February 21, 2010

Here Be Monsters in the Future

We're all ready for our launch party, and the stories are wrapped up, so I've been thinking a lot about what is coming next for Here Be Monsters.  There are two ideas that we've wanted to do for a while now, but they are almost mutually exclusive.

First, the three of us came up with a really interesting setting that we all want to work in.  We've been talking about doing shared world pieces since we started our writing group, and I think we've found a place where that can happen. 

The second idea is opening up the anthology to submissions.  Currently, we've been open to anyone who is in our writing group (which is more than just the three regular authors of the book), but this would be an actual open call.  This is something that we feel is important for the anthology, and I think it would help us in our big goal, which is to become better writers by exposing ourselves to new work.  It involves a whole new step in the process, though, so it's not a task I want to take lightly.

In the end, I think we'll do both of these ideas.  We will have a collection of stories that all take place in the same fantastical setting.  We will also have an open call for short stories that are fun and great.  It's mostly a matter of choosing which goes first.  With the extra work involved in accepting submissions, I believe that will come later, but don't take that as the official word.  If you're interested in submitting your writing, stay tuned to this blog and we'll make sure you hear about it as soon as we start accepting.

That's it for now.  I just wanted to give some outlines as to what to expect from Here Be Monsters in the coming months.  I very much look forward to seeing everyone at the launch party.

Alexander Newcombe

February 17, 2010

An Exerpt From Our Next Issue

Goo day everyone,
Our next issue, "Safer Where You Are" is going to be released on march 12th, and I though I was time to give you a little taste of what's going to be in it. So here it is, a preview of the story I wrote for the next issue. You can read the rest in Safer Where You Are, out march 12th.

Alistair's Armageddon.

Alistair was at the country club when the world ended. Had he known it was coming, he’d have ordered better wine, but as is the way of such things, he had been thinking of habit rather than pleasure when the jacket-clad waiter had switched on his note pad. He’d asked for the usual house Zinfandel which, though adequate, hardly suited the grandeur of the moment. Alistair snorted. How annoyingly predictable of him.

Of course, he supposed he could have foreseen the event, what with all the agitation back in the city. The commoners running around with suitcases packed to bursting, soldiers in green fatigues setting up barricades and going on and on about curfews and rations, blocking the path of Alistair’s Rolls with their tanks and barbed wire. Yes, things had certainly been more afoot than usual; although, since the monstrosities had come out of the sewers sixteen years ago, it was hard to distinguish normal trigger-happiness from all-out war. Oh well. Maybe Alistair should be grateful he had been spared the humiliation of being recruited into the awfully-dressed and ill-fated militia that the President had said would save them.

As for now, the blast illuminated the horizon behind the mountains in a yellowish glow that reminded Alistair of hollandaise sauce and made him hungry. He wondered if he would have time for some eggs Benedict before he got obliterated. Probably not, but he signaled the waiter nonetheless. One should never be overly pessimistic: it was neither healthy nor becoming.

The waiter walked up to his table and bowed. “Yes, sir?”

“Do you suppose it is too late for eggs Benedict, James?” Alistair asked.

The waiter looked briefly at the mountains, over which a massive column of black smoke was now rising.

“We can certainly try, sir. The Silver Mountain Club always does its best.”

“I know that, James, but you will agree with me this thermonuclear explosion over there in OldCity lowers our prospects of survival considerably.”

“Absolutely, sir, although you will be happy to know that the Silver Mountain Club, in an always ongoing effort to anticipate the needs of its members, has recently acquired the latest in Xuvar Shielding technology, through the generosity of Mr. Xuvar himself.”

“Laszlo Xuvar? I know him. Splendid chap, if most underdressed. Must be that unwieldy Hungarian culture of his. Or is it Bulgarian? Is he here? Would love to spend my last moments with someone of equal social rank - no offense, James.”

The waiter smiled apologetically which, in the orange apocalyptic glow, gave him a creepy look that did not belong on an employee of the Silver Mountain Club, but Alistair supposed you had to make allowances.

“I’m sorry, sir,” the waiter said, “Mr. Xuvar is down at the pool house, where he set up what he calls his main generator and I believe he’s rather busy.”

“Pity.” Said Alistair. “How about those eggs Benedict, then? I shall spend my last moments with them instead.”

“Very well sir. Would you prefer forêt noire ham or pancetta with that?”

“Pancetta, of course, James. Always Pancetta, even in the face of annihilation.”

“Coming up, sir”, James said, and turned smoothly on his heels towards the kitchen.

“Say, James?” Alistair called as the waiter was leaving.

“Yes, sir?”

“Do you think good old Xuvar’s shielding will really protect us from the radiation?”

“Mr. Xuvar seems to think so, sir.”

“Jolly good. I think I’ll have another glass of Zinfandel, then.”

Vincent Mackay

February 9, 2010

No room on the life raft... and a link to our interview with the Link

Understandably, some people have been asking us about the cover and title of issue one. They read the stories and then asked themselves what this has to do with No Room On The Life Raft. Not in a bad way, simply what is the connection? The amazing cover, that hopefully people have seen, depicts an empty life raft adrift before an otherworldly city. None of the stories take pace in the water... We brainstormed for a unifying factor and that factor was cities. More honestly, the settings for each of the stories. In issue 1 we felt that the settings were important players. The title, No Room On The Life Raft was to evoke a sense of desperation. So in the end, the title and cover were more about mood. All of the protagonists find themselves in situations with the odds against them. They are sinking and they have nothing, or little to hang on to. We have made the promise (maybe a bit too strong of a word) to aim for a cover and title that encompasses what we have done as best we can. Not easy. We have the title for issue 2. Of course we encourage people to interpret what they want in what we do. We are not thought police, mostly. In fact even amongst us there are differences on how we see it. So that is my two cents of incite. Maybe next I will tackle why we call it Here Be Monsters.

On another note, we were interviewed by the Link, the Concordia paper. So anyone in Montréal can pick up a copy. Of course, why do that when all the articles are online? From MMA to bixi bikes to Here be monsters. They could be prompts. Here is the link.  My masters isn't in linguistics, but linguistics was my second choice and it was my BA. I think the article gives a good idea of what we are about. Take a look.


February 7, 2010

Launch Party for Issue 2 - Mar. 12th

Hello everyone!

We've confirmed the details for the second launch party.  Once again, we'll be hosted by the incredible Burritoville.  For those unfortunate souls who were not there last time, it's a bar and vegetarian restaurant downtown (not in NDG, despite what Google might say).

At Here Be Monsters, we like to focus on the "party" portion of "launch party". There will be a bartender, great live music, readings, and other hijinks that we come up with on the spot.  So please, come celebrate the bigger, better second issue.  The last launch was a great success and we're hoping to top it with this one.\

Personally, I'm really excited.  Getting a second issue out of the door is a milestone for me.  And we were able to put it together despite the holidays and a lack of time for everyone involved.  My big hope is that if we're able to stick to the 4 per year schedule, people will start anticipating the next release.  That would be amazing.  Maybe I'll start ending my stories with "To be continued..."?  Nah, that isn't fair.  If you see that in a story soon, I promise it's for a legitimate reason and not just because I want to pull a JJ Abrams.

You'll see more details as we get closer, but if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or contact us over email.  

- Alexander Newcombe