Eavesdrop on an explosive dinner with Sunny Moraine in Episode 33 of Eating the Fantastic

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

If everything had gone according to plan, you would have heard an episode of Eating the Fantastic recorded at Convivial, a restaurant in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, D.C., last February with guest Tom Doyle in Episode 4. But reservations were hard to come by, because the spot was #5 on Tom Sietsema’s list of the Top 10 restaurants in The Washington Post’s 2016 Fall Dining Guide and #9 on Eater’s Winter 2017 list of The 38 Essential D.C. Restaurants.

One year later, though, I had better luck, and so was joined there by Sunny Moraine, who has published short fiction in Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Apex, Uncanny, Lightspeed, and other magazines, as well as many novels, and was dubbed in Locus Online to be the most promising author of 2013.

We discussed the best writing advice they’ve heard, how being named the most promising author of 2013 messed with their mind, their favorite Ray Bradbury story (which is one of their all-time favorite stories period), why they write Walking Dead fan fiction, the contradictions of writing a breakout book, how they decided their trilogies were meant to be trilogies, and more. (They refused, however, to tell me for whom the bell actually tolls or why birds suddenly appear every time you’re near.) Plus—I reveal how Tim Burton prevented me from eating a perfect sticky toffee pudding!

Here’s how you can get convivial with us—Collapse )


A cover reveal as I climb Adam’s Ladder

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

Michael Bailey just announced the names of two more contributors to Adam’s Ladder, an anthology he’s co-editing with Darren Speegle for Dark Regions Press—and one of those two names is mine!

Michael’s a fan of the slow reveal, and so plans to spill two new names each week until the full table of contents has been released. As you can see from the latest iteration of the cover, my co-conspirators so far include Damien Angelica Walters, John Langan, Roberta Lannes, Tim Lebbon, Erinn L. Kemper, Laird Barron, and Brian Evenson. I am honored to be among them … as well as those still to come. Keep checking Michael’s Facebook page for future updates.

The title of my 6,425-word short story, as you might have already figured out by matching up the list on the front cover with the one on the back, is “Pity This Busy Monster Not.”

Adam’s Ladder will be published later this year.


Eating the Fantastic Episode 31: Join Adam-Troy Castro and me for pizza at the mall in a 1995 World

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

Twenty-two years ago this very weekend, I was in Atlanta attending the 1995 World Horror Convention, where—without realizing it—I recorded what would eventually become Episode 31 of Eating the Fantastic.

Who knew?

You can thank Dave Slusher for that.

In 1995, Dave was the host of a national radio talk show of the fantastic titled Reality Break, which launched in 1992 on WREK 91.1 FM in Atlanta. Dave chronicled the World Horror Convention that year, stealing Adam and me away from the con venue—the Sheraton Colony Square Hotel—to the food court of the Colony Square Mall next door. And since food was involved—especially Adam’s pizza, about which we seemed to joke a lot—it seemed especially serendipitous to revisit that day in this episode of Eating the Fantastic.

Back in 1995, I was a couple of years into editing Science Fiction Age magazine, and my 13 years at the SyFy Channel—as well as this podcast—were still far in the future. And as for Adam, though he had published his first short story collection, plus the first story in the first issue of Science Fiction Age, his Andrea Cort novels, his Gustav Gloom series, and his 100 more short stories were still to come.

Note that this is not a photo of Adam and me (along with Nancy Holder and Connie Hirsch) at that year’s World Horror Con. However, as it is a photo of us from a World Horror Con three years earlier, we’ll let it stand. I don’t think either of us changed that much from 1992 to 1995.

So prepare to time travel back to a 1995 mall food court lunch as I talk about my first job at Marvel Comics, how I broke into writing for Tales from the Darkside, and the beginnings of Science Fiction Age magazine, while Adam-Troy Castro reveals how he created the first story in the first issue of that magazine, as well as how a cab ride he feared he wouldn’t survive turned into one of his most memorable works of fiction.

