“Nuyoricans Go Home” Finds a Home

My essay “Nuyoricans Go Home,” a fictionalized memoir, is now up in the premiere issue of Latino Literatures: A Cultural and Literary Journal.

The journal hopes to be an online source for contemporary discussion on Latina/o literature and culture, and publishes visual art, short prose fiction, poetry, essays, interviews, and relevant book, album, and film reviews. Mil gracias to Thania Muñoz Davaslioglu and Fabio Chee Madrigal for considering and accepting my work and for giving me very good editorial notes.

Here is an excerpt from the essay:

In Puerto Rico that summer, red from the sun and so bored his ankles itched, Fever saw the boys playing softball. He saw them from his aunt’s front porch, picked up the bat his uncle had given him and ran across the street. He was twelve, thin, and had a boxy head.

The players were around his age, dark haired and bronzed. Fever stood off to one side and did practice swings with the bat.

He went up to one of the boys and, in English, asked the boy’s name.

The boy looked him up and down and said, in a thick accent, “Janqui go home.”

“I’m not a Yankee,” Fever said. “I’m a Met.

You can read the whole thing by clicking here.

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A Working Visit to the Motherland: Puerto Rico

Early next month you can find me doing a flyby visit to Puerto Rico, courtesy of Matthew David Goodwin, editor of Latin@ Rising: An Anthology of Science Fiction and Fantasy, and the University of Puerto Rico at Cayey.

Airport security, planes, student strikes, and impending apocalypse permitting, on Friday, March 3, I’ll be running a Fiction Writing Workshop at Sala Héctor Campos, UPR, in Cayey, from 9 to noon. If you’re in PR and want to go, you can register here.

From 1 to 3 p.m. that same day, I will be part of a book presentation of Latin@ Rising with Matthew at the Chancellor’s House.

On Saturday, March 4, from 6 to 7 p.m., I will be part of a panel on “La Ciencia Ficción en un Tiempo de Crisis,” also with Matthew and with Miguel Adrover, at Libreria La Tertulia, 251 Calle de La Cruz, in Viejo San Juan.

Apologies to all my relatives on the island! There won’t be time for visiting, but come see me if you can!

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Upcoming Appearance: Hosting a Mystery Mash-Up

On Saturday, February 11, 2017, 7-9 p.m., I’ll be hosting a mystery writers night at KGB (85 East 4th Street, New York, between 2nd & 3rd Ave), as part of Ducts‘ Trumpet Fiction reading series. I thought it would be good to showcase a group of writers whose works bleed into crime fiction. Together, their diverse genres include erotica, fantasy, historical, horror, romantic suspense, steampunk, and probably a few more. See you there! (It’s free!)

Actress, playwright, artist and award-winning, bestselling author Leanna Renee Hieber has written 11 Gothic Victorian Paranormal novels for adults and teens, set in 1880s New York City and London. Her Strangely Beautiful saga hit Barnes & Noble and Borders Bestseller lists, garnered numerous genre awards, and has been reissued in a special edition from Tor. Her new Gaslamp Fantasy trilogy, The Eterna Files, an X-Files meets Penny Dreadful kind of series, is now available from Tor. A proud member of Actors Equity and SAG-AFTRA, she has been featured in film and television on shows like Boardwalk Empire and leads ghost tours through Manhattan with Boroughs of the Dead.

John Langan is the author of two novels, The Fisherman and House of Windows, and two collections of stories, The Wide, Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies and Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy Encounters. With Paul Tremblay, he edited Creatures: Thirty Years of Monsters. He is one of the founders of the Shirley Jackson Awards, for which he served as a juror during its first three years. Currently, he reviews horror and dark fantasy fiction for Locus.

LaQuette is an author of erotic, multicultural romance novels. She is the 2016 Author of the Year Golden Apple Award Winner, 2016 Swirl Awards 1st Place Winner in Romantic Suspense, and 2016 Aspen Gold Award Finalist in Erotic Romance.

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“Merry Xmas from Orchard Beach” up at Spinetingler

Copyright Tony SheaMy story “Merry Xmas from Orchard Beach” is now up at Spinetingler magazine. Many thanks to Jack Getze and Sandra Ruttan for publishing it.

I’ve always wanted to write a story set in the Bronx Riviera. I went there several times as a kid, the memory of it being very distinct from my memory of Coney Island. When I went back as an adult, I was struck by the sense that this place had been quite magnificent once but had fallen into disregard and decay, cracked sidewalks, abandoned colonnades, a place where dreams floated away like globs of suntan lotion atop salty, mucky water. Well, hello, noir!

This is my second story for Spinetingler. A few years ago they published “Watching the Iguanas,” which is now included in Roachkiller and Other Stories.

Here is a quick excerpt from “Merry Xmas from Orchard Beach”:

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Tito asked.

“Never mind,” Heather said. “He’s got jokes.”

“I have your money,” Ledesma said. “Where is this so-called evidence?”

“I have the evidence against your client right here.” From her coat pocket, Heather pulled out a sealed manila envelope. The day before she had folded up a couple of pages from the New York Post and shoved them in there. “Money first, my friend.”

“You know what? I think you’re a couple of jokers, and I smell bullshit. What the fuck do you really want? I got three screaming spoiled brats waiting to open their goddamned presents. If you don’t tell me what the fuck this is about, I’m getting out of here. And don’t think you can stop me.”

“No, you’re not.” Heather pulled out a .38.

“You have to be kidding.”

She waved him over to one of the doorless bathroom stalls and pointed to the seatless toilet, where the water was frozen.

“Cop a squat,” she told him.

