Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Book Signing Event & 2014 Awards


In a couple of weeks I'll be joined by World Fantasy Award winning author Dennis Etchison , Bram Stoker Award winner Eric J. Guignard , Southern California author and screenwriter Taylor Grant, and editor Marc Ciccarone at the world-famous Dark Delicacies book store this Valentine's Day, signing copies of NIGHT TERRORS III, from Blood Bound Books 2/14/15 from 2-4 PM. Come on by if you're in the area (Southern Ca, Burbank).

Its my first time going to the all horror book store, and from what I've been told, I'm going to want to get there early so I can shop. I'm already making a list of things to look for. 
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AWARDS - 2014
Well, we are right in the middle of the awards season, People’s Choice, Golden Globes, Oscars, Razzies, etc…and I’d like to issue a couple of awards of my own for 2014. There is no academy involved with the issuing of these awards, no ballots, no studio backed lobbying, just my own reflections on 2014. So without further ado, here we go.

Biggest Wussy – 2014
This award goes to a Mr. Lee Palmer a resident of Portland. Although Palmer is identified as a male, the following story cast serious aspersions on that identification. So what happened, well, Mr. Palmer called 911 because he had barricaded himself and his family in his bedroom to protect everyone from the family cat. Not a bobcat or a mountain lion, but a household cat. Albeit a large cat (22 pounds) he required an emergency response to save him and his family from a house cat. An update on this story, NORM (National Organization of Real Men) has since revoked Mr. Palmer’s man card and he is reportedly no longer allowed to attend any of their meetings. 


Most Unnecessary Freebie—2014
If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard an iTune user say—“What I really want for Christmas is a bunch of geriatric Irishmen to be automatically downloaded onto my digital device,” –I would have exactly, zero nickels. But that is exactly what rock band U2 did with their latest album, Songs of Innocents. ITune subscribers were taken aback to find that Apple had decided to force feed the album down their digital throats with very little regard for their users musical tastes. The album was reported to be difficult to delete and everybody I talked to about the freebie seem to greet the album with all the enthusiasm of a newly contracted STD. “Oh, man, my phone's got Bono.”  
A few updates: U2 issued an apology for the spam-like roll-out, Rolling Stone declared it The Album of the Year, and millions of Katy Perry fans still can’t get that old-man-music off their phones.

Most Narcissistic Device – 2014
I have absolutely no data to back this up, but I believe we are living in the most narcissistic times in human history. We live in an age in which every routine and impolite passage of gas is thought to be so amazing, so divine, so life altering, that it must be shared, tweeted, posted, instagrammed, uploaded, commentated upon, then re-tweeted to the world. And at the center of this mundane firestorm is the selfie—the DIY red-headed stepchild of meaningful, worthwhile photography. But sometimes while trying to take those self indulgent snapshots we can’t quite get the angle or the framing just right. No need to worry, here comes the Selfie Stick, and although not invented last year it really took off in 2014. Just attach your smartphone to one end and increase your ability to be monotonous. Another added bonus of the Selfie Stick is that you no longer have to interact with other human beings while traveling. Having to ask a stranger to take your picture while you make duck lips in front of that historic structure is a thing of the past. 


The Selfie Stick has already spawned an unholy offspring just right for the all around, full-body narcissist - The “Belfie Stick” which will help people take photos of their own asses. True story. 

Speaking of asses…

Biggest A-hole / Douchebag – 2014
Yes, yes I know that there is a world of difference between an asshole and a douchebag, but it has been my experience that if an individual is one of these things, they also tend to be the other as well. Which of coarse is the case with this year’s winner, and reigning king in the douchebag / a-hole department, Kanye West. Hail to the king. There are others that gave Kanye some competition for this award, Donald Trump (for installing his name in 20 foot high letters on one of his buildings for all Chicagoans to enjoy), Justin Bieber (DUIs, abusing innocent eggs, continuing to sing, refusing to return to Canada). But Kanye West is truly their King, and it wasn’t hard awarding his royal douchiness with this honor, what was difficult was choosing a single moment last year to highlight. But after some thought, this one incident really stood out for me. During a concert in Australia Kanye stopped the show and refuse to continue until every member of the audience got to their feet, including members of the audience that were handicapped. When a wheelchair bound fan dared to defy Kanye, refusing to rise in order to praise Kanye in the manner befitting Mr. West, security was dispatched at Kenya’s insistence. That will certainly teach the differently abled community not to disregard the healing power of the divine glory that is Kanye. 


Kanye on Kanye

"I am Warhol! I am the number one most impactful artist of our generation. I am Shakespeare in the flesh. Walt Disney, Nike, Google. Now who's going to be the Medici family and stand up and let me create more?" Kenya West on Sway in the Morning

"I am so credible and so influential and so relevant that I will change things."

