Vincent Chong: “Children of the Bedtime Machine”

 Blue World, Vincent Chong  Comments Off on Vincent Chong: “Children of the Bedtime Machine”
Nov 042015

Artist Vincent Chong posted this on his blog today:

Here’s the final interior illustration I did for Robert McCammon’s short story collection Blue World, based on the story “Children of the Bedtime Machine,” which was previously uncollected. You can see the other two interior illustrations here.

Blue World is out now through Subterranean Press in limited and trade paperback editions, though the interior illustrations are exclusive to the limited edition.



Robert McCammon: Outer Space, Inner Space, and Colonial Gothic

 Robert McCammon update  Comments Off on Robert McCammon: Outer Space, Inner Space, and Colonial Gothic
Oct 292015

Hello all, and greetings of the (Halloween) season.

I wanted to take a few minutes to check in, which I haven’t done in awhile, and talk briefly about my last book, The Border, and some things that are coming up.

I decided a few years ago that I wanted to do an alien invasion novel, but I wanted it to be different from the ones that had come before. Usually, Earthlings are threatened by one alien species and have to fight back to survive, of course, but I wanted to go a little bigger than that so I chose to go the way of two alien civilizations fighting over the Earth (or rather, what they perceive is a tenuous border between their territories) and basically we Earthlings are reduced to insects to be exterminated, ignored or experimented upon.

There’s another angle to The Border, though. It’s really a political novel in disguise. This is why one alien civilization uses weapons that show red and the other weapons that show blue. Hey, I’m down on both political parties. I think the entire system is a mess. So in The Border you have two extremely powerful (but basically stupid, when you think about it) civilizations fighting back and forth a war that just continues to escalate, and caught in the middle are the “Gray Men” who have been contaminated by the poisons these red-and-bluers spout out into the atmosphere. Political lobbyists and extremists, anyone? Which leaves the “ordinary citizens,” the middle class if you will, fighting to survive against three power structures that seem hell-bent on destroying the entire system just for the sake of gaining more power.

Yep, I’m down on both parties, and I’m making no apologies about that. The Gorgons are “Smash And Grab,” and the Cyphers cannot be prevented from walking through any wall to get into the space a person thought was protected. Which are the Republicans and which are the Democrats? Easy enough to figure that out, just follow the colors.

Years ago I heard some political commentators talking about the conditions at the time, and one basically threw up his hands and with a “sheepish” grin said the only solution was to roll back time and start all over again.

I may be giving something away here to those who haven’t read The Border, but the guy was right. It’s the only way, and luckily fiction can do what reality can not.

So…forging, shambling or crawling ahead…

I believe Subterranean Press’s edition of Stinger is just out, which is another foray into science-fiction. The challenge of that one was setting it in a period of twenty-four hours, and I recall that when I got to the part where I needed to physically describe the interior of Stinger’s spaceship I drew a blank and really had to dig deep. I certainly didn’t want it to look like it was made up from an Earthling’s limited imagination…which it was, but that gave me some grief until I got it down on paper.

The second I Travel by Night, subtitled Last Train from Perdition, was finished last October (as I recall) and won’t be out until I believe next October or so. I recently got an inquiry from an interviewer asking why I work so slowly. Well…I do a book a year and usually more than that, but from Subterranean’s viewpoint it’s not a good thing to put out books that might compete with others, and so doing all the reprints of my earlier work that Sub Press has done interrupts the flow of my newer work. I’m not complaining in the least, as I’m very thankful Sub Press is doing such beautiful work on my older books and creating editions that will last, I’m just pointing out the reality of the situation. The reprints bump the newer work back, and this is why it may appear to some that I’m a slow writer. Really…I do a book a year, plus a novella or two, and that I think is a good enough pace.

Now, to the next Matthew book, which I finished in April.

I believe Freedom of the Mask is scheduled for the Spring. In it, Matthew becomes a pawn in a game between the golden-masked crime avenger Albion and Professor Fell, and he winds up unmasking a traitor in the professor’s midst and finding himself allied with Fell against a common enemy. There’s a lot going on in this one. For those interested, I turned in Freedom of the Mask at five hundred and forty-something pages.

I approach the Matthew series as what I would call “Colonial Gothic.” I tend to look at the books I do as movies for the mind, so my perception here is that I’m writing a series of movies made by Hammer Films. I always intended the Matthew series to become more macabre and off-the-wall as the books continued—not necessarily in a supernatural sense, but simply the creepiness of that candle-lit, dark-shadowed era and of twisted human nature in general. Also, I have great fun writing that series because I can play with language so freely, which I can’t do in more contemporary work. I think, for whatever reason, that writing about this era just suits me. Maybe it’s because I really did enjoy those old period-piece Hammer films and this is my way of carrying that forward.

Anyway, I’m putting together the next Matthew, titled Cardinal Black, and will be working on that next autumn. For now I’m researching and starting on a book called The Listener, which is set in New Orleans during the Great Depression and that’s about all I can say. I’ll also be finishing up the third I Travel by Night, subtitled The Bloody Badlands.

