Archive for January, 2014

FORTUNE: LOST AND FOUND is an “interesting take on the horror genre”

Posted in Book Reviews, News on January 9, 2014 by Christian

Amazon reader Charlotte Vale has written a nice review of FORTUNE: LOST AND FOUND, a greed-themed anthology from Omnium Gatherum edited by L.S. Murphy and Kate Jonez:

Now available at Amazon.

Now available at Amazon.

One of my favorite novels is “McTeague” by Frank Norris. So, when I began reading FORTUNE: LOST AND FOUND, I had McTeague’s Trina and her pitfalls in mind. I was defining greed in terms of money alone. A few of the stories from the “Fortune” anthology did the same but added their own twists and turns. “Hungry” by Eric J. Guignard and “The Rules” by Lizz-Ayn Shaarawi were more traditional in definitions but far from cookie-cutter or ordinary. Both were engaging and well-written. Both created atmosphere and built to interesting conclusions.

I moved on to other stories and found that this anthology had a few pleasant surprises which challenged me to look beyond the traditional definitions of greed. “A Friend in Paga” by Brent Michael Kelley made a commodity out of something most animals, including humans, take for granted. And the effect was chilling.

“The Plagiartist’s Wireless” by Christian A. Larsen was another favorite. I attempted several times to predict the outcome of this story without success. The story itself felt authentic and grounded in reality, which is probably what threw me off the scent at every turn. I won’t divulge any spoilers but will say that I felt a kinship with the writer and his attitudes about the importance of art and its influences.

“Trabajando Alegre” by Wednesday Lee Friday was heartbreaking and left me with such a feeling of despair that I wanted to watch a Busby Berkeley movie upon completing it. In other words, it had such a profound effect on my mood that I was desperate for an escape into something campy and garish. Definitely an effective story.

My one criticism is that I didn’t care for the look of the book. If the theme and certain authors hadn’t intrigued me, I doubt I would have purchased it. Fortunately for me, I did not judge this book by its cover. I would have missed out on some fine writing if I had.

Click here to read the review on Amazon and buy a copy of the book in paperback or for your Kindle, because if you haven’t read FORTUNE: LOST AND FOUND yet, here’s what you’re missing:

Omnium Gatherum is a small press dedicated to providing dark fantasy and transgressive fiction in print, ebook, and audio formats.

Christian A. Larsen is the author of LOSING TOUCH, featuring a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Piers Anthony, now available in paperback and ebook formats from Post Mortem Press.

ZIPPERED FLESH 2 provides “many interesting distractions”

Posted in Book Reviews, News on January 7, 2014 by Christian
ZIPPERED FLESH 2, now available at Amazon.com.

ZIPPERED FLESH 2, now available at Amazon.com.

Goodreads reviewer “Hakan” has posted a review of ZIPPERED FLESH 2, a body modification horror anthology from Smart Rhino Publications which features my short story, “The Little Things”.

In his review, Hakan calls ZIPPERED FLESH 2  a “nice collection of horror stories” that provided “many interesting distractions for many lunch breaks”.

He singles out “Taut” from Shaun Meeks as “being the most impressive and ‘The Sun-Snake’ [by Christine Morgan is] a close second.”

Edited by Weldon BurgeZIPPERED FLESH 2 features the following contributions:

Read the entire review here. Find out more about Smart Rhino, a Delaware-based horror and suspense fiction publishing house, by clicking here.

Christian A. Larsen is the author of LOSING TOUCH, featuring a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Piers Anthony, now available in paperback and ebook formats from Post Mortem Press.

Like these hoarfrosted horror flicks? Not everybody did…

Posted in Observations & Musings on January 5, 2014 by Christian

forecastIt’s cold today in Chicagoland (and the eastern two thirds of the country), with worse cold front moving in tonight, bringing wind chills down to 40 or 50 below zero.

It’s going to be so bad, schools are already closed in some places, and area businesses are canceling deliveries due to extreme cold.

Now’s your chance to find a weather appropriate horror movie you want to watch while old man winter does his thing, and these are movies that I thoroughly enjoyed, but remember–different strokes for different folks:

THE SHINING (1980)

A writer takes job as a winter caretaker at a hotel in the mountains. His psychic son just wants to ride his Big Wheel. When the family is trapped inside by a snowstorm, the writer starts to fall under the sway of the ghosts that haunt the hotel.

