Emz Newz

The REAL Women Writers of Horror #REALWomenWriters

Welcome back to the blog series #REALWomenWriters to explore #REALWomenWriters who toil in the day-to-day, soul-crushing, confidence-demolishing, existence that is the life of a REAL Woman Writer. We hope you enjoy this inside look and if you are a REAL Woman Writer, email us to share your story.

Name: Stephanie Ellis
Genres: Horror, Dark Fiction, Poetry

Favorite story you’ve written and why. Favourites change over time as you develop. At present it is The Way of the Mother, a folk horror story (in Nosetouch Press, Fiends in the Furrows anthology) which finally allowed me to join the HWA. A few years back I wrote a story called The Dance (published in Horror in Bloom) which, because I loved the characters in it so much, I turned into a novel, The Five Turns of the Wheel, now currently seeking representation. And again, because I couldn’t leave that fictional place, I wrote this story. The folk horror aspect has allowed me to bring back memories of my rural childhood, a country pub in the middle of nowhere.
Favorite character you’ve ever written and why? Betty. He is a creature from another world, Umbra, who returns to a rural area of England known as the Weald. A giant of a man, he travels with his brothers, Tommy and Fiddler, as part of a troupe who lead the rituals in the Weald. In traditional rapper (sword) dances, Betty is always a man dressed as a woman and bringing in a comedic element to the performance. In my stories, he is a grotesque, a hairy giant who leads the slaughter. His behavior and appearance, his animalistic tendencies, just keep coming back to haunt me. A monster already I have yet to see how far he will go, I want to see how far he will go. Since I’ve created him, it’s as if I need to know his story.
What is one thing about writing you didn’t know before you started? How much it takes over your life, becomes an almost physical need.
What is the hardest kind of scene for you to write? Anything involving the loss of a child. I have 3 children, all adults now but I lost one through miscarriage and I also have friends and who’ve lost children, whether during pregnancy or later on in their lives. The pain is hard to bear, or even contemplate,  so I have to make sure what I’m doing warrants ripping such a horrible wound open for a reader.
Did you go to college? What was your major? Mine was a roundabout education. A-levels didn’t turn out as planned so jumped at the first thing that came along – computing. Dropped out after a year (although did well) and went on a weird and wonderful career path. Ended up taking my degree with the Open University whilst I was working as a Technical Author and starting a family. Ended up with BA(Hons) Humanities, First Class. It is mainly a history degree but they didn’t name them back then, although the OU does do named degrees now.
What did you think you’d be “when you grew up?” Oh, I changed every now and then, from Vet to historian to geneticist but in the end I just followed the path life seemed to hand out. I certainly never considered writing even though I read non-stop.
EVENTS
What is the best event you’ve ever been to? I’ve only recently started going to events but I will say Edge Lit – which I am going to again this year. It’s an event for writers of speculative fiction and is so welcoming. I’ve been able to meet up with online friends to become friends in real life.
What is something hurtful you’ve had to endure at an event? Nothing.

I would make an observation though. Author tables at events can be male dominated …

What is something hurtful you’ve witnessed another #WomanAuthor experience? (No names please.) Haven’t witnessed anything.
ONLINE PRESENCE
What is your favorite form of social media? Where can we follow you? I’m generally to be found on twitter (although I am on Facebook but not as an author page or anything) and I have my own website, https://stephanieellis.org. I prefer twitter where you’ll find me as @el_Stevie.
What is the biggest challenge of social media? Being inclusive and respectful to women.

I also know that when women comment and others disagree, the language howled at them is vitriolic and disgusting in a way it rarely is towards a male, and often it is women themselves! I think social media needs to find a way back from the extremes it allows to be posted and people should relearn tolerance and respect for another’s point of view (provided they are not promoting hate and violence). I also think people should never type something they wouldn’t say to that person’s face. A lot of the abuse is bullying and cowardice.

And can we stop calling women a minority group?

