Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Mood Music

This cover by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is way too much fun!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Daily Science Fiction :: Schrödinger's Outlaw by Matthew W Baugh

Here it is!

Daily Science Fiction has archived Schrödinger's Outlaw and made it available to anyone who would like to read it through the lonk below.

Daily Science Fiction :: Schrödinger's Outlaw by Matthew W Baugh

This was a fun story to write and DSF was a great webzine to work with. Check out my story and linger to see what else they have to offer. Their stories tend to be very short but of the highest quality. They will make you chuckle, get a little misty, or make you think.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Santa vs. Jack Bauer

Jack Bauer meets the one man even he can't break.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Black December at Permuted Press

One of my favorite small presses, Permuted Press, is offering great deals all of December for KINDLE, NOOK, and all ofhter E-reader titles.

You can pick up 15 great Permuted Press titles for under $30 total!
Click here to see their catalog.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Two For Sale!

I just learned that two new anthologies with stories of mine are available for sale.

TALES OF THE SHADOWMEN: AGENTS PROVOCATEURS is available for sale. it can also be ordered at Amazon.

My story, Don Camillo and the Secret Weapon is a light-hearted adventure set in Cold War Italy. Rival spies chasing a doomsday weapon find that rules in the Po Valley are different from what they expected.

I've recently become a fan of the Don Camillo stories of Giovanni Gaureschi, which tell the comic adventures of a country priest and his struggles against the Communist mayor of his little town. My tale can't hold a candle to Guareschi's magical stories but I hope it is a fitting homage.

In other news, THE TRIGGER REFLEX is available at the Pill Hill Press website.

This is the second volume in Pill Hill's Monster Hunter Hunter set of anthologies and features my montster hunting gunslinger, Mysterious Dave Mather in a story called Damned Pretty Woman. Dave is sent to kill the pretty new schoolmarm of a little western town because of her occult connections. When he meets her he finds that things are not what they seem...they are far more dangerous.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Schrödinger's Outlaw

My humorous flash story is being sent to subscribers of Daily Science Fiction on Monday, December 5. And will appear on their website a week later!

I'm very excited!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Lone Ranger Rides Again


The LONE RANGER Chronicles
Authors: James Reasoner, Johnny D. Boggs, Denny O’Neil
Edited: Matthew Baugh, Tim Lasiuta
Cover: David Palumbo
6" x 9", 288pgs, $18.95

THE FIRST EVER COLLECTION of NEW Lone Ranger prose stories!
The masked ex-Texas Ranger and his Native American companion Tonto fight injustice in the Wild West!

Stories include meetings with The Cisco Kid, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, as well as the origin of Tonto and the origin of Silver!

Authors include Spur Award winner Johnny D Boggs, Spur Award winner Troy D. Smith, James Reasoner, Alex Award winner Mel Odom, Anthony Award winner Bill Crider, Matthew Baugh, Tim Lasiuta, Joe Gentile, Paul Kupperberg, Denny O’Neil, Kent Conwell, David McDonald, Thom Brannon, Troy D. Smith, Chick Dixon, and Richard Dean Starr.

Edited: Matthew Baugh, Tim Lasiuta

Monday, October 24, 2011

French Adventures

I sent a story to Jean-Marc Lofficier at Riviere Blanche Press which is the French imprint of the same company that puts out the Tales of the Shadowmen. It's a collection of prose stories featuring characters form a French comic book line called Hexagon Comics.

The book, Dimension Super-Heroes features my story, in which Hexagon hero, Jed Puma teams with Doc Holliday to face vampires in the Old West. The story was originally titled High Noon of the Living Dead, which is a title I've wanted to use for some time. That apparantly didn't translate well so Jean-Mark changed to which translated to A Fist Full of Crucifix which is probably better title. It still plays with the title of a classic western movie, and fits with the text as Jed Puma (a cowboy who uses judo instead of a gun) finds a new use for a buddhist holy symbol called a konga or vajra.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Halloween Mood Music

I love spooky classical music, and I love music that tells a story. As Halloween approaches, I thought I'd share some of my favorite mood music.

1) "Infernal Dance" by Stravinski from The Firebird.

I've never seen the ballet, but would love to someday.

2) "Danse Macbre" Saint-Saens - The "Danse Macabre" or Dance of death was a motif in art that was really popular in Europe during periods of the Black Plague. The idea was that, when Death calls you to dance, you have to go; young or old, rich or poor, we are all equal in death.

