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Gift The Bell Forging Cycle this Christmas!

This Christmas, Send ’em to the Territories

We’re now past the date where I can ship signed copies and guarantee their delivery by Christmas. (Well, for a reasonable price.) However, that doesn’t mean you still can’t gift my books to your friends or family. Now is the perfect time to send them to the strange and mysterious world of the Territories. I mean, who doesn’t love action, adventure, murder, cults, and weird monsters? Particularly during the holidays! Plus, most booksellers ship quickly and usually for free. Any of the following links will take you right to listings of my books:

If you’re like me and want to support your local book shop (which you should) just ask and see if they have my books in stock. If they don’t they can usually order them in for you in a few days. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

And… while they’re not as much fun to gift, you can always give digital copies. I have DRM-free eBooks available through my store. Plus you can buy ebook versions from any of the major platforms: Kindle, iBooks, Kobo, Nook, and Google Play. (The current trilogy is available for under $15 for all three books.)

Finally, make sure you check out my Lovecraft-inspired gift guide for other Lovecraftian gift ideas, it’s full of books, games, music, and lots more fun stuff.

Friday Link Pack 12/11/2015

Friday Link Pack 12/11/15

It’s Friday! That means it’s time for the Friday Link Pack, my weekly post covering topics such as writing, art, current events, and random weirdness. Some of these links I mentioned on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! If you missed the post, please be aware, the Friday Link Pack is being sunsetted at the end of this year.

All right, business done, let’s get to it.


WRITING:

The Importance Of Jumping The Shark As Early As Possible
Charlie Jane Anders, the author of the forthcoming All the Birds in the Sky, discusses how jumping the shark as early as possible will help establish the weirdness in your worlds without having to alienate your audience from stranger things to come.

Dealing With The Protagonist Who Won’t Talk to You And The Character Who Refuses To Be Cut
We have all been there, we’re ready to write, but we’re struggling with a particular character. Something about them gnaws at us, making them tough to write. What do you do? In this post, Lauren Sapala offers advice about dealing with problem characters head on and how you can overcome those blocks.

‘Based On A True Story’: The Fine Line Between Fact And Fiction
What happens when the lines between fiction and nonfiction begin to blur? Geoff Dyer and others explore this idea in this fantastic piece for the Guardian.

Our (Bare) Shelves, Our Selves
While the accessibility of streaming media is incredibly handy, is there a case for having shelf after shelf of books for children to peruse? Teddy Wayne makes the case in this article for the New York Times.


ART:

Get Ready To Appreciate The Fantasy Art of Frank Frazetta on a Whole New Level! [NSFW]
In the sixties and seventies, it was Frazetta who defined the look of Conan the Barbarian and much of the swords and sorcery era. Recently a cache of early Frazetta’s sketches, drawings, and watercolor paintings went up for auction, and we can appreciate his skill on a whole new level. [Thanks to Steve for sharing this with me.]

An Octopus Typewriter by Courtney Brown
For her piece for this years California Sculpture SLAM, Oakland artist Courtney Brown brought out Self Organization a 1938 Underwood typewriter that has seemingly come alive. Make sure to check out the creation process on Brown’s site as well.

Perfect Faces And Bodies Evanescing Into Rough Pastel Brushstrokes
Painter Meredith Marsone’s juxtaposition of the delicate and beautiful with the chaotic and raw create pieces that are both intimate and yet melancholy. Beautiful work.


RANDOM:

The 2015 Lovecraft-Inspired Gift Guide
Just like last year, I put together a handy little gift guide for the Lovecraft fan in your life. I cover everything from books to music to apparel and games. Lots of neat stuff.

Yule Log 2.015
The tradition of the Yule Log is a strange one, but sitting around a comfy fire and telling stories is something I can get behind. Yule Log 2.015 is a collection of short films created by various artists that hope to bring the Yule Log tradition into the digital age. It’s fun stuff. What’s your favorite?

Where’s Me a Dog? Here’s You a Dog: the South’s Most Unusual Regionalism
Language is a fluid thing it shifts and changes Across countries, within states, even among cities. Atlas Obscura delves into the strange world of grammatical variations throughout America centered around one strange turn of phrase.

