Mythic Delirium 25 now out; Clockwork Phoenix 1 available for Kindle

/ December 5th, 2011 / No Comments »

A couple of mini-Herculean labors have come to fruition here over the weekend. The newest issue of Mythic Delirium, Issue 25, is finished up and in the mail to all subscribers and contributors. And the first volume of Clockwork Phoenix is available as an e-book for the first time, released on Kindle and soon to be available at Weightless Books (and Mythic Delirium will be too, for that matter..)

I’ll talk about Mythic Delirium first. Our 25th issue features 20 new poems, including Catherynne M. Valente’s epic take on women in anime, “The Melancholy of Mechagirl,” Sonya Taaffe’s twist on the Commedia dell’Arte, a translation by Lawrence Schimel of Spanish poet Sofía Rhei’s “The Magic Walnut,” Jeannine Hall Gailey’s contemplation of “Little Girls, Atom Bombs,” Darrell Schweitzer’s suspicion as to who’s behind “Alien Graffiti,” Mary A. Turzillo’s musing on really really long distance romance, and more.

In addition, we’re celebrating our 25th venture into print with a special silver cover engineered by Tim Mullins, with a little help from paper cutout artist Paula Friedlander. If you’d like one, click here to subscribe (for U.S. folk, $5 per issue, $9 two issues, $16 four.)

And second, but hardly least, the first of the Clockwork Phoenix books is at last available for Kindle. Click here to see for yourself (and snatch one up if you want, ’tis only $3.99.)

The other two books will follow over the next couple of months.

As I’ve been preparing this book for its relaunch in e-format, I’ve had to re-read all the stories which has been quite a pleasant walk down memory lane. And so much has happened since. I tried to explain it all in a new afterword I wrote just for the electronic edition:

It occurred to me, too, that I should share a little about the bragging rights the Clockwork Phoenix crew of authors accumulated after the book came out. Vandana’s novelette was reprinted in David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer’s The Year’s Best SF 14, while Deborah’s “Tailor of Time” was a finalist for the 2008 Aurealis Award for Best Young Adult Short Story. Tanith’s and Laird’s short stories were included in the Locus Magazine 2008 Recommended Reading List, as was the anthology as a whole—and Laird later used “Occultation” as the title story of his 2010 collection which went on to win the Shirley Jackson Award. Editor Ellen Datlow picked David’s “Old Foss” to include in her massive anthology of feline-based speculative fiction, Tales of Wonder & Imagination. Tales by John Grant, Leah, Laird, Cat Rambo, Kathy Sedia, Cat Sparks, Tanith, Marie, Vandana, John Wright and C.S. MacCath received honorable mentions from various “best of the year” anthologies, and all of the stories received critical praise from some corner or other, though some reviewers mused as to whether my strange new art-for-art’s-sake anthology model actually worked.

Re-reading it now, I can’t imagine putting this book together any other way.

My thanks to Elizabeth Campbell at Dark Cargo, who posted a new review of Clockwork Phoenix and a somewhat discombobulated (but hopefully still fun) interview with me over the weekend, called “Mike Allen 101,” talking about all this crazy stuff I do.

Miracles never cease (Mythic Delirium 25 is here!)

/ December 1st, 2011 / No Comments »

And here is proof!

If you’re not getting a copy and you want one, click here to go to where you fix that.

Slipstreaming into the future

/ November 23rd, 2011 / No Comments »

nullMy apocalyptic horror tale “The Blessed Days” is being reprinted in Past Future Present 2011, an anthology to be offered at 99 cents on Kindle.

“The Blessed Days” will also be included in my own upcoming ebook The Button Bin and Other Horrors — its appearance in Past Future Present 2011 will serve as a teaser.

More details on both projects forthcoming.

In memory of John Neville: “Munchausen vs. the Aliens”

/ November 22nd, 2011 / No Comments »

John Neville, who played Romeo to Claire Bloom’s Juliet, Hamlet to Judi Dench’s Ophelia and Othello to Richard Burton’s Iago (and vice versa), but who may be best known in the United States as the title character in the exuberantly loopy film “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen” and a recurring one in the television series “The X-Files,” died in Toronto on Saturday. He was 86.

From The New York Times obituary

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen may not be the best film ever made, but it’s hands-down my favorite movie. That was true even in the 1990s, when John Neville began appearing on The X-Files. I remember my first delighted exclamation on spotting him in the tailored suit of a Man in Black: “That’s Baron Munchausen!”

I wrote the following poem as a way of reconciling Neville’s best-known roles in my own head. It appeared in the late, lamented Talebones and in my collections Defacing the Moon and The Journey to Kailash. Now I offer it in tribute to a great, and under-celebrated, entertainer, along with the collage I created to illustrate it.

