Last Saturday I had a great time doing a book signing with some fellow local authors at the Port Jervis Free Library!
She gives some info about each author, and I especially loved how she noted where the actual house from my novella, The Bury Box is located. We talked about the book and during our conversation I told her where it is. So if you ever wondered for yourself, here’s your chance to find out!
The Halloween issue of The Sirens Call is out!
The 59th issue of The Sirens Call is a massive 287 pages containing 223 pieces of dark fiction and horror in the form of short stories, flash fiction, micro fiction, and dark poetry!
This issue spotlights Robert Bravo, Enter ‘Bravo FX’:A Unique Preservation of Practical Horror and Gore in Mike Lera’s Corridor of Horror. Our featured artist is Tero Porthan who has shared 12 pieces of his artwork (including the cover art for this issue) and an essay titled, ‘Finnish Gods, Creatures, and the Dead’. Our featured project is the on-going Horror Anthology Audio Drama – Victoria’s Lift. And our showcase author, Andrew P. Weston, discusses Keeping Things Real, and also offers us a peek into his Cambion Journals saga with an excerpt from book three, The Siren’s Song.
Please, grab a copy of the Zine for free, and don’t…
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The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Nina D’Arcangela
Beautiful creature of destruction; you are the embodiment of majesty and grandeur darting through the air; humming past in the blink of an eye, stunning your prey into a shock of paralytic fear; engaged always in aerial combat with the currents that fight your forward progress; rising, dropping, jerking, zipping.
What is it you seek on those elegant gossamer wings? Perhaps the next meal that awaits you… What else would a voracious thing such as yourself desire? You, with your crushing mandibles and gnashing teeth, so willing to consume all that cross your path and thereafter, your gullet. A beast of miniscule proportion whose lust to sate itself knows no bounds – respects no boundaries.
The patter of rain does not deter you from the hunt – your need for nourishment is all consuming; it’s all your…
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Andy could never stand being indoors. He could walk for miles. He was the explorer of his family. His father worked for the local bank, a career that his dad hoped he would follow. His mother worked part-time in the local dentist as a receptionist. His older sister was just finishing high school, she dreamed of being a model. Her parents worried about this; Andy was just bemused by it. He thought her an ugly pig.
Andy, well Andy just liked to explore. He was never happier than when he was on his own, in his own adventure.
It was a particularly barmy day. The sun beamed down on the fields and trees causing the early morning dew to evaporate. It hung in the air like the kind of mist one would usually only see when running a hot shower. His neck was hot and sweaty so he decided to…
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A tear in the guf, just one, but that’s all it took. The souls within gathered, reformed, cocooned themselves and fused to form a carapace of glistening darkness. But Mother’s rain was too fierce; it scorched hot as a dying sun while pouring forth. A torrent of strangled screams and cacophonous pops emanated from the protected realm. You see, the guf was not a sacred holding of Heaven, or Hell for that matter, but a cave formed eons ago when Mother seeded her child and named it Earth. Those that ambled the surface refuted her love. They dreamt of one they called Father: followed his tenants, drank his child’s blood, ate of his flesh – and Mother felt the betrayal. Now, as she tore apart this most sacred place with molten rage captured in tears, she would recreate what should have been her most loyal child…
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Softly settles East End fog, thick with industry’s residue. It leaves an oily coat on the skin,
plays games with the vision. Forms appear and vanish in the mist, the stink of piss and rotten meat, slimy creatures of dark alleyways. These streets, the Ripper’s playground.
Me being young, and with no binding ties, I once went slumming with the lads. Begging favors of Miss Mary, we taking turns with her to satisfy our bursting loins. And that she did with competence, such was her service for our coins. When we were done, we bade good night and off she went into that dense Whitechapel fog.
Years passed, and I’m a doctor now, with a different take on whores. They’re still corrupting honest men, giving them most dreadful maladies. I should know, being one among them on that certain night. Now I walk these midnight streets alone, carrying my own…
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Submissions for the 59th issue of The Sirens Call, featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry are closed.
Sirens Call Publications would like to thank all of the authors and artists who submitted their work for consideration. We’ll be in touch as soon as we can with our decisions.
If you are looking for Ad space, please contact Nina at Nina@SirensCallPublications.com for details.
As a horror writer, naturally I have an affinity for literature, as well as movies. But what I talk little about are video games, and the value they provide the horror genre.
Video games have been a significant and important part of my life. Ever since I had a Pong set, then moved to the Atari 2600, and on to the NES, I played and loved every gaming console since. I grew up on them, my kid grew up on them.
To me a good game is a work of art, much like a novel or movie. A video game combines multiple art forms into one piece. What’s compelling about horror games is they put you directly in the action. You control the character, and for first-person view games, you are the character. Suddenly, running from nightmarish monsters can be quite terrifying and if you’re really into the game, it actually gets your heart pumping. You feel the excitement and adrenaline rush of trying to stay alive.
Not all games are created equal. Just because you pick up a horror themed game doesn’t mean it’s going to scare the hell out of you. Games such as the Dead Rising series are great games, lots of fun to play, and even have nods to classic zombie movies, but they aren’t frightening.
I recently played a game called Outlast. Now that’s the kind of game I’m talking about! It’s a first-person view survival game, where you play the part of a journalist sneaking into an abandoned mental asylum for a story. There are no weapons. You can’t fight. You’re armed with only a video camera, luckily equipped with night vision when you need it. But the batteries can run out. When being chased by a psychopath with a machete or a mutated creature from beyond, all you can do is run, hide, and hope they don’t find you. Trying to navigate an enormous labyrinthian mental asylum in this manner was damn hard, it really got my blood pumping!
Alien: Isolation is another that comes to mind. Also a first-person survival game, it’s based on The Ridley Scott Alien movies. In this game, you’re on a ship with a Xenomorph. You do get a few measly weapons. But nothing worthy of actually trying to fight with. They’re mostly meant for distracting the Xenomorph so you can run the other way and hope it doesn’t kill you. The game plays a lot like Outlast, but in Alien: Isolation, the Xenomorph is highly sensitive to sound picked up by a microphone in the controller. Make too much noise, you’re dead. Also, unlike Outlast, the alien appears randomly rather than the specifically placed foes in the mental asylum. This makes for surprise attacks and increased uncertainty. You never know where it’s going to be.
Virtual Reality is the next great leap in horror gaming. If playing the game on a screen in your living room has allowed some games to incite actual anxiety, I look forward to seeing what the future of horror can do with a game where you really are in the middle of the action.
Unspoken Horror: Postpartum Depression
by Mary Parker
As a lifelong horror fan, I’m used to seeing all kinds of horrors, be it monsters, violence, or otherworldly. Even psychological horrors run amuck (one of my personal favorites). I also find horror therapeutic. After watching a horror film or reading a horror book or story, I feel a sense of release. When I went into recovery for postpartum depression and anxiety, I looked for horror films and fiction that identified with that pain. There weren’t many to be found.
Sure, there’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.” But that was written in the late 1800s. I couldn’t find anything more modern. There are lots of horror films that feature mothers in peril or evil babies, or evil/murderous mothers, but that wasn’t quite was I was looking for either. I wanted something that identified the horrors of a new mother’s own mind and showed her triumphant…
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