Review: Fishing by P. Gardner Goldsmith

cover of Fishing by P. Gardner GoldsmithFishing by P. Gardner Goldsmith
Shadowridge Press (February 2017)
132 pages; $10.99 paperback
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

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

Review: Eden by Tim Lebbon

cover of Eden by Tim LebbonEden 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

Review: watch the whole goddamned thing burn by doungjai gam

cover of watch the whole goddamned thing burnwatch the whole goddamned thing burn by doungjai gam
Nightscape Press (May 2020)
50 pages; $30 Limited Edition
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

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

Kevin Lucia talks Mystery Road on “Into the Abyss”

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!

Mystery Road, released as part of the Cemetery Dance Novella Series, is now available as a limited edition hardcover and an eBook.Continue Reading

Review: The Half-Freaks by Nicole Cushing

The Half-Freaks by Nicole Cushing
Grimscribe Press (November 2019)
122 pages; $15 paperback; $9 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

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

Revelations: The Third Level by Jack Finney

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

Author photo of Jack Finney
Jack Finney

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

Review: Shades by Geoff Cooper and Brian Keene

Shades by Geoff Cooper and Brian Keene
Poltergeist Press (January 2020)
194 pages; $10.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

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

Review: Beyond the Gate by Mary SanGiovanni

Beyond the Gate by Mary SanGiovanni
Lyrical Underground (November 2019)
197 pages; $15.95 paperback; $8.69 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

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

Review: A Wind of Knives by Ed Kurtz

A Wind of Knives by Ed Kurtz
Independently Published (December 2019)
140 pages; $7.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

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

Into the Abyss with Kevin Lucia, CW Briar and Thomas McDonough

Into the Abyss creepy logoKevin 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

Review: Shapeshifters: A History by John B. Kachuba

Shapeshifters: A History by John B. Kachuba
Reaktion Books (June 2019)
208 pages; $15.78 hardcover
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

As an English teacher and lover of myths and folklore, nonfiction works on the historical and mythical backgrounds of monsters and such is right up my alley. I love reading how strange beliefs, customs, and folktales serve as the roots of some of our more famous monsters and horror fiction beasties. So, as you can imagine, when Shapeshifters: A History by John B. Kachuba showed up on my doorstep, I was pretty excited. Continue Reading

Review: The Night Doctor and Other Tales by Steve Rasnic Tem

The Night Doctor and Other Tales by Steve Rasnic Tem
Centipede Press (December 2019)
336 pages; $20 unsigned limited edition (700 copies) hardcover
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

I first encountered Steve Rasnic Tem’s work in the inaugural edition of the Greystone Bay series. “In a Guest House” was a startlingly quiet piece, humming with the same undercurrent of unease that can be found in the best Twilight Zone episodes. After that, I continued to encounter Tem’s work here and there, especially as I collected classic horror anthologies from the eighties and nineties. I loved the quiet restraint I found in his work, so when I happened upon a review copy for The Night Doctor and Other Tales, his most recent short fiction collection, I dived right in.Continue Reading

Revelations: Ramsey Campbell

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

Author Ramsey Campbell
Author Ramsey Campbell

I read my first Ramsey Campbell novel, Creatures of the Pool, in October 2010. A little over ten years ago. Yes, I know. A little late to the party, right? But, like so many other horror authors, Ramsey Campbell was just another name I’d heard spoken reverently as “an author all aspiring horror authors should read.” Continue Reading

Review: The Last Christmas: A Repairman Jack Novel by F. Paul Wilson

The Last Christmas: A Repairman Jack Novel by F. Paul Wilson
Crossroads Press (September 2019)
370 pages; $25.94 hardcover; $18.06 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

It can be a dicey thing when an author brings back one of their beloved series characters after closing off that character’s series with such a satisfying conclusion. In the back of your head, as a reader, you’re thinking, “I just want one more adventure with one of my favorite literary characters.” And yet, when that does happen…there’s enough anxiety to give you pause. Maybe the story just won’t read the same as the others. Maybe it won’t have that same snap the other installments had, or, if the author is creating a new adventure in the middle of an already completed series, maybe the story will cause too many continuity errors to be thoroughly enjoyable. Continue Reading

Revelations: Peter Straub

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

Author Peter Straub
Peter Straub

As an aspiring writer, you often don’t realize the influences certain authors have over your developing style and voice. You’re busy reading books and stories which really excite you, writing away in your own little world, and in many ways, you can’t see the forest for the trees.

I’ve been especially prone to that over the years. I tend to read many books simultaneously at frenzied paces (I’ve often said I read like other people breathe), and it’s sometimes hard to keep track of where I draw my inspirations from. It was once said Rod Serling was the same. When Ray Bradbury actually accused Serling of stealing his work for The Twilight Zone, some said Serling could never completely deny it, because he’d read so many things so quickly, he always had difficulty attributing a source to his story ideas.Continue Reading