Monthly Archives: July 2011

Trust the Dinosaur

Just came across this picture of me feeding scraps of raw chicken to a crocodile in Mexico with the help of a very long stick.

My wife and I were standing at the end of a rickety old dock by a lake in Quinata Roo, Mexico.  We saw an old Mayan lady who was advertising the chance to feed the crocodiles.  And we were taking a chance.

As we walked to the end of the shifting, creaking pile of sticks held together with rusted nails and bailing wire a pair of very large crocodiles swam towards as.

The woman skewered a piece of raw chicken onto the end of her pole and handed it to me.  My wife got a great picture of the closest croc eating but not of me holding the stick.  You’ll just have to take my word that the crocodiles were about 5 to 6 feet or longer.

"Whaaat? You want moooore???"

Fun fact: Crocs can jump 2/3rds their body length out of the water

As an afficianado of ‘When Animals Attack’ stories I had learned that Crocodiles can launch themselves out of the water 2/3rds of their body length.  I also knew that the concept of delayed gratification was probably foreign to these prehistoric beasties.  So why was I trusting this giant carnivore to choose a guaranteed supply of chicken nuggets in the future over 200 pounds of grade A american beef right then? I guess he had a clever look to him.

After we thanked the lady we turned to walk back to the shore.  Behind us I saw another large crocodile that had been sitting in our blindspot the entire time.  Clever girl…

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Comic-Con and On and On

The author imagines being preserved for posterity

I did Comic Con this weekend with the boys.  Writers all, we talked about stories the entire drive down and back which is always pure bliss.  I have not been down to SDCC in a few years so I was really looking forward to it.  I have never been interested in previews and I know that most of the good panels are podcasted or put on youtube later.  I was there to check out the Cosplayers, displays, and artists in attendance.  We all felt a bit frustrated that we were only there as spectators and not representing content of our own.  Maybe next year…?

"Dial T-800 Mix-a-Lot, and KICK them nasty thoughts"

I’ve never been an autograph seeker, but getting the chance to interact with some of my favorite Comics creators was awesome.  I figured that by saturday, day 3 of the grueling convention, most artists would be exhausted and potentially irritable.  I was floored at how present, engaging and generous the creators I met with were.

Mr. Mark Waid (IRREDEEMABLE, KINGDOM COME) – He actually prompted the conversation and it was really cool to chat with someone I respected and get a chance to thank him for all the great work so far.

Mr. Doug TenNapel (CREATURE TECH, IRON WEST) – I let him know that I’ve been a fan of his stories and art for a long time while I picked up a copy of MONSTER ZOO.

Mr. Rob Schrab (SCUD, ROBOT BASTARD, CHANNEL 101, etc) – He told me about the process for finishing and collecting SCUD and other projects.

Mr. Kris Straub (CHAINSAWSUIT, STARSLIP, F CHORDS) – He was chilling with Scott Kurtz per usual.  I bought THE CHAINSAW SUIT INITIATIVE.  While he was signing my book I remembered that I was mad at him for never posting my version of his TIME MACHINE web comic.

I insisted that he write an apology in my book, which he did over the sketch he had started of Huntyr Chayse.  He informed me that this was very special because Huntyr never apologizes.

I can't stay mad at you

The Huntyr becomes the Huntd !

To cap off the exciting day, we got the call that my friend’s wife was going into labor!  We cancelled our dinner plans and set course for the hospital back home.  He joined his wife and they has a bouncing baby boy early the next morning.

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The One That Got Away…and the one that didn’t

My short story The One That Got Away will appear in CALLIOPE’s summer 2012 issue.   It’s a horror/comedy story with a nod to H.P. Lovecraft’s cosmic horrors from beyond.

I got the idea for this story as a lad when my uncle hauled a crab trap from the muddy waters behind his house and imparted its terrible secret. It was a chicken wire cage with a turkey neck in the center.  Hungry crabs can always find a way in to get the bait but they can never find the way out, despite the fact that it’s right in front of them.  As my uncle explained it, the crab’s wonky depth perception made the circular tunnel it had climbed through disappear against the weave of chicken wire walls.

I found this manipulation of the crab’s inferior senses existentially dreadful! I chose to explore a fish’s point of view and include some humor.  I ultimately thought that the crab trap scenario is almost too horrifying to tell!

