The N-Words and other Unmentionables

The N-Words and other Unmentionables

By Michael R. Collings

 

Future generations (assuming there will be such) may look back on our times and wonder at the power we ascribe to individuals and to words.

Whenever there is a social problem, a cultural chasm, the first thing our society turns to—and attempts to change—is often not so much the problem itself, the underlying causes that make human beings treat others in specific ways, the assumptions (often unarticulated but influential) that direct our actions, but rather the most superficial manifestations of that problem.

The language used to describe it, talk about it, or denote it.

In other words, the words.

In 2012, the New York Department of Education, concerned about cultural divides among students, published a list of fifty words proscribed from appearing on official, standardized tests, under the assumption that they might irrevocably harm the developing psyches of school children. Among the victims on the hit-list:

Birthday—possibly offensive to Jehovah’s Witnesses and others who for religious or cultural reasons do not celebrate such events;

Dancing—possibly offensive to religious groups that reject such activities—ballet, however is allowed;

Dinosaur—possibly offensive to anti-evolutionists;

Halloween—possibly offensive to religionists because of its associations with paganism;

Homes with swimming pools—possibly offensive to the benighted few who do not have such amenities in their back yards;

Poverty—possibly offensive to anyone associated with it, because, after all, such a state is not any individual’s fault but society’s;

Religion—possibly offensive to those who have none;

Slavery—possibly offensive to young people multiple generations removed from its practice in New York City;

Terrorism—possibly offensive to members of groups tangentially associated with extremists who actually practice this means of radical social change;

War—definitely offensive to any right-minded person to whom violence (expunged) and bloodshed (also expunged) are anathema under any circumstances.

Superficially, such a list of prohibited words might seem over-reaching, perhaps to the extent of becoming ludicrous. Yet in our world, our fear of offending someone—anyone—has reached such epidemic proportions that at times it seems as if words themselves, our primary means of communication, are under attack.

In September, 2012, the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell responded to questions about possibly forcing the owner of the Washington Redskins to change the team name. “If one person is offended,” he announced, “we have to listen.”

One person.

Curiously enough, I’ve rarely read of any Native Americans objecting to the names.

The brouhaha means, one supposes, that the Kansas City Chiefs will soon be forced to change their name as well, along with the Dallas Cowboys—the latter because of all the mayhem cowboys inflicted upon Native Americans, including their Chiefs, more than a century ago. The Minnesota Vikings are in jeopardy, particularly as the Vikings are now credited (positively) with ‘discovering’ America and judiciously leaving it the way it was…we wouldn’t want to offend any of their descendants. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers bring to mind murder, rapine, and theft—hardly role models for today’s youth. The New England Patriots might offend southerners who find such rabble-rousing inappropriate. The Oakland Raiders definitely need to polish their name; and the Arizona Cardinals need to think about the implications of cardinal, since it is a homograph for a word closely associated with a specific religion—separation of Church and State, after all.

If one person is offended.

And that is just in one sport.

But back to my title.

You will note that I specified “The N-words”—plural.

That was intentional, because I want to look briefly at several near-homophones and explore their differences in meaning…and when they might be useful in writing fiction.

The first is the classic “N-word”: nigger.

In terms of its linguistic history, the word is entirely legitimate. It stems ultimately from the Latin word niger, meaning ‘black,’ and was used descriptively…just as black now is (the latter, by the way, comes from an Anglo-Saxon word, blæc, meaning alternately ‘dark’ or ‘pale’—the usual word for ‘black’ back then was sweart, from which is derived swarthy).

For much of a number of centuries, it remained largely neutral; in the mid-1800s, for example, it became part of the “Mountain Man” lexicon, with the associated sense of ‘pal,’ ‘man,’ even something as colloquial as ‘dude,’ with  no definitive  racial overtones. Not until the early 1900s did it become specifically and exclusively pejorative—which creates serious difficulties in reading late Victorian literature such as Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, or early 20th-century pieces by, say, Edgar Rice Burroughs. When used in such literature, the word might still be primarily descriptive. In a contemporary effort not to appear offensive, one publisher recently introduced an edition of Huckleberry Finn substituting slave—with the unintended consequence that one of Twain’s most powerful characters becomes “Slave Jim,” diminishing him in ways that I don’t think Twain intended.

Be that as it may, the word became pejorative and remains so, to the extent that several recent instances suggest that it now may not even be spoken (by non-blacks, at least) without fear of legal reprisals. It has replaced the infamous “F-word” as the most impermissible utterance in the English language.

(I don’t want to digress into the morality or the rightness of black speakers using it as a term of endearment or affection—that appears to be in flux at the moment, so I can draw no conclusions about it).

