Infernal Parade is the second volume compiling stories created by Clive Barker to accompany figures created in conjunction with Todd McFarlane. The first, Tortured Souls, benefited because it began life as a novella that was broken up to go along with the packaging of the various figures. Infernal Parade is a series of character sketches meant to lend a little backstory to the figures, making it feel incomplete when pulled together in one volume.
Lilith’s Demons by Julie R. Enszer
A Midsummer Night’s Press (December 2015)
64 pages, $14.95 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage
For those who don’t know, The Alphabet of Ben Sirach is a medieval rabbinic text famous, amongst other things, for its reference to Lilith. Lilith is the woman that, according to Hebraic lore, God made before he made Eve; she was Adam’s first wife, but refused to submit to him sexually, so she flew off and became mother of demons. Julie R. Enszer builds on this mythos in her book, Lilith’s Demons.
First, some background on The King in Yellow. Prior to season one of HBO’s True Detective series, many folks had never heard of Robert W. Chambers or his book of short stories by the same name. The book is named after a fictional play with the same title. The first half of the book features highly esteemed weird stories, and has been described by critics as a classic in the field of the supernatural. There are ten stories, the first four of which mention The King in Yellow, a forbidden play which induces despair or madness in those who read it.
When you work at Cemetery Dance, you tend to make certain assumptions about the books publishers send to you for review. Sometimes, those assumptions are way off. John Darnielle’s Universal Harvester proved to be one of those instances….in the best possible way.
When I got the book (cleverly packaged in a plastic clamshell case like an old VHS tape, for reasons that would become clear when I read it) and scanned its press sheet, a few things jumped out at me: mentions of the “haunted, open landscape of middle-America;” “ominous and disturbing footage” spliced into a video store’s rental tapes; an investigation into “the origins of these unsettling scenes.” I took these tidbits and began to splice together my own version of the book.
I wanted to love Greetings from Moon Hill and I can’t quite put a finger on what went wrong. Conceptually, it’s a great idea. A small town “tucked into the folds of the Pennsylvania countryside.” A place of “Unseen things that are all around us. Impossible flowers, witches, interdimensional beings, murder cover-ups” and more. These are all things I love, so what went wrong?
The Devil Crept In is the second people-go-into-the-woods-and-bad-things-happen book I’ve read this year (after Nick Cutter’s excellent Little Heaven), and the third in recent memory (including Paul Tremblay’s excellent Disappearance at Devil’s Rock). Ania Ahlborn’s latest novel stands shoulder-to-shoulder with those two—not just because of the premise, but because of the excellence of its execution.
Too Soon Dead by Michael Kurland
Titan Books (November 2015)
320 pages; $12.95 paperback; ebook $7.99
Reviewed by Peter Tomas
Michael Kurland’s little misadventure, Too Soon Dead, is a wild goose chase of moderately restricted proportions. Columnist Alexander Brass and his small team, when approached by a rather large man with some very interesting pictures (whom also happens into quite a bind later) run from here to there, asking questions, being profound, finding corpses and making witty remarks. They discover all kinds of interesting things about individuals involved in government during their exploratory run, and in the end, uncover a conspiracy that could have very well led to a disaster.
Of Saints and Shadows by Christopher Golden
JournalStone (September 2016)
340 pages; $29.95 hardcover; $19.95 paperback; $7.95 e-book
Reviewed by Dave Simms
JournalStone has been a treasure trove of new authors and new stories which rarely disappoints. For years now, each release has drawn strong attention from readers of horror, dark fantasy, and other speculative fiction. This time, they made a smart decision to reprint Christopher Golden’s “Shadow Saga” series.
Pinball Drugs Aliens Satan by Fiada Fey
Furtive Labors (October 2015)
36 pages, $4.00 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage
Fiada Fey (1980-2008) was a St. Paul-based novelist, short story writer and cut-up artist. His prose, while lacking in craft, shows a lot of passion for the bizarre horror genre. Pinball Drugs Aliens Satan is his posthumous collection.
Readers will immediately feel Fey’s desire as a writer. His collection of stories speaks to an author passionate about the tales he has to tell, and readers will be able to empathize with that urge. Fey clearly had a vision for his art, and used cut-up techniques to attempt to bring that vision to life. Pinball Drugs Aliens Satan speaks of notebooks filled with stories and story ideas, and as a posthumous collection, leaves the reader wishing that Fey had had the time and skill to carry them out.
The Rib From Which I Remake the World is one of those books which doesn’t fit neatly into any category. Is it noir? Horror? Psychological Thriller? Occult? The list could go on, but truthfully, what Ed Kurtz’s latest is, is a helluva read.
David Bernstein is rapidly becoming a MUST READ author for me. His stuff tends to be raw, gripping, compelling and, above all, imaginative. Sometimes played for fun, but more often for vengeance.
A book of gorgeously rendered and lusciously poeticized violence. An on-the-cusp scream queen goddess of the local goth TV channel, who survived the brutal violence which tore her family apart, quite literally. A newly appeared 1-900 service that begs you to find the worst in yourself and reveal it to them. Gangs of thematically self-mutilating freaks roaming the streets. All through the background, the seductive voice of Pirsya Profana slithering between neurons. Welcome to the Season of the Witch.
Little Heaven is the first major horror novel of 2017, and it’s going to take a monumental deluge of quality horror to keep it off of those end-of-year best-of lists that will start popping up 11 months from now.
If you read The Forty First Wink, the debut novel by James Walley, then you’ve more than likely been waiting for the second book in the trilogy, and why not? Book one was so much fun. Walley writes with a whimsical flair I find nowhere else in my ever-growing library.
I first encountered Tosca Lee’s work in her debut novel, Demon: A Memoir. A moody, tense, gripping story about a down-on-his-luck literary agent and his encounter with a demon who demands he tell Its story told to the world, Memoir predicted big things for Tosca, big things which have come to pass.