Delta Green: Extraordinary Renditions now available

DG Extraordinary Renditions cover

My short story Le Pain Maudit is now available in an anthology of all new mythos fiction from Arc Dream Publishing.

These are 18 case histories ranging from the late 1940s to present day by some of the most popular writers in the horror and RPG field.

Here is the table of contents

  • “The Color of Dust” by Laurel Halbany.
  • “PAPERCLIP” by Kenneth Hite.
  • “A Spider With Barbed-Wire Legs” by Davide Mana.
  • “Le Pain Maudit” by Jeff C. Carter.
  • “Cracks in the Door” by Jason Mical.
  • “Ganzfeld Gate” by Cody Goodfellow.
  • “Utopia” by David Farnell.
  • “The Perplexing Demise of Stooge Wilson” by David J. Fielding.
  • “Dark” by Daniel Harms.
  • “Morning in America” by James Lowder.
  • “Boxes Inside Boxes” and “The Mirror Maze” by Dennis Detwiller.
  • “A Question of Memory” by Greg Stolze.
  • “Pluperfect” by Ray Winninger.
  • “Friendly Advice” by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan.
  • “Passing the Torch” by Adam Scott Glancy.
  • “The Lucky Ones” by John Scott Tynes.
  • “Syndemic” and an introduction by Shane Ivey.

I have been a fan of Delta Green since the U.S. military stormed the blighted town at the end of ‘Shadow Over Innsmouth’. The paradigm of military vs. monsters is thrilling because we think monsters aren’t real. When you delve deeper into the military and intelligence side, however, the ground does not get more stable. The secrets you learn do not make you feel safer. This is a world of paranoia and murder. This is the real world, where even now people with unlimited budgets are scrambling to invent the next existential threat before ‘the other side’ can.

My story follows from two disturbing chapters in recent history. The first was the revelation of the CIA’s Project MKULTRA, which attempted to develop mind control techniques that they tested on innocent people without their consent.

Mkultra-lsd-doc

The second was the strange tragedy known as ‘Le Pain Maudit’, the outbreak of mass hallucinations that ravaged a small French village in 1951. Some theorize that the local baker’s bread was contaminated by ergot fungus. There are clues, however, that suggest the CIA had dosed the town with LSD.

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Here is an excerpt from Le Pain Maudit:

Frank, Gerhard and John stood shoulder to shoulder, watching through the two-way mirror. Edward was negotiating with Monsieur Tatin over wine, cheese and bread. John filmed the proceedings with a purring film camera.

Frank idly scratched his pen on the metal clipboard balanced on his forearm while he observed the German. Gerhard marked his log each time Tatin took a bite or sip. He checked a stop watch and smiled.

“Any moment now.”

Frank pulled off his headphones and whispered.

“What did you dose him with?”

Shwarzlotos.”

“Black lotus?”

Ja, a potent hallucinogen. It enhances the truth-serum effects of LSD.”

A crash from the main room turned their heads.

Monsieur Tatin had dropped his wine glass and stumbled against the wall. Edward eased him into a chair.

“Relax, monsieur. It’s all right.”

Je suis désolé, I do not feel so well. I just….”

Monsieur Tatin twisted to stare into the firelight. His eyes had dilated into gaping black holes.

“How are you feeling, monsieur? What do you see?”

Clermond Farrand

The Frenchman licked his wine-stained lips and wavered.

“A black temple…with spires that reach the stars. It’s impossible. So vast. So ancient!”

Gerhard’s scratching pen fell silent. Frank looked over. The German had closed his eyes in an expression like prayer.

Tatin gripped the edge of the table and shook.

“I’m being pulled inside. I’m sinking! In the crypts, they dwell…fungal things…silently waiting. I’m frightened! They know I am there! They know!”

He spewed a stream of bile across the table and collapsed. Edward hurried over and checked his pulse.

            “Monsieur?”

Tatin looked around with blurry, bloodshot eyes. His pupils were returning to normal. He finally noticed Edward standing over him.

“What happened?”

“We drank too much, monsieur. Let me walk you home.”

John turned off the recording equipment. Frank pretended to finish his notes while watching Gerhard. The German gathered the remaining food and wine with great reverence, like a priest handling sacraments.

Frank stepped out of the bedroom and waved a pen.

“Was that a success or a failure, Herr Doktor?”

~

Follow this link to buy the book in a variety of formats

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Thank you for your patronage

My Patreon page is now live.

hell note

This is a simple way for you to pledge a small amount of money in exchange for original short stories, extra content and new projects like choose-your-own-adventure stories!

