Author Archives: root52stern

Returning to the pages of Write Ahead/The Future Looms!

Hey everybody, M. here,

Happy to say I just signed the contract on another story with Write Ahead/The Future Looms, and my story “Memories of Emma” is slated to appear in their pages. Get ready for more action! More poetry! More anxiety! And more punk of the cyber variety! Keep your eyes glued to this window for more news, and/or follow me on Facebook to stay up to date on the latest developments. Take care everyone!
-M.

Received a print copy of Lovecraftiana: The Magazine of Eldritch Horror Candlemas 2021 Edition

Hey everybody, M. here,

Excited to say that my Pnakotic Pnostman dropped off a copy of Lovecraftiana: The Magazine of Eldritch Horror Candlemas 2021 Edition in the mail! We’ve got oft anthologized veteran U.K. horror/SF author/poet and Beat poet scholar Bryn Fortey and Chaosium editor/prolific purveyor of modern Mythos fiction Glynn Owen Barrass on the cover, and here’s a tiny glimpse of what you’ll find inside from yours truly:

Does that snippet make you curious about what happened at the party, and what happened at the after party and, most importantly, what happened after the after party? Head over to Amazon and snag the issue in print or ebook to find out. Within those pages you’ll find a varied assortment of Cthulhuvian tales to weirden your mind beyond its breaking point! ! ! Cthulhu fhtagn!
-M.

“Payload” now available in print in Startling Stories!

Hey everybody, M. here,

The day has finally arrived – the long anticipated first issue of the relaunched Startling Stories from Wildside Press, edited by Doug Draa, is out in paperback and available on Amazon (and with, as you can see, a different cover than the prospective one that was floating around early last year). This relaunch of the classic pulp science fiction magazine contains my science fiction story “Payload” alongside a bunch of other cool brand new stories, not to mention a ‘50s one by Silverberg (a story which was, from what I understand, written originally for the classic incarnation of the mag).

I had a whole big blog planned exploring the ins-and-outs of “Payload.” Firstly because I do believe that, as a story about intertwining and mutating varieties of contagion, it’s more germane to the world as it now looks – in the midst of a pandemic with one or perhaps numerous infodemics happening alongside it – than it would have been had it run closer to when I had written it. In fact I think the story probably speaks more to the lived experience of a pandemic in a technologically advanced society than it would have had I written something more immediately, directly recognizable as a piece of pandemic fiction. Secondly, waiting for a long time for something gives you a lot of time to think about it. And boy have I thought.

So I could honestly probably talk for an hour or two about this one – about its Ballardian (I think?) vibe and where that might fit in the context of Campbell-era of science fiction, about the approach to virology and epidemiology and how that might have changed given that concepts like spike proteins and adenoviral vectors are now, bizarrely, part of the common parlance, and about a million other aspects of this story. Some parts of it have a long, long history in my brain, despite it all having come together, as these thing sometimes do, rather quickly. But in attempting to write such a blog I found that I was just asking myself questions that I hadn’t been asked and then answering them, which felt sort of silly. More importantly, as I’ve said elsewhere, it’s a story not a philosophical treatise – one that I hope will keep people guessing and deliver some entertaining thrills more than anything. So check it out and get Startled!

And if you want more M. Stern in your head…
Earlier this week my cosmic horror-comedy “After the After Party” — a story with quite a different sensibility than “Payload” — made its appearance in Lovecraftiana: The Magazine of Eldritch Horror. Check it out in print or e-book, as nothing goes down better after an M. Stern story than an M. Stern chaser, so they say. “They” being, in this case, me. Anyway take care everyone, stay safe.
-M.

“After the After Party” OUT NOW in Lovecraftiana: The Magazine of Eldritch Horror!

Hey everybody, M. here,

Wishing a belated Happy New Year to all of you! I Just got word a little bit ago that my story titled “After the After Party” has arrived in print (and Kindle format) in Lovecraftiana: The Magazine of Eldritch Horror. This story is sort of a funny one, I’ve described it as having the sensibility of sort of a madcap rom-com — so what can you expect? Self delusion! Quixotic romance! Weird intrigue! Arcane rituals! People acting like assholes! References to the classics! Gloppy monsters! And a touch of existential fear and trembling — what would cosmic horror be without it, right?

Sound like your kind of thing? Head on over to Amazon and snag a copy, and I hope you mythos mavens and weird horror aficionados get a kick out of this one. Follow me on Facebook for more updates, not to mention brief thoughts on technological miscellany, songs I like, and whatever else I post when the spirit moves me.

And speaking of updates …

A new way to get your M. Stern fix
The duo over at cyberpunk mag Write Ahead/The Future Looms have launched a “digital news-stand” for the purchase of individual digital issues. That means if you haven’t grabbed Vol. 11. yet, featuring my story “Head on the Door” and you want something to cool to read on your electronic device of choice — or are yourself a cyborg and are capable of downloading ebooks directly to your brain — you can now get the entire issue for a mere 3 pounds sterling (or whatever that converts to in your preferred currency).

If it is at all helpful in driving this micro-transaction, I said somewhere else that the moral of “Head on the Door” is that anyone can break your skull but only you can break your heart — an aphorism I believe to be no less true now than I did like three months ago when I made it up.

Anyway hope everyone is holding up out there, take care and stay safe!
-M.

Nove-M.-ber update (new story acceptance and other stuff!)

Hey everybody, M. here.

