Monthly Review: September 2019

Hello everyone! It’s been a few months since I’ve done a Monthly Review. Life has been a bit crazy lately, and my writing has taken a back seat. I did have a little movement, and once my schedule clears up, I hope to do more.

Story Submissions:

New Submissions: 1

Stories Still Out in the Wild: 2

Acceptances: 0

Rejections: 0

I submitted a flash story to a monster contest. If the story wins, I’ll know on the first of October. It’s a fun story, and if it doesn’t get picked up there, I’ll find a new locale to send it out to. I’m also still waiting on another story, and I’m thinking it will still be a few more months.

What else have I been doing?

Interview with Laird Barron!

Laird Barron

Photo Credit by Ellen Datlow

In September I interviewed the king of horror-noir, Laird Barron! Laird is one of my favorite authors, so interviewing him here was a check on my writer bucket list. It was a great interview!

My NecronomiCon Book Haul!

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Back in August I attended NecronomiCon 2019! It was a four day convention in Providence, RI, dedicated to H.P. Lovecraft. It was one of the coolest events I’ve ever attended. I bought a lot of books, and this article highlights some of the cool stuff I got my hands on.


I did want to make one more announcement: I’m Interviews to every other month. It was way too tough to hunt down an author to interview and then get them thoughtful interview questions in a timely manner. While interviewing monthly was awesome, I just don’t think I’m doing it justice! I still want to have an article come out in that first week slot, but I may switch up into something a bit more fun. More information forthcoming!

My NecronomiCon Book Haul!

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Late last month I attended what has to be the most awesome event ever: NecronomiCon Providence! If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a 4-day convention dedicated to the works of H.P. Lovecraft, as well as other giants in Weird Fiction. It’s four days of film festivals, author readings and other events. It’s one of the best parts of the convention is the books! The Vendor Hall is filled with authors and publishers, looking to sell you their extensive back catalog. I left some room in my suitcase and brought some true treasures back. Because I don’t have anything else to write about this month, let’s look at said treasures!

I picked these two books up directly from Jonathan Raab of Muzzleland Press. Muzzleland’s first anthology was also my first real publishing credit, so I’ve been a fan of them for years now. Jonathan is a pretty great guy, and both of these books look awesome. Cinematic Gothic Horror is an excellent idea for an anthology, and Jonathan’s new novel sounds like the meta-slasher tale that I need this time of year.

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I also picked up Ross Lockhart’s Giallo Fantastique. I own this one on Kindle, but I’ve been wanting to add this book to my real shelf for quite some time. If you’re a giallo fan giallo.jpgor a fan of excellent fiction, you should consider grabbing this one as well.

Continuing the theme of excellent publishers, I finally got my hand on Nightscape Press’ Ashes and Entropy.jpgnew anthology of horror noir, Ashes and Entropy. Several of the stories were signed, which looks great next to the lush art inside. I also got a chance to hang out with Robert S. Wilson and his wife, who are really wonderful people.

It’s no secret that I’m a big John Langan fan. I snagged this book from the Lovecraft Arts and Sciences storefront at the Arcade mall. I got to hear John read, and then tried not to geek out to much when I met him. It was the same story with Nathan Ballingrud. Two of the best writers in the genre, and I got personally signed copies of their books. Pretty awesome, and a highlight of my Providence visit.

I treasured my time in Providence, and I hope to have another article coming soon that will summarize my time there. If you love Weird/Horror media, NecronomiCon is worth every penny to attend.

 

My Summer Reads So Far!

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It’s summer time! The breeze is coming in off the water, the sun is out, and… I’m at work. Bummer. But don’t despair! I’ve had the chance to explore fantastic and horrific worlds from the air-conditioned comfort of my living room. I wanted to put together a post to share all the excellent books I’ve been reading this summer.

Wounds: Six Stories from the Border of Hell by Nathan Ballingrud


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When I was a kid, I spent a LOT of time in the local library. It was nice and cool for one, and for a very big two, it was filled with books.

So it seemed fitting that I start the summer off by borrowing Nathan Ballingrud’s newest collection. Wounds was truly impressive. It may be my favorite collection of the year. The world building and terror constructed here kinda’ blew my mind. I was sad to see it end.

A Collapse of Horses by Brian Evenson


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A Collapse of Horses has been in my TBR pile since late last year. When my wife and I visited Boston, we (of course) had to visit the Harvard Book Store. When I saw this fantastic cover, I knew I had to grab it.

