Archive for April, 2013

HORRIFIC HISTORY available as eBook

Posted in News on April 29, 2013 by Christian
HORRIFIC HISTORY cover art by Luke Spooner.

HORRIFIC HISTORY cover art by Luke Spooner.

HORRIFIC HISTORY, featuring my story, “Skin of Blue and Grey”, is now available as a Kindle eBook from Amazon.com.

What really sank the Titanic?

Why do we really celebrate Thanksgiving?

Did someone really raise the dead 2,000 years ago?

Evil has lurked behind the scenes since the dawn of time. Read the story behind the stories, and you’ll never look at history the same way again.

Edited by Robert Helmbrecht with original cover art by Luke Spooner, HORRIFIC HISTORY, also available in trade paperback, features the following alternate history horror stories:

Pick up a copy at Amazon.com or in trade paperback at the The World Horror Convention in New Orleans June 13-16. You’ll be able to buy signed copies at the Hazardous Press dealer table right next to the booth for Post Mortem Press which will be selling copies of my novel, LOSING TOUCH, featuring a foreword by NY Times bestselling author Piers Anthony.

POSTSCRIPTS TO DARKNESS 3 event tonight at Augusta House

Posted in News on April 27, 2013 by Christian
Be a part of the POSTSCRIPTS TO DARKNESS 3 launch event at Augusta House.

Be a part of the POSTSCRIPTS TO DARKNESS 3 launch event at Augusta House.

Toronto-area readers, come to Augusta House in the Kensington Market tonight to celebrate the release of POSTSCRIPTS TO DARKNESS 3, including my short story, “Thirteen Seconds”.

The event will feature readings from contributing authors and art displays by the anthology’s illustrators, as well as horror trivia and prizes, and of course, refreshments.

Previous PStD3 events include launch parties earlier this month at Avant-Garde Bar in Ottawa, where Lydia Peever read “Thirteen Seconds” for the assembled audience, and The Pilot House in Kingston, Ontario.

Here is the complete table of contents:

  • “Thirteen Seconds” by Christian A. Larsen
  • “Absolution” by Michael Kelly
  • “The Drawer” by Alyssa Cooper
  • “The One Who Always Gets to Sit in a Chair” by Ralph Robert Moore
  • “Priority: Murder Kill” by Jason Philip Wierzba
  • “Filmy Residue” by Lucas Dawes
  • “What Happens in Vegas” by Karen Robiscoe
  • “Request Stop” by Frank Roger
  • “Carl and Monty’s Prairie Wager” by James K. Moran
  • “What They Wore” by Kyle Hemmings
  • “Lines, the Goa” by David Newson
  • “Empty Spots” by Carly Berg
  • “Shade Creeper” by Alexander Gonzalez
  • “The Obstruction” by Kriscinda Everitt
  • “I’m Almost You” by Stephen McQuiggan
  • “New God” by Maj Ikle
  • “Bone” by Kera Willis
  • “The Palm at the End of the Mind” by Patrick Roscoe

POSTSCRIPTS TO DARKNESS 3 is edited by Sean Moreland and Aalya Ahmad, and copy edited by Ranylt Richildis, with layout and design by Danny Lalonde. Visit the official PstD page by clicking here.

Pick up HORRIFIC HISTORY at Amazon.com

Posted in News on April 26, 2013 by Christian
HORRIFIC HISTORY cover art by Luke Spooner.

HORRIFIC HISTORY cover art by Luke Spooner.

My story, “Skin of Blue and Grey”, is now available at Amazon.com as part of HORRIFIC HISTORY from Hazardous Press.

Edited by Robert Helmbrecht, HORRIFIC HISTORY tells the story behind historical events, like zombies in the Civil War, vampires in Renaissance Italy, shapeshifters in the ancient Far East, and aliens, demons, and spirits throughout history.

The cover art by Luke Spooner (pictured right) gives you a glimpse of the kind of horror you’ll find in the book’s pages:

Here is the complete table of contents:

In addition to its availability at Amazon.com, HORRIFIC HISTORY will also be available at The World Horror Convention in New Orleans, June 13-16 at the Hotel Monteleone. Hazardous Press will have a booth next to Post Mortem Press, which will be selling copies of my novel, LOSING TOUCH, featuring a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Piers Anthony.

