Monday, March 29, 2010

Book review: Intrinsic Night

Intrinsic Night is a book of cinquains co-authored by two of speculative poetry's rising stars, J.E. Stanley and Joshua Gage. Many (but not all) of the poems are speculative in nature -- some fantasy and horror but a lot of science fiction.

The cinquain is a hard form to write in, because it's so constraining, but both Stanley and Gage seem to have mastered it. This collection boasts 68 pages of cinquains, including some linked or sequential poems. Several of the poems have appeared in other publications, like Lilliput Review, Amaze: The Cinquain Journal, and Goblin Fruit.

The poems are broken into different sections, and don't appear to be in any particular order with regards to the poets themselves. Sometimes they alternate, while other whole pages will be devoted to either Stanley or Gage. This randomness of authorship works well, leaving the reader unable to nail down a specific rhythm between the two poets.

There are many great poems in this book, like Gage's "Kerouac:"

his ghost
haunts the highways,
watching the horizon
like a wisp of cigarette smoke,
thumb up

While the back of the book says that the cinquains contained within are "intended more to jog your mind... than to clarify the great secrets of existence," some of the poems do delve deeper, like Stanley's "Intraocular Implant:"

The lens
in my right eye
should last for thirty years.
What then, might it see after I
am gone?

Many of the poems in Intrinsic Night are allusory, referring to fairy tales, mythologies, or even mathematics. Some of these allusions went over my head, but that speaks more toward my ignorance than anything else.

Intrinsic Night is a solid collection of cinquains written by two talented poets. The book is professionally printed and perfect bound, with cover art by Scott Virtes. It is available from The Genre Mall for $5.85 plus shipping.

Monday, March 22, 2010

stuff to read & a paying speculative market

For your reading pleasure...

Empire author David Dunwoody was recently interviewed over at DarkMarkets, and it's quite a good interview. The re-released version of Empire is available from Amazon for $10.20.

Subscribers should be receiving the new issue of Lilliput Review (#171) any day now, along with the new broadside, 15 Poems by Ed Markowski. I haven't read the issue of Lilliput yet, but Ed's broadside is a great collection of 15 short poems. Non-subscribers can pick up a copy of either for a buck -- details on the Lilliput Broadsides page.

Basement Stories is a relatively new speculative journal that publishes fiction, poetry, and art. They'll consider previously published works as well as simultaneous submissions. Payment is 1¢/word for fiction and $10 per poem. (Rates are not set yet for artwork.)

Haiku fans should check out Temple Cone's sort-of sequel to Basho's famous autumn/crow haiku, which was posted on DailyHaiku last Friday.

Monday, March 15, 2010

eBay & reprints

My wife and I are trying to make some more room in our crowded house, so we've been putting some things up for sale on eBay. This week we have a few different lots of books that someone might be interested in:

Lot of 3 John Grisham books:
- A Time to Kill
- The Broker
- A Painted House
Lot of 3 Dan Brown books:
- The Da Vinci Code
- Angels & Demons
- Deception Point
Lot of 4 Far Side books:
- The PreHistory of The Far Side: A 10th Anniversary Exhibit
- Wiener Dog Art: A Far Side Collection
- The Curse of Madame "C"
- Valley of the Far Side

All three lots have low starting prices, no reserves, and reasonable shipping costs. All of the books are in good or better condition.

And now for some reprint markets...

These magazines will buy one-time rights for your previously published horror/speculative poems:

- Illumen: pays 2¢/word for unpublished poems ($3 minimum, except scifaiku and other short forms, which get $1), 1¢/word for reprints.
- Niteblade: pays $3/poems plus a PDF copy of the issue.
- Tales of the Talisman: pays $4/poem plus a contributor's copy.
- Ghostlight: pays $4/poem (reprints not eligible for Editor's Choice).

Friday, March 12, 2010

Deadlines

There are several deadlines coming up for horror writers:

- Black Ink Horror closes to submissions on March 26th. Be prepared for a quick response, however; you should hear back on your submission by April 26th.

- The submission deadline for Night Terrors, a horror anthology being put together by Blood Bound Books, is March 13th. Don't fret if you missed this one; Blood Bound Books is working on two other anthologies -- Unspeakable and D.O.A. The editors want creature stories for Unspeakable, and for D.O.A. they want extreme stories -- "The crazier, stranger and gorier the better." The deadline for both anthologies is May 1st.

- The Way of the Wizard closes to subs on March 31st. John Joseph Adams is putting this anthology together, and he wants stories about a magic-user (sorceror, witch, etc.). Stories can be science fiction or horror, as long as the magic is "an important factor in the resolution of the plot." Payment is 5 cents/word, plus royalties and a copy of the anthology.

If you plan on buying any books in the next few days, here are two coupons you can use:

- 10% off one item at Barnes & Noble online (coupon code: L7N8B7U)
- 10% off at AbeBooks.com, up to $15 off the regular price (coupon code: MXUS1)

Monday, March 8, 2010

some contests

On the Premises' current contest, #11, has just kicked off. The premise for this one is a misunderstanding:
One or more characters misunderstand an important communication of some kind. The type of communication does not matter--only that the character(s) notice/receive it and misunderstand it.

The prizes are $140, $100, and $70. All entries must be between 1000-5000 words and must be in by May 30th.

Two other contests are closing in the next week or so. The Robert Spiess Memorial Haiku Contest ends March 13th, and the Shady Side Review Postcard Contest ends March 17th. This contest is for poetry and prose under 100 words, to be featured on a postcard. The winner receives 20% of the entry fees ($1 per entry) plus 10 postcards featuring their work.

This month, Bruce Ross is the featured poet over at Mann Library's Daily Haiku. On Blogging Along Tobacco Road, you can read the "Three Questions" interview with poet Hilary Tann. And the new issue of Sketchbook (February 2010) is now online, featuring plenty of haiku, tanka, and haibun.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

humor markets & tax tips

We could all use some extra money, and as writers, there are some unique opportunites available to us. If you can write funny stuff, here are a few companies that will pay you good money for your submissions:

- Kalan LP: pays $100 per greeting card idea
- Ephemera: pays $50 per slogan idea (for buttons, stickers, etc.)
- High Cotton: pays $125 per doormat slogan idea

While you're busy making more money, check out a way to save more as well. This article on tax tips for writers, posted by Chuck Sambuchino at GuidetoLiteraryAgents.com, is filled with some good ideas for deducting expenses related to writing. If you haven't filed your tax return yet this year, take a minute to read this article before adding up your deductions.

Monday, March 1, 2010

for your reading pleasure...

There is no shortage of reading material for haiku and horror fans, either online or in print. For starters, the new issue of Champagne Shivers just came out (the last issue that will be edited by Cathy Buburuz, unfortunately), with a great cover by Mark Crittenden and stories and poems by Lucien Spelman, Brian Rosenberger, and Therese Arkenberg, among many others.

The March issue of The Heron's Nest is online. Page 3 has a horror-ish haiku by George Swede.

Niteblade has also just put out a March issue, containing lots of dark poetry and fiction. As always, you can read the issue for free online, or buy an ad-free PDF copy for just a few bucks.

J. Bruce Fuller's haiku sequence chapbook, 28 Blackbirds at the End of the World, is on sale now from Bandersnatch Books for $9.50. The sequence originally appeared in Scifaikuest and was subsequently nominated for a Rhysling Award.