Review: Breathe, Breathe by Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi

Breathe, Breathe by Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi
Unnerving (October 2017)

176 pages, $13 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi  is an author, writer, journalist, editor, marketer, public relations professional, and photographer. Her first collection, Breathe, Breathe, published by Unnerving Magazine, was released to wide acclaim. This collection of short stories and poetry reached #2 on the Amazon paid Hot New Release Bestseller list, right behind New York Times Bestseller Rupi Kaur’s second book that came out at around the same time. It is a very accessible collection, though it often fails to deliver in terms of craft.Continue Reading

Review: Apart in the Dark by Ania Ahlborn

Apart in the Dark by Ania Ahlborn
Gallery Books (January 2018)
384 pages; $8.49 paperback
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

Quiet horror is, to me, the most effective style of horror, especially when it comes to written horror. Shocks, gore, jump scares—when done right, those things work in the moment. But quiet horror, when done right, lingers. Stays with you. Comes back to you at the worst (i.e., the best) possible times, like when you’re just about to drift off to sleep and you hear a soft thump behind the closet door, or when you catch a glimpse of something out of the corner of your eye that disappears when you look straight at it. Shock hits you and then wears off a second later and you’re laughing, shaking your head, saying “They got me again.” Quiet horror hangs around, and when it comes back to you, nobody is laughing.Continue Reading

Review: The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror by William Meikle

The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror by William Meikle
Crystal Lake Publishing (December 2017)
189 pages; $11.44 paperback, $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

I love everything about this wonderful collection from Willie Meikle. Take the concept of Willie’s Carnacki collections and replace the dinner guests with the literary greats of the Victorian era, each sharing a ghost story, and there you have the basic premise for this new work from William Meikle.Continue Reading

Review: Diary of a Sorceress by Ashley Dioses

Diary of a Sorceress by Ashley Dioses
Hippocampus Press (October 2017)

170 pages, $15 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Ashley Dioses has established herself as one of the leading voices in contemporary weird poetry. Known for her meticulous use of rhyme and meter and her melding of the strange and the romantic, Dioses has gathered some of her recent poetry into her first collection—a scintillating assemblage of nearly 100 poems short and long, published and unpublished. Titled Diary of a Sorceress, it is a really exciting collection of weird and dark fantasy poetry sure to appeal to any reader.Continue Reading

Review: Spungunion by John Boden

Spungunion by John Boden
Dynatox Ministries (2017)
123 pages; $12.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Chad Lutzke

The reality is this:  Life is just a balloon floating dangerously in a roomful of lit cigarettes.

A lonely truck driver sets out on a desperate course to find the one who killed his wife. A path that leads to mingling with the oddball, the grotesque, and the surreal in this weird fiction trucker tale by an author who is certainly no stranger to offering heartbreaking stories, of which Spungunion is above par.Continue Reading

Review: Wicked Haunted: An Anthology of the New England Horror Writers

Wicked Haunted: An Anthology of the New England Horror Writers edited by Scott T. Goudsward, Daniel G. Keohane and David Price
NEHW Press (October 2017)
274 pages; $14.99 paperback, $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

I am happy to report there isn’t a bad story in this entire anthology. Sure, some are better than others, but each original story has its own unique twist to the ghost story trope. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a good ghost story and this collection has filled that void nicely.Continue Reading

Review: It’s a Weird Winter Wonderland edited by Robert Bose and Axel Howerton

It’s a Weird Winter Wonderland edited by Robert Bose and Axel Howerton
Coffin Hop Press (October 2017)

276 pages, $14.95 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

Call me a grinch, or whatever. I’m cool with it. I’m just not that into Christmas themed stuff. The fluff and crass commercialism bugs me. At the same time, I love weird stories and I’ve been on a crime kick lately, so I was still drawn to this one.Continue Reading

Review: Weekend Getaway by Tom Deady

Weekend Getaway by Tom Deady
Grinning Skull Press (October 2017)
142 pages; $10.95 paperback, $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Weekend Getaway is the new novella by the author of Haven, the 2016 Bram Stoker winner for Superior Achievement in a First Novel. This new work is decidedly different in tone from his debut work, which was a lovely coming of age story. Weekend Getaway has more in common with some of Jack Ketchum’s more graphic works, and it’s every bit as good.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Cry Your Way Home’ by Damien Angelica Walters