But there it is. A word that, despite a respectable genealogy and reasonably respectable history, is now literally (using literally to mean both ‘literally’ and ‘figuratively’) unspeakable.

Except….

In Jonathan Maberry’s Ghost Road Blues, a character named Vic Wingate uses the word perhaps half-a-dozen times in as many pages, always referring to Oren Morse, an itinerant farm worker/blues musician whose murder Wingate orchestrates in an early chapter. The word isn’t accidental; the repetition makes that clear. So why does such a careful, conscientious, masterly writer as Maberry include it?

The reason is not difficult to find. The word appears, not to characterize Oren Morse, who has already been established as a key character, one who knows the truth about a siege of deaths in Pine Deep, and the only one with the courage to seek out the monster and slay it; but rather to characterize the speaker, Wingate. By the end of the trilogy of which Ghost Road Blues is the first volume, Wingate is second only to the Great Evil itself in his debasement, his degradation, his corruption. And one of the first indications of this occurs when he speaks to Morse. Through his use of a single word, he lays his dark soul bare and prepares readers to believe any and all of the horrors he will perpetrate over the next 1200 pages. Six appearances of one small word—and we know all that we need to know of Vic Wingate.

Yes, it is pejorative. Yes, it is socially inappropriate. And yes, it no longer describes but characterizes…except that now is characterizes the speaker rather the subject—a complete reversal of its earlier negative meanings.

In a sense, then, it has found a place, although by left-handed means (I’m left-handed, so I can use the phrase prejudicially), as a useful adjunct in story-telling.

But there has been fallout.

Consider one of the synonyms for snicker: snigger. According to some sources, it is simply a variant of snicker, differing in meaning from the original in the slightly increased sense of disrespect it suggests.

Yet….

On one of the social forums, I found this comment:

I don’t know where I heard it [snigger] first, it has just always been part of my vocabulary. I never once linked it to the N word, which I find horrendously offensive (I have black relatives, and I just like people and don’t like derogatory terms in general!), but when I just typed it into a forum I’m a member of, it censored the middle arrangement of letters. I never use the word “snicker” because it reminds me of the candy bar, and the LAST thing I need to do is create a craving for… oh, drat. Too late. Now I want a candy bar.

Regardless of its meaning, snigger was censored merely because of an adventitious arrangement of letters. The obvious message: MUST NOT USE.

The next post on the forum was explicitly angry, not that snigger had been misused but that it had been used at all:

I am offended when I come across this word. Why do authors use it when it is so close to the “n” word that it is uncomfortable to say? The word “snicker” would have the same meaning and would be less disturbing to the reader. I’m positive that I’m not the only one who feels this way about the use of this word.

One person expresses offense; should snigger therefore be expunged from the language?

If snigger has experienced difficulties, imagine what life must be for the second “N-word”: niggard and its adverbial, niggardly.

Their etymology actually goes farther back, to the 12th and 13th centuries. Nyggard in Middle English paralleled hnøggr in Old Norse, one of the contributory languages to English. Hnøggr, in turn, was cross-related to an Anglo-Saxon adjective, hnēaw, meaning ‘stingy.’ From the beginning, then, niggard and niggardly have carried a single meaning, one utterly divorced from race, color, or social opprobrium (except insofar as it is deemed antisocial to be stingy).

Yet….

I’ve been told explicitly never to use it.

I wrote it on the greenboard in my classroom once, and the entire class gasped in shock.

An associate of the mayor of Washington, D.C., was forced to resign for using it (appropriately) to describe a proposed budget.

A college student in Wisconsin complained that a professor used the word repeatedly during lectures on Chaucer, in spite of her being deeply offended by it.

A teacher in North Carolina was reprimanded for using the word during a discussion of literary characters and was required to attend sensitivity training.

Newspapers and magazines have officially banned the word, fearing the public consequences.

An accidental arrangement of letters that results in a near-homophone.

And the word is banned.

Curiously, a second near-homograph/homophone has largely escaped controversy. Niggle comes from the identical root as niggard—the aforementioned Old Norse hnøggr. It has a related meaning: Whereas niggardly means ‘parsimonious’ or ‘penurious,’ niggle means to criticize repeatedly, albeit in a peevish, petty, rather miserly way. It is, admittedly, not common in contemporary English, although J. R. R. Tolkien used it magnificently in one of his lesser-known stories, “Leaf by Niggle.” Niggle is the main character, appropriately enough described as a “little man.” One of the points of the story is the way in which he is niggled by others, to the extent that his greatest artistic achievement—a landscape painting—is eventually allowed to deteriorate until all that remains is a small scrap with a single leaf…hence the title. In the end, the tale becomes a story of redemption and validation, and the name “Niggle” becomes synonymous with Heaven.

