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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Join Me at the Bottom of the World

Here's an excerpt from Market Adjustment and Other Tales of Avarice:

New York—October 28, 1929

“A hotdog, mister?”

“Got any money?”

Myron Barnes patted his tattered overcoat, knowing he didn’t have any money. He caught the vendor’s eye and tossed his hands out to the side. “I ain’t had no money for days. Thought I might find somethin.” Myron turned away. “I understand. You got a business you’re tryin to run.”

“Hold up now. I think I can spare one.”

Myron turned back around to face him. Their eyes stayed locked and the vendor’s motions were mechanical, assembling and wrapping the hotdog, handing it across the cart to Myron.

“Jeez, thanks mister. When I make my fortune I’ll make sure to pay you. Consider this a loan.” He held up the hotdog before taking a big hungry bite of it.

“I wouldn’t count on that. Don’t think nobody’s makin money today. Head down to Wall Street, you’ll see a whole lotta panic. That is… unless you got somewhere else to go.”

“I think you and me both know I don’t.”

“Enjoy. I think a whole lotta people’s about to join you.”

Myron turned his back on the vendor with a dismissive wave. He took another bite of the hotdog and headed toward Wall Street. The vendor’s words stung him. Had it become that obvious he lived on the street?

Luckily, Myron thought, he still had his youth and some vestige of his looks. Maybe it was just his eyes. Somehow he was able to compel people to do things for him. Maybe they just saw poverty and desperation. So, yeah, he lived on the street, but it wasn’t hard to find some girl to take him in for the night. More often than not, he had a place to sleep. And he had the Enclave.

He crouched down in front of a sewer grate and took one last, longing look at the remainder of the hotdog before dropping it down. He rose and wiped his hands on his filthy pants, his stomach now gurgling pleasantly as it broke down the food.

He breathed in the crisp October air and turned onto Wall Street.

It was choked with panic. People shouting in disbelief. Running hands through their hair and clutching their pockets like something could reach in and take whatever was left right out. A palpable buzz binding everyone together.

Who were these captains of industry?

Materialistic money worshippers, Myron thought. No one knew which gods they worshipped anymore so these people had chosen to worship their bank accounts. They had built a house of cards and now, watching a man’s hat fly off as he kicked the tires of a nearby Nash with great fury, that house of cards had fallen. This was the fallout.

Myron did his best not to smile. Not that anyone would have noticed.

Join me, he thought. Join me here at the bottom of the world.

A rain of glass exploded from above, followed by a heavy wooden office chair. The crowd gathered on the sidewalk backed out into the street and craned their heads upward.

A collective gasp. A man flying through the air, framed against the gorgeous blue sky, his jacket and pants flapping as he clawed at the empty space around him.

He hit the ground in an explosion of bone fragments and gore. Myron crossed his arms to shield his eyes. A woman to his right screamed. An eyeball had slapped against the lapel of her jacket. She did a weird little dance as it sluggishly slid down before plopping onto the greasy asphalt.

Myron felt blood spattered against his palms. He held his hands out in front of him to examine them, the gesture of begging all too familiar.

A hundred dollar bill rested wetly in each palm.

He casually wrapped his hands around the bills and slid them into each of his pants pockets before disappearing down the nearest alley.


Preorder MARKET ADJUSTMENT AND OTHER TALES OF AVARICE

Monday, December 22, 2008

2008

This is the time of year I like to sit back in my chair, stroke my imaginary beard, and become reflective about the year that is nearly gone. It's been a pretty good year for me. Eraserhead Press released three of my books (THE OVERWHELMING URGE, ZEROSTRATA, and JACK AND MR. GRIN). I've been trying to kind of promote them and hope I haven't become annoying in the process. This is the small press, it isn't like we have a PR team or anything. I hope you can write it off as a newly published writer's excitement.

And on the writing front: I wrote a trilogy of novellas called SLAG ATTACK! Hopefully this appears sometime in 2009. I also wrote a novel called MORNING IS DEAD. I'm still not sure what's happening with that. MARKET ADJUSTMENT AND OTHER TALES OF AVARICE is a collection consisting of a novella and two short stories. Pre-orders for this will begin on December 26th. It will be published by Cargo Cult Press in limited/lettered edition hardcover. I also spent a good deal of time polishing a novel called THE BEARD (working title) and am currently in the process of shopping that around.

