The HWA extends a warm welcome to the following new and returning members who have joined in the past month. For any questions about membership, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Howard David Ingham
Claire L. Fishback
Note: The Apex Book Co. remains closed to submissions. Eraserhead Press is closed until its next reading period. Kraken Press is closed to submissions.
Tor Books—Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, 120 Broadway, NY, NY 10271. “We have an open submissions policy and consider tens of thousands of projects a year. Every proposal that reaches us is reviewed by at least one member of the editorial staff. We apologize in advance for replying primarily with form letters; unfortunately, there’s no other way to handle responses in a timely manner.”
“We do not respond to queries; please do not send them.”
“Please read this entire section before submitting; following our guidelines will ensure you a fair hearing by our editorial staff.”
“Please note that these guidelines are intended for writers who do not have agents.”
KP Note: The new horror imprint, announced last April, is called Nightfire. “Under the Nightfire imprint, editors will acquire and publish across the breadth of the genre—from short story collections to novellas and novels, from standalone works to series, from dark fantasy to the supernatural, from originals to reprints of lost modern classics. In addition to publishing books across all formats (print, audio, and e-book), Nightfire’s releases will also include podcasts, graphic novels, and other media.”
“Your submissions packet should include:”
- “The first three chapters of your book, prepared in standard manuscript format on white paper. (If your chapters are really short or really long, or you don’t use chapter breaks, you may send the first 40-60 pages of your book, provided you stay under 10,000 words.) The submitted text must be made up of consecutive pages and should end at the end of a paragraph, not in mid-sentence.”
“Standard manuscript format means margins of at least one inch all the way around; indented paragraphs; double-spaced text; and Times New Roman in 12 pitch. Please use one side of the page only. Do not justify the text. Do not bind the manuscript in any way. Make sure the header of the manuscript includes your name and/or the title of the book as well as the page number (on every page).”
- “A synopsis of the entire book. The synopsis should include all important plot elements, especially the end of the story, as well as character development for your main characters. The synopsis should run between three and ten pages in standard manuscript format. The first page of the synopsis and the first page of the text should also include your name and contact information and the title of the manuscript.”
- “A dated cover letter that includes your name and contact information and the title of the submitted work. Briefly tell us what genre or subgenre the submission falls into and mention any qualifications you have that pertain to the work. Please list any previous publications in paying markets.”
- “A self-addressed, stamped, business-size envelope for our reply letter. We understand that writers living outside the United States may not be able to supply International Reply Coupons. You may submit regardless; please send a self-addressed, business-size envelope for our reply. We recycle all proposals in accordance with corporate sustainability directives and local laws. If you do not include an SASE, you will not receive a reply.”
“Please send only one proposal in each submissions packet. If you have written a series, send a proposal for the first book only. If we like what we see, we’ll ask for the rest.”
“Many people include postcards to be returned when the proposal reaches us. Unfortunately, we don’t open submissions until we’re ready to read them, so it’s probably best to save your money.”
“Address submissions as follows:”
* “Science fiction and fantasy: Acquisitions Editor, Science Fiction and Fantasy”
* “Fiction of all other types including but not limited to general fiction, historical fiction, horror, mystery, paranormal, suspense/thriller, urban fantasy, and women’s fiction: Acquisitions Editor, Fiction”
* “Children’s and Young Adult: Acquisitions Editor, Children’s and Young Adult Division Note: We publish books for the chapter book, middle grade, and young adult audiences. We do not publish picture books.”
“If you do not receive a reply after six months, please resubmit. It’s likely that your project or our response disappeared in transit.”
“Thank you for your interest.”
“Don’t stop reading! Here are some tips to help the whole process work smoothly:”
- “Don’t send a query letter. It’s practically impossible to judge a project from a query. We’d rather see your proposal.”
- “Don’t send submissions or inquiries by E-mail or fax. We do not respond to E-mailed or faxed submissions, queries, or inquiries about the status of submissions.”
- “Don’t send disks. We want to read words in black type on white paper. And it’s not that we don’t trust you, but your system might have viruses you don’t know about.”
- “Don’t send us the only copy of anything. Things get lost in transit.”
- “Don’t send interior or cover art or an author photo. There’s time for that later, if we like your project.”
- “Don’t send jewelry, food, toys, three-dimensional representations of anything, or anything that might be construed as a bribe. Over the years, we’ve seen all of the following and more: handmade bracelets and earrings, anatomical models, home-baked cookies, fine fabrics, fancy bookmarks, cocoanuts, fancy manuscript boxes … None of this has any impact on our consideration of your work. The work has to sink or swim on its own merits.”
The Best Horror of the Year—PMB 391, 511 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10011-8436. Editor: Ellen Datlow. “I edit The Best Horror of the Year for Night Shade Books and am currently reading for the twelfth volume, covering material published in 2019.”
