I received a proof copy of The Lost Librarian’s Grave from Amazon today with a matte cover. I’m happy with how it came out, though I do think I’m going to move the “Tales of Madness…” over to the left just a tad and the “Edited by” over a bit to the left as well, near that outside rusty talon.
I have a bunch of points on the credit card I use for Amazon, so I ordered a second copy, this time with a glossy cover. While, like I said, I’m pleased with this cover, the colors aren’t as vibrant as I expected. Amazon says that the glossy covers tend to have more vibrant colors, so we’ll see.
Also, I went with cream-colored paper instead of the white paper for the second copy, so I could see the difference. I probably wouldn’t have gone to all of this trouble if I didn’t have the points.
I’ll post again when I get the second copy and the paperback will go live soon after that. In the meantime, for those who prefer to read ebooks, the anthology can be read for free with Kindle Unlimited and of course can be all yours for $4.99, though I’ll probably be doing a sale soon.
I’m very pleased to write that The Lost Librarian’s Grave ebook is now available on Amazon. I changed the home page to announce the book, along with some of the information we’ve been posting on this blog recently.
Our debut ebook anthology is going to be available on Amazon in a couple of days, so I thought this would be a fun time to post our table of contents.
The book contains 36 short stories, including one novella, and four poems. It is a sizeable tome!
What is more, if you have Kindle Unlimited, you’ll be able to read the ebook for free. Of course one can buy the Grave for $4.99, though I’m planning on running a sale for October.
The book has the usual table of contents listing the stories and poems in the order they appear, but we also collected up the stories by theme under happy categories such as “Demon-Haunted World,” and “The Dead, the Mad, and the Terrified,” and (of course) “A Murder of Gargoyles.” A few of them, naturally, could go in more than one category but as editor I had to make the final call and I did!
The idea is that some people like to read anthologies in order and other people like to skip around the book. So we provided a guide for both sorts of readers. (I’m a skip around type of reader.)
Preface: How I Found the Grave of a Lost Librarian.
“The Savage Night” by Pedro Iniguez
“Inside a Refrigerator” by Adrian Ludens
“Medusa’s Mirror” by Paul L. Bates
“The Maze of Moonlight and Mirrors” by Gerri Leen (poem)
“Ocular” by Nidheesh Samant
“Voyage of the PFV-4” by David Rose
“The Infinity of Worse” by Ken Hueler
“Snake and Sinew, Flame and Bone” by Amanda Cecelia Lang
“They Never Left” by Matthew McKiernan
“Face to Face” by Tom Leveen
“The Problem of Bottling Troublesome Spirits” by Juleigh Howard-Hobson (poem)
“Rathbone” by Zach Ellenberger
“The Ocean’s Misfortune” by Alison McBain
“The Jump” by Pauline Yates
“Good Boy Anyway” by Briana Una McGuckin
“Bottled Rage” by Owen Auch
“Death, and the Scent of Tea” by Cheryl Zaidan
“The Artist” by Mike Murphy
“The Woman in the Wallpaper” by Gregory L. Norris
“Gargoyles of the World, Unite!” by Mary Jo Rabe
“The Grotesque” by Rhonda Parrish (poem)
“Devil’s Oak” by Mary Leoson
“The Day in Gold” by Adele Gardner
“He Gets Hungry Sometimes” by Carol Gyzander
“Valhalla is a Lie” by Benjamin Thomas
“Aegir’s Son” by Edward Ahern
“Butterflies of the Longest Night” by Russell Hemmell
“Odd Job Tom” by Eddie Generous
“Penance” by J.V. Gachs
“Cold Storage” by Jude Reid
“Nature versus Nurture” by Gerri Leen (poem)
“Three Bad Things” by Kathy Kingston
“Blooms of Darkness” by Melissa Miles
“Among Stars and Stones” by Brandon Barrows
“The Little People” by Kurt Newton
“A Bed Both Long and Narrow” by Sipora Coffelt
“The Clearing” by Helen Power
“The Binding of Chrysanthoula” by Angeliki Radou
“The Glorious Protection of Angels” by Michelle Ann King
“Mother Winter” by Matthew Chabin
I will post again once the ebook becomes available in a couple of days. After that, I’ll be working on the paperback version, which I’m planning on publishing later in October.
