FREE FOR KINDLE (NOW 'TIL HALLOWEEN) - GRAB, SHARE, ENJOY . . .

FREE FOR KINDLE (NOW 'TIL HALLOWEEN) - GRAB, SHARE, ENJOY . . .

DEATH QUARTET (A Selection of Short Horror Fiction & Verse) is an eclectic miscellany of stories, poems, and ephemera, wherein the subject matter relates to the study of homicide and the aesthetic portrayal of such an act. In other words, themes of death and murder abound in this horrific collection brought to you by William Cook, an up-and-coming indie author of macabre fiction and the novel ‘Blood Related.’



Amongst the selection of four short stories you will find the never-before-seen ‘origin story’ that generated the novel ‘Blood Related’. A stand alone story in its own right, ‘Legacy: The Eternal Now and Thereafter’ rounds off DEATH QUARTET and gives fans of Cook’s novel Blood Related a chance to see where it all began. Make sure you read it with the doors locked.

From Blinded by the Light:

“The tip of the sharp blade pressed hard on Patrick’s lower eyelid. A tear bubbled and fell from his twelve-year-old eyelashes, gathering in the indent caused by the presence of the knife, before running the full length of his young face and falling onto his white t-shirt. His dad’s breath smelt bad, real bad – like something had died inside him and was stinking him up big-time. Patrick stood on his toes, his father’s muscled forearm pressing hard against his chest, pinning his scrawny back against the kitchen wall. Patrick stood as still as possible, cross-eyed with fear, his gaze never left the glint of the knife’s blade in his face. His father gave the tip a slight twist and Patrick felt a stab of pain as warm blood traced the path of his tears to drop on his t-shirt. Patrick’s breath hitched and all he could think to himself was - “this is it! Dad is gonna kill me. He’s gonna kill me. He’s gonna . . .”

#Free, #FF, #Amazon, #Horror, #Thriller, #Kindle, #KDP, #Halloween, William Cook, Death Quartet

Poetry Review

Recently Anthony Servante reviewed some of my poetry on his thought-provoking blog, Servante of Darkness: Horror, SF, and Noir. Words & Sounds for the Living. Here is an abridged version of the post, the full version can be found at the link above including features/reviews on other writers like Michael H. Hanson and Mark McLaughlin.
 
*****


William Cook

Author Links:

Follow William on Twitter - @williamcook666



Poem #1
  
Lest We Forget
By William Cook 

We forgot the death-white burden
that lay curled explodingly
on the flat line between here and there

we forgot the gaping pit
of atmosphere that singed the soil
and us that burnt it there above

we forgot the airborne tumours
of ignorance and time that swells
beyond our grasping paws of greed

we forgot the twisting paths
of molecules denied of science
and therefore from our perception

we forgot our mortality
in the feast of fire and flood
as we wash our hands with famine
swill it down with cups of blood

and we forgot that which we taught
to all the objects of our need
that all that grows beyond its use
holds no measure we shall heed

from alpha to omega
we have joined our ends to end
we have bridged between the islands
drained all wells to poisoned sand

we forgot our search for new air
is subconscious flight for fear that
courage is the vice of dumb pride
that shakes and billows rage
in every new-found virgin sphere

and we forgot what it was we once loved
and whose back-yard we played and when
the string in the labyrinth would snap
and disappear in burning cloud of dissolving day

and finally we just simply forgot, because we could not remember
because we could not forget.


Review:

William Cook's poem, Lest We Forget, is a reminder to remember the things in life we choose to forget. But rather than give us a laundry list of events to consider, we get a sequence of metaphors at once recognizable but vague enough to work at a subliminal level. Consider the “death-white burden” that lays “explodingly” on a flat line. Subconsciously we think of an electrocardiogram as “death” and “flatline” (sic) parallel one another, except that it “explodes”, implying a spike, or a labored life, the “burden” mentioned in the line. Furthermore, besides forgetting “life”, we forgot about the ozone that we “burnt” a hole in, allowing ultraviolet light to pour through and “singe” the “soil” (earth). Although the metaphor is not vague, it advances the concept of our (mankind’s) ignorance, our choosing to progress (verb) even as progress (noun) depletes the future. The metaphors culminate with our choice to ignore this depletion and its resultant effects (“poisoned sand”, “dissolving day”, etc). Because William does not send this eco-nightmare message via a flyer or protest march, but rather via poetry, it manages to crawl under our skin and fester, like an ignored infection that threatens to swell to a boil. Cook does not let us off easy. He holds up a mirror to man’s amoral treatment of the future. It is no mistake that we, dear readers, are in the reflection. 
  