Have you ever been abused or shamed on social media because of your sex, skin color, views, etc..? And how do you deal with that? Not too much. I have commented occasionally on Brexit (I am pro Brexit) but tend to not say too much as a vocal group immediately start chucking the ‘racist, ignorant, etc etc’ comments towards those like me. The language can be vile. And now, as then, I feel I have to justify my view and say I voted Brexit for reasons of sovereignty and independence from EU laws and I’m not stupid. I also tend to keep quiet about my views on the whole as my feeds are full of Remainers and I’m fed up with the intolerance. But I do speak up occasionally when I get really annoyed.
Have you ever seen another #WomanAuthor shamed? Were you able to help? Not seen anything.
What should readers know about your social media presence? As I mentioned, I am on twitter – slightly less lately as other things have taken my time. BUT I can be found as co-editor for Trembling With Fear at HorrorTree.com and in my editorial I am more than happy to promote or comment on things I come across. One thing I will say about TWF – we never discriminate on grounds of sex or gender. I don’t mind people just emailing me via TWF either, whether to ask a question or just establish contact.
YOUR MESSAGE
What is the message you try to convey with your writing? Is there any keyword you want all of your work to convey? Some themes and messages are seeping through into my longer works these days, particularly the view of the female or the mother as the ‘scapegoat’ for so much of whatever has gone wrong. They pay in so many invisible ways, often on an emotional level no one considers, that their suffering is ignored. This continues as they get older and become isolated and invisible. I am intending to bring older women into my writing, probably because of my own age. As a female writer of 55, all I see around me are the ‘bright young things’. I think it’s time to develop ‘menopausal horror’ as a subgenre! I think the keyword would be ‘strength’. The strength my female characters show when confronted with difficult situations, the morality of decisions they have to make.

Thank you for joining us for #REALWomenWriters!

Check in next time when Sandy Sadiak will tell us about her journey.

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Reading Event, Saturday, August 24th

Come out and join us! Romance readings live. ♥

Sweet Dreams

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The REAL Women Writers of Horror #REALWomenWriters

Welcome back to the blog series #REALWomenWriters to explore #REALWomenWriters who toil in the day-to-day, soul-crushing, confidence-demolishing, existence that is the life of a REAL Woman Writer. We hope you enjoy this inside look and if you are a REAL Woman Writer, email us to share your story.

Name: Sarah Gribble
Genres: Horror, Dark Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Favorite story you’ve written and why. “Red Alert.” It’s about an old rebel woman who’s sticking it to the man in a dystopian society. I love that she’s older and still has that rebel spirit, despite being scared out of her mind. I also love the dystopian atmosphere and technology that runs through the story and the warning of what’s to come if our society continues down this path.
Favorite character you’ve ever written and why? My favorite character is Death in my soon-to-be-published novel SURVIVING DEATH. He’s not the main character, but does have some chapters written from his POV. I had a lot of fun getting into his head and making him sympathetic and three-dimensional.
What is one thing everyone thinks about you that isn’t true? Everyone thinks I’m some sort of badass, which is an image I don’t mind having. In truth, I’m not really. I don’t take pain well, I’m not actually mean, and deep down I still like to believe in the good of humans.
What is one thing about writing you didn’t know before you started? How long it takes for books or stories to come out. It’s a long, long waiting process after something’s been accepted.
What is the hardest kind of scene for you to write? Romantic scenes. I’m not a romantic at heart, and it’s hard to write any romance without sounding completely cheesy.
Did you go to college? What was your major? Yep. I have a History B.A. and a Masters in City and Regional Planning.
What did you think you’d be “when you grew up?” Other than my fantasy of being a rock star (though I can’t sing) or an actor (though I hate people looking at me), a writer or a librarian. Mostly a librarian. Ended up being a writer.
EVENTS
What is the best event you’ve ever been to? I was a panelist on a publishing panel for a The Write Practice retreat.
What is something hurtful you’ve had to endure at an event? I’ve yet to have anything hurtful happen at any writing event, that I can think of anyway.
How did you recover from experiencing this hurtful thing? N/A
What is something hurtful you’ve witness another #REALWomenWriter experience? (No names please.) I don’t know if this is considered ‘hurtful’, but it’s stupid. I know a ton of female writers in the horror/crime/thriller, etc. genres (aka the ‘man’ genres) who have to use their initials instead of their name so they can actually sell books. People won’t buy books in those ‘man’ genres if a woman has written it. Using initials was something I thought about for a while as well, and then decided everyone can just deal with Sarah and get over it.
If you could give that woman or any other #REALWomenWriter a pep talk, what would you say? Do it anyway. Women are constantly being told what we can and cannot do, no matter what career path we’ve chosen. Ignore the naysayers and do what you want.
ONLINE PRESENCE
What is your favorite form of social media? Where can we follow you? I just started an Instagram account after years of refusing. I’m kind of in love with it. It’s so much nicer than Twitter and Facebook. I have all three though:

Twitter: @sarahstypos
Facebook: sarahgribbleauthor
IG:@sarahgribblewriter

What is the biggest challenge of social media? Getting attention. But the right kind of attention, not creeps sneaking into my DMs.
Have you ever been abused or shamed on social media because of your sex, skin color, views, etc..? And how do you deal with that? I don’t think I’ve ever been shamed, though it’s possible I just ignored it.

I have experienced what would be considered abuse. The reason I loathe Twitter is the amount of creeps I get DM-ing me saying nasty things or asking when we can meet up or (heaven forbid) sending pics.

I deal with it by blocking them and not really looking at my DMs. Blocking on any social media platform is the best thing invented.

Have you ever seen another #WomanAuthor shamed? Were you able to help? I don’t think so. The creepy messages from guys is universal, but that’s more abuse than shame. There’s not much to help with there than to let her know she’s not the only one and where to find the block button.
What should readers know about your social media presence? I try to stay away from posting anything about politics or current hot topics.
YOUR MESSAGE
What is the message you try to convey with your writing? Is there any keyword you want all of your work to convey? Horror traditionally points to problems in our society, and I hope my work does that (as well as scare the pants off my readers).

Thank you for joining us for #REALWomenWriters!

Check in next time when Stephanie Ellis will tell us about her journey.

The REAL Women Writers of Horror #REALWomenWriters

Greetings readers! Recently I was thinking about writers and how we are depicted in movies. You know what I mean, the writer who submits their book to a publisher who accepts it, assigns them their very own full-time editor who’s really invested in their work. Then–in about a week–their book is launched into the public eye with champagne brunches, red carpet openings, and public readings with hundreds of eager readers in the now-extinct thing called a book store. Don’t you love those movies? Yeah, me too. Thing is… It’s not real. The real life of a writer is about hours upon hours of writing, editing, rewriting, and editing again. Most of us have had to toil for years (and sometimes decades) before having anything published. Even then, the opportunity for champagne brunches and public praise are so few and far between, that you start feeling the dream of being a writer is a mythological unicorn that doesn’t really exist.

And the life of a WOMAN writer is even tougher. Despite the success of J.K. Rowling, Anne Rice, and Suzanne Collins, most of us will never get that movie deal and while we’re waiting it out, we’ve got such an up-hill battle, most writers end up giving up. You see, in the public eye, Anne Rice’s career might be an achievable goal, but if you take away the name and say WOMAN WRITER, the general consensus is, “Women can write Romance and that’s about it.” And it’s not just from readers. It’s from the media, publishers, and worst of all, our peers. Which is so wrong. Can we write Romance? Yes, because we have hearts. But can we also write Horror, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and other branches of Speculative Fiction? Hell yeah!

This blog series is to explore #REALWomenWriters who toil in the day-to-day, soul-crushing, confidence-demolishing, existence that is the life of a REAL Woman Writer. We hope you enjoy this inside look and if you are a REAL Woman Writer, email us to share your story.

Name: Emerian Rich
Genres: Horror, Romance, some Sci-Fi and Non-fiction

Favorite story you’ve written and why. “Hammersmith House,” which takes place during the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco. It was published in Horrible Disasters a few years ago and is an alternate history story with a Jekyll and Hyde theme. I had a lot of fun researching letters from the 1906 earthquake before I wrote this and I really enjoy a story told in letters.
Favorite character you’ve ever written and why? Jespa from Night’s Knights. She is the tough chick I always wanted to be. Even though she’s been treated badly and beat down, she always rises back up.
What is one thing everyone thinks about you that isn’t true? That I’m scary. I may like scary things and write scary things. I’m actually quite nice and giggly.
What is one thing about writing you didn’t know before you started? How much work I would have to do on marketing, social media, and networking.
What is the hardest kind of scene for you to write? Fight scenes. I usually skip them and go back to them later. My husband always makes fun of me because I write ~slap, fight~ in place of where the fight scenes go.
Did you go to college? What was your major? Yes, I went to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco. I majored in Visual Presentation and Space Design.
What did you think you’d be “when you grew up?” When I was really young, I wanted to be a “Sec-a-tary.” Then I was going to be a singer. I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer until I was about twenty-five. 

