tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-35942008637579088102011-12-13T23:27:24.752-05:00Paperback HorrorDedicated to Horror in fiction and literatureColum McKnighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09805029608223585566noreply@blogger.comBlogger73125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3594200863757908810.post-21958414774468196302011-12-07T14:07:00.006-05:002011-12-07T14:23:12.923-05:00A Re-Animation... Of Sorts?<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-l2JjuzHWeXg/Tt-8OaYvnrI/AAAAAAAAAVA/bOtJRqBtmCM/s1600/bestcoffeead.JPG"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 288px; height: 400px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-l2JjuzHWeXg/Tt-8OaYvnrI/AAAAAAAAAVA/bOtJRqBtmCM/s400/bestcoffeead.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5683468210552151730" border="0" /></a>In creating <a href="http://www.dreadfultales.com/"><span style="font-weight: bold;">Dreadful Tales</span></a>, I had envisioned being part of a huge community and cultivating massive amounts of great things surrounding the website.<br /><br />Together with the amazing team over at DT, we have created that. We're working harder than ever, having massive amounts of fun, immersing ourselves in the genre, and blasting through some of the most exciting times of our lives.<br /><br />But <span style="font-style: italic;">I'm</span> still not satisfied.<br /><br />Like any good genre devotee, I want <span style="font-style: italic;">more</span>.<br /><br />So I may just have to dust off PBH and put the paddles to the decrepit, blackened heart of this place. Maybe give y'all a more intimate look at someone who is absolutely <span style="font-style: italic;">drowning</span> in the genre.<br /><br />Give you a look-see at the man behind the curtain.<br /><br />Maybe.<br /><br />Keep checking back.<br /><br />This time... PBH is about to get personal.<br /><br />PBH.<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3594200863757908810-2195841477446819630?l=www.paperbackhorror.com' alt='' /></div>Colum McKnighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09805029608223585566noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3594200863757908810.post-47633700595132203622011-07-11T00:58:00.008-04:002011-07-11T10:30:38.202-04:00Goodbye PBH - Hello Dreadful Tales!Hey all. I really appreciate all of the friendship and support that y'all have been giving me for the past looooong while. If it weren't for you guys reading what I had to say, I wouldn't have been able to come so far with writing, reading, reviewing, and just having fun. <div><br /></div><div>I want to thank you all profusely. </div><div><br /></div><div>I also want to invite you guys to hang out with me over at <a href="http://dreadfultales.com/">www.dreadfultales.com</a>.</div><div><br /></div><div><img style="float: left; margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; cursor: pointer; width: 200px; height: 184px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nbiWtjKUA9w/ThqEPc-TOPI/AAAAAAAAAUA/w6QaYmrDXc0/s200/DTlogo-small.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5627956085363259634" border="0" /></div><div>Yeah, that's right. I'm not leaving the game... just making it <i>bigger</i>.</div><div><br /></div><div>I've teamed up with <a href="http://dreadfultales.com/about/about-meli/">Meli</a> from <a href="http://www.blogger.com/www.destroythebrainonline.com">Destroy The Brain</a>, and <a href="http://dreadfultales.com/about/about-pat/">Pat</a> from <a href="http://gradezhorror.blogspot.com/">Grade Z. Horror</a>, to create the best horror literature website that we possibly can. We aim to please the authors we read, the presses we love, but most importantly - the fans who are just like us. </div><div><br /></div><div>You're the people we do this for. Through us, you will have a voice. The genre leaders speak for the genre, but it's time the fans had their say. </div><div><br /></div><div>So please, join me over at <a href="http://dreadfultales.com/">Dreadful Tales</a>. I promise, it will not disappoint. And over the next few months, it's going to blow you away. </div><div><br /></div><div>While you're at it, go "like" the hell out of our <a href="#">facebook page</a>, check us out on <a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/DreadfulTales">twitter</a>, <a href="http://www.tumblr.com/tumblelog/dreadfultales">tumblr</a>, <a href="http://www.myspace.com/570736366">myspace</a>, your space, someone's face, and everywhere else.</div><div><br /></div><div>Heh heh.</div><div><br /></div><div>Thanks for all of your support, gang. </div><div><br /></div><div>You know I love ya. </div><div><br /></div><div>PBH.</div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3594200863757908810-4763370059513220362?l=www.paperbackhorror.com' alt='' /></div>Colum McKnighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09805029608223585566noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3594200863757908810.post-59346268654820395522011-04-25T23:50:00.010-04:002011-04-26T11:18:55.133-04:00Abolisher Of Roses by Gary Fry<a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-FH2wUPc-53E/TbZCDDcgDMI/AAAAAAAAASM/1WRd6xhtPjs/s1600/spectraltwocoversmall.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 142px; height: 200px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-FH2wUPc-53E/TbZCDDcgDMI/AAAAAAAAASM/1WRd6xhtPjs/s200/spectraltwocoversmall.jpg" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5599735806913678530" /></a>In January 2011, Spectral Press dropped a great little chapbook on us called '<a href="http://www.paperbackhorror.com/2011/01/what-they-hear-in-dark-by-gary-mcmahon.html"><b>What They Hear In The Dark</b></a>' by Gary McMahon. With that publication, Spectral Press peaked my interest, and satisfied my need for a emotional and evocative story. <div><br /></div><div>This time around, Spectral is offering up an intense, emotional, and psychologically-challenging read with <b>Abolisher Of Roses </b>by Gary Fry, cementing themselves as a press to watch, and delivering yet another incredible piece of short fiction. </div><div><br /></div><div><i>It's not always the guilty who have the darkest secrets...</i></div><div><i><br /></i></div><div><i>Peter has been married to Patricia for nearly thirty years. He's a practical man, the owner of a thriving factory, and the father of two fine lads.</i></div><div><i><br /></i></div><div><i>He also has a secret mistress.</i></div><div><i><br /></i></div><div><i>One day, his wife takes him along to an outdoor arts exhibition involving some of her paintings, staged in a dark, deep wood.</i></div><div><i><br /></i></div><div><i>But his are not the only secrets in this marriage, and as Peter strays off the only path through the woods, he soon realizes that Patricia has more than a few secrets of her own...</i></div><div><br /></div><div>A powerful piece is always a great treat, and this story is just that. Psychologically gripping, <b>Abolisher Of Roses</b> makes the reader take a look at infidelity and relationships from a different angle. The relationship presented in this chapbook, between a husband and wife, is a perfect example of the idea that sometimes our past indiscretions can catch up to us and make us pay in the strangest of ways. </div><div><br /></div><div>What the author does here is phenomenal. The story starts off at a walking pace, coaxing the reader into thinking that they're looking at a sleepy little tale, only to amp up the pressure like a slow cooker, and eventually throttling the reader into a forceful introspection of their own deeds. Fry decidedly plays with the imagination in a wonderful way, offering very subtle instances of creepiness that will haunt the reader long after the story is finished.</div><div><br /></div><div>The characters are well played out, the setting and surrounding ambiance are delightfully transgressive, and the overall feeling is a mixture of a semi-sedated, creeping terror and an outright finger-in-the-face kind of accusation that makes this read feel like a roller coaster ride to certain doom. </div><div><br /></div><div>Fans of UK horror will definitely love this story, and those who are unfamiliar with them will be in for a treat. This is definitely something to grab and throw yourself into. </div><div><br /></div><div>Get a (<i>very limited</i>) copy of <b>Abolisher Of Roses</b> <a href="http://spectralpress.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/todays-the-day/">here</a>, and check out Spectral Press' website <a href="http://spectralpress.wordpress.com/">here</a>. You can also check out Gary Fry's website <a href="http://www.gary-fry.com/">here</a>. You can purchase a yearly subscription to Spectral's chapbooks (1 year, 4 volumes) at their website. </div><div><br /></div><div>On another note, here is a video trailer for the story:</div><div><br /></div><div><object style="height: 390px; width: 640px"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/vFRxyYKC_DQ?version=3"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/vFRxyYKC_DQ?version=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="640" height="390"></embed></object></div><div><br /></div><div>PBH.</div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3594200863757908810-5934626865482039552?l=www.paperbackhorror.com' alt='' /></div>Colum McKnighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09805029608223585566noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3594200863757908810.post-69620550937175065562011-04-15T01:00:00.000-04:002011-04-15T01:01:15.608-04:00Multiplex Fandango by Weston Ochse<a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--MRJwMEd4fo/TafL8CG7cGI/AAAAAAAAAR8/IZheym46PDQ/s1600/MF_Home_Medi_Res.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 136px; height: 200px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--MRJwMEd4fo/TafL8CG7cGI/AAAAAAAAAR8/IZheym46PDQ/s200/MF_Home_Medi_Res.jpg" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5595665294249652322" /></a><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"><br /></span><div><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">Multiplex Fandango. Say it. Multi-plex Fan-dan-go.</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman; min-height: 16.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br /></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">It's beautiful, isn't it? Just rolls off the tongue.</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman; min-height: 16.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"> </span></span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">It’s almost as beautiful and satisfying as the book you may now be holding in your hands, or reading a review about. What we’re seeing here is quite possibly the most comfortable, relaxed, and expert takeover that the horror genre has ever seen.</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman; min-height: 16.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br /></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">With </span><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">Multiplex Fandango</span></b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">, Weston Ochse has created an incredible collection, and has given the reader one of the smoothest, most satisfying reads they could ever come across. To drive the point home, Joe Landsdale says in the intro that "</span><i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">This is a book that could almost have been written for me</span></i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">.", but I disagree - this book was written for anyone looking for imaginative, intelligent, and throughly awe-inspiring, but strangely uplifting scares that force the reader to think more than react.</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman; min-height: 16.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br /></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"> </span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">From multiplexfandango.wordpress.com:</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman; min-height: 16.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br /></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><i><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"> </span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">Multiplex Fandango is subtitled "A Weston Ochse Reader" for good reason. This collection contains a comprehensive representation of short fiction and novellas by the Bram Stoker award winner and Pushcart Prize nominee... (</span></i><a href="http://multiplexfandango.wordpress.com/"><span style="text-decoration: underline ; letter-spacing: 0.0px color:#000099;"><i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">read more</span></i></span></a><i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">)</span></i></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman; min-height: 16.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br /></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">Not much of a synopsis I know, but then, there really is no way to synopsize this brilliant work. That said...here we go.</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman; min-height: 16.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br /></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">There are 16 short stories and novellas presented herein, 6 of which were written for this volume, with each and every one just as, if not </span><i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">more</span></i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">, impressive as the last. Ochse's words read like the poetry of a madman - urgent and direct, at the same time as being beautifully timed and designed to evoke emotions from deep inside. The reader can't help but be absolutely enthralled by this wordsmith's grand visions and engaging dialogue. This is a book that is virtually impossible to put down.</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman; min-height: 16.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br /></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">Pieces like </span><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">Tarzan Doesn’t Live Here Anymore</span></b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">, </span><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">Fugue on the Sea of Cortez</span></b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">, </span><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">The Sad Last Love of Cary Grant</span></b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">, and </span><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">Catfish Gods</span></b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"> speak of the choices we make that define who we are in the end, and directions we take in life that lead us to those instances. Ochse really blasts the reader with a keen blend of realism, tainted with a strange and unrelenting sense of unease that shows exactly how much of our lives is spent choosing between what is right, and what just comes naturally - regardless of whether or not it hurts or hinders someone else. The characters in these pieces are all people that the reader can instantly identify with, as Ochse finds the essence of what it is to be human, and gently exploits it for the purpose of proving a point. The point being, in most cases, is that we are all responsible for what we create in our own world, regardless of the outside influences and how strange they might be. </span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman; min-height: 16.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br /></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">Where the writer succeeds most is in stories like </span><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">High Desert Come to Jesus</span></b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">, </span><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">The Secret Lives of Heroes</span></b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">, and </span><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">A Day in the Life of a Dust Bunny</span></b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"> - which, when read are actually quite comedic, but are presented in a deathly serious tone. </span><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">High Desert</span></b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"> reads like the serial killer stories that have permeated the genre as of late, but with a brilliant and sinister twist that sets it completely apart at the same time. The idea of a person that actually </span><i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">creates</span></i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"> the things in people that most find eternally disturbing, is brilliant. The brief length of the story is incredible in that Ochse packs so much into it, leaving the reader begging for more and more. I, for one, really hope that Ochse expands upon this character in a full length work. This story is </span><i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">highly</span></i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"> recommended.</span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman; min-height: 16.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br /></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">Ochse also proves himself quite capable of writing some brutal and disgusting scenes that deliver a violent slap in the face to the reader. I’m generally very hard to gross out, having read a lot of work that has really made me question how an author managed to get some scenes published and sold to the public, but there were moments in some of these stories that just attack without warning. Now, the beautiful part of this is that Ochse almost downplays these moments in order to affect the reader more. Though they’re few and far between, gore-hounds can rest assured that they </span><i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">are</span></i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"> there. If you’re a reader that yearns for prose that pushes boundaries and kicks you when you’re down - you’ll find that mixed in here, along with a complete world that you might have been missing. </span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman; min-height: 16.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br /></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">While all of these stories are brilliant in their own way, there are some that stand out as the leaders of the pack. </span><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">Big Rock Candy Mountain</span></b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"> is a sobering, semi-political tale encompassed in a hallucinogenic yarn that entertains from start to finish; </span><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">Hiroshima Falling</span></b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"> starts off brooding and dark, almost overwhelming the reader before launching into a bizarro-styled story that picks up the pace, amps up the strange, and ultimately cements the author as a force to be reckoned with; </span><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">The Crossing of Aldo Ray</span></b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"> is, bar none, one of the best zombie stories I have ever read, taking a different path than most and treating the reader to a much needed change of pace in zombie literature; </span><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">City of Joy</span></b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"> is, as the author mentions in his notes after the story, a science fiction tale at heart, but holds enough power in itself that it becomes something of an emotional horror story that speaks to the innocence in all of us; </span><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">22 Stains in the Jesus Pool</span></b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"> introduces the reader to Ochse’s expert knowledge of the inner workings of religious theory and cult thinking, but also invites the reader to meet one character that is so incredibly complex and, as it turns out, an unintentional villain in disguise. </span></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"><br /></span></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">The absolute shining achievement has to go to the last story - <b>Redemption Roadshow</b>. I've read this story before as a chapbook that was released by <a href="#">Burning Effigy Press</a>, and am still blown away by it every time. This is not only a story that is completely re-readable, but is also haunting, terrifying, introspective, and downright impressive. This is easily one of my favorite reads of all time, and will continue to be etched into my mind for years to come. Ochse is writing on a Peter Straub level with this one. Absolutely brilliant. </span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman; min-height: 16.