Monday, December 30, 2013

Roadside Picnic by Arkady Strugatsky & Boris Strugatsky

Exactly the sort of SF I like (light on the science, long on the human impact of a changed world). This had so many great and horrible things jammed into it. It was tragic and funny, and the humor grew naturally from the tragic elements. It had a noir feel, too, which I generally am fond of. Excellent writing, unusual structure, brilliant characterizations.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Majestic Freiks by Richard McGowan

This, to me, captures the tone of many of the stories in this fine little collection:

Grimms' fairy tales as told by Carroll's Hatter.

If I had to pick my favorite, it would be "The Chinese Type Cutter," wherein the hero sets out on a journey to find the antidote for a curse that causes his neighbor to uncontrollably laugh at her husband's erection.

Also, it must be noted that the story "Electronika of Covert Garden" has what I believe to be the first example of anti-humor I've seen deployed in a written work. The title character, Electronika, has a speech impediment so complicated and ridiculous that it renders almost all of her dialogue completely unreadable. Thankfully, the other characters in the story translate.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

This Crowded Earth by Robert Bloch

I like to read old SF. This was published in 1958. Part of the fun is seeing what predictions about the future the writer got right and which ones he got wrong. The title makes it clear that this book is about overpopulation and vanishing resources. Much of it takes place in our current era and a few decades from now. Overpopulation and vanishing resources are a problem today, of course, just not to the extreme predicted in this book. And the method that the secret masters of this imagined future come up with to address the overpopulation issue is patently ridiculous.
  I found the writing crisp, and Bloch can throw in some surprising twists here and there. But the work was just a bit heavy-handed and preachy for my taste. However, it was good enough for me to look into reading more of Bloch's work.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Six Dead Spots is only $0.99 for the Holidays!

Give the gift of horror this holiday season! Six Dead Spots is on sale for just $0.99 (67% off the normal digital list price) now through Christmas day.

Get it for yourself or a loved one who likes all things creepy and nasty.

Buy the Kindle Edition from Amazon.

Or you can purchase an EPUB, MOBI, or PDF version directly from me by clicking the button below.

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They Had Goat Heads by D. Harlan Wilson

If you're looking for conventional story structure, look elsewhere. But if you can stomach the surreal, the absurd, and you're fine with reading narratives that only follow the logic of dreams and nightmares, then you'll enjoy this book thoroughly. Every story made me laugh or cringe, or both.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hoard of the Flies by H. Cogito Epsilon

I'd suppose you'd categorize this as a pornographic comedy of manners. It's about a disintegrating "old money" family and what happens to two paired off couples of incestuous grandchildren when their grandmother (who once raised them as her own) dies and leaves behind two huge solid gold dildos for them to discover in her run-down estate.

Naturally, this story contains shenanigans involving an elderly butler banging a sexpot maid, foursomes involving nymphomaniacal siblings, swarms of horse flies, piles of offal, a secret sex dungeon, and a gypsy fortune-teller who can read the future using the ancient art of vulvamancy.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Diabolical Conspiracy by Bryan Smith

If you like your splatter cheap and nasty, you'll like Bryan Smith. If you want to read a story by an author who has an uncanny ability to continually trick you into thinking that he's just about to take things a bit too far for your comfort, you'll want Mr. Smith. If you like the idea of a book written in an invisible prose style that relentlessly drives every horrible thing humanity has to offer directly into your brain like a railroad spike through the eye, you'll like this book.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Isis Sousa had some questions for me

(C) Isis Sousa
Brazilian artist, illustrator, and writer, Isis Sousa, has posted an interview with me on her Tumblr site. I answer questions about writing and am not particularly forthcoming.

If you'd like to read the interview, you can find it here.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Chuggie and the Desecration of Stagwater by Brent Michael Kelley

A non-Medieval Europe analog secondary world fantasy novel, with some SF sprinkles, and smothered with plenty of bloody horror gravy. If you like some interdimensional energy beings clothed in giant robot armor alongside hordes of undead ghoulies, black magicians, and scarecrow armies, then you're going to really like this.

I'm particularly partial to genre mash-ups like this. The only issue I had with the book was that it could have gone through another round of line edits. The writing itself was very good. It's just that there was a bit of detritus left behind from someone (the author? the editor?) reworking sentences in earlier drafts. I'm talking about the kind of thing that leaves an extra word in a sentence that obviously wasn't meant to be left there, or an errant letter "t" from an omitted word.

Fiddly bits, really. Distracting? Yes. But nothing that stopped me from really enjoying this piece and adding the next in the series to my to-read pile.

Oh, and I must mention that the titular character, Chuggie, is a singular creation. He's sort of a wandering, bumbling, drunken badass. His weapon of choice(?) is a boat anchor chained to his torso. He's ugly as sin, has five horns on his head, and just happens to be the walking embodiment of drought.

Recommended to readers of both New Weird and Horror.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

"Read Tuesday" Deal: Six Dead Spots for $0.99

Read Tuesday
is an event conceived by author Chris McMullen. He's basically convinced a slew of small presses and authors to discount books on Tuesday, December 10th. In theory, the low prices will help encourage book gift-giving this holiday season.

I've decided to participate, and my horror novella Six Dead Spots will be on sale now through this upcoming Tuesday for 67% off the normal digital list price. 

You can get the Kindle Edition from Amazon

You can also buy EPUB, MOBI, or PDF versions directly from me by clicking the button below.

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Henry Martin had some questions for me

Henry Martin, author of Coffee, Cigarettes, and Murderous Thoughts (among many others), is running a series of interviews with book reviewers over on his blog. Today, I'm his interview subject.

You can find the interview here:

While you're there, you should also check out the interview with Feliks (a Goodreads mystery book reviewer). It's fantastic!