EVENTS

What is the best event you’ve ever been to? Sinister Creature Con in Sacramento. Tons of great horror fans and I got to meet Ray Wise. Close second would be my first panel at the Jane Austen Society. I also love attending the local con, BayCon.
What is something hurtful you’ve had to endure at an event? I’ve had several situations were men peers have told audience members to ignore what I’ve said on panel, as if my opinion was not valid or true.
How did you recover from experiencing this hurtful thing? Several times audience members have come to my rescue and called them on it before I even had a chance to respond. The first time it happened, though, I was stunned into silence. I had to recount it several times to myself to understand it and realize it really happened.
What is something hurtful you’ve witnessed another #REALWomenWriters experience? I have witnessed the same kind of dismissal and man-splaining that has happened to me. 
If you could give that woman or any other #REALWomenWriters a pep talk, what would you say? Whenever this happens, I try to help by pointing out the situation to the male peer in a calm but sarcastic way. This will sometimes pop him out of his tunnel view. If not, and they are beyond help, at least the woman will know she is not alone and has some support in her corner.

ONLINE PRESENCE

What is your favorite form of social media? Where can we follow you? I am most active on Facebook.
http://www.facebook.com/emzbox
What is the biggest challenge of social media? Keeping active, because it takes so much time away from writing time.
Have you ever been abused or shamed on social media because of your sex, skin color, views, etc..? And how do you deal with that? Yes, but on social media, there is a plus… The UNFOLLOW or BLOCK options. If someone is being abusive to me, I can just block or unfollow. Much easier than in person.
Have you ever seen another #WomanAuthor shamed? Were you able to help? Yes. I definitely step in whenever I see this.
What should readers know about your social media presence? I am happy to chat and geek-out on a lot of things with you. Just don’t bring up sports or politics because I immediately lose interest.
YOUR MESSAGE
What is the message you try to convey with your writing? Is there any keyword you want all of your work to convey? With every story, I try to give the message that my characters have real feelings and demons but they can conquer them with perseverance. 

Thank you for joining us for #REALWomenWriters!

Check in next time when Sarah Gribble will tell us about her journey.

Undecided by Emmy Z. Madrigal Audio Book – Chapter Eleven

Meant to Be Press

Listen to Chapter Eleven:

Victoria and Cynthia discuss James. Victoria gives Cynthia a note to help her decide her love future. Raul leaves campus to get high.


In Undecided, Cynthia Porter is dealing with much more than any high school girl should be asked to withstand. She’s at odds with her current love interest, famous boy bander Derek Montgomery. Her mother is verbally abusive and violent, pushing Cynthia out of the house. Her best friend can’t even console her since she’s recovering from a bad weekend injury. Living out of a gym bag, Cynthia stays with any friends who will take her in, but things don’t make her life any easier when she starts hooking up with random guys.

Victoria Knox, recovering from her kidnapping injury, finds her boyfriend can’t stop blaming himself for letting her get hurt. She just wants to put the whole mess behind her and get…

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HorrorAddicts.net 168, #KillSwitch Authors

HorrorAddicts.net

Horror Addicts Episode# 168
SEASON 14 “We’re Cursed, Again!!!”
Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich
Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe

———————

Overtoun Bridge

#killswitch authors | destini beard | the island of dr. moreau

 

Find all articles and interviews at: http://www.horroraddicts.net

131 days till halloween

*terror trax: destini beard, love song for a vampire

*catchup: bird attack!

