Readercon: It’s lit

Just a heads up that Tom Breen will be at Readercon in beautiful Quincy, Mass. on Friday, July 8 and Saturday, July 9. He won’t be there in any official capacity, and tells us he finds most conventions a little bougie for his tastes, but you’ll easily spot him as a giant fat man in a Montreal Canadiens cap drinking cider and handing out Orford Parish buttons like they were Pez. If he goes to anything, it’ll be the Gemma Files reading on Friday, because Gemma Files rules. Otherwise, hit him up at the hotel bar.

Faith and horror: an interview with Tom Breen

Hot dang! Our compadres at Muzzleland Press have an interview up as part of their “Faithful Frighteners” series with Orford Parish Books’ own Tom Breen. Here’s an excerpt:

The conflict that most people see between Christianity and horror is usually rooted in a simplistic understanding of either, or both. Dante’s Inferno is simultaneously a work of profound religious devotion and a catalog of grotesque horrors. The contradiction only exists for people with a shallow, unreflective Christianity or a simplistic notion that horror is primarily concerned with freaking out the squares. There are plenty of both kinds of people, which is why there’s a strong notion that horror is incompatible with Christianity, but I see the reality as the opposite: horror is much more germane to Christianity than the limp materialism of most contemporary “literary” fiction, say.

Go ahead and read the rest!

Call for submissions for New England folk horror anthology

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In 2017, Orford Parish Books will be releasing WOULD BUT TIME AWAIT: AN ANTHOLOGY OF NEW ENGLAND FOLK HORROR (edited by s.j. bagley, editor [and interrogator] of THINKING HORROR: A JOURNAL OF HORROR PHILOSOPHY.)

Please read and the guidelines before submitting a query and direct all queries to heksenhaus@gmail.com with the subject header ‘FOLK HORROR QUERY.’

(All stories sent without a prior query will be deleted, unread.)

WHAT WE DEFINE AS FOLK HORROR AND WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR.

For the purposes of this project, we are defining folk horror as horror literature in which the present (which can be a year/decade of the author’s choosing) collides with the history, folklore, traditions, and psychogeography of a region and where that collision has a significant impact on the present (as defined in the work.)

We are looking for work that uses the physical, historical, and social landscapes of New England as a focal point (rather than a story that could be set anywhere else but just happens to be set in New England.)

There is a long and rich history of horrific and strange folklore in New England but that doesn’t mean a writer needs to restrict themselves to it and writers are perfectly welcome to invent their own folklore, traditions, and fictional New England locations.

We should also stress that, while Folk Horror has largely been a rural construct, we by no means consider a rural location to be necessary to any working definition of the term.

A few examples of what we consider Folk Horror in literature:

Stephen King- ‘Pet Sematary.’

Stephen King- ‘Bag of Bones.’

Peter Straub- ‘Ghost Story.’

Peter Straub- ‘Floating Dragon.’

Toni Morrison- ‘Beloved.’

H.P. Lovecraft- ‘The Picture In The House.’

M.R. James- ‘View From a Hill.’

John Farris- ‘All Heads Turn When The Hunt Goes By.’

T.E.D. Klein- ‘The Ceremonies.’

Gary McMahon- ‘All Your Gods Are Dead.’

Thomas Ligotti- ‘The Last Feast Of Harlequin.’

Michael Mcdowell- ‘Blackwater.’

Thomas Tryon- ‘Harvest Home.’

Adam Nevill- ‘The Ritual.’

Adam Nevill- ‘Last Days.’

Shirley Jackson- ‘The Lottery.’

Alain Mabanckou- ‘African Psycho.’

Shirley Jackson- ‘The Summer People.’

Matthew M. Bartlett- ‘Gateways To Abomination.’

Arthur Machen- ‘The White People.’

Flannery O’Connor- ‘A Good Man Is Hard To Find.’

Marjorie Bowen- ‘What Remained Behind.’

Chinua Achebe- ‘Things Fall Apart.’

Gemma Files- ‘We Will All Go Down Together.’

Susan Cooper- ‘The Dark Is Rising.’

Mary Buchanan- ‘The Dark Backward.’

Kingsley Amis- ‘The Green Man.’

Ray Bradbury- ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes.’

Josephine Poole- ‘Moon Eyes.’

Josephine Poole- ‘Billy Buck.’

Daniel Mills- ‘Revenants.’

