Tag Archives: Advertising

Hallowed Be Thy Gun

7 Dec

I couldn’t ignore the call to arms

when my neighbours grabbed their muskets

and rushed to the village green

Hallowed Cover

Hallowed Be Thy Gun is the new poetry booklet from Gary Beck and recounts the history of the USA through its wars and military adventures.

It is available for £3 (UK) / £6 (overseas) from the editorial address. You can also pay via https://www.paypal.me/DJTyrer (please also email with details of your order). The 3-for-2 booklet offer applies to all booklets.

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It’s Hallowe’en…

31 Oct

Yes, it’s that time of the year again and that means another horror poetry booklet…

Cast A Curse

This year’s booklet is named for Christopher Catt James’ title poem and accompanying cover art, Helza (Cast a Curse). Other poems include Dark Encounter by Neal Wilgus, October Frost by Aeronwy Dafies, November Thirst by Angela Boswell, and Witch Cult by Lee Clark Zumpe. Other contributors include DS Davidson, Christopher Hivner, Arthur C. Ford, Sr., Gary W. Davis and Matthew Wilson.

Although it is too late for you to read it tonight if you don’t already have it, you can still order it and enjoy it on the long winter evenings, along with our previous years’ booklets.

And, yes, we will be seeking contributions to another volume in 2018…

Corporate Cthulhu is coming!

5 Oct

Nothing is more terrifying and mind-shattering than the Cthulhu Mythos – expect, perhaps, the meaningless bureaucracy of a corporation. Well, now, these two hideous horrors are being combined in one anthology – Corporate Cthulhu!

The anthology is on Kickstarter now and needs your assistance if it is to meet its target and escape the cloying tendrils of Great Cthulhu and enter print. So, rush over to the anthology’s Kickstarter page and take a look at its contents and the various stretch goals, then pledge something towards making this blasphemous tome a reality!

Corporate Cthulhu

Equal Opportunity Madness is here!

28 Aug

A panel discussion at Balticon 49 in 2015 about ‘problematic things’ in fiction led to this collection, EOM: Equal Opportunity Madness – A Mythos Anthology. As the editors note, and I’ve discussed before, the relationship between authors and their work can be an awkward one for readers and defies pat responses in either extreme. Instead of rejecting Lovecraft’s creations out of hand, a joking suggestion about creating an anthology of stories that would make the ‘old gent’ spin in his grave was taken up and made reality.EOM colour

Now, I must declare an interest in EOM as I contributed the story The Horror of the Atoll, which heads into Cthulhu’s stomping ground of Polynesia and features native Polynesian characters as protagonists.

Other stories go further in offering characters quite unlike those found in Lovecraft’s fiction. The opening story introduces us to an “old, crippled servant and the even older mute priestess” of Bast, for instance, while the penultimate story features a lesbian Rabbi taking on the evil out of Innsmouth with a golem!

I must say that the final, not exactly serious, story, in which Cthulhu awakens on the first day of Chanukah, bored and grumpy, was my favourite. Luckily, he is entertained then bored back to sleep with a dreidel and humanity is saved!

It’s not uncommon to find Cthulhu Mythos tales that feature protagonists unlike those used by Lovecraft (I’ve written a few myself), but this collection strives to provide a real variety.

So, rather than worrying about the old gent’s views on race, you should read this collection and see just how far his collection can be stretched.

Equal Opportunity Madness!

26 May

EOM: Equal Opportunity Madness – A Mythos Anthology by Otter Libris

In the depths of the cosmos there is madness to be found and there are stories to be told…

H.P. Lovecraft first unveiled his dark and twisted vision of human insignificance to a wide audience with the publication of his short stories beginning in the early 1920s. He became a significant influence on horror writers and readers around the world and left a profound imprint on the horror genre itself. But something was missing in his work, things like positive portrayals of people of color and strong women.

Lovecraft is one of those problematic authors who created astounding work, but carried personal attitudes that most modern audiences find repugnant, like racism and anti-Semitism. Whether or not he was also a misogynist is a topic of spirited debate, but there is no question that his work lacks female characters, and when they are present they portrayed as weak or evil.

And then a group of feisty writers and one plucky little independent press, Otter Libris, decided to fill in some of the gaps in the Mythos….

What began as a joking suggestion to write stories that would make Lovecraft roll in his grave grew into the little anthology that could – EOM: Equal Opportunity Madness. Why should straight, white men of Anglo-Saxon descent get to have all the maddening fun?