With all the attention on Brian’s new collection, I figured it was time to unearth this book and dive in. I LOVED this collection. I find it hard to describe what I like best about Brian’s works. They are as cold as Aickman’s, but with the twisted logic of Ligotti. Maybe? Just read them. It’s sheer nightmare fuel.

Song for the Unraveling of the World by Brian Evenson


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And speaking of nightmare fuel… Brian Evenson has a new collection! While I think it’s not as perfect as A Collapse of Horses, Song for the Unraveling of the World is still an incredible read. Reading these back-to-back was like drinking some kind of sweet poison.

The Dream-Quest of Velitt Boe by Kij Johnson


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I decided to reread The Dream-Quest of Velitt Boe because it’s perfect for summer! It’s warm, interesting, and deep. It’s a short book about a long trek through H.P. Lovecraft’s Dreamlands. While I was never a fan of Lovecraft’s Dreamlands, Kij has made them a mysterious delight. I want to hang with Velitt and the cat. Please.

The Grand Dark by Richard Kadrey


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And now for the book I’m currently reading! Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim books are favorites of mine, so the promise of a new Kadrey creation made me take note. Though I’m only about mid-way through, I’m in love with this vile Steampunk fantasy world. Kadrey knows how to world-build and make it fun.


Those are my summer reads! Do you have any go to summer reads? Beachside or otherwise? Fill me in below!

Monthly Review: June 2019

We’re 26 days into June, and that means it’s time for my Monthly Review! A semi-busy month for me! E3 kicked off and I managed to experience several streams worth of games. I also got a few submissions in this month and started planning for an important event coming up… But before we get to that!

Story Submissions:

New Submissions: 2

Stories Still Out in the Wild: 2

Acceptances: 1!

Rejections: 1

One acceptance, and one rejection! The acceptance was for a flash story that will be released in a large anthology of themed flash tales. I wrote a fun little vampire story. This has been your Nic Cage story acceptance sighting…

Also…

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I will be attending NecronomiCon Providence this year! Since I’ve first heard about this, I’ve wanted to attend. It will be August 22nd through the 25th in Providence, Rhode Island! I’m expecting an awesome time and I’m beyond pumped to attend.

What else have I been doing?

Interview with Georgina Bruce!

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This month’s interview was with myth-maker Georgina Bruce! We talked about her collection (This House of Wounds) and the dangers of temporal oddities. I loved interviewing Georgina, and I look forward to the rest of her work. Next month’s interview is with horror author Nicole Cushing.

Loading: The Rest of Video Games in 2019

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E3 has come and gone. I decided to not write an article post E3 (this year was just fine) but I wrote this article talking about my intentions for gaming for the rest of the year.


We are out time for the month! Check back again next week for the Author Interview for July!

 

 

Monthly Review: May 2019

April showers bring May flowers. I guess. Here in Ohio, it really hasn’t stopped raining all month. Normally I like the rain, but May showers just bring humidity. Which is one of the items on my ‘No Thank You’ list. Since this cursed month is almost over, it’s time for another Monthly Review!

Story Submissions:

New Submissions: 1

Stories Still Out in the Wild: 2

Acceptances: 0

Rejections: 1

As of this, no new Acceptances! I did get a story out the door at the end of last month that I’ve included in the stats for May. As is my custom, I’ll be over here refreshing my Inbox.

What else have I been doing?

Interview with Simon Strantzas!

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This month’s interview was with strange story specialist Simon Strantzas! I enjoyed this interview and I’d like to thank Simon again for joining me! Next month’s interview will be with horror author Georgina Bruce!

My Favorite Horror Films of the 1990s!

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As part of my ongoing series outlining my favorite horror films from each decade, this month’s entry was all about the 1990s! While this was kind of a weak decade overall, there was enough gems to fill about all nine years. If you want to see me do some more decades, click here!

‘The Eldritch Film Club’ was featured in Weird Mask Zine!

My Lovecraftian flash story was featured in Weird Mask Zine’s newest issue! I’m proud of my weird little story, and I’m glad it was able to find a home.


And that’s it for May! Do you think I missed any ’90’s horror classics?

My Favorite Horror Films of the 1990s

Welcome to the second Feature outlining the Decades of Horror. Each entry I’ll be picking my favorite film from each year, and then some runner-ups. The 1990s aren’t in the running for the all time greatest decades, but it certainly deserves a spot at the secondary table. Let’s talk with the year of…

1990:

Misery

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With Stephen King film adaptations all the rage right now, it’s easy to forget about some of the classics. Misery is one of my personal favorites. It’s a nail-biting thriller anchored by Kathy Bates’ unhinged performance. She’s just so wacka-do crazy. Poor Paul Sheldon. How are your legs?