Amazing Stories reviews ZOMBIE JESUS AND OTHER TRUE STORIES

Posted in Book Reviews, News on April 24, 2013 by Christian

Matt Mitrovich has written a review for AMAZING STORIES of ZOMBIE JESUS AND OTHER TRUE STORIES, which features my short story, “Sic Semper Versipellis” and says he “found all the stories to be quite satisfying”.

ZOMBIE JESUS AND OTHER TRUE STORIES, now available at Amazon.com.

ZOMBIE JESUS AND OTHER TRUE STORIES, now available at Amazon.com.

Horror and alternate history are difficult genres to mash up. You just don’t see them together very often and despite my firm belief in the adaptability of alternate history, it is rare when you see an author effectively combine horror and alternate history tropes into a compelling read. When it is usually tried we are presented with a dystopia (any Axis victory scenario will do) or some Lovecraftian inspired tale (i.e. “A Colder War” by Charles Stross or “The Beast of the Bosporus” by Matthew Quinn). The ability, however, to convey sheer terror to the reader while asking them to accept a counterfactual setting, may be too much for their suspension of disbelief to handle.

That brings us to ZOMBIE JESUS AND OTHER TRUE STORIES, an alternate history horror anthology edited by Max Booth III and published by Dark Moon Books…

Read the rest of the review here. And if you haven’t read the book, here’s a look at what you’re missing:

  • “Damned” by Cody Langille
  • “The Hunger Beneath the Sea” by T. Fox Dunham
  • “Saving Cloud-Girl” by Eric J. Hildeman
  • “Culture Sculptor” by Charlie Fish
  • “Partners” by Ian Welke
  • “The Hopeful Doctor” by E.F. Schraeder
  • Sic Semper Versipellis” by Christian A. Larsen
  • “Auction” by James Hoch
  • “The Darwin Line” by James Ciscell
  • “Victoria, Victoria” by K.M. Indovina
  • “Those That Knock” by Morgen Knight
  • “The Journal of USS Indianapolis Survivor: Stefanos “Stevie” Georgiou” by Kevin James Breaux
  • “Avoid Seeing a Mouse” by James Dorr
  • “The Golgotha Fight Song” by Barrie Darke
  • “Legends” by Kristopher Triana

When you’re finished reading, please leave a review at Amazon.com and help fellow readers decide if they want to give the book a try.

Eric J. Guignard reviews SO IT GOES

Posted in Book Reviews, News on April 22, 2013 by Christian

Editor Eric J. Guignard, who’s Dark Moon Books anthology AFTER DEATH has been nominated for a Bram Stoker Award®, read SO IT GOES: A TRIBUTE TO KURT VONNEGUT. In his review, he says my short story, “The Fountain of Relative Youth” is “one of the darker pieces in this book, following the sadistic irony of such stories as ‘The Monkey’s Paw’. It made me squirm and had an awesome ending.”

This anthology is a collection of stories that pay tribute to the applauded–if not cherished–author, Kurt Vonnegut. As a matter of full confidentiality, and though I recognize Vonnegut’s name and the subject matter he stood for, I am not intimately familiar with his writing. However, taking each of the stories in this anthology on face value provides a refreshing array of thoughtful philosophies regarding life, religion, and the human condition, all with a dark, playful, or cynical bent…

Read the rest of the review here. If you haven’t read SO IT GOES, you’re missing these terrific stories:

