I grew up with ghost stories, passed down from my mother while sitting around a fire or simply hanging out and chatting after watching the X-files or Tales from the Darkside. I am sure that’s why I feel such a comfy, cozy connection to them. Admittedly, I warmed up quite a bit when I saw this anthology arrive in the mail.
Right off the bat, Sarah Hans kicks the door off the hinges with “The Cold Earth,” making it clear that this won’t be a simple collection of traditional drafty-old-mansion tales. We are placed square in the POV of our dear departed, a poor girl murdered by her ne’er do well husband, but it doesn’t devolve into the simplistic revenge story it so easily could have. Instead, we are shown a victim working to stop the cycle of violence and predation of the past, instead of simply exacting revenge for it.Continue Reading
I’ve found myself reading more and more anthologies and collections these days. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy story-telling in the long form, but there’s something about anthologies that allow you to get to know a lot of new authors quickly, and then there are the collections for a single author which permit a more in-depth look into what makes a particular author tick.
Prior to reading Flowers In a Dumpster, I had not read anything by Mark Allan Gunnells. Now that I’ve gotten to know his work, I’m pretty sure I’ll be returning for more.Continue Reading
Prince of Nightmares begins with a Traditional German charm against nightmares…
I lay me here to sleep; No night-mare shall plague me, Until they swim all the waters That flow upon the earth, And count all the stars That appear in the firmament. Thus help me God Father, Son, and Holy host. Amen.
Alyse Wax first encountered Friday the 13th: The Series at the age of nine. It was an episode called “Stick it in Your Ear,” a tale about a haunted hearing aid from the show’s third and final season, and Wax was hooked. Her interest blossomed into an obsession that led to an Internet fan club, a fanzine, and, finally, this book.
Curious Goods: Behind the Scenes of Friday the 13th: The Series is Wax’s massive guide to Paramount’s short-lived attempt to cash in on the popularity of the Friday the 13th film series. Muuch more than just an episode guide, this book is a comprehensive account of the difficulties faced when trying to produce good entertainment under difficult circumstances.Continue Reading
I Will Rot Without You is not a book I would have sought out on my own. I’ve never read anything by the author, other than some of the reviews he’s written on Goodreads. I’ve never read anything from the small press responsible for its publication, although I have read a number of short stories from John Skipp, the owner of Fungasm Press.
I Will Rot Without You was sent to Cemetery Dance for review and when I saw it on the list of books offered this month, I recognized the name from Goodreads and thought this might be interesting. I love it when I’m right.Continue Reading
Dark City is a collection of three novellas with varying takes on the apocalypse and the times following such a catastrophic event. The book features one longer piece from Brian Hodge and a couple of smaller novellas by Gerard Houarner.Continue Reading
I’ve been a fan of Chesya Burke’s short stories for years. “The Unremembered” from the Dark Faith anthology floored me, and her collection Let’s Play White is pure fire. Given that, I was extremely excited when she decided to write a novel, but The Strange Crimes of Little Africa had some fairly big boots to step into.
Ostensibly, Strange Crimes is a mystery. Anthropology student Jaz Idawell’s cousin is arrested for the murder of her uncle several years before, but she knows he didn’t do it. With the help of the one and only Zora Neal Hurston, she is determined to find the truth, no matter what it costs her. Of course, like all of the best mysteries, the case isn’t really the point. Jaz’s search becomes a search for her own identity and her own history.Continue Reading
Writer Charles Lambert’s name may not be immediately recognizable by horror aficionados, but in early 2016 the genre will get his first sampling, and it’s a name you won’t soon forget.
Lambert’s previous releases have included a memoir, an award-winning short story collection and psychological thriller novels. In the British author’s latest, The Children’s Home, Lambert offers us a delightful work of parts dark fairy tale and literary horror. Continue Reading
We’ve all been there: standing in the aisle of a store, trying to hurry up and get the stuff on your list so you can get done and get out. There’s a hundred other places you’d rather be, and you’re already annoyed because it was hard to find a parking place and you can barely get down the aisle because there’s so many people there, many of whom apparently came for the sole purpose of standing in your way and chit-chatting with the neighbor or friend they happened to run into.
‘Tis the season…for horror? You betcha. Why should Halloween have all the fun? Editor Chris Morey and the team at Dark Regions Press put together an Indiegogo campaign earlier this year and the result is Christmas Horror Volume 1, a wonderfully enjoyable collection of horror stories for this horror fan’s second favorite holiday, right behind Halloween.Continue Reading
First let me say I am ashamed I have never read anything from John Everson before. Why didn’t someone tell me about this guy? Wow. Sacrificing Virgins is Everson’s fourth collection and contains twenty-five of the darkest, most sexually perverse stories I’ve ever read, and I mean that as a complement. Continue Reading
As sequels go, Jaws 2 had one of the hardest acts to follow in cinema history: Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, which stands today as one of the most revered movies of all time, a near-perfect blend of casting, acting and visual storytelling that wears its 40-years-and-counting quite well.
Likewise, Louis A. Pisano and Michael A. Smith’s book, Jaws 2: The Making of the Hollywood Sequel, has a big mountain to climb. Spielberg’s classic has spawned a couple of excellent making-of books: The Jaws Log, a bird’s-eye-view recounting of the film’s production from Jaws screenwriter Carl Gottlieb; and Jaws: Memories from Martha’s Vineyard, Jim Beller and Matt Taylor’s lushly illustrated, exhaustively researched account of the filming as told by the residents of the small New England island Spielberg and company took over.Continue Reading
From the intro to The Madness of Cthulhu Volume Two – “If there is a dominant theme in this volume and its predecessor, it is that of alien incursion, the notion that ‘we are not alone in the universe.'” For me, it’s all about the stories and in this anthology the stories are, for the most part, excellent.Continue Reading
The Sandman: Overture by Neil Gaiman (writer), J.H. Williams III (illustrator), Dave Stewart (colors), Todd Klein (lettering), and Dave McKean (original series covers) DC Comics/Vertigo (November 2015) 224 pages; $14.99 hardcover/$14.24 e-book Reviewed by Blu Gilliand
When a series reaches the level of fan adoration and critical acclaim that Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman has, there’s always going to be a clamoring for more. Yes, it has been nearly 20 years since the 75th and final issue of the comic series was published by DC, but the work has aged magnificently, standing even now as a testament to what the medium is capable of, and as a standard which is rarely equaled.
Gaiman has demonstrated on more than one occasion that he’s not opposed to revisiting his creation if he’s got a good story to tell. He wrote The Sandman: The Dream Hunters, and a handful of stories for the Endless Nights anthology, and now he’s come back again with a prequel to the original series. The Sandman: Overture was a six issue limited series that began in 2013, and is now collected in its entirety in a beautiful hardcover edition.Continue Reading