I’m toying with the idea of my summer project next year being an homage to the spaghetti western, a “double-feature” of two books in one. My daughter Skye and I have gotten on a spaghetti western kick and been watching some on YouTube, and as I’ve always liked the style of those (the good ones, not the bad and the ugly), I may give it a “shot.” Titles? Four Rode from Hell and They Call Him Mister Six. Six bullets in a revolver and six nails in a coffin, right?

Anyway, I’m titled up to the gills but I have to create the books to go with them!

Again, happy Halloween season and as always thank you for buying and reading my work. As I’ve expressed before, a writer is nothing without readers, and I consider myself blessed to be able to continue to work, to do the variety of books I choose to do, and hopefully continue to grow at my craft.

Until later, as Matthew might say, I remain your servant and malleable to your desires,
Robert McCammon


Les Edwards’s art for Stinger

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Oct 232015

Artist Les Edwards has posted his original art that graces the new Subterranean Press limited edition of Stinger. The original paintings of the two interior paintings are available for purchase from Les’s website, as are prints of all three paintings.

The limited edition of Stinger can be purchased from Subterranean Press.



Dark Screams: Volume Two audiobook released

 Audiobook, Short stories  Comments Off on Dark Screams: Volume Two audiobook released
Oct 152015

Tantor Audio has released an audiobook edition of the collection Dark Screams: Volume 2, edited by Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar. Dark Screams: Volume 2 was originally released as an ebook containing stories by Robert McCammon, Shawntelle, Madison, Graham Masterton, Norman Prentiss, and Richard Christian Matheson. The McCammon story is “The Deep End,” which won the 1987 Bram Stoker Award for Best Short Story.

The audiobook is narrated by Joe Barrett. Full details and a sample can be heard on the Tantor website. The MP3-CD is only $10 on the Tantor site.

Purchase the audiobook from Tantor Audio

Purchase the MP3 CD from Amazon

Purchase the audiobook from Audible



Webb Wilder’s Mississippi Mōderne

 Robert McCammon  Comments Off on Webb Wilder’s Mississippi Mōderne
Oct 012015

On Friday, September 25, Rick McCammon and I attended the CD release party for Webb Wilder, one of my favorite musicians. I introduced Rick to Webb’s music a decade ago, when we attended a DVD taping of a Webb show in Birmingham.

Webb plays both kinds of music: Rock and Roll. His new album, Mississippi Mōderne, contains new songs and covers that pay tribute to the blues and rock sounds of Mississippi, Webb’s home state. Here we are after the show.

Hunter Goatley, Webb Wilder, and Robert McCammon

Hunter Goatley, Webb Wilder, and Robert McCammon

If you’re interested in checking out Webb’s new album, you can find samples on Amazon, and you can listen to the whole album on Spotify. Rick calls Mississippi Mōderne Webb’s best album yet.


Subterranean Press: Trade paperbacks are shipping now

 Blue World, The Border, The Hunter from the Woods, They Thirst  Comments Off on Subterranean Press: Trade paperbacks are shipping now
Sep 032015

Subterranean Press posted this on Facebook this morning:


Subterranean Press also shipped the lettered editions of The Border this week.

Purchase Blue World from Subterranean Press, Amazon US, B&N, Amazon UK, Amazon CA
Purchase They Thirst from Subterranean Press, Amazon USAmazon CA
Purchase The Hunter from the Woods from Subterranean Press, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon CA


Subterranean Press: Blue World limited is now shipping

 Blue World  Comments Off on Subterranean Press: Blue World limited is now shipping
Aug 242015

From Subterranean Press:

Robert McCammon’s BLUE WORLD in Stock and Shipping

Blue World by Robert McCammonThis week we’ll be concentrating on sending out the signed limited edition of Robert McCammon’s Blue World, one of the most loved collections in horror.

In addition to the classic contents, our edition contains three newer stories being collected for the first time: “White”, “Strange Candy”, and the Bradburyesque “Children of the Bedtime Machine”.

Pick up a copy while supplies last!

About the Book:

In this expanded edition of Robert McCammon’s classic short story collection, you will encounter horrors and delights in equal measure, including:

  • A man who awakens one morning to find a skeleton in bed where his wife had been the night before.
  • A small-time thief who steals a makeup case, and learns a dead horror star’s secret.
  • A roadside diner, where a Vietnam veteran comes seeking shelter from the storm.
  • A young man in prison, who finds beauty and hope on the wings of a yellow bird.
  • Halloween in a very special residential area, where trick-or-treating is deadly serious.
  • A red house on a street of gray houses, and a breath of sweet fire.
  • The adventures of a has-been serial hero, who dons his old costume and goes in search of a serial killer.
  • A priest obsessed by a porno star, and his realization that both of them are being stalked by a third shadow.
  • An old woman who channels early, simpler times in a melancholy Bradburyesque future.

We will see worlds within worlds through the windows of these stories. We might even see the end of the world, and we might sit on a front porch for a while and sip a glass of gasoline on a hot December day.

Limited: 1000 signed numbered hardcover copies, with exclusive full-color illustrations: $80
Lettered: 52 signed leatherbound copies, housed in a custom traycase: $275