These illustrations were dome for a PBS special in the 1980s. The music is haunting and wonderful.

3) "Mars, Bringer of War" by Holzt - Not spooky so much as ominous; I've often wondered if this was a partial inspiration for Darth Vader's theme (Imperial March),

4) In the Hall of the Mountain King - Edvard Greig. For sheer musical fun you can't beat being trapped underground with a bunch of trolls, and if the troll king's daughter wants to marry you . . . run!

I love the way this music becomes wilder and crazier by the moment as Per Gynt runs from the trolls.

5) Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorsgy (I'm probably spelling that wrong). This is the version from Walt Disney's Fantasia. The devil figure is technically Chernibog, a pre-Christian Russian god of darkness, rather than Satan, as he's introduced in the movie. Still, the image means pretty much the same thing either way. I love the drama in this from the rising of the giant devil to the way it recoils from the sound of the church bells.

By the way, the actor that Disney got to model the actions of the giant devil was Bela Lugosi.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

7 Supernatural Sleuths You May Not Know

I like scary movies, but generally don't like the traditional horror movie where you the heroes are faced with seemingly overwhelming supernatural forces, and then they all die. I much prefer movies where the characters have at least a fighting chance. That's a theme I like in shows like The X-Files (the first few seasons, anyway), Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, and it's companion series Angel. In fact, I like the premise so much that I still watch Supernatural even though I think it jumped the shark after the end of season 5.

Anyway, here are a few of my favorite heroes who have done their bit on film or TV to save us all from the forces of evil.

1) Carl Kolchack - In his out of date, perpetually rumpled suit, Kolchak is an everyman hero. It was refreshing to have a hero who wasn't Mr. Suave-Master-of-the-Mystic-Arts. Kolchak cared about people, but his main goal was getting a pulitzer by proving that one, just one, of his many adventures was real. Failing that he did his best to keep from getting fired from his third-rate newspaper.

2) The Duc de Richlieu - The hero of The Devil Rides Out (1968), Richelieu has the distinction of being one of the few good guys that legendary horror actor christopher Lee ever played. Lee said it was one of his favorite roles and wished that he had been able to plat the Duc in other movies. It could have happened too; "The Devil Rides Out" was an adaptation of one of a long series of supernatural thriller novels by author Dennis Wheatley featuring Richelieu and his companions. It's a shame that it didn't happen because this was a wonderfully atmospheric movie with Lee perfectly cast as Richelieu. He is a heroic man with enough occult know-how to help the heroes when they fall afoul of a diabolic cult led by the evil Mocata (based on real life occultist Alistair Crowley).

I actually like the movie better than the book in this case. Wheatley's politics comes out of the old British upper-class clubland set, and are often racist, sexist and generally offensive.

3) John Thunstone - Manly Wade Wellman's heroic champion against the forces of darkness only appeared on film once. Alex Cord played Thunstone in an adaptation of Rouse Him Not for an episode of the anthology series Monsters. It's a shame that they didn't do more of these, "Rouse Him Not" was one of the best episodes of monsters but one of the weakest of the print stories. Alex Cord did a good job as the suave and good-hearted adventurer whose silver-bladed sword cane handily dealt with the show's monster.

Alas, this version of Thunstone never got to strut his stuff against Wellman's other monsters, like the sinister Shonokins, or the evil sorcerer Rowley Thorne (inspired by real life occultist, Alistair Crowley).

It's interesting to note that two of the villains I've mentioned here, and one that I mentioned in my last post, are all inspired by Crowley.

4) David Sorrell - The hero of Fear No evil (1969) was a sauve west coast psychologist who was a little out of his depth dealing with the supernatural. Despite this, his intelligence and cool head served him well in two TV movies, though it wasn't enough to get him a series. That's a shame, because Fear No Evil, was a well written and genuinely scary story involving ghosts and a demonic mirror. The following year, Sorrell was back in another failed pilot, Ritual of Evil involving an evil cult and an immortal sorceress. Ritual of Evil was also marked by superior writing and a creepy atmosphere.

5) Tom Kovacks and Michelle Brant - In Baffled! (1973) Tom (Leonard Nimoy) is an Indy car racer who gains ESP following a crash. Michelle (Susan Hampshire) is the student of the paranormal who wants to teach him how to use his powers for good. The plot was slight and the dialogue silly, but Nimoy and Hampshire had great chemestry. It's a shame this wasn't made into a series that would have offered them some better adventures.