*cursed place: overtoun bridge, dog suicide bridge

*logbook of terror: russell, overtoun bridge

*darkvein manor: by emerian rich with cleo de milo concept by e.m. markoff, rish outfield-ives, kadirah wade-hazel, emerian rich-clara, willow, and eli.  theme music-valentine wolf

*ghastly games: daphne, ultimate werewolf inquisition

*odds and dead ends: keiran, cerberus

*frightening flix: kbatz, the island of dr. moreau

*live action reviews: crystal, the field guide to evil

*the bigfoot files: lionel, wood ape

*dead mail:

***james: nightmare before xmas video

https://youtu.be/d0FeHLD3SIs

***annie: keanu a badass now? always be my maybe, cyberpunk video game.

***kbatz:…

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Awakening: Dragon Born Book 3 by Ela Lourenco

Fans of Fantasy and Dragons, check out this new book from Sirens Call Publications!

Awakening: Dragon Born Book 3

by Ela Lourenco

The Royal tournament, the Karnac, is fully underway. But there is deception and betrayal at every turn. Unseen dark forces are at play, both within the school grounds and out with. Even the Gods are unable to help when a new threat looms over them all. The very existence of Azmantium depends on Lara fully becoming the Child of Fire and casting aside the Shadows lurking in every corner of her beloved planet.

Can she overcome the challenges that await?
Will the Shadows cover the world in darkness?
Only Lara and her friends can change the fate of Azmantium.

Available now on Amazon.

#KillSwitch excerpt: Mow-Bot by Dana Hammer

As technology takes over more of our lives, what will it mean to be human, and will we fear what we’ve created? What horrors will our technological hubris bring us in the future?

Join us as we walk the line between progressive convenience and the nightmares these advancements can breed. From faulty medical nanos and AI gone berserk to ghost-attracting audio-tech and one very ambitious Mow-Bot, we bring you tech horror that will keep you up at night. Will you reach the Kill Switch in time?


A sneak peek inside…

Mow-Bot

DANA HAMMER

Mike ran his hands over the cardboard box, prolonging the anticipation for just another moment. He pulled the box cutter out of his pocket and cut, slicing through layers and layers of packing tape, ripping out the bits of Styrofoam and plastic like a hunter pulling out a deer’s entrails.

This was his quarry. This was his reward. This was victory.

Finally, he unearthed it. The Mow-Bot. Three thousand dollars and worth every penny. The Mow-Bot promised to act as an all-in-one gardener; mowing grass, plucking weeds, and irrigating as necessary. No longer would Mike be forced to labor under the tyranny of the Homeowners Association’s excessively strict lawn-care regulations. His Saturdays were free from now on.

Giddy, he pieced his new machine together while Roger, his husband, watched the proceedings with his arms crossed and his eyes rolled. Roger was never supportive of Mike’s gadgets and technological improvements. If it were up to Roger, they’d live in some backward cabin, fetching water from a well and brushing their teeth with hay or whatever.

Mike ignored Roger’s negativity and completed the assembly. The size of a Rottweiler, the Mow-Bot was round and sleek, with retractable blades extending out from the bottom.

“All done?” Roger asked, his voice pleasant.

Mike smiled at him, appreciative that he was making at least this one tiny effort.

“Yep. Now let’s go try this baby out!”

***

The Mow-Bot worked great. At least, Mike thought it did. Yes, there were some kinks that needed to be worked out. There was a learning curve as the bot figured out where the boundaries of the yard were, what constituted a weed, and all that. And yes, it was also kind of noisy. And slow.

Still! It did work. And who cared how long it took to mow the lawn? It was no longer Mike’s problem.

He programmed it to water the lawn every other night and to do the mowing and weeding every Friday, while he and Roger were at work. That way, they would be spared the loud chopping and grinding sounds, and their lawn would be fresh and well-maintained for them to enjoy on the weekends.

It was a perfect plan.

***

The first Friday, it worked like a dream. When Roger and Mike came home, the aroma of fresh-cut grass permeated the air and the lawn was neat and tidy. Unfortunately, the Mow-Bot had attacked one of their rose bushes, but not in any serious way. Although it was a bit mangled, it was still standing. Some minor pruning brought it back to a state of lovely symmetry.

Overall, Mike couldn’t have been happier with his purchase and Roger had no complaints. It was a win, win.