"I think what Kanye West is going to mean is something similar to what Steve Jobs means. I am undoubtedly, you know, Steve of Internet, downtown, fashion, culture."


Well that about does it for 2014. Looking forward to a prosperous 2015 filled with acceptance letters and the opportunity to work with new and talented editors. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Night Terrors III, ZomBEEs, and more...

Blood Bound Books has just released their latest anthology, Night Terrors III, which includes my story, Home Care, and others from Jack Ketchum, Dennis Etchison, Steve Resnic Tem, and many more. Available currently as an e-book on Amazon, the trade paperback version should be coming soon.
NIGHT TERRORS III - Amazon

It looks as if the fate of my new novel Night of the ZomBEEs (working title) will not be decided on until early next years. Its been a long road for this one as the first draft was finished in 2011, but 2015 will be the year. I hope.

I recently noticed that on Halloween an audio version of one of my stories was reissued as part of the award winning Drabblecast's new series, Drabbleclassics. Its one of my favorite episodes with host Norm Sherman doing his best Crypt Keeperish jokes, followed by a reading of my story The Box Born Wraith. And with a Drabbleclassic episode there is a discussion that follows with some very astute horror editors and fans.


Have a happy holiday and a peaceful new year.

LINKS

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Fall of the Feast

Just a warm, seasonal yarn I penned a few years back. First published in the anthology Barnyard Horrors (2013) from JWK Press.

The Fall of the Feast
by Kevin David Anderson

For a hundred generations they waited for the messiah. When she finally arrived her genetically engineered size was commanding, formidable. She encountered no resistance to her authority, but eventually there were challengers. When two robust males tried to depose her, she quickly snapped their necks, and threw their carcasses into the seething crowd.

Her subjects circled the dead challengers, unsure what to do. But with the messiah’s encouragement, they began to feed. Slowly at first, like children sampling the taste of new food. Then in a furious swell of bloodlust the crowd swarmed in, ripping mouthfuls of flesh from the corpses. The first part of her plan was complete. The messiah’s army now had a taste for blood.

Forming them into platoons, she taught them to hold ranks, and attack in waves; thrusting deadly talons at the enemy’s weak spot – the eyes.
When the butchers arrived to begin the annual slaughter, she assembled her troops at the gates, marching them with military precision. They held positions, waiting for the messiah’s signal – the signal that would start a revolution. This year they would not go gently. This year no human would be thankful. This year the turkeys would feast.
 -end-



Thursday, September 4, 2014

Hacked


I understand that having your most intimate moments passed around the internet must be a horrifically upsetting situation, and I feel for Jennifer Lawrence, Kirsten Dunst, pop star Ariana Grande, and the others, but there is no one to blame but themselves. There is one basic rule of the world wide web regarding privacy, and it has existed, without change, since Al Gore invented the internet. It’s the rule I teach my children and it’s the rule that if Ms. Lawrence, Dunst, and Grande would have taken to heart they would not be experiencing their current embarrassment. Simply put it is this: Unless you are 100% comfortable with the idea that whatever you are about to upload to the internet (picture, video, comment, email, post, status update, etc…) will be available to everyone on the planet, forever – if that idea makes you hesitate, even for a moment, then don’t do it. It’s that simple. And if there was a second rule to internet privacy, it would just read: See rule number one.

It’s unfortunate that iPhone and internet users believe that they are entitled to some form of privacy on the internet. Most of the terms of service agreements that we all agree to without reading, basically confirm the opposite. Although entities like Apple state that privacy is a top concern, they make no guarantees and claim no responsibility when your intimate photos end up on TMZ. 

But many still insist that privacy laws are on their side and are entitled to privacy on the internet. And that argument would really mean something, if the internet was governed by a united front of globally agreed upon regulation and enforcement. But since that is not our reality, the internet will continue to be the wild wild west, the kind of place in which privacy laws have all the enforcement power of well meaning suggestions.
Every internet gunslinger riding on the world wide web today needs to employ something already at their disposal before pressing that send button – Common Sense.  See rule Number one.

What are your thoughts? Do you think you are entitled to some form of privacy on the Internet, and if so, why? 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

ZomBEEs on Hold!


Due to interesting and unexpected news the release of Night of the ZomBEEs - a zombie novel with BUZZ! has been put on hold. Nothing has gone wrong, in fact this is good news, which may turn into fantastic news.

BUZZ, BUZZ...
I think one of my favorite things about life on this planet (just below ice cream) is that you really never know with absolute certainty what tomorrow will bring.

I will post updates as they come in. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Katniss Everdeen Must Pee!



I mean, don’t you think?
But no. Two, three weeks in the woods, and not once did she pee.

