Dreadful Tales Book Club – September 2014 Edition

BotM Sept 2014

I’m not even going to play with you this month – books about Exorcisms and any religious horror happenings scare the all of the fluids out of me. I love them, but they don’t love me. They hate me. They keep me up at night and whisper sickly sweet nothings in my ear… about my eventual evisceration…

Enter Jonathan Janz – one of the new breed of authors who is making waves in the genre today, and the man who brings old-school scares with a splatterpunk flair. (Am I rhyming too much here?)

With Exorcist Road, Janz ushers in a new era of thrills and violence, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the old school paperback days. I would gladly stand this novella alongside lurid horror gems like Ketchum’s Off Season for its shock factor; the unbridled aggression of Laymon’s One Rainy Night; and the sexually charged nastiness of Tessier’s Rapture.

Here’s the synopsis:

Possessed by a demon…or by the urge to kill?

Chicago is gripped by terror. “The Sweet Sixteen Killer” is brutally murdering sixteen-year-old girls, and the authorities are baffled.

A seemingly normal fourteen-year-old boy has attacked his entire family and had to be chained to his bed. His uncle, police officer Danny Hartman, is convinced his nephew is possessed by a demon. Danny has sent his partner, Jack, to fetch the only priest in Chicago who has ever performed an exorcism.

But Jack has other plans tonight. He believes the boy isn’t possessed by a demon, but instead by an insatiable homicidal urge. Jack believes the boy is the Sweet Sixteen Killer. And he aims to end the reign of terror before another girl dies.

You can pick up a copy at Samhain, on Amazon, and discuss it here and at The Mortuary.

- C

Dreadful Tales Book Club – August 2014 Edition

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After checking out some of Rhoads’ work in Feb 2012’s WiHM, we decided to give her another look-see. The book of the month for August is As Above, So Below by Loren Rhoads and Brian Thomas.

When the succubus Lorelei sees the angel Azaziel from across the bar, she knows he’s been cast out of Heaven, but is not yet Fallen. In the service of Hell, she resolves to do whatever it takes to bring the angel down. When she trails him back to his lair in the warehouses outside of downtown Los Angeles, they both are seduced by each other.

Together on the streets of L.A., they encounter Ashleigh Johnson, one of Azaziel’s mortal charges, dying of hepatitis in the street, and the angel rescues her soul from two harpies poised to devour it and causes Lorelei to be possessed by Ashleigh’s soul. Other angels don’t foresee any positive outcomes to any of this. In their eyes, their brother has endangered a mortal soul and compromised his own standing in Heaven.

When they intrude, Lorelei flees — taking Ashleigh Johnson along for the ride. In the process, Lorelei discovers that she has developed a soul of her own, a soul which is most certainly damned. Before long, her sister Floria tracks down a defrocked priest willing to exorcise Ashleigh’s mortal soul from Lorelei’s infernal flesh, and the intimate little ritual swells into a virtual Who’s Who of Hell’s presence in L.A.!

You can pick up a copy at Amazon, and discuss it here and at The Mortuary.

- C

Dreadful Tales Book Club – July 2014 Edition

NOS4A2The book of the month for July is Carnies by Perth based Australian author Martin Livings. First published in 2006 it is now published again in ebook and print from Cohesion Press and available from Amazon.

“The small town of Tillbrook has a secret. One that has been kept for over a hundred years.
Journalist David Hampden needs a good story to resurrect his flagging career.
His damaged brother, Paul, just needs to find some meaning for his life.
When David is alerted to a century-old carnival, the idea of a feature story is too good to pass up, so he drags Paul along to Tillbrook to act as his photographer.
What they find is darker than they could ever imagine.
Paul becomes part of the exotic world of the Dervish Carnival, est. 1899, and David must risk everything to save his brother.
Even though Paul might not want to be saved.
Come on in, and enjoy the show.
No photos allowed.”

Discuss it here and at The Mortuary

- Dark Mark

Dreadful Tales Book Club – June 2014 Edition

Ugly As Sin BannerSometimes we take this Book of the Month thing for granted, man. Flo Realz. I mean, for those of us who partake in it every month, it’s just another book to add to the pile, and another notch on our bedposts… when we’re vanilla enough to read in bed, that is. *wink*

Rawr.

