Amazing Punk Stories – Book Review

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Amazing Punk Stories David Agranoff Eraserhead Press July 1, 2015 Reviewed by Marvin P. Vernon There should be more rock ‘n roll horror and fantasy fiction. They fit together in a manic and weird way: both art forms are not afraid to cross boundaries, but contemporary horror needs to stay with the times. The problem is that I am a classic rock kind of guy. All the rock/horror hybrid fiction I know is more in the realm of Jerry Garcia rather than Sid Vicious. Enter David Agranoff. He is a younger writer and therefore a younger breed of rocker. His forte is in the music of the 80s and 90s: punk and hardcore. His novel Boot Boys of the Wolf Reich has already solidified the fact that this is what the author knows and knows well. It is his generation. His newest book is Amazing Punk Stories. It is a collection of short fiction, all dealing with punk rock in one way or another. But it is also a tribute to the old Weird Tales and Amazing Stories pulp magazines of the 30s on. It’s an inspired idea, taking the extremes of punk rock and sculpting it to the look and style of the old pulp horror and science fiction. The cover and the inside illustrations reinforce this idea. … [Read more...]

FANTASTIC FICTION at KGB Is Happening September 16th in Manhattan!

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FANTASTIC FICTION at KGB reading series, hosts Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel present: Tom Monteleone & Lawrence C. Connolly, Wednesday, September 16th, 2015 at KGB Bar, 7pm. Tom Monteleone Tom Monteleone sold his first short story in 1972. Since then, there have been more than a hundred others in magazines and anthologies. He’s written 30 novels including the NY Times bestseller The Blood of the Lamb; edited the award-winning Borderlands anthology series; won the Bram Stoker Award 4 times in 4 different categories; founded and helms the Borderlands Press Writers Boot Camp; loves to read his work to people like you. Despite being dragged kicking and screaming into his 60’s and losing his hair, he still thinks he is dashingly handsome. Humor him.       Lawrence C. Connolly Lawrence C. Connolly’s books include the novels Veins and Vipers, the first two books of the Veins Cycle. Vortex, the third book in the series, was released late last year. Three collections of his short stories have been published: Visions, This Way to Egress, and Voices. Voices was a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award, Superior Achievement in a Fiction … [Read more...]

Rage Master – Book Review

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Rage Master Simon Clark Earthling Publications October 2015 Reviewed by Tim Potter Autumn and the Halloween season bring a lot of fun things, and the Earthling Publications Halloween Series novels are near the top of that list. The consistently great series continues this year with a new novel from British horror icon Simon Clark. Rage Master can best be described as a very original approach to the mythology of the werewolf, unique to the point that werewolf isn’t a very accurate term for it, but it’s the closest word there is. The narrative is told from two perspectives, that of Kavell, who narrates most of the novel from the first person, and through documents written after the events of the novel have concluded, looking back in retrospect. The book kicks off with an excerpt from the fictional recounting of the books events, "Operation Wolf – The Secret Kill." It tells of how the Russian government, under Stalin, tried to eradicate an entire group of people, or possibly animals, called Dog-Heads by dropping an atomic bomb on their community in 1962. This book is referenced throughout the novel to augment Kavell’s story, as is the transcript from the Stockholm … [Read more...]

Among Wolves – Book Review

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Among Wolves R.A. Hakok July 10th, 2015 Reviewed by Stuart Conover In Among Wolves we have R.A. Hakok giving us the first story in his Children of the Mountain series. Before I get into the review I’m going to say that I’m glad it is labeled as a series as the world building we’re given has so many possibilities. Having quite enjoyed his first novel, Viable, I knew that I wanted to pick this one up and check it out to see if it started off a little quicker, which was my only real complaint about his first work. So how does this one stack up? First off let me voice that my complaint about the first novel is nonexistent here. We have non-stop action and suspense in a new post-apocalyptic tale that you’ll love reading. A nuclear fallout has occurred and our survivors are a group of first graders (who were visiting the White House), the President of what was once the United States, and members of his staff. Ten years have passed and we follow Gabriel and the rest of his class and where they are in their lives now. From a tale of budding love with one of his fellow classmates to a murder mystery to a trek across the barren landscape that takes Gabriel to a bunker that … [Read more...]

nEvermore! – Book Review

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nEvermore!: Tales Of Murder, Mystery & The Macabre - Neo-Gothic Fiction Inspired By The Imagination Of Edgar Allan Poe Edited by Nancy Kilpatrick and Caro Soles Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing October 1, 2015 Reviewed by Elaine Pascale Full disclosure: I have been around the “Poe block” enough times to have a string of hotels installed on whatever his equivalent of Marvin Gardens would be. Now confessed, I can move forward to say that I was genuinely delighted by the originality of Kilpatrick and Soles’ nEvermore. A title claiming “Neo-Gothic Fiction Inspired by the Imagination of Edgar Allen Poe,” would normally send a purist like myself into paroxysms, having been subjected to all manner of “pulpish” Poe inspired stories, graphic novels and films. It was with great relief that I found the presence of Poe looming large in this anthology. Most importantly, the authors truly honor his spirit. nEvermore features 22 stories, each of them offering a prefaced comment from the author(s) explaining the relationship of the story to one or more of Poe’s works. In tribute to Poe, numerous stories cross genres. In addition, many of the stories sound like Poe: having … [Read more...]

