Review: ‘Dead on the Bones: Pulp on Fire’ by Joe R. Lansdale

dead_on_the_bones_by_joe_r_lansdaleDead on the Bones: Pulp on Fire by Joe R. Lansdale
Subterranean Press (December 2016)
296 pages; $40.00 hardcover
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

“I was living in a pulp writer fury, a storm of imagination.”

That’s how author Joe R. Lansdale describes his early years, that delicate time when a steady diet of television shows, comic books and Edgar Rice Burroughs novels cemented his desire to become a writer. Dead on the Bones: Pulp on Fire is full of stories in which Lansdale seeks to honor those early influences that have given him—and, in turn, his readers—so much.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Clockwork Universe’ by John W. Dennehy

clockworkClockwork Universe by John W. Dennehy
Severed Press (November 2016)
148 pages; $9.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Clockwork Universe is the debut novel from John W. Dennehy. Kevin Barnes is a commuter, headed to Boston from the Merrimack Valley in Southern New Hampshire. On the weekends he performs in a throwback punk band and he looks the part, with a purple Mohawk, diaper pins in his ears, and jackboots with crimson laces.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Modern Mythmakers: 35 Interviews with Horror & Science Fiction Writers and Filmmakers’ by Michael McCarty

 

mythmakersModern Mythmakers: 35 Interviews with Horror & Science Fiction Writers and FIlmmakers by Michael McCarty
Crystal Lake Publishing (February 2015)
424 pages; $15.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by David Simms

Books of interviews tend to be fascinating reads for hardcore movie fans, writers, and super fans, but they serve a small niche audience. Reaching out to a larger audience is often a tougher task. Mike McCarty nails it with a fun, insightful, and educational read that should entertain all of the demographics it targets.

McCarty has a great voice and style that elicits deep answers from those interviewed, going beyond the expected as readers will find great anecdotes about these celebrities which is pure gold. Continue Reading

Review: ‘Odd Man Out’ by James Newman

oddOdd Man Out by James Newman
Bloodshot Books (November 2016)
150 pages; $8.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Odd Man Out was originally released as a signed limited edition from Thunderstorm Books, but this truly is a book everyone should get to read, so now it’s deservedly getting the wide release treatment from Bloodshot Books.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Haven, Kansas’ by Alethea Kontis

havenkansascoverHaven, Kansas by Alethea Kontis
CreateSpace (October 2016)
308 pages; $19.99 hardcover; $11.28 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Alethea Kontis is already a very successful writer, but one I’ve never had a chance to read, until now. Haven, Kansas may be a YA novel, but it is certainly not without its scares.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Slipping’ by Lauren Beukes

slippingSlipping: Stories, Essays & Other Writing by Lauren Beukes
Tachyon Publications (November 2016)
264 pages; $9.75 paperback; $9.26 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

 

Lauren Beukes’s work as a journalist in South Africa, where she covered topics ranging from slums to shark diving, gave her a sharp eye for detail and a sharp ear for dialogue. These tools are employed to great effect in in Slipping: Stories, Essays and Other Writing.

Continue Reading

Review: ‘Wrathbone and Other Stories’ by Jason Parent

wrathboneWrathbone and Other Stories by Jason Parent
Comet Press (October 2016)
160 pages; $12.95 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Jason Parent’s new collection, Wrathbone and Other Stories, includes some wonderfully original tales of horror.  There may be only 5 stories in this collection, totaling 160 pages, but each tale is deserving of your attention. If you have yet to discover Jason’s work, this book will serve as a worthy introduction.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Vyrmin’ by Gene Lazuta

vyrminVyrmin by Gene Lazuta
Bloodshot Books (October 2016)
360 pages; $13.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Before I get to the review, just a quick comment about the publisher, Bloodshot Books. I really admire the effort being made to find books that either had a limited print run or have gone out of print over the years and giving them new life in the digital age by releasing them in paperback and e-book formats. Earlier this year, they gave this treatment to The Awakening by Brett McBride, a wonderful coming of age story and one of the best books I’ve read in 2016.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror’ edited by Ellen Datlow

nightmarescover1Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror edited by Ellen Datlow
Tachyon Publications (November 2016)
432 pages; $12.79 paperback; $7.99 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