  • “The Grand Tour” by Frank Roger
  • “Saving God” by Jay Wilburn
  • “How to Succeed in Academia” by K. A. Laity
  • “Critical Thinking Skills” by James W. Hritz
  • “The Unhappy Accident or Feelin’ Fine” by T. Fox Dunham
  • “The Truth” by Jonathan Balog
  • “You’re Toast” by E.E. King
  • “The Joke’s on You” by Philip Simondet
  • “It Takes Four to Tango” by Mike Sheedy
  • “The Policy” by Thomas Messina
  • “Riding” by Aric Zair
  • “Corrective Action (or Illegal Discharge Legally Charged)” by Tony Wayne Brown
  • “Dead Girls, Dying Girls” by James Dorr
  • “Modern Science Has Yet to Find a Cure” by Michael Lee Smith 
  • “The Fountain of Relative Youth” by Christian A. Larsen
  • “My Best Friend is a Robot” by Brady Gerber
  • “Fido” by James Wymore
  • “Responsibility is Key” by Rachael Durbin
  • “Megastar Hopper” by Sue Lange
  • “Dog. Girl. Armless Karaoke Maniac.” by Joseph McKinley
  • “Nedserd” by Eli Wilde
  • “A Tribute to Ernest Glipp” by C. M. Chapman

When you’re done reading, please leave your own review–any kind of review, but if you’re looking for some structure, check out this idea posted at Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing’s website that might help you get started.

Eric J. Guignard: "The Fountain of Relative Youth" made him squirm "and had an awesome ending."

Eric J. Guignard: “The Fountain of Relative Youth” made him squirm “and had an awesome ending.”

SKULL WORLD review

Posted in Movie Reviews on April 19, 2013 by Christian

One of the nice things about getting to know people in the horror biz, is sometimes you get to go “back stage”, even if it’s only in the digital sense. I was recently given the chance to screen SKULL WORLD, a documentary by Unstable Ground’s Justin McConnell, and brother, you’ve never seen a documentary quite like this:

coverThe truth is stranger than fiction. If you don’t believe me,  watch SKULL WORLD, a documentary by  Justin McConnell about Greg “Skull Man” Sommer, who either never grew  up, or grew up the way we all should–by enjoying life.

Sommer is a balding thirty-something who lifts weights, shreds to  heavy metal, and, while he earns money on the side digging graves, he becomes  perhaps the western hemisphere’s pre-eminent box warrior in which he engages in  combat using hand crafted armor and weapons made out of cardboard. You’ve seen  kids doing this, maybe. But you’ve never seen adults doing it. And Sommer, who  since high school has been donning a rubber skull mask and adopting the moniker  of “Skull Man”, is among the elite.

With SKULL WORLD, the  viewer is given a front-row seat to two years of Sommer’s life, as he explains,  or tries to explain, what

Read the rest of the review at The Horror Zine.

Kenneth W. Cain poses a question

Posted in News on April 18, 2013 by Christian

Kenneth W. Cain, author of DEAD CIVIL WAR (2013, Post Mortem Press, $15.00 in paperback, $4.99 in digital) is hosting a series of one-question interviews on his website, and today, it’s my turn. Cain asked me “When does a character become too real?” and you can read my answer here.

Here is a rundown of the first ten of Cain’s one-question interviews:

Post Mortem Press is taking orders for the hardcover edition of THE GHOST IS THE MACHINE.

Post Mortem Press is taking orders for the hardcover edition of THE GHOST IS THE MACHINE.

Cain and I both contributed short stories to Post Mortem Press‘s 2012 steampunk-inspired horror anthology, THE GHOST IS THE MACHINE, which you can order in ebook, paperback, or hardcover formats.

The anthology, edited by Patrick Scalisi, topped the Preditors & Editors™ readers’ poll for best anthology of 2012 and includes “Scheherazade’s Typewriter,” a story from Bram Stoker-award winner Joe Hill and Rob Smales’s “Photo Finish,” which finished first in the poll’s horror short story category.

Post Mortem Press will be releasing my novel, LOSING TOUCH, on June 25, with special “street availability” during the 2013 World Horror Convention incorporating the Bram Stoker Awards® June 13-16 at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans. The Aberdeen Tap in the River West Neighborhood is hosting the Chicago release event on Sunday, June 23.

Felicia A. Sullivan asks me about writing … and zombies

Posted in News, Observations & Musings on April 18, 2013 by Christian

Felicia A. Sullivan, who is editing my upcoming novel, LOSING TOUCH, asked me a couple of questions about why I’m a writer, how I write, and what my plan is for the inevitable zombie apocalypse:

LOSING TOUCH, coming June 25 from Post Mortem Press.