You just saw the trailer. After seeing the whole movie, what did the following Amazon reviewer think?

the shining

I’ll give you points if you criticize the movie for not following the original novel by Stephen King (which, you’ll note, isn’t even one of his/her criticisms).

But if you use “very” as an adjective in your review (twice in succession, and without a comma) and complain that THE SHINING isn’t a movie for kids, wellsir, you’re just kind of an idiot. I’ll go with Kubrick on this one.

THE THING (1982)

Please, please, puh-leese, don’t call this the remake of THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD starring James Arness. Because it’s not. They’re both adaptations of John W. Campbell’s landmark novella, WHO GOES THERE?, and John Carpenter’s THE THING is way, waaaay closer to the source material.

If that looked like the 2011 movie entitled, THE THING, it’s because the 2011 movie is a prequel to the 1982 movie, and it pretty much follows the exact same plot, making it a prequel and a remake. Weird.

the thing

I get the sneaking suspicion that this guy just doesn’t like movies. Because … sigh.

MISERY (1990)

The second of two Stephen King film adaptations on the list, and hey, bonus points for me because this one is also about a writer! He’s taken hostage by a crackpot fan after a winter car accident nearly does him in, and his fan uses his weakened condition to make him write the sequel of her dreams … or else!

So there’s Kathy Bates scaring the crap out of us with that sweet as pie demeanor who reminds me of … I can’t say, lest I wind up with both legs broken and a typewriter in my lap that’s missing the ‘e’.

misery

The Liberian Mark Twain liked TITANIC so much, he uses it as a benchmark against which he judges MISERY?

RAVENOUS (1999)

Wendigo cannibalism in 1840s California? Throw in Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle, and Jeffery Jones, and you’ve got yourself a movie. David Arquette’s okay, too.

If you haven’t seen RAVENOUS, you can see you’re in for a quirky, bloody, disturbing movie. Not your standard horror fare, but some people still expect a slasher film if it’s labeled “horror”.

ravenous

You know what sucked? That review.

30 DAYS OF NIGHT (2007)

For the record, this movie about vampires besieging an Alaskan town in the midst of a monthlong night is directed by David Slade. S-L-A-D-E.

Yes, yes, yes … I know that Barrow doesn’t have a 30 days of uninterrupted night, followed by a run-of-the-mill dawn, but it’s still a cool concept, and a pretty well done movie. Unless you’re this guy:

30 days of night

This just in … 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, a vampire movie, is both “fake” and “bloody”. Just in case you thought it was a documentary about vampires who sipped their blood from the good bone china.

DEAD SNOW (2009)

Tommy Wirkola gives us cursed Nazi gold, zombies, and a ski cabin full of nubile Norwegians in this tour-de-force farce of a horror movie, the likes of which I haven’t seen since RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD.

As you can tell, DEAD SNOW has it all. But you kind of have to manage your expectations. If you’re expecting something else.

dead snow

Damn you, Tommy Wirkola, for making a movie in your native Norwegian. Time to speak ‘Merican!

FROZEN (2010)

This isn’t the 2013 Disney movie. Two buddies and one of their girlfriends are stranded on a ski-lift, 50 feet in the air, with a wind chill below zero.

I can’t decide if I’m more freaked out by the cold or by the heights. That’s a lie. It’s the heights.

frozen

It’s hard to contest such a well-articulated position. Well done, Bigjay. Well done, indeed.

LET ME IN (2010)

I’m probably going to sound like a homer by saying I thought LET ME IN was better than the Swedish original, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, but I likes what I likes.

To be clear, LET ME IN was never trying to fool people into thinking that it was an original story, or that the book and Swedish movie never existed, but some people will insist on believing that, anyway.

let me in

First off, fail for use of the R-word. Plus, if you’ve seen both versions, you might agree that there is some character development in the American version that wasn’t there in the Swedish version. Or you might not. I dunno.

TROLLHUNTER (2010)

A mockumentary from André Øvredal about a group of student filmmakers who think they’re doing a piece on a bear poacher. What they find is, well, in the title.

Norwegian filmmaker. Original title is TROLLJEGEREN. What language do you think it’s in?

trollhunter

Also? Those Norwegian accents were fake as hell.

THE GREY (2011)

Okay, so THE GREY is more of a thriller than a horror film, but I think if you find yourself surviving a plane crash in an arctic wilderness chased by a pack of wolves, you’d think it was pretty horrible.

