Author Archive

Digital Wasteland #3

maberryGood stuff out there on the webternet these days zeddedheds. Let’s start with a free short story entitled Countdown from Jonathan Maberry, zombie maestro, whose Patient Zero is out over here in the UK in the not too distant future, (if there is a future). That’s him, over there, him with his scary well-manicured beard. Don’t know what it’s about, but you can put a pound or two on it being zedtastic, even though it’s a bit of a we’ll give you this, if you give us something in return deal with Maberry’s publishers. They don’t want your soul, just your email address… seems a good deal right? But then, so did putting all my cash, (loads of it don’t you know), in Icesave. Ice, snow, what next I ask you? Seriously though: free zed fiction? Go git it!

horror_mall_hauntHorror Mall‘s a US-based horror supermarket formed by writer Shane Ryan Stanley, wherein loads of small press and independent publishers have populated a virtual mall of dark wonderfulness. ith customer service first and foremost, they’re now expanding beyond the written word into all sorts of merchandise, their latest offering is The Haunt, a Facebook for horror addicts – and bizarrely, they’ve also added Hauntwitter enabling their users to post what they’re doing right now, and now, and now. There are a whole load of writers and fans on there already, so pay them a visit, upload your profile and you might even be (un)lucky enough to meet Mathew F. Riley lurking amongst the bloodspattered undergrowth.

zombiedoll13The awesome Zombie Reporting Center’s reporting stuff like this 12″ Lucio Fulci Zombie figure. It’s available from Monsters in Motion, and it’s worth it for the packaging alone: It comes to you in a creepy shipping crate wooden box,lined with spanish moss and hinged with brass hardware and stamped with the ZomBcoM logo,signed by the artist/sculptor of the figure, Todd Bates on the inside of the lid. Inside of box will also include a real Gris Gris VOODOO bag used in Macumba rituals for various reasons, the Black ones are usually used for revenge or all the bad things that you wish on your enemies, complete with a white head stick pin for your ritual to become real…

turtleboyTHIS IS A BIT SPECIAL. More free fiction is available at the inimitable Kealan Patrick Burke‘s website. He’s giving away 3 linked novellas and what superb reading they’ll make. Teling the story of Tim Quinn, a young lad haunted by, well, ghosts of course. The 3 novellas – The Turtle Boy, Hides, and Vessels follow Tim as he strives to find out the truth behind the events that befall him across the years. Hugely recommnded by yours truly, these stories are only available for a limited time. If you won’t take my word for it, then maybe telling you that these novellas were originally published by Necessary Evil Press, Cemetery Dance, and Bloodletting Books respectively, might give you an idea of the quality we’re talking about. So go download on KPB’s free fiction page! Or spend hundreds of dollars on Ebay… up to you, but I know you’re not stupid…

Those dirty Bookgeeks have an easy-peasy competition to win a signed copy of David Moody’s Hater, reviewed on HR a while back. You’ve got until the end of February to enter.

Finally, and staying with Mr. KPB. Director Mark Steensland has just posted a link to the eight-minute short movie Peekers, written for the screen by the awesome Rick Hautala, based on KPB’s short story of the same name. Watch it!

potato1Okay, that ‘finally’ bit wasn’t strictly true. But this is what’s so special about the webternet, you could just keep on going and going if you wished… pop on over to Rick Hautala’s website and you’ll see a great trailer for his forthcoming novel, Moon Walker – something to do with zeds, potatoes and nocturnal experiments at the mortuary. So, who does pick the potatoes? Uncle Rick knows… but he’s not telling, yet.

The Professor (who definitely has more potatoes than you, boiled, mashed, new…)

Add comment February 7th, 2009

Digital Wasteland #2

g441Er, not exactly digital this one I’m afraid, more televisual and print-based oddities of evil deliciousness really.

As previous posts attest, there’s some good, (or potentially good), viewing around for us genre folks thesedays. Not sci-fi, (or is it sf?), or fantasy, but good old horror… or a sub-genre thereof.

Sunday night sees the first Survivors, an updated version of Terry Nation’s post-apocalyptic serial that ran from 1975 to 1978 over three series on the BBC. Here’s an article in The Independent. A poll on the above linked BBC website shows that 24% of respondents are ‘sure they’ll like it’; 51% including myself are ‘cautiously optimistic’; 7% are ‘undecided’; 16% are worried it ‘might not be that great’, and 2% are ‘sure they won’t like it’. If it’s anything as convincing as Apparitions, it’ll be another Sky Plus series linker. Here’s a rather nice fan site concerning original said series from which I purloined the truly terrifying image of mid-seventies crockery.

