Tag Archives: ellen datlow

Readercon 2015

Readercon is almost here! July 9-12, I’ll be in Burlington, MA at one of my favorite local(ish) conventions. As the name implies, Readercon is focused primarily on the literary side of speculative fandom. While a few panels do cross over into other media, it’s mostly all about the written word. I’m only part of one item of official programming this year, a group reading from the upcoming anthology, The Monstrous, edited by Ellen Datlow. The rest of the time, I’ll be attending other panels and readings, trying to resist buying every single book in the dealers’ room, and hanging out and chatting with friends. I hope to see you there!

Friday 8-9pm Group reading from The Monstrous, a forthcoming anthology edited by Ellen Datlow.

Take a terrifying journey with literary masters of suspense, visiting a place where the other is somehow one of us. These electrifying tales redefine monsters from mere things that go bump in the night to inexplicable, deadly reflections of our day-to-day lives. Whether it’s a seemingly devoted teacher, an obsessive devotee of swans, or a diner full of evil creatures simply seeking oblivion, the monstrous is always there—and much closer than it appears.

Ellen Datlow will be introducing several contributors to the anthology, including Peter Straub, A.C Wise, Gemma Files, John Langan, Stephen Graham Jones

Room: Embrace/Empower

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Notes on a Remake

MEMO
Date: January 18, 2012
From: Thomas Elgin
To: James Heinz
RE: Kaleidoscope

Jimmy, can you please get me a fucking clean copy of this movie? How the hell am I supposed to do a shot-by-shot remake if I don’t even know what the fucking thing looks like? The one you left me is shit, skipping all over the place, audio all fucked up. Jesus fucking Christ. And yes, I fucking know how to use email. I don’t trust it. Just get me a clean copy.

MEMO
Date: February 13, 2012
From: Thomas Elgin
To: James Heinz
RE: Kaleidoscope

The message boards are blowing up. (I told you I know how to use a computer.) Fans are already shitting themselves, and we haven’t even starting casting. How’s that for market research? I’m telling you, Jimmy, we’ve got a goldmine on our hands, presuming we can ever get the fucking thing made.

MEMO
Date: February 28, 2012
From: Thomas Elgin
To: James Heinz
RE: Kaleidoscope

So there was a rumor a while back that Carrie Linden’s still around. Did you know about this? No, of course not, because you would have fucking told me, right? Think we can get her? Cast her as the grandmother or shit? Again, yes, Jimmy, I know there’s no fucking grandmother in the movie, but who cares. The dickweeds who hang out on these message boards will eat it up, I promise.

MEMO
Date: March 8, 2012
From: Thomas Elgin
To: James Heinz
RE: Kaleidoscope

Okay, maybe bringing in a live snake for the screen tests is bad idea. Duly noted. We’ll CGI that shit. Nobody’ll know the difference. Any word on the Lyndon woman, whatever her name is? Maybe we ought to CGI her in, too.

MEMO
Date: March 30, 2012
From: Thomas Elgin
To: James Heinz
RE: Kaleidoscope

Ever heard of a guy named Jackson Mortar? Apparently he’s some sort of Kaleidoscope super-fan. His name is all over the messgage boards. They invoke him like some kind of fucking god. He showed up outside the studio the other day, screaming at me as I got into my car. I couldn’t even understand what he was saying. Fucking frothing at the mouth lunatic. I called security to escort him off the premises, and come to fucking find out he’s been camping the gates for weeks. And of course nobody has any idea how he got in, but they promise it’ll never happen again Mr. Elgin, sir. Bunch of fucking assholes. Anyway, just keep an eye out, okay?

MEMO
Date: April 11, 2012
From: Thomas Elgin
To: James Heinz
RE: Kaleidoscope

Do you mind telling me what exactly the fuck that tangle of rush print film was doing on my desk? Jesus fuck, Jimmy. Where’d you even find that shit? We’re shooting the whole thing on digital and you’re dicking around wasting antique supplies. However, if it gives you some sort of sick pleasure, you’ll be happy to know I did look at a few frames before I threw it in the trash. Did you shoot an entire reel of trees around an empty parking lot? Sometimes I really fucking wonder about you, Jimmy. Those few frames at the end, though? Pure fucking gold. Where’d you find that girl? Is she from make-up? She could be Kerry Lymon’s motherfucking twin. Maybe you could introduce me sometime? Unless you’re saving her for yourself. I know how you hate to share.

MEMO
Date: April 29, 2012
From: Thomas Elgin
To: James Heinz
RE: Kaleidoscope

Again with the film, Jimmy? Raw fucking stock? Seriously? What am I even supposed to do with that shit? Leave your goddamn garbage some place other than my office.

MEMO
Date: May 3, 2012
From: Thomas Elgin
To: James Heinz
RE: Kaleidoscope

Jimmy. Look, I’m sorry about last week. Legal’s on my ass. They think the kid’s family might sue. How the fuck did we get here, right? Didn’t we just want to make good movies? I mean, remember back in college, all those late nights we should have been studying, thinking we could do better than whatever shit they were running on IFC, calling those directors hacks and those writers pussies. Where did we go wrong, Jimmy? Shit. I’m going to take a couple days. Maybe we all should. My right eye has been bothering the fuck out of me lately. It’s like there’s always something right in my peripheral vision. Ever since Gina left, home alone at night, you know how it is. Anyway, more than once, it’s freaked me the fuck out. What was it your mother used to take to sleep? Maybe I should get some of that.