I’m not aware of any particular fuss about him—or anyone else—using niggle, and the reason, I think, has largely to do with pronunciation.

Niggard ends with a low plosive—‘d.’ That means that the final sound literally explodes from the throat as the tongue drops from the palate and allows built-up air to be released. It cannot be prolonged, and for that reason, in speech, it frequently disappears, leaving behind only the lingering sense of the guttural ‘r.’ And in that context, the unaccented -ar sounds exactly like the unaccented -­er. In effect, niggard can become another word entirely when heard.

Niggle, on the other hand, lacks the final plosive. In fact, its final sound—the high liquid ‘l’—allows the speaker to hang on to the word, to let it continue until the speaker simply runs out of breath if so chosen, and in doing so, it effectively defuses the implicitly negative sense of the first letters: nigg. The ‘g’ becomes less rough, less thick, and the physiological effect of the word is much lighter, much higher. Niggle becomes acceptable.

In both cases—snigger and niggard—the words’ disrepute stems not from meaning but from sound. Neither is in any way related linguistically to the infamous N-word. Nor does either bear any connection to racial comments. Indeed, if embedded racism were the primary criterion for choosing which words to avoid, then the ubiquitous boy, given its usage history, should join the list.   

Yet from the evidence provided by our society it would be difficult to tell which word is the most undesirable: dinosaur, war, or niggardly.

Fortunately, the New York City Board of Education’s attempt met with the scorn I think it deserved. And attempts to can nigardly from college campuses resulted, in at least one instance, in a broadening of freedom of expression rather than a narrowing.

Now to bring the discussion down to my ultimate purpose—talking about story-telling and fictions.

No words are too sacrosanct to use in a story; and no words are so horrific—especially in writing darkness, horror—that they cannot appear. Even the most socially inappropriate of words, used carefully and with the intent to characterize the moral failings, not of the subject, but of the speaker can become effective.

All that is needed is a clear understanding on the part of writers of four points:

* The way the readers might react to the words and how that will impact the story’s reception—as can be seen from the case of Huckleberry Finn, merely using a certain word might be enough to turn a portion of the readership away;

* The possibility of using synonyms that lack the emotional charge but that will allow the story to remain true to itself—remembering always that there are almost no true and complete synonyms in the English language;

* The responsibilities writers have to themselves, to their characters, and to the world in which they live—in Maberry’s novel, for instance, the word is almost required, given the choices that his characters will eventually have to make between Good and Evil…and his language is expressly designed to allow readers to see, understand, and accept those choices; and

* The freedom of writers to self-censor and choose responsibly, fully aware of implications and consequences; but when a society identifies certain words that must never be used, that society has overstepped its legitimate bounds

Fortunately, in spite of NFL commissioners, boards of education, college administrators, and others who would restrict the language to meet their view of the world, authors remain free to choose and to explore.

JournalStone Publishing Announces Signing of Author Glen Krisch to a three book apocalyptic series, The Brother’s Keeper Trilogy, with book 1, Arkadium Rising set to be published in December, 2014.

SAN FRANCISCO, September 16, 2013 – JournalStone Publishing (JSP) President, Christopher C. Payne is pleased to announce the signing of a contract with author Glen Krisch, to publish a three book series titled, The Brother’s Keeper.  Book, 1, Arkadium Rising, is set to be published in December 2014, Book 2 to follow in 2015, with Book 3 concluding the trilogy set for a 2016 release date.

About the novel, Arkadium Rising: Jason and Marcus Grant are brothers who have traveled quite different paths. Jason is a hardworking journalist trying to make a name for himself.  Marcus, a former neo-Nazi and a sometime drug addict, has joined a religious cult that is as old as the bible itself.  This cult, the Arkadium, comes out of hiding, unleashing a plot to bring down modern civilization in the space of a single afternoon.  They want to turn back time ten thousand years and they don’t care who gets hurt in the process. Marcus is an established leader in the Arkadium. In a time when the written word has been banned, Marcus forces Jason to secretly record the history that unfolds after the apocalypse. Book One of the trilogy chronicles the fall of modern man.

About the Author: Glen Krisch’s novels include The Nightmare Within, Where Darkness Dwells, Nothing Lasting, and Arkadium Rising (Brother’s Keeper Book One). His short fiction has appeared in publications across three continents for the last decade. Besides writing and reading, he enjoys spending time with his wife, romance author Sarah Krisch, his three boys, simple living, and ultra-running. He enjoys talking to his readers. Feel free to stop by his website to see what he’s up to: www.glenkrisch.wordpress.com

JournalStone Publishing is a dynamic publishing house, focusing in the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror genres in both the adult and young adult markets. JSP also owns and operates the Hellnotes website, offering daily news and reviews of interest to genre readers and fans, and Dark Discoveries Magazine, a slick, full color, internationally-distributed quarterly magazine.  We publish in multiple book formats and market our authors on a global level. We are also active with numerous major writer’s groups, including the Horror Writers Association (HWA), and produce a monthly newsletter with a large circulation.

