FANGORIA Has Risen from the Grave

For a while there, it looked like we’d lost her.

After a rocky period of unfulfilled subscriptions and digital-only issues, Fangoria — a horror institution as venerable as Rick Baker, Jason Voorhees or Stephen King — appeared to be gone for good. Former editor-in-chief Ken Hanley threw the last shovelful of dirt on the coffin in early 2017 when he Tweeted, “For those wondering: there will likely never be another issue of Fangoria, especially in print, unless there’s new ownership.”

But we should have known, right?

We know what happens in horror movies. A beat after the monster is declared dead and the heroes turn their backs on it…there’s a sign of life.

Sooner or later, the monster always comes back.Continue Reading

Review: Silverwood: The Door

Review by Blu Gilliand

There’s collaboration, and then there’s art by committee.

Art by committee rarely works. The committee might have formed in order to pursue a common goal, but it’s typically made up of people with different agendas and different ideas on how to reach that goal. These individuals are often more interested in how this committee is going to elevate them to the next, more important committee than whether or not this committee achieves its goal.

Collaboration also involves individuals working together in pursuit of a common goal, but the difference lies in the approach. Collaborators blend their ideas and visions and voices in service of that goal. The idea isn’t to stand out, but to choose the right ingredients to achieve the best possible end result.

Silverwood: The Door is a collaboration…and a successful one, at that.Continue Reading

Review: Driving to Geronimo’s Grave and Other Stories by Joe R. Lansdale

Driving to Geronimo’s Grave and Other Stories by Joe R. Lansdale
Subterranean Press (October 2018)
272 pages; $26.70 hardcover
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing several Joe R. Lansdale novels, collections and stories in my time. It’s almost to the point where I’ve run out of superlatives to share; where the limitations of my vocabulary and ability make me want to just say, “Here’s a new Lansdale book. It’s good, as usual. Go throw money at it.”

But Lansdale deserves better, and you do, too. So, please follow along as I attempt to find new and interesting ways to heap praise upon Lansdale and his new collection, Driving to Geronimo’s Grave and Other Stories.Continue Reading

Silverwood: The Door – An Interview with Brian Keene

Silverwood: The Door is the follow-up to Silverwood, an original video series from Tony Valenzuela’s Black Box TV (episodes are available on YouTube). Brian Keene acts as showrunner for a writers room featuring Richard ChizmarStephen Kozeniewski, and the Sisters of Slaughter – Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason. The result is a 10-episode series, released in weekly installments in both prose and audiobook formats beginning in October.  The team promises a mix of horror styles encompassing slashers, splatterpunk, psychological, Lovecraftian, and more.

Brian Keene writes novels, comic books, short fiction, and occasional journalism for money. He is the author of over forty books, mostly in the horror, crime, and dark fantasy genres. Keene also hosts the popular podcast The Horror Show with Brian Keene, which airs weekly on iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, and elsewhere via the Project Entertainment Network. His Cemetery Dance column “Brian Keene’s History of Horror Fiction,” in which he follows the art form of telling spooky stories from its cave-bound roots up through the present day, will be returning from hiatus soon. In the meantime, Keene took the time to answer a few questions about his work on Silverwood: The Door.Continue Reading

Review: Our Lady of the Inferno by Preston Fassel

Our Lady of the Inferno by Preston Fassel
Fangoria Presents (September 2018)
376 pages; $13.50 paperback; $9.99 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

Two women.

One is a businesswoman navigating the male-dominated world of the Staten Island landfill system. She is respected, if not entirely understood, by her peers.

The other is a businesswoman, too; she’s also a den mother of sorts, fighting hard for a group of girls who see her as protector and savior. Under her guidance, they navigate the flesh-for-cash trade of New York’s 42nd Street. She is both respected and feared by her peers.

One of these women is deeply, dangerously insane.Continue Reading

Silverwood: The Door – An Interview with Richard Chizmar

Silverwood: The Door is the follow-up to Silverwood, an original video series from Tony Valenzuela’s Black Box TV (episodes are available on YouTube). Brian Keene acts as showrunner for a writers room featuring Richard ChizmarStephen Kozeniewski, and the Sisters of Slaughter – Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason. The result is a 10-episode series, released in weekly installments in both prose and audiobook formats beginning in October.  The team promises a mix of horror styles encompassing slashers, splatterpunk, psychological, Lovecraftian, and more.

Richard Chizmar is a New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Amazon, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author. He is the co-author (with Stephen King) of the bestselling novella, Gwendy’s Button Box. He has edited more than 35 anthologies and his fiction has appeared in dozens of publications, including multiple editions of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and The Year’s 25 Finest Crime and Mystery Stories. He’s also an accomplished screenwriter and the founder/guiding force behind Cemetery Dance. Recently, he took on another project: answering these questions about his work on Silverwood: The Door.

