“It turns Its eye, Its single eye, from dream to dream to dream, and spies in each a dream undreamt of tales as yet untold, of Monstrous Things that cannot be yet come to be withal, upon a whirling sphere of blue (inward grown and lost to time), where Then and Now, and Here and There, and You and It . . . are One.”—The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom
Category Archives: Literary
An Objective Take (or Three or Four) on “The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom”
For those who might appreciate an early and objective opinion on The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom (I certainly did), here’s a link to a review in Publishers Weekly.
Other impressions have begun to appear hither and yon, most notably on Goodreads, for which I am equally grateful.
Ordinarily, for the sake of my creative process, I avoid paying undue attention to reviews, but bringing this particular book back from the underworld was such a strange and troublous task that I’m delighted to find it resonating with at least an honest few.
In a life crammed to bursting with things that must be done, choosing which books are worthy of your time is a matter of no small importance. So whether my sharing of these early reviews leads you to or from The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom, I will have done a good deed for the day, and will sleep all the better tonight.
Thanks for reading, friends.
“The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom”
I’ve received quite a few questions about The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom over the past couple of years, most of them of the frequently asked variety—and with good reason, given the tardiness of the book’s promised release. Rather than continuing to field these queries individually as they land in my various inboxes, I’ve decided to address them below in a public Q&A that will be the first installment of an ongoing series entitled Between You & Me.*
- Will The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom ever be published?
- When will The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom be published?
As of my last communication with the publisher, and according to this listing on Amazon, the expected release date is August 1, 2014, so I’m hoping to see the book no later than that.
- Some on-line sources say that The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom will be published by Double Feature Press. Others say it will be published by Anomalous Books. Which is correct?
The long answer: Several years ago, Sarah L. Covert approached me about being part of what was to be the maiden voyage of her newly formed publishing company, Double Feature Press. Her plan was to pair a slim collection of stories by me with one by Joseph S. Pulver Sr., a writer whose work I hold in high regard, and to publish them as a single volume—a sort of literary analogue/homage to the once popular motion picture phenomenon known as the “double feature” and somewhat reminiscent of the tête-bêche paperbacks made popular by Ace Books in the 1950s, 60s, and early 70s.
Intrigued by the idea and already tinkering with something I thought would be a good fit for the DFP format, I agreed to take part. Unfortunately, however, my progress toward that goal was interrupted on several occasions by stints of work in film and TV. Further complicating matters, my intended contribution had begun to grow into something a good deal longer and more idiosyncratic than was suitable for a two-in-one package, not to mention too elusive and cantankerous for a certain word-slingin’ cowboy to saddle up and ride. So, greatly disappointed, I advised Sarah to proceed without me, interred the manuscript in my private potter’s field of ill-conceived undertakings, and turned my attention to projects of a more tractable, less daunting nature.
But the book just wouldn’t stay buried; it dogged me day and night—mostly at night—driving me out of bed, back to the altar, back to the page. And little by little, spoken of to no one and unacknowledged even to myself, The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom clawed its way into being. When it was done, I had no idea what to make of such a thing, and little hope that anyone would want to publish it. But much to my surprise, several publishers showed interest. Foremost among them—in passion if not in size—was J. P. Fortner (of Anomalous Books), who, fortunately for me, seems to be something of a glutton for punishment when it comes to my particular brand of auctorial deviance.
To make a long story a little less so, I weighed my options and decided to go with Anomalous Books. The key factors in my choice were J. P.’s enthusiasm (it’s difficult to say no to someone who displays such a pronounced and abiding fondness for one’s work), his editorial acumen (he never fails to improve upon whatever I send his way), and his attention to typographical detail (a rarer trait than one might think among modern-day publishers and editors). Do not, by the way, underestimate the importance of this third and final factor; in recent years, I have seen several of my works severely disfigured by the abysmal copy editing and typesetting of editors and/or publishers who either don’t know better (should find another line of work) or who do know better but don’t give a damn (should be knouted and punched in the throat).
So there you have it: The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom will be published by Anomalous Books. Whatever the outcome—and your opinion of it—J. P. Fortner deserves at least half the thanks, and yours truly no less than all the blame.
The short answer: See the paragraph immediately above.
- The bibliography on your web site lists The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom twice, once as a book and once a novelette. Which is correct?
Both. The book entitled The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom contains a novelette entitled “The Untold Tale of Ozman Droom.” The novelette serves as the linchpin piece for the cycle of stories of which the book is composed.
- Is The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom a novel or a short-story collection?
A bit of the former, much of the latter, and altogether something else.
That’s all for now, friends. If you would like to see your question added to those above or included in a future installment of Between You & Me, feel free to send it my way. Your interest is appreciated and your correspondence welcome.
*I am not a blogger. On the rare occasions I have anything to say that is worth the effort of writing down and that I think—in a fit of self-delusion—others might find of interest, the words take the form of a story, poem, or essay that on even rarer occasions ends up in a bona fide book. Unfortunately, this aesthetic sensibility, combined with an innate seclusiveness at odds with the cyber age, is widely mistaken by readers (both actual and potential) for casual indifference or outright disregard. Hence this Q&A—an ongoing, if sporadic, series entitled Between You & Me.** It is my sincere, though admittedly inelegant, effort to trick myself into providing more content and into being at least a trifle more accessible to those who are kind enough, concerned enough, or curious enough to care.
