Dark Pathways: That Good Ol’ Fashioned Fright

Dark Pathways

Author Lavie Tidhar has a short story up on The Dark Magazine titled “Sirena” that I think you should definitely check out. It’s about a killer vending machine. Seriously! And it feels like a classic Stephen King story from the ’80s. It’s just the right kind of fun for this type of horror story, and you’ll be hooked from the first paragraph. Did I mention there’s a killer vending machine?

There’s a killer vending machine.Continue Reading

Review: Möbius Lyrics by Angela Yuriko Smith and Maxwell I. Gold

cover of Mobius LyricsMöbius Lyrics by Angela Yuriko Smith and Maxwell I. Gold
Independent Legions Publishing (October 2022)
84 pages; $11.90 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Angela Yuriko Smith is a third-generation Shimanchu-American and award-winning poet, author, and publisher with 20+ years of experience as a professional writer in nonfiction. She is the publisher of Space & Time magazine, a two-time Bram Stoker Award winner, and HWA Mentor of the Year for 2020 w. Maxwell I. Gold is a multiple award nominated author who writes prose poetry and short stories in weird and cosmic fiction. His work has appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines including Weirdbook Magazine, Space and Time Magazine, Startling Stories, Strange Horizons and more. Their newest collaborative collection is Möbius LyricsContinue Reading

Review: Moonless Nocturne by Hank Schwaeble

cover of Moonless NocturneMoonless Nocturne by Hank Schwaeble
25 & Y Publishing (October 2022)
338 pages; $17.95 paperback; $7.49 e- book
Reviewed by Dave Simms

When a two-time Stoker winner pens a collection, there’s a strong chance the pages will be full of magic and exquisite darkness. Add to that an introduction by the grandmaster of horror, Dr. F. Paul Wilson, the reader will feel confident that Moonless Nocturne is worth every penny.

Hank Schwaeble has written the intriguing Jake Hatcher series, yet it’s his shorter fiction where his talent truly shines. This book of dark tales span quite the spectrum of genres here, putting to rest any thoughts that the author is a one-trick pony.Continue Reading

The Black Museum: The Ghost and the Lady by Kazuhiro Fujita

banner that reads The Comic Vault

cover of The Ghost and the LadyThe Black Museum: The Ghost and the Lady by Kazuhiro Fujita
Kodansha Comics (October 2016)
304 pages; $19.99 hardcover, $9.99 e-book
Reviewed by Danica Davidson

The Black Museum: The Ghost and the Lady is a peculiar story that mixes real history with very much made-up fantasy and horror. It opens with a woman in a long, black dress, holding candles and standing at the base of the stairwell, seemingly looking at the reader and asking if there’s interest in a tour of the black museum. After this atmosphere-setting image, the woman begins to give a tour, but things are thrown off when a ghost appears.Continue Reading

Review: Dear Ted by Kim Vodicka

cover of Dear TedDear Ted by Kim Vodicka
Really Serious Literature (June 2022)
202 pages; $19.95 paperback
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

In 2020 Kim Vodicka gifted us with The Elvis Machine, one of the most compelling, and honest collections of the year. This time, she is focusing on Ted Bundy. It would be easy to go with straight depictions of the murders. Instead, Kim pictures herself as both the fangirl obsessed with Bundy and as his victim. She delves deep into the squishy desire to be both a dehumanized thing of flesh to be used and an object of adoration.Continue Reading

Jonathan Janz talks The Dismembered with Citywide Blackout

The Citywide Blackout podcast hosts authors, musicians, and artists of all kinds to discuss their latest projects. Recently, Jonathan Janz, author of The Dismembered (recently published by Cemetery Dance), appeared on the podcast to discuss all things horror. Check it out below!

Continue Reading

Review: Maggots Screaming by Max Booth III

cover of Maggots ScreamingMaggots Screaming by Max Booth III
Ghoulish Books (April 2022)
342 pages; $17.67 Paperback; $5.99 ebook
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

Max Booth III has set himself up as the king of turning the worst ideas on the planet into absolute gold. Two old friends arguing in a basement because one thinks he is a werewolf? Killer. A family stuck in their bathroom? Heartbreaking. A father and a son dig up their own corpses from the back garden…

Yup, that is the elevator pitch here. At best, a minute-long gag filling space in a cheap anthology film. WEIRD! CREEPY! DONE! And we move on with our lives.

