Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"Rejection Letter"

Big Pulp just ran a rejection letter I got quite a while back. It's a good story. You might like it...

Sunday, May 16, 2010



May be crashing the Locus Awards in Seattle that weekend (June 26, 2010) for Farmercon, to help promote the work... and sign books.

Phil couldn't make it. He's out on the River right now with Bill Burroughs, reading the story I sold to this anthology and snickering. The preface placed on my story was put there at Phil's own behest.

"You do not go to heaven unless you are already in it. The magic must be wrought by you and you alone. God has no fairy wand to tap the pig and turn it into a swan."

--- PJF, R.I.P.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Glowing Review

SFSignal: 5 stars for "Lotophagi" in Ellen Datlow's Best Horror of the Year 2

"Excellent... Dense, psychedelic, the kind of piece you'll want to read twice."

---Laird Barron, multiple-award-nominated author of The Imago Sequence

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Just got the final proof today for "News On The March", a short-short story which will appear in:

Stay tuned for further messages from this station. It doesn't look good, folks. I am hearing something about a heat ray, whole blocks of buildings reduced to ash. This is a bad time to be in Jersey...

Friday, February 5, 2010

"Lotophagi" in Ellen Datlow's Best Horror Of The Year, vol.2, from Night Shade Books

It's out. Here. (LGT cover, which was just released)

I am swooning. I've blogged way too much already about my childhood romance with OMNI magazine. It was thus the honor of my life to take a turn in the cybernetic editing dojo with Ellen Datlow, who is the best there is. Surprisingly, when we finished on the mats I was in one piece, and Sifu was pleased. As am I. Only minor corrections for continuity in the beginning of the piece, which Ellen caught. This ended up fomenting an additional, truly horrifying paragraph tossed offhandedly over my shoulder at me by Serena while I was working on "Lotophagi" out loud.

The story deals with a fictional collective farm at the western edge-tip of Felony Flats in Portland, right out where the tentacles of forest begin to snake from Ross Island to Milwaukie. Once you get out around Johnson's Creek, you start seeing horse barns.

I juggled the geography slightly so that the collective farm in question would not be mistaken for the one I was reading about in the weeklies, which I will not name. Those people sound like good folks, not at all like the broken douchebags in my story.

No, those came from a nasty squat-house where I used to live, presided over by an even nastier human being. I imagined what it would be like if this character was in charge of a collective farm, grafted two old ideas together (with massive blasts of inspiration from the works of fellow Lovecraftfest regular Laird Barron, whose story "Strappado" also graces the anthology) and the story wrote itself.

I imagine there's something in there to offend everyone. Yet it is works such as these that sell. Every time I pull out the stops and tell a story the way I want to tell it ("Write what you feel like writing," as another great editor, Jetse de Vries, continually exhorts)... it is those that actually get looked at. For some reason, most of them turn out to be horror or alternate-history. Don't ask me. I just work here.

I wanted to write that story because everyone at that squat was creepy and noble in their own ways, its Fagin the most of all. Problem is, absolute creepiness and absolute nobility do not make for a fun time to be around. He had the potential to be a holy goof, an accidental shaman. The problem was, he had no boundaries at all and he was what they used to call a sociopath, which I term him for convenience. Current psych vocabulary would probably be "borderline."

I don't think he ever killed anyone, and certainly wasn't in league with some prehuman race, but it was very hard to get to sleep in that house on a dark winter night. I forgive him, and I feel sorry for him, but I'd still cross the street to avoid him. I wrote about him so I could move on.

In the process, this wild Dantesque tale emerged about the rest of the people there. I realized that "Deuce" was nothing but a bit player the whole time. The horror inherent in that situation was inherent in each and every one of us. Apart from the countercultural fetish-commodity titillation factor, I think that's what got the story the notice it did, a quality that one collaborator identified as brutal honesty. Heavy on the 'brutal.'

Must get back to work now, just lagged too hard on putting the picture up. More news as things develop...