Some New Things From Some Old Darkness

Many, many years ago, I authorized three other authors — Mike Oliveri, Brett McBean, and John Urbancik — to write three stories officially set in the world of THE RISING series. These stories were then collected in a long-out-of-print chapbook called THE RISING: NECROPHOBIA.

If you listened to last week’s episode of my podcast, then you know that John has just made his story available on Kindle for just .99 cents. Click here to start reading it — a brand new (to most of you) story set in the world of THE RISING and featuring kung-fu zombies. This may be a practice run for a much bigger anthology. Will depend on sales and fan reaction…

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thecomplexThis is the last week to pre-order the Maelstrom 2015 set, which consists of three books — THE COMPLEX (a brand-new novel by me featuring The Exit, a serial killer who has appeared in three of my short stories), THE CRUELTY OF AUTUMN (a new short story collection by me, which will never be reprinted), and THE DAUGHTERS OF INNANA (an anthology of four brand-new novellas by Livia Llewellyn, Chesya Burke, Rachel Deering, and Amber Fallon.

As always, this is a set of three signed, limited-edition hardcovers for one low price. The books WILL ship in time for the holidays, making this the perfect present. Pre-orders end one week from now, on 11/3.

CLICK HERE TO RESERVE YOUR SET OF BOOKS.

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Last night, “No Such Thing As Monsters”, a radio script I wrote, was performed live as part of Big Spooky Radio Time at The Southern Theater 1420 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55454. If you missed it, there’s a repeat performance October 31st at 7pm. Click here for details.

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If you have Comcast (I don’t) then you can watch me, Joe Hill, Mary SanGiovanni, Izzy Lee, and Bracken MacLeod discuss “We Get The Horror We Deserve” from now until November 15th via On Demand.

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L to R: Old  Navy buddy Miller, me, Mary SanGiovanni, old Navy buddy Blumenthal, and his partner Krista.
L to R: Old Navy buddy Miller, me, Mary SanGiovanni, old Navy buddy Blumenthal, and his partner Krista.
Don’t look for much activity here in the coming weeks, as I’ll be sequestered in my cabin in West Virginia to finish novels HOLE IN THE WORLD, INVISIBLE MONSTERS, a novella called THE MOTEL AT THE END OF THE EARTH, and another still-untitled novella.

This past weekend, I attended the 50th Anniversary for the U.S.S. Austin, the ship I served on during my days in the military. Had a great time seeing my old Navy buddies, and reminiscing, and revisiting old haunts, including a particular spot on a particular beach, which — at 4am — inspired me to rush back to the hotel and write the following rough few paragraphs, which I’m pretty sure will turn into a novel or something. Offered here for free, but be kind — it’s first draft stuff:

Sunrise over the ocean is a slow process. The first thing you notice, long before the autumnal hues of the sun bloom at the edge of the world, is a gradual lessening of the darkness. The ocean appears, going gray and silver, and then changing over time to blue and white, while the clouds reflect orange, red and yellow instead of starlight.

The hours before this transformation are dominated by the color black. There is nothing darker than being in the middle of the ocean on a moonless, starless night when your only source of illumination is the tip of your cigarette or the ephemeral lights of fellow passing ships. And if there are no ships, and the North Atlantic winds pluck the cherry from your smoke, you’ll find yourself in total blackness. You can hear the ocean. Smell it. Sense it. Perhaps even feel the spray. But you won’t be able to actually see it until that sunrise arrives.

Sunrises come and go, and so do years. You can watch a sunrise in 1986 and another in 2015, and not notice a difference between the two. You may find that in the meanwhile, you went on to become an engineer, or a salesman, or a librarian, or a firefighter, or a mechanic, or possibly a writer. You may be a father to someone, or a husband, or a partner. And you may look back on your life, back over all those sunrises and colors, and think you remember. But you really don’t.

Not until one morning, when — unable to sleep — you rise before the sun does, and stand on the shore, watching the blackness give way to color in a spot where you witnessed that same transformation occur some thirty years before. It is then that you will remember. You will remember what it’s like to be in the middle of the ocean in the middle of the night. You will remember the blackness. You will remember that there is nothing darker.

Except for the human soul…

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