But not Max. Nope. He manages to turn it into a stupidly engaging  book.Continue Reading

Review: That Which Cannot Be Undone edited by Jess Landry

cover of That Which Cannot Be UndoneThat Which Cannot Be Undone edited by Jess Landry
Cracked Skull Press (October 2022)
286 pages; $16.99 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

From the ruins of Hell Town, where it’s rumored that the Federal Government hid the mutated results of a chemical accident, to the ghosts of Cry Baby Bridge and Wallhalla Road, to cryptids like the Loveland Frog and Crosswick Monster, Ohio certainly has its horror cred established. Editor Jess Landry has tapped into that horror by gathering some of the finest voices in horror in this anthology of Ohio horror, an anthology that one hopes will be the first of many.Continue Reading

Review: Lute by Jennifer Thorne

cover of LuteLute by Jennifer Thorne 
Tor Nightfire (October 2022) 
288 pages; $24.99 hardcover; $13.99 ebook 
Reviewed by Haley Newlin

This is all one big horrifying party and I’m the hostess.

In Jennifer Thorne’s Lute readers follow Nina, a mother of two, and via marriage the “Lady of Lute.” With a war-torn backdrop, ritualistic nature, and an unseen ruler of the island, Nina struggles to understand the annual custom referred to as “The Day.”

The Day dates back thousand of years. At the heart of it is the tithe stone, where barbaric rituals took place. Where the “sacrificial rock” descended time and again, smashing through hair, skull, and brain matter. 2,000 years before Druid predicts oversaw the sacrifices of The Day and it was an honor to give up your life.

Over the years, the means of the day became more humane. But the island held its haunted shade and saw tragedy after tragedy. The island takes who it deems fit, children, mothers, fathers, and the people of Lute submit to it. Provide offerings.

Nina soon learns that accepting the people of Lute, becoming one of them is a condition of her and her children’s survival. As Nina steps into the role of Lady Treadway on The Day, she witness a number of accidents and supernaturally cruel slaughters. In every wobble, trip, or move, Nina feels the covenant’s presence, like a snake ready to strike.

I do wish Thorne would’ve held readers in the chaos of the final thirty minutes of The Day. This part really puts readers’ nerves on needle-thin tripwire. But the reveal, an uncovered emissary of death, was earth-shattering, and emblematic of a woman’s ferocity and the will to live.

Lute is a masterful merriment of folk horror and murder mystery. Thorne captures the shock and terror of horror fan-favorites like The Wicker Man and Midsommar. But the ending, the bizarre shift The Day transpires in Lord Treadway (Hugh), felt like an ode to classic mystery novels like Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.

Lute is a shining thread that links readers to the imaginative mind of Thorne, reminiscent of Ari Aster, the tonic of an unputdownable mystery, and folk horror in the same vein as Adam Nevill’s writing.

Thorne conjured a read that feels like watching the world explode in beautiful obliteration. It’s a haunting and simultaneously hopeful reminder that we live in defiance of death each day, and on the island of Lute, the siren of The Day, of “The Shining One’s,” will always call.

I’ll eagerly await whatever Jennifer Thorne has to offer us hungry readers next.

Night Time Logic with James Everington

Night Time Logic with Daniel Braum

photo of author James Everington
James Everington

Night Time Logic is the part or parts of a story that are felt but not consciously processed. 

In this column, which shares a name with my New York based reading series, I explore the phenomenon of Night Time Logic and other aspects of horror fiction by diving deep into the stories from award winning authors to emerging new voices. 

In my previous post we visited the dark and fantastical settings in Rudi Dornemann’s stories including his most recent Magazine Fantasy and Science Fiction cover story.