This Thursday sees the second episode of Apparitions, and judging by last week’s truly atmospheric opener, this is a series to follow for the next five weeks. A serious, subtle and visceral drama indeed. What the BBC need to do now is to release it in a collected form, with extra goodies such as a documentary on exorcism, or a Mark Kermode-ish feature on the sub-genre of possession in the movies, and so on. Here’s hoping the remainder of the series is as successful.

country-living-dec-05_coverChristmas is coming and I find a magazine subscription is a fine solution. My  mother adores the Country Living that pops through her letterbox every month.  Unfortunately us genre-hounds are slightly less well-catered for; there’s no way we  could pop into WH Smiths and take out a subscription to a PURE horror magazine in  the UK.

I guess there’s SciFiNow which has about 15% horror content – it’s latest issue has a  couple of nice overview articles: The Complete Guide To the Post Apocalpyse,  (obviously inspired by the Survivors series); and a feature purporting to list the  ’greatest scare-fests of all time’. This article covers several sub-genres, (including  Hammer, Zombie, Slasher, Supernatural, Gorenography, etc.), and I can feel a poll  coming up here  on HR in the not too distant future. SciFiNow is okay, if you’re desperate for something to read in the bath, and not bothered about getting it wet, (the magazine that is).

dr16_ofc_72dpiDeath Ray magazine has just gone quarterly and their November issue has just hit the shops. Slightly more horror content, 20% I reckon, and the articles are, on the whole, more in-depth than their competitors. The company behind Death Ray, Black Fish Publishing, has recently had an overhaul and we’re led to believe, have some projects simmering – let’s hope one of these is a pure horror title. Maybe they’ll resurrect Shivers, once edited by Frightfest‘s Alan Jones, now possibly floating around in a twilight land… or just plain dead, I’m not sure. (Shivers had 100% horror content, but was a relatively lightweight publication, especially for the money). 

n4732675962_4216Gorezone is a relatively new UK-based title, that could do with some tweaking; specifically a proof-reader and a more considered layout, (although standards have improved since the first few issues), and an irritating habit of cover-highlighting pretty much every film covered in its 100% horror pages regardless of whether or not it’s a fifty word capsule review or a feature that doesn’t actually focus on said film, but rather another by the same director in an effort to appear up-to-the-minute. Glossy and rammed with space-filling imagery Gorezone has been referred to as “Vogue for horror fans”… Hmmm, extremely questionable, more like The Sport for Horror Fans. I buy it every month as it’s one of those magazines, that if I dropped it in the bath, well, it’d get wet, but I’d still give it a go. Even though it’s not in the same league as its predecessor of the same name, Gorezone has a lot going for it if it could attract a better quality of writer. I sound all high-falutin’ don’t I?

The above are just a few of the ‘genre’ magazines available in the UK, but there ARE three high-quality titles out there that warrant our specific horror-genre-centric attention that I highly recommend, none of which are the newly-redesigned Fangoria

ds136The first of these is The Dark Side, edited by Allan Bryce; the title has been going for about 15 years, and is a wonderfully glossy and personal  magazine packed full of  relatively well-written, opinionated articles and review  columns. In the past, there  has been some controversy about the sources of some  of the content in the  magazine, but hopefully this is in the past and shouldn’t  influence a decision on  whether or not to subscribe. For me, the magazine’s appeal  lies in its close  relationship with its readers and the obscure DVDs it revels in  reviewing and the  lovely ladies of horror it never fails to showcase. You can’t buy The Dark Side in  WH Smith anymore, but bizarrely it is available in some of the larger Zavvi  stores…

 image_productashxNow in its 14th issue, Horrorhound is first and foremost a horror geek’s title, covering all aspects of the blood red pop-ulture; thus expect in-depth coverage of a classic horror film and all related merchandise each issue. The latest issue features The Exorcist. The exquisite Dark Night of the Scarecrow is revisited prior to its DVD release, and there’s the latest in their Video Invasion series, which lovingly details the major video labels of the 1980s – this issue Gorgon Video, responsible for the controversial Faces of Death series – was that crocodile attack real? What about those car crash victims? I clearly remember feeling a little queasy watching the tourists slice off that monkey’s head and eating its brains… ah, such sweet reminiscence of a healthy childhood. Horrorhound is US-based, and only available via its website, or in specialist shops such as Forbidden Planet here in the UK.