***

“So, the Mow-Bot nearly killed the neighbor’s cat while you were out last night,” Roger said one morning over eggs and toast. They were sitting at their small dining table in the breakfast nook. It was a lovely, sunlit room, and rivulets of steam lifted from their matching coffee mugs. It was not the kind of morning for discussing cat-death.

“What?” Mike asked.

“It did. It was really weird. Like, the cat was in our yard—”

“I hate that cat,” Mike interrupted.

Roger patted his hand. “Yes. I know. Anyway, the cat was in our yard last night when the Mow-Bot started irrigating. It’s as if the thing knew the cat was there, or something. It actually seemed to be following the cat. Chasing it.”

Mike scoffed. “If that stupid cat can’t outrun something as slow as the Mow-Bot, it deserves to get wet.”

“Didn’t you hear me? It almost killed the cat. It wasn’t spraying water, it was mowing.”

“Mowing? Are you sure?”

“Yes! If you’d been here, you’d know what I mean. It was making those horrible whirring, grinding noises. It was trying to mow the cat down.”

“It wasn’t trying to kill the cat,” Mike said. Honestly, Roger’s imagination was one of the things Mike loved most about him, but sometimes it was a bit much. “I’ll go check the settings and make sure it’s programmed to mow on Friday afternoons only. It’s probably just a glitch.”

 


EDITED BY:

DAN SHAURETTE

& EMERIAN RICH

STORIES BY:

H.E. ROULO, TIM O’NEAL, JERRY J. DAVIS, EMERIAN RICH, BILL DAVIDSON,

DANA HAMMER, NACHING T. KASSA, GARRETT ROWLAN, DAPHNE STRASERT

PHILLIP T. STEVENS, LAUREL ANNE HILL, CHANTAL BOUDREAU, GARTH VON BUCHHOLZ

Available now on Amazon!

 

#KillSwitch excerpt: “SoulTaker 2.0”

As technology takes over more of our lives, what will it mean to be human, and will we fear what we’ve created? What horrors will our technological hubris bring us in the future?

Join us as we walk the line between progressive convenience and the nightmares these advancements can breed. From faulty medical nanos and AI gone berserk to ghost-attracting audio-tech and one very ambitious Mow-Bot, we bring you tech horror that will keep you up at night. Will you reach the Kill Switch in time?


A sneak peek inside…

SOULTAKER 2.0
EMERIAN RICH

Tory swigged a Red Bull too fast, causing pain to ripple down his esophagus. He twisted in his lopsided office chair as the massive gulp of carbonation traveled down. Pain wasn’t a stranger to him. Like most his age, with his coding skillz, he had tendonitis, carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, neck strain, you name it. His swelling hands throbbed with the inevitable ache from running out of Naproxen.

Drilling his fingers into the keyboard at an inhuman pace, he noticed an error in the hardcoding fifteen lines up on his screen.

“Fuck!” He clicked up into the jungle of text and typed over his error. With only an hour left to complete the project, Tory berated himself for such a newb mistake.

His Bluetooth headset buzzed, scaring the bejesus out of him. It seemed like every time the earpiece buzzed, a spark of electricity zapped into his ear. His grandpa was probably right, the thing would give him cancer one day.

“Tory,” his employer’s masked voice trilled the “r” and chilled his bones.

“Mr. D?”

“What are you doing to the code? Why are you altering it?” The voice dug into him, scraping at his insides like a cheese grater.

“I… I messed it up. I had to redo that part.”

“You’re behind schedule.”

“I know. It’ll be done by midnight, I swear.” Tory glanced at his digital clock, blinking a few times before his tired eyes made out the neon green numbers displaying 11:17.

“Imbecile!” the voice bellowed, making his ear ring and his whole being shudder. “Delivery by midnight means it has to be complete by ten till to push it out to the servers. Are you fucking kidding me? I paid you well for this job and you better damned well come through or there will be hell to pay. You hear me? Hell to pay!”

The line clicked dead before Tory could respond.

Tory stood, his legs stiff as he walked. He tripped over empty pizza boxes and pitched forward, into the bathroom. His place needed a bulldozer to carry away all the food delivery trash he’d amassed during the week he’d been tied to his computer. Unzipping his fly, he relieved himself, not really caring if he hit the target or not.