“I am looking for stories and poetry from all branches of horror: supernatural, uncanny, sf horror, psychological, dark crime, terror tales, or anything else that might qualify. This is an all reprint anthology, so I’ll only consider material published in 2019. Authors, please confirm that your publishers are sending me review copies. If a book or magazine is coming out after my deadline, I’ll look at galleys or manuscripts. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE. The only excuse is if you’re a foreign publisher and shipping everything at one time saves postage. If you want your work to get a fair read, do not do this. I do not have time to carefully read a year’s worth of magazine issues and 10-20 original anthologies in two weeks.”
“I’ll look at e-versions of anthos and collections only if they’re navigable and have running heads. Otherwise, they won’t be read. I always prefer print, if available.”
“Authors can query as to whether I have/need your collection or an anthology/magazine in which you have a story at [E-mail address below].”
“My summation of ‘the year in horror’ in the front of every volume includes novels, anthologies, collections, chapbooks, nf, poetry, art books, and ‘odds and ends’—material that doesn’t fit elsewhere but that might interest horror readers. But I must be aware of this material in order to mention it.
“*** I regularly cover many magazines/webzines that publish horror (Black Static, Cemetery Dance, F&SF, The Dark, Nightmare, crime digests, and webzines such as Horrorzine, Uncanny, Apex, etc.—when their publishers send me the material).”
“Please ask your publisher to send the entire magazine or book—unless the venue doesn’t regularly publish horror. In that case, you can send me a Word file of your story. For online publications, E-mail individual word DOC files—not PDF files—including on the manuscript where the story has been published.”
“If I choose a story you will be informed. Otherwise, you will not hear back.”
[E-mail: email@example.com; http://www.datlow.com]. Deadline: December 1, 2019.
I absolutely love TRAIN TO BUSAN (2016).
So much so that after watching it for the first time a couple of years ago on Netflix, I decided to watch it again last month. The result? I enjoyed it even more!
TRAIN TO BUSAN is a South Korean horror movie about the zombie apocalypse. Now, obviously, there have been many stories about said apocalypse in recent years, from the exceptional THE WALKING DEAD TV show to films like WORLD WAR Z (2013) and ZOMBIELAND (2009). What makes TRAIN TO BUSAN stand out from all the rest?
For me it’s the same for any quality movie: it’s the writing, stupid!
TRAIN TO BUSAN has a superior script that both tells a compelling story and creates memorable characters. The result is one heck of an emotional roller coaster ride, and that’s the part that I enjoyed the most upon a second viewing. I had forgotten just how emotional this movie got. Bring out the tissues! You’re going to need them.
Yup. You’re gonna need a bigger box of tissues.
And TRAIN TO BUSAN is that good. It’s on par with the best episodes of THE WALKING DEAD, and in terms of movies, you have to go back to George Romero to find a better zombie movie. SHAUN OF THE DEAD (2004) might be better, but that one’s a comedy.
TRAIN TO BUSAN is pure horror.
In TRAIN TO BUSAN, Seok-woo (Yoo Gong) just can’t seem to spend enough time with his daughter Soo-an (Su-an Kim), as his job simply keeps him too busy. But when he decides to accompany his daughter on a train ride to take her to see her mother, who he’s now separated from, he hopes to at least have this time with her.
Unfortunately for Seok-woo, he picked a bad day to go for a train ride with his daughter, as it just so happens to be the same day that the zombie apocalypse breaks out. And suddenly, quick-moving flesh-eating zombies are overrunning the land and getting on the train. A small group of survivors bands together to fight off the zombies, all the while hoping the train makes it to Busan, where rumor has it that the military has successfully created a safe haven.
TRAIN TO BUSAN is the story of these survivors, who besides Seok-woo and Soo-an, also includes a pregnant woman Seong-kyeong (Yu-mi Jung) and her husband Sang-hwa (Dong-seok Ma), and two high school students, Jin-hee (Sohee) and Yong-guk (Woo-sik Choi) to name a few.
What follows is an intense thrill ride that provides nonstop chills and suspenseful action sequences, as well as tugging at your heartstrings, in a big, big way.
The cast in TRAIN TO BUSAN is phenomenal.
Yoo Gong is naturally heroic as the main character and daddy Seok-woo. At first, he’s not the most sympathetic character, as it’s clear that in the past he has placed his career above his daughter, but when the zombies attack, it’s also clear that Seok-woo will do whatever it takes to protect his young daughter. Gong makes for a dashing young hero.
Some of Gong’s best scenes are with his co-star Dong-seok Ma, who plays Sang-hwa, the husband who similarly will do whatever it takes to protect his pregnant wife. Dong-seok Ma delivers the most fun performance in the film, as Sang-hwa is both a humorous guy and a kick-ass fighter who becomes the go-to guy when the need arises to fend off the walking dead. Initially, Seok-woo and Sang-hwa do not see eye to eye, but, as things grow bleaker, they put aside their differences and work together.
