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.
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.
The Lost Librarian’s Grave—coming October 1, 2021.
Pauline Yates gives us a peek into the mind of a disturbed* individual, who has a pretty unique perspective on suicide prevention, with her fast-moving horror story, “The Jump.” I don’t want to give away too much, but I feel pretty safe in saying that Yates’ narrator is very much an “ends justify the means,” sort of person with an interesting set of useful skills. You know what they say—knowledge is power!
Yates enjoys exploring the complexities of human nature through horror and speculative fiction, and I found “The Jump” to be an interesting psychological piece where it is fun to consider the narrator’s thinking through the lens of what the author doesn’t tell us about her main character.** I also enjoyed the ending; she got me with that last line. When you read “The Jump,” don’t spoil it by skipping to the end!
Pauline is an Australian writer whose short stories have appeared in many venues, including Metaphorosis, Abyss & Apex, Aurealis, and in various publications through Black Hare Press.
Her short story, “The Best Medicine,” won best in category in the 2020 Australia Horror Writers Association Flash Fiction and Short Story Competition.
You can learn more about Pauline on her website, see what she is reading on Goodreads, and find some of her work through her Amazon Author Page. She can also be found on Twitter@midnightmuser1.
* By “disturbed” I mean insane.
** I enjoy monsters, supernatural terrors, etc. and there is a lot of that in The Lost Librarian’s Grave,” but I also very much dig stories where the dangers come from human beings with no special powers beyond what their intelligence, resources, skills, and circumstances can bring to bear.
We have finished acquiring stories for our first publication, The Lost Librarian’s Grave, and have begun the editing process. Our debut anthology of horror and weird fiction promises to be a somewhat weighty tome, so Don and I have a fair amount of work ahead of us.
I am also considering whether or not we should do a Patreon page and/or a Kickstarter for The Lost Librarian’s Grave. I’ve looked into those a little—most of my experience with those two platforms has been from the contributor end of things—but for now I’m going to stay focused on the editing process. Like I said, our first anthology is going to be a lot of book.
I’ll leave you with a section from a piece of black & white interior art we are considering using in the book. There is a lot more to this image than what you are seeing here. I clipped out the top right-hand bit with the two moons and the gargoyle-dragon-winged monstrosity-whatever-the-heck-it-is doing its thing.
This weekend we’ll be back again with another featured story about an odd person who has some disturbing ideas about suicide prevention. As it happens this is the very story we are currently working on editing.
Until then, keep reading.*
* I’m curious to know what was the last book you read and what is one of the books you are currently reading now. Let us know in the comments and we’ll start it off ourselves.
Today’s writing prompt comes from your own reading, because what you read can fuel your own writing, either deep within the opaque corners of one’s mind and-or self-consciously, welling up to the surface of things.
First, consider the cover of whatever book you are currently reading as general inspiration. See where the artwork takes you in the quest to create something new. You can also work in the text too if that proves useful.
Second, pick a book of any sort, go to a random page and pick one sentence, again at random. Work that sentence as an ingredient into the soup that is your new creation.
I picked a random book from my collection, closed my eyes, opened the volume and plunked my finger down on the page. I opened my eyes and read, “Behind these apocryphal tales is the visionary technique of rising in the Planes.”
You can simply work the sentence into your work in progress—with proper attribution of course—or unlike Mr. Nero the Cat, you can try and think out of the box.
Some ideas that quickly come to mind as I type this are:
Sprinkle all of the words in your sentence throughout your text. This is what I did for a bit of microfiction I wrote back in 2019 called “I Want My Blanket,” that appeared inSloth, published by the good folks at Black Hare Press.
Write down each word on a separate scrap of paper. You can then manipulate the words in various ways for your project. For example, you can pick one piece at random, use the word in your project, pick another word, and so on. Another possibility is to allow the scraps to fall and only use the ones that are face up or are face down, etc. William S. Burroughs liked to perform various manipulations with words using methods like these as well as many others.
Instead of using the words from the sentence you picked, try and find synonyms, antonyms, or (if possible) homonyms for some of the words.
If you came up with something using prompt, please let me know in the comments. I’d like to read your masterpiece!