Anthology of Evil has a sequel! It has been released as two new volumes, titled, "Anthology of Evil II vol. I" and "Anthology of Evil II vol. II The Unwritten".
Volume II by the way, was just nominated for a prestigious award (Nominated, which really means little other than a member / peer thought it worthy to be in the running for an award...still, pretty cool!).
You can hear more about these books and more when I speak with friend and fellow film director Kelly Hughes on his 2-Bit Horror podcast. There, we talk about my writing in general and a variety of fun things. I am also on live radio Chat and Spin, a UK show from Washington, England, recording the same day this blog hits the bandwidth. For more about me, you can visit my website with info about my audiobooks and film productions ("Gumdrop", a short horror, is my latest short horror film).
Brief aside December 11, 2020 update: Amazing news! My play, "Denude, a one act", was just selected by Jocunda Music, Film & Theatre Festival via FilmFreeway.com! Selected: Project has been selected to be included in festival.
It is about two guys in a foxhole during a war...or wars, opening in vietnam.
Kind of a Twilight Zoneish play, that opens in a cross section of a foxhole so the audience can see the soldiers on stage in it, jungle surrounding them backstage and side. TRAPPIST, a 1972 Vietnam deployed soldier, and MENSES, a 1972 Vietnam deployed soldier
I found it in my writings from college, spiffed it up and sent it off and now it's in being performed a festival in Brooklyn, NY. Event date January 15, 2021
First 50 free ebook download (coupon TE53V) from Smashwords!
First 50 free ebook download (coupon KM72X) from Smashwords!
You may notice that the book covers are reversed. That's because they are really one book broken out into two volumes. Why? Allow me to explain.
These books are a collection of my newer short horror and sci fi fiction which have been published in magazines and anthologies with other authors and some, have yet to be published. Tell now. So you're seeing them now for the first time anywhere.
|My first "Anthology of Evil" collection book cover|
"Anthology of Evil" was my first published book, a collection of my first and older short stories. It opens with my first ever published short story. That was back in 1990 in an east coast quarterly horror magazine. "In Memory, Yet Crystal Clear", is a story all too familiar to America today that takes place in a dystopian society where the country put all their trust in just one man. A man we discover, who is mentally unbalanced.
|My second book, the epic, "Death of heaven"|
My second book, "Death of heaven", is an epic tale of two friends who grew up together, then lost touch as they both assumed their roles in life. Broken and somewhat lost, they come together again, one to save the other, who then saves him. They are happy to have found one another again, but under such dark circumstances? Dark circumstances we come to discover, that affects the entire world, the whole of humanity and takes us into an intergalactic tale of fear and escape.
Back to "Anthology of Evil". That collection of stories end with a novella titled, "Andrew". That story grew into the foundation for my second book, "Death of heaven". While my first book was a collection of my short published and unpublished short fiction and it ended with a novella, I wanted to write my second book in that series in the same format.
However, when writing "The Unwritten", what was to have been the ending novella, I went way beyond the reasonable length of a novella. I did not realize that until I was actually formatting "Anthology of Evil II.
At that point, I was left with a quandary. What should I do?
I went back and forth about it until finally, I settled on the present solution. I would put out two books, volumes 1 and 2 would comprise the second book in the "Anthology of Evil" series. Since I had never put out a series before and had never really considered it, in doing it this way I would end up with volumes 1 & 2 of the second book in the series. I found that a bit entertaining. So I settled on doing that. And that was all the thought I gave it.
It wasn't under I was publishing the books that the consideration of price came into my mind. So anyone saying I was trying to make money by putting these stories out in two books rather than one, that thought had never come into my mind. At that time I did think about it and I did consider going back to a one book format. But I thought I would just price it appropriately and go forward as I had planned.
Until I ran up against Amazon's pricing policy. They would not allow me to do what I wanted to. By then I just wanted to be done with the process (it was 2020 and a very, very long and problematic year, as we all know). I just wanted to see them published at this point and move on to other things. And that led me to another issue, having literally nothing to do with these two books.
It is an issue I'm still trying to work out with Amazon about my first two books. But that mess, for another time. Besides, I do not yet know the resolution though I have suggested a few to Amazon about this.
