A review of an interview?

/ July 31st, 2011 / No Comments »

Bull Spec poetry editor Dan Campbell offers a review of the poems in the upcoming Fantastique Unfettered 3, and makes mention of the interview with me that’s appearing there.

…do read it for a hint of how Allen performs his poems and an insight into the darkness present in his writing.


I might add that an additional question appeared on the Fantastique Unfettered blog, asking me, quite reasonably, about my parting of the ways with the Science Fiction Poetry Association.

Down came the rain and washed the novel out

/ July 26th, 2011 / No Comments »

Progress on the rewrite of my novel (revised and expanded from my short story “The Hiker’s Tale”) continues apace; ordinarily I would post something like this on my LiveJournal but that forum continues not to function, so, I share here. Today I actually reached the point I had hoped to reach this past Sunday night had much adult world travails not gotten in the way during last week’s vacation. And this is where that puts me word count-wise:

91547 / 110000

This is a pretty intense part of the book. Here’s a segment I’ll share for a taste:

These are the things I saw, lying on the cold stone floor. A single long room lit by electric lights strung from the ceiling, all the wires visible. A low table of what looked like stone, the first of several in a row, on which someone lay chained, though it seemed like overkill, because his legs were missing from below the knees and his arms were missing past the elbows. The sobs I heard were coming from the figure on the table. “I’m sorry,” I heard again.

I saw that every tile in the floor, every block in the wall, had an inscription on it. A name, and a date of birth, and a date of death. Some of them had epitaphs. Every single one was a gravestone. The letters in the stone beside my head — “Her father’s joy and the comfort of his last years” — were spattered by and filling with my blood.

A bad day, yes.

A new review of “The Button Bin”

/ July 25th, 2011 / No Comments »

Twitter revealed to me David Hebblethwaite’s review of Apex Magazine 23, which contains a passage about my “Button Bin”:

The first of the issue’s two reprints, Mike Allen’s “The Button Bin” (reproduced from a 2007 issue of Helix), is disquieting in both its style and content. Searching for his missing niece, Allen’s unnamed protagonist tracks down Lenahan, the owner of a craft store, who (Billy Willett tells him) took Denise. Willett was Denise’s boyfriend, who lost his eyes and legs after what the authorities believe to have been a hit-and-run, the same incident in which Denise disappeared. But Willett tells Denise’s uncle something different—about how Lenahan “put us both deep under but he only kept what he wanted from me. Denise, he kept all of her.”  The narrator confronts Lenahan at his shop, and discovers the man’s strange container of buttons, which are far more than they seem. Allen’s second-person narration brings us uncomfortably close to his protagonist, which works to great effect with the imagery of what happens in the story’s closing stages, and also in the shocking way the piece turns on its narrator to reveal that he’s not the man we had been led to believe.

And one more ReaderCon thing, possibly with pizza

/ July 13th, 2011 / No Comments »

Anita and I intend to host a book launch for C.S.E. Cooney’s Jack o’ the Hills and Nicole Kornher-Stace’s The Winter Triptych from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday — it should serve as something of a bridge between the Steam-Powered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories reading and the Interstitial Arts Exchange. Pizza may well be involved. Check with us at the con (we arrive tomorrow eve!) for further details.

Last Minute ReaderCon things

/ July 12th, 2011 / No Comments »

UTMOST IMPORTANCE: If you did not just receive an e-mail from me about the Rhysling Award Poetry Slan at ReaderCon (which I am still hosting, FYI) at 3 p.m. Saturday, and/or you did not just receive an e-mail from me about the Goblin Fruit/Mythic Delirium reading at 4 p.m. Friday, which I am co-hosting with Nicole Kornher-Stace and you want to be in one or the other or both of these readings, please contact me ASAP at mythicdelirium@gmail.com At the moment, the Rhysling reading looks jam-packed, FYI, but there is potentially room in the GF/MD gathering.

IMPORTANT FOR A DIFFERENT REASON: My autograph session with David Lunde at 2 p.m. Friday will take place outside the door to the Bookshop, which won’t be open yet. I plan to have copies of Clockwork Phoenix with me and maybe a couple other things. I’m sure my hordes of fans (ahem!) appreciate the notice…

A weekend of villainy

/ July 10th, 2011 / No Comments »

Having played a villainous 19th century pharmacist in Dwayne Yancey’s “Strong as a Bull” last night as part of Mill Mountain Theatre’s Overnight Sensations, I continue my period villainy tonight, playing Carl Denham in the play you see in the poster.

Crazy weekend gets crazier

/ July 8th, 2011 / No Comments »

Tomorrow night, I will be performing in “Overnight Sensations” at Mill Mountain Theatre (see poster to the left) — six plays get created in 24 hours, starting tonight. I’ll be one of the actors. (And I’m going to write about it afterward, so there’s a plan for photographer to be documenting what I do. Yikes!)

And, I’ve completed my first assignment for the Kirk Poland Memorial Bad Prose competition at ReaderCon next weekend. *shudder*

Clockwork Phoenix 3 stories receive honorable mentions in Gardner Dozois’ The Year’s Best Science Fiction

/ July 7th, 2011 / No Comments »

Congratulations to the following writers from Clockwork Phoenix 3: New Tales of Beauty and Strangeness who have received honorable mentions from Gardner Dozois in the newest edition of The Year’s Best Science Fiction.

  • “Braiding the Ghosts,” C.S.E. Cooney
  • “Hell Friend,” Gemma Files
  • “Lucyna’s Gaze,” Gregory Frost
  • “Where Shadows Go at Low Midnight,” John Grant
  • “Surrogates,” Cat Rambo
  • “Murder in Metachronopolis,” John C. Wright

I’d like to extend further congratulations to Claire Cooney, whose “Braiding the Ghosts” has just been reprinted in The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2011 and to Nicole Kornher-Stace, whose “To Seek Her Fortune” has been selected for The Mammoth Book of Steampunk.

Win free copies of Mythic Delirium 23 & 24

/ July 5th, 2011 / No Comments »

Writer/poet Francesca Forrest, who is also part of my volunteer “staff” for Mythic Delirium, is holding a guessing game contest. Enter it to win free copies of Issue 23 and Issue 24. For further details, click over to her blog.

New poetry sale

/ July 1st, 2011 / No Comments »

Yesterday Alexa Seidel with Fantastique Unfettered informed me she’ll be adding my poem “Seed the Earth, Burn the Sky” to the pair (“Sisyphus Crawls,” “Binary”) she already has lined up for the Nov./Dec. issue, making it a triptych. I also understand the issue’s cover will be based on one of the poems. How cool.

“Seed the Earth, Burn the Sky” is another of my “Claire-dare” poems. I originally wrote 12 last October. There’s now only three left available. That’s quite satisfying, too.

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