Archive for May, 2016

Ghosts, zombies, and childhood fears at Kenosha Comic Book Show

Posted in News on May 29, 2016 by Christian

The past won’t stay buried.

Comic conventions are long on the funnies … but they’re also long on the scares. I’ll be signing copies of my new ghosts and gangsters novel, THE BLACKENING OF FLESH, at the Kenosha Comic Book and Collectibles Show today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and I’m bringing company. Dawn Napier (BLACK BELLS, THE MANY KINGDOMS series) and Christine Verstraete (GIRL Z, the upcoming LIZZIE BORDEN, ZOMBIE HUNTER) will also be personalizing copies of their particular flavor of horror and dark fantasy.

But books and comics aren’t all you’ll get. Dr. Destruction, part of the TV horror host fraternity that includes Vampira, Ghoulardi, Elvira, and Svengoolie, has been hosting CRIMSON THEATER on various cable outlets for fifteen years, bringing the likes of Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, and Peter Lorre to southeast Wisconsin since way back in 2001, and he’ll be at the Kenosha Comic Book and Collectibles Show … in the flesh, such as it is.

Kelly Goetzke makes dolls. But not just any dolls. Goetzke makes the dolls that give you nightmares. These are porcelain beauties with those dead eyes that drag you right into the uncanny valley, and then she goths and grosses them up, but in the most beautiful of ways. Having trouble picturing the final product? Come to the Kenosha Comic Book and Collectibles Show today and look for Goetzke’s table full of one-of-a-kind dolls. You’ll see what I mean.


2014’s Godzilla on a custom base.

And Bruce Martinez loves kaiju as much as you do. Maybe more. Martinez is bringing his custom-painted mini Godzilla figures because full-scale figures won’t fit through the door. Whether you’re partial to the original design of the 1954 Toho Studio original or prefer the look of the 2014 reboot, you’re bound to find something that tickles your fancy at Martinez’s table. With thirty Godzilla films out there, each with their own unique look, how could you not?

The Kenosha Comic Book and Collectibles Show is happening today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel in Pleasant Prairie, just north of the Pleasant Prairie Premium Outlets on the east side of I-94 at Highway 165.

Admission is just $2 for five hours and 40 tables of comic book long boxes, toys, pop culture ephemera, and cosplay. If you’re not out of town for the holiday weekend, why aren’t you here? I’ll set aside your copy of THE BLACKENING OF FLESH for you to come and pick up.

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

2016 Bram Stoker Award® winners announced

Posted in News on May 15, 2016 by Christian

Eleven new Bram Stoker Awards® were handed out last night at StokerCon 2016 in Las Vegas, with THE LIBRARY OF THE DEAD (edited by Michael Bailey and published by Written Backwards) taking top honors in the ‘anthology’ category.


Bailey’s 2016 Stoker Award winning antho.

THE LIBRARY OF THE DEAD edged out Ellen Datlow’s THE DOLL COLLECTION (Tor), featuring “The Doll Master” by Joyce Carol Oates; Christopher Golden’s SEIZE THE NIGHT (Gallery), featuring “Mother” by Joe McKinney; Nancy Kilpatrick’s and Caro Soles’s NEVERMORE (Edge), featuring “133” by Richard Christian Matheson; Jonathan Maberry’s THE X-FILES: TRUST NO ONE (IDW), featuring “Clair de Lune” by W.D. Gagliani and David Benton; and Joseph Nassise and Del Howison’s MIDIAN UNMADE (Tor), featuring “And Midian Whispered Its Name” by Shaun Meeks.

Bailey’s 2014 anthology, QUALIA NOUS, was a finalist for the award in last year’s competition. QUALIA NOUS includes my story, “Cataldo’s Copy” and “The Jaunt” by Stephen King, as well as Stoker Award®-winning stories by Usman Tanveer Malik and Rena Mason. Bailey has also edited all three entries of the CHIRAL MAD anthology series, which includes my short story, “Mirror Moments”, in the first volume.

Here is the complete list of this year’s Bram Stoker Award® nominees, with the winners in bold:

Superior Achievement in a Novel

Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel

Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel

Superior Achievement in Long Fiction

Superior Achievement in Short Fiction

Superior Achievement in a Screenplay

Superior Achievement in an Anthology

Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection

Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction

Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection

If you’re a horror fan and you’re unfamiliar with these titles, think of the above winners and nominees as a sort of reading list for the next few months. But don’t wait–because the 2017 winners and nominees are already starting to appear on the market. We just don’t know who they are yet…

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


May 11 is Nat’l Twilight Zone Day

Posted in News on May 11, 2016 by Christian

Facebook is telling me that today is “National Twilight Zone Day” … but I can’t find the sanctioning body. I can’t even find out how long this has been a thing, although I recall it happening at least the past year or two. Nevertheless, National Twilight Zone Day is now among my favorite holidays, because Twilight Zone. It’s the best TV show ever (with my sincerest apologies to BREAKING BAD).

Rod Serling created THE TWILIGHT ZONE in 1959 and wrote 92 episodes of the fantasy, horror, and science-fiction anthology series. Other contributors included such giants in the field as Richard Matheson (I AM LEGEND), Charles Beaumont (THE INTRUDER), George Clayton Johnson (LOGAN’S RUN), Earl Hamner (THE WALTONS), and even Ray Bradbury (FAHRENHEIT 451). Hamner, who died March 24, was the last to pass away.

