NOTE: This is the "NEWS ARCHIVE" (News posted between 2007 - 2008).
11/22/08 - This weekend I’ve had the chance to crack the covers on my contributor’s copy of The Living Dead, edited by John Joseph Adams. Congrats to Mr. Adams on producing what has to be the definitive antho of zombie fiction, and while you’re at it you can shoot a skyrocket up for Jason and Jeremy at Night Shade Books (and if you don’t know from Night Shade, check out their site right here).
In the meantime, I’m surprised at how many of these stories I haven’t read. Fact is, I’m going to go knock off a few more right now...
11/07/08 - It’s my pleasure today to tip you to an anthology I’m not in: Poe’s Children: The New Horror edited by Peter Straub. This is a fine compendium of stories by some of the best and brightest in the horror business, including work by a few personal favorites: Glen Hirshberg, David J. Schow, Melanie and Steve Rasnic Tem, Thomas Tessier, and one hard-edged elegy from the dark side of the fifties which just happens to be written by my talented and beautiful bride, Tia V. Travis.
If you haven’t read “The Kiss,” watch out for it. This lady doesn’t mess around. And if you’ve already read that one, check out Ms. Travis’ newest tale, “One Thousand Dragon Sheets” in Exotic Gothic 2 edited by Danel Olson and published by Ash-Tree Press. If you’re a writer you’ll probably want to break your pencils when you finish Tia’s story, but hey… that’s the price you pay when the really good stuff comes your way.
10/31/08 - And since I can’t drop candy in everyone’s sack today, let me pass on an illo done especially for normanpartridge.com by uber-talented artist Kevin Nordstorm. Kevin’s done work for newspapers and for Marvel’s Epic Comics line (and if you like what you see, be sure and check out Kevin’s gallery right here).
We’ll be featuring more of Kevin’s work on the website in the coming months. Watch for it. In the meantime, from me, webslinger Minh Nguyen, and the October Boy—HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
10/30/08 - As a special Halloween treat, my short story “Apotropaics” has been added to the new issue over at Subterranean Online. Click on over and check out the story that got a young publisher from Flint, Michigan interested in my work a long, long time ago...
05/26/08 - Put a wrap on your holiday weekend with the conclusion of "Road Dogs," just posted over at Subterranean Online. And if you missed Part One of this free novella last week, all you have to do is scroll up the page once you hit that link.
05/19/08 - Part One of a brand new novella, "Road Dogs," has just been posted over at Subterranean Online. Yep, that means what you think it means, amigo (i.e. it’s absolutely free for the clickin').
Enjoy... and watch for the second installment next week.
04/28/08 - Growing up, I was a great fan of short story collections. I couldn't get enough of them. Finding a collection by Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch, or Robert E. Howard was always a cause for celebration, as was coming across those harder-to-find compilations by writers like Charles Beaumont, Davis Grubb, Richard Matheson, or (pretty much) any of the guys who wrote for The Twilight Zone.
Given that little bit of personal history, I’m entirely stoked to announce a deal with Bill Schafer of Subterranean Press for a new collection of my own stories. This will be my fifth compendium of short work, and I'll be putting together the book over the summer. Previously published material will include some personal favorites: "The House Inside", "The Big Man” (which I'll probably expand a bit), "Three Doors", and "Durston". I'm excited to be writing some new fiction for this volume, too. I'm not sure if I'll be going the novella route or writing some shorter stuff, but by the time all is said and done we'll probably have about 20k of new material between the covers.
We'll be posting updates on the progress of the project as it comes together. The publication date in October '09, so we've still got some roadwork to clock before this one is ready to rumble. Stay tuned.
04/27/08 - "Sprechen Sie Oktober Boy?" It looks like the answer to that one is "Ya!" Yep, a German edition of Dark Harvest (a.k.a. Die Dunkle Saat), is coming your way this October from Rowohlt.
I've got no idea about ordering info for this one apart from a German Amazon page. I have seen the cover, and you can check it out below. The photographer has posted the story behind the image (“Beware This Eve”) right here.
What can I say? They grow their pumpkins creepy up in Canada….
04/24/08 - You can file this one under Best Blurb Ever: “If Steve McQueen were a horror writer, his name would be Norman Partridge.”
That’s from Pitch Black over at Horror Garage, via an interview you can find right here. (And, yes… after being compared to the coolest cat dead or alive, I can now die happy.)
04/14/08 - Another update has been posted in the Free Stuff section, so click over and check out “The Mojave Two-Step.” I remember having a lot of fun writing this one, especially the interplay between the two hoods in the stolen ice cream truck (and if that little teaser doesn’t make you give this one a read, I don’t know what will).
Anyway, this story is a hybrid. In fact, I once had a reader ask me if I considered this piece a science fiction story or a crime story. The truth is that I’ve never felt the need to compartmentalize my fiction that way. You’ll find elements of different genres in most things I’ve written, including this one… and I kind of like it that way.
So I guess the answer is that I don’t think in terms of genre when it comes to my stories. I just think of them as Norm Partridge stories… and I hope you enjoy the one you’ll find right here.
04/09/08 - We’ve updated the nonfiction piece over in the Free Stuff section. If you’re an aspiring writer, you might want to check out “Ten Tips from Mr. Fox and Mr. Partridge” right here.
04/08/08 - Good news on the short story front. "In Beauty, Like the Night" has been picked up for reprint in a new zombie anthology edited by John Joseph Adams called The Living Dead, which will be published by Night Shade Books this September (preorder info is here).
Adams' previous anthology, Wastelands, was a masterful collection of post-apocalyptic fiction that included tales by King, Martin, Barrett, Wolfe, and many other great writers. I’m sure you’ll be seeing that book on award ballots next year. It’s a definitive work.
The Living Dead will feature tales of voodoo- and Romero-style shamblers. Check out the Table of Contents below. I’m going to have to get in touch with Jason and Jer over at Night Shade and see if I can score an ARC (advanced reader copy) of this one!
-This Year’s Class Picture by Dan Simmons
04/07/08 - All right… those of you who’ve asked me to run a few of my old It Came from the Drive-In columns are about to get your wish. With the recent passing of seventies sci-fi icon Charlton Heston, we figured a good place to start would be Big Chuck’s version of I Am Legend, a bigga bigga hunka of seventies cinema known as The Omega Man.
I’ve heard that Richard Matheson hates this one, but every writer I know who was born at the tail-end of the Baby Boom loves it. For a good many of us it pretty much was the KO post-apocalyptic fictive punch that made Heston a favorite (the set-up jab of that particular combination being Planet of the Apes… and I ain’t talkin’ the Tim Burton version). I haven’t updated this piece… we’re dropping it into the electronic void just the way it appeared in Horror Garage magazine back in 2001. So please ignore all references to renting The Omega Man on VHS down at your local mom ’n’ pop video store, or the yet-to-be-released DVD version (which is out now), or the phenomenal limited edition soundtrack (which sold out many moons ago).
And one last thing—if you’re easily offended (i.e. say, you can’t ignore foul language or jokes at Jane Fonda’s expense), don’t dare click here.
04/02/08 - Good news, folks. Paul Stevens, my editor over at Tor, has just informed me that DARK HARVEST is headed for a second printing. Thanks to all of you who've picked up a copy of the first Tor edition, and if you haven't grabbed one... well, beat some shoe leather on the path to your nearest bookstore PDQ and do the deal, or get your mouse-finger to clickin' and "order up" online. The October Boy's waiting for you!
Also: I'm finishing up a new novella for Bill Schafer over at Subterranean Online. It'll be wrapped up post haste, and in print soon afterward (i.e. Mr. Schafer does not spare the horses when it comes to getting ms into print, virtual or otherwise).
If you've never encountered Subterranean Online, check out the action here. The current issue features work by a some personal favorites of mine, including Joe Lansdale, Lewis Shiner, and definitely my most-favorite-writer-of-all, my lovely and talented bride, Tia V. Travis. Tia's story, "No Need of Wings" is a retelling/sequel to Henry James' THE TURN OF THE SCREW, and you can part the black curtains and take a peek at it here.
02/07/08 - Yep. It's February. Here in California, the sun has finally come out after three weeks of rain, and so have I. I can't believe it's been so long between posts... so welcome back. We'll be bringing you some new content in the next few weeks. As they used to say before those giant bugs invaded in those fifties flicks: stay tuned.
Before we get back into business around here, let me thank all of you who ordered books over Christmas. Nice to see that you still want 'em in the New Year, too. As we stand right now, all orders have shipped; if you ordered books and haven't received a package yet, get in touch with me.
Longest trip to date: last week, a box headed out of Casa Partridge destined for New Zealand. Can you believe it made it from California to Auckland in THREE DAYS. Wow. I guess that Global Priority Flat-Rate box is indeed the way to go!
11/15/07 - I've had some emails in the last couple weeks inquiring about books for sale. The good news is that I have copies of most of my recent hardcovers and chapbooks, and I'm always glad to inscribe any book you buy direct. Just drop me a line through the Contact page if you're interested. Let me know what you're looking for, and if it's available I'll quote you a price (usually, I'm in the ballpark of most online sellers).
If you're looking to buy a gift for a friend, I'm happy to inscribe them, too. But you'll probably want to get an order in sooner rather than later, so I'll be able to get the book to you well in advance of those December holidays.
11/11/07 - Marshal Zeringue runs an interesting website called The Page 99 Test, which is inspired by a statement once made by Ford Maddox Ford: "Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you."
We ran the test on Dark Harvest, and you can find the results here.
11/08/07 - For those of you who’ve emailed to tell me you’re going through Free Friday Fiction withdrawals, here’s a link to a tale called “Durston” that ran in a western/noir issue of Hardluck Stories edited by my buddy Ed Gorman. As you might expect it’s a dark ride through some cactus spikes… but if you’re tough enough to take it, dig in those spurs and click here.
11/03/07 - Received word that Dark Harvest picked up the International Horror Guild Award for Best Long Fiction of 2006. Thanks to the organizers and judges for putting my work in such fine company on the ballot, and congrats to the other winners and nominees. You can get the whole scoop here.
10/31/07 - Just wanted to tip my hat in the direction of all you regulars who've been checking out the site and coming back for more. And for those who've dropped me a line of the electronic variety, thanks for sharing your thoughts re: Dark Harvest and my other books. Today being Halloween, let me take a minute to shoot a special batwinged "thank you" to all of you who have taken the time to email me and tell me how much you enjoyed Dark Harvest. I don't always get a chance to answer, but believe me: I sure appreciate the good word from the folks on the other side of the page.
And for those of you who've written to tell me that you're saving Dark Harvest for the day (or night!) of Halloween: that certainly sure puts a smile on my face. I'm glad you've made the book part of your holiday... and I hope it'll be one you truly enjoy.
From yours truly and the October Boy: have a happy Halloween!
If that's not enough for you, you'll find an interview with the good folks at class-b.net over here. Enjoy!
10/26/07 - Well, we've reached out last installment of Free Friday Fiction for the time being, so we thought we'd wrap things up right. To celebrate the season, we've got a Halloween story for you. This one's a monkey's paw wrapped up in black-and-orange ribbon... and if you've spent much time with your nose between the covers of horror anthologies, I figure you'll know what I mean.
The tale's called "Three Doors." To come on in and check it out, knock here.
10/24/07 - The Bride and I have an annual tradition around Halloween, watching as many of those old Universal horror classics as we can fit in. My favorites include: Bride of Frankenstein, The Old Dark House, The Mummy, Son of Frankenstein, Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, and Dracula’s Daughter. Of course, I love the later ones, too—the monster rallies from the forties that wedge Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolf Man into one movie… but those films always seem like they needed to be about twenty minutes longer (and have a whole lot more money spent on ’em, too).
Two favorites that are rarely discussed are a couple of Karloff/Lugosi pictures from the thirties: The Black Cat and The Raven. If you haven’t ever seen them, I suggest you hunt them up before the 31st. They’re amazingly twisted for the time — especially The Black Cat — and watching Boris and Bela in them is great, creepy fun. Of course, when you peek behind the scenes, there’s a little bit more to the story than that. If you’re interested in finding out more about Karloff and Lugosi, click on over to an article I wrote a few years ago: Boris & Bela Fistfight in Hell.
Hope you enjoy it… and here’s to horror’s real kings. Long may they reign!
10/10/07 - There’s a new anthology out from Penguin Classics. It’s called American Supernatural Tales, it’s edited by S. T. Joshi, and I’m proud to announce that it includes a tale by yours truly.
Needless to say: this looks like perfect reading for the darkest month of the year.
Equally needless to say: I’m pleased to be in such fine company. Check out the TOC below:
10/02/07 - Well, the man from Philadelphia has weighed in with the good word. Yep, ace crime writer Duane Swierczynski posted a review of Dark Harvest over at his Secret Dead Blog. Check 'er out... and bookmark that sucker while you're at it. If you like your crime stories hard, fast, and comin' at ya, Duane's definitely a guy you'll want to check out. Plus, he likes Stove Top. You know that means he's got his finger on the pulse.
10/01/07 - Every horror writer eventually gets around to writing a scarecrow story. Dark Harvest is mine.
Of course, DH wasn’t the first scarecrow story I wrote. “Red Right Hand,” a hardboiled horror story I did way back when, was supposed to fill the bill. If you’ve read that one, you might remember the heroine (or maybe I should say anti-heroine, as she was half of a Bonnie & Clyde pair of criminals) rushing past a scarecrow in the cornfield before a gunfight broke out. That sucker was supposed to come down off the pole when things got rolling, but he refused. He just shook his rusty bucket of a head and wouldn’t do it. And so that story went a different way than I originally intended… and, hey, I think it was a better one.
But I knew I’d get around to my scarecrow tale eventually. See, it had been percolating for a long long time, thanks to Walt Disney. When I was a kid, Uncle Walt’s Scarecrow of Romney Marsh terrified me. If you’re a baby boomer, you just might know why. If not, I’ll give you the short version: the Scarecrow (played by Patrick McGoohan, better known for Secret Agent Man and The Prisoner) was a real mean piece of work. A vicar by day, he donned a scarecrow costume at night and rode with a gang disguised as demons and ghouls. The locals thought he was a highwayman (or worse), and McGoohan did all he could to reinforce that belief. Needless to say, the Scarecrow did nasty real well—when he wasn’t barking orders in a voice that sounded like it boiled up from the guts of a sinner, he laughed like a demon who’d gargled with a busted bottle of acid. Compared to the action you’d find going on over at the Ponderosa on Bonanza, this was pretty startling stuff.
If you saw McGoohan’s Scarecrow when you were six, it was the kind of thing that could put a mark on you. It did me, anyway. Disney filmed three one-hour episodes, but—as fate would have it—the first one premiered the same night some British bar band called The Beatles showed up on Ed Sullivan for the first time. Needless to say, that little coincidence helped make the Scarecrow’s television ride a short one… and more’s the pity.
But I remember him. And I keep watching for a DVD from Disney featuring those three episodes, which has yet to appear… but don’t get me started complaining about that. Until the folks at the Mouse Factory get their act together, you can settle with this little clip thanks to youtube. Galloping your way, here comes a classic sixties opening credit sequence. Enjoy!
09/04/07 - Well, today’s the day, folks. Dark Harvest should be hitting the shelves in better brick-and-mortar bookstores everywhere, plus those virtual online outfits where you’re just a click away from the good stuff (well, if you subtract the UPS driver motoring your way in his big brown truck, or the USPS’s finest pitter-pattin’ up your sidewalk with a box of bubble-wrapped Halloween action).
To put it plain and simple: if you didn’t pick up the CD edition of Dark Harvest, now’s your chance to grab a copy of the Tor edition with that knockout Jon Foster cover. I’m seriously excited to see the book hitting the streets. For me it marks the official start of the Halloween season—even though thermometers are still hitting ninety degrees out here in California. Hey, that can’t shake me. I just slotted a copy of the new edition of Dark Harvest on my bookshelf and queued up a little Karloff/Lugosi action in my DVD player. Those temps are sure to drop PDQ if they know what’s good for them.
Now, these next couple ’graphs are for those of you who’ve already read DH in the original hardcover edition. First off, thanks for picking up a copy from my friends at Cemetery Dance. I really appreciate it, because you’re the ones who really made the book take off. The sales went amazingly well, and Rich Chizmar and Brian Freeman are happy with that. I am, too… so thanks again.
Of course, I’d like to make the folks at Tor just as happy. If you’ve got the CD hardcover, tell your friends about the Tor trade paper version of Dark Harvest. Hey, if you love that Jon Foster cover as much as I do, pick up a copy of the new one for yourself, or buy one to drop is some lucky person’s treat sack with a fistful of Bit O’ Honeys and Red Vines. If you don’t see the book in your local brick-and-mortar, ask them to carry it. And if you’re connected to any online reading communities, let others know about Dark Harvest. Start a thread. I definitely appreciate you taking the time to do that, just as I always appreciate those reviews on Amazon. Some readers say they never pay attention to them… but I know I always give them a look while I’m shopping, so I guess I’m of the opposite opinion.
Whatever you do, thanks for reading. After all, that’s what it’s all about, and that’s why those of us on the other side of the page keep doing what we do.
And, hey… I think that’s what I’d better go do right now. Somewhere out in Arizona, there’s a werewolf and a pack of bad hombres waiting for me. Stay tuned….
08/28/07 - A big box of Halloween goodness just arrived on the doorstep here at Casa Partridge. Yep, I just received my copies of Dark Harvest, and I’ve got to say: WOW! As much as I loved seeing that great Jon Foster cover online, and as good as it looked when I received a package of cover flats from my editor, Paul Stevens… well, WOW! Getting the finished product is even better. From where I’m sitting, the Tor cover for Dark Harvest looks best of all when it’s wrapped around a book.
So let me shoot a bucketful of thanks to the good crew that made this happen: Irene Gallo (Tor’s Art Director), the startlingly talented Jon Foster, cover-designer Jamie Stafford-Hill, and my aforementioned editor, Paul Stevens. Previously, my favorite cover on a mainstream Norm Partridge book was Berkley’s piece for The Ten-Ounce Siesta, but you folks just knocked that one off the block. There’s a new champ in town… and I couldn’t be happier. Thanks!
As for the rest of you… don’t worry, you won’t have long to wait. Street date for the Tor edition of the book is 9/4/07. Look for it soon!
08/24/07 - If you just typed my name in your address bar and clicked on over: thanks! Welcome to my website. Just like that guy in the Die Hard movies, I'm a Timex watch in a digital world, so that probably makes me the last writer to get a dotcom behind his name. All I can say is it's about time.
Anyway, I hope you'll have fun poking around my little corner of the Net. Here at the News Wire, you'll find info about new books and other projects—and now and then an opinion or two—so keep your eyes peeled on this page. Check out the tabs above and you'll find Free Stuff (including a free short story every week until Halloween), a Bio (and Interviews), a Bibliography that's pretty close to complete (if you notice something missing, let us know!), and a Contact page (with links to publishers, other writers, and a few things I like to check out when I'm clicking around on the Web).
First up in the "let me get this on your radar" department: my newest novel, Dark Harvest, is coming out from Tor in trade paperback in early September. It's a Halloween tale that was first published by indie-powerhouse Cemetery Dance last October... and let's just say it took off pretty well. Publisher's Weekly called Dark Harvest “contemporary American writing at it's finest” and chose the book as one of the 100 Best Novels of 2006. DH also received the Bram Stoker Award, and it's currently up for both an IHG and the World Fantasy Award. I'm currently talking to a production company about a film option, and I hope to have some news on that front for you soon... so stay tuned. It's been a great ride so far, and it looks like it might get better.
If you haven't picked up a copy Dark Harvest already, I hope you'll give it a try. I set out to write a Halloween novel that would channel all the great seasonal trappings readers would expect, and at the same time I wanted to give those trappings—and the reader's expectations—a few real solid twists... the kind where you just might hear bones cracking. It's not my place to tell you if I succeeded or not, but I can tell you this: of the novels I've written, Dark Harvest is my personal favorite. I don't think a writer can give you a more honest endorsement than that.
If you want to give Dark Harvest a test drive, you can read an excerpt over at the Cemetery Dance website. Check out the Interviews with Nate Kenyon and Tom Piccirilli in the Bio section on this site, and you'll find out a little more about the book (and me). And if you're one of those folks who likes to read about the actual process of writing, you can check out my column on the genesis of Dark Harvest right here.
I hope you enjoy what you'll find. If you do, order up a copy of the new edition from Amazon or the friendly neighborhood bookseller of your choice. If you have as much fun reading Dark Harvest as I did writing it, I can guarantee that you're in for one cracklin', fire-breathin' Jack O' Lantern of a ride.
Copyright © 2007 Norman Partridge