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"> </span></span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">Multiplex Fandango</span></b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"> is an absolute must-have for anyone who calls themselves a collector of horror literature. No one should be without this book. No one. I am <i>highly</i> recommending this book to everyone.</span></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"><br /></span></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">You can check out Ochse's website <a href="http://www.westonochse.com/">here</a>, check out the website for the book <a href="http://multiplex-fandango.blogspot.com/">here</a>, and follow the author on <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/westonochse">Twitter</a>. </span></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"><br /></span></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">Multiplex Fandango will be available for pre-order from <a href="http://www.darkregions.com/">Dark Regions Press</a> in May '11.</span></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;"><br /></span></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Times New Roman"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium;">PBH.</span></span></p></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3594200863757908810-6962055093717506556?l=www.paperbackhorror.com' alt='' /></div>Colum McKnighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09805029608223585566noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3594200863757908810.post-52428071411174321412011-04-01T01:16:00.000-04:002011-04-01T01:16:30.898-04:00The Collectors by Matt Bell<a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2LH2YeaNyKU/TZT3G5leD2I/AAAAAAAAARs/2dtWN8VB32g/s1600/DownloadedFile.jpeg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 136px; height: 200px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2LH2YeaNyKU/TZT3G5leD2I/AAAAAAAAARs/2dtWN8VB32g/s200/DownloadedFile.jpeg" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5590364735382884194" /></a>Matt Bell's <b>The Collectors</b> might really be the most disturbing but beautiful example of cross-genre literature I have ever read in the form of a chapbook. Short but epic, disturbing yet beautiful, and absolutely haunting to the core - this is truly the stuff of nightmares, and most assuredly, a diamond in the rough. <div><br /></div><div>From <a href="http://www.mdbell.com/">mdbell.com</a>:</div><div><br /></div><div><i>The tale of compulsive hoarders Homer and Langley Collyer so shocked 1940s Manhattan that the brothers and their Harlem brownstone live on today as one of the most notable American case studies of acute disposophobia. With nervous energy and obsession to match his protagonists, Matt Bell's prose burrows, forensically, into the layers of the brothers' lives, employing a mutilinear narrative structure and a frenetic plurality of perspectives to reach a core of despair that is both terrifyingly primal and distressingly familiar. </i></div><div><br /></div><div>First off, I have to thank the incredible <a href="http://judyblackcloud.wordpress.com/">Judy Black</a> for pointing me in the direction of this little story. It's an incredible piece, and more incredible is the fact that you can catch it for free. In all honesty, this is an absolute crime, as I would pay good money for a story this impressive and satisfying. </div><div><br /></div><div>Bell's prose is immaculately crafted, leaving the reader completely in awe and unable to tear him/herself away from the story. The words slide off the page beautifully, but leave a film on the brain that just reeks of desperation and sorrow. It's virtually impossible not to feel something deep down inside while reading this. This, in my opinion, is a work of art. A masterpiece.</div><div><br /></div><div>The two main characters in this story - brothers <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collyer_brothers">Homer and Langley Collyer</a> - were compulsive hoarders who lived in Manhattan - until 1947 - when their bodies were found in the Harlem brownstone where they lived as hermits. This part of the story is true. With Bell's help, we are given a unique, and harrowing fictional account of their last days in that brownstone, and the reaction of the community upon their demise. The truth of the story is just as terrifying as Bell's interpretation, but it is this author's ability to string words together so perfectly that really steals the show. Bell adds layer upon layer to a story that is already twisted and disturbing, thus giving it more of a dark fairy tale feeling than normal historical-fiction. </div><div><br /></div><div>The overall result here is astounding. Bell has really created an incredibly unsettling, vibrant, disturbing, and beautifully haunting piece of fiction. </div><div><br /></div><div>Grab yourself a free copy at Matt Bell's website <a href="#">here</a>, or a direct download <a href="http://ia600302.us.archive.org/15/items/TheCollectors/Collectors_The.pdf">here</a>. Also check out his collection - <b>How They Were Found</b>, available at <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/098215125X?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=dancinonflyas-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=098215125X">Amazon</a>, <a href="http://search.barnesandnoble.com/How-They-Were-Found/Matt-Bell/e/9780982151259/?itm=1&amp;USRI=matt+bell+how+they+were+found">B&amp;N</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004MME6J8?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=dancinonflyas-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004MME6J8">Amazon Kindle</a>, and other online retailers.</div><div><br /></div><div>PBH.</div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3594200863757908810-5242807141117432141?l=www.paperbackhorror.com' alt='' /></div>Colum McKnighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09805029608223585566noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3594200863757908810.post-28628246632062992832011-03-19T01:55:00.001-04:002011-03-19T01:56:54.613-04:00Here Comes The Rain by Rebecca Senese<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Ri3R-8dxR-Q/TXTzCWjKWVI/AAAAAAAAARc/ilEIUi_-AWE/s1600/d0aa9d8d1517fe4b479636db19955c00e2185d28-thumb.jpeg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 150px; height: 200px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Ri3R-8dxR-Q/TXTzCWjKWVI/AAAAAAAAARc/ilEIUi_-AWE/s200/d0aa9d8d1517fe4b479636db19955c00e2185d28-thumb.jpeg" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5581353059957234002" /></a>Rebecca Senese is an up and coming horror/sci-fi author of immense talent that I think y'all need to know about. <div><br /></div><div>I'm a fan of promoting those close to you, and being that Senese is based in Toronto (as I am), I couldn't think of anyone better to introduce you to. </div><div><br /></div><div>Her short story - <b>Here Comes The Rain</b> - is a great example of psychological horror, and an unintended homage to the brilliant storytelling of <i>The Twilight Zone</i>.</div><div><br /></div><div>It's really hard to review short fiction, but I'm going to give it a go here. Truth is, if I didn't think that this was a story and/or author that you should really check out, I wouldn't say anything. Here goes...<br /><div><br /></div><div><i>Over the past few years, Bertie has been working on his problems with his doctor, Paul Lansky. But one night as Bertie confronts his fear of carnivals, Paul discovers that maybe the Fun House isn't the worst thing to fear.</i></div><div><br /></div><div>Senese's writing style really reminds me of the old <i>Twilight Zone</i> story lines, complete with wicked twists, strange occurrences, and red herrings. The flow is something I haven't seen in self published material in a long time, amounting to a very engaging and entertaining read. The description and setting in this tales is subtle, but when Senese wants to pack on the gore or produce a chill, she does so without a hitch. </div><div><br /></div><div>The overall effect of the story is genuinely scary, leaving the reader with a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. The old school vibe really sits very well and stokes the flames for a trip into memory lane with some of your old favorites. </div><div><br /></div><div>This is definitely an author to check out. You can grab this story at <a href="http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/39932">Smashwords</a>, and at <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Here-Comes-Rain-Horror-ebook/dp/B004MDLNDO/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_8">Amazon</a>. For 99 cents, you really can't go wrong. Visit Senese's website <a href="http://www.rebeccasenese.com/">here</a>, and follow her on <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/RebeccaSenese">Twitter</a>.</div><div><br /></div><div>PBH.</div></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3594200863757908810-2862824663206299283?l=www.paperbackhorror.com' alt='' /></div>Colum McKnighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09805029608223585566noreply@blogger.com5tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3594200863757908810.post-5924527096238761502011-03-06T10:14:00.001-05:002011-03-06T10:18:46.291-05:00Snow by Ronald Malfi<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TQEc2UM2X1I/AAAAAAAAAOQ/Onxjev64r50/s1600/snow.jpg"><img style="float: left; margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; cursor: pointer; width: 124px; height: 200px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TQEc2UM2X1I/AAAAAAAAAOQ/Onxjev64r50/s200/snow.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5548747935358279506" border="0" /></a>Ronald Malfi has a way with words. His command of the language will leave you breathless, dreaming of vivid landscapes, and in terrible fear for your life. The monsters in Malfi's mind become tangible and all too real when he sets them loose on the page. <b>Snow</b> is an incredible modern horror story with a decadent feel, and the perfect marriage of beauty and brutality.<div><br /></div><div><i>When a brutal snowstorm shut down all the flights in and out of Chicago, Todd Curry and a few other stranded passengers rented a jeep to drive the rest of the way to their destinations. But along a forested, isolated road, they picked up a disoriented man wandering through the snow. His car wouldn't start and his daughter had vanished. Strangest of all were the mysterious slashes cut into the back of the man's coat, straight down to the flesh.</i></div><div><i><br /></i></div><div><i>When they arrived in the nearest town it seemed deserted. Cars sat in the street with their doors open. Fires burned unattended. But Todd and the rest of the traveler will soon learn that the town is far from deserted, for they're being watched... and hunted. Soon they will discover the inhuman horrors that await them in the... SNOW.</i></div><div><br /></div><div>The above synopsis is from the <a href="http://www.dorchesterpub.com/store/product.aspx?ProductID=1066">Leisure/Dorchester</a> edition, which saw a Mass Market Paperback (and more recently - <a href="http://www.dorchesterpub.com/store/product.aspx?ProductID=1536">ebook</a>) release. It's far from adequate in describing the phenomenal effort present in this novel. Malfi's words are as magical as the snow itself, and go a long way in invoking terror in the reader. </div><div><br /></div><div>If you're familiar with Canadian winters, you know very well the chill that runs deep into your bones, the shiver that creeps in and refuses to let go. Well, <b>Snow</b> delivers that feeling in spades. Malfi has crafted what is quite possibly the most brilliantly vivid world, leaving the reader no choice but to freeze along with the characters on the page. You can really almost see your breath at some points in the story. The virtually relentless action and scares are sure to turn any seasoned genre reader into a bubbling pile of awestruck goo, and will definitely bring new readers to their knees.</div><div><br /></div><div>There's nothing special or new about the characters in <b>Snow</b>, and that's exactly what sets them apart. The dialogue sets out to show that you can have "canned" characters run all over your novel, but the art of mastering dialogue is the most important part. Malfi manages to make the characters become more real by creating dialogue and conversation within the novel that feels, sounds, and reads fluidly - making their plight that much more realistic. </div><div><br /></div><div>One of Malfi's strengths is taking the reader by the hand and making him believe. The reader doesn't need to suspend disbelief when reading a piece of Malfi's work, as he has already done everything in his power to make everything so... sincere. Hell, you won't even have much of a chance to question anything. This novel is such a great ride, you won't have any time to.</div><div><br /></div><div>The setting itself is beautiful. How Malfi transforms the idyllic little town into a snow covered Hell is both applaudable and amazing. Every creak and groan is heard through Malfi's expert descriptive ability. The reader can't help but wonder exactly <i>what</i> is hiding around the corner, adding so many layers to the terror experienced. It's right in the middle of the story, right about the time that Malfi has convinced the reader that this little town is about a creepy as it can get, that he swings for the bleachers and introduces some of the greatest monsters this reader has ever seen. This is truly an experience to behold. </div><div><br /></div><div>Malfi has really done away with a lot of the genre trappings, and carved himself his own little corner of the market. His descriptive abilities <i>alone</i> bring him head and shoulders above the crowd, making him an author to keep your eye on. His writing is reminiscent of the old classics, but has all of the daring and flair of the modern genre. This writer is definitely going to become a favorite for many horror and thriller fans, and in most cases, already has.</div><div><br /></div><div>Though the mass market format has now pretty much gone the way of the Dodo, <b>Snow</b> is still widely available. The mmpb format is a little more rare of a find, but you can catch a digital edition on <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Snow-ebook/dp/B003DYGO4G/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&amp;m=AZC9TZ4UC9CFC">Amazon</a> and other retail websites. There is also an <a href="#">audio book</a> version over at <a href="#">Dark Realms Audio</a>, which I'm very interested in checking out and will report on if I get the chance. I can guarantee that this isn't the last you'll hear from me about this particular author. He has quickly become a favorite of mine. </div><div><br /></div><div>You can check out more about Malfi over at his <a href="http://www.ronmalfi.com/">website</a>. He's on <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/RonaldMalfi">Twitter</a>, and over at <a href="http://www.briankeene.com/forum/index.php?board=77.0">The Keenedom</a> (<i>registration required</i>).</div><div><br /></div><div>PBH.</div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3594200863757908810-592452709623876150?l=www.paperbackhorror.com' alt='' /></div>Colum McKnighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09805029608223585566noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3594200863757908810.post-77076349638509044442011-03-04T11:46:00.004-05:002011-03-04T12:39:52.227-05:00Letting Go by Mary SanGiovanni<div>I usually try to get around on the internet and read a few things while the kids are eating breakfast, and found myself clicking a link on Twitter that would end up throwing my day in a completely different direction. Why? Well, this morning, Mary SanGiovanni posted a reprint of one of her short stories in the <i>Nightmares</i> section of her website. The story is called <b>Letting Go</b>, and it completely blew me away. </div><div><br /></div><div>See for yourself <a href="http://www.marysangiovanni.com/">here</a>.</div><div><br /></div><div>I've read a few things by this author before, and I know that she's got a very strong voice. Her writing style is urgent and yet retains a sense of beauty and comfort. This piece is no different.</div><div><br /></div><div>This story immaculately paced, starting off with a whisper, and ending off with a huge bang. If ever there was a piece of fiction that deserved to be read with a soundtrack, it's <b>Letting Go</b>. The mounting terror found within the story is remarkable. SanGiovanni really shows that her imagination is in top form, and brings a whole new, creepy feeling to the telling of a brilliant ghost story. Her version of which involves a brilliant manifestation of painful emotion, guilt, and regret. Like I've stated already: I was completely blown away.</div><div><br /></div><div>It's been several hours since I read the story for the first time, and I still can't get it out of my head. SanGiovanni's writing is very visual, memorable, and smooth. No reader is going to walk away unsatisfied with this piece. </div><div><br /></div><div>I <b>strongly</b> suggest you check it out. </div><div><br /></div><div>Visit Mary SanGiovanni at <a href="http://www.marysangiovanni.com/">www.marysangiovanni.com</a>. Click on the <i>Nightmares</i> page to read <b>Letting Go</b>. You can also check her out on <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/marysangiovanni">Twitter</a>, and on her <a href="http://www.briankeene.com/forum/index.php?board=85.0">Forum</a> at the Keenedom (<i>registration required</i>). </div><div><br /></div><div>More information of Mary SanGiovanni's new novel, <b>Thrall</b>, is available at Thunderstorm Books <a href="http://thunderstormbooks.com/thrall.php">here</a>.</div><div><br /></div><div>PBH.</div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3594200863757908810-7707634963850904444?l=www.paperbackhorror.com' alt='' /></div>Colum McKnighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09805029608223585566noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3594200863757908810.post-19148522837892468972011-03-03T09:21:00.000-05:002011-03-03T10:00:26.238-05:00After The Burn by Ronald Kelly<a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TUtVDNpyy2I/AAAAAAAAARM/Yre0PLUEyok/s1600/ATB100%252525%255B1%255D.JPG"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TUtVDNpyy2I/AAAAAAAAARM/Yre0PLUEyok/s200/ATB100%252525%255B1%255D.JPG" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5569638877866675042" style="float: left; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; cursor: pointer; width: 141px; height: 200px; " /></a>2011 may still be very young, but it is absolutely safe to say that Ronald Kelly's <b>After The Burn</b> is one of the best books you will read all year. Brutal, nasty, sick and twisted; this book has a little bit of everything for everyone, and absolutely no issues with pushing the boundaries. This is as balls-out-bizarre as horror fiction gets<div><br /></div><div><i>It was a picture-perfect Fourth of July; one that heralded both celebration and pride for millions. Folks enjoyed parades and cook-outs, the playful laughter of children and a velvet sky alive with fireworks. Afterward, they went to sleep, happy and contented, without a care in the world. The at midnight, the sun came up, brighter than a billion sparklers and hotter than Hell unleashed.