The original TWILIGHT ZONE run concluded in 1964, with a feature film in 1983, two television revivals in 1985 and 2002, a radio adaptation that same year, a second feature film in development with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way, and an ‘interactive’ TV revival in development with Interlude. And don’t forget the pinball machine, the magazine, and 1982 Golden Earring hit.

But it’s the original black-and-white show that drives the franchise.


The original 1959 title screen.

Whatever shadow agency that’s backing this whole National Twilight Zone Day thing is telling us to watch one or more of our favorite episodes today. If you need some suggestions, here are the most popular entries, according to IMDb:

  • “To Serve Man”
  • “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”
  • “Eye of the Beholder”
  • “Time Enough at Last”
  • “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street”
  • “Living Doll”
  • “It’s a Good Life”
  • “The Obsolete Man”
  • “Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?”
  • “A Stop at Willougby”

Some of my personal favorites include “The Dummy”, “Five Characters in Search of an Exit”, “A Nice Place to Visit”, “Steel”, and “The Hunt”, but whatever episodes you choose to watch, you can’t go wrong celebrating National Twilight Zone Day, especially since the government is watching. Always watching.

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

Joseph Williams: “THE BLACKENING OF FLESH should be in your hands right now”

Posted in Book Reviews, News on May 4, 2016 by Christian

Had a bit of a bad day today. I won’t go into it–we all have them, and then we shake them off, but … it makes it a lot easier to shake off when something nice chases it. And I got that today. Boy howdy.

Joseph Williams, author of BUNYAN UNDEAD and the Blues Traveler-authorized collection JUSTIFY THE THRILL had some pretty nice things to say about my new ghosts and gangsters novel, THE BLACKENING OF FLESH:

Chris Larsen is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers. If you’ve visited this site before and read my review of his debut novel LOSING TOUCH, you know that I’ve been a fan of his work for a while now, but as a reader, you never know whether or not that enjoyment will carry over to the writer’s sophomore effort. Sometimes, the nuances of a particular author’s style that are successful in one book may be intolerable in another. Sometimes, an author voicing a different sort of character than he or she had in the earlier work can expose a one-dimensional aspect to his or her writing. Well, I’m happy to report that in Chris Larsen’s latest release, THE BLACKENING OF FLESH, that’s not the case. In fact, quite the contrary. You can all exhale now (especially you, Chris).


The past won’t stay buried.

THE BLACKENING OF FLESH tells the tale of newly graduated high-school outcast Jared Dix. While running a delivery for the local drug store, Jared meets Monica: an aloof college girl who immediately becomes the subject of his infatuation. Monica informs him of his house’s sordid past (which she discovered while writing a research paper about the Cerutti gang) and the two strike up a friendship of convenience…with Jared holding out hope for a little more than just friendship. Soon enough, however, Jared’s interest in his home’s history morphs from a convenient icebreaker with an attractive girl to a matter of life and death as one by one his loved ones are possessed by the ghosts of Capone-era gangsters.

As with Larsen’s debut novel, LOSING TOUCH, what makes THE BLACKENING OF FLESH work so well is Chris’s writing style. There’s an effortlessness to Larsen’s prose that—simply put—is comfortable for the reader. I wince as I write this because I know this comparison is drawn upon far too often with horror authors nowadays, but Larsen’s writing reminds me of Stephen King in that way. While most comparisons to King are made simply because the book in question has a horror premise that reminds the reviewer of one of King’s works (which is almost impossible to avoid at this point as he’s 60+ books into his career and has used basically every horror plot imaginable), in this case, it’s Larsen’s style specifically that is reminiscent of King’s charm…

Read the rest the review and interview here and then go out and pick up one of Joseph’s books here. He’s a helluva writer in his own right with a fertile imagination that will scare your socks off, and his review came right when I needed it. I guess it’s been a pretty good day after all…

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

A stack of THE BLACKENING OF FLESH, yea high…

Posted in News on May 1, 2016 by Christian

The past won’t stay buried.

I’ll be signing your copy of my ghosts and gangsters novel, THE BLACKENING OF FLESH at the Kenosha Comic Book & Collectibles Show on May 29 … so you’d better be there to make sure I spell your name right. I’ll be sharing space a couple of fantastic authors. Dawn Napier is the author of BLACK BELLS, the story of a woman who has to face the incarnation of her childhood fears in order to save her daughter, who’s gone missing. And Christine Verstraete who has a new book coming out this summer will be signing copies of GIRL Z: MY LIFE AS A TEENAGE ZOMBIE.

In addition to THE BLACKENING OF FLESH, I’ll also be signing LOSING TOUCH, with a foreword by NY Times bestselling author Piers Anthony. Short story fans will want to pick up a copy of SHRIEKS & SHIVERS or GOTHIC BLUE BOOK V … or maybe QUALIA NOUS? It has a story in it by me somewhere in the middle, and a story by Stephen King right at the top of the table of contents.

And it’s not just books … or even comic books (and there will be plenty of those–they don’t call them long-boxes for nothing). The Kenosha Comic Book & Collectibles show is heavy on the collectibles … like new and vintage toys (think LEGO and Star Wars), posters and lithographs, and hand-made, one of a kind pop- and sub-culture artwork inspired by books, movies, TV shows, and fandoms.

Come to the Kenosha Comic Book & Collectibles Show on Sunday, May 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is just $2, and it’s hard to miss. The street address is 11800 108th Street in Pleasant Prairie, but you locals will know it by sight. It’s in the Radisson Hotel just north of the Prime Outlet Mall, right by the intersection of I-94 and Highway 165. Your only excuse not to come is that you’re out of town for Memorial Day weekend … but you know what they say about excuses.

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