Please visit and pledge at https://www.patreon.com/jeffccarter.

Thank you for your support!

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Something is brewing, and about to begin…

mary-poppins

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May 29, 2015 · 7:23 pm

Nosferatunes – 13 Vampire Songs

The children of the night…what music they make!

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Here’s another 13 songs for your next Halloween party. This isn’t a definitive list, just a few hand-picked tunes that will enthrall a crowd with different…tastes.

This list starts off moody, like a newly risen, angst ridden revenant and grows stronger and stranger until it becomes a naughty vampire god. Pop your cape, sharpen your fangs, and dig up these tunes…

Marceline_go_with_me

1. Moon Over Bourbon Street

Sting

As a horror-starved kid I was thrilled to find a main stream song about a vampire.

2. After Dark

Tito & Tarantula, Dusk ‘Til Dawn Soundtrack

This entire album has a lot of great songs to set the mood for your party, especially if it’s ‘that kind of party’.

3. Dracula Moon

Joan Osborne

I love the honky tonk sounds in this one.

4. Closer

Kings of Leon

I’ll admit, this is a new one to me but I dig it.

5. Night of the Vampire

Roky Erickson

This is the least bizarre of Roky Erickson’s songs, but a good place to start getting weird.

6. Dracula’s Lament

Jason Segal, Forgetting Sarah Marshall Soundtrack

I chose the short version from the soundtrack because I like the mood and piano, but there are longer versions on youtube.

7. Blacula (Stalk Walk)

Gene Page, Blacula Soundtrack

This song is deadlier than Dracula.

8. Black Dracula

Killa Sha featuring Foul Monday

This song popped up randomly on a Wu-Tang station but it’s different enough to make the cut.

9. Dracula’s Wedding

Outkast

Wonderfully playful.

10. Oh Sookie

Snoop Dogg, True Blood Soundtrack

There’s often a song on these lists I refuse to apologize for, and this is that song.  The greatest song to come from True Blood since ‘Bad Thing’ and better than the last 3 seasons combined.

11. Dracula Perfect Selection – Beginning

I don’t even know what’s going on with this one.  Konami released a rap album? With music from Castlevania?

12. Soul Dracula

Hot Blood

This song should be played at every party, regardless of the holiday.

13. Fright Night

J. Geils Band

This video is pure, un-cut madness straight from the 80’s.

As a bonus, here is the intro to a great odd cartoon I used to love: Count Duckula

 

Don’t forget to check out previous lists of handpicked Halloween songs from other years here, here and here.  Do you know of a song that should have made the list?  Let me know in the comments.

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The Dark – August 2014 Issue 5

The Dark is a quarterly magazine of dark fantasy and science fiction.  The August 2014 issue features original short stories from Stephen Graham Jones, Octavia Cade, Emily B. Cataneo, and Darja Malcolm-Clarke.

The first thing that struck me about this issue was the stunning cover, Stygian Darkness by artist Timothy Lantz.

Stygian Darkness by Timothy Lantz The Dark issue 5

The image of a ferryman crossing a strange river to guide us into unknown territory was a perfect metaphor for this collection of stories.  I was pleased to find tales that did not flow straight down any well charted river of horror, fantasy or science fiction.  These short stories kept me guessing, with intriguing sights and surprises around every bend.

When Swords Had Names by Stephen Graham Jones continued the thrust of the cover art, taking the reader on a tour of the twilight edge between history and myth, civilization and nature.  This unpredictable story had its hooks in me from the first paragraph.

Tommy Flowers and the Glass Bells of Bletchley by Octavia Cade was another dizzying blend, injecting magical realism and emotion into the desperate scientific struggle of World War 2.

Not the Grand Duke’s Dancer by Emily B. Cataneo pirouettes through the industrial age and the dawn of spiritualism into a richly imagined and original fantasy.  The push and pull of a love that defies death provides a beautiful calm inside this whirlwind of tale.

A Fairy Tale Life by Darja Malcolm-Clarke brings the promise and peril of fairy tales into the near future.  Old wounds and new technology combine in surprising ways to force the main character to come to grips with his own story.

Co-editors Jack Fisher and Sean Wallace did a fine job curating this issue, and I look forward to seeing what unknown borders they will guide us through next time.

You can sign up for a four issue trial subscription, get this issue and find back issues for a wide variety of e-readers here.

Find them on Facebook here.