By the way, what am I doing that I wanted to be done with this and move on? I published my books this time under my film production company, LgN Productions, which I started back in 1993. I also write screenplays.
It is a true-crime story about a 17-year-old guy who protected a murder witness from the Tacoma, Washington mafia, a biopic screenplay titled, "The Teenage Bodyguard". It is currently being shown to a studio by my producer, Robert Mitas. Robert has produced films with famed actor/producer, Michael Douglas, who along with his father Kirk, all through my childhood had been a film hero of mine for just about forever.
But right now? I am writing another screenplay that is a Frank Capraesque kind of a feel-good film, which America and the world really could use right now. Frank produced films like "It's A Wonderful Life" (1946) with Jimmy Stewart, which didn't do well at the box office when released, but has been an American Christmas staple for many decades.
My current screenplay is a "traveling angel" story that takes place in "any town USA". I haven't pitched it to Robert yet, but very soon. I think he'll be excited about it.
Back to my new books:
"Anthology of Evil II" has sixteen stories total in it:
"Red Rain" - A Philip K Dick kind of story about two scientists who have had it with how humanity treats humanity and so, they do something about it. Well, one of them does.
"Expedition Of The Arcturus" - First published in the online hard sci fi magazine, PerihelionSF - In the style of one of my first favorite sci fi authors as a child, Isaac Asimov. It's a story about Earth's first generational spaceship. Told in reversed timeline. Meaning, it begins at the end and, it ends at the beginning. It was the hook that got me that sale from the editor Sam Bellotto.
"Breaking On Cave Island" - First published in "Giant Tales World of Pirates (Giant Tales 3-Minute Stories) (Volume 3)" in 2014 by Professor Limn Books LLC & H.M. Schuldt. An HP Lovecraft kind of tale about a pirate named Captain Lord Ritchie. This is a prequel to a story of mine in Book 1 of the series titled, "Poor Lord Ritchie". In this tale he is younger, obviously, and a pirate captain trapped in a underworld tunnel on a deserted island. Anyone knowing this character knows he hates wizards. Here you can finally find out why.
"Jaonny's Apple Tree" - This is a story about a young alien boy on his home planet. Reminiscent of a Ray Bradbury, who is one of my all-time favorite authors. It's a pleasant tale told in a bucolic setting. Where no doubt, all is not what it seems.
"In The Shade" - Originally published as, "Falling Up!", in "Final Ships In the Neighborhood (Giant Tales Apocalypse 10-Minute Stories Book 2)" in 2014, edited by Professor Limn Books & H.M. Schuldt - I'd have to say this is based on myself and HP Lovecraft, as well as Isaac Asimov. This is a side story based on the last part of my book, "Death of heaven". If you like this story at all, check out the book. This, is nothing compared to what all happens in the original.
"Simon's Beautiful Thought" - Simon is a tech guy with an AI assistant on his phone like so many of us have. A bit of Isaac Asimov in this tale. Yes, this has been done before. But I wrote it a year before the movie, "Her" (with Joaquin Phoenix) came out. The question in this story is, do AI's get jealous? Or, can one just be a good friend with only your best interests at "heart" (or, at CPU?).
"The Regent's Daughter" - A short, short story that won a tiny award for "best tension" from the group that published two stories of mine mentioned above in the "Giant Tales" series of books. It reminds me of a Robert E. Howard story (he wrote the Conan books, among other things), with perhaps a little more ironic humor n it. It tells of a medieval nobody who gets the unique opportunity to interact with a royal beauty in the town's main square by the castle. It goes well, I think. So does our protagonist. Well, it is a memorable tale anyway.
"Mr. Pakool's Spice" - First published in "Hunger Pangs: Dark Confessions", in 2012 by Mayday Collective. I'm saying this is based somewhat on a Calvin A. L. Miller II zombie book, "Het Madden". Because I've only read two zombie novels and that's one Mine is a story about a widower trying to get his two young children to safety through the back wintry woods of Oregon after the zombie apocalypse hits. There is a slight association at the end with another zombie story of mine: "Japeth, Ishvi and The Light" in the first "Anthology of Evil" book
"Men Of The City" - This is an allegorical story spawned by the famous writer and artist, Clive Barker. He held a contest once based on a painting of the same name as my short story. He did not choose this story. He chose two other author's stories and they were good and did use his painting as inspiration. I just decided on a lark to take it...literally. I really like this weird little tale.