You can read the full story here. If you read it, and you like, please leave a comment there.

Photo courtesy of Tony Shea.

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All about Setting: Library Panel, December 12

locationNext Monday, December 12, starting at 6:15 p.m., at the Seward Park Branch Library
192 East Broadway, I’ll be discussing setting and location in mystery stories with authors C.E. Lawrence, Laura Joh Rowland, and Triss Stein. We’ll read from our works and then answer any reasonable questions.

For more details, click here.

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PURE as the Driven SLUSH

product_thumbnailSpeaking of Dark Times, Winter is indeed coming to the U.S. So perhaps we could all use a little humor before humor is made illegal. I’ve a funny story just printed in Pure Slush, Vol. 13: Freak, an outfit (“flash . . . without the wank”) from Down Under (I think). (I’m seeking to expand my fan base by engaging readers on the other side of the world; if I get just one more fan, that’s an increase of 50 percent!) I entered a story because I happen to have one mostly finished on hand that fit their call: anything concerning freakishness. (Lesson 75: Don’t throw out any drafts or half-gestated ideas.)

Here is a sample from the start of the story, “Echo, Echo”:

“My cubicle is right outside the ladies’ room. I do not try to listen, but with the shape of the walls and the vent in the door, I hear the echo of things I was not meant to hear.”

For the rest of the tale, buy it, buy it now.

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The Haunted House / Das GeisterhausThis story was originally published in Nightmare Illustrated and has been republished several times. I thought I’d add it here temporarily, for your Halloween reading pleasure.

The Old Haunt
by Richie Narvaez

WITH HORROR, Grace realized that she was dead, and that she was now a ghost, and that she would be doomed to haunt the dark, dank, dusty halls of Chuffnuttington Manor for all eternity. What would become of her darling children? What of her dear husband, who had not the least idea of how to order dinner?

“Dearest maman, you are mistaken,” said her suddenly-appearing twin children, Catarina and Carl. “It is we who have passed on to become phantoms and not you.” They perched on tricycles before her, extremely pale and extremely calm, just as eerie in death as in life, for they had since infancy a penchant for talking in burps. “Do not fear,” they chimed in unison. “We are ever so happy. We play all the day, and our laughter shall fill your dreams.”

“How awful,” said Grace.

But then suddenly bursting into the room was her husband, Barley, seaweed covering his drenched tuxedo. “Darling, darling,” he uttered. “How silly you are. It is not you who are the haunting spirit, but I. And before I ascend to the light, I’d like you to take note of a few things, such as how to work the boiler, and that I squandered your family’s fortune on Internet gambling.”

“Oh, Barley!” said Grace.

“Nonsense!” came a voice, hinting of evil and too much apricot brandy. It was the voice of Barley’s father, Lord Chuffnuttington. He floated into the room in his cape and patent leather mandals. “I am the true ghost who haunts Chuffnuttington Manor! All the guests have been tricked into coming here by my missive from the Other Side—you know, Connecticut.”

Just then, the guests filed into the parlor, slowly, ponderously. The young couple who needed only some trauma to reaffirm their love for one another, the comely-yet-duplicitous real estate agent, and the diminutive psychic who was less a psychic and more just a very sensitive Virgo. All of them claimed to be the true ghost.

“FOOLS!” came the snarling voice with a geographically-unplaceable accent, of Carla Van Carla, the maid/chef/groundskeeper/mechanic/reiki master. “I’ve reached back from the Darkness to haunt you all for your sins!”

“But then who made the hors d’oeuvres?” said Grace.

“The canapés were to die for,” noted Barley.

“This cannot be!” pronounced Lord Chuffnuttington. “We can’t all be ghosts.”

“Wait! I know!” said the diminutive Virgo not-really-a-psychic. “It’s the house!”

Just then the doors creaked, an ancient clock chimed, and a microwave dinged, like a forewarning of malevolence.

“The house is a ghost! The house is a ghost!” burped the twins in tandem.

“That explains the horrible wifi,” said the male half of the young couple.

“There is an old Indian burial ground below the library,” said the lovely-but-larcenous real estate agent. “But with its lovely view of the gardens and some curtains, it could be turned into a casino room.”

All of a sudden, the faithful old Rottweiler, who had a predilection for stealing and then chewing Barley’s private lingerie collection, appeared in the doorway and deeply barked: “Ridiculous bipeds! Hear me, Rugtug Catkiller, for that is my true name among my kind. I passed into the Great Nap, but I have brought you here to hear my plea from the Eternal Yard of Light.”

“Shoo, Peaches, you demon hellhound,” said Barley, who disliked the dog for what it had done to his corsets and who, like all the others, had not understood a word it had said.

Then, in the abnormal stillness that followed, they realized that they were all alive, that none of them was a ghost, apparition, or poltergeist, and that they were, in point of fact, merely bored, high on Ritalin, needing to potty, married, senile, emotionally stunted, manic depressive, plagued by dreams of Cthulhu, Libertarian, on steroids, in need of a paint job, and/or in gay denial, respectively.

Things seemed to go well after that, until Grace suggested a round of charades. The others quickly overpowered her, cooked her, and ate her like livestock. The twins particularly enjoyed her shins. “Maman is a tasty maman,” they said, eructating in harmony.

At midnight, their bellies filled, their mouths greasy, they sat round the cavernous library with its cavernous fireplace, and a cavernous bowl of popcorn, and, realizing after all that there was indeed nothing else to do, began a ripping game of charades.

“First word,” said the ventriloquist’s dummy, which had arrived alone and which had heretofore been silent. “One syllable.”


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