</i></div><div><i><br /></i></div><div><i>They called it The Burn. The senseless detonation of nuclear devices across the face of the earth; randomly scattered, without rhyme or reason. Civilization as we knew it was consumed in the fire that day and, from it's ashes, rose a horrifying phoenix of boundless evil and depravity. Those who had once clung to the shadows, because of law and moral restraint, now stepped boldly forward to stake their unholy claim...</i></div><div><br /></div><div>For one, it should be known that this is a collection of short stories, but not so short that the reader would feel that they would go too fast. I walked into this thinking that it was novel, but that's what happens when you don't read descriptions properly. <b>After The Burn</b> actually contains 8 short stories of varying length, subject, and brutality. The one thing that the reader can depend on throughout the book is the reassurance that you're in very capable hands. Kelly writes with incredible aplomb, and doesn't hesitate to take the reader to places he or she never planned to go. <i>Ever.</i> But with Kelly at the helm, you'll be glad you did.</div><div><br /></div><div><b>A Shiny Can of Whup-Ass</b> is the lead off story, and <i>my god</i> is it a ride.</div><div><br /></div><div><i>An elderly handyman battles one of the most heinous serial killers in history as his picturesque small town becomes a violent nightmare come true.</i></div><div><br /></div><div>If every book started off the way this collection does, things in the literary world would be a hell of a lot more exciting. Kelly jams this first story full of violence, mayhem, and a brilliant twist that will make the reader's mouth drop open in a way that only well placed kick in the balls can deliver.</div><div><br /></div><div><b>Meat Is Life</b> comes next, and gives the reader an interesting look what happens to someone with a special look on life when society as they know it comes to an end.</div><div><br /></div><div><i>A well-known TV chef of culinary delights finds herself stranded and struggling for survival in the wilds of Virginia with her only friend, a stray dog named Compadre...and soon discovers that hunger and betrayal goes hand-in-hand</i>.</div><div><br /></div><div>The idea behind this story is awesome and hilarious. Watching a TV chef go through the backwoods of Virginia, starving and terrified, only to wind up the way that she does in the end, makes this a great cultural and societal commentary. This is the weakest story in the collection, but don't let that dissuade you. This story is leagues above most other short fiction pieces out there, and could only have possibly been delivered by someone with the imaginative power that Kelly offers up in spades.</div><div><br /></div><div><b>The Happiest Place In Hell</b>, the 3rd story in this collection, is at both times painful and hilarious. The hell that Kelly puts his characters through comes to a head with this story, and transforms the Happiest Place on Earth into a terrifying place of torment.</div><div><br /></div><div><i>A band of unlikely survivors take refuge in the castle of an abandoned theme park, attempting to ward off an army of crazed lunatics who have come there in search of the only sustenance they crave...human flesh.</i> </div><div><br /></div><div>Like I said above, this story is painful and hilarious. Painful, in that it contains some of the most terribly sad back stories I've ever read in a short piece, and hilarious in the action and description of the characters once they've reached their current situation. Kelly really amps up the "adventure" aspect to this collection in this story, as well. The characters, while somewhat cookie cutter, are incredibly entertaining, and instantly memorable. Kelly's style takes on a bit of sarcasm with this one as well, lending a much needed brevity to such a dark collection without losing any of the horror at all. </div><div><br /></div><div>In what is quite possibly the best, and most emotionally intense piece in the collection,<b>Popsicle Man</b> really grabs the readers' attention and rivets it to the page. If one were to read only one story from this book, this would definitely be my suggestion. </div><div><br /></div><div><i>Two children strive to escape the evil clutches of a band of rapists and child molesters. They listen for the happy music of the ice cream truck and pray for the arrival of the Popsicle Man, a white-clad vigilante who has only hatred and fury for those who would prey upon the innocent.</i></div><div><br /></div><div>This story reminded me of a very twisted play on <b>The Warriors</b>, replete with marauding gangs of murderers and rapists in different costumes and uniforms, and instantly securing a place as one of my favorite stories ever. It's an absolutely disturbed tale, wildly imaginiative, and screams to be read. Be warned though, the subject matter is not for the faint of heart. The imagery that Kelly uses in this story is as pitch black as it should be, and incredibly close to perfection.</div><div><br /></div><div><b>Evolution Ridge</b> is an incredibly weird story...but weird in a good way. This is what I can only imagine as Kelly's mind on a seriously terrifying LSD trip, while driving in the back country, or through an early american settlement. It also proves to be one of the more "out there" pieces, and brings a welcome intermission to the carnage that precedes it. This story is far from tame though. Very far. </div><div><br /></div><div><i>A farm family attempts to forge a solitary life in the lofty mountains of the Tennessee Smokies. That lonesome pursuit for normalcy and peace is derailed when radiation mutates the wildlife and vegetation of their beloved home into their worst enemies...and threatens to evolve them into something less than human themselves.</i></div><div><br /></div><div>The creatures that inhabit this story are the stuff of nightmares. I had a blast reading this story, as it was one of the most fully imagined pieces in the whole collection. Kelly really doesn't hesitate to get weird with his fiction, and just takes it that much further when you thought things were weird enough. The end of this story is absolutely beautiful, and really makes this a treat to check out. </div><div><br /></div><div>Continuing the weird fiction trend, Kelly unleashes a tale that will make you question what you're reading. A couple pages into <b>Taking Care Of Business</b>, and after laughing at the sheer confidence and audacity that the writer displays with one very well-placed (and perfectly written) character from our musical history, this piece becomes the sort of story that could be easily translated to a Comic Book or Graphic Novel.</div><div><br /></div><div><i>A middle-aged housewife and an Elvis impersonator journey to Memphis to pay homage to a long-dead rock and roll legend...and discover that iconic ghosts sometimes hold the true key to survival.</i></div><div><br /></div><div>This is one of those outlandish tales that one hopes was as fun to write as it was to read. From the start, this piece is brimming with a sarcastic and funny air, and quickly introduces a character that will make the reader laugh out loud. I wasn't expecting Kelly to "go there", but he did, and it was 100% worth it. Both Action/Adventure and Survival Horror story, this is certainly one of the most fun reads in the collection. Very fast paced, re-readable, and very daring.</div><div><br /></div><div><b>Flesh Welder</b> seems to be the serious piece here. The premise is something reminiscent of the real life horrors faced in most 3rd world countries, but adds a character that has the ability to fix the broken bodies of the victims of this regime. Wonderfully written, and incredibly moving at it's core, this is the story that should be cementing Kelly as a writer who sets the bar high. </div><div><br /></div><div><i>The survivors of Ruin Town must face evil in the form of a sadistic military commander known as The General. Their only hope is a man who can repair their broken bodies and, through a unique blending of medicine and mechanics, make them whole again. He is the healer supreme. The medico grande. The Flesh Welder.</i></div><div><br /></div><div>This is the most powerful story in the bunch. It just resonates with the dark realities faced in a war torn society, a place that we, as Westerners, can only find in literature and on the screen. Kelly manages to transport the reader straight to Ruin Town, and away from all of the simple safeties that we take for granted. The Flesh Welder himself is an incredibly sympathetic character that will embed himself in the reader's mind, and make for an incredibly memorable journey. The final act in the story has a very "Twilight Zone" feel to it, as well, and was very welcome to this reader. </div><div><br /></div><div><b>The Paradise Pill</b> wraps up the collection with a heart breaking tale of sacrifice, loss, and pain. Kelly ups his game and delivers a very harrowing tale, tightening his grasp on the reader's heart strings, and giving them a severe emotional beating.</div><div><br /></div><div><i>A woman and her daughter seek to escape the horrors of an inner-city Hell, strife with murder, torture, and rape, by partaking of a drug which transports them to their own private Heaven. But they soon discover that a chemically-induced paradise is limited in the protection it can provide.</i></div><div><br /></div><div>The overall emotional outcome I felt after this story was just absolutely brutal. The mother and daughter characters are so sympathetic, so sad, that it almost overwhelms the reader with sorrow for their circumstance. The world that Kelly envisions for this part of the collection really isn't that far fetched, and that's what makes it so terrifying. The fact that there <i>are</i> people who partake in psychotropic drugs in order to escape terrible lives. Kelly really out-does himself with this story, smacking the reader in the face with a terrifying taste of reality, on LSD.</div><div><br /></div><div>Kelly's handle on the subtle nuances of life is incredible, and his descriptions are brilliant. Why Kelly isn't being heralded as a master of the genre is beyond me. This is an author that needs to be a household name. His prose is often dark and sarcastic, but Kelly also proves capable of hitting on several emotions while still entertaining on a high level.</div><div><br /></div><div>This collection of stories is a must have for all readers who enjoy "weird" fiction, and really anyone who likes wildly imaginative fiction. The subject matter is often very dark, and twisted in a "I can't believe he actually wrote that" kind of way, but nonetheless brilliant and thoroughly enjoyable.</div><div><br /></div><div>You can contact Thunderstorm Books for more info on ordering <a href="http://thunderstormbooks.com/aftertheburn.php">here</a>. Check out more of Thunderstorm's releases <a href="http://thunderstormbooks.com/">here</a>, and check out Ronald Kelly's website <a href="http://www.ronaldkelly.com/">here</a>, and contact him <a href="http://www.ronaldkelly.com/contact.html">here</a>.</div><div><br /></div><div>Personally, I can't wait to check out more of this author's work. His voice is very original and welcome. His words flow with beauty and brutality, making this reader a very satisfied new fan. </div><div><br /></div><div>PBH.</div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3594200863757908810-1914852283789246897?l=www.paperbackhorror.com' alt='' /></div>Colum McKnighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09805029608223585566noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3594200863757908810.post-52612317245384393492011-02-12T13:48:00.001-05:002011-02-12T13:54:41.618-05:00The Creature's Curse by Paul Braus<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TUrfTJJXfbI/AAAAAAAAARA/A1w-xPrGrVM/s1600/TCC_front_cvr.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 124px; height: 200px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TUrfTJJXfbI/AAAAAAAAARA/A1w-xPrGrVM/s200/TCC_front_cvr.jpg" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5569509409162755506" /></a>Tired of wading through the untold masses of Undead and/or serial killer fiction that seems to be saturating the small press right now? Long for the days when demons reigned supreme in horror? Then you might want to get your hands on Paul Braus' debut novel - <b>The Creature's Curse</b>.<div><br /></div><div><i>There is an angry, massive, unearthly beast lurking at the end of Buck Tree Road. Locals know the brutal history of the creepy house on the road - but some are so curious they cannot stay away. </i></div><div><i><br /></i></div><div><i>Meanwhile, Abigail Merriweather and Eldon Bailey are working their way through a rocky courtship to build a life together. Both are harboring secrets, however, that will prove to be damaging - and maybe even deadly. Through it all, Abigail clings to the one item that she treasures more than life itself: a small pewter medallion on a chain that she wears around her neck. </i></div><div><i><br /></i></div><div><i>First worn by her distant relative, a woman executed for alleged witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts in 1694, the medallion has become an odd and insistent presence in Abigail's life. But what is the connection between the ancient amulet, the creature and the horrible history of the house at the end of Buck Tree Road? </i></div><div><i><br /></i></div><div><i>And can anyone really feel safe with the creature poised to strike again?</i></div><div><br /></div><div>In the opening pages of this novel, Braus shows the reader exactly what he intends to bring to the table and immediately begins to deliver. Wasting no time whatsoever, this books reaches straight for the throat and delivers a physical and psychological jab, grabbing the reader's attention. The characters are set, the plot is in motion, and yet the reader has no idea what is in store. </div><div><br /></div><div>Braus' characters are very well fleshed out. Their individual histories are told in a series of flashbacks and through carefully crafted dialogue. The author doesn't reveal too much in the beginning, but rather decides to let the reader find out slowly through dialogue and action. This is an admittedly difficult task, being that the story takes place over two decades, and, furthermore, has ties to events that happened hundreds of years ago that affect the outcome of the story at present. </div><div><br /></div><div>Relying heavily on some well researched facts, Braus is able to create a very convincing back story for the main character - Abigail - and uses this to present what seems to be her steady psychological decline. And he does this all very well. The brutal psychological beating that Abigail's husband - Eldon - takes, is all the more terrible for this.</div><div><br /></div><div>Braus also manages to mix a whole heap of sex, abuse, and various other sinister things into the plot, taking the reader of an epic journey in a short period of time. Witches, spells, and monsters abound in this fun little read. The gore is very well described and just radiates off the page. </div><div><br /></div><div>Apart from a formatting issue that relied on italicization far too often for this reader, I found this book to be a great departure from the vast amount of zombies, vampires, and psychopaths that are currently cluttering the shelves in most brick and mortar stores. It's nice to see a good old fashioned Witch story every once in a while, and this one certainly fills the void beautifully. Braus certainly knows how to entertain, and flaunts his stuff unapologetically in this novel. </div><div><br /></div><div>You can find out more about the book <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Creatures-Curse/124795037565623">here</a>, and find out more about Braus <a href="http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4098870.Paul_Braus">here</a>. You can grab yourself a copy of The Creature's Curse at <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Creatures-Curse-Paul-Braus/dp/0615365175">Amazon</a>, and most online booksellers. </div><div><br /></div><div>PBH.</div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3594200863757908810-5261231724538439349?l=www.paperbackhorror.com' alt='' /></div>Colum McKnighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09805029608223585566noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3594200863757908810.post-71638617211246908652011-02-03T07:44:00.004-05:002011-02-03T17:10:44.445-05:00Zombielicious by Timothy McGivney<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TUn9L-9ralI/AAAAAAAAAQo/FHWtWUf1mfE/s1600/images-3.jpeg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 133px; height: 200px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TUn9L-9ralI/AAAAAAAAAQo/FHWtWUf1mfE/s200/images-3.jpeg" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5569260796542413394" /></a><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">Anyone looking for a fun, fast paced, sexually charged, homo (and hetero) erotic novel depicting zombies, aged strippers, and a bevy of other insane (yet hilarious) characters, should look no further. Timothy McGivney's debut novel - </span></span></span><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">Zombielicious -</span></span></span></b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;"> pushes all of the envelopes and fires on all cylinders. And let's not forget the fact that this is one steaming hot piece of erotic fiction, from all angles. </span></span></span><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;"><br /></span></span></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 19px; "><i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">Amidst a zombie outbreak, Walt, athletic and confident, meets shy and quiet Joey, the attraction between them both instant and electric. With strength in numbers, they band together alongside fellow survivors; Jill, an ex-porn star turned nurse who's made a startling discovery about her past; Ace, a disgruntled security guard who just can't live up to certain short comings; and Molly, the fiery redhead unwilling to give up on her dreams of stardom. </span></span></span></i></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 19px; "><i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;"><br /></span></span></span></i></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 19px; "><i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">In this apocalyptic new world of the dead, an anything-goes attitude has become the law of the land and lust, betrayal, true love and redemption are all just a gunshot away.</span></span></span></i></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 19px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;"><br /></span></span></span></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 19px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">Homo-erotic literature has a huge following in the niche/erotica/romance markets (among others), so it was only a matter of time until the undead poked their ugly heads into the mix. I'm not saying that </span></span></span><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">Zombielicious</span></span></span></b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;"> is the first of it's kind. Oh no. I'm sure there are more out there, but this is the first that I've read. And wow, did it ever leave a lasting impression on me. </span></span></span></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 19px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;"><br /></span></span></span></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 19px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">As stated above, this is author Timothy McGivney's first published novel, but one really wouldn't be able to tell, given his keen eye for dramatic flair and blistering action sequences. The flow of the novel is a little bit hard to get into at first, as it's written from the first person perspective of all 5 of the main characters, but once the ball gets rolling, it becomes a smooth and fast read. </span></span></span></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 19px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;"><br /></span></span></span></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 19px;"></span></span></span></span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 19px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">Speaking of characters, McGivney really has his hands full in this one. The 5 main characters have almost </span></span></span><i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">nothing</span></span></span></i><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;"> in common with each other from a stereotypical point of view, but share so much in their situation that they seem virtually made for eachother. You can see what we're dealing with in the brief synopsis up top, but the point to remember is that the author really brings all 5 of these people to life, guiding their interactions in a very smooth, very solidly written way. The first person narrative, while admittedly distracting at first, becomes almost non-existent after a while.