On the editing front, I've continued to very slowly read stories for The Harrow. I also read a ton of submissions for the BRADLEY SANDS IS A DICK anthology. I had to make a lot of tough decisions in rejecting many stories. Look for this to appear in early 2009.

I attended my first convention in March and two more conventions thereafter. Each of them was a pretty good time. I got to meet a lot of writers I'd read and respected for a long time, a lot of up-and-coming writers who I hope to read more of in the future, and strike up some lasting relationships with a couple of fantastic publishers.

On the homefront, everyone seems to be happy and healthy, which is all I could really ask for.

I hope you stick around for 2009. MARKET ADJUSTMENT will be released in March. THE SORROW KING is set for release in late 2009 by Cargo Cult Press and I will be working on new stuff every day to try and make 2010 just as eventful.

All right, now it's back to work on THE SEX BEAST OF SCURVY ISLAND!

May you and yours have a very good holiday season!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Review of ZEROSTRATA

Here's a new review of ZEROSTRATA from Jason Pettus for The Chicago Center of Literature and Photography... CLICK!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

BizarroCon Follow-up

For some other convention reports and photos galore (!) go HERE...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Books and Order Info

The Sorrow King

A Limited Edition Hardcover Available Exclusively from Horror Mall
Pre-order Now
Click Here to Order from Horror Mall (while supplies last)

Description: The papers call it “The Suicide Virus.” The teenagers of Gethsemane, Ohio, are killing themselves at an alarming rate.

Steven Wrigley is trying to survive his senior year of high school, still reeling from the death of his mother and adjusting to life with his father. While sleeping, Steven writes names in a notebook-- the names of dead teenagers before he can possibly know they’re dead. These messages fill him with dread, clues to some mystery he must try to unravel. Along the way, he meets a girl who becomes another kind of obsession: Elise Devon.

Elise’s secrets keep her distanced from everyone. She has a special place she calls the Obscura. She goes there when she is depressed or angry. The Obscura makes her feel like nothing she’s ever felt before. She soon realizes the Obscura may be partially to blame for the suicides. When she loses herself to the Obscura, she fears she also gives herself to something much darker, something much more powerful. Something calling itself the Sorrow King.

Who is the Sorrow King?

He is carved from wood and bone.

He smells like wax, dead leaves, and memories.

He travels by moonlight and drinks the sorrow of others.

And, drunk from this sorrow, he must always create more.

Can love exact vengeance on a monster made from madness, depression, and misery? Or will the Sorrow King bleed the town dry before satiating himself and moving on?



The Beard

READ THE FREE ONLINE VERSION HERE!
Order A Signed Copy:








Description: David Glum decides to quit everything, move back home, and grow a beard before embarking on a surreal cross-country trip that might have something to do with saving the world.


The Night the Moon Made a Sound

A Digital Chapbook available exclusively from Horror Mall.

Description: Walt Ferryman drinks because of the pain. Walt Ferryman drinks because of the squeaky things. Walt Ferryman drinks because the moon makes terrible sounds. On a night by the sea, Janey will show Walt how to escape the moon and all the other horrors eating him from the inside.






Market Adjustment and Other Tales of Avarice

A Limited Edition Hardcover Available Exclusively from Horror Mall
Preorder Now
Click Here to Preorder MARKET ADJUSTMENT from Horror Mall (while copies last)

Description: Life at the bottom. The life of the financially ruined. The emotionally ruined. How does one seek revenge on greed? How does one seek revenge for a life that has been destroyed and has no hope of being rebuilt? Sometimes it takes a man who has nothing to answer these questions, to seek this revenge.

Meet Myron Barnes...

Myron is a man with sadly convincing eyes. He begs food and people give it to him and he offers it to the gods he's chosen to believe in. He finds sleep in the beds of disreputable women. But he finds no comfort there. He will not find the comfort he needs until bank president Robert Chambers is dead. Myron knows that, sometimes, in order to drag people to the bottom you have to go to the top. What he finds there is not what he expects. Collapsing chaos, a disturbing reality, women who have become sacrifices and men who are more animal than human...