Yu-mi Jung is equally as good as Seong-kyeong, the pregnant wife who eventually befriends Seok-woo’s daughter Soo-an. Jung makes Seong-kyeong one of the film’s strongest characters, as she has to go above and beyond what one would expect a pregnant woman to have to do.
Likewise, Sohee is memorable as teen Jin-hee.
But best of all is Su-an Kim as Seok-woo’s young daughter Soo-an. She gives the most emotional performance in the entire movie. She has some of the best scenes in the film, and she is more than up to the task of nailing these powerhouse scenes, and, for such a young performer, that’s saying a lot.
And I challenge you to find a more emotional ending to a horror movie. Talk about gut-wrenching, the final sequence will have you shaking.
Director Sang-ho Yeon has made one of the best zombie films ever. In addition to the first-rate performances and superb story, there are some truly outstanding action sequences here, well-crafted by Yeon. From hordes of zombies charging up escalators to the characters having to battle their way through zombie-infested train cars, the film’s action sequences are second to none.
The special effects are also top-notch. The zombies look scary and are plenty deadly, and these undead folks are of the speedy variety. No slow-moving walkers here. These babies run like the wind!
But the best part of TRAIN TO BUSAN is that the film gets the emotions right. You truly feel for these characters, and the situations they find themselves in play out as tremendously realistic. TRAIN TO BUSAN is a much more emotionally satisfying movie than say WORLD WAR Z which, as entertaining as it was, fell flat emotionally.
A lot of the credit for the emotion goes to the screenplay by Joo-Suk Park and director Sang-ho Yeon. The script creates riveting situations, likable characters, and realistic dialogue, and it’s all executed to perfection by the actors and by director Yeon.
TRAIN TO BUSAN was the first South Korean zombie apocalypse horror movie, and it’s not going to be the last, as a sequel is already in the works.
You really need to watch TRAIN TO BUSAN. It’s one of the best zombie apocalypse movies ever made, and it’s certainly the most satisfying zombie horror movie of the last twenty years.
What are you waiting for? Get your ticket already! Of course, once onboard, you may want to text your loved ones, as there’s no guarantee you’ll actually make it to Busan. The zombies on the train are plenty hungry, and they have the humans insanely outnumbered, but heck, it’s a helluva thrill ride, one that you definitely don’t want to miss!
Will that be one ticket or two?
Your Neighbors – Do You Really Know Them?
There’s an Internet radio station in my town, and one of their regular shows is all about local unsolved murders. The show has a historical slant, with most of the cases dating back to the 1950s or even older. But they’ve also dealt with more recent cases.
This got me interested, so I googled my county name + unsolved murders.
More than 25 since 1985. Considering I live in a small county (174 sq. miles of land, and a population of 324,839 as of January 2019) that until the 1990s was more rural than suburban, this caught me by surprise.
Teenage girls getting killed on the way to the mall. Boys and girls disappearing from neighborhoods and turning up in creeks and ditches. Adults disappearing while out on errands and getting found weeks or months later in the woods or buried in fields.
And in pretty much all the cases, no suspects.
Now, to be sure, some of these were probably committed by transient folks, people on their way to another place who saw an opportunity.
But at least some had to be carried out by locals. Residents of one of the towns near me.
Maybe even a neighbor.
Which is what’s really scary. Because today we tend to know fewer of our neighbors than back in our parents’ day, or even back in our own childhood. Growing up, I knew who lived in every house on my street, even if they didn’t have kids my age. Or kids at all. That’s a total of 80 houses. And then you knew some of the families on other streets nearby, the people who lived next to your friends.
Today, I live on a street that has 28 houses. I know perhaps half those people by face (and then only if I see them in context, in their house or driving by me), and maybe five by name. I know the names of more neighbor dogs than I do people, quite honestly. The next street over, I know three families, and one of them only because they’re good friends of ours. The other two I’ve met because they have dogs.
When I’m driving through the neighborhood, or walking the dog, I sometimes find myself wondering what’s going on behind those curtains. Is there a serial killer living near me? It’s possible. After all, no one thought anything was odd about Ted Bundy, or Jeffrey Dahmer, or Albert Fish. For all I know, the guy across the street is eating human flesh right now. The nurse up the road might’ve poisoned a patient this week.
The couple walking their dog earlier could have a torture chamber in their basement, like H.H. Holmes, a respected doctor in the 1800s who killed and tortured dozens of patients and murdered tourists he snatched at the World’s Fair.
Or maybe one of my neighbors fancies himself (or herself) the next Dexter, and is killing “bad” people.
Or that widow down the street who has boarders. Do they really leave, or is she chopping them up and living off their money?
With more and more crazy people in the world today, and communities becoming less social, anything is possible.
Who knows, I might be the only person on the street who isn’t a psychopathic serial killer.
Something to think about the next time you take a walk!
Until next time … stay weird!
Stay informed on all my demented ramblings … http://www.facebook.com/jgfaherty, jgfaherty-blog.blogspot.com, and http://www.twitter.com/jgfaherty.