The gamer podcast he’d been listening to while working, caught his attention.

“You hear those money hungry bastards over at Dullahan Games are rolling out their new add-on pack, Reaper, without beta testing?”

“This is the most anticipated add-on pack since the creation of multi-player games. They made two million dollars the first twenty minutes of pre-orders and stand to top thirty mill by release. These gamers are willing to pay to be the first to see it, glitches be damned.”

Paid. Yes, think of the money. Still, Tory couldn’t remember what he’d be paid. Dollar signs mixed with hashtags, until he realized he was remembering a hex color code instead of a payday.

In less than an hour, he’d be set for life. He could sleep or get high or go to Sandra’s Halloween party. Shit. Halloween. The life of a hacker used to be much more fun, back in the day before special character passwords and cybercops, when his bot could crack a system code in under twenty minutes. When Halloween consisted of scamming credit to treat his crew to a night of drinking and lap dances.

But now he was legit, working on the most popular MMORPG on the planet, SoulTaker. The concept was simple. Gamers signed over their digital souls to live out their wildest fantasies in a suped-up cyberland where supernatural powers were norm. The add-on pack, Reaper, would be legendary. ‘Course his name wouldn’t be on it, but he had already let slip a viral email to gamers with his hacker handle so they would know.

Slumping back into the ancient desk chair, he squeezed his blurry eyes and smiled. Only three rows of code and he’d be done. His tired fingers flew across the keyboard. The guillemets and backslashes blended into a puzzle of sorts. Greater than, less than, equals. Only a code junky knew what the maze said. At his last keystroke, the zap came again in his ear.

“It’s done,” he said before Mr. D. could say anything.

“I don’t see…” A computer bleep interrupted his speech. “Ah… Very good.” The line clicked before Tory switched over to his bank and saw the funds wired in. All the stress from the endless hours of coding crippled him. His hands were like giant claws, his body wouldn’t move. The clock flipped to 12:00.

Toggling over to the game, Tory logged into the server to watch players devour his newest creation. Just a few minutes basking in his glory and then he’d hit the hay for a well-deserved sleep.

He watched as character after character rezzed and speech bubbles exploded on the screen.

Severed13: Whoa! Awesome!
CallMeHeaven: I can’t believe we’re in!
HellBoot: Fuckin’ epic!

The upgrade included a “soul reaping” that would cause your character to gain even more supernatural powers. Little red flags appeared over each avatar in turn.

SOUL OFFICIALLY REAPED


EDITED BY:

DAN SHAURETTE

& EMERIAN RICH

STORIES BY:

H.E. ROULO, TIM O’NEAL, JERRY J. DAVIS, EMERIAN RICH, BILL DAVIDSON,

DANA HAMMER, NACHING T. KASSA, GARRETT ROWLAN, DAPHNE STRASERT

PHILLIP T. STEVENS, LAUREL ANNE HILL, CHANTAL BOUDREAU, GARTH VON BUCHHOLZ

Available now on Amazon!

 

 

HorrorAddicts.net Press Presents… Kill Switch, A Tech Horror Anthology

HorrorAddicts.net

HorrorAddicts.net Press Presents…Kill Switch

As technology takes over more of our lives, what will it mean to be human, and will we fear what we’ve created? What horrors will our technological hubris bring us in the future?

Join us as we walk the line between progressive convenience and the nightmares these advancements can breed. From faulty medical nanos and AI gone berserk to ghost-attracting audio-tech and one very ambitious Mow-Bot, we bring you tech horror that will keep you up at night. Will you reach the Kill Switch in time?

EDITED BY:
DAN SHAURETTE
& EMERIAN RICH

STORIES BY:
H.E. ROULO, TIM O’NEAL, JERRY J. DAVIS, EMERIAN RICH, BILL DAVIDSON,
DANA HAMMER, NACHING T. KASSA, GARRETT ROWLAN, DAPHNE STRASERT
PHILLIP T. STEVENS, LAUREL ANNE HILL, CHANTAL BOUDREAU, GARTH VON BUCHHOLZ

MOW-BOT / DANA HAMMER

Mike’s new Mow-Bot is the answer to his weekend chore dreams until the neighbor’s…

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