From: Thomas Elgin [telgin@studionice.com]
Sent: June 10, 2012
To: James Heinz
Subject: Kaleidoscope

jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjimmy. fuck.
they buried her where she could see the sky the sky could see her. fuuuuuuuuuck.
the glass goes in and it never comes out. it just keeps pushing through the flesh and through and though and through.
running.
i’m tired jimmy. run.

From: James Heinz [jheinz@studionice.com]
Sent: June 18, 2012
To: James Heinz
Subject: Kaleidoscope – CANCELLED

All:

I’ve spoken to most of you individually, but I wanted to reiterate how much I value your work on this project, and how much it pains me that it will never come to fruition. Some things simply aren’t meant to be. I sincerely hope I’ll have the opportunity to work with all of you on other projects.

As I’ve said many times over the past months, I have an open door policy. That hasn’t changed. If any of you have any questions or concerns, about anything, you know where to find me.

Finally, since many of you have asked, there will be no formal services, but I am organizing my own small get together for Tom. A wake, if you will. Those of you who knew him will take it in the right spirit, I trust: I know he would’ve hated it. Since he wasn’t religious, or charitable, and isn’t survived by any family, I’d suggest that if you’d like to do something to honor him, make a donation to the charity of your choice. He’d have hated that, too.

Sincerely,

James Heinz, Acting President and CEO
Studio Nice

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Achievement Unlocked!

I set myself goals as a writer. They’re mostly nebulous goals, ones that don’t have clearly defined steps I can follow to achieve them. They’re goals like: It would be awesome to be nominated for an award someday, I’d love to have a story published in X magazine, or I’d really like to work with editor Y. Maybe they’re more wishes or hopes than actual goals, but either way, every now and then one of them gets a nice little check mark beside it on my list. One such goal I can now put a check mark beside (or perhaps an exclamation point/smiley face with glitter and rainbows) is appearing in an original anthology edited by Ellen Datlow.

When I first start reading short fiction anthologies, I had an ‘aha!’ moment reading one of Ellen Datlow’s fairy tale anthologies co-edited with Terri Windling. The work was consistently strong and fresh and just about every story brought something new to the genre. Ellen Datlow’s anthologies are consistently on my must-buy list; if she publishes it, I want to read it. From the moment I first started reading work she’d edited, I added a goal to my list of working with her someday.

Not only do I have a story included in an upcoming Ellen Datlow anthology, it’s carnival themed, a setting that just happens to be one of my fiction-writing fetishes. Nightmare Carnival will be out in October, but it’s available for pre-order now. Here’s the rest of the ToC, should you need more convincing beyond the fact that it’s edited by Ellen Datlow.

Preface Ellen Datlow
Introduction Katherine Dunn
Scapegoats N. Lee Wood
The Firebrand Priya Sharma
Work, Hook, Shoot, Rip Nick Mamatas
And the Carnival Leaves Town A.C. Wise
Corpse Rose Terry Dowling
Last of the Fair Joel Lane
A Small Part in the Pantomime Glen Hirshberg
Hibbler’s Minions Jeffrey Ford
Swan Song and Then Some Dennis Danvers
The Lion Cage Genevieve Valentine
The Darkest Part Stephen Graham Jones
The Popping Fields Robert Shearman
Skullpocket Nathan Ballingrud
The Mysteries Livia Llewellyn
Screaming Elk, Mt. by Laird Barron

It’s been amazing working with Ellen on my story, and I can’t wait to see the finished anthology.

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Feeding My Addiction

They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. Of course, it doesn’t do much good if you’re unable, or unwilling, to move beyond step one. I’m not proud of myself. Oh, wait…yes I am!

The craving struck me this morning, as it often does, to go book shopping. Naturally, I gave in immediately. This is the result.

books

Believe it or not, this is me practicing restraint. There were easily three or four more books I could have walked out with, but I didn’t. The books I chose, of course, were not only necessary, but perfectly justified. (shut up)

I’ve been eagerly awaiting The Domino Men since reading The Somnambulist. I’m contractually obligated to support my fellow Canadians, plus I resisted buying The Mystery of Grace in hardcover, so that means I deserve it now that it’s in paperback. This is The Very Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction. The. Very. Best. Enough said. Not only is The Best Horror of the Year 2 also The Best, it’s edited by Ellen Datlow, which makes it required reading. So there. (shut up)

And speaking of The Best Horror of the Year, Ms. Datlow was kind enough to give a shout-out to “A Mouse Ran Up the Clock” in her yearly summation. Woohoo!

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Quoth the Raven

PoeHouse

I went to the Poe reading at the German Society of Philadelphia yesterday. Edward Pettit, the Philly Poe Guy, gave a brief introduction on Poe’s work in Philadelphia, Ellen Datlow introduced the authors, and Gregory Frost, Laird Barron and John Langan each read a selection from their stories.

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