But every once in a while, something insane happens to remind us of just how special this thing really is, and just how far authors will go to gain the coveted “Book of the Month” title.

What kind of stuff happens, you ask? Well, shit… take a look at this: Now, we featured this author back in July 2012 with his nostalgic throwback/homage to the killer 80’s paperback horror novel, The Wicked, and had a blast doing so. And, while I’m not saying James went out of his way to get our attention or anything, but looking at recent news, it was either James, J.R.R.R.R.R.R.R. Tolkien, or Mother Nature…

Because, you know, the universe revolves around this Book Club…

Naturally.

Anyway, if you’ve been living in a cave without internet (first, you need to find a better cave…), you need to know that your literary boyfriend and mine, James Newman, was severely accosted by a vicious Ent. Why? We don’t know. He won’t say. Maybe James  made that “Make like a tree and leave” joke again. Regardless of what transpired, it caught our attention, and convinced us to choose Ugly As Sin the June 2014 selection for the Dreadful Tales Book of the Month Club.

In addition to this high honour, the Horror Community banded together and set up a Telethon*, a Marathon*, and a celebratory Python*.

*None of this actually happened. 

Ronald Kelly, one of my favourite authors evah, went so far as to set up an eBay auction called Helping The Hoss: An Auction for James Newman. He is truly an inspiration to all, and should be clapped on the back, or kissed by a bevy of beautiful swedish swimsuit models. Whichever.

That said, you can join us in discussing the book (and vicious, author hating Ents) here at The Mortuary, the official meeting place for the Dreadful Tales Book Club.

Available in paperback and ebook formats at Amazon, and wherever good books are sold.

- C

*Note: For the detractors, we don’t actually take James’ injuries so lightly, and wish him a speedy recovery. 

News Release: Medallion Press Release The TREEbook

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On June 1st, 2014, Medallion Press took the first steps into the future of Ebook technology, and ushered forth a new era of Jetson-esque reading. And while those who read on their iPads may still find that they can’t use the device as a hoverboard, unlike the aforementioned futuristic family, one might still be entertained just enough to fuhgeddaboudit.

Now, while I’ve read what can be called the “trunk” story of Medallion’s newest TREElease (see what I did there?), The Julian Year by Gregory Lamberson, and can honestly say it’s a goddamned blast, I haven’t had a chance to check out the Time Reading Experience Ebook out, performing in all its glory.

But what I can tell from others who have reviewed it is that it’s a great experience. And damnit, the internet is never wrong.

Read on for news on what Medallion has in store for its readers.
We’ll have a review of The Julian Year up soon.

C. Continue reading

2014 Stoker Awards

Ah Stoker season. The time of year when everybody and their mother who is involved in the horror genre biznasss gets all primped and primed to… I actually don’t know WHAT they do there. I’ve never been… *sob*

But they do offer a live stream online! WOO!

Now, just in case you were like the hundreds (or more likely handful) of people who couldn’t log on to the live stream of tonight’s HWA Bram Stoker awards, please let me rub it in your face that I was there (eventually… it’s a long story).

I win. You lose. Goodnight.

No. In all seriousness, the majority of users (all but 25, in fact) could not log into the “Stoker-cast” because of the hotel’s bandwidth limitation. The HWA offered up this explanation via Twitter:

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Naturally, the explanation came after I had already tweeted this (and continued my tradition of being annoying during the Stoker Awards):StokersBlockedTwitter copy

That said, when I managed to get in there – likely because some poor bastard lost their connection right when I was assailing the feed again and again – I live tweeted the ever-loving fuck out of the whole damned thing for those of you who are savvy enough to follow yours truly on The Tweeter. (@paperbackhorror).
And then my RTs went stupid crazy, and some hot chick in a yellow bikini started following me… but I’m pretty sure she doesn’t actually exist, and, well… THAT, my friends, was the highlight of my night.

Anywhooo… you can see below for the nominees and wieners… sorry… winners.
You’ll have to go to another site for wieners.

(All of the below opinions belong to me, myself, and I(rene), and in no way reflect the blah blah blah Dreadful Tales blah blah. Don’t bug the others if you don’t agree with me. They won’t listen anyway. So shush.)

