Manuscripts Burn


"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov

Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Monday, October 4, 2010


Hey, cats and kittens, thanks for stopping by for one last hurrah before the hiatus. I've mentioned this here and there in the pre- and post-ramblings on the last few entries, but now that "Fistful" is complete, I'm retiring from the manuscript burning game for at least a month. With the election season in full swing, I'm workng on a new project, a podcast of sorts which I hope you'll patronize, but since it's political and has precisely nothing to do with the content of this blog, I didn't feel comfortable housing it here. You all come here for the writing (right?) and not the proselytizing. Besides, nobody wants to hear my voice, unless it's giving you a long-winded, semi-coherent policy rant.

That being said, I'll be out of the loop with the podcast until at least until November 2. And once November comes around, you know what time it is. Anybody joining me for NaNo this year? My handle will still be Redleg. I expect a few updates to the blog during November, but, alas, still no manuscript burning, just a few how-ya-doins regarding the month of Hell. To be fair, I'm kind of looking forward to it. I've hardly written anything this year. I've concentrated on querying, and that's more soul-sucking that anything I've ever been able to imagine. I did start working on a little remake of "The Seventh Seal" but I kind of got stuck on the big lightsaber battle between Antonius Block and Death (and if you think there's any hint of tongue-in-cheek in that statement, then you don't know me at all.) But, alack, "The Eighth Seal" is not a novel, but a screenplay, and novels must as the devil drives. I've got a few ideas on tap, and if you are so inclined, you can tell me what you would most prefer to see exist come the end of November. Although, as usual, decision will be made by fiat and not in any kind of democratic fashion.

a) The Ghoul Archipelago - the story of a freighter that gets caught up in the internal politics of a zombie-worshiping trading nation established by pirates in Maritime Southeast Asia.

b) The Party - a group of Dungeons and Dragons players decide to take up baseball bats and fireworks and go off for a real adventure, to walk the earth and help the hopeless.

c) American Bolshevik - the early adventures of Sidney Graves, the man who liberated Puerto Rico and established the People's Militia of Central Pennsylvania in the wake of the Second American Revolution.

Or, just spitball your own ideas. What the hell. I've never written a novel-for-hire before. So, hey, we'll see you all again in November. Thanks for sticking by me.

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Fistful of Zombies 27 - THE GRAND FINALE

Zombies begin walking through the door of the saloon. Working together, they push the player piano into the doorway to plug the tide and give them room to fire without being overwhelmed. As they do so, the piano begins playing a jaunty tune. Denver and Miguel begin shooting as the zombies trickle in, reloading as much as possible. They kill six more, including the reincarnated Taylor and Bernardo before the Bokor pushes his way in.


That must be the magician.

Dat’s me. You men should honor your bargains. Now instead you die and join my army. I t’ink maybe you civil war become my doll factory.

You saying he started all of this?

Seems like.

Kill the son of a bitch.

The Bokor growls and staggers forward, faster than the average zombie. In a flurry of shots, the Bokor falls to the ground dead. After a moment, the two old enemies exchange a glance and step outside. Zombie corpses litter the streets, but it seems as though the threat is over. Miguel falls to his knees and takes off his sombrero.

It’s over. It’s finally over.

Suddenly there are loud explosions off in the distance. Miguel stands back up.

What’s that?

It sounds like artillery.

You mean there’s a battle going on?

There is a pregnant pause.

You know, Miguel, I’ve been thinking. When Taylor got up, and your man Bernardo…the magician wasn’t there. Maybe he doesn’t need to be there. Maybe now that his spell has started, anyone that dies…

Don’t say that. Don’t say that. He’s dead, so the spell is broken. Just be happy it’s over.

Suddenly, a gang of zombies, all former Union soldiers, staggers into town from one direction. Miguel and Denver pull their guns out. Moans from behind them draw their attention. They turn, and a gang of Confederate soldier zombies staggers into town from the other direction, led by the zombified version of Denver’s wife, Grace.

Grace? No…No!!!

Denver falls to his knees crying. Miguel tries to shoot at the literal army of zombies, but to no avail. They are overwhelmed. Denver looks up lovingly as his wife looms over him. He holds out his hands to stroke her face. Baring her teeth, she lunges forward and smash cut to black.

Enter your e-mail address in the box below and click "Subscribe" to join Stephen Kozeniewski's Mailing List for Fun and Sexy People. (Why the hell would anyone ever want to join a mailing list?)