Exhumed: “In Utero” and “Down There”

banner reading Exhumed - The Fiction of Cemetery Dance by K. Edwin Fritz

Exhumed is my humble attempt to read and review every short story & novel excerpt ever published in Cemetery Dance magazine. In their 32 years of publication, that comes to a total of 577 (and counting!) pieces spread out over 77 issues. For a comprehensive list of issues 1-75, you’ll want to check out Michael P. Sauers’ Cemetery Dance Magazine Index.

Since each Exhumed post covers just two pieces (one “old” and one “new”), I think I’m going to be doing this for a while. I sure hope you’ll join me along the way.

ALSO, to better satiate your reading needs, starting in 2021 all reviews of “new” stories will come from CD issues that are still in print (#65, #69, #71, #73, #74/75,, & #77… they’re all available right here).

SIDE NOTE: I’m always looking for requests from this lot, so please do comment letting me know which “new” story you’d like me to review.

Feel free to read each story along with me or just take it all in while I do the hard work and wax poetic with my observations. Either way, grab your shovel and dig in. There’s no telling what we’ll unearth together.

As promised last time, this installment of Exhumed will feature works by David Starkey and Keith Minnion.

Starkey’s story, “In Utero,” appears in CD#2 (1988). Minnion’s piece, titled “Down There,” is from CD#73 (2016).

Ok then.
Let’s get to it…Continue Reading

Exhumed: “Little Precious” and “Anka”

banner reading Exhumed - The Fiction of Cemetery Dance by K. Edwin Fritz

Don’t you hate it when online columnists start a post by explaining why they haven’t posted in a while?

Me too. Me too.

Anyway, here’s a bullet list explaining why I haven’t posted in a while:
2019:

  • Moved
  • New job
  • Had a baby

2020:

  • COVID
  • Moved again
  • Another new job
  • Baby is a toddler now, & as much as I love her, she’s exhausting

So, since it’s obviously been a while…
*checks watch
*frowns
*checks calendar
Eh-heh.
*smiles
…let me remind everyone what this column is all about.Continue Reading

Exhumed: “Markers” and “Scree”

Exhumed is my humble attempt to read and review every short story and novel excerpt ever published by Cemetery Dance Magazine. In their 29 years of publication, that comes to over 550 pieces spread out over 76 issues. For a comprehensive list, you’ll want to check out Michael P. Sauers’ Cemetery Dance Magazine Index (Issues 1-75).

Since each Exhumed post covers just two pieces (one “old” and one “new”), I think I’m going to be doing this for a while. I sure hope you’ll join me along the way. Continue Reading

Exhumed: “End of the Line” and “Seed”

Exhumed is my humble attempt to read and review every short story and novel excerpt ever published by Cemetery Dance magazine. In their 29 years of publication, that comes to over 550 pieces spread out over 76 issues. Since each Exhumed post covers just two pieces (one “old” and one “new”), I think I’m going to be doing this for a while. I sure hope you’ll join me along the way.

If so, then welcome, friend! Feel free to read each story along with me or just take it all in while I do the hard work and wax poetic with my observations.

Either way, grab your shovel and dig in. There’s no telling what we’ll unearth together.Continue Reading

Exhumed: “Separate Ways” and “Bloodline” by Roman Ranieri

Welcome to Exhumed, my humble attempt to read and review every story and novel excerpt ever published in Cemetery Dance magazine.

Each month I’ll summarize and analyze a pair of related works. Usually this means comparing “older” and “newer” pieces by the same author.

In their 29+ years of publication, Cemetery Dance has already printed 568 pieces, spread out over 76 issues. I think I’m going to be doing this for a while. In the meantime, here’s a spreadsheet listing every published Cemetery Dance story plus links to all my completed reviews.Continue Reading

Exhumed: “Better Than Breadcrumbs” and “Pelingrad’s Pit” by Ronald Kelly

Welcome to Exhumed, my humble attempt to read and review every story and novel excerpt ever published in Cemetery Dance magazine.

Each month I’ll summarize and analyze a pair of related works. Usually this means comparing one “older” and one “newer” piece by the same author.

In their 29+ years of publication, CD has already printed 560 pieces, spread out over 75 issues. I think I’m going to be doing this for a while…Continue Reading

“The Sanctuary” and “In the Room”

In its illustrious 29*-year print run, Cemetery Dance magazine has published no less than 560 short stories and novel excerpts in 75** issues. As the super fan that I am, Exhumed is my humble attempt to read and review them all in monthly double reviews.

*and counting!

**there were also two “double issues” (#17/18 in 1993 and #74/75 in 2016), each of which squeezed twice as much content into a single magazine.

Last time I reviewed two Steve Vernon stories…

  • “In Loving Memory” from Cemetery Dance #2 (1989), and
  • “A Wiggle of Maggot, a Curl of Bacon” from Cemetery Dance #59 (2008).

Something very interesting happened with that publication. Mr. Vernon himself read and commented! Woo-hoo! Do check it out if you haven’t already, if for no other reason than to see what he thought. 😉

This month is the 11th installment of Exhumed and, as promised last month, I’ll be reviewing two Bentley Little stories.

