Review: Grim Harvest by Patrick Greene

Grim Harvest by Patrick Greene
Lyrical Underground (September 2019)
197 pages; $7.85 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by R.B. Payne

Grim Harvest by Patrick C. Greene is the second novel of “The Haunted Hollow Chronicles,” a planned series centering on Ember Hollow, an isolated community in the American heartland where cell phones and the internet simply don’t work. When, at the annual Halloween Harvest, events take a nasty supernatural turn, they have only themselves to count on. 

And that may not be enough.Continue Reading

Review: Every Foul Spirit by William Gorman

Every Foul Spirit by William Gorman
Crystal Lake Publishing (October 2019)
112 pages; $9.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by R.B. Payne

In horror fiction, there are often remote towns and villages such as Oxrun Station (Charles L. Grant), Cedar Hill (Gary Braunbeck) and even Ulthar (H. P. Lovecraft). In these wicked places on the backroads of fear, dark forces gather and do evil upon the innocent and not-so-innocent. These are off-the-main highway places where malignant entities rise and make a bloody and horrifying mess by ravaging pets, murdering children, compromising priests and virgins, befouling police officers, and corrupting any responsible adult who doesn’t have the sense to get the hell out of town when the first flesh-stripped beheaded corpse appears. Continue Reading

Review: Spungunion by John Boden

Spungunion by John Boden
Fungasm Press (January 15, 2020)
106 pages: $9.95 paperback
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

Once every blue moon, a reader will encounter an author who possesses a storytelling style that works for them every damn time. I have a few of these authors. Let’s call them the “Do-No-Wrongs.”

John Boden is a “Do-No-Wrong.”Continue Reading

Bev Vincent reviews The Outsider (HBO)

Stephen King News From the Dead Zone

“There’s Always a Reasonable Explanation”

This Sunday, January 12th, HBO premieres the first two episodes of their 10-episode adaptation of The Outsider. Is it good? Absolutely. One of the best. Before I get into that, let me take a little step back.Continue Reading

Review: The Sky Done Ripped by Joe R. Lansdale

The Sky Done Ripped by Joe R. Lansdale
Subterranean Press (December 2019)
296 pages; $95 signed limited edition hardcover; $40 trade edition hardcover; $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

I think that, sometimes, in the midst of all the discussion about craft and theme and structure, we—meaning writers and readers and reviewers—forget that this stuff is supposed to be fun. It’s so refreshing, then, when an author like Joe R. Lansdale comes along, manuscript in hand and shit-eating grin on his face, to remind us of that very fact.Continue Reading

Review: Various States of Decay by Matt Hayward

Various States of Decay by Matt Hayward
Poltergeist Press (December 2019)
290 pages: $23.70 hardcover; $14.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

It comes as a surprise to me that Matt Hayward published his first book, Brain Dead Blues, just over two years ago in May of 2017. Since that release, he’s been nominated for Bram Stoker Awards, published two novels, and co-wrote two novels. Various States of Decay is his second short story collection. That’s an impressive two years worth of work!Continue Reading

Review: The Last Ghost and Other Stories by Marie O’Regan

The Last Ghost and Other Stories by Marie O’Regan
Luna Press Publishing (April 2019)
148 pages; $11.99 paperback; $5.99 e-book
Reviewed by R.B. Payne

O, modern reader, do you think you are too sophisticated to fear a wistful Gaussian blur hovering above your bed in the dead of night? You tell yourself it doesn’t exist. It can’t. Surely just a retinal trick in dim light.