Ghost Streets Of Los Angeles
BLDBLOG takes a look at streets of Los Angeles that have long since disappeared but who’s scars have remained. A cool look on the evolution of a modern city.


WEIRD WIKIPEDIA:

Aokigahara
“Aokigahara, also known as the Suicide Forest or Sea of Trees, is a 35-square-kilometre (14 sq mi) forest that lies at the northwest base of Mount Fuji in Japan. The forest contains a number of rocky, icy caverns, a few of which are popular tourist destinations. Aokigahara forest is dense, shutting out all but the natural sounds of the forest itself.

The forest has a historic association with demons in Japanese mythology, and it is a notoriously common suicide site (in which 57 took place in 2010). For this reason, a sign at the head of the main trail urges suicidal visitors to think of their families and contact a suicide prevention association.”


H.P. LOVECRAFT STORY OF THE WEEK:

The Man of Stone
A trip to visit strange lifelike statuary deep in the Catskill Mountains goes awry in this story collaboration with Hazel Heald.


GIF OF THE WEEK:World's Best Eagle.

The 2015 Lovecraftian-Inspired Gift Guide

The 2015 Lovecraft-Inspired Gift Guide

Last year I assembled a fun little list of Lovecraftian gift ideas for the holidays. It ended up being popular so I figured since the holiday season is upon us yet again I’d do it one more time! As before, if you’re a fan of the Cthulhu Mythos or have someone on your list who is, I figured it’d be helpful to put together a little gift guide linking to some of my favorite Lovecraftian merchandise from across the web.

Like before, I’ve organized the list by category and ordered them by price making it easy to browse. Have a favorite New Weird or mythos-themed item I left off? Leave a comment and let us know!


❅ Quick Jumps ❅

BooksMusicApparelGamesMiskatonic


[About the Art:] This year’s gift guide’s Featured Image comes from the artist Mark Helwig. Check out the full-color version on Deviant Art.


❅ BOOKS

Chapelwood by Cherie PriestChapelwood by Cherie Priest
$11.98 + Free Shipping (Paperback) $9.99 (eBook)
Last year I featured Maplecroft, the first in Cherie Priests New Mythos series, The Borden Dispatches. I’m pleased to say that book two is even better than the first. Borden finds herself assisting an old friend in the deep south investigating strange disappearances and an even stranger church.


Southern Gods by John Hornor Jacobs Southern Gods by John Hornor Jacobs
$13.30 + Free Shipping (Paperback) $9.99 (eBook)
Part southern gothic and part Lovecraftian, John Hornor Jacobs debut novel from 2011 follows the story of muscle-for-hire Bull Ingram as he’s tasked with following the trail of the musician Ramblin’ John Hastur, who has been rumored to have sold his soul to the devil.


Red Litten WorldRed Litten World by K. M. Alexander
$15.00 + Free Shipping (Paperback) $4.61 (eBook)
In the third installment of my Bell Forging Cycle, Caravan Master cum Guardian Waldo Bell returns to the multileveled megalopolis of Lovat and finds himself thrust into a conflict that will lead him to the cities blood-soaked spires.


Cthulhu Fhtagn!Cthulhu Fhtagn! Anthology
$19.99 + Free Shipping (Paperback) $9.99 (eBook)
A fantastic anthology assembled by Ross Lockheart that happens to be one of the best Lovecraft-inspired collections to date. There’s a lot to love here. Cosmic horror tales from names like W. H. Pugmire, Laird Barron, Cameron Pierce, Wendy N. Wagner, Ann K. Schwader, and loads more.


The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft edited by Les Klinger
$27.78 + Free Shipping (Hardcover) $22.99 (eBook)
I’m keeping this on here from last year. This gorgeous coffee table book annotated by Les Klinger is now the definitive collection of Lovecraft’s best work. If you have a fan on your list or wanted to spend a little bit of time with Lovecraft’s works, this is the book to get.


Not finding a book you like? Check out last year’s list →


❆ MUSIC

 Azathoth by Cryo Chamber CollaborationAzathoth by Cryo Chamber Collaboration
$9.00 (Digital Download) $20.00 + Shipping (CD)
Once again the dark-ambient label Cryo Chamber has created another collaboration named after one of Lovecraft’s monsters. This set is themed around the Azathoth, the outer god, and the album has a tone of ancient otherworldliness drenched with vast echoes, terrifyingly wonderful.