Cargo Cult Press
Limited Edition Hardcover
April 4, 2009
Approximately 100 pages
150 Numbered Editions/26 Lettered Editions


Jack and Mr. Grin

Available through your local bookstore or these online retailers:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Powell's
Horror Mall
Signed copy from the author:








Description: Jack Orange is a twentysomething guy who works at a place called The Tent packing dirt in boxes and shipping them off to exotic, unheard of locales. He thinks about his girlfriend, Gina Black, and the ring he hopes to surprise her with. But when he returns home one day, Gina isn't there. He receives a strange call from a man who sounds like he is smiling- Mr. Grin. He says he has Gina. He gives Jack twenty-four hours to find her.

What follows is Jack's bizarre journey through an increasingly warped and surreal landscape where an otherworldly force burns brands into those he comes in contact with, trains appear out of thin air, rooms turn themselves inside out and computers are powered by birds. And if he does find Gina, how will he ever survive a grueling battle to the death with Mr. Grin?

Eraserhead Press
Trade Paperback
December 2008
ISBN: 978-1933929712
212 Pages




Zerostrata

Available through your local bookstore or these online retailers:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Powell's
Horror Mall
Signed copy from the author:








Description: After ten years, Hansel Nothing returns to his boyhood home, unable to remember anything that has happened to him since he left. Back home, he
stays in Zerostrata, a tree house in the backyard. The nothing family is
as dysfunctional and depressed as ever. His mother keeps a cat on her
head and incessantly munches prescription medication. His father has
left the house to pursue a career as a superhero. His brother has
become a shut-in, brooding in the darkened basement. Hansel realizes,
after a life of sadness, a life only half-remembered, the only thing he
wants is for himself and his family to be happy. But what type of
bizarre world must he enter to obtain this happiness?

Eraserhead Press
Trade Paperback
September 2008
ISBN: 978-1933929750
144 Pages



The Overwhelming Urge

Available through your local bookstore or these online retailers:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Powell's
Borders
Horror Mall
Signed copy from the author:








Description: It is a world where men wake up with laser beams for eyes and wives play sadistic practical jokes. It is a world where body parts randomly fall off and fathers turn into antelopes. In this world, vampires and spontaneous combustions are a constant threat. THE OVERWHELMING URGE is a collection of bizarro flash fiction, containing ridiculous characters and absurd stories reminiscent of David Lynch and Franz Kafka. Written at knifepoint in a burning room, this book will make you think of a dirty comedian raving from Freud's couch.

Eraserhead Press
Trade Paperback
Febrary 2008
ISBN: 978-1933929651
140 Pages


The Bizarro Starter Kit (Blue)

Available through your local bookstore or these online retailers:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Powell's
Horror Mall

Description: There's a new genre rising from the underground. Its name: BIZARRO. For years, readers have been asking for a category of fiction dedicated to the weird, crazy, cult side of storytelling that has become a staple in the film industry (with directors such as David Lynch, Takashi Miike, Tim Burton, and even Lloyd Kaufman) but has been largely ignored in the literary world, until now. The Bizarro Starter Kit features short novels and story collections by ten of the leading authors in the bizarro genre: Ray Fracalossy, Jeremy C. Shipp, Jordan Krall, Mykle Hansen, Andersen Prunty, Eckhard Gerdes, Bradley Sands, Steve Aylett, Christian TeBordo, and Tony Rauch.

Bizarro Books
Trade Paperback
December 2007
ISBN: 978-1933929620
244 Pages

Friday, December 5, 2008

MARKET ADJUSTMENT and Other Tales of Avarice

This is my super special announcement. This will be my first book with Cargo Cult Press. Pre-orders will begin after Christmas and the book will be released in March in super nice limited/lettered editions. I've included a description of it:

Wall Street screams with panic. The market is crashing and the forecast is bleak. People are losing their homes, their jobs, their families. Myron Barnes has one goal: to kill the President of the Chambers National Bank. Only as he enters the Chambers Building does he realize he may encounter something far more ancient and dangerous. Employees gone savage. Shifting realities. Blood sacrifice. But Myron will not turn back. He is at the bottom of humanity. And he has absolutely nothing left to lose.

Market Adjustment and Other Tales of Avarice reveals men at the edge, struggling against the harsh realities of greed, lust and betrayal.

I will keep you posted as to when it becomes available. All previous Cargo Cult Press titles have sold out so you may have to act quickly.