Find Out about ‘My Peculiar Family’

By Stacey Longo

 

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About a year ago, the crew over at Sci-Fi Saturday Night contacted me about a book project they were thinking of putting together. The Dome enthusiastically described how he had a bunch of old photographs of people. What did I think of the idea of sending those photos to various authors with just a character name and occupation, and having the authors write the stories of those people’s lives?

It sounded like a heck of a lot of fun to me.  Some time later, I got an e-mail.

Stacey,

Your character’s name is Gussie, and she works in an apothecary. Other than that, go for it!

As soon as I saw the cheerful, bright-eyed young woman in the photo, her story started coming to me. Taking a page from William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, I decided Gussie would be the person the women in town would discreetly visit when they found themselves with a problem. Perhaps they were unhappy about being in the family way. Or were in need of a way out of an abusive marriage. Woman problems. You see.

But what town? Gussie looked like a sturdy New Englander to me. And in what town, did I think, would women who had . . . problems . . . seek dark solutions? Fall River, Massachusetts, of course. I had the first draft of “Miss Elizabeth’s Poison” done in a week, and the final version done within the month.

It was a blast to write. Now we need your help to get it in print.

Sci-Fi Saturday Night has started a Kickstarter program to fund the final publication of My Peculiar Family. There’s an impressive lineup of authors in the anthology, including James A. Moore, Tracy Hickman, and William Meikle, among others. To donate (and snag some impressive rewards), please visit here; and support the arts.

You’ll be glad you did, I can promise you.

Pictures from AnthoCon 2015

 

By Jason Harris

 

Author Stacey Longo.

Author Stacey Longo.

Great Old Ones Publishing.

Great Old Ones Publishing.

Author Kevin Lucia.

Author Kevin Lucia.

Author Rob Smales.

Author Rob Smales.

The State of the Union for Speculative Fiction and Art Panel.

The State of the Union for Speculative Fiction and Art Panel.

Author Kevin Lucia making the introductions for the readings of four authors.

Author Kevin Lucia introducing four authors who were going to read from their work.

Author M.J. Preston.

Author M.J. Preston.

Author Gene O'Neill Autobiography in Fiction panel.

Author Gene O’Neill’s Autobiography in Fiction panel.

Author and AnthoCon organizer Tim Deal giving the convention's closing remarks.

Author and AnthoCon organizer Tim Deal giving the convention’s closing remarks.

Authors Peter N. Dudar and L.L. Soares.

Authors Peter N. Dudar and L.L. Soares.

The Business Savvy: Understanding Contracts/Preventing Exploitation panel.

The Business Savvy: Understanding Contracts/Preventing Exploitation panel.

AnthoCon's Dealer Room.

AnthoCon’s Dealer Room.

The Macabre Maine, a publishing project, table.

The Macabre Maine, a publishing project, table.

From left to right: Artist Morbideus Wolfgang Goodell and authors Stacey Longo, Peter N. Dudar, L.L. Soares, and Kristi Petersen Schoonover at the Books & Boos table.

From left to right: Artist Morbideus Wolfgang Goodell and authors Stacey Longo, Peter N. Dudar, L.L. Soares, and Kristi Petersen Schoonover at the Books & Boos table.

Carl G. and Philip Perron of Great Old Ones Publishing.

Carl G. and Philip Perron of Great Old Ones Publishing.

The Shock Totem table.

The Shock Totem table.

Author T.T. Zuma.

Author T.T. Zuma.

Author Holly Newstein

Author Holly Newstein.

Artist

Artist Morbideus Wolfgang Goodell and author Stacey Longo.

Author James A. Moore.

Author James A. Moore.

New England Horror Writers.

New England Horror Writers.

Book Review: “VWars: Blood and Fire”

 

By Stacey Longo

V_Wars_Blood_and_Fire

VWars: Blood and Fire is the second installment in the VWars series, edited and co-authored by New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry, featuring such talented writers as Kevin J. Anderson, Larry Correia, Joe McKinney, James A. Moore, Yvonne Navarro, Weston Ochse, and Scott Sigler. The book is set up in a manner reminiscent of World War Z, in which the reader is treated to snippets of the escalating battle between the “Beats” (humans) and the “Bloods” (vampires). No need to worry if you haven’t read the first one (though I do recommend the first installment): the anthology is character-driven, engaging, and sucks the reader in from the first page.