The Curious Sea Shanties of Innsmouth, Mass.The Curious Sea Shanties of Innsmouth, Mass.
$15.00 (Digital Download or CD) + Shipping (CD)
What do the sailors of Innsmouth, Massachesues sing while out on their boats? You’d be surprised. In this collection, the Miskatonic Connolly Memorial Men’s Chorus explores the Innsmouth variants of classic shanties. The tunes might be familiar but the lyrics… the lyrics are very different.


Dark Adventure Radio TheaterDark Adventure Radio Theater
$12.00 (Single Downloads) – $200 (Full Collections) + Shipping
Dramatizations of H. P. Lovecraft’s words done radio-theater style. The quality is fantastic, and I highly encourage getting the CDs that include the props as well. Makes it all the more fun to follow along with the story.


Not finding the right music? Check out last year’s list →


❅ APPAREL

Bell Caravan Patch Now AvailableBell Caravans Patch
$5.00 + Shipping (Order by Dec. 11th for Christmas Delivery.)
This beautiful 3″ patch, designed by illustrator Sean Cumiskey, is the perfect way of declaring your loyalty to your beloved caravan master. Put it on your backpack, a tote, or display it on the sleeve of your jacket, just make sure the world knows who you roll with.


Cthulhu BandanaCthulhu Bandanna
$10.00 + Shipping
Bandanas are handy, but why not have one that is slightly different from the rest. Featuring an original border design that incorporates Cthulhu, Nightgaunts, The Hounds of Tindalos, and more! Available in black, green, red, teal, and hot pink.


Cthulhu Varsity JacketCthulhu Varsity Jacket
$90.00 + Shipping
When a tee shirt just isn’t enough and you need to take your love of the mythos to the next level. Features a wool body and leather sleeves with an embroidered HP on the chest and a large Cthulhu on the back.


Looking for something else? Check out last year’s selection →


❆ GAMES

The Last Door: Season 2 Collector EditionThe Last Door: Season 2 – Collector’s Edition
$7.99 (Digital Download) FREE (In-Browser)
I loved Season 1 of this old school adventure game and Season 2 was just as gripping. Heavily influenced by turn-of-the-century horror and the writing of H.P. Lovecraft, The Last Door: Season 2 places you at the center of a mysterious conspiracy of darkness and terror.


Sunless SeaThe Sunless Sea
$18.99 (Digital Download)
After playing and loving Failbetter Games’ browser game Fallen London, I immediately ran out and picked this up from Steam. One of the few games I have spent any time with this year. The tone and music are wonderful, the locations and exploration superb. What will you find the in vast oceans of the Unterzee?


Eldritch HorrorEldritch Horror
$43.64 + Free Shipping
In this cooperative board game (similar to Pandemic), you and your fellow investigators travel the globe in an attempt to thwart the plans of Lovecraft’s Great Old Ones while trying to stay sane in the process.


None of these games sounding interesting? Here’s last year’s list →


❅ MISKATONIC UNIVERSITY

Miskatonic University StickerMiskatonic University Sticker
$3.50 + Shipping
With these handy stickers you can make anything in your home an official product of the Miskatonic University. Slap ’em on a notebook or a mug or a water bottle. It’s a handy (and cheap) was to show your pride in your school.


Miskatonic University Lapel PinMiskatonic University Alumni lapel pin
$10.00 + Shipping
An elegant little lapel pin features a purple logo of Miskatonic University. A nice subtle way to confuse your coworkers as well as show your alumni allegiance to the Ivy League school that never was. Ex Ignorantia Ad Sapientiam; Ex Luce Ad Tenebras.


http://store.cthulhulives.org/collections/apparel/products/miskatonic-antarctic-expedition-sweatshirtMiskatonic Antarctic Expedition Sweatshirt
$55.00 + Shipping
The “official” gear from Professor Lake’s ill-fated 1931 Miskatonic University Antarctic Expedition. Features the logo of the MU Biology Dept. on the front and the Expedition logo on back. Comes in a combo ($72 + Shipping) with the sweatshirt, a radio play, and a personalized letter from Professor Dyer.


No Miskatonic related items you wanted? Here was last year’s list →


❅ Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays! ❅
Gift The Bell Forging Cycle this Christmas!