</span></span></span></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 19px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;"><br /></span></span></span></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 19px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">Now, to say that this is an undead love story or a zombie novel would be stretching it a little bit. In all honesty, this is a erotic/romance novel set inside the parameters of a zombie apocalypse story. But there's absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. The flavor that the circumstance lends to the story makes it all the more enjoyable, and produces some grade A gore for the harder edged readers. These scenes, when tempered with the obligatory (and set-the-page-on-fire-hot) love scenes make this a whirlwind ride, with excitement being a top priority. </span></span></span></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 19px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;"><br /></span></span></span></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 19px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">The erotic content in this novel is very obviously swayed in the direction of the homo-erotic fare, but there something in this for everyone. The sex scenes in this book are smoking hot, eliciting heart pounding excitement and enough vivid mental pictures to make you blush, no matter what your preferences are. I'd say that McGivney really has a knack for depicting some seriously intense erotic scenes, but then I'd be undercutting his talent. This is some incredibly steamy stuff. </span></span></span></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 19px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;"><br /></span></span></span></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 19px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">The only real shortcoming that the book has is it's cover, which I really can't enjoy. For a book this wild and entertaining, I feel it deserves something more artistic and flashy. </span></span></span></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 19px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;"><br /></span></span></span></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 19px;"><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">Zombilicious</span></span></span></b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;"> is really a wicked, sexy, and adventurous ride. If you dig your horror with a large smattering of romance and LGBT erotica, you're really going to enjoy this one.</span></span></span></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 19px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;"><br /></span></span></span></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 19px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">You can grab a digital copy </span></span></span><a href="http://www.mlrbooks.com/Bookstore.php?bookid=TMZOMBIE"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">here</span></span></span></a><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;"> and in paperback format </span></span></span><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Zombielicious-Timothy-McGivney/dp/1608202631/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1295484866&amp;sr=1-2"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">here</span></span></span></a><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">. Check out more info on McGivney </span></span></span><a href="http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4528605.Timothy_McGivney"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">here</span></span></span></a><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">. </span></span></span></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 19px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;"><br /></span></span></span></span></div><div><span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 19px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:#FFFFFF;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">PBH.</span></span></span></span></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3594200863757908810-7163861721124690865?l=www.paperbackhorror.com' alt='' /></div>Colum McKnighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09805029608223585566noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3594200863757908810.post-12765563587264865442011-02-02T12:52:00.000-05:002011-02-02T12:52:53.486-05:00Zombies Don't Cry by Rusty Fischer<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TTnjePA8vGI/AAAAAAAAAQg/Sh1iVQrvCMk/s1600/images.jpeg"><img style="float: left; margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; cursor: pointer; width: 143px; height: 200px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TTnjePA8vGI/AAAAAAAAAQg/Sh1iVQrvCMk/s200/images.jpeg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5564728923159051362" border="0" /></a>Rusty Fischer and <a href="http://www.medallionpress.com/">Medallion Press</a> have offered up a new take on zombies with this wonderful piece of fiction. What, at first glance, looks like your "run of the mill" YA zombie novel, turns everything you thought about the sub-genre on it's head, and whollops you with a very important, and impressive example of how YA <span style="font-style: italic;">should</span> be written.<br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic;font-family:georgia;" >Maddy Swift is just a normal girl—a high school junior surviving class with her best friend and hoping the yummy new kid, Stamp, will ask her out. When he finally does, her whole life changes. </span><span style="font-family: georgia; font-style: italic;font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;" > </span><p style="font-family: georgia; font-style: italic;">Sneaking out to meet Stamp at a party one rainy night, Maddy is struck by lightning. After awakening, she feels lucky to be alive. Over time, however, Maddy realizes that she’s become the thing she and everyone else fear most: the living dead. </p> <span style="font-family: georgia; font-style: italic;font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;" >With no heartbeat and no breath in her lungs, Maddy must learn how to survive as a zombie. Turns out there’s a lot more to it than shuffling around 24/7 growling, “Brains.” Needing an afterlife makeover is only the beginning of her problems. As Barracuda Bay High faces zombie Armageddon, Maddy must summon all of her strength to protect what matters most—just as soon as she figures out exactly what that is</span><span style="font-style: italic;font-family:georgia;" >.</span><br /><br />Busting out of the gate with an explosive (and hilarious) intro, Fischer sets the stage for a fun romp through the life of a young, accidently zombified, teenage girl; and leads you to believe that this is going to be something reminiscent of the scores of other YA horror novels out there. But you, the intelligent reader, can see something else in there. Behind the facade of a teenage-angst-ridden zombie story, Fischer has presented something fresher and more vivid than the decaying corpses littering the YA section of your favorite book store (or web-store *sigh*).<br /><br />Fischer brings a massive amount of entertainment to this piece, not only poking fun at most teenage stereotypes, but also poking fun at the genre itself - in some places. Written from the perspective of the main female character, the author tends to lay heavy on the funny to dispell most of the serious situations, but dips into some seriously hardcore emotional territory with others. The brilliance of this situation is that he is able to make you laugh, think, and possibly even cry...all within the same sentence. To say that Fischer understands the teenage mindframe would be an understatement. He <span style="font-style: italic;">lives it</span> in this novel, and that is what makes this book so different from the rest of the pack.<br /><br />Now, in what is possibly my favorite move with this novel, Fischer whips out a whole new bag of tricks in regards to the zombies themselves. The constantly shuffling, groaning, and...well...slow moving zombies are eschewed for a more intelligent and brutal breed of walking dead. Not only are they completely sentient beings, but they're also capable of planning and other sorts of menacing behavior. Even the manner of becoming zombified is completely different from most traditional ways. Fischer has introduced the potential for lightening to be a crucial factor in the zombification process, but hasn't completely done away with the "zombie-by-bite" method. In fact, two different types of zombies can be created using the two different styles of...well...zombie creation, which is a much needed breath of fresh air in the sub-genre.<div><br /></div><div>The whole book is written beautifully, combining so many different emotions and enough pop culture references to make any nerd's head explode. Fisher has a tight grip on all things modern, and it really shows throughout the whole story. This novel will appeal to all ages. No exception. Hopefully Fischer has it in his mind to write a follow up, as this is one story that I can really see becoming bigger and more detailed. </div><div><br /></div><div>A great introduction to a truly unique world, <b>Zombies Don't Cry</b> sets the bar high, for YA horror novels.</div><div><br /></div><div>You can grab the book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Zombies-Dont-Cry-Living-Story/dp/1605423823">here</a>, and take a look at the blog for the book <a href="#/">here</a>. You can also catch up with Fischer at his own <a href="http://requestedmaterial.blogspot.com/">website</a>, and visit Medallion Press at their <a href="http://medallionpress.com/">website</a>. </div><div><br /></div><div>As is usually their awesome fashion, the ever impressive Medallion Press also has a wicked little poem called '<a href="##poems">Zombies Don't Date</a>' by Rusty Fischer, on their website, as bonus content. Make sure you check it out.</div><div><br /></div><div>I can't say enough as to how much I love this author. There's so much talent here, and I can't wait to check out more more of his work. Fischer's next book with Medallion - <b>Vamplayers</b> - is set for release in 2012.</div><div><br /></div><div>PBH.</div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3594200863757908810-1276556358726486544?l=www.paperbackhorror.com' alt='' /></div>Colum McKnighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09805029608223585566noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3594200863757908810.post-78186339312830302572011-01-27T11:50:00.000-05:002011-01-27T11:57:03.096-05:00What They Hear In The Dark by Gary McMahon<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TTD8XADffxI/AAAAAAAAAPw/mx8AHt6NOC4/s1600/wthitdpr.jpg"><img style="float: left; margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; cursor: pointer; width: 131px; height: 200px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TTD8XADffxI/AAAAAAAAAPw/mx8AHt6NOC4/s200/wthitdpr.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5562223011884400402" border="0" /></a><span style="font-weight: bold;">What They Hear In The Dark</span> is a perfect example of short horror fiction done well. A horror story, for all intents and purposes, should be designed to elicit certain emotions from the reader, and this chapbook does that in spades. I dare anyone to read this and not get a massive chill up their spine. It just <span style="font-style: italic;">isn't</span> possible.<br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic;">Rob and Becky bought the old place after the death of their son, to repair and renovate - to patch things up and make the building habitable.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic;">The both knew that they were trying to fix more than the house, but the cracks in their marriage could not be papered over.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic;">Then they found the Quiet Room.</span><br /><br />In a very short 22 pages, McMahon achieves what some horror authors can't seem to pull off in a full length novel, proving that finding chills, thrills, and absolute terror, is completely possible in short fiction. And McMahon pulls this off beautifully with incredible description and wonderfully beautiful prose. The pain and emotion of the two main characters is absolutely palpable, making this a very quick, but also very tough read <span style="font-style: italic;">(in a good way)</span>. It's hard feeling for the characters in a story, but especially so, if the author is someone like McMahon - who seems to be able to make the subject matter so personal that you feel you're intimately involved in their lives.<br /><br />Every aspect of this story is frought with a haunting menace that barely even begins to describe the terror within. The most perfect part of this story lies in the fact that everything is almost entirely left up to the reader to imagine. Granted, McMahon steers the story this way and that in order to bring the reader on a very specific course, but he also imbues the tale with enough vague references and emotional disturbances to make you feel completely out of control, but also able to recognize the fact that the author has you safely nestled in the palm of his hand. It's very hard to take your eyes off the page once the writer hits his stride.<br /><br />The atmosphere is gloomy and dim, bringing to mind some of the darkest tales of sadness and sorrow I've ever read. The whole thing feels...grey. It's almost like everything was designed to make you feel whatever you want to feel, but also directing the reader on a very dedicated path. McMahon is truly a brilliant writer, and this small taste speaks volumes as to his wonderful talent.<br /><br />Don't miss out on this little chapbook. Again, it's a quick read, but completely worth it and very re-readable. Every read-through will bring new images to mind, taking you on a journey of sorrow, despair, and emotional terror - time and time again.<br /><br />You can visit Spectral Press' website <a href="http://spectralpress.wordpress.com/">here</a>. Information on how to grab a copy of this chapbook can be found <a href="http://spectralpress.wordpress.com/2010/12/15/spectral-press-i-what-they-hear-in-the-dark-by-gary-mcmahon/">here</a>, and you can check out the author's website <a href="http://www.garymcmahon.com/">here</a>.<br /><br />PBH.<br /><span style="font-weight: bold;"><span style="font-weight: bold;"></span></span><strong></strong><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3594200863757908810-7818633931283030257?l=www.paperbackhorror.com' alt='' /></div>Colum McKnighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09805029608223585566noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3594200863757908810.post-24472860104556058572011-01-21T13:57:00.000-05:002011-01-21T13:57:15.941-05:00Bleed For You by Michael Louis Calvillo<span style="font-size:100%;"><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TTddXHr3tAI/AAAAAAAAAQQ/wGBzfWtvsfQ/s1600/BleedForYou.jpg"><img style="float: left; margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; cursor: pointer; width: 129px; height: 200px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TTddXHr3tAI/AAAAAAAAAQQ/wGBzfWtvsfQ/s200/BleedForYou.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5564018516420965378" border="0" /></a>Michael Louis Calvillo is a powerhouse. The sheer amount of energy, raw emotion and uncompromising brutality that laces this novella is something to be awed by. The storyline is tight as hell, and one can't help but feel absolutely connected to the main character. All of this in just the <span style="font-style: italic;">first 10 pages</span>, and it only gets better from there. </span><span style="font-size:100%;"><span style="font-weight: normal;"><br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic;">Love sucks. Just ask Freddy. The little geek’s hot girlfriend keeps promising him that she’ll do the right thing and break up with her other boyfriend, their high school’s star quarterback, but what do you know? She never seems to get around to it.</span></span></span> <p style="font-style: italic;"><span style="font-size:100%;">It drives poor Freddy nuts and has him shaking his fists at the cruel heavens. The virgin blood boiling in his veins can’t wait. An official team of doctors have officially confirmed his ability to love and have given his emotional meter their seal of approval. No more hospitals. No more meds. Free and clear.</span></p> <p style="font-style: italic;"><span style="font-size:100%;">So never mind the baseball bat hidden behind his back (it’s precautionary, you know?). Oh, and never mind the hacksaw stashed in the lining of his trench coat (more precaution). Freddy is in love, and though it sucks, it makes everything all right. It makes everything in his scrambled brain smooth and clear. And when he says, “Girl, I bleed for you,” he means it just how he says it and not the other way around.</span></p><span style="font-size:100%;">I honestly can't believe I wasn't introduced to Calvillo's writing before now. If I had been, and if this novella was any indication of his standard storytelling ability, I would have been waiting with baited breath for this piece. Guaranteed.<br /><br />Like I mentioned above, this is one tight and brutal piece of fiction. The writing style is very succinct, allowing the reader to visualize just enough in order to get the feel for what Calvillo is trying to convey with his words, which is exactly what makes this story so damned enthralling. The author has a way of cherry-picking the most incredible combinations of words, and honing in on the <span style="font-style: italic;">exact</span> emotion he wants you to feel - a skill most writers can only dream of. The fact that he does with in such short bursts only goes to prove how massive this writer's talent is, and begs roughly the same question as I've stated above: <span style="font-style: italic;">Why haven't I heard of this author before?</span><br /><br />The main character - Freddy - is of the complicated variety, eliciting a varied amount of responses from the reader; most of which include shock at how one could possibly side with someone so utterly...well...fucked up. There's a beauty to something like this though. While you're morally condemning this character's thought processes and actions, you can't help but cheer him on, aided by the voice of the geeky little underdog that lives inside your head. He's lonely, he's sad, but he's also a little more than pissed off. I don't know about you, but I can name a legion of males, aged 13 to dead, who can identify with this character in one way or another. But rest assured, Freddy is one sick puppy.<br /><br />Calvillo really brings you on an incredibly emotional journey here. The ups and downs that the main character experiences are absolutely palpable. They just lift right off the page and smack you in the mouth with every turn of the page. The action is almost constant, and even when it isn't, the story line just zips along smoothly. There are rocky bits here and there, but they all involve the reader actually trying to stomach the scenes that the author has laid out for the taking. I'm not kidding when I say that this is one seriously brutal read.<br /><br />In spite of the bloodsoaked gore-fest, this is essentially a love story told with a main character that is, quite obviously, mentally disturbed. This does not detract from the reader connecting with the main character at all, though, but instead kind of sets the stage for a grand reveal that is absolutely mind blowing.