 

# # #

For further information –  415-763-7323 (415-763-READ)

Contact:           Christopher C. Payne, President JournalStone Publishing

Email:              christophercpayne@journalstone.com

Website:           http://journalstone.com

Editor vs. Reviewer

As a writer, I often don different hats: novelist, short-story writer, poet, critic, reviewer, editor.

Occasionally—and frustratingly—the hats collide when one function strays over into another. For example, I am the Senior Publications Editor at JournalStone Publications, which means that when working with a manuscript, I need to be alert to anything that impedes the flow of the narrative while simultaneously remaining as true as possible to the words and rhythms of that most marvelous of creatures, the author.

I am also a reviewer for my own site, Collings Notes (michaelrcollings.blogspot.com), for Hellnotes (hellnotes.com) and for Dark Discoveries. When I wear that hat, I am responsible for assessing the effectiveness of narrative, taking into account as many elements of writing as possible.

Once in a while, however, I find these two hats at odds with each other. I recently read a novel that had compelling characters; a well-constructed story; a clear setting; and a distinct beginning, middle, and end—in a nutshell, the author had conceived of an intriguing story, structured it imaginatively and interestingly, and told it well.

Or almost well.

By the time I finished the novel, I was frustrated.

The reviewer in me wanted to conclude that this was a strong story that deserved an equally strong review. The editor in me, however, balked.

The problem rested, not with the story per se, but with the words used to tell it. At the level of editing—correcting grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax that might otherwise create distractions and derail the story—there were so many problems that they eventually took over. The story as story dissipated and finally disappeared.

In this instance, the problems dealt primarily with punctuation, with the all-too-common sense among many authors and editors alike that little things like commas and hyphens really don’t matter that much. If you want a pause in a sentence, throw in a comma, regardless of how that actually changes meaning. Or, if you wish, just leave such trivialities out altogether.

At the moment, there are two popular memes on the social networks, designed to remind people that punctuation counts.

One is a sentence that reads:

I enjoy cooking

my pets

and my family.

Writing the words on a single line reveals the essential problem: “I enjoy cooking my pets and my family”—a truly horrific meal in progress, presumably. The solution to the problem: two small commas: “I enjoy cooking, my pets, and my family”—three creditable activities although, one hopes, listed in reverse order of importance.

The second meme is similar but even shorter: “Let’s eat kids.” Again, a rather carnivorous, not to say cannibalistic intent worthy of Jonathan Swift at his most satirical. Add a comma, and we get: “Let’s eat, kids.” An entirely different statement.

As I thought about the problem, I came up with six words that, depending on how one punctuates them, are capable of several meanings:

He watched the grandmother eating bear.

Surface level, as punctuated—a man is watching an elderly woman consuming the flesh of a bear. Perhaps from a historical novel, perhaps from a novel about survival in the wilderness, but either way, perfectly acceptable.

Add a comma, however, and the meaning shifts:

He watched the grandmother, eating bear.

Now the man, whoever he is, is contentedly observing the elderly woman while he chows down on his evening meal of bear steak. Same words; different action.

To ring yet another change, delete the comma and add…a hyphen:

He watched the grandmother-eating bear.

By indicating that grandmother and bear are connected as a two-part adjective, the sentence now asserts that the man is hot on the trail of a man-eating (or grandmother-eating) carnivore and, having located it, is watching it…presumably prefatory to killing it.

[By the way, the possibilities of ambiguity and misunderstanding increase if homonyms come into play: bare instead of bear—something that SpellCheck won’t pick up.]

Granted, these sentences are contrived. In novel after novel, story after story, however, it is fairly easy to find parallel structures that—through the positioning of a comma or a hyphen, or the lack of same—assert a meaning wildly at odds with the tone and movement of the story.

“But the context will make it clear,” some will say, impatient at what appears to them as nitpicking.

True. It will.

But in the period, however brief, between initially reading such a sentence and fitting it into the context of the story, there is necessarily a pause, a break, a moment’s hesitation that for that instant fractures the story. And enough of those small moments, enough of those uneasy junctures, and there is the danger that the reader will not only back up sufficiently to put the sentence into context but will back out of the story completely.

That is a danger no writer should be willing to risk.

JournalStone Publishing Announces – Limbus, Inc. will be stocked on the shelves of Barnes & Noble bookstores.

