Review: No Lesser Angels, No Greater Devils by Laura J. Campbell

cover of No Lesser Angels, No Greater Devils by Laura J. CampbellNo Lesser Angels, No Greater Devils by Laura J. Campbell
Dark Owl Publishing (May 2021)
300 pages; $11.99 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Laura J. Campbell’s newest collection, No Lesser Angels, No Greater Devils, is a weighty but impressive short story collection.Continue Reading

Review: Tears on the Glass Desert by Wesley D. Gray

cover of Tears on the Glass Desert by Wesley GrayTears on the Glass Desert: Speculative Poetry of Holocaust, Fallout, and Decay by Wesley D. Gray
Marrowroot Press (June 2021)
47 pages; $5.99 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Wesley D. Gray is a writer of things mostly strange.  His newest collection of poetry is Tears on the Glass Desert, which is a post-apocalyptic nightmare that will certainly capture the attention of horror poetry readers.Continue Reading

Review: Hallowed Days by Daniel Hale

Hallowed Days by Daniel Hale
JournalStone Publishing (November 2020)
156 pages; $15.95 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Hallowed Days is a dark fantasy- and horror-themed anthology focusing primarily on Christmas and Halloween. What makes Hale’s fiction so potent is the way he builds up to the ominous dread at the end of his stories. Rarely do we see any actual blood and guts, and most of the stories depend on tiny details that are magnified at the end of the tale. Continue Reading

Review: Where the Wolf by Sally Rosen Kindred

cover of Where the Wolf Where the Wolf by Sally Rosen Kindred
Diode Editions (June 15, 2021)
82 pages; $18.00 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Sally Rosen Kindred is a well-known poet and teacher. She has multiple chapbooks and full-length collections published. She has also been the recipient of two Individual Artist Awards in Poetry from the Maryland State Arts Council. Her upcoming collection, Where the Wolf, was the winner of the Diode Editions Book Prize. Continue Reading

Review: Transmutation by Alex DiFrancesco

cover of Transmutation buy Alex DiFrancescoTransmutation by Alex DiFrancesco
Seven Stories Press (June 8, 2021)
140 pages; $16.95 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Alex DiFrancesco is a multi-genre phenom who is taking the literary world by storm. In 2019, they published their essay collection Psychopomps (Civil Coping Mechanisms Press) and their novel All City (Seven Stories Press), which was the first finalist for the Ohioana Book Awards by a transgender author. DiFrancesco is the human companion of a rescue Westie named Roxy Music, Dog of Doom. Their newest book is a collection of short stories titled Transmutation, and it is a necessity for any fan of horror literature.Continue Reading

Review: The Golem & the Nazi by Anna Cates

cover of the golem & the nazi by anna catesThe Golem & the Nazi by Anna Cates
Red Moon Press (2020)
118 pages, $15 Paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Haibun is an interesting form. From 17th-century Japan, the term was first used by haiku poet Basho to describe a hybrid writing style of terse prose accompanied by haiku. In her book The Golem & the Nazi, Anna Cates uses a Western version of this form to weave a very dark and fantastic spell for her readers.Continue Reading

Review: A Collection of Dreamscapes by Christina Sng

cover of A Collection of Dreamscapes by Christina SngA Collection of Dreamscapes by Christina Sng
Raw Dog Screaming Press (April 2020)
169 pages; $14.95 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Christina Sng’s collection A Collection of Nightmares won the Bram Stoker award for best poetry collection in 2017. Her follow-up book, A Collection of Dreamscapes, has all the promise of her previous successes. It’s already been listed as one of Reading Vicariously’s Must-Reads from 2020, Tor Nightlife’s Ten Best Horror Poetry Collections of 2020, and Well Read Beard’s Top Five 2020 Poetry Collections, as well as being short listed for the 2021 Stoker Award. Reading the collection, it is obvious why it is receiving so many accolades. It’s a very strong collection of mythic horror poetry that readers will enjoy.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

Review: You Died: An Anthology of the Afterlife edited by Kel McDonald and Andrea Purcell

