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All-Star Night (Part 2):
Finding Hysteria with Stephanie Wytovich

January 1st, 2015

DSC00036 (152x340) (2)Welcome back! Just in time to start the New Year off with a little hysteria.

Yesterday’s post featured Owen Kilbane and his story about discovering the powers of music in attracting the opposite sex. If you missed it, you will definitely want to go back and check it out. Here’s a link.

Owen’s performance was one of eleven featured at this month’s All Star Story Night at Riley’s Pour House — a night of entertainment that featured some of the best storytellers from Riley’s 2014 series.

Also featured were  Michael A. Arnzen, Joe Coluccio, Larry Ivkovich, Joanne Letcher, Michael McBurney, Marlene Pendleton,  Martha Swiss, Shag, C. S. Wyatt, and Stephanie Wytovich. An amazing lineup, to be sure.

The 21st Century Scop - HysteriaSharing the storytelling trophy with Owen was writer and editor Stephanie Wytovich, who made her third appearance at Riley’s by returning with her story of finding inspiration by voluntarily checking into abandoned mental institutions. It’s just the thing to clear those New Year’s cobwebs and get you alert and ready to face 2015.

Strap yourself in, hit play on the player below, and I’ll hope to see you at Riley’s on January 27, when our theme will be “Resolutions.” Until then, stay sane . . . and scop on!

 Image Credits:
Stephanie Wytovich talks about hysteria.
Hysteria: A Collection of Madness by Stephanie Wytovich, Raw Dog Screaming Press.
– Stephanie with the storytelling trophy.
Photos copyright © 2014 by The 21st-Century Scop.

Aberrations: Flash Fiction for the Ears

October 6th, 2014

Aberrations EyeSince launching this blog a few years ago, I’ve written a bit about the art of storytelling and flash fiction. Along the way, I’ve posted a few samples from Aberrations,  a  radio demo featuring stories from Visions: Short Fantasy & SF and This Way to Egress.

Now, while preparing a couple audio samples to promote the forthcoming Vortex: Book Three of the Veins Cycle, I thought I might offer the full audio of Aberrations.

It’s a 20 minute program with a wrap-around narrative that frames three stand-alone stories. It comes complete with intro and outro credits and some cool music.

If you give it a listen, let me know what you think.

More audio coming soon. Until then, scop on!

Image Credits:

The Aberration Eye, illustrated by Nathaniel G. Sawyer from Visions: Short Fantasy & SF, published by Fantasist Enterprises, copyright © 2014 by Nathaniel G. Sawyer.


The 21st-Century Scop at the World Fantasy Reading Cafe, photo by Scop Media, copyright © 2014 by Lawrence C. Connolly.


The Prousting of Axle
Day 1 of the Veins Blog Tour

September 5th, 2014

Axle from VEINS by Lawrence C Connolly

If you’ve been thinking about reading Veins, now’s the time to grab a copy. For the next five days, the ebook edition will be on sale for $0.99 at Fantasist Enterprises, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

To coincide with the sale, I’ll be doing a series of guest blogs and events at some of my favorite websites, starting today with one at kristinaelysebutke.com. Kristina is an educator as well as a writer, and her site is both informative and entertaining. Recently, she launched a series in which characters from novels respond to Proustian questions.

Today, Axle (from Veins) gets to respond. You can see what he has to say by going to kristinaelysebutke.com.

Illustration: “Axle” by Star E. Olson, Copyright © Star E. Olson. All Rights Reserved. The illustration appears in both the print and e-book edition of Veins

Remembering Twilight Zone Magazine @ World Fantasy 2012

October 30th, 2012

The big news today might be Frankenstorm, but once that monster blows through, I’m hoping to head north for something bigger.

This year, Toronto will be playing host to The World Fantasy Convention, an international gathering of writers, editors, scholars, readers, and others associated with all aspects of fantastic literature.

This year, my first big convention event takes place on Thursday night at 9:00, when I’ll be moderating a panel titled “Remembering The Twilight Zone,” featuring fantasy writers who got their starts writing for the magazine during its decade-long run as one of our most influential magazines.

Known officially as Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone Magazine, the publication carried on the tradition of the popular CBS television series by delivering an eclectic mix of fantasy, science fiction, and horror.

Joining me on the panel will be the convention’s author guest of honor Elizabeth Hand, whose first short story sale “Prince of Flowers” appeared in the magazine’s February 1988 issue. I did a reading with Elizabeth at The International Conference of the Fantastic in Florida in 2009, and I’m looking forward to joining her again in Toronto.

Also on the panel will be Scott Edelman, whose story “Fifth Dimension” appeared in March-April 1983. At his blog, Scott writes about how although he worked a block away from the Twilight Zone offices in the ‘80s, he did not want to meet editor T. E. D. Klein for lunch until after the magazine had purchased one of his stories.  “I didn’t want him to buy a story because he was biased to like me; I wanted him to buy a story because he liked the story.” Fortunately for me, after “Fifth Dimension” sold, Scott showed up at Ted’s office on a day that I was in town, and the three of us headed out to Costello’s Restaurant for lunch. The restaurant’s walls were covered with original doodles by James Thurber, and I remember Ted and Scott sitting with their backs to a droopy eared dachshund who seemed captivated by our discussion. For good reason. At the time, Scott was editing the magazine Last Wave, and both he and Ted had a lot of good advice about writing.

Other panelists will include Nancy Baker, whose first story “Exodus 22:18” appeared in June 1989; and the prolific Darrell Schweitzer, whose story “The Man Who Wasn’t Nice to Pumpkin Head Dolls” appeared in December 1988. Darrell had been selling fiction elsewhere before placing a story in TZ. I first discovered him in the pages of Fantastic Science Fiction and Amazing Stories – where my stories were also appearing in the early ‘80s.

My first Twilight Zone story, “Mrs. Halfbooger’s Basement,” appeared in June 1982. The following year, “Echoes” appeared in February 1983. The stories each reappeared in separate editions of Karl Edward Wagner’s Year’s Best Horror Stories, and both remain in print today. Their success, in large part, can be attributed to Ted, who guided me through the rewrites and made sure each story became what it needed to be.

After the Twilight Zone panel, I’m set to take part in the autograph session on Friday at 8:00 PM, where Ash-Tree Press tells me there will be plenty of copies of my collection This Way to Egress, which contains both of my Twilight Zone stories. The book also features some recollections about writing for the magazine.

Beyond that, I’m scheduled to do a reading on Saturday, 1:00 PM, where I plan to share some excerpts from my forthcoming novel Vortex: Book Three of the Veins Cycle. I may also share a bit of my new story “Mercenary,” from Rock On: The Greatest Hits of Science Fiction & Fantasy, the music-themed anthology that came out earlier this month. The publisher Prime Books will have a table in the dealers room.

After my reading I get to relax and attend some of the other panels, presentations, and readings before heading back home early Sunday morning. The weather report shows Frankenstorm will be burning itself out somewhere to the north by then.

It should be clear sailing for the return trip.