I have much news, so this is going to be longer than usual.
First, a recording of my poem "Crane's Eye" (see previous post) is available as a free download MP3 File. This is part of SFPA's "Halloween Poetry Reading". To access the entire reading go to: http://www.sfpoetry.com/halloween.html
I had a visit, the other day, from David Agranoff and Cari Beltane. They were moving from San Diego to Canada and stopped in Stockton (my hometown) to meet with me at a local café.
I met David and Cari last year at the Stokers in Burbank and we've remained friends. David is co-editor (with Gabriel LLanas) of the forthcoming anthology Vault of Punk Horror, which will include my post-apocalyptic Faust story "Das Märchen". I will be sharing the TOC with such notable authors as John Shirley, Nancy Holder, Jeremy Robert Johnson, and Lisa Morten (to name a few)!
While they were here, David asked me to send them a recording of me reading one of my stories for a special podcast that Punk Horror: http://punkhorror.com/ will be airing soon. I've already sent them a text version of the story that I will be recording, "Betty Rage", now I just have to get them a recording. Thanks David, Gabriel, and Cari.
I have a story that is one of 10 finalists in a contest put on by The Harrow http://www.theharrow.com/. The 10 finalist’s stories have now gone to guest judges Ramsey Campbell and Brian Keene for ranking order (1st prize is $300). Here is the announcement from The Harrow's website:
Harrow Annual 2006 - Contest Finalists
We held a contest in the first half of the year, and the results are official - here are this year's finalists (in alphabetical order):
Louis J Messina
Stephen M. Wilson
Finalist stories will be mailed off to Brian Keene and Ramsey Campbell at some point in October to sort out winners and prize money, and all stories will be published some time next year in The Harrow Annual 2006, a print chapbook that will be available for sale on the site. Congratulations to the finalists, and thanks to everyone who participated this year.
In a strange coincidence, I met The Harrow's fiction editor, Dru Pagliassotti, at a non-horror related conference that I attended in San Francisco last weekend.
Also, this week, I received news that the Polish scifi/horror webzine Fahrenheit: http://www.fahrenheit.eisp.pl/ will be printing translations of 5 of my stories in upcoming issues starting in November. I'm sure that most of you, like myself, cannot read Polish, but I will post a link when it is available and you can at least see my name on the cover.
Here are a few other publications that have accepted my work for future issues: Dark Wisdom, Black Petals, Star*Line, Dwarf Stars, Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Hungur, and Doorways.
Lastly, I wanted to announce that Wicked Karnival # 7 is finally available! I am the 'spotlight author' for #7, which is sadly the final issue of Wicked Karnival. Below, I have posted excerpts from both Tom Moran's interview with me and my story "Swallowed!". I have also included a link to where the issue can be purchased. At some point, I will make a separate and more detailed post about Wicked Karnival and my involvement with them. Enjoy and have a great Halloween.
Other than the Bible, what are your earliest influences as far as horror fiction goes?
STEPHEN M. WILSON
Fairytales, especially those collected by the Grimm Brothers and penned by Hans Christian Anderson and Oscar Wilde. I watched The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits religiously. I read Roald Dahl and (secretly) V. C. Andrews when I was fairly young.
When I was 13, I discovered both Ray Bradbury and Robert Silverberg at the library. They are still two of my favorite writers.
I was lucky to be a teenager in the ‘80’s at the height of horror’s popularity when King, Barker, Straub, McCammon, Koontz, Skipp & Spector, and too many others to list where everywhere. I can’t leave out Omni Magazine.
What is the first horror novel that you remember reading?
STEPHEN M. WILSON
The Entity by Frank De Filitta when was 11 or 12.
STEPHEN M. WILSON
Moon by James Herbert when I was 16.
Horror is your second favorite genre, with Science fiction being your true love. What is it about Sci-fi that you find more compelling?
STEPHEN M. WILSON
With horror I prefer supernatural over slice-n-dice and since I’m a skeptic and don’t believe in the supernatural, I consider horror a type of fantasy and read it for escapism.
I feel that Sci-fi is often more plausible than horror, at least the social and political themed sci-fi that I prefer (and often times scarier).
Actually, most of my favorite authors write fantasy; not the wizards, dragons, swords variety that many misconceive as the only kind of fantasy, but the weird surreal stuff. I consider Bradbury, Borges, and arguably Barker all fantasists.
In your opinion, whom should people be reading in these genres?
STEPHEN M. WILSON
First, anyone who is a writer or fan of genre fiction should never fail to read the classics.
Last year in Cemetery Dance #50, writers in the horror field were asked which horror classics they had not read. I was shocked that so many people mentioned the original versions of Frankenstein and Dracula.
My first instinct was to send them all copies of those two books. Of course I’m too poor.
A few must-reads that come to mind are Hawthorne, Poe, Hoffman, Lovecraft, Irving, Jackson, O’Connor, Heinlein, Dick, and Ellison. Lord Dunsany is one of my favorites.
When it comes to more recent, contemporary writers, Chuck Palahniuk, Alan Moore, China Miéville, Michael Cunningham, James Gunn, M. Rickert, Joyce Carol Oats, Jeanette Winterson, and Nina Kiriki Hoffman have all written excellent stuff. I like Joseph Armstead, who I discovered in the pages of Wicked Karnival.
As far as poetry is concerned, Yeats, Blake, and Shelley are my favorite classic poets with W. S. Merwin, Neil Gaiman, Michael Arnzen, and Tori Amos being my favorite contemporary poets.
Excerpt from Swallowed!:
An image flashes in his mind. Two fetuses entwined head-to-toe within each other’s embrace. A pink sea surrounds them as they suckle on each other’s penises.
I Am the Thing of the Idols. I Am the green, sticky spawn of the stars, the voice returns, We…are one!
The image changes as one of the twins begins to devour the other, the pink sea quickly turning red.
I am ravenous, my brother!
The man is stunned but knows the revelation to be true. He had eaten his own brother! Even in utero, he had been a cannibal.
From this point on, he tries to ignore the fiendish buzzing, the incessant whispering of the hateful and unhuman voice as it continuously assaults him.
He languishes in the fleshy hell-the lonely, dark cell, so lonely that it could destroy the strongest of minds, the voice that has infected his mind like a parasite, the only thing keeping him company. He knows that no one will ever understand what has brought him to this point. The voice is stronger and more pervasive then ever, and like his twin, the man is ravenous.
To sustain himself, he begins to gnaw on the walls of his prison. For the next few weeks-weeks that feel to him more like years-he eats, sleeps, and goes mad.
Wicked Karnival # 7 is available for purchase at:
$9.51 Paperback book