Cry Your Way Home by Damien Angelica Walters
Apex Publications (January 2, 2018)

240 pages, $14.95 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

I’m hoping by now that you already know who the esteemed Ms. Walters is. The queen of deft, delightfully flowing, yet quietly unobtrusive words, and the wielder of one hell of a wicked blade aimed right at your weak spots, is back with another handful of slender needles to poke holes in the red lump of knotted muscle. It doesn’t disappoint.Continue Reading

Review: Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever: Completely Ridiculous Edition by Tom Neely

Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever: Completely Ridiculous Edition by Tom Neely
Microcosm Publishing (September 2017)

288 pages, $17.,64 hardcover; $11.99 paperback; $5.39 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

It seems like a silly idea at best. At worst, a bro-heavy homophobic mess masquerading as satire. You take the two loudest, virulently masculine icons of the early Hardcore movement, Henry Rollins and Glenn Danzig, and make a series of comics about them in a relationship. Heck, the standard Odd Couple tripe pretty much takes care of itself. Who would have thought it would turn into something much more over the decade-plus long run collected here?Continue Reading

Review: The Weight of Words edited by Dave McKean and William Schafer

The Weight of Words edited by Dave McKean and William Schafer
Subterranean Press (December 2017)
248 pages; $40 hardcover
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

Like all great artists, Dave McKean has a style that is immediately recognizable as his and his alone. His unique visuals have graced everything from comic books (perhaps most notably his eight-year run as cover artist for Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series and his collaboration with Grant Morrison on the graphic novel Arkham Asylum) to album covers. book covers….even stamps. So, what happens when you ask a group of authors to filter that style through their own distinct voices?Continue Reading

Review: A Warning About Your Future Enslavement That You Will Dismiss as A Collection of Short Fiction and Essays by Kit Power

A Warning About Your Future Enslavement That You Will Dismiss as A Collection of Short Fiction and Essays by Kit Power
Amazon Digital Services (November 2017)
268 pages; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Nearly two years ago to the day, I read and reviewed Godbomb! by Kit Power. It was one of the most amazing books I read in 2015. Now Kit has returned with a collection of short stories and essays which are hard to describe, but I’m willing to give it my best shot here.

A Warning About Your Future Enslavement That You Will Dismiss As a Collection of Short Fiction and Essays covers a lot of ground and is loosely woven together with a story set in a future where most of human history has been forgotten or purposely covered up. A mid-level government employee is doing his best to uncover the truth through a series of stories uncovered in a hidden mainframe.Continue Reading

Review: Bubba and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers by Joe R. Lansdale

Bubba and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers by Joe R. Lansdale
Subterranean Press (October 2017)
200 pages; $31.84 hardcover; $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

Back in 1994, Joe R. Lansdale wrote a story called “Bubba Ho-Tep” about an elderly Elvis Presley teaming up to fight a mummy with a fellow nursing home resident who thought he was JFK, and I read it and thought, “Welp, it doesn’t get much crazier than that.” Boy, was I wrong.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Stephen King and Philosophy’ edited by Jacob Held

Stephen King and Philosophy edited by Jacob Held
Rowman & Littlefield (August 2016)
328 pages; $13.56 paperback; $9.99 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

In a documentary filmed many years ago, bestselling author Peter Straub lamented the fact that, ever tongue-in-cheek and self-deprecating, Stephen King once referred to his own work as the equivalent of a “Big Mac and fries.” Straub considered it an unfortunate comparison which didn’t do King justice, that his work was far more substantial than mere intellectual junk food. Continue Reading

Review: We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone by Ronald Malfi

We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone by Ronald Malfi
JournalStone (November 2017)
299 pages; $29.95 hardcover; $16.67 paperback; $9.95 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone, the debut short story collection from Ronald Malfi, is a bit of a mixed bag. Although the twenty shorts included do make for an enjoyable read, I have to say I much prefer Malfi’s recent novels to the tales included here. Little Girls made my top ten list in 2015, The Night Parade did the same in 2016, and Bone White is my favorite read so far in 2017.Continue Reading