Visit My New “To Purchase” Page

8 10 2015

Which includes small press anthologies and my novel “The Flesh Sutra”, which made the preliminary ballot for this year’s Stoker Awards.





Links! Horror and Writing Links!

24 07 2015

Five Paranormal Books You Haven’t Read Yet

Classical Monsters You Haven’t Heard Of (Some Are In AD&D, More Are Ready For Your Next Big Masterwork)

Body Horror In Advertising (Lots Of Videos)

Clever and Incisive Reviews Of Classic Horror Novels

 





New Story Published In DarkFuse Kindle Book

17 07 2015

Editor Shane Staley of DarkFuse included my crime noir story “To Get Past It” in the new release “DarkFuse 3”.

What do the readers say?

“TO GET PAST IT was a good little revenge story with a couple nice hooks to it.”

“The L.R. Bonehill and Tim W. Burke stories are recommended, so if two good ones is enough for you check it out.”

Have a look at the summaries for the other stories. A nice range of chills and $2.99 is a good deal. I’m buying a copy.

darkfuse3

 





Best British Horror 2015 edited by Johnny Mains

11 07 2015

Best British Horror 2015 edited by Johnny Mains.





COULD A NEW TERRY PRATCHETT GET PUBLISHED TODAY? I DOUBT IT.

13 03 2015

The world has turned too many times. The era for the satiric British voice passed away last decade and the cavalier remark died in this one. My regret is not just appreciating Sir Terry while he lived, but that his like will not come again.

I have read very little Pratchett. I tried but my Brit humor nerve had been burned out long ago. People I admire admired Pratchett, though. I read the subjects he tackled and quotes from his work and I sorely felt the fault for my limitation.

I read the major publications and keep track of novel releases and for the life of me I can’t imagine who else examines the human condition, darts in, and tickles it. Would such a writer have a chance in today’s market?
Short stories? As far as I can see, the only venues publishing blithe and pithy humor are Asimov’s, F&SF, and Daily Science Fiction. Pratchett’s work was too Eurocentric and too lacking in florid or floral language for any other venue. Not enough pop culture references to get on McSweeny’s.

Who would publish his novel? Orbit? Baen?
Of his first three novels, the first was an ill-received fantasy and the next two were Niven parodies. What publisher would have stuck with him beyond those to take a risk on Ankh-Morpork?

I am not alone in my lack of appreciation. SFWA had many chances to give Sir Terry his due with Hugos and Nebulas. Not one nomination over decades, except for one near the end of his life. He refused the award. Good for him.
SFWA joins every other literary body and the MPAA in being too insecure to acclaim some joke-teller. He’d be too British to get a Twain.
Who growing in our midst could be a quasi-Pratchett? Alex Shvartsman? Grady Hendrix?
Neil Gaiman has reverted to formula.
Jeffrey Fford?
Esther Friesner? Another humor writer without a Hugo or Nebula.

The fragmentation of Genre markets have made a writer like Sir Terry almost impossible. The Genres are being crushed by seriousness. The vitality and irreverence that Sir Terry thrived on is fleeing into Young Adult and Romance fiction, or trying to define itself as Weird, Bizarro, or Superversive (google them).

It may be decades before we see the likes of him again, if ever.





“The Flesh Sutra” is ON PRELIM BALLOT for the Stoker Awards

21 01 2015

 

Originally, I thought “short list” and “ballot” were two different things. Headline was a bit over enthusiastic.

It’s still an honor to have impressed the judges. That alone makes the effort worthwhile.

http://www.locusmag.com/News/2015/01/2014-bram-stoker-preliminary-ballot/





A Great Article With Book Recommendations

21 10 2014

Reggie Oliver is way underrated, for example. He writes great suspense.

The Literature of Fear: 12 High-Quality Horror Books for Sleepless Nights





Reading Ghost Stories As Research

15 10 2014

To prepare for a ghost novel I plan to write, I have read three contemporary ghost stories. “The Little Stranger” by Sarah Waters is the most classically gothic, set in a post-WWII English estate. “The Green Man” by Kingsley Amis takes the classical ghost story and updates it to swinging ‘60s England. Grady Hendrix brings the story to post-industrial Ohio to comment on our working world in “Horrorstor”.

