As you may have already heard, I’ve spent the last four months editing Tales for the Camp Fire, a collection of short stories by Northern California horror writers. The book will raise money for survivors of last year’s devastating wildfire, which burned Paradise, California off the map and ravaged Butte County, killing more than 80 people and doing millions of dollars of damage.
Even though the wildfire burned 200 miles away from my home in San Francisco, smoke still filled our city streets. For more than a week, while the weather remained ominously still and warm here, breezes no longer blew in off the Pacific. The San Francisco Bay Area had the worst air quality in the world — and we knew better than to complain, because our neighbors in Paradise and the surrounding Butte County were suffering so much more.
Still, it was frightening to venture outside here. San Francisco looked like the apocalypse was at hand. Very few people walked the streets. Those that did wore masks to filter the particles from the air. Those particles, smaller than you could see, were what was left of trees, houses, animals, people. As the worst times, there were as many as 300 particles per cubic inch of air. They could lodge in your lungs and cause cancer. And still we knew that people closer to the fire had it so much worse.
My local chapter of the Horror Writers Association met during those days. Ben Monroe floated the idea that we assemble an anthology we could sell to raise money for the people of Butte County.
In December last year, I volunteered to edit the book and put together a call for submissions. I am thrilled by the finished product. The book’s 24 stories range from a fairy tale to a post-apocalyptic cookbook, with zombies, Lovecraftian cultists, a werewolf, mad scientists, even a brain in a jar to haunt these pages. There’s everything from splatterpunk to science fiction, with a beautifully written meditation on the French Revolution along the way. There is something to make you laugh, lots to make you think, and a couple of things that will disturb your sleep. I promise.
You can find the table of contents and all the contributors to the book here: https://lorenrhoads.com/2019/03/19/tales-for-the-camp-fire-charity-anthology/
All the profits from sales of the book will go to the North Valley Community Foundation, which disburses funds to rebuild the communities that were lost or damaged by the fire.
You can order your copy of the book — or a gift for someone who will enjoy this sort of thing — from Amazon.
Some promotion for the book has already appeared:
i09 highlighted the book in its Bookshelf Injection series: https://io9.gizmodo.com/check-out-the-sparkling-new-sci-fi-and-fantasy-books-co-1833977402
John Baltisberger interviewed me about the book for his Madness Heart Radio podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/loren-rhoads-tales-for-the-campfire/id1434970877?i=1000435123434
A. F. Stewart did a video interview with me yesterday about the book: https://www.facebook.com/afstewartauthor/videos/851364795199095/
And it’s been featured in the Petaluma Argus Courier: https://www.petaluma360.com/entertainment/9513698-181/the-buzz-scary-story-anthology
and Calaveras Enterprise: http://www.calaverasenterprise.com/community/article_a4a5a4b8-5c70-11e9-a290-b3a257c1adc7.html
More will be coming, but that’s a good start.