mentioned, Horror Writers Association voting members may request a PDF or print copy of The Library of the Dead (anthology), and/or At the Lazy K by Gene O’Neill (long fiction), and/or “Special Collections” by Norman Partridge (long fiction) for consideration by emailing written@nettirw.com. They will also be made available on the HWA message board.

Congratulations to everyone who made the preliminaries this year! And congratulations to those who did not make the list, but probably should have. 2015 was a great year for horror fiction. I see familiar names on the list this year, and names I don’t recognize, which is either a good thing, or a bad thing. Some I have published, some have published me, and some have shared the table of contents with yours truly in various anthologies or magazines over the years. And some, well, perhaps someday I can say I recognize those names as well.

Here is the complete list of the categories in which I have a part this year (plagiarized from the Horror Writers Association page):

Superior Achievement in an Anthology:

Michael Bailey – The Library of the Dead (Written Backwards)
Ellen Datlow – The Doll Collection: Seventeen Brand-New Tales of Dolls (Tor Books)
Shannon Delany and Judith Graves – Beware the Little White Rabbit (Leap Books, LLC)
Christopher Golden – Seize the Night (Gallery Books)
Stephen Jones – Horrorology (Quercus Publishing)
Nancy Kilpatrick and Caro Soles – nEvermore! (Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing)
Jonathan Maberry – X-Files: Trust No One (IDW Publishing)
Eric Miller – 18 Wheels of Horror (Big Time Books)
Doug Murano and D. Alexander Ward – Shadows Over Main Street (Hazardous Press)
Joseph Nassise and Del Howison – Midian Unmade (Tor Books)
Jeani Rector – Shrieks and Shivers from the Horror Zine (Post Mortem Press)
Richard Thomas – Exigencies (Dark House Press)

Superior Achievement in Long Fiction:

Gary A. Braunbeck – Paper Cuts (Seize the Night) (Gallery Books)
Ben Eads – Cracked Sky (Omnium Gatherum)
Scott Edelman – Becoming Invisible, Becoming Seen (Dark Discoveries #30)
Jeff Gunhus – The Torment of Rachel Ames (Seven Guns Press)
Lisa Mannetti – The Box Jumper (Smart Rhino Publications)
Seanan McGuire – Resistance (The End Has Come) (Broad Reach Publishing)
Gene O’Neill – At the Lazy K (Written Backwards)
Jason Parent – Dia de los Muertos (Bad Apples 2) (Corpus Press)
Norman Partridge – Special Collections (The Library of the Dead) (Written Backwards)
Mercedes M. Yardley – Little Dead Red (Grimm Mistresses) (Ragnarok Publications)

For a complete list of of the 2015 Bram Stoker Awards® Preliminary Ballot, you can visit the official release here: horror.org/9296-2/ 

Good luck, everyone!