Maberry leads off with “Apocalypse Tango” (broken up into seven parts and interspersed between other stories, as many of the tales in this book are), which introduces us to Luther Swann, an important figure throughout this book. This story maps out what’s going on—families are getting slaughtered, tensions are escalating, and Swann is unable to prevent what appears to be another war against the vampires.

“The Enemy Within” is a solid entry from Yvonne Navarro, who introduces us to Mooney, a vampire uncomfortable with her new status. She becomes immersed in local vamp infighting. Mooney is an intriguing character, and this story will have you hoping that Mooney gets her own novel someday.

Joe McKinney introduces us to thirteen-year-old Ernesto in “Tenochtitlan Will Rise,” showcasing yet another facet of the developing tensions. Through Ernesto, who is just trying to take care of his grandfather, we see how closely war can hit home.

“War Torn,” the piece from James A. Moore, creates an engaging voice in Johnny Lei. Lei is empathetic, and you’ll find yourself rooting for the misunderstood vampire, until he reminds you that first and foremost, he is a predator.

“Suicide Games,” also by Maberry, lets us know that there’s more to fear in this war than just vampires and humans.

Next up is “Solitude” by Kevin J. Anderson, a standalone piece about a veteran of Afghanistan who just wants to be left alone. It’s intriguing and haunting.

Maberry pops back in with “Let God Sort ’Em Out,” in which we’re treated to battle scenes, the internal struggle that our old friend Swann continues to deal with, and the introduction of a dynamic new character, Big Dog.

“Manifest Destiny” is Weston Ochse’s contribution, and showcases the cruelty and destruction of which both man and vampire are capable. Underlying in this piece is a cynical commentary on role the media plays in life-or-death situations.

Larry Correia gives us “Force Multiplier,” another standalone story, this one about the far-reaching destruction the war has wrought.

Scott Sigler is up next with “The Hippo,” a fascinating piece about a serial killer hunting amid the vampire wars. This was probably my favorite story in the book—it finally let the reader get a glimpse of reporter Yuki Nitobe, who is mentioned in several other pieces, plus, it reminds the reader that not all of the monsters in this book are vampires. Humans are capable of some pretty awful things, too.

“La Belle Dame Sans Merci” shows some behind-the-scenes negotiations between Swann and the Crimson Queen, in which we learn that neither side, really, wants this war.

Finally, Maberry concludes with “Monsters in the Dark,” a brilliant character portrait of a vampire that is intriguing, opens up new questions, and leaves the reader wanting more.

Overall, VWars: Blood & Fire showcased some fabulous writers, kept me turning the pages, and got me excited about the next collection. VWars: Blood & Fire is available in bookstores and on Amazon here.

TOC Announced for NEHW’s Second Anthology (Updated 5/28/13)

The table of content has been announced for the second New England Horror Writers’ anthology, which is being edited by Stacey Longo.

The tentative title for this new collection is Wicked Seasons and will be released at Anthocon 2013 in November.

Introduction: Jeff Strand

“Furious Demon” by Addison Clift
“The Basement Legs” by Robert DuPerre
“Hungry For More” by Michael Evans
“The Secret Backs of Things” by Christopher Golden
“Blood Prophet” by Scott Goudsward
“Three Fat Guys Soap” by Catherine Grant
“Chuffers” by Paul McMahon
“Spirits” by James A. Moore
“Bleedthrough” by Gregory Norris
“Lycanthrobastards” by Errick Nunnally
“To Chance Tomorrow” by Kristi Petersen Schoonover
“A Night at the Show” by Robert Smales
“The Girl Who Wouldn’t Break” by Lucien Spelman
“The Widow Mills” by Trisha Wooldridge

The first anthology, Epitaphs, was published in October of 2011.