Here’s how you can join us at the mall—Collapse )


One day in the Marvel Comics Bullpen …

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

While rummaging through the detritus of my Marvel Comics years in search of something other than what I’m about to share, I found evidence of a frequent Bullpen pastime—the caption contest.

Somebody would tape a photo to the wall, and everybody else would attempt to write something funny about it. That this was indeed something done frequently can be seen by the fact that whoever filched the photo from me numbered this particular contest 12,439,874,869,710.

So take a look below if you want a small taste of what it was like to work in the Marvel Comics Bullpen of the mid-’70s.

Some of the jokes will only be funny if you recognize the woman with whom I’m posed.

Do you?

I won’t give it away so that those don’t immediately know who she is have a chance to guess based on the captions themselves, but here’s one hint—I met her at a Halloween party run by the National Cartoonist Society, to which I was invited by Bill Kresse.

As you should all have figured out by now, it’s Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch of the West!

And I was very happy to have been her Munchkin that night.


It’s time for Italian in Greenwich Village with Richard Bowes in Episode 30 of Eating the Fant

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

The final meal of my NYC trip—following Ukrainian with Ellen Datlow, BBQ with Craig Engler, and deli with Barry Malzberg—took place on MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village at Café Reggio, which opened in 1927, and was apparently the first cafe in the U.S. to serve cappuccino. It’s also famous for its on-screen appearances, so you’d recognize the place if you’ve ever seen such films as The Godfather Part II, Shaft, and Serpico.

The venue was suggested by this episode’s guest, who happens to be a long-time resident of Greenwich Village—science fiction and fantasy writer Richard Bowes, who’s a two-time winner of the World Fantasy Award, and who has also won the International Horror Guild Award as well as the Lambda Award. That photo of him below is not from Café Reggio, however, but rather from the nearby New York Frost Factory, where we went in search of something sweet after the recording.

We discussed his early career as a designer of board games for clients like National Lampoon, why “going to conventions sober is beyond me,” the political transformation of Li’l Abner creator Al Capp, why everyone during the old folk scene days loathed Bob Dylan, what attracts him about writing mosaic novels, and more.

But before giving this episode a listen, remember—if the two-week wait between last episode and this one seemed a little too long for you, you can help me get to the point where I can increase the show’s usual frequency by making a small recurring monthly donation over at Patreon. (Or, if you’d prefer, making a one-time donation via I won’t be able to pick up the pace on my own, not with the travel, bandwidth, and meal costs associated with the show, so I’d appreciate your support as I attempt to capture all the amazing creators out there.

And now—here’s how you can dive into pugliese with Richard Bowes—Collapse )


NOW ON SALE: Liars, Fakers, and the Dead Who Eat Them

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

My mini-collection Liars, Fakers, and the Dead Who Eat Them won’t have its official launch party until next month’s StokerCon—but you can order a copy today.

That’s right! Head on over to Amazon, and in just a few days, you’ll be able to read my two zombie novelettes—”Only Humans Can Lie” and “Faking It Until Forever Comes”—as well as ooh and aah over the many awesome interior illustrations by artist Daniele Serra.

You’ll also get to read a glowing introduction from Brian Keene, in which he has many embarrassingly complimentary things to say about me, including that—

Had it not been for Scott Edelman and the other comic book storytellers of that time, I would have never wanted to become a writer, I would have never persisted until I actually became a writer, and I would certainly have never written The Rising, which means that zombie literature might not have enjoyed this new heyday.

Liars, Fakers, and the Dead Who Eat Them is a 154-page, 8″ x 5″ trade paperback, and costs a mere $8.95. I hope you’ll shamble over to Amazon and take a bite!


Look who’s on the final ballot for the 2016 Bram Stoker Awards!

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

A few minutes ago, the Horror Writers Association revealed the final ballot for the 2016 Bram Stoker Awards. And while I’m happy for all the nominees, I’m especially happy about one particular nominee—me!