<br /><br />When Calvillo wants to shock - he shocks. When he wants to 'wow' - <span style="font-style: italic;">oh boy</span> does he 'WOW'!. But let it be said: there is a method to this man's madness, and an incredible talent the likes of which we don't see in the bigger markets very often.<br /><br />I'd say that this is one of the strongest novellas I have read in a very long time. Definitely worth the cash, alright. Right down to the cover art, which is phenomenal, and very fitting for the content of the story. In fact, it didn't dawn on me that the cover is <span style="font-style: italic;">that perfect</span> until after I'd finished reading. Brilliant.<br /><br />If you like your horror literature bloody, emotional, sometimes hard to stomach, and fast paced...you're going to want to go and get this book, pronto.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.deliriumbooks.com/titles/future-titles/bleed-for-you-by-michael-louis-calvillo/">Go get this book</a>. It's available in a limited mini-hardcover run of 150 ($19.95 - preorder price), but also as a digital copy ($4.95). You can pre-order <a href="https://www.horror-mall.com/BLEED-FOR-YOU-by-Michael-Louis-Calvillo-Limited-Mini-Hardcover-p-21543.html">here</a>, and check out the rest of Delirium Books products <a href="http://www.deliriumbooks.com/">here</a>.<br /><br />Check out more of Calvillo's work at his <a href="http://destroymc.com/destroymc2/web/index.htm">website</a>. Based on my experience with this novella, I'm going to go out of my way to pick up everything this man has ever written.<br /><br />PBH.<br /></span><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3594200863757908810-2447286010455605857?l=www.paperbackhorror.com' alt='' /></div>Colum McKnighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09805029608223585566noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3594200863757908810.post-28430324508345818482011-01-17T16:00:00.005-05:002011-01-17T16:14:20.953-05:00Audible Releases 'The Jake Helman Files' in audio book format<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TTSvTaBreUI/AAAAAAAAAQI/9aYQpxq2WXo/s1600/61pP-M7NBNL._SL500_AA300_.jpg"><img style="float: left; margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; cursor: pointer; width: 200px; height: 200px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TTSvTaBreUI/AAAAAAAAAQI/9aYQpxq2WXo/s200/61pP-M7NBNL._SL500_AA300_.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5563264187648145730" border="0" /></a><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TTSvQMrxBQI/AAAAAAAAAQA/-co94zwGZRA/s1600/51fQKibUYCL._SL500_AA300_.jpg"><img style="float: left; margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; cursor: pointer; width: 200px; height: 200px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TTSvQMrxBQI/AAAAAAAAAQA/-co94zwGZRA/s200/51fQKibUYCL._SL500_AA300_.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5563264132526966018" border="0" /></a>I wouldn't normally release a bit of news via this website, but I received an email about a day ago with some really exciting information.<br /><br />My <span style="font-style: italic;">favorite</span> horror/crime series of books was just released in Audio book format by <a href="http://www.audible.com/">Audible.com</a>!<br /><br />That's right! You can now pick up Greg Lamberson's <a href="http://www.paperbackhorror.com/2010/05/personal-demons-jake-helman-files-by.html"><span style="font-weight: bold;">Personal Demons</span></a> and <a href="http://www.paperbackhorror.com/2010/09/desperate-souls-by-gregory-lamberson.html"><span style="font-weight: bold;">Desperate Souls</span></a>, both from the <span style="font-weight: bold;">Jake Helman Files</span> series, in Audio Book format for your listening pleasure.<br /><br />Here's the release I received:<br /><blockquote style="font-style: italic;"><br /><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;" align="center"><a href="http://audible.com/" target="_blank">AUDIBLE.COM</a> RELEASES AUDIO BOOKS BASED ON THE FIRST TWO VOLUMES OF AUTHOR GREGORY LAMBERSON'S<br /> 'THE JAKE HELMAN FILES' HARDBOILED HORROR SERIES.<br /> </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span> </span>Audible.com has simultaneously released two audio books based on author Gregory Lamberson’s hardboiled horror series, The Jake Helman Files: PERSONAL DEMONS and DESPERATE SOULS.<span> </span>Both audio books are narrated by Christopher Hurt, who narrated audio versions of THE FOUNTAINHEAD and FHARENHEIT 451.<br /> </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span> </span>The Jake Helman Files tells the story of ex-cop turned occult detective Helman, who finds himself embroiled in the supernatural at every turn.<span> </span>In the first book, PERSONAL DEMONS, Helman tangles with a serial killer who steals the souls of his victims, a reclusive billionaire, and the Biblical Cain and Abel.<span> </span>In DESPERATE SOULS, his foe is a voodoo priestess who uses a drug called Black Magic to create an army of zombies in New York City.<span> </span>Print and e-book editions of the novels are available from Medallion Press; PERSONAL DEMONS won the IPPY Gold Medal for Horror in 2010.<br /> </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span> </span>“I love crime drama and noir as much as I do horror,” says Lamberson, director of the cult horror film SLIME CITY and its new sequel, SLIME CITY MASSACRE, “and I love combining these genres.<span> </span>Jake Helman is as informed by THE MALTESE FALCON and the TV series WISEGUY as he is by the creations of Clive Barker and Stephen King.<span> </span>Action is the unifying thread, but the action Jake finds himself in tends to be a lot bloodier than that faced by other hardboiled heroes.<span> </span>Surprise is the real key.”<br /> </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span> </span>Lamberson is pleased to see his character debuting in other media.<span> </span>“The first book, PERSONAL DEMONS, was based on an unproduced screenplay I wrote back in the late 1980s, after I made SLIME CITY. <span> </span>I knew the script was too ambitious to do on the budgets I make movies on, so it went into a drawer until around 2000.<span> </span>After 9/11, I developed it as a novel, which took a few years.<span> </span>When it was published by a small press in 2004, I started fantasizing about the sequels.<span> </span>Before I knew it, I had a fairly intricate arc mapped out for the first six books.<span> </span>I love the idea of the audio books because they remind me of the old radio serials, and they still leave a lot to the imagination.<span> </span>I’d love to see Jake fighting for his life in comics, and of course in movies.”<br /> </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span> </span>The author has already completed two more novels in the series for Medallion: COSMIC FORCES, which will be published this October, and TORTURED SPIRITS, due in 2012.<span> </span>“I told Adam Mock, the president of Medallion Media Group, that I want to do at least 10 of these Jake Helman books.<span> </span>In truth, I’d like to write a lot more than that, as I’m a real fan of pulp novels and continuing characters.<span> </span>But I plan to write at least six, which will complete the story I set out to write.<span> </span>Jake suffers a lot more than most other heroes who battle the supernatural.<span> </span>I love subjecting him to physical and emotional torture, and as long as he can take what I dish out, we’ll keep going.”<br /> </p> Lamberson previously wrote JOHNNY GRUESOME, winner of the IPPY Gold Medal for Horror in 2009, and the critically acclaimed werewolf novel THE FRENZY WAY.<span> </span>SLIME CITY MASSACRE will be released by Media Blasters sometime this year. </blockquote><br />Now, I don't know about you, but I'm hopping on this chance. For the Lamberson fan - and completist - you're not going to want to go without it.<br /><br />For more information, check out the following links:<br /><br /><p class="MsoNormal">Lamberson’s website – <a href="http://www.slimeguy.com/" target="_blank">www.slimeguy.com</a><br /> </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-weight: bold;">Personal Demons</span> Audio Book<br /> <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Personal-Demons-Jake-Helman-Files/dp/B004INSSXQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1295209094&amp;sr=8-2-catcorr" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/<wbr>Personal-Demons-Jake-Helman-<wbr>Files/dp/B004INSSXQ/ref=sr_1_<wbr>2?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1295209094&amp;sr=8-<wbr>2-catcorr</a> <br /> </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-weight: bold;">Desperate Souls</span> Audio Book<br /> <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Desperate-Souls-Jake-Helman-Files/dp/B004INR2R4/ref=sr_1_cc_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1295209278&amp;sr=1-1-catcorr" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/<wbr>Desperate-Souls-Jake-Helman-<wbr>Files/dp/B004INR2R4/ref=sr_1_<wbr>cc_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1295209278&amp;<wbr>sr=1-1-catcorr</a></p> <p class="MsoNormal"> Medallion Press<br /> <a href="#" target="_blank">http://medallionpress.com/<wbr>authors/lamberson.html</a></p><p class="MsoNormal"><br /></p><p class="MsoNormal">PBH.<br /></p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3594200863757908810-2843032450834581848?l=www.paperbackhorror.com' alt='' /></div>Colum McKnighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09805029608223585566noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3594200863757908810.post-29747106267704818542011-01-14T17:00:00.001-05:002011-01-14T17:23:49.580-05:00Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King<span style="font-size:100%;"><a style="font-family: verdana;" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TS-jMeutL7I/AAAAAAAAAPo/VvqucDEG8tg/s1600/images-2.jpeg"><img style="float: left; margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; cursor: pointer; width: 131px; height: 200px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TS-jMeutL7I/AAAAAAAAAPo/VvqucDEG8tg/s200/images-2.jpeg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5561843499628572594" border="0" /></a></span><span style="font-family: verdana;font-family:georgia;font-size:100%;" class="Apple-style-span" ><span class="Apple-style-span">I know what you're thinking. </span></span><span style="font-size:100%;"><i style="font-family: verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span"><span class="Apple-style-span"><br /><br />"Oh yay, another review of </span></span></i><b style="font-family: verdana;"><i><span class="Apple-style-span"><span class="Apple-style-span">Full Dark, No Stars</span></span></i></b><i style="font-family: verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span"><span class="Apple-style-span">."</span></span></i></span><span style="font-family: verdana;font-family:georgia;font-size:100%;" class="Apple-style-span" ><span class="Apple-style-span"><br /><br />As if everybody and their mother hasn't reviewed this book already, right?<br /><br />Well, I haven't reviewed this book, and being that I just finished the darkest, meanest, and most violent of all of Stephen King's books that I've read, I'm going to damn well review it. </span></span><div style="font-family: verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size:100%;"><span class="Apple-style-span"><br /></span></span></div><div style="font-family: verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size:100%;"><span class="Apple-style-span">From <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Full-Dark-Stars-Stephen-King/dp/1439192561">Amazon.com</a>:</span></span></div><div style="font-family: verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size:100%;"><span class="Apple-style-span"><br /></span></span></div><div style="font-family: verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size:100%;"><span class="Apple-style-span"><i>Starred Review. Eerie twists of fate drive the four longish stories in King's first collection since Just After Sunset (2008). In "1922," a farmer murders his wife to retain the family land she hopes to sell, then watches his life unravel hideously as the consequences of the killing suggest a near-supernatural revenge. "Big Driver" tells of an otherwise ordinary woman who discovers her extraordinary capacity for retribution after she is raped and left for dead. "A Good Marriage" explores the aftermath of a wife's discovery of her milquetoast husband's sinister secret life, while "Fair Extension," the book's most disturbing story, follows the relationship between a man and the best friend on whom he preternaturally shifts all his bad luck and misfortune. As in Different Seasons (1982), King takes a mostly nonfantastic approach to grim themes. Now, as then, these tales show how a skilled storyteller with a good tale to tell can make unsettling fiction compulsively readable.</i></span></span></div><div style="font-family: verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size:100%;"><span class="Apple-style-span"><i><br /></i></span></span></div><div style="font-family: verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size:100%;"><span class="Apple-style-span"><i><br /></i></span></span></div><div style="font-family: verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size:100%;"><span class="Apple-style-span"><i><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">*If you haven't read this book, be warned - there are many spoilers ahead.*</span></b></i></span></span></div><div style="font-family: verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size:100%;"><span class="Apple-style-span"><br /></span></span></div><div style="font-family: verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size:100%;"><span class="Apple-style-span">Now, most people's comments surrounding this book detail the fact that this is one of King's hardest, nastiest, and darkest reads to date; bringing back the feel of the 'Old King' they read when they were younger. I hadn't read any King, save for <b>Cycle of the Werewolf</b> when I was a kid, and haven't really ventured past some of the Bachman books (and a very failed attempt at reading <span style="font-weight: bold;">IT</span>) in my adulthood, so I wasn't sure what to expect.<br /><br />Here's what happened.<br /></span></span></div><span style="font-size:100%;"><br /></span><div style="font-family: verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size:100%;"><span class="Apple-style-span">The first story in the collection is <b>1922</b>, detailing (in first person) the account of Wilfred James and the space in time between 1922 and 1923, in which he confesses to the murder of his wife and describes the aftermath of said action. </span></span></div><div style="font-family: verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size:100%;"><span class="Apple-style-span"><br /></span></span></div><div style="font-family: verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size:100%;"><span class="Apple-style-span">King's descriptive brilliance is incredibly apparent in this story, giving so much weight to his words, and immersing the reader in Wilfred's life during the year his family (and others) suffered by his hands. The emotional pressure is intense, as is the lyrical style that King uses to give voice to his main character. Though remorse and terror are portrayed incredibly well, the story did drag on a bit, creating a need to burn through the pages in order to get to some of the better parts. There are one or two instances in the story that are brilliantly disgusting, though, and I even found myself wincing in sympathetic pain and horror. </span></span></div><div style="font-family: verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size:100%;"><span class="Apple-style-span"><br /><br /></span></span></div><div style="font-family: verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size:100%;"><span class="Apple-style-span">The next story up is <span style="font-weight: bold;">Big Driver</span>. Set the town of <a href="http://www.chicopeema.gov/">Chicopee, Massachusetts</a>; the story focuses on Tess - a successful mystery writer who speaks at an engagement at a local library, is given some very bad directions home, and eventually runs afoul of a man who rapes, beats, and leaves her for dead. </span></span></div><div style="font-family: verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size:100%;"><span class="Apple-style-span"><br /></span></span></div><div style="font-family: verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size:100%;"><span class="Apple-style-span">To me, this story is very reminiscent of <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068833/"><span style="font-weight: bold;">Last House on the Left</span></a> and <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077713/"><span style="font-weight: bold;">I Spit on Your Grave</span></a>, but only in the sense that, at it's core, this is a rape/revenge story. King's version of this exploitation staple is very well written, imagined, and unfortunately, described. Now, I say unfortunately because I'm not a fan of the rape/revenge motif, nor have I ever been. There are moments when I can see the idea working for someone, but without the skill of a master auteur or author, I can't believe that something like this this would ever come to the public's viewing. </span></span></div><div style="font-family: verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size:100%;"><span class="Apple-style-span"><br /></span></span></div><div style="font-family: verdana;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size:100%;"><span class="Apple-style-span">That said, <span style="font-weight: bold;">Big Driver</span> was an intense foray into the subject matter. Written from the perspective of a female, which King does surprisingly well, we're introduced to the idea that things aren't always what they seem to be, and that humanity is capable of some seriously fucked up shit. The whole story is about as intense as a pot of water about to boil over, bringing the reader as close to the boiling point with it. Every step within the story is well timed and beautifully exectuted. Based on King's visceral approach to the descriptions in this one, I could see this one becoming a film more than any of the others. There's so much raw emotion and inner turmoil in the main character, it almost begs for a big screen adaptation.<br /><br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Fair Extension</span> is the 3rd story in this collection and is based around the idea of childhood friends and the hatred that is harboured in the heart of one, for another. The whole premise struck me as incredible when I started reading it. The idea that someone would have to choose between their own health, and the health and lives of others - for decidedly greedy and overtly sinister purposes - and then show little or no remorse in the end is, to me, one of the most incredibly mean things that I've come across in a while.<br /><br />I applaud Mr. King for taking this road, as it is really the road less traveled.<br /><br />When I spoke of emotion in terms of <span style="font-weight: bold;">Big Driver</span>, I was relating it to visceral and descriptive emotion. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Fair Extension</span> hits you somewhere else. It grabs you by the collar and gets in your face, demanding to know if you'd sacrifice someone else for your own purposes. Granted, none of us will probably ever see the day when we'll have to make a decision like that, but Dave Streeter, the main character in the story, is faced with that dilemma, and deals with it the way he sees fit.<br /><br />I appreciate the fact that King made this such a bleak and uncompromising story. It was a very welcome breath of fresh (albeit claustrophobic) air, and really grabbed the title and made perfect use of it.<br /><br />The last story in the collection is <span style="font-weight: bold;">A Good Marriage</span>, which centers around the premise that you really can't tell who someone is until their secrets are revealed.<br /><br />This story is so powerful, and so well written, that it's hard to even compare it to the rest. It was by far my favorite of the four. King was right to end off with this one, as it has all the hallmarks of a brilliantly written horror story.