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Lovecraft in Ireland

My story ‘The Hound of K’n-yan’ will appear in A MYTHOS GRIMMLY, an anthology featuring mash ups of folklore and the H.P. Lovecraft mythos.

I have long been fascinated with Cúchulainn, the Irish hero from the Ulster Cycle. Cúchulainn was infamous for his ríastrad, a battle frenzy that would transform his body into a hideous fleshy mass that was invincible.  With that as my folk lore, I knew I had a tale ripe for the Mythos.

Cu Chulainn gets his first nickname by slaying the Hound.

Cu Chulainn gets his first nickname by slaying the Hound.

One of my favorite H.P. Lovecraft stories is ‘The Mound’, and as I researched Irish mythology I was stunned at how the two worlds overlapped. The original term for the faery, aos sí means ‘people of the mounds’!

A foundational book of Irish mythology is Lebor Gabála Érenn, ‘The Book of Invasions’. It describes the different waves of beings that settled Ireland, starting with the Titan-like Fomorians. They ruled until the Tuatha Dé Danann arrived in a dark cloud. They battled the Fomorians, intermarried, and eventually relocated in the bowels of the earth. Their new home was Ildathach, ‘the multi-colored place’; a perfect match for Lovecraft’s ‘blue-lit K’n-yan’.

mound

Of course, beneath K’n-yan there is red Yoth, and deeper still lay blackest N’kai. In the lightless cavern of N’kai the formless spawn of Tsathoggua dwell.   The elder races were known to conduct twisted biological experiments, grafting strange flesh onto their slaves.

Cúchulainn was no Disney character. He slew hundreds of men and women, friend and foe alike. He murdered his father-in-law and killed his son. He was literally a one man army, Rambo without the fine-tuned moral compass.

His nickname was siabartha, ‘the distorted one’. In the heat of battle he would hulk out by imploding and turning inside out. In this terrifying state, no edged weapon or spear point could harm him.

Total_recall_1990_funny_death

Was he really a champion of Ireland, or a killing machine sent by an elder race?

 

Check out the full story in A MYTHOS GRIMMLY from Wanderer’s Haven Press this December.  With 25 original works by Joseph S. Pulver, William Meikle, Peter Rawlik and yours truly.

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Deck the Halls with Boughs of Horror

My creepy Christmas story ‘With Their Eyes All Aglow’ was recently singled out in a review on Shocktotem, so I thought I’d share a little research that went into the tale.

O Little Town of Deathlehem, edited by Michael J. Evans and Harrison Graves

O Little Town of Deathlehem, edited by Michael J. Evans and Harrison Graves

Last Christmas time I heard a disturbing factoid reported on the radio: Each Christmas tree brings up to 25,000 bugs into your house.

Okay, tiny mites are icky, but it’s hard to beat spiders for pure terror. I looked at the lights shining on my tree and imagined a cluster of luminescent arachnids. Do glow-in-the-dark spiders even exist?

The glowing spider has only been spotted once, in the deepest jungle of Myanmar in 1923 by Barnum Brown, the curator for the American Museum of Natural History.

“Darkness came on swiftly and my pony began to stumble. Somewhere we had missed the trail…Presently, a few feet away, I saw a ball of light as large as a man’s thumb.

Tying the horse, I advanced as carefully as possible toward the object, which was surrounded by thorny bushes…I struck a match. There in full view was a spider, his large oval abdomen grayish with darker markings. Still he did not move, and as the match flame died out, his abdomen again glowed to full power, a completely oval light, similar in quality to that of the fireflies.

Remembering native tales of poisonous insects and spiders, I wrapped a handkerchief around one hand, parted the brush with the other, and when close enough, made a quick grab. Alas! The handkerchief caught on a stick before I could encircle him and my treasure scurried away. I followed as quickly as possible, but the light soon disappeared under stones, brush, or in some burrow, for I never saw it again.”

I had my spider and my setting. To make things more interesting, I made my glowing spiders more sociable.

Giant spider web forming in Texasbig web 2

Social spiders cooperate like ants or bees. Colonies can spin much larger webs and then swarm to take down prey as large as birds and bats.

(I was going to insert some photos of bats in webs, but I couldn’t find any that were not being feasted upon by giant spiders.  You’re welcome.)

My wife suggested the title for this story be, ‘Spiders get all up in yo’ bidness and then ruin Christmas.’ Yes, these spiders may ruin Christmas for a few unlucky people, but don’t let that stop you from checking out the anthology O Little Town of Deathlehem. You can buy the book at Amazon, and all profits from the anthology will benefit the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

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