JournalStone Publishing Announces - Limbus, Inc. will be stocked on the shelves of

 Barnes & Noble bookstores.

SAN FRANCISCO, September 8, 2013 – JournalStone Publishing (JSP) President, Christopher C. Payne is pleased to announce that Limbus, Inc., the collaborative anthology featuring five authors (Jonathan Maberry, Benjamin Kane Ethridge, Joseph Nassise, Brett J. Talley and Anne C. Petty – Editor) and the obscure corporate entity of Limbus, Inc. will be stocked in select Barnes & Noble bookstores.  “We are very pleased with our progress here at JournalStone as we continuing moving forward, establishing a footprint in the larger brick and mortar marketplace.” – Christopher C. Payne

About the novel: Are you laid off, downsized, undersized? Call us. We employ. 1-800-555-0606 How lucky do you feel? So reads the business card from LIMBUS, INC., a shadowy employment agency that operates at the edge of the normal world. LIMBUS’s employees are just as suspicious and ephemeral as the motives of the company, if indeed it could be called a company in the ordinary sense of the word. In this shared-world anthology, five heavy hitters from the dark worlds of horror, fantasy, and scifi pool their warped takes on the shadow organization that offers employment of the most unusual kind to those on the fringes of society. One thing’s for sure – you’ll never think the same way again about the fine print on your next employment application!

How can you help: Head over to your nearest Barnes & Noble bookstore and buy a copy of Limbus, Inc.  If they don’t have a copy, ask them to bring one in, or possibly stock the book at that particular store.  If they do have some copies on hand, ask them to drop it on the front shelf.  Bring some focus on it.  Whatever you can do to help bring attention to Limbus, Inc. in Barnes & Noble is very much appreciated.  Thanks!

JournalStone Publishing is a dynamic publishing house, focusing in the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror genres in both the adult and young adult markets. JSP also owns and operates the Hellnotes website, offering daily news and reviews of interest to genre readers and fans, and Dark Discoveries Magazine, a slick, full color, internationally-distributed quarterly magazine.  We publish in multiple book formats and market our authors on a global level. We are also active with numerous major writer’s groups, including the Horror Writers Association (HWA), and produce a monthly newsletter with a large circulation.

 

# # #

For further information –  415-763-7323 (415-763-READ)

Contact:           Christopher C. Payne, President JournalStone Publishing

Email:              christophercpayne@journalstone.com

Website:           http://journalstone.com

JournalStone Publishing Announces Signing of Award-Winning New York Times bestselling Authors, David Liss, Robert Jackson Bennett, Joe McKinney, Rhodi Hawk and Hank Schwaeble to a multi-era novel peeling away the layers of a hundred-year mystery: CENTURY.

SAN FRANCISCO, August 19, 2013 – JournalStone Publishing (JSP) President, Christopher C. Payne is pleased to announce the signing of a contract with award winning and New York Times bestselling authors, David Liss, Robert Jackson Bennett, Joe McKinney, Rhodi Hawk and Hank Schwaeble, to publish a collaborative novel Century, developed and written by the five members of the Candlelight Writers Group.  The novel is set to be published August, 2014

About the novel: In the summer of 2014, be prepared for the mystery of the Century. Five award-winning authors take you through an epic span of supernatural noir, a full hundred years of webbed conspiracy, from the tenement slums of turn-of-the-century New York, to the dawn of talking celluloid in Hollywood, through the hard-boiled streets of Houston in the age of Sputnik, past a seemingly lone act of history-changing violence during the Reagan Administration, all the way to the here and now of today and the inner workings of the powerful machinery at the end of every string.  One novel.  Five authors.  Five eras.  One… CENTURY.

About the Authors: David Liss is the author six novels, most recently The Devil’s Company. He is the bestselling author of five previous novels: A Conspiracy of Paper, winner of the 2000 Edgar Award for Best First Novel, The Coffee Trader, A Spectacle of Corruption, The Ethical Assassin and The Whiskey Rebels. Robert Jackson Bennett is the Edgar Award and Shirley Jackson award-winning author of Mr. Shivers and The Company Man.  Joe McKinney is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of several novels, including the four part Dead World series, Quarantined and Inheritance.  Rhodi Hawk is the International Thriller Writers Association Scholarship Award-winning author of A Twisted Ladder and The Tangled Bridge.  Hank Schwaeble is the multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Damnable and Diabolical.

