Review: ‘Cry Your Way Home’ by Damien Angelica Walters

Cry Your Way Home by Damien Angelica Walters
Apex Publications (January 2, 2018)

240 pages, $14.95 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

I’m hoping by now that you already know who the esteemed Ms. Walters is. The queen of deft, delightfully flowing, yet quietly unobtrusive words, and the wielder of one hell of a wicked blade aimed right at your weak spots, is back with another handful of slender needles to poke holes in the red lump of knotted muscle. It doesn’t disappoint.Continue Reading

Review: Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever: Completely Ridiculous Edition by Tom Neely

Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever: Completely Ridiculous Edition by Tom Neely
Microcosm Publishing (September 2017)

288 pages, $17.,64 hardcover; $11.99 paperback; $5.39 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

It seems like a silly idea at best. At worst, a bro-heavy homophobic mess masquerading as satire. You take the two loudest, virulently masculine icons of the early Hardcore movement, Henry Rollins and Glenn Danzig, and make a series of comics about them in a relationship. Heck, the standard Odd Couple tripe pretty much takes care of itself. Who would have thought it would turn into something much more over the decade-plus long run collected here?Continue Reading

Review: The Weight of Words edited by Dave McKean and William Schafer

The Weight of Words edited by Dave McKean and William Schafer
Subterranean Press (December 2017)
248 pages; $40 hardcover
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

Like all great artists, Dave McKean has a style that is immediately recognizable as his and his alone. His unique visuals have graced everything from comic books (perhaps most notably his eight-year run as cover artist for Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series and his collaboration with Grant Morrison on the graphic novel Arkham Asylum) to album covers. book covers….even stamps. So, what happens when you ask a group of authors to filter that style through their own distinct voices?Continue Reading

Review: A Warning About Your Future Enslavement That You Will Dismiss as A Collection of Short Fiction and Essays by Kit Power

A Warning About Your Future Enslavement That You Will Dismiss as A Collection of Short Fiction and Essays by Kit Power
Amazon Digital Services (November 2017)
268 pages; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Nearly two years ago to the day, I read and reviewed Godbomb! by Kit Power. It was one of the most amazing books I read in 2015. Now Kit has returned with a collection of short stories and essays which are hard to describe, but I’m willing to give it my best shot here.

A Warning About Your Future Enslavement That You Will Dismiss As a Collection of Short Fiction and Essays covers a lot of ground and is loosely woven together with a story set in a future where most of human history has been forgotten or purposely covered up. A mid-level government employee is doing his best to uncover the truth through a series of stories uncovered in a hidden mainframe.Continue Reading

Review: Bubba and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers by Joe R. Lansdale

Bubba and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers by Joe R. Lansdale
Subterranean Press (October 2017)
200 pages; $31.84 hardcover; $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

Back in 1994, Joe R. Lansdale wrote a story called “Bubba Ho-Tep” about an elderly Elvis Presley teaming up to fight a mummy with a fellow nursing home resident who thought he was JFK, and I read it and thought, “Welp, it doesn’t get much crazier than that.” Boy, was I wrong.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Stephen King and Philosophy’ edited by Jacob Held

Stephen King and Philosophy edited by Jacob Held
Rowman & Littlefield (August 2016)
328 pages; $13.56 paperback; $9.99 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

In a documentary filmed many years ago, bestselling author Peter Straub lamented the fact that, ever tongue-in-cheek and self-deprecating, Stephen King once referred to his own work as the equivalent of a “Big Mac and fries.” Straub considered it an unfortunate comparison which didn’t do King justice, that his work was far more substantial than mere intellectual junk food. Continue Reading

Review: We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone by Ronald Malfi

We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone by Ronald Malfi
JournalStone (November 2017)
299 pages; $29.95 hardcover; $16.67 paperback; $9.95 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone, the debut short story collection from Ronald Malfi, is a bit of a mixed bag. Although the twenty shorts included do make for an enjoyable read, I have to say I much prefer Malfi’s recent novels to the tales included here. Little Girls made my top ten list in 2015, The Night Parade did the same in 2016, and Bone White is my favorite read so far in 2017.Continue Reading

Review: Unspeakable Horror 2: Abominations of Desire edited by Vince Liaguno

Unspeakable Horror 2: Abominations of Desire edited by Vince Liaguno
Evil Jester Press (October 2017)
404 pages; $14.99 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

In his introduction, accomplished author and editor Vince Liaguno describes the theme of Unspeakable Horror 2: Abominations of Desire as “desire gone awry.” This theme winds through a strong slate of stories selected by Liaguno for his follow-up to the Bram Stoker Award-winning collection Unspeakable Horror (2008). As we often see in real life, these stories portray desire as a catalyst for more than pleasure; often, desire leads to unintended consequences, bad decisions, and terrible results.Continue Reading

Review: Teeth of the Sea by Tim Waggoner

Teeth of the Sea by Tim Waggoner
Severed Press (October 2017)
182 pages; $10.95 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Teeth of the Sea begins from the point of view of some very large sea creatures and returns to that viewpoint periodically throughout, to great effect.

