Archive for September, 2013

First public reading of LOSING TOUCH selections

Posted in News on September 30, 2013 by Christian
LOSING TOUCH, now available at Amazon.com.

LOSING TOUCH, now available at Amazon.com.

The Tamale Hut Café has officially announced my LOSING TOUCH reading event on their reading series blog. Of course, I’ll be signing copies of my book, but even if you already have a copy, you can enjoy a delicious meal hear me stumble through my own prose. (I am promising myself I will practice beforehand.)

If you can find Brookfield Zoo (what proud Chicagoan can’t–Tropic World Africa rules!), you can find the Tamale Hut Café. Just take 1st Avenue to Cermak. The Tamale Hut Café is about 300 yards east of 1st on the south side of Cermak.

Centerstage.net says the Tamale Hut Café’s tamales “are made fresh daily, stuffed with hunks of pork or chicken, and double-wrapped in thick cornhusks to retain their heat and flavor. Vegetarians may choose between the bean or cheese varieties, and sweet tamales with bits of coconut and pineapple make a great dessert.”

Hellnotes‘ Michael Collings says of LOSING TOUCH that “Larsen has done an admirable job in reversing the Superhero motif, revealing the pitfalls and the potential dangers when a normal, average man find himself able to do unusual, extraordinary things but lacks any kind of instructional handbook or moral guidelines in making decisions. He handles the transitions from comic to tragic well, making Morgan’s systematic fall and final restoration a single, smooth, polished narrative.”

So, tamales + signed copies of LOSING TOUCH + the first public reading + you = awesome times. Don’t screw up my equation.

THE BEST OF THE HORROR SOCIETY 2013 spotlight on William F. Nolan

Posted in News on September 27, 2013 by Christian

My story, “It Has Teeth”, will appear in the upcoming THE BEST OF THE HORROR SOCIETY 2013, edited by Carson Buckingham. I am humbled to appear in this collection featuring some of horror’s best new talent, as well as some of the most accomplished names in the genre–names like Joe McKinney (FLESH EATERS), Mort Castle (NEW MOON ON THE WATER), and William F. Nolan (LOGAN’S RUN).

Nolan’s contribution, “Ceremony”, is about a contract killer stuck in a New England village who falls victim to a strange yearly rite. It is one of literally hundreds of pieces Nolan has written during his long and storied career, which began with a short piece called “The Immortal Ones: a Satire” in 1952. Novels, screenplays, poetry and non-fiction–William F. Nolan has done it all.

And he’s just one of the writers who contributed to THE BEST OF THE HORROR SOCIETY 2013, due October 15 via Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Here is the complete table of contents:

THE BEST OF THE HORROR SOCIETY 2013

THE BEST OF THE HORROR SOCIETY 2013, edited by Carson Buckingham

The Horror Society is a community of authors, artists, screen writers, filmmakers, actors, editors, publishers, and musicians who work and contribute to the universe of horror.

The stories in BLEED are “personal and evocative”

Posted in Book Reviews, News on September 26, 2013 by Christian

Amazon.com reader J. Worthen has posted a review of BLEED: A BOOK OF HOPE, which features my short story, “The Funeral Portrait”:

BLEED, now available at Amazon.com.

BLEED, now available at Amazon.com.

Reading BLEED left me terrified and moved more than I should admit. The book is a collection of short stories and poems collected to fight children’s cancer. It is a book of horror. And hope.

The tome begins with “True Horror”, an essay by Lori Michelle, describing what she went through when her son was diagnosed with cancer. It is a moving essay and if it were all there were in the book, I’d have thought my money well spent. But BLEED is filled with words by some the best new and rising stars in horror fiction, all lending their pens to this noble and honorable cause.

I won’t lie. I cried often while reading these stories. Not the usual effect of a horror anthology, I’ll grant you, but with each contribution I found the themes of childhood threatened resonating like weeping thunder in my father’s heart.

The styles are varied, the voices clear and strong, the stories personal and evocative. Even if it was not for such a good cause, I’d give this anthology the highest rating I could – such is the collection. Knowing it is a weapon in the war on children’s cancer, I wish only I could give it more stars.

This is the perfect anthology autumn evenings – great stories for a great cause. Buy it, give it, keep it by your bed.

