Dead Trees: Lizard Wine by Elizabeth Engstrom

Author Elizabeth Engstrom
Author Elizabeth Engstrom

I’ve read a lot of books. Some have been modest little stories; entertaining, but slight. And that’s fine. Others are written by craftspeople. Meticulous prose with riveting plots. Then there are writers who elevate fiction into works of art. Elizabeth Engstrom falls into the latter category.Continue Reading

CD eBook Spotlight: 12 Tales Lie || 1 Tells True by Maria Alexander

This latest installment of “Spotlight” is devoted to Cemetery Dance’s eBook collection of thirteen stories by Maria Alexander: 12 Tales Lie || 1 Tells True. Check out the mini-interview below, then read about the book at CD’s website.Continue Reading

My First Fright featuring Scott Thomas

The works of Ray Bradbury have inspired countless horror and dark fantasy writers over the years, myself included. Bradbury’s vivid imagery and dreamlike, poetic prose is something to behold. But how do his works translate to the screen? Is it possible to capture the thrills and magic of Bradbury’s work in television or film? I absolutely adore his 1962 novel Something Wicked This Way Comes (it’s one of my all-time favorite books), in which a dark carnival descends upon Green Town, Illinois, but I’ve yet to see the 1983 film adaptation (to be honest, I’ve only seen a handful of episodes of the ’80s anthology series The Ray Bradbury Theater). After my conversation with horror author Scott Thomas, I think I need to add the movie to my queue. The film had a deep impact on Thomas as a child, one that informed his sensibilities and led him to create dark, twisted tales of his own. Continue Reading

Revelations: Robert Aickman’s “Strange Stories

Banner for Revelations, the column written by Kevin Lucia for Cemetery Dance

Author Robert Aickman
Robert Aickman

I remember my first Robert Aickman story vividly. It was in February. Early in the morning. As the snow fell outside on an already white winter morning, I sat very still in my favorite chair, reading “The School Friend,” and wondering…just what was I reading? A story about a long-lost friend returning after her father’s death, to comfort her old school friend, who had fallen into a lonely life? Or was this friend something…more? Continue Reading

Video Visions: Drilling Down into The Slumber Party Massacre

With the coming of my latest Flame Tree Press book, Slash, I’ve decided to spend the rest of the year exploring the slasher genre that was the backdrop of my youth. Nothing like transitioning from “coming-of-age” to “psychos murdering people in creative and sometimes amusing ways.” Continue Reading

Horror Drive-In: Ex-Library Books from Hell

Ex-Library books. They are the bane of collectors. You can hear howls of rage from sea to sea when secondary market sellers pawn them off as  “Very Good” condition. Ex-Library books are the red-headed stepchildren of the publishing world. I think they deserve a lot more respect.

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Brian Keene’s History of Horror Fiction, Chapter Seven: The First Horror Novel

Welcome back. We are still traveling through time, you and I. And though it seems like it has been a year since our last column, we can undo that. We can pretend that I wasn’t almost burned to death in a terrible mishap and that no time has passed at all.

For indeed, it hasn’t. Continue Reading

CD eBook Spotlight: Curtain Call by Mark Allan Gunnells

In previous columns we’ve shared fun facts about authors or their books, or featured a mini-interview. This time we’re trying something a little different related to Mark Allan Gunnells’ collection of film- and theater-themed horror stories, Curtain Call and Other Dark Entertainments: we’re spotlighting the author’s recent TEDx talk on “How Horror Movies Taught Me Empathy.” Check out the video below (and the mini-interview that follows!), and then visit the CD website to learn more about the bookContinue Reading

CD eBook Spotlight: That Which Grows Wild by Eric J. Guignard

Coiver for That Which Grows WildWe’re devoting this latest eBook column to Eric J. Guignard’s story collection, That Which Grows Wild.

In May of this year, the book won a Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection. Instead of an interview, this time we asked the author to provide a story that’s not in the book, as a kind of bonus/addendum, but also to give a sample of the kind of eclectic fiction you’ll find in the full collection. Without further ado, please enjoy the melancholy, romantic apocalypse of “Carmine Lips and a Fade into Oblivion.”Continue Reading

My First Fright featuring Josh Malerman

The Twilight Zone is one of the most respected and beloved television series of all time. Horror writers regularly cite it as an influence on their writing, like Christopher Golden did for this very column. But what about the 1983 film adaptation? Twilight Zone: The Movie is an anthology, featuring (mostly) remakes of famous episodes by famous directors like Steven Spielberg and John Landis. It wasn’t well-received upon release, and it gained notoriety for a helicopter accident that claimed three lives, but it’s achieved somewhat of a cult status over the years. For some, like author Josh Malerman, it was their first real exposure to horror, an eclectic blend of spooky, fantastical storytelling. Continue Reading

Stephen King: News from the Dead Zone #213

Stephen King News From the Dead Zone

Sometimes it’s hard to stay on top of everything that’s going on in the Stephen King Universe. There are so many projects underway or about to get underway or that could possibly some day get underway that it boggles the mind. This is a new Golden Age for King, especially when it comes to the various adaptations of his work to screens large and small, silver and otherwise. I’m here to help you keep track!
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My First Fright featuring Gemma Amor

Gemma Amor

What was your gateway to Stephen King? The Shining? It? Pet Sematary? These are a few of the more common examples, but being that King has written approximately fifty thousand books, it’s not that unlikely to get into the author through some of his less-famous (though, really still quite-famous) works. 

For author Gemma Amor, it wasn’t The Losers’ Club’s adventures that sparked her love for King, nor was it Jack Torrance’s escapades at the Overlook Hotel. It was a gnarly, rabid St. Bernard named Cujo. In fact, the 1981 book had such an impact on Amor that it inspired her to pursue character-driven horror and short stories. Continue Reading

Revelations: Reverend Peter Laws

Banner for Revelations, the column written by Kevin Lucia for Cemetery Dance

Portrait of Reverend Peter Laws
Reverend Peter Laws

When I proposed “Revelations” to the fine folks at Cemetery Dance, my intent was to examine writers I’d encountered during a specific period in my career. Writers’ whose work had impacted me on a profound level, changed the way I thought about horror, and changed the way I wrote. Never once did I imagine I’d stumbled onto something profound or unheard of. Continue Reading

Dead Trees: The Armageddon Rag by George R.R. Martin

Many look back to the Splatterpunk days of Skipp, Spector, and Schow for the birth of heavy metal horror. And, certainly, The Scream and The Kill Riff were extraordinary examples of groundbreaking, rock and roll horror of the time. But they were not the first.

My social media feeds are filled with talk about Game of Thrones. The beloved show has finally ended, and the last episode was hotly controversial. George R.R. Martin is the most popular fantasy writer since J.R.R. Tolkien, but once upon a time Martin was poised to be a horror writer.Continue Reading

Revelations: Robert McCammon

Banner for Revelations, the column written by Kevin Lucia for Cemetery Dance

Author Robert McCammon

(Before we begin, a moment of shameless self-promotion: For a limited time, the ebook of my novella quartet, Through A Mirror, Darkly, is free on Amazon. That’s a price you can’t beat! Grab it while you can.)

I have friend and colleague Bob Ford to thank for introducing me to Robert McCammon’s work. I’m not sure exactly when I stumbled across his blog entry about Boy’s Life, but it must’ve been late summer or early fall 2010, because I read Boy’s Life for the first time not long after. And, I can say—without an ounce of hyperbole—that novel impacted me more than any novel I’ve ever read. It changed me, fundamentally, as a writer. I made me realize the limitless possibilities of speculative fiction. Continue Reading