SIGNAL BOOST: Indiegogo Campaign for the Outer Dark

The Outer Dark is running an Indiegogo Campaign to help fund its second annual Symposium on the Greater Weird on March 24. There are many MAGNIFICIENT rewards to those who contribute.

From their website:

The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird is the world’s only conference focusing on contemporary Weird fiction, film and art. The 2nd annual symposium will gather more than 25 writers, artists, filmmakers & editors on March 24, 2017 at Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, CA., one of the USA’s Weirdest places. Hear all the readings and panels on The Outer Dark podcast, which airs on This Is Horror, reaching thousands of listeners who are readers of Weird and speculative fiction.

OD 2018

 

The Outer Dark, and Looming Low News

Some writing based news

I will be appearing at the 2018 Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird on March 24. In addition to getting to meet and mingle with other cool authors, the event will be held at the allegedly haunted world famous Winchester House in San Jose, CA!

Winchester_Mystery_House_San_Jose_California_Picuresque_Spraying_Fountain

Looming Low, the first Dim Shores anthology, has been nominated for a This is Horror award in the anthology category.*

 

*My story “Mirror Bias” appears here.

BOOK RADAR: “Cry Your Way Home” by Damien Angelica Walters

Colleague and semi-local-to-me author Damien Angelica Walters has a new collection out. Some of the pieces I have read before they were collected in CRY YOUR WAY HOME  (Apex Book Company). Walters’ delicate prose style belies the disturbing darkness at the center of her fiction.

cywh_cover_1_grande

From the back cover copy:

Sometimes things are not what they appear to be. DNA doesn’t define us, gravity doesn’t hold us, a home doesn’t mean we belong. From circus tents to space stations, Damien Angelica Walters creates stories that are both achingly familiar and chillingly surreal. Within her second short story collection, she questions who the real monsters are, rips families apart and stiches them back together, and turns a cell phone into the sharpest of weapons.

Cry Your Way Home brings together seventeen stories that delve deep into human sorrow and loss, weaving pain, fear, and ultimately resilience into beautiful tales that are sure to haunt you long after you finish the collection.

Includes the Bram Stoker Award-nominated story “The Floating Girls: A Documentary”

My Mother’s Obituary

My mother, Willa Broome Gidney, died on December 10. The funeral service is this Saturday. I am in mourning and expect to be for a while. But I will share the long-form obituary I co-wrote with my older brother.

Obituary for Willa Broome Gidney
January 29, 1931 – December 10, 2017

Willa (“Billie”) Mae Broome Gidney was born on January 29, 1931 in Gastonia, North Carolina to James Laurance Broome, a stone mason, and Stella Segines Broome, a seamstress. She was the youngest child of that marriage, which included her siblings Stella Constance Broome Fuller, Donald Broome , James Broome Jr., and Bettye Broome Poe.

Her mother, Stella Segines, died when Billie was ten years of age, and that tragic event briefly separated the family as her widowed father looked for steady work in the North. Willa was taken in and raised by Mrs. Rosie B. Thompson and her husband from ages 11-17. During this time, she excelled academically, in spite of the challenges of being separated from her family. Willa moved to Philadelphia, PA along with the rest of her family when her father remarried Ms. Frances Glasco (known to all as “Mama Frances”).

Willa attended Temple University in Philadelphia where, in addition to her studies in French and education, she joined the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and was one of Temple University’s first African-American cheerleaders. She also wrote a weekly column in the university newspaper entitled, “The Broome Sweeps Clean.”

After graduation, she became third-grade teacher in Philadelphia. During the summers of 1957-59, Willa earned her Masters of Education at Harvard University Graduate School of Education. It was at this time that she began courting Calvin Gidney, who would be her husband of nearly 40 years. She met him in her childhood in Newton, North Carolina, where they were both in the same third grade classroom. They wed in 1958. Billie and Calvin lovingly raised three children: Calvin Leroy (III) “Chip” , Craig Laurance, and Evan Lionel. Billie was immensely proud of her three sons, her daughter-in-law Tiffany Ricci (Gidney) and her grandchildren Calvin Lionel Gidney and Eleanor Shea Gidney.

After Calvin Gidney Jr. completed his Doctor of Dental Surgery at Meharry Medical College , the couple moved down to Washington, D.C., where Calvin set up a dental practice on Kennedy Street and Billie began working for the D.C. Public Schools, first as an elementary school teacher, and then as an administrator for the DCPS as the school system’s Cultural Coordinator. In this role, Billie oversaw cultural enrichment programs for the entire DC Public School system. She also managed to complete the coursework towards a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) at Nova University.

