It's a Festivus Miracle! Buy The Stars Were Right Only 99¢

It’s a Festivus Miracle! Buy The Stars Were Right Only 99¢

No sense delaying the announcement so let’s get right to it. From today until January 7th (Auseil Day in Lovat) you can purchase eBook copies of The Stars Were Right for only 99¢. Yup, less than a buck. So telegram your friends, shout it from the rooftops, add it to your wish-lists, and tattoo it onto your pets. (Also, go leave a review.) Links to purchase below.

Kindle • Kobo • Nook • iBooks • GooglePlay • DRM-Free ePub

If you’re interested in gifting a copy (which is a brilliant idea, I must say, you’re very smart), there are a few stores that make it really easy. I’d recommend consulting my post from earlier this week: Gifting the Bell Forging Cycle for the Holidays. It has details on how one can buy eBooks as gifts.

Not bad, eh? Happy Holidays, roaders. Remember, Look West.

Gifting the Bell Forging Cycle for the Holidays

Gifting the Bell Forging Cycle for the Holidays

Thanksgiving is now behind us here in the States, which means we’re in full-on shopping mode. Every year I have people reach out to me asking how they can get my book for their friends and family. There are loads of ways, and hopefully, this post will serve as a helpful aggregate of all the gifting options.


Want Signed or Personalized Books?Want Signed or Personalized Books?

I have my own store where I sell and ship signed and personalized books. The deadline to order is December 9th, which is a Friday. Any orders past that won’t get to you in time. I sign everything from my shop, but if you want your books personalized, make sure to leave me a note in the “Notes or Instructions” field during checkout.


Ordering Paperbacks From an Online RetailerOrdering Paperbacks From an Online Retailer

The quickest way to get paperback copies delivered would be by ordering through any of the online retailers. The majority of them offer guaranteed delivery by Christmas. (This also gives you a good reason to visit me at a con, where I am always happy to sign your books.)


Giving eBooks as GiftsGiving eBooks as Gifts

Did you know you can give eBooks as gifts? It’s true, there are options available at Amazon, Apple, and Barnes and Noble. So if there is an eBook reader in your life, you can still send them into the Territories and save yourself a little money in the process. Details for each store below:

Sadly, Kobo and GoogleBooks do not have a gifting option. You’ll have to use a gift card and give your Kobo or GoogleBooks the streets of Lovat the old fashioned way. (Check out how Jen Chan gifted The Stars Were Right to a friend.)


I hope that clarifies the gifting options. If you have any questions you can always leave a comment or you are welcome to reach out to me via email: hello@kmalexander.com. Thanks for your excitement in the Bell Forging Cycle and your interest in sharing Wal’s adventures with your friends and family. I hope you have a safe and happy holidays!

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Defending the Defenseless

Over the last week, America has seen an uptick of hateful intimidation and harassment towards minority people and groups. The Southern Poverty Law Center has reported over two-hundred cases alone, it’s been on the news, Jim C. Hines has a collection of incidents on his site, and activists like Shaun King have been keeping a running tally of reports.

This has become immediately personal to me. It’s happening to my friends. I’ve seen cars vandalized. I’ve heard former coworkers tell stories about being verbally harassed. I’ve seen people get hateful emails and Facebook messages because they happen to be married to someone who isn’t white. It’s appalling.

Sadly, on some level, none of this is too surprising. Racial division has split America for a long time, and it’s not strictly an American problem. Similar harassment happened in the UK aftermath of Brexit (another campaign fueled by anti-immigrant/minority sentiment.) Hateful bigots get empowered by rhetoric, so it’s not shocking to witness it going on here in America. (Disappointing, yes. Surprising, no.) This sort of behavior puts everyone on edge and emotions run hot. But we can stand up to this.

“Whatever you are, be a good one.”

Abraham Lincoln said, “Whatever you are, be a good one,” and I plan on being a good one. There are many things we can do to help defend those who need it most right now. So I figured it’d be handy to present some options for those who are interested in helping.


Donate

Many folks out there won’t witness this sort of activity. (Seriously, consider yourself lucky.) But you’re going to read about it, and you’re going to want to help. Consider giving to organizations that defend those who can’t defend themselves. Here are four good ones.

