For Family, Friends, and Visions Past and Future

 

 

My heroes have always been smokers: William Faulkner, Raymond Chandler, my grandfather Charlie, my father Paul Anders Anderson, and my uncle Bill. All are dead now. They died a long time ago.

Jack Ketchum and Harlan Ellison, two of the wonderful writer friends I’ve always counted on to join me in the “smoking room” at sf and fantasy cons, died recently. In the “good” old days, of course, one was allowed to smoke inside a room at the con suite and throughout areas of the convention hotel, including sleeping rooms. Those days are gone.

These days, fortunately for non-smokers, those of us with dangerous visions must venture away from the convention itself to feed what is considered our “filthy” and dangerous habits in isolation. Hell, I can remember when reading sf and fantasy was a filthy and dangerous habit, and writing it was the most dangerous habit of all, attested to by the fact that many of us breathed smoke like dragons.

Back in 1966, I wrote an sf tale titled “The Last Wooden Indian” that related the coming-of-age story of a young Native American’s vision quest for the healing herb of his ancestors at a time in the future when “the only good indian is a dead indian” and the herb of the peace pipe is outlawed under penalty of death. I expanded that story into my novel Sidewinder, which saw print under my Dale Anders pseudonym.

Like “The Dead Bard Said”, a story Dale Anders penned in the 60s about a future when books exist only in digital format which can be globally modified for political correctness, the future is now reality.

I smoke this bowl of pipe tobacco in memory of William Faulkner, Raymond Chandler, and Harlan Ellison.

 

 

 

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Pseudo-scientific study of psycho-sexual deviants

I recently came across, buried in the archives of the CIA’s behavioral research institute, mention of this study which was published in an obscure scientific journal in 1962 . The details in the body of the study have been redacted, but the abstract remained intact.

 

Risk-Taking and thrill-addiction among sexual-social deviants in an urban political environment 1962: A pseudo-scientific psycho-sexual study.

PD Anderson, BS, MA, MS ED, PHD, BCH, CI

Former Fellow Miskatonic University, Arkham, MA

Inmate and Director of Innsmouth Sanitarium for the Criminally Insane

Abstract: Because no significant similarities between risk-taking behaviors of psycho-sexual social deviants and national political figures appeared in previous studies funded by grants from the National Institutes for Covert Political Activities (CPA), follow-up studies to replicate results were evidently neither funded nor conducted. Those previous studies now appear flawed in light of recent experiments at Innsmouth Sanitarium. Sixteen new experiments were undertaken to determine the probability of psycho-sexual predators ascending to prominence in national politics. Twelve male subjects, inmates of Innsmouth Sanitarium, volunteered to become test political candidates. Fictitious backgrounds were created for each subject. Neurolinguistic programming protocols were utilized to mount successful campaigns for House and Senate seats. Those subjects let lose to act on their own without inhibition beat the pants off their opponents. The four control subjects, all normal citizens selected at random, failed to attain political prominence. Preliminary findings indicate that the ideal political candidate is a risk-taking, thrill-seeking, sexual deviant. Additional experiments are currently underway to replicate the results.

 

Other experiments, allegedly utilizing serial killers as assassins, were proposed. I found no mention of those studies actually being funded or conducted.

New Short Stories

Although I’m best known today for writing series suspense thrillers such as my Instruments of Death (Claw Hammer, Pickaxe, Icepick, Meat Cleaver) e-book series from Crossroad Press and my Winds novels from Eldritch Press and 2AM Publications (Abandoned, Darkness, Light, Winds, Time), I still write stand-alone novels (Deviants, forthcoming from Damnation Books) and occasional science fiction or horror short stories for magazines and anthologies. “After the Fall” appeared this week in the Fall 2015 issue of The Horror Zine Magazine (http://www.amazon.com/Horror-Zine-Magazine-Fall-2015/dp/0692482067/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8). “Dolls” is scheduled to appear in Weirdbook 31. And “Who Knows What Evil Dwells” appeared today in Pulp Adventures 18 (http://www.amazon.com/Pulp-Adventures-18-Model-Corpse/dp/151510110X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1438453189&sr=1-1&keywords=pulp+adventures+18).