Munchausen vs. the Aliens

Urban legends encounter urbane liar,
tractor-beam him
right off his five-winged pegasus;
five oval grey heads
roll at saber-flicks,
before they clamp the Baron down,
pierce him in place,
spread him open.
His cavities issue
oily polygonal beasts
too wily to be
imprisoned in specimen jars.

His vivisection completed,
he thanks greys with grace,
folds them with their saucer
into imaginary space,
sealed forever inside
a tale he spins
beside the hearth-light.

“Kandinsky’s Galaxy” sells to Strange Horizons

/ November 20th, 2011 / No Comments »

I learned tonight that my poem “Kandinsky’s Galaxy,” yet another installment in the Disturbing Muses series about 20th century artists, has sold to Strange Horizons. Woo-hoo!

A new poetry collection by Sonya Taaffe

/ November 16th, 2011 / No Comments »

A MAYSE-BIKHL by Sonya TaaffeFrequent Mythic Delirium contributor Sonya Taaffe has a new poetry collection out, her first since 2005’s Postcards from the Province of Hyphens, and that’s absolutely something I want to celebrate and support.

It’s called A Mayse-Bikhl, which means “a little book of stories,” and it contains twenty poems from Sonya’s considerable inventory, selected by author, poet and Stone Telling editor Rose Lemberg.

Publisher Erzebet YellowBoy Carr of Papaveria Press writes:

These poems, as Jeannelle [Ferreira] says in her introduction, are “are deeply and completely Jewish poems”. Sonya pulls her material from the deep wells of Jewish myth and history, combining words to create a landscape both familiar and strange. She follows in that tradition of Yiddish literature most popularly published as chapbooks: stories of the fantastic, stories of romance, stories for women. It is entirely fitting that the front cover image, by A. Glixman, is of the Torah scrolls in England that had been rescued from Eastern Europe during World War II. The photograph was taken in 1969 when the scrolls were being restored by the Westminster Synagogue.

You can buy it from Papaveria (click here to do so) for £6.00 — which for us Americanos converts to about $9.50 — plus shipping. Paypal will automatically make the conversion, so don’t let that pound symbol intimidate you.

What’s been going on with me? (A list.)

/ November 14th, 2011 / No Comments »

There’s a lot of stuff going on in my writing career right now, a lot of “let’s do this and see where it goes” sort of things.

So here’s some ketchup:

Nicole Kornher-Stace’s “To Seek Her Fortune” from Clockwork Phoenix 3 now at StarShipSofa

/ November 3rd, 2011 / No Comments »

I’m delighted to announce this morning that Nicole Kornher-Stace’s weird mystical steampunk tale “To Seek Her Fortune” from Clockwork Phoenix 3 is available now as a podcast at the Hugo Award-winning StarShipSofa. Go, listen, enjoy!

A Coal in the wild.

unbutton your skin for “The Quiltmaker” (here’s how)

/ November 2nd, 2011 / No Comments »

I’m pleased to announce that Erzebet Yellowboy Carr of Papaveria Press plans next year to create a limited (18-copy) special edition of “The Quiltmaker,” my novella that’s a direct sequel to my Nebula Award-nominated horror storyThe Button Bin.”

And she’ll be working with my wife Anita to create these handbound volumes. This is really exciting … the last time Erzebet and Anita colluded, the result was the “Honey Corset,” created from the pages of Amal El-Mohtar’s The Honey Month for the author to wear.


The Honey Corset, side view

In that instance, a book got repurposed for wearing. In this instance … the books will wear you.

Here’s what Anita has in mind: she needs 18 people to send her fabric that matches their skin tone as exactly as possible. If you have a distinguishing birthmark, tattoo or other visual feature that marks your skin as distinctly yours, she’d like photos. She’ll recreate said mark on the fabric and use it to create the buttoned-together “Quiltmaker” book covers for Papaveria.

If you’re twisted enough to want in on this (and surely you must be if you’ve read this far) contact Anita at anita[dot]d[dot]allen[at]gmail[dot]com (replace bracketed words with corresponding characters) to get the finer details.

Reading three short stories tonight at Studio Roanoke

/ October 29th, 2011 / No Comments »

Tonight I’m going to read three brief short stories as part of a Studio Roanoke event called “The Big Idea.”

I adore how they’ve billed me:

Featuring Death Newman, Chris Shepard, Illusions by Nelson Oliver, and creepiness from Mike Allen!

Sat. Oct. 29th, 8PM, $5.00 at the door

Yes, I’ll be performing in The Purple Hat.

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