Okay, kids, first things first:
How ironic is it that a killer flu virus right out of a Stephen King novel keeping us all at home this year? Well, all the smart motherfuckers are staying home anyway. I’m sure as hell staying at home. If anyone is interested (and GOD KNOWS why you wouldn't be?), I’m watching my favorite NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREETs tonight with my lady and some friends in video chat. Those are 1, 3 and 4. My favorite living writer, who’s name is William Kotzwinkle, wrote 4.
And speaking of writers . . .
The deadline for submitting ideas for PROJECT 51 is now officially ended, as we begin the countdown to NOVEMBER 12, my birthday, when I will write fifty-one short stories in twenty-four hours, based on YOUR CRAZY IDEAS! I’ve spent every spare moment going through all the submissions—which were wild and varied to say the least—and I narrowed it down to 23 winners, one of whom gets a double dip because two of his ideas were just too good not to use, and there’s a bonus extra story from our own Pat Carbajal, which will not stand as part of the official catalogue. All the submissions I received—and I mean every damn one of them—were from male fans. No ladies at all. Kinda made me sad to see that, to be honest. (COME ON, GIRLS!!!!) I enjoy writing from the female perspective, however (see STEPHEN’S LIFETIME MOVIE CATALOGUE AD NAUSEUM) and will try to hard to “represent” as they say, when making these tales. I want to thank each and every one of you for kicking into my birthday party, and I hope to make all of you squirm with horror, delight and just plain sickness.
So enough foreplay. You wanna know if you got in the book, right?
HAH. Okay, fine . . .
It will be no surprise to most of you to learn that super-fan Phil Stevens made the cut. He’s not only our #1 Psycho Fan but he submitted the most ideas, along with another gentlemen named Manuel Ruiz, who entered the contest a staggering 16 times, throwing so many amazing things at me that it was hard to pick just one.
Phil and Manuel will be tight in the running for the three prize slots, along with a fellow named Steve Garza Jr., who submitted an utterly bleak and amazing short story plotline that plugged exactly into my style and what I want to do with this collection. I like what these guys brought me a lot.
Many others are also awesome.
And I will not decide who wins the three prizes and the towering GRAND PRIZE until my birthday.
It’s all about which stories make me smile the most, on the day I execute this bizarre and impossible writing stunt.
So without further ado . . .
HERE ARE THE FIRST ROUND WINNERS. I picked these 22 peeps out of a rather astonishing 231 submissions, most of which flooded into my email in-box within three days of the content announcement. I also chose ideas posted at our Facebook and Twitter threads, and even at the Eibon fan site. Each of these guys will receive a free autographed copy of PROJECT 51 and will be listed as co-authors of the stories I write, based on what they sent.
Steve Garza Jr. will help me write:
I LOVE JENNIFER DICK
This is about a hunchbacked dwarf who is obsessed with the girl next door and goes to a disgustingly extreme length to make her love him.
Phil Stevens will help me write:
BETTER THAN PORN and DEAD WRONG
The first story is about adult film actors being forced at gunpoint to recite Shakespeare, the second about mech-suits that keep working after their occupants are killed.
Manuel Ruiz had so many bizarre and fascinating ideas that I am combining all of them into one monster story called:
GHOSTS OF THE DEUCE (The title was his idea.)
Arnaud Chapuy will help me write
APPLY BOTH OPTIONS
Tino R. Zamora will help me write
Toby Van Der Wagen will help me write
Chris Hendry has a fascinating idea for a wraparound story called
WORKING UNDER PRESSURE
I’ll write it and see what happens . . .
Michael Miller will help me write
Eric Lane Webb will help write
OUT OF NOWHERE
Michael Ward, one of our oldest Twitter supporters (SPECTER, to you), will help write:
THE K MONSTER
Fabien Ribaud will help me write
BUSTING THE BOOGEYMAN
Joe Fay will help me write
WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW
Full Disclosure, Joe is an old buddy of mine, but his idea was so great, I had to put it in here. (He is automatically disqualified from the contest, however, because he gets free Eibon books all the time and has written for us before! ;)
Tristan Kirby Jusola-Sanders will help me write
(Tristan's idea was eerily similar to one of Phil's, so I broke the tie by giving it to Tristan. I MAKE THE FUCKING RULES!!)
Marc Spector told me a joke that will become
CRACKING OPEN A COLD ONE
SUPER Psycho Fan Thomas Estep will help me write:
MAYBE WE’RE ALL CONTESTANTS
Chris Murray will help write:
Blake Smith will help write
NIGHT OF THE UNDERCLAW
Eddie Coulter will help write
Anthony Amos will help write
TO THEIR HORROR
Diago Bentes will help write
SOMETHING REALLY CREEPY
Andy Wardlow suggested this title
EAT SHIT AND BARK AT THE MOON
which will be a super gross story, of course . . .
And Pat Carbajal had such an insane idea that I’m doing his suggestion also as an extra credit story. But I am adding a twist. Yes, Pat, it will be a neo-disco 1980s musical slugfest starring John Travolta and Grace Jones, with tunes by Frank Stallone... but it will also take place 20,000 leagues beneath the sea!!! Tune in to learn the shocking twist ending of:
This makes 23 stories—the original solicited 21, plus Pat’s craziness and Phil’s extra one, neither of which are eligible for the “make me smile most” grand prize. Since Pat is actually doing the art I’m giving away as the prize, he can’t very well win that one anyway, can he? But one of Phil’s stories will land him in the potential winner’s circle. (I will flip a coin to decide which one. ) We’ll unveil Pat’s amazing art at 7pm on November 11, when PROJECT 51 begins!
IN ADDITION TO THESE STORIES, I will write ten original on-the-spot-improvised tales on the day of the stunt and twenty more of my own devising. These twenty, as well as the stories I do based on your stuff, will be prepared in advance, like I would normally do this, with ideas, sketches and even a few outlines ready and waiting before I sit down to do the actual work. That’s not cheating. It’s just how I operate as a writer. At least three of my prepared stories will be culled from a slew of ideas I submitted to Greg Nicotero recently for the new season of CREEPSHOW. No sense in letting something called AMPUTATION GENERATION go to waste, right?
I will post the other titles of those stories as I finish them. Depending on how the writing goes, some of the titles may actually change, so I don’t feel comfortable posting the working titles just yet. (The above stories might experience a change of title also.) That’s the thing nobody tells you about in writing school: It all mutates right in front of you while you’re working, no matter how “well prepared” you think you are. That’s the fun of this experiment. Just letting go and running with… well, whatever. I’m really looking forward to this and we’re gonna have a lotta fun. Hopefully.
AND AS OF NOW, OFFICIALLY . . .
The COUNTDOWN TO 51 HAS BEGUN.
I’ll see you right here on Wednesday November 11 at 7PM Central Time (CDT), as the exodus gears up and blasts off.
BE THERE OR ELSE!!!!
AND ONE LAST THING . . .