The small appliance had been abandoned in 1996, tossed into the “might fix it later” box, then exiled to the abyss of the attic. Lonely and bored, it escaped the box and amused itself by absorbing other discarded gadgets and bits of wire, grafting them on with roof tar until it sported a number of delightful attachments. It also discovered that with a little concentration and balance, it could wobble in all directions on its short, brushed steel legs, equipped with guaranteed non-marking rubber feet. The Poach-O-Matic (as seen on TV) had one mission: make every cook’s life easier. With the addition of a can opener, an ice crusher and a beater attachment, the possibilities for kitchen utility increased exponentially. It remained amongst the dust and crumbling boxes; a feral appliance yearning for the day it could be useful again. Read More →
Girl Detectives. You know them: Nancy Drew, Ginny Gordon, Trixie Belden, Veronica Mars, and so many others. Atlanta Burns is the newest name on that list. The difference in this series is that author Chuck Wendig takes that beloved trope and drags it out behind the dumpsters of its safe little world. He roughs it up and hauls it onto a stage set by the mundane horrors of poverty, racism, and abuse. I’d categorize this as a YA thriller, with a healthy dose of fantasy. Read More →
I knew Cry Havoc was going to be fun to read when I saw the cover. Yes, I judge covers and I’m not the slightest bit ashamed. Show me a dinosaur with armor, a railgun, and what looks like robotic enhancements? I’m all over it. I’m happy to report that the story behind this cover didn’t let me down.
This is a fun book. It reminded me of the pulp military Science Fiction of the mid-20th century. Cry Havoc isn’t trying to make any statements or break any new ground here. It’s firmly rooted in the SF traditions of aliens, military academies and a BFG. Read More →
I’ve seen a number of genre mashups in the past several years. Space cowboys vs. gangsters, aliens vs. cowboys, vampires vs. Abe Lincoln, you get the idea. Some of these are great stories that bring new life to a tired genre. But if an author smashes two genres together without a good reason, they are as appetizing as a peanut butter and salami sandwich. Read More →
Horror writers invent scenarios to scare us. Readers are delighted to be frightened because the horror to which we willingly subject ourselves is fictional. Evil perpetrated by other humans in our past and present are very real. Aaron Galvin uses the historic Massachusetts witch hysteria in 1692-93 as a prelude to the novel, Salem’s Vengeance. Read More →
Pick up a copy of Wicked Words Quarterly, Volume 2. $2.99 for 12 short stories written by authors from all over the globe. My story, “Pit Stop” found a home there and I’m as pleased as I can be about it.
The Horror… the Horror…
Most excellent weekend at DragonCon. My first time (hopefully not my last) and of course, I attended many panels on the Horror and Urban Fantasy tracks. Some of these shots were taken by me, some by Saibere, and some by my friends. I didn’t take nearly enough photos! Read More →
A while back, I read and reviewed a novel written by C.J. Sellers. It had good points and bad points, but the good stuff was enough to make me want to read more of her work in hopes the mechanical issues of the earlier novel could be resolved. Thank you, social media, for letting cranky, picky reviewers keep tabs on “emerging” authors.
I bought a copy of Pale Hunter for my Kindle. I’m so very glad I did. The author is clearly hitting her stride with this novella. I was engrossed from the first few paragraphs, and read the whole novella in one sitting. Sellers gives us a wholly believable period piece that slips easily into bleak, blood-freezing terror. Read More →
Werewolves have been a metaphor for the transition of youth to adult since Tony Rivers fell into the clutches of Dr. Alfred Brandon in 1957. The Night Has Teeth returns to that metaphor with a tale of modern shape-shifters fighting a centuries-old battle in the streets of Paris, France. Read More →