Sunday, December 12, 2010

1 Down, 12 to Go

We are pleased to welcome Henry Gee to our fiery demesne. His story "Pickled Lily" is the first to be accepted for publication in Postcards from Hell: The First Thirteen. This is also Henry's first fiction sale.

Henry is an editor at the science magazine Nature, where he devised the award-winning SF series Futures. His latest novel The Sigil can be read for free online through

That leaves twelve.

Art Order:
To go with this story, we could use a doodle of a thing in a jar - a horrible thing in a big soupy jar. But not a head. Think forgotten storage room of the British Museum, not Silence of the Lambs.

"It puts the lotion on its skin, else it gets the hose again."

Guess Who's For Dinner

Strike up the band and do the dance macabre for Ann Leckie and her creepy sci-fi horror, "Footprints."

Ann Leckie is a graduate of Clarion West. She has worked as a waitress, a receptionist, a rodman on a land-surveying crew, and a recording engineer. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her husband, children, and cats.

The art order for this story is a teddy bear. You heard me - a teddy bear.

So that leaves four stories (and one week) to go.

If you haven't ordered your subscription yet, please do. We're a little over halfway to paying for this hellish project. If the boss doesn't have to spend his own money, he might be more willing to order another series of Postcards sometime in the future.

Postcard Story Format Catching On?

Actually, these guys may have beat us by a few months.

Tin Parachute Postcard Review has a similar format as Postcards from Hell - flash fiction under 500 words on a 4x6 postcard mailed to your door. I suspect they're looking for literary fiction to go with their handsome artwork and design. Also, they have prestigious degrees to go on their masthead.

The only degrees we have around here are about 2,000 in the Lake of Fire.

A six issue subscription of Tin Parachute Postcards will run you $20. Their production costs are higher, I suspect. Like any good capitalist venture, our employees are literally chained to their iron desks and have no choice but to serve the Dark Master. Such are the advantages of relocating your business to a Free Trade zone, as we did, not long after NAFTA was passed. If only we could get migrant workers to deliver the postcards, we'd be talking about some real money, but please, don't get the boss going on this subject.

We're down to our last three postcards in the First Thirteen series, but it's never too late to repent and place your order. For just $6.66, you'll get all 14 stories in our 13-story series, which as you can now see, is quite a bargain.

Minion Speaks

The boss is bored with the current layout. He doesn't like sporadic posting anymore. He says, why can't we have regular editions like those other guys do? Why do we have to sit around here twiddling our claws waiting for someone to send us a story to publish?

He says, let's publish several stories, all at once, every other month or so.

So that's what we're doing.

Also, he says, ditch the lighthouse theme. I try to explain to him the idea that these are postcards, and you get lighthouses on postcards, but he just looks at me and says, do you think I'm stupid?

No, sir, I say. Of course not.

He says, yes I do. I think you think I'm like stupid or something.

I would never think that, I say. Because he can read minds. When he wants to read your mind, he opens your skull up and reads it like a newspaper over his morning toast.

I'm deeply hurt by this, Minion, he says. Lose the effing lighthouse or I won't let you wear your Gene Simmons makeup. I'll make you dress up like Peter Criss.

Yes sir, I say. So the design is going to change to coincide with the publication of Vol. 2 - Postcards from the Woody End in a few days.

All the previous postcards are now collected under a single Postcards From... Vol 1.

Now, if' you'll excuse me, I have a fifth of sloe gin waiting for me in my doghouse in hell. I need something to take the edge off... a katana.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hell Freezes Over

Niagra Falls - 1911

Number Nine? Turn Me on Dead Man.

Lemures and Gentlegorgons, it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to John Platt and his delightful little story "Fitness is it's Own Reward." As Garfield the Cat once said, a "diet" is "die" with a "T".

From his undisclosed location off the rocky coast of New England, John R. Platt works his magic as a publicist, fantasist, humorist, activist, cartoonist and photographerist. He is the founder of Extinction Blog, the world's first newswire devoted to endangered species, and an award-winning marketing writer. John's stories have appeared in anthologies such as Borderlands 5, From the Borderlands (same anthology, different name), The Best of Borderlands (different anthology, same story), Crafty Cat Crimes, 100 Menacing Little Murder Stories, Bell Book & Beyond, and IDW's Tales ofTerror. You can find him online at

That makes nine stories to go.

Speaking of the Number Nine and a certain turned-on dead man, he just wants to say that that one-legged harpy is the perfect punishment for a dirty doublecrossing doppleganger.

Gates of Hell Close

The submission period is now over. Thanks to everyone who sent me their stories. The Lake of Fire should burn at a merry pace for several more months.

The final four entrants to our fiery domain shall be announced by June 13.

While you're here, why not subscribe? If fifty more people subscribe, the gates shall open anew.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!

As some of you are just now realizing, there's a surprise 14th story in Postcards from Hell: The First Thirteen. If you haven't already received it, you will soon. If you don't, let me know.

Three reasons for this:

1. To thank you for subscribing and to make sure you gave me the correct address.
2. To test my procedures and work out all the kinks before I have to start sending out a postcard a week.
3. The story, Dark Wine by Paul Lewthwaite, is so good that I couldn't pass it up, but it was also too long for the standard postcard format. So I thought, why not do this one time, collector's edition double postcard as a special surprise for all the subscribers?

Paul's been dying to tell everyone that he's been accepted to our fiery domain. So here's his introduction.

Paul, a Scotsman living in England, works in Britain's National Health Service. His wife puts up with his writing endeveaours with good humour (she needs it) and they are both grateful to the two monstrous cats who grudgingly share their domain with their human pets. Still a novice writer, he regrets not having paid more attention to English lessons at school. Paul has had two stories published by The Harrow, and the latest is in this month's edition. A micro-short of his was published in an anthology by Leaf Books last year. He is one of the few people in the world not writing a novel. His fledgling website can be found at

Welcome to hell.


As expected, I'm getting plenty of submissions for Postcards from Hell. There also seem to be a lot of Postcards from Uranus, but a dearth of brief tales from the Woody End. FYI.

Oh yes, and keep visiting our wonderful sponsors. Our authors thank you for every click.

Nine Minus One

"Nine Minus One"
by Bruce Golden

Bats slammed into lockers, cleats scraped the floor, and frothy spittle stained the walls. An influx of uniformed combatants filed into the room, some mumbling, others grumbling–the sure sign of another loss. In moments the place smelled of dirty socks and planetary jocks.

As if to alter the mood, one of them began revolving around the post-game spread waving his arms. “I say we put this one behind us,” called out Saturn in an upbeat tone. “I say we go out and find some bodacious local asteroids in need of a good fertility rite. What do you say?”

Read the rest here...

Little Marvin's Private Dancer

"Little Marvin’s Private Dancer"
by Simon Cooper

Ideas come in many shapes. This one is six foot tall with a body straight from porno. She wears a scarlet PVC bodice, black thong, thigh high patent leather boots and dances serpentine in the office of a derelict cement factory. She’s got heavy eyeliner and lashes so long I can imagine them doing me harm.

I move into the room, picking my way over the empty bottles and chocolate wrappers strewn on the floor. Graffiti covers the otherwise bare walls. Kids and condemned buildings, a combination that’ll never go out of fashion.

The Idea swivels towards me and moans like I’m a dream date not three inches too short, balding and here to shut her down.

She’s a thirteen year old boy’s wet dream, the boy in question being Marvin Millar. He wet himself all right, when we showed up at his house with a warrant. His father’s face was a picture. Idea-realization drugs are illegal, Marvin, Son. Tell him something he doesn’t know.

Read the rest here.