We’re putting the finishing touches on The Lost Librarian’s Grave ebook, and Don and I finished sorting out the book description, which we put near the beginning of the ebook. This description will also be on the back cover of the paperback, which I’m working on now..
I also added the black and white illustration on the same page of the ebook. I don’t necessary think you need to wear protective gear when reading this lovely book, but I’m not seeing it isn’t a good idea either.
Welcome, mortal. You have finally discovered that place they told you about where hope crawls off to die.
Where sorcery, vile experiments, and the supernatural are as real as killers from around the corner and those things you cannot see that buzz and wriggle and chew narrow, twisting tunnels under your skin and inside your skull.
Surrender to the unclean darkness living in this malevolent tome. Treat yourself to a bevy of tales where revenge, greed, and malice are the orders of the day and watchwords of pitiless night.
Travel through blood-stained vistas set in forgotten pasts, along rolling centuries of iron and pain, into the strange apocalypses of our present day and several possible near futures. Enjoy this diverse collection of horror, leavened with an osseous dusting of bizarre adventures, verse, and weird fiction written by a loose cabal of thirty-nine authors from around the world.
Work continues on The Lost Librarian’s Grave horror and weird fiction anthology, which is good because October will be here before we know it. Today I tweaked the ebook cover a little, giving the gargoyle a bit of an aura or glowing effect, as well as a few other things.
I also decided to put some author names on the cover. It was very hard to decide* so the three of us each picked our favorite story–none of us liked the same one the best. This was easy for Don, a bit harder for Occasum, and very hard for me because I liked all the stories and had several favorites for differing reasons.
Then I added another author because I have misspelled their name now about a dozen times, and while not a huge deal it seemed a way of balancing the scales and achieving some literary Maat. Finally, we all agreed that we had to put Matthew Chabin on the cover because his ten thousand word-and-then-some “Mother Winter” is by far the longest story in the anthology, besides being a great read with an ending I thought very suitable for wrapping up our anthology.
I wanted seven names, because everyone knows that seven is a lucky number, and since all of the authors belong on the cover, I rolled a die twice and left the decision to good Renenet.
As always, suggestions and feedback are appreciated. I’m still toying with the idea of taking the “33” out as well as a couple of other things.
* Again, for purposes of Maat, I decided that the other twenty-seven authors and three poets should be on the front cover too, even if the only people who know it are you and me. So I typed in the remaining thirty names, then occluded them by means of technology both vast and dark. The scales are balanced!
Today’s story for our upcoming debut anthology, The Lost Librarian’s Grave, is “Ocular” by Nidheesh Samant, who spins a tale where the walls have eyes, but as it often turns out in both life and fiction, not everything is even remotely as it appears….
The intrepid Suraj Thakur finds himself in the middle of a mystery when his friend, Alan Humes, doesn’t come back from a trip to a rural village. At the behest of Mrs. Humes, Thakur traces his friend’s footsteps, which lead to the sinister Kamath Lodge. From there, our protagonist is thrown into an unlikely and increasingly grotesque adventure where it seems as if everyone knows far more than he is saying….
Nidheesh is a marketing professional, a writer, and a collector of trivia, who believes the best thing in life is a good bowl of soup. He lives in Mumbai, India with his family, and you can find him online at @darthnid on Instagram or via his website.
Harikalar Diyarında of Hatter Tea Party posted a fun post about the Martian canals, which served as inspiration for a lot of things, most near and dear to my heart–science fiction from the Golden Age and beyond!
Check out the original post: besides being interesting, it also has some pretty pictures!