A stirring story with genuine characterization … wait, let me check with my kids to see what they think…

the grey

Too much cursing? If you thought so, then please don’t see THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, m’kay?

So pick a flick, build a fire, and climb under a big, chunky blanket while this howler blows over. And if you want to leave a review, then, by all means! And if you can’t get enough of bad reviews of quality works, click here.

Christian A. Larsen is the author of LOSING TOUCH, featuring a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Piers Anthony, now available in paperback and ebook formats from Post Mortem Press.

Jay Wilburn: “The action and story will pay out for any reader that picks up LOSING TOUCH”

Posted in News on January 4, 2014 by Christian

Jay Wilburn (TIME EATERS, LOOSE ENDS) interviewed me for VOMIT METAL BLAH, a  blog “spewing out music x film x book reviews”. I talk about LOSING TOUCH, the publishing biz, cool writers I’ve met, and other important topics:

Now shipping from Amazon.com.

Now shipping from Amazon.com.

Christian A. Larsen is the author of LOSING TOUCH and many of the best short stories I’ve ever read. I read enough to where that shit should be mildly impressive to you all. The fancy word for a superhero story written as a novel or short story is a meta human story. I’m not sure if LOSING TOUCH is really a superhero story, but I’ll ask Larsen in just a moment.

What I do know about the novel is that it is great. Larsen captured my attention and made me care about the characters right from the first pages. Morgan, the main character, fights the real battles of family, work, and failure. He even attempts a one night stand that shows with great powers and with great dong come great responsibility. It’s important to the story, I swear.

Larsen does a good job of showing us Morgan’s struggle to decide how to use his powers or curse to try to cheat around the other disappointments and short comings in his life. It is an origin story, a story of good versus evil within one man, and an exploration of everyone’s inner battles.

The action and story will pay out for any reader that picks up LOSING TOUCH.

Let’s have words with the man himself and see what’s what…

Read the interview here. And be sure to keep up with Jay Wilburn’s whereabouts by clicking here. You don’t want that guy sneaking up on you.

SHADOW MASTERS 99¢ sale ends today!

Posted in News on January 3, 2014 by Christian
SHADOW MASTERS, now available at Amazon.

SHADOW MASTERS, now available at Amazon.

The Kindle edition of SHADOW MASTERS, which features my short story, “The People Eaters” is on sale for 99¢, but for an extremely limited time, as in the sale ends today.

Wait on this one, and you’ll be shelling out $4.99, which is still totally worth it, but why not save the four bucks and buy a fancy coffee (small, of course)?

Susie Moloney, who won the 2012 Michael Van Rooy Memorial Award for her novel THE THIRTEEN, says reading the first half of the book “was like eating potato chips, I couldn’t stop! Didn’t bother pacing myself through the second half, either.

“Some old favorites in here, like Bentley Little, Christian Larsen, and Elizabeth Massie. I was also blown away by some new discoveries for me, like Yvonne Navarro and Melanie Tem.”

If you haven’t read SHADOW MASTERS yet, you’re missing the following terrifying tales (as well as a foreword by Joe R. Lansdale):

Christian A. Larsen is the author of LOSING TOUCH, featuring a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Piers Anthony, now available in paperback and ebook formats from Post Mortem Press.

An Evening of Horror and Hope

Posted in News on January 1, 2014 by Christian
Support the National Children's Cancer Society with BLEED.

Support the National Children’s Cancer Society with BLEED.

New England horror fans–help fight cancer and enjoy some chilling stories as contributors to BLEED read and discuss their stories on Wednesday, January 15th, right in the heart of Stephen King country.

The Lisbon Falls Library will welcome Peter N. Dudar, April Hawks, Glenn Rolfe, and Holly Newstein Hautala as part of An Evening of Horror and Hope.

They will share some delightful tales of terror and some very personal essays from BLEED, which benefits the National Children’s Cancer Society.

If you haven’t read the horror anthology edited by Lori Michelle, you’re missing the following stories, poems, and essays:

There will be a limited supply of paperback copies for sale at the event, but please consider buying yours beforehand at Amazon or Barnes & Noble if you would like to have one signed.

If you live near Lisbon Falls, Maine, save the date of Wednesday, January 15th at 6 p.m. for night of wicked good fun and entertainment … and help kick cancer to the curb.

Where it belongs.

Christian A. Larsen is the author of LOSING TOUCH, featuring a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Piers Anthony, now available in paperback and ebook formats from Post Mortem Press.