Note: This is just a small list focusing on a subset of groups. There are so many other charities and activist organizations that need you help. The important thing is to give. Most organizations have options to do monthly or one-time payments. Any amount helps. Give what you can.


Act

If you see harassment happen, get involved. Don’t wait for the victim to turn to you and ask for help. Alert the authorities if you see vandalism. Step in if you witness abuse. I posted an excellent quote from Desmond Tutu last week about the danger of remaining neutral during situations of injustice. Go read it.

The illustrator and artist Maeril put together a handy comic on how to diffuse a harassment situation and how you can help. The comic focuses on Islamophobia, but it serves as an excellent guide to stopping most harassers. Again, if this doesn’t work, alert the authorities.

What to do if you are witnessing Islamophobic harassment


Engage Locally

Take a stand against hate. Look for local ways to help out minority communities in your neighborhood. Volunteer at or donate to your local homeless shelter. Many churches have groups that offer help to the needy and work to welcome immigrants into communities. Work with your local food bank. Get involved in groups that welcome refugees and work with minorities.

For example, during the upcoming holidays, Kari-Lise and I are working with the International Rescue Committee to sponsor a local refugee family and provide them Christmas presents. We want them to feel welcome in our city, and little acts of kindness like this can go a long way to making an immigrant family feel welcome.


Hate groups are empowered right now, so don’t expect this sort of behavior to go away. (They’ve been on the rise all year.) Even if it lessens over the next few weeks, it’s clear that the animosity is there, bubbling under the surface. We have a long way to go before America, and humanity in general, is past its deep-set racism, bigotry, and hate.

Despair isn’t how you defeat evil. Action is.

Desmond Tutu

Situations of Injustice

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

Desmond Tutu


My friend Jim shared this on Twitter last night. In the aftermath of the Presidential Election, as I watched my friends—American citizens, who now fear for the loss of their rights and their personal safety—take to the streets, I couldn’t get it out of my head. This belongs here.

Americans: Go Vote

Americans: Go Vote

It’s November 8th here in the United States. The day we cast our ballots for the next President of our country. While I have readers all over the world, I’m going to take a moment to talk to those who are American.


Go vote. Please vote. Please. Every race is important. From your school board to local offices to your state and city elections; not just our national election.

We do mail-in voting here in Washington, so I already voted weeks ago. I’m not going to tell you which way to vote. (Although, over the last few weeks I haven’t been exactly silent on my support.) What am I am going to do is encourage you to do it. It’s important.

For some places, casting your vote will be easy. In many others, thanks to voter suppression movements, it’ll be much more challenging. As I posted yesterday on Facebook as an American citizen, no one has the right to stop you from voting, if you’re in line to vote when the polls close THEY ARE LEGALLY REQUIRED TO ALLOW YOU TO VOTE. Remember that. Same goes for your employer with a few caveats depending on your state. [Details Here]

If you’re intimidated at polls or have problems voting, keep these numbers handy:

  • 866-Our-Vote (English)
  • 866-Ve-Y-Vota (Spanish)
  • 866-API-Vote (Asian Languages)

Find out more information at: 866ourvote.org

It’s a big day for our country. Go vote and let your voice be heard.

100 Years of Cosmic Horror

It’s Cosmic Horror’s 100th Birthday

In November of 1916, Howard Phillips Lovecraft published his first short story, The Alchemist, in the United Amateur Press Association. While his commercial work would come later, there is an argument to be made that November should be considered the birth month of cosmic horror as a genre.

Lovecraft wasn’t the first to write weird fiction; even Lovecraft had his influences. Writers like Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood, Lord Dunsany, Robert Chambers, and Edgar Allen Poe were all writing of the strange and macabre before ol’ Howie. Most cosmic horror fans will acknowledge their impact, but I think we’d all agree that it was Lovecraft’s writing that became the definitive work of the genre. Lovecraft’s mythos has gone on to influence a myriad of people; it was his stories that encouraged others to delve into writing and working within the genre. His writing helped forge the genre into the beast it is today.

