Archive for March, 2016

Collings: THE BLACKENING OF FLESH is “sheer daring”

Posted in Book Reviews, News on March 31, 2016 by Christian

Michael R. Collings, retired professor of creative writing and literature at Pepperdine University and author of STEPHEN KING IS RICHARD BACHMAN and NAMES AND NAMING IN J.R.R. TOLKIEN’S THE LORD OF THE RINGS, says that THE BLACKENING OF FLESH is “well done and strongly recommended” in his review at Hellnotes.com:

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The past won’t stay buried.

Christian A. Larsen’s previous novel, LOSING TOUCH (2013), told the story of a man increasingly unable to keep in contact with his world, physically and otherwise. In THE BLACKENING OF FLESH, Larsen delivers a subtle but important twist on that idea: Jared Dix discovers that he is increasing unable to keep in touch with the world of his psyche, even of his soul.

Larsen introduces his tale within a tale in an “Author’s Note”; after something horrendous happens near us, our first reactions are along the lines of “I never thought it could happen in my hometown.” Yet horrendous things happen everywhere, often to people who outwardly seem normal, well-balanced, essentially sane. There must, he contends, be a “why,” an answer that makes everything understandable; but those answers “are never simple, and sometimes, they aren’t what we think they are at all…”

Read the rest of Collings’s review here. If you haven’t already ordered your copy, I’ll be signing copies of THE BLACKENING OF FLESH at Concinnity 16 hosted by the Milwaukee School of Engineering on Saturday April 16 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. You can also pick up your copy at the Association of Writers Bookfair this weekend in Los Angeles at the Post Mortem Press table … or right now at Amazon.com. Yeah, do that.

Christian A. Larsen is the author of the novels LOSING TOUCH and THE BLACKENING OF FLESHnow available from Post Mortem Press.

Earl Hamner, last of THE TWILIGHT ZONE scribes, dead at 92

Posted in News on March 25, 2016 by Christian

Earl Hamner, who penned eight episodes for the original TWILIGHT ZONE, is dead at age 92. He is perhaps better known as the creator of THE WALTONS, based on his semi-autobiographical novel, SPENCER’S MOUNTAIN, and the prime-time soap FALCON CREST, but for me, Hamner will always be a TWILIGHT ZONE writer first and foremost.

He wrote “The Hunt”, “A Piano in the House”, “Jess-Belle”, “Ring-a-Ding Girl”, “You Drive”, “Black Leather Jackets”, and (the last original episode to air, which in hindsight, seems fitting) “The Bewitchin’ Pool” for Rod Serling’s classic sci-fi series, and I will always remember watching them on warm summer evenings when all we had to keep cool were fans and open windows, and the night would sigh while I watched, billowing the curtains like the sinister backdrop of some Universal monster flick.

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Hamner was preceded in death by the show’s creator, Rod Serling (1975), and other luminaries such as Charles Beaumont (1967), Ray Bradbury (2012), Richard Matheson (2013), and George Clayton Johnson (2015), and he was the only one with whom I had any professional interaction. While I’m sure the other writers were nice people (it’s all I’ve ever heard about them), I can say from experience that Hamner really was.

When I was still shopping my first novel, LOSING TOUCH, I reached out to him for a cover blurb. While he declined, I will always treasure his response:

As Piers Anthony points out in his forward we all have to pee or defecate sometimes, but in your opening chapter to present such a graphic description of a man having a bowel movement, a difficult one at that, I found extremely off-putting. I imagine it will have the same effect on other readers. I am sorry. For your sake, I hope that I am wrong.

While the novel was mostly well-received, I respect his opinion, and I’m sure that there are those who agree with him. But no matter. I will always treasure his response and my behind-the-scenes role in bringing Hamner into THE HORROR ZINE family with his essay in A FEAST OF FRIGHTS about his legendary career in television and his short story, “Come Down to the Store, Minerva!” in SHADOW MASTERS.

Hamner was a living legend, and the last member of the original TWILIGHT ZONE writing team to pass. And now he, like Hyder Simpson in his 1962 screenplay “The Hunt”, is on his way to a square dance and maybe a coon hunt in heaven tonight. And I’m sure his dog is waiting for him.

Christian A. Larsen is the author of the novels LOSING TOUCH and THE BLACKENING OF FLESHnow available from Post Mortem Press.

FURNACE will chill you, thrill you

Posted in Book Reviews on March 25, 2016 by Christian
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The Hummel took a helluva wrong turn.

Joseph Williams’s FURNACE (Severed Press) is like a Sunday brunch buffet for science-fiction and horror fans. It had a little bit of everything-scares, space-travel, and just enough hard science to ground the story in reality, a reality I sincerely hope does not exist.