JournalStone Publishing is a dynamic publishing house, focusing in the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror genres in both the adult and young adult markets. JSP also owns and operates the Hellnotes website, offering daily news and reviews of interest to genre readers and fans, and Dark Discoveries Magazine, a slick, full color, internationally-distributed quarterly magazine.  We publish in multiple book formats and market our authors on a global level. We are also active with numerous major writer’s groups, including the Horror Writers Association (HWA), and produce a monthly newsletter with a large circulation.

 

# # #

For further information –  415-763-7323 (415-763-READ)

Contact:           Christopher C. Payne, President JournalStone Publishing

Email:              christophercpayne@journalstone.com

Website:           http://journalstone.com

JournalStone Publishing & Dark Discoveries Magazine Announce Signing of Model/Singer/Songwriter, Leah Jung, to Contract for New Magazine Column

SAN FRANCISCO, August 30, 2013 – JournalStone Publishing (JSP) President, Christopher C. Payne and Dark Discoveries Magazine Managing Editor, James Beach, are pleased to announce the signing of Leah Jung, and for the publication of a new, regular column in Dark Discoveries focused on the tattoo culture, Leah Jung and interviews with her friends, as they travel the globe.  The column/interviews will begin with issue #25, to be released on October 31, 2013, and recurring thereafter in succeeding issues.

Leah Jung is a professional singer/songwriter, model, actress, and writer, currently residing in Brooklyn, New York; she travels regularly. In addition to being one of the world’s most recognizable women used in media that targets tattoo culture, boasting over 30 magazine covers, she also sings and writes professionally. Leah currently pens a regular column for Ink Style Magazine, and has had her writing published in numerous other magazines and blogs. Her background in all things horror has, so far, been only personal. But this personal interest goes back so many years, she may as well have been watching Rosemary’s Baby while still in the womb. Insisting on being Dracula for Halloween at age three, running late for elementary school due to cemetery explorations, and calling “Dead Alive” her favorite movie since before she should have been allowed to watch it, Leah feels that her place with Dark Discoveries fits as snug as an Iron Maiden.  For more of Leah, visit http://leahjung.com

JournalStone Publishing is a dynamic publishing house, focusing in the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror genres in both the adult and young adult markets. JSP also owns and operates the Hellnotes website, offering daily news and reviews of interest to genre readers and fans, and Dark Discoveries Magazine, a slick, full color, distinguished and internationally distributed quarterly magazine.  We publish in multiple book formats and market our authors on a global level. We are also active with numerous major writer’s groups, including the Horror Writers Association (HWA), and produce a monthly newsletter with a large circulation. 

# # #

 For further information –

 Contact:           Christopher C. Payne, President JournalStone Publishing

Email:              christophercpayne@journalstone.com

Website:           http://journalstone.com

Phone:             415-763-7323. (READ)

JournalStone Publishing Announces Signing of Bestselling Author, Jonathan Maberry, to Edit New Themed Anthology: Out of Tune

SAN FRANCISCO, August 14, 2013 – JournalStone Publishing (JSP) President, Christopher C. Payne is pleased to announce the signing of New York Times bestselling and multiple Bram Stoker Award® winning author, Jonathan Maberry, as editor for a new themed anthology titled Out of Tune.  The anthology’s theme is stories taken from folklore ballads— and will contain 100% new fiction from an all-star list of award-winning and bestselling contributors: Catherynne M. Valente, Christopher Golden, Davd Liss, Del Howison, Gary Braunbeck, Gregory Frost, Jack Ketchum, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Kelley Armstrong, Nancy Holder, Seanan McGuire, Steve Niles, David F. Kramer and Simon R. Green. The anticipated release date for the anthology is May of 2014.

About the Editor: Jonathan Maberry is a NY Times bestselling author, multiple Bram Stoker Award winner, and freelancer for Marvel Comics. His novels include EXTINCTION MACHINE, FLESH & BONE, GHOST ROAD BLUES, Dust & Decay, Patient Zero, The Wolfman, and many others include a new mystery-thriller YA series, WATCH OVER ME, scheduled to debut in 2014. His nonfiction books include ULTIMATE JUJUTSU, THE CRYPTOPEDIA, ZOMBIE CSU, and others. Jonathan’s award-winning teen novel, ROT & RUIN, is now in development for film. He was a featured expert on The History Channel special ZOMBIES: A LIVING HISTORY. Since 1978 he’s sold more than 1200 magazine feature articles, 3000 columns, two plays, greeting cards, song lyrics, and poetry. His comics include CAPTAIN AMERICA: HAIL HYDRA, DOOMWAR, MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN and MARVEL UNIVERSE VS THE AVENGERS. Jonathan writes SCARY OUT THERE, a weekly blog for the Horror Writers Association that features interviews with the top names in young adult horror fiction. Jonathan is a columnist for Dark Discoveries, a Contributing Editor for The Big Thrill (the newsletter of the International Thriller Writers), and is a member of SFWA, IAMTW, MWA, SCBWI, SFWA and HWA, as well as a jurist for the Edgar and Stoker Awards. He teaches the Experimental Writing for Teens class, is the founder of the Writers Coffeehouse, and co-founder of The Liars Club. Jonathan lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with his wife, Sara Jo and a fierce little dog named Rosie. www.jonathanmaberry.com.

