Review: The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson

The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson
Penguin Books (July 9, 2019)
224 pages; $8.99 paperback; $11.99 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

The Saturday Night Ghost Club, by Craig Davidson, isn’t exactly a ghost story. Nor does it feature any overtly supernatural events. However, it is, at heart, about the essence of hauntings. About the things which haunt us, even if they’re buried so deeply, we don’t even remember them.Continue Reading

Review: Our War by Craig DiLouie

Our War by Craig DiLouie
Orbit (August 20, 2019)
400 pages; $17.74 hardcover; $16.99 paperback; $13.99 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

This may be one of the most important books you’ll read this year. I say that without an ounce of hyperbole. Given the current climate of our country and its cultural, political, and social polarization, Craig DiLouie has written a heart-breaking, terrifying novel which—I desperately hope—will only be a warning, and not someday viewed as prophetic. 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

Review: Boomtown by James A. Moore

Boomtown by James A. Moore
Twisted Publishing (April 2019)
354 pages; $30 hardcover; $18 paperback; $7.99 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

Though I’ve heard a lot about Jim Moore’s recurring character Jonathan Crowley, I’ve never read him. Now that I have, I can add another recurring character (joining F. Paul Wilson’s Repairman Jack and Peter Laws’ Matthew Hunter) to my list of “must read characters.” Boomtown is a fast-paced, smooth-reading weird western which hits all the right notes, and now I want to find every Crowley story and read them, yesterday.Continue Reading

Review: The Seven Deadliest edited by Patrick Beltran and D. Alexander Ward

The Seven Deadliest edited by Patrick Beltran and D. Alexander Ward
Cutting Block Books (May 2019)
232 pages; $13.38 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

Normally, an anthology based on the seven deadly sins would get a bit of a side-eye from me. I hate to say this, but my thoughts would immediately leap to contrived and cliched attempts to take “sins” and turn them into horror stories built out of shock value, nothing more. Continue Reading

Review: The Line Between by Tosca Lee

The Line Between by Tosca Lee
Howard Books (January 2019)
384 pages; $17.10 hardcover; $17.00 paperback; $13.99 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

I’ve been reading Tosca Lee’s work since her amazing and soul-shuddering debut novel, Demon: A Memoir, and have been a fan ever since. Her lyrical prose and sense of style is always a delight, and over the years she’s become a master at pacing the thriller novel. Her stories move at a furious clip, yet she still manages to weave clever plot twists and craft believable, intimate character portrayals.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

Revelations: The Repairman Jack Saga by F. Paul Wilson

As I’ve written this series, I’ve found it necessary to achieve a tenuous balance in my recommendations and recountings of the horror which has impacted me as a reader and writer. I’ve bounced a lot between the descriptions  “fun and fast-paced” and “literate and full of substance.” The truth of the matter (as I’ve come to discover it) is this: good fiction and, even more importantly, a good reading diet, shouldn’t ever cater to one end of the spectrum exclusively. Stories should move us emotionally, they should make us ponder the world around us, our existence, and life in general. They should say something about the human condition. Continue Reading

Revelations: The Pines by Robert Dunbar

Several months ago I referenced a future column about Charles Grant’s Shadows and Tom Monteleone’s Borderlands anthologies, and that feature is coming, I assure you. However, this column tends to wander around a bit—much like my reading tastes, and my short attention span (ask any student or former student)—and this month, I’d like to talk about Robert Dunbar’s The Pines.Continue Reading

Revelations: Short Stories

When I first conceived of this column, my intent was to focus on authors and how their body of work influenced me during a specific period in my development. After several columns, I realized that while maybe an author’s entire body of work didn’t necessarily impact me, one or two of their novels had—hence my previous column about Don’t Take Away the Light, by J. N. Williamson, and The Reach by Nate Kenyon and The Pines, by Robert Dunbar (subjects of future columns). Continue Reading

Revelations: Whispers and Karl Edward Wagner’s The Year’s Best Horror Stories

My previous two columns focused on contemporary authors who have impacted me both as a writer and reader; Mary SanGiovanni and Ronald Malfi, respectively. We’re going to jump back in time, now… Continue Reading

Revelations: Ronald Malfi

For the most part, the authors featured in these columns have impacted my development and growth as a writer primarily through their work. Ronald Malfi impacted me as a person, first, before I delved into his work. Looking at his career path, getting to know him as a person first has impacted me just as much as his work has.Continue Reading

Revelations: “The Chronicles of Greystone Bay” edited by Charles L. Grant

Today marks the release of my second short story collection, Things You Need, from Crystal Lake Publishing, also the latest installment in the ongoing story of my fictional Adirondack town, Clifton Heights, which owes its existence in large part to not only Charles L. Grant’s fictional town, Oxrun Station, but even more so to the anthology series he edited, The Chronicles of Greystone Bay.Continue Reading

Revelations: Mary SanGiovanni

The aim of this column is to spotlight authors who have been instrumental in my development as a writer. Some of the writers I’ve covered have been legends in the field who are no longer with us; others more contemporary writers who are still very active and influential. I’m revealing them along a semi-chronological path of when I discovered them, not necessarily their publication dates. Today’s installment features a contemporary writer whose first novel had a huge impact on me, as does her continuing work: Mary SanGiovanni.Continue Reading

Revelations: Ray Bradbury

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012.

First period, 10th Grade Honors English. Roughly 9 a.m.

That’s when I heard the news.

Even today, as I write this, I feel a chill. Looking back, it was not only a surreal and an unbelievable experience…it also offered a moment of affirmation for me as a teacher that hasn’t been rivaled, since.Continue Reading