6) William Sebastian and "Ham" Hamilton - Spectre (1977) was yet another failed TV pilot, this time from Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry featuring occult investigators in the vein of Sherlock Holmes. Sebastian (Robert Culp) is a Holmsian investigator with a brilliant mind but lacking in social skills. His Watson is Dr. Amos "Ham" Hamilton, a physician who struggles with troubles involving alcohol and women.

7) David Norliss - The last of my investigators was writer David Norliss (Roy Thinnes), kind of an upscale version of Kolchak. Norliss was the hero of The Norliss Tapes, yet another unsold TV pilot. The premise for the show was to be that Norliss had spent a year investigating occult matters only to disappear, leaving behind a box of audio tapes. Each week his publisher would listen to another tape, revealing a new adventure and, hopefully, providing another clue to what happened ot Norliss.

Looking over this list, I guess the lesson to learn is: if you create a pilot for a TV show, don't do something I'd like. It's the kiss of death.
Happy Halloween

Saturday, October 1, 2011

10 Monster Movies You Might Not Know

It's October and I decided to do something Halloween-themed with the blog this month. I am not the biggest fan of horror movies, but I love a good monster movie. There's a lot of pverlap between the two to be sure, but a monster movie always includes a monster which (in my humble opinion) is just about always better than a psychotic killer, a deadly disease, unseen demonic forces, or a number of worror elements.

Why? Because monsters are cool, of course. :-)

Anyway, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite movie monsters.

1) Gargoyles (1972) This was a made for TV movie that both scared and fascinated me when I was a kid. Mercer Boley (Cornel Wilde) is a scientist who, along with his pretty daughter, is stranded in a flyspeck of a Southwestern desert town. They discover a bizarre skeleton on display in a souvenier shop. Boley thinks the horned, clawed, and winged humanoid figure has been cobbled together from the bones of half a dozen different creatures. Of course, he's wrong; the skeleton belongs to one of a race of gargoyles that have lain dormant for centuries but are now due to reawaken.

This is a fun movie with minimal voilence and gore but a lot of tension and atmosphere. The odd mix of real folklore about gargoyles with the odd setting worked surprisingly well and Berney Casey is great as the charismatic leaders of the creatures. Watch for a very young Scott Glenn as the leader of a biker gang who decides to help our heroes.

2) Curse of the Demon / Night of the Demon (1957) This is a wonderfully scary based on a story by the brilliant English writer of ghost stories, M.R. James. The story features Dr. John Holden (Dana Andrews) a psychaitrist who has come to England to debunk the occult pretensions of Julian Karsewell (Niall MacGuinness), a cult leader patterned on real-life occultist Alistair Crowley.

As you might gusee, Karsewell really does have occult powers, though the movie plays this idea out with delightful subtlty. I'd love this one without the fire demon that appears briefly at the end (the producer insisted in inserting a monster against the wishes of the director and star) but it's a special treat when the beastie briefly appears.

3) The Gaint Majin (1966), Return of Gaint Majin (1966) and Wrath of the Giant Majin (1966) The three movies are all about the same monster, all very similar in plot and all came out the same year. Other than that, the plots of the movies are unrelated. The premise is simple: the majin (Japanese for "devil-god") is a supernatural being that watches over the people of a small community in feudal Japan. An evil warlord comes in, takes over, and brings great suffering. The people cry out and the stone statue of the Majin comes to life and stomps the villain out of existence.

The appeal of the Giant Majin (or Daimajin as more recent English dubs renter it) is that it is unstoppable. The warlords send their armies at it but the monster ignores arrows and musket balls, swords and spears, and brushes away warriors like they were insects. Not even explosives stop the inexprable march of the giant. It's slow, ponderous movements accompanied by the sound of impossibly heave footfalls make it the perfect embodiment of divine justice, slow but unstoppable.

4) Hellboy (2004) This one you probably know, but I had to include the Hellboy. He's a tough guy with a heart of gold; a monster cum superhero who raises kittens in his spare time; he has a fantastic character design, including an absurdly large right hand; and his movies are a rip-roaring combination of pulp adventure and old school horror. add to that the fact that Hellboy is played by Ron Perlman who has made a career of playing great characters under a ton of makeup and prostetics and you have a winner!