From Below – Book Review

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From Below Jeffrey Hale Severed Press January 30th, 2015 Reviewed by Stuart Conover Just when you thought it was safe to get back into the water, Jeffrey Hale proves us wrong with From Below. This is the first tale set in his terror-filled underwater world and if you love aquatic horror you are going to want to pick up a copy today. I’ve been seeing a small influx of sea creature themed tales as of late and can’t stress enough that I love it! What is actually surprising is how few of these have a Lovecraftian influence though Hale proves that you don’t need Old Ones to make a watery grave into something terrifying. In From Below we follow Professor Nicholas Voigt who has been tasked to find the SS Ourang Medan which is long missing and suspected to have been lost in the Strait of Malacca. He has been hired by Bryan Dunston who is a millionaire that Voigt believes has given him a task that could end in academic fame and financial freedom. Which is great, until he finds out that Dunston is actually looking for the ship to find a weapon of mass destruction which may have been onboard. Is the weapon what ended the lives of the ship’s crew? Or is there something even more … [Read more...]

The Art of Horrible People – Book Review

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The Art of Horrible People John Skipp Lazy Fascist Press August 15, 2015 Reviewed by Tim Potter John Skipp’s new book, The Art of Horrible People, is something special. Not only is it a great addition to his already prodigious body of work, but it’s all his, every word. For a man whose best known books are collaborative efforts, it’s a rare treat and a glimpse into John Skipp’s head and heart. The collection ranges from short, playful fiction to an extremely personal farewell to a good friend in one of two non-fiction entries. As Bird Box author Josh Malerman points out in his excellent introduction, there is more to the stories than just horror, something unique to the author. Whenever John Skipp puts pen to paper there is always an underlying theme of exuberance, a lust for life that makes his horrors all the more powerful. The first story in the collection is possible its finest. “Art is the Devil” opens at the Los Angeles Hyaena on Charlie Sheen Night. Everything there, art in all of its forms, are inspired by Charlie Sheen. “Hyaena had set the bar high, in the lowest way possible. And that was a beautiful thing.” It’s a story about art, exploitation and what is … [Read more...]

Haunted – Book Review

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Haunted Eileen Maksym April 25th, 2013 Reviewed by Stuart Conover In Haunted we are treated to Eileen Maksym’s debut novel and the introduction of the Society for Paranormal Researchers. I almost didn’t open it with an author I hadn’t heard of using the name ‘Haunted’ as their title but I looked past it. While it can be described as a paranormal romance, thankfully the romance part doesn't eclipse the very fun and well written story. (I know, half of the readers want the romance, half want the ghosts.) I was recommended this by a friend who loves paranormal romances but knows that I’m only interested in half of that concept. They recommended wisely! The group we meet is made up of Tara Martin, Steven Trent, and Paul Stratton. These three are students at a New England university that just happen to hunt ghosts in their free time. They haven't had much luck so far but when a local couple are trying to sell their house, which also happens to be haunted, they can’t help but investigate. Only when the haunting turns real and a ghost barges in and puts Tara in mortal danger do things get a lot more serious than they had been expecting. Even with their love of the paranormal … [Read more...]

Greasepaint – Book Review

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Greasepaint David C. Hayes Samhain Publishing November 3, 2015 Reviewed by Tim Potter In his first work with Samhain Horror, genre veteran David C. Hayes delivers a solid novella with Greasepaint. It’s a serial killing clown story with a workable premise and some likeable characters. The novella begins with the taping of a children’s television program, "The Orzo the Clown Show," which comes off as authentic and entirely believable as a real program. It’s from this foundation in pleasant reality that the horror explodes in a gruesome tale of killer clowns, punk rock and demons from the past. The novella opens with a very strong first chapter that establishes Orzo the Clown as a popular television personality. The narrative follows Orzo from his on-camera persona, to the slightly disgruntled clown backstage and finally to the basement of his home where he is revealed to be a true monster. The action in this sequence, and in the remainder of the book, is very well rendered and doesn’t slow the plot for the sake of gore and action. Be assured, though, that there is plenty of gore and action. After the revelation that Orzo is a depraved killer the tale jumps forward from … [Read more...]

Darkness Rising – Book Review

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Darkness Rising Brian Moreland Samhain Publishing September 1st, 2015 Reviewed by Sheri White Marty Weaver works as a groundskeeper at a local college, but his true passion is writing. He loves one of the students, Jennifer, and has even struck up a friendship with her. But having been bullied all his life, and even now by some of the college students who call him “Creepy Marty,” he is too afraid to let her know his feelings. On a night with a full moon, Marty visits his mother’s grave, then heads to the lake to read his poems aloud where he can’t be disturbed or harassed. This is a regular ritual for Marty, and one he cherishes. Unfortunately, this night is different – there are others at the lake, and they are even worse than the bullies Marty deals with every day. These people are dangerous, and have terrible things in mind for Marty. But there is a darkness inside Marty, a darkness even he didn’t realize he had. And everyone who has hurt him is going to experience it. Darkness Rising is the first book I’ve read by Brian Moreland. I was so drawn into the story from the start that when Marty is set upon by his attackers, I was genuinely upset at what happened … [Read more...]