<br /><br />The characters are absolutely easy to sympathise with, the set up is one that you really wouldn't know what was coming (if you hadn't read the cover sleeve), the vast and indescribably painful transformation that the wife in the story goes through is just heartbreaking, and the whole vibe is about as dark as complete and utter nothingness. King really let fly by putting Darcy in a heartwrenching predicament, and eventually put her through her paces. It's amazing that King himself was able to walk away from this one, as it really made me look at everything in a different light when I was done.<br /><br />Overall, while I did enjoy Full Dark, No Stars, I did have the feeling taht King was '<span style="font-style: italic;">holding back</span>' with where he could have taken the stories. There's no doubt that this is some of the most extreme work of his that I've read (outside of his entry in Skipp's <span style="font-weight: bold;">Book Of The Dead</span> - <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_Delivery_%28short_story%29">Home Delivery</a>, which was absolutely brutal, and one of my favorite zombie short stories of all time).<br /><br />Based on this experience, I will be tackling some of King's other works, and will do so with a renewed appreciation for the one people call "The Master of Horror".<br /><br />You can check out the author at his <a href="http://www.stephenking.com/index.html">website</a>, and grab <span style="font-weight: bold;">Full Dark, No Stars</span> at pretty much any location where books can be bought. Also, make sure you check out the website <a href="http://www.fulldarknostarsbook.com/">for the book itself</a>, which has some incredible online peripherals, such as '<span style="font-style: italic;">A Conversation with the Author</span>', and other great treats for any fan of horror fiction.<br /><br />PBH.<br /></span></span></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3594200863757908810-2974710626770481854?l=www.paperbackhorror.com' alt='' /></div>Colum McKnighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09805029608223585566noreply@blogger.com5tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3594200863757908810.post-86653563183154720812011-01-09T23:14:00.001-05:002011-01-09T23:17:44.233-05:00Rock and Roll Reform School Zombies by Bryan Smith<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TO6wSwlinXI/AAAAAAAAANA/2ucmwu834AQ/s1600/rockandrollreformschoolzombies.jpg"><img style="float: left; margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; cursor: pointer; width: 130px; height: 200px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TO6wSwlinXI/AAAAAAAAANA/2ucmwu834AQ/s200/rockandrollreformschoolzombies.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5543562027666152818" border="0" /></a>What do you get when you throw classic '80s metal albums, a well watched copy of <span style="font-style: italic;">Return of the Living Dead</span>, and Bryan Smith's <span>nihilistic, balls-to-the-wall, total fuck-you</span>-<span>with-a-capital-FUCK</span> - writing style into a blender and hit liquify? Fuck yeah, you get this - Smith's latest effort courtesy of Deadite Press.<br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic;">Sex, Death, and Heavy Metal! If you're a teenage metal head The Southern Illinois Music Reeducation Center is not the place you want to go. The center specializes in "de-metaling" - a treatment to cure teens of their metal loving, devil worshiping ways. A program that subjects its prisoners to sexual abuse, torture, and brain-washing. But tonight things get much worse. Tonight the flesh-eating zombies come . . .</span><br /><br />I'm not going to lie, I wanted this one based solely on the title and the lurid cover art. It also helps that Bryan Smith is one of my <i>all time favorite</i> writers - someone who has the flair and style reminiscent of Laymon, but also style so brutal and unforgiving that he's etched out his own standing in the horror genre. What's not to love? Blood is spilled, taboo's are not just broken, but destroyed, and copious amounts of fun are to be had in this latest release. And yes, I'm biased. There isn't a Bryan Smith book out there that I haven't loved. This is obviously no exception.<br /><br />From the get-go, Smith sets the stage for a rollicking good time. The characters in this novella have been seeminly ripped right out of the 80s metal past, inspired by the awesome slasher flicks of (what is my opinion) the greatest decade in cinema, and thrown with an audible <span style="font-style: italic;">splat</span>, onto the pages of this book. The descriptions are spot on as well. Denim is worn, rock band t-shirts displayed, school girl outfits are <span style="font-style: italic;">vividly</span> described (and removed...). You name it, Smith has recreated it.<br /><br />I seriously doubt you'll be able to resist headbanging along with the tunes that are name-dropped here, either. As someone who is known to have a very serious love for music, Smith brings that feeling directly into the story. Some of his critical scenes are punctuated with the characters putting tapes in the stereo in their car, and every chapter is a different song title from bands that the author enjoys. I have to say, they're all beautifully well placed as well.<br /><div><br /></div><div>As for the pacing and characters, Smith seems to tighten up his game with every subsequent story published, and after the flawless displays that were <b>Depraved</b> and <b>The Killing Kind</b>, it's incredibly obvious that this kind of a statement is true. From page 1 the story kicks out of the gate like a bat out of hell. Rest assured, the pace really doesn't let up, even after the last page. Hell, even the author bio at the end is hilarious, dispensing with formalities almost completely. </div><div><br /></div><div>In this book, Smith has brought the reader some very stereotypical, yet much needed characters in order to make the 80s feel become something as authentic as possible. The main characters are badass, nihilistic, anti-authoritarians at heart, and eventually have find themselves in a very sticky situation. Most of the themes that Smith deals with in his novels are of a very extreme nature, forcing his characters to go through some seriously debilitating situations. Things are no different in this novella. The author really slams his characters into the action, and has written some awesomely mean characters to go against the "good guys". Sybil Huffington has to be one of the sexiest, yet most terrifying people I have come across in one of Smith's books. I could read this evil, sadistic, she-bitch over and over again. </div><div><br /></div><div>Of all of Smith's works, I would say that this ranks highly in my favorites (just under The Freakshow). The writing style is tight, the action non-stop, and the overall theme absolutely refreshing is it's own way. The throw-back to 80s horror is brilliant, and I wish other authors would take note and stop trying to do something new. Essentially, Smith has taken the old, and done nothing with it but make you remember how fucking awesome it was to begin with. </div><div><br /></div><div>Check this book out at <a href="http://deaditepress.com/">Deadite Press</a>, and buy it on <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Reform-School-Zombies/dp/1936383276/">Amazon</a> (as well as several other online retailers). Check out Smith's <a href="http://thehorrorofbryansmith.blogspot.com/">homepage</a>, and follow him on <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/Bryan_D_Smith">Twitter</a>. </div><div><br /></div><div>Keep an eye out in the very near future for <b>The Dark Ones</b>, Smith's new novel to be released by Leisure books in eBook format in January '11, and Limited Edition Hardcover by <a href="http://www.deliriumbooks.com/titles/future-titles/the-dark-ones-by-bryan-smith/">Delirium Books</a> in March '11. </div><div><br /></div><div>PBH.</div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3594200863757908810-8665356318315472081?l=www.paperbackhorror.com' alt='' /></div>Colum McKnighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09805029608223585566noreply@blogger.com7tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3594200863757908810.post-7287890984388136172011-01-03T00:02:00.001-05:002011-01-03T00:03:09.660-05:00Deathwatch by Lisa Mannetti<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TR7DUDqOfbI/AAAAAAAAAPY/q9rBd62JWQQ/s1600/51-WXarnWqL.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 133px; height: 200px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TR7DUDqOfbI/AAAAAAAAAPY/q9rBd62JWQQ/s200/51-WXarnWqL.jpg" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5557093739568987570" /></a>I really haven't read such incredibly beautiful prose in a very long while. Lisa Mannetti's <b>Deathwatch</b>, which contains two novellas - <b>Dissolution</b> and <b>Sheila Na Gig</b> - is, in all respects, the sleeper hit every genre lover searches high and low for; and surely enough to break into the mainstream fiction market. <div><div><br /></div></div><div><i><b>Dissolution</b> - Stuart Granville is a would-be medical student from the South who's been expelled for drinking and believes he's heading North to Hyde Park, New York to tutor twin girls. Instead, he discovers that his charges, Abby and Eleanor, have never been to school of any kind. They are also Siamese twins and their father, a doctor with grandiose dreams, means to separate them surgically. He intends to take advantage of Stuart's expertise and vulnerability; but unbeknown to both men, the supernatural force in the house has an agenda - and a will - of it's own.</i> </div><div><br /></div><div>This novella is stunning. Mannetti calls forth so many different, beautiful images through her air tight descriptions, but also manages to hit on every single nerve in the reader's psyche. There are points in this novella that are just so gut-wrenching and brutal, that one has no other option but to feel them with their whole being. Like I said, this book contains some of the most beautiful prose I've read in a while. Mannetti certainly has a gift for the dramatic.</div><div><br /></div><div>The author's lyrical power doesn't only lie in her ability to evoke sadness in the reader, but also in her erotic descriptions. In both novellas, Mannetti proves that she can make some of the most disturbing, and taboo instances seem strangely alluring and...well...sexy. It's not entirely in the content either, but - more importantly - in how she describes the <i>emotions</i> of those things/people <i>surrounding</i> the situations.</div><div><br /></div><div>In contrast, the author's ability to write creepy moments tends to sidle right up next to the sexy moments, sending your heart all a-flutter one moment, and then a shiver up your spine the next. </div><div><br /></div><div><i><b>The Sheila Na Gig</b> - Tom Smith is on a ship in steerage and bound for New York from his native Ireland after facing down the constraints imposed by his family, overcoming the loss of his first love, circumventing his grandmother's wiles and occult knowledge, and trying to save his younger, mentally challenged sister, Delia, from both witchcraft and sexual abuse.</i></div><div><br /></div><div>Now this novella, I found genuinely disturbing. Disturbing in a good way, I might add. It all starts off very innocently, then quickly and abruptly shows itself to be something that you <i>weren't</i> expecting at all. After reading <b>Dissolution</b>, you're ready for the fact that Mannetti carries her words like weapons, and isn't afraid to use them. She will cut you deep, and do so powerfully. But this novella shows a different side of her abilities. A beautiful, caring, yet unrepentantly brutal side, bent on telling a wicked yarn from - what feels like - way back when.</div><div><br /></div><div>This novella has modern classic written all over it. It's perfect, poignant, emotionally charged, and incredibly well done. </div><div><br /></div><div>This story is bookended by present tense perspective, with a middle filling of past tense storytelling for the meatiness. And what a meatiness there is! Mannetti has created incredible characters spanning the entire spectrum of human nature - i.e: The good natured young boy and his love interest, the abusive father, the doting female character, the rigid mother, the innocent youth, the crazy and mysterious grandmother...they're all here - and Mannetti uses them in the most incredible ways. It's like these character models were made specifically for her personal creative needs. </div><div><br /></div><div>In both novellas Mannetti proves that she has a very strong power over her reader with her words. She retains a very emotional, very dramatic grip on here audience while never stepping into the melodramatic and/or unbelievable. In the end, you're left with your jaw scraping the floor, partially drowned in tears - but thankful that you had the chance to read something so moving. </div><div><br /></div><div>Gore-hounds need not be dismayed by all of the <i>emotion</i> either, as Mannetti can throw down some severely nasty scenes replete with some seriously gruesome detail. I'd say she'd be able to hold strong with the likes of Edward Lee and Wrath James White, any day.</div><div><br /></div><div>If you miss out on <b>Deathwatch</b>, you're surely missing out on something special. This is an absolutely incredible read that will leave to breathless. It's haunting, erotic, sometimes grotesque, and heart-wrenchingly sad. You won't walk away from this one the same, that's for sure. </div><div><br /></div><div>You can find out more about Lisa Mannetti at her <a href="http://www.lisamannetti.com/">website</a>, on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/lisa.mannetti">Facebook</a>, and buy <b>Deathwatch</b> (in ebook version) <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Deathwatch-ebook/dp/B004GNFGF6">here</a>. Lisa Mannetti is the 2008 Bram Stoker award winner for her first novel <b>The Gentling Box</b>. Check it out <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Gentling-Box-Lisa-Mannetti/dp/1936457016/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&amp;s=books&amp;qid=1294030941&amp;sr=1-2">here</a>, and keep an eye out for a review here soon. </div><div><br /></div><div>PBH.</div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3594200863757908810-728789098438813617?l=www.paperbackhorror.com' alt='' /></div>Colum McKnighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09805029608223585566noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3594200863757908810.post-8934592602116519582011-01-01T00:01:00.001-05:002011-01-01T00:01:05.066-05:00Good bye, 2010. Get goin', now.<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TRz4Bo8RsCI/AAAAAAAAAPQ/L4-B_bOn1nc/s1600/bestcoffeead.JPG"><img style="float: left; margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; cursor: pointer; width: 144px; height: 200px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TRz4Bo8RsCI/AAAAAAAAAPQ/L4-B_bOn1nc/s200/bestcoffeead.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5556588747322142754" border="0" /></a>I told myself I <span style="font-style: italic;">wasn't</span> going to do this. I said to myself (and others - i.e: <a href="http://waggingthefox.blogspot.com/">WagTheFox</a>) that I <span style="font-style: italic;">wouldn't</span> do a 'year end retrospective', or a 'best of' list, or a top 10 - 20 - 1 million best whatever, or anything like that.<br /><br />And, for all intents and purposes, I won't...but I have to say something, right? I mean...this year has been fucking huge, hasn't it?<br /><br />So how do I feel about it?<br /><br />Yeah. You can see how I feel about 2010 by taking a look at that picture to the left there (<span style="font-style: italic;">which I appropriated from my wife's site - </span><a style="font-style: italic;" href="http://www.kinderscares.com/">KinderScares</a><span style="font-style: italic;"> - Thank you, hon.</span>).<br /><br />Me.<br /><br />Covered in blood.<br /><br />Drinking <i>far</i> too much coffee.<br /><br />It's been an absolutely brutal year. For all of us, I think. Not only have we lost <span style="font-style: italic;">waaaay</span> too many people (<span style="font-style: italic;">I'm lookin' at 3 + 1 beloved cat, myself</span>), but we've also seen the end of an era in the publishing world with the <a href="http://www.dorchesterpub.com/Dorch/SpecialFeatures.cfm?ID=2845">dissolving of Leisure/Dorchester's mass market paperback division</a>.<br /><br />Their mmpb division, I've gotta tell you, is the <span style="font-style: italic;">reason</span> I started this goddamned review site in the first place, and exactly why I called it "<span style="font-style: italic;">Paperback</span> Horror" and not something like "I-like-to-read-horror-books-and-talk-about-them.com. Now you can pretty much understand why I took that news badly.<br /><br />It's all good though. We can make due without that format, right? Right.<br /><br />But what of the authors who were contracted to them? Leisure's folding of their mmpb format lost the general public quick-and-easy bookstore access to the likes of <a href="http://jeffstrand.wordpress.com/">Jeff Strand</a>, <a href="http://www.gordqrollo.com/">Gord Rollo</a>, <a href="http://www.jackketchum.net/">Jack Ketchum</a>, <a href="http://www.ains.net.au/%7Egerlach/rlaymon2.htm">Richard Laymon</a>, <a href="http://www.ronmalfi.com/">Ronald Malfi</a>, <a href="http://johnskipp.com/">John Skipp</a>, <a href="http://www.jfgonzalez.com/">J.F. Gonzalez</a>, <a href="http://thehorrorofbryansmith.blogspot.com/">Bryan Smith</a>, <a href="http://wordsofwrath.blogspot.com/">Wrath James White</a>, and so many others. Not to mention robbing us of seeing <a href="http://www.joelasutherland.com/">Joel A. Sutherland</a>'s Leisure debut with <span style="font-weight: bold;">Frozen Blood</span> sooner (fret not - <a href="http://www.dorchesterpub.com/Dorch/SpecialFeatures.cfm?ID=2739">it will be released digitally in May 2011</a>).<br /><br />But more importantly, that move also lost a shit-ton of authors their bread and butter. How many people saw fine authors hitting the message boards, wondering what the hell was going on? I saw 'em, and my heart bleeds for them.<br /><br />In the most extreme case I've seen, <a href="http://www.briankeene.com/">Brian Keene</a> up and <a href="http://www.briankeene.com/?p=4988">took all of his rights back</a> (with good reason) and was forced to take things into his own hands. What a tough choice that must have been. I can't imagine having to do something like that.<br /><br />If I had the money, I'd start my own publishing house and pay them all myself.<br /><br />But I can't.<br /><br />And that kills me sometimes.<div><br /></div><div>Face it, by the end of 2010, the future of horror in literature looked bleak as all hell.<br /><br />But looking at all of this in retrospect, looking at the crap we've all been handed, at the collapse of some great publishing houses (<a href="http://www.necropublications.com/">Necro Publications</a> went away on <a href="http://www.necropublications.com/news.htm">June 9th, 2010</a>), the publishing world's push into the digital era, the tanking of the economy, the fighting, the pain, the hardship and the horror; there has to be a light at the end...right?<br /><br />As with most good fiction, that's up to you - the reader - to decide.<br /><br />Do you suspend your disbelief, enjoying the tale? Or do you walk away from the story, taking away only the spelling mistakes, grammar mishaps, and plot holes that can be overlooked because of the absolute brilliance of what you've just experienced?<br /><br />I can.<br /><br />I learned a lesson this year. I learned that no matter how hard you try, someone is always going to want to whoop your ass back down below, down to where they think you belong. And most of the time...well...most of the time that someone is going to be ourselves.<br /><br />It's time we broke out of the rut and headed for higher ground. We all deserve it, do we not?<br /><br /><a href="http://www.slimeguy.com/">Greg Lamberson</a> has been busting his ass for how many years?, and now he's sitting on top of one of the <a href="http://www.medallionpress.com/authors/lamberson.html">best genre series</a> that I've ever read. Not to mention the fact that he's just released <a href="http://www.slimeguy.com/slimecitymassacre.htm">Slime City Massacre</a> - the sequel to his cult classic - Slime City. A great feat, if I do say so myself.