Poem #2

Asylum - From the Asylum
By William Cook

Judgment engaged - time’s slave
slips whispers over the shoulder.
Love is the only one to never lie
those branding, burning words
that make the heart grumble
with the cold hands of the stranger’s dominion
presenting polarised arcs, of disparate monologue . . .

What the fuck . . . ?

The long day has only just begun 
and still each evening winds it down.
Still the clock keeps cutting quarters
always gathering doubles,
for the Ark.

For the what . . . ?

Limbs as arrows, chains, and beds 
supported the weighted chest with grief
and sometimes joy. Between
the islands we traverse . . .

Sounds like thighs . . .!

The vessel soaks the sun with journey
as we shed our Winter’s skin - floods
seem far away right now, yet still
the ever eye rings sight. Palladiums
of secrets - carried on caress
of hurried breeze. Kingdoms
of neighbours dissent, are all
of the same suburb on that plane!   

Airplane . . . ?

The same beaches where we bathed
and gave away dead skin, now hold
invisible sacrificial rites - they were always
there, when we were. Still tumbling
birds of prey and pride wrestle
with serpents, under luminous boughs.
and we travel - turns and tides
between these magnets. Eternite

I’m feelin’ pulled both ways . . . !

sides, by side. The age of memory
sweeps shores and provides
such force - behind the oars.
The whip crack that attempts to tame
- tumultuous pump, that billows.
Sucking only air sometimes, like
this warm Etesian air. A cyclone gathers
waves, where earth and sky appear.

That means we’re all gonna die, right . . . ?

But more than that, which sinks beyond
- a secular line of sight and silver
crests the Sun’s slow decline. Dawn’s
ships will still run aground. Raising night.

Raising Cain . . .!

Back on land and back in pain
the movement can seem slow.
The raging current murmurs deep
and only serves to show . . .

The best way down, is to drown . . .

When the eye marries time to the heart’s
blind pull and the blood muscles, bones
of fingers. So cruel – to chaste and touch
with searing fire. They leave the trace
of journey’s charted scars
and the only soothing grace, it seems
- is the dam-burst flood,
of love’s lost dreams. Swimming
in that place between. Where
islands float and birds and serpents
silent scream - Esoteric psalms. At the Night

Or am I awake . . .?


Review:

Asylum - From the Asylum by William Cook deals with biblical promises hidden in half-truths and mythos, an unreachable ken that seems real only in dreams. The problem is: we wake up. The poem begins with “Judgment”, basically where the Bible (with a capital B) ends. Thus the world has ended, The Rapture has passed, The Horn of Gabriel has sounded, The Leviathan has risen, and The AntiChrist is about. It is time to those remaining on our good Earth to be sent to Heaven or Hell. “Love” (for God, for fellow Man?) will be our only truth, and that’s the scary part: Did I choose the right path for this love? Doubles (or couples) are being selected for the Ark, a symbol for those who will be saved (and always between stanzas, in italics, are the reminders that doubt may still be relevant), that this judgment is not real (after the mention of the “doubles for the Ark”, a disembodied voice asks, “For the what …?”). “Birds of prey” (sky) and serpents (earth), evils emerging from all directions, Heaven (God judging) and Hell (Satan creating doubt), create a religious tug-of-war: “I’m feelin’ pulled both ways …!” When doubt dissipates and faith begins to take hold, the “Esoteric psalms”, that is, confuses the nature of faith found in the bible (small “b”), for it is just a book; only with faith can we capitalize the “B”, but how do we acquire faith when doubt makes more sense? The answer becomes clear when it is too late: “At the Night” (capital “N”), and even then, Satan can still win if you believe the Day of Judgment is all a dream (“Or am I awake . . .?”). William Cook grapples with faith and doubt and refuses to offer easy comforts for his readers. And should you, dear readers, be inclined to choose a side, Cook will be there to “pull you both ways.”  
*****

 Michael H. Hanson, Mark McLaughlin, Anthony Servante, Review, Poetry, #FF

New Title - Death Quartet - available now on Amazon

I finally have a new title up on Amazon in the KDP program. The 100+ pg collection of short horror fiction is called Death Quartet (A Selection of Short Horror Fiction & Verse), retailing for US$2.99.
 

Editorial Description

DEATH QUARTET (A Selection of Short Horror Fiction & Verse) is an eclectic miscellany of stories, poems, and ephemera, wherein the subject matter relates to the study of homicide and the aesthetic portrayal of such an act. In other words, themes of death and murder abound in this horrific collection brought to you by William Cook, an up-and-coming indie author of macabre fiction and the novel ‘Blood Related.’