5) The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1957) The first of three Sinbad movies featuring special effects by legendary stop-motion animator. Kerwin Matthews is okay as the hero in this movie, which stays closer to the Arabian Nights stories than either of the sequils. The real stars are the animated skeletons, the two headed roc, the cyclops, and the dragon. The movie concludes with a rousing fight to the death between the cyclops and the dragon.

6) The Golden Voice of Sinbad (1974) The second of the Harryhausen Sinbad movies has hprehaps the best casting with John Phillip Law as our hero and Tom Baker as the evil sorcerer, Koura (the best villain in the franchise). It also features some excellent animated monsters of course, including a griffon and a one-eyes centaur. The best sequince of the movie is when a statue of the six-armed goddess Kali comes to life and engages in a srowdfight with a number of human combattants.

7) Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977) This is the third of the Harryhausen Sinbad movies, and possibly my favorite (though its a hard call). Ptrrick Wayne is a good Sinbad, and the young Jane Seymour is my favoirte leading lady in the series. There's also a heroic monster, a giant caveman called the Troglodyte, who accompanies our heroes and defends them in mortal compbat with a gigantic saber-toothed tiger.

That monster fight, though rousing, was actually a bit of a let down for me. I really wanted to see the Troglodytre fight the Minoton, a bull-headed mechanical man made of bronze.

8) Mighty Joe Young (1949) As you can probably tell from this list, I like monsters, but I like heroic monsters even better. You can't get much more heroic than Mr. Joseph Young, a ten foot tall gorilla who (like King Kong) is brought to civilization so the rubes can gawk at him. Poor Joe is so badly mistreated that you can't blame him when (again like King Kong) he breaks free and goes on a destructive spree. Unlike Kong, the gentle Joe can't resist his heroic impulses and risks his life and freedom when he stops to rescue a little girl from a burning orphanage.

Ahem... excuse me. I'm not tearing up, I just got an ember in my eye.

9) The Valley of Gwangi (1969) I love dinosaurs, but I doubt that anyone reading this needs me to tell them about Jurassic Park. What you may not be aware of is this much earlier, but still fun, dinosaur western. Cowboys and dinosaurs! What more do you need to know than that?

10) 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957) This is the story of a little alien called Ymir (after the frost giant of Nordic myth) who hitches a ride on a probe to Venus and comes to earth. Once here, he grows into one of my favorite monsters of all time. The way Harryhausen cobbles together unique monsters and imbues them with personality is amazing. His animation may seem clumsy by our standards, used as we are to digital effects, but Ray built his creatures and then took them through the painstaking process of animating them one frama at a time. He did this by hand, and all by himself.

You've got to admire that kind of artistry and dedication.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Monsters of American Politics

I've run across several articles recently that have looked at how monster movies help explain the US.

In a 2009 article, the San Diego Union News pointed out that the leection of Barack Obama coincided with a spate of vampires movies in the theaters. They also pointed out the high number of zombie movies made during the George W. Bush administration.

It's likely just coincidence, but maybe not. The writer points out that vampires might be the boogieman of the left, who fear the blood-sucking tactics of Wall Street, and zombies may frighten the right with the specter of an uprising of the undead hordes of the ravening poor descending on Washington.

On the other hand, this recent article from takes the opposite tack. It explains that the right fears vampires because they're immoral sexual deviants who want to drain the blood from capitalism, and the left fears zombies as mindless consumers who swarm after anyone who doesn't conform.

Could this be right? And if that's the case what about other monsters? Does liking werewolves mean you're a Libertarian? Are fans of the Creature from the Black Lagoon mean you're voting Green?

I'm a little worried. Does the fact that my favorite movie monster is King Kong mean that I'm a closet royalist???

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Zombies vs. Vampires

Maybe I'm still a boy of six at heart, but the question, "who would win a fight between . . ." has always fascinated me. That's why Deadliest Warrior quickly became one of my favorite shows. This show gathers a variety of experts to answer such classic questions as who would win a fight between a Viking and a Samurai, between a Comanche horseman and a Mongol warrior, between George Washington and Napoleon Boneparte. It is geek heaven!

DW just finished their third season with something different: Zombies vs. Vampires.

CAUTION: The embedded video features strong bloody violence.

The show was a lot of fun and I LOVED seeing the scientific tests. I think they got the zombies (the slow kind, like you see in George Romero movies) exactly right. On the vampire side, they used the superhuman killing machines seen in 30 Days of Night. This worked well because it brought a modern version of the vampire to the fight.