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cover of You Died: An Anthology of the Afterlife

You Died: An Anthology of the Afterlife edited by Kel McDonald and Andrea Purcell
Iron Circus Comics (March 31, 2021)
260 pages, $20 Paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

In her introduction to You Died: An Anthology of the Afterlife, Caitlin Dougherty compares the anthology to a medieval memento mori. This is a fitting comparison. This book is both a reminder, to the reader, that they will die, but also about the equanimity of death. Everyone will die, and once they’re dead, there’s nothing in this world that they can do about it. This anthology confronts these facts head on, and in a way, helps the reader confront their own deaths as well as the deaths of those they love.Continue Reading

Review: Cradleland of Parasites by Sara Tantlinger

cover of Cradleland of Parasites by Sara TantlingerCradleland of Parasites by Sara Tantlinger
Strangehouse Books (October 2020)
89 pages; $14.95 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Sara Tantlinger is a phenom when it comes to horror poetry. Author of three poetry collections, including the award-winning The Devil’s Dreamland, Tantlinger is one of the vibrant new voices in horror poetry. Her newest collection, Cradleland of Parasites, is no exception, and this take on the Black Death is a brilliant and chilling book of poetry.Continue Reading

Review: Many Restless Concerns by Gayle Brandeis

cover of Many Restless Concerns by Gayle BrandeisMany Restless Concerns by Gayle Brandeis
Black Lawrence Press (February 14, 2020)
160 pages; $17.95 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Most horror readers are familiar with Elizabeth Batharoy, one of history’s most famous murderers and the source of much vampire lore. Much less is known about her victims, which leads readers and historians to a lot of speculation as to who these young women were and what drew them towards Batharoy’s clutches. In her newest poetry collection, Many Restless Concerns, Gayle Brandeis uses hybrid text techniques to give voice to these victims, channeling the idea of a collective voice, or chorus, as the persona in this really dark and enticing collection.Continue Reading

Review: Last Dance by Hanna Schroy

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cover of Last Dance by Hanna Schroy

Last Dance by Hanna Schroy
Iron Circus Comics (January 2021)
200 pages; $11.99 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Hanna Schroy is a cartoonist and illustrator living in Austin. She has participated in a multitude of self-published anthologies including Girls! Girls! Girls! curated by Alex Perkins and Thicker Than Blood curated by Mengmeng Liu. She is a long-time dance enthusiast and recent amateur gardener. Her newest endeavor is the middle-grade graphic novel Last Dance.Continue Reading

Review: Aftermath of an Industrial Accident by Mike Allen

cover of Aftermath of an Industrial Accident by Mike AllenAftermath of an Industrial Accident by Mike Allen
Mythic Delirium Books (July 2020)
238 pages, $15.95 Hardcover
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Anyone familiar with horror and dark fantasy knows the name Mike Allen. He’s been a Nebula, Shirley Jackson, and World Fantasy Award finalist. He’s won three Rhyslings from the SFPA. He’s edited a number of award winning books and anthologies. It’s no surprise, therefore, that his newest collection, Aftermath of an Industrial Accident, is an incredible read. This collection of horror and dark fantasy poetry and short fiction needs to be on the shelf of any horror reader.Continue Reading

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: Something is Killing the Children Vol. 1 by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera

cover of the graphic novel Something is Killing the Children. Illustration of a child standing alone in the woods.Something is Killing the Children Vol. 1 by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera
BOOM! Studios (May 2020)

128 pages, $13.41 paperback; $12.74 e-book
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Something has been taking the children of Archer’s Peak. At first it was just one girl, and the police assumed it was a typical family kidnapping perpetrated by an uncle. But then, young James and his friends have a sleepover, and when it’s over, James is the only survivor. There are bodies and blood. The whole town is in chaos. Then, a stranger with an uncanny knowledge of things who talks to her stuffed-animal octopus arrives and says she’ll take care of things. Something is Killing the Children is a really strong series from writer James Tynion IV and artist Werther Dell’Edera.Continue Reading