In Memoriam – James A. Moore

Reposted from Facebook:

The thing you have to know about Jim Moore is this:
When I was still a little baby fiction writer churning out White Wolf tie-in novels, Jim advised me that I should seek broader horizons and that I needed to come to this gathering of horror writers called Necon. He explained what Necon was to me and who would be there, and I said it sounded really interesting but that I didn’t know if I could do it (because in those days I never let myself do anything). Jim nodded and then told me that if I didn’t go to Necon, he would rip my legs off and beat me to death with them on the spot. So I went to Necon. One of the best decisions I ever made.
Then again, it might be the time he encouraged me in 1997 to use the HWA directory to cold call Ray Bradbury’s house for reasons that are unimportant now. It was a terrible idea, but it reflected perfectly Jim’s belief that we were all here, the mighty and the meek, to help one another, and that to not attempt the impossible was to guarantee failure.
Or it could be all the times he would walk into my office at White Wolf when he was freelancing game writing for us. For a big man, he could move like a cat, and he would materialize behind me, put his hands on my shoulders and ask pleasantly, “Do you have any work for me?” I pretty much always answered yes – he was a valuable and trusted and imaginative writer, and he made such lovely toys for the sandbox we were playing in. But he never knew what I was doing behind the scenes. If Jim had one flaw, he was a classic over-writer. If I contracted him for 10K words, I would get 20K, and I wouldn’t be able to use them all (and if I didn’t use them, I couldn’t pay for them, so….). What I ended up doing was that every time I needed 10K words from Jim, I would contract him for 5K, knowing that he was going to give me 10K. I would then cheerfully take what he delivered, make sure he got paid for the whole thing, and we were both happy. He didn’t know that until 2 years ago, and when I told him, he laughed uproariously.
Or maybe it’s the love he had with his first wife, Bonnie, that made them a joy to be with. And that love, after Bonnie’s passing, was purified and transformed into the heartbreaking DINNER FOR ONE: A JOURNEY TO HEALING. To go from monsters and gore to something so delicate and warm was an act of consummate love and skill.
No, no, it’s the fact that in his first attempt at X-Files style sci-fi paranoia horror, FIREWORKS, he Tuckerized me as a rabbi, all because previously I’d managed to explode a Tupperware container of homemade matzah ball soup I was bringing to him all over the back seat of my car. The car smelled like soup for a solid year, and it was a constant source of laughter.
Who knows? It could have been the joy he found later in life with his old high school sweetheart, Tessa, who put a smile back on his face that was so good to see.
Perhaps it was the way he was always encouraging others to stretch their boundaries and bust out of their self-described envelopes. With me, he hounded me to try my hand at sword and sorcery because he was having so much fun doing it, and when I finally worked up the nerve, he snatched the story up with words of praise I had never been expecting.
Many people would think it was the way he was always excited to greet new friends and old with one of his bone-crushing Sasquatch-level hugs. He shared that love equally with everyone he met, a constant font of affection that raised the spirits of the already happy and brought comfort to those who needed it.
Other folks would say that it was his relentless efforts to elevate new writers. He always had someone for you to meet, and nine times out of ten it was someone you had professionally admired for years who just happened to be there. Jim’s introduction was the golden ticket into the secret world, and he shared it freely with any he thought would benefit. I remember telling him back in the day how much I loved the work of a particular author, and he remembered. Two years later, he grabbed me at a White Wolf party at DragonCon, hustled me across the floor, and introduced me to the object of my professional admiration. He had remembered, and he had gone so far above and beyond to do so that my head spun.
Or maybe…..maybe not.
I have a million Jim Moore stories, and they are all written in the language of love and laughter and respect.
And now, sorrow, because I will never get one of those back-cracking hugs again. Because he is gone.
All I can do is share those stories in the spirit of love, and to try to carry on what Jim taught me: about professionalism, about writing, about life, and about people.
May his memory be a blessing for all of us.

Some Love From A Goat

Kayleigh Dobbs of Happy Goat Horror was kind enough to turn her eye to me and A MEETING IN THE DEVIL’S HOUSE.  She reviewed it, and you have to love any review that includes a break in the action to question whether the author is all right – which you can find right here.