In the show, Steve Niles, the creator of 30 Days, says:
The romantic vampire started in Bram Stoker's version of th ebook, and then Bela Lugosi came along turning the vampire into this sort of suave seducer and that's where vampires got stuck. When it came time for me to do 30 Days of Night, I just wanted to strip all that away. I looked at all the examples of vampires that I'[ve really enjoyed, like some of the Blade movies, where they were just treated as bad guys. What if they don't want to seduce you? What if we are just their food? And just that little twist makes then incredibly frightening.

I agree to a degree. He is right that Stoker, and then the movies, transformed the vampire into a romantic figure. Subsequent versions, like Barnabbus Collins in the soap opera Dark Shadows made the vampire into a romantic lead, and modern versions, like Twilight brought this to it's most absurd and sparkly extreme. I think Mr. Niles' insight that vampires are pure predators who only want us for our blood is a good one.

Where I part company with him is that his vampires are purely physical predators with razor sharp claws and rows of teeth like a shark. They use their strength, speed and ferocity to attack and kill humans the way an apex predator like a tiger would.

That sounds scary, but it also sounds a lot like a werewolf to me. I prefer a version of the vampire that acts less like this and more as an intelligent predator. It doesn't like to get into a physical conflict, and generally doesn't have to. Vampires have the perfect camofluage because they look like us until they open their mouthes. I think vampires should be seducors, not because they are interested in love or sex, but because we are. They use their intelligence, their appearance, and they may even have some sort of ability to fascinate a potential victim and draw them to an isolated spot where the kill can be made with a minimum of fuss.

But that doesn't detract from the show at all. Vampires won out, BTW, which is good with me. Whatever form they take (except sparkly) they are one of my favorite monsters.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tales From the Cauldron

I just ran across a final table of contents for Library of the Living Dead's long-awaited anthology of witch stories. There are a lot of writers I know in here, including former workshop buddies Anna Haney, Kody Boye, and Paula Stiles. Some others I know from the Permuted Press forum but have not yet had the pleasure of reading include Sheri Gambino and Patrick Rutagliano.

I am looking forward to this.

Many Ways to the Grave - Timothy W. Long
Black Button - Chris Castle
Tsuchi Kijo: Earth Witch - T. Patrick Rooney
What You Wish For - John Irvine
Delilah - Kody Boye
In a Cloak of Midnight Feathers - Mike Phillips
The Last Minute - Jim Kelley
The Witch's Cave - Jeffery Scott Sims
In A Quiet English Village - Paul A. Freeman
Over the Volcano - Paula R. Stiles
The Lost Summer - Anna Haney
Till Death Do Us Part - Casey Quinn
Trixie’s Thirteenth Birthday - Sheri Gambino
If These Bones Could Talk - Rob Rosen
To Touch A Witch - Derek Rutherford
Taking Root - Aaron Polson
Symbols of Love - Paul A. Freeman
Pickman's Next Top Model - William Todd Rose
Trail of the Brujo - Matthew Baugh
For Want Of A Nail - David E. Chrisom
Solitaire, And Other Games Children Play - Jamie Eyberg
Wicked Trick - Keith Gouveia
Feather - Sasha Pearl
The Last Known Whereabouts of 268 Rainey Street - Patrick Rutigliano

Friday, September 2, 2011

Last Post for a Busy Day

I just heard that my western/horror story "Damned PRetty Woman" has been accepted for the anthology THE TRIGGER REFLEX which is Vol 2 of Pill Hill Press' Monster Hunter Anthology.

Tales of the Sahdowmen contents

Black Coat Press has anounced the table of contents for Tales of the Shadowmen, Vol, 8, Agents Provocateirs