Most of the action takes place in and around the relatively new luxury resort, Elysium, far from anywhere, in the middle of the ocean. Ancient sea creatures return to the place where they’ve come every ten years or so to lay their eggs and they are terribly hungry.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Buffalo Soldier’ by Maurice Broaddus

Buffalo Soldier by Maurice Broaddus
Tor (April 2017)

144 pages, $9.57 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

So, we’ve got Desmond Coke, right? He’s a former James Bondian spy (full of all the expected baddass, class and Dapper Dan style that goes with the title) who found out a little too much. There’s also this boy, Lij Tafari, stuck at the center of the “too much” I just mentioned. They strike off from their home to find a place where the boy can live a normal life in peace, without being the pawn of political figureheads.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Black Bottle Man’ by Craig Russell

Black Bottle Man by Craig Russell
Great Plains Teen Fiction (February 2012)

176 pages, $9.99 e-book
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Black Bottle Man is a young-adult horror story based around the traditional “deal with the devil” plot. Russell, however, makes the plot seem fresh with his historical take. He also twists the traditional roles of the devil’s bargain into a unique novel which is sure to entertain audiences.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Cthulhu Blues: A SPECTRA Files Novel’ by Douglas Wynne

Cthulhu Blues: A SPECTRA Files Novel by Douglas Wynne
JournalStone (September 2017)
302 pages; $16.93 paperback; $4.95 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Cthulhu Blues is a fitting conclusion to the SPECTRA Files series which began in 2015 with Red Equinox and continued last year with Black January. I’m going to miss Becca Philips and Jason Brooks as they battle the cosmic horrors found in the Lovecraftian mythos. I’ll even miss Becca’s dog Django.Continue Reading

Why did it have to be rats? Bev Vincent reviews ‘1922’

Stephen King News From the Dead Zone

Why Did it Have To Be Rats?

Rats have featured prominently in many Stephen King novels and stories. After the prom, Carrie White imagined rats crawling all over Chris Hargensen’s face. There were rats in the basement of the boarding house in ‘Salem’s Lot and in the walls of Chapelwaite in “Jerusalem’s Lot.” Rats in the sub-basement of the mill in “Graveyard Shift” and in the basement of the castle in Delain. Rats in Desperation, Nevada, in the ventilation system of Shawshank Prison and in the walls of Dooling Correctional Facility for Women. Drowned rats in the toilet bowls at Derry High School. Nigel the robot was programmed to get rid of the vermin in the Fedic Dogan, although he actually fed them to Mordred Deschain.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Quiet Places: A Novella of Cosmic Folk Horror’ by Jasper Bark

Quiet Places: A Novella of Cosmic Folk Horror by Jasper Bark
Crystal Lake Publishing (September 2017)
123 pages; $12.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Chad Lutzke

Quiet Places opens with a prologue presenting mysterious goings-on in the small village of Dunballan. Right away we’re given a potentially exciting premise as a lone woman aids local residents in their vegetative states, picking random citizens to assist while they stand slack jawed and wide eyed, empty bellies and soiled clothes.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Strange Weather’ by Joe Hill

Strange Weather by Joe Hill
William Morrow (October 24, 2017)
448 pages; $17.10 hardback; $14.99 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

Earlier this year, people began calling 2017 “The Year of King.” The “King” in question is Stephen King, who’s had a busy year even for, well, Stephen King: new television series based on his novella The Mist and Mr. Mercedes; a milestone birthday (his 70th) in September; a critical and box office smash hit in IT; two more critically acclaimed adaptations for Netflix in Gerald’s Game and 1922; and a brand new novel, Sleeping Beauties, co-written with his son Owen.

Now, as the year is winding down, it’s King’s other son, Joe Hill, who has stepped up to claim his place in “The Year of King” with Strange Weather, a collection of four short novels and one of the strongest overall works in Hill’s already illustrious career.Continue Reading