Here’s the scoop: Navigator Michael Chalmers attempts a shortcut that lands the Rockne Hummel in a spot of space that’s so uncharted, they can’t even see stars. Think about the terror that would engender in you. You’re beyond known space-time, and the only thing in site is a hellscape of a planet known colloquially as “Furnace”.

What Chalmers and the rest of the crew finds there is, well, that’s the rest of the story, told in an epistolary style that makes the experience—and the terror—palpable. Visceral. FURNACE combines all the most thrilling traits of science-fiction and horror, and for fans of either genre, it’s an absolute must-read. I loved it.

Christian A. Larsen is the author of the novels LOSING TOUCH and THE BLACKENING OF FLESHnow available from Post Mortem Press.

Gangsters, ghosts, and steampunk, oh my!

Posted in News on March 19, 2016 by Christian
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Steampunk ghost stories, comin’ atcha!

The steampunk-inspired ghost story anthology, THE GHOST IS THE MACHINE, has a new look, and if you don’t have a copy with the new cover, you can order one at Amazon, or even better, get yourself a signed copy at Concinnity Con in Milwaukee on April 16th. I’ll be in the vendors’ area from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. But I’m the undercard…

There’ll be lots of role top gaming, video gaming, panel discussions, and cosplay? More’n you can handle, probably. But hey, back to writerly things … Steven W. Hill will be there. If you’re a sci-fi/horror fan–check out his SILVER SCREAM series about the long and storied history of cinematic monsters. He’s also working on a Dr. Who book, for you Whovians out there…

For myself, I won’t just be signing THE GHOST IS THE MACHINE with the new cover, I’ll be personalizing copies of the sci-fi/horror anthology QUALIA NOUS, with a story by Stephen King right there at the top of the table of contents, and yep … both of my novels: LOSING TOUCH about a suburban man who finds out he can walk through walls and THE BLACKENING OF FLESH about a high school graduate who discovers his house is haunted by five gangsters.

Concinnity Con happens Saturday, April 16 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the third floor of the Milwaukee School of Engineering at 1025 North Broadway. Get your tickets now and save five bucks off the price at the door. Then get ready for steampunk, Time Lords, a makers’ fair, guest speakers, a living dungeon, gaming, and more!

Christian A. Larsen is the author of the novels LOSING TOUCH and THE BLACKENING OF FLESHnow available from Post Mortem Press.

Two near sellouts at Mighty Con in Madison

Posted in News on March 7, 2016 by Christian

Mighty Con put on another great show … this time at Monona Terrace in Madison. I signed  a bunch of books, including THE BLACKENING OF FLESH and LOSING TOUCH, and I almost sold out of SHRIEKS & SHIVERS and THE GHOST IS THE MACHINE. I only brought home one each, and for THE GHOST IS THE MACHINE, it’ll be the last one I ever sell with the original cover, now that Post Mortem Press has given it a redesign:

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Behold: the new cover!

There were so many cool vendors there, from Breaking Fate Publishing to Circuits and Sewing Needles to DC Comics artist Jeffrey Moy, but for me, the coolest booth of the day has to go to Formula 350, which specializes in toys, comics, and art prints. I bought two of their “mystery boxes” which netted me a movie, a coupla books, a nice, thick stack of comics, and several t-shirts, one of which I’ll be wearing to my next signing event, whenever that might be. Behold, “Reservoir Trek”:

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Stuck in the middle with Kirk…

The next Mighty Con event is the scheduled for the weekend of June 25 and 26 at the DuPage County Fairgrounds, but there’s rumor of another show, TBA very soon. As for me, I have a few irons in the fire, but expect to see me out and about in the Tri-State area sometime next month or thereabouts. In the meantime, you can pick up THE BLACKENING OF FLESH and LOSING TOUCH in Kindle or paperback at Amazon.com.

Christian A. Larsen is the author of the novels LOSING TOUCH and THE BLACKENING OF FLESHnow available from Post Mortem Press.

Today’s the day for Mighty Con in Madison

Posted in News on March 6, 2016 by Christian

Mighty Con is one of the best regional comic book shows around, but you won’t just find comics there today from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Monona Terrace in Madison. You’ll also find lots of toys, art, games, jewelry, cosplay and plenty of books, with Jason Davis, author of HATCHED and CAUGHT IN THE WEB from his “Invisible Spiders” series, singing copies of his novels and collections.

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The past won’t stay buried.

I’ll be on hand today, too, personalizing copies of my brand-new ghosts and gangsters novel, THE BLACKENING OF FLESH. In it, an awkward teen named Jared Dix finds out that the ghosts of a five bootlegging gangsters murdered years earlier in his own house are planning more than a heist or a haunting.