Visit his website at www.jonathanmaberry.com or find him on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, GoodReads, Library Thing, Shefari and Plaxo.

JournalStone Publishing is a dynamic publishing house, focusing in the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror genres in both the adult and young adult markets. JSP also owns and operates the Hellnotes website, offering daily news and reviews of interest to genre readers and fans, and Dark Discoveries Magazine, a slick, full color, internationally-distributed quarterly magazine.  We publish in multiple book formats and market our authors on a global level. We are also active with numerous major writer’s groups, including the Horror Writers Association (HWA), and produce a monthly newsletter with a large circulation.

 

# # #

For further information –

Contact:           Christopher C. Payne, President JournalStone Publishing

Email:              christophercpayne@journalstone.com

Website:           http://journalstone.com

Pone:               415-763-7323. (READ)

Dark Discoveries – Subscription Drive

Dark Discoveries, a quarterly (Spring: April 30th, Summer: July 31st, Autumn: October 31st and Winter: January 31st), 8×11/color glossy magazine (100 to 120 pages), has been in continuous publication for nearly a decade.  The magazine features some of the best content in the Horror/Dark Fantasy/Science Fiction genres, offering in-depth interviews, insightful articles, regular columns, fantastic artwork and outstanding short fiction. Past contributors and topics include: Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, The Twilight Zone, H.R. Giger, William F. Nolan, Ramsey Campbell, EC Comics, Joe R. Lansdale, Dan O’Bannon, Forrest J Ackerman, Graham Masterton, Brian Lumley, George Clayton Johnson, Dark Horse Comics, Brian Keene, Douglas Clegg, Joe Hill, J.K. Potter and many others.

Dark Discoveries is launching a subscription drive, and with the drive we not only want to increase our current subscriber base, we also want to reward those individuals that have supported Dark Discoveries for the past several years.

Multi-award winning author, Lisa Morton, a long time HWA member and current Vice President of the HWA will be launching a new series this January, 2014.  Book one will be titled Netherworld.  For our current subscriber base (anyone with an active subscription as of October 31, 2013) we will be shipping a free ARC of Lisa’s Netherworld, included with the shipment of issue #25.  All you have to do to receive your free ARC of Netherworld, is ensure you have an active membership as of October 31, 2013.

But, don’t wait until the last minute to subscribe.  We also have some additional prizes to hand out.  We will have a drawing in the Months of August, September and October.  Each month, one subscriber will win a limited edition, autographed copy of Limbus, Inc.  Are you familiar with the book?  Take a look at this link and check it out.  It could be yours free, just for being a current subscriber, at the end of each month.  Sign up now and you will be included in the drawing for all three months.

Wow, is that it?  Could there be more?  Yes, there actually is more.  We will do the same drawing for the Only The Thunder Knows – East End Girls limited edition and also for the limited edition of Smog – Night of Eternal Baggage.  So, just by being a subscriber to DD you get the chance of winning one of three limited editions, every single month.  Are you interested in signing up yet?  Wait, that is not all.

In addition we will also being drawing a subscriber name, every single month, that will win, wait for it… a $50 Amazon gift card.  Holy moly, you could actually sign up for an annual subscription, and get it for FREE, and still have money left over.  It has to end, we can’t possibly do more, or can we.

Yes, we can.  We will also be giving away one free box of JS books.  Every book we have in stock.  Limited editions, paperbacks, whatever is on the shelves.  The entire current library that is in stock.  I can’t guarantee what that will be, but I can say it will be well over 30 books.  I will simply walk down the aisle and gab one of everything that is there, and ship it out. This drawing will be done at the end of October only.  A one time shot.  Anything and everything that is sitting on the shelf at that time.

Read the above carefully.  I can’t list all of these drawings again.  If you enjoy cash and or reading, this is a must for you.

The above contest is for annual or longer print subscriptions, with the exception of the Amazon gift card.  The Amazon gift card drawing is for everyone, including the e-book subscribers.  All of the above drawings will include international subscribers.

Let me know if you have any questions and tell your friends and family.  We want Dark Discoveries on the shelf of every horror fan between the ages of 13 and 126.  Sorry, if you are of the age of 127 or above it might be too risky to read some of the stories.