"Pvt. Ravel's Bolero" - This is a poem, based on Maurice Ravel and a bit of Hemingway, but with a kind of Edgar Allen Poe edge to it. What if Ravel came up with his famous "Bolero" while in the trenches of WWI where both he and Hemingway were kept from the main action and made ambulance drivers. What if opposing trenches one night discovered a very unknown thing in this kind of warfare: Humanity?
"Marking Time" (original 1969 version) - With a bit of a Stephen King flair to it, this is a story I wrote many years ago and details what I was told as a child by another child, while we were in the Cascade mountains on a search and rescue training mission, looking for a small downed aircraft. I had reworked this story, updated it, set it in Afghanistan, and published it in my second book, "Death of heaven". That first, second version (or is it second, first version?) is a ghost story and a special operations war story. This one is more intimate and gives the reader an idea of what kids for decades have gone through in the Civil Air Patrol. To be sure it is an extreme example. I got a lot out of being a Flight Commander in the CAP, and it helped, once I was an adult and had entered the United States Air Force.
"Crashing Indulgences" - Another kind of Stephen King story about how far off relationships can go. Yeah, not much to say about this one, other that there may be highlights of the macabre and extraordinary.
"EarVu" - With a touch of both Isaac Asimov & Clive Barker, this is about a group of cutting edge (bleeding edge, really) scientists when one day, one of them shows up for work, and no one else does. It's a bit of a detective story that all takes place in a top-secret, secure research facility. New technology has been developed that will change the world. If it can ever get out of the lab.
"Rapture" - With the flavor of a Philip K Dick story, this happens in the near future. A private detective, or a "fixer", that's never really clear, is hired by a rich woman to take her to the inner city where she does not belong, to acquire a new illegal drug. That's the upside to this tale.
"Xibalba Unleashed" - This follows the lines of HP Lovecraft if he had turned toward the Mayan ancients and their mythology. It is an origin story that starts off in the action, recedes to the recent past into a famous Mayan cave that is the entrance to the underworld and then returns, making much more sense than when it started. This was written for the British "A-Z Horror Anthology" where I had the letter "X" and twenty-five other authors had a letter their title had to start with. The anthology got up to the letter "L" and then the project fell through. I had a minor motorcycle accident in the middle of writing this. When I returned to finish it, I ran over the word length and rather than possibly ruin it, I wrote another story entirely and submitted it.
"X The Unknown" - This is that other story I submitted to replace the story just above. With a detective edge to it familiar to Edgar Allan Poe, this is about an FBI Special Agent in Seattle following a lead on a serial killer. Maybe it is the killer, the UnSub, maybe not.
"Anthology of Evil II The Unwritten" - This is volume two, the second half of book two in the series and has only one story in it. But that is all the story that is needed: "The Unwritten". I detail more on this story in the back of the book. For now, I'll just say what the back cover says: "Three Hells. Three Universes. "One Solution". The book opens with a man strapped to a table in an old cabin in the woods. He cannot remember anything at first and has no idea why this woman is so into torturing him. This shifts to a lab of two scientists in another universe and an experiment and a society that is constrained and complicated. After this shifts to a far darker universe than anyone has ever experienced, we dance between the three until, in the end, it all comes together with an unforeseeable ending.
My style of writing in my fiction is my own. As one critic put it, she could not figure out who I was from my writings, you can read her own words at the link, but it was high praise indeed.
Another critic in speaking of my book, "Death of heaven", said: "The book starts well and has a Books of Blood vibe, which really works well. It's in these tales that the author's writing ability shines. He demonstrates a lovely turn of phrase and some of the writing is almost poetic in its beauty."
"Books of Blood" were written by Clive Barker and are some of my favorite horror stories. He now has a new show based on these on Hulu. I read my first book of blood of Clive's back in the 80s and wrote to him. He wrote back. I got to meet him a few times but that was the early 90s at book signings.
So I take the comparison to heart. Are these stories that good? That's not up to me. But if you like any of these, do give "Death of heaven" a read. And then just maybe, you'll find out why the "h" in Heaven" is not capitalized.