Dead Trees: Stephen King: The Art of Darkness

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cover of Stephen KIng: The Art of DarknessEnter the Wayback Machine and go back to 1984. I was still shrugging off the science fiction habit I had all my life and becoming a full-fledged horror fan. I read authors like Grant, Straub, Wilson, Etchison, Campbell. And of course Stephen King. When I finally got around to reading him, my reading life changed forever. Pet Sematary had just been released in paperback. Ahead were wonders like The Talisman, Thinner, Skeleton Crew, and It.

Horror was in a state of flux. In the movies, the slasher era was cycling down. In ’84 we had The Mutilator, Splatter University, The Initiation, and Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. A Nightmare on Elm Street was ushering in a new breed of horror. Stephen King adaptations were in a bit of a lull, as disappointing productions like Children of the Corn and Firestarter hit the screens. Bigger and better things were ahead.Continue Reading

Review: Black Beth: Vengeance be Thy Name by Blas Gallego, Alec Worley, DaNi

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cover of Black Beth

Black Beth: Vengeance be Thy Name by Blas Gallego, Alec Worley, DaNi
Rebellion (June 7, 2022)
80 pages; $24 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Black Beth was a one-time character published by Scream in the 1980s. She was a combination of Red Sonja and The Punisher, an armor-clad woman warrior who sought vengeance against the tyrants that slaughtered her love and her village. Aided by her mentor, the blind wild man Quido, she sought vengeance for 23 pages before disappearing into the memories of comic aficionados until 2016, when Rebellion purchased the rights from the original publisher. Alec Worley and artist DaNi have reinvented Black Beth for modern audiences in a dark fantasy tale that is sure to thrill readers. Continue Reading

Review: From Below by Darcy Coates

cover of From Below by Darcy CoatesFrom Below by Darcy Coates 
Poisoned Pen Press (June 7, 2022)
352 pages; $14.39 paperback, $4.99 ebook 
Reviewed by Haley Newlin

No light. No air. No escape.

Darcy Coates’ From Below is hopelessly suffocating in the darkest, most devouring sense. And, god, is it brutally brilliant. Continue Reading

FREE FICTION: “The Canyon of Terrible Lizards” (Part 7) by Norman Prentiss

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stop-motion dinosaurs fight!

Haunted Attractions with your Other Father by Norman Prentiss is the sequel to his Odd Adventures with your Other Fatherand continues the horror/fantasy road trip adventures of Jack and Shawn as they fight monsters and homophobia in the ’80s. Cemetery Dance is proud to publish this new novel (with an e-book version now on sale at Amazon for 0.99!), and to celebrate we’re serializing a new novella featuring the characters from the books! Today, we’re presenting the exciting conclusion!

When we last saw Jack and Shawn, they joined another couple on a “Dinosaur Safari” tour, their guide Troy leading them downriver. After finding themselves on a strange beach, the group was attacked by a large dinosaur; they killed that one, but a T-Rex followed…and something worse seemed ready to emerge from the forest…Continue Reading

FREE FICTION: “The Canyon of Terrible Lizards” (Part 6) by Norman Prentiss

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Haunted Attractions with your Other Father by Norman Prentiss is the sequel to his Odd Adventures with your Other Fatherand continues the horror/fantasy road trip adventures of Jack and Shawn as they fight monsters and homophobia in the ’80s. Cemetery Dance is proud to publish this new novel (with an e-book version now on sale at Amazon for 0.99!), and to celebrate we’re serializing a new novella featuring the characters from the books!

When we last saw Jack and Shawn, they joined another couple on a “Dinosaur Safari” tour, their guide Troy leading them downriver. After finding themselves on a strange beach, the group is attacked by a large dinosaur…Continue Reading

Review: Witch 13 by Patrick Delaney

cover of Witch 13Witch 13 by Patrick Delaney
Oblivion Publishing (June 7, 2022)
358 pages; $28.99; $17.99 paperback; $3.99
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Award-winning author Patrick Delaney grew up in varying cities in the greater Los Angeles County, where he attended Canyon High School. Throughout his childhood he pursued various forms of art, from writing short stories to drawing and modeling. Throughout his undergraduate career he gradually polished his debut novel Dante’s Town of Terror, which would go on to win the gold medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards(IPPY) in the horror category for 2018. His most recent novel is Witch 13.Continue Reading

FREE FICTION: The Canyon of Terrible Lizards” (Part 5) by Norman Prentiss

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photo from the 1925 film The Lost World
Photo from The Lost World (1925)

Haunted Attractions with your Other Father by Norman Prentiss is the sequel to his Odd Adventures with your Other Fatherand continues the horror/fantasy road trip adventures of Jack and Shawn as they fight monsters and homophobia in the ’80s. Cemetery Dance is proud to publish this new novel (with an e-book version now on sale at Amazon for 0.99!), and to celebrate we’re serializing a new novella featuring the characters from the books!