Today I talk with UK author and editor James Everington about strange tales, his fiction, and his anthology projects including Ebb Tides, an anthology of liminal stories all set at the sea-side.Continue Reading

Review: Elegies of Rotting Stars by Tiffany Morris

cover of Elegies of Rotting StarsElegies of Rotting Stars by Tiffany Morris
Nictitating Books (November 15, 2022)
65 pages; $13.99 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Tiffany Morris is a Mi’kmaw/settler writer of speculative fiction and poetry from Kjipuktuk (Halifax), Nova Scotia. Her work has appeared in Uncanny Magazine, Nightmare Magazine, and Apex Magazine, among others. She has an MA in English with a focus on Indigenous Futurisms. She is a member of the Speculative Fiction Poetry Association and the Horror Writers Association, and her work has been nominated for Elgin, Rhysling, and Aurora Awards. Her newest book is Elegies of Rotting Stars, a collection of dark fantasy and speculative poetry that is sure to appeal to any horror reader. Continue Reading

NEW Bentley Little Deluxe Signed & Slipcased Limited Edition Coming Soon!

Bentley Little’s classic novel of horror, published for the first-time ever as a Signed & Slipcased Limited Edition!

“Best outright horror novelist? Bentley Little, in a walk… he can go from zero to surreal in 6.0 seconds.”
— Stephen King

We’re pleased to report we will be getting some copies of the new deluxe signed, numbered, and slipcased Limited Edition hardcover of The Store by Bentley Little from Lividian Publications!

This special edition was lavishly crafted with collectors and readers alike in mind. Dirk Berger provided stunning color artwork for the dust jacket and frontispiece, plus sixteen black and white illustrations for the interior. Jeff Strand contributed an original foreword and Bentley Little wrote a brand new introduction discussing the origins of one of his most popular novels to date.

Whether you’re already a fan of this classic horror novel or a first-time visitor to The Store, this is a special edition you won’t want to miss!

Book Trailer: The Dismembered by Jonathan Janz

EDITOR’S NOTE: Cemetery Dance will publish The Dismembered by Jonathan Janz on November 11, 2022. The e-book edition is on sale for a limited time for just $0.99! Check out the trailer below, and visit Cemetery Dance for more information.

ABOUT THE BOOK

In the spring of 1912, American writer Arthur Pearce is reeling from the wounds inflicted by a disastrous marriage and the public humiliation that ensued. But his plans to travel abroad, write a new novel, and forget his ex-wife are interrupted by a lovely young woman he encounters on a London-bound train. Her name is Sarah Coyle, and the tale she tells him chills his blood.

According to Sarah, her younger sister Violet has been entranced by a local count, a man whose attractiveness and charisma are rivaled only by his shady reputation. Whispers of bizarre religious rites and experimental medicine surround Count Richard Dunning, though no wrongdoing has ever been proven. Sarah’s family views the Count as a philanthropist and a perfect match for young Violet, but Sarah believes her sister is soon to become a subject in Count Dunning’s hideous ceremonies.

Smitten by Sarah and moved to gallantry by her plight, Arthur agrees to travel to Altarbrook, Sarah’s rural ancestral home, in order to prevent Violet from falling into ruin. He soon learns, however, that his meeting with Sarah on the train was no accident. And his arrival at Altarbrook represents a crucial but ghastly step in the Count’s monstrous plot.

“Fans of the gothic will love how Janz uses well-worn tropes in more modern ways, while at the same time readers of 21st-century horror will gain a new appreciation for the genre’s roots.” — Starred Library Journal Review

Interview: Richard Delgado on The Art of Dracula of Transylvania

banner that reads The Comic Vault

Ricardo Delgado grew up obsessed with monsters and has turned his childhood love into a career. He’s worked as a conceptual artist in Hollywood, published The Age of Reptiles graphic novel series, and is coming out with books on Dracula. After the success of his illustrated novel Dracula of Transylvania, his The Art of Dracula of Transylvania was put on Kickstarter where it quickly earned its goal. The Kickstarter continues until November 9, and Delgado spoke to Cemetery Dance about his early interests, his career in conceptual art and graphic novels, and why Dracula has obsessed him for so long.Continue Reading

Dark Pathways: From A Certain Point of View

Dark Pathways

Horror fans, I have a terrible confession to make. I read Chuck Wendig’s Star Wars books and decided he wasn’t an author for me. The books were good, but I got the sense that Wendig’s writing style didn’t hit the right notes for me to continue with his other stories. So I passed on Wanderers. I passed on The Book of Accidents.

Holy smokes, am I an idiot. I am a giant, foolish idiot who made a horrible mistake.Continue Reading