1991:

The Silence of the Lambs

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Thank heavens for The Silence of the Lambs, because this year sucks. Not even any cheesy classics. Just trash from wall to wall. And thank heavens again for The Silence of the Lambs because this is one of the few movies that I see as perfect. Some of the best performances in modern cinema, coupled with a genius script and unstoppable direction from Jonathan Demme. Seriously, SO GOOD.

1992:

Bram Stoker’s Dracula

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Big bad Vlad… Gary Oldman does the character some serious justice here. Every frame of Francis Ford Coppola’s horror film is pure Gothic gold. Deep shadows and brilliant crimsons are splashed across every minute. While it does feel a little overlong, it was the best horror film that ’92 had to offer.

1993:

The Dark Half

or Cronos

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And now for the year I was born! A semi-grand year… Cronos very nearly stole the top spot (because it’s very good). But no! Stephen King’s The Dark Half was a childhood favorite of mine. A little pulpy, super violent and kind of gross. Timothy Hutton kills it as both the nebbish author and violent psychopath. Watch this one!

1994:

In the Mouth of Madness

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I love me some John Carpenter… So 1994 was an easy year for me. In the Mouth of Madness is a little cheesy, but it’s a blast of Lovecraftian (cold) air. Sam Neill is excellent, and we get some fantastic creatures along the way.

1995:

Se7en

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Trees worth of paper have been written up about David Fincher’s nihilist serial killer film Se7en. So I won’t waste too much of your time. This film is grim and brilliant, a stark, nasty little masterpiece.

1996:

Scream

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Scream helped make me the writer that I am today. When I was 10 or 11, I watched this movie endlessly. Kevin Williamson’s script and Wes Craven’s able direction helped create what I still view as the perfect slasher film. This earns a spot in my 10 Favorite Movie list. Easy.

1997:

Event Horizon

or Scream 2

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What is it with Sam Neill making cheesetastic horror movies that I love anyway? He makes them, and I watch them. Event Horizon is not a smart movie. It’s a mess from nearly top to bottom. But… this film does have it’s charms. It’s Hellraiser splatter. Haunting set and sound design. Visually, this film is grand.

1998:

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer

or Blade or Urban Legend

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A good year! Finally! Though Blade and Urban Legend are better movies, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer holds a special place in my heart. Dumb, funny, but with a setting and premise that makes me smile. (And Ben-SON is the dumbest twist ever. Fight me).

1999:

The Sixth Sense

or House on Haunted Hill

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The end of the decade! And what a way to end it. The Sixth Sense is remembered for it’s twist. But I’m here to tell you that this film is SO much more. Number one: this film is terrifying. The Mother ghost, the girl beneath the blanket, the closet scene. And it’s emotional and sorrowful. Bruce Willis was rarely better than he was here. I love this movie through and through.


That’s the My Favorite Horror Films of the 1990’s! A weaker list overall, but there is a couple of true gems mixed in with the absolute cheese. What’s your favorite 1990s horror flick?

Want more Decades of Horror?

My Favorite Horror Movies of the 2010s 

Monthly Review: April 2019

Apparently, April was an unofficial Star Wars month for me.

I had two Star Wars specific pieces come out this month, but more on that later. We have other business first!

Story Submissions:

Submissions: 2

Stories Still Out in the Wild: 3

Acceptances: 1!

Rejections: 0

Acceptance! That means it’s time for a Nic Cage GIF!

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My story ‘The Eldritch Film Club’ has been picked up by Weird Mask Zine! Weird Mask Zine is doing a Lovecraftian issue, so I thought I would throw my hat in the ring. And luck has struck again! More information to come as I get it.

I submitted a slasher story for a ‘Axe Murderer’ anthology. It’s a little wild, but I have a good feeling about it.

What else have I been doing?

An interview with game journalist and writer Alex Kane!

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This was a very cool interview. Video games are one of my many passions, and my recent obsession has been focused on the creation of video games. The entire process is completely insane. I spoke to gaming journalist Alex Kane about some of his favorite games and his new book, Knights of the Old Republic. Speaking of which…

I reviewed Boss Fight Books’ Knights of the Old Republic!

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See my thoughts on the link above! I’ll say this: I’m not the biggest Star Wars fan ever, but I found this book fascinating. Bioware went through hell to get this RPG masterpiece made, and this book draws attention to it.


And that’s it for April! Next month I’ll be interviewing strange story author Simon Strantzas. I’ll also be talking about my Favorite Horror Movies Released in the 1990’s! It is… kind of slim pickings.