84_mag_coverThe third title not to be missed is Rue Morgue magazine, from Canada.  Bill’s mentioned RM in passing a couple of weeks ago, so I won’t duplicate  his recommendation, just give you a piccy of the latest issue, and to say it’s  available from its website and a subscription is extremely good value,  (although each issue does take a very long time to arrive). Again, you can  track it down in Forbidden Planet etc.

Put these three magazines together and you’ve got a nice and comprehensive  approach to all that is horror – the past, the present and the future. But I  can’t help thinking there’s room for a UK-based title here, albeit one that will  require an international outlook and appeal. 

By the way, do feel free to get in touch if you need a link to the estimable Country Living. An aspirational title that is recommended unreservedly by my mother.

Oh, and talking about zombies… given all the fun and games in the finacial world, (you know, those experts who have put the Western world on the verge of a fiscal apocalypse), here’s a Reuters blogger on the new meaning of the word zombie. According to Forbes Digital’s online financial dictionary Investopedia, zombies are companies that:

“continue to operate even though they are insolvent or near bankruptcy. Most analysts expect zombie companies to be unable to meet their financial obligations.”

Quite a long way from its Voodon origins, eh? Financial obligations my arse. Leave our zombies alone! I’ll say it once more – WHAT A BUNCH OF FRICKIN BANKERS.

The Professor (who definitely has more horror magazines to read in the  bath than you, and who promises to feature digital stuff next time).

Add comment November 17th, 2008

Digital Wasteland #1

This will be the first of a regular update, (is ‘regular’ non-commital enough, JD’L and Bill?) concerning recently published articles of interest for all us horror fanatics. Not much comment on my part you’ll be glad to know I’m sure, just plain, old-fashioned linkage. Hopefully it’ll save you guys and gals some time trawling through this great stinking, dripping Digital Wasteland. 

First up, something for genre readers by Lisa Tuttle. She reviews horror, science fiction and fantasy for The Times’ Books supplement on a Saturday. A few nice, new parchments of darkness to budget for can be found here.

Weird Tales – yes THAT magazine, (good old HPL et al), is giving away the July/August  issue as a PDF here. It’s a big 100 page baby that make takes a few minutes to deliver, but it’s worth it. But be quick, it’s for a limited time only and obviously trying to encourage a subscription-drive. The issue features fiction from Norman Spinrad, Nick Mamatas, and Karen Heuler; an in-depth interview with Hellboy creator Mike Mignola; a journey into H.P. Lovecraft’s dreamlands; an exclusive excerpt from Stephen Hunt’s steampunk epic The Court of the Air; and lots of other things. Even the ads are worth a read.

Check out Weird Tales’ website too – a nice little horror community developing over there. 2008′s the 85th anniversary of said title and to celebrate they’ve set up The 85 Weirdest Writers, a page dedicated to us, so we can share all our weirdos with everyone else. Isn’t that nice of them? Great fun. START HERE THOUGH because they want to tell you their 85 first…

Chapbooks. I love ‘em. Cheap and collectable. Chapbooks with zombies in them. Stonk  on! Er, I mean, Creeping Hemlock Press have just put out 2 small and perfectly  malformed zombie chapbooks. Originally given out at Monroeville, Pennsyvania’s  October 2008 Zombie Fest these babies are gonna go fast. 250 copies only. Each of  themsigned. I’ve ordered them both for the credit-crunch-proof sum of $22 including  postage!

 Flesh is Fleeting… Art is Forever! Or, Some Bullshit Will Continue Even After the Dead  Wipe Us Out is by Gary A. Braunbeck, (a Bram Stoker Award winner with his previous zed  chapbook, We Now Pause For Station Identification). As anyone who’ll have read his  work, or the above chapbook, you’ll know you’re in for something special and  decidely unique. And that’s not something that’s easily done when it comes to zeds. 

Kim Paffenroth, author of the Dying to Live series and the Bram Stoker Award-winning Gospel of the Living Dead, collaborates with Creeping Hemlock’s very own R.J. Sevin & Julia Sevin to give us Thin Them Out. This one’s 10k words of pure survival instinct by the looks of it, and what a cover! 