If you don’t know who Katniss Everdeen is, where have you been, and what have you been doing with your life? No shame in it though. Ms. Everdeen is the heroin of the Hunger Games trilogy, YA novels that center on a violent blood sport in which children are forced to murder one another for the entertainment of a futuristic dystopian society. If you can get past the kid-on-kid violence and the fact that the novel’s main idea was surreptitiously borrowed from the Japanese novel Battle Royal and or its film adaptation, then it’s a pretty entertaining read.

My daughter started the books this summer and I though I’d tag along for the ride. We are both enjoying the novels, but one thing really bugged me. No one ever has to pee. Going to the bathroom is never all that relevant to a story, so I understand why us writers tend to give it a pass in our pros, but our heroin, Katniss Everdeen, is in a life and death struggle, not only against her fellow competitors but the elements of the great outdoors as well. Food, water, shelter, all the basics a human needs to stay alive are given great time and detail as Katniss hunts, gathers, cooks, and eats her way through the forest - almost as much detail as when Hemingway chronicled Nick Adam’s fishing trip. (Big Two-Hearted River)  But what we never see, although I’m sure it happens, is Katniss answering nature’s call. Why is this important, you ask? Because, so much of Katniss’s strategy involves staying out of sight, hiding, always being alert and never getting caught in a vulnerable position. Other than being caught asleep, can you think of a more vulnerable time then when you’re crouched behind a rock with your pants around your ankles pushing out some business?  I can’t, and as I read I kept wondering how this dilemma would be dealt with. It never was. Just to make sure I’m not crazy I asked my daughter if she had the same thoughts while reading. She did. So we are either both crazy or…people in the future no longer have to pee. I did enjoy the novel and am looking forward to reading about Katniss Neverpeein’s next adventure in The Hunger Games: Breaking Wind.
 

That being said, I promises that in my new novel, Night of the ZomBEEs – available July 15th, there will be peeing. Not a lot, just the right amount I think. On page 70 Sam Campbell, tomboy and self proclaimed daredevil, stomps off to pee. The book is not really about peeing…here read the promo copy.  

It’s Founders Day in Honeywell Springs, a day residents dress up in black-and-yellow costumes to celebrate the insect that gave the town its prosperity, the Honey Bee. But when a mad scientist releases a contagious swarm of mutant bees, it turns the townsfolk of Honeywell Springs into the walking dead, in bee costumes.

It’s thirteen-year-old Shaun Ripley’s worst nightmare. Plagued with apiphobia, asthma, and panic attacks, Shaun must draw on his knowledge of his hero, James Bond, to stay alive. With his best friend, Toby, a fellow 007 enthusiast, and Sam, a bullying tomboy, Shaun must overcome his bee phobia and find a way to escape Honeywell Springs. Terrified, surrounded, and running out of time, the three must work together if they are to survive the Night of the ZomBEEs!

More on this as the release date approaches. In the meantime, May the Buzz be with you.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The concept of The Hunger Games, much like the novel and film it was borrowed from, Battle Royal, is hard to swallow. It centers on a violent blood sport in which children are forced to murder one another for the entertainment of a futuristic dystopian society. I can say as a parent that no way in hell would I allow this, oppressive government or not. Unless my kid had a really, really really good chance of wining, but other than that, no way. But if you can overlook the kid-on-kid violence then its a fast and fun read. Sad, moving, often thrilling, The Hunger Games is worth your time. One thing did bug me as I read. Our heroin, Katniss Everdeen, is out in the woods for 2 or 3 weeks and not once does she have to pee. Oh well, I look forward to the next adventure of Katniss Neverpeein' in The Hunger Games: Breaking Wind. 


Monday, June 2, 2014

Night of the ZomBEEs

Night of the ZomBEEs - New novel coming out this month and its about time. I finished the first draft in 2011, just a few months after Night of the Living Trekkies was released. After a half dozen drafts later, handling by several agents and publishers, it will finally see the light of day this month on Amazon. More on this as the date approaches.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This has been on my to read list for more than 20 years. I'm a big fan of the first film based on this novel (The Haunting 1963) and now I'm a fan of the book. Jackson's story about an unsettling house and the four people that spend a week within its walls is a character driven slow burn that by today's high gore standards might not make an impression. But I can imagine that 60 years ago it was extremely terrifying. And I think every haunted house story that has come after has been inspired by The Haunting of Hill House. 


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As you may have heard, this is a follow up to The Shinning, one of King's best, if not the best, novels. It isn't the follow up I wanted, but when I got past that, King delivers a terrifying story with a repulsive new monster - part vampire, part succubus, and all evil.  


My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I'm a Trekkie first, but I am also a Star Wars fanboy, so this was a must read for me. Zombies in the Star Wars universe, why the hell not? Bit of a slow start as characters are developed, and I can see how zombie fans might be put off, but if you give it sixty pages or so, Death Troopers does not disappoint. About halfway through some very familiar SW characters pop into the story and things really get moving. Lots of fun. Lots of blood. Fun and blood really.