Letters From the Labyrinth 278
The weather was nice here among the Susquehanna River bottoms this past week, with temperatures reaching the 70s. I opened the windows in my office and buckled down for a solid work-week of creativity and productivity. And yet, my heart was still back in Virginia with these guys.
Good morning. My name is Brian Keene and this is Letters From the Labyrinth, a weekly newsletter for friends, family and fans of my work. Previous issues can be read here. You can also leave comments, which I’ll read and answer as time allows.
I promised you last week that I’d post the remainder of my Scares that Care AuthorCon pics, and I will below. This one is not one of mine. It is a selfie Josh Malerman took outside the bar. You can see how pronounced the Bells Palsy is in this one. That’s because I was tired and also because I had been into the whiskey. But the picture delights me, regardless, because I genuinely love both of these guys.
Like I said above, this was a productive week for both myself and Mary. She was buckled down against her deadline for her Alien tie-in novel (which was already announced, so I’m not violating her NDA). I finished up edits on the final draft of SUBMERGED: THE LABYRINTH Book 2 and turned it in to the publisher. Then I turned my attention back to the GWENDY graphic novel and INVISIBLE MONSTERS. I also finalized author guests for Scares That Care Weekend VIII, and will set everything up with them next week. I also began prepping THE NEW FEAR: THE BEST OF HAIL SATEN Vol. 3 for its rerelease later this year. And I read over the script for a television pilot we’re filming in May, that I’m not allowed to say anything else about. So… busy week on the work front.
Busy week on the home front, too. Worked on the patio out back. Started prepping this year’s garden. Hiked every day. Lifted weights every other day. Spent time with those who are most important to me. And hello to my youngest son, who I found out reads this newsletter. ;-)
Speaking of the home front, Josie had another litter of kittens. A smaller batch this time — only three. So far, she hasn’t moved them, which I guess means she trusts me and knows I’ll help protect them. Still — they can’t stay. We can’t adopt any more, so when they are old enough, I’ll find them homes. (Indeed, I have a home for one already). I haven’t been able to get pics of them yet, because they are very tiny and she keeps them pretty concealed beneath her. She and I did have a talk this week, when she left the kittens alone and came over to our porch for breakfast. I explained to her that she can’t just keep having babies. It’s bad for her health and bad for the health of the neighborhood. I acknowledged that she has proven to be too smart for any of the box traps I’ve set for her, and suggested that — while it’s nice she trusts me enough to let me skritch her head — perhaps we need to expand that to allowing me to pick her up, so that I can put her in a carrier and transport her to the vet and get her all of her shots and get her spayed and domesticate her feral little self and bring her inside to live.
She did not seem thrilled with any of this. Instead of purring an affirmative, she hissed at me, peed on my blueberry bushes, and then sauntered off with a slow, exaggerated swagger.
I plan to revisit the subject with her in the weeks ahead.
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Thanks to everyone who pre-ordered a signed paperback of THINGS LEFT BEHIND. It is now in production and should ship to you on schedule in June. If you somehow missed out, or if you are a collector who prefers signed limited edition hardcover editions, then know that the hardcover will be available for pre-order until next Wednesday (the 20th). Full details on the hardcover edition can be found here.
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As discussed here previously, I’ve been helping Deena with Dave’s personal effects. His comic book collection was sold this week, and now I’ve begun listing some of his books on eBay. As there are quite literally thousands of books, I’ll also have a vendor table at Camp Necon this year, and will be selling them there, as well.
Each week, I’ll put four or five books up for auction. Each book will come with a Letter of Authenticity signed by me confirming they are from Dave’s personal collection (so if you were a fan of Dave’s from either The Horror Show with Brian Keene or The Ghost Writer’s Podcast, this i your chance to own a personal memento). The items currently available include:
A signed hardcover of Floating Dragon (personalized to Dave by Peter Straub). Click here to bid.
A signed paperback of 4X4 (personalized to Dave by myself, Coop, and Mike Oliveri). Click here to bid.
An unsigned STONE TEARS chapbook (that I’m willing to personalize and sign for the winning bidder). Click here to bid.
