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
If you’re a horror writer or even just a Stephen King fan, you’ve probably read his treatise on the writing biz, On Writing, multiple times. And for good reason, because it’s one of the best books on writing there is, imparted in that casual storyteller way only King has mastered. If I were to recommend only three writing books to prospective writers, On Writing would be the first book I’d recommend. A close second would be Zen in the Art of Writing, by the venerable Ray Bradbury.Continue Reading
Todd Keisling’s Devil’s Creek recently made it onto the Final Ballot for the Bram Stoker Award in Superior Achievement in a Novel, and there’s good reason for that. It’s very likely the best thing I read in 2020, and also one of my favorite contemporary horror novels, period. Reviewers have compared it to Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot, and while usually I might roll my eyes slightly at such a comparison, in this case it’s very apt. Continue Reading
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
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.
P. Gardner Goldsmith’s Fishing is a hallucinatory, Kafka-esque, surreal ride which invokes reflections of Charles Beaumont and Rod Serling by way of Ray Garton and even Richard Laymon. Gardner’s terse, tightly-controlled prose thrums with drive and energy, and even though it’s precise and efficient, it occasionally breaks out into a lyricism invoking ghosts of Ray Bradbury himself.Continue Reading
Eden by Tim Lebbon Titan Books (April 2020) 384 pages; $11.99 paperback; $8.99 e-book Reviewed by Kevin Lucia
It’s amazing how quickly nature overcomes what man has built. During quarantine, I’ve spent hours walking paths in the woods I haven’t for years, visiting old camping spots, and one spot in particular: a clearing near a creek where, five years ago, we built a fire pit with cinder-blocks, erected a small, portable charcoal grill, and built several wooden tables and chairs.Continue Reading
If you’ve read doungjai gam’s glass slipper dreams, shattered and savored that collection’s wonderfully raw emotion, then her recent novella from Nightscape Press—llustrated by the immensely talented Luke Spooner—is a must buy. In it, gam takes all of the intensity and power of her verse and packs it into prose, weaving a highly emotional and devastating tale which will leave you gasping for breath and, quite possibly, weeping at its end.Continue Reading
While taping a recent episode of their YouTube show Into the Abyss, author CW Briar launched into a Q&A session with co-host Kevin Lucia regarding Kevin’s new book, Mystery Road. We thought you would enjoy it, so Kevin has made it available below!
It’s amazing — and, somewhat depressing — to consider that, even if you’re a prodigious reader, there will always be more books to read than there are hours and days in a year. I try to console myself with that fact when I keep hearing about this author I should read, or that author, especially when they’re authors I’ve been meaning to read for years. So, when Nicole Cushing’s The Half-Freaks fell into my hands, I took the chance to finally read something by an author I’ve been “meaning to read” for years.Continue Reading
Ironically, in my quest to discover other horror writers besides Stephen King, (I adore King’s work but at that time, I was reading him exclusively), it was King himself who helped lead the way. Somewhere in the middle of that quest I finally, for the first time, read his non-fiction treatise on the horror genre, Danse Macabre (which you should all do, right now). Continue Reading
By the time I stumbled into the horror scene, Shades was a long-out of print Cemetery Dance title, and I was sad I’d missed the boat. I love coming-of-age stories, and this one looked awesome. Imagine my delight when I learned Poltergeist Press was re-releasing it in paperback and ebook. It went right on the birthday list, and lucky me, it showed up in the mail on that blessed day.Continue Reading
If you’re a fan of cosmic horror and you’ve yet to delve into the work of Mary SanGiovanni, you need to rectify that, immediately. Without a doubt, SanGiovanni is one the best writers on the cosmic horror scene today. And best of all, SanGiovanni hasn’t been content to rehash old Lovecraftian gods. She’s invented her own mythos full of eldritch beings and malevolent aliens, a dizzying pantheon of epic proportions that is fresh, original, and contemporary. Her Hollower trilogy is still one of my favorites, and I still maintain that Thrall is simply one of the most original novels of cosmic horror I’ve ever read.Continue Reading
A Wind of Knives by Ed Kurtz is a grim beauty to behold. One part realistic western reminiscent of the late Ed Gorman’s work; one part rumination on the nature of love and the desperate ties which bind us together; all parts sad, brutal, and tragic. This isn’t a Saturday afternoon spaghetti western in which the good guys wear white and the bad guys wear black, with blazing six guns and stalwart heroes riding off into the sunset. It’s a melancholic story of a man fueled by revenge and the deep, aching pain that not only comes from loss, but also from the deepest kinds of betrayal.Continue Reading
Kevin Lucia stays plenty busy teaching, editing reviews for Cemetery Dance, writing horror fiction, and raising kids. So, naturally, he decided to develop a new YouTube show devoted to horror to fill his “spare time.”
Welcome to Into the Abyss, coming at you every week from Lucia’s “horror cave” and featuring CW Briar and Thomas McDonough as co-hosts. The guys break down horror movies, talk about books, and generally welcome us all into their horror-centric get-togethers.
We’re big fans of the show here at Cemetery Dance, and we think you’ll all enjoy it, too. In this special episode, Cemetery Dance Managing Editor Blu Gilliand sent the guys a few questions to help them introduce themselves and their show to you! Check out the full video below.Continue Reading