LOSING TOUCH, coming June 25 from Post Mortem Press.

FAS: The first question is, are you tired of answering the same old questions in interviews?

CAL: I don’t think I’ve done this long enough to be tired of answering any questions. So either I’m a newb, or I love talking about myself. Maybe a little of both, and neither are particularly flattering.

FAS: Have you always wanted to be a writer, or did you just kind of fall into it?

CAL: I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was 10. I read THE HOBBIT in fourth grade and I was absolutely hooked. I knew I wanted to do THAT. I’ve always been good at mechanics and majored in broadcast journalism, but I didn’t start writing seriously until about five years ago when I decided that, if by my mid 30s I wasn’t going to do it, I never would.

FAS: What’s your process? Do you have a set writing schedule, or do you wing it?

CAL: Start writing. Keep writing. Finish. Edit as I go, as I catch things. It’s not the writing process I taught as an English teacher, but it’s what works for me. I guess that’s a testament to what I think of formal education. My only rule is 500 words a day. Miss a day and I generally make it up the next with a thousand.

FAS: What is your favorite genre to read? To write?

CAL: I like reading almost everything. My favorite authors are J.R.R. Tolkien, Stephen King, and John Steinbeck. I also love Faulkner, Shirley Jackson–my goodness, I could go on if I let myself, but that gives you an idea. Writing is pretty much speculative fiction, and of horror, science fiction, and fantasy, I seem to gravitate toward horror the most. If I knew why, I would tell you.

FAS: What was the first book you wrote, and how successful was it?

CAL: The first book I wrote was called GRIMNIR’S OATH. I didn’t publish it. I didn’t even shop it. It was a high fantasy novel in the vein of THE LORD OF THE RINGS, and it is safely tucked away where no one can see it. Not that it was a waste of time. It taught me how NOT to write. That was back when I thought I needed to sound like Tolkien to be any good, and it was shit. After that, I discovered my own voice, and the writing comes much easier now.

FAS: How do you spend your time when you are not writing? Do you have any interesting hobbies?

CAL: When I’m not writing, I’m chasing my kids down. Two boys, aged 9 and 7. They run me ragged, but they’re the best.

FAS: Does your family support your writing dreams/career/goals?

CAL: Absolutely. My wife is great at running herd on the kids while I barricade myself in the bedroom to write. My parents and brother are dedicated beta readers.

FAS: How many books have you written, and which one is your absolute favorite?

CAL: I’ve written two novels: GRIMNIR’S OATH (see above) and LOSING TOUCH. LOSING TOUCH is by far the better of the two, but GRIMNIR’S OATH will always have a special place in my heart. It was my first…

FAS: Do you read reviews of your books? How do they affect you, whether positive or negative?

CAL: Of course I read reviews of my work. They are generally pretty positive, though the negative ones are good, too. You can’t please all the people all the time, and the bad reviews keep you honest. If there weren’t any bad reviews, you’d start to wonder if the good ones really represent actual people or if they’re just friends and family blowing smoke up your ass.

FAS: You know the last question always is: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? So yeah, answer that, but then tell us (whether you write in the genre or not) your plan for riding out the zombie apocalypse.

CAL: Write every day, like an exercise regimen. Don’t let your writing muscles get flabby. Don’t think about writing. Simply write. If it’s shitty, don’t publish, revise. But write, write, and write some more.

My plan for riding out the zombie apocalypse is to die early. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

Post Mortem Press will release LOSING TOUCH June 25, with special “street availability” during the 2013 World Horror Convention incorporating the Bram Stoker Awards® June 13-16 at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans. The Aberdeen Tap in the River West Neighborhood is hosting the Chicago release event on Sunday, June 23.

Snakebite Horror gives A FEAST OF FRIGHTS 5/5 stars

Posted in Book Reviews, News on April 17, 2013 by Christian

Nathan Robinson has reviewed A FEAST OF FRIGHTS FROM THE HORROR ZINE, featuring my short story, “Clawed Sod,” for Snakebite Horror, and he has awarded it five out of five stars:

5/5 stars for A FEAST OF FRIGHTS.