Clive Barker- ‘In The Hills, The Cities.’

Clive Barker- ‘The Forbidden.’

WHO CAN SUBMIT.

We are open to submissions from writers from every global region and every walk of life and, while each story needs to focus (in some manner) on the geographic region of New England (which consists of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont) we certainly don’t require that every author needs to be from that region.

We expect and encourage diversity in regard to the voices involved in this project.

DEADLINES AND SCHEDULE.

Submissions will be open until April 2017, at which point we will no longer be accepting submissions or queries.

Publication date is summer 2017 (with a more firm date to come.)

PAYMENT.

We will be paying a flat rate of $75USD upon acceptance for first rights in print and digital.

STORY CRITERIA.

Length: 2,000-10,000 words.

Each story MUST either be set in New England or contain elements of New England folklore and history.

Each story MUST be folk horror (which we fully and happily acknowledge as being a broad and diverse term but we are defining as stated above.)

No reprints.

No simultaneous submissions.

SOME THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND BEFORE SUBMITTING:

New England is an ethnically diverse region of the United States with a long (and often sordid) history so please keep the contemporary effects of that history in mind when submitting and avoid work that portrays the indigenous people and tribes of New England in a racist, bigoted, or stereotypical sense and please avoid stereotypes of the poor, and economically disenfranchised, all races, genders, sexes, sexualities, (dis)abilities, faiths, and anything that targets marginalized people.

In general, we are looking to avoid depictions of sexual violence (unless written with extreme care, an actual point beyond the simple violence of it, and, above all, empathy toward victims of sexual violence.)

Orford Parish Ephemera Collection

Courtesy of friend-O-the-Parish Raymond Majerski, here’s a selection of buttons that illustrate various aspects of our town’s storied history: the brief time in the early 1960s when the town government was controlled by a political party consisting of sentient bears (or, as opponents charged, humans dressed as bears); the town motto “We’re Closer Than You Think!”; and Orford Parish’s historically fraught relationship with the Society of Friends. Thank you, Ray. These are awesome!

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Scare-a-Con New England!

This weekend, Orford Parish Books founder Tom Breen (along with the renowned Matthew M. Bartlett) will be representing Orford Parish Books at Scare-a-Con New England in Springfield, MA. Drop by! Buy some books! Summon the Devil Have a chat!

Orford Parish books will also be debuting its latest release – a very exciting and decidedly weird chapbook with stories by both Tom Breen and Joseph Pastula – at Scare-a-Con. The book won’t be available online until June 16th, so now’s your opportunity to jump on the boat before its set sail!

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New Content coming soon

Hey get ready to mash that “Buy It Now” button soon, like mid-June soon, because there’s another Orford Parish release ready to drop around then. Hush-hush for now, but it’s by Breen and Pastula and concerns a beloved symbol of freedom. Get all restless until then.

New book from Joseph Pastula!

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Joseph Pastula’s eerie new illustrated volume “Little Oren and the Noises” is available today, and you can click the heck over here to get your hands on a copy.

The book is ostensibly a children’s fable, told through gorgeous illustrations, that in reality is a haunting exploration of the desire for solitude even to the point of self-annihilation. It’s exactly the kind of thing we plan to do here at Orford Parish Books: produce sui generis material that doesn’t fit easily into predigested categories like horror or weird or fantasy or what have you.

If “The New Wave of Weird” or the “Weird Renaissance” or any of those terms represent anything, it should be uncategorizable works like this one, meant to unsettle rather than to shock, and to linger in the imagination long after you’ve forgotten the latest vampire prequel.

Good stuff. Exciting times. Buy this book! 

Howdy, neighbor!

Welcome to the online home of Orford Parish Books, the leading purveyor of strange fiction in the town of Orford Parish, USA. We’ll be using this space to showcase work, promote our friends, curse our enemies, cause shipwrecks through alphabet magic, and keep you updated on our thoughts about the hottest conspiracy theories around (hint: Dwight Eisenhower isn’t dead!).

For a better sense of what we’re about, read this interview with Tom Breen that our friends at Muzzleland Press conducted. You can also find the Orford Parish Downtown Improvement District over on Facebook, which goes some distance toward answering the burning question: “So what is your ‘deal,’ anyway?”

Thanks for dropping by! I hope all the wailing and lamentations don’t alarm you. It’s just a regular Tuesday night around here.