Partners In Slime
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by Michael McCarty, Mark McLaughlin
Description: A collection of horrific short stories, collaborative works, poetry and interviews by 'Partners in Slime" Mike McCarthy and Mark McLaughlin. Introduction by Gregory L. Hall. Excerpt: "Intriguing," the Major said. "Killer insects, but tiny. Much better than those killer cockroaches we were working on. Those things were as big as puppies--couldn't sneak 'em over enemy lines. So what's the hold-up?" "The biggest problem I have is this: after the dust mites eat a substantial amount of flesh, they won't eat again for another forty-eight hours. They instantly become lethargic, sleepy--then, when they perk up again, they lay their egg clusters. First, I have to alter their reproductive cycle, since those prolonged rest periods will lessen their military effectiveness. Then I have to speed up their metabolism, to create a lean, mean, constantly eating war machine."
eBook Publisher: Eternal Press/Damnation Books LLC/Damnation Books, 2011 2011
eBookwise Release Date: May 2011
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [306 KB]
Reading time: 170-239 min.
Spank Him And I Feel It
by Gregory L. Hall
It's only fitting that when writing an intro for such a power-duo as Michael McCarty and Mark McLaughlin that I should also have a partner to scribe these words in praise of their collective work in Partners In Slime. But after weeks of searching, posting on various facespaces and placing actual ads that I had to pay for in every genre magazine I could think of, not one person stepped up. Not one.
I've come to realize being a power-duo is much harder than I first anticipated.
McLaughlin and McCarty. For years now their names have been connected and celebrated in the horror world. Numerous books and collections and awards. Both have a gift for writing fun fiction, talented men these. Mark has an out-of-control imagination that allows him to be silly at 300mph. Michael is a playful wordsmith who could beat your grandmother to death with a barrage of puns and not give a dookie. Combine the two and it's like having Robin Williams work with the Daily Show, if Mark and Mike were world famous and super-rich. And I think Jon Stewart once slept with Gillian Andersen from the X-Files so there is that difference as well.
But that's not the point I'm trying to make here. Duos. Partnerships. Dare I say a marriage of sorts. Few of us can make any of these terms successful, especially over a long span of time. Rattle them off. Abbott and Costello. They made it work despite hating each other. That doesn't fit Mike and Mark who are truly great friends and it shows in their collaborations. Laurel and Hardy. Look what happened to them. They're dead. Mark and Mike are not, and with both of them under 30 years of age, won't be any time soon. How about Lucy and Ricky? The first power-couple in TV. Built an empire together and revolutionized how things are done. But as we saw in their show, they slept in separate beds. Mike and Mark do not.
Of course there is always the possibility that the two Mc's have what is called in the biz the 'Matt Damon-Ben Affleck' arrangement. If you recall these two boyhood buddies penned the Academy Award winning Good Will Hunting. Hollywood was in awe of the gold spun from their bond. As another legendary duo, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, handed the mantle of celluloid brilliance over to this ambitious young superstar team-up, the world knew we'd be seeing so many more powerful scripts from these two.
And we're still waiting.
Want to know why? Matt Damon is a fine writer who worked Good Will Hunting over and over again. And Ben Affleck got them pizza.
When you are youthful and talented and your high school buddy is not-so-much at your level but it's all you know, a loyal friend will say 'Ben, I couldn't have finished this script without you, man. Oh, and can you grab some bread sticks too?'
Tell me which of the McLaughlin-McCarty duo is Ben Affleck? You can't. In this collection you will see short stories they've written together. You will see novellas they've written apart. They even team up with other partners not known for writing (super groovy zombie movie icons Linnea Quigley and Kyra M Schon) to really show off.
In the mash-up of McCarty and McLaughlin, the pizza never gets picked up.
A true fan can see what each brings to any story and we grin much the same way when we are able to pick out which lyrics were written by John and which were by Paul in a Beatles tune. They have that ability like all the great combinations to be unique yet meld together so perfectly. Their chemistry is the equivalent of the McDonalds technology that was able to make the hot stay hot and the cold stay cold...yet deliver unto us a delicious McDLT when it was time to bite down.
I'd love to focus on the flaws of working with a partner. Unless an arrangement is made where the final decision of 'rocks, paper, scissors' determines who gets all the cash, you have to split the money you make in half. But the Mc's would simply spin it to the positive and say you not only double the quality of the work, you double the fan base and the exposure. How about top billing? One of you has to be listed first and that always raises potential for ego punching. Nope. I've seen some of their books listed as McCarty/McLaughlin and others the opposite. These guys are so supportive of each other they switch off on their shower rotation so every other day each one is guaranteed the full glut of hot water.
Fact is I'm jealous. I'm bitter and jealous and bitter. Mark McLaughlin and Michael McCarty are the best writing team in horror/comedy. Or God let me fix this so I don't get hate mail- the best in comedy/horror as well. Others may have a one time hit that climbs higher on the best sellers list but then the partnership is like Cher's virginity. You're pretty sure it once existed but you can only count the days back to when it was last reported to have been seen.
These gents will be cranking out incredible fiction together twenty years from now. And when they're put into an assisted living center together they'll take turns smearing prose in Jell-o on the walls of the old folks home.
Me? I can't find someone to stand me long enough to contribute even the adjectives needed for all the bombastic, fantastical, anti-heinous gelatinous praise I want to heap upon them. And in that realization, it's occurred to me that perhaps the ability to partner with someone so seamlessly is a talent and a gift in itself.
You hold in your hand their definitive collection. Individually they are at the top of their game. Together? Double that.