In addition to her many academic and professional achievements, Billie participated in many volunteer and social organizations. She served a couple of terms as the president of the Carter Barron East Neighborhood Association (CBENA), the neighborhood group she co-founded with Mrs. Louise Whitney. Her work with many local and national clubs including the Emeralds, the Arrowettes, Just Good Friends, Girl Scouts of America, and Christ Lutheran Church enriched the lives of many in the community.

Billie spent the last twelve years of her life living at Riderwood Village, a continuing care community in Silver Spring, MD. There, she took full advantage of the many opportunities for travel, learning, cultural enrichment, physical activities, and games (at which she excelled). She was a beloved member of the Riderwood community – loved and respected by residents and staff alike.

Billie had many talents and interests. She was a voracious reader, an expert bridge player, and an unbeatable Scrabble player. She was a musician – a skilled pianist and vocalist – a gift she shared with her sons Chip and Evan. She was a skilled orator and sometimes performed her own poetry. She was a talented and funny raconteur: her stories live on in the books of her son Craig. She was always impeccably dressed and had a flair for accessories; while at Riderwood, she would even adorn her walkers to the delight of other residents.

Billie was, first and foremost, a beautiful soul – kind, wise, smart, and gentle. She lived a marvelous and long life with grace and dignity. She touched all who knew her.

For the life of Willa B. Gidney, we are eternally thankful!

 

BOOK RADAR: “Until the Last Dog Dies” by Robert Guffey

I meet Robert Guffey over 20 years ago at the Clarion West Workshop in Seattle. His fiction is…. Take a little Pynchon, a pinch of Vonnegut, add a dash or two of Hunter S. Thompson, filter it through the aesthetic of surrealist painter Dali…and you have a Guffey story. Guffey was Bizarro before Bizarro was a thing.

His new absurdist novel, UNTIL THE LAST DOG DIES is out today. He probably wrote by hand, in his impeccable script.

Guffey

From the cover copy:

A young stand-up comedian must adapt to an apocalyptic virus affecting people’s sense of humor in this darkly satirical debut novel.

What happens when all humor is wiped off the face of the Earth?

Around the world, an unusual viral plague is striking the population. The virus attacks only one particular section of the brain. It isn’t fatal, but it results in the victim’s sense of humor being obliterated. No one is immune.

Elliot Greeley, a young stand-up comedian starving his way through alternative comedy clubs in Los Angeles, isn’t even certain the virus is real at first. But as the pandemic begins to eat away at the very heart of civilization itself, the virus affects Elliot and his close knit group of comedian friends in increasingly personal ways. What would you consider the end of the world?

Until the Last Dog Dies is a sharp, cutting satire, both a clever twist on apocalyptic fiction and a poignant look at the things that make us human.

BOOK RADAR: “Creatures of Will & Temper” by Molly Tanzer

Molly Tanzer’s new novel Creatures of Will & Temper (John Joseph Adams Books) is out this week. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Tanzer at the World Horror Convention a couple of years ago. I dipped into the book — it’s written with lush, decadent prose that recalls my muse, the late Tanith Lee.

Tanzer_CREATURES_OF_WILL_AND_TEMPER

From the Back Copy:

Victorian London is a place of fluid social roles, vibrant arts culture, fin-de-siècle wonders … and dangerous underground diabolic cults. Fencer Evadne Gray cares for none of the former and knows nothing of the latter when she’s sent to London to chaperone her younger sister Dorina, an aspiring art critic.

At loose ends after Dorina becomes enamored with their uncle’s friend, Lady Henrietta “Henry” Wotton, a local aristocrat and aesthete, Evadne enrolls in a fencing school. There she meets George Cantrell, the kind of experienced fencing master she’s always dreamed of studying under. But soon, George shows her something more than fancy footwork—he reveals to Evadne a secret, hidden world of devilish demons and their obedient servants. George has dedicated himself to eradicating demon and diabolist alike, and now he needs Evadne’s help. But as she learns more, Evadne begins to believe that Lady Henry might actually be a diabolist … and even worse, she suspects Dorina might have become one too.

Combining swordplay, the supernatural, and Victorian high society, Creatures of Will and Temper reveals a familiar but strange London in a riff on Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray that readers won’t soon forget.