Imagine smelling an irresistible feast from outside a room.  You find an open door and help yourself inside.  The door vanishes behind you!  More and more people are entering all the time, seemingly passing through the walls into the room.  You try to warn them but they blunder in any way, thinking you are just being greedy with your food.  Besides, the door is wide open!  Now you are all trapped inside, crawling around the room, crawling on top of each other, desperate to find the open exit that’s right in front of your face.

After days the room is so crowded you can’t move.  All the food is all gone.  Savage riots erupt constantly and you and the other prisoners are dismembering and killing each other.  Eventually your captors will come to claim you, to boil you alive, crack you open, and scoop out your flesh.  But they are in no hurry, because they know that you will never find the way out.

existential horror...but delicious.


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On the importance of flossing daily

My short horror story TOOTH AND BONE will appear in Short Sips, the second volume of Coffee House Flash Fiction from Wicked East Press.  The story details the unfortunate meeting of an unscrupulous dentist and a patient in dire need of the dental arts.

I’ve spent a lot of time in dentist chairs, and that is where this story was conceived.  I was going through a particularly vigorous deep gum cleaning when I thought, “How strange it must be to put your hands into a total stranger’s mouth?”  The story came back to me recently as I was having a root canal performed (for a second time).  I kept the thinking about it when I lost
the crown on the fresh root canal.  By the time I went back for the new crown I owed nearly $2,000.

The dentist had a long list of other things that needed to be done.  And things that needed to be redone.  This may have colored the tone of the final story a bit.  It’s not a happy story, but I hope you’ll think it’s a fun one.

My dentist says that if you ignore your teeth they’ll go away.  I say watch where you put your fingers.

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Mining a shared world – Avenir Eclectia

If you build a big enough sand box there’s room for everyone to play.  That’s the idea behind shared world fiction, and if you like anthologies with multiple points of view it’s as fun to read as it is to write.  I currently have two stories due to appear on the multi-author website AVENIR ECLECTIA.

Anyone can become a ‘historian’ of the new multi-author cross genre world of Avenir Eclectia.  Submit a piece of flash fiction (150-400 words) about something new or explore the environments and characters already created.  The story thus far:  Mankind has travelled for countless centuries across the universe in the generation ship Avenir.  The ship acts like a space station, perched between the shattered volcanic moon Sheba and the unstable planet Eclectia below.  While the rich relax aboard the Avenir, desperate people hunt giant insects for food on the hard scrabble world below.  Beneath the surface of the oceans people live in underwater cities, where many hope for a glimpse of the mysterious telepathic creatures that glide by the glassy walls.

My stories EVOLUTION and the forthcoming LEVIATHAN tell the story of Dr. Kwame Singh, a social scientist who is pioneering a new field of inquiry he calls Evolutionary Theology, or ‘EvoTheo’.  He is interested in how the long migration from earth and new environments have made religions mutate and evolve.  He begins his research as a detached observer but soon finds himself experiencing strange revelations.

The first story takes place mainly on Sheba, an ore rich moon that has been split in half by a cataclysmic event.  The rugged miners who pull the Iridium ore up to the surface have created a chapel 30 km below the surface called New St. Kinga’s.  The chapel was inspired by real world locations found in salt mines around the world.  St. Kinga is the patron saint of salt miners, and there are hand carved chapels dedicated to her in Poland and Columbia.  These churches were all lovingly crafted from salt as places of refuge and devotion for miners.

St. Kinga's chapel, poland

Wieliczka salt mine, Poland

Bochnia salt mine chapel

Bochnia Salt Mine, Poland

colombian salt mine church

Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá, Columbia

Splashdown Books, the publisher of Avenir Eclectia, will also be releasing a print anthology titled AQUASYNTHESIS.  Look for it this summer.  When my second story appears, on-line or in print, I will share some more of my research.

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Welcome all Aerial Servants to Zombies


welcome to the blog of author Jeff C. Carter!

Anyone who gets the above references will understand that my creative juices were brewed with the help of a dog eared copy of Gary Gygax’s MONSTER MANUAL.  This site will serve as a monster manual for my creations, giving you, dear reader, secret knowledge about my stories and the weird research behind them.  I hope you enjoy it.

Jeff Carter is a writer of science fiction and horror, appearing in the anthologies ‘SCIENCE GONE MAD’ by Static Movement, ‘SHORT SIPS’ by Wicked East Press, TREMBLES magazine, and flash fiction for Splashdown Books’ website AVENIR ECLECTIA.

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