5/5 stars for A FEAST OF FRIGHTS.

Right, if you’ve a hat, take it off. Take it off for Jeani Rector, the editor of this bloomin’ marvellous anthology. Whilst not every story is as fantastic as the last (they can’t all be my favourites), there are some truly great tales in here. With close to forty stories here, I’ll not go in-depth, but choose my favourites from the bulging abundance of the 473 pages.

Scratchings by Matt Leyson brings us a bastard love child of Guy N Smith and Clive Barker in this grisly creature horror that is equally atmospheric and pulpy…

Read the rest of the review here. And if you haven’t read the anthology yet yourself, here’s what you’re missing:

And that’s just the short stories. You’ll also find poetry, artwork, and essays from some of the biggest names in the horror industry in A FEAST OF FRIGHTS FROM THE HORROR ZINE, now available at Amazon.com.

Why did Booth shoot Lincoln?

Posted in Observations & Musings on April 14, 2013 by Christian

148 years ago tonight, Abraham Lincoln was fatally shot in the back of the head by John Wilkes Booth, but that’s just the beginning of the story, ‘Sic Semper Versipellis‘ which is now available as part of ZOMBIE JESUS AND OTHER TRUE STORIES at Amazon.com from Dark Moon Books:

ZOMBIE JESUS AND OTHER TRUE STORIES, now available at Amazon.com.

ZOMBIE JESUS AND OTHER TRUE STORIES, now available at Amazon.com.

“What did he say?” asked Clement, touching the tip of his pencil to his tongue and flipping his reporter’s notebook to a fresh page, his notes on the evening’s performance of “Our American Cousin” completely forgotten.

“That was John Wilkes Booth,” one man said, repeating it a few times to tamp down his own disbelief.

“John Wilkes Booth, the actor?”

“The same,” answered another.  

“What did he say?” Clement repeated.  He valued the byline ‘Clement Ambrose’ and wanted to make sure the details were absolutely solid before he wrote anything.

“‘The South is avenged,’” offered someone else.

“No, it was Latin,” suggested another anonymous voice in the now madly-chattering crowd.  The burnt smell of the spent gunpowder seemed to be waking them up from the shock.  “Something or other to the effect of ‘thus always to turncoats.’”

“It was the Virginia state motto,” insisted still someone more.  “Sic semper tyrannis.”

The man, Booth according to most, was gone, having leaped to the stage from the presidential box and off from there.  All that was left was a strip of bunting that had caught his spur, still tacked by one corner to the rail of Lincoln’s box as it trailed down to the floor in a twisted wreck, like the innards of a wounded soldier.

What if Booth had a good reason for killing Lincoln? One that had nothing to do with politics and war? We think we know what happened, based on the evidence provided by his co-conspirators and journals, but it’s possible, disturbingly so, that there was a far more sinister motive for the shooting at Ford’s Theater on April 14, 1865.

Asking that question begs the next: what else don’t we know? Read the secrets your high school history teacher didn’t want you to know in the following stories:

  • “Damned” by Cody Langille
  • “The Hunger Beneath the Sea” by T. Fox Dunham
  • “Saving Cloud-Girl” by Eric J. Hildeman
  • “Culture Sculptor” by Charlie Fish
  • “Partners” by Ian Welke
  • “The Hopeful Doctor” by E.F. Schraeder
  • Sic Semper Versipellis” by Christian A. Larsen
  • “Auction” by James Hoch
  • “The Darwin Line” by James Ciscell
  • “Victoria, Victoria” by K.M. Indovina
  • “Those That Knock” by Morgen Knight
  • “The Journal of USS Indianapolis Survivor: Stefanos “Stevie” Georgiou” by Kevin James Breaux
  • “Avoid Seeing a Mouse” by James Dorr
  • “The Golgotha Fight Song” by Barrie Darke
  • “Legends” by Kristopher Triana

ZOMBIE JESUS AND OTHER TRUE STORIES, edited by Max Booth III, 176 pp., Dark Moon Books, $14.95.