Ellen Datlow has been charting the course of horror fiction for over 35 years. In that time, she has maintained a balanced perspective in her numerous anthologies and collections, always casting an appreciative eye toward the established masters of horror while shining a light on the talent tasked with carrying the genre forward.Continue Reading

Review: ‘The Last Firefly of Summer’ by Robert Ford

lastfireflyThe Last Firefly of Summer by Robert Ford
CreateSpace (July 2016)
64 pages; $5.95 paperback; $1.99 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

Over the past few years, Robert Ford has become the go-to writer when it comes to emotionally-wrenching fiction. Give him a little bit of your time and eventually, without fail, he’ll have your heart on a platter. The Last Firefly of Summer is no exception. With lean prose and and a powerful voice, Ford spins a tale about summer love gone wrong, and a vengeful adoration which must be satisfied. Continue Reading

Review: ‘Dream Woods’ by Patrick Lacey

Cemetery Dance Reviews

dreamDream Woods by Patrick Lacey
Sinister Grin Press (October 2016)
318 pages; $16.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

I love amusement parks, especially the old ones from my youth. The local ones were the best, where sometimes it seemed the rides were likely to fall apart while you were still riding them. The ones within an hour’s drive from where I grew up—Lakewood Park, West Point Park, and Willow Grove Park, all in Southeast Pennsylvania. In its dying days, the later was known as Six Gun Territory. I remember they used to have a small wooden coaster, The Scenic; exciting not because of it’s speed or height, but because of the way it always seemed like it could leave the track at any moment.Continue Reading

Review: ‘The Angel of the Abyss’ by Hank Schwaeble

abysscoverThe Angel of the Abyss by Hank Schwaeble
Cohesion Press (October 31, 2016)
306 pages; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by David Simms

Jake Hatcher is one badass character. He’s been to hell and back, fought for his country only to be put in prison, watched people he cares for die at the hands (or other deadly appendages) or demons and other creatures. In Damnable and Diabolical, Hatcher fought off hell and survived—barely—but has returned with a vengeance in The Angel of the Abyss. If readers aren’t familiar with the Stoker-winning first book, it’s okay. Catching up can be done afterwards. Each works somewhat as a standalone but are best served to be read in order.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”: The Authorized Graphic Adaptation by Miles Hyman

lotterygnShirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”: The Authorized Graphic Adaptation by Miles Hyman
Hill and Wang (October 25, 2016)
160 pages; $30.00 hardcover; $16.00 paperback
Reviewed by Danica Davidson

Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is one of the most famous—and infamous—short stories of all time. People reading it for the first time aren’t prepared for the twist ending, and when it was first published in The New Yorker in 1948, it offended some people so much that they wanted their subscriptions canceled. Those not so easily offended, though, were riveted to the story, and those who couldn’t keep it out of their minds realized they’d been swept up by its power. Seventy years later, the story continues to haunt, and now it’s been adapted into graphic novel format, done by Jackson’s own grandson, Miles Hyman.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life’ by Ruth Franklin

Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin
Liveright (September 2016)
624 pages; $25.14 paperback; $16.05 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Admittedly, I don’t read a lot of biographies. Not my thing. Nothing against them, I just prefer to spend my time reading fiction. That being said, when I saw there was going to be a Shirley Jackson biography, I decided to get out of my comfort zone just a bit.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Last Train from Perdition’ by Robert McCammon

Last Train from Perdition by Robert McCammon
Subterranean Press (October 2016)
181 pages; $35 hardcover
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

Sometimes, horror is the perfect genre for exploring universal themes such as loss, isolation, or grief.

Sometimes, horror is the perfect genre for exploring how humans react to adversity, loneliness, temptation or, naturally, fear.

And sometimes, horror is the perfect genre to take a group of people, strand them on a train in the dark frontier, and unleash a siege of bloodthirsty creatures upon them.Continue Reading