Splatterpunk Award!

I’m not a big award-winning kind of author. I have some from very early in my career (an EPPIE for Elrod McBugle on the Loose, a pair of Dream Realm Awards for the first two Andrew Mayhem novels) but that’s pretty much it. But look what I got at KillerCon this past weekend!

Splatterpunk Award

Yes, “The Tipping Point” from Everything Has Teeth won for Best Short Story at the inaugural Splatterpunk Awards!

Everything Has Teeth was also up for Best Collection, but I knew I didn’t have a chance, and honestly I didn’t even WANT to win against Jack Ketchum’s Gorilla in My Room. (I feel like winning an award is more satisfying if your victory isn’t met with disbelief and acts of vandalism.) For Best Short Story, I thought my odds of winning were a solid one in five–I didn’t see any obvious front-runners or any long shots in the finalists.

Edward Lee won in two categories, and if there’s any better way to establish the legitimacy of a brand-new Splatterpunk Award, it’s to give ’em to Edward Lee. David Schow won the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Thanks to Wrath James White and Brian Keene for creating this award that allowed me to end my long-ass losing streak. The complete lists of finalists, with the winners in bold, are…

BEST NOVEL    
CONTAINMENT by Charlee Jacob (Necro Publications)
EXORCIST FALLS by Jonathan Janz (Sinister Grin Press)
THE HEMATOPHAGES by Stephen Kozeniewski (Sinister Grin Press)
SPERMJACKERS FROM HELL by Christine Morgan (Deadite Press)
WHITE TRASH GOTHIC by Edward Lee (Deadite Press)
BEST NOVELLA
THE BIG BAD by K. Trap Jones (Necro Publications)
DAMN DIRTY APES by Adam Howe (Thunderstorm Books)
HEADER 3 by Edward Lee and Ryan Harding (Necro Publications)
KILLER CHRONICLES by Somer Canon (Thunderstorm Books)
THE LUCKY ONES DIED FIRST by Jack Bantry (Deadite Press)
BEST SHORT STORY
“Dirty Desk” by Jeffrey Thomas, from Chopping Block Party (Necro Publications)
“Extinction Therapy” by Bracken MacLeod, from Splatterpunk Fighting Back (Splatterpunk Zine)
“Melvin” by Matt Shaw, from Splatterpunk Fighting Back (Splatterpunk Zine)
“Molly” by Glenn Rolfe, from Splatterpunk Fighting Back (Splatterpunk Zine)
“The Tipping Point” by Jeff Strand, from Everything Has Teeth (Thunderstorm Books)
BEST COLLECTION
2017: A YEAR OF HORROR AND PAIN, PART ONE by Matt Shaw (Amazon Digital Services)
EVERYTHING HAS TEETH by Jeff Strand (Thunderstorm Books)
THE GARDEN OF DELIGHT by Alessandro Manzetti (Comet Press)
GORILLA IN MY ROOM by Jack Ketchum (Cemetery Dance Publications)
BEST ANTHOLOGY
CHOPPING BLOCK PARTY, edited by Brendan Deneen and David G. Barnett (Necro Publications)
DOA III, edited by Marc Ciccarone and Andrea Dawn (Blood Bound Books)
SPLATTERPUNK FIGHTING BACK, edited by Jack Bantry and Kit Power (Splatterpunk Zine)
VS:X: U.S. VS U.K. EXTREME HORROR, edited by Dawn Cano (Shadow Work Publishing)
YEAR’S BEST HARDCORE HORROR VOLUME 2, edited by Randy Chandler and Cheryl Mullenax (Comet Press)
J.F. GONZALEZ LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
David J. Schow

 

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Pop the Clutch!

Hey, Daddy-O! This anthology comes out in November and has my story “Lab Experiment Turf War.”

Pop the Clutch - Front Cover (300)

Mindy Has To Die – Big Movie Update!

Mindy Has To Die, the feature film adaptation of my book Stalking You Now written and directed by George Clarke, has a premiere date and a poster! Yes, the world premiere will be October 4th at the Yellow Fever Independent Film Festival in northern Ireland.

It’s too soon for news about other film festival screenings, and way too soon for news about DVD/video-on-demand release, but it exists!

Mindy Has To Die Poster

KillerCon Schedule

KillerCon is this weekend! In addition to enjoying some awesome Austin BBQ, here’s my official schedule:

FRIDAY: 2:00 PM. Reading. My story selection is “Clyde the Necrophile,” so get ready for a treat.

3:00 PM. Moderating the panel “Writing the Villain” with Lucy Taylor, Edward Lee, Matt Shaw, and Bob Pastorella, authors who’ve created some of our most depraved villains.

8:30 PM. Wings of Pain Challenge. Dumbass contestants have to eat excruciatingly hot wings and answer questions from the host.

9:30 PM – ? Private recovery from Wings of Pain Challenge.

SATURDAY: 10:00 AM. Mass Signing. I’ll scrawl my name on anything you put in front of me. I’ll also have copies of SICK HOUSE and BRING HER BACK for sale.

8:00 PM. 1st Annual Splatterpunk Awards. Did I win? Did I win? Did I win? Did I win? Did I win? I’m not used to attending awards ceremonies that I’m not emceeing, so I may take over if the hosts aren’t up to my high standards.

SUNDAY: I’m not on any programming, but I’ll be there all day.

