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...]

August JournalStone Hellnotes Newsletter

For some of you, the kids are back at school and for others, it's just around the corner. Of course, I don't want to forget about those of you who are saying, "Kids, what are those?" Wherever you fit along that spectrum, at least you know that JournalStone is here to meet your horror, fantasy, and sci fi needs. So, what do we have for you this month? Well, I'm glad you asked. First off, there's John R. Little's Soul Mates. If you have ever read anything by John R. Little, you know that this is a book you have to have. We're just so happy here at JournalStone that he's entrusted us with his work. Of course, there is also the newest Dark Discoveries Magazine featuring interviews with Graham Hancock and C. M. Eddy, Jr. Throw in some great original fiction along with some amazing feature pieces and you have the makings of a pretty darn good magazine. Of course, I may be just a little prejudiced when it comes to Dark Discoveries Magazine. At this point I'd like to thank all of the authors who sent submissions for our open call that closed in July. We've been hard at work and are just about ready to make the announcement as to which new authors will be joining the JournalStone … [Read more...]

‘I AM THE ABYSS’ Live on Kickstarter.com

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The latest project from award-winning specialty publisher Dark Regions Press is a fiction anthology entitled I AM THE ABYSS. The tome features ten unique visions of the underworld by ten different authors of horror and dark fantasy including Laird Barron, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Michael Marshall Smith, Kealan Patrick Burke, Reggie Oliver, Steve Rasnic Tem, Jeffrey Thomas and three more color illustrated by artist Les Edwards. I AM THE ABYSS is now available for preorder on Kickstarter.com in the Publishing category until September 22nd 2015. Based on the concept that after we die our consciousness inverts into our own realms of subconscious thought, I AM THE ABYSS contains ten human minds whose journeys in the Birth World have come to an end. Each individual was a dark mind or tortured soul, each story a perilous yet enlightening adventure through a personal afterlife. Kickstarter campaign-exclusive copies of I AM THE ABYSS featuring unique front cover artwork by world renowned artist Menton3 are only available during the campaign and will not be printed again. Read more and visit the Kickstarter campaign page at: … [Read more...]

Pokergeist – Book Review

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Pokergeist Michael Phillip Cash July 2015 Reviewed by Michael R. Collings Clutch Henderson has one ambition in life: to win the golden bracelet at the International Series of Poker in Las Vegas and thereby prove to himself that he is the best player in the world and show his long-dead grandfather that he is not a loser. At seventy, he has come close several times but never quite made it. Finally, though, he has a chance to win against an unknown, a neophyte aptly named Adam “The Ant” Antonowski. It all comes down to a single play. He loses (don’t worry; this is not a spoiler. It happens in the prologue.). Unfortunately for him—and for a hapless, uniquely bad poker enthusiast but genuinely all-around good guy named Telly Martin—Clutch Henderson has one ambition in death: to win the golden bracelet at the International Series of Poker in Las Vegas, and thereby prove to himself that he is the best player in the world and show his long-dead grandfather that he is not a loser. All he has to do is convince an unwilling Telly to go along with the scheme at the next International Poker Series. Telly might love poker, but he has his doubts about cheating to win. And there … [Read more...]

Predator: Fire and Stone – Graphic Novel Review

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Predator: Fire and Stone Written by Joshua Williamson Illustrated by Christopher Mooneyham Dark Horse Books July 28, 2015 Reviewed by Jess Landry Taking place somewhere after the events of the three preceding entries (Prometheus: Fire and Stone, Alien vs Predator: Fire and Stone and Alien: Fire and Stone), the Predator: Fire and Stone storyline sees the three remaining crew members of the Perses coming out of cryostasis, only to wake up and realize that something sneaked aboard their ship when they fled the shit-show from the AvP series. Two of the three disposable characters are taken care of quickly in the first few pages of this collection, while the unlikeable captain Galgo is kept alive by your friendly neighbourhood predator. With no means of escape, the predator (whom his human companion later dubs Ahab) forces Galgo to return to the planet where everyone’s trouble started, LV-223, so he can do what a predator does best - add to his spinal cord trophy case. Ahab’s prey? None other than one of the Engineers from the Prometheus series. On the alien-filled surface of LV-223, Galgo is reunited with the crew he abandoned in Prometheus: Fire and Stone and the … [Read more...]

Exigencies – Book Review

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Exigencies Edited by Richard Thomas Darkhouse Press June 9, 2015 Reviewed by Michael R. Collings Horror can serve a number of contradictory functions. It can destroy, and it can build. It can condemn, and it can commend. It can terrify, and it can heal. For me as reader, some of the most effective horror narratives are ultimately redemptive. They show characters being torn down to their basics—their core beliefs, their understanding of themselves and of humanity—and by that process passing through evil at least relatively unscathed and moving into an increase of awareness. I can still remember the moment when I discovered how my first horror novel, The House Beyond the Hill, would have to end…with a moment of reconciliation and joy. Otherwise, everything the characters, living and dead, had suffered would have been useless. At the same time, however, I can appreciate horror that opens vistas of darkness, because that, too, is part of being human. Fictionally, at least, some knowledge is too terrible, costs the questioners too much, and ultimately annihilates too much of their humanity; and their tales can only end in pessimism. Pet Sematary, with its horrific … [Read more...]

Kidnapped – Game Review

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Kidnapped Deceptive Games Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux July 21, 2015 Reviewed by Jess Landry I don’t know about you guys but being kidnapped is not my idea of a good time, especially when it involves some dank-ass cellar, demon marionette baby things and a buff man in a diaper. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Kidnapped is a first-person survival horror game where you take the controls as Sebastian Lee, a man who wakes up in the above mentioned dank-ass cellar with no recollection of how he got there. Your objective throughout the games’ five chapters is to collect certain objects and solve the mystery of who kidnapped you and why, all while trying to make your escape. Now, I will admit I did jump a few times (which will happen when you have the volume cranked on your headphones) but aside from that handful of moments, this game failed to impress. It could be because the graphics were nothing special, it could be because the story was nothing new, but it was probably because Kidnapped is simply missing the tension that makes those outstanding horror games terrifying. There’s only so far you can take the music and the layout and the jumpscares before the player … [Read more...]