Background for A BLEAK NEW WORLD

BleakCan you feel it in the air? The changing of the scenery, the dying of the light, the taste of damp and snow…no, I’m not talking Autumn. Naturally, I’m talking about the release of the anthology A BLEAK NEW WORLD tomorrow! You haven’t forgotten, have you?

I was thrilled to be a part of this collection with my sci-fi short, “Clinging,” and I hope some of that comes across during an interview the rest of the writers and myself participated in as part of the anthology’s promotion today. Hosted on fellow writer Gregory Norris’s blog, the interview talks about the launch, how the project came together, as well as the inspirations and backstory to the individual writers’ pieces.

Here’s a preview:

Like the majority of the stories written during that marvelous spell — a western, a SF tale, several horror efforts — I later edited the draft of “Third World” for submission to publishers and sent it out the door. This particular tale went to the fine folks at Raven International Publishing, who were reading for a dystopian-themed anthology, A Bleak New World, where it was soon accepted. This week, the anthology debuts, offering dark glimpses into possible futures best avoided apart from visits to within the covers of this wonderful reading experience. Bleak is the brainchild of RIP head honcho Clark Chamberlain. As any familiar with Clark’s fiction writing work, daily podcasts, or his stellar The Book Editor Show, Bleak‘s subject matter is a fair departure for the publisher’s normally upbeat vibe. So why did he go the dystopian route for RIP’s first multi-author anthology?

“I choose to be upbeat and positive. I have slogged through a lot of life, death of children, divorce, crises of faith, and then there was Iraq,” says Clark, a former and still part-time soldier. “What I did there and what I was willing to do there really made me look at myself in a negative light. When I got home I was drifting, had thoughts about killing myself or at least going back to the war. Some of my persona is a mask to hide that darkness, or at least keep it down. I want peace so badly in this life because I’ve seen the darkness. I feel that we need to confront those emotions and feelings and really look hard at ourselves. Through story we have that opportunity. And on the business side, my then partner and I thought the sci-fi community would be a good place to dive in.”

Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World was the inspiration behind Bleak.

“I read that and thought this isn’t much of a dystopia,” Clark adds. “Being satisfied with your lot in life, that sounds pretty great. I’d much rather live there than 1984. So I wanted to see what others could come up with and I was pleasantly surprised.”

Read the rest of the interview, along with my own backstory, at Gregory’s blog, here.

And celebrate Halloween with a dark new anthology of fiction–the first by Raven International Publishing! Don’t miss out. You never know when that apocalypse might finally come around.

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Stooped Celebration

"The Bootmaker," image property of Rob Hanson.

Stooped celebration

Thread by thread

Stringing out the walkers

Life of leather—

Toiling at the standing grace

Of other souls.

 

Breaths ride the strands,

Divinity locked in rasping labor;

Noon passes stained glass

With a smile—

the hands know but the one song,

they cannot sing it with regret.

* My latest work for One Shoot Sunday. Based on the prompt from my interview this week with HDR photographer Rob Hanson. Be sure to check back in next week as well, for part two of the interview and more of Mr. Hanson’s lovely work.

Sunset Lovers

 

Image care of and copyright by Katherine Forbes.

Careful touch.

The shade takes more than hands,

its kiss—milky, fleeting

takes me to you and I am all around you,

liquid heart-spill across the peeling

paint, swirls through our darkness

and I am wondering—

is this right?

Too fleeting is the pool,

this monument of love, swirling—

it is engrained deepest in foundations,

breaks brittle at the bleating

passage of the owls,

when the sun doffs and says goodnight;

Then you and I,

and no shadows,

no sky.

We are Sunset Lovers,

we sing no sweeter

than the end.

* This piece was inspired by the above photograph – this week’s photo prompt over at One Stop Poetry for another wonderful One Shoot Sunday. The photographer is the talented Katherine Forbes, a portraiture photographer with some lovely shots, especially with children. Some great insights into the art, as well, so if you’re interested in the woman, or in taking up the photo challenge, check out my interview with her today.

Red-lettered Visions

Photo by Kevin "KJ" Halliday.

Bathe Me

in red-lettered caress

Wash this

dream of verity away

Submerge me

in the passage of time

Drown me

in the swirl of life

I am Sinking

in achromatic haze.

* This piece was inspired by the above photograph – this week’s photo prompt over at One Stop Poetry  for another wonderful One Shoot Sunday. The photographer is KJ Halliday, an Australian photographer with some great insights and fantastic shots. If you’re interested in the man, or in taking up the photo challenge, check out my interview with him today.