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Jeffrey Thomas
Posted on Friday, December 01, 2006 - 02:59 pm:   

Since it's going to press anytime now, Dark Regions Press now has my short story collection DOOMSDAYS up for pre-order at their site. The book is available in two states:

100 copy limited edition hardcover for $45

Trade paperback for $18.95

Go to: http://www.darkregions.com/

The striking cover by artist R. S. Connett.

Here are the contents:

Out of the Blue is original to this collection
Blue Sphinxes is original to this collection
Harsh Light is original to this collection
Insides Out is original to this collection
Ouroborus first appeared in the limited edition of “Aaaiiieee!!!”, Delirium Books, 2004
Post #153 first appeared in the anthology “Octoberland”, Flesh and Blood Press, 2002
Apples and Oranges first appeared in the anthology “In Delirium”, Delirium Books, 2005
Praying That You Feel Better Soon first appeared in the anthology “Frontiers of Terror”, Marietta Publishing, 2002
The Arms of the Sun first appeared in the anthology “Dark Homage: Lovecraft”, Delirium Books, 2004
Twenty-five Cents first appeared in the publication “Underworlds”, 2004
A Naming of Puppets first appeared in the book “A Puppet Show For No One”, Delirium Books, 2004, in an edition of 26 traycased copies
Gasp first appeared in the publication “Cemetery Dance”, 2003
The Call of the Worms first appeared in the anthology “Sick”, Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2003
Working Stiffs first appeared in the anthology “The Dead Inn”, Delirium Books, 2001
The Friend of the Children first appeared in the publication “Bare Bone”, 2003
The Tripod first appeared in the publication “Terror Tales” numbers 2-3, 2004-2005
300,000 Moments of Pain first appeared in the publication “Redsine”, 2002
The Fork first appeared in the anthology “Leviathan Three”, Ministry of Whimsy Press, 2002
The Green Spider first appeared in the anthology “Strangewood Tales”, Eraserhead Press, 2001
Flesh Wound first appeared in an electronic edition of the publication “Redsine”, 2001
Elephants Weep first appeared in the anthology “Whispers and Shadows”, Prime, 2001
The Schism first appeared in the anthology “Warfear”, Marietta Publishing, 2002
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Jeffrey Thomas
Posted on Sunday, November 11, 2007 - 08:14 am:   

You were forewarned, friend, and now…DOOMSDAYS has arrived! My short story collection from Dark Regions Press (http://www.darkregions.com/); 22 short stories, mostly reprints (though often hard to track down), and starting out with 4 previously unseen pieces. The first story is OUT OF THE BLUE, an apocalyptic zombie tale (and there are two other meaty apocalyptic stories, too — ARMS OF THE SUN and THE SCHISM — which help account for the book’s title). It struck me, reading OUT OF THE BLUE again, how much I had borrowed imagery from it unconsciously while writing my forthcoming novel BLUE WAR. There is the desolate, blue-colored cityscape, the transfigured buildings with a coral-like texture, and three pits out of which zombie-things emerge (in BLUE WAR, it’s three clones found within three pits). You’ll understand it all better when BLUE WAR comes out this March. Anyway, I guess it’s okay to borrow from yourself, and again, I didn’t consciously have OUT OF THE BLUE in mind while writing the novel. Then there is a short experimental piece, INSIDES OUT. The trick with this piece is that it is two mirroring halves: there is only one word that doesn’t repeat, “out,” at the piece’s center. The two halves are a mirror reflection of each other, working out from that. I wish now I had called more attention to this, by putting arrows or such around “out” to better indicate it as a radiating center. I’ll paste the piece in its entierty below, with the arrows now included. I like it better this way:

*****

INSIDES OUT

Ending sadly, story told often, fate unhappy always follows it — you hear wailing whales, you see nearing angels, tattered and torn fins like wings, mists spouted become dispersing halos, flesh that covers treasured chest, blubber is this for this you eat, blood is this for this you drink, “I am cursed but cured,” you say, “this to witness am I”, watching haunted and hollowed mothers of ghosts, skulls as echoing and depthless as sea, “harpoons plunge deep too,” you cry, brine of tears are cried, great but tragic beasts striking upon sharp rocks, water like tossing flesh, blood in dyed waves, hammer pounding uselessly a heart, vast and stranded whales like fetuses die, flayed insides > out < insides flayed, die fetuses like whales stranded and vast, heart a uselessly pounding hammer, waves dyed in blood, flesh tossing like water, rocks sharp upon striking beasts tragic but great, cried are tears of brine, cry you, “too deep plunge harpoons”, sea as depthless and echoing as skulls, ghosts of mothers hollowed and haunted watching, “I am witness to this,” say you, “cured but cursed am I”, drink you this for this is blood, eat you this for this is blubber, chest treasured covers that flesh, halos dispersing become spouted mists, wings like fins torn and tattered, angels nearing see you, whales wailing hear you — it follows always unhappy fate, often told story, sadly ending.

*****

The book is gorgeous, with a stunning cover painting by Robert Steven Connett. When I saw it online the first time I knew it had to be the cover for DOOMSDAYS. I’ve seen some of his original work at a horror-themed art gallery in Salem, MA, and it’s just exciting, vibrant, ghastly stuff. A friend gave me a framed, eerie Connett clown piece that now hangs on my livingroom wall. Check out his web site at: http://www.vomitus.com/. In fact, the clown I have on my wall is a copy of the art on his site’s opening page.

DOOMSDAYS is beautiful, as I say, and a lot of the credit for that has to go to Dave Barnett at Fat Cat Design. He always does clean, bold, professional looking work. Yup, a book I’m very excited about…and I hope, if you’re kind enough to seek it out, you’ll find it exciting, too.

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