Exhumed: “Little Precious” and “Anka”

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Don’t you hate it when online columnists start a post by explaining why they haven’t posted in a while?

Me too. Me too.

Anyway, here’s a bullet list explaining why I haven’t posted in a while:
2019:

  • Moved
  • New job
  • Had a baby

2020:

  • COVID
  • Moved again
  • Another new job
  • Baby is a toddler now, & as much as I love her, she’s exhausting

So, since it’s obviously been a while…
*checks watch
*frowns
*checks calendar
Eh-heh.
*smiles
…let me remind everyone what this column is all about.Continue Reading

Review: The Crossroads at Midnight by Abby Howard

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cover of The Crossroads at Midnight by Abby Howard

The Crossroads at Midnight by Abby Howard
Iron Circus Comics (February 2021)
320 pages; $18 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Abby Howard is a cartoonist whose interests include dinosaurs, horror, and Spoons, her beautiful cat. She’s been drawing comics since she first discovered there was such thing, eventually putting them online and gaining a following of over 30,000 fans. Her newest collection is The Crossroads at Midnight, a teen horror collection of five short comic stories.Continue Reading

Revelations: Kristi DeMeester

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photo of author Krist DeMeester
Kristi DeMeester

As many of you know, I began this column (almost five years ago, which is a little mind-blowing) with the intention of chronicling the writers who impacted me during a very transitional period in my writing career. Writers who exposed me to new things, new kinds of horrors and writing styles. However, a year or so ago I realized this column should evolve and start featuring newly discovered contemporary writers right alongside the masters of years gone by. The first of these newly discovered writers was Peter Laws. Today’s featured writer is Kristi DeMeester, author of the amazing, beautifully bleak novel Beneath, and the powerful short story collection Everything That’s Underneath.Continue Reading

Video Visions: We’re in the Band – Charles Band, King of the Video Store

Black background with spooky lettering that says Hunter Shea Video Visions and the Cemetery Dance logo

We Irish like to think of March as our month. Sure, St. Paddy’ Day is just on the 17th, but I’ve always felt March, with Spring slipping in, is a great time to be green and tipsy. More so this year, considering the miles of shit we’ve had to trudge through just to get here.

I bet you think I’m going to talk about Leprechaun movies? Too easy. However, Leprechauns are diminutive creatures, kind of like talking dolls or toys, which brings me to…Continue Reading

Horror Drive-In: To Vomit or Not to Vomit

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I’m a member of the Books of Horror Facebook page. They are mostly a good crowd of modern readers, but I have been feeling alienated. Out of touch with the new trends. There is so much talk of grossout fiction. People crave disgusting, perverted, vomit-inducing horror stories.

I’m not pointing fingers. How can I?Continue Reading

Revelations: Shadows and Borderlands

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I’m only an armchair observer and by no means an expert, but it seems in the last six years the horror genre has witnessed a blossoming short story anthology market. And no offense to anyone, but I mean good markets offering quality stories and top-notch production values, not lots of people discovering the novelty of quick and easy self-publishing in order to issue sub-standard collections through Lulu or Createspace, which seemed very common about eight or nine years ago. (Again, I apologize for any snark; that’s just my opinion, only).Continue Reading

King of Crime Part III — Featured Review of LATER and what comes…later

Stephen King News From the Dead Zone

King of Crime: Part III — Featured Review of LATER and what comes…later

Today is publication day for Hard Case Crime’s third Stephen King novel, Later. Although King is generally thought of as a horror writer, he has written numerous crime short stories, novellas and novels, giving them a unique twist. In Part I of this three-part series, I looked at King’s earliest involvement with crime fiction. In Part II, I explored his more recent writings in the genre, including his previous two books with Hard Case Crime and the Mercedes series. Today, I review Later and look ahead to King’s next crime novel, Billy Summers.

Continue Reading

King of Crime Part II — Hard Case Crime and Beyond

Stephen King News From the Dead Zone

King of Crime: Part II — Hard Case Crime and Beyond

Next week — on March 2nd, 2021 to be specific — Hard Case Crime will publish their third Stephen King novel, Later. Although King is generally thought of as a horror writer, he has written numerous crime short stories, novellas and novels, giving them a unique twist. In Part 1 of this three-part series, I looked at King’s earliest involvement with crime fiction. This week, I’ll explore his more recent writings in the genre, including his previous two books with Hard Case Crime and the Mercedes series. Then, on publication day, I’ll review Later and look ahead to King’s next crime novel, Billy Summers.