The purchasing option for annual subscriptions can be found at this link, at the bottom of the page for issue #24.  http://journal-store.com/fiction/dark-discoveries-issue-24/

JournalStone Publishing & Dark Discoveries Magazine Announce Signing of Author, Richard Dansky, to Contract for New Magazine Column

SAN FRANCISCO, August 3, 2013 – JournalStone Publishing (JSP) President, Christopher C. Payne and Dark Discoveries Magazine Managing Editor, James Beach, are pleased to announce the signing of author and longtime videogame writer, Richard Dansky, and for the publication of a new, regular column in Dark Discoveries focused on videogame reviews, news in the gaming industry, new hardware releases and what is driving gaming going forward.  The column will begin with issue #25, to be released on October 31, 2013, and recurring thereafter in succeeding issues.

Richard Dansky: The Central Clancy Writer for Red Storm/Ubisoft, Richard Dansky was named one of the top 20 game writers by Gamasutra in 2009. His credits include games from Rainbow Six 3 to the upcoming Splinter Cell: Blacklist, and has included work on franchises such as Far Cry, Ghost Recon, Might and Magic, and Driver. Richard is also a member of the advisory board for the Game Narrative Summit, and contributed to all 3 volumes of the IGDA Writers’ SIG series on writing for videogames. His most recent novel, VAPORWARE, is set in the world of videogame development, and is available from JournalStone.

JournalStone Publishing is a new and dynamic publishing house, focusing in the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror genres in both the adult and young adult markets. JSP also owns and operates the Hellnotes website, offering daily news and reviews of interest to genre readers and fans, and Dark Discoveries Magazine, a slick, full color, distinguished and internationally distributed quarterly magazine.  We publish in multiple book formats and market our authors on a global level. We are also active with numerous major writer’s groups, including the Horror Writers Association (HWA), and produce a monthly newsletter with a large circulation.

 # # #

For further information –

Contact:           Christopher C. Payne, President JournalStone Publishing

Email:              christophercpayne@journalstone.com

Website:           http://journalstone.com

Phone:             415-763-7323. (READ)

JournalStone Publishing Announces Signing of Award-Winning Author Hank Schwaeble to a four-book deal for novels three through six of the Jake Hatcher series

SAN FRANCISCO, June 28, 2013 – JournalStone Publishing (JSP) President, Christopher C. Payne is pleased to announce the signing of a contract with award winning author, Hank Schwaeble, to publish his next four novels in the award winning Jake Hatcher series.

About the novels: The Angel of the Abyss, novel three in the Jake Hatcher series, is tentatively set for publication on Friday, June 13, 2014, and follows ex-special forces interrogator and demon-magnet Jake Hatcher, who has inherited millions after thwarting Valentine and the Carnates’ plan to open a portal to Hell. Finally able to be with the woman he loves, life—for anyone else—would seem charmed. But Hatcher’s good fortune came at a steep price; one that doesn’t merely haunt him, but dictates his every move. Ultimately, Hatcher must discover for himself what is real, and what isn’t, on whose side he should be fighting, and whether he can prevail in a potential battle of wit and wills with both a new contender for the throne of Hell and the being that has been its occupant since the dawn of Creation—the Crowned Ruler of all Demons, the Lord of all Damnation, the Great Deceiver… The Angel of the Abyss.  The additional three novels under contract will follow Jake Hatcher as he continues his hellish adventures.

About the Author: Hank Schwaeble is a thriller writer and attorney in Houston, Texas. His debut novel, DAMNABLE (Berkley/Jove 2009) won the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel. His second novel, DIABOLICAL (Berkley/Jove) was released in June, 2011. A graduate of the University of Florida and Vanderbilt Law School, Hank is also a former Air Force officer and special agent for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. He was a distinguished graduate from the Air Force Special Investigations Academy, graduated first in his class from the Defense Language Institute’s Japanese Language Course, and was an editor of the law review at Vanderbilt where he won four American Jurisprudence Awards. Hank is an active member of the Horror Writers Association and the International Thriller Writers Association and is married to fellow author Rhodi Hawk.

JournalStone Publishing is a new and dynamic publishing house, focusing in the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror genres in both the adult and young adult markets. JSP also owns and operates the Hellnotes website, offering daily news and reviews of interest to genre readers and fans, and Dark Discoveries Magazine, a slick, full color, distinguished and internationally distributed quarterly magazine.  We publish in multiple book formats and market our authors on a global level. We are also active with numerous major writer’s groups, including the Horror Writers Association (HWA), and produce a monthly newsletter with a large circulation.

 

# # #

For further information –

Contact:           Christopher C. Payne, President JournalStone Publishing

Email:              christophercpayne@journalstone.com

Website:           http://journalstone.com

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