Book Trailer: HE WHO TYPES BETWEEN THE ROWS 2: HORROR DRIVE-IN WILL NEVER DIE!

All….okay, MOST great horror films eventually get a sequel. We’re excited to announce that Mark Sieber, one of the great chroniclers of the horror scene, has jumped on the sequel train with the follow-up to He Who Types Between the Rows. Check out the new book trailer below, then grab a copy of the e-book at its special pre-order price of 0.99. The e-book and paperback will be released on April 22!

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Horror Drive-In: Scaaaa-REEM!

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I am the perfect age to be a slasher fan. Halloween was released when I was seventeen years old — roughly the same age as the victims in John Carpenter’s masterpiece. I saw it in a walk-in theater and the experience was truly transformational. I was on the verge of adulthood and this movie, which was based on an oft-told urban legend, felt like the beginning of something entirely new.

Halloween was a runaway success and along with the inevitable sequel, imitator movies were quickly made and released. The biggest of them is, of course, Friday the 13th. I was eighteen years old.Continue Reading

Revisiting T.E.D. Klein, The Ceremonies, and Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone Magazine

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I like to read something special for a holiday. In 2020, deep in the pandemic, I spent a long week whiling over The Cider House Rules, a novel I read and absolutely loved when it first came out. I was considering what to read this year, when it occurred to me that I had not read T.E.D. Klein’s The Ceremonies since it was originally published. That was quite a few moons ago, and my memories about it were vague. The Ceremonies is a book that requires attention and a little patience, so a week off is the perfect time to indulge in it.Continue Reading

Dead Trees: The Doll Who Ate His Mother by Ramsey Campbell

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Who is the best living horror writer?

The obvious, and most popular answer, is of course Stephen King. I almost agree, but King has done too many different types of fiction to be stigmatized as merely a horror writer. A lot of it can even be construed as science fiction. Especially when one considers how psi talents were an SF staple for years and years.

Despite my love of his work my answer is not Stephen King. I’d have to go with the inimitable Ramsey Campbell.Continue Reading

Dead Trees: The Fates by Thomas Tessier

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I read all kinds of fiction. Horror new and old, classic science fiction, modern domestic suspense, mainstream, whatever suits my fancy. There’s a  special place in my heart of hearts for small town horror. The good stuff from the late seventies and early eighties. Charles L. Grant and his Oxrun Station stories come most immediately to mind. There’s Rick Hautala’s Maine. Matthew J. Costello and his early paperbacks. Peter Straub and the Chowder Society. Alan Ryan, Lisa Tuttle, Chet Williamson, A.R. Morlan, Al Sarrantonio, and T.M. Wright all set stories in cozy small towns. Let’s not forget Mr. King and his Castle Rock fiction.Continue Reading

We Thought We’d Always Have the Drive-In

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If you had asked me if I knew that life was constant change, and that none of the things I loved would last forever, I’d have surely shrugged and said, Sure, everyone knows that. But when you get right down here, where it counts, I believed it all was permanent.Continue Reading

Dead Trees: Old Fears by John Wooley and Ron Wolfe

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I like a lot of new horror fiction. I just recently read one of the best, if not the best, novel in years: The Last House on Needless Street.

I never want to stop reading current writers, but I spend a lot of time back in my roots. I’m talking about the early 1980s. Post Stephen King, but pre-Splatterpunk. A time of small towns, ancient evil, diabolical children, delightfully garish paperback covers, and bookstores everywhere that still had horror sections.

It didn’t take a lot to please me. I trusted blurbs from other writers! That alone shows how different a time it was.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

Horror Drive-In: Preserve Our Heritage: Collect Physical Media!

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photo of a stack of vhs tapesI have a bad habit of thinking that the things I love will always be there. Like drive-in theaters. We had three of them in my hometown. I went as much as I could, but I thought they were forever. I should have been out there every damned weekend.

It seemed that the cool bookstores would always be there. I had no idea Amazon and their Kindle would tear the guts out of our communities.

It wasn’t that long ago when I used to see great old VHS tapes at the thrift stores. I’ve been buying a lot of genre stuff up as interest in them has risen. Mostly I find later things from the latter half of the ’90s and first half of the 2000 decade.Continue Reading

Dead Trees: Peter Straub’s The Hellfire Club

Author Peter Straub
Peter Straub

No one — no one — has ever done it better than Peter Straub. I admit that some of his work leaves me a little bit cold, but when Straub is on, he is on.

Not everyone agrees. I’ve heard a lot of people say they can’t read Peter Straub, or that he simply isn’t for them. The thing about his writing is, it takes effort. Most worthwhile things do require determination and patience, but the effort pays off. He isn’t an easy writer, but the rewards are well worth the investment.Continue Reading

Dead Trees: Dead Lines by John Skipp and Craig Spector

I first heard of and begin reading fiction from John Skipp and Craig Spector in the mid-1980s. That era is still my favorite period of the horror genre. Thanks to Stephen King, horror had been doing pretty big business, but by 1986 things were really getting wild. For most people it all started with Skipp and Spector’s The Light at the End, a new kind of horror novel, and a vampire story for a hip young readership.

The Light at the End was a radical departure from the horror fiction that came before it. Skipp and Spector’s characters were people I knew. People I partied with. There was influence from classic horror, to be sure, but these were people who listened to punk and metal. They were weaned on midnight movies, Frank Zappa, William Burroughs, Hunter S. Thompson.Continue Reading

Dead Trees: Joe Bob Goes to the Bookstore

Joe Bob Briggs
Joe Bob Briggs

I first saw Joe Bob Briggs when he was on The Movie Channel. This was in 1986, before he even had his own weekly show on the network. My initial impression was something like, “Who is this chicken-fried cornball?” I was not much of a fan of redneck humor.

I didn’t give JBB a chance until I stayed up late one Friday to watch David Cronenberg’s The Brood. It was on The Movie Channel, and at first I was disappointed to see that hillbilly hayseed doing an introduction. I watched, not wishing to miss the opening credits of The Brood. I was taken aback when Joe Bob said some fairly astute things about David Cronenberg. He obviously wasn’t another braindead movie host going through the paces.Continue Reading