If you have not yet read the Sin du Jour series from Matt Wallace, or the short story “Small Wars” at Tor.com, hie thee to your bookseller of choice and get all three books, right now. Pride’s Spell is the third book in the series.
Matt Wallace cooks up (obvious pun intended) a perfect blend of urban fantasy and laugh-out-loud comedy. Add a side of brilliantly rendered characters navigating situations that would reduce most people to quivering piles of Jell-O, and you’ve got a series that never fails to satisfy. Continue reading
It’s every parent’s nightmare. The late-night phone call from another set of worried parents: “Did Tommy come home?” His friends stammer out a story that ends with, “we lost Tommy.” If you have children, just the thought of this situation is enough to give you chills. This isn’t Elizabeth Sanderson’s first experience with sudden disappearance; her husband vanished for months when Tommy and Kate were very young. His absence was a mystery, only partially solved when he committed suicide eight months later. Continue reading
The Sign in the Moonlight and Other Stories by David Tallerman brings thirteen previously published stories to a new audience and adds one more brand new tale to the lineup. Like all collections, there were some stories that kept me entranced and others that were more easily put down, but there wasn’t a dud in the bunch. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
Dog Days: Deadly Passages is part of the “Double Down” series from JournalStone Publishing, where two novellas or short novels are paired up for one good read. The concept isn’t new. Ace Books offered “Ace Doubles” featuring two SF novels at a time, and those old pulps sustained my teenage reading habit in my outdated, rural high schools. JournalStone has revived the practice and presents two horror stories in this collection, and both are outstanding. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
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. Continue reading