Listen here: PseudoPod 732: Devil Gonna Catch You in the Corners
I’m pleased to announce that my story “beautiful animal” will appear in Perry Ruhland and Astrid Rose’s tribute anthology to Lucio Fulci. The wonderful cover art is the work of Trevor Henderson. My story is a tip of the hat to the more unusual, hallucinatory, and melancholic aspects of Fulci’s films. Unfortunately, there is no eyeball violence in “beautiful animal”, but it does have a hitman, plenty of mad science, and blow up dolls. It’s a macabre, psychosexual weird tale with its roots in Fulci, nunsploitation, and noir.
Beyond the Book of Eibon will also include stories by the following excellent writers:
- Adam Cesare (Clown in a Cornfield, Video Night)
- Gemma Files (Experimental Film, The Hexslinger trilogy)
- Orrin Grey (Guignol and Other Sardonic Tales, Painted Monsters and Other Strange Beasts)
- Michael Hoarty (Akashic Imprint Oddities, The Bodies Bear Traces of Parasitic Infection forthcoming)
- H.K. Lovejoy (Funerary artist, The Black in Between forthcoming)
- Kai Perrignon (Static Vision, The Melbourne International Film Festival)
- Jonathan Raab (The Hillbilly Moonshine Massacre, Camp Ghoul Mountain Part VI: The Official Novelization)
- Perry Ruhland (The Last Nautilean & Other Seaside Phantasmagoria, Sungazer)
- Zin E. Rocklyn (Nox Pareidolia, Flowers for the Sea forthcoming)
- Astrid Rose (Morbid Tales: An Anthology of Weird Fiction, Bullet Points Monthly)
- Matt Serafini (Rites of Extinction, Under the Blade)
- William Tea (Mannequin: Tales of Wood Made Flesh, In Stefan’s House: A Weird Fiction Tribute to Stefan Grabiński)
- Mike Thorn (Darkest Hours, Shelter for the Damned forthcoming)
- Mer Whinery (Trade Yer Coffin for a Gun, The Little Dixie Horror Show)
Death Wound Publishing is looking at a February, 2021 release date.
Contracts signed/arranged/pending for Alectryomancer and Other Weird Tales to be translated/published in Poland, and The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature in Germany. The Spanish translation of The Immeasurable‘ should be out in 2021; the pandemic has set things back a bit. The Polish edition of Alectryomancer‘ will be translated by Wojciech Gunia, the writer who also translated Ligotti’s Teatro Grottesco. It’s interesting to me that these requests all came out of the blue recently—in fact, I was hesitant at first because these publishers have worked (or will work) with the likes of Jeff Vandermeer, Jeffrey Thomas, T.E.D. Klein, Ted Grau, etc., and I assumed them contacting an obscure writer like me was some misguided phishing attempt! While I have a small readership in the U.S. judging by social media and emails, I do tend to get many readers from Eastern Europe, Mexico, Central and South America emailing me about my books. I’m humbled at this response, particularly for someone with zero interviews, podcast appearances, readings, or convention attendances.
Congratulations to Clint Smith for The Skeleton Melodies, which is now available for pre-order. The book has already garnered praise from Laird Barron and Adam Golaski (who provided the introduction), so my two-cents is irrelevant. Suffice it to say it’s a brilliant collection of the macabre, and Smith is at the head of the pack when it comes to contemporary horror. I wish the world for Clint who is not only an accomplished writer, but also a wonderful and generous person. I can’t thank him enough for allowing me to read The Skeleton Melodies a few months back, and I look forward to seeing his work attract a lot more deserved attention.
“…The Skeleton Melodies… nicely ups the game from his 2014 debut, Ghouljaw and Other Stories. A resident of the U.S., Smith nonetheless has a gift for language and story that reminds me of my favorite weird fiction authors across the pond, namely Conrad Williams, Frank Duffy, and Joel Lane. The Skeleton Melodies is good work in its own right, however I admit to a trace of nostalgia. Smith’s affable and easy tone changes on a dime; monsters lurk in the shadows. He writes pulp of a literary sensibility that I relished in 1980s anthologies by editors such as David Hartwell and Karl Edward Wagner.”
Lately, I’ve been busy attending protests, donating what I can to Black Lives Matter as well as several movements I respect, and volunteering for various causes. Other personal challenges have reared their ugly heads over the last couple of months, so it feels like I’m fighting an amorphous unrelenting Hydra-headed fog of obstacles. Despite this, we try to assist 24/7 as best we can here in S. California; I haven’t seen the potential for positive changes this meaningful and consequential since the ’94 protests in Los Angeles. My wife is Guatemalan, and we’ve long had discussions with our kids, each other, and friends about racism, police brutality, and the white supremacist foundations of this country. This all dovetails with conversations about LGBQT oppression, basic income, health care rights, feminism, environmentalism—my kids are 3, 9, and 13, and they fill me with hope that they’ll be contributing to and experiencing a better world. Call it secular faith, wishful thinking, or this old Marxist’s optimism, but I hope for great things to proceed.
Having said that, the geography of racism is mapped out in detail, and the first step in plotting one’s way is acknowledging that these deep divides are socio-culturally and historically etched into the landscape. I’m no scholar, and suggesting two books in a blog post maybe two or three people might read if I’m lucky is not particularly relevant when it comes to such important subjects. I’ll go ahead and suggest the following two books as an introduction to these issues anyway: Medical Apartheid and Buried in the Bitter Waters.
Harriet A. Washington’s Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present is meticulously researched, and expertly exposes the racist pseudoscience that saw medical bodies torturing and maiming slaves and freedmen, as well as the continuing abusive atrocities overwhelmingly inflicted against Black communities today. The beginning and end of malicious racist experiments did not happen with Tuskegee, but have deep roots in the medical sciences that continues in 2020. It’s an astonishingly well written book, and devastating in its clarity.
Elliott Jaspin’s Buried in the Bitter Waters: The Hidden History of Racial Cleansing in America is a good place to start as well. The idea that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 magically leveled the playing field after centuries of brutality is offensive at best, and usually presented as a default argument to perpetuate white supremacist domination. Centuries of kidnapping, murder, and slavery continue to have profound social, economic, and psychological impacts on Black folks today. Contemporary struggles are a direct consequence of colonialism, and Jaspin’s book gives a detailed account of how ethnic cleansing committed by whites has created the racist structures that underpin the American edifice.
The sun burns and the sun is as orange as the face of an angry preacher and the sun moves imperceptibly. The planet turns slowly beneath us all. The planet shifts beneath the dead. The planet moves. The oceans churn. The sky moves above us all. Deep below, 6,000 kilometers inside the Earth, something the size of the Moon opens its mouth to sing.
I can’t thank you enough for everything, Joe.
If anyone would like to purchase a signed edition of The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature in trade paperback, I have a few left. Please contact me at email@example.com. I’m asking a flat $20.00 via Paypal, which will cover shipping and handling as well. Unsigned copies are available through Grimscribe Press or Amazon, of course, as are e-editions. There are also some of the second printings of the limited hardback remaining at Grimscribe Press.