Review: Revelation: The Poppet Cycle Book 1 by Donna J.W. Munro

cover of Revelation: The Poppet Cycle Book 1 by Donna J.W. MunroeRevelation: The Poppet Cycle Book 1 by Donna J.W. Munro
Omnium Gatherum (January 2021}
229 pages; $14.99 Paperback; $3.99 ebook
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

In the decently distant future, most population centers of the United States of North America are domed cities where even the poorer members of society live in relative ease and comfort. Poppets, the reanimated and mechanized bodies of the deceased, have taken over most manual labor. Outside of the domed cities lies the chaos of the wilds. Ellie, the assumed heir of the company that makes and runs the Poppets, is about to learn that life within and without the domes is far uglier and more complicated than she realizes.Continue Reading

Review: We Need to Do Something by Max Booth III

We Need to Do Something by Max Booth III
Perpetual Motion Machine Press (May 2020)
12cover of we need to do something by max booth III2 pages; $12.95 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

Max Booth III is carving a niche out for himself as the king of premises that should not, in any way whatsoever, work. Yet, somehow, he does it. Every frickin’ time. Even with that anthology that every editor on the planet curses him for. I’ll be damned if he doesn’t pull it off again with We Need to Do Something.Continue Reading

Review: Whitechapel Rhapsody by Alessandro Manzetti

cover of Whitechapel RhapsodyWhitechapel Rhapsody by Alessandro Manzetti
Independent Legions (October 2020)
85 pages; $10.90 paperback, $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

Alessandro Manzetti has quickly made a fairly large stamp on the genre. I remember hearing his name some a couple years ago, seeing something from him pop up here and there. Now, dude’s name is moving mountains. Whitechapel Rhapsody is a marvelous example of why.Continue Reading

Review: Devil’s Night: Bite-Sized Horror for Halloween by Pippa Bailey and Myk Pilgrim

cover of Devil's Night Bite-Sized HorrorDevil’s Night: Bite-Sized Horror for Halloween by Pippa Bailey and Myk Pilgrim
Pugnacious Press (May 2020)
111 pages; $9.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

I generally don’t spend time talking about the personalities of writers when reviewing their work. Here, though, personality is the point of the whole thing. Pippa Bailey and Myk Pilgrim have established themselves as playful, boisterous members of the horror community over the years they have been a part of it. They walk that line between the dark and the heart and the weird little dancey places in between very well and it comes across clearly that this is just who they are.Continue Reading

Review: The Masque of the Red Death (Fine Art Edition) by Edgar Allan Poe and Steven Archer

cover of the masque of the red death fine art editionThe Masque of the Red Death (Fine Art Edition) by Edgar Allan Poe and Steven Archer
Raw Dog Screaming Press (January 13, 2021)
72 pages; $26.95 paperback; $9.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

I know what you are thinking: we can all get this story for free. At the very least, we can get it in a collection with plenty of other stories and poems by Edgar Allan Poe. Why would anyone want to pay $27?Continue Reading

Review: Boinking Bizarro edited by Brian Asman and Danger Slater

Boinking Bizarro edited by Brian Asman and Danger Slater
Death’s Head Press (December 2020)
138 pages; $9.99 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

Porn parodies. We know ’em. We love ’em. Except maybe Porn of the Dead. I don’t think anyone was asking for someone to go that far with it. Maybe Joe D’Amato. Look, I got a bit sidetracked. Point is: why the heck didn’t anyone think of doing porn parodies of classic literature before now?

Take Autumn Christian’s “The Thottery, by Shirley Jacksoff.” That title alone should print solid gold bricks that fall like rain from its moistened nethers. Or “The Martian Cumsicles by Ray Fatberries (Charles Austin Muir).” And “A Bird Came Up My Walk and I Put It in my Vagina by Emily Getta Dickinson.” That last one deserves an award.

But it isn’t all just the titles. Stories here range from the pure goofball oddity of Max Booth III’s “Tit, by Stephen Kink” to the satire of a satire that is “American Sly-ho by Breast-Eatin Ellis” from our dear friend Jessica McHugh. Then there is the raw heartache and fury we all have come to expect from Betty Rocksteady encapsulated in “Pinnochio’s Big Dick Energy, by Cucko Cuccoldi.” The less said about Johnwayne Comunale’s “The Receiving Tree, by Shell Silversteen” the less prepared for that particular ball of what-did-I-just-experience you will be.

Point is, Boinking Bizarro is exactly what it says on the tin, with just that smidge more to make for a special surprise. I liked it so much that I bought a physical copy just so the pages could get stuck together.

 

Review: Meaningless Cycles in a Vicious Glass Prison: Songs of Death and Love by Anton Cancre

cover for Anton Cancre's poetry collectionMeaningless Cycles in a Vicious Glass Prison: Songs of Death and Love by Anton Cancre
Dragon’s Roost Press (October 2020)
114 pages, $9.99 Paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

In Meaningless Cycles in a Vicious Glass Prison: Songs of Death and Love, Anton Cancre creates scenes of death and works to capture them in short, poignant poems. Cancre works within various horror tropes but does his best to keep the ideas fresh and visceral for the reader. This is an interesting collection, and while the poetry is inconsistent at times, fans of horror poetry will enjoy perusing it.Continue Reading

Review: Submitted for the Approval of the Midnight Pals by Bitter Karella

cover of Submitted for the Approval of the Midnight PalsSubmitted for the Approval of the Midnight Pals by Bitter Karella
Guttersnipe Publishing (2020)
99 pages; $25 paperback
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

I assume you know about @midnight_pals and The Midnight Society. If you dig horror literature, I don’t know how you could have missed it. You know, THE twitter gathering of great minds from across generations. Where Mary Shelley slaps the soul out of anyone pretending to the throne. That Midnight Society.