I love reading and writing short fiction. I work on short stories concurrently with novels. Like most writers, I have thousands of story ideas in various stages of development. Novels, of course, are more lucrative than short stories. I make my living by writing novels, but I gain new readers from placing short stories in magazines and anthologies. Short stories introduce readers to my writing, and many of those readers go on to buy copies of my novels. Short stories, not unlike blog posts, are an excellent way to showcase a variety of my writing styles. I prefer to use multiple viewpoints in novels, but I normally limit short stories to a single viewpoint character. I hate first-person narratives in novels, but first-person is perfect for blogs and many short stories. Yes, Elizabeth. I do sometimes write in first person. I have even written some—but not many—first-person novels. There is a time and place for everything.

What I learned at this year’s Nebula Awards

What I learned from attending the 2015 Nebula Awards

I just returned from the Nebulas. Wonderful to see so many of my old friends at the Awards ceremonies and receptions. I had to take second looks to recognize some of those old friends because they have literally become old (not just older, but real-world old) and now have grey or white hair and, in some cases, extra pounds around the middle or walk with the help of a cane or walker. It’s the ancient story of Cane and Able made flesh: we seniors need canes in order to be able to walk. Some of my old friends recognized me, and some didn’t. Esther Friesner bumped into me in the SFWA hospitality suite and said, “I know you. Where do I know you from?”

After a voluntary absence from major science fiction and fantasy publications for more than twenty-five years (although I did remain an active SFWA member and attended the 2005 Nebulas), none of the younger puppies (no relation to the sad or rabid puppies) recognized my face, my name, or my writing. I wasn’t really surprised because something similar happened when I attended the Stokers in Atlanta and Odyssey Con and Wiscon in Madison, so I prepared in advance to make new friends by handing out printed business cards and free pens.

Once or twice I even actively engaged in lively conversations with new writers. I’m the shy guy who prefers to sit in the shadows and listen to conversations and observe human (and inhuman) interactions. Lively conversations are not my forte, except when penning written dialogue. I was born with a physical speech defect and I get tongue-tied easily. Few people know that about me. I had corrective surgery as an infant, and I endured remedial speech classes at Rolling Green Elementary School from second through sixth grades. My speech handicap is one of the reasons for my extraordinary shyness.

I learned, at a very early age, to write rather than speak. My comfort zone is sitting behind a typewriter keyboard (now a computer keyboard) to communicate. When I get tongue-tied or stutter, I can easily edit it out of written words.

I can, of course, edit real-world spoken conversations. I acquired the necessary skill sets while completing research for my master’s thesis and doctoral dissertations in Ed Psych. I usually refrain from toying with people’s memories because I don’t think it’s ethical without informed consent. That’s the type of thing villains in my novels do.

Some of you know I am an accomplished hypnotist and NLP practitioner. I was Board Certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists and I taught hypnotism to students in my own school at the enTrance Center and in college-level classes. I helped people recall past-life memories and reframe memories from their current lives. It is ethical to use my skills for therapeutic purposes. I have mixed feelings about using them in sales and marketing, although I am aware they can be highly effective.

Some of the writers I encountered at the Nebulas do use, whether consciously or subconsciously, the same skills for marketing themselves and their fiction. Blake Hausladen is an expert at marketing his books. Richard Thomas, besides being a fine writer, is personable and friendly and promotes other writers, thereby promoting himself in the process. Many of the up-and-coming writers are primarily auditory, and they have excellent story-telling skills because they can translate everything they hear directly into words. Since I am primarily auditory-digital, I translate into symbols before I can translate into spoken words or words on paper. I often get locked into left-brain activity for ninety to one-hundred and thirty minutes where I am lost in thought and can’t respond automatically. I know how to overcome that limitation, but I must consciously choose to do so. It takes extra effort on my part. I’m not always willing to expend the extra effort.

But I did learn a lot from meeting and interacting with people at the Nebulas this year. I made new friends and renewed old acquaintances. I learned that name recognition and awards are even more important than most people believe.

I also learned that writers are readers and they buy books. But writers, like fans, buy books only from names they know. There are far too many books available to waste time and money on books that aren’t guaranteed good reads.

The value of awards—whether Nebulas, Stokers, Edgars, or Hugos—is they have been previously vetted by a large number of readers. Award winners are considered worth reading and knowing. I’m grateful I was able to rekindle (no pun intended, Amazon) relationships with former Nebula winners and get to know future award-winners. Thank you SFWA for the wonderful memories. It was worth every minute spent away from my keyboard.

 

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