Then why pay attention to the rustling beneath the bed? Or the persistent scratch at the door? (Look! The cat is sleeping soundly at your feet.) Too late, perhaps, an unseen hand coldly brushes your cheek or grasps your throat. Continue Reading

Review: Trouble at Camp Still Waters by Eddie Generous

Trouble at Camp Still Waters by Eddie Generous
Severed Press (July 2019)
134 pages: $9.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

Ben Ray Collins is a serial killer fanboy who gets caught trying to execute a copycat murder. By some stroke of luck, he manages to escape prison and finds himself at Camp Still Waters, but the waters are anything but still. Some kind of natural phenomenon is happening there and a team of scientists head out to learn more.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

Review: Ghoster by Jason Arnopp

Ghoster by Jason Arnopp
Orbit (October 2019)

496 pages; $12.50 paperback; $9.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

I think it’s important to tell readers straight away that Jason Arnopp writes modern horror stories like nobody else in this industry. His books are written for horror lovers alive today, in this cultural moment. Ghoster is for me, you and us—right here, right now.Continue Reading

Review: Writing as Life by William F. Nolan

Writing as Life by William F. Nolan
Dark Regions Press (October 2019)
$75 limited edition hardcover; $20 paperback; $6 e-book
Reviewed by Michael Furlong

William F. Nolan’s collected essays, Writing as Life, examines how Nolan views popular culture, the business of writing, other writers and influences on his creative process. Nolan’s writing and accomplishments are prodigious, and in this volume, he shares a life relating back to his artistic influences.Continue Reading

Review: Algernon Blackwood’s The Willows adapted by Nathan Carson and Sam Ford

Algernon Blackwood’s The Willows by Nathan Carson
Floating World Comics (November 2019)
72 pages; $12.95 paperback
Reviewed by Chris Hallock

Algernon Blackwood’s name doesn’t permeate today’s pop culture landscape like his contemporary (and admirer) H.P. Lovecraft, but Britain’s great supernaturalist holds a significant place in the pantheon of weird literature. As one of horror fiction’s preeminent contributors, his chilling works have influenced many of the world’s best fantasy writers, and astounded readers with a sublime melding of paralyzing suspense, mysticism, and otherworldly terror. Despite their plentiful virtues, Blackwood’s tales have been somewhat overlooked as an avenue for adaptation, with infrequent dips into Blackwood’s formidable catalog, mostly as television and radio plays, some dating back far enough to be narrated by Blackwood himself (he died in 1951). Continue Reading

Review: Hollow Heart by Ben Eads

Hollow Heart by Ben Eads
Crystal Lake Publishing (November 2019)
156 pages; $11.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by R.B. Payne

If you like your horror fast and furious and your gameplay unrelenting, then Hollow Heart by Ben Eads will suit your fancy. In this telling of the birthing of a cosmic horror, the subtext is minimal, the text is visceral, and the hypertext feels like a drug rush when everything simultaneously makes sense and no sense at all.Continue Reading

Review: Everything is Beautiful and Nothing Bad Can Ever Happen Here by Michael Wehunt

Everything is Beautiful and Nothing Bad Can Ever Happen Here by Michael Wehunt
Nightscape Press (September 2019)

78 pages; $30 paperback
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

Late at night, in the comfort of my cozy bed with my husband slightly snoring next to me, I read stories about werewolves, monsters or bad things happening to people when they’re camping. I can rest easy before sleep knowing I can leave all those made-up nightmares in the pages of the books on my nightstand (I don’t camp or go outdoors so, no real threat there). Continue Reading

Review: The Fearing, Book Four: Earth & Ember by John F.D. Taff

The Fearing, Book Four: Earth & Ember by John F.D. Taff
Grey Matter Press (November 2019)
170 pages: $9.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

I like horror that fires on all cylinders, as I’ve said countless times in interviews. I want my horror to unnerve and disturb me, yes. But I also want it to make me feel love and sadness and regret and anger, too. And I want my characters to have some shot at redemption at the end, Some glimmer of hope, even if it’s obscured. —John F. D. Taff/Earth & Ember

Book four of John Taff’s epic apocalyptic series The Fearing is, sadly, the conclusion to one of the most interactive reading experiences I’ve had since Stephen King’s The Dark Tower.Continue Reading