Amongst the selection of four short stories you will find the never-before-seen ‘origin story’ that generated the novel ‘Blood Related’. A stand alone story in its own right, ‘Legacy: The Eternal Now and Thereafter’ rounds off DEATH QUARTET and gives fans of Cook’s novel Blood Related a chance to see where it all began. Make sure you read it with the doors locked.


From Blinded by the Light:

“The tip of the sharp blade pressed hard on Patrick’s lower eyelid. A tear bubbled and fell from his twelve-year-old eyelashes, gathering in the indent caused by the presence of the knife, before running the full length of his young face and falling onto his white t-shirt. His dad’s breath smelt bad, real bad – like something had died inside him and was stinking him up big-time. Patrick stood on his toes, his father’s muscled forearm pressing hard against his chest, pinning his scrawny back against the kitchen wall. Patrick stood as still as possible, cross-eyed with fear, his gaze never left the glint of the knife’s blade in his face. His father gave the tip a slight twist and Patrick felt a stab of pain as warm blood traced the path of his tears to drop on his t-shirt. Patrick’s breath hitched and all he could think to himself was - “this is it! Dad is gonna kill me. He’s gonna kill me. He’s gonna . . .”


I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please pay it forward and drop a review on Amazon.

Cheers

Will.


Amazon, Kindle, KDP, Death Quartet, William Cook, New Release, Blood Related, Short Fiction, Ebook 

Story acceptance for upcoming Bizarro Anthology.



I have been venturing beyond the realms of Horror lately. My latest excursion into other-worldly genres has resulted in an acceptance in Bizarro Pulp Press's anthology: Bizarro Bizarro



I wrote my story 'The Colony' many years ago under the influence of a low-strain LSD trip, with a few revisions and the tightening of prose it extended itself into quite a poetic work of short fiction. In the guise of a 'manifesto,' it tells the tale of a deluded literary hack who imagines a colony of versifiers that will revolutionize the canon of western literary tradition. 

You'll have to wait until the official release of the anthology to read it but, suffice to say, I think I like the Bizarro genre - it is so open-ended that anything qualifies as long as it is so whacked-out that it can't fit into any other genre classifications. 

That's my understanding of it, however, if you'd like a more in-depth definition, I stole the following from the home of Bizarro Fiction - Bizarro Central:



"About Bizarro


“The Bizarro literary movement is the ultimate in outsider lit.”
- 3AM Magazine


“The literary equivalent of a David Lynch or Tim Burton film … A rising genre that functions like the cult movie section in your local video store.”
- Horror World


“[Bizarro is] universally intriguing, thoughtful, intelligent and, most importantly, a hell of a lot of fun.”
- The Pedestal Magazine


“Sometimes comic, sometimes violent, sometimes sexually graphic (if not all of the above) and adolescently fearless to offend.”
- Details Magazine


“Bizarro fiction is by turns repulsive, stupid, and crude. But at its best, it is also compelling, intelligent, and well-written. Any literary genre that can be both bad and good at the same time is worth reading.”
- The Guardian

What Is Bizarro?


  1. Bizarro, simply put, is the genre of the weird.
  2. Bizarro is literature’s equivalent to the cult section at the video store.
  3. Like cult movies, Bizarro is sometimes surreal, sometimes avant-garde, sometimes goofy, sometimes bloody, sometimes borderline pornographic, and almost always completely out there.
  4. Bizarro strives not only to be strange, but fascinating, thought-provoking, and, above all, fun to read.
  5. Bizarro often contains a certain cartoon logic that, when applied to the real world, creates an unstable universe where the bizarre becomes the norm and absurdities are made flesh.
  6. Bizarro was created by a group of small press publishers in response to the increasing demand for (good) weird fiction and the increasing number of authors who specialize in it.
  7. Bizarro is like:
    • Franz Kafka meets John Waters
    • Dr. Suess of the post-apocalypse
    • Takashi Miike meets William S. Burroughs
    • Alice in Wonderland for adults
    • Japanese animation directed by David Lynch
Even though the Bizarros are underground cult outsiders they still have gained an incredible amount of respect in the publishing industry, having been praised by the likes of Chuck Palahniuk, Christopher Moore, William Gibson, Jonathan Lethem, Piers Anthony, Cory Doctorow, Poppy Z. Brite, Michael Moorcock, and Charles de Lint, to name a few, as well as the publications Asimov’s Science-fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science-fiction, Fangoria, Cemetery Dance, Publishers Weekly, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Details Magazine, Gothic Magazine, and The Face, among many others. They have also been finalists for the Philip K Dick Award, the Bram Stoker Award, the Rhysling Award, the Wonderland Book Award, and the Pushcart Prize."


