|(Behold -- Canopic Jars!)|
Late last year, two friends planning to open a new press approached me about editing an anthology of short stories and asked me about ideas on a theme. I instantly tossed out the notion of mummies -- the original zombies, and an icon that doesn't get nearly as much play. I suggested a fresh approach from the expected Egyptian landscape: bog mummies, mummies from outer space, and also the all-important element of the jars in which organs were preserved and stored for future use by the embalmed upon their return from the dead. And thus, Canopic Jars: Tales of Mummies and Mummification was born, the first project by the fine folks at Great Old Ones Publishing.
Dark Discussions Podcast) and Douglas Poirier invited writers they respected to submit stories for consideration. I, too, sent out a handful of invitations, and was blown away by the brilliance and variety that resulted. Rejecting stories was difficult; accepting those that made it into the book, a whopping twenty-nine (including a reprint of H.P. Lovecraft's classic, "Under the Pyramids") proved fairly easy. T. G. Arsenault unleashes evil on an unsuspecting town in "Symphony of the Ancient Gods". David C. Hayes explores the history of the genre from an actor's POV in "That's a Wrap". Suzanne Robb's heartbreaking "Portraits of the Dead" tackles the loss of loved ones and the belief in their resurrection, the fundamental basis for Egyptian mummification. The menu's unique in my tawdry tale set at a society party, "Mummy Chips", and Karen Dent embalms the entire Earth in the outstanding "Walking White Death". In addition to fantastic fiction that spans the globe from Egypt to Ireland, New York City penthouses to digs in remote China, from France to the far reaches of the cosmos, Canopic Jars also features poetry by Esther M. Leiper-Estabrooks and a foreword from Patrick Rhea, screenwriter and director behind Lionsgate's Nailbiter film.