Anthocon 2012 Recap

Anthocon 2012

by Jason Harris

The second Anthocon presented by Shroud Publishing and the Four Horsemen happened in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, this past weekend. Once again, it was a good time. There were less attendees and vendors this year, but that didn’t impede the people who came to the convention from having a good time.

Once again, the Four Horsemen: Timothy Deal, Danny Evarts, Mark Wholley, and jOhnny Morse, put together a great convention. There were the usual panels and readings. This year brought some new program delights that included a film festival, art show, art demonstrations, and gaming.

The newest delight, which pleased a number of convention-goers, were the pitch sessions put on by Evil Jester Press and Post Mortem Press. A few New England Horror Writers’ members had a great response to their pitches.

Mark Wholley. Photo by Jason Harris.

The first Anthocon anthology, Anthology: Year One, debuted. Every author in this collection was at the first Anthocon. When Wholley announced the readings from this new anthology, he told everyone they would be able to submit to year two since they were attending the second Anthocon.

The after hour parties definitely had that Neconesque feel to them, which I know will make Deal happy since that is what he was hoping for when the Horsemen created Anthocon.
Hopefully, there will be many Anthocons to come.

The Birth of ‘Dark Discussions’

The Birth of Dark Discussions

By Philip Perron

If you miss your favorite ESPN show, go get it on a podcast. If you want to hear news from some of the biggest news agencies in the world, you can get it through a podcast and listen to it a day later. Podcasting has been a spectacular if not largely known medium that provides programming for those folks who prefer to listen to their favorite topics when they want and wherever they want.

Though satellite radio has been a great phenomenon where folks are able to listen to an eclectic mix of shows on books, movies, sports, news, finance, and even cooking, niche audiences still may not be fulfilled with what they really want to listen to. What about themes such as video games, gardening, or even something as specific as horror movies? This is where podcasting really has promise. Not only is it free, it requires nothing more than an audio digital device, a laptop, or even a smart phone.

As an avid fan of the arts, specifically books and movies, I was always visiting websites to read about the production of Martin Scorcese’s latest film or the progress of the next Stephen King novel. Then one day I came across an audio review on the film Cloverfield as well as an audio round table discussion about the film No Country for Old Men. Afterwards, I saw that these audio files were also being streamed from Apple’s iTune’s store for free.

Getting programs on my little iPod was a convenient way to listen to programs I wanted to listen to while doing my daily walks in the woods or working out or commuting to work. And with the wide variety of programming available I was able to search for shows discussing upcoming books and movies. And yet even more specifically books and movies within the horror and techno genres.

The interesting thing was that many of the podcasts I listened to were done by amateurs or simply people who did them for fun. Their shows were filled on topics they were passionate about. The discussions were probably the same ones they’d be talking about over a round of beers. They weren’t making any money, they weren’t making any inroads towards a more promising career, they were doing it simply because they loved talking about their focused topic.

Early 2011, I figured I could do it myself. While grabbing burgers with a few guys, I noticed our discussions focused around either sports or genre fiction which included horror, science fiction, fantasy, thriller, techno-thriller, and mystery. And having added a number of genre themed podcasts as part of my weekly listen to-do list, I did my research and started putting together the idea. What resulted was a genre themed topical podcast entitled Dark Discussions Podcast.

Finding two wonderful folks online through various genre themed forums, myself along with Eric Webster, of Ann Arbor, Michigan and Michael Dunleavy, of Port Jervis, New York came together and put together a weekly show on topics that anyone from the New England Horror Writer’s group would be familiar with. Not to be tagged as specifically horror, the tag line “Your place for the discussion of horror film, fiction, and all that’s fantastic” seemed to fit.

The podcast basically focused at first on themed discussions or specific movies. Topics such as a retrospective of the director and screenwriter Frank Darabont as well as the franchise of the Planet of the Apes were some of the early weekly episodes. But also films such as Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window and John Huston’s Moby Dick have been a focus. It’s true, we are no experts but our perspectives as fans of genre fiction were as well thought out as some of the genre websites and magazines available. And at the worst, we provide another voice on both obscure works and genre classics.

Some of the inventive ways the podcast has expanded were by being contacted by some folks for reviews and promotion. Horror Realm, a convention every September in Pittsburgh, emailed and offered the podcast passes to their convention. M.J. Preston, the author of The Equinox, asked if we’d be interested in a free copy of his novel to review. However, it was co-host Michael Dunleavy who really got it. While attending Horror Realm 2011 as press, he not only interviewed the film stars of some of horror fans favorite films, but he started interviewing the vendors and independent talent. What resulted was Dark Discussions Podcast helping out folks who need promotion of some really fantastic works that anyone who enjoys horror should know about.

This is where Dark Discussions Podcast in a sense merges with the NEHW group. After Horror Realm 2011, Dark Discussions contacted the folks at both the Rock and Shock and Anthocon conventions and received press passes to attend and promote their events. This is where our podcast became what some would call an unofficial promoter of the folks we met specifically at Anthocon and therefore NEHW. We interviewed such NEHW members as Charles Day, Gregory Norris, and Inanna Arthen. Small presses as Evil Jester Press and By Light Unseen Media, which had tables at Anthocon were also focused on.

So after a year and a half, the podcast keeps going. The listenership grows. And topics as wide ranging as modern novels as Scott Sigler’s Infected and independent cinema as Simon Rumley’s Red, White, and Blue are featured. As an inspiring writer, I know the work folks go through juggling their everyday lives with writing. With Horror Realm come and gone and Rock and Shock and Anthocon coming up, Dark Discussions looks forward to seeing everyone and helping you promote your new and wonderful works. As an inspiring writer, I know the work folks go through juggling their everyday lives with writing.

Author’s First Novel Being Rereleased by Evil Jester Press

Author’s First Novel Being Rereleased by Evil Jester Press
by Jason Harris

NEHW member Rick Hautula’s classic horror novel, Moondeath, is being rereleased by Evil Jester Press on Jan. 2. Publisher Charles Day said the novel has a new cover by “renown artist” Glen Chadbourne and the introduction was written by Christopher Golden.

Evil Jester Press’s Executive Editor Peter Giglio said on the Goodreads’ website that this was Hautala’s first book and was originally published in 1980. Moondeath is a werewolf and witchcraft tale set in Cooper Falls, New Hampshire, a small New England town, he said.

Stephen King said in 1980 that Hautala’s novel was “One of the best horror novels I’ve read in the last two years!,” Giglio said on Goodreads.

Click on Amazon to order the book.

Click on Evil Jester Press for more information about them and their books.