If you don’t know it, just look it up. I don’t have the space here and it is worth your time. This is the best literary satire currently going. And it is actually funny.

If you do, then I am sure, like me, you wanted to know why you should buy a book of stuff you can get online for free. But Bitter Karella has some treats in store for you here. Cute drawings that add to the lampooning of your favorite writers? Check. Plus additional faux stories from those authors we all love that really nail the silliness we all look past.

And if you want to find out about new horror talent, this is a surprisingly good place. Amid the gags at King and Barker and Lovecraft, there are pokes at the likes of Mary Sangiovanni (one of the bewb gags had me spitting while I sat on the toilet) and Betty Rocksteady, aka the sneaky snake of Canada that will rock your world.

The only downside is that orders can only be placed through direct contact via twitter at @midnight_pals but it is totally worth it.

Review: A Complex Accident of Life by Jessica McHugh

A Complex Accident of Life: Blackout Poetry Inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein by Jessica McHugh
Apokrupha (June 2020)
104 pages; $18.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

Writing poetry is a tough gig. Trying to put together poems from someone else’s words, even tougher. Putting together personal, meaningful poems from someone else’s words and using their location to make for impactful, visually appealing art seems nigh impossible. So, of course the inimitable Jessica McHugh has done just that.Continue Reading

Review: Escape from the Billings Mall: A Select Your Own Timeline Adventure by Chuck Tingle

cover of Escape from the Billings Mall by Chuck TingleEscape from the Billings Mall: A Select Your Own Timeline Adventure by Chuck Tingle
Independently Published (April 2020)
154 pages; $12.66 paperback; $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

Dr. Chuck Tingle tends to be treated as a joke. That guy who writes those silly Pounded books. However, that is only by those who have not bothered to read his work. No one can pull off weird like he can and still hold the humanity of it. Dr. Tingle knows people, hearts and what drives us.Continue Reading

Review: Devil’s Bane: Tales of a Fourth Grade Warrior by Ken MacGregor

cover of Devil's Bane by Ken MacGregorDevil’s Bane: Tales of a Fourth Grade Warrior by Ken MacGregor
Dragon’s Roost Press (May 2020)
160 pages; $8.99 paperback; $5.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

I know Ken MacGregor mostly for his harder stuff. That Burnt Fur, Sex and Centipedes stuff. I always liked it. He can be super abrasive, rambunctious, gross and fun while still keeping a fair amount of heart in the ordeal. But a middle grade book? I thought he was joking.Continue Reading

Review: The Films of Uwe Boll, Vol. 1: The Video Game Movies by Mat Bradley-Tschirgi

Cover of The FIlms of Uwe Boll Volume OneThe Films of Uwe Boll, Vol. 1: The Video Game Movies by Mat Bradley-Tschirgi
Moon Books (September 2019)
142 pages; $9.99 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

You read that right, folks. A book on the films of someone who has been often called one of the worst directors of our times. And it is only Volume One? They are making more? Someone has to watch 11 Uwe Boll films and then watch more of them?

Yup, and that person is Mat Bradley-Tschirgi. May some Being bless him, because this feels like a job of the damned right here.Continue Reading

Review: In Dreams We Rot by Betty Rocksteady

Cover of In Dreams We Rot by Betty RocksteadyIn Dreams We Rot by Betty Rocksteady
Trepidatio Publishing (October 2019)
200 pages; $16.95 paperback; $5.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

I’ve made no bones about my absolute adoration of Betty Rocksteady’s work. Her novellas have all kicked me squarely in the heart-booty and the couple of shorter works I have read in anthologies were great. So, I can save you a little time and just tell you to buy her first collection of short fiction, In Dreams We Rot.

Okay. Clearly some of you need convincing. That’s fine.Continue Reading

Review: Rose by Rami Ungar

Rose by Rami Ungar
Castrum Press (June 2019)
166 pages; $9.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

I’ll be honest; I’m particularly conflicted on Rami Ungar’s debut novel, Rose. On one hand, I dig the heck out of the story being told here. On the other hand, there are some severe problems with how it is told that rub me very much the wrong way.Continue Reading

Review: The Place of Broken Things by Linda D. Addison and Alessandro Manzetti

The Place of Broken Things by Linda D. Addison and Alessandro Manzetti
Crystal Lake Publishing (July 2019)
88 pages; $11.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

Let’s face it: No matter how little we may want to admit it, we’re all at least a bit broken. Something, somewhere in each of us shattered at some time or another. We’ve all felt displaced, alone, in the face of the feeling. The Place of Broken Things is centered around looking at those broken places both within us and without and about placing them in the world.Continue Reading