Nyt projekt: Gotisk krimi fra H. Harksen Productions

(Danish post. English updates will be posted later.)

GOTISK KRIMI_Cover_basicVer01_small

Efter længere tids stilhed fra H. Harksen Productions er der nu nye, spændende udgivelser på vej. På engelsk såvel som på dansk.

Jeg vil i denne omgang nøjes med at løfte sløret for et helt nyt koncept på forlaget: den gotiske krimi. I romanform.

Den trofaste læser af forlagets udgivelser skal dog ikke fortvivle – der er ikke tale om at H. Harksen Productions nu forlader horrorscenen og går over til krimiscenen i stedet for. Slet, slet ikke. Og bare rolig, der er heller ikke tale om at stoppe med at udgive gode, dystre antologier. Nej, selvom jeg selv ikke er den store krimilæser, så har det igennem årene dog slået mig, hvor meget the weird tale (og dermed også horror) har til fælles med krimigenren. Der er i begge tilfælde ofte tale om et mysterium – ganske tit med blodige og ubehagelige scener – som man i løbet af historien søger finde en forklaring på. Hvad der så opklares, hvordan der så opklares samt (ikke mindst) hvilken form for forklaring der kommer i spil, nå ja, dét kan variere en hel del, men overlappet er ikke til at tage fejl af.

Det er i dette (rummelige) krydsfelt, den gotiske krimi kommer i spil. I modsætning til flere af forlagets tidligere udgivelser vil der denne gang ikke være tale om en formel serie (bind 1, bind 2, bind 3 osv.). Der vil blot være tale om en type udgivelser, som sælges under den samme paraplybetegnelse: gotiske krimi. De enkelte udgivelser er mao. uafhængige af hinanden, og vil derudover gribe genren an fra meget forskellige vinkler.

Jeg har stadig nogle følere ude, men jeg er meget stolt af allerede nu at kunne afsløre navnene på de første, som er med på projektet, og de fleste arbejdstitler arbedstitlerne:

  • Patrick Leis: Blodspor
  • Mads Højmark Jensen: Ondskaben fra Alhambra
  • Ruben Strid: Mørkets kunst
  • Lars Ahn Pedersen: Rød høst
  • Niels Ole Busk Nielsen: Lidenskabens pris
  • Lars Kramhøft & Henrik Sandbeck Harksen: Den skjulte by

Forbered dig på nervepirrende historier i det gotiske landskab. Og ja, hvis du allerede nu spekulerer over det: der er tale om romaner, som foregår i nutiden… og fremtiden. De første romaner udgives i løbet af første halvår 2014.

Jeg vil selvfølgelig skrive mere om dette projekt her på bloggen, men nu skal jeg i gang med at læse indsendt materiale til sværd & trolddom-antologien, Mørke guders templer, redigeret i samarbejde med Rasmus Wichmann. Og historier til sci-fi horror antologien Universets mørke (deadline d. 30. november 2013) er også begyndt at lande i indbakken.

Ah, sikke tider.

P. S. Illustrationen som indleder dette blogindlæg er ikke et officielt logo for udgivelserne. Det er bare hastigt kreeret for at have en simpel billedfil i indlægget. Don’t worry.

In the Works

So, how’s it going with the books? Well, here’s a brief wrap-up of the situation today:

 

 

Seret” by John Mayer. For Hex Code and Others by John Mayer.

 

BOOKS IN ENGLISH:

  • Hex Code and Others by John Mayer. I am back on track with this, which will be the first hardcover in English from me. It’s a beauty. I don’t expect any more glitches here, so it’s an August 2012 release.
  • A Look Behind the Derleth Mythos: Origins Of the Cthulhu Mythos by John D. Haefele. Just received the 200+ pages from John, and printed what I need to read the next week. Honestly, folks, this will change scholarship re. Derleth & Lovecraft. ‘Nuff said for now. Publication: October 2012.
  • Lovecraftian Covens by Franklyn Searight. Publication: November 2012.

 

BOOKS IN DANISH (written in Danish):

  • Pix. Novellesamling med moderne, gotiske fortællinger, redigeret af Henrik Sandbeck Harksen. Inkl. en CD med et nummer komponeret af Ras Bolding eksklusivt til denne udgivelse. Alt i alt en udgivelse ulig nogen anden i Danmark. Forventes udgivet i oktober eller november 2012. (Nærmere information følger snart, inkl. vedr. novellerne og forfatterne.)

 

Oh… Have I forgotten to mention that there will soon be a call for submission in the third hplmythos.com Series? A follow-up to the already very popular Urban Cthulhu: Nightmare Cities. Theme? — Well, again the title says most, if not all: Whisperers in Darkness: New Horrors.

More on that one soon, here and on the website…

Stay tuned;-)

Writ(h)ing

Let me for a moment write about something else than my small press, H. Harksen Productions, and the various projects on their way… Yes, Ran Cartwright’s Darktowne is a little delayed but now that I have received a new file to use for the cover, from the amazing artist, Allen Koszowski, it’s well on its way again (with a little luck we’ll see publication by the end of this week), and “real life work” has taken a little too much of my time to just forge ahead with other projects in between then and now. But that’s not what I want to talk about in this post.

My own horror short story “Just An Accountant” has been accepted for publication! Yes — by another publisher, not by me;-) My first sale. I am ecstatic! A huge thanks to The Lovecraft eZine. So my tale about an accountant and his first experiences with the more, hm, occult aspects of the world is finally about to be released to the world. H. P. Lovecraft meets Philip K. Dick… With a pinch of inspiration from a Norwegian Phone Book! (More about that later.)

Many probably think of me as a publisher and not as a writer in his own right. And, well, there’s some truth to it. After all, I have published way, way more as a publisher (publishing other people’s stories, that is, not my own) than I have as a writer, even counting the few stories included in anthologies from H. Harksen Productions. So I am, in reality, more of a horror & weird tales publisher than I am a horror & weird tales writer… But that’s not necessarily the proper balance, if it was all up to me and my artistic ego. If I could have it 100% my way I’d probably be a publisher about 30-40% of the time — a publisher of other people’s work, mind you — and spending the rest of the time writing my own dark tales. Hopefully resulting in publications here, there and everywhere.

Don’t get me wrong — I love being a publisher of weird tales. And I have made not only contact with talented people but friends because of that, from all around the world, something that’s worth more than I can ever say. I do not regret anything.

But I also have a more… What shall I say… free, creative spirit? One that isn’t allowed to surface as much as it should. Because of my other duties, be that as publisher, father, husband and a human being working for other people in the so-called “real life” order of things. This inner part of me needs release now and then, needs to write, to write stories, to write dark stores.

Seeing one of my attempts to write finally succeeding, receiving an e-mail telling me this submission has been accepted for publication — from someone else, from someone I have high respect for and hold in high esteem, is so nurturing to that creative spirit, you have no idea. Unless you’re such a spirit yourself, of course. Then you know very well what I am talking about.

It’s not that I write because I want to be famous as a writer (man, is this the wrong genre!) or that I write to please other people. In no way is that the case. But I have a craving — more often than I let on — to write… Because I just have to. It’s essential to being me. It’s lifeblood. I can’t really say it any other way. And I really should be better to listening to that part of me, give it more space and time (yes, by all means think along Einsteinian lines here, if you want to;-)). And while I don’t write stories when I finally sit down and write (and complete) them to satisfy other people it sure does help to know that there are other people who appreciate the story one has written word by word, sentence by sentence, on the wings of imagination’s inspiration.

I’d almost given up hope that would ever happen.

I am highly appreciative for the support I’ve received from various (trustworthy) friends, who game me critical feedback. Even the fabulous person, Mythos & weird tales writer (& Mr. YouTube Extraordinare! Mr. Willum Pugmire gave me positive, yet critical feedback to “Just An Accountant” a few years ago. Yet, as nothing really happened every time I sent in a submission… the belief diminished. Almost disappeared. I knew of course that one must expect a huge amount of rejection notes.

But still. Every time — for so long?

And the few times I was told the story was in the “maybe” pile — the publisher in question went broke, out of business and whatnot??? Argh!!!!

But no more! Now I’ve received that first, believed-to-be-ever-elusive acceptance. And what a great feeling!

I could rant on, but I better stop for now. Just wanted to share this, and write a little about it. Maybe my next post will be about the vast difference of being on the receiving end of submissions (publisher) and on the sending end (writer). Two different worlds, I tell you. And maybe a little reflection about that strange thing called “inspiration” too.

Again: Thanks The Lovecraft eZine! This sure made my day! Hell — the rest of the year!

Now… Back to writing (and editing publications as well;-))

P. S. The illustration to this blog shows a few pages from my “Commonplace Book”, with my very first and very (very) rough draft to “Just An Accountant.” To avoid spoilers I have blurred the overall timeline-idea;-)

 

The Future: 2012 Books… Planned…

Much has happened over the Summer and into September… It’s a good thing not all of it has been bad;-)

One of the very good things is that 2012 seems to be fully booked already. That’s a new one for me — but a wonderful situation, of course, already knowing what books to publish over the next year and a half.

Here’s a list:

ENGLISH PUBLICATIONS 2012:

  • Henrik Sandbeck Harksen (ed.): Urban Cthulhu: Nightmare Cities, hplmythos.com Vol. 2 (paperback, fiction). January 2012.
  • Franklyn Searight: The Eltdown Shards (paperback, fiction). Collecting for the first time ever all Cthulhu Mythos “Eltdown Shards” tales in one volume. Incl. letter excerpts from Richard F. Searights to his correspondent H. P. Lovecraft, and tales by the Searights, William Lumley and H. P. Lovecraft. Quite a collection for the collector. Franklyn Searight has published stories for years, incl. Lair of the Dreamer (Hippocampus Press, 2006). The volume titel may change. Spring/Summer 2012.
  • Henrik Sandbeck Harksen (ed.): Whisperers in Darkness (paperback, fiction). Anthology of tales inspired by H. P. Lovecraft’s “The Whisperer in Darkness”. I will open for submissions later in 2011. Summer/Fall 2012.

DANISH PUBLICATIONS 2012:

  • Henrik Sandbeck Harksen: Pix (paperback, fiction). Anthology of all-new stories by established and new-coming horror writers in Denmark, featuring modern takes on gothic horror and the weird. Title subject to change. Publication Summer 2012.
  • Mads Højmark Jensen: Ondskaben fra Alhambra (novella/novel). Publication date second half of 2012.

There’s also a couple of “maybes” but I won’t say more about those ’till everything’s been settled. Either way, this doesn’t look bad, now does it?:-)

Last, but certainly not least, we’re still working on that new website for H. Harksen Productions. This will hopefully see fruition already this year, 2011, but it is taking longer than anticipated. Until then hplmythos.dk and hplmythos.com are still the sites to use;-)

DYSTRE DANMARK 2: Noveller valgt

(I told ya — this one is in Danish;-))

Dystre Danmark 2 test cover

Så er det blevet tid til at afsløre indholdet af Dystre Danmark 2:

INDHOLD:

  • “Blomstervanding” af Lars Ahn Pedersen
  • “Sammenhold” af Jonas Wilmann
  • “Ønskebarnet” af Thomas Daugaard
  • “Babyalarm” af Patrick Leis
  • “En morders drøm” af Thomas Bøttern
  • “Strålende lys, udstrakt verden” af Nikolaj Johansen
  • “Portræt af dukke og dreng” af Bjarke Schjødt Larsen
  • “Stemmen” af Søren Kayser
  • “Jægeren” af Sandra Schwartz
  • “Stumt vanvid” af Freddy E. Silva
  • “Røg” af Morten Carlsen
  • (Endnu uden titel) af Jeppe Bisbjerg
  • (Endnu uden titel) af Henrik Sandbeck Harksen
  • (Afventer bekræftelse på en enkelt novelle mere…)

De af jer, som er bekendt med første bind af Dystre Danmark samt Lyden af vanvid (2. bind i hplmythos.dk serien) vil bemærke, at der er tale om en fin blanding af nye og “gamle” forfattere. Nogle har udgivet noveller i andre sammenhænge. En skøn, skøn blanding af 13 nyskrevne, dystre danske fortællinger. Mange, mange tak til alle som sendte materiale ind. Jeg måtte sortere en del fra, men sådan er det jo. Resultatet er dog, efter min mening, en fantastisk god og spændende samling. Jeg glæder mig meget til at give mig i kast med den til efteråret.

Coveret er et af de første, grove, udkast til bogen. Igen er H. Harksen Productions faste design-medarbejder, Tomas Gindeberg, på banen med sit talent.

Announcement: URBAN CTHULHU stories found

I know you have been waiting, holding your breath — close to dying — wanting to find out what stories and authors you can find in Volume 2 of my hplmythos.com Series, Urban Cthulhu: Nightmare Cities. Well, rest at ease at long last, my shadow friends on the web. The final decisions have been made, and here are the tales you will find:

CONTENTS:

  • “the guilt of each… at the end…” by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.
  • “Dancer of the Dying” by Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
  • “The Neighbors Upstairs” by John Goodrich
  • “Carcosapunk” by Glynn Owen Barrass
  • “Architect Eyes” by Thomas Strømsholt
  • “Slou” by Robert Tangiers
  • “Ozeelah’s Lake” by Morten Carlsen
  • “The Statement of Frank Elwood” by Pete Rawlik
  • “Night Life” by Henrik Sandbeck Harksen
  • (I expect a couple of more confirmations, but will reserve the mentioning of those stories till I’ve heard from the authors;-))

I am really, really impressed by this collection. In all modesty (or not) I think this will truly be a fine addition to the Cthulhu Mythos & Lovecraftian publications that sprawl the world. And any interested reader will find tales that reveal a new, hitherto unexamined corner of this genre — the urban Cthulhu area. (And yes, the .com site will be updated with this information, but it will take a few days longer.)

A deeply felt thank you to all contributors.

Tomorrow: Revealing the stories to the Danish Dystre Danmark 2. In Danish;-)

Hex Code, Illustrations and Other News

From THE HEX CODE AND OTHERS (H. Harksen Productions 2011)

Text: A few homeless people looking for handouts had drifted down into the Old City from the shelter up on Gay Street, but when a prowl car rounded the corner they vanished almost as if by magic.

This is one of the illustrations you can find in Hex Code and Others by John Mayer. John has drawn all illustrations himself and is, obviously, also the writer of the stories. Publication: Late May or in June, depending on when we get the final proofs in (we’re only one short now). You can see I wasn’t kidding, right? The artwork really is of an extraordinary quality. Yes, this book has been a long time coming (John and I first started swapping e-mails about the title novella almost four years ago, I think it was) but any connoisseur of pulp, weird fiction and horror tales will find the wait well rewarded, I am sure. Gleefully dark stories and good artwork to accompany it.

It seems I have also secured help for illustrations of Vol. 2 in my hplmythos.com Series, Urban Cthulhu: Nightmare Cities. Another great step forward to making what will most likely be an even better anthology of Lovecraftian & Cthulhu Mythos tales than Vol. 1, Eldritch Horrors: Dark Tales. (Hopefully there’s also a deal on cover artwork soon.) I have already received tons of submissions, and many of them not just good but very good, so it’s a tough competition, but you’re more than welcome to submit a tale of urban darkness — but don’t wait, deadline is May 15, 2011. I will e-mail all who have submitted a tale in June. And post a ToC here, of course;-)

For more information: http://hplmythos.com/submissions_com.htm

Last, but certainly not least, the stories to be included in my Danish hplmythos.dk collection (notice the difference, eh? .dk = the Danish anthology; .com = the English language anthology;-)) have been chosen. I have e-mailed all who submitted, and will post a ToC either later today or tomorrow. And yes, yes, I will try cooking up a title for this volume soon.

That one will be illustrated by the very talented Tom Kristensen, btw. Anyone interested in checking out his artwork should buy a copy of the fourth issue of the ‘zine Nyarlathotep published by Thomas Winther. (See here: http://www.hplovecraft.dk/nyarlathotep.php#N4) The main bulk of the issue is one of the most atmospheric comic book versions of HPL’s “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” I have ever seen. And yes, English speaking readers can safely buy a copy as well, since Tom’s adaption is a “silent movie” treatment.

Intriguing, right?