She also sat down for a pleasant hour’s conversation which covered everything from writing for games to the true story behind the zombie frog tale “Meemaw’s Frogs”.  If you have the time, check it out – the conversation was a lot of fun. You can find it here.

Meanwhile the reviews keep rolling in on Amazon – two new ones say nice things like “MEETING IN THE DEVIL’S HOUSE is a meeting you don’t want to miss” and “The amazing thing is that each story is a master class in short fiction. Dansky’s writing in this collection reminds me of the first time I read Bradbury’s October Country. That’s the highest praise I can bestow!”


Upcoming Goodness

So a lot has happened recently, and there’s a lot coming up that I can’t give you all the details of. But here’s the basics:

1-I’m going to be doing 2 readings in March in North Carolina. The first one will be on March 7th in Rocky Mount. The second will be March 26th at Quail Ridge Bookstore at North Hills in Raleigh. More details on both as soon as I have them.
2-I will be in the dealer room at Ret-Con in Cary March 1-3, selling books and telling the hidden stories behind the stories to anyone who will stand still long enough to listen. Come on by – it’s a great small con!
3-Once again in March I will sojourn west to San Francisco for Game Developers Conference and the Game Narrative Summit. During the main conference I will be running 2 days of Narrative Round Tables for all and sundry at the conference to attend.
4-April 12-14, I will be heading back to Williamsburg. VA for AuthorCon III, where I will be sharing a table in the dealers’ room with the award-winning horror author PD Cacek. Check out her stuff – Leavings is my favorite of hers, with Sebastian close behind – and swing by!
5-The speakers at GenCon’s Writers Symposium have been announced, and I’m one of them. More details as we get closer to August.
6-I will also be attending Necon and StokerCon this year. Everything else is up in the air.
7-An astonishing writing opportunity has come my way, and I am energetically exploring it. It’s something completely new that I’ve always wanted to try, though my past attempts haven’t really gone anywhere. When the time is right, I will reveal all.

And that’s all for now.

New Year, New Post, And A Recap

Hello everyone! Welcome to 2024! I want to talk a little bit about what’s coming up, and also do a rundown of the year that was 2023,

Let’s start with the latter. 2023 was a busy year for me. I launched re-releases of my first two original novels, FIREFLY RAIN and VAPORWARE. I also had my second collection, A MEETING IN THE DEVIL’S HOUSE, published in July by the fine folks at Twisted Publishing. It got kind words from lots of readers – solid five star ranking at Amazon – as well as great reviews from places like HorrorDNA and PseudoPod. New short fiction included two stories at PseudoPod – “Swing Batter Batter” and “Billy’s Garage”. I also managed to get a story in the star-studded SWORDPLAY anthology, which was my first attempt at hard-core sword and sorcery. And I wrote two essays on films I may have seen too many times in this life, ZARDOZ and GREMLINS 2, for Ghost Show Press.

The Official Website of Richard Dansky — Meeting in the Devil's House


2023 was also a year of a great deal of conventioneering. Leaving aside the shows I attended for video game work (there were four), I also made it to, among others, AuthorCon II, my very first StokerCon, Necon, and GenCon. And in a late surprise, By Night Studios invited me to join their inaugural Vampire: The Masquerade LARP event in San Antonio, where many people were incredibly effusive with their appreciation for my work at White Wolf and what it had meant to them.

And lest we forget, I also got to give a reading in conjunction with the death metal band Eldritch Horror at Moon Dog Meadery in Durham. That was a thrilling event and I had a ton of fun – thanks to the folks at the Durham Public Library for putting it together! I also gave a reading in Rocky Mount in December, pulling up a story from SNOWBIRD GOTHIC to regale the audience with.

So, from that perspective, a pretty darn good year. And like I said, that’s without mentioning the video game side of things, which is pretty durn important to me – my excellent first year at Crytek after over two decades at Red Storm, multiple trips to Frankfurt wherein my luggage got sucked into a cosmic vortex, the pleasure of joining an exciting panel at LudoNarraCon, many GDC adventures, and of course the hometown fun of ECGC (and the mysterious post-ECGC thing We Do Not Speak Of).