Continue Reading

Silverwood: The Door – An Interview with The Sisters of Slaughter

Silverwood: The Door is the follow-up to Silverwood, an original video series from Tony Valenzuela’s Black Box TV (episodes are available on YouTube). Brian Keene acts as showrunner for a writers room featuring Cemetery Dance founder and publisher Richard ChizmarStephen Kozeniewski, and the Sisters of Slaughter – Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason. The result is a 10-episode series, released in weekly installments in both prose and audiobook formats beginning in October.  The team promises a mix of horror styles encompassing slashers, splatterpunk, psychological, Lovecraftian, and more.Continue Reading

Review: We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix

We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix
Quirk Books (September 18, 2018)
336 pages; $16.50 hardcover; $14.99 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

The idea that rock ‘n roll is the Devil’s music is as old as a Robert Johnson blues riff. It’s an idea that’s been mined by countless musicians and writers over the years, to varying degrees of success. Leave it to Grady Hendrix, acclaimed author/historian of ’70s and ’80s horror fiction, to breathe new life into one of horror’s most well-worn tropes.Continue Reading

Silverwood: The Door – An Interview with Stephen Kozeniewski

Silverwood: The Door is the follow-up to Silverwood, an original video series from Tony Valenzuela’s Black Box TV (episodes are available on YouTube). Brian Keene acts as showrunner for a writers room featuring Cemetery Dance founder and publisher Richard ChizmarStephen Kozeniewski, and the Sisters of Slaughter – Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason. The result is a 10-episode series, released in weekly installments in both prose and audiobook formats beginning in October.  The team promises a mix of horror styles encompassing slashers, splatterpunk, psychological, Lovecraftian, and more.Continue Reading

Review: Severance by Ling Ma

Severance by Ling Ma
Farrar, Straus & Giroux (August 2018)
304 pages; $19.60 hardcover; $13.99 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

I’ve read a post-apocalyptic novel or two in my day, and a common thread that runs through them is that when the bomb drops or the plague hits or whatever apocalyptic thing it is that happens happens, people stop going to work. The apocalypse, it seems, is an unimpeachable reason to play hooky.

Not so in Ling Ma’s entertaining, thought-provoking debut novel, Severance. In Severance, when the apocalyptic thing happens — in this case it’s a disease called Shen Fever — the unaffected minority keep going to work. For some, it’s a coping mechanism. For others, it’s the promise of a hefty bonus, or the idea that their loyalty to the company will get them ahead when this all blows over.

For Candace Chen, it’s a case of not knowing what else to do.Continue Reading

If Books Could Kill: Jason Voorhees in Print

If Books Could Kill: Jason Voorhees in Print

Somewhere along the way, Friday the 13th got a new mascot. Instead of an unlucky black cat — back arched, fur standing on end, claws bared, hissing — the official symbol of this unofficial holiday became a mute serial killer in a hockey mask.

His name is Jason, and today is HIS day. Today, you won’t be able to look at social media without seeing his masked mug on every other post. There will be lists about his best kills, and debates about who is the best “Final Girl” (it’s Ginny, from Part 2), and arguments over which is his best movie (it’s The Final Chapter).

Here at Cemetery Dance, we love movies, but we live for books. So on this, the last Friday the 13th of 2018, I thought it would be appropriate to take a look at the Jason Voorhees story as it has played out in print. As you’ll see, the authors who have tackled the character of Jason Voorhees over the years have taken him on a ride as wild — and wildly uneven — as the film franchise itself.Continue Reading

Review: Stirring the Sheets by Chad Lutzke

Stirring the Sheets by Chad Lutzke
Bloodshot Books (April 2018)
130 pages; $8.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

Read enough horror, and you start feeling like you can predict where a book or story is going to go within a few pages or chapters. I’m not saying that all horror is predictable or formulaic; just that enough of it is that some reviewers (like me) might find themselves getting a little cocky after a few successful predictions. Then someone like Chad Lutzke comes along with a novella like Stirring the Sheets, and gleefully knocks you off your high horse.Continue Reading

Serial Box, Brian Keene introduce new fiction series SILVERWOOD: THE DOOR

If you follow Brian Keene on social media, you probably noticed he’s been teasing us all a lot lately. I don’t mean teasing in a mean, name-calling, bullying kind of way; I mean he’s been dangling a mysterious new project in front of us like a carrot on a stick. Finally, during a May 11 telethon that featured a rap battle and Keene wearing tights, among other things (oh, and that raised over $21,000 for the Scares That Care charity!), the beans were spilled: Keene has joined forces with Serial Box and a room full of talented horror writers to produce a new prose fiction series called Silverwood: The Door.Continue Reading

Review: Blood Standard by Laird Barron

Blood Standard by Laird Barron
G.P. Putnam’s Sons (May 29, 2018)
336 pages; $26.00 hardcover; $12.99 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.

While The Godfather Part III is not the most revered entry in that series, that Al Pacino line is one of the franchise’s most memorable quotes. The idea behind it—the notion that people play certain inescapable roles in their life, no matter how hard they may try to change—is the basis for quite a bit of crime fiction, and it forms the backbone of Laird Barron’s new novel, Blood Standard.Continue Reading

Review: Unbury Carol by Josh Malerman

Unbury Carol by Josh Malerman
Del Rey (April 10, 2018)
384 pages; $24.54 hardcover; $12.99 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

I had certain expectations for Unbury Carol. That was foolish. I should know by now, after reading much of Josh Malerman’s output (except, somehow, the one that got everybody talking about him to begin with: Bird Box), that he is not going to deliver the expected. So, when I allowed the title and the synopsis and the cover to lead me to expectations of a western/horror hybrid that would be a dark cross between a fairy tale and a Hammer movie…well, I should have known that wasn’t what I was going to get.Continue Reading