**The questions in Between You & Me are quoted verbatim from actual correspondence. The answers, though honest, are but rough approximations of my own.
“The Xenambulist: A Fable in Four Acts”
My latest tale (see title above) can be found within the pages of The Grimscribe’s Puppets, the Thomas Ligotti tribute anthology edited by the inimitable Joseph S. Pulver Sr.
Additional grim scribbles are provided by the following marionettes, no (visible) strings attached: Robert M. Price, Michael Cisco, Darrell Schweitzer, Gemma Files, Jeffrey Thomas, Livia Llewellyn, John Langan, Daniel Mills, Kaaron Warren, Joel Lane, Nicole Cushing, Cody Goodfellow, Michael Griffin, Scott Nicolay, Michael Kelly, Eddie M. Angerhuber, Jon Padgett, Richard Gavin, Simon Strantzas, Paul Tremblay, and Allyson Bird.
The Grimscribe’s Puppets is available from the publisher, Miskatonic River Press, as well as from the following on-line venders: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Book Depository.
Thanks for reading, friends.
“Swamp Dreams” Lives!
And remembers. And stalks the rain-drenched night of southern Appalachia. But don’t take my word for it; seek out the monster yourself in the fourth issue of Phantasmagorium, Gorgon Press’s quarterly journal of the literary fantastique.
In addition to being my latest published story, “Swamp Dreams” also serves as an excerpt (and puzzle piece) from the ever-elusive but nonetheless forthcoming book, The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom.
Edited by Joe Pulver and featuring the artwork and graphic design of J. D. Busch, Phantasmagorium #4 also includes fiction by Ken Asamatsu, Daniel Mills, Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, and Jeffrey Thomas; poetry by Kristine Ong Muslim; an interview with Ross Lockhart, Managing Editor of Night Shade Books; and a monstrously gorgeous illustration of “Swamp Dreams” by Rob Macabre Smits.
For readers who have expressed a desire to acquire my work in electronic format, this is your first opportunity. If, however, print remains your medium of choice, a trade paperback edition of Phantasmagorium #4 will soon be available from Amazon and directly from Gorgon Press.
Thanks for reading, friends.
To Every “Thing” a Season
“There’s this book,” he said, “called A Season in Carcosa. It just got here. By ‘here’ I mean this place that most folks call the world. Where it came from, I couldn’t tell you. Some say from the shores of Lake Hali, others from the cloudy depths of dim and forgotten Demhe. Anyway, this book, it’s got a bunch of writin’ in it—stories and a poem or two—that’ll change the shape of your soul. If you believe in that kind of thing. Souls and change, I mean. And even if you don’t, it don’t really matter, ’cause it’ll do what it does just the same. ‘Cause that’s the way it is, this book. If you know what I mean. And even if you don’t. If you know what I mean. Ad in-effin’-finitum.”
In addition to “Salvation in Yellow,” my Southern Gothic meditation on madness, the Bible, and “divine” intervention, this long-awaited anthology, edited by Joseph S. Pulver Sr., boasts the following table of contents:
- “My Voice is Dead” by Joel Lane
- “Beyond the Banks of the River Seine” by Simon Strantzas
- “Movie Night at Phil’s” by Don Webb
- “MS Found in a Chicago Hotel Room” by Daniel Mills
- “It sees me when I’m not looking” by Gary McMahon
- “Finale, Act Two” by Ann K. Schwader
- “Yellow Bird Strings” by Cate Gardner
- “The Theatre & Its Double” by Edward Morris
- “The Hymn of the Hyades” by Richard Gavin
- “Slick Black Bones and Soft Black Stars” by Gemma Files
- “Not Enough Hope” by Joseph S. Pulver Sr.
- “Whose Hearts are Pure Gold” by Kristin Prevallet
- “April Dawn” by Richard A. Lupoff
- “King Wolf” by Anna Tambour
- “The White-Face at Dawn” by Michael Kelly
- “Wishing Well” by Cody Goodfellow
- “Sweetums” by John Langan
- “The King is Yellow” by Pearce Hansen
- “DT” by Laird Barron
- “Salvation in Yellow” by Robin Spriggs
- “The Beat Hotel” by Allyson Bird
And for those who like a little extra teasing, here’s the book trailer by Brendan Petersen, with music by Lena Griffin.
A Season in Carcosa can be purchased from Amazon, or directly from Miskatonic River Press. I hope you’ll give it a try.
Thanks for reading, friends.
New Tales and a New Book in the Offing
Just a quick note to let readers know that I do indeed have new work on the way. Look for the following in the coming weeks and months:
- “Swamp Dreams” in Phantasmagorium (Gorgon Press)
- “Salvation in Yellow” in A Season in Carcosa (Miskatonic River Press)
- “The Xenambulist: a Fable in Four Acts” in The Grimscribe’s Puppets (Miskatonic River Press)
- “Desultory Scholia on the Dhol Chants” in The Starry Wisdom Library (PS Publishing)
And slouching toward Bethlehem (ever so slowly), the aforementioned book itself . . .
- The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom (Double Feature Press)
More details on each to follow. Thanks for reading, friends.