In celebration, I figured it’d be fun to explore the current universe of cosmic horror and look at some of my primary sources for Lovecraftian fiction on the market today. This will be just a tiny sample of the ever expanding universe of weird fiction. If you have recommendations of your own, leave a comment!

The Bell Forging CycleThe Bell Forging Cycle

Why not start with my books? (Buy ’em here.) Don your keff, lace up your boots, and enter my dystopian genre-bending vision of the Territories. A world where humanity is no longer alone and strange creatures inhabit vast multi-leveled megalopolises built upon the backs of drowned cities. A place of violence, where killers stalk narrow streets, and shadowy cults work ancient rituals to awaken forgotten elder gods. Standing in their way is one soul, a road-weary caravan master armed with an antique revolver, a droll wit, and a hardened resolve. Read an excerpt at any of the links below.

The Stars Were Right • Old Broken Road • Red Litten World

Cosmic Horror Small PressCosmic Horror Small Presses

Weird fiction is still alive and well, recently Penguin re-released a limited edition paperback, and a quick search for “Lovecraft” will usher forth all sorts of collections. However, some of the most exciting work in cosmic horror can be found among the small presses.

  • Word Horde

    Publisher of original novels, substantial collections, and some great anthologies, Word Horde, is one of my favorite small presses. The quality of their end product is great, Ross Lockhart and the team there does an excellent job in seeking out new talent and releasing it into the world.

  • Lovecraft eZine Press

    Born from one of the titans of the weird fiction community, the Lovecraft eZine, this cosmic horror press publishes modern mythos and releases some solid anthologies.  Very much worth checking out.

  • Dark Regions Press

    Specializing in horror and dark fiction since 1985, this indie publishing house serves up all manners of terrors from some fairly big names. If you want something collectible, make sure to check out their special hardcover editions.

  • Hippocampus Press

    This small press focuses on collected works from cosmic horrors greats, men like Ramsey Campbell, Lovecraft himself and Clark Ashton Smith. They also delve into nonfiction as well, featuring work from scholars like S. T. Joshi.

Cosmic Horror PodcastsCosmic Horror Podcasts

Some of my favorite podcasts focusing on Lovecraft and cosmic horror.

  • Miskatonic Musings

    While Lovecraftian fiction is often at the center of discussion, this podcast covers a wide variety of horror in general as well as other strange and often weird tangents.

  • People’s Guide to the Cthulhu Mythos

    This podcasts focuses on deeper dives into specific categories within the Cthulhu Mythos and cosmic horror.

  • Northwest Horror

    While not specific to Lovecraftian literature, the crew at NWH does excellent work exploring the ever expanding world of horror. (They also occasionally host a trivia night in Portland, OR. So if you’re ever in the area, check ’em out.)

  • The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast

    Chris and Chad take on a new story each week and get into the nitty gritty details. They also have some excellent readings available on their site.

  • The Black Tapes

    This serialized docu-drama follows Alex Reagan and Dr. Strand as they investigate a series of strange recordings, the titular Black Tapes.

  • Limetown

    Ten years ago, over three hundred men, women, and children disappeared from a small town in Tennessee, never to be heard from again. What happened to Limetown?

Other Cosmic Horror NovelistsCosmic Horror Novelists

This list could get long, so I will keep it to novelists of whom I have read and who’s books I’ve enjoyed. If there’s someone I missed (highly likely) or a writer that you’d like to recommend (also highly likely,) leave a comment! Links attached to the author’s name will go to their website or blog; book links will go to Amazon. (But you should buy from your local indie shop.) Also, don’t forget to leave a review!


This has been just a tiny sampling of the world of cosmic horror as it exists today. The genre hasn’t gone away. If anything, we see its influence grow more and more in all forms of popular culture. It has reached beyond books and into movies, table-top games, toys, comic books, television shows, and video games. The fundamental terror brought by the fear of the unknown and the creatures that lurk in spaces beyond is something that draws readers even today. So join me in wishing Cosmic Horror a lovely one-hundredth birthday! It’s been a great one hundred years, and here’s to a hundred more!

Cheers!


Did I miss something? Have a favorite writer, podcast, or small press house that I missed?Leave a comment and let us know!