These guys must have been Aldous Huxley fans:

Zager & Evans // In the Year 2525

I know, I’ve vanished off the face of teh Interwebz for damn near two weeks. Stephen King’s new book is long. Not great, but decent, and looooooong. Not that long is a bad thing, but his lack of research in certain areas is constantly jolting me out of the book. Not cool, Steve. Anyhow, when I write my review, it’ll be up at The Horror Zine for a bit before I throw it up here.

I’m putting the final touches on a project I teased ya’ll with a while back; Slice of Life is a small collection of essays from this site plus an unpublished essay, about 15 in all. You’ll like the unpublished piece; I wrote it specifically for Slice of Life, and it involves a bit of my past that I don’t really discuss much. Here’s the kicker, though: Slice of Life will be a 25-copy limited print. When they’re gone, they’re gone. I might release an e-version 6-12 months down the road, and if I do, the unpublished piece will almost certainly end up on this site, but there won’t be any more printed copies once those 25 are sold out. I’m putting this together myself and using Lulu to print them. If you enjoy my work, this might be a special little piece for you to have. $10/copy, US shipping included.

Finally, here’s what I’m doing for Christmas; you might like to do so as well. I’m not asking for much in the way of gifts (except for from my wife). My mailing this year will be asking for one of two things: either a charitable contribution to one of a few writers’ websites that have helped me greatly, or a subscription to a genre magazine. Either way, I’m giving back to the genre and staying in the loop. Makes me feel all warm and stuff, and since I can’t have Eggnog-spiked Irish whiskey, I’ll take what I can get.

Enjoy the holiday!

Been a while since I’ve trotted out some Real-Life Horror for ya’ll, but I saw two things on the news that kind of fit together, so here goes.

  1. A 77-year old Missouri man and his four sons are being investigated after being accused of crimes against several children from 1988-95, to include making a female relative bang a dog. Nasty. I could think of a lot of fun things to do to those sick rednecks if they’re found guilty, but I’m sure none of them could scratch the surface of what they’re being accused of putting those kids through.
  2. Woman gets her face eaten off by a chimp, who had been diagnosed with Lyme disease and who had been given Xanax by its owner. This happened back in February, but I didn’t hear about it until yesterday, when I caught the Oprah show. Don’t click on that link if you get sick easily; her face looks awful… no eyes, nose or jaw. The poor woman can’t even shoot herself (and honestly, that’s what I’d do in her shoes… I just ain’t that strong) because she lost her hands in the attack, too. It’s a shame it happened to her instead of the obviously disturbed woman that owned the damned thing.

I feel bad for the victims involved, but tell me you couldn’t get a damned-good horror novel out of either of these. Until next time!

I’m offering my first collection of ten short stories, Despairs & Delights, as a free downloadable PDF through my website.

There’s no catch, except for the ones that should just be simple common sense: don’t alter the file, don’t change any of the words, don’t remove my name or that of my publisher from the document. Other than that, pass it around, tell a friend, offer it for download yourself through your own website.

The book is still available from most online vendors, for the Kindle (and soon, the Nook) and can be ordered through any bookstore, and I am still selling signed copies.

Download Your Copy NAO!

In just a few short hours, I’ve read about anterograde amnesia, the hug machine, KFC, Colonel Sanders, chicken debeaking, captive-bolt stunning guns, slaughterhouse construction, cannibalism among animals, the Space Race, Generals Eisenhower and Bradley, No Country for Old Men, and backmasking, amongst other things.

Life is good.

Looking around at new markets for my work… seeing a whole bunch of markets that:

  1. Don’t Pay Money
  2. Don’t Accept Reprints
  3. Don’t Accept Simsubs
  4. Take Months to Look at Your Work

Not that I’d be sending them my stuff anyhow, but that shit just makes me stabby. You want my original work, you want to be the only person to look at it, you might take months to let me know I should send it elsewhere, AND, in return for all of this luxury treatment, you offer the kingly sum of ZILCH? Oh, and at least one flat-out tells you they don’t respond to inquiries about submissions.

Gimme. A. Freakin’. Break.

I’d received a copy of Soultaker from Leisure several months ago and added it to the pile; it was one of a few books that looked good, but I put it aside, in favor of something that seemed even more interesting or that I was obligated to review sooner, for several months. One of the books that I threw Soultaker over for ended up being Deathbringer, a copy of which I found laying on a community pile in the barracks in which I currently reside.  After reading it, I became a Bryan Smith fan for life. Upon finishing it, I absolutely had to have Soultaker in the worst possible way, so I did something I rarely do; I read two review books by the same author back-to-back.

Deathbringer, originally released in 2006, tells the story of a centuries-old being gone rogue, unleashing a zombie apocalypse on a small town in an effort to raise an army of undead to challenge God himself. There’s action and death from page one, as a man’s fiancee becomes the victim of a sexy teenage murderess (I daresay she challenges Everson’s Ariana for the title of Who I’d Like to be Killed by the Most!) and is then inadvertently raised from the dead by her grieving lover. Deathbringer is fast-paced throughout, and Smith handles multiple character arcs flawlessly, culminating in a bittersweet finale that makes this quite possibly the most satisfying novel I’ve read all year.

Soultaker, released earlier this year, showcases several expertly-handled character arcs as well, finishing with a brutal massacre as a near-immortal demon possesses several women and amasses a cult dedicated to feeding her the life force she needs to survive. As in Deathbringer, Smith goes for the not-so-happy ending with devastating effect. Judging from these two novels, I’d say Smith’s work is characterized overall by its energy and fearlessness, and I recommend either of these to any horror fan who enjoys not being able to catch their breath from cover to cover. I hated putting both of these books down every time it was necessary to do so, and I devoured them both, one after the other, as quickly as possible. 4.9/5.

  1. Make an extra deposit (or ten) in the Love Bank with that Special Someone to make up for those late night writing sessions!
  2. Write Something Else!
  3. Workshop/critique with your peers!
  4. Set up some book signings!
  5. Organize a reading at a local library!
  6. Pick up a good book that you haven’t had time for!
  7. Shop for some new writing music!
  8. Research new markets for your work!
  9. Catch up on industry news!
  10. Write Something Else!
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