Saturday, October 26, 2013

Balloon Trip to the Moon - Only 193 Years in the Making

For only $75,000 balloon trips to the moon are being offered. Will it actually work? Check out this video. Technology has finally caught up to a science fiction writer who described of these types of trips in 1820.

Years before Edgar Allan Poe' popular "[Balloon Hoax]" tale, another was published that not only sent the first earthling to the moon in a balloon, but when he arrives, he meets the first lunarian whose name was Zuloc.

What was the name of the first sci-fi short story of a trip to the moon in a balloon and who wrote it? You can find the story and my thoughts on who the author was in Mesaerion: The Best Science Fiction Stories 1800-1849.  

Saturday, October 19, 2013

My Classic Vampire Anthology is a Finalist in the International Book Awards

BlooDeath: The Best Vampire Stories 1800-1849, has been selected as a finalist award-winner in the anthology category of the International Book Awards. Pretty cool. So what's in the book?

The collection unleashes the greatest early vampire tales in the English language. Unearthed from long forgotten journals and magazines, I uncovered the very best vampire short stories from the first half of the 19th century. They are collected for the first time in this groundbreaking book on the origins of vampire lore.

The cradle of all vampire short stories in the English language is the first half of the 19th century. I combed forgotten journals and mysterious texts to collect the very best vintage vampire stories from this crucial period in vampire literature. In doing so, I unearthed the second and third vampire stories originally published in the English language, neither printed since their first publication nearly 200 years ago. Also included is the first vampire story originally written in English by John Polidori after a dare with Lord Byron and Mary Shelley. The book contains the first vampire story by an American who was a graduate of Columbia Law School. The book further includes the first vampire stories by an Englishman and German, including the only vampire stories by such renowned authors as Alexander Dumas, Théophile Gautier and Joseph le Fanu.

I added my scholarly touch to this collection by including story backgrounds, annotations (physical book), author photos and a foreword titled "With Teeth." The ground-breaking stories are:

1819 The Vampyre - John Polidori (1795-1821)
1823 Wake Not the Dead - Ernst Raupach (1784-1852)
1848 The Vampire of the Carpathian Mountains - Alexander Dumas (1802-1870)
1839 Strange Event in the Life of Schalken the Painter - Joseph le Fanu (1814-1873)
1826 Pepopukin in Corsica - Arthur Young (1741-1820)
1819 The Black Vampyre: A Legend of Saint Domingo - Robert C. Sands (1799-1832)
1836 Clarimonde - Théophile Gautier (1811-1872)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Who was the First Woman to Write a Werewolf Short Story?

Who was the first female to write a werewolf short story in the English language? In researching my anthology Shifters: The Best Werewolf Short Stories 1800-1849 I uncovered a tale by Catherine Crowe (1790-1872). She called it "A Story of a Weir-Wolf" and published it in 1846. Despite the rather boring title, its a fine lycan tale. At first she appears to be the first woman to write a werewolf story in the English language, but them I remembered that "Hugues the Wer-Wolf: A Kentish Legend of the Middle Ages" was attributed to Sutherland Menzies (1806-1883). That tale was published eight years before Crowe's story. There are some who believe Menzies was a pen-name for Mrs. Elizabeth Stone. If so, she was the first woman to pen a lycan story.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Came Back Haunted is Classic NIN Flash Fiction

"Came Back Haunted," the new single by NIN, gets my vote as one of the best song titles to come around in a very long time. Much more than just a song title, though, it's flash fiction. Those three little words conjure three hundred ghost stories in this spectral month of October. "Need more coffins," is one I thought of...