You can also pick up a signed copy of my first novel, LOSING TOUCH, about a suburban man who finds that he can walk through walls. I’ll also be selling copies of the steampunk-inspired ghost story anthology, THE GHOST IS THE MACHINE, SHRIEKS AND SHIVERS, including my story, “Center Stage Sideshow”, and QUALIA NOUS, which features my short story, “Cataldo’s Copy” and “The Jaunt” by Stephen King.

Tickets are just $5 for adults, and kids 12 and under are free. And you’ll get a free comic book at the door just for showing up with more giveaways throughout the day! Just head to Monona Terrace in Madison and get ready to have some fun, whatever brand of geekery you prefer. If it’s anything like Mighty Con in Milwaukee last month, it’s gonna be a great time…

Christian A. Larsen is the author of the novels LOSING TOUCH and THE BLACKENING OF FLESHnow available from Post Mortem Press.

True fact: 44 LIES BY 22 LIARS just 99¢

Posted in News on March 2, 2016 by Christian

For a limited time, pick up 44 LIES BY 22 LIARS for less than a buck. Seems like a pretty good deal, no? Except here’s the thing: you really get 61 super short stories by 30 authors. See? Even the title is lying to you. But that’s what fiction’s all about–it’s fiction.

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Anyway, doing the math, it’s like … less than two cents a story or something. And each story is a perfect primer for those uninitiated with the writing of each, ahem … liar. You never read any Tim Waggoner? Got him. Billie Sue Mosiman? Got her, too. In fact, here’s everybody:

  • Eric Beebe – “All Authors Lie (and Some Editors, Too)”
  • J. David Anderson – “Retirement” & “Happy Birthday”
  • Paul Anderson – “Passive” & “Lead into Gold”
  • David Bernard – “A Ghoul’s Gotta Eat”, “After Midnight in the Dairy Case”, & “Attack of the Vampire Slayer”
  • Max Booth III – “Like Something Died” & “Kurt Cobain Murdered My Father”
  • C. Bryan Brown – “A Vision in Red” & “Legacy”
  • Kenneth W. Cain – “Adaptable” & “The Hunted”
  • Brad Carter – “The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Shooter” & “The Legend of Johnny Kudzu”
  • Kyle Dickerson – “Notice” & “Rag Dol”
  • Emma Ennis – “Surrogate”, “The Lady of the Hills”, “Lullaby”, & “Inside Job”
  • Robert Essig – “Moonlight Sonata”, “Names in the Sidewalk”, & “Meeting the Quota”
  • Teel James Glen – “Knight Before Christmas” & “Mama-San”
  • Scott Goudsward – “Winter Wonderland” & “Valentine”
  • K.T. Jayne – “Unionized Freaks” & “They Taste Better with Ketchup”
  • Tally Johnson – “Four Parts of a Prologue for a Novel Not Yet Written” & The Phantom Rider of the Confederacy”
  • M.F. Korn – “Golly Mister, Will You Sign My Laundry List?” & “They Speak Creole French at Those Places”
  • Christian A. Larsen – “Chief Chatzahoaken” & “The Lightning Makes a Stop”
  • Michael Matula – “Mausoleum Monster” & “Copperleaf Road”
  • Josef Matulich – “Foot in the Door”, “Stalker”, “Ukai”
  • Jessica McHugh – “To the Willow”, “Shipwrecked”, & “The D-Word”
  • P. Andrew Miller – “Fifty Shades of Day” & “Troll Hunting”
  • Georgina Morales – “The Beast” & “Memento Mori”
  • Billie Sue Mosiman – “One Too Many” & “Behind the Door”
  • g. Elmer Munson – “Therapy 124″ & “A Man in a Room”
  • Andrew Nienaber – “Colchis, Connecticut” & “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE”
  • Cynthia Pelayo – “Funeral Print”
  • Nelson W. Pyles – “Regards, Eleanor” & “The Trouble with Unicorns”
  • Patrick Scalisi – “Missing Bicycles” & “Residual”
  • Rob Smales – “Spreewald Dreams” & “Was it Good for You, Baby?”
  • Tim Waggoner – “The Good Neighbor” & “A Face in the Crowd”

The proof’s in the pudding. Or the pages. Or something. But it won’t be there for long. Well, not at 99¢, anyway. So get in on this. Download a Kindle copy at Amazon and start reading. Of course, if you prefer paperback, we’ve got you covered there, too.

Christian A. Larsen is the author of the novels LOSING TOUCH and THE BLACKENING OF FLESHnow available from Post Mortem Press.