Archive for September, 2013

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.

TOC for THE BEST OF THE HORROR SOCIETY 2013 revealed

Posted in News on September 16, 2013 by Christian
THE BEST OF THE HORROR SOCIETY 2013

THE BEST OF THE HORROR SOCIETY 2013

The Horror Society is slated to release its first annual “best of” anthology on October 31 entitled THE BEST OF THE HORROR SOCIETY 2013, which will include my short story, “It Has Teeth”.

More importantly, it will feature 28 terrifying tales written by some of the industry’s most talented writers, and a few writers that will probably be new to you, including the 2013 Horror Society Igor Award-winner Doug Lamoreux.

Edited by Carson Buckingham, THE BEST OF THE HORROR SOCIETY 2013 will also feature Bram Stoker Award winners, best-selling authors, and conquerors of Hollywood and beyond…

Here is the finalized table of contents:

I will post information soon about purchasing THE BEST OF THE HORROR SOCIETY 2013 at http://www.exlibrislarsen.com.

Pre-order SHADOW MASTERS on Kobo and Nook

Posted in News on September 14, 2013 by Christian
Pre-order SHADOW MASTERS for Kobo or Nook.

Pre-order SHADOW MASTERS for Kobo or Nook.

SHADOW MASTERS: AN ANTHOLOGY FROM THE HORROR ZINE is now available to preorder for Kobo and Nook devices. Buy the book at the special sale price of  $2.99, and you’ll receive it on your device after it’s release on October 15.

It will also be available on iTunes shortly—for pre-orders as well, same dates. I didn’t even know iTunes sold ebooks, which I admit fairly shamefacedly, because, well … professional interest and everything. I guess iTunes has been selling books for quite a while now.
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If you haven’t picked up SHADOW MASTERS: AN ANTHOLOGY FROM THE HORROR ZINE (because for some reason you’re not really into paperbacks and Kindles, of course), here’s what you’re missing:

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

LOSING TOUCH at the Cincinnati Comic Expo

Posted in News on September 13, 2013 by Christian
Buy LOSING TOUCH this weekend at the Duke Energy Center.

Buy LOSING TOUCH this weekend at the Duke Energy Center.

Come pick up your signed copy of LOSING TOUCH, featuring a foreword by NY Times bestselling author Piers Anthony, this weekend at the Cincinnati Comic Expo at the Duke Energy Center.

I’ll be signing copies of my debut novel, as well as the Pat Scalisi-edited anthology THE GHOST IS THE MACHINE, in which my short story “The Talent’s in the Bones” appears.

I’ll be joined at the Post Mortem Press table this weekend by Steve Wellington, author of PRACTICE TO DECEIVE, and Brian Dobbins, author of JASMINE’S TALE and its 2013 sequel, WITCH’S CARTEL.

Aside from all the books, art, pop culture memorabilia and cosplay fun (not to mention LEGO building courses, art classes, and face painting for the kids), the Cincinnati Comic Expo will be wall to wall celebrities, including Billy Boyd (THE LORD OF THE RINGS),  Ricou Browning (THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON), Nicholas Brendon, (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER), Craig Parker (SPARTACUS), Marina Sirtis (STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION), and Richard Keil, who played “Jaws” in two James Bond films, “Mr. Larson” in HAPPY GILMORE, and the Kanamit ambassador in THE TWILIGHT ZONE episode “To Serve Man”.

ZIPPERED FLESH 2 stories “hit you and hit you hard”

Posted in Book Reviews, News on September 11, 2013 by Christian

Barnes & Noble reader “Faithful85”, has posted a review of the body modification anthology ZIPPERED FLESH 2, edited by Weldon Burge and published by Smart Rhino Publications:

ZIPPERED FLESH 2, now available at Amazon.com.

ZIPPERED FLESH 2, now available at Amazon.com.

What a great anthology. I read some of the first one, but never finished it, though I intend to after this one. I picked this up a few days ago and tore through it. The book starts off strong with a crazy story by Bryan Hall called ‘The Modern Adonis’. It was strange and pretty nasty. Speaking of nasty, the next one was Shaun Meeks‘ ‘Taut’ and this was by far the best in here. Very realistic and made me squirm quite a bit. ‘The Hunger Artist’ [by Lisa Mannetti] was good and strange, flipped back and forth through time and kept me curious as to what would come next. The next stand out was M.L. Roos‘s ‘After Darque’ which is all about obsession and worked so well. L.L. Soares‘ ‘Seeds’, Doug Blakeslee‘s ‘Perfection’, Kealan Patrick Burke‘s ‘Underneath’ and Christian A. Larsen‘s ‘The Little Things’ are all stand outs here. With imagination and truly horrific ideas, the writers hit you and hit you hard. And just as the book started strong, it ends strong with the second best story here, Michael Bailey‘s ‘Primal Tongue’ where being in the wrong place at the wrong time and wanting to read make for a terrifying situation. There isn’t a single unlikable story in here. The editor went out of his way to line up some major talent and this is a must have.

Steroids from Hell. Horrendous piercings. Bizarre brain modifications. Obscene amputations. Facial reconstruction. Self-mutilation. Implants. Chilling tales by some of the best horror and suspense writers today, determined to keep you fearful all night (and skittish during the day):

If you enjoy these stories, please show your appreciation by leaving a review at AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads, or your blog. Each and every contributor would appreciate the hell out of it.