That’s right—my story “That Perilous Stuff” is one of the final five in the category of Superior Achievement in Long Fiction.

Superior Achievement in Long Fiction

Cushing, Nicole – The Sadist’s Bible (01Publishing)
Edelman, Scott – That Perilous Stuff (Chiral Mad 3) (Written Backwards)
LaValle, Victor – The Ballad of Black Tom (
Malerman, Josh – The Jupiter Drop (You, Human) (Dark Regions Press)
Waggoner, Tim – The Winter Box (DarkFuse)

If you’d like to hear me read some of the opening to that story, check out this video recorded at the 2015 World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs.

One reason I’m so thrilled about this nomination is that I’m currently tied—per this screen grab from Locus—with three other writers for the most Stoker nominations without a win. And since none of those three have made the final ballot this year, even if I lose, I’ll still be a winner—for I’d stand alone as the only writer to achieve a record of 7-0.

I’d be the Susan Lucci of the HWA!

We’ll all find out what happens this April at StokerCon. I hope to see you there!


Check out the cover to my new novelette collection launching at StokerCon in April

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

Liars, Fakers, and the Dead Who Eat Them, containing two zombie novelettes—”Only Humans Can Lie” and “Faking It Until Forever Comes”—will officially launch from Written Backwards at StokerCon the last week of April.

The book, which I’m told will be available for preorder within a few weeks, is an 8″x 5″ trade paperback priced at only $8.95, with a cover and many interior illustrations by Daniele Serra, plus an introduction by Brian Keene.

Here’s the beautiful, near-final cover, missing only the UPC code and price.

To find out what the two novelettes are about, read the back cover blurb.

You’ll want a copy, I’m sure.

Maybe even two.


Now you, too, can see me mangle a Johnny Cash classic

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

In late 2015, a friend I’d made at the Strathmore Ukefest formed The Woods Ukulele Club here in West Virginia, and recently she decided we were up to entertaining at senior centers, independent living facilities, and nursing homes.

Which meant that earlier today In Martinsburg, as part of our hour-long set, I led the group in the Johnny Cash classic “One Piece at a Time,” which the assembled seniors seemed to enjoy. And even though I don’t think I was always singing in quite the right key, I figured I’d share it with you.

Because enthusiasm trumps talent, right?

Unfortunately, due to the angle of the camcorder, less than half the group is visible. Next time, I’ll aim to go wide, so I can inflict all of us on you!


Nosh on deli with Barry N. Malzberg in Episode 29 of Eating the Fantastic

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

My trip to Manhattan to record episodes of Eating the Fantastic started off with Ellen Datlow and a Ukrainian lunch, followed by Craig Engler and a BBQ dinner. And now, at the request of this episode’s guest, it’s time for deli at Ben’s New York Kosher Delicatessen.

My guest loves Ben’s more than any other NYC deli, and who am I to turn down Barry N. Malzberg, who among other things, was winner of the first John W. Campbell Award for his novel Beyond Apollo, and both a Hugo and Nebula Award finalist for stories I published when I was the editor of Science Fiction Age magazine?

One unusual aspect to this episode is that it features as mere onlooker a writer deserving of his own episode someday—Paul Di Filippo, who felt compelled to come along and witness this recording. After all, the first of his more than 100 published stories was a Malzberg homage!

Barry and I discussed why being able to sell his first drafts was so important at the beginning of his writing career, how his debut short story collection came to be published under the pseudonym K. M. O’Donnell, what it was like to edit both Amazing and Fantastic magazines during the late ’60s, the identity of his greatest discovery during his years at the Scott Meredith Literary Agency, what’s up with the long-promised movie version of Beyond Apollo, how Harry Harrison could have (but didn’t) shut down the filming of Soylent Green, and more.

Here’s how you can nosh with us—Collapse )