A hardcover of NEW DARK VOICES 2 signed by myself, Ronald Malfi, Nick Mamatas, and Brett McBean. Click here to bid.
A hardcover of IN DELIRIUM, signed and personalized to Dave by myself, and signed by J.F. Gonzalez, Tom Piccirilli, David B. Silva, Brian Lumley, Charlee Jacob, John Urbancik, and dozens more. Click here to bid.
Next week’s auctions will probably include some signed and personalized books by Dean Koontz, Robert R. McCammon, Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner, and myself.
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I wrote the Introduction for Carver Pike’s new novel, The Many Faces of Beth, which is available in paperback and for Kindle here.
Carver then very graciously wrote a sweet essay about me in his newsletter, which I was very moved by. You can read it for free here.
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Bob Ford and I sat down with The Necrocasticon for a quick interview while we were at Scares That Care AuthorCon. You can listen to it here or anywhere else you listen to podcasts.
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Speaking of AuthorCon, you may remember from last week’s newsletter that I accidentally stole author Todd Keisling’s pen at the convention. Todd, I’d just like you to know that your pen is doing fine, and adjusting to its new life with me. This week, I met up for coffee in Harrisburg with author, poet and playwright Craig Brownlie, and I took the pen along with me. I let it sit in my shirt pocket so it could see and be a part of things and enjoy the nice weather. And I used it to sign my receipt and write out the tip amount.
This coming week, I’m going to take it fly fishing…
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And here are the rest of those pics I promised last week.
Some of you have asked what happened to ‘Brian Keene’s Time Machine’. I’ll bring it back next week. Apparently Gmail will truncate these newsletters if they are too image heavy, so I have to limit the amount of pics I include each week.
So, everyone is asking about Scares That Care AuthorCon II. Yes, it is happening. We will announce the dates soon.
Vendor tables will go on sale May 1st, 2022, At 8:00 p.m. (Again, we will announce the show dates announced beforehand.)
A few points of note from CEO Joe Ripple:
1) As our table pricing is still very low, ($125), there is to be no sharing of tables. Each vendor/author must purchase his/her/their own table.
2) A lot of requests at the last charity event were made to be put next to another author, due to co-writing, anthologies and other partnered works. It is requested and recommended that authors who wish this for the next event, purchase their tables as close together in time as possible. Tables will not be held.
3) Tables with wall space are available until such time as those tables run out.
4) Should vendor tables run out, two things will happen. First, we will look at expansion of the event space. A waiting list also will be established.
5) Life happens. We know this. In all accounts, we are a charity. If you do need to cancel a vendors table for whatever reason, we will make every attempt to find another vendor. Only if we are able to find a vendor to take the table, will you then get a refund. PLEASE NOTE - NO REFUNDS ON CANCELED TABLES WILL BE GIVEN ONE MONTH BEFORE THE EVENT.
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Currently Reading: Eternity Lost: The Collected Stories of Clifford D. Simak Vol. 1
Currently Listening: Any Which Way You Can - Official Motion Picture Soundtrack by Various Artists. (This was a gift from Kristopher Triana, who shares my love of 1970s Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds movies).
Currently Watching: Snowfall (FX and Hulu)
This new season (5) of Snowfall has been nothing short of amazing. It’s not quite on par with Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul, The Wire, The Shield, or The Sopranos, but it is getting closer and closer to that level of excellence. Indeed, without spoilers, the wedding episode this season reminded me of The Sopranos “Mayham” (sic) episode, except probably not as divisive for viewers. I have suspicions on where next week’s season finale is going to go. I hope I’m wrong, because if so, it will be the equivalent of The Shield’s “Lem moment” (again, no spoilers).
One thing I don’t think gets enough credit is Snowfall’s use of music and clothing. As someone who spent some time in the parts of LA where the show takes place and during the same years the show takes place, I find them very authentic, and they definitely help give the show even more gravitas.
Anyway, Snowfall and 1883 are the best shows on television that you’re probably not watching.
(I gave up on Yellowstone, although, on David J. Schow’s advice, I did sip ahead to a well-choreographed gun battle in a later season, which was cool to look at).
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And that does it for this week! As always, I appreciate you being here. I’ll keep writing them if you keep reading them.