Echoing Max Booth III, I too hope this anthology punches cancer right in the balls.

Each of the contributing writers lines up to take their best shot with the following essays and stories:

But no matter the quality of the story, we need you to buy and read this book to take a chunk out of childhood cancer. Proceeds from the sale of BLEED: A BOOK OF HOPE will be donated to the National Children’s Cancer Society.

BLEED features “tales of fantastic horror”

Posted in Book Reviews, News on September 25, 2013 by Christian

Amazon reader Scott Pratt has posted a review of BLEED: A BOOK OF HOPE, which features my short story, “The Funeral Portrait”:

BLEED, now available at Amazon.com.

BLEED, now available at Amazon.com.

When I was given the opportunity to read BLEED, I knew that the handpicked talent within would tell me tales of fantastic horror. I am happy to say that I was not disappointed. What I did not expect was to read a heartfelt essay by Lori Michelle, telling us one of the most horrific tales possible, a real life horror experience. I will not lie, the raw and intimate truth that was shared brought tears to my eyes, as well as an inventory of my blessing that my children are healthy. I knew that BLEED’S proceeds would benefit children with cancer, and I knew that each story would hold some sort of representation of the horrific disease, what I did not know was that the book would have such a profound affect on me while reading. The opening essay by Lori Michelle set the stage perfectly for what was to come, and I found myself searching each story for the cancerous evils within. With each story I read, I found myself thinking of my own children, and how devastating it would be to find out that they might have some form of cancer. Those thoughts made this book scarier than I could ever imagine.

BLEED is not your normal, run-of-the-mill horror anthology, instead it is a dose of hard-hitting reality disguised as a horror anthology. I strongly recommend this book to any horror fan, it will not only scare you, but also give a sense of satisfaction knowing that your money will also help benefit a child stricken with cancer.

With stories from authors like Bentley Little, Joe McKinney, William F. Nolan, Rick Hautala, Mort Castle, Gene O’Neill, Tim Waggoner, James Dorr, and Benjamin Kane Ethridge, you know you’re in for a helluva read. Here’s the complete table of contents:

Proceeds from the sale of BLEED: A BOOK OF HOPE will be donated to the National Children’s Cancer Society.

Shock Totem reviews CHIRAL MAD

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

John Boden reviewed CHIRAL MAD at Shock Totem back in June, and I realize now that I’ve never posted it on my website.

CHIRAL MAD, now available at Amazon.com.

CHIRAL MAD, now available at Amazon.com.

“Chirality” is, by definition, an object or system that does not match up to its mirror image. Hands are a common example of this. And we all know “mad” to mean insane or mentally ill. The two words that title this brilliant anthology basically tell you that these tales of varying madness and insanities will not be like anything you’ve read before. More than a title, it is a promise and one that is delivered upon.

The twenty-eight stories that make up CHIRAL MAD are all quite good. I will not go into all of them but will touch on my favorites…

Read the rest of the review here. And if you haven’t read CHIRAL MAD yet, pick up a copy at Amazon.com and enjoy the following stories:

Published by Written Backwards, CHIRAL MAD is a charity anthology that has raised thousands of dollars for the Down Syndrome Information Alliance.

THE BEST OF THE HORROR SOCIETY 2013 expected Oct. 15

Posted in News on September 22, 2013 by Christian
THE BEST OF THE HORROR SOCIETY 2013

Coming soon to Amazon & B&N.

The release date for THE BEST OF THE HORROR SOCIETY 2013, featuring my short story, “It Has Teeth”, has been moved up from Halloween to October 15th and will be available as a trade paperback and ebook via Amazon and Barnes & Noble, among other outlets.

Edited by Carson Buckingham, THE BEST OF THE HORROR SOCIETY will feature an impressive roster of writers, including William F. Nolan (LOGAN’S RUN), Joe McKinney (FLESH EATERS), L.L. Soares (LIFE RAGE), Mort Castle (NEW MOON ON THE WATER) and 2013 Igor Award-winner Doug Lamoreux (THE MELTING DEAD).

Here is the finalized table of contents:

The Horror Society is a community of authors, artists, screen writers, filmmakers, actors, editors, publishers, and musicians who work and contribute to the universe of horror.