Superior Achievement in a Novel

Joe Hill – N0S4A2 (William Morrow)
Stephen King – Doctor Sleep (Scribner) WINNER
Lisa Morton – Malediction (Evil Jester Press)
Sarah Pinborough and F. Paul Wilson - A Necessary End (Thunderstorm/Maelstrom Press)
Christopher Rice – The Heavens Rise (Gallery Books)

*I was kind of pulling for Pinborough and Wilson to win this one, but the battle of the Kings pretty much made that difficult, didn’t it? Regardless, I seriously urge all of you to pick up A Necessary End. It is fantastic*

Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Kate Jonez – Candy House (Evil Jester Press)
John Mantooth – The Year of the Storm (Berkley Trade)
Rena Mason – The Evolutionist (Nightscape Press) WINNER
Jonathan Moore – Redheads (Samhain Publishing)
Royce Prouty – Stoker’s Manuscript (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

*I had my eye on Moore’s Redheads for this one, but Mason deserves the win just as much.*

Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel

Patrick Freivald – Special Dead (JournalStone)
Kami Garcia – Unbreakable (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Geoffrey Girard – Project Cain (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Joe McKinney – Dog Days (Journalstone) WINNER
Cat Winters - In the Shadow of Blackbirds (Harry N. Abrams)

*In The Shadow of Blackbirds was my pick for this category, but McKinney spins a good yarn as well. I’d still like to encourage y’all to check this one out. It’s a great, and inventive read.*

Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel

Ed Brubaker – Fatale, Book Three: West of Hell (Image Comics)
Caitlin R. Kiernan – Alabaster: Wolves (Dark Horse Comics) WINNER
Brandon Seifert – Witch Doctor, Vol. 2: Mal Practice (Image Comics)
Cameron Stewart – Sin Titulo (Dark Horse Comics)
Paul Tobin – Colder (Dark Horse Comics)

*Caitlin R. Kiernan kicked the shit out of this category, and I really couldn’t be happier. She deserves this win. Alabaster: Wolves was my pick for the win, with Brubaker’s Fatale coming in a very close second.*

Superior Achievement in Long Fiction

Dale Bailey – “The Bluehole” (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, May/June 2013)
Gary Braunbeck - “The Great Pity” (Chiral Mad 2, Written Backwards) WINNER
Benjamin Kane Ethridge – “The Slaughter Man” (Limbus, Inc., JournalStone)
Gregory Frost – “No Others Are Genuine” (Asimov’s Science Fiction, Oct/Nov. 2013)
Greg F. Gifune – House of Rain (DarkFuse)
Rena Mason – East End Girls (JournalStone)

*I’m super stoked that Gary won the award for this story. It’s incredible, and he deserves the win.*

Superior Achievement in Short Fiction

Michael Bailey – “Primal Tongue” (Zippered Flesh 2, Smart Rhino Publications)
Patrick Freivald – “Snapshot” Blood & Roses, Scarlett River Press)
David Gerrold – “Night Train to Paris” (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Jan/Feb 2013) WINNER
Lisa Mannetti – “The Hunger Artist” (Zippered Flesh 2, Smart Rhino Publications)
John Palisano – “The Geminis” (Chiral Mad 2, Written Backwards)
Michael Reaves – “Code 666″ (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Mar/Apr 2013)

*This category was tricky for me, but only because it was near impossible for my to get a few of the stories in my hands. I had Mannetti’s The Hunger Artist picked for this one. But then again, I’m a lifelong Mannetti fan.*

Superior Achievement in a Screenplay

Fabien Adda and Fabrice Gobert – The Returned: S1E8 “The Horde” (Ramaco Media I, Castelao Pictures)
Brad Falchuk – American Horror Story – Asylum: S2E11 “Spilt Milk” (Brad Falchuk Teley-Vision, Ryan Murphy Productions)
Bryan Fuller – Hannibal: S1E1 “Apératif” (Dino De Laurentis Company, Living Dead Guy Productions, AXN: Original X Production, Gaumont International Television)
Daniel Knauf – Dracula: S1E2 “A Whiff of Sulpher” (Flame Ventures, Playground, Universal Television, Carnival Films)
Glen Mazzara – The Walking Dead: S3E16 “Welcome to the Tombs” (AMC TV) WINNER