Matthew Baugh: Don Camillo and the Secret Weapon starring Don Camillo, James Bond, Eva Kant.
Nicholas Boving: The Elfberg Red starring Rudolph Rassendyll, Raffles, Countess Cagliostro.
Matthew Dennion: The Most Dreadful Monster starring Madame Atomos, Bruce Banner.
John Gallagher: The Books of Shadows (illustrated portfolio)
Martin Gately: Leviathan Creek starring Rouletabille, Kapitan Mors.
Micah Harris: Slouching Towards Camulodunum starring Becky Sharp, Sâr Dubnotal.
Travis Hiltz: In the Caves of the Serpent starring El Borak, Orlando, The Wandering Jew.
Paul Hugli: Sleep No More starring Harry Dickson, The Spider, Dr. Skull.
Rick Lai: Vampire Renaissance starring The Vampire Countess, Dracula
Joseph Lamere: Satan's Signature starring C. Auguste Dupin, Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Jekyll.
Olivier Legrand: Lost in Averoigne starring Jules de Grandin, Jirel of Joiry.
J.-M. & Randy Lofficier: The Affair of the Necklace Revisited starring The Avenger, Judex.
David McDonald: Catspaw starring Flashman's son, The Nyctalope's father, Dr. Moreau.
Chris Nigro: Patricide starring The Phantom of the Opera, The Frankenstein Monster.
John Peel: More Imaginative Sins starring Carnacki, Baal.
Dennis E. Power: Passing through the Hands of Steel starring Passepartout, Johnny Brainerd, Winnetou.
Pete Rawlik: Before the War, Five Dragons Roar starring Charlie Chan, Mr. Moto, Madame Atomos.
Joshua Reynolds: The Carolingian Stone starring Jim Anthony, Belphegor, Jan Mayen.
Frank Schildiner: The Death Bird starring Jean Kariven, Albert Campion.
Michel Stéphan: With the Compliments of Nestor Burma! starring Nestor Burma, Madame Atomos.
Michel Vannereux: The Warlord of Vaha starring John Carter, Cal.


The international anthology devoted to paying homage to the world's most fantastic heroes and villains returns in this eighth installment focused on those who provoke or entice evil… The Agents Provocateurs who thrive in the shadows and lurk on the periphery of our world…

Gathered here in an all-new collection of amazing adventures are the terrifying Creature of Frankenstein and the monstrous Phantom of the Opera, the awesome Dracula and the Vampire Countess, the otherworldly Body Snatchers and the dead Necromancer of Averoigne, the merciless Madame Atomos and the deadly Countess Cagliostro, the Wandering Jew and the slithering Serpent-Men of Lemuria ...

With a special art portfolio by John Gallagher illustrating the Books of Shadows.

New From Moonstone

There are two new anthology titles out from Moonstone Books. The first is The Green Hornet Casefiles which is volume 2 of all new stories about the man who poses as a masked criminal to fight crime. Though the stories are based on the TV series, my entry picks up on a bit of trivia from the radio version of the character. Britt Reid (the Green Hornet) is a descendant of John Reid (the Lone Ranger). In "Auld Acquaintance" the Hornet is called on to help a descendant of the Lone Ranger's partner, Tonto.

The second book is The Avenger: The Justice Inc. Casebook is the second volume of stories about the pulp-era crimefighter with the dead face that can be molded into any disguise. The Avenger is notable among the old adventure pulps because it was one of the few that resisted negative stereotypes of African Americans. Two of the Avenger's assistants, Josh and Rosabel were depicted as being as smart and capable as any. My story "Invisible Empire" builds on this as the Avenger clashes with the Ku Klux Klan.

Though it's only available for pre-order, Sherlock Holmes, the Crossover Casebook can also be found at Amazon. This volume crosses over the great detective with a number of noted historical and literary characters. My story, "The Adventure of the Ethical Assassin" pits Holmes against Ivan Dragomilov, the head of The Assassination Bureau, Ltd. from the unfinished novel of the same name by Jack London.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

An Order of Bacon to Go

Everyone loves bacon; we serve it for breakfast, on top of our cheeseburgers, and even crumble it in our salads. At the same time, we know that bacon isn't very good for us. In fact, bacon can kill you.

That's right . . . kill you!

If you have any doubt, Baconology: Fried Strips of Horror is now available from Amazon with a generous helping of bacon-themed horror stories. It includes my story, "The Un-Kosher Golem" about what happens when medical nanotechnology meets the deli counter and unleashed a monster of living bacon on the world.


Sunday, August 14, 2011


I've had stories accepted at professional rates by anthologies before but never in a pro magazine. That changed this weekend when Daily Science Fiction decided to accept my flash fiction story, "Schroedinger's Outlaw."


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What is it with vampires this week?

I honestly don't know, but. . .

Doctor Omega and the Shadowmen is out, featuring stories of the eccentric French time and space taveller. This collection from Black Coat Press features new stories plus a number of reprints of Doctor Omega stories from Tales of the Shadowmen. One of these is "The Heart of the Moon", my story about the doctor and a motly crew of vampire hunters who travel to the vampire city of Selene.