Click through to Creeping Hemlock’s website to check out the blurbs and buy these mini-tomes of the dead.

Oh, and talking of zombies… io9 has a wonderfully researched and illustrated piece on the relationship between social unrest and the number of zombie films being produced and devoured – what do you reckon? More or less? C’mon it’s so obvious…

A zombie on a T-shirt, eh? Just what you’ve been waiting for I bet. This handsome chap’s from the rotting imagination of the designer of Horror Reanimated, Lee Casey, a.k.a Mother Leopard.

So sod the credit crunch, the looming inevitability of mass unemployment and the dark Starbuckless days of fiscal apocalypse, and buy this too I reckon. Spend and die! (Is that okay, Lee?)

And finally, more T-shirts and more horror! The amazing T-shirt emporium that is Threadless is having a competition to design a horror T-shirt in association with the ultmate Bible of darkness in culture and entertainment, Rue Morgue magazine, Devil’s Due Publishing, Wacom and horror punksters The Alkaline Trio. Let’s see if Casey can come up with a winner as the prizes are amazing.

The Professor (who definitely has more chapbooks and zombie t-shirts than you)

Add comment November 5th, 2008

WHAT A BUNCH OF BANKERS…

What a bunch of bankersHorror Reanimated, a blog for dark times. Sure got that right didn’t we?

But we can take solice from the fact that it’s not only books that are considered recession-proof; see Vanessa Thorpe’s article from Sunday’s The Observer on the rise and rise of the horror film, and a nice little primer for a tranche of upcoming celluliod spookiness.

Now, for zombies, obviously…

Zeds… oh my! Do a Google blog search for ‘zombies’ and you’ll get nearly 900,000 entries. And within those entries there’sthis. REMOTE FRICKING CONTROL! And this. So simple.

Check out these images of the latest Zombiecon – this enduring strain of horror is DEFINITELY recession proof. Those Wall Street W*****S got what was coming to them. Now for London’s Square Mile… they’re all walking around like zeds most of the time anyway.

Admit it, there must have been a time when you just wanted Davina McCall to shut up and go away, (or was that Carol Vorderman?); anyway, seemingly ever-present on our screens via Big Brother, Madame McCall’s time is up in Dead Set, Charlie Brooker’s zombiefied apocalyptic vision of reality television. Starts on Monday 27th October and runs each night that week. I wanted to interview Brooker about the series, but needless to say he’s ignored my request – however the linked article answers most of the questions I’d have asked, so that’s good, and saves me some valuable time. Dead Set is not to be missed by all accounts… especially the bit when McCall’s throat is ripped out.

Seriously though, maybe this could be the start of something beautiful… classy, edgy British horror on our television sets. Apparently the BBC’s about to give us Apparitions,  a series centred around exorcisms of ‘possessed souls’, pity Martin Shaw’s in it though. So is this the beginning of home-grown horror, our television programmers actually taking a chance for once? Let’s hope so. We’ve been relying on HBO’s amazing imported series for far, far too long.

And finally, stand by for a new short story from D’Lacey this Halloween. Let’s hope it’s a scary one, or we’re gonna look stupid; or rather he will, we’ll just laugh at him.

The Professor

[Image courtesy of Toast to Life.]

1 comment October 21st, 2008

Err… Yes, Master? Him Downstairs Lets One Out…

There’s nothing more tiresome than horror authors.

They’re just so damned aspirational: always wanting the world dancing around and clapping its hands just because they’ve conjured up a little splattering of blood and the occasional gruesome dismemberment. I mean, really…how feeble.

How so very pedestrian.

They never stop going on about how they’ve got some kind of hotline through to me here down below, when in fact the little darlings would run a mile if I so much as rammed a scimitar up their bottoms. They’ve no stamina, they’re 100-metre egg and spoon men, all froth and no bottle. Me and all the other book publishers down here, we could eat the little bastards for breakfast. Actually, sometimes we do. That Wheatley, he was bloody stringy.

Anyway, D’Lacey and Hussey – don’t they just sound so pretty? – think they’re hardcore. They think they know what horror really is. But, let me tell you – once I’ve sold their souls to Waterstone’s, I’ll eat their livers alive…

Get on with it chaps.

Add comment September 8th, 2008


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