When we last saw Jack and Shawn, they joined another couple on a “Dinosaur Safari” tour, their guide Troy leading them downriver. After a (real? fake?) dinosaur sailed beneath their raft, nearly capsizing it, a massive whirlpool threatened to pull them underwater. They escaped, only to find themselves on a strange beach…Continue Reading

Review: Generation X-Ed edited by Rebecca Rowland

cover of Generation Ex-edGeneration X-Ed edited by Rebecca Rowland
Dark Ink (January 2022)
350 pages; hardcover $27.71; paperback $19.99; e-book $9.99
Reviewed by Dave Simms

What’s the coolest generation in the history of mankind? Those born from 1965 to 1980 know this by heart and feel for those peons who look up to us. The best horror movies? Same — what’s better than what we grew up with? A bit, but not much. As for the horror writers, the novel was king and those fortunate enough to be conceived during this amazing time have a dark streak in their DNA that casts a long shadow.

Continue Reading

FREE FICTION: “The Canyon of Terrible Lizards” (Part 4) by Norman Prentiss

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cover of Haunted Attractions with your Other FatherHaunted Attractions with your Other Father by Norman Prentiss is the sequel to his Odd Adventures with your Other Fatherand continues the horror/fantasy road trip adventures of Jack and Shawn as they fight monsters and homophobia in the ’80s. Cemetery Dance is proud to publish this new novel (with an e-book version now on sale at Amazon for 0.99!), and to celebrate we’re serializing a new novella featuring the characters from the books!

When we last saw Jack and Shawnthey joined another couple on a “Dinosaur Safari” tour, their guide Troy leading them downriver. Unfortunately, Jack is afraid of water, and he’d projected a vision of a vast, malicious ocean into his partner’s mind…Continue Reading

The Cemetery Dance Interview: Feeding the Ending with Aaron Dries

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Aaron Dries
Aaron Dries

Aaron Dries is an Australian powerhouse of an author and filmmaker. His debut novel, House of Sighs, was first published with the title Disunity for Leisure Books/Rue Morgue/Chizine Publications’ FRESH BLOOD Contest and had been influenced by a local murder that took place in Aaron’s teen years.

Aaron has been compared to the late great Jack Ketchum and, considering the intricate beauty laced throughout the grotesque underbelly of the human condition explored in both men’s work, this is not an unfair comparison.

Other titles from Aaron Dries include The Fallen Boys, No Place For Sinners and Where the Dead Go To Die (with Mark Allan Gunnels) among others.

In this conversation, we discuss the correlation of Aaron’s writing and his background as a youth addictions counselor, his newest coming-of-age novella, Dirty Heads, his upcoming collection of short stories, Cut To Care, and a whole lot more to convince you that Aaron Dries is here to influence your nightmares long into the night. Sit back and enjoy as we peel back the layers of humanity at it’s most horrific and redeeming levels.Continue Reading

Review: The Fervor by Alma Katsu

cover of The FervorThe Fervor by Alma Katsu
G.P. Putnam’s Sons (April 2022)
319 pages; $27.00 hardcover
Reviewed by Dave Simms

Sometimes a book comes along that is so special, it moves rather than frightens the reader, and gives a history lesson that likely won’t be found in anything we experienced in school.

When that same book also is relevant to society today, especially in the past few years within this country, it makes for an event that transcends genre.

The Fervor is that book.Continue Reading

FREE FICTION: “The Canyon of Terrible Lizards” (Part 3) by Norman Prentiss

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Dinosaur Farm signHaunted Attractions with your Other Father by Norman Prentiss is the sequel to his Odd Adventures with your Other Fatherand continues the horror/fantasy road trip adventures of Jack and Shawn as they fight monsters and homophobia in the ’80s. Cemetery Dance is proud to publish this new novel (with an e-book version now on sale at Amazon for 0.99!), and to celebrate we’re serializing a new novella featuring the characters from the books!

When we last saw Jack and Shawn, they were visiting a roadside attraction that promised lizards (and dinosaurs!). By projecting a distracting illusion into his partner’s mind, Jack was able to help Shawn win a bet with the proprietor, securing free tickets to the “dinosaur safari” tour.Continue Reading

Review: Helpmeet by Naben Ruthnum

cover of HelpmeetHelpmeet by Naben Ruthnum
Undertow Publications (May 24, 2022)
94 pages; $11.99 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Naben Ruthnum is the author of A Hero of Our Time, and Curry: Eating, Reading, and Race. He lives in Toronto and also writes thrillers as Nathan Ripley. His newest horror novella is Helpmeet.

“Helpmeet” is an outdated term for a spouse. Updated to “help mate,” it’s defined as “a helpful companion or partner, especially one’s husband or wife.” In this novella, Dr. Edward Wilk is dying of a disease that’s rotting him from the inside out. His wife, Louise, is there to support and help him until his dying breath, but she realizes that his ailment is not actually a disease, but merely a transformative phase leading to something far darker or insidious than readers could possibly imagine. Continue Reading

FREE FICTION: “The Canyon of Terrible Lizards” (Part 2) by Norman Prentiss

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Haunted Attractions with your Other Father by Norman Prentiss is the sequel to his Odd Adventures with your Other Fatherand continues the horror/fantasy road trip adventures of Jack and Shawn as they fight monsters and homophobia in the ’80s. Cemetery Dance is proud to publish this new novel (with an e-book version now on sale at Amazon for 0.99!), and to celebrate we’re serializing a new novella featuring the characters from the books!

When we last saw Jack and Shawn, they were visiting a roadside attraction that promised lizards (and dinosaurs!). The proprietor directed them to a back curtain, and proposed an unusual wager. Continue Reading