Phantom & Show

I’ve wanted to see Phantom of the Paradise for over 30 years. At first, I didn’t even know what movie it was; the documentary Terror in the Aisles had a short but truly bizarre clip of a guy with metal teeth in a mask sneaking up on another guy in the shower, jamming a toilet plunger into his face, and threatening him in a weird electronically altered voice. My reaction was “WTF? I have to see this!!!”

Once I figured out that the movie was Phantom of the Paradise, I looked everywhere for the VHS with no luck. (“Everywhere” meaning the limited number of video stores in my area.) Eventually the world would change and you could order DVDs and Blu-Rays online, and I could’ve gotten a copy without a lot of effort, but by then I’d transitioned to having more available movies than I could watch in a dozen lifetimes and Phantom was no longer the holy grail it had once been.

Last night, the Plaza Theater in Atlanta played it on the big screen. I got to see it in a packed house…and absolutely loved it. 100% worth the wait.

Speaking of music-themed horror…the anthology Welcome to the Show (which contains my story “Parody”) made its debut at Scares That Care, and is available for your purchasing convenience right HERE.

welcome-to-the-show-poster

The review at HorrorTalk says “Another favorite is ‘Parody’ by Jeff Strand. This tale is so completely ludicrous and out there that I admit I actually laughed out loud multiple times, something I rarely do in my reading.”

Thrill Ride

Hey, it’s National Roller Coaster Day! Since I’m a big fan of arbitrary fake holidays, here’s my story “Thrill Ride,” which originally appeared in my newsletter.

“Thrill Ride”

This theme park near my house has the greatest ride in the world.

For the most part, it’s a pretty standard roller coaster, though each cart only seats one person. The first hill is about a hundred and eighty feet, which is a good drop but certainly not a record setter. Three loop-de-loops. Several sharp turns. One corkscrew turn. One part where it kind of looks like a tunnel is going to knock your head off, even though it’s higher than it looks and even freakishly tall people are in no danger.

What makes the RiskTaker 3000 so special is what happens once a day. Maybe it’s the first ride, maybe it’s the last ride, or maybe it’s one of the thousands of rides in between—you never know. But every day, during one ride, the cart flies off the track and into a pool filled with hungry sharks.

Is that amazing or what?

The odds are overwhelmingly against you being on the cart that goes into the shark pool. Less than a tenth of one percent. And from there, at least half of the people are able to swim to safety without so much as a bite. (It’s not a very big pool.) Those who do get attacked are pretty evenly divided between those who survive, perhaps with one fewer appendage, and those who die a horrible death in the bloody water.

So, yeah, when you ride the RiskTaker 3000 you will almost certainly be totally fine.

But I’ve got to tell you, that miniscule chance that you’re going to suffer a gruesome fate makes the ride infinitely more exciting. Your heart races like never before. You never knew you could scream so loud. Enough adrenaline pumps through your veins that you could probably lift an automobile to save a trapped child after you get off the ride.

It makes every other roller coaster in the world look tame. The GateKeeper at Cedar Point? El Toro at Six Flags? Kumba at Busch Gardens? Baby coasters. If you’re a serious roller coaster enthusiast, you know that RiskTaker 3000 is the best choice. The only choice.

Do the people who lose an arm regret the experience? Sure, probably. But it’s very, very, very unlikely that you’d be one of them. Everybody else staggers off the ride in a state of euphoria. Hell, some of them get right back in line!

[Disclaimer: Providers will not honor your life insurance policy if you die on the ride. It’s right there in the fine print under the wait time. I suppose that’s fair. Even though you’ll almost definitely survive the experience, you shouldn’t ride if your family can’t afford to bury you. Enjoy the thrill but be responsible.]

How many times have I ridden it? Well, let’s see. It’s been open for about two years. I’ve got annual passes, and I come about three or four times a week, and I ride it about three or four times a visit, so that’s, what? Fifty-two weeks times two is a hundred and four, times three-point-five is…hold on, let me check my calculator app. Okay, it’s one thousand, two hundred and seventy-four times, give or take.

No, wait, I’m overestimating. Though they keep running the ride on days where the coaster jumps the track early, I don’t bother to ride after that. Don’t get me wrong; it’s still a fun ride, but there’s a reason the wait time drops from three hours to about ten minutes. It’s just not the same. If we count early shark death days, I’d estimate that I’ve been on it about a thousand times.

Does it get boring after a thousand rides? Not at all! I mean, yeah, I guess it loses a bit of its power to terrify. Once you start getting up into the triple digits, you get a little jaded. You stop thinking “What if my cart goes into the pool of sharks?” and start thinking “I’m sure my cart won’t go into the pool of sharks.”

Sometimes—and I’m only speaking for those like myself who’ve ridden it a thousand times—you need to spice it up.

When I rocket down that first hill, there’s only a one in six chance I’ll actually blow my brains out. Five in six chance that it’ll just be a click that I probably won’t even be able to hear over the roller coaster. Those are good odds. You’d bet a lot of money on those odds.

But that moment of excitement will be unparalleled.

Eye Poke & Secret Origins

The anthology A Sharp Stick In The Eye (And Other Funny Stories) is now available! It’s published by Books and Boos Press and it contains my delightfully heartwarming tale “Clyde the Necrophile.” Get your copy right HERE.

A Sharp Stick in the Eye—Front Cover

I was interviewed on Episode #4 of The Claw’s Corner podcast. Its sort of a Secret Origins episode that mostly covers my early years. Listen for free right HERE.

Scares That Care was an absolute blast and I’ll try to write up some thoughts in the next couple of days. Next up: KillerCon. Be there.

 

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