Excerpted from Dancing on Ropes: Translators & the Balance of History by Anna Aslanyan:
In August of 1877, the Italian astronomer Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli turned his telescope towards Mars. The director of the Brera Observatory in Milan had installed an eight-inch Merz refractor on the roof of the Brera Palace, initially to observe double stars. Pleased with its performance on that task, he wanted to see if it ‘possessed the necessary qualities to allow also for the studies of the surfaces of the planets’. With Mars due to be in opposition with Earth in early September, Schiaparelli decided to seize the opportunity.
The observations he made over the next two months transformed our image of the Red Planet. In addition to previously noted brighter and darker areas, referred to as terrae (lands) and maria (seas), he could now distinguish, at first ‘in a very vague and indeterminate manner’, dark lines…
Sonora Taylor is making Little Paranoias, her 2019 collection of short horror fiction available for free on Amazon until midnight (Pacific Time) on July 30th. I downloaded the e-book myself yesterday and have added it to my ever-growing reading list.
Is it a knock on the door, or a gust of wind? A trick of the light, or someone who’ll see what you’ve done?
“Little Paranoias: Stories” features twenty tales of the little things that drive our deepest fears. It tells the stories of terror and sorrow, lust at the end of the world and death as an unwanted second chance. It dives into the darkest corners of the minds of men, women, and children. It wanders into the forest and touches every corner of the capital. Everyone has something to fear — but after all, it’s those little paranoias that drive our day-to-day.
I run across these free offers quite often and I think they are a good way for readers to gain an introduction to an author they’ve never read before, and thus good for the author too.* I know that I am much more likely to buy an author’s offerings if I’ve enjoyed some of their work in the past. Plus, for those on a budget, deals like this are a nice way to grow an electronic library.
If you end up downloading and reading Little Paranoias, let me know how you liked it in the comments.
* I will post more of these free offers when I run across them.
Winner of the Ladies of Horror Fiction Award for Best Collection (2019).
The Lost Librarian’s Grave—coming October 1, 2021.
One thing that I am enjoying about editing our debut horror and weird fiction anthology is the chance it gives me to revisit some of the stories we accepted a couple of months ago.
This brings me to Amanda Cecelia Lang’s interesting and unique short story, “Snake and Sinew, Flame and Bone.” Although I’m only getting to “Snake” just now, this was the first story we accepted for the anthology back in May so it holds a special place in The Lost Librarian’s Grave.*
As befits a tale like this one, Lang begins with her protagonist, Lilias Proctor, waking up from being long dead—she’s roused by the sounds of her sisters digging her up. We learn of the varied and harrowing torments Lilias endured before she was killed, and apparently coming back to life is no picnic either.
There are a number of interesting themes and ideas explored in “Snake and Sinew, Flame and Bone,” including the cycle of life, death and rebirth and the idea of taking sins and evils into oneself as a scapegoat.** I also enjoyed how the author played with time in her story structure as well as the lyric quality of her prose—each time I re-read Lang’s tale I unearthed another nugget of poetry.
All of this is well and good and fun, but Lang succeeds in what I think is the most important element in a story: “Snake and Sinew, Flame and Bone” was a fun read.
Amanda Cecelia Lang’s horror stories have appeared on The Other Stories podcast, Thirteen podcast, Creepy podcast, and in the anthologies Night Terrors, Mix Tape: 1986 and The Year’s Best Hardcore Horror.
Besides writing horror fiction, Amanda also has the worthy aspiration to become a recluse.*** She lives with her life partner and two ancient cats in Denver, Colorado (USA). You can follow Lang’s literary efforts by visiting her website at amandacecelialang.com, and in October you can check out her story in The Lost Librarian’s Grave.
* This is the first story, but the first piece of writing we accepted was Rhonda Parrish’s poem, “The Grotesque.”
** In the ritualistic or religious sense, and in lexical sense of the term.