Friday, January 31, 2014

Being On the Edge of Oblivion

I write from the edge
I live from the edge
I sleep on the edge, which means I don't sleep much on the edge.
I look over the edge
I see what's waiting over the edge
I stand on the edge
Like I'm defending the edge
I search the edge
for those who stood first on the edge
and I wait at that edge
but I'm alone at the edge
because if you are on the edge
you don't look for company
and you don't need it.
But some of you are standing with me
and some are ones I brought to the edge
and some I watched flee from the edge
and some I threw over the edge
and some used to be King on the edge
but they lost the edge
because they grew old and soft
and now I speak their names into the void like fallen ancestors.
They say that when you look into the void, the void looks into you
I say
let it and don't be afraid.

Buy Edge of Oblivion Now and Fight Cystic Fibrosis 

Tony Healey has recently released a collection of short stories by sixteen genre authors, titled Edge of Oblivion. All proceeds are being donated to The Cystic Fibrosis Trust, an organization that has special personal relevance to Tony and to anyone whose life has been affected by this particular disease that chases after children and young adults more than anyone else.
Like most diseases, it is curable. Also, like most diseases, it will take the hard work of devoted researchers and people who give their money to that particular cause. Lucky for you, you will get a nifty book out of it in return with some truly hair-raising stories inside.

The House on Lantern Lane

A word about "The House on Lantern Lane," my contribution to the anthology:
It's a time-honored, hackneyed concept for writers to talk about where they get their ideas from. Everybody has some kind of smart-assed response, starting with Harlan Ellison who used to tell people he wrote to a company in Schenectady, New York, and he swears some gullible idiots begged him for the address.
The truth is, we all sit down and think 'em up. Every single story. Every single sentence.
I've described it as a universal antenna that I leave extended up into the ether like a metaphysical fishing net, just waiting to snag something worth keeping. A lot of it gets thrown back, even the stuff that seems like it might be delicious to eat. Some of it is a little bony and difficult, but that's what makes it so appealing. Some of it arrives already cooked, ready to eat, and sometimes, it even comes in the form of a dream.
I don't often write from dreams, and even rarer, do I write from nightmares.
However, this particular time, I had a dream so vivid and so perfectly realized that I woke up and decided to write it down. The House on Lantern Lane, as it appears in short-story form, is the exact representation of a dream I had one night that both bothered me and intrigued me. It was so atmospheric, so filled with strong imagery, that I felt compelled to document it.
I never had any real intentions with the story, other than to write it and move on. I had no short story collections planned, and in fact, have largely moved away from writing shorts to focus on novels. That's why, when Tony rang me and said, "Allo, guv, fancy a bit a tea an' crumpets for a spell while I cobble this wee anfology ah'm puttin' togever tae benefit sick kids, an all? Football, fish an' chips, God save tae Queen an' James Bond, eh mate?" 
(Did I mention Tony's British?)
And I looked around me files an' I said, "Too right, guv, pint o' lager, Fifa footbaw hooligan I'm a fan a Dizzee Rascal froom wayback, Picadilly Circus an' Sherlock Holmes in a Tardis. Does Keely Hazel 'ave fantastic wobbly bits an' is David Beckham a poof?"
And he said, "Too right!"
Which is exactly how Tony wound up securing the rights to The House on Lantern Lane. But I digress.
All proceeds from the book go to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, and you get sixteen awesome stories from various authors, including my fever dream of a nightmare that now seems fairly British in origin.
Edge of Oblivion.

Schaffer, out.
And as a matter of cultural reference, for people who didn't understand what Tony was talking about before, a tee-shirt featuring the word "England" on it.
Ladies and gentlemen, Keely Hazell. 

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