Letters From the Labyrinth 324
"That gum you like is going to come back in style..."
Good morning. I’m Brian Keene and this is the 324th issue of Letters From the Labyrinth, a newsletter for friends, family and fans of my work. And 324 issues in, I’m glad you’re still here, because I enjoy doing a weekly newsletter. Indeed, I started my career by doing a weekly newsletter called Jobs In Hell.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Jobs In Hell was a weekly newsletter for horror writers, editors, artists, publishers and others in the field. It was edited by myself and featured a number of staff writers, including J.F. Gonzalez, Tom Piccirilli, Regina Garza-Mitchell, John Urbancik, John Platt, Kelly Laymon, Mike Oliveri, and many more. It also featured guest material from writers and editors such as Richard Laymon, Ellen Datlow, Edward Lee, John Pelan, Linda Addison, and others. It won the Bram Stoker Award for Non-Fiction in 2001. The layout of each issue followed a formula: Hail Saten (my editorial column, named that because an irate reader compared me to Satan but — in their indignation —misspelled the entity’s name), Market Listings (which provided a weekly run down of magazines, anthologies, and publishers who were looking for submissions), regular columns by our staff writers and guests, and Letters From Hell (our reader mailbag).
Earlier this week, I decided to bring Jobs In Hell back via Substack. I think it’s something our industry needs, and I think — with the support of the community — I can do it in a way that won’t eat up too much of my time.
Now, understand — this will be an entirely separate newsletter from the one you are reading now. The only connection between the two is that I’m writing them both. If you are a reader or fan, then Jobs In Hell is not something you’ll need to read. It’s targeted specifically at writers, editors, etc.
Also, unlike this newsletter which has always been free and will always be free, Jobs In Hell will cost $5 per month to subscribe to. You can sign up for it here. The first issue will go out later this month.
To begin, it will run on a monthly schedule, rather than the weekly schedule of the old Jobs In Hell. I will revisit that schedule regularly, however, and I’m almost certain that at some point we’ll increase frequency.
If you are looking for submissions for your magazine, website, publishing company, etc. please email the details to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your email should contain the following information: Name of publication, name of editor overseeing submissions, guidelines as to what you are looking for, details on how to submit, deadline (if any), and payment (if any).
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We are continuing to book dates for the 2023 Honeymoon Tour. A lot of new dates and locations were added this week, including more in Seattle, Baltimore, Kentucky, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Click here for the current list, and check back often because there are many, many more to come.
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Laurel Hightower joined me on last week’s episode of BRIAN KEENE LIVE. We talked bourbon, conventions, and her new collection Every Woman Knows This. Watch here.
Next week’s guest will be John Urbancik. We’ll talk about the 20 year anniversaries of THE RISING and his novel Sins Of Blood and Stone.
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Also last week, Mary did a Livestream with our pal Robert Swartwood, via Facebook Live. You can watch it here.
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New Blog Entry: The Greatest Show On Earth — in which I talk about my time as a showrunner, and the writing projects which brought me the most joy and fulfillment. To convince you to click and read it, here a bonus pic that is related to it but wasn’t included in the blog entry.
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Currently Reading: Elric of Melnibone: The Elric Saga Vol. 1 by Michael Moorcock
Currently Watching: South Park season 26 (HBO), Snowfall season 6 (Hulu), Survivor season 44 (Paramount+), and Oz (all seasons, HBO)
Currently Listening: Brian Keene Radio (which just got a new music infusion this week with King Crimson, Alice In Chains, U2, John Lee Hooker, Ultramagnetic MCs, Gwar, and Wang Chung).
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Work this past week was even busier than normal — finishing up a story for an anthology, working on GWENDY’S BUTTON BOX, approving cover for ISLAND OF THE DEAD, prepping the Manhattan On Mars Press editions of AN OCCURRENCE IN CRAZY BEAR VALLEY and OTHER WORDS, setting up signings, and much more.
As a result, I’m afraid there’s just not much to this week’s newsletter. I didn’t have time to write an essay. Hopefully that new Blog entry (linked above) will suffice in place of that. If it doesn’t? Well, how about some funny photos from my archives?
Here is a photo of me taken by Ann Laymon in 2001 that always makes me laugh. I feel like it was prescient in so very many ways.
And here is J.F. Gonzalez getting slathered in fake blood by Mike Lombardo on the set of FAST ZOMBIES SUCK (which you can watch for free here).
And here is Nolan Gould throttling me on the red carpet at the premiere of GHOUL.
Hopefully those brought you some smiles with your morning coffee. Next week, we’ll get back to a fuller, lengthier newsletter. See you then!
— Brian Keene
Fast Zombies was great! Thanks for sharing. I will definitely see you guys on your “honeymoon “ at Scares. Hoping to also see you guys in Richmond at B&N.
Always a good way to launch the week. Very excited about Jobs in Hell. Subscribed and damn happy about it.