WHAT FEARS BECOMES entertains “deepest fears hidden in the corners of the psyche”

Posted in Book Reviews on September 20, 2013 by Christian

Canadian book reviewer Betty Gelean wrote a review of WHAT FEARS BECOME for her review site a couple of years ago, but I just discovered it today:

WHAT FEARS BECOME, now available at Amazon.com.

WHAT FEARS BECOME, now available at Amazon.com.

What a variety of short stories! All of them within the horror or paranormal genres, every story completely different. This great collection comes from some newer authors, and several well-known authors. Jeani Rector has collected from among the best of the contributions of stories, poems and artwork from The Horror Zine. Some are just plain scary, some are psychological, some feature ghosts, monsters, werewolves, vampires, all the favourite demons of our nightmares and stories to be told around a campfire or at Hallowe’en. An anthology to bring shivers and have us listening to bumps in the night. Some even come with a bit of humour… ghoulish humour.

Reviewing an anthology is always somewhat difficult. Do I review them individually? Group them? Authors have contributed over 30 short stories, 18 poets contributing one or more poems each and 9 artists contributing. I think I will just say that this book will entertain the deepest fears hidden in the corners of the psyche. Great tales to tweak the imagination, make us feel something is watching, digging into our souls, acquainting us all with WHAT FEARS BECOME. Is your heart pounding and your spine tingling yet?

This was the first anthology in which my work had ever been published, and looking at the table of contents, you can probably guess how excited I was when I got this acceptance:

The Horror Zine followed up WHAT FEARS BECOME with A FEAST OF FRIGHTS in 2012 and this year’s SHADOW MASTERS (Imajin Books).

CHIRAL MAD is “a vastly superior collection of smart, stylish modern horror”

Posted in Book Reviews on September 19, 2013 by Christian

Richard Wright, author of CRAVEN PLACE, THY FEARFUL SYMMETRY, and CUCKOO has written a review of CHIRAL MAD, which features my short story, “Mirror Moments”:

CHIRAL MAD, now available at Amazon.com.

CHIRAL MAD, now available at Amazon.com.

A lot of charity anthologies aren’t very good. There, I’ve said it. A lot aren’t bad either, but it’s rare to find one that’s actually a superior book in its own right. CHIRAL MAD is raising money to support Downs Syndrome charities, and while that’s very worthy, I don’t recommend that you buy the book for that reason. Instead, I recommend it as that rarest of things – a vastly superior collection of smart, stylish modern horror. You should buy and read it, because it’s a phenomenally good book. That’s all the reason you need. These stories show just how intelligent and relevant the horror genre can be when it frees itself from shock, gore, and an obligation to actually scare you. These are stories that look at your life and the world you live in, peel back the edges, and say something about what’s underneath. Like the best of science fiction, these are stories that comment on the world.

They’re fun too, and constantly surprising. My own highlights start with Meghan Arcuri‘s witty and disturbing ‘Inevitable’, which takes an entertaining body swap scenario and uses it to poke at what identity is. Gary McMahon delivers ‘Some Pictures In An Album’, in which photographs are examined for forgotten truths and tell a disturbing story full of blanks that you as the reader have to complete as you see fit. Gary A. Braunbeck gives snapshots of a different life that is rotting at the centre in ‘Need’. There are many more I loved. Amidst the twenty-seven tales here there were perhaps five that didn’t work for me at all, draping vast quantities of style over too little substance, but that’s a a staggeringly good hit rate. It’s a real pleasure finding the genre I love (but often get frustrated with, due to lack of ambition from so many practitioners) presented with such relevance and skill.

Read this.

If you haven’t already, here are the stories you’re missing in CHIRAL MAD:

Published by Written Backwards, CHIRAL MAD is a charity anthology that has raised thousands of dollars for the Down Syndrome Information Alliance.

ZIPPERED FLESH 2 features “some wild and intense work”

Posted in Book Reviews, News on September 18, 2013 by Christian

Barnes & Noble reader “JTGar” has posted a review of ZIPPERED FLESH 2, which features my short story, “The Little Things”:

Last week I finished a great anthology and have been hunting down some of the authors to read more of what they have to offer and was happy when I found that this one contained two of those writers. The theme of this anthology, which is body modifications, had so many possibilities that I was pretty excited to read it, though I have to admit, I never read the first one.