*I really didn’t see TWD winning this award. If it was up against Dracula by itself, sure. But with AHS, Hannibal, and The Returned stacked against it? I was rooting for The Returned (Les Revenants) to take it home. But I guess you Americans still don’t like the French. ;) *

Superior Achievement in an Anthology

R.J. Cavender and Boyd E. Harris (ed) – Horror Library: Volume 5 (Cutting Block Press)
Eric J. Guignard (ed) – After Death… (Dark Moon Books) WINNER
Michael Knost and Nancy Eden Siegel (ed) – Barbers & Beauties (Hummingbird House Press)
Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. (ed) – The Grimscribe’s Puppets (Miskatonic River Press)
Anthony Riviera and Sharon Lawson (ed) – Dark Visions: A Collection of Modern Horror, Volume One (Grey Matter Press)

*Don’t even ask me about this one. I’ll stand by The Horror Library forever. I’m glad Guignard won, as he seems like a nice guy, but I want to see +THL+ receive its due.*

Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection

Nathan Ballingrud – North American Lake Monsters: Stories (Small Beer Press)
Laird Barron – The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All and Other Stories (Night Shade Books) WINNER
James Dorr – The Tears of Isis (Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing)
Caitlin R. Kiernan – The Ape’s Wife and Other Stories (Subterranean Press)
S.P. Somtow – Bible Stories for Secular Humanists (Diplodocus Press)

*”It’s about time Barron took home a Stoker Award” says every Lovecraft and modern “Weird” fiction fan ever. I agree, but still don’t dig HPL. Sorry, Brice. Barron deserves the recognition for his stellar work in the genre*

Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction

Barbara Brodman and James E. Doan (ed) – Images of the Modern Vampire: The Hip and the Atavistic (Fairleigh Dickenson)
Gary William Crawford – Ramsey Campbell: Critical Essays on the Modern Master of Horror (Scarecrow Press)
William F. Nolan – Nolan on Bradbury: Sixty Years of Writing about the Master of Science Fiction (Hippocampus Press) WINNER
Jarkko Toikkanen – The Intermedial Experience of Horror: Suspended Failures (Palgrave Macmillan)
Robert H. Waugh (ed) – Lovecraft and Influence: His Predecessors and Successors (Scarecrow Press)

*I don’t even want to talk about this category. Have you ever tried to read essays on HPL or Ramsay Campbell, let alone Bradbury? This ain’t bathroom reading, folks! This is some seriousness! I couldn’t handle it, so I don’t have a vote. But YAY for Nolan, right?*

Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection

Bruce Boston – Dark Roads: Selected Long Poems 1971-2012 (Dark Renaissance Books)
Helen Marshall – The Sex Lives of Monsters (Kelp Queen Press)
Marge Simon and Sandy DeLuca – Dangerous Dreams (Elektrik Milk Bath Press)
Marge Simon, Rain Graves, Charlee Jacob, and Linda Addison – Four Elements (Bad Moon Books/Evil Jester Press) WINNER
Stephanie M. Wytovich – Hysteria: A Collection of Madness (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

*And finally, the Poetry award. See, I had my sights set on Helen Marshall for the win, not only because she’s hot, or because she’s Canadian, but because this was a really goddamned good book! I haven’t read something this awesome since Maria Alexander’s At Louche Ends. Boston’s Dark Roads is a trip worth taking as well, but I’m glad Rain, Marge, Linda, and Charlee won. They do a lot of good for Horror Poetry.*

Helping The Hoss: A Benefit Book Auction for James Newman

84c9ed4990970a82390b65.L._V366663705_SX200_It’s no doubt that all of you folk who are steeped in the genre already know about James’ injury, and the subsequent medical expenses that have arisen from this unfortunate incident. And it’s no surprise that the genre stepped up and took matter into their own hands, whether sending good ju-ju Newman’s way, or offering to kick the bark off of the offending tree that assailed such a gifted young man.

Well, for all of us who wish we could help in a bigger way… now you can! And you can manage to grab some major league purchases to go along with your generosity, as well!

Take a look over at Ronald Kelly’s blog for more info on how you can “Help the Hoss”.

We’re behind this auction 100%.