EOM includes stories from writers in America, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Greece, and the protagonists are male and female, straight and not, and come in a wide variety of skin tones. Come enjoy all the madness of the Mythos in a rainbow of colors with EOM: Equal Opportunity Madness from Otter Libris, soon to be available in trade paper edition and your favorite e-book flavor.

Visit our Kickstarter and make sure you’re the first on your street to go mad!

The Perils of Social Advertising

7 Mar

At first glance, social networks such as Facebook are made for advertising, a chance to tell others about what you’re doing, but, really, it’s for networking, not advertising, a subtly different thing. Advertising is essentially a one-way street in which you tell others something; networking is a two-way communication, feeding both ways, and not just in the sense that you can each tell each other things, but in that the people you are communicating with can feedback, ask questions, comment, etc – and, indeed, can communicate with each other. This doubtless has its advantages, if you’re suited to it, with the time, the social skills and the technical knowhow to use it to its full. If however, like me, those elements aren’t your best traits, you may well find communicating through a social network is a rather fraught process.
There are a few innate issues with social media that can catch the less socially adroit of us out. It is a very much an immediate forum. Of course, it is possible to knock out a blog post on the fly and hit ‘post’ and have it online before you’ve really thought about it, but it’s not innate to the format. Yes, you can check a Facebook comment before you post it, but such a comment is more like, well, a comment, something throwaway, whereas a blog post is more like a lecture and, as a result, encourages more attention, reading and rewriting to get it right. It’s not immediate, in the way a social network is, and less prone to the sort of ‘shoot first, think later’ or poorly-worded errors of judgement a quickly-fired-off Facebook post is.
That immediacy also works the other way around. Many blog posts may be reactions to something else (whether the comments on another person’s blog, a news story or a review), but there is no pressure for an immediate response, and they are usually written purely out of choice rather than as a response to a question or comment appearing in your feed. Again, you’re not (usually) posting a quick comment, but something more substantial, and can take your time to build your argument and choose the best words. On Facebook, there is a pressure to respond quickly and briefly to other people’s posts – indeed, I’ve found you can be attacked for a tardy response and that other people may weigh-in in your absence, aggravating a situation. But, as the old saying runs, “Act in haste, repent at leisure,” especially when you’re reply is a quick sound-bite rather than a reasoned response.
Another problem is that social networking is a dialogue, not a monologue. (Of course, you can ignore comments, but that rudeness will cause a whole set of other problems, and, unlike moderating the comments on your blog, comments and questions can be seen by everyone from the moment they are up, with all the embarrassment and potential for other people to wade in that entails.) People will ask questions and make suggestions and criticise you and that leads us to another issue.
We all know that writing comes without subtext; the nuances of tone, posture and expression that can help you navigate other people’s feelings. We know this and, yet, perhaps because emoticons give a false sense of flagging emotion, people often seem to forget this when commenting. Indeed, social media is a lot more like having a conversation, only without the benefit of being able to assess someone’s feelings before you speak or immediately upon commenting, which would allow a chance to apologise or clarify before harm is done.
In such a way, I recently reacted testily to what, with hindsight, I’m sure was a sincerely-intended request, because the request was presented baldly, without any please, thanks or other such indication, and seemed snarky at the time. Naturally, my testy reply doubtless seemed ruder than intended and things began to degenerate from there. At least, I had the sense to see where the conversation was going and shut it down, albeit belatedly and, for all I know, potentially causing further offence, rather than bumbling on as I very nearly did. With a little more awareness, I could have avoided blundering in the first place.
Had the query come in an email in response to something on here or my website, I wouldn’t have answered immediately. I would have given it some thought, choosing the best words and how to frame them. Knowing that I was in a testy mood, I would have deferred responding until I was feeling less so. And, had my response been unsatisfactory, they could have tackled me on it in a further email without it becoming a public spat or dragging other people in.
Which, on the whole, leaves me feeling disinclined to promote myself as much on Facebook as I have in the past. A quick post, intended as a heads-up can lead to unfortunate consequences if you don’t provide the information people want, fail to respond to queries or make a bad decision when responding. Better, perhaps, to reduce the flow of information and ensure that a few well-timed posts go out when you’re able to properly respond and provide all the details people might want. Hopefully, that will prove less annoying and stressful for everyone, including me.