Urban Occult Looking For Submissions

Photo by K. A. Laity

New Orleans, 2009 (c) K. A. Laity

Open Submissions: Urban Occult (h/t Colin F. Barnes)

We are now accepting submissions for a new horror/weird anthology ‘Urban Occult’.

This will explore the seedier side of towns and cities. The dark places that aren’t known to just everyone. Places that exist inside abandoned buildings, underground clubs, or perhaps Aunt Mavis’ 23rd floor apartment.

We are looking for stories that deal with the human side to occult practices. What happens when it goes wrong? What happens when it goes right? What eldritch beings are called up, and for what nefarious purpose? What takes a seemingly ordinary, well-adjusted character into the realms of the occult? Stories that grab us could show us a different side to the occult, how it affects society or families, or how others perceive those involved.

We aren’t necessarily looking for gore-based horror, but a deeper, more psychological, unsettling ‘weird’. Inevitably when we describe these things you can look at H.P Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith or Brian Lumley for inspiration. But also look at writers like Dennis Wheatley, or even famed occultists such as Aleister Crowley and Anton Szandor LeVay.

You could explore the dark rumours surrounding Rasputin and Dr John Dee. There’s a lot of unanswered and unasked questions surrounding these kinds of people that would be ripe to explore.

For film inspiration you’ve got such movies as: The Ninth Gate, The Exorcist, Angel Heart, The Serpent and The Rainbow etc.

The only main stipulation is that the story must be set in the modern era and an urban setting. Perhaps use your local town as inspiration. What is weird, or unexplained in your local area? Do you have odd buildings that have a bizarre history, or a notorious family/business/individual? Hook your weird into the real for maximum story potential.

Payment: £10 per story + contributor paperback copy + profile on Anachron Press site.

Rights: First World English, Digital, Print, and Anthology

Deadline: Submissions open until November 1st, 2012

Rejections/Acceptances will be announced by the end of November, 2012.

Word Count: 4000-8000 (No flash stories).

How to submit your story:

(Please pay careful attention to avoid being rejected for a formatting issue).

– All stories to be sent as an attachment to: submissions AT Anachron Press DOT COM
– The file format MUST be in a .doc (no .docx or any other format).
– Place ‘Urban Occult Submission’ + stories title + word count + your name in the subject line (This is especially important as we use filters to organise our email.)
– Inside the document, please use Times New Roman in 12 and 1.5 line spacing.
– At the top of your document, please include your name and email address.
– In the body of your email, please give your name, a list of publishing credits (if any), a breif synopsis (200 words max) of your story and links to any websites/social media that you are on. (we like to socialise.)

Things to avoid in your submission:

– Double spaces after periods. A single space is all you need.
– Tabs to indent your text — use paragraph styles instead.
– Linebreaks between paragraphs — only use for new scenes.

Review: Werewolf of Paris

Werewolf of Paris

by Guy Endore (1933)

From Publishers Weekly:

Out of print since 1972, this gruesome classic is based on a true story from 19th-century France; the author of Psycho adds an introduction to this new edition.Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

About the Author:
A Hollywood screenwriter who collaborated on scripts like “Mark of the Vampire” with Tod Browning, as well as receiving an Oscar nomination for GI Joe, Guy Endore wrote several novels in addition to his film work. He was blacklisted by the studios in the late 1940s for his political beliefs, slowly faded from the scene and became more involved with the Synanon Foundation (later renamed Synanon Church.)

I think that this is one of the books I gave away while jettisoning my library for the move to Ireland, which I probably regret (but surely I can get an ebook). It was the primary source for Hammer’s Curse of the Werewolf with its cursed child born out of wedlock on Christmas day, his mother violated by a priest. The young child Bertrand discovers strange hungers as he grows up, dreaming that he has changed into a wolf (oops, guess what — the dreams are real!) and his uncle finds it difficult to cover up the increasingly nasty shenanigans of his nephew. After an explosion of assault, incest and murder, Bertrand runs off to Paris. He tries to find ways to manage his affliction and joins the Guard to fight in the Franco-Prussian war. He falls in love with an innocent girl. They try to cope with his hungers by letting him drink her blood in a wonderful sort of sadomasochist relationship. But eventually Bertrand fears he will hurt Sophie and ventures once more out into the city to satisfy his dark desires, exposing his secret and resurrecting danger for them both. The rest of the story is suitably gothic and tragic against the historic backdrop of the Paris Commune.

This is a fine gem and one that horror and Gothic fans will enjoy. It was certainly one of my influences for writing “It’s a Curse” for Paul D. Brazill‘s Drunk on the Moon.

~ K. A. Laity

Review: And the Street Screamed Blue Murder!

Synopsis:

“Picture this:The time was precisely 07:03 a.m., on 25th of January, 2011, a dreary Sunday morning and Alfie Lime had a dead girl in his bed.”

So starts And The Street Screamed Blue Murder! the latest novella from the mind of Jason Michel – Pushcart Prize nominee and The Dictator of the cult Pulp Metal Magazine. It is the tragic history of Alfie Lime, a journalist working for a whistle-blowing paper who becomes trapped in a series of sinister events that will change his life forever. Beginning with an impossible murder, the story leads us on a spiraling journey of betrayal into the surreal underbelly of Paris and its most secret street. A mysterious street where the inhabitants are not what they appear to be.

And neither is anything else …

Review:

This novella features all the gritty blackness you’d expect from Pulp Metal Magazine’s Dictator. The opening set piece of gruesome discovery would please your old Ripper to bits. Alfie Lime’s grisly wake up call sets the mood, but it’s the deepening paranoia of his flight afterward that offers the true flavour of the story. Things are what they seem on Rue de la Morte (where “Screams are greetings”) and you don’t really know who you can trust. It’s one of the great tensions of good noir: you never know if you believe what you’re told, but you have to put your life in someone’s hands eventually.

But Michel’s work isn’t your garden variety noir.  If you’re well versed in the occult arts, you’ll find a lot here to make you smile with recognition (though I wonder if the less magically inclined will feel all the resonances) and nod your head grimly. There’s a ferocious madness that grips Lime, casting him back and forth across the barriers of the known world in a desperate attempt to understand what’s happened and find out who’s really behind the frame-up — if frame up it is.

The novella is part of the world where many of Michel’s stories take place: Old Lurk. No one returns from a visit quite the same.

~ K. A. Laity

Buy it at Amazon: