Category Archives: Books and Boos Press

Malicious Monsters: The Jackalope

Jackalope Real

This jackalope may look adorable, but according to legend, it’s a vicious beast.

In the summer of 2011, I needed an escape. I ended up going to see my sister, who lived in Austin, in my first-ever trip to the state of Texas.

Long story short? I fell in love with Texas. In an absolute, complete, I-see-no-wrong kind of love. The smell of burnt asphalt and cactus blossom laced with a kiss of mesquite. In Hill Country, woods and mountains not much different from Connecticut, but with the occasional surprise of a cactus thrusting from a blanket of past autumn leaves. The joy of watching over a half a million bats emerge from underneath the Congress Avenue Bridge. The 108 degree heat, hot glazed pecans at the HEB, and people who will absolutely talk to a total stranger without looking at him like he has five heads.

Austin Jackalope

Me at The Jackalope, a dive bar with incredible burgers on 6th Street in Austin, Texas. There’s a challenge associated with the giant jackalope that stares at you the second you walk in—you have to have a drink in your hand to climb on. It’s not easy. Trust me! To visit The Jackalope’s website, visit here: https://www.jackalopebar.com/downtown To read about my adventures at the bar when I visited in 2016, visit here: https://kristipetersenschoonover.com/2016/05/23/i-met-a-real-jackalope/

But during that brief visit, there was something much darker happening: Read the rest of this entry

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Sinister Settings: Tambora

Tambora Caldera

Mt Tambora’s caldera, taken in 2009. Photo: NASA

We’ve all heard of massive volcanic eruptions in the past killing thousands of people and laying waste to cities and entire landscapes. Before Santa Maria, before Mt Pelee, and even before Krakatoa, there was Tambora.

Tambora is an active volcano on the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia. On April 10, 1815, Read the rest of this entry

Happy Easter! Easter decorations can be terrifying…

How I Learned to Stop Complaining and Love the Bunny - similar to mine

This isn’t the electric bunny my family had when I was a kid, but it’s similar.

Whether or not you celebrate this holiday, I don’t think any of us can deny that sometimes, Easter decorations—especially vintage ones—can be creepy.

Growing up, we had a rather freaky plastic Easter Bunny that lit up. I have no Read the rest of this entry

Sinister Settings: FORDLANDIA

Fordlandia Riverside near Tapajos River

Riverside Avenue in Fordlandia, which was near the Tapajos River. This image was printed in Grandin’s 2010 book, FORDLANDIA.

If you’ve read my work, you know that settings are something about which I’m passionate. A unique, vibrant setting always makes for a more interesting piece.

I’d always wanted to write a story involving a place called Fordlandia—a city Henry Ford built in Brazil in the late 1920s so he could have his own supply of rubber for his manufacturing; a place that is now abandoned and overgrown. I finally got the chance when I wrote “Attempted Delivery,” which appears in my forthcoming collection, The Shadows Behind.

Never heard of Fordlandia? Lots of people haven’t (when I mention it I usually get “what the hell is that?”) There’s a reason for that. The experiment in a utopia, meant to mirror a factory town in the Midwest—complete with a school, movie theatre, dance hall, church, modern hospital and paved roads (but no alcohol or tobacco)—was an unmitigated disaster.

“The houses sucked for the environment, the food made people sick, the rubber trees wouldn’t grow or just plain died of a strange blight,” notes the marine biologist, Juliane, in my short story “Attempted Delivery.”

That’s the short version. The land was infertile, cargo had trouble reaching the city unless it was the rainy season, and Amazon wood—which Ford had hoped to sell in order to cover costs until rubber trees took hold—had no value. At one point the workers rioted. By 1945, Fordlandia was abandoned, nothing more than a broken dream.

Fordlandia house ruins

One of the houses that remains in Fordlandia today. This is a screenshot from a 2008 Spanish documentary on the subject.

Today, there are people living in Fordlandia, Read the rest of this entry

THE SHADOWS BEHIND cover reveal!

I’m thrilled to show off the cover for my forthcoming short story collection, The Shadows Behind, coming from Books and Boos Press on April 30, 2019! The cover’s art is by A.L. Cortez, who had some interesting things to say about its creation. You can read that on the press’ website here: https://booksandboospress.com/2019/03/21/the-shadows-behind-cover-reveal/

The Shadows Behind Final Cover

This collection, which is foreworded by Damnation Island author Stacy Horn, contains six long out-of-print favorites, among them “Doors” (Carpe Articulum, 2010), as well as four featured in various, esoterically-themed anthologies (which, if you didn’t buy those anthologies, you probably haven’t read).

What’s most exciting are the seven new Read the rest of this entry

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