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.briankeene.com/">Brian Keene</a> took his lumps (and how!) but he's back up with his own book <a href="http://www.briankeene.com/?p=4642">imprint</a>, a beautiful (and massively talented) fiancee, an incredible list of <a href="http://www.briankeene.com/?p=5260">upcoming projects</a>, and the beginnings of what look to be an incredible future in publishing.<br /><br />John Everson is seeing 2 of his books turned into audio books, Oshawa, Ontario saw the first ever <a href="https://sites.google.com/site/darklitfestofdurham/">Darklit Fest of Durham</a>, courtesy of Joel A. Sutherland (and it was a smashing success), <a href="http://www.rue-morgue.com/">Rue Morgue Magazine</a> has topped the lists of many people as 'the best horror mag in the world', <a href="http://www3.ns.sympatico.ca/stevevernon/index.html">Steve Vernon</a> won the <a href="http://steve-vernon.livejournal.com/277736.html">Rannu Fund award</a> for his piece of poetry - <a href="http://chizine.com/barren.htm">Barren</a>, and so many other incredible things.<br /><br />What else did we see? A massive amount of incredible books. So many, that I didn't get to review on this website, but will in the coming year.<br /><br />I met so many incredible people, and I want to take a moment to let you know that I appreciate you more than anything. This year alone, I met:<br /><br /><a href="http://www.johneverson.com/"><span style="font-weight: bold;">John Everson</span></a> - The king of erotic horror, who is also an incredible influence and an amazing, big hearted person.<br /><span style="font-weight: bold;"><br /><a href="http://www.gordqrollo.com/"></a></span></div><div><span style="font-weight: bold;"><a href="http://www.gordqrollo.com/">Gord Rollo</a></span> - Who continually surprises me with his creative abilities (and the fact that he can pound 3 beers and not miss a beat in whatever story he's telling)<br /><span style="font-weight: bold;"><br /><a href="http://www.slimeguy.com/"></a></span></div><div><span style="font-weight: bold;"><a href="http://www.slimeguy.com/">Greg Lamberson</a></span> - A writer of such immense talent, and a hero in my eyes. A great friend, and someone who makes me want to be a better person. Some people have pictures of their kids on the fridge. I have a flyer with this guy's mug on it, tacked up there. He guards my ice cream.</div><div><br /></div><div><span style="font-weight: bold;"><a href="http://www.sff.net/people/seph/">Sephera Giron</a></span> - The epitome of everything you ever thought was sexy in literature, and fantastic writer of horror and erotica.<br /><span style="font-weight: bold;"><br /><a href="http://www.ian-rogers.com/"></a></span></div><div><span style="font-weight: bold;"><a href="http://www.ian-rogers.com/">Ian Rogers</a></span> - who was (and still is) <span style="font-style: italic;">the</span> person who drives me to continue this project.<br /><span style="font-weight: bold;"><br /><a href="http://thepoeticprinciple.blogspot.com/"></a></span></div><div><span style="font-weight: bold;"><a href="http://thepoeticprinciple.blogspot.com/">James Roy Daley</a></span> - of <a href="http://booksofthedead.blogspot.com/">Books of the Dead Press</a>, and an incredible author in his own right. Proof that being a fan of horror can take you far if you have the drive to do something about it, and a massive inspiration to me, in total.<br /><br /><a style="font-weight: bold;" href="http://thedayafterart.blogspot.com/"></a></div><div><a style="font-weight: bold;" href="http://thedayafterart.blogspot.com/">Chris Zenga</a> - who is quite possibly the nicest person in the world, and a fantastic artist.<br /><br /><a style="font-weight: bold;" href="http://www.liisaladouceur.com/"></a></div><div><a style="font-weight: bold;" href="http://www.liisaladouceur.com/">Liisa Ladouceur</a> - who keeps my heart beating at an insane pace with her incredible poetry, gothic beauty, and awesome encouragement.<br /><span style="font-weight: bold;"><br /><a href="http://www.mikeoliveri.com/"></a></span></div><div><span style="font-weight: bold;"><a href="http://www.mikeoliveri.com/">Mike Oliveri</a></span> - a hilarious, painfully intelligent, awesomely talented author whom I've come to respect and admire...even if we only talk via Twitter.</div><div><br /></div><div><b><a href="http://twitter.com/#!/TombDragomir">Tomb Dragomir</a></b> - Who creates some of the best radiola sounds in the entire world with <a href="http://ruemorgueradio.com/">Rue Morgue Radio</a>. Seriously folks. Don't let the deep, scary voice throw you off. This guy is 100% pure, unadulterated love and awesome. Also check out his new <a href="http://www.youtube.com/tombdragomir">YouTube Channel</a>. This guy has no limits to what he can do.</div><div><br />There are so many other people.<br /><br />This year, when I think about it, has actually been a year that has opened my eyes. I've had a lot of doors open up, and a lot more slam shut in my face. </div><div><br />But through it all, my <a href="http://www.kinderscares.com/">incredible wife</a> has stood and weathered the storm right by my side. Without her, I don't even think I'd still be here. She's the most loving, intelligent, creative person I've ever known. (She's also incredibly hot...which always helps) I'm looking forward to facing 2011 with her, and owning the hell out of it.<br /></div><div><br /></div><div>I want to thank you all for sticking with me. You've been incredible inspirations, and driving forces. I appreciate all of your comments, even if I don't get around to responding. I read what you say, and take it to heart. </div><div><br /></div><div>I would love to talk to you all, to sit down for a drink and chat about our favorite authors. And we will, someday. Come hang out with me on Twitter. I don't bite...much.</div><div><br /></div><div>Heh. I didn't mean for this to be so long, but if you've read this far...you're my kind of person.</div><div><br /></div><div>Someone who reads to the end. </div><div><br /></div><div><div>I'm looking at a fantastic year ahead of me. A year filled with so much work, but also so much of a payoff. Whatever it is I choose to do, I'm laying the groundwork here. </div><div><br /></div><div>Right now. </div><div><br /></div><div>January 1st, 2011</div><div><br /></div><div>And so are you. </div></div><div><br /></div><div>Thanks for everything, folks. See you on the other side of the page. </div><div><br /></div><div>PBH.</div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3594200863757908810-893459260211651958?l=www.paperbackhorror.com' alt='' /></div>Colum McKnighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09805029608223585566noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3594200863757908810.post-48422035486253760252010-12-30T13:59:00.002-05:002010-12-30T14:07:42.924-05:00The Horror Library Volume 4 Ed. by R.J. Cavender<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TPcU8_JSxTI/AAAAAAAAANo/YK96Fm1vOIQ/s1600/hlv4_front.jpg"><img style="float: left; margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; cursor: pointer; width: 136px; height: 200px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TPcU8_JSxTI/AAAAAAAAANo/YK96Fm1vOIQ/s200/hlv4_front.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5545924504105174322" border="0" /></a>R.J. Cavender and Cutting Block Press have done it again! Just when you think that you've found a horror anthology that outshines the rest (<a href="http://www.paperbackhorror.com/2010/09/horror-library-volume-3-by-rj-cavender.html">see THL V.3</a>), Cavender and Co. come blasting out of the woodwork with another volume in their <span style="font-weight: bold;">Horror Library</span> series that is brimming with incredible talent, and some of the most unsettling stories you've yet to read.<br /><br /><div><span style="font-weight: bold;">The Horror Library - Volume 4</span> compiles 29 incredible stories, none of which miss their mark, landing only clear, brutal hits at break-neck speed. Here we've got some returning faces (Jeff Strand, Bentley Little, etc.), some newcomers, and one very peculiar instance where an author actually has 2 stories present (Lorne dixon with <span style="font-weight: bold;">Ash Wednesday</span> <span style="font-style: italic;">and</span> <span style="font-weight: bold;">Continuity</span>). And like I said, every single one hits their mark, leaving the reader fully satisfied, and craving for more short fiction from Cutting Block Press and <span style="font-weight: bold;">The Horror Library</span> series.<br /><br />Stand outs include:<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">A Very Important Message for Those Planning to Travel to Costa Rica</span> by R.J. Cavender &amp; Boyd Harris - kicks us off right with a well told story (in 2nd person) detailing the perils of traveling to a foreign country alone. This story is incredibly unsettling, and sets the creepy and terrifying pace for what is yet to come.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Into The After</span> by Kurt Dinan - is a wicked tale told in the aftermath of 9/11, that begins and almost ends as a heartwrenching supernatural tale, and then wallops the reader over the head with a twist so brutal, that it's actually hard <span style="font-style: italic;">not</span> to react.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Flicker</span> by Lee Thomas - is an unusual and very dark story about snuff film actors that are forced (<span style="font-style: italic;">but not truly forced</span>) to perform time and time again. It's great in that it forces the mind into suspending disbelief just enough in order to be able to accept some truly disturbing ideas.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Jammers</span> by Bentley Little - tells us the real truth about traffic jams, and what goes on at the front of the pack. This story is all kinds of creepy, starting (and flowing along) with a very uneasy feeling, and ending with enough of a kick to get you back up to speed with the following stories.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">I Am Vision, I Am Death</span> by Erik Williams - is a wicked little story about two people sharing the same consciousness, and the repercussions of such. I absolutely loved the sheer blackness of this story, as it proves itself to be very descriptive, and horror-TV-show-pilot material, but on a new level.<br /><br />Lorne Dixon has two entries in this volume, first with <span style="font-weight: bold;">Ash Wednesday</span> - a phenomenal story about a crew of firefighters who go into a burning asylum to save an infamous Cult leader, only to end up in a formulaic, but well pulled off twist ending; and second with <span style="font-weight: bold;">Continuity</span> - which tells the story of a crew of filmmakers that collectively see more than what appears on screen. This one was great too, with hilarious, yet scary scenes, involving some long dead actors.<br /><br />And as my final offering, I give you - <span style="font-weight: bold;">The Healing Hands of Reverend Wainwright</span> by Geoffrey L. Mudge - whose story about a traveling preacher takes all sorts of twists and turns that leave the reader questioning everything, and drops an ending that just begs the question: <span style="font-style: italic;">"Why haven't I read Mudge's work before</span>?"<br /><br />While <span style="font-weight: bold;">The Horror Library: Volume 4</span> doesn't completely outshine it's predecessor, it sure does live up to the spirit of the series. Granted, <a href="http://www.paperbackhorror.com/2010/09/horror-library-volume-3-by-rj-cavender.html"><span style="font-weight: bold;">Volume 3</span></a> was the first one I'd read, but having checked out <span style="font-weight: bold;">Volume 4</span> now, I'm satisfied to say that this is a premiere horror anthology series for assorted tales. The stories chosen are incredible, the editor obviously shows his love for - and knowledge of - short horror fiction, and the quality of the books is way above standard.<br /><br />As I've said before, you won't be disappointed by this purchase.<br /><br />Volume 1, 2, 3 and 4 are also available at Cutting Block Press' <a href="http://cuttingblock.net/">website</a>, and on <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Horror-Library-Bentley-Little/dp/0977826260">Amazon.com</a>. Look out for Volume 5 in 2011. As far as I can tell (as of writing this review), CBP is still accepting <a href="http://cuttingblock.net/submissions.html#hl5">submissions</a> for the 5th volume.<br /><br />PBH.<br /></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3594200863757908810-4842203548625376025?l=www.paperbackhorror.com' alt='' /></div>Colum McKnighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09805029608223585566noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3594200863757908810.post-38526311282917532112010-12-29T09:10:00.001-05:002010-12-29T09:10:00.395-05:00The Gospel Of Bucky Dennis by J.R. Parks<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TP_Y9Z5roZI/AAAAAAAAAOI/3fx7NIEO5So/s1600/51HQcDavuRL.jpg"><img style="float: left; margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; cursor: pointer; width: 131px; height: 200px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TP_Y9Z5roZI/AAAAAAAAAOI/3fx7NIEO5So/s200/51HQcDavuRL.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5548391815380181394" border="0" /></a>As far as Southern Gothic Horror goes, this bad boy is top of the heap. It's rare, these days, to come across a first novel by an author gifted with such lyrical prowess. J.R. Parks starts this novel off with a bang, introduces the reader to their new favorite anti-hero, and grabs your hand - whisking you through a backwoods, hillbilly horror ride in a jet black '69 Charger. Sit tight folks, this one sparks real fast, and doesn't let up. Hooah!<br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic;">During the 1980s, the stink of evil permeates like bad cologne throughout Verney County, Mississippi. Hellhounds and demoniacs had taken up residence, hurtin’ on folks and gettin’ mean. But there’s one feller they didn’t count on. Bucky Dennis—high school football star, Vietnam veteran, and divorced father of two—Bucky’s the slack-jawed bayou bubba that won’t take no guff.</span> <p style="font-style: italic;">After a botched insurance sale to a British stockbroker turned werewolf, Bucky stirs from his post-war decomposition and crippling apathy only to be baptized in hellfire. With a five-fingered Buick and a .44 named Harriet, Bucky delves into the dark side of the unknown and uncovers a devilish plot for the world’s undoing.</p>As mentioned before, Parks has a lyrical prowess that could be rivaled by none other than my favorite wordsmith - Steve Vernon. It's really hard to find that one person who can just speak to your soul, someone who knows the gait at which you love to read, someone who can make you forget you're reading and instead throw you headfirst into a spell so deep, that you literally have to remember to breathe. While The Gospel of Bucky Dennis may not be that for you, it certainly was for me. <div><br /></div><div>Now, Bucky himself...well...here's an anti hero that I honestly adore. He's got balls, he's got sass, and better yet - he's painfully human. The punishment that Parks doles out on his titular character is fierce, but he's done the man a solid by always letting him come out on top. Well, at least <i>almost</i> on top. I can imagine Parks having had a ton of fun with this one. The strength of this character lies in Parks' ability to put him in some completely unbelievable situations, beat him with emotional, physical, and mental hardships; and then finding the solution in dialogue, a few choice actions, and a whole lot of attitude. You can't help but love this guy.</div><div><br /></div><div>Parks has an obvious affinity for classic monsters, and tackles them in his very own way with this novel. The Gospel of Bucky Dennis is basically a collection of short stories that tie together in the end, creating a whirlwind trip through the author's very imaginative mind. We've got werewolves, zombies, blood sucking bats, and evil cults bent on raising hell in this little novel. Very ambitious, and very well done. </div><div><br /></div><div>I'd get out there and grab a copy of this if I were you. It's not only an adventurous and fun read, but it's got enough blood boiling action to keep you going from start to finish. Easily one of my favorite releases in 2010.</div><div><br /></div><div>Check out more Bucky Dennis at the official <a href="http://www.buckydennis.com/">website</a>, on <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/whoisbuckyd">Twitter</a>, and at the official Bucky Dennis <a href="http://buckydennis.bigcartel.com/product/the-gospel-of-bucky-dennis">store</a>. You can grab a copy there, or at <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Gospel-Bucky-Dennis-Southern-Gothic/dp/1453792902/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top">Amazon</a> and other fine online retailers. </div><div><br /></div><div>PBH.</div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3594200863757908810-3852631128291753211?l=www.paperbackhorror.com' alt='' /></div>Colum McKnighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09805029608223585566noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3594200863757908810.post-3386437854100425392010-12-28T09:47:00.001-05:002010-12-28T09:47:00.304-05:00Survivor by J.F. Gonzalez<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TQW0SX_UFVI/AAAAAAAAAOg/OJCUwrbFgbM/s1600/survivor_leisure.jpg"><img style="float: left; margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; cursor: pointer; width: 125px; height: 200px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TQW0SX_UFVI/AAAAAAAAAOg/OJCUwrbFgbM/s200/survivor_leisure.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5550040343574222162" border="0" /></a>Let it be said that J.F. Gonzalez's novel - <span style="font-weight: bold;">Survivor</span> - is quite possibly one of the most powerful books in the horror genre today. Between a plot set-up that is quite Laymon-esque (for it's grandiose themes and plots twists), and a writing style reminicent of Ketchum (for it's accessibility and simplicity), Gonzalez has not only crafted a very disturbing tale of rape, murder, and the underground snuff community; but he's also proven that sometimes '<span style="font-style: italic;">going the distance</span>' can be done with style.<br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic;" class="mytext">It is supposed to be a romantic weekend getaway. Lisa is looking forward to spending time alone with her husband—and telling him that they are going to have a baby. Instead, it becomes a nightmare when her husband is arrested and Lisa is kidnapped. But the kidnappers aren’t asking for ransom. They want Lisa herself. They’re going to make her a star—in a snuff film.<br /><br />What they have in mind for Lisa is unspeakable. They plan to torture and murder her as graphically and brutally as possible, and to capture it all on film. If they have their way, Lisa’s death will be truly horrifying…but even more horrifying is what Lisa will do to survive.…</span> <br /><br />The beginning of this book is absolutely innocuous. In fact, judging from all that I'd heard about <span style="font-weight: bold;">Survivor</span>, I was under the impression that I'd be throttled from the get-go, and was shocked to find that I wasn't at all. <div><br /></div><div>This should have been the first warning sign. </div><div><br /></div><div>Scratch that. The first warning sign should have been Brian Keene's endorsement on the blurb page.<br /><br /><blockquote><span style="font-style: italic;">"Quite possibly the most disturbing book I've ever read in my life"</span> <span style="font-style: italic;"> - Brian Keene</span> </blockquote><br />The sheer beauty of this novel lies in the fact that it <span style="font-style: italic;">does</span> reach out an grab you. It quite possibly <i>is</i> the most disturbing book you will ever read. The lull of what looks to be, at first glance, a crime/thriller novel, is incredibly deceptive and, in Gonzalez's hands, expertly carried out. And right when the reader is getting ready to aknowledge the fact that something is going to happen that will take the story to the next level, Gonzalez takes it <span style="font-style: italic;">that much farther</span>.