Hope everyone is staying safe and hanging in there during what is by my calculation the eleventy-thousandth month of this goddamned wretched pandemic. I’ve got a few new developments to share, so without further ado…

New story on the way at Lovecraftiana: The Magazine of Eldritch Horror
I’m excited to say that the other day I got an acceptance from Lovecraftiana: The Magazine of Eldritch Horror for my story After the After Party, which is slated to appear in the Candlemas 2021 issue early next year. I don’t want to get too deep into what this one’s about and run the risk of dropping spoilers, so suffice it to say I’ve been calling this story a cosmically horrific rom-com romp. Looking forward to it making an appearance in print.

Write Ahead/The Future Looms back issue pack available
Speaking of print, for those who want to get their hands on a physical copy of my short story Head on the Door, Write Ahead/The Future Looms has made their most recent back issue pack available for purchase. Along with Vol. 11 —  which contains my story of broken hearts, shattered skulls, self-deception and miscommunication both human and android — you get two other issues packed with all sorts of cyberpunk madness from both seasoned authors and up-and-comers from around the world. In addition to the contents, these mags have a unique design aesthetic and look super cool when you’ve got a bunch of them together — so pick up a stack and dig in.

Follow me on Facebook for more M. Sternerrific updates
That’s about all the big news I have at the moment. Hopefully there will be more forthcoming soon but, in any case, if you’ve checked out my stories and are digging what you’re reading or have any burning questions you want my take on, give me a holler in the comments or follow me on Facebook,

Also if you’ve got a theory about what Ancient Greek tragedy the events in Head on the Door very, very abstractly map on to, let me know here or over on FB. If someone can actually get this one I might even mail them a prize or something — at the very least I’d be incredibly impressed.

Take care everyone!
-M.

Write Ahead The Future Looms Vol. 11 has arrived in my M.ailbox

I got my physical copy of Write Ahead The Future Looms Vol. 11, featuring my story Head on the Door, the other day in the mail. Looks SUPER nice — just take a look below! I’m looking forward to digging in and checking out all the other stories in there. And since my story is up as an online preview of this issue of the magazine, you can read it right here.
-M.

Check out “Head on the Door” — Available NOW as an online preview!

Hey everybody, M. here,

I’m stoked to say that my story Head on the Door is now up online as a teaser for the print/digital edition of cyberpunk magazine Write Ahead/The Future Looms Vol. 11. I’m so happy to be featured alongside a mix of eclectic authors from around the world. Check it out, let me know what you think if you are so inclined — and follow me on Facebook to stay on top of what else I’ve got looming in the future.

-M.

Sold another story!

Hey everybody, M. here,

Just a quick update. I’m excited to say I signed a contract the other day and my story titled Head on the Door is slated to appear in cyberpunk magazine Write Ahead/The Future Looms. I’m quite happy to have found a home for this story and thrilled it is coming out in WA/TFL. The U.K./Zurich-based magazine has been at it for a few years featuring pulse-pounding, mind-bending stories from a lineup of science fiction authors from around the globe.

More information on when the story should be making its appearance and those sorts of things should be coming soon.
-M.

Some M.inor Updates

Hey everybody, M. here.

I don’t have a ton of news to share, as the pace of a lot of projects has of course slowed for a lot of people lately due to the pandemic. One noteworthy development, however, is that Wildside Press released the prospective covers for the next six issues of Weirdbook the other day.

They all look amazing, and since my story Birth should be appearing in issue #44 I’m posting that one here. Since the names on the cover are not yet finalized according to editor Doug Draa, I’ve blurred them. But that notwithstanding — cool, huh? I’ve still got no idea about a potential release date for this or any of the other Wildside magazines, though last I heard Weirdbook #43 had entered the proofing process.

I had intended to get out at least one more blog’s worth of reviews about end-of-the-world-themed movies done for M. Stern’s Short Ends over the past couple of months. In the first two, I had been sort of tongue-and-cheek about the notion that watching depressing movies under these circumstances ran the risk of driving me nuts. In fact after watching Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia and 1959’s grim nuclear fallout drama On The Beach back-to-back, I found that it actually was impacting me emotionally in a way that movies usually don’t. So I’ve chilled out on that, though both of those films are incredible and well worth writing about. Maybe I’ll give my 2 cents on them once I’m able to again hear “Waltzing Matilda” without bawling.

I had also considered maybe reviewing some of the horror that has been streaming online in recent months — the indie horror circuit has really stepped up during the pandemic, with fans and festival organizers alike finding creative ways to get all sorts of weird and wild stuff, new and old, to a remote audience. I got sidetracked from doing that though, as my level of concentration has been — as I am sure is fairly universal — completely shot to hell.

This also speaks to my level of productivity with regards to fiction. I’ve been working even slower than my usual snail’s pace — though I do have a story or two I’ve been chiseling away at (and few others out there in the ether).

Given that there is no telling what things will look like a few months from now — good, bad, or indifferent — I’m hesitant to talk about future plans too much. But every year in October I see how many horror movies I can watch, and how many reviews of them I can write up. This year I want to try to do that publicly — here — instead of posting them on my private social media like I usually do. I also hope to make another appearance on my buddy Rob’s horror movie podcast at some point — where I will aim to do significantly less rambling than I did the last time he was gracious enough to have me on.  At any rate, if and when any of that happens, hopefully things are less terrifying and depressing by then. Take care everyone.
-M.