Gifting The Bell Forging Cycle this Christmas

Christmas is almost upon us. (Less than 22 days now.) If you are planning to gift any of my books from The Bell Forging Cycle there are a few things you need to know to get the books in time for unwrapping:

  • If you want signed copies before Christmas and you live in the US. You’ll need to order from my store no later than December 11th. As of today, I still have plenty of copies that are ready for your friends or family. Shipping takes about a week. You can always order afterwards, but I can’t promise they’ll arrive before the 25th.
  • My cutoff for International orders is also December 11th as well. That includes Canada and Mexico. As with US orders, you are welcome to order afterwards, but I can’t promise they’ll arrive before the 25th.
  • Finally, if your gifty is an ebook reader like me. You don’t have to worry about any shipping at all. Most ebook sites allow you to send books instantly! Handy.

I hope that clarifies things for those who have been asking. Again, a big thank you to those who want to help spread Waldo’s story in the world of the Territories this holiday season. It means a lot, and I appreciate it. Knowing there are people out there who want to share my stories make writing them worthwhile. (Also, please go leave an honest review.)

Old Broken Road

It’s Not Too Late!

The 25th is just around the corner. While I won’t be able to get a signed paperback of The Stars Were Right or my newest novel Old Broken Road to you before Christmas, there’s still plenty of ways to give the gift of adventure!

I sell digital DRM-free copies on my store, and both books are available from any major eBook retailers as well. (Amazon, Apple’s iBooks, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Kobo, GooglePlay) Your gift will be delivered in minutes and your friend or family member can start reading in moments. Likewise, if you order a paperback from me I include a digital DRM-Free version of the book along with your purchase. That way you can own both a physical copy and a digital version of the book!

I try to make it as easy as possible to get my books so there’s a lot of different ways to buy. Choose whatever works best for you! This holiday consider sending your friend or family or stumbling through the streets of Lovat with Wal in The Stars Were Right or venturing with him down the mysterious Old Broken Road.

Friday Link Pack 12/13/13

The First Track of Footprints, 1960 Chao Mei (晁楣), b. 1931, Heze, Shandong
The First Track of Footprints,1960 — Chao Mei (晁楣)

It’s time to share a few interesting links I have found throughout the week. Some of these I mention on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! Have any suggestions, let me know.

Writing:

SIGNED copies of The Stars Were Right are now available!
Check it out at my new store: store.kmalexander.com – also there is still have time to enter the Goodread’s Book Giveaway and win a copy! It’s also available on Amazon as well… while it will arrive faster (and be slightly cheaper) it won’t be signed.

Dr. Seuss’ lesser know The Seven Lady Godivas
This look at an early Seuss book follows the story of seven nudist sisters who swore to postpone their marriage when their father died from being thrown off a horse.

Ten More Gifts for Writers (2013 Edition)
Chuck Wendig suggests ten items to get for the writer on your gift list. There is some good stuff on here. I have more than half the stuff on this list and I use ’em all daily.

Art:

Kari-Lise Alexander featured on Google’s Open Gallery
This week Google launched their Open Gallery, and my wife Kari-Lise was one of the artists featured for the launch. The site is cool allowing you to flip around and zoom up really really close. It’s the next best thing to actually being in front of an original.

The Revolving Moon: 25 Prints from China
50 Watts posts a collection of 25 prints collected between 1950 and 2006. Quite beautiful work. What’s your favorite?

E21 Washington Topo
Designer Erik Hedberg‘s abstract take on the topography of the state of Washington. It’s a limited run and only 30 are available. Make sure you check out the making of video.

Random:

Do “Digital Natives” Exist?
PBS Idea Channel explores the concept of “Digital Natives” and “Digital Immigrants“.

There is a tunnel-boring machine currently stuck below Seattle
Just sayin’.

Puddles—the sad clown with the golden voice—covers “Another Tear Falls”
…and, like his cover of Lorde’s “Royals“, it’s fantastic.

Lovecraft Story of the Week:

The Terrible Old Man
“He is, in truth, a very strange person, believed to have been a captain of East India clipper ships in his day; so old that no one can remember when he was young, and so taciturn that few know his real name.”

Farewell Gif(s) of the Week:

'Fake' sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela memorial provokes anger

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