Thursday, June 21, 2007

Whispers in the Night: Dark Dreams III


It's coming out Monday. The "warmly-received" (per Kirkus and Publisher's Weekly) sequel to Dark Dreams I and II (Kensington-Dafina). Find it at bookstores or online at Amazon (buy by clicking to the right sidebar on the Amazon direct link), bn.com, etc. Unless you've lived under a rock or read only titles like Every Bitch Needs a Church-Going Thug, Brandon Massey's Dark Dreams series has featured national bestsellers and fan/critic favorite black authors, from Zane to Eric Jerome Dickey, moi, Tananarive, Steven Barnes, Robert Fleming, LR Giles, Linda Addison, my girl and horror queen LA Banks, plus actor turned thriller author Michael Boatman (you know him from "China Beach," "The Glass Shield," HBO's "Arli$$," "Spin City"...Mike, me, T. Due and LR Giles are have been in all three Dark Dreams).
Brandon is the new Dean L. Koontz, and has been lauded so by lit. critics and fans alike. Thank God for Brandon. That's all we need to say in this culture.
My experience with my own stories hasbeen nothing short of a bizarre suspense thriller, of course. My first story "I, Ghoul," drew down the ire of the University of Maryland Medical School and the Med Chi Society over the facts of grave robbing and slavery in 1803, per the Baltimore Sun and Baltimore City Paper. My second story, "Leviathan," for which I should have sued Disney and Jery Bruckheimer for stealing re: the "Krakken" in Pirates of the Caribbean was about a giant octopus--a freak of nature hiding in the caves and the shallow shelf off the coast of West Africa? Or the embodiment of a sea spirit worshipped by the cultures along the Gambia River? You decide. It's 1750 and the Portuguese and English are going nuts because this thing is attacking slave ships. The human cargo seem to willingly give themselves to the monster, as if it's a savior and they are sacrifices. A true scientist, Owuda and his young son are enslaved over a debt (and because his Gallileo-like mind enrages the local Fulani Muslim imams and the Fulani Viceroy, who's feeding slaves to the Europeans in return for gunpowder etc.). Of the creature's an allegory for the dutch, British and Portuguese trading companies that are the true tentacled monster. Well, high school teachers in maryland , DC and Columbus, Ohio wrote me and loved it, as did there kids. Yet a certain well known black professor/activist in New York excoriated me over the portrayal of Muslin overlords feeding other black folks into the Middle Passage meatgrinder. I'm not anti-Islam, nor am I Larry Elder or Clarence Thomas. Far from it. But facts is facts. Now I have a major premium cable giant (no, not HBO) interested. So bite me...
Now comes the story in Whispers. "Mr. Bones." 1893, Buffalo NY. A minstrel show(with black actors in black face). The show's manager may or may not be the Son of the Morning Star himself. Flash forward to 2006. Mindless thug/bling/hoochie video Hip Hop world. No redeeming value regardless of what Russell Simmons gushes on talk shows. And the same dude seems to be in charge. Again, somebody leaked the topic and some "industry" folk who read XXL, etc. called me on it and this same professor/activist have recently "called" me on it. Day-um.
So pretty please go out and buy Whispers in the Night: Dark Dreams III. You can read the original manuscripts of I, Ghoul and Leviathan by clicking the story titles--for you unlucky few and new fanboys & girls who missed DD I and II...
...and perhaps LA Banks and I should write a story about a werewolf who takes revenge on the DA who prosecuted Glenarlow Wilson. That guy smirks while they disbar Nifong? Hmmm...

5 comments:

Lisa said...

Congratulations again! Looking forward to it and I relayed this to the bookclub.

Chicama Vineyard said...

You underestimate your fans. Your story in Dark Dreams No. 1 was the first thing by you that I ever read.

Michael Boatman was "Stanley" the lawyer on Arli$$, correct?

Best wishes!

Anonymous said...

Will there be another Shades of Black? I'm glad Lorenzo Carcaterra joined your other anthology. He did one edited by Otto Penzler that's making waves as well.

Keep us informed about stuff coming out in 08.

Currie said...

Chris,

Thanks again for the great work! I don't know how I missed these though I have read most of your works, and I am eagerly awaiting the release of "Yella Patsy's Boys". I will go out and get "Whispers in the Night" and spread the word!

nabila J said...

The Sun story is archived so you need a Baltimore Sun password, fyi. I remember the raw (rau?)--all they did was bring more attention to the story! Is there a circle the wagon mentality in every corporation? If these so-called intelligent "suits" would just act normal, people like Michael Moore or the "SuperSize Me" boy would be unemployed. This was a fiction short story for goodness sake! I was ahppy to see your term "rot gut whiskey" from the doctors and cadaver robbers of dead slaves transporting the bodies in barrels vindicated to, as if you really cared if you wee vindicated or not.

I did read the second DD and I loved your story. Very creative and I don't know why "activists" would take offense to that aspect of black people (whether Muslim or not) enslaving othe black people and selling them to white Europeans? The historical record is certain and there were nations that did sweep in from Central Africa to the coasts and they brough Islam. That wasn't necessarily a bad thing as they brought different cultures and arts, science, etc. together with the coastal nations. Non Muslim peoples and white Christians were doing it too, so there's enough blame to go around, so I never faulted you for pointing out what Islam-dominated peoples were doing. The science versus religion thing was good as was the tie to the slave ship passage. Very vivid. Better than most of these stories in there. Eric Dickey's was terrible. Why does he try to cross genres, even now in his own novels? Stick to what you know! Michael Boatman is the guy from Spin City? My husband watched Arli$$, not me, in an attempt to re-live his playing days :-)

Anyway, looking forward to reading Mr. Bones. Sounds like a story Oprah or Stanley Crouch would like!
Thank you and authors like Brandon Massey, Tananarive Due for at least making a good faith attmept to give us intelligent and creative works to enjoy. There isn't much else to smile about out there when I walk into Barnes & Noble and one of my favorite African American bookstores here in the Windy City closed. The other stocks only so-called "thug books," pornography (I call it porn) and religious books and novels. Very little pertinent non fiction (1 copy of Cora Daniels' book) and just a smattering of children's books. That is inexcusable, but the owner told my bookclub they have to meet demand.