Let’s get to it…Continue Reading

“In Loving Memory” and “A Wiggle of Maggot, a Curl of Bacon”

In its illustrious 29*-year print run, Cemetery Dance magazine has published no less than 560 short stories and novel excerpts in 73** individual issues. As the super fan that I am, Exhumed is my humble attempt to read and review them all in monthly double reviews.

*and counting!

**there were also two “double issues” (#17/18 in 1993 and #74/75 in 2016), each of which squeezed twice as much content into a single magazine.

Last time I reviewed two Norman Partridge stories:

  • “Save the Last Dance for Me” from Cemetery Dance #2 (1989), and
  • “Slippin’ Into Darkness” (a novel excerpt) from Cemetery Dance #17/18 (1993).

If you missed it, you missed a particularly complex story (and a particularly “colorful” review).  

This month is the 10th installment of Exhumed and, as promised, I present to you two Steve Vernon stories.

Let’s get to it… Continue Reading

“Save the Last Dance for Me” and “Slippin’ Into Darkness”

In its illustrious 29*-year print run, Cemetery Dance magazine has published no less than 560 short stories and novel excerpts in 73** individual issues. As the super fan that I am, Exhumed is my humble attempt to read and review them all in monthly double reviews. 

*and counting!

**there were also two ‘double issues (#17/18 in 1993 and #74/75 in 2016), each of which squeezed twice as much content into a single magazine.

Last time I reviewed:

  • David A. Lindschmidt’s “The Hounds of Hell to Pay” from Cemetery Dance #1 (1988), and
  • Jonathan Lethem’s “Martyr and Pesty” from Cemetery Dance #36 (2001).

There was also an Exhumed-first BONUS review of the overall issue of Cemetery Dance #1. If for no other reason you should go check the article out for that.

This month is the ninth installment of Exhumed and, as promised, I present to you two Norman Partridge stories.

Let’s get to it…Continue Reading

“The Hounds of Hell to Pay” and “Martyr and Pesty”

In its illustrious 29*-year print run, Cemetery Dance magazine has published no less than 560 short stories and novel excerpts in 73** individual issues. As the super fan that I am, Exhumed is my humble attempt to read and review them all in monthly double reviews. This the eighth such installment. Continue Reading

“The Officer’s Club” and “The Phone Call”

Hello again, fans of the Dance. This is the seventh installment of monthly double reviews studying the structure of great horror fiction published in our beloved Cemetery Dance.

Last time I reviewed two Barry Hoffman stories: “An Island Unto Herself” from Cemetery Dance #1 (1988) and “Vicious Cycle” from Cemetery Dance #26 (1997). If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do so and let me know what you think.

In keeping with the popular notion of reviewing two stories by the same author separated by time, this month I’m going to dive into a pair of Roman A. Ranieri stories. The first, once again from Cemetery Dance #1, was published in 1988. The second, from Cemetery Dance #23, was published in 1996.

Let’s see what eight years of separation did for ole’ Roman’s skill set… Continue Reading

“An Island Unto Herself” and “Vicious Cycle”

Hello again, folks. This is the 6th installment of monthly double reviews studying the structure of great horror fiction published in our beloved Cemetery Dance.

Last time I reviewed two Bentley Little titles: “The Janitor” from Cemetery Dance #1 (1988) and “We” from Cemetery Dance #64 (2010). This marked the 2nd time my little column compared an older and a newer story from the same author. I know I liked it, and readers seemed to as well.

Fortunately, I get to do this again this month with a pair of Barry Hoffman stories. His two pieces were published in Cemetery Dance in 1988 and 1997. And while they may not be separated by the two full decades like we saw with Mr. Little, Mr. Hoffman’s stories nevertheless show both growth over this span of time as well as a certain, unique thematic element.

Let’s see if you can figure it out before I connect those dots…Continue Reading

“The Janitor” and “We”

Hello again, folks. This is the fifth installment of monthly double reviews studying the structure of great horror fiction published in our beloved Cemetery Dance.

Last time I reviewed my favorite story from Cemetery Dance #1, Anke M. Kriske’s “The Departing of Debbie” and William Peter Blatty’s semi-controversial “Terry and the Werewolf” from Cemetery Dance #62 (2009).

If you want to know about some really great early horror fiction and/or give your respect to our recently-lost great, Mr. Blatty, do please check it out.

This month, I’m going to review 2 stories from the same author, a man who is clearly one one of Cemetery Dance’s favorite repeat contributors based on the fact that he’s been published in Cemetery Dance numbers 1, 2, 4, 7, 13, 14, 34, 36, 39, 50, 64, and 71. He has been published by CD more than only one other author (that’s a column for another day), and has been there since the beginning.

His name is Mr. Bentley Little.

Let’s get to it…Continue Reading

“The Departing of Debbie” and “Terry and the Werewolf”

Hello again, folks. This is the fourth installment of monthly double reviews studying the structure of great horror fiction published in our beloved Cemetery Dance.

Last time I reviewed John B. Rosenman’s “Rock of Ages” from Cemetery Dance #1 (1988) and K. S. Clay’s “Bad Luck” from Cemetery Dance #74/75 (2016). Fellow author James Pyne commented that short fiction is becoming the preferred mode of digesting fiction these days. Do you agree? Continue Reading