Continue Reading

King of Crime Part I — The Earlier Years

Stephen King News From the Dead Zone

King of Crime: Part I — The Earlier Years

In a couple of weeks—on March 2nd, 2021, to be specific—Hard Case Crime will publish their third Stephen King novel, Later. Although King is generally thought of as a horror writer, he has written numerous crime short stories, novellas and novels, giving them a unique twist. In Part 1 of a three-part series, I look at King’s earliest involvement with crime fiction[1]. Next week, I’ll explore his more recent writings in the genre, including his previous two books with Hard Case Crime and the Mercedes series. Then, on publication day, I’ll review Later and look ahead to King’s next crime novel, Billy Summers.Continue Reading

Review: Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood #1

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cover of Edgar Allan Poe's Snifter of Blood 1Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood #1
Ahoy! Comics (October 2020)
32 pages; $4.99
Reviewed by Danica Davidson

Following their Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Terror line of comics, Ahoy Comics is releasing Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood. These are all anthology comics, so people can start reading them anywhere in the series.

The first issue of Snifter of Blood contains the stories “The Black Dog,” “Atlas Shrugged,” “Werewolf Hangover,” “Finally,” and “Deep Cover.” The first two are comics with sequential art, and the last three are flash fiction with an introductory illustration. While each story has something of its own tone, they all similarly have twist endings and moments of humor in the midst of horror. Edgar Allan Poe, like the Crypt Keeper for Tales from the Crypt, gives some commentary and introductions to stories.Continue Reading

Revelations: The Horror Radio of Quiet, Please!

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I apologize for my absence. This past summer I had major reconstructive surgery on my foot. Unfortunately, it took a lot out of me. However, I’m ready to resume my exploration of the works of horror which have played a role in my development as a writer, so I hope you’ll rejoin me on this journey.

For those new to this column, it began several years ago as I began reflecting on an experience which sent me on a quest through the works of horror writers who came before me. Up until then, I’d been a faithful reader of the Holy Trinity: Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Peter Straub. Also, whatever Leisure Fiction was putting out at the time. However, after that fateful evening with F. Paul Wilson, Tom Monteleone, and Stuart David Schiff, I began searching out writers who had previously been only names to me, and nothing more.Continue Reading

Horror Habits: Kealan Patrick Burke

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Author Kealan Patrick Burke
Kealan Patrick Burke

I’ve always been curious about how creators create. As a creator myself, I know it’s not some magical process where you just sit there and the muse descends from the clouds and bestows upon you a complete story, film, painting, etc. It’s hard work, and the process differs for everyone. 

Horror Habits is an interview series that lifts the veil on the writing process for writers of dark fiction. No, your favorite horror writer isn’t sitting in some gloomy castle, penning their masterworks under candlelight (hit me up if that is how you work, though!). They’re sitting at their laptops, plugging away on a word processor, and possibly eating trail mix along the way. From outlining to music choices, this series will give you some insight as to how some of today’s best horror writers get their words to the page. First up: Kealan Patrick BurkeContinue Reading

Dead Air: The Company of the Mad – The Stand Podcast

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logo of The Company of the Mad podcast2020 was a hell of a year to be reading Stephen King’s 1978 novel, The Stand….never mind devoting an entire podcast to it.

Jason Sechrest thought the same thing — in fact, he was reading it when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. He took to Twitter with his thoughts about the book, and with a dream about examining it in detail in a podcast, and before he knew it he’d assembled an amazing lineup of co-hosts: director Mike Flanagan, author Tananarive Due, and journalist/author Anthony Breznican. The result is a six-episode podcast that is entertaining, informative, and incredibly timely. (You can WATCH The Company of the Mad: The Stand Podcast at TheStandPodcast.com, or LISTEN on Apple Podcasts here.)

With the final episode set to go live on January 20, Sechrest took a few moments to talk to Cemetery Dance about the origins of the project, and what he and his mad company learned along the way.Continue Reading

Dead Air: Unboxing Jeff Terry

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photo of Jeff Terry holding a knife
Jeff Terry

I was waiting on my copy of the Gift Edition of The Shining from the Cemetery Dance “Stephen King Doubleday Years Set” to arrive, so I thought I’d search for some unboxing videos so I could see what people thought about it — and to get a closer look at the finished product. One of the first ones I found was by a guy named Jeff Terry.

I hit the play button, and was greeted by some dude in what appeared to be a basement. The wall behind him was of grey brick, and a poster of Pennywise the Dancing Clown leered over the guy’s shoulder. The guy was wearing a black jacket, a set of enormous skull rings, and had a skull-shaped bottle of liquor on the table in front of him. He talked for a minute or two, and then proceeded to open the box containing the book, using one of the biggest damn knives I’ve ever seen.

I was hooked.Continue Reading