In related news, I'm working on a Jed Puma story for Black Coats' French language imprint, Riviere Blanche. Jed Puma is a French comic book character from yesteryear who travels the Old West with his judo instructor, Tashi. Jed is a skilled martial artist and prides himself on never wearing a gin. My story teams him with Doc Holliday in pursuit of (you guessed it) a trio of vampire gunfighters.

I'm having a lot of fun working on the story and, whenever I finish a scene, I use google-translate to put it into French. Hopefully side by side English and French manuscripts will help the editors because this story is being published only in French.

Friday, July 29, 2011

and another retry

I've been wondering about another marked for "Gilgamesh" sinch the Zombie Kong Anthology passed on it. It's an odd piece; I essentially rewrote the Gilgamesh Epic updating the characters to the pulp era. Gilgamesh is the "Man of Bronze" who lives on the 86th floor of the tallest zigurat in the city of New Urku, Enkidu is the wild man raised by apes in the jungle, and Humbaba is the giant ape who scales skyscrapers with a pretty woman in his hand. It was as fun as anything to write, but hard to find a market for.

I just sent it off to the good folks at "Strange Horizons".

Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Try Try Again

I just got a rejection from Asimov's for "Schrödinger's Outlaw." That's not a huge surprise though I had my hopes. It's off to Daily Science Fiction now, where it will be a much better fit, IMO.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Productive Month

I've finished up my second draft of my mash-up novel. I don't want to say too much but it's something in the tradition of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, however where P&P&Z is humorous parody, my reworked classic will be a horror/adventure novel more in the vein of Peter Clines' The Eerie Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Lycanthrope. I am itching to spill the beans on the title, but don't want to give anything away without the publisher's say so.

In the meanwhile this has been a very productive month for Short stories. I just wrapped up "Kemosabe" for Moonstone's Lone Ranger anthology, "The Gray Reapers" for the Spider Chronicles by the same publisher, and "Don Camillo and the Secret Weapon" for Tales of the Shadowmen vol 8. Now I just need to put together something for vo3 three of Moonstone's Green Hornet anthologies and I'll be done with licensed characters for a bit.

It is a wonderful thing to be able to write stories about characters I've loved since childhood, but too much of it and I really start missing creating my own characters and their adventures form scratch.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Doldrums

I've got so many projects and so little energy for any of them.

Darn you seasonal allergies!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

On another note

Two rejections followed in short order by a contract. My story "the Un-Kosher Golem" will appear in Baconology: Fried Bits of Horror by Library of the Living Dead Press.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Rejections Still Sting

I just heard from the folks at that they're going to pass on "Closing Time at Galaxy Video." That wasn't unexpected, Tor is a hard market to crack.

I also received a rejection from James Roy Daley for "Gilgamesh", my submission for his Zombie Kong anthology. His note was friendlty and encouraging, and suggested that he liked the story but that it just wasn't a good fit.

Rejection is easier these days than when I first started out. I think my first rejection was a form letter from Omni magazine for a flash fiction story I wrote in college. I was so crushed by that and a few other rejections that I stopped sending stories in for about 20 years.

Rejection is part of the business. Since I started writing again I've had more than 20 stories accepted, and that affirmation helps a lot. It also helps when you get an encouraging note with the rejection and (IMO) shows a lot of class on the editor's part. Just the same, even the kindest rejection still stings, and I find myself wondering if my stories are complete rubbish and whether I should just stop.

If you've ever felt this way, I can sympathize. My only advice is what I tell myself: "Don't quit. Keep writing and keep sending those stories to people who might reject them. When an editor gives you encouragement, take it to heart. When an editor gives you criticism, take that to heart too and learn all you can from it. But as long as there are stories in you that want to be told, don't ever give up!"

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Because I don't update this silly thing enough.

First, good news on the weird westerns front. The long delayed TALES FROM THE CAULDRON is moving ahead again with a new editor. That means that "Trail of the Brujo" should see print in the near future. That is a story in which gunfighter and monster-hunter Mysterious Dave Mather takes on a centuries old sorcerer. Also, another Mysterious Dave story called "Wolfers" has been picked up by LEATHER, DENIM AND SILVER: LEGENDS OF THE MONSTER HUNTERS.

Also, MORE TALES OF ZORRO is out from Moonstone and the book looks great. It features two stories of mine, "Zorro and the Bruja" and my collaboration with Richard Dean Starr, "Just Like Magic."

If you notice a similarity in a couple of the titles (eg Brujo/Bruja) that's not accidental, but I'll leave you to figure out what metafictional connection there could be.