“The Green Man” follows a traditionally alcoholic and rakish Amis protagonist as he runs a bed-and-breakfast in developing rural England. The character tolerates his family, drinks huge amounts of scotch, and works to connive ménage a trois with another man’s wife. He is turned into an anti-hero by his biting observations and the unsettling death of his father.
The B&B setting is haunted by a 17th century sorcerer. The protagonist’s obsession with the apparition drives the story to an end that’s more contemplative and less chilling. It’s an examination of death rather than the dead.
The book itself is only worth examination. The sorcerer is intriguing but Amis gives no thought as to what powers his work. Plot threads dangle and sway in the wind.
I found this useful only in how well Amis works with realistic characters.

I read “Horrorstor” all the way through in one sitting. I’ve enjoyed Grady Hendrix through Pseudopod.org’s readings of “Tales of the White Lodge Street Society”, farces in which a Carnaki-like adventurer spins tales of ghosts, booze, money, and racism. Hendrix also writes a very funny weekly takedown of CBS’ “The Dome” for Tor.com.
He brings his mix of morbid humor and social commentary to “Horrorstor”, a ghost story set in a furniture store styled like Ikea. As a ghost story, it owes more to Stephen King than M.R. James, with awesome effects over suspense.
I work in a Big Box store and sympathized with the young protagonist Amy in her retail job, dealing with customers, the cost of living, and corporate culture. In its own way, this book was its own cutthroat retail operation.
To keep the plot moving, Hendrix cut character development to the bone. For the plot to be plausible, he eliminated resources like custodial contractors, Asset Protection, and lighting to assist surveillance. To serve both humor and horror, the story effectively had two endings in which the villain is defeated but the innocent still suffer.
I’d like to be funny, chilling, and socially aware when I write. I like this book. It had some laughs and a few chills.

I learned that I want a conclusive ending and to keep as close to “real” as I can get. “Conclusive” can be tricky in the Gothic tradition, where hauntings could be ghosts, or hallucinations, or psychic projections onto reality. “The Little Stranger” by Sarah Waters uses artistic sleight-of-hand on the reader through limited and sometimes unreliable POV. A young man come of age in the shadow of an English estate, studies to be a doctor, and becomes physician and confidant to the estate family. The war has shattered the soul of the heir. The matron mourns a child long deceased. The independent daughter feels stifled by tradition. The house is falling into ruin. Who is setting the fires? Who is scribbling childish phrases in the most unlikely places?
Sarah Waters researches the hell out of her subjects. Her descriptions feel lush and full without slowing the plot. The suspense alone was enough to get me through the 500+ word novel, the first one of such length I had read in years.
From this book, I learned a couple of neat phrasings, and reinforced the idea of “adverbs should be placed after the modified verb, if they must be used at all.”

Overall, I think I gained only some focus through reading these novels. I discovered I want a conclusive, objective force powering the supernatural events. I gained a better sense of how to balance description and action. I still want to experiment with anomie versus physical isolation, and see if I can pull off the trick of “things walking in broad daylight”. I’ll be reading Peter Straub next, I think, and see what I can find.





Want A Copy Of “The Flesh Sutra”?

20 09 2014

Just message me or email me at timissocial at gmail dot com.
I will send you an epub forthwith.
If I can get five more reviews on Amazon, my publisher can advertise on BookBub.
You get a book that’s been acclaimed by horror editors just for your sincere reaction noted in Amazon.
You need something to read this week. Try the book today!





Ten Books That Stayed With Me, or A Collection of Weird, Childlike White People

5 09 2014

1. “Monty Python’s Papperbok” by Monty Python (read with my brothers)
2. “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward” by H.P. Lovecraft
3. “Without Feathers” by Woody Allen (his obsessions seem oh so obvious in hindsight)
4. “The Mad Scientists’ Club” by Bertrand R. Brinley (small-town boys making UFOs and building submarines!)
5. “Shogun” by James Clavell (read during Summer of my freshman year in high school)
6. “The Hobbit” by JRRT
7. “The Silver Crown” by Robert C. O’Brien (read to us in 7th grade. Dark and paranoid and mysterious stuff by the “Rats on NIMH” writer)
8. “High School Yearbook” by National Lampoon (Christmas of sophomore year!)
9. “I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream” by Harlan Ellison
10. “Cat’s Cradle” by Kurt Vonnegut (way, way too much Vonnegut, and yes there is such a thing as “too much Vonnegut”)








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