But on to this year. There’s nothing officially in the pipeline for publication, though I have a novel, some short stories, and a card game design in submission to various spaces. Fingers are crossed. I also am looking to wrap up the edits on work in progress NIGHTMARE LOGIC, which has proven surprisingly resistant to finishing. There are at least three short stories I’m working on at the moment that I hope to turn around and submit soon, and I am looking at an exciting new project in a new medium that I can’t talk about quite yet.

And oh yes, I want to write the next novel.

Conventions will hopefully be a little less hectic, but I’ve said that before. Thus far I seem to be going to:

AuthorCon III

Still debating Carolina Fear Fest and a few others – we shall see how Teddy and Goblin feel about my frequent absences.

I hope to see you somewhere along the way in 2024, whether at a con or online. Here’s hoping you enjoy my work, and please, if you do read something of mine, do me the kindness of leaving a review. It really is a tremendous help in getting the work seen, which is what really matters to me.




Noir At The (Coffee) Bar

As the year winds down, things get darker. So dark, in fact, that I will be reading at the upcoming Noir at the (Coffee) Bar in Rocky Mount, NC on Friday. December 8 at 7 PM.  Come join me and a host of other talented authors as we get grim and gritty in the lovely Larema Coffee House!

Morbid Tales


Death Metal.


All in one place, October 18th, 7 PM. Be there as I share the stage with local death metal act Eldritch Horror for the Durham Public Library’s MORBID TALES event at Moon Dog Meadery in downtown Durham.

Don’t be afraid. Well, maybe a little…


Going to GenCon

Later this week I’ll be headed northwest to attend GenCon in Indianapolis. I’ll be taking part in the GenCon Writers’ Symposium, where I’ll be sitting on panels on Shaping GM Experience Into A Career In Narrative Design, Getting Into Game Writing, Leading TTRPG Development, and Video Game Writer As Freelancer Vs. Employee. I’m also doing Write Club with the inimitable Alexander Bevier, doing a signing with the talented Sarah Hans, and taking part in the “meet the pros” session of the Symposium.  I haven’t been to GenCon since 2016, and I’m really looking forward to it. It’ll be great to see old friends and meet talented writers, and just generally soak in the game-y good times!

Release News

I’ve got two big things to share with you!

First of all, the sword and sorcery anthology SWORDPLAY, illustrated by the marvelous Dan Brereton and containing stories from folks like Christopher Golden and Cullen Bunn, was released this weekend. And oh yeah. I’ve got a story in there, too – “The Faces of the Winter Wood”. It’s a wonderful anthology and I’m proud to be a part of it, so check it out if sword and sorcery is your thing.

And then Friday is the big day – time for A MEETING AT THE DEVIL’S HOUSE. This one’s been a long time coming and I’m very proud of it. With stories about zombie frogs, a magical pirate rabbi, a man-eating Sasquatch in a top hat, a drunk unicorn, and more, it’s a collection of delightfully dark stories, seventeen in all. New York Time bestselling author Matt Forbeck said it was “twisted in all the right ways” and HorrorDNA raved about it, so pick it up if you’re so inclined!


A Meeting In The Devil’s House Pre-Order and Release Date

Apologies for the radio silence; things have been a little busy on this end what with StokerCon and GDC Showcase and all the other shenanigans I have been engaging in.

But I did want to let folks know that my second short story collection, A MEETING IN THE DEVIL’S HOUSE, is available for preorder in trade paperback and ebook.  It will be releasing on July 21st! Horror DNA said “Richard Dansky is never a writer to be missed” in their glowing review, bestselling author Matt Forbeck affirmed that it was “stabby”, and Stoker Award winner Jeff Strand accused me of selling my soul to the devil for my writing talent. I’m extremely proud of this collection, which covers everything from a magical pirate rabbi to zombie frogs to a top-hat wearing man eating Sasquatch.  And that’s just the beginning…