Here is the announcement/post from the good folks at Bizarro Pulp Press:


Here it is, guys! This list is subject to slight change between now and when the book actually releases. This is also what we are thinking of for the order of the stories that will be featured in this book! I am Very excited about this thing. We have a lot of great names and great stories. If you will notice, we have a super secret story to complete the anthology.

1.Wol-Vriey Lucy in Brain Ceiling World
2. Jeff Burk The Satanic Little Toaster
3. Robert Harris A Smashed Up Salmon
4. Dustin Reade Night Butterfly
5. Marcin Kiszela Dreamsource
6. James Dorr Mr. Happy Head
7. Alan M. Clark and Kevin Ward Ugly Shirt's Quest
8. Edmund Colell Fuck
Your Death, Keep Working
9. Robert Harris Pixelated Nostalgia
10. Sean Leonard Dope-elganger
11. Emily Hundrwadel Body Snatcher’s Remorse
12. Bruce Taylor Four Dreams in Miniature
13. Alan M. Clark and Randy Fox Not About Mrs. Maridu
14. Daniel Gonzales Sitcom Hell
15. Aaron French Shoes
16. Max Booth III A Prescription for Shut the Fuck Up
17. Vincenzo Bilof The Swamp of Girders and Chains
18. P. A. Douglas Pussy Apocalypse
19. Danger_Slater The Monster, the Man, the Building, the Bomb
20. MP Johnson Vagalyn’s Flying Head
21. Todd Nelsen Moon Love
22. Ethan C. Evans and Daniel J. Pendergraft Wildberry Christ
23. Jan Maszczycsn Toy Soldiers
24. G. Arthur Brown The Pitfalls of Modern Gardening
25. Craig Saunders Sleep and the End
26. Meghan Arcuri Plaything
27. Michael A. Rose Civics of Consequence
28. Christopher T. Dabrowski Big Bang
29. Andrew Adams Forget Me Not, Filet Mignon
30 William Cook The Colony
31. Robert Harris Schluck!
32. Alan M. Clark and David Conover All His First Born
33. Tony Rauch Refugees from the Future
34. James Reith As One
35. Gabino Iglesias Looking for Gloria
36. Nick Cato A Path for the New Bride
37. ????




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The Horror Show: Poetry Sucker Punch Death Hit!

A wee while ago an online friend took a shine to my artwork and commissioned some pieces for the interior art in his new poetry book. His name is Vincenzo Bilof and his book is titled The Horror Show. I was honored to do some designs specifically for this amazing book of verse. VB sent me an ARC and it blew my mind - as a result, the vivid imagery easily produced the images that follow. These are not all the pieces I designed - you'll have to buy a copy of Vincenzo's fantastic verse novella to see the others. I have taken the liberty of reposting the following book description complete with links for you to view/purchase a copy. You will notice the different covers; the colorful blue one is my design but I must say I prefer Pat Douglas's amazing final design. Pat is a great graphics guy (writer, publisher, musician . . . the list goes on) so if you need a cover or web-design check out what he's done here.

From the Bizarro Pulp website:


The Horror Show, by Vincenzo Bilof. 

A Nobel Prize-winning poet has been missing for several years, along with his wife and child. Suffering from narcolepsy and amnesia, the poet wanders the same back-alleys he terrorized as a teenager. He's being carefully watched by Doctor Humphrey, whose unique treatment plan is driven by a higher power that wants a cure for mental instability to produce the ultimate war machines. At the mercy of his derangements and the ghosts of his fragmented past, the poet's descent into the darkest reaches of his soul reveals a blood-soaked past which threatens to repeat itself.
While Doctor Humphrey collects data from his experiment with madness, he devises a plan to satisfy his own terrifying vision for the future. 
“A uniquely sustained piece of conceptual writing that has been tried before but not with the success Vincenzo Bilof achieves here… this is a must read for fans of conceptual writing. At once nightmarish and playful, it will creep you out when you feel most safe, and you can't say that for many books today, horror or otherwise.”

-Anthony Servante, Author of East Los: A Noir Nightmare

“Some of the most strange and psychotic poems of a mind adrift. Reading them can only be described as pulling your brain inside out, then tying it in a bow like a pretzel and drop-kicking it into a gorge, a very deep gorge, where it will be washed by a stream of consciousness toward the outer limits and beyond.”

-Lori R. Lopez
author of An Ill Wind Blows and Chocolate Covered Eyes


Interior Artwork by Blood Soaked Graphics:





Vincenzo Bilof, The Horror Show, William Cook, Bizarro Pulp Press, Pat Douglas, Lori Lopez, Anthony Servante

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