4. Blade Runner (1982)

Blade Runner is one of my favorite movies ever. Excellent commentary and analysis at Wonders in the Dark. Great work, JD.

Wonders in the Dark


By J.D. Lafrance

“It’s just like everything that is awful about the city, but at the same time, everything that is fascinating about it…and this, in many ways, is a futurist projection—it’s not so much escapist, it’s a projection of what life will be like in every major metropolis 40 years from now.” – Philip K. Dick, 1982

Big Brother is watching you. The Eye in the Sky. There Are Eyes Everywhere. 2016…or 2019? In this day and age, does three years matter? In 1982, however, the difference was cavernous and 2019 a lifetime away. The past has finally caught up with the present…or has the present finally caught up with the past? One of the first images shown in Blade Runner (1982): an extreme close-up of an eye – encapsulates all of this, for we are living in paranoid times. We are living in Philip K. Dick’s world. This…

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Tribulations Review

Wow. Probably the best review I’ve ever gotten for my writing. Thank you, Joseph, for the thoughtful, insightful, and passionate review. Made my day.

Joseph Sale: Graphic-Horror Writer

‘What’s your earliest memory?’

So a young girl is asked by her grandfather at the end of the world, and her answer, like much of what is contained in the pages of Tribulations, will surprise you. This short story collection by Richard Thomas, released earlier in 2016, is something of a miraculous rarity, a  collection that is as thematically unified as it is diverse in its explorations, as coherently stylised as it is eclectic in voice. There is increasingly a trend in the music world for the album which is a collection of songs, far flung from the days of Origins of Symmetry, where an album hung together like stanzas in a ballad. The same is mirrored in the literary world, with many short story collections functioning more like a timeline of stories penned by the same author. Tribulations is different, and stands out as such, but it…

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13 most excellent speculative fiction short stories

A great list of speculative fiction. I’ve been a fan of Stephen Graham Jones forEVER, and his story, “The Night Cyclist” at Tor.com is amazing. Also a big fan of Cassandra Khaw and Carmen Maria Machado. (All three will have work at Gamut.). So, dig in, and enjoy!

Maria Haskins

This month, like every month, I read a lot of amazing speculative short fiction. This is also the month when I’ve decided to switch from calling the stories I list “fantasy and science fiction”, to calling them “speculative fiction”. Quite simply because I include stories that are horror, magical realism, and, well… whatever other kind of beautiful weirdness I can find. “Speculative fiction” works nicely as a catch-all in my opinion, so here goes: here are 13 excellent speculative fiction short stories I read this past month:

So, You’re In an Alternate Universe, by Jeremy Packert Burke in Metaphorosis. “Dylan is from the real universe. It’s not alternate, not like your universe. This is what he’s told you just now, although you’ve known him for years.” I fell in love with this exquisitely told story as I read it. Something about it, or maybe everything about it, struck…

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I’m Teaching Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror & Beyond—ONLINE


I’m teaching a six-week class, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror & Beyond, over at Story Studio Chicago (online) this October. Come join the fun. Here’s more information:

Description of Class

If you love the incredible, futuristic, supernatural, and fantastical—this is the class for you.

Whether you’re working on a project or just starting out, this six-week online course is perfect for writers who want to explore science fiction, fantasy, horror, and related sub-genres such as magical realism, new weird, and surrealism. We’ll discuss the conventions of these genres and explore the boundaries between them—and what happens when you cross them.

Students will explore craft elements such as character and setting, and how they operate in stories that challenge the imagination. You’ll practice creating alternate realities that may have a hint of magic, explore a dystopia or utopia, or even build an entirely new world.

We’ll read and study classic and contemporary examples by authors in various genres to learn what works, and explore the publishing world of speculative markets such as Cemetery Dance, Tor.com, Nightmare, Shimmer, F&SF, and Clarkesworld.

The class is perfect for writers who are curious about these genres, or writers who are already familiar with them and want to stretch the boundaries of their stories. Students will leave the class with new story starts and scenes, and share their work for feedback from the instructor and fellow writers.

What to Expect

Students can expect to spend two to three hours per week writing and interacting with classmates and the instructor. New lessons become available each Tuesday but can be completed anytime during the week.

This work will be supported by:

  • a weekly video from the instructor introducing the topic
  • an interactive lesson, moderated by the instructor
  • new exercises and materials available every week
  • full participation from every student to give and get feedback
  • email for one-to-one interaction with the instructor

Students will begin the week with a lesson containing reading and discussion materials, along with specific exercises to reinforce craft elements. No long lectures or text. Just the important points and fun, imaginative exercises.

During the week, students will post their work and comment on the work of the other participants. The instructor will also provide feedback on the exercises.

The only requirement is a reliable internet connection!

13 Questions with Mercedes M. Yardley

Excellent interview with Mercedes Yardley over at Joan’s blog. 13 Questions. Stop by and give it a read. MMY is a crucial part of Gamut, and one hell of an author.

Joan De La Haye

Hello my Freaky Darlings,

Today we have Mercedes M. Yardley in the interrogation seat.

Mercedes Aurthor pic

Mercedes M. Yardley is a dark fantasist who wears red lipstick and poisonous flowers in her hair.  She was a contributing editor for Shock Totem Magazine and currently works with Gamut, a new neo-noir magazine. Mercedes is the author of many diverse works, including Beautiful Sorrows,Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, Pretty Little Dead Girls, and the BONE ANGEL trilogy. She recently won the Bram Stoker Award for her story Little Dead Red.  Mercedes lives and works in Las Vegas, and you can reach her at www.abrokenlaptop.com.

You can also stalk Mercedes on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

  1. What drives you to write? 

MMY: “Drives” is the right word. I don’t simply write for fun or because it’s a cheery little thing to do. I write because I’m…

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The Review Review Loves Gamut!


Sharing the Love: Editors Recommend Their Favorite Lit Mags

Thanks to The Review Review, The Matador Review and JT Lachausse. They think we’re an exciting new publication!

“I think Gamut Magazine is on a lot of people’s minds right now. They are a new magazine, expected to launch on January 1st of next year (2017), although they already have samples up on their website. Like us, they’re from Chicago, and they’ve gotten a lot of attention and support so far, especially on their successful Kickstarter.”

Exciting, yeah?

This is Horror: Best Writing Advice Episode

Reblogging this post by Mercedes! Writing advice, and THIS IS HORROR! I chime in, too.

A Broken Laptop

thisishorrorIn this podcast twenty writers discuss the best writing advice they’ve received. Contributions from Stephen Graham Jones, Mercedes M. Yardley, Helen Marshall, Paul Tremblay, George Ttoouli, Nina Allan, David Moody, Jessica McHugh, John F.D. Taff, John C. Foster, David Bowles, Lisa L. Hannett, Bob Pastorella, Josh Malerman, Richard Thomas, Vincenzo Bilof, Jasper Bark, Sarah Langan, S. P. Miskowski and This Is Horror Podcast Host, Michael David Wilson.

This might be one of the most epic podcasts I’ve ever listened to. It’s full of advice from 20 writers, and the stuff is good. I also add my two cents and share some advice that changed not only my career, but my life in general. I hope you enjoy and find something that really resonates with you! Please listen and enjoy.

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