<br /><br />The action is pretty steady for the first 50 or so pages, chronicling the events that will eventually lead up to a seriously heart thumping climax that seems to span an immeasurable amount of time. And I'm talking about a good 300+ pages of high octane, blood boiling, massively evil - meanness. The real deception here is that the climax that the reader will come up against is really only one of many. Twists and turns run rampant in this little novel, blowing all pre-conceived notions of what '<span style="font-style: italic;">shocking'</span> and '<span style="font-style: italic;">terrifying'</span> actually are. What Gonzalez does to these characters is absolutely sadistic and mean, but he does it skillfully - managing to remain completely respectful and not crossing any major lines/taboos with his language and description. The fact that he gets so far out there with this story does not mean that he won't reign it in when needed. It's very evident that Gonzalez was uncomfortable writing some of these scenes, which comes not only as a relief, but also as a saving grace for the reader. I can't imagine the absolute vulgarity and crassness that might have happened if someone not as skilled as Gonzalez tackled this subject matter. </div><div><br /></div><div>Now, that doesn't mean that the author doesn't go straight for the throat though. No, no, no. Gonzalez attacks with everything, and leaves nothing but bloody trails behind. </div><div><br /></div><div>His characters are sympathetic, brutal, nasty, and absolutely terrifying in their intensity. The reader really has to be prepared for some of the most honest emotion they've read to come pouring off of these pages. And that's not always for the better. There are points where one can actually <i>understand</i> why and how the offender in this particular is doing something. It's almost sickening to be able to sympathize with that. And that's exactly what I'm talking about here. Gonzalez has the power over the reader. <i>This</i> is how a book <i>should</i> be written.</div><div><br /></div><div>All in all, I wouldn't suggest Survivor to anyone but the most hard core of horror fans. It's absolutely vicious and brutal, but if you do grab yourself a copy, you're in for an incredible story, and a great example of how an author can really grab a reader and command his/her emotions with the best laid words.</div><div><br /></div><div>I really cannot say this enough: <b>Survivor</b> is an incredible powerful book, and Gonzalez really deserves to be noticed for his superb ability to transform the reading of one novel into an incredibly harrowing journey. I'm glad I read this book, though I must stand by my warning against taking it lightly. </div><div><br /></div><div>You can check out J.F. Gonzalez at his <a href="http://www.jfgonzalez.com/">website</a>, on <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/jfgonzalez">Twitter</a>, and at his <a href="http://jfgonzalez.blogspot.com/">blog</a>. You can grab copies of <b>Survivor</b> at pretty much any big box online book retailer in their Used/Rare section.</div><div><br /></div><div>PBH.</div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3594200863757908810-338643785410042539?l=www.paperbackhorror.com' alt='' /></div>Colum McKnighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09805029608223585566noreply@blogger.com6tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3594200863757908810.post-71057051553034476622010-12-27T12:25:00.002-05:002010-12-29T10:10:40.658-05:00Zombies: A Record Of The Year Of Infection by Don Roff, Illustrated by Chris Lane<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TRjAPZ4_wJI/AAAAAAAAAO8/eTr2v4NZYb4/s1600/9780811871006_large.jpg"><img style="float: left; margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; cursor: pointer; width: 152px; height: 200px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TRjAPZ4_wJI/AAAAAAAAAO8/eTr2v4NZYb4/s200/9780811871006_large.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5555401511242023058" border="0" /></a><b>Zombies: A Record Of The Year Of Infection</b> is presented as the illustrated journal of Dr. Robert Twombly, discovered in the aftermath of a worldwide zombie infection. To say that this book breaks ground in the massive amounts of other zombie appearances in horror fiction would be stretching a bit, but based on the strength of the story's simplicity and the impressive art direction, I can say that it definitely deserves to be noticed. <div><br /></div><div><i>This illustrated journal was discovered in the aftermath of the worldwide necrotic infection that began on or around January 7, 2012 and lasted for approximately one year, killing more than 5 billion people.</i></div><div><i><br /></i></div><div><i>The journal is a unique record of the time of infection in that its author sought to understand the undead by living among them. It is also the record of the author's day-to-day experiences at a time when such records were not commonly kept.</i></div><div><i><br /></i></div><div><i>The manuscript was found inside an empty cottage at the edge of Hudson Bay in northern Canada. The fat and the whereabouts of the author remain unknown.</i></div><div><i><br /></i></div><div><i>The contents of the journal are reproduced uncensored and in their entirety.</i></div><div><i><br /></i></div><div>Now, when I say that there is a simplicity to this book, I actually mean it. The way the story unfolds is very cut and dry. Scientist finds himself in zombie apocalypse, studies the various stages and physical effects of the infected, attempts to escape worldwide catastrophe, writes it all down. Like I said...<i>very</i> cut and dry. </div><div><br /></div><div>Which is refreshing.</div><div><br /></div><div>The difference between this and other zombie novels/illustrated guides/fiction, is that this one doesn't make any bones about it's lack of complexity and straightforward storytelling. The author obviously sought to make the reader believe that they were actually reading the work of a scientist - someone not very concerned with flair and over-the-top storytelling - and therefore left out any over dramatizing; and in some instances - completed sentences and/or finished thoughts. In fact, I was a little put off by this at the beginning, but the overall effect is actually quite chilling if one suspends disbelief. Roff really pulls this off very well. </div><div><br /></div><div>The art in this volume is stunning. Chris Lane pulled out all the stops in order to create a visual starkness that blends beautifully with the narrative. Lane's use of what looks to be ink and watercolor is both desperate and startling, showcasing a preference towards heavy black lines and vicious red washing than anything else. An approach that I absolutely love. </div><div><br /></div><div>Me, I'm not tired of this whole zombie revolution and it's massive amount of copycat and mob mentality fiction. But it's incredibly refreshing to see something that doesn't even bother to try to contend with all of that. There are no morals to this story, there are no pretty 'and-the-hero-saves-the-day' moments, and there are no apologies for being exactly what this book is: a straight forward account of the zombie onslaught. </div><div><br /></div><div>You can grab it at <a href="http://www.amazon.ca/Zombies-Record-Infection-Don-Roff/dp/0811871002">Amazon</a> and other online retailers. Surprisingly, there's also a wikipedia article about it. Check that out <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zombies:_A_Record_of_the_Year_of_Infection">here</a>. You can visit Don Roff at his official <a href="http://donroff.com/">website</a> and follow him on Twitter <a href="http://twitter.com/#%21/DON_ROFF">here</a>. You can check out Chris Lane at his <a href="http://chrislanestudio.com/">website</a>.<br /><br />PBH.<br /></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3594200863757908810-7105705155303447662?l=www.paperbackhorror.com' alt='' /></div>Colum McKnighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09805029608223585566noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3594200863757908810.post-42813673825637827622010-12-06T11:20:00.003-05:002010-12-13T00:21:21.867-05:00Weapons by Liisa Ladouceur<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TNtkmyyZnVI/AAAAAAAAAMo/fzMhQk1Isn4/s1600/IMG_1024.JPG"><img style="float: left; margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; cursor: pointer; width: 125px; height: 200px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TNtkmyyZnVI/AAAAAAAAAMo/fzMhQk1Isn4/s200/IMG_1024.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5538130784413130066" border="0" /></a>When it comes to poetry, I <i>know</i> most people tend to think about lilies and rabbits, or a host of other painfully boring little things that send little girl's hearts a-flutter, and send most little boys screaming in horror at the possibility of being infected with cooties. It's either that, or it's about black butterflies ripping wounds in the hearts of you, you, and you. Well, that's the stereotype, isn't it?<div><br /><div>Not for me. </div><div><br /></div><div>I <i>LOVE</i> poetry. More importantly, I love it when it's done well, and with a certain amount of attention paid to the dark side of things. The beautiful and talented Liisa Ladouceur has all of those bases covered and more. What she does with words is what most <i>wish</i> they could do, and my, does she do it with style. </div><div><br /></div><div>The grace and tone that these words are delivered with is absolutely awe inspiring. I've been following Ladouceur's publications for some time, and while some of them are damn near impossible to find, what you will manage to grab out there is sure to satisfy. The only thing better than reading her poetry is actually listening to her speak it. As anyone who listens to Rue Morgue Radio knows, this woman has a very distinct and silky smooth voice that is absolutely <i>made</i> for stuff like this.</div><div><br /></div><img style="float: right; margin: 0pt 0pt 10px 10px; cursor: pointer; width: 200px; height: 52px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TNtkxWXTAxI/AAAAAAAAAMw/M4meXB70Pg4/s200/IMG_1025.JPG" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5538130965761819410" border="0" /></div><div><b>Weapons</b> had a super limited print run of 13 copies, making it an instant collector's item. In fact, Ladouceur hand stitched the spines herself - making this just as much a piece of art as it is a</div><div>piece of literature.</div><div><br /></div><div>Here's a taste of what you might have missed with this one (which is also quite appropriate for this frigid season, as well):</div><div><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b><i>Ice Pick</i></b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b><i><br /></i></b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>You chip away at it. Like a scab.</i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i><br /></i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>Like the blood you've collected.</i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i><br /></i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>Pooled, and piled, as if enough</i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i><br /></i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>Could form a heart.</i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i><br /></i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>These snow white hands of yours</i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i><br /></i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>Tenacious. Precise. They know</i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i><br /></i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>Where she lies, under ice afar.</i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i><br /></i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>They know how to sculpt her</i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i><br /></i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>Until she is less and less</i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i><br /></i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>A snowflake. A scar...</i></div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><div>See what I mean?</div><div><br /></div>Ladouceur is capable of throwing down the perfect words in a way that makes a mixture of images burst into your head at a single glance. She does this with a sexiness and brutality so wickedly refined, that it's utterly amazing. Personally, I'm of the opinion that this is where the bar is set. To attain anything better than this is but a dream. It's safe to say that she's my favorite poet, and I really can't imagine that changing any time soon. <div><br /></div><div>I really can't wait to see what Ladouceur's poetic prowess has in store for the future. For all parties interested (<i>and that should really mean everybody</i>), you can find her at her <a href="http://liisaladouceur.com/">website</a>, at the <b>Rue Morgue Magazine</b> <a href="http://www.rue-morgue.com/">website</a> and their <a href="http://rue-morgue.com/boards/">forums</a> (where you can also find lil ole' me harpin' on about books). You can also grab yourself a copy of her incredible poetry chapbook <b>On Tenterhooks</b> at <a href="http://www.burningeffigy.com/store.shtml">Burning Effigy Press</a>. I <i>highly</i> recommend it.</div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><div>PBH.</div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3594200863757908810-4281367382563782762?l=www.paperbackhorror.com' alt='' /></div>Colum McKnighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09805029608223585566noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3594200863757908810.post-68852068401050329672010-12-03T00:24:00.002-05:002010-12-03T00:30:18.765-05:00Best New Zombie Tales Volume 2 ed. by James Roy Daley<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TPhg5zPAS3I/AAAAAAAAANw/UwuwCwxcKnI/s1600/zombie%2BTales%2B2.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 132px; height: 200px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/__QSyt3wWoo0/TPhg5zPAS3I/AAAAAAAAANw/UwuwCwxcKnI/s200/zombie%2BTales%2B2.jpg" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5546289487228717938" /></a>I'm going to start this off by saying that you should really get your hands on this book. I usually leave this kind of a statement for the end of a review, but in all honesty, it would be an absolute shame if you missed out on this one. <div><br /></div><div>I haven't read a zombie anthology this good since Skipp and Spector's <b>Book of the Dead</b> (Bantam - 1989), and will not hesitate to say that Daley <i>owns</i> zombie anthologies now. What Daley has compiled here is some seriously groundbreaking stuff, the likes that we haven't seen in a very long time. Riddled with stories by genre mainstays and a surprising amount of newer voices, <b>Best New Zombie Tales Volume 2</b> really sets the standard for zombie short stories. </div><div><br /></div><div>What you're looking at here is 20 fantastic stories, 1 recipe, a comic by Robert Elrod, and an intro written by Daley himself, that is just as incredible as all of the stories that follow it. The intro centers around a fictional account of Daley being attacked by H.P. Lovecraft, and what turns out to be one of the most hilarious parts of the book. That alone should have told me I was in for something awesome. </div><div><br /></div><div>I won't go into detail about all of the stories inside this mind-blowing anthology, but here's a taste of some of my favorites. </div><div><br /></div><div>Rio Youers' story <b>Bury Me Not</b> is the first one out of the gate, and I honestly think he didn't even wait for the starting pistol to fire. He just smashed on through, carrying with him a poetic beauty, and an incredible ability to combine raw emotion and brutal description into one masterful piece. The story follows the end of a relationship between a young woman and an old but worldly man whom she developed a special friendship with and visited often. Youers really goes the distance with this one. This was an incredible story to lead off with.</div><div><br /></div><div><b>Laundry Day</b> by Steven A. Roman is up next, telling the story of a man who just so happens to do his laundry on the night that the world goes to shit. Laced with a brutal humor and some seriously gory violence, this one is a slaughter-fest crowd pleaser for sure. Action from the get go, with a surprising twist ending that I really didn't see coming.</div><div><br /></div><div>I'd never read anything by David Niall Wilson before, but if <b>Coming Home</b> is any indication of his overall style, consider me a fan. Wilson tells the story about a Marine squad that is flown into an airbase via helicopter to find out why they've lost communications with the ground. Billy, one of the Marines that volunteered for this mission can't get his family off of his mind, and when things get hairy on the ground, he decides to take a chance and make a break for it. Wilson really captures what I can only imagine could be one of the biggest fears a soldier could possibly have - not being able to protect the ones you love - and really shoves that emotional turmoil down your throat.</div><div><br /></div><div>John Everson shows up to the party with <b>Camille Smiled</b>, which is an absolutely crazy entry - possibly the most fucked up family story you'll read for a long while. Mourning the tragic loss of his child, Jack invests his time and money in an old gypsy/voodoo charm that is said to bring the dead back to life. Little does he know, sometimes the dead are better left alone. If you're familiar with Everson's writing, I guarantee that this will be a departure of sorts. There's nothing erotic in this one, but the beauty in Everson's words is there nonetheless. The story just grabs ahold of you and refuses to let go, culminating in what is quite possibly the most satisfying ending of a short story that I've read in <i>years</i>.</div><div><br /></div><div>I cannot end this without mentioning Matt Hults' <b>The Finger</b>, which is <i>abso-fucking-lutely insane</i>. This story just broods and broods and then BAM! - explodes all over the page. The feel is very comic book/80's monster movie/slasher-esque, with relentless action and more visceral gore and nastiness than you can shake a stick at. Or shake off a stick. Either one describes this delightfully disgusting story. A young man comes up with a foolproof plan to make some serious cash, scamming a local diner by placing a severed finger into a bowl of chili and acting as if it was there to begin with. When his plan fails (in a hilariously black kind of way) he is shoved face first into a nightmare scenario reminiscent of a Hieronymus Bosch landscape, replete with a giant zombie-monster that makes my inner horror/fanboy writhe with joy and repulsion. <i>This</i> is the <i>perfect</i> story to end on. Fucking amazing. </div><div><br /></div><div>All in all, Daley has a masterpiece on his hands with this one. If you walk away from this review without buying the book, you're really missing an incredible thing. This anthology is certainly both the stuff of nightmares, and a zombie lover's wet dream. ALL of the stories are downright amazing. Daley has really outdone himself. I will be following this series until the end. </div><div><br /></div><div>Check out Books of the Dead Press at their <a href="http://booksofthedead.blogspot.com/">website</a>. You can also check out James Roy Daley's personal website <a href="http://www.jamesroydaley.com/">here</a>, and catch him on Twitter as well (as <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/BOOKSoftheDEAD">BOOKSoftheDEAD</a> and his <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/JamesRoyDaley">personal feed</a>). Best Zombie Tales Volume 1 &amp; 2 are both available at most online booksellers. </div><div><br /></div><div>Also, keep an eye out for other exciting books from Books of the Dead Press. </div><div><br /></div><div>PBH.</div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3594200863757908810-6885206840105032967?l=www.paperbackhorror.com' alt='' /></div>Colum McKnighthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09805029608223585566noreply@blogger.com6