ZIPPERED FLESH 2, now available at Amazon.com.

ZIPPERED FLESH 2, now available at Amazon.com.

The book starts off with a bang as Bryan Hall brings ‘The Modern Adonis’ to the table and show me that there’s more to body mods that just tattoos and piercings. It is a good story to start things off as he lets you know that you are about to read some wild and intense work.

The next story, Shaun Meeks‘s ‘Taut’ is one of those near perfect stories that flip back and forth through time with ease. The story is a simple idea on the surface, but Shaun really gets his hooks deep in the skin for this one and he left me hanging all the way. One of my favorites for sure.

The next story is Lisa Mannetti‘s ‘The Hunger Artist’ and it’s the slowest and quietest story of the set, but she controls the tension so well here and it doesn’t leave you disappointed at all.

The next one is Carson Buckingham‘s ‘Skin Deep’ which I thought was a blast and is followed up by Christine Morgan‘s ‘The Sun-Snake’ which is a blast from the past and is a visual treat. The book then goes through a virtually insane set of possibilities when it comes to body mods. From new body parts going mad to police officers that get sucked into their cases to a warped story about Sherlock Holmes that is truly original.

Then L.L. Soares brings us ‘Seeds’. L.L. recently won a Bram Stoker award in the best new novel category and if you have never read his great work, this is an amazing introduction.

LOSING TOUCH, featuring a foreword by Piers Anthony

LOSING TOUCH, featuring a foreword by Piers Anthony

You are then hit with another great blast of stories before you come to Christian A. Larsen’s ‘The Little Things’. I recently read his debut novel, LOSING TOUCH and here he shows that same ability he did there to be creepy and vicious, yet he shows the control of a master when he does.

When his is done, you continue the insanity, spiraling out of control and going further down the rabbit hole until you get to Michael Bailey‘s ‘Primal Tongue’. This one is more sci-fi than most, but that’s what makes it so great. A wrong place at the wrong time story that shows a possible future where paperback books have gone the way of the dinosaur and that is the start of all the problems. One of my top three for sure.

Overall, I really loved this book and feel compelled to read the first now, just to see the start of it all. I have also found many new writers to read and will begin hunting for their books now. Highly recommended.

Editor Weldon Burge put together a terrific mix of established and up-and-coming writers for ZIPPERED FLESH 2. Which ones were your favorites?

ZIPPERED FLESH and ZIPPERED FLESH 2 are products of Smart Rhino, a horror and suspense fiction publishing house based in Delaware.

SHADOW MASTERS writers “should be the next big thing”

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

Barnes & Noble reader “JTGar” has posted a review of SHADOW MASTERS: AN ANTHOLOGY FROM THE HORROR ZINE, which features my story, “The People Eaters”:

SHADOW MASTERS is now available to order for Kindle, Nook, and Kobo e-readers.

SHADOW MASTERS is now available to order for Kindle, Nook, and Kobo e-readers.

This is a really good anthology. I will admit that many of these writers, even the ones that are supposed to be well-known are new to me, but I think that many of the writers in here will and should be the next big thing. When I picked this up, I was really looking forward to the story by Bentley Little as I am a huge fan of his. And while the story is good, it sort of pales in comparison to many of the other stories in here. Especially as it follows Shaun Meeks‘ crazy ‘Red Velvet’, which is one of the top three stories in here. I think other highlights are stories by Lisa Morton, James Marlow, Ronald Malfi, Tim Jeffreys, Simon Clark, David Landrum and Christian A. Larsen. This book has ups and downs, but the downs are few and far between and even the story I liked the least was good, at least a three star story. If you like horror, and want a wide variety of it, this is your book.

As much as I appreciate JTGar’s kind words, I’m really wondering which ones are your favorites. Pick up a copy of SHADOW MASTERS, featuring a foreword by Joe R. Lansdale and single out your favorites in your own review:

SHADOW MASTERS (Imajin Books) is a product of THE HORROR ZINE, a monthly e-zine that publishes new issues the first of every month.