Monday, April 16, 2018


Another quality post brought to you by Steve!

Hey everybody!  I was delighted and honored to have my short story "Deep into that Dark One Peering" included in CLICKERS FOREVER: A TRIBUTE TO J.F. GONZALEZ.  The anthology is available as of today on Amazon and Barnes and Noble in paperback and ebook.  You can also add it to your Goodreads TBR pile.

For those of you who may not be regular horror readers, J.F. Gonzalez was one of the seminal authors of the young millennium.  Unfortunately, he passed away from cancer three years ago, tragically young.  Still, despite his premature passing, he had a wide and ranging body of work, writing in the sub-genres of occult horror, post-apocalyptic horror, cosmic horror, and serial killer horror.  He was perhaps best known, however, for his monster horror, in particular, the CLICKERS series, which consists of:

- CLICKERS VS. ZOMBIES (a crossover with THE RISING)

And this anthology is a spiritual successor to those.

The clickers are small (well, they range in size, but usually start out small) virulently venomous crustaceans usually described as a blend of lobster, crab, and scorpion.  You can see a picture of one with its claw around the Statue of Liberty's head in the cover above.  So you can see why I say they range in size.  :)  They often come in waves for some "Gremlins"-style muncher horror, but the appearance of gargantuan clickers also allowed for some "Godzilla"-style kaiju horror.

The reason for the various predations of the clickers onto dry land vary from story to story.  They were initially implied to be a colony of prehistoric throwbacks, hidden away deep in the ocean somewhere (think a more vicious coelecanth) who surfaced due to earthquakes or human activity disturbing their home.  Sometimes they're also associated with the occult, and believed to come from alternate dimensions, or due to black magic.  Commonly, they're driven on shore deliberately by the iguana-like Dark Ones, a more intelligent and overly malicious race of aquatic monsters.  You can see a Dark One in the foreground of the cover, holding a semi-organic trident.

"Deep into that Dark One Peering" was my chance to take a crack at what the psychology of a Dark One raised by humans would be like.  Jade, my viewpoint character, was taken as an egg during one of the various incursions of the clickers and Dark Ones.  She was "raised" by a cruel scientist who insists on being treated as her father rather than a slavemaster, which would be more accurate.  I've always enjoyed the chance to humanize monsters and to make monsters of humans, both of which I got the to do with this short.  And, of course, I didn't fail to take the opportunity to stage a clicker rampage at the end.  (It just wouldn't be a clickers story without one, right?)

But the anthology's not all just about me.  In fact, I think it's fair to say I'm one of the also-rans.  Consider this lineup (and this is just a brief highlight reel):

Jonathan Maberry
Monica J. O'Rourke
John Skipp
Mary SanGiovanni
David J. Schow
Kelli Owen
Gabino Iglesias
Jonathan Janz

These are some of the biggest names working in horror today.  It's a veritable embarrassment of riches.  Not to mention a posthumous piece by the man himself.  How I got in there, I can only imagine.  Must've slipped by the post somehow.

All the proceeds from this anthology are going to benefit Gonzalez's family, so I hope you'll consider picking up a copy.  And remember to share online and in real life.  Word-of-mouth is vitally important for the success of any book, and I'm particularly rooting for this one be successful for the Gonzalezes.  Thanks, everybody!

1 comment:

Cheryl Oreglia said...

Congratulations Stephen! What an incredible honor! I think this might be part of the birthday bundle for my son this year!

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